Just DO IT!!!!

Generally, when writing a story an author knows where the story is going. Generally…  We typically know how the story is going to start and how it’s going to end. It’s filling in the middle part that’s the real fun area of writing. But what happens when you have no idea where the story is going and you just keeping writing? Sometimes we get stuck. Other times we keep writing to see where the story takes us. When we do this, the ending we had in mind often changes as well.

This isn’t a bad way of writing. In fact, this is the way we usually write. We sometimes have a specific ending that needs to happen, like in Full Moon Rising, our first published novel. Otherwise, most things are up in the air and the story forms as we go. Unfortunately, when we edit, sometimes we find huge gaping plot holes!

But as I said, that’s the fun part of writing. We never really know where the story is going to take us. What started as an awesome idea can change, evolve and become something even greater than we thought possible.  So, just remember that there is no real way to write. Whatever is comfortable for the author is the way you should be writing. If having a set schedule works for you, DO IT. If having a routine, drinking a cup of coffee or whatever, having snacks, doing a little dance, DO IT! As a writer, you’re the only one who knows what works best for you. We’re not saying not to try to experiment with something different. Who knows that might work even better for you. What we’re saying is you know yourself better than any one person out there.

If you need an outline for the story, DO IT. However, we have read plenty of novels where writers write to an outline and the writing does turn to a sort of formula, and as a reader it tends to become boring. Whatever you need, just DO IT. No excuses. Get out there and write these amazing ideas you’ve had. No one else will do it for you.

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Hartland Book 5: New Beginnings

Oh my gosh! Oh my gosh! I FINALLY finished the first draft of Hartland Book 5: New Beginnings! It’s been such a struggle to write this one, but it’s finished. It didn’t give me a feeling of elation like the other books we’ve finished. This one is making me sit here and look at the 69,440 words of the first draft (before edits and rewrites) going “I can’t believe it’s done.”

I am going to let this one sit for a few weeks before starting on the rewrite/edits. All I know is I’m relieved I finished book 5. This is by far the most difficult book I’ve written. I’m also eager to go onto some of my other book ideas I received while struggling through this one. It’s almost as if I’ve gained my freedom….  HA HA

Hartland Series Update

We’ve been real quiet on all our social media websites lately. We apologize for it, but the simple truth is we’re struggling with writing. There have been far too many days where we haven’t written a single word. A part of that is because of the struggle it’s been in finishing Book 5 in the Hartland series. It’s kind of funny to think about. Books 1-4 came oh so easily. Book 5? Nope. Not in the slightest.

Part of the struggle is trying to combine all the pieces and make sense of all the story lines in the books. A lot happened in books 1-4. I have many plans for book 5. We’re over 50k in words, so not too bad of progress, but it’s taken quite a while to get there. Also, things just kind of keep happening to the characters I didn’t plan on. He He. With that said, I have to rework some of the plot because of what happened and probably come up with a new ending. What happened was just too good to remove. Other writers will know what I’m talking about. Characters truly have a mind of their own!

My aim is to finish the first draft by the end of September! Here’s to hoping I can do that and not get snagged on plot holes and plot developments. Characters need to do what they’re supposed to do! Silly people.

Perseverance

As much as we love writing, we have another writing confession…. We also hate it. We have a love/hate relationship with writing. There are some days we absolutely love writing and can hammer out 5,000 words or more on a project. And then, there are days where we can barely write 50 words. That’s okay though. The thing is as long as you continue to write and plug away at your WIP, even if it’s only 50 words at a time, it will eventually get done. The important thing is that you keep working at it. Never give up, even if sometimes writing is difficult. It took us a while to admit it, even to ourselves, but it’s okay to admit something is difficult, even if it’s your chosen career path. Things are going to be difficult some days. There’s nothing wrong with it. In fact, it’s those difficult days that help us grow as writers.

For us, the best written scenes are the ones we struggle with. We like to think it’s because it’s such a struggle and we have to sit there and think precisely what we want to write. Often times, we delete sentences or paragraphs and start over in these scenes.

We know we’ve written a few posts like this in the past, but it’s something every writer needs a reminder about from time to time. I know we do. Sometimes we get so caught up in the idea “we should be writing” that we forget writing isn’t everything. It’s only a part of who we are. So, if there are days you can only hammer out a few words then there are days like that. It isn’t something we should really, really worry about unless we’re under a deadline because of a contract.

Enjoy life. Enjoy writing. Don’t give up.

A Writing Confession

We haven’t written anything in 3 days! That’s saying something for us. We always write something, even if it’s only a paragraph or just a sentence. But, it’s been 3 days since either of us have wanted to write. Sometimes, although we love to write, we need to take a break from it. While we’ve taken this break, it feels as if we’re a little more refreshed and focused now.

Life is supposed to be enjoyable, and so is writing. But when writing starts to feel like something else, one needs to take a break from it and reflect on why it’s feeling different. Writing, for us, isn’t supposed to feel like a chore, not when we’ve always loved writing and creating new worlds and people. However, writing had started to feel like it was something we HAD to do, and it’s because we lost focus. We were focusing more on the end result than on the enjoyable process of creating and writing. We were starting to write for other people. That’s something neither of us have ever wanted to do. We want to write the stories we want to write, not what we think others want us to. The reason we write for ourselves is because we know not everyone is going to like our stories or the way we write. That’s okay as long as we like it.

On a side note, it’s also nice to know there are people out there who enjoy our stories. We are fortunate enough to have a few fans who absolutely love our stories and we always look forward to hearing from them. We also enjoy hearing from others who have stumbled across one of our novels.

Now that we refocused our priorities again, the pages and stories are coming easier again. Thank goodness! Hopefully, we won’t slip again.  I’m not saying that we won’t. We’re only human. The important thing is we try not to lose our focus and that we continue to enjoy doing what we do.

A note to other writers out there. Don’t be so hard on yourself. Writing is hard enough without the extra harsh criticism coming from ourselves. It’s okay to be critical of your own work, but don’t become so critical of it, you start to hate doing what you do. Chances are, even if you go over your manuscript a thousand times, there’s going to be some mistake in there that someone will point out. It’s okay. I’ve read a few traditionally published books that had several mistakes in them. I’ve read indie books with only one or two. It all depends on the editor. Mistakes happen and are easily overlooked sometimes. Just remember to enjoy yourself. Life is too short for anything less.

 

Writing in Solitude

As I read other authors blogs and posts on Facebook, it seems all of them just want peace and quiet while they write. They want solitude and to be left alone. I have found that I write much better when my husband is in the room with me. When he goes off to the job that pays the bills and I’m left alone all day, my writing suffers. Sometimes I don’t write at all or only manage to get a page out. When he gets home and we’ve gotten to talk to each other and have dinner that’s when I hammer out my word counts and meet page numbers. It’s comforting in having him home with me, even if there are distractions because of it. Even if while I’m writing, he’s telling me about something that happened during the day.

He’s the same way. Back when I used to work, he wasn’t productive at all if he had a day off and I was at work. It wasn’t until I came home and we were together again did he think about writing. Writing is one of the many, many things that have drawn us closer to one another over the 12 years of our marriage, even when we disagree how a scene should play out. Somehow, we always manage to compromise and the scene turns out really great. Only a few times have we had to scrap the entire thing and start over. Thank goodness.

I think what it is, is we end up missing each other too much during the day. Maybe we’re odd. Maybe we’re not. All I know is we write at our best together instead of in solitude. We do everything better together.