Monday Motivations; Page of Wands

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

Friends, it’s that magical time right after I have turned in a freelance manuscript where I feel like I am capable of anything I put my mind to.

Last week, as I was wrapping up the manuscript, I was beset by the overwhelming sense that I was on the cusp of something. A breakthrough. Like I was about to figure it all out. As if all those puzzle pieces that weren’t quite fitting together before we’re starting to twist and turn and find where they’re meant to lock in.

Today that feeling is even stronger. I can’t describe it, really. Just… I feel really confident that this week I’m really going to hit a stride. What I accomplish in the next five days will be the first bricks in the foundation of a routine that will support my career for years to come.

It’s kind of scary when I put it that way, to be honest, and a hell of a lot of pressure for me to be perfect for no other reason than to impress myself. But I’m not nervous, nor do I feel any added burden. I just feel… excited.

Maybe it’s because I got to get to work on the urban fantasy I’ve been plotting since January. Maybe it’s because I’m starting a new month and fresh starts always inspire me. Maybe it’s just because I’m flush with success of another completed freelance project.

Whatever the reason, I’m going to capitalize while I can. And hopefully in doing so I will be setting myself up for success later down the line when my mood isn’t so high.

That’s my motivation this week. Breaking through mental blocks, establishing healthy habits, building a routine that will give me a sense of stability and productivity.

Happy Monday everyone. Let’s get after it.

Kerry Share

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Monday Motivations; Queen of Pentacles

Hello friends and welcome to another wild weekend of writing.

I decided almost as soon as I sat down at my desk this morning that the word (and mood) of the day would be: proactionary. I have no clue if that even is a real word, but the idea is the opposite reactionary.

With as hectic as my life has been these last few weeks/month (what year is it again?) I feel like I’ve spent a lot of time on my back foot. I’ve heard many people thrive in such chaotic environments, and while I am proud of myself for keeping my head above water, I’m ready to lean forward now. To stop reacting what life has been throwing at me and start tackling things my way.

What does that mean? What is “my way” anyway? I’d be lying if I said I really knew, though I do have some ideas.

Firstly, I’m going to stop waiting for opportunities to fall in my lap and start creating my own. The freelancing gig I landed last year I stumbled across purely by luck, and I honestly think that spoiled me a bit. It’s not always going to happen that way and it’s high time I remember that. If that means swallowing my irrational anxiety about Patreon and selling my own e-books, then that’s what I’m going to do.

In a similar fashion, I’m giving up on the “slave to the muse” lifestyle, especially since mine likes to take long, extended vacations when it is least convenient. For too long I have waited until inspiration struck (or NaNoWriMo rolled around) to buckle down and bang out a draft, and, as a rather unsurprising result, I haven’t written many books. It’s time to take a proactionary approach and, hopefully, finally break out of the cycle.

Lastly, I’m through with excuses. I’m always finding a reason to abandon my carefully laid productivity plan for the day. Sometimes those reasons are good, like my child had a difficult day and needed to be consoled. Sometimes, they are dubious, like I had a tough day at work and deserve an evening free of obligations to recuperate. Sometimes, they are downright bad, like I forgot or just didn’t feel up to it.

Take this blog post, for example. I usually write them Monday mornings. But today, there was just so much going on that I could only write one sentence at a time before being pulled away to something else. Then, after I got home, there was a bad storm that kept me distracted. Then, once the kids were all in bed, I opened my phone and saw the half written post still waiting to be finished. I thought… does it really matter? Is it really important for me to write and post this blog today? What would I really be sacrificing if I skipped out?

Only the chance to flex my willpower. To keep a promise made to no one but myself. To take another step in the formulation of a habit. To stop accepting such flimsy excuses as acceptable. So, here I am, at almost nine o’ clock, writing out a blog post that wasn’t supposed to be that deep but took a surprising look into my mental health.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I don’t imagine that changing my entire mental outlook on work and opportunity will be something I can do simply because I made up a word and wrote a blog about it. It will be hard and it there will be failures. But every challenge, every stumble, will only be proof that I took a step forward.

And that’s my motivation this week.

Kerry Share

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Monday Motivations; Two of Cups

Hello friends and welcome to another wicked week of writing.

Friends, readers, spam bots. It is a no-bones day. I barely had enough motivation to get out of bed this morning, I haven’t the faintest idea where I’m supposed to find more in order to write. And if I hadn’t taken off most of last week to account for parenting obligations and the resulting strain on my bandwidth, I’d probably give myself a break.

But I can’t. And life is just like that sometimes. It can be overwhelming and back breaking, and you just want to crawl under the covers and wait til it all goes away, but no matter how long you wait the work will still be there.

