Motivational Monday– Slow Progress

88899bce702b026c2d14fb23cf6b774d

A lot of writers spend November manically trying to write 50,000 words in a month for National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo or NaNo). It’s really not so unattainable for the average full-time writer. It averages out to 1667 words a day, which I can do in about an hour. As long as I know what I’m writing… And the hardest part is always the consistency–doing it every day. If you miss a day, then you’re playing catch up and trying to add to it. Miss more than one and it’s even harder etc.

November is a hard month for me. The first time I tried NaNo was in 2014. I had two published stories (well, one was on pre-order). I had completed several other stories before but had never tried to do an entire novel in one month. I got sooo close! If memory serves, I got to 45,000 words and had one day left. I could have made it. However, I was moving literally the next day and my kids–only 4 and 1 at the time–needed a return to normalcy. My son has Autism Spectrum Disorder the fall wreaks havoc on his routine. He shifts from waking up at 6 am to waking up at 5 am. He just turned 8 and by now, I have accepted this. In 2014, I was far less prepared to accept the reality of more 5 am (or earlier) wakeups.

I’m mentioning my history with NaNo because the other day I saw a Facebook status which upset me. It was a memory of one of my status from 2014. I was working on a story in which Darcy was to inherit Longbourn and Lady Catherine’s rector. Essentially, he was Mr. Collins. How would Elizabeth react? About 20,000 words into it, I realized this should just be an original story. I had already started writing the story before November began, so I realized that within a few days of the month. I spent the remainder of the month working on that story and changed all the names and tried to make it not like Pride and Prejudice. Then November ended and I froze. The almost completed manuscript is still on my hard drive.

I didn’t stop there though. I did turn my attention to other things but for the last four years, I have dusted off that manuscript every few months. I’ve sent it to beta readers and asked if it should really be an original. I’ve even thought that I could do both–make an original and keep the premise of Darcy in Collins’ place and write two different stories. In 2016, I came up with a series theme focusing on one real-life event from the Regency era per book. I had a few other non-JAFF stories that would work perfectly in the series. However, I had the most words on this story and it would have been the last one in the series. So I started on what was supposed to be Book One. Last year, I realized that book is really a prequel and they don’t do well until the rest of the series is out. I abandoned that story. Earlier this year, I realized that I should just round out the books and make it the full Regency. I started on the new Book One of the series and gave everything new titles. The Baronet’s Heart is now Tempting Scandal. I began posting but then got caught up with other things.

Can you see why I’m disappointed in myself? So much start and stop. So little progress. But is it really? I have learned a lot about myself, writing, my goals and so much more during each of these stops.

Oh, there’s more that I could be disappointed about. Things never go according to plan. I’m working on 2019 goals right now and know I won’t reach half of them. Sigh. However, this pic has reminded me that forward is forward and looking back at my supposed “failings” doesn’t help a thing!

When is a time you had to focus on just moving forward and not worrying about the timing? Or is there something in your life right now that this could apply to? Oh, and in case you were curious, my goal this November is to write at least 500 words every day! I did miss one, but instead of despairing I just said, “The whole point is to learn to do better and be more consistent. I will make mistakes at the beginning, but hopefully, by the end of the month I will be doing better.” That’s MAJOR progress for me, a perfectionist in recovery!

Positivity Monday- Be the Reason

807a53b1c44917c91be67dbfcbfebd47

 

I don’t know if I’ve shared this image and quote before, but I think about it a lot. With everything going on in the world, I still believe in the goodness of people.

A boy from my church is undergoing testing on his liver. His blood isn’t clotting right, and his liver and spleen are enlarged. It means he has to quit playing on the football team, which means the world to him. Friday night was the first game of the season. He stood on the side lines as a coach. Afterwards, both teams gathered around and prayed for him.

I’m sure there were some kids on the team that don’t believe in God. I’m sure there were people in the stands that didn’t either. Whether they prayed or not, doesn’t matter so much. The point is, they had been rivals on a field of play but still banded together to care about one of their own. Each one of those players were able to think about how hard it would be on them to give up the sport they love so much. Every person in the stands was able to think about how hard it would be on them if their loved one was going through this. And if they disagreed with the mode that the concern was expressed, they remained respectful. Maybe they prayed to their God(s) by a different name. Maybe they just sent good thoughts. Maybe they didn’t care one way or the other, but they recognized it was very serious for others. No riots broke out. No one pulled out signs to protest. No one shouted at another, trying to force their understanding of the world down another’s throat.

