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

Why Not?

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

Friends, I am in full bounce-back mode after a difficult freelance period that saw a depressive episode, a serious crunch to meet a deadline, and the start of school for my three young kids. I am full of vim, vigor and a veritable wellspring of energy and ideas. 

If you’re a regular reader of this blog, you probably know that more often than not my worst enemy when it comes to realizing my ambitions is, well, me. Or, more specifically, what I like to call my anxiety brain. 

Whenever I stumble upon a new idea or decide spur of the moment to launch a new project, the moments thereafter are often rife with anxiety-brain. You don’t have enough energy, time, or stamina for something like this is one of the least offensive things it tells me. You’re going to get 10% of the way into it and give up. And, historically, that’s been true. 

But, last night, after writing a page in my cozy fantasy draft, adding another 100 words to The Ballad of Mercy May, and getting to work on my latest romance novella for Scribd, it occurred to me like a bolt from the blue that the real reason I struggle to write consistently, complete projects, and grow myself as a writer with the intention of being a full time author is actually fear

What for the longest time I thought was burn out or sheer laziness when it came to my creative endeavors was a pervasive fear that they would never amount to anything. The anxiety that I was spending so much time and energy on something that would not sustain me, not just financially but spiritually as well, has poisoned my creative well for so long I no longer recognized it as artificial. 

More succinctly, I think I’ve been struggling to meaningfully commit myself to writing as a career I aspire to because I’m afraid I will fail.

Slowly, but surely, over the last 18 months I have subconsciously been at war with that misguided instinct, and, to be sure, I’ve made strides. I dove headlong into romance writing despite telling myself at every step of the process that I’m not good enough and I’ll be turned away. I launched two drabble projects last month just for the hell of it. 

But I’ve also started and shelved two fantasy projects. I’ve taken weeks off at a time from my personal writing. I’ve made up excuses as to why I’m not writing today, or why now is the right time for that idea. I’ve even very, very seriously considered giving up on writing entirely. More than once. 

Last night, I did something kind of crazy and possibly doomed for failure. Its pretty personal, so I won’t get into it here, but it was emblematic of my writing life as well and it was predicated on one simple question posed to myself: why not? 

Why not research what it would take to open an indie book store? Why not launch a podcast to review fantasy novels? Why not take on more projects than there are time for in a day or even week???

Goals.

In all seriousness, though, why not? What do I have to lose? Why not just… try?

After all, I may just surprise myself. In fact I’m counting on it.


In that spirit, just one last thing…

That’s right, folks, the exclusivity period for my romance novellas under Scribd is starting to lapse for my first few releases, which means I am entitled to share them with non-subscribers. If you are a romance fan or want to support my work, please consider becoming a patron when I launch next week.

Until then, my 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! 

Monday Motivations

Monday Motivations; Two of Cups

Hello friends and welcome to another willful week of writing.

The last few weeks have been on the stressful side for me, but a reprieve at last approaches. Today is my last day writing for the marketing firm I’ve been freelancing with the last six weeks. I’ll be honest: I didn’t really care for the work and it definitely didn’t pay enough to be worth what I put into it, but I am glad I tried it. Now I know for sure it’s not for me. And I made a few bucks on the side.

With that behind me, I am feeling so light and free, and capable of anything. I mentioned a few weeks back that I felt like I had come to a turning point. It may have taken me a while to get back up to speed after making that turn, but with this unburdening coming after today, I am at last ready to go full throttle.

This confidence is due in large part to the mental labor (and it has been some serious labor) I have been putting into improve my perennial anxiety and relax frankly absurd expectations of myself. I am learning to accept that I cannot be the writer I want to be under present circumstances because I want to be a writer that stays at home and writes 12 books a year. I want to the kind of writer that has a podcast and a successful website where people congregate. I want to be the kind of writer that can subsist on creativity alone.

But, honestly, I haven’t done any of the work to earn that yet. As much as I want to be able to quit my job to write full time, I can’t. I have to put in the time and energy, blood, sweat, and tears, and a shit ton of hard work. And, yeah, sometimes it fucking feels like an oxymoron. How am I supposed to generate an income I can live off of by writing if I never have any time to write?

By paying my dues. And accepting that I’m never going to get anywhere if I keep spinning the wheels of anxiety against the mud of low self-esteem and sky-high expectations.

I’m a flawed writer. I hate drafting and I am always abandoning projects before they’re fully formed for the new shiny idea. If I don’t have a deadline, being productive feels like pulling teeth. I like talking about writing and listening to writers talk about writing sometimes more than actual writing.

