RSS Winter Writing Fest 2017 Update #7 (FINAL): Quotes galore!

RSS Winter Writing Festival 2017



It’s finally here!

The last day of the Ruby Slippered Sisterhood‘s 2017 Winter Writing Festival. 50 days later, and we’re here–phew! This year’s annual WWF just flew by… Give me a second while I catch my breath here.

Actually, I haven’t been entirely honest there. I spent the last 2.5 weeks catching my breath, because I haven’t been writing so much as plotting and hopping between ideas.

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So many jellyfish, so little net…

After spending almost 2 of those 2.5 weeks scurrying around, trying to figure out my next move, on Friday I finally decided what story I’d like to focus on, and I’ve been diligently working on it since. So far, so good.

Now, good news for those of you keeping up with the WWF (or those of you who sat out this year), the Ruby Slippered Sisterhood just announced that by popular demand the sprints would be continuing. For now there will be sprints from 7-9am, Monday to Friday with author Autumn Jordan. Very kind of her to host those morning sprints, and Autumn knows how to crack the whip, so get in there and get to writing! Lately I haven’t been so much a morning person, but I’ll start dragging my butt out of bed just to get 2 hours in of writing. Sometimes those hours really do make the difference.

Now, to leave you all with a few inspirational quotes that got me through these last 7 weeks, through the ups and downs…and way downs…

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So go out there and make your dreams a reality! Because only you can make it happen. You’ll have cheerleaders along the way, here’s hoping, and you’ll stumble, but you will also pick yourself up, dust yourself off and keep on marching. You got this. One step at at time.

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RSS Winter Writing Fest 2017 Update #6: Keeping on!

RSS Winter Writing Festival 2017



Oops! I’m late with this post, but better late than never I suppose.

I’m mostly late because I haven’t done much since my last update. I’ve been afraid to write. I have these lengthy periods where I can’t bring myself to do much more than plot and dream up scenes and dialogue, but I can’t get the words flowing–and it has nothing to do with being stuck in the plotting, and everything to do with fear of failure. Fear of confronting the words on the page and then judging right out of the gate. NOT a conducive way to do anything by the way.

And, yeah, I’m talking myself through it. What I’m going to have to do is take it a day at a time, a sentence at a time, until I get that confidence back. The confidence is in the actual writing. I have to write to start to feel like I’ve got a grip on my creations.

In the meanwhile, what could you do if you’re afraid or you find you’re not writing as much as you’d like and you’re trying to re-wire your fearful thinking?

1. Do what you enjoy.

Easy enough. I’ve said this a lot in my blog whenever I write these kind of posts. I find baking, watching TV, reading, window shopping (yeah, I know, retail therapy at its best) and even cleaning and re-organizing to be great ways to trick my mind into wanting to write. By the time I’ve taken a long break, I feel like I return to the page like a starved Sylvester.

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2. Do have a notebook near.

I use the Notes in my phone because it’s easier at night to jot down an idea if one strikes. Doesn’t mean I’ll ever revisit the idea, but I usually judge that when I’m more awake… Yes, sometimes bursts of inspiration that feel amazing at 3am are not like so when I’m wide awake and I’ve gotten my daily dose of caffeine.

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3. Do some other writing.

I don’t journal much, but I tried it last year and I’d recommend it. It takes away the stress of having to show anyone your work. And that’s where fan fiction could come along as well. Everyone has a fandom they enjoy, so find yours and write a short story, or a series of one shots if you’re not willing to dedicate a whole lot of time to a longer derivative work.

My problem with writing is that I worry to get it perfect even though I realize I’ll have to edit it because it’s still a first draft. If you’re like me, then you just need to take a step back, breathe, re-group, and get to doing what you’re passionate about and don’t worry 100% where you’ll land; there’s always room for growth at the end too.

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And next update is the final one for this year’s RSS Winter Writing Festival. I’m sad to see it end, but it’s also nearly the end of winter, and spring brings more growth…and much-needed sunshine.

See you then! And keep keeping on!

RSS Winter Writing Fest 2017 Update #5: It’s (Kinda) Not Me!

RSS Winter Writing Festival 2017



It’s post-Valentine’s, and I spent yesterday trying to woo my latest WIPs – yeah, I’m a player, courting 2 stories at once – I realized sometimes it’s really not you causing all the relationship problems.

Sometimes I catch myself blaming my outlining skill, or my writing ability, or my propensity to procrastinate…let those eyes wander to Slutty New Idea(s)* BUT I’m not always at fault!

