Writing Desk

desk

A writing desk. It seems like common sense that if you’re a writer, regardless of if you’re aspiring or published, you should have a writing desk. However, for me I’ve gone my whole life without ever having a desk of any kind for my writing. Sure I had a desk when I was younger, prior to pursuing my dreams as an author, but once I got serious about writing I never had a desk. The majority of my writing over the years has been done either in my bed or sitting on a couch. Not ideal.

Last night with the help of my parents and a close friend of mine, we set up my writing desk. This is the same desk that many, many years prior had been a desk my parents bought me when I was a girl. It’s real wood. So when I was looking into having a writing desk my dad offered to repaint the desk black (of course, what other color would I want). And once he repainted it I fell in love all over again.

I still have a lot of ideas of things I want to add to my desk. Quotes, pictures, and other gimmicks I want to place in that space. I bought the knobs for the drawers, and since the desk was repainted to a color I favored, it really does feel like a whole new desk. It feels like it’s finally my desk.

I’m not sure why for years now I’ve gone without a desk for writing. And I know I’m not alone in this. It amazes me just how many of my fellow authors are without desks. (Shoutout if you’re fortunate enough to have an entire office dedicated to your work). My desk is not huge, but neither is my room. In the grand scheme of everything it is still a small space, but it’s a corner dedicated to my writing. It’s the place where I plan on finishing Clara and Ezra and many future books. 

If you don’t have a writing desk, I highly recommend one. Dedicate a space to your writing, even if it’s a small space. If you’re able to, dedicate a larger space to your writing –this gives even more opportunities. It’s not only motivating but it also helps with focusing. Sit down, get to work, and then when you leave that space you can do things outside of writing (or writing related material). 

If anything my goal with having a desk now is to really work on focusing. I get easily distracted. Sometimes after I’ve been writing for a while I need a break, and sometimes that break turns into countless minutes on Facebook or Pinterest or messaging someone. These breaks are okay, but it’s important to know when to break and when to get back to work. One of the things I want to purchase for my desk is a timer, so I can set a specific time for how long I’ll write, and then when I hear the buzzer, take a break for x amount of time. I don’t have all of the details worked out, but I’ll keep you updated.

 

I’m not going to lie. August is proving to be a difficult month. I am behind. Most days I am panicking over this first draft. But I am trying to get back into a schedule. I am trying to get back to be consistent with my writing. And one of these months, whether that’s this month or next or two months from now, I want to get into the schedule of writing daily and consistently. Not having long periods of time with 0 words written. I don’t want to keep feeling guilt for my lack of writing. I want to write, get the work done, and then go about my day. That’s the goal here. It’ll not only help me get books done but it will help with releasing books sooner. More on that later, but for now fingers crossed this desk will help me get back on track.

Where do you write? Post a picture of your writing space in the comments; I’d love to see.

Month in review: July 2017

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Now that I’m finally back into the full swing of writing, I’m also trying to revive the blog (and I swear I’m getting there… baby steps)!

July was a hard month for me. After a 7 month writing break I started writing again around the 28th of June. I started out in July with 8,656 words in total for Clara and Ezra. I finished this month with approximately 30k (because I’m writing more tonight after this post). Now I’ve never claimed to be a fast writer. I actually know for a fact to be on the slower side of writing (especially when it comes to first drafts). You’d think with working on a sequel this would be easier, but I went from writing a mystery novel to writing a murder mystery novel. So yeah, a bit more complicated.

So again want to shoutout to V.E. Schwab for sharing her wisdom on Twitter about how she tracks her progress. Like her, I also finally decided to go out and buy a calendar specifically for my writing progress.

Now keep in mind the days you don’t see any star stickers are days when I wrote 0 words. (The days with heart stickers on days when I wrote but hit under 1000 words, hence did not reach my daily word count goal.) Sadly there’s more days with 0 words than I’d like to see, but this goes to show… You can always improve.

Hitting a total of 30k this month isn’t by any means huge. My goal was actually 40k, which I’m obviously not going to reach tonight. But if we’re being honest I also can’t be entirely disappointed with myself. This is still a strong start after a 7 month writing break. This is still a strong start for someone getting back into writing while juggling a full-time job, life, and unexpected twists at every corner. (And did I mention my cat?)

Overall? July was a good start. It was a fresh start and it gives me hope. I think this calendar system is amazing, and I wish I had known about it years ago. This month was all about trial and error for me. I saw what did work and what didn’t. I tried new things and I organized myself.

As for next month, I have bigger goals I’m setting for myself. In a perfect world I’d love to see Clara and Ezra complete by the end of August. But I also know that’s very optimistic and somewhat unrealistic for myself (because I know the pace at which I write), so it’s also very likely I don’t finish in August and it instead is finished in September.

