Showing posts with label The Writer Diaries. Show all posts
Showing posts with label The Writer Diaries. Show all posts

Sunday, 3 October 2021

Nerd Church - The Writer Diaries: No, I Don't Have A Writing Routine

 

There's a lot of writing advice out there. Like, a lot.

So much so in certain online spaces that sometimes you wonder if anyone's not writing about writing.

But then, I'm writing a blogpost for a sub-series called 'The Writer Diaries' so I'm clearly standing in a glass house and holding a rock, about to lob it over my head. 😅


'The Writer Diaries: No, I Don't Have A Writing Routine' written, scribble-style, on a crumpled paper background



A lot of the writing advice I've seen around on the *waves hands* general interwebs lately has been about writing routines.

Which wouldn't be a problem - writing routines help a lot of people. 

Except more than a few of them have given me the general impression of 'OMG if you don't have a writing routine then you're writer-ing wrong!'

And? Honestly? F**k that.

So weird.

Sunday, 8 August 2021

Nerd Church - The Writer Diaries: Musings On Medium (and Blogging in General)

 



In March I started – tentatively – sticking some of my blog archive onto Medium.

Medium is kind of a weird-a** combo of blogging, freelance journalism, and social networking. And it pays.

Don’t ask me the ins-and-outs of how it pays – it uses some form of occult ceremony to distribute the tithes paid by the ardent congregation (only they call it Medium membership, but meh.)




'The Writer Diaries' written on a notebook, with the title 'Musings on Medium (and Blogging In General)' on the right-hand side




But anywho, it pays.

And since I lost my Amazon UK Associateship (which is a long story which you can read on Dora Reads here, or on Medium here,) I need to work on other modes of monetisation.

Because one of these days I would like to hit an income bracket above ‘Starving Artist™’ – but that’s enough about that.

Sunday, 23 May 2021

Nerd Church - The Writer Diaries: My Own Plot Twists Surprise Me

 

'The Writer Diaries: My Own Plot Twists Surprise Me' in a handwriting-style font with a pic of a hand holding a pencil in the bottom right corner, making it look like the hand wrote the words because I am clearly easily amused


"Holy sh**!"

These are the words I've just written on paper. Hand-written, in ballpoint pen, in my multi-coloured Crayola notebook (all the cool kids have them! 😉😎)



They're words I've given to one of the characters from my Work in Progress (WIP), Dan, as he realises something ground-breaking that makes everyone look at the situation entirely differently.

...It's a sentiment I fully endorse, because I have no clue where this plot twist came from. 

And, with wide eyes, my only statement at this moment can only be an echoed, 'Holy sh**.'

(Only I can't swear because my mother, so it was more like 'Holy...' and then trailing off.)


Tuesday, 16 February 2021

Month in Review(s) - January 2021

(Warning: this post discusses Coronavirus/Covid 19)


On a personal level, January sucked. Bad.

My beautiful Nan got Covid, and combined with her other health problems, despite the fact that she had very few symptoms, we nearly lost her. 

There are very few things more distressing than watching someone you love slowly fade away via video link.


'January' spelled out in scrabble tiles, with 'Ionawr' written beneath it


Honestly? If you're STILL not taking Coronavirus seriously, you can fuck the hell off.

And, dearest nerdlets, you know how upset I have to be to swear without censoring myself. 

I really wanna delete a few letters and add *s, but I'm not gonna, cos despite the fact that I'm a nice well-brought-up Welsh girl, that's how annoyed I am, and how much you suck if you're one of the selfish people who still isn't taking precautions.

Sunday, 17 January 2021

Nerd Church - The Writer Diaries: 4 Random Realisations About Writing


There's a couple of random things about writing that I've realised lately while working on my Work-In-Progress (WIP.)

I dunno whether this is me becoming more self-aware of my patchwork writing process

(I write in snippets and then attempt to stick them together... with varying results) 

- or whether everyone knows/has realised these things and I'm just now catching up (let me know!), but I figure'd I'd blog about them anywho! 😅



'The Writer Diaries: 4 Random Realisations About Writing' written in fancy cursive script, against a lined-paper background

Sunday, 4 October 2020

Nerd Church - The Writer Diaries: Oh, the Melodrama!

 

(Warning: this post briefly discusses overthinking and Anxiety/Depression)


In its previous life, my WIP, written by teenage-Cee over a decade ago, was melodramatic as f**k.

