Monday Motivation, Motivation Monday, Uncategorized

Motivation Monday: Surviving Creativity Burnout

Good morning, everyone!

This post is a week overdue thanks to internet malfunction. But it’s fixed now! Hopefully. So here we go!

So today I want to talk about burnout, how to avoid it, and how to fix it.

I suffered terribly from burnout after the holidays. I didn’t even have time to write, I was so busy running around from one event to the next, and spending time with my family of course. But after all the chaos, I tried to write. I really really tried. And I hated every word I typed so much, I just wanted to give up on the entire project.

Luckily, I have an awesome husband who had something encouraging to say. “Everyone has bad days.” And he’s absolutely right. So I stopped banging my head on the keyboard and took a break from writing for a few days. Eventually, I came back to it, scrapped the horrible 500 words I’d written (because I wanted to take the story on a different path,) and since then, I’ve added another ~8000 words to the manuscript.

My point is, sometimes we hit a rough patch on our creative endeavors. And instead of making things worse by trying to squeeze every last drop of creativity out of us, sometimes it’s best to take a break and refill your creative well. What rejuvenates you? Reading? Sleeping? Painting? Exercising? A night out? A night in? Whatever it is, do it! Word count goals aside. A day or two or three (or how ever many you need) spent refilling your creative well will do more good than trying to write when you’re suffering from burnout.

How do you avoid burnout? Set reasonable goals. Reduce the stress in your life (if that’s even possible). Keep your life balanced—make sure you’re getting enough sleep, exercise, food, etc. Know your limits and plan accordingly.

Burnout isn’t always avoidable. Life happens, and that’s okay. Take the time off you need to recover. Do things that you enjoy—hobbies, READING (especially for you writers!), spending time with family, catching up on sleep, etc. Or any of the things I listed above.

Having a supportive person in you life who understands what you’re going through is helpful, too. It can be anyone! A spouse, a friend, a roommate, a family member, a writing partner, a cat. Whoever that person is, don’t be afraid to confide in them. They can actually help!

At the end of the day, do what’s best for you, your health (mental and physical,) and your future. I want you to succeed! But I don’t want you to fry your brain and totally deplete yourself in the process. It’s not always easy to avoid that, especially considering most of us write in our very limited spare time, but you’ll make more progress giving yourself the time you need to recover from burnout than trying to force yourself to write when you’re suffering from an empty creativity well.

Just remember to hop back up on that horse ASAP if you do take a break. You don’t want to fall out of your writing routine!

Burnout isn’t the ends of things. It’s just a bump in the road. The sooner you recover from it, the sooner you can get back to writing.

Good luck with your writing goals! I believe in you! 🙂

 

 

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Monday Motivation, Motivation Monday, Uncategorized

Monday Motivation: Writing Through the Holidays

Good morning everyone!

I know I usually do these posts bi-weekly, but next Monday is Christmas and the one after that is New Year’s Day. Since I’ll be spending time with my family and busy running around, I decided to do next week’s post a week early, and I’ll be back in 2018!

Anyway, for today’s post, I wanted to talk about something a little different. (Just a heads up).

I don’t know about you guys, but I didn’t get a single word written over Thanksgiving week. Not a one. Between running around to family events, to spending time with my little family while my husband had time off, I just couldn’t find the motivation to write. All the food I ate didn’t really help, either. To be frank, I was too busy being lazy to write over Thanksgiving week.

Oh the shame. A whole week without writing. The last time that happened was when I was so sick I thought I was going to die (not really, but it was bad.) Not writing over Thanksgiving put me behind my target goal for NaNo WriMo and my goal to finish my first draft by the end of the year. I still have time, of course. But I’m around 15-20k words away. With the holidays coming up and the parent life to juggle, I can’t imagine hitting that goal. I’m still going to try, but I’m also trying to be reasonable about it so I don’t set myself up for disappointment.

