Monday, August 10, 2009

A Writing Career, by Diane Craver

Today, I'm delighted to turn my blog over to one of my favorite authors, Diane Craver. Diane has a new book coming out titled, "Whitney in Charge." I'm excited to hear more about the book and about Diane. So, please help me make Diane welcome. Feel free to leave a comment, ask a question, or just say hi and let her know you stopped by.

A Writing Career

Juggling a writing career with my family is definitely full of highs and lows. When I'm absorbed in writing a new story, or spending hours promoting my published books, I feel guilt in not spending time with my family. I feel like I'm spreading myself too thin with trying to cope with many different things at the same time.

I'm not alone. I've heard many authors complain how they don't have time to write because of all the marketing that's necessary. When a new writer receives the first contract, he or she is elated, but soon marketing the book becomes a reality. Spending time doing yahoo chats, author interviews, book signings, contests, mailing promo items, writing blog posts, and advertising takes time away from writing. Many times I have to confess that I feel like quitting, but then I'll get a positive book review or a reader contacts me and says how much they loved one of my books. Fortunately, this always seems to happen on one of my down days, and it boosts my spirit to knowing I must continue writing.

My husband is retired now so that makes it harder at times to write. He thinks I'm on the computer too much, and doesn't understand how much time I need to devote to actual writing, editing and promoting. He doesn't like to read and never reads books! Except mine, of course. I was impressed that he took time to read them and shared what he liked about each one. It was interesting to get his perspective as a nonreader. When I worked recently at a temporary job in Cincinnati, it was completely different. He was glad to see me receiving a regular paycheck for the hours I worked. As a writer, the financial gain isn't equal to the time I put in, so I can fully understand his feelings. The truth is I'm not a best-selling author. My royalty checks are not in the big digits but I appreciate receiving them. After all, my books are marketed by reputable, small publishers. And it does take time to build a huge readership.

We were blessed with six children. Although four are adults with their own lives, two of our daughters with special needs are living at home. I spend a lot of time taking care of them, meeting the demands of frequent doctor appointments and many other issues. But they are worth every minute of it.

It's funny when someone says something like this to me, "I wish I could sit around and write instead of doing my job." Of course, I don't mention the lows of a writing career because I want to continue their myth of the carefree life of a published author. LOL Let's face it, writers want to appear glamorous. And staying in my pajamas in the morning to write at my laptop might not be the image the speaker has in mind, but it's one of the benefits in writing for a career.

Another definite high in writing is escaping to a wonderful fictional world with characters becoming real to me. While I wrote Whitney in Charge, I enjoyed being part of the three sisters' lives as they had fun exploring their business options. But most of all, I liked writing about Whitney falling in love again.

I must continue to manage a writing career with my home life because I can't seem to shut my mind off to possible future story lines. Character dialogue keeps popping in my mind. Any kind of occurrence seems to stimulate my writing processes in anticipating the outcome if I put a different spin it. And I realize my what if would make a fantastic story.

Yes, I'm cursed and blessed at the same time to be a writer. And now you know, the real life behind Author Diane Craver!

Blurb: TV producer Whitney Benson is tired of her older sisters’ attempts to fix her up with every single male they meet. Shannon and Regan cross the line when they arrange for her to go skydiving with the simple excuse that more guys like to float in the air than women.

Whitney meets two eligible bachelors, Jack and Ben, who constantly battle for her affection. Which one will she choose? Both men make Whitney realize, even a heart shattered by her husband’s death, can once again be made whole.

But did she have to fall off a cliff to learn that?


Diane Craver said...

Hi Carol,

Thank you for the great introduction! I'm happy to be here today.

I'll be back a little later this morning unless I pass out from exhaustion. LOL I'm walking 5 acres with my husband that we are thinking of buying.

Cate Masters said...

Great post, Diane! I definitely share your pain, but the highs outweigh the lows, so we keep plugging away, don't we! Best of luck with Whitney in Charge! Sounds like a great read.

Diane Craver said...

Thanks, Cate! Writing and publishing is a hard business but definitely worth it!

Judy said...

Great post. I enjoyed hearing about your life. I could not do what you and the other authors do. For starters, I cannot write, so I do not have to worry about it:) I have always wondered how writers got anything done in their private lives, or how they had much private life. Good luck with Whitney in Charge, it sounds like a great read.

Denise Patrick said...

Great interview and post, Diane. My husband is retired, too, but I still work a full time job as well as write. Like yours, he doesn't feel all the effort I put into promo is worth the size of the checks that come in, but for me it's a Labor of Love.

Kudos to you for being able to write and take care of your special needs daughters, too. I only have two children and both are in college, so I don't have much of a family to take care of - and my husband never reads my books, although he's a voracious reader otherwise.

Sarah said...

I'm trying to write a novel about a widow/widower falling in love. Is this something you've been through yourself? Do you have any suggestions on research? . Right now the big question in the book is how to be to sure you're ready to move on

Delia Latham said...

Hi, Diane! I'm so glad I dropped in to read your guest blog. I'm glad to know I'm not the only author who sometimes thinks of "quitting." The crazy emotional highs and lows of a writer's life are all just part of the process, and you're right - it only takes one comment from a reader who was touched by something in your book to help us remember why we write. I hope God truly blesses and anoints Whitney in Charge to be a success for you!

Rita Hestand said...

