Writing on the Bad Days

Today I had a crappy day. As bad of a day as it can get, and there was a moment in the day when I really started to feel the weight of everything pulling me down. I thought to myself that today was a day I couldn’t possibly write because I felt awful, and I didn’t want negative thoughts bleeding into my story.

But later in the day I found reasons to laugh and smile. The entire day wasn’t ruined –my night was actually quite peaceful. Once I finally felt at peace again with my emotions I decided that I could write, and, more importantly, that I wanted to write.

I guess the reason I’m sharing this with you is because we all have bad days. Sometimes they’re really bad. I truthfully believe on these “bad” days when our emotions are all over the place we shouldn’t be forcing ourselves to write.

But if your day turns around or maybe you just have that moment of calmness, I think then it’s okay to write. Even if it’s only for five minutes or maybe it’s only 50 words. You never know, you could surprise yourself and end up writing a lot. Writing has always helped me on the rough days, and sometimes you just need to sit down and escape to a different world with make-believe characters and maybe even magic (if there’s fantasy in your story).

I’m writing this tonight to remind you –and myself– that it’s okay if you don’t write on the bad days. And it’s also okay if you do write on those bad days. It’s really up to you –to listen to yourself and your needs and decide what’s best for you.

P.S. Today I did two different writing sessions. Ended up writing a total of 1,050 words… even though at the start of today I didn’t think I had the energy or focus to write at all.

Keep writing, friends. Don’t give up.

April Update

It’s been a while since I’ve had time to write an “official” update on my website, and for that I apologize. Everything is crazy, and the world hasn’t been “normal” for quite some time now.

But I wanted to drop in with an April update and my goals moving forward, so you know exactly where I’m at in this writing process.

Here what I have planned for Clara and Daphne these next upcoming months:

  • April: finish 2nd draft
  • May: if not finished with 2nd draft, finish it here (preferably at the beginning of the month), send book off to CP (critique partner) for review
  • June: review/apply feedback from CP. Send book off to beta readers
  • July: Review/apply feedback from beta readers. Purchase cover art. *Side note: this is also when Imaginarium Book Festival will be taking place! Hope to see you there!
  • August: Final draft/read-through. Get everything ready for publication. Order proofs (if the book is ready for that part of the process)

That’s about as far as I’ve gotten so far in my planning. After August it’s kind of up in the air, depending on where we are in terms of the book being ready and if the artwork for the cover is ready yet.

This book is definitely set to release later in the year –I’m thinking December at this point because I think that gives me plenty of time to make sure everything is ready. Also it’s rare I release a book in the winter months, so it’ll be exciting to release this book (hopefully) in time for Christmas!

Obviously this is all planned based around what I think I can get done. This may all change as we move forward, but I love having a rough plan right now.

I will continue to keep you guys updated daily on Instagram and Facebook with my progress. Hope you enjoy the quotes and teasers I’ve been sharing so far!
Thanks for all your support as always!

Hope you’re staying safe and healthy.

2nd Draft Update

It’s been a minute, so I wanted to drop in and give an update on my progress so far with Clara and Daphne.

I just spent the last 35 minutes writing up an entirely new scene for chapter 8 –which has me entirely exhausted, by the way.

It’s crazy to me that February is almost over. Like one second I felt on track and the next I’m panicking and falling behind. Or at least, I feel like I’ve fallen behind. I’m only on chapter 8 out of 50 (and I’m at 13,000/90,000 words), but in all honestly I’ve been spending at least an hour –if not more– on each chapter. This 2nd draft is very different from the first –there’s a lot of new material that I’m adding in, and I have even more ideas for later on in the story. So when I’m spending an hour or so on one chapter it’s because I’m literally combing through the entire chapter and adding in whatever was originally missing (or I wasn’t happy with).

This 2nd draft is by no means perfect. There’s still some chapters I know I’ll have to go back to and work on some more, but I’m definitely seeing progress, even if that progress isn’t happening instantly. And I’m okay with that. I knew this 2nd draft would take me at least two months, and by the end of March I’ll have a better idea of where I stand in terms of finishing this –if it needs another month, that’s okay, I’ll take another month.