ANYWAY, this month, to avoid the shame of not writing for several days in a row, I’m handling the holidays differently. I’ll still spend time with my family, but I’m not going to let laziness and food comas get the better of me. And if you struggle to write through the holidays for similar reasons and want to be more productive, here are a few different ways to do it:

  1. Start your morning a little earlier than usual, especially if you have time off. Get up, get coffee, and write for an hour or more. You’ll get your writing done, start your day off with a writing high, and still have the rest of the day to spend with your family.
  2. If you prefer to write in the afternoon or evening (because, like me, you’re not a morning person) avoid carb heavy foods right before you write (pasta, bread, cake, etc) and if you can’t for whatever reason, keep your portions SMALL. If you eat a lot of carbs at any point, you’ll get “The Itis.” The Itis makes you sleepy and lazy. Avoid it! Avoid carbs before you write! Personally, I have a Greek yogurt and berry smoothie plus a multivitamin before my writing session. ALL THE ENERGY.
  3. Avoid last minute holiday stress. When you’re stressed, you don’t want to write. You just want to relax, or watch TV, or drink—probably. Get all of your shopping and gift wrapping and anything else you CAN get out of the way while you have plenty of time! Do a little wrapping, cleaning, or whatever every day. That way you can do a little writing every day, too. 🙂
  4. DELEGATE. Don’t be afraid to ask for help! If you’re hosting or cooking, get your family to do their share! I know it’s not easy to ask, but it’s definitely worth it! Instead of doing dishes for the next 32 hours, have someone help you so you have a little time left over to write. Don’t be afraid to be bossy, especially if you’re hosting. It’s your house. You’re the boss!
  5. Get your moment of peace, even if you have to sneak down to Starbucks. Writing when there are fifty people around you being loud and obnoxious is impossible. Writing when one person is being loud and obnoxious is impossible. Just because it’s the holidays doesn’t mean you can’t have some time to yourself. If you can’t get it at your house or wherever you’re staying, sneak out! Find a place to write and relax. Lie about it if you have to. Get your “me time” in. Trust me, your sanity will thank you.
  6. Don’t feel obligated to see any family member or attend any function you don’t want to. The holidays are supposed to be fun, even if a little stressful. But if your family stresses you out too much, or you and your third cousin hate each other, or whatever, don’t go. You’re not obligated to spend time with your family over Christmas, especially if you don’t get along with them. Do what’s best for you, your stress levels, and your sanity. I know that doesn’t seem writing related, but mental well-being is important for every writer. Low stress and happy brains make it easier to write!
  7.  Lastly, don’t feel guilty if you don’t write over the holidays. It happens. I’ve been there. Life doesn’t always coincide with your writing plans, and that’s okay. Just try and hop back on that writing horse as soon as possible! The sooner you get back at it, the sooner you’ll finish. 😉 But wasting time wallowing in guilt and self-hate won’t get you anywhere. So skip that part (if you can) and write, write, write!

The holiday season is different for everyone. Some of you might have no trouble writing, some of you (like me) are so busy running around like a chicken with their head cut off that you can’t even form a coherent sentence, let alone write one. That’s okay! The holidays are supposed to be an enjoyable time. Do what it takes to enjoy it, even if that means not writing. Some of you might even need a break from writing all year, and that’s okay, too.

But I STRONGLY recommend you write a little every day, even if it’s just one hundred words. For the sake of your sanity, your WIP, and your dreams. Because every word you type gets you that much closer to the finish line.

Enjoy the holidays, everyone! I’ll be back in 2018! 🙂

Need more motivation? Comment below! I’ve got plenty more to go around!

Monday Motivation, Motivation Monday, Uncategorized

Monday Motivation: Stephen King’s Story

Good morning, everyone!

Despite the fact that I only got a few hours of sleep last night (parent life), I still want to spread motivation with everyone and hopefully encourage some of you to tackle that blank page, writer’s block, self-doubt, etc. My brain feels like pudding, so bare with me! I apologize in advance if none of this makes any sense.

