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Carmel Rowley


These days I go about my days in a completely different manner to the rush and bustle of say fifteen years ago. Do I miss the rush and bustle? At first maybe but now definitely not but it’s taken several years to slow down and manage my time in a more productive manner.

Fifteen years ago my husband and I were still operating a small but very busy Arabian horse breeding farm as well as working off the property. Around the same time I had already begun to write my first novel Tails Carried High Of course the horses took precedence over my writing and I would probably describe my writing at the time as a liberating escape. I would plod along writing steadily thinking about the plot as I cleaned stables, fed horses, mowed grass and sorted the house all before heading off to work.

At the time I felt I had my time management under control but now looking back I realise I was becoming more than a little burnt out. It wasn’t until retirement became a reality that I realised how difficult it had become to properly manage my time. My mismanagement gave way to anxiety which made it even harder for me to get things done. Plus, I couldn’t bear to let people down.

In 2009 with my first novel finished I had to decide what to do with it. After much deliberation combined with the changes associated within the publishing world I decided to self-publish Tails Carried High. This decision came about for several reasons but mainly because I couldn’t abandon my husband to run the horse farm by himself as well as work at his job. I know that anyone who has had to manage their own time has come up against similar issues and I greatly admire their ability if they manage to make it all work.


For me the whole writing experience became more difficult when the next two books Voices in the Wind and Winds of Time were released in quick succession. Somehow I had to juggle the creative side of both the stud and my publishing business.  I’d done this for decades with the breeding facility but I found my workload becoming unreasonably challenging to say the least. If I thought breeding and marketing horses were a challenge it was nothing compared to marketing books or receiving copies that arrived spilling out of damaged boxes, badly trimmed books and so many other issues that I won’t even bother to get into it.

When the person you have to answer to is yourself learning to manage your time  can be overwhelming. I found that my publishing and writing routine became unrelenting clearly shadowed  by the hectic momentum of my life as a horse breeder. Even when my health suffered I still didn’t realise what I was doing to myself. This habit of urgency persisted and continued to hang heavily around me.


I love being creative and I love writing but it took several big wake up calls to understand what would work best for me. To be honest it took the loss of my mother, my health and reaching a certain age to truly comprehend how I needed to manage my life and my writing.

So, with book number seven, the one I’m working on now I decided (with the help of a sensible husband) that I don’t need to feel the pressure to finish in a hurry. I can write the way that feels right for me. It can be quick or slow. If it means that I struggle with a specific chapter or even a paragraph, it will be waiting for me to address when I’m ready. Nothing is better than that light bulb moment with the answer.

Though some authors manage to write amazing numbers of words every day I found personally that several years of non-stop blogging as well as writing my novels (though I enjoyed both) had me feeling as if I was living in a pressure cooker.


As a serial nonconformist choosing to write at Carmel Rowley’s pace was a no brainer. Now more than ever I’m enjoying getting my work done and putting out books that are as good as I can make them. Plus with only one darling horse to enjoy at Pearsons View my goals are now practical and achievable.

As with operating a horse breeding farm writing a book is a huge job but any task has the potential to become unmanageable. Sometimes I simply stop for the day or even take a few days off to catch up with friends. I’ve learnt my lesson, not only does down time stop me from burning out, but a few hours with friends or calling it a day, even if you’ve only written a page actually helps with productivity.

It’s such a busy, immediate world these days but sometimes we all have to consider how we’re travelling, our health, our friends and our family. Do things your way.  Find the pace that suits you, and then adopt it as your own, stick to it and love what you do.

2 Responses

  1. Dale
    | Reply

    Lovely to read your blog again Carmel. Such wise and sensible words. If only we can keep to them 🙂

  2. Carmel Rowley
    | Reply

    Thanks so much Dale it’s always great to have you comment – we all live and learn don’t we 😉

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