Trunk It or Try Again

Hello and welcome to another Border Towns-centric edition of Just Another Struggling Writer. I’m just another struggling writer.

Well, friends, I’m back on my Border Towns shit.

With some time opening up in my writing schedule after I wrap up this current freelance project, I’ve been doing some thinking about which personal project I want to tackle next.

Before freelancing took over all my spare time, I was working on an epic fantasy MESS code named the Nexus. I look at the Nexus as my “IDGAF” project. It pulled me out of a very long, bleak writing draught and while it is really fun to work on, I also recognize that it would be a tough sell to an agent or editor as a debut author.

Meanwhile, I realized a little while ago that I’m ready to confront the major revisions Border Towns will need if I ever want it to see the light of day. I have come to terms with the fact that it will not look in any way like I originally wrote it, and, more than that, I have come to see those changes as a good thing. Which naturally has me wondering if this upcoming break in freelancing is the right time to put serious effort into the New and Improved Border Towns.

But, this is Just Another Struggling Writer, and here we like a healthy dose of anxiety brain with any and all ideas we have as it relates to our writing.

Border Towns was the first novel I ever finished. Sure, it was a shitty first draft in which I skipped writing scenes that were giving me trouble altogether, convinced I would come back to and add them later (spoiler alert: I did not), included very little description and proper worldbuilding, where the plot was weak at best. But… I finished it. No matter how bad it was then, and how bad it still was when I finally shelved it to brood over the aforementioned revisions, it is precious to me for that reason alone.

But is it so precious that I cannot see the forest for the trees? Has Border Towns always been meant for the trunk, but I’m just too infatuated with the idea to let it go. Am I preventing movement on new, better ideas because I’m so hung up on this one? If I move forward with revisions, do I risk becoming, or am I already too far gone, the person who is constantly writing and rewriting one idea over and over, unable to admit that it’s fundamentally broken?

Because, if I’m being totally honest, I think I’m scared to really commit to a brand new project. Starting the Nexus was spur of the moment, because it was in my head at the moment and inspiring creativity I hadn’t felt in months, but since taking a break from it to work on freelance stuff, I’ve realized that I probably should have let it percolate a bit longer and do some more worldbuilding before diving into something so dense and all over the place.

On the other hand… do I just think that because I’m scared to start fresh?

Is the call of Border Towns simply the comfort of knowing I have a strong foundation to build from? I hate worldbuilding, I’ve said it many times before. I think I’m pretty terrible at it and tend to get bogged down in the nitty gritty details, unwilling to move forward if there’s even the tiniest gap in logic. So, even getting to some pretty substantial worldbuilding related revisions, having a foundation to build from is incredibly comforting.

That said… is it time for me to get a little, dare I say, uncomfortable?

To be fair, all novels need revisions, some even major revisions like Border Towns. This would only mark my third draft (if that, since the second never got finished) of the thing, and it’s not like I’ve spent a decade of my life on this with still nothing to show for it (coming up on three years, but I haven’t really been working on it that whole time either).

So is this anxiety over being too committed to the idea all for nothing? Or is it time to dip my toes into something fresh? Something that, unlike the Nexus, I can feasibly sell?

I genuinely don’t know, but the time to decide is pretty much now. My freelance break is coming up in two weeks and will likely only last a month or two. If I don’t want to totally waste that time asking myself these same questions over and over until it’s time to write for money again, I better sort out how I feel and fast.


So friends, what would yall do in my position? Trunk it or try again? Let me know in the comments. Maybe you can help me sort out the way I feel about the whole thing.

Until next time! May your writing be plenty and your struggles be few!

Kerry Share

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Monday Motivations; Late But Feeling Great

Hello friends and welcome to another wonderful writing week. I am off to a slow start thanks to a first-thing-in-the-morning dentist appointment for my daughter. But I’m at my desk now and ready to get to it.