I’ve spent the better part of the last five years fruitlessly trying to change all these things, and the only thing I’ve accomplished is a shit ton of disappointment and self-deprecation.

So, I’m abandoning the idea of change and embracing the concept of making my flaws work for me. Maybe, just maybe, if I spend the energy I’ve been wasting on trying to “fix” myself on more productive endeavors (like, you know, being creative), then perhaps I’ll finally see some movement in this long, arduous journey of becoming a full time writer.

And that’s my motivation this week.


I expect to have two drabbles for you tomorrow since I missed last week with all the stuff I had going on. Wednesday will mark (I hope) the first edition of WIP Wednesday, the new addition to my weekly blogging lineup, and Thursday I’ll be back again to talk about the last six months and how they’ve stacked up compared to the goals I laid out at the beginning of the year. Friday, I’m thinking of reviving Friday Feelings, and Saturday a new entry in The Ballad of Mercy May will go up.

If you think that’s a lot of blogging, it is. For whatever reason it helps me, and I’m tired of pretending it doesn’t.

Please look forward to it.

Kerry Share

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Scribd subscribers can find my romance novellas here. Coming soon on Patreon!

Monday Motivations

Monday Motivations; The Moon

Hello friends and welcome to another wacky week of writing.

It’s the third week of Drabble Rock and I still feel really good about this fun little project. It’s keeping me creatively engaged without taxing my limited time. And by splitting the idea into two forks — one a contiguous story, the other unconnected, “random” snapshots — I’m able to scratch multiple itches at once.

I look forward to posting them so much, that I started wondering over the weekend if there was a way I could do Drabble Rock every day. At once I chastised myself. I have actual WIPs I could (and should) be working on, after all. As fun as Drabble Rock may be, it can’t be my main focus.

Trouble is, I have come to realize that part of the thing that is so fun and motivating about Drabble Rock is the public nature of it. That’s by design, because apparently the biggest influence on my daily productivity is the expectation — or even just the illusion of expectation — of others. That’s why I work so well on deadline and have no trouble (okay, maybe not no trouble) completing NaNoWriMo.

Personal goals and deadlines are more or less no good to me. I’m used to disappointing myself (thanks anxiety brain), so falling short of a target word count or failing to make writing daily, even just a little bit, a habit isn’t that surprising or, nay, motivating to me.

So, the idea I’m toying with now is reviving Friday Feelings and perhaps adding a mid-week check in. WIP Wednesday’s. It feels a little egotistical to have a blog post every day of the week, but I’m willing to set that embarrassment if it helps.

Whether it actually helps remains to be seen. Until next time, friends.

Kerry Share

Monday Motivations

Monday Motivations; Queen of Wands… Again

Hello friends and welcome to another wonky week of writing.

Last week, despite my anxiety brain spending all its energy trying to convince me it wouldn’t work, I launched my two-pronged short-form fiction project, Drabble Rock. I had a lot of fun with it, but if I’m totally honest, I worried that my enthusiasm for the idea would die off after that first initial burst.

Well, it’s a new week and I’m still excited for it. In fact, I’m itching for Tuesday and already asking myself if once is a week is enough for The Ballad of Mercy May postings. So I am pleased to say that Drabble Rock will be with us for at least another week.

Apart from that, however, I’m feeling a bit like a fraud. I’m really struggling to make headway with Seekers of Empyrean, my urban fantasy novella series. I’m really concerned that the Drabble Rock project has pulled my motivation away, and that I’ve succumbed to Shiny New Syndrome.

Am I real writer if I can’t maintain focus long enough to finish a first draft (much less a second, third, fourth, oh and let’s not forget about querying)?

Am I real writer if I spend more of my time talking about writing than actually writing?

Am I real writer? Or just someone who plays at writing cause it feels cool to say I’m a writer.

My motivation this week is finding out. Wish me luck.

Kerry Share

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Monday Motivations; Six of Cups

Hello friends and welcome to another wordless week of writing.

Last week I was ripe to bursting with motivation. I had more energy and passion for my creative endeavors than I rightly knew what to do with. Sadly, I don’t think I lived up to it.

I was brooding over this fact in my car this morning when two words drifted out of the podcast I wasn’t really listening to and settled somewhere deep in my brain.

Be tenacious.

