I had every intention of blogging yesterday – I really did. Then I got caught up in the side job and then I wanted to do a bit of reading and a friend called me. Those are the reasons I write in the morning and like getting up before the rest of the world (or at least the people I know) are awake. That quiet time really makes a difference and the fact the time change STILL has me waking up an hour or so later than my normal time is affecting my word count. I’m slowly working on getting this back to normal without giving up too much sleep. The best tool in a writer’s toolbox is a healthy sleep schedule – well, it is if you ask me.
My current WIP is at 37,399 words. I hoped to reach 40k words this week, but I didn’t and that’s okay. I got pretty close.
April 2nd: 4,190 Words
April 3rd: 4,029 Words
So, that makes 1/3 writing days where I hit my goal so far. Though, I did have 2/6 days overall of hitting it this week. I think I’m within a few days of hitting the plotting point and that usually kicks up my word count once I have the ending plotted out. I’m close, but no cookie yet.
If you’re participating how are you doing so far this month?
Good evening! I want to say it’s been a long day, but I haven’t really gotten much accomplished outside of work stuff – AKA writing. It snowed today which thrilled me until I remembered it was April and when we warmed back up that likely means a thunderstorm. Still, I love the cold and the snow. So, I’m counting it as a win for today.
I didn’t wake up quite on time today. So, I figured I wouldn’t get as much done. I’m not to the point I’ve plotted the rest of this book out or anything like that. So, I set out to write and surprisingly hit my daily word count goal of 5k+ words. Knowing I had to fess up to whatever my word count was in a blog this evening got me in the zone.
Start of Day Word Count: 24,138 words
End of Day Word Count: 29,180 words
Words Written Today: 5040 words
So, I’m happy with today’s progress. I’m about to hit a major plot point tomorrow or the next day and I’m looking forward to seeing how that one plays out.
After I finished writing and made my usual check-in phone call with a friend (they’re doing well) I mostly played hearthstone, worked a bit on a side job, and listened to an audio book. I’ve made it through today without seeing any distasteful pregnancy ‘fools day’ crap on social media. And for that I’m a grateful.
While finally getting around to putting together my new end tables I thought about titles more. Well, about one title in particular. The title of my current WIP. For a bit, I thought for sure I was going to call it Beta in the Cards or something similar. I almost always think I know what I’m going to call a book – then I change my mind 10 times with very few exceptions. Now, I’m playing around with other titles like ‘The Dead Give Their Blessing’ and ‘Matched from Beyond.’ I’m not too fond of any of them, but it’s a process that I’m not sure enough writers talk about.
With all that said – I have brownies and a Stephen King Novel waiting for me to take another peek at it. So, I’m off for the night to recharge my batteries. (Shh…. It’s really called reading but I always say I have to read to stay in the zone.)
If you’re participating in camp how was your first day?
I absolutely should be writing on Chapter 13 of Omega Rebellion right now. Everyone keeps asking what comes after Claiming the Shaman and I do plan to tell you all – eventually.
Omega Rebellion uncovers the secrets of both main characters: The playboy drummer from the boy band Grim Howlers and Cody, an omega who’s constantly found himself in tight spots.
To be honest, before writing this book I knew next to nothing about these guys. Yes, really. Only I didn’t know it until I started writing. That’s how it usually goes with me and characters.
I knew from the moment Lee Knight walked onto the page he belonged with Bane Hemlock. I just didn’t know how the hell to bring them together. Then I did. Some readers loved it others not so much. Eh… That’s the way of life and I’m okay with that. I’m happy with how Healer’s Oath turned out.
Micah Gilmore and Cody Denton are my distraction and my obsession right now. I’m in love with both of them for different reasons that reads will discover soon. With war looming on the horizon for our beloved Hemlock Wolf Pack they’re going to need all their skills and the aces they’ve hidden up their sleeves.
But what are they distracting me from?
Nothing important. Maybe I shouldn’t call it distracting me as much as I should call it healing me. A lot of you know I unexpected moved across the country at the end of August. Some days I’m still sad about that. I miss my pup more than anything or anyone. Without him I feel like part of me is missing and I don’t know that the feeling will ever go away.
