Thursday Words, Uncategorized

The Chain

Hello friends and welcome to another less-than-ideal edition of Just Another Struggling Writer. I’m just another struggling writer.

Friends, I don’t know if you have noticed, but I am not a perfect writer. Brave of me to reveal this publicly, I know, but I must speak my truth as I live it. Yes, its true, there are times when I find it difficult to sit down and write. Unfortunately for me, one of those situations is literally any time I am in my house.

Home Is Where The Black Hole of Motivation Is

I have a moderately stressful day job. I prefer not to get into the details, but it requires more emotional labor than the average profession. Though I love what I do, it is often a strain on my mental resources. My job is part of the reason why I absolutely have to have time every day to decompress and destress from work.

This has ultimately led to the deeply engrained mindset that my home is the place I go to not work. When I get home after a long day at my day job, plus extra curricular activities, oh and don’t forget dinner, dishes, laundry, and cleaning up that thing my dog just shredded, sitting down in my recliner, even if my laptop is right there next to me, my brain automatically switches into leisure mode. Its almost Pavlovian at this point.

However, as we all know, writing is also work. It requires mental energy, focus, and stamina — things that tend to be in short supply after, well, *gestures above* Not writing when I get home isn’t even necessarily about the myriad distractions at my disposal (although they certainly play a part), its about breaking out of the mental feedback loop of home = not work.

I’ve tried a couple of different ways to fix this. I’ve tried writing in the mornings before work (a Herculean effort for a lifelong night owl), I’ve tried carving out a space to treat as a home office (which was just a nook in my bedroom, and you can see how that would cause motivation issues), I’ve tried Pomodoros (“I’ll just work for twenty minute and then get a little five minute break for video games as a treat”).

You might be wondering to yourself, if I struggle so much to write at home how in the hell do I get any writing done at all?

Well. Truth be told, about 80% of the writing I do, blogs and drabbles included, I do at work.

Kerry, you might be saying to yourself, what??

Its true. I use the creases in my work day to write. I bring my notebook with me and leave it open on the desk next to me. When I have a few moments, I jot down a sentence or two. When I have dedicated breaks, I drabble or blog. My lunch is spent with the WordPress app open on my phone. During the commute, I’ll talk to text ideas to myself. Because I find it so difficult to write at home, I have found ways to sneak in creativity throughout my day.

This extends not just to work, however. My favorite place to write is my daughter’s gymnastics practice. I get one hour uninterrupted, with the only distraction the occasional outbreak of applause when a gymnast sticks a landing. I’ve also started working at my other daughter’s guitar lesson. I’ve even brought my notebook along to my son’s allergy shots, because we are required to wait half an hour afterward before we can leave.

Anywhere I have a few minutes, I use it. As long as I’m not at home.

If that seems not ideal to you, well, you’d be right, its not. Because, while my method works to an extent, if I find myself at home unexpectedly for any reason (like today, home with a sick kid), every last iota of production goes right in the toilet. I have to make a concerted effort to do even the bare minimum *coughlikethisblogcough* Weekends, what should be my peak writing days, are, you know, not. Bank holidays? Don’t get me started.

Druthers, Druthers Everywhere

It seems to me that in a perfect world, I would find a place I could go after my kids went to bed where I could put my earbuds in and just buckle down and write. There’s a library literally right across the street from where I live, but they close at eight. There’s a Starbucks down the street, but that closes even earlier. Deep in suburbia, it seems that there is just no good place for a writer who prefers to work in a public environment late at night.

However, part of me knows that even if such a place did exist within a reasonable distance from my home I wouldn’t actually utilize it. Because once I get home, once I sit down… its all over man.

So, what I actually need to do is just get over myself and do the work, even if there’s a basketball game on. Even if the latest Final Fantasy XIV patch just released. Even if Twitter has some amazing discourse I want to watch go down. I don’t need to push myself past my limits, of course, that’s a short road to potentially long term burnout. But, on days — like today — where I’m just sitting at home anyway, I need resist the urge to take a second nap, to open my Steam library, to make excuses not to write.

