Writing Everyday Vs. Not

I’ve been on both sides of the spectrum. When I was posting on Wattpad I wrote thousands of words and popped out multiple chapters every day.

They weren’t edited and their no longer available, but I did that.
It also caused me burn out so bad that I took a year off. Not that I’m complaining. I watched a ton of really good shows that helped refill that well of inspiration that completely drained when I was doing all that writing though.

Doctor Who and Breaking Bad among some of those greats!
When I did pick up writing again I tried to throw myself back into it. Force myself to write every single day like I used to and found the more I tried to force myself to write the more I seemed to hit that famous brick wall. It would also frustrate me because I felt like I was failing as a writer and put me off of writing for the rest of the week.

Needless to say, it stopped me from being productive in any way shape or form. I’ve learned that whatever motivation burned through me all those years ago literally burned through me. Now I’m lucky if I can push out a good two-thousand a week. That’s if I’m writing every other day, or at least pushing through one good day of writing. Then I usually wind up avoiding any form of writing the next day. (I told you my motivation was shot.)

There’s an incentive to both ways.

If you’ve got multiple responsibilities, then yeah, sometimes it can make sense to only write a bunch of words in one day. Getting through your word count all at once allows you to focus on other things. Which is especially helpful if you’ve got a full-time job, school, kids, or all three. You know. Adult stuff that happens.

I especially got to give props to those people that can manage 10k in one workday. Like wow. Kudos to you.

But working on your MS in bits is just as great. It allows you to focus on smaller bits, work out the details and kinks at a much slower pace, and have a much more put together manuscript at the end of it. Kind of.
I say this only because its recently taking me 4 months to write a 24k novella and I know that if I had buckled down and really focused it would have taken me two. But oh well.

I did have other writing projects, so there was that going on.

All this to say, that there is no right or wrong way to write your story.
Smash it out in a month and edit later. Great!

Take six months to finish that first draft! At that pace, you’ll still beat George R.R. Martin so…Great!!!

You do you and don’t let anyone tell you that needs to be done any other way. As long as the words are getting written and you’re telling the story your way. Whatever works.

Keep writing.

Keep creating worlds

Until next time!

The Perfect Writing Day

One thing we all think about when we first start writing is that perfect schedule. How we would run our days if we were to become full time writers. So here’s a run down list of what my ideal schedule could be. (Or would be if I buckled down and actually stuck to this kind of schedule.)

Think of this as an experiment to see how well this would work out.

6:30 AM – Wake up, get kids ready for school.

7 AM – Spend 15 minutes on social media before taking the kids to school.

8 AM – The dog’s gone for a walk, which allows me a stretch, and my coffee is poured. This means WRITING TIME!!!! Well, time to work on my blog anyways. With any luck this won’t take the whole hour, but who knows. (This blog post is currently taking almost two hours. Have I mentioned I’m the procrastination queen?

9:30 AM – Hubby goes to work and when I return home it’s work out time.

10 30 AM – More writing! This time I work on either a short story or edits or another project that I’ve got going at the moment. (So many projects, so little time.)

12 PM – Lunch and probably some time to chill and watch a couple of videos on youtube. (Also the dog is probably bugging me to go outside again.)

2:45 PM – Time has gotten away with me and it’s now time to pick up the kids….

I kid.

Seriously, let’s jet back to fantasy land here for a moment.

12:15 PM – More writing! I’m really hoping with all this writing I can get a good chunk of this short story that I need to write before November finished.

1:15/1:45 PM – At this point I need to stretch and so that means some quick pick up around the house before it’s time to get the kids. Also dog.

2:45 PM – Seriously time to pick up the kids! That means sitting in the car line for 30 minutes and read. My current read is The Shining by Stephen King. This is my second attempt to read this book, I was reading it a couple of months ago and got interested in another story and this got put on the side burner, but I’m back at it and still enjoying it.

3:30 PM – From here my day descends into chaos. Kids are wanting snacks, homework needs to be finished. (Bursts into rendition of NeverEnding Story.)

4:30 PM – Kids are settled, homework is done, and they’re probably already playing their video games. If nothing happens I could write for another 30 to 45 minutes.

5 PM – Cook dinner, eat, clean up.

6:30 – Time to pick up husband, come home. Baths…Dog needs to go out for the 4th or 5th time this day and it’s probably going to be a longer walk to calm him down for the night along with the kids.

