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    Time Management

    michelleMichele Karlsberg: How do you find the time to write?

    Laury A. Egan: Perhaps the question should be: How do I find time to clean the house, pay bills, and shop? Because I’ve made writing my first priority after years of working as a freelancer, I usually am at my desk all day, most days, forgoing social lunches and doing my best to minimize interruptions. In many ways, I am fortunate to have this freedom, which very few writers have, though the downside to my solitary focus is that I spend my day, and many nights, isolated from human companionship.

    When I am in the throes of a new novel, however, I don’t mind, because the process feels much like falling in love, probably with similar chemical changes in the brain. In fact, during these periods of heightened creativity, it is nearly impossible to switch off entirely.

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    Despite my disciplined schedule, many of the most interesting thoughts arrive when I’m not pushing hard to generate a new idea, such as while driving, falling asleep, dreaming, or looking at the ocean. These low-focus moments allow my unconscious to wander freely and can be richly productive. Some of the plot situations on my current novel, Once, Upon an Island, were worked out while swimming laps in a pool—a happy coincidence, since my main character was swimming on beaches and pools in St. Croix!

    From what I’ve read about other authors and have personally experienced, writing is not just about finding time to devise great plots, settings, and characters. It is also about finding patience for the long, hard grind of revisions–I do 30+ drafts–and then months of sending out submissions. And after those tasks, there is the least pleasant activity: the endless publicity demands, so difficult for introverted souls. It is this aspect of the writing business when I have trouble finding time!

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    Laury A. Egan is the author of “The Outcast Oracle,” “Jenny Kidd,” “Fog and Other Stories,” and the forthcoming “Wave in D Minor” (December 2016, Bedazzled Ink). Her poetry volumes include “Snow,” “Shadows,” “a Stranger,” “Beneath the Lion’s Paw,” and “The Sea & Beyond.” Her website is

    Bradley Aaron Anson: My writing material tends to bank up in my mind. The moment the material breaches my mental retaining wall, I must write. Unfortunately, this over saturation can happen in the wee hours of the morning or late at night. Even if my intentions are set firmly for rest or sleep, the pressure becomes immensely focused to write at that very moment, and any attempt to delay is futile. Sleeping or rushing to any scheduled event is out of the question as I find myself organizing my writing in my mind, and therefore though present, I am absent from the event. With the prevailing writing materials converging all at once, there is no option but to grab my pen or computer and release the material from my mind in a deliberate manner through organizing my thoughts officially on paper.

    I also have a creative space in my home surrounded with inspirational quotes and books and articles of other writers I admire. This space is free from cell phone, and other, distractions. This is where I congregate countless written and dictated notes I feared I’d forget, but deemed important in configuring an evolving manuscript in my mind. This may seem difficult given the many moving parts, but I actually find this type of referencing and writing quite the opposite. I find it easier to mentally organize, and my thoughts tend to flow onto the paper quite easily, if all the referencing has been contained in a ubiquitous writing environment. I become the student at that point, and my thoughts become the instructor.

    Bradley Aaron Anson is an inspirational speaker and the author of “Mind Your Own Life: The Journey Back to Love” Anson has been featured by AARP and has appeared on several radio talk shows and at literary events around the country with a passionate message of love.

    Michele Karlsberg Marketing and Management specializes in publicity for the LGBT community. This year, Karlsberg celebrates twenty-seven years of successful book campaigns.