Monday Motivations

Monday Motivations; Getting Back On the Horse

Hello friends and welcome to another winter blasted week of writing.

Well, it finally happened. After 28 straight days, I (unintentionally) broke my blog streak. I mean, I feel like I had an okay reason. I caught my daughter’s cold and was almost completely incapacitated with a headache that would not go away even with jamming extra strength Motrin down my throat, but I can’t help but feel a little bit disappointed that I didn’t open my computer once and put together what is, after all, the easiest blog I do every week: the Weekly Writing Roundup.

(Holy run on sentence Batman.)

That disappointment, coupled with the lingering headache, terrible battle with insomnia (partially thanks to said headache, running on 90 minutes of sleep rip), a winter storm that has put my entire metro area on edge, and just some general malaise has me really having to willpower my way back into a routine. Sure, it would be nice to call it a self-care day and leave it at that, but I’m already at work anyway so I may as well take advantage of what time I have available to get myself back in the swing of things.

So, while it’s a bummer that my blog streak came to an end, I’m not going to let it ruin the momentum I built in those four weeks. I’m gonna keep it rolling. And that’s my motivation this week.

Kerry Share

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Thursday Words, Uncategorized

The Chain

Hello friends and welcome to another less-than-ideal edition of Just Another Struggling Writer. I’m just another struggling writer.

Friends, I don’t know if you have noticed, but I am not a perfect writer. Brave of me to reveal this publicly, I know, but I must speak my truth as I live it. Yes, its true, there are times when I find it difficult to sit down and write. Unfortunately for me, one of those situations is literally any time I am in my house.

Home Is Where The Black Hole of Motivation Is

I have a moderately stressful day job. I prefer not to get into the details, but it requires more emotional labor than the average profession. Though I love what I do, it is often a strain on my mental resources. My job is part of the reason why I absolutely have to have time every day to decompress and destress from work.

This has ultimately led to the deeply engrained mindset that my home is the place I go to not work. When I get home after a long day at my day job, plus extra curricular activities, oh and don’t forget dinner, dishes, laundry, and cleaning up that thing my dog just shredded, sitting down in my recliner, even if my laptop is right there next to me, my brain automatically switches into leisure mode. Its almost Pavlovian at this point.

However, as we all know, writing is also work. It requires mental energy, focus, and stamina — things that tend to be in short supply after, well, *gestures above* Not writing when I get home isn’t even necessarily about the myriad distractions at my disposal (although they certainly play a part), its about breaking out of the mental feedback loop of home = not work.

I’ve tried a couple of different ways to fix this. I’ve tried writing in the mornings before work (a Herculean effort for a lifelong night owl), I’ve tried carving out a space to treat as a home office (which was just a nook in my bedroom, and you can see how that would cause motivation issues), I’ve tried Pomodoros (“I’ll just work for twenty minute and then get a little five minute break for video games as a treat”).

You might be wondering to yourself, if I struggle so much to write at home how in the hell do I get any writing done at all?

Well. Truth be told, about 80% of the writing I do, blogs and drabbles included, I do at work.

Kerry, you might be saying to yourself, what??

Its true. I use the creases in my work day to write. I bring my notebook with me and leave it open on the desk next to me. When I have a few moments, I jot down a sentence or two. When I have dedicated breaks, I drabble or blog. My lunch is spent with the WordPress app open on my phone. During the commute, I’ll talk to text ideas to myself. Because I find it so difficult to write at home, I have found ways to sneak in creativity throughout my day.

This extends not just to work, however. My favorite place to write is my daughter’s gymnastics practice. I get one hour uninterrupted, with the only distraction the occasional outbreak of applause when a gymnast sticks a landing. I’ve also started working at my other daughter’s guitar lesson. I’ve even brought my notebook along to my son’s allergy shots, because we are required to wait half an hour afterward before we can leave.

Anywhere I have a few minutes, I use it. As long as I’m not at home.

If that seems not ideal to you, well, you’d be right, its not. Because, while my method works to an extent, if I find myself at home unexpectedly for any reason (like today, home with a sick kid), every last iota of production goes right in the toilet. I have to make a concerted effort to do even the bare minimum *coughlikethisblogcough* Weekends, what should be my peak writing days, are, you know, not. Bank holidays? Don’t get me started.

Druthers, Druthers Everywhere

It seems to me that in a perfect world, I would find a place I could go after my kids went to bed where I could put my earbuds in and just buckle down and write. There’s a library literally right across the street from where I live, but they close at eight. There’s a Starbucks down the street, but that closes even earlier. Deep in suburbia, it seems that there is just no good place for a writer who prefers to work in a public environment late at night.

However, part of me knows that even if such a place did exist within a reasonable distance from my home I wouldn’t actually utilize it. Because once I get home, once I sit down… its all over man.

