Monday, July 23, 2018

Catching up and where I am now

Work on my second novel, The Executioner, in my Thelum Series is still in progress. I made a mind map to help me get a grip on the plot. It definitely helped me simplify the story.

I’ve also decided to re-brand my Thelum Series. I’ve remade my book cover. It just speaks to me now, and I feel like it is really important that I make the covers myself. I tend to change things up, so now I can fix it if something bothers me, or if I just change my mind. As you can see, I went back to green, which is what the very first book cover was.

My chronic pain, which I’ve had for just over three years, has recently been re-diagnosed as Fibromyalgia. I’ve been having more and more symptoms, so that is why a new diagnosis has been given. I also already suffer from not only chronic depression, but also Major Depressive Disorder. The one affects the other, so now I have to work extra hard on my health. My biggest fear is what it means for my future, and how it will impact who I am, and what it will do to my writing.

Since December 2017 I have been helping my chef sister start her own business. She bakes from home now, so I help her out, as well as do a lot of her marketing. Everything I’ve learnt from trying to promote my own work has come in handy. I’m putting a lot of my focus on this project, because it has the potential to become a reliable day job. I know especially now, with all my medical bills, that I really need to work.

I’ve been really listening to a lot of Joanna Penn’s podcasts to inspire me. I’ve also been learning a lot about the type of writer I really want to be. And how I would prefer to market my writing. I’d rather keep blogging and prove that I’m a real person, than employ all these impersonal marketing techniques. It just isn’t me.

I feel like I haven’t been part of the writing community for a long time. I’m so out of touch with everything. Not to mention that I feel so isolated from it all.  I miss being able to relate to my fellow writers about how frustrating writing can be, but still so much fun. I just really miss being amongst like-minded creatives. We might all be writers, but we all are still so different, and that is so refreshing. Though we all write, our approaches are different.

So, this is where I am at the moment. How are you doing? Hopefully better than me. 

Monday, July 2, 2018

A new perspective on writing a novel

Have you ever given any thought to how you actually write? I mean, do you know how to go about it. Do you set yourself goals or deadlines, or do you just wing it and see where you end up?

I went very structured with my first novel. I had an outline. I had written down all the characters that were going to be in there, and what was going to happen in every single chapter. With the second book I threw that all out the door, and decided I’m a creative. I can’t outline. I’ll wing it and see what happens. Personally, I now feel like I’m lost. Or should I say, that is how I used to feel.

I listened to one of Joanna Penn’s old podcasts recently, I can’t remember which one, and she mentioned that if you know the length of the novel you are aiming for, you can break that wordcount down into smaller and more manageable chunks. Also, if you break your wordcount down into smaller goals, it seems more attainable. At least for me it does. I don’t know why I never looked at it like that. I guess I just needed to change my perspective.

For book two I am aiming for 80 000 words. And if I break that 80 000 words down into 90 days (about three months), I only need to write 889 words a day. You can even make your timeline longer or shorter if you wish. Breaking it down like that made me feel so much more hopeful. It doesn’t seem like such a monumental task.

Of course there will still be the second draft and the cleaning up of the manuscript, but that first draft is the most important, because you at least have the bones of the novel.

What used to freak me out about writing is that I would go in thinking “I want at least 80 000 words,” and my heart would sink every time I sat down to write. Now I can just tell myself, “I need 889 words.” And I can even take it a step further and break that 889 words for the day down into even smaller chunks. It doesn’t mean I have to do it all in one sitting. I can take 14 hours to write that 889 words. If you don’t reach your goal, you try and make it up over the next few days. If you write more than those 889 words, great.

This just seems like such a revelation. I know many of you might think “Duh, that’s how every one does it.” But I hadn’t, so there. Though, that is how I shall be doing it from now on.

I think it’s easy for me to feel like a failure. Especially when that depression monster hits. So I need things to be simple and uncomplicated. It really makes writing, and life so much easier for me.

So, how do you write your novel? Have you known about this tactic? Do you have another you want to share?

Not quite myself

I have no idea why, but I have not been feeling like myself. Even being in my own skin feels alien.  The good news is that I still managed t...