The Writing Life

A Writer’s Life Revealed: Jacqui Lipton

This is the second post in the series A Writer’s Life Revealed, where authors and writers share insights into their writing lives. Last week Tirzah Price kicked off the series. Today, Jacqui Lipton, our second contributor, joins us on Blogging Story!

Jacqui Lipton and The Writer’s Life

Jacqui Lipton, LL.B., M.F.A., Ph.D. is a law professor and writer who divides her time between teaching, consulting and writing. She writes both nonfiction and fiction and is the founder and director of Authography LLC, a business dedicated to helping authors and artists achieve their business and professional goals. She has interned for several literary agencies and is repped by Jane Dystel at DGBLM. You can find her online at: jdlipton.com

What is Your Writing Routine?

Because I have a busy family life, I try to fit in writing WHENEVER I get a chance. That means I have to be prepared to write in short bursts when the time presents itself and I can’t always guarantee a block of an hour or more. I’ve found that, despite being more of a morning person, I’m getting better at writing in the evenings after the kids are in bed. I also find that because I’m more tired later in the day, it’s easier to turn off my ‘inner editor’ and just write.
If I ever do get a decent block of time to write, I try to aim for around 1,000 words and try not to beat myself up if I don’t make it. And in terms of treats and sustenance, coffee is always my regular go-to beverage to get me started, although at night, I might have a nice hot cup of tea. Very boring, I know, but being a mother of three and working pretty full time on top of that, I don’t get to have too many writing-related vices!

What Accomplishments do You Celebrate, and How?

I’m terrible at celebrating accomplishments and I know I should get better at it. As one of my fave MFA advisors told me, you have to make time to celebrate the little victories/successes (even if it’s just getting the daily words on a page) because in the business there’s usually a long time between major rewards and you can’t guarantee them in any event. So in theory I like to take myself out to a movie or buy myself a new book to read, or sometimes just go out for a coffee as a treat.

However, in practice, I don’t always even manage to do these small things. In fact, my agent just sold a book for me about a week before I took the NY Bar Exam so I literally *couldn’t* find time to celebrate because I was so busy cramming. My hubby arranged for us to share a bottle of non-alcoholic sparkling apple juice with the kids and have a toast and then I went right back to the grind.

What Advice do You Have for Writers Out There Who Feel Discouraged or Unmotivated?

That’s a really tough one. I’m the worst at feeling discouraged or unmotivated. I think some of the best advice is to play the long game and play your own game. Don’t worry too much about what other people are doing and how successful or not you are by comparison. We all have days we feel like imposters in the writing community and sometimes you just have to take a breath and step away from the keyboard or the notepad and go for a walk and try and relax and come back to it fresh another day.

Careers take a long time to develop and nothing moves particularly fast in writing practice or the publishing community. Nor should it, if we want to write and publish the best books we can. Take a breath, take your time, and do what works for you to keep your head on straight.

Check Back Next Week for More!

Thank you so much for your insights, Jacqui! There’s so much wisdom here. I particularly love how Jacqui has found a way to write in the evenings. Like me, she prefers mornings for writing and has had to find another way. And her comment about the publishing industry’s necessary slowness is on point. Leave comments for Jacqui below, and make sure to come back next week for our next featured writer, Kirby Larson!

 

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