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Focus on Writing in 2017

Piper Surviving Deadlines by Focus on WritingI made a careful decision to have a stronger focus on writing this year. As an author, one might think I write, therefore I have a focus on writing.

But here’s the thing: when an author goes to events, the author isn’t writing much, if at all. When an author is doing book signings, the author isn’t writing much. The priority is to spend time with you, the reader, and rightly so. It’s important and I love meeting readers!

But all those events take away from writing time. There’s also travel that both takes away from writing time and is generally exhausting.

I maintain a day job career in parallel to my author career and I do travel 85% of my time for the day job. Add writerly events in there and I am sometimes away from home for up to 3 weeks at a time. I don’t take vacations, I take time off from the day job to attend writerly events and conventions. There’s no down time and without down time, my creativity suffers.

Last year was rough and much of it was due to the killer schedule I set for myself. I wrote 5 full length novels and several short stories through the course of the year in addition to throwing myself into my day job for the most challenging project of my day job career.  I am proud of my work.

There’s no way I can maintain the pace. I wouldn’t survive.

This year, I’ve decided to manage my time carefully and only attend writing retreats. At these retreats, my writing productivity has been amazing. My intent is to come through 2017 with high quality writing and the foundation laid to do great things with my writing career in the future. My priority is to provide great stories to my readers. This year, I’ll focus on writing.

Even if you don’t see me in person, you can play Find the Piper all over the internet for insight into my writing and hijinx:

Sign up for my newsletter for occasional news about upcoming releases plus exclusive excerpts and giveaway.

Check out the PJRA FB group for fun interaction, shared writing snippets, and occasional contests as my readers track my Travel Hijinx.

Follow me on Instagram for photos of my travels and behind-the-scenes insight into my writing only available here.

Listen to EMEPiper and subscribe to my Patreon to support writing-related creative content.

And of course, I can be found on FB and Twitter, as well as Pinterest and YouTube.

Come 2018, I’ll be looking at events again. I’ll be out there to meet readers and network with pros in the industry. Moving forward, I’ll be carefully balancing these priorities so my writing — the core of me as an author — is still strong as I participate in upcoming events too.

If you’d like me to attend your favorite convention or reader event, please contact the event coordinators and request me. It’s the best way to let events know you want me there. These events are for you, readers. Let them know who you want. 😉

It’s a boy! Meet Corbin Drake

Corbin DrakeMeet Corbin Drake, our new 9 week old Pembroke Welsh Corgi.

Dogs have been an intrinsic part of my happiness since my childhood. My parents brought home various puppies over the years. The very first dog I owned, that looked to me, that I was responsible for, was a rescued Lab mix. She came to me in middle school.

Later, as an adult, I spent time with law enforcement K9s learning about their training and how important socialization was for them. 

My home had a rescued Shetland Sheepdog, a retired Schutzhund trained German Shepherd Dog, and a retired military explosives detection dog. Each of these brilliant, beautiful personalities passed away of old age in the last few years.

It took time for me to mourn. And during that time, I struggled with my happiness. I have a day job career I love. I also love my writing. And still, there’s a hollow spot, waiting for a warm life. As I struggle with symptoms of depression, my partner and I decided it was time.

Corbin will be the first dog for Matthew J Drake and me as partners. He’s ours. Hopefully he’ll choose us as his. After all, humans can own a dog, but the choice to look to a human is the dog’s. Time will tell and for the time being, there’s a fur-baby in our home giving us laughter and smiles and maybe just a few emotional tears.

It’s time to write. And Corbin is sleeping next to me. My life is warm again.

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* Note: Patrons of Piper’s Patreon received the news first. To find out more, visit https://www.patreon.com/piperjdrake.

Today’s Dream for Someday

It’s good to have dreams. 

There’s also a difference for me between dreams for someday in the far off future and dreams I might work to make come true with carefully defined goals right now.

Today I latched onto a dream for someday. It’s something I’ll tuck away to ponder and smile about, but won’t stress to make happen any time soon. I’m leaving it to incubate. I might do a few things to gather the necessary information or skills to make it happen in an unhurried way. For fun.

Because I have as many immediate goals as I can handle right now and I like the relief of considering something for someday…for fun and whimsy. 🙂

My someday dream is to own my very own bookstore. And there’d be a lovely office space for me above my bookstore. That’s where I could write while my bookstore is run by trustworthy people. The kind of people who love books and spread the love of reading. The bookstore would have a small meeting room for occasional mentoring seminars for aspiring writers.

It’d be a haven. A place to nurture the love of reading and writing.

That’s my someday dream. What’s yours?

Bubbles and a dream for someday