a talk over coffee

I really haven’t updated on here very much, have I?

I’m sitting here, coffee in hand (yes, I drink coffee now and I hate myself for it, thanks) while we prepare for a hurricane that may or may not force us to leave. I’ve got a pile of college assignments to keep me occupied, although if the power goes out I’m in trouble, since most of them are submitted through the internet. Basically this means I’ve spent the last five hours doing every assignment I can, just in case. Yet strangely, this is one of the few moments where I find I actually have a couple minutes to spare to write a blog post.

élégance noire

School was rough last month–the entire first week I was shocked at how hard it was to get back into the swing of things. I was depressed, tired, and cranky, and then just as I finally acclimated to the stress of my final fall semester, I came down with a bad cold that’s only now lessening. I’ve also been incredibly slack with my writing: the entire summer was a struggle. I’ve barely written a word since July and felt drained, as if I didn’t have anything to offer. Also, like a lot of us, I struggle with writer’s guilt, that pesky thing that can motivate but more often just nags at me when I spend my leisure time doing anything that isn’t writing. I knew that January Snow, which I had hoped to release in December or January, would definitely not be ready on time. That’s one announcement I have to make–Jan is pretty much going to be put on hold until after I graduate in the spring. Lord willing, it will still be a Dec/Jan release…only in 2019/20 instead of 2018. I apologize for that, but I feel so relieved about it. I’ve got a lot to handle this year (Senior Thesis time!) but for the past few months I’ve also been feeling hopelessly dull about my writing. In fact, Christine’s most recent post encapsulates a lot of what I’ve been feeling lately.

Legit me right now. My characters are fully developed, my world has been built, I have plot... And nothing.

About a month ago, I came up with a story idea that I really, really liked. It was more contemporary, but had lots of elements taken from a bunch of things that I love. The only problem? It seemed better suited for a comic that a novel. Three days ago I decided, “What the heck- I’m going to plan it out anyway.” I’m not sure where it’s going to take me, but since it takes place in a fictional city, I’ve been playing around with it. Naming buildings and my characters’ workplaces, fleshing out my heroes’ backstories and just, frankly, having fun. Brainstorming is always one of my absolute favorite parts of the writing process, and I’m running with it. Today, after I read my allotted chapters of Pride and Prejudice (I’m in a Jane Austen class–yes, be jealous!) I’m going to spend some time mapping out this city. Writing mostly historical fiction, I haven’t done this since my long-abandoned fantasy attempt six years ago, and I hadn’t realized how much I’ve missed it!

☽p i n t e r e s t : kgfamilyg☾

Dealing with disappointment in my writing, I’ve been watching a lot more TV- perhaps a little too much, but some good has come out of it. I’ve recaptured my love of story. In some ways, my recent TV viewing habits have prompted me into writing again by inspiring through a different medium of storytelling. Instead of dreading writing, I’m looking forward to it–because I’m excited again by the stories I have to tell.

Basically, I’m changing the way I write (or rather, the way I go about writing). I have a bunch of short story ideas I’ve never pursued because I always wanted to finish my “big” projects first. Now? I’m going to tackle them. Additionally, I’m taking a break from the publishing/advertising side of the indie author scene. Instead, I’m going to start writing for enjoyment again, and finish a handful of first drafts that I’ve never completed before entering into the publishing world again. It’s a break I need. It’s not that I’m becoming less motivated or slacking off in the self-discipline department; if anything, I’m getting my act together. But right now, that means focusing on school (and later, getting a “regular” job). In the meantime, I’ll be discovering the joy of writing again.

On the go. Write anywhere & everywhere.
Also on the list? Embracing my tendency to write things down quickly–even if it’s only a sentence–whenever I have a burst of inspiration or a spare moment, instead of trying to wait until a block of designated “writing time.” Because right now, designated writing times waiver between “rare” and “never.”

For instance, the project I’m working on now? I don’t have any snippets for you yet (obviously) but I can share the description for it that I have on my secret Pinterest board…

A tale of science-y conspiracies, heists, and superhero shenanigans. Like if you put the x-files, batman, and leverage in a blender…but added cinnamon rolls. Lots and lots of cinnamon rolls.

(Did I basically just combine a bunch of my favorite things? Of course I did! What else is writing for, after all?)

That’s another change I’m making–to be brave enough to tackle the weird projects I have, not just my historical and fairy tale retellings. To, you know, work on that time-travel spy novel, that fantasy trilogy, even that middle grade book that I abandoned after half the story I’d already written got eaten by my computer.

It’s all got me rather excited XD

Anyway, thanks for sticking with me. And now? Well, now I’ve got a hurricane to protest–er, prepare for.



6 thoughts on “a talk over coffee

  1. I’m so honored you linked to my post. Thank you! The life of a writer is a rollercoaster, isn’t it? I think it’s wonderful you’re choosing to write what you want and enjoy the process again. It’s crazy how much our journeys are similar right now, because I’m trying to do the exact same thing! It’s so hard to stay creative when we’re forcing ourselves to stick to strict regimes or stories that don’t excite us. I love that you’re embracing the ones you’re passionate about again. (And also, that time-travel spy novel with cinnamon rolls??? I AM IN LOVE WITH THIS IDEA. I’m totally on board for genre mashups and just throwing everything you love into one novel. That’s so fun and something I’ve been wanting to do more of myself!)

    I do hope all your writing ventures go wonderfully. And I’m also sending a prayer your way for safety. These hurricanes are so scary. I do so hope it doesn’t come your way!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I know! I read your post and I was just like…THIS. This is EXACTLY what I’ve been feeling. (and yes…I’ve become addicted to genre mash-ups. I love the freedom of just trying to write a good story without stressing over whether it fits the boxes of certain genres!)

      Thank you! We’re definitely a little nervous about the hurricane because it’s definitely going to affect us, the question is just how *bad* it is going to be.


  2. Don’t worry about not posting as often, Hayden. Though I’ve missed seeing you in my inbox, senior year of college is HARD and you need all your brainpower to get that degree! When I was nearing the last couple months or so of my senior year I went on all my social media and told everyone they wouldn’t see me posting until I was graduated, and if they did see me post, to feel free to yell at me to log back off and go do my assignments. XD If you need to do something similar that’s totally okay!

    I appreciate what you said about writer’s guilt, too, as I have experienced it myself, to the point that I recently made myself take a week long rest period where I could do anything that needed doing except writing. I just needed the reminder that it’s okay to rest sometimes because burning myself out and beating myself up for not putting out a certain number of words every single day is not exactly going to make my writing better and is, in fact, going to suck the joy out of it for me. Sounds like your plan for getting your writing joy back is a good one and I’m glad you’re getting excited about it again. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. You’re back again! And a hurricane? Lucky you :I
    I’ve definitely felt the writer’s guilt over the past few months. I don’t feel like I’ve done anything except stress and be lazy. But Christine’s post was awesome and also inspired me to get back into doing the bits I love rather than forcing myself to continue on with something that was just sucking the life out of me. I have the final book in a trilogy to plan, so trying to tie up all the loose ends is a pain and I need a break!
    I wish you the best of luck with your new project 😀 (and stay safe in that hurricane too!)

    Liked by 1 person

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