The IDGAF Stage

Hello and welcome to a more relaxed-than-I-usually-am-this-time-of-year-writing-wise edition of Just Another Struggling Writer. I’m just another struggling writer.

Two weeks ago I talked about the itch to get back into a new project even if I wasn’t totally sure it, or I, was ready. Well. Today I’m neck deep in it. And, friends, I am LIVING for it.

This new project, codenamed The Nexus because I haven’t even figured out a working title for it yet, is completely different from my last WIP (Border Towns, remember Border Towns???). And so far that has only been a positive.

Yes, I am still writing fantasy. Yes, I am still deeply committed to planning. Yes, I am still a depressed and anxious writer struggling to stay focused as an exceedingly stressful year comes to its exceedingly stressful pinnacle. But apart from that, The Nexus, and the way I feel as I prepare to draft it, is worlds apart from my last novelling experience.

And if I had to sum up why, it would be because I just don’t feel bothered about the rules this time. And I don’t mean the rules for NaNoWriMo (which I absolutely will be participating in this year, despite my earlier doubts). I mean the conventional writing rules that I’ve either totally made up or otherwise accidentally hyped up (in my own mind) as actual rules rather than the guidelines common wisdom tells me they really are.

The Nexus will be an epic, multi-POV fantasy that follows 12 different characters (though not all will have POV chapters… this time) on 6 different story paths. Some paths intersect, or are otherwise connected, but at least one is completely off on its own. The main cast is predominantly women, and, so far, the planned story paths can differ greatly in tone and theme. Elements of sci-fi, horror, and romance will all be present, as well as the most fantasy I think I can get away with. And, though I know how this book will end, any potential sequels are still just a massive question mark.

Just writing all that out, it sounds like a complete fucking mess that no agent would ever extend representation for (especially from a debut author), and I don’t care anymore.

Importantly, that particular attitude has infected in the best possible way the rest of my preparatory process as I get ready to roll into November. In years past I could not imagine starting NaNo without a detailed outline. This time, even though I have but half of the planned six story paths fully imagined, I’m comfortable if those are the only ones that are ready to draft in two weeks. I have also struggled mightily to write out of sequence. Again, not an issue here, thanks to the POVs shifting. I can write a chapter that inspires me, then jump to another if the mood strikes, because they are both completely detached from each other and happening simultaneously (in theory). I have talked about how I write thin, and though that will still present a bit of an issue in areas like description, I no longer have to worry about filling in sluggish parts of the story. Because I have so many of them to cram in brevity will be of the essence.

I have not a single clue whether or not any of these things are actually good, or if they will produce a novel worth revising or eventually reading. But I just feel so… freed when I think about them.

I did not think this novel was ready to write. I thought for sure I needed to let it stew for at least two more years while I actively worldbuilt around the idea itself. And while there are areas that need more attention, I feel comfortable enough with what I’ve got in front of me. I feel assured that the rest will come, as it so often does, once I’m in the weeds.

So, for the first October in three years, I’m not really that pressed about NaNo. I’m not wondering if I can do it (I know I can). I’m not worried about crafting the ideal novel to launch me into a career as an author. I’m not getting down on myself for not following conventional wisdom. I’m just letting the ideas take me where they want me to go. It’s gonna be a ride and it may be a glorious, flaming mess, but I can at least say I didn’t add a heaping pile of stress at a time I really didn’t need it. Plus, at the end of it, I will have written my second novel, trunked or no. That, in and of itself, makes it worth it.


It’s time to admit that Short But Sweet will be on hiatus until after November, possibly longer. I originally conceived of it as a way to get myself back into a writing habit, and though it worked spectacularly, it sadly means the Pillar-verse will be left out in the cold. I do still plan to serialize the Pillar-verse, probably as more Short But Sweet vignettes, later on, but the effort will be sporadic as I refocus on The Nexus. I hope you enjoyed them and that you look forward to them again in the future.

That’s all from me this week. I did manage to finish a book (loved it, fwiw), so I’ll have a Your Mileage May Vary post on Tuesday. Until then, may your writing be plenty and your struggles be few.

Kerry Share

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Waste of Time or What’s the Worst That Could Happen

Hello and welcome to a creatively frustrated and mildly indulgent edition of Just Another struggling Writer. I’m just another struggling writer.

I know it’s only been a few short weeks since I lamented the very real, exceedingly likely possibility that I will not be participating in NaNoWriMo this year, but already I am starting think about scrambling something together. It’s not so much that I really want to exhaust and stress myself out for 30 days straight the third year running, it’s more that I just really miss being in the weeds of a writing project.

(No disrespect meant to my Short But Sweet Pillar-verse, of course, but there’s a reason I’m not presently drafting it as a novel, after all.)

