Monday Motivations

Monday Motivations; Knight of Swords

Hello friends and welcome to another workloaded week of writing.

It’s back to real life this week after a holiday that I really did try to work through, yet, alas, uh, didn’t. Which means I’ve got plenty to do this week (isn’t that every week?). At least I won’t be bored, right?

Something I have sort of been struggling with of late is focusing. I can’t seem to just sit down and complete a task from start to finish. If my goal is to write 1000 words for the day, I might knock out 250 in ten minutes, feel overly proud of myself, and then decide that since those first 250 were so easy I’ll just get to the rest later. Because there is always something else I need to do that needs my attention more. Which inevitably gets interrupted by the next thing. And so on. Eventually I end up looking at my planner at the end of the day with five or six half completed tasks.

There are times when I can look at that and say, well at least I got something done. Times when my kids are sick and dishes are piling up in the sink and my partner is working late and I’ve got bills to pay and only five minutes’ peace.

But after a nice long holiday weekend in which I did absolutely nothing productive (unless playing the new Pokémon counts), now is not one of those aforementioned times.

So today, and for the rest of the week I hope, the plan is to sharpen my focus. Complete my daily tasks, one at a time, until I run out of time. Will there still be distractions? Of course. Will I still be pulled away from my pages by something infinitely more urgent? Probably. But it is up to me to return to the task at hand in those instances. And it is definitely up to me not to create new interruptions where there weren’t any before.

Off we go! Happy writing!

Kerry Share

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Monday Motivations

Monday Motivations; The Emperor

Hello friends and welcome to another winged week of writing.

Friends, I am in a great mood this morning. I’m not really sure why. Maybe it’s because the kids are on Thanksgiving break which means I got an extra twenty minutes to lay in bed. Maybe it’s because I know I have fried turkey and baked three cheese macaroni and cheese to look forward to in a few days. Maybe it’s because for the first time in weeks I feel confident again in my writing.

I don’t know. But I am going to take advantage of it.

Last week I had a lot of success with posting everyday, some of which was fiction content. I hope to continue on that this week while getting better about getting my words down. A big ask, I know, with the holiday and all but I feel really… clear. I don’t know if last week was an eye opener or what, but I just feel really self assured that I can do all these things.

Until next time my friends!

Kerry Share

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Monday Motivations

Monday Motivations; Ace of Cups

Hello friends and welcome to another wet and wintry week of writing.

You find me today in somewhat of a limbo. Due to ~reasons~ my most recent romance manuscript is on hold pending instructions from my editor. After struggling all month it feels like with illness both physical and mental, I finally emerged from the haze of emotional exhaustion and realized with perfect clarity that my due date would not be met.

I don’t like being that person. I pride myself on my work ethic, but even more than that my punctuality. I know that these sorts of extensions (and possible postponements) happen all the time in publishing, but after eight novella manuscripts turned in on time, I hoped I would manage to avoid it. Alas. Strep throat (twice) and a depressive episode collaborated to ensure that I swallowed that point of pride.

So, here I am, waiting on guidance for the next steps and trying to use this moment (however brief it might turn out to be) to, well, first relax, but also reflect on just how lucky I am to get to do this whole writing thing (semi) professionally.

I will admit I’ve gotten a bit complacent with my arrangement. More than eighteen months in, some of the shine was worn off. I’ve forgotten just how truly awesome (in both modern and original senses of the word) it is that stories I wrote are out there in the world for people to read and hopefully enjoy.

Yes, it is a lot of hard work. Yes, there are times when I come home after a long day at the day job and extra curriculars and the only thing I want to do is get in bed or veg in front of the TV instead of write. Yes, there are times when I get so frustrated because the words aren’t coming and I just wasted two precious hours staring at a blinking cursor.

But it is also an incredible privilege. One that I’ve likely been taking for granted of late.

So while I have a moment to do so, I choose to reflect upon this opportunity with gratitude. I am so fortunate that I get to call myself a (semi) professional writer. I am blessed that I get to advance my craft in such a practical way. I am lucky beyond all comprehension that I get to share my words with you all.

And that’s my motivation this week.

Kerry Share

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Monday Motivations

Monday Motivations; Three of Swords

Hello friends and welcome to another whomping week of writing.

I’ve made it no secret that I’ve been going through it of late. Between being ill and caring for a sick child, a mental downturn that feels suspiciously like the beginnings of a depressive episode, and bank account related struggles, writing has been top of mind but low of priority.

Which means I have once again found myself in gut check time. Deadline in 10 days and the majority of the manuscript left to write.

Frankly, I don’t have time to brood about what got me to this point. I just need to put my head down and get my words.

Well? What am I waiting for?

LFG

Kerry Share

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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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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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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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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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Monday Motivations

Monday Motivations; Knight of Cups

Help friends and welcome to another wolfish week of writing.

Friends, I am back after yet another unexpected week off thanks to yet another of my children coming down with appendicitis. For those keeping track at home, that’s two in two months.

Fortunately, everything went well and I am back to the grind. Best of all I was able to use some of the down time to at last finish the romance novella that had been giving me fits for the last five weeks. I’m hoping I can squeeze one last pitch in before the cut off but if not then that is a wrap on romance writing for the year.

Which puts me in the position to, for the first time in months, focus on my fantasy writing for a while.

I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t of two minds about this prospect. Romance writing is what helps pay the bills after all and with Christmas right around the corner, it sure would be nice to have some padding in the bank account.

On the other hand, fantasy is where my heart is at. I can scarcely pick up a book, watch a tv show or movie, or play a video game even tangentially related to a fantasy setting without getting inundated with dozens of new ideas for stories. So, having a few months break to really focus on a fantasy draft should be exciting.

If I can finish, that is.

Because that’s always the rub, isn’t it? I have too many ideas in my head to properly keep track of but not enough time, focus, energy, or some combination of the three to actually bring those ideas into existence.

So, while it sound like fun to take these next few months to blow off writing in the interest of recharging my batteries before romance pitching opens up again, I think it’s actually more important than ever to really focus on finishing up this cozy fantasy draft. At 900 words a day, less than the output I strive for when I’m under contract for my novellas, I can knock this sucker out by New Year’s. And wouldn’t that be something?


Until next time, friends!

Kerry Share

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