Finding the time to write

Insecure Writers Support Group BadgeHello! Welcome to yet another Insecure Writer’s Support Group post ūüôā Today’s topic is “How do you find the time to write in your busy day?” Visit the Main Page and hop around to all the other great posts on this topic! And if you are an insecure writer yourself, join the hop! It’s fun and very supportive.

I have to admit to not writing much lately. Part of it has been due to busy days. Summer vacation for my kids means no real breaks for me. Not that I’m complaining, really. I spent my summer camping, going to the beach, and doing all kinds of fun stuff with my two favorite people in the world: my babies ‚̧

But another reason for my not finding time to write has just been lack of drive to do so. I’ve found myself wondering why I even do it. Why create things not many people are interested in reading? No matter how much I love my work, and no matter how much I try to “write for myself,” I have to admit it often feels pointless.

My most “successful” story so far is¬†Bound, a m/m Romance about a man in a wheelchair and his return to mild BDSM. It’s a free story, which is why I put the quotes around successful. I still consider it a success, because people have enjoyed it and I’m proud of it, but it’s not a money maker. It wasn’t written to be a money maker, though, it was written as part of a free anthology. So there is no disappointment in its lack of earnings, only pride in its popularity.¬†If I could re-create that feeling with my other books‚ÄĒthat distance from the “commercial” market‚ÄĒthen maybe I could regain some of the joy in writing. If anyone knows the trick to this, please, please tell me! In the meantime, I’m fighting the worry that what I write is not marketable (because it usually isn’t) and that has been a real hindrance to my desire to make time for writing.

I’m hoping to start a new job soon, though, only part time but I hope it might give some structure to my days and maybe that will get me writing again. The kids are back in school ūüė¶ and the summer is nearly over, so the beach is less of a distraction, too. I’m confident I can make some time for writing again.

What about you? Have you managed to make a writing schedule? Or do you write in small bits, whenever you can spare a moment? Do you struggle to find time to write, or do you make it a priority? I’d love to hear from you! Leave a comment below¬†(click on the title of this post if you’re on my main page & comments are not visible) and tell me about your writing.

camp NaNoWriMo!

This is a post for the Insecure Writers Support Group. Join us! We blog the first Wednesday of every month. Insecure Writers Support Group Badge

It’s April 6. Camp NaNoWriMo is not going well for me, as per usual. I don’t really mind. I never actually “win” but I do usually have at least three quarters of a workable draft, and it’s still very possible I’ll have that at the end of this month, if I can get on track.

Well, looking outside my window it sure doesn’t seem like April! There is currently a thick (5+inches!!) cover of snow, and it’s barely 25 degrees. Maybe my writing mojo is as confused as mother nature? LOL

But no, I know what is going on. I have this story that I’ve been planning in my head for a very long time. It’s a series, which is a step outside my comfort zone as I’ve¬†pretty much¬†always written stand-alones. But it’s paranormal, which should be good for me (that’s my favorite!) Still,¬†I’m faltering.

If you follow this blog you might remember that a few months ago I did a survey of reader preferences (male/male, male/female, or menage) in Romance. I’m so thankful to everyone who responded! But I’m still as unsure as ever.

Here’s why: I LOVE writing male/male pairings. I don’t think I¬†could actually write an entire romance without some male/male Romance. But I feel lately as if I have been striking out with my m/m readership. So I’m thinking maybe it would be better to start fresh? Maybe a new pen name, and a new genre/niche would bring more readers to my work?¬†Or (here’s the insecure part) maybe it isn’t the type¬†of romantic pairing that keeps people from enjoying my stories. Maybe it is just my writing style which is unpopular. ūüė¶ ¬†You see the self-doubt spiral which has interfered with my happy writing time?!

It’s the same old question, isn’t it? Do I write for pleasure, or profit? Do I write for myself, or do I¬†seek validation from others?¬†Someone said once that we should “write the most marketable stories of your¬†heart” and I think that is fantastic advice. If only I knew what marketable was… ūüėČ I really have no idea what will sell or why. I can’t tell you how many hours I have spent studying the Amazon sales charts and Goodreads reviews, trying to crack the code of why people buy certain things and why they don’t buy other things. Needless to say, I¬†still know nothing.

Well, not nothing. I know a good deal of an author’s success comes down to marketing. Pouring money on something, assuming it is a decent story, is a good tactic. Another thing I do know is that certain tropes and styles are always popular (“bad boys,” shifters, millionaires, etc.) Lots of authors have made names for themselves by hitting those sweet spots hard. I think luck (or great timing) has an impact, too. Being friends with “big name” authors in your genre is another sure-fire route to sales. But how to twist the stories of my heart into something marketable? No clue.