So, what I actually need to do is just get over myself and do the work, even if there’s a basketball game on. Even if the latest Final Fantasy XIV patch just released. Even if Twitter has some amazing discourse I want to watch go down. I don’t need to push myself past my limits, of course, that’s a short road to potentially long term burnout. But, on days — like today — where I’m just sitting at home anyway, I need resist the urge to take a second nap, to open my Steam library, to make excuses not to write.

I don’t think it’ll be easy. Changing something so deeply engrained never is. But, earlier today I was standing at my sink doing some dishes and thinking about how much of a bummer it would be to let my 25-day blogging streak come to an end just because of a stupid habit of needing to preserve my home as a non-working space. So, as soon as I finished up, I walked to my computer, and I opened WordPress.

The desire to keep the chain going was enough to kick my ass into gear.

Now, if I can just start a chain for writing 3 pages a day, regardless of where I’m at, I might actually be a little less of a struggling writer.


That’s all from me this time. I’ll be home again tomorrow it looks like, so if I can keep the streak going despite the significant disruption to my routine, I’ll allow myself a little pride. See you then!

Kerry Share

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Monday Motivations

Monday Motivations; A Bump In the Road

Hello friends and welcome to another wintery week of writing.

Alright, I’ll admit it. I’ve been slacking the last few days writing wise. I’d like to think I have a good reason. I sometimes foster dogs through my local animal shelter, and on Thursday we took in a very sweet but skittish boy. Settling him in has been a task. He’s not sleeping through the night just yet, and we’ve been testing various sleeping arrangements the last three days. All of them have seen me spend at least part of the night on the couch. (Pet tax below.)

So, I’ve been, uh, a bit of a zombie to say the least (today included). Words have been thin on the ground since Thursday, and it’s given me a sort of creative atrophy. Like, I just can’t seem to get up for my WIP, despite finally hitting the end of the first act, something that has felt like it took for-freaking-ever.

But it’s Monday now, and time to get back to the routine. There are just eight short days left in January and I’m well short of my 500 words a day goal (to say nothing of the 1000 words a day I once aspired to). It’s still very achievable, but taking more time off to dither and snooze isn’t an option.

I’m so indescribably proud of myself for the habits I have begun to build this far this year. I’m not going to let a little fatigue related writers block set me back.

In an acronym, LFG!


Pet tax.

Kerry Share

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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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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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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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Thursday Words

Authors Behaving Badly; Writing While Depressed

CW: Depression and suicide


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

Well everyone, we are just four short days into 2023 and we already have our first case of Authors Behaving Badly.

Bring Out Your Dead

In case you were offline the last two days, or are far enough from the indie-romance writing sphere to not have heard, indie author Susan Meachen returned to her private Facebook group a few days ago to announce her return to writing after a two-year long hiatus.

The only problem is, that hiatus was precipitated by the news of her sudden and tragic passing.

Yes, according to an October 2020 Facebook post from Susan’s own account, made ostensibly by her daughter, Susan, a beloved figure in the indie romance world with a small but devoted group of fans, tragically took her own life. Susan’s daughter pointed the finger at bullying within the indie romance community, specifically other authors, as the cause of her mother’s suicide.

Susan’s daughter went on to explain that she would only be using the page to promote her mother’s books, as well as solicit assistance in completing her mother’s final novel – which had meant to be a wedding gift for her daughter.

Understandably, Susan’s friends and fans in the writing community were devastated to hear this news. Many rallied to donate funds toward funeral costs, and an anti-bullying anthology was dedicated to her memory.

So, when Susan suddenly reappeared to announce that she was not dead after all and was hoping to get back to writing, with little explanation for the last two years and lacking in any remorse whatsoever for those who mourned her death… Well. We all know what happens when shit and fans meet.

Many of the incriminating Facebook posts, including the original announcement of her supposed suicide, have since been deleted – but screenshots are forever.

It’s a wild story, but as I pored over the details, it didn’t pack the same sort of… schadenfreude-like punch that other writing/book community drama usually brings. There was no silver lining, there was no fun to be made. It was all just… very sad.

A Single-Use Solution

The writing/publishing (including indie) industry and ecosystem can be especially tough on writers with mental health struggles. The constant churn of rejection can definitely lay an aspiring writer low, even if they aren’t already down to begin with thanks to an accident of brain chemistry. In the indie publishing world in particular, the need to constantly promote your books, write new ones, and organize editing, cover design, and ads is a grind I certainly know I am not capable of. I can only imagine how it must feel to check Amazon for your sales numbers only to find nothing, leaving one to wonder if the hundreds of hours they put into their book was even worth it. It’s enough to beat even the most mentally healthy author down.