I don’t think it’ll be easy. Changing something so deeply engrained never is. But, earlier today I was standing at my sink doing some dishes and thinking about how much of a bummer it would be to let my 25-day blogging streak come to an end just because of a stupid habit of needing to preserve my home as a non-working space. So, as soon as I finished up, I walked to my computer, and I opened WordPress.

The desire to keep the chain going was enough to kick my ass into gear.

Now, if I can just start a chain for writing 3 pages a day, regardless of where I’m at, I might actually be a little less of a struggling writer.


That’s all from me this time. I’ll be home again tomorrow it looks like, so if I can keep the streak going despite the significant disruption to my routine, I’ll allow myself a little pride. See you then!

Kerry Share

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Thursday Words

The Plight of the Shy Writer

Hello friends and welcome to another mental-health adjacent edition of Just Another Struggling Writer. I’m just another struggling writer.

Friends, I have enjoyed a pretty darn good week. I’ve gotten a shit ton of writing done, I’ve kept up my daily blogging habit, and I’ve managed to explore new ways to continue growing as a writer and content creator. I’ve also done some things offline that have really inspired me and boosted my confidence level.

Basically, I’m thriving.

But, there is one area of my writing life that is still lacking. I’ve been paying lip service to the idea of improving this area, but I was never in the right mental space to actually take it on, whether I liked to admit it or not. However, now that I’m feeling much stronger mentally and I’ve seen the kind of progress I am capable of when the stars align like they have the past few weeks, I feel like its time to finally tackle the issue head on.

Friends, I don’t really have many friends.

Riding Solo

Okay, let me start off by saying first that this isn’t a pity party I’m throwing here. This isn’t a woe-is-me post, and I’m not looking for sympathy engagement. Seriously.

Writing, in and of itself, can feel like a lonely endeavor. Unless you have a co-author, so much of the labor is done within the confines of your own head. To pare down from distractions while hard at work on writing, we often isolate ourselves, or seek solitude. And though we may share parts of our process or our stories with our friends or loved ones, ultimate it’s up to us to do complete the job.

In that regard, being a shy writer doesn’t seem like such a raw deal. You mean I get to do the thing I love AND I don’t have to deal with people? Sign me up!

And that works out well until you need someone to vent to about learning that this already published book used the idea you’d been writing about. Or when it’s time to find beta readers. Or when you’re looking for comps. Or when you could really use an accountability partner to make sure you stay on top of your writing goals. That’s when the reality sets in that writing isn’t such a solo venture after all.

Shy, Anxious, and Private – A Lonely Combination

The internet is a great resource for writers. There are blogs and podcasts and websites galore dedicated to every aspect of writing one can imagine. From traditional publishing to indie, all manner of genre, refining your query, best ways to market yourself… All of it you can find somewhere online. That’s the really beautiful thing about the writing community – the majority of it is there to help one another.

However, for someone just starting out, who has a hard time making new friends and feels super anxious even when people try to engage one-on-one, the #WritingCommunity presents a unique challenge. And, thus far, it has been a challenge I was not quite up for. Though there were times when people reached out to me and commented on my work, I rarely knew what to say in response or how to keep the conversation going. And thus those opportunities to make new friends were lost.

Opening up to people just isn’t easy for me. I often stumble over responses, because I am anxious they don’t care about what I have to say. I withhold information because I tend to be intensely private. And I struggle to continuously engage with people I want to be my friend because I am shy. (So, if you’re one of those people who have tried to talk to me only to receive silence – it’s me, not you. I want to get to know you, I just don’t know how.)

We Neither of Us Perform To Strangers

There’s a scene in Pride and Prejudice wherein Elizabeth and Darcy are talking about their first encounter at Netherfield. Darcy comments on his past behavior that he is ill qualified to introduce himself to others, and Elizabeth counters that she is not as skilled at playing the pianoforte as some other ladies because she does not take the time to practice.