Last week, I am pleased to say, I started off pretty strong. Then Thursday hit and along with it a pretty serious anxiety attack that derailed my schedule. I’m not panicking though. I got off to a great start today and I’m looking forward to getting back on schedule.

But while I’m thinking about it, I always seem to start off a new week great and tend to flame out by Thursday, even on days I can’t blame mental health. Which gives me to wonder if I’ve front loaded my writing schedule a bit too much.

To be fair, Mondays are my best writing days because, thanks to the way my kids’ extra curriculars work out, I have a surplus of sitting around without access to all my usual distractions time. I figured out years ago that I can use that time to write, and it’s been a big help now that I’ve got deadlines to adhere to.

Tuesdays I have a little bit this same sort of time, but Wednesday evenings I’m at home and have to keep myself on task. Thursdays are the tough ones because I have on out of the house activity smack in the middle of the evening that I have to stay mentally engaged in. Then I get into the weekends, when I inevitably find myself playing catch up from not writing (enough or at all) on Thursday and Friday.

I’ve been wondering for a while if there is a way to rebalance my workload, to take a little heat off the end of the week. Obviously, in the life of a working mother who also happens to be a writer, all days are not equal, and trying to treat them as if they are is giving me some pretty skewed expectations of myself.

So, that’s my motivation this week. Figure out how to ease some of the pressure on my less productive days by utilizing my time more wisely at the start of the week when I’m feeling fresh and have more time in the first place.

As for last week, while I didn’t make my word goal (working on playing catch up at the moment) I did get my reading done. Working on correcting my thought patterns so that whenever I pick up my phone to check Twitter, I open my kindle app instead. It’s a slow process, of course, but every little bit matters.

Alright I better get back to it. Concrete goals for this week are almost identical as last week:

  • Add 8500 words to my current project, bringing the total to 15000 by Friday
  • Read 5 chapters
  • Blog, darn it, on Thursday and Friday

Crazy to think that in two and a half weeks I will be without a freelance project to work on for the first time since April. What the hell am I going to do with myself?

Kerry Share

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Monday Motivations; Prove It

Good morning friends and welcome to another week in the writing trenches

Well, last week you didn’t hear from me at all here because I had once again put myself in a pretty horrible position with my latest freelance deadline. Suffice it to say, I had a pretty hefty word count deficit and just one week to play catch up. And though I did manage to get submitted on time, it was not an experience I would like to repeat.

Which has gotten me thinking. I’ve now been at this freelancing thing three months and with each progressive project it feels like my time management has gotten worse. Of course, I had a depressive episode to contend with, which interfered with my productivity on each of the last two projects, but that doesn’t completely account for my poor time investments across the board. That’s something I have always struggled with (read: my several posts lamenting my time budget and how I always manage to overspend).

Those struggles reached their natural climax last week. And though I did not end up at my worst case scenario (emailing my editor in embarrassment asking for more time), I worry that if I do not take my time management pitfalls more seriously, I will find myself in that position sooner rather than later.

So, I’ve decided to issue an ultimatum to myself. I have one more project under contract (thanks again to my poor time management I wasn’t able to get another pitch submitted for the quarter on time). If I can’t figure out how to make my schedule work without sacrificing things like day job performance, housekeeping responsibilities, etc., then this will be the last time I do it. Four months should be plenty of time to work it out and if I can’t… maybe it’s just not meant to be.

Which would suck, because I really love writing as a job. That part hasn’t worn out it’s welcome yet. My second check hits my bank account this week and it’s still so cool (yet surreal) to think I’m getting paid for work I’m passionate about. So it’s time for me to prove that this isn’t just some gig I took up for shiggles. This is an important moment in my career and a major stepping stone for my aspirations to make writing a living.

So, that’s my motivation this week. Figure out how to balance writing against my other time commitments or give up writing as a part time job until I can.

Concrete goals:

  • 1500 words a day, 7500 by Friday
  • Blog on Thursday and Friday
  • Read 5 chapters of current read

Wish me luck. I’m working against 15 years of bad habits.

Kerry Share

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