Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Guest Post: A Writer's Life by Lily Carlyle


by Lily Carlyle

“There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.”
–Ernest Hemingway

Sounds easy enough, right? At least the bleeding part. For me, as well as most other adults with jobs, kids, houses, and other boring grown-up responsibilities, sitting down at a typewriter (or computer, in 2016) is actually the difficult part.

How do you find time to write? To be completely honest, these days I don’t. I have two part-time and one freelance job, two kids, a perpetually messy house, and a demanding dog. Oh, Susan Illis does plenty of writing for work, but Lily Carlyle? Not so much.

When I do have a few minutes in front of the computer, it’s so much easier to check my e-mail or look at Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest. If I tear myself away from the Internet, more often than not, I stare at a blank page, blinking cursor taunting me.

One tool that I do find useful (forgive the plug) is Dr. Wicked Write or Die (, which is now available as an app. It operates under the same principle as NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month:; if you’re forced, or force yourself, to write under a strict, even if self-imposed, deadline, you will write. Some of it will turn out better than you expected. Challenges such as NaNoWriMo are good for a lot people, but for me, they’re too much like a diet. Eat one chocolate chip cookie—or skip one writing day—and the next thing I know, I’m shoveling ice cream into my mouth with a ladle, or searching for the perfect pair of boots on Zappos because I’m so far behind with my word count, I’ll never catch up.

I assure you, though, 2017 will be my year. In the meantime, I’m surrounding myself with inspirational writing quotes. Here are a few favorites:

“You can’t wait for inspiration. You have to go after it with a club.” –Jack London

“A lot of people talk about writing. The secret is to write, not talk.” –Jackie Collins

Before we stop talking and start writing, please feel free to share any writing advice or quotes with me!


About the Author: 

Lily Carlyle decided she wanted to be a writer when she was seven years old, but convinced of the impossibility of earning a living that way, she studied history instead (a decision she still can’t explain). In between working as an archivist and book reviewer and trying to keep her two daughters fed, Lily tries to find time and inspiration to realize her original dream.