A New Year, IWSG…And Some Sort of Plan

Today was spent doing two things I love: being in pajamas and watching Parks & Rec. I did start off by writing, but I’m going through the second draft of my second book *really* quickly and it’s making me nervous, so I figured I’d stray away from the computer and watch early Chris Pratt and laugh at (one of my heroes) Amy Poehler. Not a bad way to start 2018.

Of course, one of our water pumps broke during the night and Batman was super not happy having to go out in sludgy, wet (feels like) below frozen temperature to do something with the pipes. I really have no idea. My chores include laundry and keeping the house up to a clean-enough level for livability. But apparently, we can’t do anything that involves major washing and a freeze is supposed to come through on Thursday so that put everything in a really positive mood for the new year. Hence Parks & Rec.

But I did carve out two hours to sit and work on 1.) this amazing blog post and 2) more of BTN. I’d like to say I took the whole day off from writing, but those days are few and far between and I always end up feeling kind of bad about myself when I do, except when I absolutely can’t write, like when I’m at Disney or on an awesome vacation. Today, unfortunately, is not one of those days, so let’s get to that question for IWSG:

What steps have you taken or plan to take to put a schedule in place for your writing and publishing?

A plan would be nice, wouldn’t it? I’ve been kind of doing my own thing, which is a nice way of saying I don’t know what I’m doing. At all. The only part that I’m comfortable with is the actual writing part – and that sometimes is too much too. Forget marketing. Forget putting together any sort of plan or schedule to get things done in the smartest way possible. My current strategy is: write something awesome and when I think it can’t get any more awesome, make it available to others. Super cutting-edge—I know—but it’s all I’ve got.

So. 2018…this needs to be the year of change. The year I maybe do a little more to get my work out there. At the New Year’s Eve party last night, fabulous Shelby again raved about my books and told me I don’t give myself enough credit. Maybe I don’t. Maybe I’ve been doing no marketing because I don’t think my books are good enough, so I subconsciously don’t want people to read them. I don’t know. It’s just a guess. But if I’m going to be in this business (and I really want to) I need to treat it like a business. I need to be doing more. I need a plan.

And it’s coming together nicely 🙂

What about you? Do you have a plan? Do you think your writing is good enough to be marketed?

Insecure Writer’s Support Group (IWSG) is a monthly blog hop for writers at all levels to share their fears and insecurities in a safe and encouraging place. Please drop by and say hi to Alex Cavanaugh who started this nifty concept in bringing us all together.

ALMOST There, IWSG

I’ve started spot-reading the last version of BTT. Big deal, guys. BIG deal.

So, I finished reviewing my latest draft in record time (Yay!) which means it’s onto the next phase: spot-reading. Picking an arbitrary passage and just reading it from there. Not worrying about what came before or what comes after, but paying attention to how the section reads. How it sounds. If it sounds polished or if it sounds like it’s writing. And guys, *so* many times I find that my writing sounds like writing during these spot checks. It’s embarrassing. To be this far and still hear my ‘writing’ voice and not my ‘reading’ voice. But that’s why we go mad reviewing our work—we always find ways to improve it.

Since I’m planning to show this thing to people sometime soon, I have to make it as polished as possible. Even if that means starting to hate the thing because I’ve read it so many times that I know the damn thing by heart. That’s when you know you need to push it away and work on something else for a while (like when I took a break to write the second book) because you go cross-eyed reading the same passage for the forty seventh time and then wonder if, maybe on second thought, the thirty fourth version might have been better.

I’m hoping to get this out of my hands—and into others—by the new year. I started a tradition of doing my resolutions in October (and apparently it works because I haven’t missed a single post since then) but I know everyone will be more focused once the holidays are behind us. It’ll give them less of a stress on time and me a bit more opportunity to hunt down all the ‘writing-sounding’ passages and rework them.

December’s Optional IWSG question!

As you look back on 2017, with all its successes/failures, if you could backtrack, what would you do differently?

I don’t think anything. I worked my butt off on this (and other) projects and yeah, if I had limitless hours, I would’ve submitted to a few contests. But I made the most of the time I had working on a project I love. Why would I change that? 🙂

Insecure Writer’s Support Group (IWSG) is a monthly blog hop for writers at all levels to share their fears and insecurities in a safe and encouraging place. Please drop by and say hi to Alex Cavanaugh who started this nifty concept in bringing us all together.

Halloween & IWSG

Happy Halloween!

I only say that because it’s currently Halloween and I’m still in the ghoulish spirit. I know you’re reading this tomorrow, November 1st, but you should hop in your DeLorean and come back a day because I have to mention Halloween for a second:

Clearly, I’m shit faced—but Yes! We were Sharon & Randy Marsh! You know, from South Park 😊. We didn’t go the extra mile and make the cartoon faces but I blame that on the fact that I was putting together an ENTIRE PIRATE HALLOWEEN PARTY and had to throw creative amazingness all over, so it’s okay that I skimmed on our costumes a little. But look at those awesome testicles! Still super proud of my handy-work, and I should be, because every lady went in for a feel at least once 😉 (if you’ve never seen the episode, Randy gives himself testicular cancer to get medicinal marijuana. The joke is that they were so large he was able to bounce them down the road.)

