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.

Being a Writer and a Perfectionist

One of the most difficult things for me as a writer is my perfectionist side. It’s one of the reasons I edit and edit and edit, hoping to make it perfect. You would not believe how many times I’ll edit and rewrite a book until I deem it even remotely worthy of publishing. Even as I hit the publish button in the back of my mind, I’m screaming: “It’s not perfect! There’s bound to be mistakes in there! Don’t do it! Edit it one more time.”

Another thing I’ve struggled with about being a writer and a perfectionist is when I receive a review and if there’s something in there a single reader doesn’t like, I want to go back and rewrite the entire book to correct the non-perfectness of it. The feeling eventually passes. The reason I don’t go back and rewrite is because the rational part of my brain knows that not everyone will enjoy my writing or like my books. That part of me is okay with it. The perfectionist part makes excellent arguments though. Arguments I have to shove aside if I’m ever going to make progress in writing all the books my brain dreams up.

If there is just one thing I am proud of that my writing has done for me is it’s made me a little bit less of a perfectionist. It’s made me more willing to accept mistakes from myself and in others. Of course, there are so many other things writing has done for me, but I will always be thankful it has softened the edges around my perfectionism.

In addition, my wonderful and amazing husband has helped me deal with flaws as well. Making a mistake, or several, is not the end of the world. It is a valuable lesson.

Cover Reveal for The False Gods

It’s taken a while to get to making the cover for the fourth book in the Hartland series. After some debate with my husband and a few others, we have finally decided on one! It is with great excitement that we reveal the cover today. In about a month, maybe less, depending on what the last few beta readers tell us about the book, The False Gods will become available on the market.

Be sure to let us know what you think about the cover.

The False Gods Cover 2

Writing Update

Hartland, book 4, The False Gods, is finished. There is just one more quick edit and then it’s off to the beta readers. We’re so excited it’s finally finished! In fact, we’re so excited, we’ve already started on book 5. We’re about a 1000 words into it. More to come tonight!

Book 5, whatever the title may be, will probably be the last in the series, unless something unexpected happens. That is always a possibility with our writing. You just never know what kind of idea will snatch us away. It’s one of the many, many, many reasons we love to write.

Gotta get back to writing. Book 5 won’t write itself, but how cool would that be?

 

Stop the Excuses

Even if you only write a paragraph in a day, or a sentence, you still wrote something. Those paragraphs and sentences add up. If you keep at it then eventually it becomes something real. Something that’s alive! It’s the writer’s persistence that makes a writer. Without it, nothing would ever get finished. For a writer, it’s our passion for the story that keeps us going, even when we’ve written ourselves into a corner. We want to see it through to the end. Sometimes, the story even surprises us.

The thing that bothers us the most is when people say “Oh, I can write a book” as if it were an easy thing. When people say this, we ask them “Well, why don’t you then?” And this is where all the excuses start piling up. I’m too busy. I don’t have enough time. I would if I could only find the time. I just haven’t gotten around to it.

The thing is, writer’s make the time. We give up something in order to have “time” to write.

For us, we give up time from our social life and sometimes our reading life (it depends how deeply involved we’ve become in the current project). Writing is more important to us. Few understand this. Other writers do, but non-writers don’t understand why we would give up on social events. We’re not saying we don’t go out and do anything, but we go out a lot less than other people. We value the time we do have for writing and we often make the time to do it. Life is hectic I understand that. We’ve even asked a few people what they do in the evening. When they say what it is, we ask them why they don’t cut into that time a bit for writing. And then more excuses pile on. We’ve come to the realization, it’s because they don’t really want to write. That’s okay. Just admit it. That’s all us writer’s ask for. Just admit that you don’t really want to write a novel. The fact is not everyone can do it. That’s okay. We’re not all born the same. If we were imagine how boring that world would be!

If you don’t want to sacrifice things from your life in order to “find” the time to write then you’re not really a writer. You’re a person who dreams about writing. So write! Even if all you can do that day is a sentence or two. It adds up over time and helps you define yourself as a writer.