I miss the members of my extended family sometimes, but I’m completely off from them by choice. It was a tough call to make, but it had to be done. In August, a family member who struggled with addiction for years violently attacked me. I’m okay now – physically. Mentally it’s just more baggage to lug around. You know how that goes. I cut ties with the family who continued to support him knowing he has no intentions of getting clean and staying sober. I won’t get into the debate of addiction choice vs. disease, because at the end of the day it doesn’t matter. When someone is a danger to themselves and others, to your personal safety, you have to cut ties. Just because they’ve strapped a ticking time bomb to their chest doesn’t mean you have to die trying to disarm it while they’re batting your hands away from the control panel.
If you or someone you know need help with domestic violence please call the National Domestic Violence Hotline 1-800-799-7233
Writing Saving Cinder was really hard for me. I knew the moment I chose Seth as the next main character (or he stepped forward for the job I should say) it would be difficult and that was before the night everything exploded. I almost scrapped the book after what happened but I decided I needed to tell the story more than ever. I’m not the only one affected by an addiction of those they love. Not everyone gets a happy ending, but I felt I owed Rhett that ending with his brother. It wasn’t Rhett’s story to tell, but he was part of it. Seth’s story affected his in ways that changed him forever. Saving Cinder is the ending I wanted in my life and writing it for my characters helped me more than I could ever say.
Yeah, some days I’m still sad, but I’m moving forward a bit more everyday.
If you see me posting silliness on Facebook when I should be writing or writing without posting just know I’m healing and finding a way forward.
Now that’s off my chest for a bit it’s time to write. Thank you all for you support and love of my book characters. It means more than I can ever say.
P.S. I haven’t forgotten that I still owe you guys a readers Q&A post. It’ll likely be out closer to Halloween.
I should be writing. Saving Cinder (Book 2 of my Hemlock Fairy Tales) is on it’s last quarter. I’m on chapter 32/42. I should be writing. The last 5 weeks have been difficult and draining, but still I should be writing. It keeps the bills paid and it keeps me sane.
I took yesterday off to recharge my batteries. I will get some writing done today. Inspiration comes in ebbs and flows, but writers write. It’s what we do. It’s even in our title. So, I will write today. After I procrastinate and caffeinate, I will write.
Finishing any novel is bitter sweet. I grow easily attached to main characters and always miss them, but this isn’t my usual procrastination. Saving Cinder is my first book written mostly in my new apartment. There’s been so much to do and adjust to that it’s been distracting. I’ve written 42k words in the last two weeks so I’m making it work, but distractions are everywhere.
I have a few blogs coming up to answer reader questions from my FB group. I have so much to get done and am already ‘writing’ the 7th book of the Hemlock Wolf Pack Saga .
Lots of readers want to know what happens next and for a while my answer was – well, so do I. I mean, I know loosely how this plot arc/war ends. I know who lives and who dies (Sort of). But as a writer I really don’t know until I’m plotting and writing. With a bit of luck and a bunch of work Saving Cinder will be published around the middle of October.
Since moving into a new house without roommates or anyone else to distract me I’m trying to speed up my publishing schedule. I always said I wanted to write more and would if I had more time. Now, I just have to find the schedule that works for me now that I live alone.
Over the past few weeks some of my friends, followers, and readers have accused me of playingCarmen Sandiego as the title character. I understand why some of you were worried. I’m usually a planner with a pretty predictable schedule. I post on Facebook a lot and am always working on one book or another. Life just got in the way. Things got exciting in all the wrong ways and then in the correct ways. Either way on August 29th I posted this gem to Facebook.
Yep. I moved 726 miles without telling everyone ahead of time. Sure, I made a quick post in my FaceBook group for readers and told a few close friends, but I didn’t stop to blog or think of my brand when I did it.
Since the tail end of December 2017 when I started Omega Studies I’ve thought of little outside of my books and my author platform. I love what I do and story telling runs in my veins. I’m notoriously bad for not taking time off unless a medical condition knocks me on my ass. So what the heck happened?
Those who follow the blog and all of my social media accounts know I’ve dealt with a toxic family member for sometime now. I’ve even posted about it here on the blog and made posts about not enabling toxic family members. Well, push came to shove and my give a damn broke. Yep, I quoted a country song. #Noregrets I still adore that Jodee Messina song. He’s my brother and not my ex, but it’s busted so bad not even Gypsy from Gilmore Girls could revive it. I’ve just finished rewatching the series for I don’t know what time, but “GET A NEW CAR!” I stuck in my head now. Thanks a lot, Gypsy!
