Change in Writing Habits, Book Break the New Book

 

Today I’m talking about how I notice some of my writing habits have changed through the years. When I wrote my first 6 books, I was disciplined differently. I did my writing first thing in the morning right after breakfast – or the day would surely distract me. But as the order of life sometimes changes, so has my writing.

 

I could write a rough draft in 2-3 months of writing 5 days a week with anywhere from 100 to 2000 words in a session, depending on the inspiration – sometimes the well is empty. After writing time, I’d move to the computer. Writing all my drafts in longhand comes in handy when wanting to stay off the computer to avoid distraction. After checking out blog comments, posts and social media, and although writing for the day was done, I then spent time in between the daily grind of life, reading articles on learning the trade of self- publishing and homing in on the craft of writing.

It’s now well over a year since I put out a new book. Oh sure, I was working on one, but somehow my enthusiasm wasn’t there, and I stopped enjoying the writing. Then life happened – a lot, then came winter vacation escape, and finally, I realized that I just needed a year off from the disciplined mandate of writing a book.

In that time of not writing a book I was still writing. I write 2 monthly columns, blog articles, book reviews, run guest interviews and have been featured as a guest myself on many blogs, and have even ventured into writing poetry more seriously. There’s no shortage of writing in my life, I just wasn’t feeling inspired to write another book without a timeout from the burnout of publishing 6 books in 5 years. Each of those books took up a good 6-8 months of my life, and I realized how swiftly life is passing by, and decided I need to be living a bit more before committing to a new project. So, I learned to accept my welcomed book writing break and learned it was okay to not be writing a book for a while. The only pressure I had  was self-imposed, so I finally admitted I don’t have to write a book every day for the rest of my life, and if I’ve lost the interest for a particular project, it’s okay to abandon it. Now that doesn’t mean that all the work I’d put in would go to the delete bin. All it meant that the started manuscript would live in rest in a folder until such time I may get inspired to go back to it.

In that time away from book writing, without the rules of my self-imposed discipline hanging over me, instructing myself to write first thing in the morning, I didn’t always only write in the morning anymore. And I noticed I was developing new writing habits – writing spontaneously as compared to writing by schedule.

In my old writing habits, If the morning had passed and I was into my daily activities, I was done writing till the next morning. If an idea sprouted to mind, I’d simply jot down a sentence with the idea in a notebook to keep for fodder for a future a topic to write about. But now, throughout this past year plus that I haven’t put out a new book, I have found that random ideas have taken up more of my immediate attention—going with the inspiration when it hits. Instead of just making a notation, which would have certainly had a different interpretation than the one I originally had in mind from the magic of the moment, instead of jut jotting the thought down and left to meld into the many other fleeting ideas, I’ll immediately pick up a notebook and write what comes to mind about that topic, while it’s fresh in my mind, dropping whatever I’m doing in that moment to take advantage of the moment. I have notepads scattered in almost every room with ideas and started stories waiting to be told, instead of just ideas that were left as a sentence,  never to be found again in the midst of a mountain of notepads. And I’m quite enjoying being a spontaneous writer. I’ve amassed several ideas for books and blogs this past year from random ideas that come to mind.

Through this new, no pressure process, I was sparked by an interesting book blurb I’d read while browsing through some books on Amazon, sparking a new idea for a book to write, which has since become a new enjoyable experience again. I’m thrilled to have my book writing mojo back.

It felt good to find inspiration again and to be starting a new project, despite the multitude of interruptions from daily life, and despite not always getting to write first thing in the morning or working on the book daily, My raw first draft is ready to be entered into the computer now where first round revisions will begin. I’ll be taking a winter escape break in a short few weeks, so when I return, I’ll be diving into rewrite mode as I enter my stories. As it seems life may be taking on new directions for us this year – again taking up a lot of my personal time and brain space, I hope to publish early summer. At least I now have a plan. I suppose the bonus is, the longer I allow my  manuscript to marinate in-between edit rounds is a good thing.

