Do I Want It Bad Enough?

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

Despite my New Year’s bravado, the first two weeks of 2022 have not been as productive I had hoped. I could fill this space with all kinds of excuses ranging from the understandable (my purse being stolen) to the weak (the Nexus needs to go back in the percolator guys, no really!), but the truth is I have always struggled to push myself to meet self-imposed goals and deadlines.

This week I’ve been wondering why that is. I have no problems (well, fewer problems anyway) cranking words out for my freelancing projects, so why, when it comes to my fantasy ideas — my supposed passion projects — do I struggle to summon even the smallest modicum of energy to write consistently?

Am I one of those writers you sometimes hear jocularly referenced, the the kind that spends more time talking or fantasizing about being a writer than actually getting words out? Am I destined to be that one author in your critique group who never can move off the first chapter and finish the rest of the draft? Will just another struggling writer cease to be a tongue in cheek moniker, and become my ultimate definition?

Do I not want it bad enough?

It seems I’ve got some re-assessing to do. Until next time friends, may your writing be plenty and your struggles be few.

Kerry Share

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Scribd subscribers, click here to find my romance novellas!

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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Scribd subscribers, click here to find my romance novellas!

A Year in Review and a Look Ahead

Hello friends and welcome to the very first Thursday blog post of 2022 here at Just Another Struggling Writer. I’m just another struggling writer.

I feel like I could say this every year, but it is especially true of this last one: 2021 did not go at all the way I expected. 

At one time I had aspirations of completing the Nexus (laughable in retrospect), reading 22 books (a pittance to some, but a mountain to me), and consistently blogging. 

Well, one out of three isn’t… bad… Okay, it’s pretty bad.

But that’s okay! Because I did something in 2021 that I definitely did not expect: I became a professional, published author. I signed up as a freelancer with Bryant Street Shorts, a romance imprint with the subscription service Scribd. I wrote six novellas in just as many months, and I got paid for my work.

Holy shit, if that’s not worth skimping on a few New Year’s resolutions, I don’t know what is. 

2021, though exceedingly challenging, frustrating, liberating, amazing, and unexpected all at once, was a year of monumental growth for me. I learned so much about myself and what I am capable of given the opportunity and motivation. 

But I’m not done yet. As much as I have loved my freelancing gig and plan to continue writing romance novellas in the coming year, there is still so much more I want to accomplish, particularly as it relates to my personal, passion projects. The fantasy novels that have been percolating in my brain, some for years, and, unfortunately, took a back seat while I through myself headfirst into the novellas. 

And that’s what got me thinking about what goals/resolutions I should set for 2022. Now, admittedly, I have a horrible track record with resolutions. I always get way too ambitious and usually give up on everything, instead of eyeing one or two realistic goals to take on. That being said, I don’t necessarily think that ambition should be discouraged. As long as it’s pushing me to achieve more than I did before, even by only a modicum, then it’s still serving a purpose, right? 

To that end, I’ve decided to split my goals into three categories:

  • Do or Die – self-explanatory. These are things I must get done this year if I want to retain any sort of respect for myself. 
  • Nice but Not Necessary – Things I probably could and should do, but I won’t be totally humiliated if I don’t. 
  • Preposterous Pipe Dreams – Things that are so ludicrous, perhaps even outside the realm of possibility for someone in my position, yet still fun to think about and aspire to. 

So, without further ado: Kerry’s 2022 Resolutions!


Do or Die

  1. Write 160,000 words towards fantasy projects.

The biggest thing I would like to accomplish this year, as alluded to earlier, is a return to personal writing, and by that I mean my fantasy ideas. Originally, I had planned to draft an entire novel this year, but the thing is… none of my standard novel ideas (aka: not the cluster fuck that is the Nexus) is ready yet. I’ve got one simmering right now that still needs half a year or more before I’m ready to commit to it. Which is fine. I have the Nexus to work on (that will likely be true for years to come) and at least that project, though lengthy and time consuming, is fun to work on, because I have no expectations for it. 

