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.

 

 

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Summer’s Splash

So, I ended yesterday on a bit of a high, having received an acceptance for my short story, Summer Storm to be published in Fantasia Divinity‘s Summer’s Splash anthology.

The contract has been signed and returned. Now I await edits.

The story itself is just over 500 words and picks up after the events of The Dawning of Spring, so if you haven’t picked up a copy of Spring’s Blessing: A Spring Fantasy Anthology, you may want to.

A little about the story appearing in Summer’s Splash…

Mercy, the newly crowned Queen of the Seelie Court, broods over her deal made with the Goddess of Spring, Ostara as the Midsummer festivities begin.

Week Sixteen

Today is the end of the sixteenth week of the 365 Writing Challenge and I failed dismally this week in way of words added to pieces of fiction and poetry. However, I did write an impressive 2,114 words on my blog. So, that’s a win in my book.

So, what have I accomplished in the past seven days?

Let’s list it shall we and find out!

  • Added 100 words to an Iron Faerie Publishing submission piece.
  • Added 100 words to Le Fay.
  • Submitted one drabble to Black Hare Press.
  • Wrote one poem.
  • Edited a couple of short stories.

And of course, the wait for contest scores continues, as does waiting to hear back on a few – 5 – submissions I’ve sent to publishers in the last month.

Of course, that list doesn’t include my work with The Horror Tree which can often be overwhelming or my work with Iron Faerie Publishing.

Until next week (or the week after that). Happy writing.

Why Writing Isn’t a Chore

Why writing isn’t a chore… and yet I have a list of things to keep me going through to the end of April. And I totally love it, despite how overwhelming it gets some days.

I spent the day organising my writing related to-do list, in between household chores and begging the Gods that it didn’t rain so the washing I had out on the line could actually have a chance to dry, whilst wishing like mad I had a dryer that worked, of course. It’s still not dry…

This is what I have so far… and I swear there’s things I’ve forgotten, so this list will likely be added to over the next few days.

Did I mention I’m trying to keep myself accountable this year? Well I am!

  • Add new words added to a story story. The word count minimum of which is a self imposed 2000, for an Iron Faerie Publishing anthology submission.
  • Add new words to a short story. The word count minimum is 7000 and my current count is 4025.
  • Edit and submit two drabbles for consideration into a Black Hare Press anthology.
  • Organise my poems. Would you believe most are stored in the notes app on my phone? Backed up of course but still.
  • Write more poetry. It should be simple but I get so caught up in my short story submissions that I forget to flex my poetry muscles.
    Edit an author interview I completed for The Horror Tree, ready to send off Wednesday morning.
    Edit short stories. Which short stories? I couldn’t tell you. There’s the several I’ve written in the first quarter of the year that haven’t been sent into anthologies, so I should probably start there…

What’s on your to do list? Anything exciting? My mundane chore list isn’t as exciting as my writing one, but I’ll leave you with the image that is a household of 6 and no dishwasher. Yes, there’s tears and they’re usually all mine.

The 5 Elements of a Story – Character

5 elements of a story - character

There are several things you need to consider when creating a character. Some are obvious while others may not be.

And, more importantly, the needs vary a little between short stories and novels. As with short stories you are merely getting a glimpse into a character whereas in a novel, characters need to be more developed and fleshed out.

Characterisation can be hard to manage and even harder to get right. Discovering who your character is can often be very frustrating.

Which is why character profiles are incredibly useful. Even the simplest character profile will help you in getting to know your character.

Because, let’s face it, when you’re dealing with a novel there’s often quite a few characters involved. At some point remembering who had what eye colour is going to get tricky.

Which is why I create character profiles. If not for all my characters, then for the main characters at the start. The minor character profiles tend to evolve on their own and I write additional profiles as needed.

Below is a black PDF version of the rather basic Character Profile I use. It’s nothing overly elaborate, but it does the job.

Feel free to save it to your computer for use later on.

Character Profile

 

 

Week Fifteen

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Today is the end of the fifteenth week of the 365 Writing Challenge and I’ve managed to write 1156 words across seven days.

So, what have I accomplished over the past week?

Let’s list it shall we and find out!

  • Wrote a further 644 words and completed Of Blood and Fire. It comes in at 5,044 words and was submitted in the early hours of Thursday, 11th April.
  • Continued work on Le Fay, writing a further 300 words. It’s now sitting at 4,000/6,000 words. I had to push the deadline back two weeks.
  • Wrote two short poems.
  • I’ve sat staring at my untitled story for the Summer Splash anthology more than I would like but I’ve managed to get 156 words down.

