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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Drabble Rock

The Ballad of Mercy May #0024

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man, protests. “She can’t just come in! Captain’s orders, remember! All visitors must be questioned before gaining entry to the city. Or have you forgotten the —“

The old guard spits on the ground. “I haven’t forgotten, lad. We’ve been questioning.”

“You asked for her name,” Nils replies, frowning. “Which she didn’t give. That’s hardly the interrogation Captain Denrik wants.”

“Oh pooh,” says the elder. “This girl’s wearin’ naught but her slip and has the look like a stiff breeze could carry her off. She’s not about to cause any trouble like Denrik expects, aye?”

The woman flushes at such a


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Drabble Rock

Drabble Rock; January 17, 2023


public


The crowd gathering in the courtyard was among the largest Ysala had ever seen in all her time at Casmir. Unfortunately, the woman’s very public breakdown happened during a break in classes, and hundreds of students and faculty alike were drawn by her screams of outrage to the scene of the… disagreement.

Ysala was very near to the center of the action, and she watched with increasing gut-wrenching pity as Arden Fay’s now former assistant screamed and cried for a second chance. Yet, even as she sympathized with the poor woman, she knew that the loss was her own gain.

Monday Motivations

Monday Motivations; Not Today, Bad Vibes

Hello friends and welcome to another low energy week of writing.

Y’all, I’m not gonna lie to you. I am not feeling it this morning. While I usually like Monday mornings as I tend to feel refreshed and hyped for the week, dragging my bones out of bed to go to work while my partner and kids slept in to enjoy their day off was a major mood killer.

But, I’m certainly not going to accomplish anything by complaining about it. Tired and mildly crabby though I may be, I’ve got words that need writing. I’ve got blogs to post and books to read. A RedBubble shop to promote. (I also have actual work to do but don’t let anyone tell me that.)

I just ran the numbers and to hit the 30k words I wanted for January, I have to maintain a NaNo pace for the next two weeks. Absolutely doable.

Before the new year hit I thought about maybe rewarding myself for each goal I hit every month, but couldn’t come up with enough ideas in time to make them part of my resolutions. But, I’ve got some ideas now. Just a few mostly inexpensive things that I don’t necessarily need but would like to have, and wouldn’t normally buy for myself for no reason.

For January, if I hit the 30k mark, I’m going to get myself a keyboard case for my tablet so I can write on the go without having to haul my laptop everywhere.

If I get 15k (this hitting my baseline goal of 500 words a day), I’ll buy myself some speciality chocolates that I usually only get around Christmas.

Well? What am I waiting for?

Kerry Share

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Uncategorized

Weekly Writing Roundup; January 9-15

Monday

Tuesday

Wednesday

Thursday

Friday

Saturday

Drabble Rock

The Ballad of Mercy May #0023

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unneeded weight upon the woman’s already troubled mind.

The City of Angels, it was once called, the voice continues, heedless of it’s host’s turmoil. The site of the gods’ earthly homes. But no longer. No longer. You are come at a most desperate time, stranger.

“Is it… safe?” The woman asks presently, lifting her voice to drown out the one inside her head.

“Oh, aye,” the older guard answers easily. “Never you fret, girl, them darkwolves won’t make it past us, no matter how hard they try. Now, why don’t you totter on inside and —“

“Hold on!” Nils, the younger


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Fiction Friday

Fiction Friday; We Ride the Storm

This Week’s Read: We Ride the Storm by Devin Madson

Percent Read: 47%

Thoughts So Far: Really into it! The three main POVs are all engaging (though I have to say Rah’s is the least interesting; the whole fighting for the colonizers who enslaved us arc is really hard to root for, even if the POV character is reluctant about it). There is grit and grime and realism without straying too far into the dark where I would get turned off. I probably would have binge read the majority of this book in a single day if I hadn’t made the very conscious decision to set it aside in order to get some other work done. I look forward to finishing it over the weekend!

I did end up DNFing Obsidian Tower. I had read that it straddled YA and adult, but I felt it leaned too YA for me, and the plot was straying more from the, I guess, adult storylines I was hoping I would get. Ah well, we soldier on.

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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Drabble Rock

The Ballad of Mercy May; 0022

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men look at each other again. She’s starting to feel anxious every time they do that.

“You get turned around when you were running from them beasties?” The older guard asks mildly. “Makes sense. No one comes to the Pale City anymore.”

The Pale City, the voice in her head whispers, so named because it is a pale imitation of what it once was.

The woman flinches at the intrusion, then must bite her tongue to stop herself responding to the disembodied entity. She had almost forgotten about it amidst the chase. Now, the reminder of its presence is an


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Drabble Rock

Drabble Rock; January 10, 2023


rice


At highsun the convoy stopped for a midday meal. The conscripted were given bowls of wet, flavorless rice and some yak’s milk in cups barely large enough for two swallows. Yvenna had a hard time imagining that her sister would have subjected herself to this kind of treatment willingly, even if it meant a permanent escape from what she had once termed “the tyranny of destiny.”

As Yvenna poked at her meager meal, she took time to carefully observe the caravan’s leaders. They supped on dried meats, cheese, and bread, and smirked at all those who stared with hateful envy.