Switching This World With That One

thinking-writing[1]Many writers who celebrate Christmas probably find December the busiest, most stressful time of the year. I know I do. It’s not that I don’t love Christmas and spending time with friends and family. It’s all the work that leads up to it while trying to balance the day job, and family responsibilities with writing time.

It’s especially challenging for writers with younger kids and/or aging parents, who depend on us to do their Christmas shopping and wrapping, and for those of us who also step up bookselling opportunities.

This year, I find myself preparing for Christmas while editing my first fantasy novel. The novel focuses on Wicca, witches and the proverbial battle between good and evil. Divided into five sections, the one I’m working on takes place in York, England in 1953, a drastic contrast to my real life.

Having written nine mysteries set here in Vancouver and in current time, I’m used to editing in familiar surroundings that deal with real-life types of crime. So it’s a little strange to switch from craft fair bookselling, tree decorating and other chores to writing about spellcasting and run-a-muck serpents. It’s also rather fun.

Although I’m living in two different worlds these days, I usually manage to find myself fully engaged in both. With a lot of practice and not a lot of writing time, I’ve learned to switch gears fast. Within sixty seconds of sitting down and propping my fingertips over the keyboard, real-life tasks fall away and my fictional world takes over.

To be honest, I don’t want to live in a fictional world full time, especially one that deals with the death and destruction that comes from my imagination. From 2010 to 2013, I did write full time, and I’m grateful for those days because the extra time helped me finish projects. I have to admit, though, that I only wrote a couple more hours per day than I had while doing a day job. After writing full time for a year, I missed daily interaction with the real world, not to mention the steady income, and the challenge of writing efficiently while getting everything else done.

For me, it’s not about having more time to write, it’s about making the best use of the time I do have. It’s about quick switches and ensuring that one world doesn’t overwhelm the other, and somehow it works for me.

Author: debrapurdykong

I'm a British Columbia author who's been writing for over 30 years. My volunteer experiences, criminology diploma, and various jobs, inspired me to write mysteries set in BC’s Lower Mainland. Employment as a campus security patrol and communications officer provide the background for my my Casey Holland transit security novels. I'm also a part-time facilitator in Creative Writing Workshops through Port Moody's Recreation program. Feel free to contact me at dpurdykong@gmail.com

10 thoughts on “Switching This World With That One”

  1. Hello Debra,

    Thank you for your insight on Christmas, being busy and writing. This is the first year that I’m blogging during the holidays and I’ve decided to stop putting too much pressure on myself. I will try to write per day but I won’t worry about maintaining the blog until the new year. Managing my time when it comes to blogging, work and my personal life is still something that I haven’t mastered. Do you have any advise?


    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hello Sigrid and thank you for stopping by. You are on the right track by not putting too much pressure on yourself. Managing one’s time is always a struggle, but I write a blog only once a week and work on my novels everyday. On Sundays, I think about what I’d like to write on the blog. I look at my own life & writing projects for ideas, or read other blogs that spark my interest. On Mon. & Tues. I write drafts of the blog for posting on Wed. I also spend a set period of time working on my fiction. Sometimes, I only have the time & energy to edit 2 pages a day, but it adds up. Basically, my strategy is to do a little everyday, which works for me. Best of luck to you!


      1. Hello Debra,

        Doing a little everyday is definitely a great tip. I will keep that in mind. Often times I put a hold on doing something until I have a big chunk of time. But of course, a big chunk of time is always hard to come by. Thank you for the advise!


        Liked by 1 person

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