And so, perhaps you may be wondering what I’m working on? Because it’s still a work in progress, I don’t want to give too much away, but suffice it to say, as a memoir writer, you can expect more personal stories. This book is based on ‘first times’ of doing things in life – my life. The title has yet to be finalized, but the working title is ‘Fifteen First Times’, the subtitle is: The Good, The Bad, The Funny, and The Sad. They may be my stories, but they’re relatable, and sometimes moving. So, if you enjoy reading my books, I’m confident you’ll want to read this one!

 

Here is a ‘very’ rough draft of a ‘working’ blurb:

A collection of first-times in life where Kaye takes us with her on some of the big moments of life’s most natural events through the intimate, conversational style we’ve come to know from this author’s style for extracting the meatiest moments in life and getting to the heart of each matter, delivered with sincerity and inflections of humor.

 

Have you noticed your writing habits have changed through the year?

©DGKaye2020

 

Copyright
© D.G. Kaye and DGKayewriter.com, 2014 – 2021. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to D.G. Kaye

 

 

Getting Over #Writer’s Block and Moving On – It Happened to Me

Have you ever been stuck when writing a book, not being able to figure out why the well has gone dry? Better yet, has your interest in your current project seemed to dissipate each time you go to revisit it?

 

I know there are plenty of us out there who become afflicted with writer’s block at some point – and notice I said us. Writer’s block – or whatever you choose to call it, strikes many a writer. And many of us have our tried and true methods to try to get unstuck. Often times, the best method to cure this ailment is to take a break away from our manuscripts. This distancing gives us time to work on something else and go back to our book with fresh eyes, often giving us renewed interest and ideas once we’ve taken a pause.

But sometimes, if we’ve gone back to our manuscript many times, inspiration can still seem to elude us, it may be a sign that it’s time to ditch a project. Now that doesn’t mean we hit delete on all our work or throw it in the garbage. Sometimes, the book we’re working on just may not be the right project for us at the current time. So what can we do to bring back the muse and reignite our inspiration?

Move on! We can use writing prompts and participate in writing challenges, which keep the writing chops greased. How about trying our hand at some poetry or flashfiction? Diving into something unfamiliar can broaden our horizons. It’s surprising to learn how ideas suddenly start flowing again while we’re working on something else.

But how long is long enough to wait for the inspiration to kick in when we’re just not feeling the creative love? Have we waited too long to get back to our manuscript? Have we gone back to it many times only to find we’re still not feeling the love? I ask because that’s exactly what happened to me . . .

After publishing my last book a year and a half ago, that meant I had published 6 books in just over 4 years. In two of those years I published 2 books. Writing for months, revisions and edits, book covers, formatting, marketing, eating up most of my waking life, the thrill of the final product and knowing others enjoy my work is certainly rewarding. But after my last book, I felt burnt out, and was in desperate need of taking a timeout from book writing – only my timeout was beginning to last way too long.

 

typing

 

 

Sure, I did all the things I’ve recommended above, and sure there was plenty enough going on in my personal life, which kept me from progressing with my next WIP. And yes, I had a good outline to work with and had gradually written a few chapters for the book I had in mind to write as a sequel to my book Menowhat? A Memoir – The Change After the Change, a humorous look at what’s left of us after menopause. I loved the topic and had fun writing for it when I got inspired, but my inspiration somehow waned each time I went back.

I kept busy with life and other writing projects and before I realized it, my book writing break had grown to over a year. I questioned myself many times: Did I lose my mojo? Why isn’t this book captivating my interest? Where did my passion go?

My awakening – The book no longer held my interest. It isn’t a bad book at all, in fact, it’s quite humorous, and I wanted to write something humorous. I got stuck writing without passion so I looked for deterrents to keep from writing, somehow not realizing that I should just put the book aside and start something new. It wasn’t that I didn’t feel like writing another book after a long break; the problem was that I’m a pretty disciplined writer who had been living under one of my self-imposed rules – I have to finish what I start. I kept beating the proverbial dead horse, hoping to make it move. Ultimately, I wouldn’t give myself permission to move on so I continued on with the book writing drought.