I’m not making excuses, of course. What Susan did was reprehensible. But I guess, as someone who has struggled with depression and anxiety pretty much my whole life, I can see how a person might reach a point where they want to blow everything up and walk away from it. In an especially low moment, yearning for something – anything – to give your life meaning again, I can actually kind of understand on a base level how pretending to have died so that you can watch the love pour in might make sense to a person.

Trouble is, it’s a single-use, temporary solution to an on-going problem. More importantly, it is not victim-free. Susan intimated in her Coming Back post that she is in a much better place mentally now (something we should all be happy to hear), however now that she is feeling well, she wants to return to her old life of writing and publishing. But, she can’t unbreak the emergency glass and she can’t undo the harm she caused to her friends and fans, no matter how hard she tries to point the blame at her daughter. She certainly could refund the money apparently donated to her fake-funeral expenses, but it seems like she’d prefer to pretend that she never received such charity. In fact, from her post it seems like she wants to pretend none of this ever happened, which, of course, she can’t. Even if she were to stalwartly ignore every attempt to guilt or shame her for the fake-suicide scheme, the internet won’t. I would be stunned if she ever sold another book. Her writing career, barring a new pen-name and a new brand to go with it, is likely over for good.

There are no winners in this tale. Not Susan, not the admin of her fan page who has been implicated in the plot, not the daughter who is being fingered by her mother for having initiated the whole thing, not the friends who genuinely cared for her – who posted to her fan page as recently as a few months ago that they missed her – and certainly not those who donated funds, provided free editing services, or spent their labor organizing that anti-bullying anthology dedicated to her.

So even while I cannot and will not defend Susan, or what she did, I do empathize with her. Because I’ve been in that place before, where something completely irrational and harmful seems like the only solution you’ve got. I hope she finds the strength to make the necessary amends. She’ll feel so much better for it.

Believe me, I know that too.


Oof this was a heavy one. Gentle reminder to all of my fellow depressives out there that you are loved and appreciated and seen, and that one woman’s poor behavior does not make your experience any less valid.

Until next time my friends (hopefully next week we’ll have something fun to talk about), may your writing be plenty and your struggles be few.

Kerry Share

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Monday Motivations

Monday Motivations; Ace of Swords

Hello friends and welcome to another whirlwind week of writing.

Friends, I come to you today from the inside of a blender. Some mysterious fever-causing illness has once again crept into my household, on the very week my elder two children have a veritable smorgasbord of school/extra curricular activities, and, oh yeah, my son’s birthday is Friday.

Needless to say, staying on top of my writing obligations is going to take some heroic concentration. If writing was my full time job, I might would choose this week to relax my wordload (get it?), but alas I do not have that option. There are no sick days or time off requests. There are no coworkers I can lean on to help me out during this kind of pinch.

Yet to say my writing goals are impossible to meet this week would not be accurate. I can still blog, get my words done, and meet my other obligations. There is simply less room for error at the moment.

That means keeping my eyes on the road. Staying focused. Not letting additional distractions delay my progress any further.

Heroic concentration. That’s my motivation this week.

Kerry Share

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Thursday Words

The Lies We Tell Ourselves

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

I’m not feeling especially good today, mentally, so my apologies in advance for kind of a downer post. 

Continue reading “The Lies We Tell Ourselves”
Monday Motivations

Monday Motivations; Knight of Swords

Hello friends and welcome to another workloaded week of writing.

It’s back to real life this week after a holiday that I really did try to work through, yet, alas, uh, didn’t. Which means I’ve got plenty to do this week (isn’t that every week?). At least I won’t be bored, right?

Something I have sort of been struggling with of late is focusing. I can’t seem to just sit down and complete a task from start to finish. If my goal is to write 1000 words for the day, I might knock out 250 in ten minutes, feel overly proud of myself, and then decide that since those first 250 were so easy I’ll just get to the rest later. Because there is always something else I need to do that needs my attention more. Which inevitably gets interrupted by the next thing. And so on. Eventually I end up looking at my planner at the end of the day with five or six half completed tasks.

There are times when I can look at that and say, well at least I got something done. Times when my kids are sick and dishes are piling up in the sink and my partner is working late and I’ve got bills to pay and only five minutes’ peace.

But after a nice long holiday weekend in which I did absolutely nothing productive (unless playing the new Pokémon counts), now is not one of those aforementioned times.

So today, and for the rest of the week I hope, the plan is to sharpen my focus. Complete my daily tasks, one at a time, until I run out of time. Will there still be distractions? Of course. Will I still be pulled away from my pages by something infinitely more urgent? Probably. But it is up to me to return to the task at hand in those instances. And it is definitely up to me not to create new interruptions where there weren’t any before.

Off we go! Happy writing!

Kerry Share

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