Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Writer's Wednesday - Breathing Writing

Pink Heart Society columnist Tara Taylor Quinn is talking about how writing is an essential part of her...

I’m a writer. Okay, so that means I write. Whether by hand or at the computer, I put words to page. But making sentences and paragraphs – even lots and lots of them – does not make me a writer.

Being a writer isn’t something you do. It’s not a profession. It’s not a hobby or an occupation. Or even a dream. Being a writer is who you are. It’s a life. All day. Everyday. No matter where you are, who you are with, what you are doing. On vacation. At your desk. In the shower. Driving your child to school. Every breath you take is part of being a writer. Because every second you experience in life is inside of you. And a writer pulls from what is inside to put those words to the page.

My accountant once told me that my whole life is deductible. She was teasing. I know that. I don’t deduct anything that’s not absolutely documented and legitimate. But her point was absolutely true. There is no point in my life where I am not a writer. As a mother, I experience situations and emotions, and they come out in my writing. As a daughter, a wife, a friend – all the same. But also as a shopper, a movie goer, a vacationer. My life is a constant intake and outgo of experience, sensation, perception, emotion. I see both sides of the story. I see a third side, too – the non-involved objective side.

And when I go to sleep – I continue to be a writer. My mind germinates, sometimes it attacks, sometimes it resolves, but it is always busy. Always processing. Always working.

I have been told many times that people don’t know how I do what I do. How I type so many words in a day. So many pages in a year. To me, that part is the no-brainer. I sit. I put my fingers on the keyboard. I type. The hard part – sometimes the overwhelming and exhausting part – is living with me the rest of the time. Because in any moment, in any situation – at dinner, or in the swimming pool, watching television or standing in line – I will be ‘hit’ with something. An emotion. A memory. Something I see. Smell. Or overhear. Something I witness or am told about. Or something else I might not even recognize at the time. My mind might process. A story might begin. Or I might just feel the emotion and move on to the next breath. That emotion or memory or experience will be there though, lingering inside, biding its time, waiting until a story needs it.

Being a writer means being this big ‘life’ receptacle. I store everything. All the time. I carry it around with me. Draw from it. Push it away. Sometimes I even try to hide. But always, whether I want to or not, I take in.

I live with an insatiable curiosity. A driving need to ‘know.’ I ask a million questions. I do unending research. I never have enough answers. I lie awake in the dark of the night. I sit and stare at nothing. I leave rooms when emotions are coming too fast for me to take in. I have two conversations going on in my head at the same time. I experience personal tragedy. And joy. I spend much of my life alone. And yet, I am never alone. Because I am a writer. With every breath I take.

Tara Taylor Quinn's latest story can be found in the A Heartwarming Holiday collection, out now:

This holiday season, warm your heart with 15 connected sweet, clean & wholesome holiday romances set in Christmas Town from 15 Harlequin Heartwarming authors who are USA Today, national bestselling, and award-winning authors. 

There are five connected books in A Heartwarming Holiday. That means each set of three novellas shares characters and storylines! 

Book 1: Once Upon a Holiday by Anna Adams, Anna J Stewart & Melinda Curtis: Three former college roommates start a business to bring the magic of the holidays to everyone in Christmas Town. 

Book 2: Holiday Heroes by Leigh Riker, Tara Randel & Cari Lynn Webb: 
Three former Navy SEALs come together to restore an outdated resort. 

Book 3: 24 North Pole Lane by Carol Ross, Amy Vastine & Cheryl Harper: 
Romance is being delivered to 24 North Pole Lane this holiday season. 

Book 4: Magic Moments by Tara Taylor Quinn, Shirley Hailstock & Liz Flaherty: 
Three different times, three different stories. They all bring magic to Christmas Town. 

Book 5: Nutcracker Sweethearts by Dana Mentink, Roz Denny Fox, & Amie Denman: 
As the stage production of the Nutcracker unfolds in Christmas Town, three couples find love with the help of a little holiday magic! 

To find out more about Tara and her books, you can visit her website and follow her on InstagramPinterestTwitter and Facebook.


  1. All so true, Tara! The good--and the bad--of being a writer! :-) Sometimes the folks around us don't understand those constant multiple conversations, but, also, being able to see both sides of a story does give us empathy. :-)

  2. Tara, what a great post. Perfect insight into a writer's life. I've had friends who were really good authors who one day just quit. I can't figure out how they did that. What turned off in their heads to allow them to stop looking, listening, analyzing.

  3. Tara, what a wonderful post. This is so true. My friends and family often tell me that I'm good at meeting people. I always laugh and say I can't help it because I'm just so curious. I want to know where that person grew up, how many siblings they have, are they allergic to anything, do they like dogs or cats? It's weird, this insatiable curiosity. And sometimes a little awkward. But as a writer it's an invaluable trait that I'm so grateful for!

  4. I like the metaphor about breathing writing. :)

  5. Terrific post, Tara. I love the unconscious part of writing, the back burner, so to speak, that sometimes seems to magically pop up with an answer to a plot problem, etc. Some of my most productive time is spent brainstorming on the treadmill.

  6. Wonderful post. I feel the same. I am always an author whether I'm writing or not. It's in us.
    What does the description of the Xmas books 'clean and wholesome' mean please? I'm curious to understand it in the context of romance fiction. Thanks