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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Monday Motivations

Monday Motivations; Words, Words, Words

Hello friends and welcome to another verbose week is writing.

Last week I had just a few too many things on my plate, and one particular item was causing me a boat load of stress. I’ve sadly had to abandon that commitment, not because I didn’t want to do it, but because it had become such a point of contention in my own brain that it had become point blank impossible to work on it.

I’m disappointed in my failure, but I do feel like I’m able to breathe again without its specter looming over me.

With this new lease on my creative life, it would be shameful to do anything less than my absolute best. I struggled to complete my pages last week because I was so stressed about the other project, which means I’ve got some significant catching up to do.

Can I do five pages a day?

watch and see

Kerry Share

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Monday Motivations

Monday Motivations; January 2nd, 2023

Hello friends and welcome to another refreshed week of writing!

My routine is starting off all out of whack this week thanks to a certain holiday. It would be easy to choose to wait until everything is settled to get back into the swing of things, but it occurred to me that if I want to be successful with my numerous goals for the year, I need to stop accepting easy excuses to get out of doing the work.

So, even though it’s a day off, and I’ve got my kids around me playing the video games I want to be playing, I’m going to make sure I get my stuff done first.

My goal:this week are simple: establish my new habit of writing two pages a day. By the end of the week I want 15 pages.

Also, I can’t forget my reading goal! This week I’ll delving into The Obsidian Tower by Melissa Caruso.

I’m full of that New Year energy and ready to get after it! Until next time, friends, when I hope to tell you I’ve nailed my goals, may your writing be plenty and your struggles be few.

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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Monday Motivations

Monday Motivations; The Emperor

Hello friends and welcome to another winged week of writing.

Friends, I am in a great mood this morning. I’m not really sure why. Maybe it’s because the kids are on Thanksgiving break which means I got an extra twenty minutes to lay in bed. Maybe it’s because I know I have fried turkey and baked three cheese macaroni and cheese to look forward to in a few days. Maybe it’s because for the first time in weeks I feel confident again in my writing.

I don’t know. But I am going to take advantage of it.

Last week I had a lot of success with posting everyday, some of which was fiction content. I hope to continue on that this week while getting better about getting my words down. A big ask, I know, with the holiday and all but I feel really… clear. I don’t know if last week was an eye opener or what, but I just feel really self assured that I can do all these things.

Until next time my friends!

Kerry Share

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