Why I Don’t Worry About Mondays

            Most people find Mondays to be that dreaded time of the week when work and school pick back up. Their weekends are over and now its time to get back to the daily grind. For me, Mondays are a day of rest.

My kids go to school and my husband goes back to work and I spend the rest of the day recouping from the 32hrs I just pulled off in two days at work. That, of course, doesn’t mean I get a full day of rest. I still got kids, husband, and dog that require some form of attention and care and don’t get me started on the housework that built up while I was away.

If your a parent, or ever lived with kids, you know this is a never-ending thing. So, yes, Mondays I will sit and play a video game, maybe watch some TV, and try to do as little as possible. Even if that means crunch out a short blog or retype my query for the hundredth time.

I’m a writer, it’s like being a mom in that the work is never done.
Still, when I don’t do anything but binge-watch Netflix and play several hours of Sims, I don’t beat myself up about it too much.

Not on Monday anyway.

Because we all deserve that one day where we get to feel guilt-free about being a couch potato and after my weekend shift I’m exhausted and need that time to re-energize and prep for the rest of the week that’s sure to be chalked full of something.

What days do you consider to be your do nothing guilt-free days? Weekends or some midpoint of the week? I’m curious to know.

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Oddball gifts for those oddball writers

So last year I did a post on gifts for writers. It was the basic gift set, notepads, books and some candles. Nothing insane. And those things are still on the list, but here’s a few more items to add that might put a huge smile on that writer’s face.
1. Water proof paper  –

You heard me. Amazon has these water proof notepads that would be perfect for any creative person simply because if you’ve ever had that amazing idea mid hair scrub then you know why this is an essential.
It’s hard being a creative and coming up with ideas on the spot. It’s even worse when your brain decides to come up with that ten star idea the moment it starts to relax, (ie in the shower or in bed.) Hence why a water proof notepad would be adored. I know I sure want one.

2. Stuffed animals or some other such figurines –

It goes without saying that most writers like to announce that they are writers. Either through a website, coffee mug, t-shirt or some crazy stuffed creation. I myself have a stuff old fashioned laptop that my hubby got me for valentines last year. It’s cute and green and in the picture over here. Either way, get something that your writer can display proudly.

3. Magnetic Poetry

Its magnets with words that you can place on your fridge, or any other place that magnets can go, and when you need that much needed break from your computer or notebook then of course you can step away and head to the magnets to continue putting those words together.
Or make a note on wherever you have them displayed as a reminder for yourself or anyone else living with you. Plus their fun to look at. Unless I’m just an odd ball that likes to see random words in any sequences filling up all the spaces. Who knows.
Not to mention it comes in all kinds of additions, making it one of those (something for everyone) type of gifts.

4. Dungeons and Dragons books or other RPG Character Creation Books

I know I know. Some of you are screaming that you don’t like Dungeons and Dragons, but have you ever looked inside of those things. A recent Authortuber mentioned she started playing and just the character building sheets alone were giving her plenty of ideas, so why not look into it. Those books are chalk full of world building ideas, magic systems, and all sorts of creatures for the high fantasy author looking for some fun research ideas. So give it a go, if for nothing else then the character ideas.
If you happen to find yourself sucked into the game and a demogorgon is after you, well, don’t worry. Those pesky kids will come along eventually.

5. Distraction –
That’s right. Sometimes we just need a distraction. Us writers get so far into our own heads that we don’t realize how much we really need a break and if you distract us and find away to pull us away from our work for even a few minutes, you have no idea how happy we will be in the end.
Yes, we will probably roll our eyes and maybe even snap at you. Just smile, take it (please) and make us smile. In the end it’ll be much appreciated because we’ll go back to work with a clearer mind.

 

Hope you got some inspiration from this short list. Most items were found while looking through Amazon and none of the links are affiliate links.

Happy Holidays to you all and til next time.

 

 

 

Hearing no isn’t easy…

Rejection itself is not easy. Getting up to try again after so many rejections, or your posts at pitchwars doesn’t get any attention by agents, is the hardest part of your job. Hearing no isn’t the easiest thing, but getting up to try again is where we find our strength.