I know the exact date my give a damn expired and the warranty ran out: August 21st. Then in 8 days I rehomed my furbaby, shipped what I needed, and a hopped a Grey Hound bus half way across the country. Some days it still feels like I’m not far enough away. I miss my baby like crazy, but we’re both better off away from the toxic donkey.
This means I didn’t finish my N.E.W.T.s Magical Readathon. That’s okay. There’s always next year.
Not much really. I’m in a new apartment. I’m still me. Writing and stories still flood my brain. What it does affect is my timeline for publishing this fall. I hoped to publish book 6 of the Hemlock Wolf Pack Saga on September 6th. It’s now September 11th and the book still isn’t live. I’ve lost 3 weeks of writing time and now my editor and I have been working around the clock since Monday afternoon when my internet was officially turned on at the new apartment to finish the edits. We’re almost there and the book should be live soon. Once edits are finished I’ll resume working on the second book in the Hemlock Fairy Tales and then onto a Holiday novella to ensure it can come out the day after Thanksgiving. (That’s when it’s appropriate to start celebrating the winter holiday. 😛 )
I’m behind where I wanted to be, but I enjoy playing catch up. I hope to publish every book listed here by the end of the year. My editor is going to hate me or love me, depending on how you look at it.
I don’t identify as the classic type-A workaholic/perfectionist personality, but I’m a self professed workaholic. In school, I was the kid who actually used study hall to do homework. I loved the proficiency and having my afternoons and weekends free.
This habit didn’t always carry into my adult life. Before I started freelancing (and eventually transitioned into indie publishing) I’d put in just enough effort at jobs not to be noticed in good or bad light.
Now, I wake up on a morning I was planning to sleep in with a thunderstorm raging outside. I’m annoyed with mother nature and sit down at the computer to work. Then it hits me I finished the first draft of Claiming the Shaman yesterday. It’s now off with my editor for the first rounds of edits. I planned to take today and tomorrow off before starting another book or to work on the cover of the one I just finished. Sitting down this morning annoyed and ready to work I realized that somehow over the last nine years of being a a professional writer first in freelance and then in indie publishing I’ve become a tried and true workaholic. (See this blog as proof. I needed to write something this morning or my routine would be broken. Not working makes me antsy.)
I started freelance (and some ghostwriting) writing when I was 21. A weird set of circumstances brought me to it at a time of need. (That’s a story for another blog.) Then, I got addicted. I mean, I always wrote or had a story running in my head for as long as I can remember. In high school, I thought I’d eventually publish if I could. That was back before indie publishing was what it is now. But life went on and eventually I wrote less and less until I started freelancing.
Eventually, after years of freelancing it wasn’t enough to write what others wanted me to write. No, I needed to tell my stories. I’ve written under a few different pen names over the years until I found a genre I really loved and didn’t get bored of. I’m a Gemini so bored is my number one enemy. Is that why I’m a workaholic? Maybe. Likely at least partially.
Now, almost everyday I write. I have to. It’s like breathing. In fact, it was my lack of writing over the fall/winter of 2018 that let me know something was indeed wrong with my health. I was always too tired to write. Friends told me it was burnout. Others said I was depressed. They were all wrong, but it wasn’t until my random exhaustion kept me away from the keyboard that I told my doctor about it. I figured with my luck I was probably dying. Morbid? Nah. Practical. Or so I thought. Mostly, I need to quit smoking (something I”m still struggling with) and my vitamin D was super low. I should have guessed given the symptoms, but there was a reason I became a writer and not a doctor.
Recently, I took my last medical dose of vitamin D. I’m feeling better than ever even if I’m still smoking about a pack a week when people piss me off. Why didn’t I go to the doctor sooner? Well, two reasons really. Okay, three: The first, the circumstances that led me to freelancing also left me with a distrust of most doctors. Two: I have an over active imagination. I was sure he was going to tell me I was dying. I had some sort of rare disease eating away at me. Probably related to smoking. The third: I needed to work. I didn’t want to take the time off my schedule to call and make an appointment. Then have to keep the appointment and take a morning off. Then take another morning off for blood work results and a follow up. I probably lost more time by not calling the doctor, but hindsight, you know. Eventually, I did, but not until writing 1k words a day was a problem for me. Yeah, that’s the reason I thought I was dying. Moral of the story is get your vitamin D checked before you need to. lol
Now, I’m starting a daily vitamin and made a few lifestyle changes to assure that’s not going to happen again. But it also made me realize I’m a workaholic. I write most days of the week. I am for 3k+ on those days now that I’m back to myself. I usually end up somewhere between 4.5-6k words a day. I take Tuesdays off for errands, but usually squeeze in some work anyway.
