Thursday, 11 May 2017

You Can't Do Everything

Over the past two months, I've had a full roster of To-Dos, both in everyday life, work and my writing life. Last week I got sick (my partner loves to bring home colds for me) and what should have been a simple cold ended up as a day of throwing up and missing work. I think it was my body's way of telling me enough was enough. You cannot do everything.

I have continually added to self-given responsibilities. As soon as one project is finished or one event is over I give myself no time to say "well done", but instead immediately move onto the next problem, all while finding more and more to add to my plate that I can't possibly eat. 

It's important to give yourself a break. At the beginning of this year, I gave myself a goal of having two days a week where I could "clock out" mentally. So though I would go to work and the gym and do the physical things, I would use those days to listen to audiobooks, play games and watch films. As soon as my schedule was slightly off this slipped by the wayside. I was back in the cycle of mentally punishing myself for not having enough ticked off of an impossible list. 

Last week has shown me I need to simplify. I need to stop putting pressure on myself to find more and more work: my writing has to come first. Yes, it's hard when I'm in the middle of a fifth or sixth edit, and I can't see the forest for the trees to find the motivation to look at that manuscript again (when I know how many times I'll have to go over it again if it is bought) and want to swallow hot coals instead, but if I keep my nose to the grindstone I'll soon look up, and it will be finished. 

My beautiful, shiny new project will be waiting, ushering me into its open arms ready for an adventure. 

I've just got to work hard and keep it simple. 

Friday, 3 March 2017

Writing Goals for 2017

Okay, so I know the 3rd of March is not exactly the right time to be writing about your goals for the year, but I'm going to go ahead and do it anyway. To do so is/was the first Wordbound prompt, so regardless of the date and the fact that I should be on prompt #8, here are my writing goals:

  1.  Finish another novel - this will likely be the adult sci-fi I am currently brainstorming.
  2. Write consistently - as I stated in the post on my homepage, I tend to only write for the 3-6+ months of the year that a first draft takes. The rest of the year is spent editing or having fun out in the sun in the summer, not getting enough done. This year I really want to commit to writing each week, not just on my current project.
  3. Completely finish my current WIP - it's a complete story, I just need to finish edits and give it to alpha readers.
  4. Cut the word count from Dreamcrafter by about 30,000 words (or some equally scary number).
  5. Query Dreamcrafter and current WIP.
That being said, I try not to get too hung up on goals and keep them loose. If something happens in life or a project takes more time than originally planned, that's okay. I am great at punishing myself for not finding more hours in the day. I always finish projects so flitting from one WIP to another is not something I need to worry about. 

I think these five goals are achievable. 

Wednesday, 1 March 2017

Well here you are...


That's what you'll find here from me; both while you read the words directly from me (like here) and in the pages of my fiction. Characters who, despite their fantastical worlds and races, are entirely human. 

And I'll use this honesty now: I have struggled for years with what I would write on my own author blog. Stories come easily, most days, but finding words to entertain, or even just to explain myself in a way that shows that I have a voice that should be heard is like trying to read a handwritten diary that has been left out in the rain. I know there are words there but I cannot for the life of me see what they are. 

But a week or two ago I was catching up on YouTube videos and one of the annual NaNo-ers (National Novel Writing Month--Google it) wanted to find a way to encourage herself to write year-round. When she tweeted about it, lots of other writers told her they were having the same problem. She decided to give herself and others weekly writing prompts (link to Wordbound here). I am someone who finds it much easier to write each day over a longer period of time while working on a WIP (work-in-progress), but struggles with NaNo, so I could have easily clicked off the video and gone on my way, but an idea caught me. 

I don't write a lot in between projects. If I'm not writing a WIP I'm plotting or editing one, often both, and have never found writing exercises and prompts particularly stimulating. 

I already have stories, those I hope to query and potentially have published in years to come, so what if rather than always plucking some random character from the aether (*wink*, if you've now met one of my characters), I used these characters for the prompts? I would stay in touch with the characters who's stories are sitting stationary for now, share them with readers, and also give myself a low-pressure outlet for a bit of creativity when other projects are in phases that don't require me to have my fingers on the pulses of my keys. 

So that is what I will do here. I'll do the odd standard post about how I am progressing, along with a weekly prompt that I will use to inspire a little vignette involving my characters from before their stories begin in their respective novels. 

I hope you enjoy them. 

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