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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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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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Monday Motivations; The King of Swords

Good morning and welcome to another wonderful week of writing.

Well. At least I’m hoping it will be wonderful. Last week was a reminder from the universe not to get too cocky, as I was slapped down hard from my pedestal on Tuesday when my purse was stolen right out of the front seat of my car while I nipped inside the daycare to pick up my kids.

Don’t worry, we’re all okay and really the only thing the theft cost me was time and convenience, but as you can imagine forging ahead on the writing front was a secondary concern.

While it would be easy to look at my big fat goose egg of a word count and feel disappointed (understandable distractions aside), especially given the ambitious goals I have set for myself, that is just not the path I am choosing to take. Instead of getting down on myself, I am celebrating the victories, no matter how small. Like finally figuring out why I was so blocked on this opening scene and penning the first few paragraphs to fix it! Like overcoming my irrational fear of audiobooks so I can get reading done on the car. Like the feeling of a pen in my hands and seeing the words shining on the page in ink.

Those are all wins in my book, and I’m building on every single one of them this week. No more looking back, only forward.

Kerry Share

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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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Monday Motivations; Eliminating Waste

Happy NaNoWriMo everyone, especially those who are choosing to participate this year. Regular readers of this blog may be aware that after a lot of internal debate, pained agonizing over my busy schedule, and possibly against my better judgement, I have decided to go ahead and at least attempt NaNo.

With as much on my plate this month, with a manuscript due in two weeks, my partner going out of town for the holiday, leaving me with child care and housekeeping to take care of, and some other additions to my schedule, it honestly seems ludicrous, even to me, that I would even consider adding yet another time consuming, energy sapping, creative obligation to my list. That said, for the first time in four years, I’m under no illusion that “winning” NaNo is likely. But if I’m to have a prayer of crossing that 50,000 mark, time management is going to be critical.

I often think about time like currency. It can be spent wisely or wastefully. Too often, when I find myself scrambling to meet a deadline, or when I am feeling completely overwhelmed by my To Do list, it’s because I frittered away my balance of time in a decidedly unproductive fashion.

We all have our favorite time wasting activities. For me, it’s usually video games, although lately it’s been true crime TV and nonagram puzzles (I just discovered them and to say I’m obsessed is…). Sometimes I try to tell myself I am capable of multi tasking. That I can write and watch that basketball game, or that it’s okay to reward myself for a paragraph by scrolling Twitter. Sometimes it’s true, but mostly it’s just a comforting lie.

This month, I can’t afford to deceive myself. While self care and moments of leisure will be important to avoid burn out and over work, eliminating those moments when I know better than to open the AITA sub Reddit or mindlessly click through my newsfeed or do just one more puzzle, because all it is is a time sink that feeds my worst impulses.

So, that’s my motivation this week. Identifying and eliminating wastes of my already stretched thin and precious time.

It’s gonna take discipline I’m not sure I have, but I’ll never know unless I try, right? And, anyway, even if I don’t “win” NaNo, every word I do write is one more I didn’t have before this month, and that matters. In that regard, I’ve already accomplished the goal.

Until next time, my friends!

Kerry Share

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Scribd subscribers, click here to find my romance novellas!