Moxie didn’t like the bad beeping from my iMac when I tried to upgrade the RAM. I didn’t like it either. She has good senses.
Moxie didn’t like the bad beeping from my iMac when I tried to upgrade the RAM. I didn’t like it either. She has good senses.
Creativity has been such a part of me for so long, I never really thought about it being hard work. It was just there. It was something I did because I had to. It was part of my very being.
So this last year, when it left and I was stressed and out of sorts, I didn’t think it would be so hard to get it back. I started in July, trying to write and failing. I picked up other creative outlets. I started hand lettering. Painting. All things I’d wanted to do before but I was a full-time writer and didn’t have time for those Other Creative Things.
I swung back around to writing when I nuked my old website and had to completely start it over. I wanted to blog, but I didn’t want to just talk about writing, especially since I really wasn’t writing much. I launched this blog in August. I promised myself I wouldn’t pigeon-hole myself in topics, and I think I’ve managed to keep that promise.
Why am I saying all this right now?
Because I want people to know that even though being creative is a part of you that you can’t quit…. It’s not easy. It’s fun, and it keeps me from stressing, but it’s not easy. I still have to put forth the effort to do the creative things, like drawing, or hand lettering, or writing. It takes mind power. I think when it’s fun and we enjoy it, it takes the “slog” out of the long hours of sitting in a chair typing.
When I wrote full-time, I would put in 8-10 hour days just writing. I obviously can’t do that now with a full-time job, and I think that was where I was going wrong. I still wanted to put in those 8-10 hour days writing.
Time management has become my new best friend. A girl’s gotta sleep, particularly when she works an overnight job. My primary writing time is when I get off work in the morning now. I stop by Starbucks and I get a coffee, and I write for 2 hours. Then I go home, say hi to my family, and pass the hell out.
I guess I’m saying all this in a long-winded way to say that it’s okay to not spend all day and night on your books. Being creative is hard work. Many times, it takes hours and hours to perfect that sweater you’re knitting or practice the hand lettering that’s giving you fits currently, or to rewrite that scene that just isn’t quite right yet.
It may not seem as strenuous as my day job that has me on my feet for 10 hours at a time, constantly moving, but it is in a different way.
So the next time someone is giving you a hard time about spending the time doing what you love, well, don’t worry so much about it. And be happy that you can do something that you enjoy. A job doesn’t have to be something you hate, but no one ever said that you couldn’t enjoy it either.
The season for NaNoWriMo is upon us! You may be wondering what Preptober is or maybe you’re a seasoned veteran of NaNoWriMo, a month long writing challenge to write a 50,000 word novel, and you already know. If you do, bear with me for a minute, because I need to explain to the newbies.
Preptober is the month before NaNoWriMo starts. It’s when you sit down and figure out all the little things you need to start writing your story on November 1. Plotting sheets, notecards, world building… wine… It’s your time to get everything about your story out of your brain and on paper/computer without actually writing it yet, so when November 1 rolls around, it’ll be easy peasy to bust out that 1667 words a day for the entire month.
Now that I have explained that, here’s what I’m doing this week.
I have a BuJo for my Level 10 Life, I have one for my Financials, and I have one for my Overall day to day stuff. One of these days, I’ll be brave enough to show y’all, but for now, you’ll just have to imagine them.
Anyway, you might be thinking, why the hell does she need a fourth BuJo??
Because I’m nuts. Haha.
But really, since starting my morning miracle routine, I’ve started journaling everything. Every aspect of my life gets chronicled. I don’t know if this is a good thing or bad thing though. But also, another reason is that I wanted to have one place where I put all things NaNo in. A BuJo specifically for NaNo lets me do that, and forces me to write things I’d usually be lazy with and copy and paste into a document.
And also, I wanted to be able to help people, and write out a guide that works for me that others might feel like they want to try and see if it works for them.
My first problem was do I use another bound notebook, or readapt my ARC notebooks to do this BuJo? I realized that I move stuff around a lot when I’m writing, and I take stuff out and cross out things and it gets messy and drives my OCD up a wall. Plus I have like thousands of dollars of disc bound planner stuff sitting around that I really need to use. BUT… I decided in the end to use a moleskine I bought on impulse a while back from Barnes and Noble. It’s one of those big composition size ones, not my usual A5 size, because I know I’m going to be putting a lot of info into it, and this would force me to consider organization beforehand instead of as I go along.
I have no clue yet.
Well, that’s not completely true. I set up the typical NaNoWrMo things, like a word count tracker, and a goal tracker, and a monthly spread to keep track of write-ins.
I know I need to do character sheets, which I do still do on paper, because it works better in my head. I need to clarify some rules of magic in my world. I think i’ve mentioned before the current WIP is a fantasy story, which is quite the departure from my military romances. But that’s a post for another time.
Once I get the characters nailed down, I’ll start working on the plot stuff. I’ve never written a book the same way twice, and this book will be no different than that. I’ve never done so much planning before on a book, so I’m hoping that the writing goes way smoother than my usual zero drafts, which are always a huge ordeal for edits and such. One day, I will have my writing process nailed down, I swear. LMAO.
Okay, so that’s all I got for now. I’ll take some pictures as I’m setting up, and I’ll post what I decided on here in a few days or so. In the meantime, you can follow me on Instagram for my spur of the moment journaling adventures and more.
