Friday, January 12, 2018

5 Ways to Pull Yourself Out of a Writing Slump



Ah, winter. It’s beautiful. It’s cold. It rekindles your love for blankets and hot cocoa. But it can also pull you into a slump—well, at least, winter has that sort of effect on me. Don’t get me wrong: I LOVE this time of year. Prefer it over the hot, sticky, triple-digit weather inherent of Louisiana in summertime. However, December and January are the months I find most difficult to write and be inspired. I start out as I always do: at the page. Blinking cursor. What do I write today? Where am I going with this? Is this really the story I want to write? And there are days I keep going, fingers flying. But then there are others when I say, “Nuh uh. Not doin’ it,” and then allow myself to get sucked in to either social media or Netflix or both.

However, at the end of the day, writers write. It’s what we do. And if we’re not doing it…well. We can’t be held responsible for the mayhem that may ensue. We always have a story to tell. Problem is…Which one? We begin to ask ourselves whether we’re writing in the right genre. What if I’m better at fantasy? Mystery? Romance? Erotica seems to be selling really well—I’ve seen the indie authors on Facebook with their flashy, appealing ads. Maybe they’re just better at this than I am. Maybe I shouldn’t be doing this at all. What if I’m not a writer at all and I’ve been kidding myself since I was…what? Eleven?

I’m here to tell you: Get that last one out of your head, all right? You’re a writer. There, I said it. And you have a story to tell, so tell it. That’s right. Go on. Get those words on paper. Erotica, Mystery, Thriller, Fantasy…Heck, write a combination of all four! It’s your story, your baby. So, get going already.

While you’re at it, here are a few tips to pull yourself from a writing slump and help you refocus:


1.      Set realistic goals. This seems obvious, I know, but it really does help. Currently, I’m working on two contemporary, full-length romance novels, as well as edits for the third installment of my young adult series. The third book of The Symbolon Series will be published by July 10th. My goal is to be finished with at least one of the two contemporaries by that time, as well. If I can swing three releases this year, I’m going for it.

2.       Hit a writing retreat or conference. Nothing gets me fired up like being around other writers. Check for local or relatively-local conferences you can attend and get ready to learn. If you’re in Louisiana or Mississippi, the Jambalaya Writer’s Conference is coming up on March 3 and it’s only $35 if you register early!

3.       Adjust your environment. Declutter your desk. Bring in a new plant or a cool new notebook. If outside noise doesn’t bother you, nestle yourself and your laptop in a corner at Starbucks. Or go to a park and breathe in the fresh air while you write! Changing your environment tricks the brain into creative thinking.

4.       Don’t leave too much time between writing sessions. Even if you can’t write on your manuscript (I love this story, but, ugh, my heroine! Is she trying to be this stupid?!), write a blog post, an opening to a new story or an entry into that journal you’ve been meaning to begin for the last decade. Just write.

5.       Don’t burn out. Writing’s work, y’all. I mean, you can try to skirt the truth any way you want, but that won’t make it any less real. Not only that, but it’s hard. However, there’s a reason you started writing. For me, I was fourteen and the kid in between freshly-divorced parents. I didn’t want to write about myself, so I wrote about fictional characters and…well…I just never stopped. In short, writing is an escape for me; a way to deal with the chaos in my head. But the minute it becomes TOO much like work, I have to take a step back and remember why I started writing in the first place. Write what you can and often and you’ll find the will to keep going.

So, don’t let those negative thoughts in, okay? Get out, bad, brooding creepie-crawlies! Be gone! Because you can do this. Really, you can! Pull yourself up and write your story. 

What do you do when you find yourself in a slump?
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Monday, January 1, 2018

2017 At a Glance | Looking Ahead to 2018


Ah, here it is. The close of an entire year, turned beginning of a brand new, wide open panorama of possibilities. 2017 was...busy, but I'm sure that's true of everyone. Goals were set; goals were accomplished. Not all, mind; I didn't see Bruno Mars in concert (yet) and I'm convinced once that happens, planets will align, unicorns will appear in nearby forests, the government will begin to behave themselves and...Yeah. In other words, yada, yada, yada. 

I love him, okay? And true love lasts forever.

Moving on.

I published the second novel in The Symbolon Series: The Second Curse. Couldn't be more pleased with the response from readers (THANK YOU!), especially all of you who came out to see me at conventions and book signings. You guys rock! The third book is written and in edits; the fourth (and final) has begun. Ah, the end is in sight!

Read a lot this year, actually. Many amazing stories, my favorite of which--and this one really takes the cake; if you haven't read it, do--was The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas. Thought-changing, that novel. If ever I have the honor of meeting Ms. Thomas (she's from Jackson, Mississippi, my home state, so...hopeful thoughts!), there's a very big chance I'll cry.


The Moody Blues made the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, y'all. I mean...Yes. Okay? A million times, yes, yes, YES. About time.

My kid had his fifth birthday in February, began Kindergarten in August and basketball in November. He's having an absolute blast. Fully expecting him to start college in the fall.


Hubs celebrated his 50th and crossed off an important item from his Bucket List: We went to Cincinnati (his hometown) and watched the Bengals beat the Bills on their home field in Paul Brown Stadium. Seeing him that emotional gave me all the feels. All of them.


GOALS (Let's do this!):

1. Book 3 of the The Symbolon Series, THREE TO SHATTER, is set for a lovely mid-June release, just in time for summer holiday. Extensive deets about that later. Yes, for all of you paying attention, that was a title reveal. Ta da!

2. Two contemporary adult romances are in the works, both half-way finished. Been a while since I published a proper grown-up love story, and I'm looking forward to getting these two out to you guys. Both will be full-length novels I've wanted to write for a long time.

3. Weight loss. Because what else? Seriously. I'm not buying a new wardrobe, so sweets have gotta go bye-bye for a while. Pray for me.

4. Vacay! Don't know where yet, but we're going. Thinking someplace with mountains and scenic trails. Drop a comment with your suggestions. 

5. Events, events, events. Look for book signings spreading throughout the southern states. Local bookshops, conventions and writerly workshops--we're hitting it up in style this year. Stay posted in the website's Events section. 

I'd love to read the goals you reached last year, what stands out to you, what surprises arose and the stories that made for a memorable 2017! Also, what new goals have you set for 2018? Cheers!

Peace, Love and Junior Mints,





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