Reasons I DNF This Book: Black Leopard, Red Wolf

Hello and welcome to 2021’s first edition of Reasons I DNF This Book. I’m a little bit disappointed in myself to be writing this one, because I feel like I really did want to finish this book, but… well. I just don’t have the time or energy right now.

Today’s DNF: Black Leopard, Red Wolf by Marlon James; DNF at 13%

Before we get into it, as always:

Spoiler alert
Spoiler alert!

Continue reading “Reasons I DNF This Book: Black Leopard, Red Wolf”

Mental Space

Hello and welcome to a rare unburdened and optimistic edition of Just Another Struggling Writer. I’m just another struggling writer.

Yesterday, I felt a weight lift off me. I honestly didn’t realize how much extra water I had been carrying these last four years. I wonder how much time I lost stressing about what was going on in the world outside my little bubble.

Some blue check I follow on Twitter said yesterday morning said that they’ll have so much more mental space now that the country isn’t on the brink of falling into fascism that they immediately plan to launch into three new projects. I couldn’t stop thinking about that sentiment all day, as I watched the proceedings with an increasingly light heart.

It would be too cheap and easy to blame my lack of productivity on world events, but, lets be honest, those events certainly haven’t helped the fickle and flighty being that is my muse stay on topic. And though I know myself well enough to say with confidence that I’m not gonna suddenly have enough vigor to write 10,000 words a day or start a bunch of new things behind the scenes even while I’m trying to write a novel, I can’t help but feel buoyed by this newfound optimism in all facets of my life.

It can get so easy to make excuses. Well, I wrote a blog today, that counts as writing so I don’t actually need to put words down. I had two doctors appointments today and now I just want to relax. My internet is blinking out and even though I don’t need it to write, now my ambient noise generator isn’t working and I just can’t focus.

It’s been so easy, these last four years, to convince myself that not only are all those things true, but that capitulating to those impulses is actually self-care. And it wasn’t until I was snuggled up in bed yesterday, with my heated blanket and a cup of hot chocolate, watching the fireworks, that I realized just how much I needed the release of tension it brought. That while things are far from being perfect, I don’t need to make excuses anymore. Because I’m going to wake up tomorrow lighter than I did yesterday. I’m going to be able to not worry about what nonsense the president has wrought and what it means for me and my kids.

Mental space. Its real. And it just multiplied tenfold.

So, now that I’m done writing this post, I am gonna put new words down, thank you very much. Because I’m not satisfied and there is so much more work to be done.


Book of the month side note: I am making very slow progress on Black Leopard, Red Wolf (read: 10% in two weeks). I keep telling myself that it’s not for me and I’m gonna DNF it, especially since I’m running out of time to review it this month as promised in my New Year’s Resolutions post. And yet… I keep coming back to it. I can’t get through more than a few pages at a time, but I’ve yet to convince myself to set it completely aside.

So I may be late with my next review, is what I’m trying to say. Please look forward to it.


The thing about blogging every week is it’s been hard to come up with topics, which is what has lead to these more free form posts of late. But I figure once I’m in the groove and habit of doing it every week, it’ll come easier to think of things to say. Thanks for bearing with me while I, once again, try to find my sea legs with this whole content thing.

Until next week! May your writing be plenty but your struggles be few.

Kerry Share

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Rolling With the Punches

Hello friends and welcome to an on topic edition of Just Another Struggling Writer. I’m just another struggling writer.

Whilst fumbling around for a topic this week, I turned to last year’s January posts for inspiration. How was I feeling at this time last year? I had promised to blog once a week, just like I have this year, and I must have been motivated, right?

Funnily enough, it’s almost been a year to the day that I shelved Border Towns.

I didn’t know I was shelving it at the time, though. Back then, I had only just realized the fatal flaw of the novel and was optimistic that, with a little revision, the third draft would be an excellent launch point for eventually querying.

And then the bulk of 2020 hit and utterly drained my muse of it’s life force, and the revisions that I once held so much hope for instead withered on the vine. No matter how many times I convinced myself I would come back and finish that damn book, the spark for it just never materialized.

Coming to the conclusion that it had to be shelved was a laborious, at times even emotional process, but I later came to accept that it was for the best. In the months since, my creativity has blossomed once again, whereas every time I sat down to brain storm Border Towns revisions, I felt smothered. Perhaps this shouldn’t have come as a surprise – this is, after all, the second time I’ve had to trunk a project I had pinned a lot of hopes on.

Yet, that fact alone, in turn gives me pause. Am I really the kind of person who can’t revise? Who comes up against flawed but fixable stories and just… folds? Do I have any creative willpower at all?

Logically, I know that many, even most, writers have a stack of unfinished or unrevised novels underneath all of their published and perfectly good ones. So, logically, I’m right on pace. But, still, it doesn’t feel good to leave projects I once felt held so much promise, and still do feel could be whipped into shape given the right motivation, languishing in the trunk. 

That being said, I’m not gonna let myself dwell on that too much. I have a new project to shed blood, sweat, and tears over, after all, and besides, if I’ve learned nothing else these last few years of trying to be a writer, it’s that you’ve gotta take whatever stories come your way and roll with the punches they deal you. 

Nothing ever goes according to plan. Isn’t that what makes writing so much fun? 


That’s all from me this week, thanks for stopping by. I’ll be back next time with another look into the life of a struggling writer. Until then may your writing be plenty and your own struggles be few. 

Kerry Share

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2021: Second Verse, Same as the First

Hello friends, and welcome to a somewhat shell-shocked, everything-is-fine.gif edition of Just Another Struggling Writer. I’m just another struggling writer.

And struggling is exactly what I am doing today. Struggling to remain focused, struggling to maintain my resolutions to write every day, struggling with whether or not it’s even appropriate to pretend like my little writing blog matters. Funnily enough it’s the same sort of struggle I experienced writing my first blog post of the new year last year, back when I was worried we were about to go war with Iran.

What a time to be alive, but unironically.


For me, writing is not an escape. It’s not a distraction. It’s not even fun. It’s work. I love it – my god do I love it – but I think we all know that it is hard. It’s a job that one shows up to, day after day, for the promise of very little pay or no pay at all. And, just like my day job, I can’t just shut out the world when I want to get cracking.

I write fantasy, epic fantasy, full-fledged at-no-point-ever-even-in-the-same-universe fantasy. But what I write is still colored by what I experience, what I see in my daily life. How can I write about saving the world, when ours seems more than ever on the brink?  What does my story matter? Not just my fictional story, but my actual story. The story of just another struggling writer?


I’m okay, really I am. This isn’t some sort of mental health crisis. When that happens, I’m sad internally. Today I’m sad externally. I’m sad and I’m furious. I’m sad and I’m diminished. I’m sad and I’m just… tired.

I didn’t write yesterday. I probably won’t write today. But eventually I’ll find my way back to the page and get back to the business of making stuff up, because someday my words might be someone else’s escape. I should be so lucky.

Kerry Share