7:30/8 PM – More writing? Possibly. At this point it would make sense since everyone is quieted down for the time being.

10 PM – Bedtime / Some mindless TV or reading. Depends. My husband is wanting me to watch an anime called Hunter X Hunger, so probably a couple of episodes of that before bedtime.

So there it is. My perfect writing. Was it all spent writing? No, probably because I find that if I spend exhaustive long moments in front of the computer I get angsty and need to get up and move. Include the kids in that mix with all their needs and after school activities and if I don’t dedicate the morning hours to writing and partial of the evenings I don’t get a lot of writing done. Also, I’m good at procrastinating, as I’ve mentioned, so to achieve this I would have to turn off social media so…

I’m going to attempt this kind of a schedule in a vlog on my youtube channel. If you want to see the results of that, head on over there. Should be going up about the same time as this. And let me know what you think?


What is your ideal writing schedule? Obviously, if I didn’t have kids I would definitely devote whole days to my characters, but alas, I enjoy being a mom and wouldn’t change this schedule for anything.

Also in case you didn’t know. I have another drabble coming out in Black Hare Press Beyond Anthology next week. Sept. 17th. You can pre-order it here . There’s a 100+ stories from various different author’s from all over the  globe. So buy it. Enjoy it. Review it. All that good stuff.

64398441_149493172854120_6029255913095823360_n

Until next time!

UPDATES AND ANNOUNCEMENTS!!!

I know it’s been a hot minute since I last posted on here. My apologizes in advance. I focused a bit on my youtube channel, which I ask that you check out for more content. I’ve also been focusing on writing and querying and that seems to take up a good bit of my time. 

So, without further ado I’ll get into the announcements.

First off, I’ve got a small piece recently published in the ANGELS: A Divine Microficition Anthology by Black Hare Press

67597972_156481842155253_9104529235212500992_n

It’s currently available on Amazon and you’re welcome to check it out to find my piece as well as over 100+ other author’s. It’s already topped as a #1 Best Seller in it’s category and isn’t looking to disappear anytime soon.

That being said, I also have another bit of drabble coming out soon in their Beyond Dark Drabbles #4 and is up for Kindle preorder and is due to be released in September.

64398441_149493172854120_6029255913095823360_n

So keep an eye out for further updates on that.

Now on to other news.

I’m still querying STOP THE RAVEN the stats for that are as followed.

22 Queries sent out

17 Rejected.

0- MS Requests….

I’m really beginning to think that I need to take a look at my first chapter and maybe the query and synopsis but I’ll wait a bit longer to see what happens. Maybe I’m being overly optimistic here and a tad stubborn but I’ve seen worse odds. So….To each his own, right?

Though I have already started plotting out how I can make the first chapter far more interesting and possibly even change the plot all together but that whole bag of worms will wait until I’ve reached a few more rejections.

On the writing front I am currently working on another story. Think IT where a bunch of kids are fighting a monster lurking in the woods. I’m enjoying it. For the most part. It’s giving me some trouble as far as not wanting flow as easily as I hoped it would but it’s only in first draft mode and not looking to meet public eyes anytime soon.

Maybe if I put myself on some kind of deadline I can get this thing finished and edited and figure out how I wanna publish this thing. That will be a problem for another day though.

I’ve also have several short story ideas building up for submissions to anthologies. If you write speculative fiction and are looking for a place to submit your work feel free to check out Black Hare Press. They have more drabbles looking for submissions as well as their new Seven Deadly Sins series that just opened for submissions as well as several others.

If you’re a reader, still check out their content because they have some amazing anthologies coming out.

My current reading lists includes:

Angels – because I do wanna read some of those other stories. I got glimpses of titles and they all look so amazing. Can’t wait to dive into that.

and

Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab – I’ve followed her on twitter and love her enthusiasim for writing and traveling and have been meaning to get into one of her books. I’m not even disappointed by the story thus far and am looking forward to finishing this series off.

Otherwise summer has been filled with kids, camping, and an upcoming water park trip. Woohoo! Yeah, it’s been going by pretty fast and the end of the year is just around the corner.

So what things have you been up to? Achieved any major goals? Read any good books this summer?

Let me know in the comments, I’d love to hear from you guys.