Social skills, like any other kind of skill, requires practice in order to master. Up ‘til now, I’ve been afraid to practice because I didn’t want to appear (or feel) foolish. But, I feel like I’m reaching a turning point where the ratio of fear to loneliness is shifting toward loneliness. Or maybe the successes I’ve built over the last few weeks have simply started to replace the fear with confidence. Or maybe I’m just getting too old to be worried about that stuff. Or maybe my anxiety medicine is kicking in, I don’t know.

But I’m going to keep trying to put myself out there, no matter how hard breaking into the community might seem. I literally have nothing to lose.


Well, that’s all for me on this chilly, friendly Thursday. Until next time my dears, may your writing be plenty and your struggles be few.

Kerry Share

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Thursday Words

The Grindset

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

Friends, I am still in the throes of the New-Year mindset. Every morning when I wake up I think about all the things I want to accomplish for the day. Many of the tasks I put on my to do list are stepping stones along the path toward the larger goal, like writing 500-1000 words every day so I can finish Daughters of Necessity on schedule. That, in turn, feeds into the ultimate goal, which is, as I have said and will continue to repeat until it manifests, becoming a full time writer.

I feel like I’ve done pretty good so far this year (less than two weeks in, I know). I’ve blogged now for twelve days straight, I’ve written at least some words every day, and I’ve carved out time to read.

But there is still so much more I want to do. I want to rejuvenate my Patreon. I want to launch a Redbubble page. I want to dip my toes into podcasting (yes, still). I want to be active and friendly in the writing community. I want to return to freelance romance writing.

So much to do, yet so little time. Often times I find myself wistfully thinking that I’m not working hard enough. There are hours in my day when I can squeeze in more work. I see plenty of other people doing it. So why can’t I?

Everyday I’m Hustling

Well, here’s the thing. I recently had to take a break from freelancing because I was very seriously behind on a manuscript and just as seriously mentally blocked about it. Every time I opened the document to work on it, I would get so stressed out I could barely get a few sentences out before I was exhausted. My editor was great in allowing me to take time away and hopefully come back to it later, and since then I’ve been focusing on trying to enjoy my creative process again.

Part of the reason I fell behind, and the biggest reason why I was so damned stressed about it, was because there just wasn’t enough time over the course of the holiday season to give the piece any more than a cursory glance most days. Winter is my busy season at my day job, plus there were school functions for my kids, family in town, Christmas shopping to do, funky custody exchanges.

Most days by the time I got home I just wanted to relax. Watch a basketball game, or a true crime documentary. Take a bath or hit the sheets early. Then, I had to get up and do it all over again. On the days when I forced myself to use my evening hours to work, I was miserable in the days (yes, multiple) that followed. Without time to play video games or veg out, I became even more depressed than I usually get this time of year (thanks SAD).

I sometimes think this means I’m just a naturally lazy person. I’ve beaten myself up more times than I can count. Plenty of people in this industry are working a job (or more than one), going to school, raising a family, or any combination thereof and still find time to forge a successful writing career. So, then, I “reasoned,” what does it say about me that I can’t go a few nights a week without TV or video games or extra sleep?

Type What Personality?

Are you starting to see a pattern here? Far too often, I am holding myself up to someone else’s standard.

It occurred to me that maybe there are people out there, perhaps those I am trying to emulate, that get emotional satisfaction from always being on the go or juggling multiple projects. Maybe they go to bed after a long work day and look back on what they accomplished with joy. Maybe they can reward themselves with a bottle of champagne or a weekend away or a club night with friends, and that is enough to rejuvenate them to do it all again.

And if that is a personality type that some people are just born with, well… I’m one of them. I often want to be, but I’m just not. I’m not bored when I go home and have nothing to work on. I’m not stimulated by new challenges or changes to routine.

Does that make me lazy? I don’t know. I hope not. Does it mean I lack ambition? I don’t think so, I’ve got plenty of goals I want to meet. Does it mean I don’t have what it takes to be a writer? Certainly not.

