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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Scribd subscribers, click here to find my romance novellas!

Monday Motivations; The Chariot

It’s 2022, and guess what? I’M BACK BABY!

After I turned in my last manuscript of the year in early November (and struggling mightily to get creative momentum for NaNo or, well, literally anything else) I decided it was in my best interest to take a bit of a hiatus to recharge my batteries. The freelancing gig, as much as I love it, had really worn me out and with the holidays, other non-writing obligations to oversee, and the day job being slammed, I didn’t really have the bandwidth for any other sort of demands on my time.

Yet, while I enjoyed the break, I also really missed the hustle. I missed the creative surges, the rush to meet deadline, the dopamine hit of seeing my word count tracker creep toward the end goal. But most of all, I missed the feeling (the fact) that I was being productive with my time.

Over the last few weeks I’ve been chastising myself for not using this break from freelance work to more seriously tackle personal writing projects. My excuse, every single time, was “Well, none of my ideas inspire me right now.” And that’s true. Perhaps it was creative burn out, but at no point did I reflect upon the at least six novel ideas I have percolating and think that I needed to write any of them right now. So I didn’t. And now hiatus is over and I didn’t accomplish a single damn thing.

That got me thinking, and as I was mulling over my writing goals for the new year, and once again lamenting that none of my ideas are really jumping out at me at the moment, I realized that waiting for fickle inspiration to strike to write is some straight bullshit.

If there is one thing I have learned about writing, is that there is no such thing as the “perfect time” to write a story. There is no such thing as inspiration that lasts all 120,000 words of a novel. There will never be a moment that is ideal beyond description to start writing, and even if there is it only lasts just that long: a moment.

So, I want that energy to be what I take into 2022. No more waiting, no more passively sitting by and hoping my muse shows her face, no more blaming her absence for my lack of work ethic. Let this year be the year I chase my dreams down with a lasso and laser like precision.

It’s happening. And even I won’t stop me this time.

Kerry Share

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Scribd subscribers, click here to find my romance novellas!

Romancing the Muse

Manuscript News

I tried a fun little exercise this last week. I had just tapped out on my note card phase (simply put: I write every single scene I can possibly think of on a note card, even if it might never make it into the MS; I do it largely to generate new ideas) and was feeling pretty good about what I had come up with. I had about three times as many note cards as I produced for Border Towns and several plot threads I wanted to follow. But, with so many ideas, I worried about losing track of the important beats I wanted to hit. 

So I made a list for myself of all the plots and subplots that I had come up with. Most were character relationships, others could be condensed. When I was happy with my list I went back to my scene cards and on the backs I wrote down each plot it contributed to. This helped me figure out which scenes were doing work, and which ones were just fluff.

The next step was to organize the cards according to the plot(s) they were apart of (since most of them have the potential to forward along more than one, I repeated this step for each plot). Then I examined the story lines closely to see if they all had coherent beginnings, middles, and ends. In this way I was able to identify which plots should either be scrubbed entirely, or at least beefed up, and which ones were carrying the novel.

I have no idea if this exercise will help me write a better novel in November, but it really helped me figure some things out about my story that, until then, were kind of foggy before.


The Weekly Struggle

So, there I was at my day job, doing one of those mindless repetitive tasks, listening to Print Run, and thinking about my upcoming NaNo project, when–

plot twist

Here is the entire plot and all the characters for a contemporary romance novel, my brain whispered lovingly, as if it was handing me a great gift.

But me, I said to meI write fantasy. I don’t even read romance, I wouldn’t know the first thing about how to write it.

Tooooo damnnnnn badddddd, my brain replied, fading into the distance.

And here we are.

Truthfully, this didn’t really come out of nowhere. I had written about 30k of a romance story about six years ago and recently unearthed it to give myself a shot in the arm, desperate for anything to get myself back into a creative state of mind. Normally I shy away from anything I’ve written in the past, but this particular story I was quite proud of at the time. It (for the most part) held up after all these years. The hook, I feel, is solid and the characters have depth and nuance, and feel real. The premise might be a little cheesy, but not unrealistic. It needs some work, of course, but it wouldn’t take too much effort to whip it into a complete first draft.

Still, I have reservations. As I mentioned, I really don’t know much about the genre. Now and again I try to get into it, but I struggle to maintain interest. Further, and pursuant to last week’s post, what would be the point of writing a one-off romance novel? Romance is not a genre I feel compelled to pursue beyond this one idea, though, I admit, I didn’t feel compelled to pursue it before the idea either, and yet…

Well, what’s the harm, right?

So, I’m going to write it. It might be terrible, or it might be the best thing I ever write. It might be a distraction from my fantasy projects, or it might be a nice escape whenever I’m blocked or frustrated with them. It might just be a practice novel, or it might be what I pitch at next year’s DFWCon. I won’t know until I try.

Here’s to new adventures.


That’s all from me this week! Until next time, may your writing be plenty and your struggles be few!

Kerry Share

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