Last week I thought I might be ready to try my hand a wildly different version of Border Towns, but after a bit of sleep and a maelstrom of brainstorming, I realized that though that reimagined draft may come to fruition one day, that day is nowhere near at hand. Border Towns, loathe though I may be to admit it, has to go back in the ground as a seed, just as it was 5 years ago when I first conceived of it.

But that itch it write, to create, to commiserate and celebrate with fellow writers about the pitfalls and successes, to pour out my mind and my heart and my soul onto the page, to edit and refine, to be a writer again, that never went away. It never goes away, as I’m sure many you can attest. And it’s all becoming a bit more than I can handle, frankly. I have reached a kind of critical mass where I either explode into a fit of unbridled creativity or I collapse in on myself like a dying star and give up completely on the dream of ever seeing my writing published.

The anxiety-brain, always: anything you write now would be forced and chaotic since it hasn’t had time to develop, therefore it would be a phenomenal waste of time to put any amount of energy into a new project, and you’re only going to hate it, and yourself, later, don’t say I didn’t warn you.

And the thing is, all of that might be true. Except the part about it being a waste of time. Because… what I’m doing now is already a waste of time. Waiting for the AHA moment that may never come is a waste of time. Procrastinating putting in real effort into developing myself as a writer by drafting new novels, even if they are destined for the trunk, is a waste of time. Writing, for a writer, could never be a waste of time.

So, I tempt fate. What’s the worst that could happen?


Yesterday I posted a poll to my Twitter: if I wanted to say screw it and start writing again, which new project should it be? It got exactly three votes. One for each of the suggestions. Cue the facepalming. But, this morning I made the decision for myself. I know which project I’m tackling next. I would say I’m hyped but I’m actually still pretty nervous. That anxiety-brain aint quiet. But I don’t care. I’ve made a decision and that, for me, is always one of the biggest hurdles.

Next week I’ll introduce the working title and concepts of the new project. This week, though, I’ve gotta figure out… what those are. Until next time friends, may your writing be plenty and your struggles be few.


Oop, almost forgot the Short But Sweet Prompt:

She was absolutely sure she would be weeping all night.


Kerry Share

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Reasons I DNF This Book: The Ruin of Kings

Hello everyone. I had hoped to have a Your Mileage May Vary book for you this week, but my latest read just… didn’t do it for me. Which is how we arrived here: at a bonus back-to-back week of Reasons I DNF This Book. Let’s get right into it, shall we?

As always:

Spoiler alert
Spoiler alert!

This week’s DNF: The Ruin of Kings by Jenn Lyons; DNF at 16%

Continue reading “Reasons I DNF This Book: The Ruin of Kings”

Short But Sweet #004

This week’s prompt: Damnation, such obsessed faith and flawed education!


Damnation, such obsessed faith and flawed education! What did that woman do to my little girl?

Jovian seethes as he watches Penny prostrate herself before a seventh, seventh, altar. He’d been led to believe that prayers for a good harvest would only need to be made at one such shrine, but evidently his daughter decided to combine the task with her daily devotions to the gods. He knows what she is about. She thinks that perhaps if he actually sees her religion in practice that he might change his mind about it. She’s wrong. It only serves to entrench his hatred further.

Continue reading “Short But Sweet #004”

A Bitter Pill

Hello and welcome to a post-hiatus, another-one-of-those edition of Just Another Struggling Writer. I’m just another struggling writer.

Well, let’s get right into it yall. It’s no secret that, thanks to my lack of active project to work on plus the new content schedule for the blog, I’ve done a lot more reading than I’ve done writing of late. It should come as no surprise that this has been a great way to refill my creative well, and as such, I am starting to feel the itch to get back to writing. But this time, the itch has come with a difficult realization.

When I shelved Border Towns while I mulled a major revision, I was still sold on the concept and the core story arc. I was convinced that, though un-fantasyish in many ways, it was a fantasy story that I would want to read and if I wanted to read it, surely there would be others out there who would love it as well.

I started really devoting mental energy to developing that revision this week, and, as it so often happens, I got a bolt from the blue whilst lying in bed.

Border Towns, in its current conceptual form, is a bad book in which so little happens over the course of its 120k plus words it would laughable, if I wasn’t so horrified and embarrassed.

I touched on this 9 months ago when I ruminated if my fantasy was fantasy enough. Though my conclusion was in the negative, I was still enamored enough with my own story to believe that… it was still good enough to write anyway. I balked at the idea of adding elements that I had not originally planned on including.