As in, there were kidnappings, and murders, and guns, and a secret child, and... if you can think of a plot-twist, it was probably in there. Plus a few more for luck.

And while the current version of These Ghosts of Ours is much, much, less ballistic, the memory of that previous version has left me constantly questioning the emotion-y bits and plot developments.


'The Writer Diaries: Oh, The Melodrama!' written in typeset on a piece of paper coming out of a typewriter


Sunday, 24 May 2020

Nerd Church - The Writer Diaries: One of My Side Characters Is Pouting!



I can't get the side characters from my Work-in-Progress (WIP) to do what I want!



I know, to people who don't write fiction that probably doesn't make much sense. 

Surely, I, as the author, am in control? *laughs in writer* HELL NO!

Sorry to break this to you, but authors have extremely limited control over their characters. 

Essentially we write down what they're doing to the best of our ability... and attempt to cut out any scenes where they're doing sh** they shouldn't. With mixed results.



'One of My Side Characters Is Pouting!' above a bunch of outlined people shapes in different colours - they're arranged so that it looks like they're in a crowd


Sunday, 29 March 2020

Nerd Church - The Writer Diaries: Aesthetically Confused


(Warning: this post discusses the affects of Anxiety)


If you hang around bookish and/or writerly corners of the Interwebs, you may've seen random-a** collages related to books, individual characters, or writing projects.

Or maybe you haven't - in which case you probably don't know wtf I'm talking about. But trust me, they're out there.




'The Writer Diaries. Aesthetically Confused.' On the right-hand side is a person holding a slate in front of their face. The slate has a confused face drawn on it.


Sunday, 8 December 2019

Nerd Church - The Writer Diaries: Dealing With Self-Doubt



If you've been around my blog at all in the past (love you!) then you probably know that I struggle with...

...Well, that list could take a while, but for the purposes of this post, I struggle with self-doubt.


illustrated White girl with no face (artsy, no?) holding notebook and scratching head with pen
Image by mohamed Hassan from Pixabay


So it's probably not that much of a surprise that I also have doubts when it comes to what I'm writing.

(Even blogposts - this is like my 6th attempt at writing this week's Nerd Church, and about the 3rd possible topic I came up with)



Sunday, 29 September 2019

Nerd Church - The Writer Diaries: Writing Vs Self-Care


While my aim is to write every day (y'know, like all the advice seems to say you should if you wanna be successful as an author,) some days I just can't.

That's not strictly true - I usually end up writing something in a day: blogging, tweeting, e-mails, work stuff, etc.

But I don't always manage to work on my work-in-progress (WIP) every day.



notebook with balls of paper around it on a desk


Sunday, 7 July 2019

Nerd Church - The Writer Diaries: Turns Out, People Are Interested



I've never really had much confidence in my writing.

Like, objectively I know that people read this blog but... it always surprises (and delights,) me when someone comments, shares, etc. (Hint hint. Lol.)


fountain pen on an open notebook


Likewise, I'm always on edge about the fiction I write - it can't be something someone'd be interested in reading, right?

At the same time, not writing would be like not breathing. Unthinkable.

It's literally who I am - I breathe. I read. I write.

Sunday, 12 May 2019

Nerd Church - The Writer Diaries: Patchwork Writing and Whatever Works For You

(Warning: this post discusses the everyday affects of Depression/Anxiety)


Some people are 'plotters,' some people are 'pantsers' - and I write in patchwork.

For those who don't know, writing fiction is generally split into two camps by the people who split things (whoever they are - I'm not sure anyone's ever met them) - plotting and pantsing.



writing and knitting stuff on a desk
Image by Pexels from Pixabay



Sunday, 24 February 2019

Nerd Church - The Writer Diaries: Relocating Cymru



If you're familiar with this blog, you're probably aware that I'm Welsh.

(If not, then how on Earth have you managed to miss that? That's actually impressive!)


Welsh flag with the Welsh Dragon/Y DDraig Goch
We win flags, ok?


So it may come as something of a shock to you that in the past I've rarely, if ever, set stories in Wales.

Nope.

In fact, I was more likely to set a story in London than Cardiff - and I've never set foot in London.

History nerd that I am, I probably know more about London 150 years ago than I do London today.


Sunday, 6 January 2019

Nerd Church - The Writer Diaries: I Need To Be More Patient With My Writing




I've recently started re-writing a story/novella/novel* that I started writing when I was a teenager... about a decade ago.

And I want it to be finished.

