03 April 2024

Everything Has Changed

It's the first Wednesday of the month, which means it's the posting day for the Insecure Writer's Support Group! Click here to learn more and sign up!

This month's optional question is: How long have you been blogging? (Or on Facebook/Twitter/Instagram?) What do you like about it and how has it changed?

I had to actually look back through my blog archive to remember how long it's been since my very first blog post. I started this blog on May 26, 2011. So, we're creeping up on 13 years, which many people may see as unlucky (unless you're a Taylor Swift fan). My very first post was not only about starting the blog, but also the decision I'd made to develop a short story I'd written into a novel. Well, 13 years later and said novel still isn't done. So, yeah, not feeling the luck. 

But I digress. 

I've always liked blogging because I can talk about the writing process, whether that process is actually happening or not. We can share our frustrations and successes, and interact with other writers. Finding a community of writers to connect with has definitely been the best part of blogging, and the IWSG is a huge part of that. Without these monthly posts, I probably wouldn't be blogging at all. Maybe if I was actually writing I would have more things to blog about, but it's nice to have this monthly staple to keep me going. 

For me, blogging used to be way more involved. I remember a time where I was blogging three times a week, taking part in numerous blog hops (and even creating my own!) and book tours for other authors. Like I said above, now I only post once a month. I think a lot of bloggers aren't as active as they used to be. I couldn't really say why because I have my own personal reasons for not doing it as much, mainly creative burnout and lack of time/energy. I don't keep up with others' blogs as much as I'd like, either. 

It does make me a bit sad to think of how fun and involved blogging used to be, but I know at least for now that I don't want to give up on it completely. So I guess I'll see you next month! 

06 March 2024

Lists Upon Lists Upon Lists

It's the first Wednesday of the month, which means it's the posting day for the Insecure Writer's Support Group! Click here to learn more and sign up!

How is it March already? How am I so behind on my goals for the year?? I got a fancy new planner for Christmas and I've barely used it, even though I swore this would be the year that I stuck with it (who was I kidding?). Well, I'm determined not to give up, even if I hit a few setbacks. 

This week I dove right back into the planner. I really have to focus on losing weight, so that's the majority of what I'm doing, but I'm also writing down goals for the week, whether that's errands or cleaning or doing my taxes (I've never been this late doing them...I usually get them done the second we get our W-2s), and making sure I read at least 30 minutes and floss my teeth every day. So, it's a start!

Of course, I'd like to add writing (or at least writing related activities) to my planner, but where to start? I've had so many different ideas and goals that I don't even know what to focus on first. 

Well, since I could easily work this into my planner, I think I need to make some lists! Making lists is easy! It's doing them that gets trickier. But the first step is to make them! 

I know I want to go through my past blog posts and make a list of all of the ideas I've had to get myself back into writing. That's probably where I need to start. But then all of those ideas could probably spawn lists of their own! Soon I'll have lists of lists of lists! 

But seriously, I think if I actually write down my goals, it will help me to be able to accomplish them. Instead of just having all of these ideas and this pressure floating around in my head, I can actually have something in front of me that I can look at and choose what to do next. I think part of the reason why I haven't been doing anything creative is that I feel overwhelmed. If I can focus on just one tiny task at a time, it might actually lead to some productivity. 

Now the next step is to actually do it! Instead of just saying that I'm going to do it...I should probably write it in my planner. 

Do you make lists to help you with your writing goals? 

07 February 2024

Plans? What Plans?

It's the first Wednesday of the month, which means it's the posting day for the Insecure Writer's Support Group! Click here to learn more and sign up!

Oh hey, it's February. I guess it's time to reflect on everything that I accomplished in January. Oh wait, except there isn't anything to reflect on. 

I think it's safe to say I am just unable to hold onto the urge to be productive. I just feel like I'm exhausted all the time. It's hard after working all day to come home and do anything besides sit on my bed and watch TV or play games on my phone. There are just so many things that I want to accomplish on a daily basis that I just never have the time or energy. 

