What is Writer’s Doubt? At it’s core, self doubt (writer’s doubt) is fear. Fear of being a failure. Of not being good enough, or talented enough. And/or fear of success. Writer’s Doubt is that booming voice or the creeping but quiet voice that insists your writing sucks, that sense of dread or defeat, that feeling of suffocating or drowning… The inner voice of Doom and Gloom that makes you want to quit writing, that makes up excuses for why you’re not writing, why you don’t have time to write. Writer’s Doubt/Self Doubt is a mindset. If you fuel the negative thoughts that come from fear, that lead you down the road of self doubt, then it will become a vicious cycle of negativity. You’ll find yourself comparing your writing to other’s writing. You’ll judge your first draft against someone else’s finished, and I mean edited and published draft. You’ll want to write but the self doubt will re-assert its monstrous self and instead of putting your butt in the chair you’ll find something else, something easier to do. Or maybe you’ll be one of the lucky one’s and you’ll fight the fear, you’ll wage against the self doubt and sit down in that ergonomic chair, at your lovely desk, in front of your computer and you’ll put your hands on the keyboard, touching your fingertips lightly across the keys… you’ll start writing even if you’re afraid that your words will be nonsense, or that people will laugh. You’ll fight the good fight and write no matter how loudly that voice of doom and gloom rages. Today, I am sitting in front of the computer, at my lovely red desk, with my fingers gliding across my ergonomic keyboard, sitting in my non-ergonomic chair that really needs to be replaced, with my feet barely touching the floor writing this blog post to correspond with the video I made about this topic. I haven’t worked on my novel today, but I have done a bit of research and made some notes (keeping my head in my novel, or at least trying to). Later today I will work on the actual novel, and hopefully I will get at least 1000 words written. Am I afraid my novel will suck? Yes, a little. I’m not bored with my novel, but I do know that I need to work on my antagonist a lot more, a whole lot more. Do I expect I’ll encounter writer’s doubt (again) while working on this novel? Yep, I am sure I will feel a bit of doubt, fear, insecurity, but will I let it make me quit? Nope. NO way in hell will I quit. It’s just not in my nature. I’ve been known to take a hiatus or two, even a long one, but after having put my writing off to the side for over a decade or more, and putting my art to the side for even longer, maturity has taught me that giving up on the things you love, that you’re passionate about, those creative pursuits that help give your life meaning, I won’t quit working on my novel even if it takes 10 years to finish it.
Here’s the video… this has a great deal more information in it. 😀
As a lover of all things stationery, and a journal/book/DIY/art/book/writer nerd, I am, I admit, often tempted to start a new journal. Sometimes the temptation arises because I see a shiny new journal on a shelf in a store, or a new journal via someone’s YT video, FB post, IG picture, etc., or simply because I have gotten bored, anxious, or tired of the current journal I am using–or perhaps because I’m frustrated with what I’ve been doing. Maybe it started out great but somewhere along the way what I wanted the pages, and eventually the journal, to look like is not what it looks like.
I’m not alone in this. About once every few months someone asks me if I am ever tempted to start a new journal before I’ve finished my current, or how to do stick with a journal until I’ve used up the whole journal, or am I ever tempted to start a new journal–shiny new journal syndrome (much like the shiny new idea syndrome in regard to writing, which I know way too much about for my own good). Every time I start a new journal before finishing the current journal I regret it for all of about 5 minutes–the shiny new pages are just so pretty, the crisp clean feel of the new journal is overwhelming in its beauty, the newness… and yet–
I can’t help but wonder if all of this angst over my journals and planning system are about the journals/planning or if it’s really about the depression and anxiety that have increased from being sick for over a month. Being sick has definitely taken a toll on me. Now that I’m finally feeling better and more like myself I realize that it’s probably a combination of all of the above. I’m working on things so that I feel more better.
