Sunday, June 26, 2016

Creating My New Routine

One could easily view me as A.D.H.D. I have mentioned several times that while writing is my passion, I do have a number of time consuming interests. From my distance cycling to the very recent belly dancing and the ever present need to be reading I am always working on one thing or another outside of writing. Along with these interests I make time to spend with my boyfriend and, when possible, my other friends in order to get me out of my own head. Then as though all of that weren't enough I need to spend time working out in order to keep my health concerns under control and of course there is the little detail of my day job to pay the bills.

Of course for the writer side of me has needs as well. I attend book shows (which are by far one of my favorite activities), blog as often as I remember too, am learning to do more online promotions, editing, and the most important part for a writer, write. I love getting lost in my stories. I struggle occasionally to find the characters and get them talking but once I do there is just nothing else in the world that compares.

So what is on the agenda? I need to create a schedule that includes about an hour of exercise each day, an hour or so of promotions, half an hour to dedicate to getting a blog post completed, read enough to complete a book to a book and a half each week, and hopefully at least two thousand words per day of writing. There will be days that I write more or less because of working my day job and I am also hoping to use my days off to draft some blog posts and schedule some posts on Facebook that can simply be published later on so that I can maintain my scheduled activities on the days I work.

It is far easier said than done to create such a schedule and for someone as sporadic and random as I seem to be it will be a huge challenge to stick with it but I am hoping that with some practice I will find that I am more easily able to fit everything in and will be able to see the rewards of being on top of so many things. I have a great team and so I am looking forward to tackling tis new challenge with their incredible support.

Monday, June 20, 2016

The Longest Day

Today I am taking part in a challenge to support a friend's father that suffered from Alzheimer's as well as honor one of my favorite authors of all time that also dealt with the disease. Terry Pratchet was loved the world over and I have a personal goal to not only collect the entire Discworld series but also find at least one autographed book by him. He passed in recent years after a long battle with Alzheimer's and the writing world took to social media to express our collective sorrow.

It was through those conversations I learned that one of my good friends and an author I look up to in every way had also understood the pain and frustrations of the disease in a deeper way because her father had suffered as well. She created The Longest Day challenge in honor of Sir Pratchet but also for her personal story to help raise money and awareness. I joined in last year to help write in Terry Pratechet's memory and this year we are writing again, this time about memories.

I have not decided on the memory I want to share but I know I will take part because I believe it is important to keep memories alive and to remind people that there are those out there fighting just to hold on to the simple things like names. I think I will be going through some of my photo albums to find just the right story to tell and in honor of Father's Day being yesterday I will do my best to find one to share about my own dad that I lost almost nine years ago.

I have been reminiscing recently and I think that it would be a nice touch to be able to share with the world some of those things that bring a smile to my face. I would like to challenge each one of the people that read my blog posts to consider sharing a memory of your own. It does not matter if you are a writer or a handyman, just take a few minutes and write down some thoughts on a memory that is important to you. Use the hashtag #LongestDay or #EndAlz on social media and together we can fill the world with memories in honor of those that struggle to keep their own.

You can feel free to tag or post to me Renee Jean on Facebook or send them to me @AuthorReneeJean on twitter! Please help us fill the world with memories and smiles today so we can show that we stand with those still fighting.

Monday, June 6, 2016

Decisions Decisions

I have been struggling for a long time to get myself to write the way that I would like. As I scroll through the different groups I am a part of for writers I notice all of the authors proclaiming their latest victories. I take part in conversations with them about what they plan to day next and while I applaud their concentration and accomplishments I still find myself stalling.

I began writing when I was just a child. A few years ago I made the leap to published author. I am very proud of that. I wrote my book Never Give Up and did my best to thicken my skin before submitting to agents all over the country. Then came the flood of responses. They all said no. I was devastated. I was also clueless about what it really takes to be accepted. Going back through my own editing now I can see immediately some of the reasons I got rejected. It was atrocious. The amount of editing that still needed to be done was a joke. My query letter was less than amateur. All in all I should be happy they even bothered to respond. But it still hurt.

I made the decision then to pursue an Indie publishing option so I could learn. Boy did I learn. I have come a great distance with my editing skills as well as my writing I would like to believe. I have even developed a thicker skin to take criticism yet I find myself lurking in the background of many groups, struggling to get blog posts out, and distracted at every turn from writing and promotions. I put a great deal of work into making the promotions part more fluid for myself yet I have never touched the tools I created. I started a book over two years ago that still has not been finished. It seems that even now as I find how incredible the feeling is to complete a book and allow a new story to begin I am stuck.

I have projects to work on. I have tons of projects to work on. But for some reason I cannot focus. People tell me not to work on finding motivation but instead to just sit down and do it. I have tried. Creating the habit only works if your brain will form the words to put down in paper. If it weren't for this rant about my inability I would be unable to even create a blog post today. And what have I done but taken on a new project in hopes that the pressure and stark contrast to my regular work will be enough to spark something inside me and allow me to move forward. At this point I am just trying to decided how far in over my head I have truly gotten myself. Can I borrow someone's life raft for a bit please?