07 February 2024

Plans? What Plans?

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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?

06 September 2023

Happy Anniversary, IWSG!!

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 I'm a co-host! The other fabulous co-hosts are Sonia Dogra, J Lenni Dorner, Pat Garcia, and Meka James

This month is also a special post because it's the IWSG's 12 year anniversary! The question for this month is: When did you discover the IWSG, how do you connect, and how has it helped you?

**WARNING: Please do not attempt a drinking game where you take a shot every time I say IWSG in this post.**

I had to dig through the archives for this information. Including this one, I have written 120 posts for the IWSG (according to a Google search, that means I only missed 3 months!). The first one was on June 5, 2013, and was entitled The Greatest/Worst Book Ever Written. It was about feeling like your story is the greatest thing ever one day, then absolute crap the next. I felt like I had found the perfect blogging community to join because I was chock full of insecurity (and I still am). It seemed like the perfect place to be. 

The IWSG has been a HUGE part of my blogging for over the past ten years. I honestly can't remember how I stumbled upon it, but I'm certainly glad I did. I do remember that at the time there was no IWSG website, and the sign-up page was through Alex J. Cavanaugh's blog. Going through my first posts I also remembered the old black and white badge with the red font! I don't feel old...

I've really enjoyed and benefited from connecting with so many other writers with the same insecurities. I love how we're able to relate to and help each other out by reading and commenting on posts. Although I've never met anyone in person, I'd like to say I've made a lot of friends through this community. I also remember how frustrating it was when I first started blogging to get people to come visit my blog.  Joining the IWSG helped me get a lot more traffic and find other blogs that I still frequently visit. 

It's definitely important to note that without the IWSG I probably wouldn't be blogging at all right now. I haven't written a non-IWSG post in over two years. I've been in such a writing rut that it's hard to come up with things to blog about. Having the IWSG as a staple every month forces me to come up with something, and there's always the optional question there to help me out when I have no ideas. 

The IWSG also helped me get published! My short story "The Last Dragon" was published in the second IWSG anthology, Hero Lost: Mysteries of Death and Life. I'm really proud of that story and it's because of the IWSG that it's out in the world. 

I probably would have given up on blogging a long time ago if it weren't for the IWSG. Although writing is often hard for me right now, I have no plans on quitting anytime soon. I'm just taking it one month at a time. 

02 August 2023

Conflicted? Me???

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: Have you ever written something that afterwards you felt conflicted about? If so, did you let it stay how it was, take it out, or rewrite it?

If you've been here before, you probably know this was me after reading this question: 

My whole story concept (of my main WIP, at least) has me conflicted. But I've come too far and worked way too hard on it to scrap the whole thing just because of its controversial subject matter. 

I think if anything, being conflicted will actually make the story better. You know, if I ever get back to writing it. When I first started the story I didn't really put too much thought into the fact that I was writing about a taboo topic. It was just the idea that popped into my brain and I was going with it. But now that I've spent a lot of time with it and really thought about the subject matter, I know I have to really take it seriously and put in the work to make this a story worth reading. And hopefully one that people won't immediately brush off once they know what it's about. 

Anyhoo, I've talked about this subject on here too many times to count. Speaking of counting, I am counting down the days until my birthday vacation! After this Friday, I'm off work for a week, and my husband and I are going back to New York City! We're seeing Sweeney Todd, which is one of my favorite musicals and one that I've never seen live. We're also doing plenty of other activities, some new, and some we've done before (going back to the cat cafe for the third time!). 

I always hope that being in New York will get me back into writing because that's where my story takes place. I thought I would watch some writing related Youtube videos and maybe even bring my book on finding your story's theme while I'm on the train. Maybe I can spark some creativity. But either way, it should be a fun trip and most importantly, I won't be at work!