Story Illustration

Okay two things;

One – writing is hard… I mayyyy have started promoting my new work (The Not So Fantastic World of Tabitha Price) a wee bit early. Considering I’m still doing edits for the first two thousand (!!) words. *sigh* I’m hoping I can post a sneak peek soon; I’ve gotten some good momentum the past couple weeks so I have some stuff I consider workable. I consider. *laughs in writer*

Two – maybe I’m doing art to distract myself from writing? Who knows? It was always my plan to work on art to go alongside my writing, and I must say, I’ve been thoroughly impressed with myself as I get back to my arty ways. It helps to follow tutorials, but that’s another post.

The POINT of this post is to share a look at Tabitha Price! My protagonist for the aforementioned story. She’s only outlined right now, but you can see her in her usual state; hunched over with a book in her lap.

Enjoy!

Wattpad Story: I’m Writing Again!

I’m writing again! I’ve been not working for almost two months, and while the first month was spent mainly acclimating, and then getting addicted to Animal Crossing, this month has been all about writing.

Dudes, it’s been amazing. Somehow my creativity and energy for writing are abounding. Maybe because I’m not working, maybe because I’m actively doing so much to help my mental health and that’s making me just more creative in general… who know? Who cares? I’m riding this high while it lasts, baby.

A while back I had the idea for a Wattpad serial story featuring an intrepid bookseller and involving magic and romance and general adventures. I wrote a few notes but left it at that, in my compost file where all my ideas go.

Long story short, I fleshed it out, had a massive back and forth brainstorm sesh with my brother, and got the first arc all outlined. Like, a whole ARC. With character sketches and everything in a nice new notebook. (Ah, my notebook obsession, you strike again.)

If you follow me on social media, particularly Facebook, you’ll know I’ve been working on cover art probably more than is healthy, but good news on that front; I hired an actual artist so I wouldn’t waste anymore of my time trying to be talented. Instead I got back to writing. Smort, Audra Mae.

With the all-important cover out of the way, I have now focused my attention once again on rapid drafting, editing, revising and re-revising of the first two parts of the story. Altogether around 5000 words. Not bad. Not bad at all. Now the momentum is picking up I’ll be able to have a much faster turnover.

As of right now, the book blurb goes something like this:

Out with the old, in with the new…world, that is. Tabitha Price, an average bookseller in an average town, doesn’t expect life to get much more interesting than the books she reads. But when a friend accidentally sends her to another world, Tabitha will learn that sometimes, living in a fantasy isn’t all that fantastic.

In this new world, wars rage across the country, monsters roam free, and knights are sent to scavenge from the dead. It’s dreary, confusing, and Tabitha is sure she’s going to die at any second. Her only chance is to find a group of adventurers to protect her. That can’t be too hard, right?

Not bad, eh? It needs polishing, and I’m thinking I’ll host a poll to have you guys help determine what blurb sounds best, but for a first time blurb-writer, I’m pretty proud of myself.

And that’s another great thing. I’m having fun writing and not having any self-defeating thoughts! Like, the story isn’t perfect, even after edits, but it’s good. Good enough. No longer is my perfectionism the enemy of my goodness.

I don’t have a timeline for publishing yet. My artist is working amazingly fast, but I want to have at least five parts prepped and ready to go before I start.

But I am so, so excited to share Tabitha with you guys.

Tips for the Multipotentialite Writer

About a year ago, I did a post about the Multipotentialite Writer, and while it was kind of useful and kind of cathartic, I was young and in the grip of a feverish writing phase. Since then I’ve…grown. I’ve fallen in an out of writing a couple of times since then, so I thought I’d share some of the new things I’ve learned in an almost year.

Writing as a multipotentialite can be difficult. It comes with a host of what most writing teachers and advice-givers would call problems. Namely, that if you’re a multipotentialite, you won’t want to write all the time. I don’t mean every day – few people really feel like writing every day – but there will be week- or month-long periods of time where you’re interested in something else.

It could be another writing project or something else entirely, like knitting or sailing or cliff diving.

And according to writing experts, in order to be prolific and write well, you need to a) write every day and, b) finish what you start before moving on to a new writing project.

I’m here to dispell the idea that we need to conform to general advice, because general advice for us in careers doesn’t apply, so why should this?

We don’t believe in sticking to one career, one passion, on interest, or one hobby forever, so why do we find ourselves feeling guilty when we dragged away from writing?

There hasn’t been much discussion about multipotentialities and writing specifically (apart from me navel-gazing, that is), so let’s dive in, shall we?

Step One

You need to make peace. Make peace with the fact that your writing process and journey is going to look different than the podcasts, author interviews, and craft books you’ve ingested. Make peace with the fact that it will take you longer to finish some projects, especially longer ones if you’re the type of multipotentialite whose interests vary quickly. Make peace with the fact that you will feel guilty for leaving projects undone, and it’s up to you to move with the guilt and the fear and the uncertainty.

You don’t walk away from fear, you walk with it.

Step Two

Figure out your system. This could be a rotating priorities board, specifically set up for writing projects, or even a simple calendar. It could be that you can hack your own interest system and schedule enough varied things to keep yourself from getting burned out on any one thing. 

Let’s say you know you like blogging, writing stories, and working on RPG design (ahem, me). So you schedule certain days for one thing and certain days for another and allow some wiggle room so you don’t feel constrained. So this week, I scheduled at least twenty minutes a day on writing my story, which comes out to around 500-1000 words a day. That’s a good pace for a novel. Then three times a week I schedule time to write a blog post or work on a longer one that needs some research or just time for the ideas to percolate. Then I make sure I work at least once a week on RPG design, to keep my creative skills flexible. 