Now, with all of that said: I don’t hate my job. I love what I do. I love sitting down at the keyboard and pouring my heart out into a story. Sure, some days are harder than others. Some scenes more belligerent than others. But at the end of the day, I want to write. I want to write more than I want to play video games or have that extra time to do whatever it is people want me to do. The thing is I probably work about 4-5 hours most days. Even if I worked everyday I’d be working less than a traditional full time position. So, when people tell me I work too much I always roll my eyes. Yes, I’m a workaholic, because I don’t know how to start the day by doing nothing. No, I’m not a workaholic because I work too much.
Now, if you’ll excuse me. I’ll be off writing a few more blogs to schedule so my brain believes I squeezed in a decent word count.
Every time Camp NaNo or NaNoWriMo rolls around I hear the pantser vs. plotter debate. I’m mostly a plotter. I’d never finish a novel without a plot. So, maybe I’m a full blown plotter. Most of my friends are pantsers. I’ve watched how others plot their books and they start right from chapter one. I’m more middle of the road than that, but I couldn’t live without some sort of a plot to work from.
Usually, I’ve bounced the story around my brain for quite some time before I ever sit down to write. I’ve zoned out while doing chores around the house or stayed awake playing and replaying scenes in my head tweaking small parts. Then it’s time to sit down and write. At this point I’ll know my main characters and their major conflict. I’ll also know the ending. Then I just need to fill in the gaps.
To start this process I write the first few chapters of the book. This helps me get a grip on my characters and how their personalities will change my ideas. I know some people say we control our characters and others say they lead themselves. Once again, I’m middle of the road. I find that if I start by letting the words flow and the characters just do their own thing in the first few chapters the rest of the book is easier.
After I get to a point where I feel comfortable with them and what the story should be I plot. This point can vary drastically. Sometimes it’s at chapter 4 and sometimes it’s at chapter 12. As a general rule it happens after the true-mates meet in person and respond. I usually know exactly how my guys meet up before I ever write a word of the story.
Now with all of that said I do recommend plotting in one form or another to anyone struggling with writing. It’s a road map. Sometimes knowing what happens takes the stress out of writing. Recently, a very creative and ambitious aspiring writer friend of mine told me having a plot stresses her out, because she feels stuck to it. But not having a plot makes it hard to write too. Yes, she was having one of those days we all know so well.
Yesterday, I killed two characters off. Their deaths weren’t plotted. I was writing a battle scene for the 6th book of my Hemlock Wolf Pack Saga . It changed some other things for the book. Today, I decided not to kill them. Yes, I resurrected them, because I might need one of them for a future book. Other changes stuck, albeit, brought about in other ways now. I still have the draft where they died. I learned a long time ago when a huge unplanned thing happened to save two copies. One for prosperity and one for working on. Later, once my caffeine kicks, I need to rewrite the last third of my plot. I’m okay with that. The changes make the story more exciting and suspenseful.
For me a plot is a roadmap with coffee spilled on it. There’s plenty of room for detours and the stain creates new little interesting places to visit. I haven’t written a single book where I haven’t tweaked my plot at some point. So, the moral of the story is: Don’t be afraid of plots. Unlike characters you’re fully in control of them. If it needs changed – change it!
At the time of writing this I’m having a bad writing day. I’ve only written about 1,300 words on book 6 of my Hemlock Wolf Pack Saga. I’ve written a few blogs to save for later. (I’ll likely save this one for later too.) Today, I’ve realized something, though. I’ve fallen into a self-worth pitfall about word count goals.
My writing days usually end one of three ways.
Met my goal: Meh. That’s pretty good. I did my job anyway.
Beat my goal: Go me! You’re getting ahead.
Didn’t reach my goal: You are the worst writer on the face of the earth. You’ll never get this book written or published. You should never write again.