I got a new planner for this year, and I swore I wasn't going to let it go to waste. It always seems like I try really hard in January to stick to my goals, and at some point I just stop using the planner altogether. I'm not giving up yet, but I'm also not doing as much as I'd like. Sometimes I'll want to write as many goals for a week as I can, but I never seem to get them all done, so I don't write any. I try to read every day, floss my teeth at night, and go to the gym at least 5 times a week, but even those daily tasks can seem like too much sometimes. 

And don't even get me started on writing! I haven't been reading as much as I'd like, but I did notice that when I do read, it does spark some inspiration for my own writing. So if I keep trying to read every day, it could be a win-win situation. I want to make more conrete writing goals but I just don't feel like I'm there yet. I don't have the desire to work on anything, and if it's hard enough for me to make myself do even smaller goals, I know it's not going to be easy to force myself to write.

I do have one "writing" goal for the week, and that's to watch a YouTube video I found on "Getting Back to the Joy of Writing." That's definitely something I could use. 

Anyhoo, as usual, I'm taking it all one step at a time. 

03 January 2024

A Year of Being Creative

It's the first Wednesday of the month, which means it's the posting day for the Insecure Writer's Support Group! Click here to learn more and sign up!

I always look forward to a new year because it usually provides motivation to make some changes. Sometimes that motivation only last a few weeks, but it's there nonetheless. And while I want to take advantage of that feeling, I know pushing myself too hard could lead to more burnout. But I've been lacking in creativity for so long that I feel I just have to try to make some changes this year or I could be stuck in this creative limbo forever. 

While this certainly applies to writing, I'm also thinking of other outlets to try to spark my creativity again. I know that writing and reading go hand in hand, and I haven't been doing much of either for quite some time. I'm hoping if I get back into reading, it will inspire me to get back into writing. I certainly have enough unread books on my shelves to get me through the year. 

I want to do other things that I've enjoyed in the past, like making jewelry and doing puzzles. I also want to listen to more music, both albums I've never heard before and ones that I know I love but haven't listened to in years. I find music usually inspires me to write as well, so this could be helpful. 

I've recently gotten into Tiktok, which for me, at least, is a creative outlet. I think I've enjoyed it so much lately because it's the only creative thing I've been doing for months. That being said, I do need to spend more time actually making my own Tiktoks and not just mindlessly scrolling for hours. 

Another goal for this year is to eat healthier and exercise more, and I can bring creativity into that by cooking more. I have a lot of healthy meal go-tos in my arsenal, but I want to try new recipes as well. My goal is to try a new one every week. And I can listen to lots of music while I'm exercising. 

All of these ideas can feel a bit overwhelming, but I just want to take it one day at a time. I got another planner this year that I swear I will actually use and not give up on after a month or so. Really. 

So here's to a year of being creative, whatever that creativity may be! 

06 December 2023

Critiques and Resolutions

It's the first Wednesday of the month, which means it's the posting day for the Insecure Writer's Support Group! Click here to learn more and sign up!

This month's optional question is: Book reviews are for the readers. When you leave a book review do you review for the Reader or the Author? Is it about what you liked and enjoyed about your reading experience, or do you critique the author?

I actually don't write reviews very often. Maybe it gives me flashbacks of having to write papers in high school and college and I just want no part in that. When I do write reviews, it's almost always for a blogger friend's book, so in my case, I write reviews for the author. I'm trying to help out someone I know (through the internet, at least) by saying what I liked about their book and why other people should read it. I've never been that good at critiquing (now having flashbacks to college workshops...) so I tend to focus on what I liked. If I'm reading a book that isn't by a blogger buddy, I'm most likely not going to write a review, and just give a rating. 

Well, we've reached that time of year again where I say to myself, I swear I'm really going to make a change in the new year! Am I doing this again? Yes. Do I believe myself? Well...maybe?

