06 April 2022

No Ideas!

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!

What am I insecure about this month? The fact that I have no idea what to write about! I've been in a rut for a long time and feeling very burnt out when it comes to writing. I've had little snippets of ideas here and there, like my subplot idea last month, but I haven't been doing any actual writing. 

I wish I was writing, but I don't really see this as a bad thing. I clearly needed the break from it, and I've been exhausted for a long time due to other things. It's not really something I want to force until it feels right. It's definitely frustrating that it's been so long since I've really written anything, but if I have absolutely no desire to do it, then it's ok to take a break.

I know I'm defnitely not done with writing forever. I don't know if I need to change my routine, wait until the inspiration strikes on its own, or maybe I just need a really long vacation (I haven't had more than 3 days off work since last September). Work definitely leaves me feeling exhausted, but I know that's not the only reason I can't motivate myself to write. So, for now, I'm just going to let things be and wait for those ideas to come naturally. 

02 March 2022

Hijack the Subplot

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 been conflicted about writing a story or adding a scene to a story? How did you decide to write it or not?

That's an interesting question for me because while UL has a controversial subject matter, when I first started writing it, I didn't really feel conflicted about it. As I started to develop and flesh out the story more, it became more difficult to balance writing this topic while trying to maintain some level of sensitivity. That's probably why I still haven't figured it out! One of the reasons, anyway...

Speaking of UL! No, I'm not actually writing anything. But I am doing some THINKING, which is better than nothing and has really gotten me excited. 

I've been working on figuring out the third act of this book for a while now, and completely reworked it from the previous draft. Only a few scenes were kept and most of what I've written is brand new. That doesn't mean I'm satisfied with it. Is it better than before? Yes. But is it what the story really needs? Probably not. 

One of the things I've worried about is that the third act is weighed down by the subplots. They take up a lot of space, maybe even more than the main plot, which definitely isn't a good thing. I know I need to cut down a lot or the end of this book is just going to drag on forever. 

So I had a random idea that may just speed things up. Basically, I'm going to have my MC reveal something to a subplot character way earlier than he previously did. I have two subplots in this book, and this is the less important one, so speeding things up will definitely help the book overall. I think I can wrap this subplot up earlier, and also this particular idea helped make certain things about these characters more realistic to me. 

I think it might be good to have this subplot not be as complicated as it previously was. The main plot and the other subplot both end on a heavy note, and while this particular subplot always ended with an upbeat tone, it took a long time to get there and things got a bit convoluted along the way. I think this change will make the subplot end more quiet and simple, which could help support the other plots by not getting in the way, and just helping to develop the main character. 

The only downside is that I'll have to rewrite part of Chapter 18, which is my favorite chapter in the whole book. It won't change what happens in the main plot in this chapter, but I have to figure out how this change will affect the mood and tone of the scene so that I can still have it end the same way. It's not that I don't think I can do it, but I just have to take the time to figure it out. 

If I can map out this subplot and make the changes I want, I really think it could work. And if it does work, then maybe, just maybe, the rest of the book will start to fall into place. I can only hope!

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.