I think what it really means is that if I stop trying to be someone I’m just not for a change, and actually accept that my own pace is what it is for a reason, then maybe I’ll actually start getting somewhere. I mean, who knows what I am capable if only I just start spending the mental energy I have been using to berate myself for not working hard enough instead on writing and creating and growing.

I want to find out, though. I want to find out what my real potential is, not just what I invented for myself based on a metric that is incompatible with who I am and who I am meant to be.

I am not broken after all.


Yall, I don’t think I can stress this enough, I am having fun writing again. I didn’t realize how much weight I had put on myself with the constant churn of deadlines and output, but I am really grateful that I have this opportunity to find my way again. I can’t wait to talk about craft again. Maybe next week. Until then, may your writing be plenty and your struggles be few.

Kerry Share

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Thursday Words

Authors Behaving Badly; Writing While Depressed

CW: Depression and suicide


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

Well everyone, we are just four short days into 2023 and we already have our first case of Authors Behaving Badly.

Bring Out Your Dead

In case you were offline the last two days, or are far enough from the indie-romance writing sphere to not have heard, indie author Susan Meachen returned to her private Facebook group a few days ago to announce her return to writing after a two-year long hiatus.

The only problem is, that hiatus was precipitated by the news of her sudden and tragic passing.

Yes, according to an October 2020 Facebook post from Susan’s own account, made ostensibly by her daughter, Susan, a beloved figure in the indie romance world with a small but devoted group of fans, tragically took her own life. Susan’s daughter pointed the finger at bullying within the indie romance community, specifically other authors, as the cause of her mother’s suicide.

Susan’s daughter went on to explain that she would only be using the page to promote her mother’s books, as well as solicit assistance in completing her mother’s final novel – which had meant to be a wedding gift for her daughter.

Understandably, Susan’s friends and fans in the writing community were devastated to hear this news. Many rallied to donate funds toward funeral costs, and an anti-bullying anthology was dedicated to her memory.

So, when Susan suddenly reappeared to announce that she was not dead after all and was hoping to get back to writing, with little explanation for the last two years and lacking in any remorse whatsoever for those who mourned her death… Well. We all know what happens when shit and fans meet.

Many of the incriminating Facebook posts, including the original announcement of her supposed suicide, have since been deleted – but screenshots are forever.

It’s a wild story, but as I pored over the details, it didn’t pack the same sort of… schadenfreude-like punch that other writing/book community drama usually brings. There was no silver lining, there was no fun to be made. It was all just… very sad.

A Single-Use Solution

The writing/publishing (including indie) industry and ecosystem can be especially tough on writers with mental health struggles. The constant churn of rejection can definitely lay an aspiring writer low, even if they aren’t already down to begin with thanks to an accident of brain chemistry. In the indie publishing world in particular, the need to constantly promote your books, write new ones, and organize editing, cover design, and ads is a grind I certainly know I am not capable of. I can only imagine how it must feel to check Amazon for your sales numbers only to find nothing, leaving one to wonder if the hundreds of hours they put into their book was even worth it. It’s enough to beat even the most mentally healthy author down.

I’m not making excuses, of course. What Susan did was reprehensible. But I guess, as someone who has struggled with depression and anxiety pretty much my whole life, I can see how a person might reach a point where they want to blow everything up and walk away from it. In an especially low moment, yearning for something – anything – to give your life meaning again, I can actually kind of understand on a base level how pretending to have died so that you can watch the love pour in might make sense to a person.

