Wednesday, May 18, 2016

What We Do To Write by Jannine Gallant

1000+ words written, and it isn't even 8 o'clock yet...

Lake Forest Boat Ramp

Every summer, I work at the boat ramp on the north shore of Lake Tahoe. I have a degree in English and history. I have years of management experience, granted all from my time before kids. Said daughters think I should find a better job since a smart monkey could check in boats at the ramp and take money. They actually will admit I'm fairly intelligent and am wasted in my current position. But, the boat ramp offers me one thing I can't get in a more challenging job...hours of uninterrupted writing time. Since my income helps our family's financial situation, I'll continue to spend my summers getting up at 4:20 AM so I can be at the ramp at 5 o'clock sharp to let in the occasional fisherman. From 6:00 to 7:00 I get a few water skiers. Then from about 9 AM onward, vacation boaters cruise past my little booth. July can be crazy busy, but for the other four months, I have hours and hours of time to write between boats. From the perspective of someone on a deadline, this is pure gold.

So, maybe my paycheck job isn't mentally taxing, but writing is what I want to do. It's what I've always wanted to do, so I've found a way to make it possible. Even if I have to get up at an ungodly hour of the morning!

And my view is incredible. That's always a plus!


Sunrise one morning from my booth.

Meadow next to my booth.

What sacrifices are you willing to make in pursuit of your passion?

For those of you interested in purchasing my books so I can eventually stop getting up at 4:20 AM, find buy links on my WEBSITE.

20 comments:

Margo Hoornstra said...

Those views are worth getting up before four am even. I have pretty much the credentials you do and sub for a receptionist at our local school district to 'support' my writing job. Same arrangement, lots of time to write. But I sure don't have near those vistas. Guess the bottom line is, as I tell my kids, "If you want it bad enough, you'll figure it out!" (Geese. I even remember when you applied for that job and hoped to get hired.) way to go!

Leah St. James said...

I also get up at 4:20, but it's supposed to be my writing time because my "paycheck job" is a crazy-busy full-time job supporting the publisher/editor-in-chief and newsroom staff of our local newspaper. I'm wiped out by the end of the day, and the last thing I want to do is spend more hours at a computer. So I get up at 4:30, and I exercise, and I play on Facebook and Twitter and, I proofread and edit others' work, and, and...everything but write new fiction. I need to get on the stick. Thank you for the reminder. Good choice you made, by the way!

Jannine Gallant said...

Margo, I guess we all figure it out in our own way. Yeah, this is my 5th season at the ramp. Unbelievable!

Leah, I don't know if I could get up at 4:20 unless I was being forced to! LOL But once I'm down at the lake, I really don't mind it. Good luck with getting back on track. It helps me that my only internet at the boat ramp is on my phone, so I spend more time actually writing.

Alicia Dean said...

I completely understand why you'd continue to do that job. Having that much writing time is a godsend. I am afraid I don't do enough to make sure I have time to write. I normally don't get up til 7, but I always intend to get up at 5 and write for a few hours. However, I don't usually sleep well, and it's difficult to make myself get up before I really have to. I have decided I'm going to write at least a paragraph a day. It's not much, but as I mentioned in my 2 min blog post yesterday, it's better than nothing and it can lead to more. Thanks for sharing the gorgeous pics. What an inspiring view!

Brenda Whiteside said...

What a wonderful job! Good for you.

Rolynn Anderson said...

I read about a big-selling author who discovered he did his best writing on airplanes. He actually sought out air travel opportunities so he could writer more/better! I'd say Jannine's way wins on all points: there's the view, the pay, and lots of characters coming and going, along with stretches of time to write. You've got it made, girl!

Rolynn Anderson said...

Oh, shoot. I forgot to answer your question: I only play golf one morning a week because that's my writing time. That's a sacrifice because mornings are when my buds play golf...so I sacrifice that camaraderie and the exercise.

Jannine Gallant said...

Ally, You're right about anything being better than nothing. If for no other reason, it keeps you in the habit. When I stop writing altogether for a couple of days, I find it so much harder to get back into the routine. As for sleep, what's that?

Thanks, Brenda. At this point, the job serves my purposes well.

Jannine Gallant said...

Rolynn, I do have a lot of interesting characters coming and going. 4th of July, people have been known to bring lawn chairs down to the ramp just to watch and be entertained. The chaos of that many tourists who don't know how to actually back a boat off a trailer is astounding. This year I'd like to give spectators score cards to hold up. LOL Sacrificing golf, I'm sure, is huge for you!

Vonnie Davis ~ Romance Author said...

Loved your post. I can write anytime, which means I can procrastinate anytime, too. My eyes are giving me so much trouble this spring and summer AND I'm in a mood--yes, self-doubt has moved in with a three-piece set of luggage--so it's been easier to find excuses. I'm working hard to get out of the slump before cataract surgery comes in July. I agree with everyone. You've got an awesome job, well, except for getting up early.

Alison Henderson said...

I love the view from your booth, even at the crack of dawn (as long as you're the one getting up at 4:20, not me). Since I haven't slept through the night in more than 10 years, I'm brain-dead first thing in the morning. I doubt I could tie my shoes, much less write a coherent sentence, that early. When I was working full time, I sacrificed evening TV time with OG to write (more of a sacrifice for him than me). Now, I write in the afternoon while he takes a siesta. I'd get a lot more writing done if I forced him to entertain himself during the day, but you know what they say about old dogs. LOL

Jannine Gallant said...

Vonnie, tell that self-doubt to go take a hike! I've come to the conclusion sales are based solely on how much my pub is willing to spend on promotion and has nothing to do with the quality of my books. You don't have a reason in the world to doubt your skill, so get back to work!

Jannine Gallant said...

Alison, lucky for me I'm most productive early in the morning. Winters, I work evenings at the rec center (same situation with the writing time but more background noise and no view) and don't get half as much accomplished. We all have our internal best writing timetable.

Susan Coryell said...

Wow! The perfect job that allows you to do your REAL job (writing). As an English teacher in secondary public schools, I never had time to visit the bathroom, much less write a coherent sentence! I had to retire to find my writing time. Enjoy your perfect situation and keep on writing!

andreadowning.com said...

Jannine, you're a really disciplined person, I must say. I'm sitting here in Jackson WY near the Tetons and can hardly get out the door to see things, OH! But I am writing...

Jannine Gallant said...

Susan, I keep telling myself that. Writing is my REAL job!

I want to come visit you, Andi! The Tetons are gorgeous!

RE Mullins said...

Gorgeous inspiration

Jannine Gallant said...

Thanks, Robin!

Diane Burton said...

Your job has so many pluses, Jannine--the view, the downtime, the characters. And a paycheck! I'm fortunate to be retired so I can write any time. I don't give up much to write--sleeping in, maybe.

Jannine Gallant said...

Who needs sleep, Diane? I live on about 6 hours, so anything more than that is a luxury!