Wednesday, January 6, 2021

#IWSG What stops you?

 Happy New Year! And happy monthly blogging with the Insecure Writer's Support Group!  Join us!

I hope you all had a lovely and safe start to the new year :).  Today's IWSG question is looking on the reader side:

Being a writer, when you're reading someone else's work, what stops you from finishing a book/throws you out of the story/frustrates you the most about other people's books?

That's a very good question, because understanding what may stop a reader, particularly YOUR reader, can keep you as a writer from making that same mistake.

One caveat though, not all readers are your reader. What will throw me off a book would be absolute gold to another reader--so the connection for us a writers is what does YOUR reader like.

I love characters. If you give me some amazing characters, some humor, a bit of snark, and send them off into trouble- I AM ALL IN. So, if I'm reading a book with flat characters, even if the world building, description, etc. is to make angels weep--I will DNF it (Did Not Finish).   

The older I get, the pickier I become. Just because I DNF a book doesn't mean it's bad, it means I'm not the right reader for it. There are readers out there who LOVE long descriptions that go on for pages and don't really care as much about the characters specifically.

What throws you out of a book?

Happy IWSG day!

Wednesday, December 2, 2020

#IWSG- Seasonal slow downs

 Welcome to another round of the Insecure Writer's Support Group!

Each month, writers from all over join to support each other as we toss or fears out into the world!

Join us!

Each month a question is suggested for a blog idea. This month's was dealing with times of the year when someone is more productive in their writing.

I'm switching it up a bit-- I'm doing when  I am less productive.

I realized last year (probably before that, but didn't pay attention ;))-- that I don't do well in summer. Even this summer, where I was in my house all of the time, and working remotely, I did less than other times of the year.

I don't have kids beyond the furry kind, so it's not that. 

But, I do work for a college-- and unless you are one of those magical unicorns, a ten-month employee, summer is very busy. We're wrapping up the prior year, setting up the next, and dealing with the summer students. 

When I sat back and looked at it, I realized that even though I would work the same amount of hours--that intensity just wiped me out.  

The problem is, I don't always look at things like that--but I need to. Knowing when and how you write best and what things can shut you down, is essential for a writer.

So, I guess my best times to write are the other nine months of the year ;). And I'm going to start paying more attention to my writing time!

When are your best times? (or worse ;)).

Happy IWSG Day!

Wednesday, November 4, 2020

#IWSG Starting full-time writing



Once a month writers from across the land gather to share our hopes, dreams, and terrors.  Join us!


For my entire writing career, I have worked a full-time day job alongside my almost full-time writing job.

That ends Dec 30th, 2020.

 I’ve taken an early retirement buyout from the day job and will be working full-time as a writer starting Jan 2, 2021 (yeah, need a few days to recover šŸ˜‰).

Now this doesn’t mean I’m retiring retiring…more like a graduation to full time writer (and since the day job was at a college—graduation is fitting).

I am very motivated and love telling stories. I’m also extremely lazy. LOL. This means I need a schedule in place to reach my goals. Here’s what I have so far:

·         1) Work five days a week, 40 hours. The days off can fluctuate, but they need to be there to keep me working during those 40 hours.

·         2) First month, keep a spreadsheet of time in, time out, lunch, and results for the day. I haven’t had to clock in for probably 20 years—so this will be odd. BUT again, building the habit of a regular workday.

·         3) See above—make sure to LEAVE the desk for lunch time.

·        4)  Building my daily word count to what I want to be hitting regularly. Each week in January the daily goals increase. Obviously, if I have a project in editing, the word count will differ.

·         5) Daily walks and stretching. Getting outside in the yard for part of lunch.

·         6) Focus on setting up my office and the rest of the house in such a way that it keeps me working.

·         7) Naps if needed. This was suggested on another group and I like it.

·        8)  Find other creative outlets.  At a writing conference last year there was a great panel on writer burn out. One of the things brought up was that when your “creative outlet” aka writing, becomes your primary job, it loses  ability to relax you. The former stress reliever is now a stressor. You’re still being creative—obviously—but the psychological assist it can give is reduced. Soooo, cooking, coloring, who knows maybe knitting, will come into my life.

·        9)  Holidays are mostly days off. I reserve the right to work during part of a holiday if I’m on a deadline.

·        10) Spreadsheet the heck out of my book release plan.

·         11) Social media and marketing will be broken up so each of the five days has a portion of it assigned to them.