Today I wanted to share Stephen King’s story with you. I think it’s safe to say most of us know who he is. He’s been writing for a few decades now, and a lot of his work has been made into movies and TV shows (most recently, The Dark Tower and IT.)

But despite his fame, King started at the bottom just like everybody else. And actually, he started a little lower than most.

When King was two-years-old, his father went out to buy a pack of cigarettes and never came back. This left his mother a single parent of two (King and his older brother, David.) Growing up, King’s mother struggled to provide for her family. They were very poor, but that didn’t stop King from writing. He wrote a variety of things through his teen years, even selling some of his stories to his friends.

1966 through 1970, King studied at the University of Maine where he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in English. In order to pay for his tuition, he worked a variety of odd jobs, including being a janitor, a gas pump attendant, and a worker at an industrial laundry facility.

After graduating, King married and had a daughter, and it was around that time that his struggle with substance abuse began, which lasted for more than a decade. By the time his family held an intervention in the late 80s, King was an alcoholic and drug addict, and he had been abusing cocaine, marijuana, Xanax, Valium, and other substances. After the intervention, King got help and has been sober ever since.

King had a difficult time believing in himself and his work, especially in the beginning of his career. King’s first novel CARRIE was originally thrown in the trash after just a few pages had been written. But after his wife’s encouragement, he finished it, and it was published shortly after in 1973. He received a $2,500 advance, and the paperback rights would eventually earn over $400,000.

King even wrote a few stories under the pseudonym Richard Bachman. Reportedly, he did so to “test” his writing—to see if Richard Bachman could become just as successful as Stephen King. He did this to ease his fears that his popularity was just an accident, but it was later found out that King was behind the pseudonym.

In 1999, King was hit by a car while he was walking on the side of the road. His injuries were severe and included a collapsed lung, a broken hip, and so many fractures in his right leg that doctors considered amputating it (but they didn’t.) King struggled to write after his accident, and temporarily quit in 2002 due to pain from his injuries and loss of stamina. However, since then he’s stated he does write, just at a much slower pace.

In his lifetime, King has written around 200 short stories, and he’s written and published 54 books which have sold over 350 MILLION copies, many of which were adapted into movies, TV shows, and comic books. He’s won dozens of awards, including the National Book Award and the Hugo Award. He’s been praised for his work and he’s been criticized for it, but without a doubt, King is one of the most famous and most successful writers in the world.

And he did it all despite his limitations in his early life, despite his self-doubt, and despite his struggle with substance abuse.

If your dad abandoned you as a child.
If you grew up with practically nothing as the child of a single mom.
If you had to work your ass off to pay for your college education.
If you doubt your ability to write and every other word you put on that page.
If you’re consumed by alcoholism or substance abuse every waking moment.
If you’ve been in a horrible accident that limits your ability to write.
You can still be a writer.

Despite these limitations, these challenges, these hurdles, you can overcome them.

Just like Stephen King did.

I believe you can do it. I know you can do it. There is greatness in you. It might be hard to see it sometimes, if you ever see it at all, but it’s there. And you may not be in the best place in your life. You might be stuck in the bottom of a bottle, or too poor to feed yourself, or so full of self-doubt you can’t even touch your keyboard. But you can get through it and come out on top, just like Stephen King.

The most important thing? You’ve got to try. You’ve got to work for it.

And the second most important thing? You can’t give up.

Tackle that blank page despite the things holding you back. Write. Write. Write. Edit. Edit. Edit. Show the world what you can do.

And you CAN do it. Don’t let anyone ever tell you differently, especially not that voice of doubt in the back of your mind.

I believe in you, even if you don’t believe in yourself.

GO WRITE! 🙂

Source for post and to read more about King’s story, go here: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stephen_King

Need more motivations? Come at me! I’m tired, but I’ve got more to spare! Hopefully it makes sense!

Monday Motivation, Uncategorized

Monday Motivation: Push Through!