Some significant distance has changed my mind on that, to say the least. Not only am I okay with changing the complexion of that original idea, I think it’s actually necessary if this novel ever wants to see the light of day. I can’t say I’m super thrilled about it, really, but the more and more I read, the more I have come to realize that my story idea, the one I have committed two drafts and a couple hundred thousand words (and countless untold hours not only writing, but brainstorming, worldbuilding, and obsessing over) just isn’t adequate as it stands today.

So I’m going back to the drawing board in an even bigger way than I thought. I don’t know if I’m excited. Resigned a little, I guess. Relieved, as always, to come to a decision. Daunted by task and doubtful of being equal to it. Hopeful that I’ve finally gotten over the hump that has held Border Towns back all this time.

We’ll see.


This week’s Short But Sweet prompt (but for really real this time):

Damnation, such obsessed faith and flawed education!


This kind of reads dark, but I’m honestly not that down on myself or even Border Towns in general. I think this is the most clear eyed I’ve been about the subject. And without a timeline to hold myself to, I don’t feel panicked or rushed into making a decision I’m not comfortable with. I’m going to let my muse supply me with ideas as they come and actively brainstorm when she doesn’t. I’m gonna get it figured out, with the help of some good books and the knowledge that my struggles have all been had before, by people way more talented than me. They’ve been through it, and now so have I. And that gives me hope for the future of this stupid book.

Oops I got introspective again. Okay I’m really done now. Until next time, may your writing be plenty and your struggles be few.

Kerry Share

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Reasons I DNF This Book: Six of Crows

Hello everyone and welcome back to the blog after a two week hiatus. I wish I could say I was well rested for the break or that I had read a lot while I was gone, but neither is true and we’ll get into the latter point with another edition of Reasons I DNF This Book.

As always:

Spoiler alert
Spoiler alert!

This week’s DNF: Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo; DNF at 13%

Continue reading “Reasons I DNF This Book: Six of Crows”

Celebrating the Victories, No Matter How Small

Hello and welcome to another modestly celebratory edition of Just Another Struggling Writer. I’m just another struggling writer.

So, we are just over a month into my new content schedule and since I’m feeling a bit introspective today, I thought I would take a look at how I’ve managed those changes so far.

It honestly feels a little cynical to talk about, but the first thing that comes to mind when I think about the data the new content has yielded is trends in traffic. By and large, my book review posts are the most popular week in and week out. I continually get clicks and likes days and even weeks after the original post goes up. It’s encouraging, considering it was something I was very nervous about doing. I still don’t know if I’m reviewing things “correctly” but the fact that people are reading them (and even liking them) anyway means I must be doing something right… right?

Some other anecdata: posting at a certain time of day (evenings) tends to draw more views as opposed to afternoons. Misfingering a hashtag on Twitter meant (or at least correlated to) the post not getting any views at all. People from China really like my Short But Sweet posts.

But most important of all, keeping up a content schedule like this one has had, so far, the one effect I most desperately desired: it’s gotten me engaged. It’s given me something to work on every week. It’s motivated me to keep reading, keep writing, keep creating, even when I feel utterly uninteresting.

I haven’t been perfect of course. I missed almost a whole week of posts once, and just this past Sunday I failed to get my Short But Sweet done in time. Once upon a time, that might have been hugely discouraging to me, and made it harder to get back up on the horse. However, if I’ve learned anything this year, it’s that it’s okay to fail sometimes. It’s does me no favors to push myself past my limits and if I need to take breaks, that’s fine. As long as I’m not giving up entirely, what’s the harm?

If anything has driven this lesson home, it is the milestone the blog reached this week. 50 followers. Now, I realize that doesn’t sound like a lot but, at a time when I’ve been especially struggling to be creative, it matters to me. It matters that people have taken an interest, no matter how passing or moderate, in what I have to say. Since starting the new content schedule, I’ve gotten 13 new followers. 13 in about a month. Which means I gained 37 in the previous 23 months

So I’m going to take this modest, personal, meager victory and celebrate it. I’m going to be proud that I’ve kept up a three-post-a-week schedule with just a few hiccups. I’m going to, in this year of our lord 2020 where so much of our interactions, our relationships, our work, is, by necessity, online, look at this as a much needed positive.

Thanks to everyone who hit that follow button, even if my blog isn’t strictly in your lane. Thanks to anyone who liked (both in the digital and literal senses) what I had to say. Thanks for wordlessly motivating me to keep going. It’s seen and deeply appreciated.


This week’s Short But Sweet prompt (but for real this time):

Damnation, such obsessed faith and flawed education!


That’s all from me this week. Just a quick note, I am on vacation next week, so while I intend to put up a Short But Sweet post on Sunday as expected, there will be no new content after that until September 15th. Until then, may your writing be plenty and your struggles be few.

Kerry Share

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