At the very least I want to hit 80k in August. Clara and Claire was a total of 90k by the time I was finished with that book, so I’m guessing this sequel to be that or over.

The sooner I finish this first draft the better. Everything else will be easier to determine and plan out once I know how much (or how little) I’m working with.

I have a lot of hopes for August, and I hope I reach them or even better yet surpass them. I’m really trying to get this book out to you guys as soon as possible while also ensuring it’s in its best form.

Just wanted to thank everyone so much for all the support this month. Along with writing Clara and Ezra this month the 2nd edition of Cursed With Power released and we celebrated the book anniversaries for Shadows and Embers and Bloodline Inheritance (who knew I had so many book anniversaries all in one month). Your support with my new release and my current WIP means the world to me. Can’t wait to see what we accomplish for August!

CWP purchase links

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Cursed With Power is now available. I didn’t have my laptop with me, but I wanted to post all the purchase links. Here are all the websites where you can purchase the book!

Paperback

Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Goodreads, Createspace

Ebook

Amazon

Also remember there will be copies available at the book signing on October 14th. So if you’d like to purchase copies from me directly just message me and let me know.

The ebook is live and the paperback is available to be shipped. Signed copies will be available at the book signing if you’re interested.

Thank you so much to everyone who made the release day successful. I can’t wait to re-release the remainder of the series.

Cursed With Power RELEASE DATE

cwp returns2

Title: Cursed With Power

Series: the Magicians (#1)

Edition: 2

Release date: July 23, 2017

Cursed With Power is set to release this Sunday, July 23rd. This will be the 2nd edition of the book, featuring a new book cover as well as a new interior design.

Copies will be available for purchase in paperback and ebook format. As always if you’d like to buy the book directly from me (and have it signed) contact me and we can work out the details.

I’m hosting a FB online event on the day of that will feature a live Q & A as well as guest appearances from other authors. It’s going to be an all day event, and I’m really excited to be sharing Celestria’s story again, so I hope if you’re able to you’ll join me.

I’ll be updating all of my social media with the set release date. Stay posted for purchase links this weekend!

CWP re-release news

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I’ve been talking a lot about the re-release of Cursed With Power, and I’m happy to announce I’ll be setting the re-release date for this month (July).
Now I don’t have an official date set yet. I just got the interior for the paperback and ebook yesterday, which means this Thursday I’m going to be ordering the proof to check over everything looks right with the paperback. Then I’ll set a release date (which will be soon after).
I will most likely throw a party on Facebook for the release (and hopefully remember to post the link here).
Just a reminder, this is the second edition of Cursed With Power. Some amazingly talented women have helped make this re-release possible. CWP got a new designed book cover, a new interior (that I’m more in love with than how it looked when my published designed it), and new branding (as far as my name goes).
Getting this book back onto the market is huge, and a lot of work has been put into it (by various people).
After this re-release I’m going to start planning the re-releases for the remainder of the series. My end goal is to have all the covers redesigned in a way so you can tell they’re all part of a series. And to give them more of a fantasy feel. As much as I have loved the old covers, if I’m being honest they have not matched the books in the way that they should as far as the genre and themes.
So there’s still a lot of work to do with this series, but CWP was my biggest concern. The other books I can still keep on the market until they’re ready for their re-release (so that’s a bonus).
CWP will be re-releasing this July in both paperback and ebook. The prices for both will be announced upon release, but I can promise it is going to be a cheaper price than what my publisher had chosen as the list price. Copies will be available on Createspace, Amazon, and Barnes and Noble (to name a few of the main websites).
Signed copies will be available October 14th at Greetings and Readings in Hunt Valley, MD (along with other copies of my books).
I still have a few copies of the first edition, which I’m debating on what I’ll do with them. Definitely at least bringing one along to the book signing!
In the meantime stay tuned. I know it’s been a long time coming, and I appreciate your patience so much. This book is releasing this month, and as soon as I approve the proof I will set the date. By next week I should have a set date.
So hang tight just a little longer. Release day will be here before you know it! (And I have lots of new promo material to share when it does!)

Writing with Progress/Reward System

As I mentioned before I recently just came back from a 7 month writing break. That’s a long time to go without writing. And while there’s a lot of reasons I think I’m finally back at it again, I also wanted to share the new things I’m doing with this sequel.

So first a huge shoutout to V.E. Schwab for sharing her star calendar system. She’s my inspiration behind this idea.