HI Diane you are absolutely right about juggling your career, but it
can be done. I used to babysit, and I needed to write too, so I'd put a baby on my knee at the keyboard.

A writer doesn't write because they just want to be a writer. A true writer writes because deep down inside they have to.Somehow, some way we always find the time for it.

Never give up, because a true writer would be miserable if they
couldn't write. It's inborn I'm afraid. There are people who say they want to write a book someday
but the real writers are the ones that do it, no matter what. Keep on going, Diane, it's the only

I also understand the not understanding too. Because a writer leads a much different life than most people. We are in front of our computers way too much, but it cannot be helped. It is where we work, and how we work.
The trick I think is to find a little time for normal life, and writing life, and it's a strange balance.

Goodluck Diane!

Margo J said...

Diane - thanks for your "behind the scene" comments about the life of a writer. I am defintely one of those people who romanticize it, and am glad to know both sides of the story.

Diane Craver said...

Bless your heart - that's really neat how sympathetic you are when you aren't a writer. And maybe someday you will write so I don't mean to be discouraging. :) It's pretty neat to see your hard labor published.

Diane Craver said...

Hi Denise,
I'm so glad you stopped by. That's right your husband is retired, too. And you're busy, I know, with church activities and so many things. You're great at balancing your writing career with your full-time job and etc.

Diane Craver said...

Good question. Fortunately, I haven't experienced being a widow. My husband and I have been married for 34 years. I never did any research but I saw how hard it was on others when a spouse died. Also some have told me that going thru a divorce is similar to experiencing a death.

Try to get inside your character's head as much as possible and that might help you to realize when he or she is ready to move on. Also what kind of a marriage did the widow/widower have? Was it a good marriage? How long were they married? Were they high school sweethearts? Or did they meet later in life?

Diane Craver said...

Hi Delia,

It's great to see you here! I have to tell you that my cousin passed out the bookmarks you designed for me at the Craver reunion yesterday!

I heard recently a new author cried when she realized how much work promoting was, so decided it was important to show both sides of a writing career.

Thank you so much - I'm hoping Whitney will be a success, too. :)

Diane Craver said...


Thank you for stopping by and taking time to share what writing means to you.

And you're right - I've had many people tell me that they wish they could find the time to write, and I think if they really wanted to, they would. I know a few weeks before and during the Christmas season, I don't write and I miss it so much.

Diane Craver said...

Nice to see you here, Margo! I'm glad you read my post and thanks for the comments.

PhyllisC said...

Thanks so much for your comments on "real life" for an author. Many times in life we seem to think that the grass is greener on the other side. This just goes to remind us that even though your life is good it's not the idle life that some seem to think. Good luck on this one - I hope it is a best seller. :)

Mary Ricksen said...

Six kids! You are freaking amazing!!!
Good luck, great blog.

Diane Craver said...

Hi Phyllis,
So true - we always think other people have it nicer than we do but in reality, they probably have their own challenges in life.

Thanks - hope Whitney does well, too!

Diane Craver said...

Hi Mary,
Yeah, life was crazy and fun at the same time when we had 6 kids all at home. I'll never forget once when a guy came to our house to sell us an air filter and we not only had our 6 but they had friends over. He stood in the foyer with his mouth wide open, watching kids coming in all directions. I think he was trying to count them but they were moving too quickly. LOL

Nancy G said...

And I thought I was going crazy with four kids. Thank goodness mine are all grown up (???) and gone, except the youngest. I wish I had the nerve to be a real writer, but I just can't seem to work up the courage for it. I do a bit of writing in the reviews I do for a site, but I'm afraid thats about it. I am looking forward to reading Whitney's story.

Diane Craver said...


I had a blast yesterday. Thank you so much for hosting me on your wonderful blog.

Thank you, everyone, for the great comments. You've all been entered in the August 15th contest!

Enjoy your Tuesday!

Miss Mae said...

Interesting post, Diane, and happy to hear you're going to keep juggling! LOL

Thrilled about Whitney too. Beautiful cover!

Diane Craver said...

Hi Miss Mae,
Good to see you here. Thank you - I love the cover, too

April said...

I don't know... working in your PJs sounds pretty sweet. :) I can't wait to read about Whitney and her sisters.

Jennifer Shirk said...

Great interview, Diane!

It's so hard to strike that balance of home responsibilites and our writing.

Diane Craver said...

Hi Jennifer,
It is hard but you are definitely doing a great job. :) You always make time for your family but still squeeze writing into your schedule! Congrats on your new contract!

Carol Ann said...

Diane, it has been wonderful having you as my Monday guest blogger. I wish you much success with WHITNEY IN CHARGE. Please let me know any time you'd like to stop by and guest again. You're always welcome.

Diane Craver said...

Thank you, Carol. It's been fun being here. I appreciate all the great comments. And thanks for inviting me back.

Sometime soon I'd like you to be a guest blogger at mine.

Dina said...

hi again Diane,

enjoyed your excerpt.

thanks for touring, fun to ck out new blogs.

Patty L. said...

Hi Diane,

This is a great article and a wonderful look into the inner workings of a great writer. I can't tell you enough how happy I am to know you and to have such a wonderful writer to look up to. Thank you.

Diane Craver said...

Thank you so much for stopping by and for the lovely comments. I'm glad you liked the article.

Take care.