But let’s say that one week I get really invested in my RPG stuff while my story has hit a snag and needs some time in the ol’ subconscious factory to work itself out. Do I rigidly stick to my schedule? Nah. I could, and it might be an excellent plug for willpower and self-discipline and all that, but I’m going to capitalize on the fact of my interests and make as much headway with the RPG stuff as I can. 

This all comes from one very simple idea. 

Know yourself and know your interests. 

I know that I love story writing more than any other kind of writing. RPG is definitely third on the list of my writing projects. But it’s still on there, and every now and then that bug will hit harder than the others. It won’t stick around forever; eventually, story-writing will come out on top again as usual. That’s how I operate, and I know I operate that way because I’ve been living in my head for so long. Living and observing. If I wasn’t aware of my own modus operandi, I wouldn’t know how to make this schedule. So if you’re just starting out, try out the rotating board before you make a schedule, and maybe keep track of how often you rotate. 

Step Three

Keep writing, every day. This one I keep going back and forth on whether it’s really a good idea or not, and I’ve heard so many opinions from so many people I think there just won’t ever be a good answer. Yes, as a multipotentialite we need to be allowed to let projects go and work on other things, but as a writer, I also know that leaving my writing for more than a few weeks makes me a really bad writer when I do start again. The time spent not writing is proportionate to the time spent getting back into a good writing state. My voice gets rusty, and it usually takes quite a while for me to find it again when I go too long without writing. It happened last year before NaNoWriMo; I hadn’t written anything between the Flash Fiction and October when I started prepping, and it showed. I tried writing a few things to warm up and they objectively sucked. I was out of practice and flabby. 

And the way to avoid that is to write as often as possible. So I’m going to say this, with certainty. If you want to become a professional* writer, you do need to write every day or at least every other day. Just as in any other profession. Athletes, singers, heck, probably even business people need to practice their skills all the time or they a) lose their jobs or b) lose their edge. How many Olympic swimmers take month-long holidays? 

People will still argue, so I say that you know yourself best, and you can decide (duh). But if you want to be prolific and write a lot of amazing books and hone your craft and edit like a champ…well, you need to be prolific. 

But never feel guilty for taking time off. Balance in all things.

If you’re a multipotentialite writer, where do you find yourself struggling? Like me, do you have both outside interests and other writing projects that distract you? 

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*I realize that there’s a lot of debate going around about writing to make art and writing to make money, and how they should or should not cross. It’s an interesting discussion, and one I’m eager to get in to. Soon, friends. Soon.

NaNoWriMo Check-In: Week 3

Required word count: 35,000

Actual word count: 35,076

Week three is generally supposed to be easier, when you’ve passed the valley of death (ahem, week 2), and can see the finish line. Some people have already hit their 50k, those lucky dogs. For me, though, this third week was kind of terrible. I skipped a couple of days and had to fight to get back up to make my word-count, which I did, but it was tough going. I had to exercise some real self-discipline. 

The story itself is getting weird, in that I’m now skipping around in scenes instead of writing it all chronologically, as I was doing for the most part. I have a lot of ** COMMENTS *** like that one about what needs to happen between scenes, or where to add descriptions. I think my main feeling now is curiosity – I’m curious whether this story will reach 50k before the end, or whether it will surprise me with extra content. 

Energy level: Adequate, still. So my habit of writing is taking hold, and I can make my butt go in chair when it needs to. Butt in chair, fingers on keyboard = happy writing life. 

Enthusiasm for my story: Also still adequate, with some curiosity and a lot of “can’t I just be done with it now.” 

Outlook on next week: I’m about 99% sure I will finish on time, barring a major life catastrophe. But my story will be even messier and disjointed than I’d intended, so…

Anything memorable? The day I made up my lost word count by writing 3400 words in one sitting. Ouch. But also, I CAN DO THAT? I may need to do that all the time and start writing for real.

NaNoWriMo Check-In: Week 2

Required word count: 25,000

Actual word count: 27,077

Well, week 2 is usually where people start to find their enthusiasm waning, and I am no exception. I had two days where I had to really, really force myself into the chair to write. I did a few five-minute sprints because anyone can do five minutes of anything, right, and somehow managed to keep my momentum and my word count up. It helped that I had a buffer from the first few days, so hitting my 1667 word count each day kept my count higher than it needed to be. It’s easier to be ahead.

I pushed through those two days though, and now I have my momentum back where it needs to be. Story-wise, I have no idea what’s going on. I know where I need to get to, but getting there…my characters are literally in the woods wandering around, and I’m trying not to just pick them up and drop them in the next location. I may have to do that though, just to get ahead, and go back and fix the tangle in the middle later. Ah, the middle. Always a mess.

Energy level: Adequate. Meaning I can keep doing it without banging my head on the keyboard too many times.

Enthusiasm for my story: Also adequate, but tinged with a little frustration.  Not a lot, just a little, but enough to make me growl under my breath.

Outlook on next week: I’m still confident I’ll hit my 50k words. Now, whether that coincides with the completion of the story is another question. Will I end the story before? After? Who knows?

Anything memorable? The hat still helps. As does fighting colorful bird monsters in the 4thwords app. I also started using programming language to encode my comments with asterisks. Makes them much more noticeable. Also I downloaded a bunch of new productivity apps to procrastinate writing. Awesome.