Week 7 – Writing and Self-Care


Current projects

First, I want to start out by saying this: it’s not always easy to fulfill our goals.

Each week, I have a goal in mind. It’s a small goal, a stepping stone, to reach my big goals. Big goals like publishing a book.

The small goals make it possible to reach those big goals, but it doesn’t always happen in the ideal timeframe I set.

Life has a way of throwing things at you. Whether they are external or internal issues we didn’t plan for, they all can disrupt our plans.

My biggest goal this year is to be kinder to myself. In the past, I’ve always pushed my own health to the side. I wouldn’t exercise. That time could be spent getting more work done. I wouldn’t acknowledge if I wasn’t operating at one hundred percent because I had this driving need to make my dreams come true. I still have that, but more and more I recognize the need for self-care.

Maggie Stiefvater said something that stuck with me. When you’re dealing with chronic pain, mental illness, whatever the case may be, it’s a good idea to keep track of your days. Write down the level you’re operating at. Is it one hundred percent, fifty percent? If you’re only at fifty percent, you can’t expect yourself to accomplish tasks that require you to be at one hundred percent.

(If I can find the link to her original post again, I’ll add it later, but I’m currently unable to find it…)

Some days, I have to fight through anxiety to get any amount of work done, and even then, I don’t get much done. I’m trying to learn how to spot those times. I’m trying to figure out when to work through them and when to step away. It isn’t the end of the world if one of my release dates gets pushed back a little. My health is a lot more important. If I let it go, I let everything go.

It’s taken me a long time to get to that point. So, think about it, friends. Are you kind to yourself or are you running yourself into the ground?

Queen of Werewolves – The Lost Princess of Howling Sky Book 3

I wrote another 14,347. That’s about 5,000 less than I was shooting for, but that’s okay. I tend to outline the hell out of my books, but things change throughout every step of the process. I needed to change some things before I could continue.

When drafting, I don’t let myself go back and edit things; I’d never get a book done if I did. However, if moving forward doesn’t work for some reason, I will allow myself to look over my outline and figure it out. If my drafting speed slows, that’s usually a sign something isn’t quite working.

I’m looking at big picture stuff here. All the little things I have thoughts about, but don’t let myself fix during drafting, get notes. I’ll highlight them in red so I can look back and act on them after I start my first round of edits.

I also had a battle with anxiety over a certain aspect of this book this week. Romance has specific rules, right? Well, the biggest things are the romance itself and a happily-ever-after or happily-for-now ending. I made sure to have both of those things in this story, but the road to get there is harsh. Especially in this last book.

I started asking myself if I was going too far. Would everyone hate this? What do my readers want? It forced me to ask myself some hard questions, mainly this one: do I change the story I set out to tell just because I’m afraid it won’t be received well?

Isn’t that censorship? Isn’t that shying away from being authentic? I think the answer will be different for anyone who asks it, but I need to tell the story I set out to tell regardless of the fear. Some readers might hate it. Some readers might love it. That’s just the way it goes, isn’t it? I could try forever to please everyone, but it doesn’t work like that. Nothing does.

What I can do is my best. I can set out to tell this story in the most authentic way I’m capable of, and that’s really all I can do.

Whether a story is well-received by the masses or not doesn’t define my self-worth. Stories take on a life of their own once I let them go. Every reader will have a different experience from the one I had when creating them because we are different people.

Still, I hope the heart of this story touches the hearts of others. Humans manage to do that every day despite our similarities or differences. We’re all experiencing life together in one way, shape, or form, and that gives us something in common. That’s how we inspire each other. That’s how we help each other.

Once Soulmates – These Immortal Vows Book 3

I’ve added 2,627 words to the first draft. I wanted to get this book published this year, but that’s starting to look more and more unlikely. 🙁

But that’s okay. It’ll get done.

I don’t have much to say about this project beyond that right now. I’m taking things as they come. My outline is a little bit looser than usual in some ways, so red notes are inevitable, but I’m going in the right direction.

Conclusion

Basically, be kind to yourselves. Trust your instincts. Don’t let fear stop you from doing something you believe in. Go. Fight. Win. Love. Live.

You rock.

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