But I know that there's a butt-tonne of work to do to it (I'm basically re-writing the whole thing and making it less... melodramatic...  as well as changing the focus a bit.)



dude writing on table, scattered with other items like breakfast, coffee cup, etc.


*It's been the length of all of these at one time or another 🙈



Sunday, 7 October 2018

Nerd Church - The Writer Diaries: The More You Learn About Writing, The Less You Seem To Know








It’s weird. It’s really weird.

The more you write, the less confidence you have in what you’re writing.

You notice every goddamn flaw like it’s screeching at you.

(If you’re writing horror, maybe it is. But I guess that would be the point, right? 😆)






Quill, ink pot, and hand-writing




The more you write, the more convinced you are that you’ll never be a ‘good’ writer – whatever the hell that is.

And then, with this weirdly inflated sense of imposter syndrome filling you, you try to seek out the wisdom of the all-powerful interwebs.

And that goes about as well as you can expect…



Sunday, 16 September 2018

Nerd Church - The Writer Diaries: 7 Radical Ways To Defeat Writer's Block




Staring at the blank page (...or screen...) we've all been there.

You need to write the thing - but the thing just doesn't seem to want to be written.

You have the Dreaded Writer's Block.





notebook and crumpled paper





But Writer's Block ain't welcome around here!

I don't put up with Writer's Block (that pushy little so-and-so) - and neither should you!



Wednesday, 18 January 2017

#DisabilityDiaries2017 | The Writer Diaries - The Challenges of Writing With Depression and Anxiety

(This post discusses mental illness, depression, anxiety, and brief references to suicidal thoughts.)


There's this myth that having a mental illness somehow makes you a better writer.

The tortured artist, able to bring forth the most beautiful art from their pain.





That myth is complete b*lls**t.

If anyone with a mental health problem is creating beautiful art or writing, it is in spite of not because of their illness.

For the love of whatever higher force you believe in, do not demean the efforts of artists and writers by saying that it's 'only' because they have mental health problems that they can do these things.






woman typing on typewriter






Because it's damned hard.

It can be hard enough to do the day-to-day things with mental health problems. Writing? Can be a constant f**king marathon.






Like a lot of people, I've always wanted to write.

Maybe 'wanted' is the wrong word - I've always written, because it's just a part of who I am. Call it a character trait if you like.





Now, I'm sure a fair amount of you will be familiar with the insecurities and worries of being a writer.

There's something about writing that is intensely personal, and you're putting it on display. Who wouldn't be worried?






typewriter







When you have depression and anxiety though, all those insecurities are magnified.

There are challenges to writing, to wanting to be 'a writer' when you have these conditions.






Here are a few them:

(This is just my own experiences and opinions guys. Everyone experiences mental health problems differently. Also, self-care guys - if you have to stop reading for your own mental health, you freaking do it!)




1. Feeling you're not good enough.

I'm sure most people have thought this at some point when looking back at their own writing. I think it almost every time I read something I've written.

Worse, sometimes this can lead to a thought spiral: this isn't good enough and it's what I've always wanted to do, I can't do anything right, why do I bother...?

Sometimes it gets darker than that, but I don't want to bring you all down.





one yellow umberella amongst several grey umberellas







2. What if...?

When you have anxiety problems, 'what if...?' is a dangerous trap to fall down. It can keep you stagnant just because you're too terrified of either success or failure.

Yes, I have anxiety issues around success, as well as failure.

  • If people actually like what I write, what if I can't replicate that a second time?

  • What if I have to go to events and lit festivals? That would mean travelling, meeting new people, speaking about my own writing, ending up in the right place at the right time... all things that give me massive anxiety issues.

  • What if people don't think I'm worthy of the success?


Imagine these sorts of thoughts, spinning through your head faster and faster, as your breath gets shallow and you shake and start to feel dizzy. Anxiety is a b**ch.







3. Writing affects your mood.


I'm pretty good at listening to the warning signs when I'm reading something that is going to send my mood off-kilter.

...It isn't always what you think either - sometimes I can't read happy things because I think I'll never have that, and that has a bad effect.

But with reading, like I said, I've gotten pretty good at matching to my mood. It's part of the reason I read so many different books at once - I can match the book to what I'm feeling.

Writing? Writing is something I get lost in... and I don't always notice when it's affecting my mood.







sad girl







4. My motivation goes to sh**.

I nearly gave up on this post numerous times. If you're reading it, it means I somehow managed to a) finish it, and b) convince myself to actually publish it.

I will start writing something and just... give up.