If you would like to see what I’ve been up to you can watch my coffee chat video from Monday where I talk about how I’m not feeling the journal/planner peace. Continue reading
Last week I created the first video for my new outlining process of my “Witchy Business” novel. Since I am changing POV, and a few other things, and quite a few people asked questions about how I use Tarot and the Hero’s Journey to outline, I thought I’d work on my novel and make it a video series at the same time.
Today I posted the third video in the outlining series.
This week I’ll concentrate more on an actual blog post for this, but for now I have:
Stephen King’s “The Stand,” is a post apocalyptic novel that many have said is King’s “Lord of the Rings.” It is a monstrosity of a novel. The uncut version is around 1153 pages, but what makes it epic isn’t the length, it’s the characters and the story.
The first third of the novel is about the spread of a man-made super flu virus that has gotten loose. In the first 100 pages, the super flu has wiped out a little over 99% of the population, and those who survive are left with survivor’s guilt, as well as having to learn how to survive and cope with the tragedy that has occurred.
Many of the survivors dream about Mother Abigail, while some dream of the Dark Man (Flagg). The theme of good (Mother Abigail) versus evil (Flagg) is quite obvious, and yet there are other themes in the book as well: themes like fate, the government, and others. What other themes to you think Kind included? And why?
One of the things that really hit me hard when I first started reading “The Stand” this time around was the fact that flu season had started and every where I turned where advertisements for people to get their flu shots. Captain Trips… The slightest sneeze or sniffle and I was thinking about Captain Trips, Mother Abigail, Stu, Nick, Larry (“Baby …dig your man…”), and M-O-O-N….
In the beginning of the novel, Campion is headed straight towards Hapscomb’s Texaco, in a small town named Arnette, TX. Stu saves the pumps from blowing but has no idea he’s signed a death warrant for Arnette and his friends when they’re all exposed to Campion. Fate? Pre-destined?
Much of the middle of the novel is about the road trip to Boulder, Colorado–a long ass road trip, and then setting up their new community, complete with meetings, minutes of the meetings, etc. Do you think King’s attention to detail added to the novel or took away from it?
What do you think about the characters?
Mother Abigail’s flock?
Who are your favorite characters, and why?
Least favorite, and why?
Which characters are the weakest links? Which characters are the strongest links?
Which characters change the most?
And last but not least…
Once again, we see Flagg in a King novel. The Dark One, the Dark Man, the Crimson King, the Man in Black… what do you think about Flagg in this novel?
The most popular bit of advice given in regard to writing are:
Put your butt in the chair and write.
Write one word at a time.
Each year I participate in NaNoWriMo (and NaNo’s Camps) to keep myself motivated to write everyday. Developing the habit of writing everyday is one of those crucial aspects of a writing career that is essential to success. Recently I heard someone say “If you’re not writing, you’re not a writer.” I think it’s important, as a creative person, to remember that there might be days when you don’t feel like writing, or being creative in general. When depression, anxiety, or life’s curve balls happen and the last thing you want or feel like doing is writing (or being creative). But if you want to thrive and survive as a creative person you have to find a way to get past those, to not only survive them but to thrive.
I love reading and writing. I also love drawing, painting with watercolors, coloring, writing in my journal… the combination of words and art help soothe my soul, they provide me with a healthy way to reduce my anxiety, stress, and help to keep the depression at bay. I’ve also noticed that journaling about my writing process, as well as my day, help keep me focused (and believe me, that’s hard to do since I have ADHD). When a shiny new idea pops up and tempts me to quit what I’m currently working on to go work on that shiny new idea, I just jot down the shiny new idea into my notebook, then go back to my current project.
When I’m afraid that I don’t know what to write next, or the fear of the blank page sends my anxiety into overdrive, instead of freezing and letting that fear overtake me I take a walk, read a chapter in the current book I’m reading (right now I’m re-reading the Stand by Stephen King), take a bath, get a cup of coffee or a bottle of water, eat a snack like cashews or a banana–during that time I’ve cleared my mind. The ability to write isn’t as super power. It takes commitment, diligence, resilience, and determination.
