Monday Motivations

Monday Motivations; Nine of Wands

Hello friends and welcome to another worn out week of writing.

Do ever get tired of being strong? Do ever wish people would stop admiring your resilience? Do you ever feel like the trials life, the universe, or your favored deity throw at you are not a compliment to your fortitude and toughness, but just another mountain to haul your weary bones over? Do you ever wonder if it will ever pay off? Even just slightly? Just long enough to recharge your batteries?

Friends, it’s one of those days.

Actually it’s been one of those years, but it all feels like it’s coming to a head.


Lately I feel like all I do is work. I have my full time day job, plus a gig as a parent of three, often times a manuscript on deadline, any personal writing I want to do, and now an additional time consuming endeavor. I feel like every minute of my day is spoken for, from six am when my alarm goes off til midnight when I finally close my laptop. And achingly little of that time I am free to use to unclench, and even less that pays off in the way I need it to: financially.

And I know that’s tacky to say about something that is supposedly my passion, but writing is hard, y’all. Writing is work. If I were a full time writer I would 100% say every day that I love my job. But writing would still be a job.

I’ve seen dividends from this second job of mine, to be sure. And I have heard more times than I can count that if I just stay the course, I’ll see all this hard work pay off in more ways than one. But the truth of the matter is, in a creative and notoriously difficult industry to break into like writing, having one’s efforts rewarded is more like luck of the draw than guarantee.

And I’m tired. I am tired of working sixty hours a week with minimal pay off. I am tired of calculating how many words I’ll have to write tomorrow because I have to take my kid to the doctor today. I am exhausted of feeling guilty when I spend a few hours playing a video game with my partner. I am beyond frustrated that I lay down to take a nap, or catch a few hours of sleep because I can’t wrack my brain any longer just to wake up feeling worse.

Mostly, I am tired of being assured that it’s all worth it by people who know better.


And yet.

And yet.

I’m going to carry on anyway. Because, otherwise, what’s the point?


Kerry Share

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Drabble Rock

The Ballad of Mercy May; 0015

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“Where did she come from?” A voice — this one outside of the woman’s own head for a nice change — asks.

“The South road,” another replies gruffly. “Nothing down that way but the old farmsteads.”

“But those have been abandoned for years,” says the first, a younger person by the woman’s ears, inexperience and a bite of fear underpinning their tone.

The second person, undoubtedly an older gentleman, spits crudely before making his reply. “Not really,” he said. “We hear of squatters holing up there sometimes when the weather is foul.”

“Clear skies today,” the young person points out, perhaps unnecessarily.


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Drabble Rock

Drabble Rock; Week 11


summit


The summit was fast approaching, and still Mhazara was no nearer to identifying the traitor amongst the court. She was starting to convince herself that the “spy” she was supposed to be hunting was no more than a figment of her handler’s imagination. Each day that passed without a clear result magnified Adrial’s impatience and surliness bordering on outright hostility.

It wasn’t as if Mhazara wasn’t trying, but the fact of the matter was she had told him from the start that she was weak in the Gift. He was going to have to find his spy the old-fashioned way.

Monday Motivations

Monday Motivations; Ace of Pentacles

Hello friends and welcome to another winning week of writing.

Friends, I’m not going to lie. I’m feeling on the weary side this gloomy, rainy Monday morning. Last week was an abject failure thanks to a big day job meeting that totally wore me out and a bout of colds that ran through my house that culminated in my daughter coming down with strep throat. My routine was completely decimated and writing was a hopeless endeavor.

Piling on to that let down is the fact that I am undertaking a brand new (non-writing related) venture starting today that is certain to demand a sizable chunk of my limited free time. Why did I sign up for something like that, you might ask, knowing that I already have difficulty balancing all the projects and obligations I already have?

Friends. I truly do not know.

Alas, this new thing is not something I can easily back out of, nor do I even want to. To me, it is as important and necessary as going to work and paying rent. So, it is what it is. I’m just going to have to make it work.

Just like the manuscript I am under contract for, due in three weeks. I agreed to the terms, knowing what it meant for my schedule. It doesn’t change just because I had a rough few days. The only thing that shifts is how much I have to do every day from here on out to play catch up.

On days like today, it’s important for me to remind myself that I chose these obligations. Writing professionally and this new endeavor are important parts to the whole future I am trying to build. It isn’t like they were foisted on me. Will they be stressful? Certainly? Will it be worth it?

Only if I keep up my end of the bargain. And that’s my motivation this week.

Kerry Share

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Drabble Rock

The Ballad of Mercy May; 0014

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back. The leader of the pack has an arrow sticking out of its neck. In the distance, the twanging of bowstrings heralds the imminent arrival of more projectiles, though the woman does not linger long enough to espy the outcome. Satisfied the monsters are now well occupied, she pushes on until the shadow of the wall falls upon her. A moment later, a gate comes into view.

