Friday, March 17, 2017

Getting Back to Basics

I briefly considered writing this post for my other blog (you know, the one that actually is supposed to contain musings about my life), but I put that one on hiatus more than a year ago, and I feel bad to take it off hiatus for what could potentially be only one post.

So here we are.

I've been really quiet. Mostly I just needed a break. The events of the past two weeks just really brought me to a brink I didn't like being on. A kind of mute terror that nothing would ever be okay again.

And no, I'm not being dramatic.

One day, I might actually write about this time here, but if you'd like to know exactly what's going on, I have a post about it on my Patreon feed, which you can get to (as well as some awesome rewards) for a $1 subscription pledge. Eek. That looks like a plug. It's really not. I don't like keeping secrets from you guys, but what's going on right now is so ugly that I can't just post it out in public. Patreon is a balance of both, offering easy access to those who really want to know while keeping it relatively private so it can't just come up whenever someone searches my name.

For those of you who'd rather like to skip to the current point I'm making: The shit situation continues, but I'm picking myself up (again) and dusting myself off (again) and getting on with getting on (again.)

Sometimes, it's really hard, almost impossible to do that. Especially when I've been knocked down and back so many times that I'm about a hair's breadth away from losing all faith in humanity. Because the most frustrating thing about all this is that I didn't put myself here. 

But I have to get out somehow and I can't do that if I keep wallowing in the rage I feel toward the growing list of people who've wronged me and those I love. I can't get out if I don't have hope that one day, something I or someone in my family did will pan out. I also can't do it if I'm snowing myself under with a laundry list of expectations when some days, just the act of getting up for the day feels like a chore.

So now I'm going back to basics. If I feel like I'm too burned out to write, I don't write. I've scrapped my publishing deadline for Book 3 because it's already too close and I really don't need the extra pressure. I'm putting in more time with my freelance work which, while still not quite in the "it's taken off" category, still is doing well enough to give me hope that it will take off in the near future. I'm cutting out as much negativity as I can.

This means willing myself not to dwell on the past, and particularly not this most recent thing. I let myself feel them, but then I remind myself I have to move on and do that instead. But also, I've found that the Trump election has turned a lot of people in my social networks (on all sides of the political divide) into toxic people to have contact with.

So I'm culling them out of my feed.

It's nothing personal, but for the sake of my own well-being, I'm doing what I must in order to keep myself in as good an emotional shape as I can.

Because I can still move for as long as I can function on some level.

And if being ruthless with my culling and stingy with my time is what it takes to just get anything done, so be it.

It's already helped too. Because here I am, writing when on IWSG day I could barely even type out a sentence without crying.

There is hope. There is progress.

Onward.

How about you? How do you deal when life gets really difficult? 

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

The Writer's Life for Me Tag

Hey everyone.

Still somehow alive and kicking, although part of me doesn't feel like that. But... you know... keeping on keeping on.

As part of that, I decided to take part in the Writer's Life for Me Tag, and since I got tagged on YouTube, I thought I'd do it as a vlog.

Enjoy!



What are your three best pieces of writing advice?

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Holy Crap I Forgot It's IWSG

I wish I was kidding, but sadly, I'm not. The first of the month always catches me for some reason, because my brain seems to believe that the first Wednesday for the month must be the third or later. *facepalm*

No idea what I'm talking about?

The Insecure Writer's Support Group is a monthly bloghop taking place on the first Wednesday of every month. About two hundred writers are part of the IWSG, sharing our doubt, fears, insecurities and encouragement to let everyone else know that actually, they're not all that alone after all.

You're more than welcome to join, if you'd like. Click here for more information or to sign up.


So. 

Because I already eloquently explained myself last week by vlog, I'm going to re-post here. I did try to keep a brave face on everything, but by the end of the first third or so, I'm basically going into where I really am in my life at the moment. 

Spoiler alert, it's not pretty. (Also, this isn't family rated. Just so you know. And yes, the f-bombs I dropped actually did make me feel better. My mom always asks me that. No idea why.)



Since I'm just going to let that do the talking for me instead of writing again (because I've *just* managed to not burst into tears at the thought and writing about it again would open the scab, so to speak), I figured I'd answer this month's question for those of you who'd rather not see/hear me.

Have you ever pulled out a really old story and reworked it? Did it work out?

Yes, I have. A long long time ago, I finished a rewrite to a book shortly after I finished rewriting Doorways. For those of you who weren't visiting my blog at that time, The Vanished Knight + The Heir's Choice = Doorways. 

It wrote like a dream. I backed up. 

I was backing up the file for the last time when something (and don't ask me what) went wrong. The entire file disappeared, replaced with an empty one of the same name. 

I was heartbroken. So much so that I decided to just shelf the whole project until I could look at it without mourning the project I'd had. 

It took about five years before I decided to look at that thing again, and by then, I'd grown so much as a writer that I ended up redrafting the whole thing from scratch, keeping only the characters and about half of the concept. 

Any you know what? I love it even more than I loved it before. I've started editing it and working on it with critique partners and they've enjoyed it too. 

