5 Tips to Finding Balance in Your Writing Life

tips, writing, how to, balance

Being a professional writer is great. I love it and I wouldn't want to do anything else. However, one things I've learned is that, as a writer, you need other things in your life besides writing. Having other interests and hobbies will not only enrich your life but it will make you a better writer. Here are 5 tips for finding your work/writer life balance.

1. Don't become a recluse. Writing is wonderful but your family is more important. Don't neglect the people you love or your friends. Set limits on your daily writing time. When you are done, spend time with your family and make them a priority. And don't forget your friends. Writing can be very isolating and you don't want to become a recluse. Make an effort to go to lunch with someone at least once a week, join groups, and get out and meet new people. You need to talk to someone besides your imaginary characters.

2. Find something active to do. I work out every day either with a long walk or with exercise DVDs or both. Given the amount of time I spend sitting and writing, it's important to my health and well-being to find ways to be active. 

3. Find a hobby that doesn't have anything to do with writing. Twice a week I got to Karate lessons. Not only does this help keep me active but during the lessons I'm forced to focus on something other than my stories. When I take the tests for the next belt level, I'm working toward an achievement that I am proud of and that, once again, is not based on my work. It makes me a more well-rounded person.

4. Find a way to give back. I am incredibly blessed to be able to do something that I love every day, and to make money doing it. Another activity I enjoy when not writing is making gift baskets. I have a number of friends, neighbors and family who belong to different charitable organizations. These organizations often hold silent auctions and I love to come up with something creative to donate. Creating gift baskets is not only a great way to be creative but it’s also a fun way for me to give to others and to worthy causes.

5. Read books not in your genre. One thing I love to do is read non-fiction history. While this does help my writing, it has also led to other professional opportunities. I enjoy reading about medical history and I've turned that hobby into different online classes in medical history before 1840 that I teach for various Romance Writers of America chapters. Reading outside your genre keeps your writing fresh and exposes you to other ideas and methods and ways of writing.

I hope these tips give you ideas for making your life, of which writing is a part, more full and enriched. If you did, please check out my books because my characters all have well-rounded lives www.Georgie-Lee,com

Should You Use Amazon PrimePantry?

The short answer is Yes! Earlier this year, I was on deadline for one of my books, and my little one was ill. It meant I couldn't leave the house, and we started running low on some critical things like toilet paper. I could have sent my husband out for them but he was out of town for business at the time, which is pretty unusual for him. Amazon kept sending me emails reminding me that I had a $5 credit and I could also get $5 off and free shipping if I bought five select Amazon PrimePantry products. I'd been hesitant to purchase things because I'm a big fan of generic. However, if ever there was a time to have items delivered to my door, it was then. I gave the service a shot, and I have to say, I liked it. As much as I enjoy browsing the clearance aisles of stores for great deals, not having to get dressed, get in the car, wander around a store, stand in line, and then drive home simply because we were almost out of toilet paper was very appealing. I went on Amazon PrimePantry, added a number of things to my cart, hit pay, and in two days a potential crisis was averted. I have used it many times since, especially when life gets crazy.

If you are thinking of trying Amazon PrimePantry here are some things you might want to know.

Amazon PrimePantry Positives:

- Amazon will entice you with deals and discounts until they almost make it impossible for you to say "no."

- The national coupon is already included and you apply it with one click.

- You don't have to leave the house. If you have a new baby or a sick kid, this is perfect for you.

- Pictures of the packaging and nutritional information are included so, if you need to know about ingredients or calories, you are able to see it.

Amazon PrimePantry Negatives:

- No Generic. If you are a fan of generic, you won't find them here. However, when life is busy and I'm in need of something important, the $2 I might save by buying generic is balanced by the gas and time I saved by not driving to the store.

- Selection can be limited. I don't drink coffee but I get my caffeine fix from Diet Wild Cherry Pepsi. Sadly, this is the one flavor Amazon PrimePantry does not sell. I found this with other products ranging from laundry detergent to paper towels. However, when I'm on deadline, caffeine is caffeine so regular Diet Pepsi will do. Trust me, it won't go to waste.

- The product isn't always what you thought it was because it's sometimes hard to tell from the picture and description. I bought a large package of paper towels thinking they were the bigger roles. They weren't. They weren't worth sending back so I put them in the pantry and knew better for next time, Again. they won't go to waste.

- Fresh produce and meat isn't an option. I understand Amazon has another service for that but I have not used it.