That said, as much as I enjoy writing that particular story, I am clear eyed and realistic enough about the industry to know that its not the most likely vehicle to advance my writing career, which, to be clear, I really, really want to do. So, I don’t really feel like spending an entire year on a project that may never see the light of day is the best use of my time. 

And that’s the thought that led me to my Next Big Idea.

This year, I’m going to write an urban fantasy novella, the first in a planned series.

The concept, codenamed Wonderland for now, is one I’ve been ruminating on for a few years, but only in the last 10 months have I started to consider it as a novella series rather than a novel. The structure I would like to pursue is more like a monster-of-the-week TV series, which is obviously more short form. I had a lot of fun writing romance novellas this year and I think the shorter word count lends itself well to my writing style (thin as hell). And while this may not be the idea that launches my fantasy career either, it scratches the itch of wanting to work on something new while also not being too much of a time suck. 

So, this is how I envision my word count breaking down (in any order of completion): 

  • Story Path #2 of the Nexus: 50-60,000 words
  • Story Path #3 of the Nexus: 50-60,000 words
  • Wonderland #1: 40-48,000 words

Honestly, even looking at it now, I know it’s a big ask to make of myself. It will mean working every damn day. It will mean not giving up even when I’m tired or bored or busy. It will mean taking what I said about attacking this year with gusto deadly seriously. I can do it. I will.

  1. Write 8 novellas for Scribd

Last year I started freelancing in April. I wrote six novellas in eight months. It was a wild ride that exhausted me to my very core, and I loved every minute of it. This year, I’m upping the ante. My plan this year is two novellas a quarter, with every third month off to catch my breath. 

Each novella has a target word count of 35,000 words, so if I have my math right, between freelancing and personal writing, my goal for the year is almost half a million words. 

I think my heart just stopped looking at that. 

But I’m not going to ask for luck. I’m not going to say “hopefully.” I’m just going to get after it. 


Nice But Not Necessary

  1. Finish every book I start this year – absolutely no DNFs. 

This is an odd one, because usually my approach to reading is that I just don’t have time to slog through a book I’m not enjoying. However, the plain truth of the matter is my taste is notoriously difficult to satisfy. And I think that is to my detriment. I’m tired of being embarrassed that I haven’t read a lot, I’m tired of not understanding references in writing circles, and I’m damn tired of worrying over whether or not I’m going to know enough books to have comps to my own writing whenever it comes time to query. There is something to be learned about writing from every book pick I pick up, even if I don’t like them. So, I’m reading cover to cover this year. How many I finish, well…

  1. Read three books a month

Last year I set a goal of reading 22 books for the whole year, and only ended up with… six? I think? So, maybe this goal belongs in the below category, especially since my favorites are epic fantasy. But I don’t want to set my sights lower because then I’ll somehow find a way to not even meet that goal, so at least if I am high maybe I’ll read ten books this year and that will be an improvement Right? 

  1. Figure out how to sell my novellas on my own

My exclusivity period with Scribd only lasts twelve months, and after that I am able to vend my novellas on my own (through Patreon, or what have you). I think this is totally rad and especially cool of Scribd, but the thing is… I haven’t the faintest idea how to go about it. Part of the reason I’ve never seriously considered self-publishing before is because it seems like so much work that I don’t know how to do and am kind of afraid to learn? It was easy to make the choice not to pursue back when it was still just a hypothetical, but now that I actually have written work available to self-pub… I don’t know, it seems like leaving money on the table to not do it, right? So, I guess I’m going to have to learn about e-book formatting and cover art, and how to run a Patreon. Gulp


Preposterous Pipe Dreams

  1. Dabble in podcasting

I’ve mentioned wanting to this maybe once or twice before, and I still kind of laugh about it because… I can’t imagine anyone tuning in to listen to what I’m sure would just be an audio version of this blog, but I also think it would be kind of fun.  I mean, I’m published now, right? That means people might take what I have to say seriously. They shouldn’t, but they might. 