But... it's still a to be continued when it comes to knowing if it worked out. It's not shelved per se, but because of my lack of time and the abundance of crap in my life as is mentioned in the vlog above, I just haven't been able to get to it when I'm supposed to be finishing the sequel to The Heir's Choice. But one day... Hopefully in this year... 

What about you? Did you ever rework an old story? Any good news to share? Really in need of some good news. 

One update I should mention: the business plan is in with the possible investor, so prayers would be appreciated. 

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Update Day: February Edition

Sigh. I really hate being late for my own bloghop, but technical difficulties made it impossible for me to post yesterday.

But here I am.

I decided to do a vlog post for the update. So I hope you enjoy it. :-)

For those of you who would like more information on the Got Goals? Bloghop and to sign up, please click here.







How did your February go? What are your plans for March?

Monday, February 13, 2017

Got a new vlog post up...

Hey everyone! I'm still getting used to the whole vlogging thing, and since I'm still new on YouTube, I thought I'd do more of an about-me kind of post.

So I shared a bit of information about me, my writing, as well as what I'm planning to read soon.

Enjoy!



What are you reading at the moment?

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

I'm at Untethered Realms Today.

Hey everyone!

Just a heads-up that I'm at Untethered Realms, talking about how I deal with empty pages. See you there!

Misha

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Insecure Writer's Support Group

For those of you unfamiliar with the Insecure Writer's Support Group... A couple of hundred writers from around the blogosphere have signed up to this bloghop, which is hosted by Alex J. Cavanaugh. Then, on the first Wednesday of every month, we share our insecurities and/or encouragements.

This month, I'm co-hosting the IWSG Bloghop along with LK Hill, Juneta Key, Christy, and Joylene Butler

Before I get into my post, though, I just have two more spots of admin to get through. 

First, I'm also visiting Ronel Janesen van Vuuren today, sharing some of my thoughts on Patreon

Then, if you'd rather read this exact same post on Wordpress, please click here

Right. Now that's done, let's get into it, shall we? 



As you may or may not know, I've recently started taking this being-a-writer thing seriously. Like... really really seriously. 

Like... I'm-being-a-writer-for-90%-of-my-time-and-using-my-writing-skills-to-earn-99%-of-my-income seriously. 

And how's it going? 

Surprisingly well, money wise. I basically started from scratch in September. And in January, I've made my country's minimum wage for the first time. 

Which is AMAZE-BALLS. You guys can't imagine how happy I am with that. 

Except. 

Most of that money's coming from me freelancing as an editor/formatter/cover designer (which I totally see as writing skills, because all of the above are needed for me to make it as a writer.) 

Not so much from selling books. 

But that's okay, because I always knew I should start of making money as I can and spending money on marketing etc for my books in order to grow my readership. 

Here's the thing, though... Growing my readership will actually happen when I have my next book out. Which I can't get to when my freelance list fills up out of nowhere. 

And I can't market my old books until I have them updated. Which some of you might now be chortling about, because I've been saying I'll update the books since May last year. And the cause of the delay? 

Newsletters. Website. I have no money to pay someone to design either, and because people are hiring me for a ton of stuff they don't have time for, I don't have the time to do either of those two myself. 

And I can't link to them unless I have them set up. So I can't update my books to include the links. 

See? One giant bowl of I-really-have-no-time spaghetti. 

So now, I'm trying to make writing time, which is making me feel bad, because the whole reason why I decided to go full-time was that I WANTED TO HAVE TIME TO WRITE! 

*gasp gasp gasp*

How do you deal with everything trying to steal your writing time? Any advice for me? 

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Update Day: January is Over

Today is the last Friday of the month, which means it's time for another Big Goals Update. For those of you wondering, fifteen of us have set some crazy or crazy important goals, and we update once a month on the last Friday, sharing our progress and encouragements.

You're welcome to sign up, if you want. Just fill in what you would like to achieve, and then write a post today, or the next last Friday of the month. 


So how did I do? 



My goals for January were mostly loose-form. I basically wanted to write every day, finish overhauling my published books, do regular social network updates, and make $500. 

I didn't achieve four of those goals. 

Mainly, though, because the one I did reach was a doozy. 

To illustrate:

The line graph is my monthly income goal. The bar graph beneath is the amount I've generated in a given month. 


To put that into perspective, each bar corresponds to the amount of income I've generated in every month since September. And in January, I more than doubled my previous record. And I basically did that in fourteen days. 

Which is why my writing graph looks like this: 


Womp womp womp. 

Started off very well, with me actually breaking my daily writing record by writing 10k words. In fact, I started off so well that I was convinced that I could write 100k words in But that was before the jobs started coming in. 

I hadn't expected my work-load to grow like it did, so I didn't plan accordingly, and in the end, my writing went stagnant. 

That said, I think I can get more done with proper planning. 

Which brings me to my next point. 

Goals for February

I have various goals that need to get done this year, but for this coming month, at least, I want to continue with my writing and income goals. 

So. 

I'm going to share first priority between writing 100k words (or close to it) and earning $1000 in income in a month. 

I realize that both of these are actually crazy big goals, but that's why I'm picking them. They make me reach. 

More than that, I actually think I can make it. 

It's all in my planning. 

So the short term plan for now is to figure out a structure that will actually help me get both done. 

How are you doing? Did you set goals?