The Great Pants Experiment

Hello friends and welcome to another crazy idea from your friendly local writer. I’m your friendly (and struggling) local writer.

Happy Last Blog Post Before NaNoWriMo everyone! I hope everyone’s preparations are going well (at least for those of you who are participating) and I am looking forward to cheering everyone on. 

A few weeks ago I mentioned the unlikelihood that I would be able to participate in NaNo this year. I have a freelance project that comes due right at the middle of the month that will consume most of my free time, and, as always, winter is my busiest time of year at my day job meaning I’ll likely be fried even without adding 1666 words a day to my task board. It sucks, because I really do enjoy the community and camaraderie that comes in November. I’ve participated every year since 2017 and managed the 50k each time, due in large part because I didn’t want to let anyone who I had told I was participating down (shame is my greatest motivator). Though a complete ass kicking, there’s something fun about it. And there’s definitely something to be said for the knowledge that maybe I can do this after all that comes at the end. So it’s kind of a bummer to me that I just don’t have time this year. 

So, last week I was sitting here thinking about what I would talk about this week, on the near-enough-to-count eve of NaNoWriMo when I’m not actually participating. 

And then dark me asked: are you sure you don’t have time? 

Of course, I replied, I barely have enough time to get my paid writing done. 

Nuh uh, said dark me, but I ignored her. 

Until I couldn’t anymore. 

Even if I did have time, I haven’t prepared anything, I told dark me firmly. And there’s definitely not enough time to outline something that would get me all the way through November. 

So don’t outline, dark me said. 

Readers, I nearly gasped out loud. Pants a novel? Moi? Perish the thought! I am a die-hard plotter. I love outlining. I’ve never pantsed anything in my life!

So? Said dark me, just teasing me at this point. Now is the perfect time to experiment. 

Or it’s the worst time, I reminded myself. I’m setting myself up for failure. 

Would that really be the worst thing? Asked dark me.

Yes, chimed in the anxiety brain and then I kicked it down the stairs and locked it in the basement, because no one needs that kind of negativity. 

Well, I thought, dusting off my hands, I do have that one character in the Nexus that I’ve yet to come up with a plot line for. 

And even if you don’t get 50,000 words, if you get just one idea for that character this month from pantsing, then isn’t that a win? Dark me wondered.

And that, my friends, is how the The Great Pants Experiment was born. 

I tend to play a little loosely with the NaNo rules. As a high fantasy writer, I have to be. There isn’t a snowball’s chance of squeezing an entire fantasy story into just 50,000 words. So NaNoWriMo for me is more like NaPaOANoWriMo – National Part of a Novel Writing Month. 

Just last year, in fact, I utilized NaNo to draft one leg of my most ambitious project to date, the Nexus. The Nexus, as I’ve mentioned a few times, is a massive, multi-POV mess of a novel that has no chance at all of landing an agent or traditional publishing contract, and yet I love so much I can’t not write it. The novel features five different story paths, some intersecting, some all alone on an island, told from ten different POV characters. Or, at least, that’s the plan, anyway. To date, I’ve only ever drafted the one leg, though I’ve got pretty firm ideas (if not outright outlines) for the others.

Except one. From the beginning I’ve always had a general sense the plot will have kind of a gothic horror feel to it. I know the POV character and how she winds up in her situation, but beyond that… I draw a blank. 

That said, its connection to a world I know well and a brief cameo by other characters I plan to use in other story paths… I don’t know. I think dark me might be right, this might actually be a good time to try my hand at pantsing something.

I also think it’s possibly one of the worst ideas I’ve ever had. 


I mean, what’s the worst that could happen? I wasn’t even planning on doing NaNo this year until… like three days ago, so if I fail to reach 50,000 words what have I really lost? But if I get 35,000, 20,000, or even just a measly 5k, that’s already more than I started with, right? As long as I make sure my freelance writing gets done (due date of the 12th, leaving over half the month to play catch up if need be), then it’s okay, right? 

Right???


Find out next week if I decide to go for it or not. Until then, my friends, may your November be wordy and your struggles be few.

Kerry Share

Twitter | Instagram | Ko-Fi


Scribd subscribers, click here to find my romance novellas!

Self-Promotion and Anxiety: An Extreme Sport

Hello friends and welcome to another so-anxious-I-kind-of-want-to-throw-up edition of Just Another Struggling Writer. I’m just another struggling writer.

Friends. Pals. Fellow writers.

This week I learned that two months ago, with little fanfare or promotion, or even a little note to yours truly, my first freelance project was published.

Now, I know I’ve talked little about my freelancing gig, partially because I wasn’t sure of how much I could or should say, so I feel compelled to explain now that I am currently engaged to write romance novellas for a subscription service called Scribd. Though romance is not my usual genre, I have found the work to actually be pretty fun, and I am enjoying it a lot.

That said, I do not begrudge my publisher’s lack of interest in boosting this first release. As the first novella I’d written and the first romance I sought to publish, the manuscript, I am sure, belies some growing pains. Further as I am an unproven author with no platform to speak of, it is not difficult to see why I was not afforded promotional resources.