Trouble is, it’s a single-use, temporary solution to an on-going problem. More importantly, it is not victim-free. Susan intimated in her Coming Back post that she is in a much better place mentally now (something we should all be happy to hear), however now that she is feeling well, she wants to return to her old life of writing and publishing. But, she can’t unbreak the emergency glass and she can’t undo the harm she caused to her friends and fans, no matter how hard she tries to point the blame at her daughter. She certainly could refund the money apparently donated to her fake-funeral expenses, but it seems like she’d prefer to pretend that she never received such charity. In fact, from her post it seems like she wants to pretend none of this ever happened, which, of course, she can’t. Even if she were to stalwartly ignore every attempt to guilt or shame her for the fake-suicide scheme, the internet won’t. I would be stunned if she ever sold another book. Her writing career, barring a new pen-name and a new brand to go with it, is likely over for good.

There are no winners in this tale. Not Susan, not the admin of her fan page who has been implicated in the plot, not the daughter who is being fingered by her mother for having initiated the whole thing, not the friends who genuinely cared for her – who posted to her fan page as recently as a few months ago that they missed her – and certainly not those who donated funds, provided free editing services, or spent their labor organizing that anti-bullying anthology dedicated to her.

So even while I cannot and will not defend Susan, or what she did, I do empathize with her. Because I’ve been in that place before, where something completely irrational and harmful seems like the only solution you’ve got. I hope she finds the strength to make the necessary amends. She’ll feel so much better for it.

Believe me, I know that too.


Oof this was a heavy one. Gentle reminder to all of my fellow depressives out there that you are loved and appreciated and seen, and that one woman’s poor behavior does not make your experience any less valid.

Until next time my friends (hopefully next week we’ll have something fun to talk about), may your writing be plenty and your struggles be few.

Kerry Share

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Thursday Words

The Lies We Tell Ourselves

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

I’m not feeling especially good today, mentally, so my apologies in advance for kind of a downer post. 

Continue reading “The Lies We Tell Ourselves”
Thursday Words

90 Days

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

Write every day. We’ve all heard that age old refrain, haven’t we? The idea that, if we want to be successful writers, we must practice our craft every single day. And, on its face, the suggestion seems sound. Musicians probably play their instrument every day, runners likely go for at least a jog every day, right? (Caveat: I am neither a musician nor a runner so I don’t actually know.) So, why shouldn’t we writers do something similar?

Well, first of all, lets address the fact that writing advice (much like any advice on any creative endeavor) is not one size fits all. For some writers, the chronically ill or disabled for example, the poor and working multiple jobs for another, getting one uninterrupted hour of writing a week might be cause for celebration. Some others might get their best creative work done in binges, and find it difficult to get into the write (hah, see what I did there) mindset when they only have an hour. To put it simply: write every day might work for you, but it’s hardly the only way one can become a successful writer.

That all being said, I’d really like to get into the habit myself.

*record scratch*

I am a chronic procrastinator. It’s a byproduct of my anxiety. I even procrastinate doing things I know I will enjoy (I’m still three episodes behind on Andor). In truth, I have found that in about 75% of the obligations, tasks, and activities I encounter or plan for over the course of my day I just never feel mentally prepared for. Of course, I often have to push through that feeling and when I do I realize that it wasn’t that big a deal to begin with, and yet the cycle continues with the next task. 

For years I have been trying to stymie the worst of these mental block with healthy habit forming to mixed success. The reasons why are best left to therapy, but one of the biggest hurdles has been maintaining the habit long enough for it to actually become ingrained. Often times, when I’m trying a new routine, something will come up a week or two in to interrupt it (appendicitis twice in two months for example), and then after things settle down I just give up. But, more often than not, a new routine that starts off strong just… fades until I’m back to the way things were before I started.

This week in casual conversation about changes we were implementing at my day job, my boss mentioned that it takes about ninety days to form a new habit.

Reader, I was floored. For some reason, I think maybe I read something online somewhere, I thought that habit forming only took three weeks. Now I’m being told it’s actually three months?! 

So much makes sense now about my failures to form new, healthy habits, and the ones that did manage to take were largely by happy accident. I haven’t been trying to keep the new routine up for nearly long enough. 