Safety. At long last.

It is a relief so sweet that it robs her of the last vestiges of strength. Not a dozen paces away from the gate, she collapses in a heap.


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Monday Motivations

Monday Motivations; High Priestess

Hello friends and welcome to another wishful week of writing.

Last week my carefully laid plans to settle back into a routine were, of course, duly disrupted by the news that I would, in fact, have another romance novella to finish before the end of the year. Which is not to say that I can’t/won’t have a routine while writing it, but it does through my ideas for the last few months of the year askew (so long NaNo dreams).

I have the habit of biting off more than I can chew and then chastising myself for not getting everything done.

Friends, this week is no different. Because, while I do tend to overstretch myself, I also have the annoying habit of folding like a house of cards the moment my mood takes even the slightest turn. I’m still not treating writing as the job I want it to be, unless and, inevitably, until my back is up against the wall.

Frankly, I know I am capable of more than I achieve on any given day, because my proclivity is to do the bare minimum in flagrant spite of my actual desires and hopes. It’s a battle I’ve been fighting for years and I genuinely don’t know that it’s one I’ll ever win.

But I do know the answer is to just give in and opt for smaller goals. Because, apart from the fact that I’ll just find a way to not meet even those, the last thing I want to do is regress. I want to move forward. I want do more, bigger things. I want to really push the limits of what I can do right now, and then I want to see if I can expand into a space I’ve never dreamed of.

So, yes, I am under contract again which means the main thrust of my creative focus needs to be on my paid work. But I will not accept just putting my other ideas and projects on hold for the next five weeks. I know that means more hours and less sleep. I know that means fewer chances to just lay around or play video games. But, the truth of the matter is, my well is full — and historically I’ve been to leery to truly draw from it.

But if not now, when?

Kerry Share

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Thursday Words

Deadline Withdrawal

Hello friends and welcome to another bass ackwards edition of Just Another Struggling Writer. I’m just another struggling writer.

Friends, I’ll admit I’ve been feeling a bit out of sorts of late. Very tired, but also restless. Bored, but also completely lacking in energy. As a person who is regularly depressed, this feeling is not totally unknown to me, but I did not think – for once – an accident of brain chemistry was at fault for my present malaise. 

After a great deal of pondering, it occurred to me that the reason I was feeling so discombobulated was because I no longer have anything pressing to work on. Of course, I have my personal fantasy projects I could be writing, but, honestly… I haven’t really felt motivated to tackle any of those ideas, even my current WIP, Pieces of Eight. 

The question this led me to ask was: why is it easier to write romance, a genre I am admittedly less versed in and certainly less passionate about, than the fantasy ideas I’ve had brewing for a decade or more? Why is it that I’ve written hundreds of thousands of words for pitches I came up with in about two weeks, but can’t string 90k together for an epic fantasy I’ve been building since 2015? 

Well, friends, I’ve cracked the case. 

It’s the deadline.

I don’t know what it is, I don’t know why my own personal dreams and desires aren’t enough to motivate me the way the expectations of others can, but for some reason I just work really, really, actually kind of phenomenally well under pressure, specifically time pressure, even more specifically external time pressure. 

Without that pressure, I honestly feel kind of adrift. When I’m not under a firm deadline, more than just leaving the option to procrastinate under my own discretion, I actually feel sort of useless. Lost. Worst of all, giving myself a deadline doesn’t seem to have the same effect as someone else giving me one. Its too easy to ignore, or make excuses for missing. 

Which then begs the question: how do I simulate external pressure that I cannot easily blow off? 

As much as I’d love that answer to come from within myself, uh, that hasn’t worked. So, my accountability partner on Twitter came up with a solution: get my kids involved. 

In short: promise them something fun and exciting, but only if I am able to meet a writing goal by a specific time. That way they can pester me when they see me loafing and it’ll actually feel motivating, because I certainly don’t want to let my babies down (even if I don’t really want to go the trampoline park).

Would I prefer that I not need to stoop to such tactics? Sure, of course. But something I have come to realize (even if I’m not sure I’ve accepted it) is that when you’re working, raising a family, keeping a house, maintaining a relationship, and writing, finding the time, energy, and reason to write can be thoroughly exhausting – even before you’ve had a chance to open your laptop (or, if you’re like me, notebook). Sometimes, we’ve gotta take whatever works and roll with it. 

And off I go.


Okay, so here’s the thing. I actually wrote all that last week, and that got overwhelmed with other stuff and didn’t end up posting it. Since then, I have actually learned that my most recent (last minute) pitch I submitted to my editor has been accepted and I’m once again under contract for another romance novella due next month. 

