Friday, November 2, 2012

Finding Time to Write: Guest Post by James Garcia Jr.

Hello. I write vampires. I currently write them with a Christian slant. Are you still with me? Good. How about you? Chances are that if you are visiting today, you’re a writer, too. Or perhaps you’re a reader. Most likely, you’re a little bit of both. And although there may be a few among you who are lucky enough to be able to write until your heart is content, chances are you are struggling to find the time to write. This is what has brought me to you today.
Guest blogger and fellow author, James Garcia Jr.
He's cool, folks!

How do you find the time to write?

Do you carry a notebook with you at all times? Are you jotting ideas and plot twists down on bar napkins, the Life Section of the newspaper, or the back of the grocery list while you wait in line at the checkout? In order to write, one has to make a conscious effort to fit it in.

I like to shock people by telling them that it took me twenty years to write my first novel. It’s a true statement. Believe me, I was there. I wrote while in college, but family and careers pushed that to the back burner, as they say. Eventually, I realized the regret that I was facing were I never to write again, so I dusted off that manuscript and got it done. Much can be said about it being God’s good timing and I believe it was; however, there was also some maturity that I needed to have before I could continue. In those early days, if I didn’t have a couple of hours to write, I simply shut it down and refused to even begin. Twenty years later, if I had forty minutes I could be found scribbling furiously. I’m guessing many of you are like that.

These days, I get up at 3 AM in order to be at the office by 4 AM. I work as an Administrative Supervisor for Sun-Maid Growers of California. Are you familiar with the lady on the red box of raisins? That’s us. I work 5 days a week and about 11 hours each day. Being that I’m pushing 44 years old, most days you can find me in the garage on my treadmill for an hour. Beyond that, we all have our chores, etc., to handle each day. As you can well imagine, that doesn’t leave me with very much time to write, promote, blog, and check in on any of the seemingly hundreds of social networking sites. I’m on nearly all of them. I see you are too. It’s a lot, isn’t it?

Having listed all of that, you might be asking when I find time to write. That’s easy, I don’t; certainly not regularly. I believe the first rule of writing is to write every day; however, with my schedule, I would be able to do little else. So, what I do is let my mind work all the time: picture a staff of men in my head, constantly working plots, characters, etc., and waiting until they’ve got something good before putting forth their proposal. Usually I take on a writing project every year and a half or so. By then, I typically know what the story is and where it ends up.

Jimmy'a book is now available!
I find I outline a bit more with each project, so I’m somewhere between a pantser and a plotter at the moment, but for the most part, much of the story is already written in my head. On a day-to-day basis, I let my mind gestate the next chapter while in the shower, driving to and from work, in those moments before sleep takes me away, and every free moment in between. The next day at the computer I simply write down everything I “saw” the day before. When I’m done, I leave the computer and the process starts all over again. It’s working for me so far. How about you and your process? Is it quirky like mine? I’d love to hear it. I’d also like to thank our gracious host, Michele, for granting me this opportunity to share with her readers.

Whether you like vampires or horror at all, I’d really like to thank you for taking the time to hear me out. I’d love for you to stop by any number of my sites and say hello. If you do like to sit on the edge of your seat without having to be grossed out by the ugly side of horror, I may have a book or two for you. More importantly, however, I’d really just like to encourage you that dreams do still come true. If writing is your dream, please write—anyway you can. You’re going to hate yourself one day if you don’t.

James Garcia Jr. was born in the Central California town of Hanford. He moved up the road to Kingsburg with his family as a child. After graduating KHS, he attended Reedley College where he met his wife. They, along with their teenage sons, still make their home in Kingsburg, which is also the setting of James’ vampire series. Dance on Fire was published in 2010 and its sequel Dance on Fire: Flash Point was published Halloween 2012. James is an Administrative Supervisor for Sun-Maid Growers of California. You can find him online at his blog, Dance On Fire; his Facebook fan page; his Google+ page; and on Twitter as @danceauthor. His books are available on Amazon


  1. Thanks, Michele. Sorry I got here so late. Thanks so much for the opportunity to share with your audience. I'll check back over the course of the weekend. Have a good one!


  2. With a Christian slant? That intrigues me! (And I appreciate it.)
    I don't write every day. But I find time when I need to write. Or rather, make time.
    My first book was over thirty years in the making. Hope that doesn't terrify someone either!

    1. 30 years, Alex? Wow! We should form a club or something! Thanks for stopping by, my friend. I really appreciate it.


    2. Thanks for stopping by, Alex. Jimmy's book sounds cool, doesn't it? Love that he's dared to bring vampires and Christianity together.

      As for the time involved in writing a first novel, I think as long as you finish and get your work out there, it's a good thing. I finished my first novel when I was in high school, but it was a total ripoff of another novel so it's unpublishable. Plus, it's bad writing. I'm finishing my first real novel now. Hasn't taken years to write it, but it's taken years to get here to write it. Kind of ends up being the same thing, doesn't it? ;)


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