A need to escape: Giving up control

file5821243281047One morning as I sat down in my usual spot at the kitchen table to study what the day ahead was going to bring, according to my lengthy task list and scraps of paper with meticulous details, it dawned on me that there is an odd contradiction between my non-author and author personalities.

In my everyday life I am fanatical about organization and control, unable to function without my beloved lists of managed details, coordinated notes and color coded calendars.  In contrast, when I sit down to write, my efforts are hindered by any type of planning.  When I am faced with organizing my story thoughts into a controlled outline, my muse rebels and leaves the proverbial building, taking with it my creativity.  Believe me, I have tried dozens of various organizational options from simple outlines to complicated mind-mapping and spreadsheets, but none of them worked for me.

My inspiration is finicky.  While it strikes often, it is completely random.  I have a difficult time scheduling my outpouring of ideas into a specific time slot each day.  While I do my best to sit down every morning and write, it isn’t always productive or pretty.  My creativity, much like my children, is stubborn.  It appears when it wants.  Sometimes I find myself writing into the wee hours of the late night or in the middle of the afternoon while juggling several other tasks.  It isn’t always convenient, but if I allow my thoughts to flow freely without forcing them into some form of organized imprisonment, I am rewarded with a journey that sometimes I don’t even anticipate but truly appreciate.

Writing is my “me time” and I love slipping into my stories like one slips into a pair of flannel jammies on a cold winter’s night.  It just feels good.  My character’s world wraps around me, and I am transported, escaping into their journey.  I am free to write…no plans, no outlines, no problems.

I truly believe that the process of writing is an art.  We all write for our own reasons.  Each of us is a unique creator with our own vision that works best for us.  You don’t have to fall victim to all the voices that insist you should painstakingly organize, plan and plot.  You can escape and be a rule breaker, within reason.  Whatever process you choose doesn’t matter, as long as you write with passion in a way that you enjoy.

Organized planner or throw caution to the wind, which type of writer are you?

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An Enormous Leap of Faith

All-our-dreams-can-comeWhen I sat down one morning almost two years ago, I knew I wanted to write a love story.  Just one.  Now sitting here in the same spot at the kitchen table staring at the keyboard that is missing letters, worn off by hours, months and years of constant use, I am writing the third and last story in my Paramour Romance Series.

It completely amazes me.  I had no idea that I would be able to craft one story, let alone spin it into a world of interconnected lives, loves and friendships that would span three books.  It took an enormous leap of faith for me to even give my first book, His Second Chance, a try.

An introvert by nature, sharing myself publicly is not one of my strong suits, but writing this series has given me a new outlook on what I can accomplish, despite myself.  I have become stronger, more persistent, and courageous, taking on the task of not only writing more than one book, but also navigating the world of self-publishing and social media (a post for another day).

As I tackle what lies ahead in my writing adventures, I look forward to this last love story in my series.  It has already proven to be an emotional roller coaster.  While it’s sad in some respects to bring the series full circle, it’s also exciting to anticipate a new chapter in my writing journey, to see where my new found sense of courage will take me next.

 

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Jump Start Your Writing

file000488662142After a summer of non-writing distractions, a constant stream of activities and time spent with my busy children, I now find myself at the beginning of a new school year faced with a quiet house and empty hours just ripe for writing.  Perfect, I thought, for getting back into the swing of my routine that had been abandoned.  As I sat down to write this week, my expectation was to pick up right where I had left off, transitioning easily back into daily writing and seeing progress.  Sadly, I can’t seem to hit my stride.

Before the previous school year ended I had a groove for my writing time, a specific routine and schedule.  I was a creature of habit.  Starting at six a.m., as soon as I woke the kids for school, I would settle down at the end of the kitchen table with my cup of coffee, dressed in my pink flannel robe, and it worked perfectly for me.

Every morning was predictable.  I had a zone.  My creativity flowed easily and for hours.  I thought slipping back into my old habit would be simple, like riding a bike again, just sit down and start pedaling (or writing) and you’re off!  But, unfortunately, not so much.

Part of the problem, I admit, is my own distraction with social media.  Not surfing it, but rather, learning how to use its potential for marketing.  My research and seemingly endless discovery of details has my head spinning, preoccupying it with the realistic side of the self-publishing journey, crowding out my creative voice.

And then there is my everyday life, managing the many moving pieces of my family…doing my best to maintain an organized house, running continuously from any one of the kid’s various games and practices to another, helping them with homework, volunteering…you get the picture.  I had, before the summer, learned how to prioritize most of my tasks and focus on my writing routine.  It worked and I was happily productive.  I am still happy, but much less productive at the moment.