Up until yesterday when I got that email, I had been laboring under the aforementioned funk. Struggling to be productive and prioritize my time wisely. My anxiety dial was on eleven and even with the deal with my kids in place, I had trouble focusing on my work. 

Today, knowing I have five weeks to churn out another novella, I woke up energized and excited. If ever my deadline withdrawal was in doubt, this sequence of events proved it. 

I just work better under pressure. 


Hey its been a minute since I reminded yall that my first romance novella release, The Dutiful and the Disfavored, is available now on my Patreon for just $0.99. If you’re a fan of regency romance, know someone who is, or just want to support indie creators, please consider checking out my page. 

The Dutiful and the Disfavored

That’s all from me this time. I’ve got some new ideas brewing, though now that I’m under contract and under pain of child disappointment, they may have to wait until the new year. I can’t wait. Until next time friends, may your writing be plenty and your struggles be few. 

Kerry Share

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Monday Motivations

Monday Motivations; Knight of Pentacles

Good morning friends and welcome to another woozy week of writing.

This week the name of the game is routine. Last week I really struggled to stay focused and on track, largely because my anxiety decided it was a good time to take me on a little trip round the bend.

Routine is important for me to feel grounded when my brain does funny shit like that.

Take this blog for instance. Every Monday (most Mondays anyway) I write the little motivations post. I just do. Even on days like today when I don’t feel like I have anything particularly insightful to say or any updates to share, it’s important to me to write this post anyway because otherwise my week is getting off to a shaky start. If I don’t do it then something has interrupted my flow, either externally or internally, and it takes me an annoyingly long time to get my head back in the right space.

I learned last week that the ritual of posting my daily tasks on Twitter for all to see (those who haven’t muted me yet anyway) is actually really important to my motivation level. It’s not just the dopamine hit of checking off my tasks. I mean I do that anyway in the physical planner I carry with me. It’s the public nature of it. Sure, there are few people who see these posts, and fewer still who care about them, but something about the knowledge that my successes (and failures) is on display for all to see is somehow more meaningful to my mess of synapses I call a brain.

Last week I changed my routine in the interest of being concise and private, and my productivity suffered for it. So, today I am giving myself the space to not care if it doesn’t make sense. What works for me works, and I should just take that for what it is.

So, that’s my motivation this week.

Kerry Share

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Monday Motivations

Monday Motivations; Page of Cups

Hello friends and welcome to another wry week of writing.

Friends, by now you know the drill. Every Monday, I come here and talk about my hopes for the week and how I plan to tackle my writing tasks. Sometimes my motivations are external (like deadlines) but most of the time I try to draw my own experiences and thought processes.

This week, my inspiration isn’t especially creative. Its not grounded in my love of writing, and its not something I’m exactly proud of.

The thing keeping me on track this week is stubbornness.

See, I’ve been struggling the last several days, a week or more even, with staying on task. Which shouldn’t be the case. Without a romance novella to labor over, I should be hyped to take advantage of the extra hours in my day and get some writing done. I’m in the middle of a cute standalone cozy fantasy, that I’m drafting in longhand no less. The project is supposed to be fun, no stress, and designed to help me get back to fantasy writing after what has been a kind of disappointing 2022.

So, why do I feel so meh about this project?

Friends, I’ve been suffering from that troublesome writer condition that makes every current idea seem Not Good, Worthless, Boring and every future idea seem Perfect, Exciting, The One.

Actually, if I’m being honest, I’ve been struggling with this issue ever since I put Border Towns on the shelf. For those keeping track, that’s coming up on three years ago now.

Border Towns was the first manuscript I ever finished (even if it was just a first draft), and even to this day I think of it as the story I will query agents with one day. I think some part of me believes that everything else I do in the meantime is just… filler until the real story wends its way back into my brain.

And, frankly, I don’t have time for that shit. I’ve got way too many ideas to waste prime writing hours on just waiting for my fickle muse to decide to cooperate.

So, even though I’m no longer passionately in love with Pieces of Eight like I was when first put pen to paper, I’m going to keep on toiling away at it. Because right now I think the most important thing for my long term health is a writer is proving that I can stay focused and finish a story.

And that’s my motivation this week.

Kerry Share

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Drabble Rock

The Ballad of Mercy May; 0013

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quaver, on the cusp of failing her completely, a cry sounds from the wall. A moment later, something whizzes past her ear. An unearthly scream of pain and rage from somewhere behind her, sending a chill down her spine despite the sweat pooling at the small of her back.

She looks over her shoulder and is shocked to see how close the monsters had crept up on her without her realizing it. The group is barely ten feet back from her — had they put on a burst of speed they would have caught her easily.

Now, however, they are falling


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