Posted in advice, Books, evil day job, family, fat cat, Games

Writing when your head isn’t in the game

 

woman working girl sitting
Photo by Alexander Dummer on Pexels.com

 

Picture it…it’s 10 o’clock at night. All is quiet in the house, except for the hum of your computer. Your spouse is asleep, kitty is calm and on his bed. The chores are done for the day…and it’s the perfect time to write, right?

Well, maybe.

I’ve faced this same scenario time and again over the past two months. So far I’ve been able to ‘hammer out’ maybe three pages. Yup.

Three.

Pages.

Edits, at that.

Nothing new, nothing original, despite a folder with 30 documents in it that are all potential stories.

So what’s the problem?

  1. Fatigue. I’ve been my husband’s nurse for over a month now and it’s draining. He’s doing much better; but it’s taken a toll on me having to handle all house items and be his ‘go fetch’ girl too. LOL  Plus, I’ve been looking for an evil day job to support the household while he’s out…to no avail. That in and of itself is exhausting.

2. Nothing’s coming to mind. Granted, I’m doing edits, but if you can’t think of what               you want to change the dialogue to or the scene…then you’re dead in the water.

3. No focus. This goes hand-in-hand with fatigue and tension. I’m worn out over worries of jobs, money, medical issues (both hubby and kitty). I cannot indulge in any retail therapy, (oh boy the art supplies I’d buy)! At least I have knitting, since my mother requested a scarf and pair of mittens. I finished the scarf and one mitten, now to do the other.

How do you break out of such a long slump? I sit down to work and the distraction of the social media, marketing, games all spring to mind first.

I’d love your feedback 🙂

Steph

Posted in advice, Books, co-authoring, collaboration

Co-Authoring Pros and Cons

How many of you have written (or considered) writing with other authors?

I’ve written over 30 books so far…12 by myself and the rest with four very talented co-authors.

Four?

Yes, four. All collaborations that have had their bright spots (and low spots).

Why collaborate at all? Why not just write solo?

I can tell you from experience…writing with others has helped my own craft grow and take on new directions that I’d honestly never considered. My first was a wonderful realist and angsty author. She liked the sexier side of things with a ton of angst. My second is a glorious storyteller…she can weave a tale in five minutes and have you mesmerized. My third is a comic by profession and his tales have me cracking up on every page. The fourth is a dear friend of mine that we wanted to tell a story; it was released, but pulled back for re-tooling.

I’ve been fortunate to have these great people to work with; but not every pairing has a happy ending. The first lady I wrote with we got on great! Pages being written like mad, ideas flying..and then a complete breakdown of communication that I take the sole blame for. This was years ago; but it has helped me not make that same mistake again. Which bring me to my first point:

  • Be clear on your objectives for the book(s)

This is vital! In the planning/plotting phases things go awry. Things change. Be clear on what you want. It may not stay that way, so have an ‘out’ plan too.

  • Find someone who’s writing style is similar to yours

Not a necessity as all three write very differently from myself. My second coauthor is the most similar of them all; but like I said, not a requirement. Genre too, is important. My genre is gay fiction. Almost all of the authors I know write this genre.

  • How well do you handle conflict together? (characters and authors)

This is vital! My first coauthor and I parted ways over a disagreement on the continuation.

  • Be clear on separation of duties (who’s better at editing or outlining)?

I’m awful at editing. Light proofreading I can do; but I”m no editor.

  • Do you agree on publishers, royalties, marketing?

This is easy enough on the royalties; 50/50 split. As for marketing, that should be shared too. As for how to publish, both need to be in agreement as to self-pub or try a publisher.

I love collaborations; like I’ve mentioned, it’s helped me go in totally new directions. Just know that sometimes these things don’t work out. I hope these tips help if you decide to go into co-writing! (collaborations)

Steph

Posted in Life Helps

Constantious Interruptus

interruptions

OK, raise your hand if you’ve ever been interrupted. I’ll wait. Hmmm…let’s see, everyone!

Interruptions. We deal with them on a daily basis; from personal home life to the working world. I don’t recall a day (recently) to where I’ve not had to grind to a halt to address some ’emergency’ item. (that was mostly the work world).

At home, things are a little nearer and dearer, such as a sick cat, sick husband, best friend having yet another mental catastrophe,  it goes on and on. Or more importantly, your own body sneaks out an interruption, like bathroom visits, hunger, pain, or fatigue.

How to deal with these little ‘unexpected events’?  I tell you what…I can be on a roll with writing, and my cat sneaks in (which I don’t see or hear) and he’ll RAWR very loudly, nearly sending me out of my chair! I’ll spin around and ask him, “What? What do you want?”

Wouldn’t it be marvelous if cats could speak? I swear, he does it on purpose. His sister did it for fun, honest.

So, before my own train of thought interrupted me (hehe)…how to deal with it?

Back in my office days, here are some tips I picked up:

  1. Don’t act annoyed. Groaning aloud is a definite turnoff to the higher-ups. Trust me, this just spurs them on
  2.  Take one interruption at a time and keep good notes of where you were. Trust me.
  3.  If the ‘urgent’ item is in the middle of yet another ‘fire’ (very common in my old workplaces) then get all the info you can and get back to them; this will placate the requester enough to leave you alone and handle the items.

Overall, don’t let all the interruptions stress you out. They are part of life. Ask your mother…how did she survive your first two years with the constant sleep deprivation? Love and hopefully some good backup like Dad or Grandma.  Enlist help, delegate, don’t take it all on yourself if it’s overwhelming!

Thank you for interrupting your own world to read this post. 🙂

 

Cheers!

Steph