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Schedule? What’s that? (Camp NaNo Updates and a Mini Rant About a Certain Neighbor)

So, as those of you following along know my sleeping schedule has shifted over the last month or two between some personal happenings and EVIL Daylight Savings Time. I have something in my mid-late morning that is just about an every day engagement. On my old schedule I was done writing way before that time of day hit. Now, waking up between 5-6 not so much. It’s just an hour or an hour and a half later I’m waking up, but apparently I can write a lot in that time.

So, yesterday, feeling a bit defeated that I slept through the alarm again – I decided I’d try an experiment. I did a bunch of the side work stuff and got some chores around the house done – my usual afternoon stuff. Then I sat down to write in the afternoon. It felt weird. There were interruptions – I live on the corner of my apartment building – next to the steps. I have a neighbor who lives at the other end – who doesn’t own a car that is parked at that end of the building or anything – but insists on going up and down my side of the building for EVERYTHING. I swear I think the asshole uses it for cardio some days the way he goes up and down repetitively. I have my reasons for being annoyed with him for many other reasons – but I don’t feel like getting political on this blog.

So, the real problem is my usual writing area is against that outside wall. Usually that’s not a problem – I write in the morning. I do my side work in the kitchen in the afternoon. So, short of going out to ask if he had a personal vendetta against me having peace and quiet (I have mysphonia. So sound gets to me in weird ways) I moved into the kitchen. Except I wasn’t comfortable enough to zone out and write. I was about to give up and call the day wasted and the experiment a flop. Then I rearranged the living room a bit to make it work with the laptop. I swore it felt like I had spent the whole afternoon trying to work around other people – which always annoys me. It’s why I live alone. It’s me and the cat and everyone else can buzz off while I’m trying to work. It had only been about half an hour in which I wrote about 300 words from the two places I tried. I felt like a bit like Rory Gilmore on her the campus of her university trying to find a place to study.

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The living room worked out. I had a good writing session on the sofa with the cat sleeping on my feet and came in at 5,896 words for Monday. Which I’m quite proud of because I had to work so hard to find a place to write away from noisy morons. So, this is day 2 of the experiment. I think today will go fine, but Wednesday I have errands that can only be ran in the afternoon. So I’m not sure how to deal with that one just yet.

My current WIP is at 43,295

I hope everyone else participating in Camp NaNo is having better luck finding quiet to write in than I am.

What I’m Writing: Book 7 of Love by Glitter Bomb

What’s in Editing: Nothing :O

Current Pre-Orders: Love By Glitter Bomb Box Set 2 & Dead Mates Society.

What I’m Reading: Insomnia by Stephen King & The Southern Book Club’s Guide to Slaying Vampires by Grady Hendrix

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Camp NaNo Updates: Day 2 and 3

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.

Brown Tabby Cat Lying on Cat Tree

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?

What I’m Writing: Book 7 of Love by Glitter Bomb

What’s in Editing: Nothing :O

Current Pre-Orders: Love By Glitter Bomb Box Set 2 & Dead Mates Society (Pre-order is in Amazon’s review process and the link will come soon.)

What I’m Reading: Insomnia by Stephen King & If I Was Your Girl by Meredith Russo

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Camp NaNoWriMo Prep (Mine and Tips for Yours)

I’m up early enough today that I beat the cat up. She’s not ready for breakfast yet. Which gives me a few minutes to ramble here about Nano prep when I should be starting my novel. I have a vampyric MC this time around and I’m excited. Teenage Maggie would be head over heels to know I’m writing vampire romance at all now. I guess somethings never change.

Except they do. I’d sworn off Camp Nano after the last time. I really did. It was a good experience and I wrote a great novel that went on to do well, but it was sooo stressful. Why was it stressful? Because talking about writing and writing a novel at the same time is stressful. I haven’t forgotten this, but my life is different now. (How could it not be with the pandemic, right?) Also, that was like 3 years ago I think. Maybe 2 years ago. I’m not even sure anymore. What I’m getting at is I think I learned some better time/word management since then. At least, I hope so. We’ll find out in the middle of April if I’m banging my head on the wall or not.

So… What am I doing to prep for Camp NaNo?

Honestly, I’m lucky with this one. I already know what I need/want/am going to write. It’s the next book in my Love by Glitter Bomb Series. It’ll be book 7 in the series. I know who my MCs are. I know one of them quite well. He’s a dragon shifter. The other is the newcomer to the series. So, to help myself get set up I think I’m going to blog through the steps.