As I sit here and pour my thoughts into this post, I realize that maybe the true issue is, as the children make a fresh start at school, I need to make a fresh start with my writing pattern.  I will always be a morning writer, I work best in the early hours, but maybe this is a sign that it’s time to create a new ritual and give myself a different perspective.  What could be better than that to jump start writing?

Suddenly I’m feeling inspired to leave my kitchen table and find a cozy corner in the late morning sun.  It’s time to dust off that manuscript that has been waiting for me.

What specific writing routine or environment makes you most productive?

 

 

 

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Write that book

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“If you want to write, you can. Fear stops most people from writing, not lack of talent, whatever that is. Who am I? What right do I have to speak? Who will listen to me if I do? You’re a human being, with a unique story to tell, and you have every right. If you speak with passion, many of us will listen. We need stories to live, all of us. We live by story. Yours enlarges the circle.”
-Richard Rhodes 

 

 

Several people have approached me since I started my writing journey, almost two years ago, telling me that they would love to write a book. My advice…DO IT! Whether you are considering a children’s book, a science fiction novel, or even a non-fiction book that incorporates your grandmother’s recipes and snippets of your childhood…it doesn’t matter. There are millions of readers looking for entertainment, a personal connection or to learn something new. We all have a story to tell and you will find that there are many people out in the world just like you, looking for a story just like the one you would love to write. If you think it, you should try it!

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Newest Release

drink_on_beach_204171In celebration of my newest release Talk To My Heart and the summer reading season, I found this wonderful image that incorporated the beach and complemented my book cover.

I am so thrilled to finally share the fantastic love story of Sahara and Colin, two characters dealt a great deal of misfortune but graced by fate, because sometimes life is just full of ironic surprises.

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The Countdown is on…

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Finally, after many long months I have finished my book Talk To My Heart.  The countdown is now on for getting it into the hands and devices of e-readers everywhere.  I am so excited to share my story and characters (Sahara and Colin) with you!

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My Second Book In Print

TMH sampleAfter much frustration, reformatting, and praying for patience, I finally managed to get my second book Take Me Home ready for it’s print debut!  I am not quite over the hump yet, as the cover has to be accepted and I won’t know what awaits me until I hear back from the publishing company sometime within the next 24 hours.  I am keeping my fingers crossed that it all works out for the best.

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Writing Challenge Day #4 Book Description

Day #4 — Today in my writing journey I have decided to tackle the one task that is by far the most difficult…writing my book description.  For many authors, it is a part of the self-publishing process that causes the most struggle but is the most crucial.  A quality book description can potentially make or break a book in the eyes of the reader.  Meant to be practical marketing tools they should be approached as such, stripping the creativity out of the picture.  A daunting prospect to those of us who have just poured out our creative hearts into a personal masterpiece.

While researching the theory behind effective descriptions, I discovered why we, as authors, struggle and what specific components are integral to crafting an elegant, compelling “hook” for readers.  Book descriptions take time, patience and an ability to leave out everything but the most important of details.  A difficult task indeed when all I want to do is tell you everything about my story!  But I will learn to pare down my enthusiasm, and at the end of it all, create a buzz for my story that will draw in each reader who discovers my book.

Coming Soon — Talk to My Heart

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Writing Challenge Day #3

Day #3 — I added another three pages today. Not a bad writing day considering it’s a weekend and there is a lot going on around me. While getting ready to clean the bathroom this morning I was struck with inspiration. Stranger things have happened! Needless to say the bathroom did not get cleaned and I was at the computer for several hours! My main characters overcame an emotional obstacle and did some making up for lost time…my favorite part!!  Can’t wait to see where they take me tomorrow. 26 days, or less, to my completed draft. (Fingers crossed) 

Coming soon — Talk to My Heart

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Writing Challenge Day #2

Day #2 — WOW! An amazing writing day. I added eight pages to my story and experienced a true author moment. As I began one of my scenes, I had no idea where I was going with it, only that it was a conversation between my main character and her sister. I decided to just dive in and hope that it would evolve as I wrote. Well it did, and the scene took on a life of its own. I discovered something I hadn’t even thought about including in the story until it just turned up on the pages. So cool. I love when it becomes real. Page 115 and still writing… Looking forward to tomorrow.

Coming Soon — Talk to My Heart

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