I just want to thank you guys for being patient, and if you follow me on Instagram I hope the daily updates keep you excited for what awaits in the future. As I dive deeper into this book I get more excited about the day when I can finally share it with you guys. Until then I’ll try to share as much as I can as far as my process.

I think that’s all for now. It’s pretty late here, and I’m ready for some much needed sleep.

February and WIP Update

Happy February guys!

I wanted to stop by and give an update as far as my February goals and progress with Clara and Daphne.

At the end of January I finished edits on Clara and Daphne. So I wanted to talk about what’s next as far as getting this book ready for publication.

Right now I’m working on the 2nd draft of the book. This is a project I suspect will take February and March to complete as I’m rewriting, adding in new content, and working out some issues I came across in the 1st draft.

Today was my first day working on the 2nd draft, and I’ve already increased my word count by 852 words. I also rewrote a lot of the first chapter, so I feel a lot more confident with that.

My goal with this 2nd draft is to reach a total of 90k words by the end, and to overall be happier with the book itself. I definitely have a lot of work to do. The 2nd draft is going to  require a lot of rewriting and re-reading, but I’m okay with that. I know what needs to be done, and I’m going into this 2nd draft with a better understanding of the plot and the characters.

If you don’t already, be sure to follow me on Instagram (@lindseysablowski) for daily updates. I post a lot of my progress there, so if you’re interested in seeing how it’s going, definitely stop on by and say hello!

Here’s just a quick look of what needs to be done before Clara and Daphne is ready:

  • 2nd draft
  • Send to CP/beta readers
  • 3rd and possibly 4th draft? (I usually write between 3-4 different drafts. Clara and Ezra had three)
  • Purchasing the cover
  • Deciding on a relate date (still aiming for this year btw –probably a winter release)

So I expect the coming months to be very challenging, but I’m also excited –especially since this morning I already saw such a huge difference between the 1st draft and the 2nd.

I wish you guys the very best with your February goals, and I’ll be checking in again soon. I’ve been working on my book for like 3 hours this morning, so I think it’s time I take a break from writing altogether and relax.

Enjoy your Saturday!

2020 Goals and Release Plans

Happy New Year ya’ll! 

Today I wanted to take the time to talk about my goals for 2020, any upcoming events, and that sort of thing that I have planned for this year.

Goals for 2020:

  • Finish edits for Clara and Daphne –plan to have this done hopefully by the end of January or February at the latest
  • 2nd draft of Clara and Daphne –not sure what the timeline is on this yet
  • Start Youtube/Podcast –this is something I’ve wanted to do for the last year or so. I still don’t know which one I’ll do yet, and I’m actually waiting for us to move so I have a better area where I could record before I make that decision. So this is something that will happen later in the year (maybe around fall???)
  • Work on Bloodline Inheritance re-release –this is something that’s been on my to-do list for a long time. It’s going to require a lot of time and money (for the new cover), which is what’s caused the delay. So depending on how things go this year financially we’ll see what happens
  • Publish Clara and Daphne (before end of year) –I really want to release this book this year, as I’ve promised previously. I still need to purchase the cover for this book, which is still something that’s up in the air (as far as when I can afford to do so). If for some reason Clara and Daphne isn’t ready for release this year, I’m going to try to re-release Bloodline Inheritance so at least I stay consistent with my release schedule (and those of you who haven’t read the book will get to read it in its newest form)

Now obviously these are just a few goals for this year. I really want to get back to a consistent schedule with my writing/editing, and I still have my Nanowrimo project from 2019 that I want to work on too (but that’s really a side project I might save for next year when I have more free time). I’m hoping to post more on here with updates for you guys, and I’m going to start posting content on Patreon again as well.

As far as events go, the only event I have planned so far for this year is the Imaginarium Book Festival, which is happening this May. If you haven’t already, be sure to grab your FREE ticket(s)! I’ll be attending, so you can grab copies of my books, read a teaser from Clara and Daphne, and get some free goodies from my table –so if you come, be sure to stop by and say hi!

I’ll also be making a guest appearance on a podcast in December, but more about that later.