Yeppers, I’m looking at you manuscript(s). Both of you. I’m not the bad guy here. You should be burden with some of the blame. So I got some questions…probably stuff I should have asked before, but *cracks knuckles (but ew! not really)*

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1. Why Can’t You Be Easy?

Why is it you start off all nice and sweet, and you’re busting out the flowers, and champagne, and heart-shaped chocolates, and BAM! All of a sudden we’re past the outline stage, and getting into the real serious first drafting and it’s like “what the heck have I been doing with you”? Maybe we moved too quick…

2. Why Are You Making Me Think Such Awful Things About Myself?

That doesn’t explain why you’re making me hate myself. Suddenly it’s like I can’t even look in the mirror without confronting a stranger.

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Like who is that girl and why is she letting this puny story beat her ass?

3. Do we need a break? Or should we call it quits?

Break, quits. Break, quits.

Which is it going to be?

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I could start dating again, shopping around, see what manuscript fits me, but I also kinda like how we started before everything went to heck and all. So I guess it depends on what I want to do, and doing what feels right, not necessarily what makes me happy right now.

Which brings me to my final point…

4. Let’s move on.

Whether we go our separate ways or not, I’m wishing you the best.

No, I won’t promise whipping out dolls to prick and stick some voodun magic your way, but I will stop opening your file and delete you from my life. Cool? Cool.

And okay, fine, let’s agree to definitely agree that the Internal Editor hates us both and should be bitten, mercilessly.

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*courtesy of NYT bestselling author Rachel Hawkins. She’s mad funny, guys, and great books–>go read them.

RSS Winter Writing Fest 2017 Update #4: Be You!

RSS Winter Writing Festival 2017



Another week, and not much to update.

I did finish a novel, so there’s that…

But after the excitement of the ending wore off, I found myself feeling a little blue. Aimless, more like it. I had my hands on a second WIP, but I woke up the next morning not in the mood to write. Of course, I pushed myself. I’m getting WAY better at showing up, shutting up and doing the work, but I also lowered my word count and that helped ease the guilt hounding me.

I’m totally cool now! I finished the second WIP and I’m fixing my eye on my next story. I should mention I freelance write, so these stories are not mine once I send them to their rightful clients. It’s a way to keep me afloat; not entirely lucrative, but it’s doing the trick for now. In the meantime, I’m hankering to get started on writing a story of my own again. The last story I finished of mine was back in October, and it’s high time I got my hands back in the game.

So, moving forward into this latest week of the Ruby Slippered Sisterhood‘s Winter Writing Festival, I’d like to sanely juggle WIP #3 for a client and my side project.

As an aside, if you’re feeling a little down about your story (stories), don’t be. Sometimes I fret that I’m not a good enough writer, but I’m getting better at stopping and asking myself who I’m measuring myself up against. Because usually it isn’t me and I’ll complain “I’m not as good as Authors X, Y, Z” and “I’d bet Authors A, B, C could take my premise and make magic of it”.

Stop, breathe, and repeat this Wilde truth: “Be yourself; everybody else is already taken.”

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They really are.

Be true; be you!

And get out there and make magic of your own already.

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RSS Winter Writing Fest 2017 Update #3: Win all the Words!

RSS Winter Writing Festival 2017



What even?!

Where are the weeks going? Flying away, that’s where. Far from here. Sorta like what I want to do now that it’s getting to the “blah, when is it gonna be over” phase of winter.

Thank God for the Ruby Slippered Sisterhood’s Winter Writing Festival!

Where would I be without the fun, productive sprints in the official chatroom? Somewhere, granted, but probably with a lot less fun. If you haven’t done a sprint yet, let me prod you to do one now. You don’t need some special permission, and it doesn’t require signing up. Just click the “Chatroom” tab on one of the scheduled sprinting times (find those on the left side of the screen, updated weekly) and VIOLA, you’re chatting and sprinting away.

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Now how am I doing?

Another awesome week. Almost through with this WIP and then I’m celebrating before I pick up WIP #2. It’s all about pacing myself. I already know I write best in the morning. My golden hours are between 5am-12pm. Then it’s mostly my being distracted by the Internet. I do better writing on my tablet in the evenings, but then again I could spend them reading, right?

So, 3 weeks down and 4 weeks left of the RSS’s Winter Writing Festival. It’s never too late to join, so hop in and win all the words, friends!


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RSS Winter Writing Fest 2017 Update #2: Dance!

RSS Winter Writing Festival 2017



Another week completed!