It’s like when you’re pushing through that slush pile of a first draft, or reading your story to revise it for the hundredth time. Something is wired into us as creatives that pushes us to keep going. Even when we’ve been told no again and again.

We get up, look at what we might have done wrong and try again. So that’s what I’m urging everyone, including myself, to do. Keep writing, keep pushing forward. Someday will appear before you know it and we’ll look back on this time when we endured with fondness.

 

Til next time.

Some Reminders for Nanowrimo

 

 

With Nanowrimo right around the corner there’s tons of people prepped, or frantically prepping to finish outlining their stories so they can sit and write out 50,000 words in one month. Others still are just mentally preparing themselves with no real outline, just an idea of what story they’re going to write.

Neither approach is wrong and both come out of November with some surprising results. But that’s not what I’m here to talk about today. I’m here to talk about surviving Nanowrimo with her mentality still, some what, in take with a few reminders.
1st – it’s just a first draft.

No matter how much planning you put into your outline or how well your character sheets filled out. The first draft is still going to be a huge pile of crap. No one expects you to get it right the first time and you shouldn’t expect this of yourself either. Because it’s never going to happen.

Unless you’ve managed to create a magic potion that makes everything you right sunshine and daisies on the first try you should really give up this pipe dream.(And if you have you need to mass market that shit because you’d be a millionaire.)

Seriously, your first draft is just that, a draft. It’s going to be filled with characters names randomly changing, scenes that are written like your MC’s just standing in a void and plot holes the size of Niagra Falls. There maybe some structure there. A line or two that you absolutely love and believe needs to rewarded some kind of prize, but that’s about it.

And that’s okay. If you manage to cross over that 50k word count this month, give yourself a pat on the back, take a deep breath, and recall that sense of pride you felt when you wrote ‘the end’ when you go back to reread this slush pile that you call a novel.

 

2nd – Writing doesn’t always happen from point A to B
When you hit that first block, and you’re going to hit it, or your characters decide to hijack the car and go down some country back roads, don’t fight them. Sometimes it’s best to just let them go on their little tangent.

If you’re finding yourself getting stuck in your novel and you find plotting out the next move isn’t working, try working on something else. It can be related to your novel in that it could a short story on a characters past, or it could be a what if scenario for something that could happen given the stories current setup.

It doesn’t have to be used in the actual novel and usually (at least for me) these little jaunts into the wild eventually get me back on course and back to the main story and I usually discover something new about the characters or the world I’m writing. Remember in the first point I mentioned it was a huge slush pile, well these side bits can just be added in there on top.
3rd – Take a self-care day.
I realize that the whole point of Nanowrimo is write as quickly and as much as possible, but that doesn’t mean you have to wear yourself down until there’s nothing left.

You can’t continue to feed your creativity if your fridge is empty. And I’m not saying you have to take a whole day. I’m just saying take an evening to spend time with family and friends or a couple of hours to watch a movie, read a book, or play video games.

Something that will allow the creative part of your brain to shut off and relax for a bit. You can get back to work the next day and still manage to win Nanowrimo.

 

4th – Reach out to the community
One of the biggest reasons I am still creating stories and following my dream of being published is because of all the amazing people that have I met on here, twitter, and Instagram.

There are so many people from all walks of life in this community that’s it hard not to make friends and share our experiences with one another. And the best part is is that so many of them are participating in Nanowrimo as well. They’re sharing your struggles this month as well, so head on over to the forums, or follow writers on twitter and youtube with the #nanowrimo2018 and connect with other writers.

Honestly, the friendships you make in this group of people are going to be your biggest wins this month.
5th – It’s okay if you don’t win Nanowrimo

Obviously, I’m not trying to be a debbie downer here. It’s just a fact. Some of us don’t actually hit that 50k word count. And that’s okay. Not all of us are capable of pounding out that many words in a month. Hell, I have a hard time sitting down to write 500 words some days.

All of our processes are different. Some people can type up 5000 a day, others can barely manage 250. It’s not the quantity of work that you put out there that counts. What counts is that you showed up every day, you gave your best every day and rather you managed to write 50 words or 1500 words, you can still call yourself a writer and know that you’ve managed to accomplish something for the day.