I won't be able to convince myself to finish it. Why would I? It's never going to be decent enough for people to read anyway... See? That's the sort of sh** my brain throws at me.

And sometimes I'm just too damned tired.







5. I can't concentrate.

Sometimes I actually feel like I just can't think.

Depression makes your thoughts fuzzy and makes concentration difficult. So I will start writing something, and then just... not know what I was doing with it.

Or I'll not be able to get out what I'm thinking onto the page or screen because it just... gets lost somewhere.











So yes, writing is something I've always wanted to do. No, I'm not going to give up... but my writing doesn't come from my illness.

My illness has tried to kill my writing - has tried to kill me - on more than one occasion. Please bear that in mind.









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Wednesday, 30 November 2016

The Writer Diaries - Micropoetry, November 2016

Well, I certainly wrote more this month than I did last month.

I have no idea whether any of these are any good - but here you go anyway; enjoy! (Or not. Whatever.)






4th November

Princesses are flawless
Pale, weak, & soft
Born to be brides
Princesses don't kiss princesses;
Girls need to be princesses -
Right...?









7th November

Sweethearts
- because your hearts are sweet, aren't they? -
remember that people are people
Who love & live & hope & wish
Just like you



13th November

Fight for hope.
Fight for people.
You'll make mistakes,
Get up & do things better.
Treat people like people.
Love with your whole heart


14th November

People are fallible
They can be selfish
They can be short-sighted
They can be ignorant
The best ones try to do better
Even if they fail





16th November


We told you
That the fire
Was burning
You laughed
And stuck your hand in the flame
Told us to do the same.
Unlike you, we felt the pain






24th November

I see your face
In the weirdest of places
And it never seems
To be good news




24th November

I put my heart
Into it all
& how I tried
To make it count
But you can't please all of the people
All of the time
No matter how you try








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Wednesday, 26 October 2016

The Writer Diaries - Micropoetry, October 2016

So, October is on it's way out, and it's time to show you the micropoetry I wrote this month.

It's kind of been an up-and-down month for me, depression-wise, so sorry if these are kind of a bummer... and there are only three of them.

Sorry.






10th October
How do they do it?
The charmed ones -
While we strive, struggle, scrimp, save,
The universe re-arranges itself,
To better suit them.





13th October
I'm so tired
Of feeling so tired
Not knowing what's required
of me. What should I do?
What do you want from me?
I'm so tired.










23rd October
Tired.
Running uphill just to stay in one place.
Tired of the struggle; of the fight; of the hate; of the dark.
Tired of being tired.








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Monday, 17 October 2016

The Writer Diairies - Learn to Love the Chase

Writing is hard.

You possibly know this - but writing is not an easy thing to do. Putting pen to paper or fingers to keyboard is only a tiny fraction of the story.

(Ha, 'of the story' - I just noticed the pun!)













You've got to try and string these weird little symbols into words, and then those words into sentences, sentences into paragraphs, chapters, a book!

And all of those little symbols comprising your paragraph, chapter, book, whatever, contain a plethora (woo! I have smart vocab dammit!) of worlds, characters, meanings, and cultural cues behind them. Sometimes the author writes subtext that even they don't know they've put in there.





And all of that takes time. It takes skill which you may or may not have (yet - skills are things you can build!)

I've been writing the 3rd part of my Cinderella posts (see part 1 here!) and it's going exceptionally slowly.

Because writing is a bit like whittling (not that I've ever whittled anything, so I have no idea where that metaphor came from.) A bit here, a bit there, and it can take forever.





But guess what? You have to learn to love that slow process.

You have to understand that it's ok for it to take a long time - as long as you keep working on it, it will be done when it's done, and not before.

You've got learn to revel in the thrill of chasing down the correct word. You've got to learn to enjoy weaving the words together, and letting your fingers dance almost rhythmically across the keyboard.











Because that's the way it works.

You can't create out of nothing - you have to love it, to care about it, to watch it sashay it's way into existence. If you don't love the process, you're not going to write anything worth while.

(It is however OK to also get p*ssed off at the process, and shout a string of swear-words and/or colourful insults at the screen. #TrueStory.)





You also have to understand that sometimes it doesn't work out - and that's ok too.

It's not going to work every time. But if you enjoyed the time you spent working on it, then it wasn't a waste - it just gave you something different to what you thought it would.






Maybe I made sense in this post, and then again, maybe I was talking cr*p.

What do you think? Is it necessary to enjoy the process of writing in order to be a writer?







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