So now I’m about a week into NaNo, where I had hoped and planned to produce a solid draft of “book one” in my new series, and I’m only like 5000 words in. Boo. ūüė¶ Can’t do much more¬†without nailing down my lead couples, though. World-building only¬†goes so far (about 5000 words, apparently. LOL)

Do I just make it a m/m Romance, and take the chance I am wasting my time on something very few people will buy? Do I write a m/f story in the hopes that it will sell better? Do I go back to my erotica/ménage roots and write something fun and sexy and at least enjoy myself while writing? One thing I did learn from my survey and from the time I have spent online in reader groups is that many m/m readers do not want any lady-bits in their m/m romances. So it is sort of an either/or proposition, and that is what is messing with my planning.

Any advice? Have you ever dealt with a similar situation? Any and all feedback appreciated!

writing goals

Maybe this post is a bit late. Most people do this sort of thing right off the bat in January, right? Oh well. I did do a “resolutions” post near new year’s day, so let’s count that. And now, only a few weeks after the turn of the year, here are my writing goals and current projects for 2016:

Finish “Trust Me.” Finally. God I’ve been writing this story for years! I keep putting it down and working on other things. I’m afraid to disappoint readers with it, is what’s going on. See, it is sort-of a cop/criminal story, but it’s not really. So I am imagining all the reviews where people lament the lack of action and call it boring. And then I go back and forth with myself: Just add in more action! But I hate books like that. Ugh. I know, but most readers love that stuff. Do it for the readers! Do I really want readers who crave¬†things I don’t like to write? Shouldn’t I just write what I enjoy¬†and be grateful for the readers who love that, too? But the mortgage! The kids need braces! Be serious, girl….¬†And thus, the book has remained¬†unwritten. But I have a deadline of Jan 30 for the draft and I WILL stick to that! Trust me. (get it? lol)

Finish revising “Secret Cravings.” This is the last in my erotic shorts series “Moon-Brier” (under my¬†AC Bishop¬†name) and I have stalled on revising it. I’d like to get it re-published sometime early February, and then release a bundle of all three stories shortly thereafter.

Begin drafting “The Six,”¬†an erotic series I’ve been loosely planning for many months. At first I thought it would be m/f, but now I’m thinking I can make it a variety. Maybe if every book functions as a standalone, some books could be m/f and others m/m (and maybe I can even work a menage book in there! my favorite!) anyway that is my plan as of now. Plotting and story might change things, though. I would happily do the whole series m/m but I think maybe that is unrealistic, to have an entire group of friends where every one is gay or bi? I’ll have to think some more about this.

Write 2+ flash pieces for blog. I really enjoy writing flash fiction, and participating in flash fic blog hops is a great thing for me. It keeps me motivated and gives me good content for this sad old blog. So I’m going to keep my eyes open for flash hops and try to jump in on a few.

That is it! Seems like a lot less than other people do, doesn’t it? Well, I guess if I get it all done I can always add more ūüôā How about you? Any writing or reading goals? I’d love to hear from you in the comments ‚̧

 

iwsg post: insecure resolutions

Hello! I have been such a terribly bad blogger ūüė¶ I’m sorry. Anyway, I’m back¬†just in time for¬†IWSG week!¬†visit the iwsg page to¬†tour the hop!InsecureWritersSupportGroup

Since¬†we collectively decide the first week of January is when we’ll be all motivated and self-reflective,¬†I have some “resolutions” for the new year. Actually, just one major resolution, and it has to do with insecurity and writing and support.

I’ve spent a lot of time over the past few months just listening to (okay reading) and watching (reading without commenting) successful authors online. I feel like I am at a crossroads in my writing career, and it’s time for me to decide if I am going to move forward or just fade away. So I was trying to figure out what¬†these other authors are doing to keep themselves “on top” and how, or if, I can hope to be like them.

First I thought: they are better than me. They write better, their plots are more compelling, their characters more interesting. But I read some bestsellers and…no. Not that they weren’t great! And sure, some are way better than me, but honestly most were just your average story.¬†Many were flawed.

So then I thought: marketing! Of course, they are selling themselves better! They buy tons of ads and post in multiple groups and have huge mailing lists. And yeah, some do. But many are just as clueless as I am about that stuff.

