Posted in Uncategorized

Life Updates: Part 1

Hey family, friends, and fans!

I’ve decided to start a new blog series that I will update every once in a while called “Life Updates.” Creative, I know. But it most succinctly captures everything I’m planning on telling you in these posts.

This year I planned to post to my blog weekly. Yeah, that didn’t happen. Mental health issues got in the way, and I probably shouldn’t share the specifics, but when you’re in a 24-hour battle with your mind, it’s overwhelming to just get out of bed and do the things you need to do each day. Much less keeping up with writing goals and promises.

Mental health is something I have struggled with my entire life, but especially in the last eight years. It’s frustrating because I’m the only thing holding myself back from great successes, and I can’t win this battle because it’s a battle with myself. I don’t even know where to begin in order to fight back.

But I digress.

Mental health is the biggest player in why I haven’t written in a long while, or kept up with my newsletters, or any of the things I promised myself I would do for you, my readers.

You guys keep me going, coming back to my writing again and again. Your support means the world to me.

So that’s why I was blown away by the support on twitter when I participated in a pitch contest, just for the sake of seeing if I could and if I would get any bites. I posted four tweets about two different WIPs for #carinapitch, a romance press with Harlequin.

I didn’t get any bites, but I’m proud I did it. In case you wanted to see what I was working on, here are those tweets:

The mermaid prince committed a crime: he let a human know of merpeople’s existence by saving her life and bringing her down to the underwater kingdom. Now he has three weeks to make her fall in love with him, or face execution at the hands of his uncle, the king.

This is for my completed WIP Poseidon’s Pearl that just needs editing and to go through Write of Passion’s editing and publishing process before being published.

A legend in the pack foretells that a Siren will get revenge by killing the first human mate of the Alpha in 1,000 years. So when Flynn finds out he is mated to an observant human who may or may not be trustworthy, he must figure out whether it’s love or lies.

This is for my WIP that I am still writing called Betrayal. I’m only 30k words in and most of those I got a few years ago before I abandoned the project for a new, shinier idea, but I am getting back to it and I can’t wait to share it all with you.

I got a lot of retweets and some other people even said they thought my pitch was awesome! So thank you, all of you, for your support.

In case you want to follow me on twittter for more updates and interactions, I am @HayleyGAuthor. This also works for Facebook and Instagram, though I am not very active on either of those platforms right now.

That’s another goal of mine: to be more active and interactive on social media with all of you.

I guess we’re talking about goals, now, so I may as well lay mine out for all to see:

  • Write a blog post at least once per week
  • Be more interactive with you guys on social media (Facebook and Twitter to start. I’ll add in Instagram later.)
  • Write every day
  • Read every day
  • Set deadlines for my writing
  • Set deadlines for Write of Passion’s editing and publishing process
  • Make Write of Passion into a blogging site for writing advice and book reviews
  • Publish Poseidon’s Pearl sometime within the next year

I think that’s enough goals to work on for now.

Well, this has been a rollercoaster of a post. From lamenting my mental illness to the excitement and highs of a pitch contest, to goals. I’m a bit all over the place.

Thank you for sticking with me. Your support means everything.

Happy writing!

Posted in Writing, writing advice

Writing Methods: Drafting

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Photo by Nick Morrison via Unsplash

So far, we have talked about things you can do before you write. We have talked about planning your story, whether that’s outlining or pantsing, controlling the surrounding environment when you write, and rituals you can do to kick start your brain into writing mode. But what about the actual drafting process?

There are several ways you can approach the first draft. These range from how you write sentences, how fast you write the draft, and whether you revise before you finish writing the draft.

Mind Barf vs. Careful Construction: Writing Sentences

If you write more lyrical prose or your training is in poetry, chances are you think about every word before you write it. You craft the perfect sentence, or at least a deliberate one, before moving on to the next.

Other writers type or scribble whatever comes to mind as fast as it enters their brain. I like to call this mind barfing onto the page. The only limitation here is how fast your fingers move.

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Photo by Randy Fath via Unsplash

You may be somewhere in between these two, depending on what you are writing, how fast your brain works, and how many times you edit the words in your head before you write them down. Some writers outline only the major plot points, while others only outline the characters. This is a good way to get the major events in a story without always having to rewrite a detailed outline over and over. For more information on these types of outlining, check out the first article in this series: Outlining Vs Pantsing.

Turtle Writers vs. Rabbit Writers: How Fast Do You Write?

If you fall into the careful construction of each sentence category, you are probably a turtle writer. This means you may bang out a couple of hundred words of your project daily and call it a day. You take a lot longer to finish the first draft, but it’s more polished than those who mind barf every thought. You may produce more words than a couple hundred when you write, but you take a lot more time to get the same amount of words as your mind-barfing counterparts.

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Photo by Brett Hales via Unsplash

If you are in the mind-barf camp, chances are you can bang out a couple thousand, if not tens of thousand words a day in a relatively short amount of time. Your fingers fly over the keyboard or your handwriting is on the messy side because of how fast you scribble just to get everything on the page.

Old School vs. Tech: How Do You Write?

Some writers enjoy using pen and paper for their first drafts. It feels great to write this way. Plus, when you type everything up into your computer, you automatically have a more polished draft because you edit as you go. The feeling of crossing things out, drawing circles and arrows, and other such revision processes are satisfying. A lot of turtle writers and construction writers like to write by hand.

The downsides to writing by hand is that you have to count your words manually. You could lose a notebook and all of that work is just gone, without a backup. Handwriting is usually slower than typing up your work. This method also hurts your hand if you’re not used to it.

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Photo by Mike Tinnion via Unsplash

Others like the feeling of typing because you can get your words out quickly and save it in several places so you’ll always have a backup of your work. Also, you can copy, paste, cut, delete, and move things around more easily without crossing things out. It’s much cleaner than writing by hand. It’s also easier to change the formatting to meet publisher requirements and you don’t have to take that extra step to type it all up. Mind-barfers tend to end up in this camp.

Downsides to typing include eye strain, the expense of having to print things out, and losing things if you don’t save regularly or have auto-save set up.

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Photo by John Schnobrich via Unsplash

Goal Setters vs. Go-With-the-Flow People: Do You Set Deadlines?

Setting deadlines, such as finishing your book by a certain date, writing a certain number of words each day, or … [Read More]