And now I’m thinking about all the things I would like to turn into habits, if I can make it the three months. Obviously writing every day, sure, but blogging also. Reading. Making an effort to connect with the community (via Twitter, Instagram, etc). Suddenly my growth, not just as a creator but as a person who doesn’t want to go home and sit in her recliner and doomscroll the news or veg in front of the TV like I have been doing, seems… actually possible?

Ninety days. If I started today on these habits, by roughly Valentine’s Day I might see everything about the way I spend my free(ish) time radically transformed. 

And if that’s not something to get excited about, then I don’t know what is. Here’s to trying.


Well, that’s all from me today! Until next time my friends, may your writing be plenty and your struggles be few. 

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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Thursday Words

Zero Draft

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

Since turning in most recent, and possibly last for the year, romance novella last week I have found myself with the most curious thing: spare time. Wild, I know. Of course, I took a few days off to let my brain unclench a little after I struggled hard with that last romance, but now it is back to the grind.

I had just started what I am, for now, calling a cozy fantasy (though I am starting to doubt that label) when I got my contracts, which meant I had to take a two-month break from the idea. This week when I hauled out my notebook again, I’ll admit it was pretty darn tempting to just lay it aside and dive into something new or different, especially since I’ve been doing some world building on the Border Towns rewrite (more on that later).

But, my better sense won out in the end (for once), and, honestly, it felt really darn good to write until my pen ran out again. 

If you’re new around here, it might come as something of a surprise that I prefer to write my first draft entirely by hand. When I’m on deadline I have to switch to typing simply because of the time factor, but absolutely given my druthers, longhand is the most effective method for me to push through a first draft. 

Think about it, first drafts can be pains in the anatomy. If you’re like me and many other writers, the propensity to doubt (or even hate) what you’ve written can often lead to just wiping the slate clean and starting fresh. And while I’m of the opinion that no words are wasted as long as you’re learning from what came before, moving backward is rarely helpful when you’re trying to tell yourself the story, like in a first draft.

For me, writing longhand helps stem the tide of backspacing. Part of that is simply because I’m so neurotic, I really don’t like seeing a bunch of big ugly scratch outs on my page, and I really, really don’t like wasting paper and pens. So, when I’ve written a few paragraphs that I don’t necessarily love, where it would be easy to erase them and start over on a computer, when I’m drafting on paper I pretty much have to decide if it’s worth it or if I should just move on. Most of the time, I move on.

Because it’s the first draft. It’s not supposed be pretty and perfect. 

Actually, in a way, I consider my longhand writing to be the zero draft of a project. My scribbles are often indecipherable to any second set of eyes, littered with shorthand and misspellings, repeated words are rife, and description is thin on the ground. Then, when its time to transcribe the pages into my computer, I take things nice and slow, fixing errors and rewording things as I see fit. That’s when I identify the places where I’ve written myself into a corner, or repeated a scene idea. That’s when I evaluate what lessons I’ll take into, what I consider, the real first draft. 

Plus, writing longhand gives me an excuse to buy sparkly gel pens I’ll actually use and pretty notebooks I’ll actually write in. And what writer doesn’t love that? 


But, the cozy fantasy (working title: Pieces of Eight) isn’t all I’ve been spending my creative energy on. Nope, you read that right: I, Kerry Share, have been world building. And its not just any world building. Its world building for a story that long time readers might recognize as Border Towns, my erstwhile WIP that I took to Nano, finished just days before my 30th birthday, and then proceeded to struggle with in subsequent drafts because, as I later realized, it needed major revisions.

That said, revisions isn’t quite the word I would use to describe what I’m doing with the project. Complete overhaul is more accurate. While the premise, characters, and general plot threads will remain the same, pretty much everything is getting a massive makeover. I’m even changing all the names, including the title. Henceforth, Border Towns will be known as Tyranny of Titans.

And the very first lesson that I’m taking from its predecessor is: I can’t just leave the world building for later. I’ve got to have a really clear picture of the space around the characters, the cultures they exist in, and the broader scope of the conflict at the heart of the story, before I can start writing in earnest. So, in the creases between the day job, the child rearing, housekeeping, and drafting Pieces of Eight, I’ve been doing some world building.

