I Wasn’t Planning to Take a Break, But…

The internet went out and I had no choice.

And of course I had no contest pre written and there’s only so much cell data available on my mobile phone.

So, I’d love to say I’ve been busy writing up a storm, but sadly no internet meant my kids didn’t quite know what to do with themselves and I had to deal with the cries of boredom.

But it wasn’t a total loss and some new words have been written. And some editing got done on two stories which means everything is moving forward.

While I was away, I did create a group where fans of my work can gather. I’m hoping to grow my readership and this seemed like a logical first step.

You can find the link here. It would mean a lot if you joined. And there’ll be a sneak peek for my upcoming novelette Pendragon coming very soon if you do decide to join, which won’t be shared anywhere else!

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5 Reasons Why You Should Write Daily

5 reasons why you should write daily

There is a lot of conflicting advice surrounding this topic of why you should write daily or why you shouldn’t. Some, compare it to exercise by saying that you wouldn’t exercise daily so why would you want to write daily?

Well this is one mum of four who does exercise daily. Yes! And by exercise I don’t mean lifting weights or anything that strenuous… once upon a time I used to be able to do pull ups with absolute ease, but my upper body strength is not what it use to be, but I do walk up to forty-five minutes a day. I listen to music, I clear my head, and I inevitable plan out various scenes in my head.

Then I come home and I sit down and write what’s been flowing through my head for those forty-five minutes.

It shouldn’t come as a surprise. I’ve talked about this topic before. But I think it needs to be mentioned again.

If you don’t write daily, you can’t hope to hone your skills as a writer, can you?

But what about writer’s burnout? Yes, it’s real and its completely different to writer’s block. But here’s the secret to surviving writer’s burnout.

DO NOT STOP WRITING!

I know, you think I’m crazy. I promise you I’m not.

Writing is hard. It’s often slow and painful. You think you’re never going to get to the end of the story or novel you’re writing. But I promise you, you will. If you keep at it. It’s not a race. It’s a marathon and in a marathon you have to pace yourself. If you don’t you won’t be able to keep up. And yes, sometimes I fall into a pit of anxiety worrying over deadlines and if I can actually write those 5,000 words that some anthology calls ask for. It’s scary and mind numbing. I tend to shy away from sci-fi for this very reason.

But at the end of the day, all you can do is try. Strive for those high possibly unattainable goals and maybe, just maybe you might get lucky enough to reach a few of them.

Publishing is harder. Trust me. And you do need a thick skin. I confessed to a friend in the early hours of this morning that I still feel as if my writing isn’t worth a damn. And yes, publishers keep taking a chance on me, and I do – often – pinch myself being able to consider myself a published author. Both in paying and non paying markets.

Self doubt can cripple authors. Old or new. But it’s no reason to give up.

So here’s 5 reasons why you should write daily.

  1. It’s habit-forming. And while I don’t know how true it is, I’ve heard it said that it only takes 21 days to form a habit.
  2. It’s cathartic. Keeping a journal, for instance is a way to release stress and tension. Getting lost in the creation of a fictional world can help take your mind of day-to-day worries because you’re getting involved in someone else’s.
  3. You’re practicing a skill. It’s like learning a language. If you don’t immerse yourself in the language you’ll soon forget it. The same can be said about the technical aspects of writing.
  4. It eliminates writer’s block. After a while you’ll find yourself tapping into that well of ideas because the words just flow and because the words are flowing the ideas do too.
  5. It will make you more organized. You might not think it but once the habit forms you’ll want to write. I actually feel anxious and frustrated if I can’t get even ten minutes to sit and work on a project that isn’t my blog.

Now, I don’t write a lot as I usually aim for 300 new words a day. Not much at all. Take this past week for instance… not a lot of words of fiction written but quite a lot was accomplished on my blog. And let me tell you, when I first decided to pick up my blog a year ago and get serious with active blogging, I sucked at writing lengthy blog posts. I still suck at writing lengthy blog posts sometimes. But I stick with it.

Writing fiction is no different. Now, there was a time where I didn’t write daily. And my heart and soul suffered for it. You see, writing for me is an escape. It’s cathartic and it’s taken a while, but as much as the self-doubt still grips me, I love the feeling of getting that sometimes elusive acceptance email in my inbox.

