Eileen Goudge is a New York Times best selling author, traditionally published and even making money. She, and increasing more traditionally published authors, are going the Indie publishing route and leaving the "Big 5" publishing houses behind. Along with her decision to take the Indie jump, she has written her first mystery, which I shall review next week, titled "Bones and Roses". She graciously wrote a guest post for us today. Please welcome Eileen!
By Eileen Goudge
I’m a type-A person. No getting around it. I’ve learned to accept, and even embrace, my borderline OCD you-ness. As I tell my husband, whenever he urges me to put my feet up, “Sorry. My model didn’t come with an ‘off’ button.” When I do put my feet up, it’s usually when I feel I’ve earned it after a long, hard day of writing that may or may not include a workout at the gym. My ‘off’ button only works for the hours when I’m asleep. Do I wish I had more than one speed? You bet. I’d probably live longer and certainly I’d have more time to play.
I suspect I’d also get more done. Counter-intuitive, perhaps, but in my experience creative bursts are more likely to occur during your downtime than at your desk.
Some of my best ideas come when I’ve allowed my mind to drift. Like with clouds scudding across the sky, random thoughts become formations. I’ll be in the shower or washing dishes and an idea for a novel will pop into my head, or I’ll see a way out of a plot snag. This is why I bake as a hobby. Kneading bread dough or making a cake doesn’t require much brain power, leaving my imagination free to roam. Too much dreaming and not enough doing isn’t good—you risk becoming one of those people I dread meeting at cocktail parties who, upon learning what I do for a living, proceed to bore me to tears with a lengthy description of the book they plan to write someday (and almost certainly never will)—it’s all about striking a balance.
I’m working on it.
The other day my friend Phil, who lives in the Pacific Northwest and is a fly-fishing enthusiast, sent me a set of homemade fishing flies. He’s hoping it’ll improve my luck when I go to the lake in Wisconsin where I vacation every summer. I’ve never caught a fish bigger than my thumb, but this year I’m determined to catch something sizeable enough to eat. I’m a drop-a-line-in-and-hope-for-the-best kind of fisherman, but I realized I needed to be not quite so lackadaisical if I wanted a decent catch. Or one decent-sized fish.
There’s a greater likelihood I won’t haul in a damn thing. But I’m pretty sure I won’t walk away with nothing. Because what better activity is there for letting one’s mind drift than sitting on a dock or in a boat, pole in hand, for hours on end waiting for a nibble? I suspect that’s the real purpose of fishing. My friend is mainly a catch-and-release fisherman, so he’s not fishing for supper. Maybe he’s fishing for quiet time and peace of mind. Me? I’m fishing for what lurks in the cloudy depths of my subconscious. Book titles. Plot twists. Characters. So what if the fish fry supper I’d envisioned turns out to be hot dogs and baked beans? I’ll have landed something bigger and better than the 5-lb. striped bass I’d hoped to catch: inspiration. My new novel, Bones and Roses, came out August 5th and is the first book in my Cypress Bay mystery series. Here’s what it’s about. I hope you like it. Much of it derived from the cakes I baked and the fish I didn’t catch.
From home invasions to cheating spouses, Rest Easy
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THANK You Eileen for sharing how you let your creative side bubble to the surface through the quiet contemplation accomplished during fishing. I will never look at fishing the same way!