Remember not everyone can write a novel in a month. Tolkien took 16yrs to write Lord of the Rings Trilogy, To Kill a Mocking Bird took Harper Lee 2.5 years, Twilight took 3 months.

So don’t beat yourself up if you don’t reach that 50k in one month. Even if you don’t win Nanowrimo, you only lose if you stop writing. Keep writing your story, even after November is said and done with because I promise people are going to want to read it one day.
Good luck to everyone participating in Nanowrimo!

July and Aug Wrap up and Sept – Oct Goals

July and August Wrap up

Sept-Oct Goals

           This is a tad late, I realize this. August took a bit of a turn writing wise and I’m essentially playing catch up. Kind of. Most of these goals didn’t get accomplished. Some because it got pushed to the back and others because of things outside of my control.

            So, here we go.

  1.  Finish Revisions for STR – I did this. I finished revisions at the second to last week of August and managed to meet the deadline for author mentor match submissions. I’m now sitting through September waiting to hear anything. I realize the chances of being picked is slim to none, but I’m also using the time to work on some other projects that have been sitting on the back burner.
  2. Post at least 8 videos on Youtube between July and August – Ha! Yeah, my record of procrastination didn’t fail on this one. I got a grand number of 2 videos between July and August. At least I attempted, right? No? Okay, we’ll call this one a fail and move on.
  3. Attempt an actual writing vlog – Now here I did say attempt. That means I did attempt and I filmed a couple of these vlogs and wound up actually just deleting because I didn’t like the results.
  4. Go on day trip with kids- Succeeded! Twice over! So, yay for fun times with the kids.
  5. Read three books that I already have – I managed to read two books, unless you want to count the self-help book that I read. Then yes, I read three books and counting this as a success.
  6. Post at least two short stories on blog – Nope. I did finish two short stories, neither are edited and only one could possibly be posted at this time. More on that in a bit.
  7. Continue eating healthier and being active – I’ve been eating healthier, more active is harder to do because I’ve been doing a lot of crazy writing to finish revisions.
  8. Finish the New York Trip Collage book – This one didn’t get completed. At first because I kept putting it off and then because when I finally got around to it my printer broke down. That’s right. No printer. So this is going to be put on hold until I can find either a new printer or other options. (Probably a trip to the library will be coming soon.)

So, now there’s the June and Aug wrap up and now we are moving on to September and October goals. I’m going to keep things simple again and this time maybe lesson the load a bit more. Make it a little more reasonable.

Starting off

 

  1. Outlining two stories – Seeing as I’ve got all of September not to do a whole lot with my main WIP Stop the Raven, I’m going to focus on some other projects that I’ve been neglecting. Starting with that short story that I mentioned earlier. It’s written and needs to be edited, then I will be trying to find some betas soon to look over it so I can edit it again so it can be submitted to an anthology. Deadlines in two weeks and I’m sure I can get it in by then. (By the time this is posted, I finished revisions on said short story and submitted it. Here’s to waiting for October to hear back on anything!) 
  2. Attempt 4  videos for Youtube instead of the 8 – That’ll be two videos a month and unless I keep procrastinating I’m sure I can get that done. Might even attempt one of those 24 hour writing challenge that I’ve seen going around.
  3. Read 3 books – I did this last couple of months, no doubt I can do this again so I’m sure I got this in the bag now.

So, that’s it. I’m not going to attempt far too many goals this month. Kind of relax and see what happens with the author mentor match and the anthology submission. Work on a few random projects in the meantime. So, til October fellow scribblers.  (Also I had a video for this update but it’s gotten deleted so I’m posting the script and I might refilm here in a bit, but we’ll see.)

#BoostMyBio

 

Deep breath. blows dust from the old blog
I guess this is a good a time as any to put this thing to use once again.

ABOUT ME:

Hey everyone! Thanks for taking the time to read this thrown together thing. I’m always up for meeting new writing friends, or people that just want to talk about random things. Seriously, total fangirl of just about everything.

I’m also a mom of two boys. They are my blessings and the reason I get up and do the things I do. Like, sacrifice entire weekends to the time-clock just so that I can be home for them during the week.

