I was asked by a follower; "what makes you tick as a writer?"

Yesterday I received an email from a follower who asked me questions about my writing, my process, my inspiration, and things like that. She went on to say that I don’t post much about my writing, and as a fellow writer she would wait patiently until that day came.

Well it must be Christmas for her, because she’s getting an entire post about my writing “habits” as it were.

The first thing I want to address, in case anybody else who follows me is also wondering why I don’t mention my writing all that much, I get that it seems odd for a writer to talk about everything else but that. So here goes, the inside scoop as to why I don’t blog or tweet about my writing all that much: PEOPLE ACTUALLY AREN’T THAT INTERESTED IN THAT. I’m not kidding you, and to be blunt it is more than just a little bit annoying and frustrating. Obviously posts that pertain to my relationship with YB get the most views, and tweets and Instagram posts about my dogs get more hits than when I post about my writing. For me, it’s actually a self preservation thing. I don’t discuss my writing because when I do people seem to “turn the channel” and the last thing an aspiring writer wants to feel is like the bulk of their followers don’t actually enjoy their writing. Now, these are FEELINGS based on numbers, I have no idea if this is actual truth. I don’t know how many of my followers on Instagram who might not hit the LIKE button when I post about today’s blog, might actually go to my website and read the blog anyway. There’s no way of knowing those numbers, but what I do see is when I share my writing, I don’t get a whole lot of tangible love back. So I just keep on keeping on, writing this daily blog and for Huff Post honing my craft and waiting for my publishing ship to come in. I will tell you all this, that once that sale comes through I’m going to be extremely busy writing the entire series of HOW TO books for them, so this daily blog will most likely become a thing of the past.

The other question was: “Where do you get your inspiration from?” This is not so black and white, for my blog I get it from the things I observe in daily life, that either confuse, excite, anger, or enlighten me. As for my series of HOW TO non-fiction books that inspiration came from doing a very good job in raising well functioning adults, and seeing a great need in today’s parenting, or what I perceive as a lack of parenting in our modern society. The other five books in the series are all topics that I’ve got a pretty good handle on, so I feel like sharing my expertise with those who struggle and panic when they hear the word MOVING for example. My fiction book, Black Picket Fence came from life, some from things I’ve gone through in my own marriage, other bits from things some of my girlfriends have gone through, and the bulk of it is good ole fashion made up in my brain drama.

“What are my writing habits?” Hmmm this one differs literally every single day. Truth be told, I sadly have awful writing habits because I’m a control freak and I won’t hire somebody to do all my finances, daily bills, banking, month end reports, etc, etc, etc so I sadly have to do a couple of hours of this nonsense every single day. Then there is my health which is a top priority, so I work out daily, and all my charity endeavors…it doesn’t leave a whole lot of time for sitting down and writing. I like to have a clear 4-6 hours when sitting down to write. Which is why this blog is helpful, having to write it daily forces me to sit down and at least write something every single day. I’m the sort of A-type personality who writes best when confined. So when I’m flying I get a ton of excellent writing done, or when we used to drive back and forth from LA in our RV I would write every day for six hours. I can knock out about 1000 words every hour, so it’s not my speed that is the problem, it’s the fact that I don’t prioritize it. But, all that is about to change come January, I’ve decided that the year of 2018 will be the year that I put my writing as a priority. I will finish the rewrite on Black Picket Fence, and be ready to write the rest of the HOW TO _____WITHOUT LOSING YOUR COOL books in the series. Whoo Hoo!!

“What advice would I give to an aspiring writer?”

Just fucking do it.

Don’t worry about whether it is good or bad, right or wrong. If you have a passion for writing, just write. Just start, somewhere, maybe a daily blog, I don’t know. Find not only a way, but some time in every single day of your life to write, then if life allows, carve out longer times; go away on retreats, gift yourself weekends of quiet writing time.

Lastly, and this goes for anybody who is aspiring to become anything (doesn’t have to be a writer) have faith that the passion has been put on your heart because you are meant to do it. Believe, and do.

xo Shantelle