Finally, I decided it must be personality. People are just drawn to certain characters, and maybe these authors have the kinds of personas that make people want to pay attention to them.¬†Maybe…but a few of them are downright annoying, to be honest. At least in my opinion.

Then¬†I figured it out: they all have confidence. They believe in themselves. Maybe not deep inside, maybe deep down they are insecure, too, I don’t know. But publicly, and in all the ways that matter when you are trying to sell yourself and your work, they put themselves out there with an “I’m worth it” attitude.

I realized you HAVE to do that! And (shocker)¬†I haven’t been doing that¬†AT ALL.

So that is my simple resolution. “I’m worth it.” I’m worth your time, your money, your attention. I’m worth my own time, my own support. I’m worth my own¬†effort.¬†Self-deprecation is a bad habit with no up-side.¬†I need to stop putting myself down, and start advocating for myself and my work. Even if I don’t feel it inside, and even when I don’t have a book release and it’s going to be months until the next one¬†and I could just save up all my faux-confidence for then when I’ll really need it. Even still, I’m going to resist the urge to downplay my accomplishments. Instead,¬†I’ll be my own fangirl.

In the immortal words of Bob Bitchin: “The difference between an ordeal and an adventure is attitude.”

The last thing I need is another ordeal! I’m going on an adventure. ūüôā

IWSG

InsecureWritersSupportGroupHappy IWSG day! Be sure to visit the main iwsg page here and check out the other bloggers on this hop!

So for my insecure post – new year’s goals! Yes, it’s like a week overdue and I’ve already posted one kind of writer-2015-goals post, but this is different. This is writing+LIFE goals. As in, trying to keep my life sane and stable while writing.

Exercise every day. Which I was totally doing for years, but the past six months or so I slacked. Honestly at first I had a good reason (plantar fasciitis. ridiculous.) Now I think it is more of a habit of inactivity. So I need to change that and go back to my 1 hour a day routine, which I felt much better when I was doing. I think my writing was more productive then as well.

Keep to a better writing schedule. I do best writing at night, but I always try to write during the day, which is dumb. So I think I’m just going to set aside¬†a few blocks of time to write and stick to those. I tend to choose writing at odd times, and I need to get more regular and structured so I¬†can be more productive in other areas.

Make more time to critique. I think I learn a lot about writing by critiquing. I can see what works and what doesn’t in a story, when as a casual reader I might not have really thought¬†about it. It also helps me to foster relationships with people I trust. The thing about crit partnerships or critique groups is these people see your work raw. They see your flaws. They also are there when you have a question, or to join you in celebrating your victories,¬†or to listen to you vent. I really feel super grateful for my critique partners, and I need to make sure I put time aside to critique.

I guess that is basically it. Other things, of course: be healthier, save money, be nicer to my kids. ūüôā but I think if I can stick to these things I’ll be doing okay, as far as writing goes.

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Writing goals for the New Year

don’t dream it’s over

InsecureWritersSupportGroup

Time for another Insecure Writer’s Support Group Post!

My insecurity this week (actually this month) has been at an all time high. I considered giving up writing.¬†I don’t want to stop writing, though. I love writing.¬†I thought maybe I could still write, just not publish. That could work!¬†The “stubborn bitch” part of me realized¬†I shouldn’t let a little low-self-esteem get in my way. And I thought of all the people that would be secretly happy if I quit… Fuck them!¬†I decided¬†what I should do is write, publish¬†–¬†and just not promote or care what happens to my stories as far as sales go. Maybe the promotion is where the problem is, really.¬†But I had so many plans for¬†marketing¬†this next story! I was going to try to do it “right” and see if that made any difference in sales or reader response.

So I’m not giving up (yet.)

Still,¬†this has been a tough time. I’m not even sure why. Nothing happened to make me have these epic levels of¬†doubt and insecurity. I guess it’s just been building up for a while, and there is only so much “smiling over your real feelings” a person can do.

Issues:

  • I need to really work on my writing. I’m just not satisfied with the level I am at right now. Not satisfied at all.
  • I’m thinking of slightly adjusting my plot/genre to be more mainstream-popular (still sticking with m/m Romance, but more trope-y) The thought sort of…hurts. But I think it might¬†help with the¬†popularity of my stories.
  • Lots of stuff to do, not enough time to do it.

And then I remembered something I saw on facebook:

levelup

Maybe I’m in the process of leveling up! If so, it sucks balls. But I’m going to keep trying, and hopefully come out a little stronger. I think¬†by next month’s ISWG post I’ll have myself together.

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hope copy