Boys

When not goofing around with them I’m probably following along with one of my husband’s  random tangents. He’s got a tendency to get into various different things. i.e. various outdoor activities, trips, or video games (recently it’s been about building an arcade.)

20170606_195202-e1533141770450.jpgThe man keeps me on my toes and there’s never a dull moment. One of the many reasons why I love him.

 

 

WRITING:

I’m a paranormal fantasy writer who’s been known to step outside of her comfort zone from time to time and try other genres. I’ve been seriously writing for about five years now and have two completed and shelved ms and countless others that are collecting dust. (We won’t mention that long list of fanfiction on my hard drive.) As a writer, I’m constantly striving to better myself and work in hopes of one day mastering a craft I know will never be mastered. Probably why my stubborn brain latched onto the idea of being a writer.

Stop The Raven Asthetic          My WIP, Stop the Raven is an  Adult Paranormal fantasy that was originally posted on Wattpad under a different name, where I met my first writing buddies and realized that I wanted writing to be more than just a hobby.

The story follows Olivia Colt, one of many reapers that lead the souls of the dead through purgatory. They can live among people, interact with them even, and pretend to be what they’re not. Human. One rule to be remembered above all others, there are always consequences when dealing with death.

Protanginists.jpg

When Olivia’s mother dies, she takes a break from that life and returns home to Orchid, Texas to help her aunt and brother in this time of crisis. There she remembers what the simple life can be and finds herself falling for the small town boy, Travis. When the times comes to leave and return to her duties as a reaper, Olivia strikes up a deal with the others. An agreement that will allow her to spend a lifetime in her hometown with her family.

Of all the stories I’ve written over the past five years, Stop the Raven is the one that I’ve continuously come back to. Even after shelving it for a bit because I knew it needed a ton of work after it’s original draft and didn’t have a clue where to even start, but the characters and the concept stayed with me until I was able to make it into what it is today.

It’s also the reason I’m entering Pitch Wars for the first time this year. I’m looking for a mentor that will help me not only improve my current WIP but also my skill as well so that I can continue putting out bigger and better stories. I’m a fast learner and have a thick skin that can take criticism well. When pushed, I can work remarkable fast and am determined to have not just this story, but others as well on bookshelves one day.

FAVORITE THINGS:

Reading is one of my favorite past times and I’m never without a book to read at home or when I’m out of the house. Some of my favorite authors are Stephen King, Neil Gaiman, and J.K Rowling. Hand me a book from these three and I’ll probably love it.
giphy

Some of my other favorite books from other authors are Mortal Instruments, Interview with the Vampire, Book Thief, Silver Wolf, Game of Thrones, Lord of the Rings, The Night Angel Trilogy, and Normal.

Really the list could go on but I’ll leave at that.

When not reading, I’m also a huge fan of movies and television shows. Thank goodness for Netflix. I did say I was a huge fangirl.

Some of my favorite movies: Boondock Saints, Labyrinth. Rocky Horror Picture Show, The Breakfast Club, Harry Potter, Star Wars, DeadPool, IT, Most Disney and Pixar Films, The Dark Knight, Alice in Wonderland, Sweeny Todd,  and Secret Window.

Some favorite television shows: Supernatural, Doctor Who, Walking Dead, Sherlock, Orange is The New Black, Stranger Things, Breaking Bad, Criminal Minds, Preacher, The Penny Dreadful Series, and The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. tenor

As you can see I have a habit of binge-watching shows, so I’ll leave it at that. I also like to play video games, but not as much as my husband does, and the game really has to capture my attention. I’ve also been known to go on trips here and there and go to a con or two.

That’s it. That is all about me and my writing. I’m looking forward to meeting other writers out there so if you to chat about writing, or books, or anything else you can find me on twitter.

7 Way to Focus on Writing

 

 

Now, I know. I’m one of the biggest advocates for mental health day, take it. Take care of you so that you can take care of everything else, but there comes a point when one can take too many “mental health days.”
It’s really not that hard to do. You sit down, look at your WIP, blog…whatever…and think. I’m not feeling it today. I’m just going to sit and watch some television, or something. Next thing you know it’s a week later and you’ve managed to plow through all twenty some odd episodes of the newest season of Supernatural and have maybe written one word in your

WIP.

