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Monday, April 20, 2015

5 Reasons Why I Hate Being a Writer

I used to love being a writer. And well, I still do for the most part, except for being a writer has become the biggest pain in the ass of my life. How so? You ask.
Hmm, where do I begin...

1. The the heartless muse waking me up at all hours of the night, especially when I've been sleep deprived and in great NEED to sleep. This didn't really bother me before baby (BB), but now it only fuels the unrelenting insanity. BB, I could get up write my new brilliant idea, plot point, dialogue, scene, whatever and go right back to bed or take a nap when I got home from work later that day. Now? The moment I go back to sleep someone decides to wake up and want some water, a hug, or go potty. Nap after work is a relic of antiquity these days.

2. The never-ending compulsion to write. It's in my blood and ingrained in my DNA. I. CANNOT. NOT. WRITE. I've tried and about lost my mind. It doesn't care that I'm a sleep-deprived mother who works 40-hours a week at a day job, has a family to care for, and maybe a life outside of the sparkly world in my head. No, the compulsion has no sympathy nor a single gram of courtesy for my mental health. NOPE.

3. The stories keep coming. As I try to finish (prepare for publishing) a story, twenty more come flooding in to distract me from completing the current project. Do you have any idea how hard it is to stay on track when you have a busy toddler, a family, a career, and two dozen other characters wanting their story to be told? Thank the medicine gods for Zoloft. And Ambien. And wine- my best friend.

4. There is never enough time. Because of reasons 1-3, I never seem to find enough time to satisfy all the musings of my hyperactive brain. Never enough time to spend with family and friends while maintaining a decent prolific rate. The writing monster wants ALL of my time and finding a balance has proven to be harder than flying a kite to the moon. Can't keep up...

5. Living on the borderline of nut-jobbery. All though some of my friends and family may think I have crossed the line into la-la land long ago, trying to maintain a socially acceptable appearance of sanity is not one of my strengths. When I attended my very first writer conference I saw a quote on the wall that said something like this "Writing is a socially-acceptable form of schizophrenia." BB, I laughed. Now I see whoever wrote that wasn't kidding. Writers live in their own universe(s). Period.

Writing creates all kinds of madness and chaos in the writer's life, but it also opens worlds, sagas, mysteries, romances, adventures, and yes, universes that those who are not writers (and have sane lives) can only dream of experiencing. All that happening in one single brain at 2 o'clock in the morning, right before offspring decides to upchuck all the gastric contents from dinner the previous day.

Sigh.

Onward.

xoxo,
Mel

Sunday, February 8, 2015

5 ways motherhood has changed my writing

Happy February everyone!

The last month has been a whirlwind of writing, something that hasn't happened in a very long time. It feels great being in the zone and making progress. In the last 30 days, I've revised and finished first round of edits on Urban Goddess Mama-to-Be (coming out spring 2015), revised 40/180 pages and added 3K new words to Temple of the Moon (coming out summer 2015, stay tuned more to come).

Okay, so maybe that doesn't sound like a lot, but it is for me. And here's why. Motherhood is a time suck. It takes up every ounce of energy that I have, leaving very little to nothing for anything else. I've already blogged about my struggles since becoming a mom here. On top of that I work 40 hours a week at a very mentally demanding job. But since last August, I have been slowly getting my mojo back and it feels great, but my writing process has changed a lot since I started this blog years ago.

1. My Speed. Before Baby (BB), I used to be able to crank out 3-5K works a day, sometimes in one evening. Now if I get 300-500 words done in one day, I consider it a very successful day. I spent the last two years berating myself for this, but over the last few months, I've realized that my slower speed is perfectly okay. At least I'm making progress. Sure, it might take me months to complete a short novel, but I'm okay with that.

2. Writing Time. BB, I used to write in the evening. As soon as the sun went down, all the muses came out to play. Now when it gets dark outside, I'm counting down the minutes when I get to go to bed. I don't have a specific writing time anymore. I have to do it when I have a free moment and that can happen at all hours of the day or night. Most of the time I get any writing done is during the day on the weekend when my husband is home to watch the Boo Creature.

3. Writing Environment. BB, I did most of my writing at home, or on my hour-long public transportation commute each way from work. Now, I do most of my writing at Panera Bread or anywhere outside my home because when I'm home there are way too many distractions. Suddenly the pile of laundry looks more appealing than hashing out a plot and the desire to clean the toilet (my least favorite chore) grows greater than writing the next chapter. Besides my blogging and nonfiction work, everything else takes place outside my home. No complaints here, since I work from home for day job, it's nice to get out and see what the outside world looks like.

4. Motivation. BB, when I'd reach a wall in a WIP, I'd stop and go write something else and when I'd try to edit/revise a completed manuscript, I'd get about 20-50 pages in and stop because I thought the story was crap. Much of that hasn't changed, but now I have this weird motivation I didn't have before. While my gut reaction is to stop and write something else, I wait a couple of hours or days and pick up where I left off. There is a new determination I've never had before to get my fiction out there. One look at my daughter and I know I must do the icky work of editing and revising to get my novel publishing ready.

5. Pantster to Plotster. BB, pantster all the way. Then came prego-brain followed by postpartum brain and I couldn't remember shit. Now I do a little plotting. Not too much, because then I'll loose interest in the story, but enough so I know where I'm going. Michael Hauge's 5 Turning Points has been most helpful.

I'm getting there, folk, I'm getting here. Thanks for stopping by and more to come on Temple of the Moon

xoxo,
Melania




Friday, January 16, 2015

My favortie books of 2014

Normally I do this post at the end of the year, but the holidays, toddler, etc... Any who, here's the books I really enjoyed last year:

5. When We Touch Brenda Novak


4. When Lighting Strikes Brenda Novak


3. Marine for Hire Tawna Fenske


2. The Invisible Girls: A Memoir Sarah Thebarge


1. Down Came the Rain Brook Shields


As you can see my top two books were nonfiction and I don't have any paranormal on this list. I did read some paranormal, but didn't really enjoy the books as much as I normally do. Since I've had my daughter, I tend to gravitate to more heart-warming or romantic comedy. I listed Down Came the Rain as #1 because that book really helped me understand the postpartum depression I experienced the last couple of years. However December I started reading the Lord of Rings trilogy. It's a slow read, but I'm really enjoying every page. Tolkien was a freaking genius. I could live in middle earth forever and totally get the whole Tolkienite culture.
So what were your top five?