I have some ongoing external conflicts in my life at the moment that are definitely affecting my mood, but this is my pattern all the time. And let me just say I thought I was the only one until I sent out some text messages to some writer friends. I’m not the only one. That made me feel better for maybe two minutes. Then I realized how mean we are to ourselves. Yes, word counts and plot point goals are uber important to our chosen careers. They’re like 50% of our job. (Rewriting, plotting, marketing, etc. take up the other 50%.) But at the end of the day they don’t define us as people. A bad writing day doesn’t make someone lazy or horrible or a complete failure. It’s one day. One writing session. Sure, if it’s an ongoing problem we should examine what’s going on and see what the best way to work through it would be. I’m not giving all of us free reign to never pursue a writing goal again. What would we read if we all quit writing? What would you read, person who’s reading this?
So, what am I saying?
Simply that when we get caught up in creating other people and worlds and epic plot lines and romances we shouldn’t forget about ourselves. Sure, we maybe people with universes of stories living inside of us, but we’re still people. Besides, if we don’t take care of ourselves where will all the stories live until they’re born into books?
So, for all of my fellow writers and creative spirits out there here are some self-care tips to help you birth new worlds into existence.
Be realistic about your goals and leave room for slower writing days.
Not everyday needs to be a writing day. Even if you’re a full time writer. I don’t know where this myth came from but I wish I could summon a dragon to eat it. Think about the other professionals of the world. Sure, some brain surgeons are on call at all hours, but they do have down time. So, sure, if your main character wakes you up at 2am to finish a scene. Go for it, but that doesn’t mean you don’t deserve days off.
Using a word count tracker and planner. I use PaceMaker. When I’m planning out how long it’ll take my to write a novel I make sure to include every upcoming appointment date that will hinder me. I take into account everything from errands to meal prep. Then I add three days to the end of when I think I’ll finish it.
2. Kill the negative self talk before it kills your story.
This just isn’t about word count. It can be about any part of the writing/editing/publishing/marketing process. Tons of information exists out there on how to do this. The same method won’t work for everyone. As I said at the beginning of this blog I still struggle with this.
3. Don’t forget to celebrate victories.
If you totally kick butt on your word goal it’s okay to celebrate. When you finish a first draft (even if you’re behind on your timeline) you should still celebrate. Do something nice for yourself.
4. Make your work area comfy and nice to look at.
If your chair is hurting your back replace is ASAP. If every chair hurts your back talk to your doctor or other medical professional. Hang up inspirational quotes and photos. I like redecorating my wall space with each new novel. Yeah, I pin up a lot of notes about things to remember for the rewriting process, but I add things that remind me of the setting or my main characters. I also have a longstanding love affair with scent candles. Aromatherapy for the win!
5. Get up an move!
As tempting as it may be to sit and stare at a blank screen when you’re having a bad writing day don’t punish yourself like that. Get up and move. Take the dog for a walk. Go for a bike ride. Do a yoga workout video. Do something to get your blood moving and get out of your own head for a minute.
6.Remember writers are always working.
A lot of my friends lift a brow at this one, but it’s true. When we’re planning or writing a book we’re always thinking about it and that’s okay. Today, while having a horrible writing day I figured out a major plot point for the middle of Claiming the Shaman. My brain needed time away from the keyboard and screen to say “HEY! I KNOW WHAT HAPPENED!”
7. Alternating word sprints with other activities is a life saver!
Some days I wouldn’t get a thing on the page if it wasn’t for this method. Most writers will be familiar with the concept of a word sprint. If not, it’s basically setting a timer for a per-determined amount of time and writing your heart out until the timer goes off.
On bad writing days I’ll try alternating this with doing household chores or playing quick little games on my phone. This one has really turned around some of my bad writing days.
8.Relax your shoulders or treat yourself to a massage.
Sitting at a desk all day writing can be hell on your neck and shoulders. Remember not to scrunch your shoulders up like a turtle trying to hide in her shell while typing. I’m 100% guilty of this one.
Also, if you have the time, cash, and inclination treat yourself to a massage! Maybe you could do a massage swap with your SO!
9.Chat with other writers.
If you’re new to publishing speaking with other writers can be down right scary! But if you can make a few good writer friends you’ll have someone to shoot weird questions to. Most of which will include “Is X normal?” or “Do you do X too?” It’s a great way to feel a little more connected despite working in a career of solitude.
I should be working on Claiming the Shaman book 6 in my Hemlock Wolf Pack Saga , but my mind is too scattered this morning. It’s one of those days most writers are familiar with. Everyone has them at one time or another, but when chaos erupts they’re more common.