This all sounds very doom and gloom, but in its own way it’s kind of comforting. The world keeps turning. It didn’t end because I woke up feeling like jelly. And having obligations to meet doesn’t mean abandoning leisure or self care. In fact, by getting my work done today I’m not putting an undue burden on the Kerry of tomorrow. Or the Kerry of the day before this manuscript is due.

So that’s my motivation today. Wish me luck.

Kerry Share

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Finding Your Why

Hello friends and welcome to another wily week of writing here at Just Another Struggling Writer. I’m just another struggling writer. I got to thinking a little bit this week about motivation. Not the kind that takes the shape of great ideas, nor the type of external stimulus that pushes someone onward. I was thinking much more along the lines of one of the most basic questions we as creative individuals must necessarily ask ourselves: Why do I write? What reason do I have to write? When I asked myself these questions, my answer came easily: because I want to be a writer, duh. But that, in turn, asked a brand new question: what, to me, does “being a writer” entail, exactly? Because, plainly just writing isn’t enough to satisfy that goal. Even writing for money isn’t exactly what I want, because I’m making money (not a lot, but still) with my freelancing deal. Do I want to be famous? Certainly not, I tremble to imagine the kind of unwanted scrutiny fame would invite. Well, then, is it ego? I didn’t even know I had one to speak of. But I do. And that’s what brought me to my answer. My why do I write. Its community. Its people. Its you (yes, you, person reading this right now). Because as much as I shrink against the idea of attention (even positive attention), I do very much desire to bring together a community. That’s why I started this blog, really. That’s why I continue to log onto Twitter every day. Though my anxieties and natural inclination to guarding my privacy have often meant a sort of distance between myself and those I wish to connect with, I do want to make friends. I do want to be surrounded by people who care about my successes. I do want to help others with what meager knowledge and experience I possess. All this time, I’ve been trying to motivate myself to write with all the wrong reasons. Maybe not wrong, exactly, but incompatible. I thought that I want to write to make money, and well, I do, but that’s not the reason I write. I thought that I want to write because, well, I’m making up stories in my head anyway, I may as well jot them down. And, yeah, that’s also true. But as far as inspirations strong enough to kick my ass out of slow, weary complacency, those things just aren’t going to cut it. But you are (again, you). You, who cares about me long enough to still be reading this blog after four years of inconsistent posting and a sort of meandering identity. You, who is interested in what sort of fiction I may bring into the world, even though I have yet to produce any for consumption (novellas outside of my favored genre aside). You, who are just another struggling writer and who just wants to share in that experience with someone outside of your own head. Or wait, maybe that’s just me. Anyway, finding my why has been a bit of a sore spot for me lately. Because, truthfully, I didn’t want to plumb that well too deeply in case the reason actually was just “I want to make lots of money from writing.” Again, I don’t necessarily think that’s wrong and if that’s your motivation, as long as it works for you and gets you writing, I’m good with it. But it definitely wasn’t working for me. Of course, this new source of inspiration means that I need to actually overcome some social anxiety and the death grip I have on the information I’m willing to share with the world. Gulp. But I think you’re worth it. Yes, you. And you know what? So am I. Until next time my friends, may your writing be plenty and your struggles be few. Kerry Share Twitter | Instagram | Ko-Fi
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Monday Motivations; Queen of Wands

Hello friends and welcome to another woeful week of writing.

As regular readers may have noticed, I’ve been a tad absent of late, and as regular readers might surmise, that absence is due in large part to the first depressive episode since starting my anti-depressant showing it’s ugly face.

I won’t harp on it too long since there is no new ground to tread, but I continue to be so, so grateful to those who have and still stick by me even when I am at my lowest. If that includes you, dear reader, your energy is not missed and is deeply felt and appreciated.

The good news is I’m starting to come around again, and not a moment too soon because after a three month hiatus, I finally have a freelance contract and accompanying manuscript to work on again. Though I still have to fight off all the normal gremlins that come with starting a new project (why are beginnings so haaaard), my mood noticeably improved the other day when I opened my laptop and started a new Scrivener doc. Which is odd because historically writing when I’m depressed doesn’t go very well and tends to bring me down even lower.

And yet despite having an incredibly stressful year in 2021 with difficulties in my day job and as a parent, I still managed to turn in six novellas last year. Wilder still is that every single one of them was on time. While I can easily say I was depressed the majority of the year, I still got my work done.

It makes me wonder sometimes if my path to being published is not meant to take the “bang my head against an idea or three until a good enough manuscript falls out to edit and query and get rejected and try again until the right one lands an agent” route.