The best piece of advice I’ve ever been given in regard to writing is two parts:
“If you want to be a writer, you must do two things above all others: read a lot and write a lot.” ~Stephen King
“Just write, and keep writing until it’s finished.” Miss Franklin, my 9th grade English teacher.
King also said, “Reading is the creative center of a writer’s life.” I firmly believe that. If you don’t understand the basics of storytelling, of a book, how can you write one, especially a good one.
And when it comes to the actual writing, if you don’t write… you won’t have a book, and you can’t edit a blank page, can’t publish the book you don’t write… And the first draft isn’t going to be perfect, or as Hemingway said, “The first draft of anything is shit.” I remind myself of that daily. I also remind myself that the worst thing I’ve written that day is better than what I didn’t write. Letting go of the perfectionism is one of the best ways to survive and thrive during NaNoWriMo. Turn off your inner editor when you’re writing the first draft. It’s called the Fugly First Draft for a reason.
When I first started adding more visual elements like drawings, watercolor, pictures, and more to my journal pages I figured out quickly that the paper in my journal made a difference. I joined the Fauxbonichi journal group after watching videos by MissVickyB and Anna Brimbles. They showed a journal called the Miquel Ruis. I got one. Loved the cute red journal and the smooth pages until I tried to watercolor on the paper. Before long, many in the group complained that once their journal was halfway finished the binding started breaking and the journal started falling apart. I know, from personal experience, that when you add elements like stickers, watercolor, die-cuts, real life ephemera or purchased ephemera the journal does become chunky quite quickly.
I prefer an A5 sized journal. The average size of an A5 is 8×5 inches. I didn’t use the Miquel Ruis for very long. I purchased an actual Hobonichi, and a Seven Seas Standard, both of which are made with 52 gsm Tomoe River paper. The Hobonichi has almost-white Tomoe River paper and a sort of pale gray grid, and the Seven Seas Standard has plain Tomoe River paper. I love Tomoe River paper. Absolutely love it. It crinkles slight, has the slight ripple to it, when you add watercolor. And the feel of the paper is delicious. I loved working with the paper from both journals, but soon I realized that because I write a lot, and my handwriting is rather large, that being limited to one page per day in the Hobonichi wasn’t good for me. I could use as many pages as I wanted for each day in the Seven Seas Standard, but I was limited with the Hobonichi.
I heard about the Seven Seas Crossfield, which is 480 pages of 52gsm Tomoe River paper with 5mm “dot” grid–the little dots aren’t dots they’re these really small little pale blue crosses that make up the “dot grid.” I loved it. Really loved it. I started using the Crossfield right around the same time I heard about the bullet journal. I started trying to add elements of the bullet journal to my “fauxbonichi” style journal. I was almost finished with my Crossfield when I looked on Nanamipaper’s website to order another and found that they weren’t available. All sold out. A month or so later a friend informed me that the Crossfield would be available in a few days, I ordered two. Many people who love the Seven Seas journals commented that when the journals become available they sell quickly–usually within 24 hours they’re sold again, especially the Crossfield. I was so glad I ordered two.
One book July was coming around and I was trying really hard to find my way in regard to my journal. I wanted a journal that could house bits of everything. Elements like planning, art, photos, everyday ephemera, facts, quotes, research, collections, and more. An Omni Journal. I used my Crossfield and loved it. I wanted a journal I could house in my Jonelifish A5 trifold with an insert or two behind it for other more specific things. I wanted to be able to chronicle anything and everything from watercolor, common place style journal pages, to-do lists, collections, photos, and diary style journaling instead of keeping things separate. I was still journaling “fauxbonichi style” but I also started adding in other things, thus the term Omni Journal.
Because I add so much to my Omni Journal they fill up quickly. I noticed the Crossfield, which has 480 pages, lasts me about 6 months. I briefly tried using a Bullet Journal separately from my Omni Journal. I tried doing that in the Leuchtturm 1917 and in the Crossfield, but keeping it separate didn’t work for me. I went to Nanamipaper to buy another Crossfield but they were sold out. So I went searching for A5 journals with Tomoe River paper and came across the Taroko Design shop and their Enigma and Mystique. At the time the Taroko shop was sold out of the Enigma, and without too much research, but based on a few reviews I read, I ordered the Mystique.