Good morning!

I hope everyone that celebrates Thanksgiving had a lovely holiday! 🙂

For today’s motivational post, Thanksgiving has been my inspiration. (I’ll explain a little further down.)

First and foremost, I see a lot of writers all over the internet that claim they have lost their motivation (which is why I started this series.) I even have moments when I’m staring at my screen, fingers ready to type away, but my brain feels like mush and I really really really want to take a nap. Like right now. (Kidding! Sort of.)

Let’s face it. We have days when we’re unmotivated or uninspired or have writer’s block. We have days when we’d rather take a nap or browse reddit or drown our sorrows with pizza and an entire bottle of sparkling grape juice. And when we have those days, we tend to just accept them for what they are.

“I’m feeling unmotivated today. I’ll try again tomorrow.” You might tell yourself.

And I will say NO!

NO NO NO NO NO!

Don’t tell yourself that! It’s a trap!

You’ve heard people say “push through” when you get stuck in the sludge of writer’s block/unmotivation/internet distraction. And you probably think things like:

  • They don’t understand what I’m going through. My brain is LITERALLY PUDDING. I can’t write with a pudding brain.
  • If I write and I’m not motivated it will suck. I know it. I’m 100000000% positive it will be garbage. And garbage belongs in the trash. I’m not wasting my time writing something that will just be thrown out.
  • I’ll push through………. tomorrow.
  • I wrote four and a half words and I hate them and I hate myself and I hate that I’m a terrible writer who doesn’t even take the time to use punctuation and uses run on sentences that would make any English teacher cry and pushing through clearly doesn’t work so why bother where’s my sparkling grape juice (sobs)

Personally, I tend to resort to the first excuse, but I’ve definitely used all of them before.

But guess what? Pushing through is GREAT advice. Seriously. When you’re feeling unmotivated or you have writer’s block or whatever your writing ailment may be, that’s when you REALLY need to push through.

DO IT.

And here’s a helpful analogy to explain why you should do it, brought to you by Grandma’s Thanksgiving Dinner. (Told you.)

Let’s say you’re one your way to Thanksgiving dinner. Grandma’s made your favorite foods (mac and cheese, apple pie, green bean casserole, whatever you like.) And you haven’t eaten breakfast in preparation for this feast. You are SO READY to get your grub on. You even wore pants with an elastic waistband.

You’re driving along, do-do-do-do, when suddenly, the worst thing ever happens.

You hit a pothole, and it eats your tire (because potholes celebrate Thanksgiving, too.)

Now you’re stuck on the side of the road with no spare because you have a Hyundai, and they give you “patch kits” instead of spare tires (speaking from experience) but you can’t patch a tire that has been completely consumed by a hungry pothole.

You’re alone on the road. Everyone else is at their Thanksgiving dinners. Grandma’s apple pie is getting cold. What do you do?

Well, if you handle that situation like you handle writer’s block, you’d sit and wait. Maybe the apple pie would come to you if you waited long enough. Or maybe the car will magically fix itself and you can continue on your merry little way. Or if nothing happens, you can just try again tomorrow.

Now, any person in their right mind would call a tow truck or a friend or do whatever it took to get to Grandma’s house. Because apple pie.

But is eating apple pie a goal in your life? Is it your dream? Is it the one thing you want more than anything? No. Writing is.

So push through writer’s block like you would for apple pie or Black Friday shopping or to get to the movies to see the latest Marvel movie on time. Push through because writing should be more important to you than any of those things.

Because it works. Pushing though will get you where you need to be.

When you force yourself to push through writer’s block, you’ll find the harder you push, the easier it gets, and pretty soon, things are rolling pretty smoothly.

Like pushing a boulder down a hill. If you just stand there, nothing will happen. You’ve got to grit your teeth and put in the effort to get things going. At first, it will be difficult. You’ll want to give up. But don’t. Keep trying. Push through. And if you push hard enough, the words will flow. It will get easier. And next thing you know, the boulder’s rolling down the hill and you’re out of the unmotivated sludge. Ta-da!

