A blog for writers, Women and Adversity: Beth Hoffman
Each week I feature a different woman writer, agent, blogger or editor in my new blog, Women and Adversity. I asked them what obstacle they had to overcome when they decided to pursue their chosen careers. I have featured New York Times bestselling author Kimberla Lawson Roby (www.kimroby.com), Carly Watters, literary agent with P.S. Literary Agency (http://carlywatters.com/blog) and women’s advocate and author Marianne Wolf-Astrauskas (www.mariannewolf.com). This week I’m featuring novelist Beth Hoffman.
Beth’s two books, “Saving CeeCee Honeycutt” and “Looking for Me” have both made the New York Times best-seller list. Her biggest obstacle when she decided to become a writer?
Beth: As odd (or naive) as it sounds, I didn’t feel there were obstacles on my initial path to writing. Perhaps that’s because I didn’t start writing with a great burning desire to see my words in print, and I never gave much thought about touching the hem of fame. All I wanted to do was give myself the challenge of writing a compelling full-length novel.
Were there times when I had self-doubt? Absolutely! And if there was an obstacle, I think it probably was staying focused and practicing discipline. Writing is solitary and very demanding, and, it can be frustrating. Without discipline and commitment, a writer can easily lose creative energy and the sense of purpose. I believe a writer must treat his/her profession like any other career—which means showing up every day. Some days will be more productive than others, but they all count.
When asked what obstacle/s she faces now as a writer, Beth said:
The one obstacle (though again, I think of it more as a challenge) is that I not allow myself to take the easy path or churn out stories that are too similar to previous works. I remember how I nearly bucked under the pressure when readers practically begged me to write a sequel to “Saving CeeCee Honeycutt.” While I was, and still am, delighted that they loved the story and characters so much that they wanted a sequel, I knew I needed to spread my creative wings with my second novel and develop something entirely different. I was petrified of getting “stuck” in a continuing story with interchangeable characters.
Now that my second novel has been published and I’ve met that challenge, I feel a wonderful sense of freedom to keep moving forward. That certainly doesn’t mean I won’t write a sequel to any of my books, not at all. But my personality is such that I have to set specific goals so I won’t get bored or rest on previous laurels, which, I believe, is one of the most dangerous things a published writer can do.
Beth was an interior designer in her previous career, which explains why her blog is so visual. Beth’s books are at all the major outlets and at her Web site: bethhoffman.net. Her email is HoffmanLiterary@twc.com.