Quote of the Moment

"What's Past Is Prologue." - William Shakespeare

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Life, the Universe, and Writing, aka Writing Update - September 2019

I know, it hasn't even been three months since my last writing update, but this post seemed appropriate now. Would you rather I post again about Summoners War? I didn't think so.

This time, I'm just going to note a few things and try to keep it brief (this is difficult for me, of course, as I tend to ramble on if you haven't picked up on that already).

2019 Fall Updates/Notes

❦ Blogging is being dropped down to sporadic. This will allow more time for me to focus on writing! So, after this post, I'm not sure when the next post will be. Hopefully before the end of the year, unless life sweeps me away.

Thorns Entwine the Blade (Trinity Torn, 2) is now planned to be released in November 2019, due to my editor's schedule (and me overestimating just how much I could get done during summer with the kids home).

❦ Though the release date for Thorns has been pushed back, I have completed both the major revision and the consistency edit. The manuscript is currently waiting at my awesome editor. Once she gets it back to me, it will be on to final edits and formatting!

❦ I'm easing into my new writing schedule with both kids in school full-time. Last week was an odds and ends week, but this week I started in on the draft for Well of Solitude (Fortunes of Fate, 7). And yes, I've settled on Solitude. I wrote nearly 3,500 words in just two days. This is amazing for me, and I think I'll enjoy this new schedule once I get used to the routine! Now to figure out where I'm going in this story, especially since it seems like it wants to be longer than I originally expected...

❦ I've added a new Mantra for myself, as I didn't want to wait to add it until next year: Embrace My Process. This is to help remind myself that I shouldn't feel like I'm "doing things the wrong way". I have to ignore the "you should do it this way" voices that are all over the internet, particularly in writing groups/forums. I need to do what works for me because I'm not everyone else, I'm me, and if I try to do what works for everyone else, I'll just struggle and waste time. I know, this seems like a simple realization, but it really only sunk in when I started watching Becca Syme's The Quitcast. So, I'm trying to allow myself to embrace my strengths as far as my process goes (no, I haven't taken the test to determine my strengths, but she's gone over a couple already that I know I align with).

I think that's it, finally! Pretty short, right? For me at least.

Oh, one more thing. I watched Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. Why did it take so long for me to watch it? It was amazing! Not going to do a whole blog post on it because I'd probably just be gushing. But I hope they make a sequel!

Until the next blog post... Happy reading!

Friday, August 30, 2019

1001 Reasons Not To Clean - #51 through #55

Welcome to 1001 Reasons Not to Clean! The main goal of this series is to see if I can actually reach 1001 reasons, 5 reasons at a time (the final post, if I get there, will be 6 reasons). I'm sure I can. It's not just my crazy brain being unrealistic, right? Links to previous posts are below. And feel free to share your excuses, and they might get added to my list (with credit, of course)!

#1 through #5 ~ #6 through #10 ~ #11 through #15 ~ #16 through #20 ~ #21 through #25 ~ #26 through #30 ~ #31 through #35 ~ #36 through #40 ~ #41 through #45 ~ #46 through #50

51. It's time for the kids to go back to school, and that means gathering and labeling all those school supplies you've purchased so you can drag them to the Open Houses. Who wants to clean after doing that for two hours?

52. And since the first day of school is rapidly approaching, you feel you need to spend more "quality time" with the kids because you have a bit of that parent guilt wondering just where the entire summer went and you haven't done nearly as much as you'd planned with your little hellions.

53. The kids are finally in school. Not just for part of the day either. This is the first day ever that all the kids have a full day of school. The house is so quiet - too quiet. How will you fill this uninterrupted time? Either you freeze up, not knowing what to do with yourself, or you decide cleaning sounds way too annoying and not enjoyable enough to do on this first glorious school day.

54. Of course, playing Persona 5 is calling to you, insisting cleaning is less important. Especially when you realize as a completionist, you have at least 170 hours of game play ahead of you (according to How Long To Beat). Sounds like an awesome thing to do on that first day of school for the kids. Am I right?

55. Your kids come home from their first day at school. The Middle Schooler (holy crap, how is she a Middle Schooler already?) is freaking out over her new school and schedule, while the Kindergartner is so overtired that she devolves into a fit when you simply ask her to take her folder out of her backpack. So much for that plan to clean this afternoon (I use the term "plan" loosely).

NOTE: My kids have yet to start school yet (soon, yes, soon!), so 55 is also a prediction for when they get home after the first day. We'll see how spot on I am - lol.

Thursday, August 08, 2019

Decisions, Decisions... And Cats

So, I've been thinking a lot about how I spend my time, including how I spend my writing time. This includes writing up blog posts for Born to Write, of course.

When I started this blog back in 2003 (has it really been over 15 years? - holy cripes), my main goal was to just write what was on my mind. I didn't really have any structure. It was a bit of a way to vent and get things off my chest, and simply enjoy typing things that the world may or may not read. I was also pretty darn pessimistic back then, but that's a topic for another blog post (one which I likely won't write - lol).

After a while, I realized this venting wasn't enough, that I needed more structure to my posts. I mean, no one wants to listen to me whine constantly, right?

Unfortunately, as I've been shifting and changing and streamlining posts over the years, part of that blogging simply for fun and a kind of release was lost along the way. Not all of it, of course. But with the need to have more structure, I knew I had to be on a better schedule with blog posts. And there in lies the unfunness (which is not a word, I know, but I'm using it anyway, and it looks silly, too).

I've clearly gone back and forth with how often I've been blogging. I tried the once a week thing, but I definitely realized my time right now can't sustain that. Even every other week, though, can be a struggle. It takes me anywhere from 30-60 minutes per blog post, usually somewhere in the middle. In the grand scheme of things, that doesn't sound like a lot of time. However, is it time well spent?

Fall is approaching, and in less than a month both of my kids will be in school full-time. This means I'll have more time available to write because the little distractions will be distracting their teachers instead. And what should I be doing during that time? Working on things to move my writing career forward. The main things that do that are, of course, drafting, revising, and editing.

There will always be other writing tasks that should be tended to aside from those three things, but I think it's time for me to reassess what is and isn't a valuable use of my time.

Which means I'm taking a closer look at writing blog posts. Is the time I spend doing this worth it? I'm clearly not doing it right now simply because I'm having fun, since the schedule puts a major damper on that. So, if I'm not having fun (this is an important thing in evaluating my time - fun is necessary for me to unwind, and I need to make sure I fit it into my days lest my brain completely break down), what then is the benefit of writing blog posts?

That's what I'm asking myself right now. And you can help me figure it out a little, too. There's a big purple box off to the left. It's a simple poll - one question. And I'd like to know how often you like seeing my blog posts. Because part of this blog is to also offer content to people for their enjoyment. If enough people are reading and want to continue reading, then I'll put blogging in the Worth My Time category. On the other hand, if no one responds to the poll at all, I'll know it should go into the Only Worth My Time If Having Fun category.

If you can't see the purple box for some reason, here's the direct link: How Often Should I Post On My Blog? The poll will be available until the end of the month.

Also, if blogging ends up in the latter category, this doesn't mean I'm going to close up shop altogether. I'll likely post less often, though, on no set schedule. Which will get rid of that unfunness. I do enjoy writing up many of my posts, it's just feeling the pressure to make sure I'm posting on a set schedule that can get a bit cumbersome.

I definitely know I need to be writing more! More writing = more books for everyone to read.

Oh, wait, that's not the end of the post. I did mention cats in the title, didn't I? OK, I'll leave you with some pictures of the Trio of Terror over the last year. Enjoy the kitties!