Tonight I came home from work and worked out. The exercise DVD I used had me huffing and puffing and sweating, but when I was done it gave me a boost both psychologically and physically which I definitely need for my evenings.
For writers, we have to exercise our “writerly muscles” as well. Sometimes that means we brainstorm – like stretching our muscles so that we can get to the heavy lifting part of the exercise/writing.
Other times it means digging into the characters and plot – which is equivalent to the warm up part of the routine.
Then it’s all about writing those scenes. The crux of your workout, where you are chugging along and sometimes you’re flying high and other times you are wondering when the heck you’re going to be done.
Then there are the special scenes that just seem to “click” – that is the boosted part of the workout where you are really getting that heart rate up.
Finally you finish by jotting down some notes for tomorrow’s scenes. That’s your cool down period.
And so the cycle continues as I write my stories, stretching and conditioning my writerly muscles.
As an author, I have to find time to think about my books. For me it’s not just sitting down and writing it, it’s also thinking through some of the main points of the book. Even though I’m not a true plotter that outlines the story, I still have to pick a direction and go!
Thinking about the characters and the general plot is often done when I have a spare moment – in the shower, on my daily commute, etc.
But I have found for me that the best time to come up with those great character developing moments and pivotal scenes is first thing in the morning when my alarm has gone off and I set it for snooze, or I know that I can stay in bed a little bit longer on the weekend.
That is when the ideas come to me since I’m not bogged down with to do lists, and social media, and my day job. My psyche is free to explore options I wouldn’t think about if I was fully awake.
I call it my sleepy author time. And I treasure it.
So if you’re trying to work through something, try thinking about it when you first wake up. You never know what you might come up with!
This past weekend in my neck of the woods it snowed. I spent Saturday in my PJ’s and robe doing laundry, and dishes, and adding more words to the new novel I’m working on.
As much as I’m not a fan of snow (I’m not the outdoor skiing, skating, snowboarding type), I do find benefits to staying inside. I call it my “hunker-down time” and it usually lasts through January and February. A time for me to write my stories (and read some as well). To explore worlds in my imagination that are more interesting and less frigid than my current world.
Sometimes I think we all need to hunker-down and relax especially after the craziness of the holidays. Take some time, maybe even squeeze a nap in here and there, and enjoy the snow…through your window while you sit on your couch drinking hot cocoa. With a good book, of course.
Intrigued? Let me explain. I think that the holidays can be a wonderful time. But they can also be a difficult time for those of us who are now “grown up”. (Whatever that is supposed to mean…)
Even for me, a writer who spends time creating characters who come to life on the computer screen, I need to take a leap of faith.
It ultimately comes down to attitude. Something my friends and family will tell you I have in abundance.
In this instance, I’m talking about that extra special “Holiday Attitude”. Case in point – the saying I have on my mantle!
It’s a funny quip, but I think we can learn from it. We all have to believe in something or someone. Whether that’s Santa, or a friend, or neighbor, or ourselves for that matter.
Find it in your heart to believe, believe, believe.
And maybe it will help you remember what it’s like to be a kid again – a kid who doesn’t get underwear for the holidays!
Last week I lost track of days. Maybe it had to do with only having to work three days before Thanksgiving. But Monday came and went last week and I didn’t think about posting my Monday blog. And when I woke up Thursday morning and turned on the Macy’s day parade for some reason that jogged my memory that I hadn’t posted anything!
I had planned on writing about being thankful – very appropriate for the holiday. And I realized that it is NEVER too late to talk about being thankful. I think it is something we should think about every day of the year, not just on Thanksgiving.
I am so thankful for my family – my dad, especially. And my friends who have been with me for years and those I have met recently as a writer.
And I am thankful for my writing. It has opened up a world for me. I have met amazing people and readers! I am so thankful for my readers – you jump into my world and understand my characters and keep reading! How blessed and thankful can one writer be?
Very, very thankful!