Why I Don’t Worry About Mondays

            Most people find Mondays to be that dreaded time of the week when work and school pick back up. Their weekends are over and now its time to get back to the daily grind. For me, Mondays are a day of rest.

My kids go to school and my husband goes back to work and I spend the rest of the day recouping from the 32hrs I just pulled off in two days at work. That, of course, doesn’t mean I get a full day of rest. I still got kids, husband, and dog that require some form of attention and care and don’t get me started on the housework that built up while I was away.

If your a parent, or ever lived with kids, you know this is a never-ending thing. So, yes, Mondays I will sit and play a video game, maybe watch some TV, and try to do as little as possible. Even if that means crunch out a short blog or retype my query for the hundredth time.

I’m a writer, it’s like being a mom in that the work is never done.
Still, when I don’t do anything but binge-watch Netflix and play several hours of Sims, I don’t beat myself up about it too much.

Not on Monday anyway.

Because we all deserve that one day where we get to feel guilt-free about being a couch potato and after my weekend shift I’m exhausted and need that time to re-energize and prep for the rest of the week that’s sure to be chalked full of something.

What days do you consider to be your do nothing guilt-free days? Weekends or some midpoint of the week? I’m curious to know.

A Slight Update and Possible Mistake

So I’m still in the middle of the revision process. I’ve taken all the beta suggestions that I’ve gotten and have it all listed in Scrivener and as I revise my story, I work through what needs to be changed and what doesn’t.
The problem, I feel like I’m making the story worse. I’m not even sure if this isn’t starting to sound like another half-assed first draft and I honestly thought this was supposed to be the better version. So, I can either keep pushing through, do another round of beta reads and see if it’s gotten better or…
and here’s the real doozy … stop and start over on the revision process with a whole other outline, character arcs plotted out better, etc. etc. and just go from there.
It’s been something that’s been eating at me for some time now and I really feel like that would be the better option, but it feels too much like I’m ripping it apart again and starting from scratch. Which I don’t want to do, because I do like this version of the story. It’s just missing some elements. Not to mention there are still characters that tend to appear and disappear and that’s not going to work so…
Here we go.
I think I’m starting my revisions over. Not sure if I’m deleting all of the fourth draft, or I should just call it 3.5 at this point because I’m fixing to trash what I have. Lord help me this is so much harder than I thought.
Also, I think I need a bigger notebook.

Thanks for listening to my rants and Until next time.

Editing is Hard

 

 

I’ve been absent for a while. Most of it was me procrastinating, per usual. Are you really surprised? The other half is that I’ve been trying to get through the revisions/edits in my story so every little bit of writing time that I actually put in is going toward the story. Unfortunately, that meant this blog is more of an afterthought, and while I feel guilty about that, it’s not something that is eating away at me.

I started this blog to track my writing journey and while I try to keep it updated, I try really hard not to be overly concerned about it either, especially if there is nothing to write about.

That is not the case today, however. I do have something to write about.
My editing process and how I am handling it.

A few months ago I found some beta readers to read my story Stop The Raven and get some feedback and most of it was extremely helpful. It also proved that I really needed a lot of work on this story. Mostly revising a good portion of the first half of the story.

When I first started gathering the notes and trying to come up with a game plan I was thinking, okay change a few scenes, add some stuff and rearrange a few others.

Yeah.

That went well for about…..a day. Then I realized that rewriting one chapter requires rewriting the next chapter and the next and then I started questioning my plot points and explanations of how things happened.

It’s been a shit storm to revise and there is still a good portion that I will be going back to fix up, but for the most part, it’s coming out better. I’m loving the scenes so much better in the beginning and I’m excited about the changes.

It’s been such a slow process and sometimes I wonder if I’m ever going to actually finish any of this but there is hope.

I’m giving myself til October to be completely finished with this manuscript. Does that mean I will stop working on it in October if I’m not?
NO!

I’ve tried to give up on this MS and it didn’t leave me alone until I started writing on it again. It’s one of those ideas that has managed to hook its nails in me and I don’t see myself giving it up until I’ve been told to throw in the towel.

That doesn’t say I don’t have other ideas that I could work on, if, and when I do finish this story. The other night I came up with a futuristic space pirate novel and I’ve gotten another story that’s pretty much got a half of a first draft finished that will probably be trashed and rewritten much like Stop the Raven was.