I’m starting off slow with just the custom language of the setting. I used the VulgarLang tool to plug in the phonemes of the language I wanted to base mine off of (a secret, in case you were wondering), and generated a few examples until I found one I liked. Then I skimmed through the dictionary (I paid for the full version of VulgarLang years ago and is still one of the best purchases I ever made) provided and chose about 100 words that I liked the sound of and plugged them into an excel spreadsheet. From this list I am coming up with the names for my cast of characters.

I’ve always been really bad at coming up with names in my stories and one of my chief dissatisfactions with the original Border Towns was that everything felt so uncreative because the world had no uniqueness to it. So, this process has been actually kind of fun and inspiring in its own way. I definitely recommend checking out VulgarLang if you’re a fantasy writer, like me, who might need or want a fantasy language for their story but can’t figure out how to make one.


That’s all from me. I’m still trying to think of ways to fill the Friday blog spot, so I may post something random or experimental tomorrow. Until then, my friends! May your writing be plenty and your struggles be few.

Kerry Share

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Thursday Words

Just Keep Swimming

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

Friends, the last few weeks have been a little fraught in my world. Emotionally, financially, and writing…ly? I’ve had a lot of up and down moments, from launching my Patreon page to failing to secure a single Patron outside of my own inner circle, from having to cancel my trip to WorldCon because I could no longer afford the hotel to finally getting back to my romance novellas after a long summer off, from 7000+ word writing days to the stretch I’m in right now where flying a commercial jet seems like it would be easier than finishing this manuscript.

tenacity: the quality or state of being persistent

Something I’ve come to realize over the course of this journey, and its a lesson I am certain many authors have learned before me, is that determination is probably the most important quality in a writer — even more so than raw talent.

Because writing is going to be hard. There are going to be days (or several days in a row, or a week, or months) where it feels like there are no more words in your wrung out sponge of a brain. There are going to be periods where you think that you’re never going to make it. There will be deadlines you’re going to miss and you hate yourself for failing. It will feel like no one cares about your writing. It is going to be utterly demoralizing. And not everyone is going to be cut out for it.

I’ll be totally honest. I’ve thought more than once (often, even) that I’m one of those people. That, because my chronic depression and anxiety often rob me of creative spark, I’ll never be a professional writer. That, because I often find myself just too worn out from the other parts of my life that demand my time, attention, and mental energy, that I don’t deserve to succeed. And when the call is coming from inside the house like that, it becomes harder and harder to ignore.

There have been times when I “quit” writing. I just straight gave up. Told myself that writing was supposed to be fun, and I was making myself so miserable with guilt for not writing, that it was no longer an enjoyable activity for me. And if that was the case, what was the point? So, I walked away.

But, inevitably, a day or two later, I would miss it. I would feel the itch. I would be playing a video game and making up stories about the world or characters. I would be watching tv or a movie, and think about what I would do differently. I would hear a song and all sorts of ideas would come to life in my mind.

Then, just for shiggles of course, I would take a glance at the last thing I wrote before I rage quit, half expecting the words and ideas to be so terrible that they would actually affirm my decision to abandon writing altogether. Of course, they weren’t. Some of them were actually pretty good. And now that I looked at it again, I suddenly knew how to fix that trouble spot that made so frustrated before.

You get the idea. The point is this: I gave up. I stone cold quit. I was done. Writing was relegated to the long laundry list of failed endeavors.

And then I came back. 

Me to my WIPs

Okay, so maybe I didn’t quit quit. I really just took a break. But, at the time I made the decision, it really did feel like I was walking away, with all the emotional turmoil that entailed. And, weirdly enough, I think that was ultimately a good thing. It showed me how much writing meant to me, how I couldn’t stay away from it even if I tried, that though times get tough I will always find my way back to what I’m supposed to be doing.

Which is unquestionably, unshakably writing.