I was really planning on taking a ton of pictures during the ho-down but the extrovert in me was busy chatting it up so I didn’t. I snapped a few the next morning before I cleaned up:

I hope you had a good Halloween and that you got the good candy you like. I hope the kids don’t take all our candy and that Appa doesn’t lose his shit every time the doorbell rings (but that’s wishful thinking.)

Okay! Onto writing stuff 😊

October was another great month of writing the second part of my trilogy and I’m still jamming to the New-Found-Glory soundtrack that’s been inspiring me during this entire creative endeavor. At some point I know I have to Cowboy the Fuck up and get a few BETAs to read BTT. I’m REALLY excited about writing the rest of the story… but I guess I am very nervous about the first being read too, which is why I keep putting it off. Like, I know I’m going to go through it at least once more and make some changes (thanks to discovering things from book 2!) so it’s a good thing that I haven’t let anyone read it yet. But even when I feel *really* good about it, I still think I’ll be nervous. I know that’s normal… but I don’t want to let my fear keep the story—or me—from growing.

Enough of that and onto the optional November Question:

Win or not, do you usually finish your NANO project? Have any of them gone on to be published?

I… have never done NANO. Like, ever. It doesn’t appeal to me one bit, and I think it’s because I associate it with stress and don’t need stress ANYWHERE near my writing. I get why people do it. The challenge and holding yourself accountable and all that but I do that anyway. Like, every day. I don’t know… it feels like I would be doing the same thing but being harder on myself about it.

After a few years of consistent writing, I have my own schedule that allows me to get immense amounts of work done while not feeling guilty if I’ve missed a day or two. I think everyone has a system that works for them and if some people thrive on the time-challenge—that’s great. I’m just not one of those people.

Insecure Writer’s Support Group (IWSG) is a monthly blog hop for writers at all levels to share their fears and insecurities in a safe and encouraging place. Please drop by and say hi to Alex Cavanaugh who started this nifty concept in bringing us all together.

 

Hurricanes and Vacations and comics! IWSG

Here I am again, waiting until the last second. In my defense, I tried writing this last night, but I wanted to scan in this thing I was working on that I PROMISED myself I would put on my blog, and instead, spent half an hour trying to figure out how to scan things to my computer. Yeah. I even had Batman stop playing Cuphead—his long-awaited 1930s animated video game—to come help.

STILL. NOT. WORKING.

The reason I wanted the scanner to work is because of my first Morty & Co. comic!I made a promise to myself (& Ari!) to put it up on the next IWSG post and, like the smarty I am, I waited until TWO nights before to get the images onto my computer. And now it won’t. So…

…I went cavewoman and took pictures! Yay for going vintage!

Here’s how some of my September went  (left to right, you’ll have to click to enlarge. Or skip over. That’s completely cool too):

Just starting off in this comic thing but I’m having fun. And maybe that art degree won’t be for nothing 😉

So, yeah. Hurricanes right? The BF and I did go to Epcot and Animal Kingdom for my birthday, and that was loads of fun. I even got a picture with Flick!

It was definitely the vacation we needed at that moment, so the month wasn’t totally crazy.

ALSO: I got a lot of writing done.

Like a HUGE amount.

Like… maybe…I’m almost finished writing book 2… (Just a recap—no one has read book 1. Like no one. Like, not even my mom. Or Batman. I haven’t read it to Appa, even. Only me and this computer and the ghost I’m pretty sure haunts my office has seen it.) But it’s crazy because it’s helping me look at book 1 a little closer (some of you guys mentioned that in the comments) and I’m loving that I’m re-examining the story based on what I know is going to happen in the future. Plus, I’ve been having a lot of fun writing it.

So. Yeah. Hurricanes and Disney birthdays and book 2 writing. September was quite the month. I’ll go ahead and answer the optional question because I like answering questions.

Have you ever slipped any of your personal information into your characters, either by accident or on purpose?

Are we not supposed to? No, for real. I do this all the time. An old street I lived on or four digits of a friend’s phone number. Absolutely. But nothing too important. Trait wise… that’s a completely different conversation. 😉

Insecure Writer’s Support Group (IWSG) is a monthly blog hop for writers at all levels to share their fears and insecurities in a safe and encouraging place. Please drop by and say hi to Alex Cavanaugh who started this nifty concept in bringing us all together.

IWSG – Book 2 Already?

August was interesting.

A lot of parts were sad and some were scary. But I got to watch my grandpuppy for the month and that made things a little better. (Except her gas. That made things terrible again). It was great having River over the house because she distracted Appa every time I sat down to write. And I did. A lot. Like, I started writing the second book in my series which I KNOW is a HUGE NO-NO because not a single person has read the first. A lot could change in the first…which would affect the second. I know.

BUT GUYS.