The Mystique is an A5 sewn binding made of 80gsm Taroko Orchid grid paper. It’s gorgeous, thick, and smooth but not glossy or slick. It takes fountain pen fabulously, and though there is some ghosting there is rarely bleed through. It’s absolutely wonderful paper, but I soon realized that the Mystique was not Tomoe River paper. I became concerned that I was messing up the journal by adding watercolor to it. So I stopped using it as my Omni Journal and got out the second Crossfield and started using at as my Omni Journal. Well…. My journal is almost full and it’s almost the end of the year so I went back to Nanamipaper to order a Crossfield and wouldn’t you know, not in stock. So I went back to the Taroko Design shop on Etsy to see if they had the Enigma in, which actually has 68gsm Tomoe River paper. Yep. In stock. So I ordered one. It came in 8-9 days, which is great considering it was being shipped from overseas to South Carolina, USA. It was packaged well, and I was in awe when I opened it. WOW! The paper in the Enigma is so freaking awesome. It’s thicker than the Tomoe River paper in the Hobonichi, the Crossfield, or the Standard. It’s not as thick as the Mystique, but the Mystique is 80gsm Orchid paper that’s to be expected. The Hobonichi, Crossfield, Standard, Enigma, and Mystique are all great for fountain pen use. And I’ve had no issues using watercolor with any of those, BUT the Tomoe River paper does take the watercolor better.
I’ve started setting up my Enigma for next year, as that’s the journal I’ll be using for my Omni Journal, and the Mystique that is only half used will become my Morning pages journal. I’m good with that, since there is no way I’ll let half of that wonderful 80gsm Orchid paper go to waste. 😀
If you’re interested, the Seven Seas journals can be found at http://nanamipaper.com, and the Taroko Design Shop can be found on Etsy–he also has a FB page, as well as a few listings of his items on Amazon. 😀
I’m going to insert the video I made showing the journals here at the end so you can see what the journals look like. Hope this review helps.
This past April I worked really hard on creating an improved NaNoWriMo/Writer Bullet Journal in a Master Leuchtturm 1917. I wanted the bullet journal to be easy to use, to be easy to read… I wanted it to be functional and pretty. 1 out of 4 ain’t bad.
Since then, I’ve changed things up in regards to my NaNoWriMo/Writer Bullet journal–several times in fact. Here is my updated version of my NaNoWriMo/Writer Bullet journal:
I’m still working on it, and since we basically have 10 days left before NaNo starts I still have some time. Sunday I’ll be showing a flip thru of my Omni Journal, and Wednesday, which is Writer Wednesday on my YT channel, I’ll be showing my updated Writer’s Bible. I really need to go back through my Writer Omnibus and organize things better as well (to be frank, I probably won’t get to that before NaNo starts).
It always gets crazy busy when I have a good idea and I want to start working on it. For example, I’ve been thinking about making tabs and putting them in my NaNo/Writer Bullet Journal, as well as in my Project TN. I’ve also been thinking about cleaning out my desk completely (that means a big trash bag and a few file folders will be needed). But do I have time for any of that? Yes and No. I could make time. Instead of writing this blog post I could be cleaning out the drawers in my desk. Or I could be making tabs. Or I could be folding the white clothes or doing the dishes. I could also be working on the last parts of my outline for NaNoWriMo. I will be working on my desk drawers on Monday while my coffee chat video saves and then while it’s uploading. And on Tuesday, I think I’ll work on the tabs. Tonight I’ll fold the white clothes while I’m watching TV.
