Road Trips = Great Ideas

Every time my husband and I take a road trip, story ideas start pouring from us. I think it’s because we’re forced to take a break from social media and video games. We’re forced to sit in the car as we drive toward our destination looking at scenery. This is where a lot of our ideas come from. This is where we fine tune some of our future projects. Most of the time, we don’t write them down either until we stop. If it’s something super important we’ll text the other person little reminders so we can write them down when we stop.

The magic doesn’t really start happening until about an hour into the trip though. It’s about the time we get tired of listening to music and turn it off for a bit. I love road trips for this reason and many more. Road trips help take the mind off of everything. You’re going somewhere new or different and it’s exciting. It’s almost the same feeling as when we create a new world with new characters. Excitement. Thrill. Eagerness.

So after the first hour that’s when we start talking about our stories or we’ll see something that reminds us of something we’re working on. Most of our road trips are spent talking to one another, coming up with ideas, talking about our current projects and why we might be stuck on them. It’s sad we cannot take more road trips, but the job that pays the bills gets in the way. Silly job don’t you know we have important things to write? Why must you take up so much time?

For us, whenever we talk about a road trip we know we’re going to come away with some kind of fantastic idea or new story creation. So, I say, bring on the road trips.

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?


Daily Goals

So last week, we discussed how we don’t have a routine down for writing and that it works for us. Every author is different. Some people need routines. Others work better without them. We might not have a routine set for when we write, but we do set daily goals.

On the weekday, my husband sets a 1200 word count for himself on whatever WIP he’s working on. My word count is 3000 and that’s because I don’t work a job that pays the bills. I often go above this word count on a WIP that I’m just really into. You know those that you go to sleep thinking about and wake up thinking about. I love those pieces. However, I must say that the ones we struggle with are sometimes written better and your writing is better because of the struggle.

Now, on the weekends, because it’s the weekend, sometimes we don’t write at all. Sometimes all we want to do is “goof off” which I believe is healthy. It can’t be work, work, work all the time. Regardless, we usually get some writing done. Not a lot. And that’s because writing for us is a passion. It’s what we love to do, followed closely by reading and playing awesome video games. I have a feeling for the next couple of weeks, we might not get a lot of writing done. Mass Effect: Andromeda is coming out and we have been huge Mass Effect fans for years. So, this is an exciting game for us and we hope it lives up to our expectations. And although we know we’ll be playing a lot of the game, we will still have writing goals. It’ll just be harder to obtain them.

Setting a daily writing goal helps encourage us to write. Let’s face it, there are some days where we just don’t want to write and have to force ourselves. I think that’s one of many writer’s curses. You know you should write, you normally love to write, but for some reason, you can’t bring yourself to actually write.

Just remember, when it comes to writing, daily goals are important to keep you on track. Even if no one sees the manuscript, it is still important to have written it down. Writing every day is what makes us better at what we love to do. The saying practice makes perfect really applies here, though I doubt anyone could ever “perfect” their writing. It certainly improves, but I’m a firm believer that there is always something which can be improved upon.

So, set those goals and enjoy your time writing! Even those difficult scenes can be enjoyable, after the fact.