Your story isn’t going to write itself. You have to put the work into it. It’s not always easy or fun or good. Sometimes we put a lot of work into things we just throw away, but don’t look at the things you throw out as failure. Look at the finish line. Look how pushing through got you a little closer to the it, even if you don’t end up using what you wrote. And best of all, look at the writer’s block you defeated. That in itself is an accomplishment.

And if you can’t get out of the sludge, that’s okay. Sometimes we need time to think of how to get out. Sometimes we need outside assistance.

BUT don’t give up without trying. TRY to push through. Work for your dream and your goals like you’d work for grandma’s apple pie. REALLY put in some effort to getting out of the sludge. Trust me, it’s in your best interest.

The sooner you really try, the sooner you get out of the sludge, and the sooner you cross the finish line.

And guess what? I’m cheering for you!

YOU GOT THIS! 🙂

Need more motivation? Comment below!

 

Monday Motivation, Motivation Monday, Uncategorized

Monday Motivation: The Art of Goals

Good morning everyone!

In the season of NaNoWriMo, I wanted to talk about the art of goals.

Yes, it is an art.

Because if you don’t have the right goal, you won’t achieve it, and you’ll end up in a cycle of self-loathing and despair.

Technically, this cycle is inevitable. Every writer has been there, or will be there. But if you make the right goals for yourself, you’ll avoid the cycle more often than if you hadn’t.

So, how do you make the right goal? Here’s the secret ingredient: YOU.

You are the biggest part of your goal, and by that I mean you are the only thing standing between your starting point and the finish line.

Or you should be.

If you have other things between the beginning and the end, things you can’t control, you’re going to have a bad time. Because the only thing you have control over is yourself. You can’t control those other things, so who’s to say when or if you’ll achieve your goal?

When you set a goal for yourself, make sure you are solely responsible for achieving that goal. (For best results.)

Don’t come up with goals where you have no control, or you’ll only wind up bitter, disappointed, and hating yourself when you can’t achieve it (by no fault of your own!)

Here are some examples of good goals.

  •  I’m going to write 500 words every day.
  • I’m going to write 50,000 words for NaNoWriMo.
  • I’m going to work harder to network with other writers on social media.
  • I’m going to spend one hour each day writing without checking phone/social media.

These are good goals to make for yourself, because you have ALL the control. The only thing stopping you from achieving them, is YOU.

On the other hand, here are a few examples of bad goals.

  • I’m going to sign with an agent by the end of the year.
  • I’m going traditionally publish my book by May.
  • I’m going to get 100 new followers on twitter every day.
  • My blog will get 50 page views every time I post.

These are bad because you are not in control, not completely. You can do things to influence your goal, but ultimately, other people determine if you will reach it or not.

Now, that’s not to say you can’t have these kind of goals. You can. But what happens in May when your book still isn’t published? Or you still don’t have an agent by the end of the year? Self-loathing, that’s what.

To avoid that, revise those goals. Make them more open ended. Accept that if there is a finish line, it’s not in your control if you reach it. Goals like these:

  • I’m going to get an agent.
  • I’m going to traditionally publish a book.
  • I’m going to get more followers on twitter.
  • I’m going to get more page views on my blog.

Are better to have because they’re open ended. If your goal involves another person(s), they need to be open ended if you want to avoid getting discouraged or self-loathing when you don’t accomplish your “goals.”

Now, if you’re the kind of person that doesn’t get discouraged when you don’t achieve your goals, you can ignore this post.

But I’ve been there. I had a goal of getting an agent in X amount of time, and as more time passed by, I started to feel discouraged. But after thinking about it and restructuring my goal to getting an agent without the time restraint, I felt a lot better. I didn’t feel as pressured, and the self-loathing vanished.

