Welcome friends and welcome to another wrung out week of writing.
I’ll admit I’ve been in a weird headspace ever since my daughter’s surgery forced me to take a week of from work and writing, partially because I went off my meds by accident and my brain chemistry has been jacked as a result.
But the good news is my next deadline is looming large (next week, gulp), which always has a funny way of kicking my ass into high gear. I don’t know if this is the farthest behind on a manuscript I’ve ever been, but if not it’s damn close.
And though I’m certainly stressed about it, I’m coming into this week determined not to overwhelm myself worrying about what’s happens tomorrow, or the next day. Instead I’m going to focus on what I can do today.
Good morning and welcome to another winsome week of writing.
Friends, I’m gonna go a little old school today. Instead of talking about what’s going on with me or the general vibe, or even what is specifically motivating me to get up off my butt and actually write words, I’m just going to get into what my writing goals are for the week.
10000 words toward my current freelance novella project
10 longhand pages toward my current cozy fantasy project
Catch up on Drabble Rock prompts (I think I’m two or three behind now)
Start semi-weekly Mercy May posts in Wednesdays and Saturdays
Actually blog on Monday and Thursday
Phew that’s… a lot. But I’m back on my meds and I’m settling back into my routine and I’m ready to be the writer I almost was before things went topsy turvy at home.
Hello friends and welcome to another wary week of writing.
I am back after an extended, unintended hiatus and let me tell you I have never missed the comfort of routine more than the last ten days.
Routine has always been important to me. Even on weekends and during my leisure time, I like to kind of have a sense of what I want to accomplish beforehand, even if that’s just “play x video game” or “run y errand at z time.”
Which is why it is should not be much a surprise that my writing suffers when I don’t have a fixed routine in place for it. What is surprising, however, that after all these years of writing both as a hobby and as a paid job, I still haven’t settled into a routine yet.
Sure, when NaNo rolls around I’ve found ways to squeeze in my words, and I’ve never yet missed a freelance deadline, so getting the work is getting done, even if it is often stressful and down to the wire. The process, though functional in the barest terms, leaves plenty of room for improvement.
I need a writing routine. A place, a time, a method. Why, when I am so motivated and comforted by structure, is it so hard for me to put a schedule in place that encourages me to get my work done?
Solving this conundrum is my motivation this week. Whether it’s getting up early, staying up late, or even leaving the house for the library in the evenings to rob myself of distractions, some way, somehow, I’m going to find what works.
The world around Arcelie rippled, as if a pebble had been dropped into the otherwise still waters of reality. The distortion bounced off the walls of the cramped classroom and reverberated back, finally converging on the spot where she was stood, breathless with anticipation.
At first, nothing happened, despite Mei’s boasts of mind-boggling magic. Arcelie was none too impressed, and turned to tell her teacher so.
But Mei Lin was no longer there. In her place was a tall figure cloaked in a shroud of terrible, undulating cosmic power.
Arcelie opened her mouth to scream, but no sound came out.
of something dreadful… and it’s drawing steadily closer.
At last summoning her strength, the woman pushes herself upright and takes better stock of her surroundings. The forest around her is dense, but there is plenty of light filtering down through the canopy, casting a warm, mottled glow throughout the grove. She guesses the sun overhead is probably at its zenith, but apart from that paltry clue she has no information. Where she is, and where she should go next, remain as much a mystery as her own identity.
To her left is a smashed tree stump and she uses it
Note: I wrote this a few weeks ago and never got around to posting it. I ran out of time to write something new this week, so I thought I would recycle this post. Though the immediate situation has shifted (slightly), much of the sentiment is the same.
Hello friends and welcome to another irritable edition of Just Another Struggling Writer. I’m just another struggling writer.
I’ll admit it. I’ve been out of sorts this week. My boss of seven years at my day job was recently promoted, and her new position meant she unfortunately had to leave my firm. It had just been pretty much me and her for the last three years, so with her gone the responsibility for keeping the firm running has fallen squarely on my shoulders with the assistance of other company staff who have filled in as needed.
Suffice it to say, I’m stressed.
Compounding my frustration is the fact that because I’m so mentally drained by the end of my work day, writing is exceedingly difficult. I already have precious few minutes in which to squeeze drafting (I’m presently penning this blog post from outside my daughter’s guitar lesson), and when I do get some time the last thing I want to do is tax my brain any further.
Not being able to write has sent me spiraling down that lovely rabbit hole of self-doubt and depression. My ideas aren’t good enough. I don’t have what it takes. If I were serious about writing, I would make the words come out.
I know those things aren’t true. I know that if I could just get to a place where I could financially support my family with my writing, that I do have the discipline and forbearance to make writing my actual job. But I can’t do that unless I write now and write well. But I can’t do that under present circumstances. But these circumstances aren’t likely to change unless I write.
And round and round it goes.
My frustrations and anxieties aren’t new, nor unique to me. But it’s hard not to feel angry and not a little bit jealous of all those writers out there who get to do this for a living, while I and so many others struggle for just the few words we manage to eke out in the creases.
It’s petty and ultimately pointless to nurse these sort of hurts, I know, and I won’t much longer. I just wish I knew why I lacked the get-up-and-go mentality that seems to drive so many successful writers. There are so many lovely and talented authors out there, many of whom have had to struggle through the daily life of not-writing to realize their ambitions, why not me?
Why not me?
