Jennifer Hudson Taylor

Jennifer Hudson Taylor is the author of historical and contemporary Christian fiction set in Europe and the Carolinas. Her fiction has won awards in the American Christian Fiction Writers' Genesis Contest. Her debut novel, Highland Blessings, will be released May 2010. Other works have appeared in national publications, such as Guideposts, Heritage Quest Magazine, Everton’s Genealogical Publishers, and The Military Trader. Jennifer graduated from Elon University with a B.A. in Journalism. When she isn't writing, Jennifer enjoys spending time with her family, traveling, genealogy, and reading. She resides with her husband and daughter in the Charlotte area of NC.

Author By Night

Snippets of the Moment

How do you do it all? It’s the first question people ask after they discover that I work a full-time job, write novels on the side, and also work as a part-time publicist for Hartline Literary Agency, as well as our small business, Upon the Rock Publicist. I’m a speaker, a wife, a mom, and my heavenly Father’s daughter.

I’m often asked the million-dollar question, How do you manage your time? Time? What’s that? I don’t have time. I make time. I squeeze it in wherever and whenever I can. If my family wants clean dishes, they wash them. If they want something to eat, they cook it—especially now that my daughter is a teen. If their clothes need to be washed, they wash them. If flowers need to be planted in the yard, it doesn’t happen. If there is a TV show on, I don’t watch it. I reserve my spare time for movies with the family. These are the sacrifices my family and I make.

I’ve been working a full-time job and writing novels for fifteen years, long before my debut novel, Highland Blessings, released last year. During this time my needs and schedule have changed, and so have my family’s. When my daughter was younger, I wrote between 3 and 5 AM and then again at night between 9 and 11 PM, sometimes until midnight. When I was in my twenties, I could easily function on five to six hours of sleep each night. Something happened when I hit my mid-thirties. My body began to scream for more sleep, and I had to listen or collapse.

Now I write for an hour in the mornings after I drop my daughter off at school, on my lunch hours if I don’t have other errands, for a couple of hours in the evenings, and on the weekends. I switched from being a panster to a plotter. If I don’t plot my novels ahead of time, I lose my train of thought and where I left off, since I have to write in snippets of moments in the midst of so many other activities.

I don’t do any of this by choice. I have this calling, this dream, and I long for God to answer my prayers in making it possible for me to one day quit the day job and write and speak on a full-time basis. Right now that isn’t possible. I need the benefits and the retirement plan, as much as the salary. Yet, I can feel myself slowing down as I grow older, and at times I wonder if God has forgotten me. Then something will happen—a new book contract will come along, a new speaking engagement, or an e-mail from a reader telling me how they were touched and inspired by my story—and I know I’m not forgotten.

I would love that quiet time for my daily devotions and a moment to be still and pray and listen each morning. In order for that to happen, I would have to rise earlier than my normal 5:30 AM. Not possible anymore. I prayed about this and God brought me a solution. My husband bought me a Kindle for my birthday last year and I’ve discovered that I can use the text-to-speech

feature to read the Bible to me each morning on my forty- to sixty-minute commute to work. I also spend this time praying. I’m all alone in the car and it is my devotion time rather than the radio and news time.

Another question I’m often asked is “Do you always write at your computer?” No, I write on my laptop, my desktop, my AlphaSmart, my tablet, by pen on paper, on my Android phone. I e-mail snippets to myself from wherever and whatever I’m using at the moment. Sometimes I’m at home, other times I’m in the car, on the staircase at work during lunch, at restaurants, in the break room, at my in-laws, on the train or plane, in the salon, at my allergist’s, and anywhere I get a moment. It’s a wonder I manage to string together any cohesive sentences. I long for the days where I can write at one sitting on a daily basis and have a normal writing schedule.

Sometimes I read other authors’ posts on Facebook about how they spent half the morning or afternoon at their computers and they’ve written thousands of words for that day. Deep down I’m happy for them, but sometimes, especially when I’m weary and tired, I’ll burst into tears. I don’t mean to long for what they have, but the human part of me does. It may last for hours or a couple of days, but eventually my spirits will lift again and I’m rolling along—hoping—praying—waiting for my turn to write the stories that God has given me in a peaceful setting—at home.


Highland Blessings