Writing During Coronavirus

Many parts of the world are drowning in crap coming at them all at once, so there’s not much writing advice I could give out for all those different situations. For me, what works is remembering why I love writing. During times of loneliness, writing was always an available escape. What I couldn’t see in the world around me, I could see in books. I wanted gay marriage to be as normal as the sun coming out, so that’s how I’ve written it. In my worlds, illness can be easily defeated in most lands because teachers and healers are deemed to be just as important. Education isn’t looked down upon so if there’s an outbreak, people heed the warnings.

Why are people still touching each other?

If there’s a tv show or movie that didn’t end the way I liked or had so many missed opportunities because certain countries must not put gay happy characters on screens to protect our delicate sensibilities, I can rewrite those stories into something I love. I’m very thankful for this ability, and honestly, it’s kinda the only thing I’m good at. That’s why during this pandemic, I will not let that gift be taken from me.

If I am happy, grieving, or sick, I will write. It’s what I’ve done before and will do again. This isn’t a solution for everyone. If you can’t write, that’s okay. What’s happening around us is huge. If you’re unable to wrap your minds around the horror of it all or what the world will look like in the future, that’s okay. There are so many changes on a daily basis that it’s hard to really grab hold of anything solid right now.

In our new habit of social distancing, we are six feet apart, but we share the fear, the uncertainty, and grief of the normal lives or maybe even dreams we have lost. For whatever you can accomplish, please don’t feel guilt over it. You’re not some sort of insensitive monster if you can still write, draw, sing, etc. For whatever reason, your brain is wired to still go on, and that’s okay too.

Well, that’s all the wisdom I have to dole out today which is essentially, everything sucks so go easy on yourself.

Getting There

The first two months of 2020 were a bit of a nightmare. Everything went wrong, including ordering a simple calendar. Things are beginning to lock into place although some personal goals might be trash depending on how this pandemic pans out. Evidently, I picked a really bad time to rejoin humanity, and now I have no idea if money might get spent on health crap if I get sick. I’m anemic and have fibromyalgia, but I’ve spent the last couple of years becoming a lot stronger physically. So that might help. *Shrugs*

I’ve pushed back Just the Tip until July when I can put out a Christmas book when people might actually buy it without letting it sit in a drawer until the end of the year. After getting over what I discovered was an aversion to working on High Fantasy novels thanks to the reminder they me gave of my stranded books with ‘They Who Shall Not Be Named’ former publisher, a spigot got turned back on, and I almost feel normal again. Thoughts of my books are consuming me again. That might sound a little unhealthy, but that’s actually my normal state of being since my teenage years. Being depressed by my own stories was really sad for me, especially since Fantasy is my favorite genre.

If I’m not feeling too nervous next week, I might post some chapters of the stories I’ve been working on. It’s something I’ve meant to do but it got postponed because of last year’s drama. In my wip are a mix of several tropey stories that run from low action to High Fantasy, so I guess I’ll flip a coin or something.

Writer Self-Care

One of the things about being a writer that feels so lonely is that figuring out how to regain your focus when you’ve lost it requires a different path for everyone. I couldn’t ask anyone for help because I didn’t know what exactly was blocking my writing or even felt comfortable revealing what was going on career-wise since I’m not close to other writers. So it takes a while to get back to a good headspace even though I do write to pay bills.

This isn’t a self-pity post, it’s just being reminded about some inconveniences when it comes to working as a writer. There’s also a realization of how suddenly this industry can go bonkers like during the Christmas Eve RWA debacle. The holidays were supposed to be planned downtime, but instead, I get slammed in the face with every ugly facet of the genre I write in with my former publisher front and center in the mess.

The end of 2019 to the start of 2020 has been a lot. For the sake of having food and bills paid, I have to get my mind straight. I’m mostly there through binge reading, binge watching Netflix, lots of cookies, and typing out a few sentences whenever I could just to feel like something got accomplished. Also, not blaming myself. This was a lot of stress to take on at once, and being self-employed doesn’t come with the greatest support system.

Yes, I chose this job, but that doesn’t mean not getting payed on time, seeing discrimination of people like me, and uncertainty of how stable the writing industry will be in the next few years are things I should expect or take with a smile. All of this is upsetting, and many other writers are feeling the same way too. So if you’re struggling, please take care of yourself and don’t blame yourself either. If your writing schedule isn’t where it should be or you’re feeling doubts, that’s okay. You’re not alone. Find whatever happiness is available to you and use that to get through hard times.

Sorry for the blathering, but I just needed to put this out there. Now, I’m going to take my needed vitamins, drink some water, and then go on the hunt for a sheet cake that doesn’t cost a fortune.

Merry Christmas!

I still won’t have another release until around New Year’s because I ended up planning more holiday cooking than expected. Making extravagant meals for my family is my Christmas present to them since I rarely have the spoons to do this.