But it’s not all about the stories I’ve had published. I do more often than not write for myself. I write what I want to read or about topics that resonate. I put my characters through hell because real life isn’t always easy and fiction is no different.

 

 

Binding Rayne (Keepers of the Talisman Book 1) Book Review

43598164._UY500_SS500_So, I got a hold of a copy of Binding Rayne by Rowan Thalia and I was excited to read it because I like the genre and I loved the cover, but it didn’t quite live up to the hype in my head.

I think Rayne’s relationship with her love interests developed a little too quickly, but I think that’s just because I prefer a more slow burn.
Overall a good book and I’ll be sure to pick up the next one.

4 stars out of 5.

You can purchase a copy of Binding Rayne from Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B07MT5FJNN

When I’m Not Writing

It’s been quite an eventful few days around here and when I’m not writing, I dabble in a few other hobbies. On the odd occasion, I run around in period appropriate costumes and LARP. This past weekend saw me corralling eight children, four of them my own into a makeshift 1890s classroom and attempting to have them learn something.

Suffice to say it mostly backfired and what they really did was get handed a balloon and make they’re own fun, running around in a room that was actually fitted out as a church, while trying to keep their balloons from hitting the floor.

And when they weren’t playing with balloons they were making posters or running off with bandits. Yep, actual bandits! Did I mention it was a western LARP. My accent was non existent, and my teaching skills are a little rusty.

Besides LARP I do occasional get the odd moment spare to put my graphic art skills to use and work on a few book covers. I’m immensely proud of my latest two…

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and

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They turned out surprisingly well and I’m happy to say both are still available for purchase. I’d love to see them both sold in the not too distant future.

Missed Deadlines

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And… I had this post all written out and then it got eaten by gremlins.

So, I’m forced to rewrite it.

24th of July on a personal level is hell. Every year I dread the clock ticking over to today because nobody likes to be reminded of tragic events in their past. I’m certainly no different.

And today, well today marks the anniversary of my mum’s rather unexpected passing. Worse… today marks 10 years since she passed away.

And it’s no less easier than the year before. It’s hard and sad, cause my kids don’t remember her… two never got to meet her… which is crappy.

Anticipating the sadness and tears and the general blanket fort and tv binge that was in store for me given the nature of today, I attempted to put a positive spin on today.

In doing so, I gave myself a deadline. Finish Nightshade by today. Sadly, that didn’t quite happen. Life, as they say, got in the way.

But I am closer to finishing the novel at least. Which is a good thing and I’m trying not to dwell on everything else. At least for the moment.

Since I wasn’t successful in my endeavour, I’ll leave you with a question to ponder, until next time…

What do you do when you miss a writing deadline? Let me know in the comments. Because I am rather curious and desperately in need of a distraction.

Drawing Inspiration from Dreams

D76EB3F1-B447-4E18-A927-398319F2A838Inspiration can strike at the most inconvenient of times. Often, I find myself drifting off to sleep and then an idea pops into my head, for a story or novel and I just have to write it down before I forget.

Other times, I’ll wake up in the morning or the middle of the night after the most interesting dream, and again I just have to write it down.

Why the hell wouldn’t you?

I know, I know. Drawing inspiration from a dream… It’s cliche, right? But what if it’s not? What if you have a really kick arse dream that is just the right fit for a story? With all it’s untapped potential, you should totally use it. It would be a shame not to.

Now, I’m not talking about making a full blown novel out of one teeny tiny dream , that might not be feasible but maybe you can get some mileage out of it to create a really cool short story.

You won’t know until you try.

I’ve done just that in the past, actually. Other times my dreams have been weaved into a single scene.

That’s the thing about inspiration. It can be found in the most unlikeliest of places. So, don’t go discounting or discrediting your dreams just yet. You might just be lucky enough to find that rare gem.

I have, a few times. So, I’ve written them down, stored for later use. Ready for when, I finally get around to expanding upon them.

Just last night I had a dream where some of my extended family all gathered together on my front lawn awaiting my return. I thought it was weird (and slightly annoying) that they’d come to my house without any prior warning. Upon waking, I still find it weird. But also curious. I can’t quite shake the feeling that there’s a message in this dream, as it was all just a little too real. But I’ll dwell on that aspect of it all tomorrow when I have a clearer head.