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Getting ahead of myself, but I’m on a high. Not that kind of high.

No, I got a lot more accomplished this week. Like writing more early on in this WIP and then lowering my overall word count. Also hitting the halfway mark of 50K!

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You heard the man. Dance!

You didn’t make your goals, that’s fine. Renew them and hit them hard this week. Or just hit them, you know. Do something, anything that’s better than nothing.

For those of you feeling down in the dumps, maybe gripped by seasonal affective disorder, try to brighten your work space/area, and break those larger, long-term goals into manageable smaller goals. Make sure you get in your exercise and eat healthy, and SLEEP–that’s good for you, my zombie friends.

And the days and moments where you’re at your worse, just stop, do something fun and remember why you started this journey.

You got this.

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RSS Winter Writing Fest 2017 Update #1: Fly, fly!

RSS Winter Writing Festival 2017



We’re in the thicket of it now.

One week down, and six left to go.

So far, so good. Although sometimes I’m attacked by doubt and its whispering “get out while you’re still ahead”. It’s getting easier to write though, and easier to push those negative thoughts away.

One thing that’s helping is the chat room and writing sprints over at the official Winter Writing Festival site, but I haven’t always been on using it. Over this first weekend, I wrote alone, no one leading sprints, no one to talk to. Just me and my characters, hashing it out.

As far as writing daily goes, it’s going. Swimmingly, in fact. I don’t make an excuse. I shut up, sit down and write what I can.

It’s how I finished two novellas. Not magic and sprinkling fairy dust over the ideas in my head, but real hard work, putting in the hours, the frustration and hopes all of it onto the blank page.

Stuck on your story? Try to write something else, even a short, flirty piece to get the imagination grooving. Step away from the story and do something else, anything else. Clean, cook, laundry, paint your toe nails, whatever. Sometimes I find it easier when I’m not confronted by the next sentence.

However you do it, make it yours. Don’t wait for things to happen, grab your Golden thinking Cap and arrange and command those brilliant thoughts just waiting in her head.

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Now fly, fly, fly, my pretties!

RSS Winter Writing Fest 2017 Update INTRO: Another year, another writing frenzy.

RSS Winter Writing Festival 2017



It’s another year, and that means the start of the 7th annual Winter Writing Festival, hosted by the wonderful authors at Ruby Slippered Sisterhood, whom do a better job of breaking down the festival in their inaugural post today!

But if you want my version, here it is, super quick: the Winter Writing Festival (from here on out WWF) is more like Camp NaNoWriMo than the official November run to hit 50K. You can make up whatever writing-related goal you want, and aim to try to get it accomplished (or at least take those necessary first steps) in the 50 days of the WWF.

Yes, we go from today (Jan 10th) to the end of February–or 50 days of wonderful productivity.

Other bonuses to get you to join is the terrific CHAT ROOM, where one of the Ruby Slippered Sisters will be hosting a writing session. Today’s next session is 8pm-10pm, and there’s early morning (5am-7pm) writing sessions, so make sure to jump in and use that to get those words down, one way or another. I can personally attest to the community there as being the most lovely bunch of writers you’ll meet–super supportive and funny, the hours fly by, and so do the days of the WWF. At least they did last year. 🙂

Then there’s the PRIZES. Every week of the WWF, there’s a chance for you to win one of the wonderful prizes from the Ruby Slippered Sisterhood authors. Anything from books, to fun swag (i.e. think bookmarks and pens, maybe notebooks) to, wait for it, author critiques! Yes!

And although the authors are primarily published in the romance genre, all writers of any genres can join in and try their hand at reaching 2017 goals they’ve set up AND take their chances at prizes too.

Now, there is a point system.

Wait? That sounds suspicious…and not any fun. What if I don’t get points, you say?

Well…here’s the catch: it’s based on an honor system of 50 points, and it’s meant to hold you accountable and therefore, hopefully, very productive. So it’s not a fast, hard rule, but rather a way to keep yourself honest with your goal(s) and evaluate how much you’ve been putting into them, time-wise and emotional-wise.

Last year I aimed for writing every day and writing at least 250/day in the WWF, and I almost did, even though I started 5-6 days late as I didn’t know such a fabulous event existed.

This year I’m renewing my goal of writing daily and adding on that I’d like to write 500/day for today all the way to February 28th, the Festival’s close.

I’ll tally a point a day if I write that day and I hit 500, cool?

You’ll all hold me responsible if I don’t?

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So, off we go, down the golden brick road toward our latest writing dreams!

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You gonna join the fun?