I am so excited to announce that my brand new book Embracing Me is now published and available! And excited that I don’t have to do anymore edits to that book. I love writing (as I hope most authors do) but I hate doing the edits, however it is a major part of the writing process.
The first, and even second, edits are fine because I tend to flesh out the story more. The edits that need to be completed after that are the nitty gritty small grammar and consistency issues. Those are the edits that I hate doing, but of course I still do them. If you are like me and hate doing edits I have come up with a few ways that may help you get through that part so that you can get to the best part, a published book!
- look outside of yourself – you wrote the book which can often make it hard to do the edits because you have seen the content so many times that it will look and sound correct even if it isn’t. Find a trusted friend, colleague, or someone whose job is to do edits.
- take breaks – ultimately as the author you will have to finish the edits even if you get someone else to help you. Therefore you should take breaks so that you can view the content with fresh eyes.
- read it backwards – this is something that I was taught in high school. Read the book starting with the last sentence and going back (read the sentence forward). This is to help ensure that each sentence is a complete thought. If you read the sentence and it doesn’t make any sense it may need some edits.
- bookmark thesaurus.com – everyone has a bad tendency to use a certain word over and over again (I am guilty of the word ‘so’). Having a thesaurus handy can help expand the vocabulary of your book when your brain doesn’t want to think
Finally, just do it and get it over with. Then give yourself a little break before starting onto your next project, and the edits that are inevitable.
Writer’s block is a frustrating and common problem in the world of writing. Even as I sat down to write this blog I had writer’s blog, I had no idea what to talk about this week. So, I figured I would talk about the fact I didn’t know what to write.
Writer’s block often feels like I am just hitting a wall, staring blankly at the page in front of me while the cursor flashes and mocks my inability to get a word typed out. There are few reasons why this happens:
- no creative inspiration
- fear of failure
No matter what the reason it is a frustrating phenomenon that occurs at the most inconvenient time. I can remember in school getting writer’s block while trying to write an essay. Now I get it when trying to do my actual job, writing, and since it is my job I needed to find ways to cope and overcome the block.
Here are a few ways that I have found help me:
- listen to music (I have a certain playlist that I will listen to when writing that seems to just get the juices flowing)
- go for a walk/exercise – give your brain a ‘reset’ by making it release some happy hormones
- affirmations – using the affirmation “I am creating” has come to my rescue on more than one occasion
- take a nap – if my mind is too exhausted whatever I write won’t make sense anyways
- remind myself that the only way to fail is to give up, there will be some people that don’t like what I write and that is okay because there will be others that do
Figure out why you are having writer’s block and try to use one of the above strategies to overcome it. If all else fails maybe you need to start over and come up with a fresh new idea, I know I have some unfinished works.
Since publishing my first book I have had people ask me “what was the hardest part?” To be honest; just starting.
I have the ideas in my head already. I know I have the capabilities to create something entertaining. But getting started is always the hardest part for me. When I say getting started I literally mean sitting down at the computer and typing out that first word.
It’s not hard in the sense that my brain needed to work hard, or that I wasn’t sure what word I wanted to type. It was hard in the sense that once I started I would need to finish.
If you have ever made yourself a new years resolution; for example to start eating healthier. The hardest part is starting. First you have to get rid of the junk food that is already in your cupboards. Then you have to find healthy recipes. Then you need to shop for the ingredients that you need. Then, then, then…. Once you get started you know that there is more to come.
It is the same for me with writing. Once I start writing something new I will need to make the time to finish it, which means other things may need to wait. Those other things usually aren’t that important, or they are other ideas for more stories. But because of the way that my brain works (all of our brains work differently) I can get overwhelmed at the idea of starting. Once I start though I feel better and accomplished (even with just the first sentence typed).
I have had to come up with strategies to get me through the overwhelm of the idea of starting. Some of these may work for you:
- Just do it! This sounds silly but sometimes I just need to force myself to open up the computer, open up Word, and type a sentence. Just one sentence which leads to the next and next.
- Set a timer. When needing to get work done I usually tell myself ‘just 20 minutes’. That way I won’t be overwhelmed with the idea of an amount of words or pages to finish. Usually I end up going longer than 20 minutes but if I tell myself just 20 minutes then I don’t get discouraged.
- Talk it out. If I have an idea that I am just dying to write about but feeling the overwhelm of what that will entail I will talk through the idea with someone I trust. Once the idea has been spoken aloud it feels easier to get it down on the computer.
All good superheroes, supervillains and really most interesting people have an origin story. I’m not a super hero or villain but I tend to think of myself as an interesting person, which means I must have an origin story. And I do, which had been turned into multiple books really so instead I’ll share my origin story of how I became an author.
Continue reading “My Origin Story” →