That’s what I have so far—any of you full-time, self-employed folks have additional things that work?

Happy Insecure Writing Day!!






Wednesday, October 7, 2020

#IWSG-- Changes!

 Welcome to the monthly blog hop of insecure writers EVERYWHERE!

Join us!

So this has been a very interesting week. I applied for an Early Exit from my day job (with severance) and got it in part due to my years of training getting badges for Comic-Con International (limited spots-- got mine submitted in 19 seconds ;)). This is great news!  As of Dec 31, 2020 I will be a full time writer.

It's also scary as heck.

When people think of stressors, they think the bad ones. However, good events can still cause lots of stress. It's a step into the unknown. We like being in our routine and this is going to blow the socks off. Plus, while I will NOT miss my day job, I've been there 15 years and have many people I WILL miss.

But I'm moving forward. My office at home needed/needs a serious revamp and I'm in the process of it. New computer, new monitor. Moving forward.

Which actually sort of leads into this month's question-- do we think of ourselves as a working writer?  Hmmm- the IRS has thought so since my first year being published.  But, yes, I do think of myself as being a working writer--even BEFORE the escape at the end of this year.  I spend 30 hours or more (way more) on writing. Along with my current day job--this leave me tired. A LOT.

But I LOVE IT.  I am proud to be a working writer.

Happy IWSG day!

Wednesday, September 30, 2020

The Seeker's Chest is on preorder! More drunken faeries!

 Soooooooo--I just put a book on pre order-- The Seeker's Chest!

 This book is the start of new adventures for Taryn and some familiar drunken faeries. The Diamond Sphinx wrapped up the six book original series, but I just couldn't let them go!

This new series The Lost Ancients Dragon's Blood takes up a week or so after the epilogue at the end of Diamond Sphinx. New adventures and new mayhem! We're traveling to the southern continent of the world, where more dangers lurk.

While you don't have to read this if you read the other series, that was a contained story (in six books ;)).

BUT you REALLY should have read them if you want to read this. There are spoilers for the original series all over and it is designed for folks who read the first six.

If you think you might want to go on another adventure this fall, click the link!

Wednesday, September 2, 2020

#IWSG _Famous People

 Welcome to a monthly romp through the psyche of many a deranged soul-- aka a blog hop for writers. Join us!

A question of the month is presented by the mothership (see above) and we can use it or not.

Today's ponderings are if we could have any writer from the past be our beta reader/critique partner, who would it be and why.

So freaking many!  But, the first one that struck me was Isaac Asimov.  Simply because he was so prolific, didn't stay in his lane (aka wrote what he wanted), and was always doing something.

I'm not sure what impact I would have on him, probably not  alot, but I think just being around that brain and watching it work would make a huge difference for me and my writing.

So, question for you writers and non-writers-- if you could hang out with one person from the past for a week, who would it be and why?

Happy IWSG day!!

Wednesday, July 1, 2020

#IWSG Where are we going again?

Welcome to another round of the monthly blog hop for neurotic writers--okay--all writers!
Check out some of the other blogs and join us!

Today's question posted to us was what changes would we like to see in the next ten years in the publishing world. This brings up a lot of thinking (it's late, stick with me). Way back in the dark ages, when humankind was discovering the wheel, I was working on my first book.

It didn't have a title, nor do I recall that much about it. I do remember the main character's name, Vaslisha Tor Dain, (which I later stole from myself for the Asarlai Wars space opera series). But I wrote the book. Then set it aside. Years later, I started another book. Back then the only options for publishing were agents and traditional houses in NY. Or vanity press (aka pay someone to print a ton of copies of your book which then sat in your garage).

I read everything I could on writing and publishing, I went to conferences, I met with editors and agents, I kept writing. I'd get closer, but there was always something--my book was too much like another client of of theirs. It was too different. Humor won't sell right now. Etc.

Then I discovered self-publishing and the angels sang and the skies opened. Not an easy path, but I had control over who I hired for cover, editing, formatting, etc. My stories could find folks who never heard of me, but fell in love with the worlds I made up in my head. It was wonderful. And still is.

Those are pretty huge changes we went through. Moving forward, I would love to see indie authors get more respect. Some readers won't read indie because they feel we just throw things up without a care. 

The serious ones care. And spend a lot of time, money, and hard work to make it so readers care.

So, I guess that's what I'd like to see change, more acceptance. 

Happy IWSG Day!