During NaNoWriMo I’ll be using my NaNo/Writer Bullet Journal to keep up with everything, but I’ll warn you now: My writing/craft/art room will end up creative chaos, our clothes will get washed but I can’t guarantee they will get put up after I fold them (though I will try), and we’ll most likely be using paper plates and eating easy to cook/make/throw together meals. One of the great things about my husband is that he’s pretty laid back. As long as we aren’t starving, as long as the bathroom and the kitchen are clean (and he’s not a stickler for rinsed off dishes being in the sink until one of us (usually me) can get to them since we don’t have a dishwasher), he’s okay with things. He’ll help me fold clothes, do dishes, etc., especially if he hasn’t worked a long day.
With NaNoWriMo fast approaching, not to mention the prepping for NaNo, along with my other projects: The Dark Tower Reading Project, the Decorated Page, and Destination Me…When I first started this blog post the title was Self-Care for NaNoWriMo, but once I started writing the first sentence of the post I realized it was about more than that. Self-Care is about more than getting enough sleep, eating healthy, getting exercise, and taking time for yourself. It’s also about knowing when to take a break, taking a break when your mind or body needs you to. It’s also about making sure you take time to nourish your creativity, to refill your well. (Thank you Julia Cameron.)
Taking a break for your mind might mean taking a break from the writing to go for a walk and clear your head. And hey, the fact that walking also does your body good–well, double points. 😀 And if your body is screaming at you that you’re thirsty, well then get up out of the chair and go get some water. 😀 That five minute walk from the chair to the kitchen and back is good for both your mind and body. People talk about the cues that your body send you, and oftentimes in the past I have ignored those cues. Instead of taking a break to eat lunch I just kept writing–hell, I might not have even realized that hours had gone by until my stomach growled, or I got a headache from not eating… The truth is, once I get in that zone I forget about everything else. That’s part of the reason why I keep a large cup with a lid and straw full of water or juice on my desk, why it seems like I drink so much coffee–most of the time the coffee gets cold before I am able to finish it. But the first two cups of coffee, or my ADHD medication as I tend to think of it, those go down quick, and they’re so delicious and necessary, but so are the ounces of water that my body needs.
I have a busy schedule, and I do have a lot going on and I get a lot done (some days), but I don’t manage my time very well. That’s something I need to continue to work on, especially with NaNoWriMo coming. Managing my time includes making sure I take some time for myself. Time for walks, to get out of the house, to pamper myself a little so I can give myself a pedicure, or try that new face mask that’s been in my bathroom drawer for months, or just veg-out on SyFy movies while in my pajamas for a few hours on Sunday morning. Staying busy, especially with creative projects like writing, reading, art, etc helps lessen the depression and anxiety.
So what to do about self-care for NaNoWriMo? Like many other writers during the month of November, my aim will be to write at least 1667 words per day. From reading about other authors, some famous like Sai Stephen King, many aim to write at least 2000 words per day, while others aim to write a chapter a day, which for some genres is about the same thing. If I aim for 2K a day then I’ll have 60,000 words by the end of November. And if I participate in words sprints at least once a week, say a few of the 20 minute word sprints I could add to that day’s word count, maybe even write enough during the word sprints to add another 1000 words for that day’s total. That would be an extra 4000 words for the month. Now we’re talking 64K for the end of November. But I have a bad day or a day when I really need a break and I only write 1000 words instead of the 2K. I’m still ahead and I’m not stressing over it. I’ll get the words written, and the best way to make sure I can do that is by taking proper care of myself.
Eat healthier snacks and meals. Drink more water. Take walks every day. Do my stretches and meditation in the mornings. Write on!!! 😀
As a Constant Reader of Sai King’s work, I’m often surprised, yet not surprised at the same time, that there is so much symbolism within the pages of his books. Instead of separating the remaining weeks I’m going to write all of the questions here in this post and then I’m going to write a discussion post about what I think about the whole of the book. From now on, I’m going to do the same for the rest of the books. A central Questions Post and then a Central Discussion Post. I’d love it if you’d answer the questions here, and then go on to comment on the discussion post.
What is Ka? How does it affect Roland’s life? Does Ka seem to equate pre-destination? Do you think that humans are trapped by Ka, or do we retain free will?