  1. Release a serialized novel

This idea started with the Pillar Verse I briefly wrote in last year (remember my Short But Sweet vignettes?) and I sometimes return to it when I’m laying in bed dreaming about what other sorts of writing endeavors I could undertake to help build my career. I could release a chapter a month to Patreon or something and it wouldn’t be edited as a completed novel would be, so it would be a bit of a mess, but that’s okay because it’s a fun thing to do with the writing community. Right? I don’t know. I doubt I have time what with my other more realistic goals, but… the idea has merit. Sometimes. Maybe. Does it? 


Well that’s a total of seven goals, ranging from the ludicrous to the outrageous. I’m under no illusions that I’ll accomplish even half of them, but that’s not the point. The point is the motivation. The point is the seizing the desire of the moment to propel myself to greater heights, even if they aren’t as high as I imagined. 

But, if I’m being completely truthful, my only real, true goal is just to have fun writing again. At times in years past, at the lowest low points with my mental health struggles, writing was the complete opposite of enjoyable. It was a slog. It was painful. It was exhausting. And it was the source of a lot of internalized guilt.

I am pleased to say that I’m so much better today than I have been at any time in the previous three year. For the first time in a long while, I feel like I’m in a really good place, with the strength and determination I need to climb the mountain before me. And, more than that, I’m excited about it.

I hope you all are excited to come along on the journey with me.

Until next time friends. May your writing be plenty and your struggles be few.

Kerry Share

Twitter | Instagram | Ko-Fi


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

Twitter | Instagram | Ko-Fi


Scribd subscribers, click here to find my romance novellas!

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

Twitter | Instagram | Ko-Fi


Scribd subscribers, click here to find my romance novellas!

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!

Chekhov’s Gun, My Personal Arch- Nemesis

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

A few weeks ago I was thinking about why I have the tendency to write really thin, why my descriptions are always lacking, and why I struggle so much with world building. I made a comment on someone’s Twitter thread about these issues, and another user pointed out that my style of writing might by better suited for screenplays. 

Then it hit me: she was exactly right (that I don’t actually want to write screenplays is neither here nor there).

Much of my teens and twenties could be defined by fandom. The friends I made and the activities we enjoyed were predominantly informed by whatever I was Into at the moment, especially as a teenager. As I grew into adulthood, moved away from home, and started a family, the way I enjoyed fandom, by necessity, shifted to largely online interactions and communities. It was during that time period I got really into meta-analyzing my favorite TV shows. TV was my preferred media at the time and I spent much of my considerable free hours engaging with it. 

One of the key principals when analyzing TV (and other shorter form media) is that of Chekhov’s Gun. The idea being that in one hour of scripted television, a screenwriter has roughly forty three minutes in which to tell a story (accounting for commercials). Meaning that there simply isn’t enough time to go into detail about anything that isn’t going to directly contribute to the narrative. If the writers are using precious seconds and minutes showing you something, it’s for a reason. It’s important. 

Obviously, this is not so with novels. In fact, in many ways it’s completely the opposite. While it would not be prudent to bog down a manuscript with too much detail, since books lack a visual component it makes describing the characters and world in depth essential. Whereas on a TV show time needn’t be spent telling me a character’s eyes are brown because I can see them, taking a sentence or two to do so in a novel helps bring a hazy mental image into focus. 

I mean, this sounds obvious, even to me, as I’m typing it all out but, genuinely, in the moment when I am drafting I completely forget about it. Because, in my mind, my character’s eyes being brown has absolutely no bearing on the story, so why should I waste time mentioning it? 

I completely blame my years in fandom, my many hours meta-analyzing TV when I should have been reading instead, for this. I wish I knew how to shake it off, but hopefully simply being aware of the bias will help me correct it going forward. That and reading. A hell of a lot more reading. 

In short, Chekhov’s Gun can to go to hell. 


Time for a Mental Health Check In. 

This last month has been a rough one for me. I’ve had a lot going on in my personal life, at least three different major issues to manage – any one of which would be stressful enough to deal with on its own – all while going back on my meds to try and get my anxiety and depression under control. It’s not been fun, and I’ve struggled a great deal at times (including this very week) to remain productive during my writing hours. 