So this morning, I’m making cinnamon rolls from scratch and getting a little writing done in between breaks. This is also a present to myself because I haven’t baked anything like this in years. It’s nice to know that even if it’s impossible for me to do this even once every few months, this one day of ignoring my body’s signals of pain are worth the deliciousness.

Oh, since I missed my personal deadline, here’s Veiled Dancer for $0.99 from today until exactly midnight on New Year’s. I wish it could have been throughout the whole next holiday, but Amazon was like The Ring and only lets the sale last 7 days.

2nd Writing Journey

Self-publishing is very strange to me. I don’t know what’s normal or what’s a good use of my energy compared to what I did for traditional publishing. So I’m unsure of whether or not I should keep doing something or stop…

Now my schedule is different because I make time for outlining. Outlining has become very important, and it used to be very tedious for me to do. All of a sudden I like doing it. *Shrugs* It’s like self-publishing has changed my whole mindset, but I’m still figuring out what my new strengths are.

As a more independent venture, this was really something I needed to recover from the first journey that while not a failure, was still disappointing. This is all me, and there’s no one else to mess it up. This should be daunting, but it actually feels good. Hopefully, readers will like what I put out, and I can continue on this second journey.

Happy Turkey Day!

From today through Cyber Monday here in the US, War God’s Servant is a freebie. So if you like steamy Gay Fantasy with battles, give it a shot!

You won’t hear much from me because I’m finishing up another Fantasy novel. This book has a dragon shifter knight, so uh, the sex scenes in it do reflect that a bit. *Cough*

This book is harder for me to get a handle on because I have to get the nuance right between my main character, Alex, and his family of evil wizards he’s taking on. Making sure the budding romance blends in with the plot seamlessly isn’t the easiest thing to do either. Deep down, Alex doesn’t think he’s going to survive the conflict with his family, so he’s closed his heart off a bit. Luckily, dragons are very stubborn when they find the right lover.

NaNoWriMo 2019 Update

I slipped behind very quickly because of imploding publisher stress and indecision about my future writing schedule. It’s taken a lot of contemplation, but I think everything is settled in my head.

My new NaNo goals are to reach 50k in words and outline my stories throughout the first quarter of 2020. The second goal is a bit harder because I kinda hate thorough outlines. Unfortunately, it’s something I really have to improve at for cleaner writing in order to have more productive work sessions. This is very important to me as a so-so full-time writer.

That’s all for today. May everyone have a good NaNoWriMo this year!

Fall Cleaning

There’s a lot of cleaning going on. Of both my work area and my writing habits. The former has been easy to organize and assess what needs to go. The latter not so much until I began tackling the last third of Keep Calm and Don’t Eat People. In the past, skipping scenes so I could continue on with the rest of the book used to be a great option for me. Now it’s a hindrance that makes me want to buy a hat just to put it on and then yank it off to chew on angrily.

Skipping scenes worked for me when I was unsure if the books I wrote in the past would be finished. Now I know that current or future stories will get an ending, but a skipped scene adds to the anxiety of possible wasted writing. I have a chronic pain condition so I can’t just LOL at missing scenes that when added, may no longer connect with the story and creates the demand for long rewrites. I must guard my spoons wisely. Otherwise, the burnout cometh.

So that’s my goal during NaNoWriMo. Write more efficiently instead of wasting so many words.

Battling Superhero Burnout

Once upon a time, there was a young girl who said, “Give me all of your comic nerd shit! Keep feeding me until I bust.” That girl never would have imagined that there’d be a Marvel series of 22 movies, 8 DC movies, 13 seasons of Marvel shows on just one online streaming site, a 6 show DC crossover event, and too many in general DC shows to count because while Arrow and Gotham are obvious, shows like iZombie are in that list too.

There are so many shows!

Whew! That’s a lot. And growing up, there was a feeling of being grateful for whatever comic show or movie crumb was given to you. Even if it was turrible, you swallowed it with a smile.

Now with plenty of options but a much smaller wallet, I let myself be picky. No one will break into my house and steal my collection of dvd/blu-rays or books because I no longer deserve to own them after skipping Iron Man 3 or Justice League. I’m not less of a nerd for making sure that every time I go to the movies to watch a caped crusader, it’s going to be an enjoyable experience. Other fans probably appreciate not hearing me curse the movie out under my breath(definitely would have happened with Justice League or Batman vs Superman) while they like it a lot more. So when I do go for movies like Wonder Woman, I’m not carrying the baggage of prior disappointment with me. That joy is still there.

Stepping back let me add that same approach to the DC/Marvel shows. I like most of them, but I couldn’t watch them and the movies at the same time. Since the movies are finally slowing down, I can get back into the DC shows and catch the Crisis On Infinite Earths crossover when it premiers. Again, letting myself take a break is what’s keeping up my enthusiasm for this. Afterwards, I’ve set time for completing the Netflix Marvel shows or Disney streaming shows depending on what’s happening then.

In conclusion, you don’t have to watch everything at once if it’s hurting your enjoyment of comic book movies/shows. Companies have invested too much money in these ventures for them to disappear overnight.

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