Space and Time Discontinuum

Curse of the TaniwhaAnother busy week has been and gone.  And once more I have been scrambling for time and space to do some writing, alone time and pretty much anything else.  I can tell you that I am sleeping better (yay!) and can’t really tell you that I have been doing anything special, just sleeping.

It is over a week now since I started the Junk Food Free August – no takeaways, chocolate, white bread, icecream, cakes, muffins, pastry’s, fizzy drink, biscuits, chips, anything that is fun basically.  I have lost a few centimetres already, but I think that has more to do with an increased fluid intake rather than actual weight lost.  I have found myself eating more fruit bread.  I’m finding it hard to find things to fill me up.  It has been challenging, fortunately it doesn’t count out alcohol, so I can still have a tipple if I have a bad day.

Writing wise, I have managed to eek a few moments in here and there.  But not enough for my liking.  At least I have done two hours this week, which is about an hour more than last week.  I also finished the ending of the Taniwha story, so now I have to work on the middle.  I have some ideas, but I want more conflict – what can I throw at the heroine and the hero to make the situation more dangerous, tricky?  She is accident prone, so I don’t want to focus on her any more.

Anyway, a fresh week awaits.  Lets hope there is more writing time than this week just been.

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A time to write?

C Mead final logoBoy, it has be one of THOSE weeks (or two) where I have just about met myself coming backwards.

I have been working with my husband in the weekends, and thereby effectively cutting out any downtime I would normally get. Here’s to my husband having normal hours soon 🙂

Writing has been taking a busy turn lately, with another new project – although it is a long term project. It will all be revealed early next year. Lets just say, I get to write it once a month, and still have about 6 months to finish it.

I have done some work on the Taniwha story, although not as much as I would like. An idea has been swirling around in my head, but I realised that it was just a repetition of what has already happened in the story, until I decided that it needed to happen to another of the characters. Now it is formulating, and I will hopefully get to write it later this week.

Life in general is just busy at the moment. I can’t seem to find time to clean the house, let alone work at my part time job, work for my husband and be a wife and mum. I am hoping something will give soon, because I can’t keep going like this.

Anyway, how is your week progressing?

Creating an Author Platform #6

Hi de Hi campers!  Well, platformers anyway.  I hope that you are enjoying the series.  This week we are focusing on commenting, freebies, subscribing and Google Alerts.

Number 17 is commenting.  Comment on blogs.  Simple.  We all know how hard it can be to get comments on our blogs, so try commenting on those that you follow.  Ask a question, thank them for their blog post, especially if it touched you in some way, provide them with feedback.  Let them know you are following them.

I have two regular commenters – Zee and Cassie.  They are wonderful people who provide me with feedback.  Thanks guys.  I try and get out there and post comments on other peoples blogs.  The more comments you make, the more people will visit your own site, especially if it is insightful.

Create a freebie is No 18.  People don’t like handing over their email address for nothing.  So, give them something.  Give them a teaser, a taste of what you have to offer.  Make it something worthwhile for the subscriber, like a one of a kind story, only subscribers will get to see – helps them to spread the word when you do start getting a following.

Subscribe – get yourself on the email lists of other writers.  This is something that I have done, and I receive updates from Melissa Pearl, Nalini Singh and T G Ayer on a regular basis.  I also follow WPbeginner for tips and hints on wordpress, Your Writer Platform for information on author ideas and tips and hints, and Fiction University for a series of emails on writing problems.  I love being parts of these lists, because I get useful information, or first hand information – cover reveals, ARC’s, ideas and solutions to problems I might have encountered.

No 20 – Set up Google Alerts.  This is new to me, because I haven’t done anything like this before.  Google Alert is a free service that allows you to specify keywords or phrases that relate to writing, or romance writing and forwards the results through to you.  I set mine up for Romance, NZ romance writing, Catherine Mede.  Will be interesting to see what it comes up with.

Next week, to continue building our platform, we will focus on becoming an expert in our field, signing up to help out a reporter, following up on breaking news and pillar posts.

Author Platform No 5

I thought that I had this sorted out for last weekend, but no.  So instead of posting it straight away, I posted it for today instead.

No, we were up to Number 13 – which is quite interesting.  Google Adwords.  I looked up Romance and was surprised to see that 300,000 people search for this per day.  That is a lot of people.  NZ romance turned up nothing.  Zip, zero, nada.  That is sad.  Lets hope that RWNZ and myself can rectify that.  If you have a gmail account, sign in and go to Adwords, they will ask you to pay, but you don’t have to, just go through the exercise and then type in your search words.  You may find it very surprising.

Number 14 is creating a bio – highlighting your expertise and accomplishments.  I kind of have this – published in Masters of Horror Anthology, and another anthology, which I can’t really go into at this stage, but it will be coming out next year.  Writing articles for The Rural is also a point that I should add, and any competitions you have entered, especially if you got to the finals.  Also include here any online guest posts you have done and any speaking engagements you may have done.   I have updated my Works in Progress page to now be Written Works and WIP.  Go and check it out.

Number 15 – get some photographs done.  Incorporate the photographs in your writing, to get yourself out there.  I don’t have any recent photos of me, but I use one taken by my son at a friends wedding last year.  I like this photo, so have decided to make this ‘the one’.  I have tried to put it around all my social media sites so that they are all uniform.