This to me proves the goodness in people. We can be different and coexist. We can be different and respect one another. We can be different and love.

Do you have a story of seeing the good in humanity?

Positivity Monday- You’re Worth It!

f07bcf72f2fd6dd5563bf6a536ffe816

My husband’s out of town for a week. The first of many such trips. It’s a lot easier with my mom living with us than it used to be but still, I’m going to need this reminder this week. I can do anything. And so can you! What would you do if you could do anything in the world?

Positivity Monday- Confidence

40738655e70e1c3e997fc0ea16547f52

In case you can’t read the font, this says “Inhale confidence, exhale doubt.” And I think this is such a powerful message. Surround yourself with people that help you find confidence. They’re like a breath of fresh air. I’d be nowhere without my supportive family and friends! I’d still be in a prison of my own making breathing the dank, stale air of self-doubt.

Positivity Monday- You’re Killing It!

7723086d49f1c21ca34962bd7eaa0b6c

I’m privileged to be interviewed on DarcyandLizzy.com this week. Strangely, too many are under the assumption that I’m Super Woman. Not hardly! But it’s been amazing to consider how I started as a reader and am now releasing my fourteenth original work and celebrate my three year published author anniversary next week. I don’t feel like Super Woman. I don’t feel like I’ve got life together. However, I am proud of where I came from. Three years ago when I published my first book, I never would have thought I’d have gone through it so many more times. I still remember posting my first story on a forum, and I couldn’t believe I plucked the courage to do that!

I had zero confidence. To me, I was a failure. At everything. I had a college degree–that took an extra year to complete because I dropped out a few times–with an unimpressive GPA and a lot of debt. I gave up on my master’s degree and had no idea what to do with my life. We had declared bankruptcy, foreclosed on our house, and just had our second (and unexpected) child. What idiot doesn’t know how to prevent pregnancy? It didn’t matter that I had been infertile for years. People just saw someone who couldn’t afford another child mooching off the system with WIC. I was living in my father in law’s basement. In fact, my bed was in the furnace room! I typed most of my stories sitting on my bed, crouched over the laptop, unable to move without waking a child in either direction. I was convinced I was the worst mother and wife on the planet.

I’ve come a long way. A very, very, very long way. I don’t mean the fact that now we live in a lovely home and can pay our bills. I mean that I have confidence in me. Throw what you will at me, and I think I can overcome it. I don’t think I’m Super Woman or even the average woman. However, I no longer think I’m ruining everything I touch. Did it come with my first book? No. Did

Did it come with my first book? No. Did it come with the first story I posted? No. I still have insecurities. I still fear rejection and failure. It came, little by little and piece by piece. Every day is a new fight to enjoy the day and focus on the good. And today, I indulge myself just a moment and remember where I came from and pat myself on my back. I’ve done well!

What are some things you’re proud of?

Positivity Monday- Worthy of love

7475ad4a6fb5168ceac053ecfdddb807

 

This may be one of my favorite quotes ever. Believing that I am worthy of love no matter my flaws has been my most freeing state of mind. And it is a state of mind. I’ve got to remind myself of it, sometimes daily, but it is crucial to my mental health. This includes allowing me to love myself.

Positivity Monday- Hustle

b9b3b3d06b7132c2f4df176136e5394c

In case you didn’t notice, I went from being a pretty prolific writer to…well, not. I’ve had reasons and excuses. Some valid, most not. In the end, it was mostly a case of believing I’d do it later or not staying focused on a plot. In March, I committed to getting Mr. Darcy’s Bluestocking Bride out by June.

That didn’t happen. So then I said I’d finish the draft by June.

That also didn’t happen. Because I just thought I’d get “lucky” and randomly have time to do it and the cosmos would align, and the words would come together.

Last week, I snapped. I was GETTING IT DONE, DARN IT!

I shut my bedroom door and locked it. My mom and husband could deal with the kids. I spent a whole week writing/researching/editing/writing, writing, writing.

I was down to the last three chapters, and while I wanted to take a break so very desperately, I doubled down again. I would finish the story by Saturday, June 17.

On Thursday, I couldn’t sleep because I was so anxious to get it done. I wrote from 2:30 to 5:30 am in addition to all the writing during the day. On Friday, I stayed up and wrote until 4 am. I closed the day out at having written 17,236 words in 26 hours.

I HUSTLED. And a book baby will be born at the beginning of July.

Luck didn’t do it. Hustling did. Got a goal? Hustle for it!

Now, I’m just exhausted and don’t know what do with not obsessing over this story, lol!