Yeah, been there. Done that. Got the t-shirt.
I’m the queen of procrastination at this point and there’s no denying it. So, that’s why I’m thinking that it’s high time to get my ass in the chair and sit down and write.

This WIP isn’t going to publish itself and it sure as hell ain’t gonna hit book shelves by collecting dust on my hard drive. Not to mention, I really want this book to be published. So, without further ado, here’s a couple of tried and true methods that have gotten me to get that writing done is May.

1. Stick to a Schedule
It’s been said before, and it’ll be said again. If you stick to a schedule, your mind and body will eventually get used to doing whatever it is that’s supposed to be done, pretty much on autopilot. It’s like going to your regular 9-5, you clock in and you automatically get to work. You may stare at the building for a couple of minutes and wish it was on fire, kind of, not really, but eventually you do get to work. It’s all automated responses with what you do and how you do it and sometimes, if your lucky to have that sort of job, it’s just routine. You know what to expect at what time of day. Getting yourself into writing is no different. If you do it regularly enough your mind and body eventually turns to autopilot and there’s nothing else to it.

2. Writing Rituals:
The same with a routine, having certain rituals that you do right before a tasks usually helps trigger your mind and your attention and cues it in on what is to happen next. Mine at the moment is waiting until near 8 o’clock at night and making myself a hot cup of coffee, pull out my writing notepad and bringing up some video game play through on youtube. I’m not arguing with whatever happens to get the creative juices flowing, and it’s working for now.
Yours could be putting on some kind of background noise, cozying up in a special spot, and tapping out those words, or maybe you need to be at a coffee shop with all the people making noise. It don’t matter, figure out what works for you and stick to it.

3. Plan out the words
Maybe part of the problem is you don’t know what to write. You’re staring at that page and wondering and coming up blank on what to do next. Try outlining a little in advance. I hear some of you pantsers out there groaning at the moment, but it helps. Really.
Not saying you have to outline the entire book, maybe just a scene or two. Maybe just this particular chapter, and next thing you know you’re pushing out the next chapter and the next. Sometimes you just need to brainstorm ideas and get an idea of where the story is going before the words will come.

4. Tap it out for 10-minutes
So you’ve got your schedule. You’ve followed your rituals that get you into the mood of writing, and you’ve got something of an outline and….you’re still staring at the screen not feeling up to writing even a word. Okay, that’s fine. It happens. Maybe you’ve got twenty other things demanding your attention. School, kids, words, etc.

We’ve all got responsibilities. We all have days where we really just want to throw in the towel and watch that next Supernatural episode. It’s to be expected in this day and age and that’s fine, but you still got to stick to that writing schedule. I mean, you’ve planned it, right? You’re in front of the computer staring at the screen anyways, right? So why not just tap out ten minutes of words. That’s it. Anyone can spare ten minutes, and if you’re still not feeling after ten minutes that’s fine. You’ve written a hundred some odd words and made some form of progress on your WIP. Now you can carry on with your day and not feel guilty about not writing a word.

5. Join writing sprints
This is one of those where you kinda have to put yourself out there and actually talk to people. Joining other writers in writing sprints, even if it’s just through Twitter or Facebook is some how inspiring in that you know there are others pushing through this writing journey with you. Having a sense of community can go along way in inspiring someone into writing out those words. Sometimes that includes screaming into the void that you are doing writing springs, and hoping for the best. Other times you happen across them on social media and get this tiny thrill when you find that they are timed. Best place I’ve found is on twitter. Just type in the #writingsprints and see what comes up.

6. Seek out motivation
This one sounds a bit counter productive and can go really bad, but it’s worked for me on occasion so it’s worth a mention. Try seeking out other writer’s journey, vlogs, blogs. Whatever suits your mood. For whatever reason whenever I watch other writers get excited about their progress makes me really want to work on my on WIP and hit those mile stones. Like I said, this can go bad in that you could find yourself down the youtube rabbit hole of youtube videos and it’s suddenly two in the afternoon and you’ve written nothing. So, set a timer. Give yourself a cut off time to watch a couple of videos and then get back to your own work. Remember, you’re supposed to be achieving your own goals, not watching others live the life.