Making a list of top 10 (or 100 or any number inbetween) of authors, bloggers, industry leaders is Number 16.  I have chosen to look at top NZ authors – which isn’t too hard, because I know a few of them.  They include T G Ayer, Cassie Hart, Zee Southcombe, Kris Pearson, Leigh Hunt and Melissa Pearl.  There are more, of course, but they are the ones that I want to follow.  I also follow Nalini Singh (whom I met once, and have a photograph to prove it!).  I also have bloggers that I follow, like Author Media and Your Writer Platform.

Next week, we have comments, freebies, subscribing and google alerts to keep us all entertained.

Monday Morning Catchup

Phew, school holidays are over and I might finally get some time to myself!  Ha, that’s a good joke.

I managed to find some time last week and got about 3000 words written on Curse of the Taniwha, so I have made some progress on that.  I have also started a short story – Beautiful Stranger which is based on some writing exercises that we have done at the monthly RWNZ meetings.

So, I can finally tell you about Cursed Love.  In March, I entered the Pacific Hearts competition, held by RWNZ for unpublished writers.  I was a little nervous, but it was writer feedback that I wanted.

Two weeks ago, I got the results back.  I didn’t make it to the top three, which had their manuscripts sent through to a Harlequin editor who will chose the top story.  The reason I entered this competition is because it is picked by readers.  Yes, readers read the story, and then they mark it, according to how much they enjoyed your story.

Marks are out of 85, and I got 82 and 83.  I was rapt with those two reports, but I also got one for 56/85 – and this is the one that has thrown me a little, because it says the total opposite of the other two.  Why does one focus on the negative rather than the positive?

Anyway, I have a couple of people reading through Cursed Love, and I will be shipping it out to a couple of publishers.  If no one is interested, then I will be self publishing it at the end of the year, and I hope to have Curse of the Taniwha to publish early next year.

I managed to get a couple of articles written for The Rural, including this one – Rural Hacks for Going to Town which is also the featured article.

So, as kids go back to school, I am hoping to find some time to do some writing, but I don’t know if that is going to happen, or be wishful thinking.

How do you make time to do the things you want to do?

Mental Health and Procrastination

These seem to walk together hand in hand, and it can be bloody hard to separate them.

A friend of mine, Cassie, wrote a blog recently about Barriers of Her Own Making.  Basically she was revising a novel, and wanted to add in a new scene, but couldn’t seem to make it happen.  I have had the same experience too.  I had a scene that I wanted to continue on with, but didn’t really now how to do that.  But rather than try and work at it, I procrastinated.

And it is only recently I have realised that procrastion and Depression really do go together for me.  If I can’t find a reason for doing something, I will stop and think about it.  And I can think about it for days.  And rather than just go ahead and do it, I will come up with every excuse under the sun why I can’t.

But that is another problem too.  Making excuses.  It is easy to do, but I shouldn’t.  I can get up and clean the house if I want to, I just chose not to because I would rather focus on how big a job it would be, rather than how quickly I could get it done if I just got up and did it.

Its a bit like my writing.  I wanted to move on from that scene, but I couldn’t do it.  And I would actually get up and clean the house, feed the cats, make tea, change the sheets, do the washing, go and visit friends, work for my husband, play on social media, everything except what I should have done.  And it wasn’t until last week I realised that the solution was simple.

Move onto a scene that I knew was coming up.  The fantastic thing was, a couple of weeks ago I received an email from Fiction University about how to plot backwards, and I thought that was a fantastic way to do it.  I have my protagonist at a point, how how did he get there, where had he come from?  What made him / her make that decision?

So last week, I started making time in my day to do at least a thousand words.  It doesn’t sound like a lot, but for someone who hasn’t written a significant amount in a few weeks, it is a lot.  But when I picked a scene I wanted to write, it just flowed out of me.  Which is pretty darned cool actually.

I do have some scenes which are hanging in midair at the moment, but I will tie them in, and if they don’t fit, I can either use them elsewhere, or dump them.

So, I have learnt that I need to be more proactive and make time, because time doesn’t make time, and I can chose to be busy, or have time to do some writing.

What is your procrastination problem?

Finding Time

C Mead final logoI have a bad habit of putting things off.  Until the last minute, and you know what?  Sometimes that last minute doesn’t come.  But sometimes it does, and passes and I’ve missed my opportunity.

But this week, I have been making an effort and found time to write at least a thousand words on my Taniwha story, which I am absolutely thrilled about, because I struggled with it, wrestled with it for weeks.  I was kind of stuck wondering where the scene I was on, was going to go, but I didn’t need to.

I am a methodical writer.  I like to have a plan, start at the beginning, work my way through the middle and come to a satisfying end.  This story is different.  I have written the beginning, missed some, done some of the middle, and missed some, and now I am writing the ending.

This piecemeal way of writing doesn’t sit easily with me, so that is why I have been struggling with it, and I have managed to struggle to find time to write, because I have been too busy AVOIDING writing.

Bangs Head on Desk by Tolan88 @ deviantart

Bangs Head on Desk by Tolan88 @ deviantart

And I didn’t need to.  Because on Wednesday I decided I needed to write a thousand words.  And I did the same on Thursday and Friday, so in all, I have over 3000 words added this week.  Which is 3000 words closer to finishing the story.

So instead of avoiding writing, I am making time, even if it is only half an hour, to write.  Because if I don’t, then I won’t write.

How do you make time to write?