Are you going to be doing NaNoWriMo this year? How are you prepping for it?
One of the biggest obstacles I’ve had trying to get back into writing and being creative was the motivation and the drive to do it. Sure, I knew I should. I knew I wanted to. But I spent a month floundering around, trying to figure out why I couldn’t.
If you followed my old blog, you know I posted a few super personal, mostly negative posts, whining about how I just couldn’t seem to make it work for me… which is what led to me nuking my old site and starting fresh here. Because I was tired of being toxic. And while I haven’t managed to make it a habit to post here yet, I’m doing better about it than I was back in July or August.
But I’m not quite where I want to be. So I’ve been trying to find a thing that helps me get where I want to be. I mean, I’m looking at transforming myself and my life to be better than it is now.
So I started reading The Morning Miracle for Writers, which is a writer specific version of the original The Morning Miracle. I don’t know if it’s going to be the life saver I want it to be, but I’m gonna try it and see how it goes.
I’ve been thinking about how to set up next year’s planners too, which is probably what led to the book reading. I’m using this last quarter of the year to test out some planner experiments, see if they jive with my current mindset. If so, then I’ll set it up for 2018. And of course, I’ll share with y’all as well, as some of you have asked.
The other reason I wanted to try the morning miracle is because NaNoWriMo is coming up in November. For those that don’t know, NaNoWriMo is a 30 day challenge to write a 50,000 word story. I used to do it every year, practically since its inception. I skipped it last year for the first time ever because I wasn’t writing and I couldn’t commit to it. I’m not gonna lie. Of all the things that I skipped doing last year, this one hurt me the most. I missed out on all the camaraderie and the fun times from the write-ins that I’ve always had that motivated me so much. I want to do it this year, and and I refuse to fail at it, so I’m going to need to be in some kind of routine that incorporates daily writing again.
I figure I can attempt the morning miracle in October, and hopefully I can be in the habit by the time November comes around. I’ve never been a big morning person, but I feel like a lot of creatives that seem to be doing well for themselves, or they’re in better moods, or whatever, seem to be the ones that get up and go in the morning.
So I guess it’s worth a shot. The worst case scenario is that it doesn’t work and I start sleeping in again. Who knows what will happen? Maybe it’s the life transforming thing I want it to be. Won’t know until I try.
The hardest part for me is that I work overnights, so I’m not sure exactly when to do the morning miracle routine. I’m up several hours before work now, so it’s usually in the afternoon that I’m getting out of bed. I’m hoping to change that soon, got some job interviews this week, so keep your fingers crossed that I can get back into a day schedule soon.
Anyway, so let’s talk. How many of you have read this book? Or its predecessors? How many of you have struggled with setting a routine and sticking with it? What worked for you?
I figured I would make a quick post here with a little updating on what I’m doing right now. I work full-time now, so I don’t get to write or be creative as much as I used to when I was a full-time writer. But those days will come back once I get momentum going again.
I’m working on an urban fantasy at the moment that I totally put aside about six years ago or so. Maybe more. I burned myself out on it, but I pulled it out the other day, and something sparked when I reread it. The story was there. It was rough, and I had a lot of fluff but man, that story was clear as day like I’d never stopped working on it.
It’s funny how that happens. I have a few stories I’ve abandoned over the years that I pull out and I have no idea where I was going with it. Like it ends on a weird note, or in the middle of some conflict and I’m left with the worst cliffhanger because I wrote it and had no clue what I was going to do with it. But this one… The story was there. I knew exactly where it was going. It was like it hadn’t been 6 years since I wrote on it at all.
I know it’s different from the contemporary romances I write, but I’m hopeful that folks love me for my writing style over what I write. I’ve always been all over the place. I just only ever finished and published the contemporary work. I’m probably going to put the first chapter out on Patreon this week for subscribers as soon as it’s in some sort of readable form. I’m not guaranteeing that chapter makes it to the final book copy, but I think it would be fun to show you guys what I’m working on and that’s what my Patreon is supposed to be for. For fun and I need to start using it for that again.
Oh, and this isn’t a writing update, but I’m renewing my Adobe Creative Suite today. Yay! That makes me really happy because I’ve been using these apps from the Apple App Store that kind of do the same thing but not quite and haven’t been able to use my drawing tablet in forever now. I’m really excited to get my Adobe back. It’s just not the same using other software.
Okay, I think that’s all I got right now. It’s kind of a short post today, but that’s okay. I talk enough most of the time, I think you guys might actually like a short post once in a while. 😉
Ok, so this isn’t my challenge but I’m doing it. Or I’m gonna try. Most of you know I have a slight obsession with planning, which led to a disastrous attempt at an organizational website for authors a while back.
Things I need to remember… I don’t plan enough to be a professional blogger who blogs about planning. But I thought this challenge would be fun, because it’s just snapping pictures of things I really already have.
So I’m going with it.
Come play with me on instagram this month. Or find me on Snapchat (@suzanbutler) as I try to figure out what the hell I’m doing there.
Every week, I post a chapter of my current work-in-progress, exclusively for members of my Patreon page. It's good fun, and patrons can ask me questions about my writing process or publishing experience or whatever they'd like in our monthly chats.