1. What’s Standing in My Way of Writing?

I ask this question every time I set down to start a novel. What’s going to get in my way. Your list will probably be different than mine, but here’s a look at what a list might look like. Be sure to be honest with yourself. You can plan around obstacles if you don’t admit to them.

  • April is storm weather in Appalachia sometimes. (If you’re a longtime reader you know my storm anxiety isn’t going anywhere.) Tonight we’re in for another bad storm after having one at the end of last week too.
  • Part time work. (Covid economy sucks, but you gotta do what ya gotta do.)
  • I’ll need to get the publishing stuff ready for Dead Mates Society (The short story that is Love by Glitter Bomb 6.5)
  • I’ll need to get the next box set up for pre-order/publishing.
  • There is one question that is important to the plot that I don’t know the answer to right now.
  • I plan to put out a lot more blogs than usual.
  • As the weather warms up I’ll have to tell people to buzz off. People will want to hang out and I probably won’t want to hang out. For me, since I’m not eligible to be vaccination in my state the pandemic is the best excuse I have.
  • Normal CPTSD crap.
  • I’m participating in 2 book club reads and a buddy read next month.
  • I’m eating healthy again and I swear sometimes meal prepping feels like it takes up more time than it saves.
  • Existential dread has been my middle name for the last month or two. This isn’t healthy for writing.

Now, your list will probably include things mine doesn’t touch on and that’s okay. Just be honest with yourself and plan around these things. This week leading up to camp I plan to share some tips on how to manage that.

2. Gather Supplies

Since writing is for the most part my full time job. I don’t have many supplies I need to go out and get. At this point outside of my planners I mostly do everything virtually. But figuring out what you need before April gets here will save you so much time that you can in turn use for writing.

3. Are You a Pantser or Plotter or Some Combination of?

I’m a combo. I usually know my ending, my beginning, and have a vague idea (not written down) of what will happen. Then I usually write until my characters and the plot are a bit fleshed out and then I’ll plot the rest of the way. If you’re a hardcore plotter you might want to do this part before April.

4. Don’t Fall into the Trap of Trying to Write the Same Amount Every Day

Okay, so, yeah, I know that camp is for finishing projects or doing your own thing, but even if you’re writing the tale end of a novel, I think this will help you out. Don’t plan on writing the same amount every day. Don’t plan on writing every day. I know – some of you are making the scream face right now and that’s okay. Just hear me out, alright? Thanks!

Some days are busier than others and unless you’re writing full time it’s not always possible to squeeze in a full length writing session. Plot your hopeful word counts ahead of time, but leave wiggle room. Maybe only aim for 500 on busy days or less if 500 words seem like a lot to you. I use Pace Maker (Thanks Karsyn for telling me about it forever ago if you’re reading this!) It’s free and it has a lot of features that you can adjust to help you plot out how many words you need to write on any given day.

Be nice to yourself. You’ll get there, but not all in one day.

5. READ!

I know this is some of the most common advice given to aspiring writers – but it’s so important. By reading you learn so many little things and how they work together. You get a feel for what makes a book a book. I know a lot of people who write are avid readers, but I have a friend working on the second draft of a novel who isn’t really a reader. It happens, but believe me your writing life will be easier if you read.

What are you doing to get ready for Camp NaNo?

Writing/Reading Info:

WIP: Love by Glitter Bomb Book 7.

What’s with the editor: Dead Mates Society (Love by Glitter Bomb Book 6.5)

What am I reading: Nothing by Annie Barrows and A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towels.

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Writing, Creativity, and Anxiety

DISCLAIMER: YES, I’VE BEEN ASKED BEFORE WHY I FEEL THE NEED TO DISCUSS MENTAL HEALTH ON MY PROFESSIONAL PLATFORMS. MY ANSWER HASN’T CHANGED. I DISCUSS MENTAL HEALTH THROUGH MY OWN EXPERIENCES, BECAUSE MENTAL HEALTH NEEDS TO BE HIGHLIGHTED AND TALKED ABOUT AND BROUGHT OF THE DARK. I ALSO WANT EVERYONE TO KNOW HAVING ANXIETY DOESN’T MEAN THEY CANT CHASE THEIR DREAMS. IT JUST MEANS THEY’RE GOING TO WORK A LOT HARDER TO GET THERE.