Of course, that list doesn’t include my work with The Horror Tree which can often be overwhelming or my work with Iron Faerie Publishing. Or any of the blogs I’ve written over the last week.

Until next week (or the week after that). Happy writing.

The Struggle is Real

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Yes. The struggle is real! And, along with struggling to find something worthy to write about tonight, I’m struggling to figure out which of my WIPs I should be focusing on.

First World problems, I know. But it’s true, and the answer should be simple, but it’s not.

Too many stories and not enough time, and even more writing opportunities keep popping up out of the woodwork. I swear, my anxiety is in overdrive, because I just don’t want to miss out, you know?

It’s hard. I’d forgo sleep, but I need sleep. There’s only so much coffee a person (namely I) can drink before I wind up bouncing off the walls. I think the official tally is about 6 cups over the course of a day.

So, in the interest of saving me from simply procrastinating and winding up following the internet down some rabbit hole… trust me it happens often. One minute I’m researching something for a story and the next I’m somewhere totally unrelated… would anyone be willing to share what they’re working on at the moment? It doesn’t have to be a novel or short story. It could be a poem or your latest blog post. Who knows, it might create a spark of inspiration for my own writing.

 

 

Of Blood and Fire

It’s done. I’ve not only finished an epic 5,000 word story, but I’ve submitted it too. It’s currently winging its way into the hands of the Dragon Soul Press editors as I type.

I just hope they like it.

I’ve spent the last forty-five minutes winding down since I did a mad dash to write what I thought was 400 words but was really 600 words in as little time as possible tonight so I could get the story finished.

It took two hours.

Sadly, it’s not much of an update but I had to share nonetheless, now that the excitement coupled with nerves has died down.

Week Thirteen and Fourteen

Today is the end of the fourteenth week of the 365 Writing Challenge and I’ve managed to write 5008 words across fourteen days. Hard to believe, I know. This of course, doesn’t count the words that go into my blog posts, if it did, I can guarantee you the word count would be higher.

So, what have I accomplished in the past two weeks?

Let’s list it shall we and find out!

  • Started work on Of Blood and Fire – I’m 4,408 words into the short story which is centred around King Arthur and Camelot. Complete with dragons and… vampires. Yep! You heard correctly. Vampires!
  • Submitted a poem, Raven Queen to Dragon Soul Press.
  • Edited two short stories.
  • Edited 9,000 words worth of articles for a client.
  • Submitted my short story, The Drowning Pool to Pixie Forest Publishing’s anthology At Death’s Door.
  • Wrote a 600 word scene that will eventually be included in the WIP Eldritch.
  • Wrote two more poems
  • Wrote two drabbles

Of course, that list doesn’t include my work with The Horror Tree which can often be overwhelming or my work with Iron Faerie Publishing.

All up it’s lead to a very busy, but productive two weeks.

Until next week (or the week after that). Happy writing.

10 Songs That Are On My Writing Playlist

As my last post along this same vein, I thought I’d share something most writers have at least one of.

A writing playlist.

It’s no secret that writers often find music to be inspirational to the creative process of writing, and I’m surprisingly no different.

It’s a shock, I know.

Mine is however very eclectic.

So, before I get caught rambling on any further, I’ll see to the list.

(In no particular order)

1. Speeding Cars by Walking Cars

2. Roses by Against the Current

3. Red by Taylor Swift

4. Hold Back the River by Nicole Cross

5. Need You Now by Lady Antebellum

6. Tear in Your Hand by Tori Amos

7. Head Above Water by Avril Lavigne

8. Way Down We Go by Kaleo

9. Saturn by Sleeping at Last

10. September by Daughtry

That’s a small portion of my playlist. I’d love to hear what some of the songs are that feature on your playlist. Unless of course you prefer to write in complete silence.

Bye March

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Another month has come to a close. I spent most of it waiting on things that didn’t arrive and trying to write amongst the anxiety that came with waiting on those things that didn’t arrive. Suffice to say, March has been utterly exhausting.

Rewarding, but exhausting.

I was looking over my submissions for the quarter and I’ve subbed twelve stories and two poems. With five stories still pending completion. Not to mention I’ve written a whopping thirty-two blog posts. While I’ve had two rejections this year, on stories I felt had promise, I’m trying to not let that get me down.

And right now, I’m battling the clock on two projects. Le Fay is probably the most pressing, but another… so far untitled, is proving a mite more interesting. It’s what I like to call Arthurian Legends meets The Vampire Diaries. I couldn’t resist throwing vampires at fire breathing dragons and seeing what came about. Turns out even with Le Fay not quite finished, Morgan’s not letting go. Not that she ever has and I doubt if she ever will.

