Monday, June 26, 2017

Writing with monsters

Writing and pursuing publication takes time. A lot of time. The creativity for it is its own beast sometimes on its own schedule. At different stages of my process, I have different rituals to write. Some days it takes longer to get into. Throw life and kids in the mix and a swirling tornado of when can I sit and write twists at 200 mph. I've written for many years, but it wasn't until after my second monster was born, was when I started writing in pursuit of publication. When they were little, I thought oh I have no time to do this, but there are ways to fit it in.

First, make sure you are sleeping. My kids never did. Most of my plotting was done in my head as I lay awake on my son's floor wishing he would just sleep. I can't say it was good plotting, but it was turning the wheels. For me, this worked, but I would say if you need sleep, take the time to get some shut eye. You will be a happier person for it. I would also write if and when my kids napped, which was sparse. When did I get other stuff done? Well, my writing time on average was about a half an hour per day, if I was lucky.
When the monsters got to be in school full time some things changed. When I thought I would have more time, I was mistaken. I actually have less. Most of this is my fault. I started working part time and I volunteer a lot so my time has become choppy, and by night time, I'm exhausted. My advice is to make sure you can carve out some time. If it's early in the morning or a half an hour after dinner. Sometimes I write while making dinner. If you feel the creativity coming and the moment is there, write. I've even jotted down ideas in the middle of the airport because a new character whispered in my ear.
Also, my kids activities escalated. If I have to wait for them at one of their activities, I bring the work with me. Whether I'm editing, coming up with a new scene, or brainstorming, I do what I can while I wait. If you can spot when there is a moment of just you, take advantage, even if it's 15 minutes. It's progress.

Second, summer comes. I spend most of my week with my kiddos and part of the week working. In the summertime, adjustments to your schedule will have to be made. My kids do some camps, and we take some vacations, but I like to keep the kids busy. I don't want them on screens all day, so I try and plan out my week around things that need to be done around the house, what the kids are doing, and where the time can fit in. I work better in the morning so I give the kids some time to play with their toys or screens and I try to flesh out some scenes or edit. This does put me on a time limit, but something is moving along. It also does not happen everyday.

Finally, these are some tidbits per my schedule. Your schedule may be different than mine so not all of these recommendations will work for you. Step back or write down your week to see where writing can fit in. Also, try different times and see what works for you.

Lastly, don't be hard on yourself. Everyone is different and our needs are not the same. Kids grow up fast so make sure you soak in the time you have.  I'm just happy when something gets done.

How do you write with your kiddos?

Have a great day!

Friday, June 23, 2017

What to do with Fear

The one thing that trips me up while writing is fear. It comes in varying degrees. Sometimes it's easy to push away, and other times, it wraps its bony fingers around my neck and squeezes. The whole publishing world can be a frightful place. I always toy with--"Why on earth am I doing this?" Or- "Am I insane to keep putting myself through this torture?" These are common questions for anyone who embarks on this journey. I have calmed my constant desire to check my email and twitter feed because I realize crickets live there. Now, I will say, I have stepped back a little from these sparce places only to work more on my story words than any other, but all that is quiet means nothing is happening.

I try to not be the Debbie Downer. I've grown better at not letting rejections get to me. They are merely annoying now. It's more expected than not. I know, I'm not big on the confidence thing. I don't have a whole lot of faith in myself most of the time. I put a lot of this in perspective when I realize my sob stories are basically nothing compared to others. I've heard countless of really bad experiences that make me feel that my writing life is not all that horrible. The hope does come from the good experiences authors tell me they have. I guess that's why I keep submitting in the hopes that I get a little piece of that joy.

Fear is part of this hesitation. I write and all the voices in my head question and doubt on how this will not be any different than the last four. It's silly really. I try and just make it that I'm not writing for anyone but me. That no one will see this except in the long run, I know I will want to send it out and see what happens. I just have to jump over the hurdle of how horribly written it is now and keep polishing it.

So how do you do that? I don't have a definite answer. I'm always looking for advice on what to do when fear holds me back. I try to work on other things or type out a blog post to see where it will take me. :) There may not be an answer at all. It's all how the individual handles it. Some can move on quickly and others it will take longer. Maybe a variety in daily life or just surround yourself in support.

What are your thoughts on how fear affects your writing and daily life?

Have a great day!

Friday, June 2, 2017

Here comes summer

Hello again! It's been a while. Life gets crazy and schedules take over. You know what I mean. Summer is coming. I do like summer. A lot. Warmer weather is my thing. My writing time does get smaller due to entertaining the kiddos, but I'm going to try and figure out a way to keep up my pace. I'm getting back into that YA fantasy I mentioned way back. It still amazes me how long novels take. I started this one at least two years ago, but I'm getting back into it. A fantasy is new for me. I read them, but writing one has proved to be a challenge. I'm sure it will continue to be a little of a problem child. The one thing I love about it are my visuals. I am into creating Pinterest boards for my works in progress, and I'm hoping the inspiration pictures I have for this fantasy are reflected in the book. Especially the dark feeling. :) I just have to get through a major battle scene and I will have a full draft ready for revision.  My fear of writing it keeps holding me back though. Pesky fear always nagging my confidence. I will get there.

I'm trying to read some amazing books to fuel the inspiration for a battle scene. Somehow, my to be read pile grows every time I look at it.

Anyone have any great new YA fantasies they would like to recommend? Why not make my pile taller? :)

Have a great day!