02 February 2022

Focus on the Positive

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!

Once again I feel like I have nothing to write about, and I couldn't think of a response to this month's question, so I'm on my own here. I feel like I'll just end up spewing the same crap I've been talking about for months. And I haven't started writing again, so I can't talk about that. 

HOWEVER. I think I'll do something different this month and focus on some little, positive things. So I'm just going to make a list! I love lists!

- While I haven't done any writing, I have been thinking about it. Sort of. I've been trying just to read UL lately and listen to its playlist. While I'm hoping it will lead to some writing eventually, I'm trying not to force it and just let it come naturally.

- I'm back on my diet and I've been going to the gym more often. I haven't been going 5 days a week like I'd like to but that's really because it's very cold out and sometimes I just want to stay inside. But I have been trying some new healthy recipes so that has been fun. 

- Despite the diet, I will be having some cupcakes for the musiversary on the 15th, as required. And I will not dwell on the fact that it's been eleven years and I still haven't finished this book. And I will not share my cupcakes with Jordan. 

- I've been thinking about this for a while now, but I'd like to start making jewelry. I just feel like I need a creative outlet that isn't writing, and I got inspired by the idea (and bought lots of beads). Now I just have to actually learn how to do it. It would be awesome to eventually start selling jewelry, but I have to at least make sure I can do it first, so I'll start by making some things for myself. 

- For hubby's birthday in March, we're spending two nights at Foxwoods casino and going to our favorite restaurant there. We haven't gone away for more than one night in years so I'm really looking forward to it. 

- I started today with a little self-pampering. Just a bubble bath and a clay face mask but it felt great! I work too damn hard, I need to relax sometimes. 

Well, that's about it. I've been trying not to stress out lately, so I figured I'd focus on the little wins instead of the doom and gloom for once. I hope everyone's staying positive in this crazy world! 

05 January 2022

Lost My Mojo

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 awesome co-hosts are Erika BeebeOlga GodimSandra Cox, and Chemist Ken!

This month's optional question is: What's the one thing about your writing career you regret the most? Were you able to overcome it?

I know I've talked about this before, but definitely entering Pitch Wars. Not only was my book not even remotely ready for a contest like that, but the feedback I got was so negative that it sent me into a depression that I'm honestly not sure I've 100% recovered from. I've gotten back into my book several times since then, I've gained and lost the passion over and over again, but I think that was what started it. 
I mean, I'm so traumatized from the whole thing that I have "Pitch Wars" muted on Twitter. I don't ever want to hear a single thing about it ever again. 

My insecurities this month are slightly related. There isn't any specific reason for it, but when it comes to writing, or really being creative at all, I feel like I've lost my mojo. 

I just feel like I don't have a creative bone in my body right now. I have no desire to work on ANY writing, not just UL. That drive just isn't there. I know life has been tough lately, too, between work being extremely stressful (short staff for months and Covid is only getting worse), having to put Gizmo down in October, two deaths in my husband's family, and just the fact that anxiety and depression are issues I already struggled with, certainly not helped by everything that's been going on. 

I still feel optimistic sometimes. I like to be silly (see above gif). I try not to get weighed down with heavy things. I try to leave work stress at work. Hubby and I and have been having nice date nights by going to the movies and dinner, but I'm starting to feel nervous about going out in public again. So many people at my work are testing positive and we're all vaccinated. I also eat my feelings so I have been gaining more weight than I'd like. 

I just haven't been even thinking about writing lately. And between losing that and my cat, I feel like I've lost my social media identity. My Twitter was all about writing, Instagram all about the cat. It's so hard to figure out what to post now. I feel lost. 

I'm taking things one day at a time, though. I don't want to pressure myself too much and feel overwhelemd. My only writing goals this week were to write this post, do my co-hosting duties, and visit other blogs on my reading list or who comment on my post. In the past I would have tacked on a bunch more writing related goals for the week, but I think this is enough. Next week, I'll pick something else. 

My favorite saying has become "one thing at a time." When you're thinking of all the million things you want or need to get done that you think your brain is going to explode, just focus on what the very next step is. Then the next one, and so on. It's really helped my stress at work when I feel overwhelmed, and I think it could work for everything else in life, too. Don't focus on tomorrow if it's too much for you. Just worry about today.

01 December 2021

Is It Over Yet?

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 opitional question is: In your writing, what stresses you the most? What delights you?

What stresses me the most? You mean besides EVERYTHING?? Right now, it's probably thinking about all of the work I still have to put into my book. I've been working on it forever and there's still so much I want to change. And I still don't know what to do with the last third of it, especially the ending. 

What delights me the most is when everything clicks and I'm able to figure something out. It can be anything from a major plot point to just figuring out how to rewrite a sentence. It always feels good when you know you've done something right. 

I don't know about you, but I'm ready for this year to be over. It's been a rough one for me. I've been really burnt out for a while and I actually haven't written anything in months. I haven't even been reading for a while, either. I'm hoping the new year can give me a boost of motivation to start getting back to normal and getting things done.