It’s all just coming to me. Like, chapter after chapter after chapter. It’s like being in Panster Paradise over here. Again, everything I’m writing could change… or I could be learning stuff about my first book by writing what comes after. I don’t know. But I’m not going to stop just because it’s not what I ‘should be doing next.’ It feels right. I trust my instincts and I trust my gut and I trust myself. I’m going to keep writing until the story stops flowing, at which point I might cry. And pray to the Heaven’s to open back up the flood gate of vision. In the meantime, I’ll be asking for beta readers on Better Than This in another week or two. I’m super paranoid with this stuff so I have to spot-read it again, (hence the two weeks).

So, with all that juicy gossip spilled: onto the optional question!

Have you ever surprised yourself with your writing? For example, by trying a new genre you didn’t think you’d be comfortable in?

Yes.

I’ve been surprised by what I’ve written. There were some things I never thought I’d write. Like, ever. Things like sex or nightmares or death. These were things I didn’t think I wanted to write about, or could write well. But I did. I wrote each scene because I had to, because it was necessary to the story and when that’s the case, you realize you are capable of writing anything your characters demand. It’s a strange awakening.

Insecure Writer’s Support Group (IWSG) is a monthly blog hop for writers at all levels to share their fears and insecurities in a safe and encouraging place. Please drop by and say hi to Alex Cavanaugh who started this nifty concept in bringing us all together.

IWSG – Still Chugging Along

I’m a flake. Total flake. I missed the last IWSG AGAIN and I don’t even remember July getting here. And now it’s August. And I need to start saving for Christmas because it’s going to be next year soon and then I’ll be forty and then seventy and then I’ll die. That’s how fast life goes. You’re 31 and then you die.

Anyway.

I’ve been okay recently. Actually, better than okay. I’ve been—is hopeful the right word? Excited about the future? All good vibes towards later, possible events? Whatever the right way is to convey it: I’m starting to understand—and I’m not being corny here—my life’s purpose. It’s something I struggle with since I’m constantly angry and disappointed in myself for being where I am at this stage in my life. It’s been bothering me for a while (like, years) and I just don’t know how to change it. So, I write. I write the fiction I’ve always wanted to write (sitting on a bestsellers shelf in B&N, right?) and I write to understand why I write, the struggles that come with it, both in the creative realm and outside it. That’s probably why I enjoy this group so much and why I SHANT BE KICKED OUT TODAY.

So, remember in June when I said I was changing the ending to my WIP and that it’s okay to be a panster even when (and especially) something like that happens (you probably don’t since nobody really reads this)? Well I’m happy to say I rewrote the entire ‘third act’ and after weaving in some new details and events, I’m LOVING MY NEW ENDING. So much better. Like, leaps and bounds. Like, it was cute the first time around but now it’s a DAMN GIRL. Yeah. I’m happy with it. 😊

I hope to be asking for BETAs sometime in the near future because I think it’s nearing completion. Maybe? Hopefully? I think I have another two read-throughs (which should take me a month total) so after that… yeah…other people’s reading it. The really scary, sucky part of this whole thing. Can’t wait.

I was going to answer this month’s question, but I don’t really have any pet peeves, at least, none worth mentioning. So there. I guess I did answer the question. Thrilling, I know.

Insecure Writer’s Support Group (IWSG) is a monthly blog hop for writers at all levels to share their fears and insecurities in a safe and encouraging place. Please drop by and say hi to Alex Cavanaugh who started this nifty concept in bringing us all together.

IWSG – Who’s a quitter?

I missed last month which makes me lame.

I know.

I almost missed this month if not for the fear of being kicked out of the group, which I super rarely participate in, but still like being a part of. I never join things. Never liked it. I’m more of a social loner who prefers to be by myself, except when I don’t. Like when the trials of being a writer (or any artist) gets too much, it’s good to have a group of people who get it. People who know what you mean because it’s their struggle too.

With all that said—HA! Can’t kick me out now 😉 I’m here. I have my “Hello my name is” sticker and I’m ready to go. Point me toward the refreshment table and let’s do this.

 Did you ever say “I quit?” If so, what happened to make you come back to writing?

No. I’ve never decided to quit.

I’ve teased myself with the idea before, but never fully committed. I don’t think I can. Without sounding too cheese or corny—and maybe some of you can relate—if I go too long without writing, I lose something. Some part of myself that makes me feel like me, a part that makes everything… okayish. I think if I did quit writing, I’d be this totally other person, someone I wouldn’t like, someone who, besides being incredibly attractive, wouldn’t have that spark. That excitement. The thing that makes peoples’ eyes light up.

I’m sure I’ll teeter on the idea of quitting again, at some point when something’s not going the way I planned. I may even decide to take a week off. But then the need to scratch the never-ending itch returns and the sun comes back out again.

Insecure Writer’s Support Group (IWSG) is a monthly blog hop for writers at all levels to share their fears and insecurities in a safe and encouraging place. Please drop by and say hi to Alex Cavanaugh who started this nifty concept in bringing us all together.

P.S. I’m watching 13 Reasons Why. Anyone else? Thoughts?