I hope this information helps you as you ponder whether or not to use Amazon PrimePantry. While you're on Amazon, check out my books. It was because of them that I decided to use the service in the first place. www.Georgie-Lee.com

$1.99 Harlequin Historical eBook Sale!

Select Harlequin Historical eBooks titles for only $1.99!

Happy fall everyone! The days are getting colder and that means curling up by the fireplace with a cup of tea and a good book. If you're looking to stock up on ebook titles for the winter then check out the Harlequin Historical sale! It lasts from now until October 26, 2016. Pick up a few books because there is nothing like a romantic story to help you relax during the hectic holiday season. 

Six of my backlist titles are included in the promotion including:

A Debt Paid In Marriage - finalist in the National Excellence in Romantic Fiction Award contest.

Book #1 in the Business of Marriage series
A Debt Paid in Marriage, Georgie Lee, Harlequin, Historical Romance  Amazon * Barnes & Noble 

A Too Convenient Marriage - Book #2 in the Business of Marriage series.
A Too Convenient Marriage, Georgie Lee, Harlequin, Historical Romance Amazon * Barnes & Noble 

Rescued from Ruin - Book #1 in the Scandal and Disgrace series

Rescued from Ruin, Georgie Lee, Harlequin, Historical Romance  Amazon * Barnes & Noble

The Captain's Frozen Dream
A Debt Paid in Marriage, Georgie Lee, Harlequin, Historical Romance Amazon * Barnes & Noble

The Courtesan's Book of Secrets

The Courtesan'd Book of Secrets, Georgie Lee, Harlequin, Historical Romance  Amazon * Barnes & Noble

Engagement of Convenience - Winner of the ACRA Readers' Choice Award

Engagement of Convenience, Georgie Lee, Harlequin, Historical Romance  Amazon * Barnes & Noble

Happy reading everyone!

Books to Help You Succeed

Scot Adams, Steven King, Jack Canfield, Jeff Olson

Being a writer also means being a businessperson. With over fifteen published books and novellas under my belt, and many more planned, teaching on-line classes on medical history, and a blog devoted to helping you write and other life adventures, I'm always eager to learn and grow on my journey to success.

Below are some books I've recently read that offer valuable insight on how to set yourself up to get the things you want in life. These can include everything from your own business, blog, writing career, better health or a happier outlook. All of these books are very straightforward without a lot of woo-woo stuff. The advice is practical, something you can implement, and all are enjoyable reads.

The Slight Edge by Jeff Olson. This book is all about how small choices you make everyday add up to big changes and success in your life. It's an eye-opening way to look at your everyday habits and how they are either helping or hurting you and how to change them. He covers every aspect of life from health to friends to happiness.

How to Fail at Everything and Still Win Big by Scott Adams. Scott Adams is the creator of Dilbert and he talks about how to turn failure into success. He also discusses how it isn't goals you should be focused on but systems that open you up to opportunities. I love his ideas for taking the skills you learned from all your past failures and building them into a skill set that can help you in any endeavor.

The Success Principles: How to Get from Where You Are to Where You Want to Be by Jack Canfield. Jack Canfield is the cocreator of the Chicken Soup for the Soul series. This book asks you to evaluate your life and what you want, and then offers ways to help you achieve it. I especially love the chapter on how your life is 100% your responsibility, and if you don't take responsibility for everything, and instead blame others for you problems, then you will have a difficult time.

On Writing by Steve King - an excellent, no frills book on the craft of writing. There's nothing fancy or gimmicky about it, just good advice on how to sit down and write.

I hope you find these books helpful on your way to success.

If you enjoyed these books then you will love mine because they are filled with people who succeed in love. www.Georgie-Lee.com 

Tomorrow is Another Day. And Yesterday is History

Sometimes, I think I spend too much time reading non-fiction history. I realized this the other day when a friend of mine asked me to explain the difference between a Queen Consort and a Queen in her own right. Without hesitating, I explained. I also veered into an explanation of Salic Law and how it didn’t exist in Britain.

Yes, these are the kind of facts I keep in my head, the kind I wait eagerly to whip out when an opportunity arises. Once, I was in a Denny’s near a college when three girls in the next booth started discussing William Wilberforce. I nearly jumped over the booth to join in the conversation. Yes, my enthusiasm for history is that powerful.