I went out to Staples and bought a calendar to hang on my wall. I also bought a pack of stars stickers. Now the whole purpose of this system is to track your progress. Different colored stars represent different things. You make up the rules. But basically I love it because it allows you to see how you’re progressing and where you can go from there. It’s also hilariously enough really pleasing to be able to put a sticker (or several) down for that day, knowing you reached a goal.

I set up my stars to be realistic to my goals. I also kept in mind how I typically write. Usually for me a good day is 1k or a little more. So with that in mind, here’s my current star ratings:

Blue star – 1k

Red star – over 1k

Green star – 5k

Silver star – hit a double digit total word count (ex: 10k, 20k, 30k)

Gold star – completed a book

Next, I’ve also been really good with keeping everything I need (while writing) in front of me. Pens, notebooks, sharpies, etc are all with me. Currently I don’t have a desk, so I do my writing in my bed, but fortunately my pen holder doesn’t fall over, so all is well!

I’ve also been using Pinterest a lot more. Because I realized it’s better for me to work with a lot of pictures and songs in the background for inspiration than nothing at all. I finally created a board for Clara and Ezra, and I’ve been filling it up slowly with inspiration and other ideas.

Overall? So far so good. I think this system is really solid and definitely one I want to continue using. I feel like I’m finally keeping track of my writing progress in a variety of ways (calendar, journal, Wordly app, social media posting, etc.), and it really helps me visualize where I am and where I’m going.

12k into a novel isn’t anything in terms of being close to the end, but I am making way more progress than I expected I was capable of. I feel like everything is coming together, and I believe this new system I’m using and the new organization I have with my writing is all playing a huge role in that.

So here’s to hoping it stays that way!

Writing after a long break

Let’s talk about the 7 month break I took from writing. That’s right… 7 months. It was my longest to date break from writing. And the break happened for several reasons. The kind of reasons where I just didn’t have the proper inspiration or passion to write.

And about 2 days ago that all changed. So naturally I found myself wondering why, and truth be told I might not know all of the reasons why. I think the biggest contributor was the fact that this month I finally started talking about my WIP to people. I told coworkers, friends, and my loved ones about this sequel I’m working on. I started telling people bits and pieces and hearing feedback like “oh my gosh I would read that” or “that sounds amazing.” And that kind of feedback reminded me of why I started writing in the first place. Not for the money, the fame, or anything of that nature. I write because I love telling a story. I love telling a story and that story mattering to someone.

And this all brings me to my next point. I wanted to talk about something very real in regards to writing tonight. Something that I think is often overlooked and forgotten. Something that in the writing community you just cannot stress enough.

Breaks are okay. 100% okay.

I am actually a firm believer in taking breaks. You can’t write and write and write until your hands give out. And other days it feels like you can. But that’s the thing about writing, the thing we just don’t discuss that often. Writing is not constant. You can come up with a schedule and deadlines and plans, and still somewhere along the way there will be something unexpected that jumps out at you.

We as writers need breaks. We need minutes, hours, days, weeks, sometimes even months to reset our brains. We have to give the creativity time to refuel and reshape. It’s nothing to be ashamed of.

And quite honestly sometimes life gets in the way. Sometimes sh*t happens, and you know what? That’s okay too. No one expects you to write through the darkest hours of your life. Just like no one could expect you to be writing through the happiest hours of your life. Sometimes it’s more than just hours, and that’s when those breaks can extend into an unknown number. That’s when it gets scary because a week turns into a month turns into six months.

Time is precious for a writer, there’s no denying that.

In my seven month break I didn’t talk to a lot of people about writing. To be honest a lot of people probably didn’t know I was taking such a long break. They just assumed I would be writing. Because that’s what writers do, right? Maybe I was ashamed and disappointed, maybe I didn’t know what my next move would be. And in the long run, looking back on it, I wish I did not have such a long break. Those are seven months (of potential writing) I can’t get back.

But like most things breaks do eventually reach their end. You move past whatever is holding you back. Disappointment, writer’s block, depression, life, work, stress, lack of confidence… The list goes on endlessly. Whatever it is, I can guarantee you eventually it sees it way out the door. And then you’re back to writing as if nothing happened.

Breaks are unpredictable and scary. They can seem endless, hopeless, and (ironically) draining.

But at the end of the day breaks are a simple reminder that we are not robots. We are human. We will break, we will fall, we will have our doubts, and then one day we will stand back up again. It is a process. It is something I’ve learned we cannot run away from.

So if you’re experiencing a break in your writing, don’t fret. It will come to an end. You will write again. Take it from somebody who thought their muse and creative skills had abandoned them.

And to those of you, like me, making a recovery of a break. Cheers to those word count goals!