What do the three magic doors look like? Why do you think each are different? How do they work? Do you think Ka has anything to do with the differences between the doors, and their existence?
Roland hears voices in his head. Cuthburt’s, the MIB’s, his father’s…Do you think they play a part in Roland’s internal dialogue? Do you think they are a force for good or bad? How does Roland becoming a voice in the mind’s of others change your view of Roland?
Much of the Drawing of the Three takes place outside of Roland’s World, and instead in our world, or at least a version of our world. Many of Eddie’s problems, as well as most of Detta/Odetta’s problems, are rooted in the U.S.’s culture/history. What social, economic, and cultural problems of 1980’s America touch Eddie’s life? How did racial hatred, segregation, and then the Civil Rights Movement affect Detta/Odetta’s life?
Why is Eddie willing to put his life in danger for his brother Henry? Do you think Henry deserves this kind of loyalty?
Roland comes from a Warrior culture. What part does patriarchal lineage play in the gunslinger culture? Why would this kind of culture be foreign to Eddie?
What did you think about the showdown at Balazar’s place?
Why did Odetta’s father refuse to tell her about his past? What metaphor does King use to describe Dan Holmes’s protective silence? How does his treatment of his past contribute to Odetta’s fragmentation?
How does Roland help “cure” Odetta of the fragmentation? Is timing significant?
What do you think about Jack Mort and what happened to him?
What role does Jack play in the novel? Why is this so significant in terms of Roland’s development?
The verb to draw has many meanings and can be used in many contexts. Roland, Eddie, and Detta all draw guns. Roland draws his two companions into his world. However, the verb to draw can also be used to describe the action of drawing poison from a wound so that the wound can heal. What role does this kind of drawing play in the Drawing of the Three?
What role does Jake play in this novel? Why is this so significant in terms of ROland’s development?
*Note: Most of these questions came from Robin Furth’s Stephen King’s The Dark Tower A Concordance Volume II.
If we were having coffee I’d tell you about how Hurricane Matthew (2016) left a trail of destruction all the way from Haiti to North Carolina, causing billions of dollars worth of damage along the East Coast.
According to the news, Matthew started out as a tropical storm/wave on September 22 off the coast of Africa. Within a week it grew to a majorly destructive hurricane.
The hurricane slammed into Haiti at full force, and caused over a billion dollars in damages and claimed many lives. Matthew continued on its destructive path to the eastern tip of Cuba where it all but annihilated much of the coastal town of Baracoa.
Florida braced for the worst as the destructive Matthew headed their way on October 7; it was downgraded to a Category 2 later that evening, but still caused massive flooding, and widespread power failures in Jacksonville and the surrounding areas. Matthew turned its attention on the 8th of October towards Georgia and South Carolina (which is where I live), where it made landfall as a Category 1 hurricane, leaving a wake of damage: flooding, power outages, and more. There are many who are still without power.
Though Matthew was downgradedit wasn’t done yet. It hit North Carolina and Virginia on Sunday, October 9, still packing quite a destructive punch. Because of torrential rains, parts of eastern North Carolina, and parts of South Carolina, are facing even more flooding.
Then Matthew returned to the Atlantic Ocean, but it claimed approximately 19 lives in the United States alone, and the devastation and destruction can still be felt as many are still without power and many in the Carolinas face even more flooding.
Just as I survived Hurricane Hugo in 1989, I survived Hurricane Matthew, and for that I am thankful. Yes, we have damage. Yes, we were prepared ahead of time. Part of that preparedness was because we’d survived Hugo along with other tropical storms and hurricanes (along with quite a few other natural disasters like snow storms in parts of SC that rarely even get snow, as well as the flood we had last year ), and part of it was because of Gov. Haley.
Today, I raise my cup of coffee to all of those who were in the wake of Matthew’s destructive path, to Gov. Haley for evacuating the areas of SC that were supposed to be in the most danger, and to all of the workers: EMS, Police, Fire Dept, news people, volunteers…and many others.