Combine my love of history with my equally powerful love of movies and watch out. Someone I know who lives in Virginia once said, “You know where they filmed Gone with the Wind, don’t you?” Without blinking, I said, “Yes, in Culver City on the MGM lot.” My friend then tried to correct me and tell me that the Twelve Oaks staircase scene was filmed in Virginia, according to some sign in some hotel in Richmond. Now, if there is one thing I know besides history, it’s Gone with the Wind trivia, and I know for a fact they did not shoot that scene in Virginia. Thank heavens for Google, or I’d have had to pull out one of my five books on the filming of Gone with the Wind in order to prove I was right. Remember those big, glossy coffee table books that used to be a film buff’s go to source before Google and IMDB?

Yes, folks, these are the kinds of facts crowding my mind. Gone with the Wind and golden age of Hollywood trivia to help me make my novel, Studio Relations, more authentic and believable. Also, through my writing, I’ve been lucky enough to meet other history buffs. I’ve spent a great deal of time before signings or panels talking to other writers about Tudor England, the American West and Regency England. Speaking with other writers who love history helps remind me that I’m not the only one obsessed with history. My obsession is probably a sickness, and I’d do something about it except that Gone with the Wind is on TCM tonight.

Thankfully, I also love writing about history, so I’m able to use all this great knowledge to entertain people. I used a great deal of my

If you love history then you will love my novels www.Georgie-Lee.com

Weaving Fictional Characters into Real Historic Events

    Depending on how much you believe the ancient scholars, the vices at Emperor Caligula’s court in ancient Rome ran the gamut from incest to poisoning, and that was just the emperor himself. Those who weren’t partying with him like it was 41 A.D. were trying to keep their heads down and escape notice. This was one era in history where you didn’t advance at court by attracting the sovereign’s attention. If you were unlucky enough to catch Caligula’s eye, he’d probably accuse you of treason, have you executed, sell your family into slavery and steal your wealth. It’s no wonder the Romans cursed Caligula and the horse he rode in on, which he’d deified the year before his assassination.

Reading about people living under such perilous circumstance gave me the idea for Mask of theGladiator. I wanted to write a story about two individuals caught up in the extraordinary events of their time, in this case, the tyrannical rule of Caligula and the assassination which brought it to an end. I also wanted to explore how love could help two people survive the danger and give them the courage to stand up to a tyrant.

I had a lot of fun researching ancient Rome and weaving my hero and heroine, Titus and Livia, into the historical record. It was challenging because, not only did I have to wade through a lot of bad ancient publicity about Caligula to get to the truth, but I also had to work within some predetermined constraints when crafting the story. For example, there are ancient accounts of Caligula’s assassination. While I wrote, I had to keep the accounts in mind so that Livia and Titus would be present when the daggers started flying.  To add more realism to their story, I surrounded them with actual historical figures involved in the plot. Thankfully, ancient Rome is so well documented that it wasn’t difficult to gather names and details of the era. I was even able to pinpoint specific historical events that took place one year after the assassination and add them to Livia and Titus’ story.

By the time 41 A.D. drew to a close, there was a new emperor on the throne and a sense of peace and optimism for Rome’s future. The empire had survived the crazy antics of Tiberius and Caligula, and was starting to thrive under the stabling influence of Claudius. In an era when many people’s lives did not end with a happily ever after, it was fun to create a story where they did.

If you enjoy history then you will love my books www.Georgie-Lee.com

Build a Backlist Fast with Novellas

About ten month before my contemporary novel, Her Hollywood Christmas (originally titled Labor Relations), was scheduled to release in February 2011, I had a small crisis. Here I was ready to debut a contemporary novel and the only title in my backlist was my Regency romance, Lady's Wager. I needed some back list titles and I needed them fast. However, life at the time was very busy and I didn’t have a lot of time to write (who does?). More and more e-publishers were asking for novellas and that’s when the idea hit me. I write short, so why not go with what I know and write to my strength.

I had a number of rejected Woman's World short stories sitting on my laptop, all of which could be quickly expanded into longer short stories. One of them was Rock ‘n’ Roll ReunionI rewrote it and submitted it and within two months it was contracted for publication by a small epublisher for a January 2011 release. I have since received the rights back and published it myself. Once that novella was accepted, I started working on another one that became A Little Legal Luck. That novella was released by the Wild Rose Press in September 2011, and I have since republished myself. Once it was off my plate, I finished polishing up Mask of the Gladiator, my ancient Rome novella, and sold it to Carina Press. This helped me to build up my historical romance backlist. Within a short amount of time, I went from having one published novel to a handful of published titles.

So, if you're struggling to build a backlist fast, consider writing shorter. There is a lot you can pack into a little story.

If you like novellas then you will love mine because they are great to read when you don't have a lot of time. www.Georgie-Lee.com