The Most Important Thing Writers Need to Complete That First Novel by Lauren Carr #amwriting

The Most Important Thing Writers Need to Complete That First Novel
(No, it’s not talent.)

By Lauren Carr

Over thirty years ago, I wrote my first book on an electric typewriter. Determined to be a novelist, I devoted all of my spare time to banging away on my IBM Selectra. The television was off. Meals consisted of peanut butter sandwiches that were quick and easy to make. Hours that I used to sunbathe for a golden tan were spent composing my masterpiece. I stopped going out with my friends. Not a minute that could be devoted to literary creation was wasted. At the end of the summer, I proudly emerged from my bachelorette apartment pale, thin, and socially bankrupt.
In three months, I had written the Great American Catastrophe, all 846 pages of it in hardcopy.
We have come so far in just the last twenty years that there is no excuse for anyone to not be a writer (except for complete lack of talent). So, one has to ask, why is it so hard for many writers to compose a simple murder in Windows 7 when three decades ago I was able to kill off the whole membership of the Screen Actors Guild over one summer without the benefit of a spellchecker?
The delete button has opened a whole new world, but it has also slashed our attention spans to the length of an inch-worm. While we sit in front of our laptops thinking that we’re actually writing and doing it well, in reality we are constantly being distracted and giving in to those distractions freely. Wearing only our underwear, we feel like hotshots being able to check e-mails; program our smart TV; make dozens of new friends who we’ve never met and most likely never will; download the latest tunes; write a job proposal; IM our spouse in the bathroom to ask what he wants for dinner; spy to see what our son is really doing on his laptop in his room; and google to find out what had become of that teen idol to whom we had pledged our luv-4-ever.
Then, at the end of the day, we scratch our heads and wonder why we’ve only written seven paragraphs in the last seven hours.
As much as we would like to blame technology, or even jobs, families, and friends that interrupt us, the problem doesn’t lie with the distractions. There were distractions back when I wrote the Great American Catastrophe. They just weren’t as convenient to give into.
With the click of the button, I can escape choreographing a shootout to check out Jill’s dog Elvis getting a bath on Facebook. Swooning over Elvis should only take thirty seconds, but before going back to the shootout I need to accept Debbie’s friend request. Suddenly, I have only six minutes to forward an e-mail to eleven friends or suffer the curse of Mother Theresa. By the end of the day, that moment has turned into three hours with only one hour spent doing actual writing.
Writing takes discipline.
It takes the same type of discipline I had back when I gave up Fantasy Island for three months to write the Great American Catastrophe, which is now buried in my mother’s basement where hopefully no one will find it.
If you want to write your Great American Catastrophe, or maybe the Great American Novel, you have to tell your thumb, “Don’t click on that! Don’t check that e-mail! Keep on writing and don’t stop for anything until you come to ‘The End!’”
Trust me. Elvis will still be on Facebook when you’re done.
About the Author:
Lauren Carr is the best-selling author of the Mac Faraday Mysteries, which takes place in Deep Creek Lake, Maryland. A Wedding and a Killing is the eighth installment in the Mac Faraday Mystery series.

In addition to her series set on Deep Creek Lake, Lauren Carr has also written the Lovers in Crime Mysteries, which features prosecutor Joshua Thornton with homicide detective Cameron Gates, who were introduced in Shades of Murder, the third book in the Mac Faraday Mysteries. They also make an appearance in The Lady Who Cried Murder. Dead on Ice (A Lovers in Crime Mystery) was released September 2012. The second installment, Real Murder was released to rave reviews in June 2014.

The owner of Acorn Book Services, Lauren is also a publishing manager, consultant, editor, cover and layout designer, and marketing agent for independent authors. This year, several books, over a variety of genre, written by independent authors will be released through the management of Acorn Book Services, which is currently accepting submissions. Visit Acorn Book Services website for more information.

Lauren is a popular speaker who has made appearances at schools, youth groups, and on author panels at conventions. She also passes on what she has learned in her years of writing and publishing by conducting workshops and teaching in community education classes.

She lives with her husband, son, and three dogs on a mountain in Harpers Ferry, WV.

For More Information

  • Visit Lauren Carr’s website.
  • Connect with Holly on Facebook and Twitter.
  • Visit Lauren’s blog.
  • Is your group looking for a speaker for your next event?  Click here.
  • Contact Lauren.
About the Book:

When Mac Faraday decides to do something, there’s no stopping him … even murder!

Not wanting to wait until their big day to start their life of wedded bliss, Mac Faraday and his lady love, Archie Monday, decide to elope to the little church where his ancestors had all married—along the tranquil
shore of Deep Creek Lake. However, before they can say, “I do,” the sanctuary erupts into chaos when Gnarly finds a dead body in the church office.

As they dive into the investigation, Mac and his team discover more questions than answers. What kind of person walks into a church and shoots a man for no apparent reason? How do you solve the murder of a man who has no enemies in the world? Which of the seemingly kind-hearted church members is really a cold-blooded killer?

Then, there is the all-important question, how long do Mac Faraday and his lady love have to wait to get married?

For More Information

  • A Wedding and a Killing is available at Amazon.
  • Discuss this book at PUYB Virtual Book Club at Goodreads.

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