Okay, time for some real talk, guys. It’s no secret that I have anxiety and CPTSD. I talk about it everywhere. On purpose. I always think if one person reads something I say and doesn’t feel alone I’ve found a little purpose in my discomfort. That’s important to me.

Since the beginning of 2019 I’ve felt like I’ve been ‘living between the anxieties.’ Basically, meaning I shove as much as I can of the good stuff in between all the crap. Yes, 2020 was crap for everyone. Extroverts everywhere have told me so. Introverts too – but not always because of the lockdown. But it’s been a little over two years since the last time I had a period of time where life was on the level and it’s starting to wear on me in ways I can’t hide. People notice – long droughts from posting on Facebook. Blogs that are sporadically scheduled at best. Some days, I think it’s never going to change. Some days I know it’ll never change. The world will keep revolving, but I’ll always have anxiety and big triggers. I’ll always have to live in between them. That doesn’t mean I don’t have good days – because I do. But I also have nights like tonight:

-Sales are down. Covid economy. Other writers are experiencing similar things. I know a few indies who have thrown up their hands at it all in the last few months. I’ve considered it too. I’m not to that point yet. I am doing side jobs again, though. More work for the same amount of money leaves less time for self care. It can’t be helped. It is what it is.

-I’m behind on work because of lost sleep last month before I could find a vet willing to fix my cat. More lost sleep as cat had difficult recovery.

-Storms – with a possibility of isolated tornadoes in my area Wednesday – Friday morning. So, yeah I’m already feeling the sinking feeling in my stomach.

-My editor and I are in the middle of editing a book. We live in 2 different states. We’re both in areas possibly effected. If the net or power goes I’m more behind.

-People telling me not to worry about being behind in a ‘creative career’ art takes time. Yeah, those same people have never finished a massive artistic project and made a living off of it for the most part. See my point up there about sales being lower and me on the brink of saying ‘Oh, enough’s enough. I give up.”

-I miss people who I’ve lost to covid. I miss so many people and don’t believe the world will ever be the same.

So, the next few days belong to anxiety. Mostly, storm anxiety. It’s not going anywhere. I’ve done therapy. I’ve done everything. Living in Missouri ruined me for any thunderstorm. Alongside anxiety, needs to live someone able to answer e-mails and put in edits and stay positive on social media and not ride the doom spiral. We’ll see what happens.

What does this have to do with writing and creativity? Everything! Every writer friend I have – has anxiety. Mostly, major anxiety filled with triggers and panic attacks and everything that comes with it. It’s as if imagining the worst is good fuel for novels. Sometimes, fixing ‘the worst’ in fiction soothes the soul. As a writing I believe I write to fix all the things I can’t fix in the world. Bad guys eventually die – the good guys mostly win. People fall in love and have a chance to live their lives without hell raining on every side.

Some days, it’s all I can do to wait until after my coffee kicks in to get to the keyboard and hammer out the details of the lives of fictional people. I’m thrilled to do my job. It’s the one part of my life I know for sure I enjoy – the writing part that is.

So, what is anyone to take from this? Live between the storms. Live between the bad times. They’ll always be around the corner, but the time in between belongs to us.

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What Every Writer Needs (And reading talk!)

It’s about 6 PM here in Appalachia when I start writing this. I’ve just laid down Watership Down at about halfish way through it. I’m done reading for the day and have a lot on my mind. First, let’s get it out of the way. Yes, I live under a rock. I’ve never read this book or watched an adaptation of it. I was supposed to read it in 7th grade, but life had other plans. So, I didn’t. Okay, now that we’ve gotten that out of the way let’s move on.

I’m reading this book as a buddy read with my friend E from Reddit. She’s incredible. In January, I read Robert Jones Jr’s debut The Prophets with her and I’m glad I had someone to discuss that book with. It was really deep and that man needs to write another book ASAP!

(SPOILERS AHEAD FOR WATERSHIP DOWN- MAYBE)

Fiver was right about something bad happening to the warren. Everyone knows this. It’s the main premise of the book. When I was reading the part where Holly is telling and reliving what happened at the warren after the escapees left – I had to put the book down for a moment. It was a bit much for me to imagine being a rabbit gassed to death or shot by a human. Yep, I’m that sort of person. Now all the credit for me ‘feeling’ this goes to Richard Adams the writer of Watership Down.

