Books · Life · Writing

I Think I Stress Ate My Motivation

Greetings, earthlings (and non-earthlings)! How is everyone doing on this gloomy, rainy Wednesday? Is anyone else stress snacking on Halloween candy at their desk at the moment?

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This week is turning out to be a stressful one. I was forced to take part in an event yesterday that made me incredibly anxious and feeling like garbage the rest of the day. On top of that, I have a dance show coming up this weekend that I’m stressing over. Le sigh. Hopefully once the show is over I’ll calm down a little bit.

I feel like I haven’t been posting as much on the blog lately, which I apologize for. For some reason, I’ve been having a hard time finding the inspiration for posts and even for my own book. I’m still making progress on the book, but it’s definitely slowed down a bit. I’ve been lazy after I get home from work at night, opting to binge watch The Great British Baking Show, or just read. Even when I want to sit down and write, the task itself feels too exhausting. Maybe I’m just trying to do too much lately and am burning myself out. Or maybe it’s a symptom of my depression, messing with me. Either way, I always get a bit worried when this happens. If I’m not writing all the time I panic that it’s because I’m losing my ideas/creativity/writing skills/whatever. My brain is like “Well, clearly you suck at this and it was all just a fluke that you even got this far. Now you’ll never get any of that momentum back.” Because obviously, the world is very black or white like that…

In happier news, I’ve moved on to the next Halloween read that was on my list. I haven’t gotten too far in yet, so I can’t say whether it’s good or not. I feel like fans of the movie would enjoy it though, even if it’s just for the nostalgia.

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Life · mental health · Writing

Fits of Gratitude

Well, WordPress has somehow deleted the Top 5 Tuesday post that I wrote yesterday. *sigh* I don’t know why this periodically happens, but it is somewhat frustrating, as I’m sure you can imagine.

How are all of you doing this week? All of us in North Carolina are currently bracing ourselves for hurricane Florence. Don’t worry, we’re all stocked up on the essentials: bread, chocolate, coffee, and lots of books. I had actually been planning to spend the night in Asheville this weekend, but, alas, that is not going to happen now because of the weather.

Rather than sit here and be bummed about cancelling my trip or pissed about my deleted post, I’m going to make the best of it. With health issues and the ongoing mental health struggle, it’s not always easy to be positive. I’m trying though! Fortunately, given how much better I’ve been feeling these last few months, it’s getting easier.

Since I’m trying to be less negative, I’m going to share some of the things in my life that I am grateful for instead.

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Food – A little while back I wrote about how my trip to New York had helped me get over the last hump in my eating disorder recovery. Since then my relationship with food has only gotten better. I’m cooking and baking constantly, trying out new recipes and making beloved favorites. I’ve rekindled my love of French cuisine and classic cooking techniques, making everything from bouillabase to meringue to pate choux. Ironically, despite the strained relationship I’ve had with food the last few years, this one, this passion for gastronomy is the one that feels right. It’s nice to be back where I belong again.

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The Coffee House – My weekend routine has become quite different the last couple of months. Instead of staying home and getting the sleep that I covet during the work week, I set my alarm and typically get up around 6:30 every Saturday and Sunday. By 7:00 I am seated in one of the nooks in my favorite local coffee shop (still quiet at that hour) with an almond latte and my laptop in front of me. I have found that I can focus better on my writing early in the morning and when I am outside the house, for whatever reason. I’ve been making lots of great progress on my book at that little coffee shop and I am really excited about it.

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What have you been grateful for lately?

Books · Writing

Tuesday Tidbits

(I know it’s Wednesday, but I wrote this on Tues and feel asleep before I could post it. Besides, it’s my blog. That means it can be Tuesday on Wednesday if I want it to be. 😛)

Greetings, humanoids! How’s everyone’s week going so far? Mine has involved some fun and exciting training for our new software system at work.

*Narrator voice*: “It was not, in fact, fun or exciting.”

I was pleased to finish and start another chapter in my book this weekend. We actually had Friday off, so I got a whole extra day to work on it.

Two of the days that I was off I woke up early and dragged my butt to one of my favorite coffee shops. I find that my brain functions a lot better first thing in the morning, making it an ideal time to write. It’s also, conveniently, pretty quiet that early in the morning. Ironically, getting up that early in the morning to go to my normal job makes me want to cry. Hmm…

Random question for you writers out there: When/where do you prefer to get your writing done?

With a whole extra day off, I had some more time for reading, also! I’m still working my way through The Goblin Emperor and I also started City of Bones.

Honestly, I have no idea whay compelled me to pick up City of Bones. For years I’ve brushed it off as something that I wasn’t interested in, then I found a used copy at the store last week and I randomly changed my mind. Maybe it’s the beginning of another identity crisis. Who knows.