7. Hold yourself accountable
This is a big one. Especially for those of us who don’t have editors, or agents expecting something back in a certain amount of time and so can diddle-daddle until the end of time and it wouldn’t hurt anyone but yourself.

Well….dilly-dally, shilly-shally

Make up your own deadlines and hold yourself to them. Best way you can do this is by finding a writing buddy that you can check in with daily, or once a week. Whatever works for you. Just find someone that won’t have a problem breathing down your neck and demand that you get those words in and vise versa. These writing friendships are a two way street and you need to hold your buddy accountable as well. If you can’t find someone then maybe you could start up a blog, or vlog, much like what I’ve done and keep up with weekly posts on what you’ve achieved,or haven’t achieved. Somtimes just admitting to yourself that you’ve failed to meet your own goals can get you moving to try harder next week. Remember, we’re our own worse critics.

So there you have it. Seven whole tips on how to get your ass in that chair to write. They’ve helped me make progress in my WIP and I hope they help you as well.

Until next time!

A Slight Update and Possible Mistake

So I’m still in the middle of the revision process. I’ve taken all the beta suggestions that I’ve gotten and have it all listed in Scrivener and as I revise my story, I work through what needs to be changed and what doesn’t.
The problem, I feel like I’m making the story worse. I’m not even sure if this isn’t starting to sound like another half-assed first draft and I honestly thought this was supposed to be the better version. So, I can either keep pushing through, do another round of beta reads and see if it’s gotten better or…
and here’s the real doozy … stop and start over on the revision process with a whole other outline, character arcs plotted out better, etc. etc. and just go from there.
It’s been something that’s been eating at me for some time now and I really feel like that would be the better option, but it feels too much like I’m ripping it apart again and starting from scratch. Which I don’t want to do, because I do like this version of the story. It’s just missing some elements. Not to mention there are still characters that tend to appear and disappear and that’s not going to work so…
Here we go.
I think I’m starting my revisions over. Not sure if I’m deleting all of the fourth draft, or I should just call it 3.5 at this point because I’m fixing to trash what I have. Lord help me this is so much harder than I thought.
Also, I think I need a bigger notebook.

Thanks for listening to my rants and Until next time.

Editing is Hard

 

 

I’ve been absent for a while. Most of it was me procrastinating, per usual. Are you really surprised? The other half is that I’ve been trying to get through the revisions/edits in my story so every little bit of writing time that I actually put in is going toward the story. Unfortunately, that meant this blog is more of an afterthought, and while I feel guilty about that, it’s not something that is eating away at me.

I started this blog to track my writing journey and while I try to keep it updated, I try really hard not to be overly concerned about it either, especially if there is nothing to write about.

That is not the case today, however. I do have something to write about.
My editing process and how I am handling it.

A few months ago I found some beta readers to read my story Stop The Raven and get some feedback and most of it was extremely helpful. It also proved that I really needed a lot of work on this story. Mostly revising a good portion of the first half of the story.

When I first started gathering the notes and trying to come up with a game plan I was thinking, okay change a few scenes, add some stuff and rearrange a few others.

Yeah.

That went well for about…..a day. Then I realized that rewriting one chapter requires rewriting the next chapter and the next and then I started questioning my plot points and explanations of how things happened.

It’s been a shit storm to revise and there is still a good portion that I will be going back to fix up, but for the most part, it’s coming out better. I’m loving the scenes so much better in the beginning and I’m excited about the changes.

It’s been such a slow process and sometimes I wonder if I’m ever going to actually finish any of this but there is hope.

I’m giving myself til October to be completely finished with this manuscript. Does that mean I will stop working on it in October if I’m not?
NO!

I’ve tried to give up on this MS and it didn’t leave me alone until I started writing on it again. It’s one of those ideas that has managed to hook its nails in me and I don’t see myself giving it up until I’ve been told to throw in the towel.

That doesn’t say I don’t have other ideas that I could work on, if, and when I do finish this story. The other night I came up with a futuristic space pirate novel and I’ve gotten another story that’s pretty much got a half of a first draft finished that will probably be trashed and rewritten much like Stop the Raven was.

So, with all that being said, here are a few quick writing ideas that are getting me through this editing portion of my writer’s journey.