Alright, enough of that. I’m in a better-ish place now mentally than that first week, and though my day job continues to be stressful as sin, I’ve done a bit better motivating myself to write when I come home. I’ve also returned to bringing my notebook with me to my job so that I can squeeze in some sentences in the creases. Its not much, but its keeping me engaged. Now, if I can just figure out how to not go into zombie-mode the instant I get home, I’ll be in good shape.
Until next time, my friends. May your writing be plenty and your struggles be few.
The voice in her head was like gravel grating against the fragile walls of her psyche. What started as a tender whisper, like that of a lover’s sweet nothings, had since grown into the hoarse, desperate mutterings of a madman. Night after night it begged, taunted, and cajoled by turns – whatever it deemed necessary to persuade Marceline to follow its siren call.
And night after night, damp with cold sweat and clinging to her bedsheets, she resisted. Yet, Marcie knew, in her heart of weary hearts, that her fortitude would not last forever.
Nor can she recall where she came from, how old she might be, or even her own name. Her memory is as still as the grove around her.
But neither remain that way for long.
Something is tickling at the edge of the woman’s perception, like a low hum that she feels more than hears. The vibrations are almost comforting in their own way, and for several moments the woman is content to lay amongst the leaves and listen to them intensify. Yet, as the sound sharpens and becomes clear, she realizes what she is hearing: the deep, guttural growls
Hello friends and welcome to another progress update on Just Another Struggling Writer. I’m just another struggling writer.
It’s kind of hard to believe, but tomorrow marks the halfway point of the year. I’d like to say that the first six months of 2022 flew by, but honestly they’ve been kind of a drag. I’ve had ideas quit on me, freelance contracts fail to materialize, and a real sense of regression settle over me after what I felt was a really strong year in 2021.
There have been high points too, of course. The realization that I have the mental capability and creative stamina to be a stay-at-home writer was a big one. The launch of Drabble Rock has been a real mood booster as well. And lets not forget I still have World Con to look forward to.
That being said, it is more than fair to say that I am falling short of the goals I made for myself at the start of the year.
Among those lofty dreams were such aims as:
Write 160,000 words in fantasy projects.
Mid-year check-up: still possible, but unlikely. I haven’t written much at all this year, so I’m basically starting from 0. If I still want to hit that goal I’ll need to write almost 1000 words every day from now until New Years.
Write 8 novellas for Scribd.
Mid-year check-up: Not happening. This isn’t entirely my fault, as we had a change in editors this year that has not exactly been smooth. I’ve done one so far, waited almost two months on pitches only to be rejected, and submitted two more pitches that I’m still waiting to hear back on. Even if I manage to do one a month for the rest of the year, that will only give me seven. Sad, especially for my bank account, but what can you do?
Figure out how to sell my own ebooks.
Mid-year check-up: Working on it! I’ve asked about getting the ebooks from my publisher after the exclusivity period is up, next I just need to figure out how to release them successfully. I’m working on dolling up a Patreon for when I start getting the ebooks, but I’m still really unsure of how to go about it. Still, making progress.
Release a “serialized” novel.
Mid-year check-up: In progress! Granted, I’m releasing one hundred words at a time and only two entries in, but hey, I made the commitment and I’ve got the project going. It still needs some fine tuning (obviously I’ll have to post more than once a week if I want to finish the story before I’m dead), but its launched.
So a mixed bag, though it should be noted that my two “do or die” goals are the ones most certain to fail.
Bearing these various successes and failures in mind, I’ve been thinking about adjusting my expectations for the rest of the year.
Six months ago I intended to write two story paths of The Nexus, which has since been shelved pending deeper world building. Today I would like to commit to writing the first Seekers of Empyrean novella and one of the cozy fantasy ideas that was rejected by my editor. Completing both at their target word counts would bring total words written up to 135,000 (closer to 750 words per day if anyone’s counting). That’s not too bad a compromise, right?
Not to mention, that isn’t even counting the words I’ll be adding to The Ballad of Mercy May. Sure, it’s only 100 words at a time, but I figure I will start ramping up how many times per week I’ll be posting entries. By the end of December I would like to be up to three Ballad posts per week.
Lastly, I would like to have the majority (if not all) of my 2021 novellas with Scribd posted to my Patreon before the year is out. By then the exclusivity period will be up for all six published so far (I’m pretty sure, anyway) and I’ll be free to make some additional pennies off my hard work. Who doesn’t love that?
I think those are some fair and reasonable goals that I have complete control over. No one but me will be to blame if I don’t meet them.
As for things outside of my control I would like to see happen, I’ve got two things in mind:
write 4 more novellas for Scribd
reach 150 followers here on Just Another Struggling Writer
Taken as a whole, I think if I can nail most of these goals before the clock strikes 2023 I can count this year as a win.
I meant to write the first edition of WIP Wednesday yesterday but then I laid down on my couch at 8:00 and didn’t wake up again until my alarm went off. Oops. It works out though, since I still don’t have much to talk about seeing as how I really HAVEN’T WRITTEN ANYTHING IN THE LAST SEVEN DAYS.
We’ll kick it off next week, barring any unforeseen naps.
Look at me getting this blog post done early. Until next time my friends, may your writing be plenty and your struggles be few.
Mhazara has never curtsied in her life, and she’s not about to start. However, with the painfully tight bodice she’d been strapped into, she knows bowing would be nothing short of a disaster. And so, when the prince approaches, she has no choice but to drop to a knee before him.
She can feel the draw of a dozen eyes fall upon her shoulders, can hear the murmurs of surprise, can practically taste the prince’s confusion, even without the aid of her gift, but she brooks no embarrassment.
“Your Highness,” she murmurs, surprising even herself with her deference. “Welcome home.”