Books · Fiction · Life · Writing

The Many Stages of Writing

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Hey, remember when I wrote a blog post about the stages of writing and forgot to include the part where you accidentally delete said post and, ironically, have to re-write it? Le sigh.

Since working on this book I’ve been becoming more in tune with what the stages of writing look like. You’d think it would be as simple as thinking of something to write, sitting down, and putting words to paper/screen. Right? Hahaha. Nope. There are way more important steps involved in the process. (Such as eating snacks. Without snacks the whole system breaks down.)

The process is probably a bit different for everyone depending on your personality, creativity, and whether or not you’ve written a book before. This is what my very refined writing process looks like:

  1. Come up with idea.
  2. Wrack brain for more ideas, because the first idea sucked.
  3. Stick with the first idea.
  4. Start writing an outline.
  5. Discard outline because you know you won’t stick to it anyway.
  6. Write.
  7. Get excited over how well it’s going. Tell everyone on Twitter.
  8. Take a coffee/snack break.
  9. Write some more.
  10. Come up with ideas for a new scene or chapter. Get overwhelmed because now you don’t know which one to work on first.
  11. Wake up next morning with writer’s block.
  12. Doubt everything. Not just your story, but your entire life.
  13. Take a coffee/snack break.
  14. Write.
  15. Bang head on keyboard in frustration and stare off into the void.
  16. Doubt that you’ll ever finish your book. Who said you knew how to write anyway?
  17. Write some more.
  18. Go to the store for more snacks.

Do you think really successful authors, like Stephen King, eat lots of snacks while writing?

Books · Life · Writing

LOOK AT MY TINY TARDIS

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How YOU doin’? My mood today is an appropriate one for a Monday. I’m tired, cranky, and really just want to be curled up on the couch with a book or an episode of Doctor Who. 😩

Speaking of the Doctor, look at the tiny TARDIS pin I got from Etsy! 😍

The reason I’m so cranky today is because I’ve come down with a case of writer’s block. All weekend I tried to work on my book, but my brain just wasn’t having it. After months of having really good momentum, I’m reaching a point where I’m not sure what’s supposed to happen next in my story. I’m sure that plenty of you, whether you write stories or just stick to blog writing, know how frustrating this can be. *slams head on keyboard* I know it will eventually pass, but it’s still driving me crazy at the moment and I don’t know what to do with myself in the mean time.

Books · Writing

Hitting the Keys

I missed my usual Monday post on account that yesterday was crazy busy. So, even though it’s Tuesday: How YOU doin’ today? I hope everyone had an enjoyable weekend, whether you were relaxing or painting the town.

I didn’t get to read as much as I hoped to this weekend, but that’s because I was too busy writing instead. A few months ago I wrote some random short stories, just to keep the creative juice flowing. One of those stories, which was meant to be no more than a few hundred words, has evolved into its own entity. It’s becoming a full-blown novel! Go figure.

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At the end of last year, having only written a little bit of my non-fiction book, I told myself that I was going to be more productive in terms of writing this year. Now I’m in the middle of writing two books.

I’m actually really excited about the story I’m currently working on. It’s a YA fantasy…aaaand that’s all I’m going to say about it for now. 😛

 

Books · Writing

Writing Progress

It’s Friday at last! Time to party! And by party I mean SLEEP. There’s been a lot of early mornings and late nights this week. My insomnia has been rampant the last three years few weeks, also, and it feels like it’s starting to catch up with  me.

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(Update: Since I started writing this I have now accidentally punched my co-worker in the boob, spilled a bottle of water all over the floor, and been squished in the automatic door. Is it 5:00 yet?!)

I’ve been wanting to write a post abut the progress of the book I’ve been working on for a while now, but I’m not really sure what to say. I’ve made more progress on the non-fiction book than the fantasy story, which surprises me a little. I’m not usually one who’s big on reading non-fiction in general.

The book is going to be about some of the things I’ve experienced and learned from living with mental health issues. Rather than being like a self-help book (you guys know how much I loooove those :-P) it’s going to be more akin to what I’m doing on the blog here. Sharing stories, interjecting some humor when appropriate, and imparting my “wisdom”…You know, after re-reading that description, I realize how terrible it sounds. Nobody’s going to want to read this.

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I didn’t set any specific goals for how much progress I make this year. I don’t really know what would be the most realistic goal to set, so for now I’m telling myself to just write. I’ve managed to get about 11,000 words out since the beginning of January, so I guess things are moving in a good direction.

Question for you writers out there: Do you ever feel like nobody is going to read the books you write?