My monthly suggestion box is live over at Patreon for the $3.00 and up tiers. This month I am asking my Patrons to let me know what their favorite romance sub genres are. Who knows, maybe I’ll write one or two in those genres in the future. If you are a fan of romance, or know someone who is, please consider becoming a Patron or sharing my page: Patreon.com/KerryShare


That’s all from me this week, sorry it was a day late again. I’ll be back on Saturday with another installment of The Ballad of Mercy May. Until then, my friends, may your writing be plenty and your struggles be few.

Kerry Share

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Thursday Words

A Lot of Balls

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

For the last eight days, I have been at home on my last staycation of the year before my day job launches into its busy season. I would like to say that I got a whole mess of writing done and my latest manuscript is ahead of schedule and everything is fabulous and wonderful. But, uh. That would be a lie. 

Actually, I did what I probably needed to do and for the first three or four days I did pretty much nothing else but sleep and otherwise relax. Still, I’m not super worried. Part of me has actually come to accept that, at my core, I am a binge writer, and trying to write every day just doesn’t work for me. I’d like it to. I’m going to try to get better about that, but I’m not going to overly stress myself out about it either. 

Me, circa one week ago.

That being said, now that I am well rested and bursting with creative energy, I’ve been wondering whether or not I have enough writing projects on my plate at the moment. 

Yes, you read that right. I am looking for more things to do. 

Ever since I launched my Drabble Rock projects earlier this summer, I have found that I am far more fulfilled creatively than I was just working on one manuscript or fantasy project at a time. While finding the time to manage all of my wild ideas is an ongoing project in and of itself, I find that when I sit down with my planner to map out my day I’m more excited to have a variety of writing related activities on my to-do list. 

So, I’ve decided that I’m going to add a worldbuilding task to my daily endeavors. As some of you may know, I hate worldbuilding. However, I have come to recognize that my chronic avoidance of it is why my fantasy projects tend to stall out so quickly. Worldbuilding, to me, isn’t sexy like drafting (or editing *drool*), but it is necessary BEFORE I launch into a project. 

This is in addition to writing romance for Scribd, Drabble Rock, blogging, producing Patreon content, and drafting an already in-progress fantasy manuscript.

Piece of cake.

Alright, so lets be real, there simply aren’t enough hours in the day to maintain all those projects and expect to have a life outside of writing.

(Who needs that? Wonders Dark Me.)

And, sure, I imagine that I’ll get really tired of the grind some days and will need to take mental breaks from writing from time to time. That’s fine. But for right now, the idea of having so many moving parts, so many possible outlets, so many avenues to Being a Writer™ to explore… its energizing to me.

I’ve talked before about my desire to be prolific. To have millions of words to my name and dozens upon dozens of titles. I’m not going to achieve that taking it one story at a time.

Call me impatient, call me overly ambitious. I’m all that and more.

Lets just say, I’ve got balls.


Pearl is young, single, and completely uninterested in the trappings of marriage. Not that her father cares about her personal preferences. When Pearl is married off in what is meant to be none other than a good business deal between families, she decides she will have nothing to do with her intended husband. Or so she thinks.

Kind-hearted Thomas is more welcoming to the thought of a marriage partner than his betrothed, but such a gentle soul would never dare to overstep Pearl’s boundaries. With a partner so intent on keeping him at arm’s length, how can he convince his new wife that he truly loves her?

Pearl and Thomas are forced to get to know each other in the most unfortunate of situations: an arranged marriage unwanted by both of them. Will their families’ meddling come between the blossoming of what looks like an actual romance?

The Dutiful and the Disfavored, a Regency Romance, is available now on my Patreon, with pledges starting at just $1.00. Click here to find out more!


Well friends, that is just about everything I have for you this week. If you like my content, please consider subscribing to my Patreon, or making a donation to my Ko-Fi. Every little bit of support, monetary or moral, is sincerely felt and appreciated! And, as always, may your writing be plenty and your struggles be few.

Kerry Share

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