I like to think I write really well to spec, and while I wouldn’t say I thrive on a deadline, I’m certainly very comfortable writing with a due date in mind (and actually meeting it). While my personal projects languish in first draft — or even worse, worldbuilding — hell because I have no outside pressure to stimulate me, my freelancing projects have never been late nor been so bad as to be unpublishable.

Is there a place for someone like me in the writing world? Well, duh, of course there is. That’s why I have this freelancing gig in the first place. But beyond that there are ghost writers and those who write for IP. It’s not really a matter if the kind of writer I apparently am has a space in publishing and literature, the real question is am I comfortable occupying it? Do I have the fortitude to accept that perhaps that writing my original ideas is not the path I was meant to take?

I don’t know. Obviously, this isn’t an either/or situation. There’s nothing stopping me from doing both, except, well, me. And the confines of time stubbornly refusing to accommodate how much work is physically and mentally possible during the day. But I digress.

It’s just something else to think about. In the short term, I’m going to keep freelancing and squeezing in the personal work where I can. At least that way I can be sure I’m always moving forward.

And that’s my motivation this week.

Kerry Share

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Monday Motivations; Ace of Pentacles

Hello friends and welcome to another wacky week of writing.

I am slow to change. I have always known that to be true. My longstanding anxiety and depression has more often than not driven me to find comfort in old, familiar habits, even the ones that are terrible for my long term well being.

Last night I realized that this extremely busy period at my day job is not likely to dissipate any time soon. In fact, between the labor shortage and the natural uptick in business my firm has seen over the last two years, things are probably only going to get worse.

The truth of the matter is I’ve been waiting for things to “go back to normal” before launching any long term ambitions. Oh, sure, I’ve paid lip service to getting back into my writing habit, and I definitely took a major leap last year when I fell into my freelancing gig. But, if I’m being honest, I unintentionally cornered myself into a holding pattern these last twelve months, by waiting for a moment in time that will likely never come.

I’ve been stuck in a state of inertia, but last night’s realization forced me to ask myself whether I would actually be happy if things went back to the way they were.

And the answer is no. I don’t want to go back. I want to move forward. And that’s this week’s motivation.

Kerry Share

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Monday Motivations; Five of Swords

Hello friends and welcome to another wonderful week of writing.

January was… not great for me. I’m a firm believer in the old adage that bad things happen in threes, and that bore out over the first month of this new year. Starting with the theft of my purse, then my partner and I catching Covid, and rounding out with the worst (and most persistent) toothache I’ve ever had in my life that had me chugging ibuprofen just to get through the day every day for a week.

Suffice it to say, January was a test of my mental fortitude and while I am pleased to have made it out somewhat sane, my productivity suffered. To put it mildly.

Even February is getting off to a slow start, with another icy winter storm trapping me at home with three cabinfeverish children to keep entertained for four days straight (I never thought I would say I was ready to go back to work, but here we are…).

But in the end, all of these things are just excuses. Good ones perhaps, understandable even, but excuses nonetheless. And there will — there must — come a time where I have to own up to the fact that I and I alone am responsible for getting my writing and associated tasks done.

That’s not the depression monster bringing me down, that’s just the plain truth. And with the pitch deadline coming up this week, signaling the end of my vacation from freelance work, excuses — no matter how reasonable — just aren’t going to cut it anymore.

I feel like a broken record saying this (and I can’t imagine what it must be like to hear me say it), but here we are.

So. In the interest of public shame motivating me to actually get my shit done, here are the do or die tasks for the week:

  1. Submit my first pitch of 2022
  2. Blog on Thursday
  3. Finish A Court of Thorns and Roses (that’s right, I said finish)
  4. Workshop and submit my second pitch

Time to get after it.

Kerry Share Twitter | Instagram | Ko-Fi


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Monday Motivations; Two of Swords

Hello friends and welcome to another weird and wonderful week of writing!

On Friday, the holding pattern I’ve been in with my freelancing came to an end as the new pitch guidelines for the first quarter of 2022 came out. I had been anxiously waiting for that email for over a month, but as I reviewed the new guidelines my heart sank a little. What my publisher was asking for… well, it was all just a bit outside my comfort zone writing wise.

I confess, I went to bed discouraged.

But then I woke up and said to myself, “screw that.”

This is going to sound crass, but to be perfectly honest I didn’t apply for this freelancing work to write strictly what I wanted. No, I signed up so I could make money off my writing. That’s it. I needed cash and the opportunity was there. Was I a romance author before I landed this gig? Hell no. But that’s what the market (and my publisher) wanted and so, to earn some money when I was in a dire financial pinch, I became one.

