My mother believes it’s not truly August until the thunderstorms hit. Storm it has! If you got caught in the rain this morning, consider it paying your dues for all that gorgeous sunshine we were treated to in the last few weeks. If you stayed dry, I tip my hat to you. My walk from the Pickering Garage to CoVort happened in a downpour; even in my rainboots and under my umbrella, I suffered.
Regardless of the weather, August can be an exciting time for many. It’s the last month of vacation before kids head back to school, for one. Many of Mainer’s know August to be the last month of real summer, also. With September comes morning chills and perhaps even sweaters and jackets in the evenings. Soon, the days of driving with the windows down will be gone, a mere dream on the mind of chilly Mainers.
August is a big time for one of our CoVorters, too! As you probably know by now, CoVort is happy to have a diverse cast of players on our coworking team, and in-house we have all types of remote workers and entrepreneurs. In that cast is USA Today Bestselling Author Kelly McClymer. Kelly is an accomplished author who spends her time writing and teaching writing. The most exciting thing about August for Kelly? Her next book launches in three days! I sat her down to talk a bit about her process.
Kelly McClymer was born in South Carolina but lived in Delaware from a young age. She went to high school in Delaware and went on to the University of Delaware for a degree in English. Kelly met her husband there too. They moved to Maine right after when he got a job at the University of Maine at Orono. Kelly and her family have lived in Maine ever since.
Writing has been Kelly’s passion since her sixth-grade essay on how to not bake bread earned her an A+. After cleaning up the bread dough that oozed on to the floor, she gave up bread making for good and turned to writing as a creative outlet. Her next book, The Unconventional Bride, will be released on August 19th on all common platforms (Amazon, Barnes and Noble, etc). Kelly began writing the Unconventional Bride last year but actually had the idea over 15 years ago!
When her traditional publisher canceled the series, Kelly said to herself “I can never do it.” But that’s now how it worked out: when the indie author digital revolution hit, Kelly got the rights back to her historical romance series “Once Upon a Wedding” and made it truly her own. “My characters live in my head. I didn’t do them justice, not getting them out of there. Now they’re satisfied,” said Kelly, who went on to expand her series to nine books and counting.
Kelly has a full office at home. Other people can be a bother and sometimes she’ll distract herself, so she often comes to CoVort to stay focused. “Writing requires you to dive in,” she said. That dive-in is best done in a place where people respect your boundaries and the headphones in your ears stating: “Do not Disturb!” CoVort is considered a better option than coffee shops, where Kelly previously got her writing done. There’s better wi-fi and less noise from nearby espresso machines. “It’s nice not to be isolated,” she said. When stir-crazy or stuck in a rut, Kelly will often stroll along Main Street through downtown Bangor to refresh herself.
Living in Maine both helps and hinders her writing process, though Kelly was sure to state that everywhere has ups and downs to a writer’s life. “Maine is beautiful but the winters are bleak,” she said, “All the people I’ve met and all the relatives I’ve had feed into my writing.” She listed Acadia and “barbeques in my backyard” as her favorite things about Maine summertime.
I asked Kelly what advice she had for writers, specifically younger writers like myself. “The most important thing to do is write,” she said. “Avoid distractions of perfection: the perfect education, the perfect skills, the perfect time, etc. Writing something wrong will teach you more than anything else.”
In sum: “Write before you think you’re ready.”