So, with all that being said, here are a few quick writing ideas that are getting me through this editing portion of my writer’s journey.

1. Watching horror based video games.
I don’t try to understand what gets me through the writing process. I just know if it’s working, it’s working and listening to someone play a scary video game is somehow getting those writing juices flowing.

2. Many breaks
Taking one too many breaks is something that is a thing at the moment. I’ll write a chapter, clap myself on the back and proceed to watch something on Netflix. Not the best move, but whatever.

3. Writing sprints
20-minute writing sprints are all the rage for me at the moment. Especially if I can find someone to join in the writing sprint. Keeps me motivated and pushes me to make that word count.

4. 90’s/Early 2000 bands
Again, I’m not trying to understand my brain but when the horror games fail me, listening to Vertical Horizon and Matchbox 20 on repeat over a hundred times is the next best option.

So if any of these ideas help you, or if you are in the writing trenches along with me and have other things that are helping you get through the process let me know.

Til next time.

A Balancing Act

You can’t do a good job, if your job is all you do.” – Unknown

Like everything else you need a balance between writing and life. It’s a proven fact that too much of a good thing can be lethal and that goes for spending all your time writing as well. You sit behind that desk, pouring out word after word and eventually the well runs dry.

It can also hurt you in the other sense as well. You spend so much time digging around in your work and you wind up ignoring your family and friends. Before you know it you’ve isolated everything and your kids are probably screaming for your attention.

When my kids were younger (I’m talking terrible two and troublesome threes stages) I found that it was a literal circus trying to spend time with them and finding a moment to write. Back then it was a hobby and not so much something I was looking to make a career, so it was easier to push aside the writing and focus on the family.

Mostly by writing down a few words while the kids were napping or when they were distracted and didn’t need my immediate attention. Which wasn’t often but like I said, the writing was more of a hobby then and not such a big deal.

Now a days, I’m looking to publish my first novel and trying to perfect my WIP to be that novel, while still maintaining family and friends. The kids are older and are in school most of the day and the husband now works mornings. So I split my time. Mornings are for house work and blogs. Writing is for the afternoon, when I have a couple of hours before I have to pick up the kids. Evenings are for families. It’s when the kids and husband come home and we focus on homework and other such things.

Friends get mixed in there somewhere in the evenings and I only work full time on Saturday and Sunday. I’ve got it nicely blocked out and the only thing that sucks away my time is my ever persistent procrastination. It’s getting a bit out of hand, and I’m in search of a way to keep myself accountable. This blog helps, but once the blog is written and posted there’s still all that time to do nothing but binge watch TV.

That’s a discussion for another time.

For now, here’s a few tips that might help you (and myself) to keep from tipping the scales.

 Schedule your day: 

Blocking out your time is always an option. Either through your phone, computer, or (my personal favorite) inside of a little notebook. Spend the night before setting up some sort of schedule that goes through your typical day: work, family, etc. Map it out to know when you have those empty slots that you can fit a bit of writing in to. This is particularly useful if you have a family and full time job, or are going to school.

As I’ve mentioned above, having kids makes this all the harder to do because we never know what those tiny creatures have planned, but you can still find ways to push in time for your writing without the kids screaming at you for attention.

Make a day of it.

If you have that option.

Take a day out of the week, let everyone know that you have plans, and focus solely on your writing.

Point is, make your writing a priority and schedule it into your day like you would anything else of importance. That’s going to help you figure out when’s the best time to focus solely on writing that and then allow you to move on to something else for the day. It also helps you create the habit of actually sitting down to write when your suppose to.

Let people know

If writing is more then just a hobby, or you really enjoy your writing time. Let people know what you are doing and ask them to get back with you at another time. The point of finding balance is to make time for everyone and everything in your life. As much as possible anyways.

If they’re friends, they’ll understand.

Treating your writing time like a normal work schedule and informing others lets them know you are serious about your work and allows for less unwarranted distractions to pop up.

Sometimes it’s unavoidable

Life Happens. Things are going to come flying at you and some times they are unavoidable. You have to put something one the back burner to focus on what’s more important. Rather that’s crunching out the words for a deadline that is steady looming over you, or closing the word document so that you can focus more on your family and friends.

In either case, don’t feel guilty. It’s life. And it’s all a balancing act.

Until next time.