Are you glad the year is ending? What stresses or delights you about your writing? 

03 November 2021

Sitting this one out

Today I would typically be posting for IWSG, but I'm not really feeling up to it right now. Last week, we had to put down my cat Gizmo. He's been my baby for 17 years and it's been really hard getting used to life without him. 

Hug your fur babies for me. <3 

06 October 2021

Crossing the Lines

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: In your writing, where do you draw the line, with either topics or language?

Uhhh, have you been here before? Then you know that I DON'T draw the line. Actually, if we're going to go along with some literal and figurative moments in my novel, I only draw the lines in order to cross them (it's called Uneven Lines, after all). Look, see, actual lines:

I would like to think that I wouldn't write something any more extreme than the relationship in this book (because it's been very hard to figure out), but you never know what ideas will pop into your head. Never say never, right? But I will probably think twice about writing about a taboo subject again. 

This sort of relates to my struggles with trying to finish UL. You know, besides my lack of motivation and energy. I've had a hard time seeing the ending and I think it has a lot to do with figuring out who exactly is the audience for this book. It reads like YA (it's from the point of view from a 15-year-old), but there are a LOT of adult themes. There aren't *sex scenes* per se (except maybe one), but there are *sexual* scenes (about half of them are solo, if you catch my drift). And they don't hold back on the detail.

So that's part of my problem. If the previous sexual scenes were very detailed, I feel like the potential sex scene would also have to be detailed. It just fits the voice of the main character. But I feel like this book can't be YA if I go there. My struggles with the ending are part of this because I'm not sure anymore if this is the ending the story needs. But I guess that's a whole other problem that I'll have to figure out. 

One of my subplots, on the other hand, feels VERY YA. It involves high schoolers and coming of age and all that crap. I also worry about my subplots weighing down the last third of the book. I also think about how my two sequel ideas feel very New Adult. Is someone who reads the first book when my MC is 15 also going to want to read about when he's 20 and 22? 

So who exactly is the audience for my book? Besides myself?? Maybe figuring that out will help me figure out all the rest. 

01 September 2021

What Does Success Look Like?

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

This month's optional question is: How do you define success as a writer? Is it holding your book in your hand? Having a short story published? Making a certain amount of income from your writing?

You know, I'm not quite sure what success would really mean to me. In fact, I think it's something that might change over time. My main goal would be to get at least one novel published, but once that is accomplished, I would need a new goal. 

I think my ultimate level of success would mean making enough money from writing to not need a full time job. I would love having the whole day to just work on writing and editing (and eventually marketing...I guess...). Right now I usually find myself too exhausted from my day job to work on writing too much. 

Speaking of exhaustion, I'm going to keep this short. Work has been really hectic lately and I haven't been feeling well, so I don't have much brain capacity. I have a nice long vacation next week which I desperately need! Hopefully lots of rest...and maybe even some writing? 

04 August 2021

Still Burnt Out

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 didn't really know what to write about for this month, probably because I've been feeling the same way that I have for months. I just don't really have the desire to write at all. I was keeping up with the editing for a while (got 400 'then's down to 125!), but now I haven't been doing much of anything, except watching the occasional Youtube video and writing down a few notes when ideas come to me.

I think there are a lot of factors making me feel so burnt out, and not all of them are actually about writing. My job has been really stressful and busy lately and I'm just exhausted all of the time. I used to get up early on my days off to get things done, but now I sleep in. I haven't been going to the gym that much anymore and I've found pretty much every excuse to cheat on my diet (I like to eat my feelings, ok?). My energy level has just been so low lately, so it's hard to come home and want to do anything but relax and watch TV. 

I do feel burnt out when it comes to writing, though. There is still SO MUCH I want to fix in UL, not to mention the fact that I still don't quite know how to end it. Sometimes I feel like giving up on it, but I know that I can't. I've put so much work into it already and I just can't give up, but sometimes it's hard to keep going when it's already been so long and there's still so much to do.

I've thought about working on something different for a while. I'd like to get back to my NaNo book from 2019 (currently titled Sexy Fluff #1), but part of me wants to start over instead of just finishing the first draft. I feel like my rivals to lovers concept wasn't strong enough, like my characters weren't strong enough rivals. But I digress. I think I should finish the first draft and then go back and fix things in the second draft. 

It's probably a good idea to work on SF #1 because I actually feel a little bit excited about it? I just need to find the motivation. I started reading a book that's in the same genre, and I chose one by an author I'd read before and I really liked that book, but the one I'm trying to read right now is just...not good. So I thought it would inspire me to get to writing, and it's just not. But maybe trying to write a better book than this one will motivate me! 

Anyway, I've written way more than I thought I would, but the good news is that after work this Friday, I'm off for 6 days! I don't want to push myself too hard to work on writing unless I really want to, but either way, I think it will be good to have some time off work and relax, do a few fun things, and just unwind. Maybe by the end of my mini vacation, I'll have some of my energy back, and then hopefully the motivation will follow.