To be totally transparent, it’s fucking sucked. And there’s no way to couch that. It just blows to feel like this all the time. I know I’m going to make it, I have amazing support, but I urge everyone to just check in with their friends once in a while. It makes such a massive difference when you’re down the rabbit hole to know that someone is thinking about you. 


Well, that’s enough out of me for this week. I’ll (hopefully) be back next week with more profound and/or frustrated thoughts on writing conventions I’ve conveniently forgotten since high school. Until then, may your writing be plenty and your struggles be few.

Kerry Share

Twitter | Instagram | Ko-Fi


Scribd subscribers, click here to find my romance novellas!

Monday Motivations; I’m Not Special

Good morning friends. I am back after a long week during which the perfect storm of stressful life events and a deadline conspired to keep me from meaningfully blogging, or even thinking about anything extraneous.

While last week may be an outlier in terms of demand on my time and attention, it got me thinking yet again about the difficulty of balancing a writing career with, well, everything else.

Because it seems impossible and yet, empirically, it is not. Plenty of other writers have found a way to have a day job, fulfill familial obligations, and write. Even my hope to maintain my freelance writing whilst working on personal passion projects is not unique to me.

So, if all those other writers can do it, why not me? What do they have that I don’t?

Under normal circumstances I would consider thoughts like these counterproductive. Comparing another author’s success to my own (or lack thereof as it were) is a recipe that the anxiety brain simply salivates over.

That being said, I need to know that it’s possible. I need to look to those who came before and realize that they too had to struggle with balancing their checkbook of time, and that if they did it so can I.

My struggles aren’t special, and they sure as hell aren’t an excuse to give up.

That’s my motivation this week.

Until next time friends!

Kerry Share

Monday Motivations; A Day Late and a Dollar Short

Good morning friends and welcome to another exciting week of writing.

Yesterday was an off day for me. From start to finish I just didn’t feel like myself. Mondays, weirdly enough, is usually when I’m at my most motivated (hence this blog series) and freshest, and I usually feel ready to attack the week. Not so yesterday and I’m still not sure why. Couple that with a tough parenting situation in the evening, and I pretty much lost the whole day.

I’m obsessed with time. How much of it I have, whether or not it’s being spent wisely, the whole nine years. I almost think if it like money, and, like money, I worry that if I am not using it in the most efficient way possible then it is a waste.

Bearing that in mind, days like yesterday are tough for me to swallow. In times gone by, they’ve managed to ruin my entire week. But I’m working on getting better about that, mostly by reminding myself that operating at peak efficiency at all times is something we ask of machines, not people. That I’m not just a vessel of productivity, but a human who is allowed and sometimes has off days.

So that’s my motivation this week: not getting too down about not hitting my word count yesterday and just focusing on what I can do today.

Until next time my friends!

Kerry Share

Twitter | Instagram | Ko-Fi

Monday Motivations; The Grind

Hello friends and welcome to another fun an exciting week of writing.

At least, I wish it was exciting. Actually, today I’m finding myself a little caught up in the doldrums of the daily grind. When sitting myself down to write this post I found that I didn’t have much in the way of motivation, other than the usual “you’re under contract and you definitely don’t want to put it off like last time” feelings.

It’s funny, because for the last several years my main goal has been to become a working writer. And though I knew writing as a job would at times be just as tedious and unfun as a regular day job might be, knowing something abstractly and experiencing it practically are two different beasts altogether.

All that to say, I have nothing new to add this week. No special pearls of insights that came to me as I set about my day, no wisdom to expound upon as I look forward to another week of just grinding out those words. The only thing I have is the reminder to myself, cold comfort though it may feel at the moment, that I wanted this. I still do, of course, no matter how unexciting it feels this morning. This is what it means to be a working writer, in some respects. The knowledge that it’s just like any other job.

Until next time my friends.

Kerry Share

Twitter | Instagram | Ko-fi