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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Monday Motivations

Monday Motivations; Nine of Wands

Hello friends and welcome to another wacky week of writing.

Friends, I come to you this morning with quite a few balls in the air. In addition to my World Con-turned-staycation starting this week, I also am preparing for the official launch of my very own Patreon page. I’m also still hard at work on my current romance novella, due in a week and a half, and have two new pitches to prepare. Also drabbles and fantasy writing. And blogging. And sleeping somewhere in there too.

Phew.

Overwhelming as that all sounds (and feels), there is something sort of gratifying about having such a full plate. I am moving into the next stage of my growth (and/or career) as a writer and that is something to be proud of. Even celebrate.

Later though, I don’t have time to celebrate now.

In addition to all those tangible goals and tasks I have this week, I’m going to add one more mental one: stay focused, don’t procrastinate, and work hard. This is what I signed up for and I’m not going to waste this moment in time.

Wish me luck friends!

Kerry Share

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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

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Monday Motivations; The Chariot… Again

Hello friends and welcome to another whimsical week of writing.

It’s fitting that I should draw the Chariot again today of all Mondays, because this week I am launching not just a soft reboot of the blog but an ambitious project to go along with it.

I am prone to overthinking things. Pictured: an actual picture of me wearing an actual shirt I own:

So, when it comes to new ideas typically one of two things happens: I either get locked up in analysis paralysis and the idea never sees the light of day, or I rush headlong into it spur of the moment, planning or long term viability be damned.

Drabble Rock was going the way of option A when I suddenly got a bolt from the blue last week. I decided, right then and there in my car on the way to my daughter’s guitar lesson, that I was going to make this crazy idea my next big thing.

It’s probably a good thing I’m charging straight into it because if I hadn’t publicly committed to definitely launching this Drabble series last week, I’d probably be reminding myself right about now that I don’t have a great track record with these sorts of things. I get distracted or too busy or the flame for the project that once burned so bright fizzles out until it’s just another obligation on my time.

But I can’t be afraid to fail. More rather, I can’t let that fear prevent me from trying.

And that’s my motivation this week.

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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