Some of my books have been called wholesome. I don’t mind that label, because I’m the most old fashion about sex in my friend group. I like writing happy endings where the good guys win and the bad guys get their just desserts. That doesn’t always happen in real life and I believe we need it in the places we escape to.
With all of that said I wanted to warn my long time readers that this blog may not be as wholesome as most of my books are. I’ll be covering difficult subjects and messy situations to which there are no easy answers. Real life doesn’t tie up as neatly as a book, unfortunately.
Recently, a friend told me I needed to connect with my readers more and perhaps people in general. I’ve always been introverted and keep a lot of things to myself. The older I’ve gotten the more I find myself surrounded by more words than people. Most days I like it that way. No one can write full time surrounded by people demanding their attention.
As someone who’s always kept my problems to myself in large groups I find it difficult to write about the chaos my life has become this year. Two family members have passed away. Another family member is dealing with addiction and he’s not who he used to be. Most of my other relatives are enablers and think I’m the asshole for not doing the same. I understand that addiction and addiction treatment is a hot button topic these days, but my message to anyone dealing with a similar problem is that it’s fully within your rights to kick anyone out of your life for any reason. You are important and you deserve to be happy. You don’t have to put up with bullshit.
With all of that said how do we write through chaos? These tips may be more aimed at writers who write full time, but even if you don’t write I hope you draw something from them. I’ve always been the sort to ask “How can I turn this bad thing into something good for someone?” It’s my hope that voicing these problems and tips will not only soothe something within me, but help someone somewhere who reads them.
Please note these tips don’t replace seeking therapy or other professional help. If you’re in need of help please reach out to someone trained to help you.
Accept Some Days Suck
Everyone everywhere has bad days now and then. Sometimes they politely wait in line behind a bunch of good days. Other times a bunch of them push their way to the front of the line and compete to be first. There’s a big movement that real writers must write everyday. That’s bullshit. Writing is required to be a writer and if you plan to publish you’ll need to spend a lot of time writing. It doesn’t have to be everyday. If a bad day pops up and you can’t get words on the page don’t sweat it. Tomorrow will come. Take time for self-care and work on other parts of the process: Planning, plotting, cover work.
2.Take Advantage of the Days That Don’t Suck
If your life has whirled into a chaotic mess the days that are less chaotic are to be taken advantage of. Maybe you have the house to yourself and you’re feeling okay. That’s the day to get the words on the page. Even if you hit your normal word count goal see if you can get more onto the page. These days are your secret weapons against the chaos. Extra words help make up the difference.
3.Don’t Wait For Inspiration or Motivation
This is common advice for all writers, but where chaos rules you might not find motivation easily. Tack up your long term goals for you book or series or whole writing career somewhere you see them everyday. Focus on them. In a lot of cases, they can be the lighthouse in the storm. We all need those lighthouses.
If you’re life is particularly chaotic you may want to make sure you set aside time to plot your novel. I know pantsers everywhere are rolling their eyes at me, but bear with me while I explain why you need a plot to write through chaos. Being creative can be hard if things are upside down for whatever reason. With a plot you know what you’re going to write each day. You can tweak it as you go, but it gives you something to focus on.
4.Tell Haters to Shut Their Mouths
There’s nothing worse than going through hell and having everyone else point out why they think your writing, story, book, or whatever is useless. Tell them to shut up. Seriously, I know everyone says keep your head high and ignore them, but honestly if someone is really toxic in your life you need to kick them out if you can. If they’re generally okay in most situations, but still tear down your dreams – that’s toxic. I’m talking about the friend who worries about if you make enough money to live. I’m talking about the haters who just run their mouths for whatever reason. Maybe they think they’re not good enough or that if you do great at something they’ll have to do something too or they’ll look bad. Just cut to the point and tell them to shut their mouths. I don’t mean go online to reply to bad reviews or anything like that. This is in your personal life. Bad reviews happen to everyone. Don’t even react to them. Once your book is in the public people can think whatever they want to about it.
5. Prioritize Your Goals
Maybe the chaos in your life isn’t brought about by other people. Maybe it’s your health. Maybe you need to pick up healthier habits or quit smoking to improve your health. I’m not going to lie these things take time and energy, but the good thing about them is that you can quit smoking while writing a novel. You can find time to write between working out and meal prepping. We find time for the things that are important to us. Sure, maybe we have to cancel that Netflix subscription or uninstall our favorite game for a while, but if you want writing to be part of your life it needs to be in your top 5 priorities.