It’s early days but I’m hopeful I’ll be able to finish the third instalment, Pendragon, ready for a late May release.

So, that’s what I achieved. What’s something you achieved?

 

 

Week Twelve

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It’s goodbye to yet another week of the 365 Writing Challenge and I’ve written a grand total of 2,200 words… which is slightly up from last week.

So much has happened this week, most of which I have already blogged about. So, I won’t go into it again. Suffice to say, I’m looking forward to getting my hands on the poetry anthology from Dragon Soul Press that has my two little poems in it, when it releases in June.

I also received my copy of Spring’s Blessing in the mail, which featured my short story, The Dawning of Spring. If you haven’t gotten your hands on a copy you can do so here.

Well that’s about it for this week.

Happy Writing.

 

Le Fay is Coming!

For all those who may be wondering, the second installment of my novelette series, Le Fay is in the works. I’m about two thirds of the way into it and I’m keeping my fingers crossed that it’ll be ready for release mid April.

It is the prequel to Morrighan and tells the story of Morgan and how she met Prince Arthur and the domino effect that befalls her which follows in the wake of her father’s death and propels her mother, Igraine, into the arms of Uther Pendragon.

For those that are familiar with the Arthurian Legends of old, my version is a little different in that there is a paranormal undertone to this story, but to tell you more would be giving too much away. I do however hope you’ll enjoy it.

For now though, I’ll leave you with a teensy excerpt and a look into Le Fay.

Enjoy!

He was standing right in front of her; Morgan couldn’t move. She licked her lips that had all of a sudden gone dry and remembered to breathe, and blink, least she be accused of staring at his all too beautiful face.

“Hello Morgan.”

Morgan shook her head, momentarily breaking the daze. He was too pretty to be real. Too pretty by far to be a boy. None of the boys Morgan knew had hair down to their shoulders.

“H-how do you know my name?” Morgan stammered, taking one step backwards. She shouldn’t have been out on the sidewalk. She should have been inside, but the apartment was dark and cramped.

“I know a great deal about you, Morgan,” he said.

Morgan swallowed hard, as fear bubbled up inside. She felt as if she’d throw up any second.

“Who are you?” Morgan sucked air into her half-starved lungs.

It tasted like roses. The garden behind him was full of them. All white to match the fence that ran all the way along the street.

Morgan shouldn’t have been talking to him, she should have turned away and walked inside, but hopscotch was way more fun than playing inside by herself.

“Now, now Morgan, there’s no need to be hostile,” he said. “I thought you could do with somebody to keep you company. It must get awfully lonely playing by yourself all the time.”

“Who are you?” she shrieked, so loud, that he reached out to put a hand over her mouth to shush her.

“If you promise to be quiet, I will tell you,” he said. “Do you promise, Morgan?”

Morgan nodded, and he took his hand away from her mouth. “Yes… I promise. Now tell me who you are!” her voice, while practically inaudible, was pitched.

“I’m Arthur. Arthur Pendragon,” he said, his blue eyes shining like sapphires.

“Arthur Pendragon,” Morgan repeated.

Despite the presence of a lisp when she said his name, Arthur forced a smile. “Yes.”

“Are you real?” she asked.

“Of course, I am!” he said with an air of indignation. “Aren’t all faeries real?”

Week Eleven

Today is the end of the eleventh week of the 365 Writing Challenge and I’ve managed to write 2,100 words and get some editing done on a few of my short stories I wrote last month. I’m still waiting on my scores for Phase 4 of Fantasia Divinity’s Interpretations Contest, but I’m hopeful they’ll hit my inbox very soon.

In other writing news, I have four short stories awaiting completion so that I can submit them to various anthologies, plus close to a dozen drabbles to write for another submission opportunity.

March is beginning to feel just a little overwhelming of late, but I’m trudging through and I’ll make it through to the other end, hopefully unscathed. And who knows, maybe by the end of the month, I’ll have a couple of acceptances to add to my pile of ever growing acceptances.

Until next week. Happy writing.

Week Seven to Ten

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And, I dropped the ball. I find it ironic that the last post I made to this series was on February 11th. Today marks the tenth week of the 365 Writing Challenge.

These last four weeks I’ve written roughly 8,796 new words, finished my Phase 5 short story for Fantasia Divinity Magazine‘s competition and started work on Le Fay, the prequel to Morrighan.

Lost, my collection of short stories, was published on March 28th on kindle and paperback.

If you haven’t purchased a copy, I’d love it if you would consider doing so.

Here’s the LINK!

Until next week.

I hope.

Fingers crossed.