It took me all that time off from book writing to realize it’s been awhile since I seriously spent some book writing time, and to admit to myself that it’s okay to move on. I didn’t have to delete my work, it’s still there waiting for me when I decide to go back to it, but I could be writing something else that fulfills my passion. Now that didn’t mean I immediately had a better idea of what else I would write about, and that still took a bit of muse time to happen. But I freed myself up to be able write something new that resonated with my passion when I finally gave myself that permission to work on something else.

Last week I was discussing my writing drought with a writing friend, and after getting some new insight, I became curious about trying out different writing styles. Since my writing seems to resonate with readers who enjoy my conversational style of writing, I began checking out some books written in epistolary style, where the author writes letters to someone as a method of conveying personal thoughts. I already developed an idea for such kind of book and as I continued researching books in this style, I was led to finding other books in similar styles, and one book leading to another – a new idea sparked again. I liked the idea of writing memories in essay form, blended with my conversational style, injected with humor. I came across a book where the title resonated with me and read the ‘look inside’ on Amazon and my new idea was sparked.

 

Happiness

 

So, I’m happy to announce I am back to book writing. I even have a few titles ready for it, the one I pick will be determined by how many entries I’ll have on the book because it will begin with a number. This new revelation came to me only a few days ago. I’ve done a rough outline of topics I want to cover and have actually written 2500 words! Hey, it’s a start. The idea is there, the enthusiasm is back, and in a few weeks, I’ll see what develops, and I’ll be back here sharing more, and perhaps a rough excerpt of one of my entries. I’m back!

 

If you’d like to share what works for you to deal with writer’s block, please feel free to below in comments.

 

©DGKaye

 

 

 

 

 

Muse for Hire | Myths of the Mirror

Reblog Share

 

Twice a month I host author guest interviews here on Fridays. I try to keep my in-between Friday posts relevant to books and writing, and because I’m deep into revisions in my latest WIP. I chose to reblog a fantastic and entertaining post about writing with a muse by Diana Peach. I hope you enjoy this and I hope you don’t have a muse that is as tough as Diana’s muse is, lol.

 

(Please note: My website crashed yesterday and I’m trying to recreate everything that went out since last Tuesday. This post came out earlier Friday and vanished, so I’m reposting and hoping you all will reshare. Thank you. <3)

 

Muse for Hire

 

The day is half over and I open the door to my writing room. My coffee sloshes over the rim at my sudden halt. The man’s jaw swivels my way, and I swallow. “Um…Who are you?”

“Your muse,” he growls.

“Oh.” I edge into the room and leave the door cracked for a quick escape. “Where’s my other one? You know, the… usual one?”

He stares at me like I’m a bug. “She hired me.”

“You’re a mercenary muse?” I trap a nervous laugh behind my lips. The guy looks cranky. Dried sweat coats his bulging muscles, and bloody grit etches the gold lions adorning his skimpy outfit.

He points a finger at a wooden chair, my humming laptop on the table beside it. “I’m here to make sure you keep your commitments.”

“What commitments?” I sit, my smile as shaky as my hands.

“Summer off, then a new series, full time, starting September first.” He taps his ragged fingernails on the armrest. “Your muse thinks you’re an oil-tongued shirker who’ll attempt to cut yourself a part-time deal. I’m here to make sure that doesn’t happen.”

“Oh, that. Well, I’ll have you know, the prep work is coming along nicely.” I lift my chin, every speck of rickety indignation putting on a solid show, and I turn my laptop so he can see. “In fact, I’ve created a map!”

His lips curl in a sneer. “Don’t get cute. She says you love making maps, so that doesn’t count. What about the rest? The bios?”

“Ninety percent done.”  I show him the files – images and profiles for all main characters and most secondaries. “I’m still tweaking, but you know they don’t settle in until the story starts. World building is progressing too. I have sea-cliffs, waterfalls, and cities with layers of arching bridges. And, I’ve got a great magic system.”

I wasn’t expecting applause, but a smidgeon of encouragement wouldn’t have hurt. Instead, his little pellets for eyes are waiting to pelt me. Continue Reading . . .

 

 

Source: Muse for Hire | Myths of the Mirror