However, that means that, if I want to get eyes on my work and potentially grow a platform, promoting is being left entirely up to me. As someone with pretty hefty anxiety, this is a task that, while I know is necessary, I’m petrified of undertaking. Showing people my work means opening myself up to the (damn near guaranteed) possibility that someone will hate it. Someone will hate the way I write, and, the anxiety brain tells me, therefore they will hate me personally, and they will trash me online and I will never recover from it emotionally.

But, nervous to the point of nausea though I may be, I am also perfectly aware that people not liking my work simply comes with the territory of being a writer. And so, to find an audience that does like my writing, I need to put in some work that might chafe at my anxiety a bit (read: a lot). It’ll be doubly important when the exclusivity period is up and I’m able to sell it myself, so learning how to promote myself without apology or, dare I say, shame is critical if I want my career to continue to grow.


To that end, if you’ve enjoyed my blog and are interested in reading some of my work, you can find my romance novellas at Scribd: here!

The first (and so far only) story out is called The Dutiful and the Disfavored. It’s Regency era and while I freely admit it’s not my best work (as I was still trying to find my footing in the genre), I would still really love if yall read it. If Regency isn’t your bag, don’t worry! I have strayed all over the romance spectrum, including suspense, fantasy, and straight contemporary. As soon as those stories are out I will of course share them here!

Meanwhile, check out The Dutiful and the Disfavored, or please pass the link on to someone who might enjoy it. You’d really be doing this struggling writer a huge solid.


Alright, that’s enough of that I think.

Tomorrow marks the first day of Prep-tober, and I’m honestly really sad, as it looks like for the first time in four years I will not be able to participate in NaNoWriMo. I will be writing, of course, but I think that my freelance schedule makes it just too tough to also try and get 1666 words toward a second project every day as well.

Although, shit, knowing me I’ll probably try it anyway.


Until next week my friends, may your writing be plenty and your struggles be few.

Kerry Share

Twitter | Instagram | Ko-Fi

Learning To Love the Hustle

Hello and welcome to another embarrassed and more than a little self-conscious edition of Just Another Struggling Writer. I’m just another struggling writer.

I took last week off from blogging, simply because my brain was a complete desert of ideas on what to talk about. I’m pretty proud of my blogging habit this year, in that I’m finally managing to maintain a consistent posting schedule. So, I’m not going to beat myself up over missing a week, even if there wasn’t much of an excuse for it.

So, this morning, as I was bemoaning in my journal my rather sluggish word count pace for my first “work” project, I came to a stark realization about myself. An uncomfortable one. Dirty, even. Something I’m not even sure I should admit in a public forum. But this blog is about the struggle of writing so here we go.

I’ve been thinking a lot over the last few days about how quickly I burn myself out whenever I try to cram extra writing into my days. Which lead to the realization that the cause is that I am giving up my typical leisure activities in favor of getting my words in. Which then got me wondering why don’t I consider writing a leisure time? I mean, it’s work, obviously, never let it be said that it’s not work, but… why isn’t it fun for me? Isn’t it my passion? Shouldn’t time spent writing invigorate me? Which then had me asking myself the age old question: why do I write? This morning, I think I found the answer, and it was a major disappointment.

I was 11 years old when I started my first novel (a surprisingly dark Harry Potter knockoff, for those curious), so to say I’ve always been a writer wouldn’t be that much of a stretch. But almost nearly as long as I’ve been a writer, one of my chief concerns regarding my creative passion was how to monetize it. I grew up poor and have lived below the poverty line multiple times as an adult, and constant worry about having money is still deeply ingrained in me today. It’s a sad, sad thing to attach to one’s passion, but I did it without even realizing it. Though my dreams of making a living off my writing have tempered somewhat as an adult, and especially over the last few years as I have taken it more and more seriously, the point remains that my goal has never (or at least rarely) been to create something that people love, but something that people buy.

Okay, to be fair, that’s not entirely true. I wrote fanfiction for fifteen years on the back of my desire to create and fueled solely by the people that read it and loved it all along the way. So I know I can do it for the sheer joy of the thing, but it’s just been so much harder to start from the ground up with completely original material and no sure audience waiting. The anxiety and self-doubt, and the imposter syndrome stemming from my successful fandom years, has really weighed on my creative ambition. And in the void left by friends and strangers telling me that my writing is good, I turned back to money for motivation.

Word to the wise: money is a shitty motivator.

The answer to my question about how to avoid burn out is really to rediscover how to love writing as a past time rather than a career in potentia. It’s learning to let go of my fears that I won’t succeed as a writer, because I’m measuring success by the wrong metric. It’s relaxing the intense sense of urgency I feel, like I’m running out of time to be a professional writer, because… I’m 32.

Letting go of all these neuroses isn’t going to be easy. But the first step of solving a problem is recognizing that it exists, right? So, here’s me taking that first step.


As the blog continues to creep toward another major follower milestone, let me take a moment to thank everyone who has followed my extremely ponderous journey. Thanks to everyone who has offered encouragement, insight, and advice. But most of all, thanks for reading.

Kerry Share

Follow me on Twitter

or

Support the blog on Ko-Fi