Now, it turns out I love the work and find the experience in and of itself just as valuable as the money I’m making, but point is this job has been stretching my limits since day one. To hang my head and wonder if I’m able to step up to this new challenge goes against everything I’ve learned about myself this last year.

So, if keeping my freelancing gig means learning how to write steamier, cliche-ier romances? So be it. I’m gonna do it. If my imprint wants cozy mysteries, guess what conventions I’m going to be studying up on? Because, for me, this opportunity has shown me what I am capable of and it sure as hell doesn’t stop at writing fantasy whenever I feel up to it.

Sometimes writing is a business and dammit do I love my job.

Kerry Share

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So, You Want to Write An Urban Fantasy

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

Well, everyone, it finally happened. After 22 months of diligent, tedious, downright miraculous pandemic-dodging (considering both my partner and I both worked in office throughout it all, and my kids were in on campus school), the old ‘rona got me. My partner started feeling ill last week, and my symptoms started Saturday. Thankfully we’re both vaccinated, so things haven’t been too terrible.

That being said since we last spoke, I have done a great deal of laying around the house with little else to do except, what else, do prep work on my upcoming novella series!

It’s actually going really well so far. I’ve already progressed to the notecard phase, which is the step right before I draw up my working outline. I’ve got my main characters, the over-arching plot for the entire series and ideas for several of the individual entries, and even a handful of scenes.

The thing I’m struggling with the most is the setting.

Now, one might think that because my roots are in epic fantasy, where stories are set in custom-built worlds with their own maps, their own races, their own language, their own culture, and everything in between, that an urban fantasy idea like Wonderland would be a snap!

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But, truth be told, the prospect of being confined by the rules of the Real World is kind of daunting to me. Even something as simple as choosing what urban area to set the story in is paralyzing. Should I choose a real world metro area? If so, it should probably be one I’m familiar with so that it feels authentic. But there aren’t too many of those and it would feel kind of weird to write about a place I’ve lived or where I’m currently living. But it feels equally weird to write about a large metro area in the US that doesn’t actually exist. Where would I put it? Is this then set in a post-modern US where this city just sprang up? That presents a whole new set of questions. And now I’m breathing rapidly into a paper bag, brb.


But the question of where isn’t even the most important one I need to answer. There’s also the how. As in: “how will magic work in this Wonderland series?”

I’m going to say something else that might surprise you: I haven’t really put a lot of thought into the magic of my previous fantasy projects either. 

I know, I’m like the worst fantasy writer ever.

This is partially because my fantasies tend to be low magic, character driven sagas. The arcane and mysterious exist in my worlds, but isn’t necessarily what is moving the stories along. Even when magic does play a crucial element, it tends to be on the softer side. It’s less defined and deliberately ambiguous. 

With the Wonderland series I’m taking the exact opposite approach. The story demands that the rules of magic be very clearly defined and even outright explained, which means for the first time I actually have to think about what those rules might be. 

I have some ideas, but I’m worried that it’s not hard enough. There aren’t enough rules. I’m not making it believable.

Someone remind me that I’m writing fantasy again. Oh, and also, if you would be so kind, through in some recs for urban fantasy stories so I can see what I’m up against. Cheers.


That’s all from me this week. I’ll keep plugging away at it, until I eventually get so frustrated that I just start drafting out of spite. Speaking of which, I am legitimately hoping to be drafting soon, maybe by mid-February. I can’t wait to be in the trenches with you lovely writers once more! 

Until next time friends. May your writing be plenty and your struggles be few.

Kerry Share

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Scribd subscribers, click here to find my romance novellas!

Do I Want It Bad Enough?

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

Despite my New Year’s bravado, the first two weeks of 2022 have not been as productive I had hoped. I could fill this space with all kinds of excuses ranging from the understandable (my purse being stolen) to the weak (the Nexus needs to go back in the percolator guys, no really!), but the truth is I have always struggled to push myself to meet self-imposed goals and deadlines.

This week I’ve been wondering why that is. I have no problems (well, fewer problems anyway) cranking words out for my freelancing projects, so why, when it comes to my fantasy ideas — my supposed passion projects — do I struggle to summon even the smallest modicum of energy to write consistently?

Am I one of those writers you sometimes hear jocularly referenced, the the kind that spends more time talking or fantasizing about being a writer than actually getting words out? Am I destined to be that one author in your critique group who never can move off the first chapter and finish the rest of the draft? Will just another struggling writer cease to be a tongue in cheek moniker, and become my ultimate definition?

Do I not want it bad enough?

It seems I’ve got some re-assessing to do. Until next time friends, may your writing be plenty and your struggles be few.

Kerry Share

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Scribd subscribers, click here to find my romance novellas!