6.Work Out Your Issues
While we can’t make anyone else do anything (get clean, get healthy, be positive, etc.) we do get to make choices about ourselves. If you need help getting someone out of your life or letting go find a therapist. That’s literally what they’re there for. If you need help getting healthy ask your doctor or join a support group.
If you have fear of failure or are haunted by imposture syndrome figure it out. Everyone has their issues, but if you want to move out of chaos you have to understand and work with your demons.
7.Don’t Turn Your Novel into a Journal
It’s okay to leave pieces of yourself behind in a novel, but not your life story event for event. Have an addict family member and you want a side character to give your beloved MC hell? Sure, they can be an addict, but don’t make it a journal. Let life inspire you, but from personal experience making a novel based too much on your own life never works out. Yes, there are exceptions, but not everyone is an exception.
I’ve read first drafts by fellow writers and my own that are just too journal-like for publication. When we write about something we’re too involved with emotionally it’s hard to create likeable characters. Sure, everyone character doesn’t have to be likeable, but your main character should more or less. If you’re living vicariously through your main character and torturing another character, but the motive isn’t plain for your character (it’s more yours than theirs) it doesn’t make sense in your book.
It’s okay to succeed out of spite. It’s okay to kill off a character named after your ex-fiance or evil aunt, but don’t let your personal feelings override the logic, character development, and plot of your book.
8.Please, Please, Please Finish Your First Draft Before You Start Editing It and Picking it Apart
You can polish up a bad first draft, but you can’t publish half a book. When things are hard it’s easy to pick apart everything we do including our writing, but please don’t fall into this trap. There’s no need to torture yourself. Get your story onto the page and then clean it up. Find a plot hole? Start a separate document and record it there. Name it something like “Draft 2 notes” and move on.
9.Lean on Your Support System
It’s easy to hide under the blankets and not talk to anyone when all hell breaks loose and it’s okay to do that for a while. Sooner rather than later you need to reach out to your real friends. Let them know what’s going on. If there’s something reasonable you need help with ask them. If 2019 has taught me anything is that your friends want to help you more than you think.
10.Remember Nothing Lasts Forever: Chaos Included
There will come a day where you look back and are amazed at what you’ve overcame. Seriously, think back to other hard times you’ve went through. Sometimes you need to make hard changes, but you’re going to be okay.
Keep writing. Write out of passion, desperation, love, hate, or hell, write out spite to show the bastards they can’t keep you down. Whatever reason you find, if you love your craft, please don’t quit writing. Someone out there is waiting to read your book.
Hey guys! It’s been a while. A long while in fact! I’ve been so caught up in writing novels that I haven’t since the end of May! I’m such a bad blogger! But rest assured, my time away from the blog has been put to good use!
If you followed along with my Camp Nano blogs back in April this is the novel I started that month and finished the next: Omega’s Homecoming I’m not participating this month, but that doesn’t mean I won’t be hard at work. Camp was fun, but once a year is enough to lay the pressure on my creative process.Good luck to everyone participating this month!
Last night I finished up my next novel. I haven’t made the cover or even talked much about what it’s about on social media. Though, lots of details will be coming your way soon. This morning, I feel a little sad that my book is with the editor and no longer waiting for me to work on it. I’m really going to miss Rhett and Brendan. They were a really fun couple to write.
So what’s next on my schedule for this summer? Waiting for my editor to get me the first rounds back so I can do rewrites for my upcoming novel The Sleeping Omega Prince. I won’t be sitting on my hands while I wait though. I still need to concept a cover and get my outline ready for my next book. Hint: It’s book 6 of the Hemlock Wolf Pack Saga! I fell in love with a sexy half-elf wolfman I overlooked in the first 4 books of the series while writing Omega’s Homecoming. So, in the true spirit of Juda and Frost I scoured my little Mpreg universe until I found him the perfect true-mate! If I’m feeling refreshed before I get the first chapters of The Sleeping Omega Prince back I’ll go ahead and start the next book.
Next month I have N.E.W.T.’s readathon on my schedule. In April, I participated in the first half of the readathon (O.W.L.s Magical readathon) and can’t wait for the next part. Don’t quote me on this next part but I believe Dewey has another readathon next month too which I plan to take advantage to help me make the grades I need to be a writer in the Wizarding World.