I’m excited for the new opportunities and challenges this year will bring us, and I hope to share as much of my progress with you guys as possible.

What’s your goals for 2020?

Best of 2019

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Merry Christmas Eve, y’all! Before the end of the year I wanted to take the time to reflect on 2019 because a lot happened.

Obviously I couldn’t include every highlight from 2019 in one collage, but I feel like the one above highlights the biggest moments for me this year.

Best of 2019:

  • March: Got a new tattoo on my arm to celebrate all of the books I’ve written so far (and also as a [really] late reward to myself for publishing Clara and Ezra)
  • August 10th: Re-released Thicker Than Blood (original release was back in 2014) with a beautiful new cover (curtesy of Hell Yes Design) and interior design.
  • September 28th: Finished the first draft of Clara and Daphne at 87,538 words total. This book gave me a lot of challenges, but in the end it was so worth it. I love Clara’s story, and I can’t wait to share this new addition to the series with you guys soon.
  • November: Participated in and won Nanowrimo, coming in at 50,021 words total. Nanowrimo project is still untitled, but I stepped outside my comfort zone with this one and wrote nearly every single day –only missed 2 or 3 days.
  • Got accepted into Imaginarium Book Festival as an attending author. I’ll see you there May 2nd, 2020!
  • Bought a Chromebook that serves as a “travel” laptop for me when I’m away from home, or also when I’m at home and don’t feel like using my full sized laptop. This little laptop honestly can do a lot, and it’s perfect for just focusing on my writing (I don’t get as distracted as I do on my MacBook)
  • Video Games: this isn’t something I talk about much here, but video games is a hobby of mine when I’m not writing. So in January of this year my boyfriend bought me Red Dead Redemption 2 –which is an amazing game, by the way– and then sometime after that we purchased a game called Hollow KnightHollow Knight brought back my love for video games 110%. Everything from the exploration to the music to the lore of this game inspired me –so much so that I’m still playing this game now and again. I listen to the music daily, especially when I’m writing. (Note: the game pictured in the collage is actually Stardew Valley because between this game and Hollow Knight it was hard to decide. Stardew is my go-to game when I need to relax and take a break from everything else.)

There’s a lot of other memories from 2019 that were great, but these ones were the main highlights for me.

2020 has a lot to live up to, and I already have some things planned for next year, which I’ll be sharing a little later with you guys.

What were your highlights from 2019? Leave them in the comments below, and feel free to share your goals for 2020.

This might be my last post for the year, so in case it is… Happy Holidays and Happy New Year! Let’s hope next year is a great one!

Nanowrimo 2019: Thank God It’s Over

NaNo-2019-Winner-Facebook-Cover

This is 10 days late, but I did want to still take the time to talk about my experience with Nanowrimo this year. First and foremost, I want to congratulate everyone who participated –whether you won or not, it’s still a huge success that you took part in this event and challenged yourself.

For me personally, this was my first time being able to seriously dedicate 100% to Nanowrimo since 2014 (the last time I reached the 50k mark). Last year I did try to participate, but I only made it about 5k, and I think that was because Clara and Ezra had just released and required my full attention.

This year I was reminded how truly challenging Nanowrimo is. I mean, 50k in 30 days is no joke. Now if you’re a speedy writer (especially with first drafts) maybe that’s not the case, but for someone like me who is very slow when it comes to first drafts (and just writing in general) those 30 days felt like half that.

Nanowrimo 2019 Final Thoughts:

  • pick a story you’re happy with. Don’t worry about other people reading it, don’t worry about if this is something you’ll ever publish, etc… Write what you want to write. Period. This seems obvious, but I’ve had years where I was trying so hard to write the next book I wanted to publish that it actually hindered my performance.
  • Accountability apps are your friends. I’ve talked a lot about “Wordly” on here, so I’ll try not to repeat myself too much with that recommendation, but it’s honestly the only word count tracking app I use these days. For writers with Android (because I found out Wordly is not made for Android users yet *sad face*), my suggestion would be an app called “Word Keeper.”
  • I also discovered a new app called “Forest.” This is another app I really want to do a separate post (or maybe even a video?) about because it’s just such a great app if you’re a writer, but I used this app a lot during Nanowrimo –and am still using it this month while editing Clara and Daphne. It’s great for holding you accountable –especially when you’re on a deadline
  • Don’t let doubt win. I can’t tell you how many times this year and in previous years I doubted myself, I let my insecurities ruin the story I was writing, and hence it also ruined my productivity. You can do this, and even if you didn’t win this year, you still did something outside your comfort zone, and for that you deserve recognition
  • Don’t make Nanowrimo all about winning. This year I went in with one purpose: to write a story I had been wanting to write for a long time. Because if not now, when? I saw so many people talking about how they were finally writing a story, finally making progress on something they were passionate about –and at the end of this challenge that’s what really matters.
  • Be willing to make sacrifices. Nanowrimo is pretty brutal, especially if you’re like me and aim for 500-1000 words on a good day. So suddenly be thrown into the chaos of writing over 1600 every day or catching up to get back on track can be a little daunting. Sometimes sacrifices have to be made, and that’s okay (as long as you’re not overworking yourself)
  • Change up when, where, and how you write. Sometimes this makes all the difference. I went from on my laptop, to handwriting, to even typing up a chapter on my phone (something I rarely ever do). If something it’s working for you, or you’re getting frustrated, make a change and see how that works out for you.
  • Nanowrimo is a great way to test out new ideas. For me, it was my chance to write a story I’ve been thinking about for a long time (and just couldn’t find the words for). It doesn’t really matter what you write as long as it’s important to you. Maybe it’s a backstory for that character you love, maybe it’s a genre you’ve never written before, maybe it’s an alternative ending (and aftermath) to a story you’ve already written. Regardless of if you hit 50k or not it gives you a good indication of what you have to work with, and how you feel about the project you’re working on. Is this something you would still want to work on after Nano is over?
  • Nanowrimo isn’t for everyone, and that’s ok. I almost wish they would make it in any month other than November because end of the year is always so busy for me –plus there’s the holidays to factor in as well. I saw so many writers out there this November just writing, regardless of if they were doing it for Nanowrimo or working on their own projects. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve tried to participate in Nano during a release month, shortly after moving, etc just because I was worried about missing out on something. Don’t worry –there’s always next year! And if it’s just not for you either way, that’s ok too –do what works best for you.
  • Definitely plan your writing time. Near the end of Nano I was putting in so many extra hours to reach the 50k mark, and it was stressing me out. This was due to falling behind early at the start of the month and never taking the time earlier to catch up, which really hurt me near the end. It’s definitely not something I want to do again next year if I participate, so plan out your writing time the best you can. Set a goal for each day, and if you miss a day, definitely try to catch up as soon as possible –so it doesn’t come back to bite you at the end

Now if you’ve made it this far, thank you for taking the time to read through this. I still have a lot of thoughts on Nanowrimo, and one of my biggest regrets this year was not being able to update my website with daily or at least weekly updates on my progress. I honestly speak every free minute writing my novel, so unfortunately I never found the time to update you guys on here.

I also want to talk more about my Nanowrimo novel –which is still untitled– but I think I’ll save that for another post (since this one is already going longer than usual).

Overall I’m really happy I participated in Nano this year, but next year I definitely want to have a better plan (with my actual story and with my writing schedule). This year I was so unsure about whether I actually wanted to participate, and then when a story idea came to me I just jumped right in –no outline, no plotting, no characters names… nothing. It was chaotic and super disorganized. Definitely not my usual style.

Again I just want to remind you guys that the work you did in November is truly special. Even if it’s a hot mess, like my Nano project is currently, it’s still amazing that you took on this challenge. The writing community was especially supportive for Nanowrimo, and I saw so many people sharing their progress and cheering others on (from day one until the final hours).

I think we all have a lot to be proud of. We wrote our stories, and at the end of the day, that’s what really matters.

I hope December can be just as a successful and productive month –though, hopefully less hectic.

That’s all for now, guys! Let me know how you did in Nano in the comments, and please tell me about the stories you wrote.

Until next time, happy writing!