As many of you who read this blog and my books may know, romance is where I got my start as an author but I have slowly been delving into other genres such as fantasy and horror. Well now I am happy to announce that I am currently working on a four book high fantasy series focusing on dragons and dragon bornes! Covers are almost done and I have my editor on board to start editing as soon as I get the first book done. I am outlining the first book right now and hope to have it to my editor this summer! I am so excited to be working on something high fantasy. Yes I have written fantasy before, romantic fantasy to be exact with Quest for Redemption, but this is my first foray into harder fantasy. Sure, I'm a little nervous that my readers may not follow me in this new direction, but I hope that you all will. I am not going to stop writing romance, but I just feel the need to explore more genres at the same time. I don't read one genre and I can't seem to pick just one to write in either. Stay tuned as I keep you updated on this new project of mine!
As I continue to re-evaluate my life and what makes me happy, I have been thinking about what I consider writing success and how I should adjust my goals accordingly. Do I want to have a huge best seller and make enough money to not have to worry about money for awhile? Of course, but if that never happens does that mean that I am a failure? No, I don't think that is how I want to define my career because lets face it, that kind of success is hard to come by.
I think that I want to define success by writing from my heart, writing what I want, and getting it read by people. Money is just an added bonus, a nice bonus but it can't be what drives my writing or I will never be happy in this writing life. So what direction should I take now to make my writing more fulfilling? I suppose it means following my heart, writing what I truly want to write even if it doesn't have a definable market for me to give publishers. That may me more self publishing. More genre combining. More weird and dark writing sometimes. Probably a little less romance, or different romance genres. It means taking more chances, writing more short stories, writing some super long pieces. It means not following the market. It means being true to my vision and seeing where it takes me.
Am I playing with fire by deciding to not care about the market or the wants and needs of publishers? Probably, but it could also lead to my best writing ever. Only time will tell.
Art and self doubt seem to go hand in hand, at least I know that they do for me. The thing is I am not alone in this aspect. Many artist suffer from self doubt, sometimes to the point that its crippling. What is it about the creative mind that leads it to doubt itself? I wish I knew the answer and how to stop doubting myself and my artistic endeavors.
So what do I do when self doubt comes knocking? Well when I start to feel like I am the worst author in the world, when I feel like no one will ever want to read my books, when I feel like people are laughing behind my back about my art, I tend to go into a downward spiral of despair. I usually wallow in the feeling of not being good enough for quite some time, fighting to pull myself out of my funk. It's hard to get out of that mindset, but I struggle until I feel some confidence slipping back in.
How do I get my confidence back? Sometimes it helps for me to look at cold hard facts. Like the number of readers on this blog for instance. All of the books that I have already published and sold. Sometimes I remember that many great artists feel the same way and yet they continue to make art. Sometimes looking at art, listening to music, or reading great books can pull me out of my own mind for it is my mind that is my biggest enemy at times.
So my fellow creatives reading this, do you sometimes suffer from self doubt? How do you get your confidence back when it strikes? What helps you stop the doubt in its tracks?
The last half of last year was a tough one for me on the writing front, I had lost my writing mojo and lacked inspiration. Taking this into consideration it should come as no surprise that I am seeking to become inspired once more. Not only do I want to be inspired, but I really want to learn and grow as an author, as an artist. I want to learn to be a more authentic author. Recently I watched the interview with Jack White (below) where he said something about his music that really stuck me. He said that he makes music in pursuit of trying to capture the truth. I like that. I feel that is probably what most artist in any field are trying to do. That is what I want to try to do more in my writing. Now I'm sure some people are going to laugh at that statement as I do tend to write a lot of romance, but I ask those naysayers this: What is more true than love? Though I do intend to branch out even more in my writing, exploring other genres and themes as I go.
Sorry, I digress, this post started out being about finding writing inspiration and one of the things that inspires me the most is music. Music has the power to move the soul and how can you not find inspiration in that? I listen to a lot of music not just when writing, but when I'm plotting and thinking about characters. Selecting music to write to can help me set the mood for whatever I am working on at the moment. For instance while writing Quest for Redemption I listened to a lot of Arch Enemy, a metal band with a female singer whom I felt had the femininity and toughness that I wanted Zanna to represent in that story. As I am working on the long awaited sequel to Quest, I have found myself listening to a lot of Jack White (hence the interview that I talked about above). Why? He certainly does not inspire my female protagonist Nyx, but his music fits her journey none the less. She is unique, she is searching for something even she doesn't know. She has power and mystery and maybe that is why this music is inspiring her story.
Who really knows where inspiration comes from? I know it sometimes comes from anywhere, from your own life, from music, from interviews with musicians, from nature, this list can go on forever. Personally I am just trying to slow down a little and actually listen and pay attention for these bouts of inspiration.
How can the end of February be in sight already? This year seems to be flying by! I must say that I had a pretty good writing month this month and I have another busy month planned for March! This month I finally finished a m/m novella and got it off to my publisher. That is a huge weight off my shoulders, as now I just need to wait to see if they accept it. I also got 3 short stories written of which I am pretty proud of.