If you find yourself feeling discouraged lately, maybe your goals are your problem! Rework them. Make them into something YOU have control of, or take the restrictive pressure off the ones that involve other people.

Just make sure when you make a goal, it’s not a far stretch. Don’t say, “I’m going to write fifty thousand words today!” But you work two jobs and have a family of 26 to take care of. Be realistic. Know your limits. Factor in reality. But don’t be afraid to push yourself either, just don’t over-do it.

Dream big! But set appropriate goals to get you there without burning out or giving up on the way. Even if it takes a billion steps before you cross the finish line.

I want to see y’all succeed! I love reading success stories on here. It’s motivating and exciting! And it’s just as depressing to read stories of people who’ve lost all motivation.

So think about your goals. Think about what you really want out of your writing career, and do everything YOU can to make it happen.

Good luck everyone! 🙂

(P. S. My brain is mush this morning. Apologies if this doesn’t make any sense. It makes sense in my mushy brain.)

 

Need more motivation? Comment below!

Motivation Monday

Monday Motivation: J. K. Rowling’s Story

Good morning!

It’s another cold, yucky day out here, and I’m feeling extra extra motivated again. I’m here to spread it around as best as I can!

So earlier I was reading about J.K. Rowling–and if for some reason you don’t know who that is, she’s the most successful author in the world, author of the HARRY POTTER series–and I read a lot of really surprising things in her wiki.

It’s a pretty well known fact that she was a single mom in her twenties, and that she got rejected a bajillion times before the first book got published, but that is just the tip of the iceberg.

Rowling described her teenage years as unhappy. She had a bad relationship with her father, and her mother had multiple sclerosis. She *still* doesn’t speak to her father, if that tells you anything.

When Rowling was 25, her mother died, which was a devastating loss.

When she was 27 she got married and had a little girl 9 months later. 2 months after her daughter was born, she separated from her husband, who was said to be abusive.

So at 28, Rowling is jobless and fresh out of a bad relationship with an infant to take care of. As if that wasn’t difficult enough, it gets worse.

Over the next two years, Rowling lived off state benefits and suffered from depression and suicidal thoughts. When she was 29, her ex came back and she had to get a restraining order. Then she officially filed for divorce.

When she was 30 (1995), she had a job again, and Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone was finished. After securing an agent (which apparently only took two submissions), 12 publishers rejected the manuscript. A year later, Bloomsbury picked it up, paying her an advance of 1,500 pounds, and printed 1000 copies in 1997, half of which were sent to libraries. The rest is history.

(This is a TL;DR of her story, but if you want to read it yourself, here’s the source: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/J._K._Rowling#Life_and_career)

Rowling is a sparkly unicorn. Her rags-to-riches success is super rare.

But if Rowling could do it, so can you.

It’s possible to be a single parent and still become a successful writer. It’s possible to be in a bad, even abusive, relationship and still become a successful writer. It’s possible to suffer from depression and suicidal thoughts and still become a successful writer. It’s possible to be on government assistance and still become a successful writer. It’s possible to be rejected by agents/publishers and still become a successful writer.

It’s possible to be at your lowest of lows, at the end of your rope, and somehow pull through and go on to be a successful writer.

But if you give up, if you quit, it’s impossible.

As long as you keep chasing your dream, as long as you keep working towards your goal, whatever it may be, you have a chance (however small) of reaching it. And if you give up, that chance immediately reduces to zero.

Most likely, none of us will ever be as successful as J. K. Rowling. BUT, that doesn’t mean you can’t be successful. She’s not the only person who sells books. There are hundreds of thousands of published authors out there! And one day, you could be one of them. 🙂

Just don’t give up! If Rowling can get through her lowest place and come out on top, so can you!

And if you think you can’t because of reason X,Y, Z, I believe in you. I think you can do it. You have greatness in you. Don’t let doubt, fear, or self-hate squash that.

Prove to yourself you are great, just like Rowling did in 1995.

Because you are.

Keep trying, keep pushing, and never give up!

