Friday, August 10, 2012

My Biggest Challenge as an Author

My Biggest Challenge as an Author

By Michelle Pickett

Thank you so much, Misha, for having me on your blog to discuss briefly what challenges me the most as an author. I'm excited to be here!

The greatest challenge I face as an author is time. I know what you're thinking. Nearly everyone can say they need an extra hour or two in the day to get everything done that demands their attention. But that's not the kind of time I'm referring to.

Creativity doesn't turn on at eight am and off at five pm. I can't get up send the kids to school and then sit down and write for the rest of the day, producing page after page of publishable material. It would be wonderful if I could! But ideas don't work that way. They don't come with an on and off switch. They keep their own hours, and that is a major challenge.

Sometimes inspiration hits at the oddest times. While I'm standing in the checkout line at the supermarket or waiting in the carpool line to drop the kids off at school. Sometimes they come at times when I absolutely do not want to write. Like when I'm playing Chutes and Ladders with my 7 year-old twins or I'm at my son's basketball game. When I'm spending time with my family I'd like my day to be idea free—that doesn't always happen. I'd like a weekend off…or just an evening. I'd like to go to bed before two in the morning or sleep past seven. But time doesn't always play in my favor when it comes to inspiration. Someone needs to explain things to my muse. She obviously doesn't get it.

There are some days, today for instance, that I can't write a word. Not because I don't have the "actual time" to do so. I do. The kids are taken care of, the house is quiet, there isn't anything vying for my attention. It's a perfect day to write. The weather is even bad, so a pretty day isn't calling me outside. So what's wrong? Time. Inspiration doesn't work on a timetable and because of that I've written a total of eighty-four words on my work-in-progress today. Considering I write two thousand to twenty-five hundred a day on a good day, eighty-four words is not a good day.

But tomorrow is another day and holds a new set of time issues. It's Saturday. As much as I Wanted my creativity to clock in on time today, I won't tomorrow. Saturday I won't want anything to interfere with my family time—and that's when it will happen. My muse will tap me on the shoulder and say, "Oh, yeah. Now I remember what I was supposed to tell you yesterday. You know chapter twelve? Well, here's how it should go…."

Time takes on a whole new meaning for a writer. Instead of one, two, three o'clock, I measure my day in one, two, three creative hours. The challenge is keeping those hours confined to a certain part of the day and not letting them overtake life in general. And that's one of the biggest challenges I face as an author.

Michelle's Bio:

Profile_Photo_640x425_250x166.jpgMichelle has been an avid reader since a young child. She began writing for personal enjoyment in college, where she graduated Summa Cum Laude with a degree in accounting. Deciding sitting in a cubical all day was her form of cruel and unusual punishment, she decided to do what she really wanted to—share her passion for reading and writing with others.

She wrote her debut novel Concilium in 2010. It was released July of 2012 by MuseItUp Publishing. The sequel, Concilium: The Departure will also be published by MuseItUp Publishing with scheduled release date of November 2012.

Her Debut young adult novel, PODs, will be published by Spencer Hill Press and is scheduled for release in paperback June 4th, 2013.

Michelle was born and raised in Michigan. She now resides in a small community outside Houston, Texas with her incredibly supportive husband, four wonderful children, a 125-pound lap dog, a very grumpy cockatiel and a cat that thinks she's queen.

Michelle writes adult and young adult Sci/Fi and urban fantasy romance.

Concilium Blurb

Leslee hit a strange animal with her car. Now she’s marked for death.

It was a simple car accident – the animal didn’t even die – but it drew the attention of the Cruor Imbibo. Driven by their insatiable need to feed, the secret society of Imbibo has devoured the dregs of civilization for centuries. Afraid Leslee will expose them, and put an end to their meal ticket, the Imbibo want her dead.

The Concilium is Leslee's only protection. Guardian of the ancient secret and the protector of humans, the Concilium fights to control the Imbibo and end their feeding frenzy. Miller works for the Concilium. Keeping Leslee alive is his next assignment.

Now Leslee is on the run, and the only thing between her flesh and the snapping jaws of the Imbibo is Miller. He and Leslee quickly form a bond, but will falling in love make Miller’s job more difficult? Because if he fails, Leslee will be next on the Imbibo menu.

The Cruor Imbibo are coming, and they're coming for Leslee.

Buy Links:

MuseItUp Publishing 


Want your copy of Concilium signed? I'd be happy to do that! Just go here and send me a message and I'll send you a personalized inscription for your copy of Concilium.

I LOVE to hear from readers and other authors!

Links and Contact Information:





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Thanks again, Michelle. And HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

So lovely people: What's your pet challenge as a writer?

Wondering about the competition? Well... Follow this link.


  1. I guess that means our mind works best when distracted.

    1. I think you're right, Alex. Sometimes our minds need time to wander and that's when a real breakthrough can come along. Or not. :)

  2. Great post, I will have to check Michelle's book out. My challenge as a writer is getting undisturbed time to write. I need a room with a lock on the door!

    1. I'd love a room with a lock on the door. I dream of one daily, but the laws in Texas say I can't lock my four kids in the closet. (kidding, of course) Seriously, finding undisturbed time to write has been a real issue during the summer months with the kids home (WHY do we allow summer vacation anyway?) and since my elderly parents, who need semi full-time care, have come to live with me.

  3. I've always written in little spurts, whenever the inspiration hits. And I have time to spare, even if it's just 15 minutes.

    1. That's what I've had to start doing. I've always had blocks of time set aside to write, but now that my parents are living with me and I have to care for them it is harder to set aside large blocks of time so I sneak in small sprints when I can.

  4. Awesome post! I need silence when I write or else I'm easily distracted.

    1. Silence...I'll have to look that word up in the dictionary. Four kids, a dog, a cat, a bird, and a husband - silence went out the window a few years ago. :)

  5. I get that. I suppose that's why there's paper and pens everywhere ... every bag I own, beside the bed, in the car ...

    Great to meet you, Michelle.

    1. Thanks! Great to meet you, too. :)

      I keep a small digital voice recorder with me and then type up my notes when I get a chance. But somehow, even with the recorder, I still end up with notes scribbled on the backs of envelopes, receipts and anything else handy at the moment. :)

  6. I agree, inspiration can be hard to handle! Frustrating how it tends to show up or not show up at the opposite times you'd prefer it to do either.

    1. Frustrating, yes! And there is no way to bend it to our whim. We have to be--ugh--patient and wait for it to strike. Patience isn't something I was blessed with. :)

  7. Great post! I could really relate to what Michelle had to say. Time is a tricky thing for sure. After reading the blurb for Concilium- I guess there are bigger things to worry about than hitting a deer (what I always worry about). Thanks for sharing!

    1. LOL! Deer are all around my house and I'm always worrying about hitting one. I never thought of a (I'm not telling what it is). Now I'll have to really watch. :)

  8. Thank you, Misha, for hosting me on your blog today. I enjoyed writing about what challenges me as a writer and sharing a little about my first novel, Concilium. I apologize for taking so long to respond to comments. We've had nasty storms all day today and my Internet is always the first thing to go out.

    Thank you again!
    Michelle :)

  9. Michelle's book Concilium sounds super cool. I loved the premise.

    My muse too has no sense of timing, but that the way it is.

  10. Though I do not consider myself a writer, my own personal challenge for writing IS writing, and doing it regularly and with variety. Great post, btw :)

  11. I love the way you measure your day. Great post... and soooo relatable!

  12. Time is no joke. I had that the other day too. I could write, I had the time, but it just didn't go well.


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