Writing everyday?

It has been a few days since I made a contribution to this blog and while I definitely wish that I had not missed so many days in a row there have been so many things that have popped up in my personal life that have either kept me extremely busy or left me feeling drained by the end of the day.

First off, I had to make a trip down to Savannah, Georgia to be able to attend the very first birthday of my cousin’s son. Now many of you might think this is simply no big deal, but let me tell you this: out of the combined nine children between my father and his two brothers (two are in their mid thirties, the rest of us in the mid to late 20s) this is the ONLY grandchild produced thus far. Why? Not a clue. It’s just how it is. So naturally the entire family had to get together to celebrate the little guy.

Fast forward to Monday. I got a phone call after my fiance letting me know he had been in a car accident and yes, it was his fault. I was hit with so many emotions all at once. Fear for his safety and well being as well as intense rage that he had yet another accident (three total in the past 2 years). Spending the day in the hospital with him lessened the stress because, well, what’s done is done. There is no rewind button and you have to move forward.

Tuesday comes and insurance deems the car a total loss. Great. My Kia soul, a car that I ADORED, is gone. Haven’t even made the 8th payment on her yet. Crap. Call the dealership to get the information on the gap coverage policy that I requested FIVE TIMES before signing my papers on the vehicle. Guess what? They didn’t add the gap. Anyone reading this who has ever had a total loss will know how vital this insurance is. If you don’t have it, please go get it. It’s really stressful not to. So, thankfully I signed up for the extended 100,000 mile warranty that my dad begged me not to get because at the very least I now have another 2000 towards the cost of my car. This should in theory only leave us with about 2-3k we have to pay down. Luckily, vehicle lien holders will usually drop the price and interest on all payments moving forward due to such a small amount.

All of this coupled with a few more issues that came my way revolving around this accident (I don’t want to continue to give a long drawn out account of my week) has left me feeling drained at the end of most of my days. I have not had the time to sit down and write this blog nor have I had time to focus on putting any more effort into my novel.

Any aspiring writer would sympathize with me and know that when you don’t see yourself making progress on a project like a novel you tend to start questioning your passion and commitment to said project. Many writers even go out of their way to try and set the goal of writing SOMETHING every single day.

The fact of the matter is that you are bound to fail if you push yourself to that extreme and when you fail at your own goals the pressure can at times feel even heavier than it would have without the crazy strict goals. Sometimes you just don’t have time to write. Sometimes you are so emotionally drained that anything you actually do manage to write is simply going to be subpar, but you will know this and choose not to write. THIS IS OKAY.

Do not let yourself listen to the naysayers. Do not let yourself feel bad or less skilled as a writer simply because you find that you do not always have time. This will do nothing for your outlook or your project.

Don’t stress. You will get there. Eventually. Too many people don’t chase their dreams and passion because they feel they don’t have the time to do it. Do it anyway. At your own pace. Everyone is different. Even if it takes longer than you want it to, at least you have tried.

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Editing as you write…

In the vast amount of research I have done on the issue of writing a book there is one item that has stood out to me above all others: editing the work. Now, I have heard it each and every which way thanks to the multitude of booktubers that I follow on YouTube. Some writers find it best that they edit their own work while others would have you believe that this idea is absolutely foolish and the only way you should go about it is to hire an editor to read your book and edit it for you.

I am on the fence in this category. I find the fear of putting my book into the hands of someone else before it is ready to be published absolutely terrifying. That being said, I also know that there are bound to be issues let behind in the body of my work that need to be fixed in order to make the story flow harmoniously. So where can that balance be found?

I’m going to say that this is a question best left to the writers in question, because we are all different as far as our writing techniques are concerned. For instance, I personally wrote two chapters and found the task of reading over what I had written to be rather daunting. Word choice had to be redone, items had to be changed, next thing I know I have to delete something out of the middle of the next chapter because it just doesn’t make sense to the sequence of events happening even so early on. This is an idea that I am sure will be extremely frustrating if I left the editing to happen once the book is finished.

Once I realized this, I went through this small phase of doubt in my writing ability. I felt that this was a sign that my ideas for this novel were not going to go as I had wanted them to. In the end, I have found that so far into book one in the series that I have been spinning (mostly in my head and brainstorming notebook) the best approach has been for me to edit as I write.

I accomplish this by working one chapter at a time, only moving onto the next chapter once I am satisfied with what I have written so far. This allows me to go back and think critically about the word choices I have utilized as well as reevaluate the sequence of events so that overall the concepts that I have written will make more sense to the readers who might be so inclined to pick out my book among the millions already on the market.

This is not something that will totally eliminate the need for further editing, but it is something that will save a lot of time, money, and headaches in the long run as there is less chance of having to go back into the story and completely rework a major theme that is spread along the length of the novel. There may even be the option of forgoing hiring an editor on a large scale and choosing to utilize beta readers for the book (ALSO AN EXTREMELY IMPORTANT CONCEPT) that I plan to discuss on a later date as the argument of beta readers versus a professional editor is its own beast.

Who knows? Only time will tell, and as time will most definitely tell: writing a novel is not a once size fits all scenario. What works for one writer will not work for another. I am not exempt from this nor is any other aspiring author.

Thank you for reading. I hope that any tips I have to offer will help you in your own journey!