This reminded me of lots of other times when I just paused to imagine how horrible or delightful or scary something must’ve been – from tv, movies, and of course books – but also just pondering it. It’s something I’ve done since I was a kid. That moment where my brain freezes and all I can think about is what something might or must feel like. What would I feel if X or Y or gods forbid Z happened to me?

Over the years I’ve been asked by a lot of aspiring writers what it really takes and I always say just put your ass in the chair and write. That’s what I do! Okay!! Okay! You caught me! Sometimes my ass is in the bed or on the floor when I write, but you get the idea.

And speaking of ideas! Folks – readers, friends, and fellow writers love to ask me where I get my ideas from. Well, for a while I wasn’t sure. I mean my emotions? For me, it’s usually one of three of avenues.

  1. They come to me. Not ideas. Characters and their emotions and situations come to me.
  2. I really need to put something I feel into words and give the emotions to my characters. That way I’m not carrying them around all by myself.
  3. Something happens and I stop and say ‘What would I feel like if X, Y, or Z happened to me?’

I think that’s it. I mean, sometimes it starts with a dream of a character, but that falls under one.

So, you all came here to find out what this writer thinks every writer needs and the answer is empathy. If you struggle to make your characters feel real – step back and empathize. What are they feeling? What would they do with those emotions or urges?

Happy reading and writing!

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How Reading and Writing Entwine

Since my move earlier this month I’ve read less than in the previous months of this year. There’s been so much to do and it’s eating into my downtime. Sure, years before I’ve read a lot less. Though, I’ve definitely noticed a link between how much I read and how much I write. If I read more I write more.

I always describe this as the feeling I’ve poured all of my words out of my fingertips and onto the blank page. Reading is like going to the gas station and getting a refill. I like variety in my life – so I tend not to read a lot of romance. I just need something different in those two entwined but very different parts of my life. Still, I know if I’m having a hard time writing I need to do some heavy-duty reading. Like sit down and read half the day and repeat until I feel normal. I think it’s partially the downtime of things. I think the other part is that reading gives me my motivation back.

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I’ve never struggled for ideas. They’re everywhere in my life – my brain, my notebooks, my bulletin board, and sometimes on the back of napkins or in my phone notes. I’m never reading for ideas. I have those! lol

I believe reading a really good story reminds me of why I write in the first place. I grew up reading and the stories were at times my best friends and confidants. I grew up in a toxic and abusive environment. I wouldn’t wish that on anyone, but the one thing I brought away from it that’s 100% freaking awesome is my love for reading. I read to explore new ideas/places/worlds I’d never visit otherwise. I read to make sense of the world around me and to feel connected to something bigger than myself. I write for those same reasons. Sometimes, I just need to be reminded of that by a good story.

My average for 2020 so far is 15.22 books. I’ve read 12 books this month. I’m a quarter of the way through another and I might finish it today if everything lines up, but most likely not. I know it’s only 3 books less than normal, but now that I’ve reestablished that reading habit – I can feel the absence of those books.

No worries – next month I will more than make up for it with Dewey’s 24 Hour Readathon Happening. I’m already excited for that one and trying to figure out which approach I want to take to for this one. I really liked using the last one as a jumpstart for reading IT. Though, I don’t know if I’m ready to tackle another book of that size or if I’m in the mood for it. I still have plenty of time to decide, though.

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Some Quick and Dirty Advice for New Writers

Okay, I don’t have to start this blog with I should be working on my novel… Actually, I should be reading. I’m participating in #Quarantinathon. Like a dumbass¬† I decided i could squeeze in another book before I started on my prompt book for the week. So, yeah I’m a bit behind. I had originally planned to review all the books I read for this readathon but I might not, because this one is a fictionalized account of a young man who spent 3 years in basically a Nazi hospital for children who were disabled, had learning disabilities, or were basically anyone they didn’t like. I know the prompt is about reading a time we did overcome already, but I’m not so sure what to say in a review about that.

If you’re one of my readers dropping by to see if I hinted at anything about Sky’s book: Yep. I wrote today. Today Sky and Rune had a wedding they needed to be at.

Onward! This advice is for folks who are writing their first or maybe their second book. If you consider yourself new this is for you.

  1. Writer’s block is a myth.

Writing is hard! Some days it sucks! Other days it rocks! The truth is if you’re going to do this in the long term you just gotta do it. If you wait for inspiration you’ll never find it.

2. Don’t edit as you go.

Okay, some writers do this, but if this is your first or second book don’t do it! Seriously, don’t do it! Just get your story out and worry about editing and polishing it up later. Getting it on the page can be the hard part in the beginning.