Now as I plan for March I want to write one more short story, add to and revise a story and get it off to my editor for a self published release, and get down to some real work on the sequel to Quest for Redemption, Quest for Self. I really can't wait to get this book written. I already have a beautiful cover for it and like the story that I have so far. I know that this has been a long awaited sequel and that is why I am devoting most of the month to this project alone.
Trying to be more organized and giving myself a better writing space has really paid off so far in 2018 and I can't wait to see what more I can accomplish this year!
Earlier this month I got these two writing prompt books for my birthday and I love them! They are fun and have been doing their job, getting my writing juices flowing and helping not fall into a writing rut. Towards the end of last year I really found myself suffering from writer's block and this year I am determined to not let that happen. I have too many stories to tell and there are always more ideas popping in my head that need to come out. Sometimes I use these writing prompts to just get a quick paragraph down, just to start the writing process. Sometimes I write a flash fiction story to be used at a later date. And one of the prompts has even helped me with an idea for a submission call that I want to answer. Writing prompts are just that, prompts that then allow you to take the story wherever your mind wanders. They are there to basically just jump start the creative process and I am loving these books right now!
Last week I talked a little about getting more organized when it came to my writing. I also mentioned that a new desk and writing area was a big part of that plan, so I thought that I would share a little picture of my writing corner. I can't help but feel inspired in this new spot! And I must say that so far it is really working, I am getting more done this month than I have in months and it feels great!
I thought that this year at least once each month I would share a little of whatever I am working on at the moment. This helps let you, my readers, know what will be coming out down the line and hopefully it will help keep me accountable and on track. Now I will be sharing completely unedited and raw snippets, so be gentle!
This month I am finished up a steamy m/m hockey romance that WILL be to my publisher by the end of January. I have fallen a little behind with this work but the end is in sight! The working title for this piece is Ice Breakers. I might change it but I kinda like it. What do you think?
Anyways, here is a little unedited snippet!
Lost in his thoughts, Nathan excused himself to visit the restroom. After exiting the men’s room, he was still so up in his head and not paying any attention to where he was going, that is until he ran into something akin to a soft wall. Shocked, Nathan felt himself falling back when strong hands reached out to steady him. Looking up, his breath caught in his throat when he looked into the sky blue eyes of one of the most attractive men he had ever laid eyes on. The man before him had a tall and powerful build, which explained why he had almost fallen when they bumped into each other, he was not used to literally bumping into Greek gods come to earth.
“Are you okay?” Came a deep and way too sexy voice, complete with an accent that Nathan couldn’t quite distinguish. Was this man placed here to make Nathan lose his mind from pure lust? Maybe he was hallucinating his perfect man. Too much work and too little sleep made people lose their minds right? Maybe this is what his mind had come to after months of not sex. Stranger things could happen. This might be the time he finally got carted off in a strait jacket.
Can you believe we are already a week into 2018? Where did 2017 go? Where did this past week go? I haven't even started to post my goals for 2018 here on my blog yet! Well today I start with my writing goals for this year.
First and foremost I am committing to being here on my blog 3 times a week, probably M/W/F. Will I sometimes post more? Yep, but I am going to make sure I at least hit my three each week.
I am also working on becoming more organized with my writing and routine. One big help to this is a new writing desk and space dedicated just to writing. I have some cork boards and a white board to help me keep notes and weekly goals somewhere where I can see them. I am also committing time to sit down and write six days a week. I am giving myself Sundays off as everyone needs a break and Sundays are family time.
Part of writing is getting your work out and into the hands of readers, which means social media is part of the business. That means I will try to keep more active on here, FB, Twitter and Instagram. I might even start putting some stuff up on Youtube once a month. Follow me at these various sites to get to know me more.
And of course what are writing goals without some actual writing goals? I have a m/m hockey romance that will be finished this month and sent off for consideration at my publisher. Then I will be working on Quest for Self, the sequel to Quest for Redemption. I will also get to Quest for Love, the last in the trilogy, later this year. I have another fantasy romance that I will be sending to my publisher later this year and a sweet romance later in the year as well. To round all of these novels out I will be writing more short stories this year and cleaning up some old ones so that they can get out into the world. This is a tall order but I think that I can do it!
Sorry that I have been missing in action the past couple of weeks. Sometimes life gets hard and I struggle to write during those times. That has actually been me the past couple of months, but these past two weeks my depression has really gotten the better of me. Some days I can't even turn on the computer to get writing work done. Of course I am a writer, so not writing just fuels my depression and a vicious cycle begins.
Last night I was asked to write a flash fiction story for my publisher, which I truly hope is up to their standards, but being asked for something directly helped to push me into action. I wrote a 1000 word story. I am blogging this morning. It may not seem like a lot, but I hope that means that my mind is seeing some light and that I might be getting back to writing. At least I pray that I am.
You see writing really helps me with my depression. Writing helps me escape some of the harsh realities I am dealing with in my real life. Writing is part of me and I need to do it to stay sane. When I struggle with words, well I struggle even more in life. That is why writing is so important to this person with depression.
Author, artist, jewelry maker and all around creative person. I write in many genres and have a lot of fun doing so. Please take a look around and enjoy!