Posted in Blog, On Writing

The Dreaded Edits

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!

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.

Posted in Blog, Mental Health

Winter Blues

Many people (myself included) feel worse during the winter. I have depression all year long but without the sunlight and warmth it can be exasperated in the winter. However, for some winter is what brings on their mental health problem – SAD. Seasonal Affective Disorder is not a joke and happens when the seasons change (typically into the winter months).

No matter what your reason is for feeling the ‘winter blues’ here are a few tips you can use:

  1. Get some sunlight – it may be difficult with the reduced hours of daylight and the cold that is outside but do your best to get as much sun as you can, go for a walk at lunch, open your curtains for natural sunlight.
  2. Take vitamin D – this comes from the sun, so with the lack of sunlight we aren’t getting as much as is needed
  3. Exercise – it has been proven that exercise helps release our feel good hormones
  4. Play some cheery music – or whatever is your favourite music
  5. Talk to someone – I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – therapy is not a bad thing and if you need the help then please go speak with someone

Some days may be better than other days and that’s ok. But when you are feeling low or burnt out try some or all of the above tips. You are not alone.

Posted in Blog, On Writing

Hardest Part

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.