You might have noticed that last week I missed posting my blog. I had just returned from RWA’s national conference and by the time I realized I missed my blog last Monday, I decided it was Fate’s way of telling me to take a blog vacation for a week. So I did.
But I didn’t want to forget to share my conference experience with you. For me, the national conference gives me the ability to regroup, both mentally and emotionally as a writer. I attend sessions and find out what is happening in the world of publishing. But even more importantly, I catch up with my writer friends. Many of whom I only see at conference. Sure, I may email or talk to them since they are located all over, but there is something special about spending actual time together.
When I am with a group of writers, my sense or rightness (or “writeness”) returns. I gather with people who understand my language and have stories that won’t stay silent in their brains. Powerful friends to have.
So I got to spend time with my peeps to gear up for another year of writing and publishing. Batteries have officially been recharged.
My previous two blogs showcased a teaser from Misha and Aleksei’s upcoming books in my new Realm series. So you shouldn’t be shocked to learn that Sergei, the youngest brother of the demon trio wants his turn too.
Each brother have hurdles to overcome before finding their special someone. And don’t think their mates will let them get off easy. Heck no! That’s what makes the journey so wonderful.
So here goes… Sergei
So I saw a quote the other day and it made me think about my life and my writing which is always a GOOD thing.
Words hold so much power. As an author I understand that at a fundamental level. So when a few words inspire me, I know they are something I was meant to see and take to heart.
What makes this quote even better is that it is from an author. Authors taking advice from authors, right?
So here’s the quote from Ayn Rand:
“The question isn’t who is going to let me; it’s who is going to stop me.”
There are all types of quotes and to me this is an anthem quote. I can almost hear the music behind the words (as with any inspirational scene in a movie).
So tonight I wanted to share these words with you. If you feel like you want to do something, then do it, or at least TRY.
I think that is what stops many of us – the fear of trying. We aren’t going to be successful at everything. But I think many are afraid of failure so they don’t even try.
But here’s the ironic thing. If you never try something that speaks to your heart, then isn’t that a form of failing?
So pick up those paintbrushes, sketchbook, instrument, laptop and create. Go back to school, take singing lessons, learn how to ski, take up quilting, heck run for office.
Do something. Try something. You might be surprised at the results.
Writing can be rewarding, but it can also be hard. Even though I rely on a team of wonderful women to help me edit, proof, format, and cover my books, when it comes down to the writing of it, it’s me and my computer.
And as much as my characters talk to me a LOT, writing is solitary. So how do I keep moving forward?
I rely on my writing community. Today’s blog is a shout out to a wonderful group of super-women. We were all finalists in RWA’s Golden Heart contest in 2013. We’re from all over the world and write all different forms of romance. We call our group the Lucky 13’s.
And we’re fierce cheerleaders for each other. Give me an S-U-P-P-O-R-T!
Yesterday, I found out that I am a Holt Medallion finalist for my book TO HAVE AND TO HOWL and that is such a thrill and honor. But tonight, I was reminded how truly “Lucky” I am. An outpouring of congrats emails and Tweets came my way from my writing pals. After five years we still have each other’s backs.
Always there for each other. Always supportive. Always…just always…
Thanks Luckies for you Love – right back at you!
Three weeks ago my blog talked about inspiration. Inspiration that I received from family and friends in the form of two bracelets with sayings on them.
This week, another dear friend gave me a necklace – you’ve seen the type – a pretty bar necklace that hangs horizontally on a chain. Many of them have a word or saying. I’ve seen words like, Live, Love, Peace, Joy. So when I pulled out the pretty, delicate necklace from the box imagine my surprise when the word stamped on the bar was ‘Badass’.
I actually tilted my head back and laughed out loud. Because my friend gets it. It’s all about attitude. There are so many things in this world that can hold us back, not the least of which is our own fears and insecurities.
She reminded me that when I started this writing journey, my motto was Be Fearless. And it still is! So I wear this necklace proudly. It’s my own personal attitude boost.
Here’s to you finding your own attitude booster and using it often!