I really do want to get back into writing. I haven't made any specific goals or resolutions yet, but I've had so many different ideas and goals in the past that I figure I can just make a list of all of those! You could just go through all of my blog posts from the past two or three years and find all of my different ideas and schemes that I never followed through on.

Actually, that's probably a good idea. I should go do that...

I do want to get back to writing Uneven Lines. It would be really nice to actually finish it. I've just been really stuck about how to end it. But I have a million little side projects related to it that I hope can help me figure it out. I'd also like to get back to some of my other unfinished projects. 

I think if I had to make a resolution it would just be to start writing again. So I'm planning to just start from there. 

Are you making any writing related resolutions? 

01 November 2023

A NaNo Long Ago

It's the first Wednesday of the month, which means it's the posting day for the Insecure Writer's Support Group! Click here to learn more and sign up!

This month's optional question is: November is National Novel Writing Month. Have you ever participated? If not, why not?

There have been more than a few times that I started NaNo and gave up about halfway through, but there was one time where I acutally stuck it out and got to that 50,000 word goal! It was in 2019 and I decided at pretty much the last minute to do it, so I'm pretty surprised that I actually accomplished it. The book still isn't finished, and I've barely looked at it since then, but I really would like to go back and finish it at some point. 

I've talked about this book before, but it has the working title of Sexy Fluff #1. Just before that November where I worked on it, I had this idea that I could probably write romance novels a lot faster than the stuff I typically write. At first I thought, there's no way I can do this for NaNo. I didn't even have a plot, right? Well...literally the next morning I woke up with a plot. So I thought, why not? 

It was a lot of fun to work on and I was proud of myself for actually sticking with it and reaching my goal. Unfortunately, I wish I still had the drive that I had back then in order to finish it. 

I think part of the reason I haven't gone back to it is because I already have some ideas of what need to be fixed, and I'm not sure if I want to just plow through the first draft with what I already have or if I should just start over. I'm sure if I were an outlining type of person I would have an easier time figuring it out. 

This is a tiny detail, but I originally had the book set in 2020. Like, actually naming dates. So, yeah, that's not gonna work. But at least now it's been a few years so I can probably figure out some future dates that will line up with my plot. 

Maybe someday I'll go back and finish writing Sexy Fluff #1. And then maybe move on to a #2, and so on. I'd love to turn this into a series and actually get them published. My goal is to use a different romance trope for each book (#1 is rivals to lovers). There are so many options to create a plot around, I could be writing for years!

04 October 2023

Maybe AI Can Finish My Book...

It's the first Wednesday of the month, which means it's the posting day for the Insecure Writer's Support Group! Click here to learn more and sign up!

This month's optional question is: The topic of AI writing has been heavily debated across the world. According to various sources, generative AI will assist writers, not replace them. What are your thoughts?

I think what worries me about AI is that if it is developed enough to create books, TV shows, films, etc. large publishers and production companies would not hestitate to use these instead of paying writers. I know this topic was part of the recent writer's strike. But like the question said, AI should be used to help writers, not replace them. If this is the only way it gets used, I would consider it a good thing. But I worry that won't always be the case.

On the other hand, I've actually been contemplating using AI to help me figure out my book. Or at least to have a funny story about AI helping me to finish my book. I thought I could have AI read my novel so far and prompt it to finish the book. I'm a little lost with how to end my book and also struggling with one of the subplots, so I could try a few different prompts to give. 

I figure this could go one of three ways:

1. AI does a great job and completely solves all my writing problems

2. It doesn't come up with anything I can use but helps me narrow in on what I actually need (this kind of thing happens when I've asked my husband for ideas and I hate them, but they somehow help me come up with the right idea on my own lol)

3. AI has no idea what to do with my book and it's a laughable catastrophe that I can make a TikTok about (and I do need to make more writing TikToks!)

I figure there's no down side. Worst case scenario I'll just be exactly where I am right now. I believe Chat GPT can do this sort of thing but I haven't researched it much beyond a couple Google searches. But I think it would be at least a humorous experiment if nothing else. Who knows?