I believe in you! 🙂

 

Need more motivation? Comment below! I’ve got plenty more to go around!

Motivation Monday

Monday Motivation: You Can Do It

 

It’s Monday again. I think most people would agree it’s the worst day of the week. I’m a stay at home mom, so everyday is pretty much Monday. But actual Mondays definitely have that special blah about them. And to add to that blah-ness, it’s raining and yucky outside today.

BUT, unlike the majority of people (I think), I actually like rainy, yucky days. They motivate me. When I wake up and see wet grass and a cloudy sky, I get excited. Most importantly, I get motivated to write.

Maybe I’m broken. Maybe I’m weird. Maybe I’m both.

Regardless, I know how hard it is to stay motivated when you’re writing. I’ve been there. Hot, sunny days leech my energy. PMS turns me into a brainless, irritable zombie. All-nighters with a cranky kid also turn me into a brainless, irritable zombie. Life sucks away motivation in hundreds of thousands of ways, making it difficult to write, let alone do anything at all some days.

BUT I’m here for you today

If you feel unmotivated for whatever reason today, if you’re having trouble sitting down in front of your computer/laptop/spiral notebook and you’re in need of a little motivation, I’m here for you.

I woke up this yucky day feeling inspired, and I want to share it with you all.

If you don’t have anyone or anything to motivate you, now you do.

For those of you that feel like the odds are against you
The odds are also in your favor.

If you’re trying to publish a book, there were over 300,000 published in 2013 in the US, a number that’s probably increased since. (SOURCE: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Books_published_per_country_per_year)

Most of those might be previously published authors. Less than a third might be new authors, but that’s a LOT of books. Even 50,000 is a lot of books. Even 10,000 is a lot of books!

The odds of getting traditionally published are low, but if they choose 50,000 books by new authors every year, why not yours?

Don’t view the odds of getting published as an obstacle. See it as a challenge.

The haters betting that you can’t. Everyone that doesn’t believe in you saying you won’t make it. The self doubt in the back of your mind telling you it’s impossible. Ignore them all. Don’t focus on proving them wrong.

Prove those that believe in you right.

Who tells you that you CAN do it? Friends? Family? That even smaller, hopeful voice in your heart? Listen to them. Listen to me.

You CAN do it. You can get published.

But you won’t if you don’t write. You won’t if you don’t submit to agents/publishers. You won’t if you don’t try.

The worst they can do is say no, and you’re already beating them to it if you don’t even try. You’re telling yourself no.

Tell yourself yes! Try!

For those that feel like their writing’s garbage

We’ve all felt that way at some point. I feel that way a lot.

Guess what? It’s not.

It’s above average. Maybe not great, but it’s good. And the more you write, the better it gets. Don’t believe me? That’s what beta readers are for. Pass on a sample to (hopefully objective) people you trust and see what they say.

I gauruntee you they won’t say it’s trash. They might mention ways to improve it, but everyone can always improve, because there are endless ways to write one idea.

But you know what? You can’t pass a blank page onto beta readers.

Get your first draft down, then worry about improvements.

I think you’ll be surprised how decent it actually is 🙂

For those of you that can’t get words on the page

We all have those days and they’re perfectly normal! Her are some tips to get those mental juices flowing:

  •  Go on a walk/jog and get your blood pumping, but don’t over do it.
  •  Read something that you find inspiring.
  • If you can’t think of an idea, have someone give you a prompt, or check out r/writingprompts.
  • Drink coffee.
  • Connect with fellow writers.
  • Write at the same time everyday, or develop a writing habit that works for you.
  • Go love on a pet. Don’t have one? Find a friend/shelter with pets in need of loving.
  • Drink more coffee.
  • Check out r/getmotivated.
  • Remove distractions (turn off your phone, internet, TV, etc.)