3. Don’t expect your friends or family to want to read every word you write.

They don’t want. Most probably never will. Unless every person you know is a bookworm don’t count on their support. Seriously, don’t do it. You have to be your own cheerleader. In a perfect world you’d have all the support in the world. Some of my family still doesn’t understand what I do or why I do it. Most of them have never picked up one of my books. Honestly, I wouldn’t want them to. When people you know read your book they’ll go one of two ways. Either they’ll say they love everything or they’ll hack you to death saying it’s horrible because either they’re jealous or are just horrible people who criticize everyone and everything. Try to make writer friends, but don’t expect them to read everything you write either. Seriously, we can’t write if we’re reading everyone’s manuscript to give out tips that can come from beta readers.

4. Don’t totally base your main character on yourself.

Yes, you’re going to relate to some of the characters you write, but you shouldn’t write yourself into the book. It’ll cloud your judgement and will read like fanfiction. I love fanfiction – I do. TWD. HP. Yep. I love it – when I’m in the mood for it. So, seriously, write your books but don’t try to make it secretly a biography, because most people have really boring lives – myself included.

5. Nope, you don’t have to write every day.

This is another myth. Yes, some writers write every day. I do not. I try for one day a week off, but I write 4-6 K words a day when I do write.

Which brings me to the most important tip I’ll ever give you:

6. Stop comparing yourself to other writers – new or established. If I write that much 6 days a week doesn’t mean you have to. Maybe you write more than me. Maybe you write less. Either is great. Just write your book and stop worrying.

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NaNoWriMo Last Minute Prep

I’m not participating in Nano this year, but I’ve participated many times in the past. My life and career also revolves around writing (don’t judge me.)

I know a lot of blogs and videos talk about NaNoWriMo prep in the months and weeks right before the start of November, but what if you’re a chronic procrastinator or decided to participate at the last minute? This doesn’t mean you’re doomed. It just means you have to be creative in the way you plan out your month of writing. If you’re already prepared maybe this can act as your checklist and jog your brain of something you’ve forgotten to do.

Plotting isn’t the end of the world

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Yes, I’m mostly a plotter. I swear by it and none of my books would be alive today without it. Plotting doesn’t mean you have to write a novel length outline of your story. Here are some quick plotting methods to help you get started. Remember, you can always tweak and change of the details.

  • The 3 Act Method: Every story has a beginning, middle, and end. These are the components a book cannot exist without. Grab a notebook or open up your favorite word processor and jot down these parts of your book. You can fill in the other details later as you get to it. Having some direction is better than no direction.
  • Follow the hero’s journey format. There’s a lot of information out there about this so I won’t bore you with it here. If you’ve never heard of it before checkout one of this book.
  • Write down all your main scenes on note cards and put them in order. I love this method because you can easily change the order of events.

Keep a writer’s journal

This is one of my best kept secrets. Before I started dedicating a notebook to this I had notes and scraps of paper all over the place and even pinned to the wall. Now I keep it all in my notebook. Ideas, character info, whether John Doe is blonde or a redhead. What Kelly ate for breakfast. Whatever you need to remember for later jot down. This is the journal I’m using right now. You can even put your plot in the journal if you wanted to.

Ask a friend to read your work periodically

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I know long time writers will cringe at this advice. Stephen King even says to write with the door closed and I do, but in my early days of writing I needed that audience. Also, having someone who is ready to read your work at the end of every week will give you extra motivation to get your words on the blank page.

 

Decide how to track your word count, progress, and work still needed

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I use the free version of PaceMaker.

It doesn’t yell at you for being behind like some do and it allows you to customize your writing plan.

Schedule 5 days in November where you will aim to write 5k.

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I know that sounds like a lot of words and for some people it is. I aim for this number almost every writing day. I know it’s not sustainable for everyone, but hear me out on this one.

Five days of 5k words each is 25k words. That’s half your words for the month. Even if you don’t hit those 5k words – you might get a day or two ahead on each scheduled day. Things will pop up that keep you from writing. As someone who writes full time some days I view the world as a series of obstacles between me and the keyboard.

 

Let me know your favorite way to prep for Nano in the comments.

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I Should Be Working on My Next Novel….

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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.

And…

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.

I should be writing so….

I better get to it.

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I’m Bad at Taking Time Off: Confessions of a Workaholic

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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.

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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.