1. Watching horror based video games.
I don’t try to understand what gets me through the writing process. I just know if it’s working, it’s working and listening to someone play a scary video game is somehow getting those writing juices flowing.

2. Many breaks
Taking one too many breaks is something that is a thing at the moment. I’ll write a chapter, clap myself on the back and proceed to watch something on Netflix. Not the best move, but whatever.

3. Writing sprints
20-minute writing sprints are all the rage for me at the moment. Especially if I can find someone to join in the writing sprint. Keeps me motivated and pushes me to make that word count.

4. 90’s/Early 2000 bands
Again, I’m not trying to understand my brain but when the horror games fail me, listening to Vertical Horizon and Matchbox 20 on repeat over a hundred times is the next best option.

So if any of these ideas help you, or if you are in the writing trenches along with me and have other things that are helping you get through the process let me know.

Til next time.

A Balancing Act

You can’t do a good job, if your job is all you do.” – Unknown

Like everything else you need a balance between writing and life. It’s a proven fact that too much of a good thing can be lethal and that goes for spending all your time writing as well. You sit behind that desk, pouring out word after word and eventually the well runs dry.

It can also hurt you in the other sense as well. You spend so much time digging around in your work and you wind up ignoring your family and friends. Before you know it you’ve isolated everything and your kids are probably screaming for your attention.

When my kids were younger (I’m talking terrible two and troublesome threes stages) I found that it was a literal circus trying to spend time with them and finding a moment to write. Back then it was a hobby and not so much something I was looking to make a career, so it was easier to push aside the writing and focus on the family.

Mostly by writing down a few words while the kids were napping or when they were distracted and didn’t need my immediate attention. Which wasn’t often but like I said, the writing was more of a hobby then and not such a big deal.

Now a days, I’m looking to publish my first novel and trying to perfect my WIP to be that novel, while still maintaining family and friends. The kids are older and are in school most of the day and the husband now works mornings. So I split my time. Mornings are for house work and blogs. Writing is for the afternoon, when I have a couple of hours before I have to pick up the kids. Evenings are for families. It’s when the kids and husband come home and we focus on homework and other such things.

Friends get mixed in there somewhere in the evenings and I only work full time on Saturday and Sunday. I’ve got it nicely blocked out and the only thing that sucks away my time is my ever persistent procrastination. It’s getting a bit out of hand, and I’m in search of a way to keep myself accountable. This blog helps, but once the blog is written and posted there’s still all that time to do nothing but binge watch TV.

That’s a discussion for another time.

For now, here’s a few tips that might help you (and myself) to keep from tipping the scales.

 Schedule your day: 

Blocking out your time is always an option. Either through your phone, computer, or (my personal favorite) inside of a little notebook. Spend the night before setting up some sort of schedule that goes through your typical day: work, family, etc. Map it out to know when you have those empty slots that you can fit a bit of writing in to. This is particularly useful if you have a family and full time job, or are going to school.

As I’ve mentioned above, having kids makes this all the harder to do because we never know what those tiny creatures have planned, but you can still find ways to push in time for your writing without the kids screaming at you for attention.

Make a day of it.

If you have that option.

Take a day out of the week, let everyone know that you have plans, and focus solely on your writing.

Point is, make your writing a priority and schedule it into your day like you would anything else of importance. That’s going to help you figure out when’s the best time to focus solely on writing that and then allow you to move on to something else for the day. It also helps you create the habit of actually sitting down to write when your suppose to.

Let people know

If writing is more then just a hobby, or you really enjoy your writing time. Let people know what you are doing and ask them to get back with you at another time. The point of finding balance is to make time for everyone and everything in your life. As much as possible anyways.

If they’re friends, they’ll understand.

Treating your writing time like a normal work schedule and informing others lets them know you are serious about your work and allows for less unwarranted distractions to pop up.

Sometimes it’s unavoidable

Life Happens. Things are going to come flying at you and some times they are unavoidable. You have to put something one the back burner to focus on what’s more important. Rather that’s crunching out the words for a deadline that is steady looming over you, or closing the word document so that you can focus more on your family and friends.

In either case, don’t feel guilty. It’s life. And it’s all a balancing act.

Until next time.