Make sure you don’t eat up all your writing time trying to motivate yourself. 😉

When it comes down to it, try and get words on the page whether or not you find that motivation. Even fifty words brings you that much closer to the end of the piece. It’s okay if you don’t like them. It’s okay if they’re not that great. What matters is that they’re there. If they weren’t, you’d have nothing, and you can’t edit nothing.

In summary, I believe in you.

I believe in all of you. We have a lot of great writers on this sub. We have a lot of people who are already published, and a lot of people who will be published.

Believe in yourself. Believe in your ideas and your writing. Improve as much as possible, because there is always room for improvement.

And in time, you will SOAR above the odds. And I can’t wait to see it! 🙂

Good luck to all of you! And happy Monday!

 

 

 

Need more motivation? I’ve got plenty more to spare! Comment below!

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The Dreaded Synopsis

As if writing a book isn’t hard enough, we write queries. And not only that–sometimes, we write synopses.

O. M. G.

And I thought writing 55k words was hard.

Queries are difficult, absolutely, but they’re also a main component in getting published, the traditional way, anyway. Unless you’re a sparkly unicorn, you have to write a query to get an agent. Which is hard, honestly, but it gets easier the more you practice.

Synopses, not so much.

While writing a query letter is essentially writing an advertisement for your book, writing a synopsis is like writing the product description, and I don’t know if you’ve read the back of your shampoo bottle lately, but there’s a novella back there that’s way longer than that ten second lather, rinse, repeat commercial currently keeping you from skipping ahead on that YouTube video.

Ahem. What I’m getting at here is that there’s sooooooooo much more information that goes into your synopsis than the query letter. Everything, in fact. You’re summarizing every thing that happens in your book in just two pages, double-spaced, 12 point Times New Roman font. A book compromised of thousands of words.

Query letters, I’ve decided, are easier. You just need to hook the agent, to grab their attention. You shout the big, main things and BOOM, they’re calling you and begging for a full–or something like that.

Synopsis? You have to include it all, some how some way. The boring stuff might not get more than a line or two, or maybe half a sentence, but it’s still there. And if there’s a lot of boring stuff, that adds up. Suddenly you’re questioning all those parts, those bridges between the action, and you want to change it or rewrite it or burn it or sacrifice it to the writing gods in hopes they’ll give you a better idea for your next manuscript, but instead they strike you with lightning.

It’s scary, man. I tell ya.

But don’t be scared.

When it comes down to it, that’s how it’s supposed to be. Queries are supposed to be the good stuff. Good stuff hooks the agent. Synopses have it all, good and bad, so the agent knows exactly what’s going on. As for the boring parts, do your best to spin them so they’re not so boring. Some of it can even be left out if the plot still makes sense without it.

It’s still not easy cramming 55k words into two pages, but It gets easier with time. The good news is, there are agents who won’t ask for a synopsis, so if you really really don’t want to write one, seek those out. My advice, though, would be to give it a shot. Yesterday, I was stressing out about it and didn’t know where to start. Today, I have a finished synopsis.

If you can write 55k words, you can write a two-page synopsis. 🙂

 

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Welcome!

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I’ve spent a lot of time the past few weeks trying to get this site perfect (time I probably should have spent writing), and I’ve finally decided I’m as close as I’ll get. I am a writer, after all. Not a website designer–thank goodness!

So it’s time to get back to that writing thing!

First of all, I owe a big THANK YOU to everyone reading this! Without you, I wouldn’t have a reason to write. Well, that’s not exactly true, but you all definitely make it more worth while! So to my readers, thanks! Give yourself a high five!

For those of you that don’t know, I’m currently working on getting my first novel, THE ARTIST’S QUEST, published. I still have some editing to do before I submit it to agents, but hopefully this book will help me get my foot in the door of publishing. When that happy day comes, you all will be the first to know.

In the mean time, I will be updating you all on my writing journey as much as I can, as well as offering unsolicited advice from time to time. My goal is to update biweekly, so I’ll be back in two weeks! Until then, I’ll be editing.

Thanks for reading!