Giving up is easy. God, is it easy, and I should know because I have done it plenty of times. Sticking with it despite the difficulties, internal and external, now that’s a whole other kettle of fish.

Be tenacious. Defy what my anxiety brain insists is true about myself. Keep trying. What do I have to lose?

However, that was not the only advice the universe had for me. The second part came with my tarot draw.

Find joy.

Because what is the point of working this hard if I don’t love it? If there isn’t some sense of enjoyment in what I do? Why look for reasons to be miserable and disappointed in myself, when I can be having fun?

It sounds so simple, and maybe it is. I’ll just have to find out.

Kerry Share

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Scribd subscribers, click here to find my romance novellas!

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Monday Motivations; A Day Late and a Dollar Short

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

Yesterday was an off day for me. From start to finish I just didn’t feel like myself. Mondays, weirdly enough, is usually when I’m at my most motivated (hence this blog series) and freshest, and I usually feel ready to attack the week. Not so yesterday and I’m still not sure why. Couple that with a tough parenting situation in the evening, and I pretty much lost the whole day.

I’m obsessed with time. How much of it I have, whether or not it’s being spent wisely, the whole nine years. I almost think if it like money, and, like money, I worry that if I am not using it in the most efficient way possible then it is a waste.

Bearing that in mind, days like yesterday are tough for me to swallow. In times gone by, they’ve managed to ruin my entire week. But I’m working on getting better about that, mostly by reminding myself that operating at peak efficiency at all times is something we ask of machines, not people. That I’m not just a vessel of productivity, but a human who is allowed and sometimes has off days.

So that’s my motivation this week: not getting too down about not hitting my word count yesterday and just focusing on what I can do today.

Until next time my friends!

Kerry Share

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Waste of Time or What’s the Worst That Could Happen

Hello and welcome to a creatively frustrated and mildly indulgent edition of Just Another struggling Writer. I’m just another struggling writer.

I know it’s only been a few short weeks since I lamented the very real, exceedingly likely possibility that I will not be participating in NaNoWriMo this year, but already I am starting think about scrambling something together. It’s not so much that I really want to exhaust and stress myself out for 30 days straight the third year running, it’s more that I just really miss being in the weeds of a writing project.

(No disrespect meant to my Short But Sweet Pillar-verse, of course, but there’s a reason I’m not presently drafting it as a novel, after all.)

Last week I thought I might be ready to try my hand a wildly different version of Border Towns, but after a bit of sleep and a maelstrom of brainstorming, I realized that though that reimagined draft may come to fruition one day, that day is nowhere near at hand. Border Towns, loathe though I may be to admit it, has to go back in the ground as a seed, just as it was 5 years ago when I first conceived of it.

But that itch it write, to create, to commiserate and celebrate with fellow writers about the pitfalls and successes, to pour out my mind and my heart and my soul onto the page, to edit and refine, to be a writer again, that never went away. It never goes away, as I’m sure many you can attest. And it’s all becoming a bit more than I can handle, frankly. I have reached a kind of critical mass where I either explode into a fit of unbridled creativity or I collapse in on myself like a dying star and give up completely on the dream of ever seeing my writing published.

The anxiety-brain, always: anything you write now would be forced and chaotic since it hasn’t had time to develop, therefore it would be a phenomenal waste of time to put any amount of energy into a new project, and you’re only going to hate it, and yourself, later, don’t say I didn’t warn you.

And the thing is, all of that might be true. Except the part about it being a waste of time. Because… what I’m doing now is already a waste of time. Waiting for the AHA moment that may never come is a waste of time. Procrastinating putting in real effort into developing myself as a writer by drafting new novels, even if they are destined for the trunk, is a waste of time. Writing, for a writer, could never be a waste of time.

So, I tempt fate. What’s the worst that could happen?


Yesterday I posted a poll to my Twitter: if I wanted to say screw it and start writing again, which new project should it be? It got exactly three votes. One for each of the suggestions. Cue the facepalming. But, this morning I made the decision for myself. I know which project I’m tackling next. I would say I’m hyped but I’m actually still pretty nervous. That anxiety-brain aint quiet. But I don’t care. I’ve made a decision and that, for me, is always one of the biggest hurdles.

Next week I’ll introduce the working title and concepts of the new project. This week, though, I’ve gotta figure out… what those are. Until next time friends, may your writing be plenty and your struggles be few.


Oop, almost forgot the Short But Sweet Prompt:

She was absolutely sure she would be weeping all night.


Kerry Share

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