All Work and No Writing…

…Makes Kaye a Cranky Dragon

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As I mentioned last week, this month has been a rough one for me. Between being sick and caring for sick kids, planning birthday parties, baking cakes, plus all my other regular chores like feeding the family, doing laundry and dishes, sorting through clothes (all three kids just went up a size), and keeping the house one step up from disgusting, I feel like all my writing time has been eaten up by mom duties.

Sure, I’ve squeezed in time to query and enter a contest or two, as well as do critiques, but I haven’t done any writing.

And it’s made me cranky.

There’s nothing that can replace the sheer joy I feel when I’m writing. The thrill of creating new worlds. The delight of molding characters. The satisfaction of figuring out plot problems. These are the things that make me realize I’m meant to be a writer. Because I don’t feel right, if I’m not writing.

So, I’ve made a promise to myself. For the rest of the month, I’m going to try and put writing first. I’m aiming to add 1,000 words to my WIP (the one I haven’t touched since my mini writing retreat at the end of March) and I need to draft a PB for 12×12.

Hopefully by my next post, I’ll be back to feeling like my normal, writerly self. What about you? Do you feel different when you skip writing? Tell me about it in the comments.

Conquering the Monster of Self-Doubt

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Sorry for the silence last week, but our house got hit with a nasty flu bug, and somehow I ended up with the worst of it. Ugh. But I’m down to only a few sniffles now, and trying to jump back into writing. I find it crazy how easy it is to fall out of a good habit (like writing every day) but how hard it is to break a bad habit (like napping every day).

Between being sick and having to get ready for the Boys’ birthday party next weekend, my writing time has been virtually non-existent this month. And of course, that’s given the evil, vicious, nasty monster of self-doubt (I call him Phil) lots of opportunity to whisper in my ear.

Fortunately, I have a great pair of earplugs.

Seriously, though, I came across this quote recently: “There’s a word for a writer who never gives up… published.” – J.A. Konrath.

And I am clinging to it as my talisman to defeat Phil. Because every final draft I write is the best thing I’ve ever written. Because it only takes one yes. And because I really do believe that it is only a matter of time until I get something published.

So, while Phil may be right that giving up would be easier, it wouldn’t be nearly as satisfying as finally seeing my name on a book cover. So I’ll continue to write, to revise, and to query until that finally happens.

What about you? How do you conquer your monster of self-doubt?

Look, Ma, No Pants!

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(That’s supposed to be an underpants cake pop. Not exactly my best work. :D)

Well, I promised an update on how my writing weekend went, so here you go: I wrote 11,500 words! I’m aiming for about 25,000 total, so it means I wrote almost half my first draft in one weekend! The story is really starting to take shape, and I’m thrilled with how it’s looking.

And I owe it all to…gasp…plotting.

I know, crazy, right?

I used to consider myself a pantser. I wouldn’t think much farther ahead than the next scene (and maybe a vague idea of where the story was going to end). But now? Well, plotting may have just won me over.

I actually went so far this time as to make myself a storyboard. I filled out a bunch of post-its with things I wanted to happen in the story, and I laid them out on a piece of Bristol board, rearranging them until they made sense. Then I glued them down, added a few extra notes, and I was ready to write.

It was liberating. I didn’t have to worry about what came next – it was there on my storyboard. All I had to do was figure out how to get there.

This is the fastest I’ve ever written a draft. Oh, I know there’s still a lot of revision ahead, but after how much I struggled with my abandoned WIP, this speed-writing is freeing.

So, it looks like I’ve been converted to plotting. What about you? What’s your writing style? Pantser? Plotter? Plotser? Tell me about it in the comments.