Saturday, August 18, 2018

The Perks of Reading Your Own Book

Due to writing a sequel, I forced myself to read the published version of Martin Hospitality a while back. Even though I'll never enjoy reading my own writing, I found a few fun things to do as I read that I recommend every writer do now!


Yes, this assumes you're fine with writing in books. I find it worth it (kind of liking using notebooks), but you could always do it with sticky notes, too, I suppose. Or in a notebook to the side. But trust me!! You don't want to skip these fun and helpful things.

Editing


We all know there are things we'd go back and change. The hardest part for me is not to change everything in word choice and structure. Try to take minimal notes like factual errors, typos, inconsistencies, etc. Must changes. Thankfully, with Createspace it's not hard to tweak your file and re-upload it.

I think everyone edits better on paper! So if you have time, it might be worth ordering a print copy of your final draft and doing this before you publish it. I may start implementing this because it's so helpful.

Note-taking


This is especially helpful for writing a sequel or any other books with recurring characters. How else are we supposed to remember what color so-and-so's eyes were or what mannerisms we gave the 6-year-old? It makes things easier to find if you highlight, underline . . . something. Who wants to spend their days searching through a digital copy of a manuscript anyway?

I kid you not when I say I couldn't be writing a sequel without  having done this! Beyond just reminding myself what I've already written, I also found lots of tiny little details that I mentioned once that could be full-blown threads in Book 2. Let's call it accidental foreshadowing.

If you have found a good note-taking system for details like this, I'd love to hear it! I just used a black pen and purple pen and had different underlining methods.

Annotating


This is so fun!!! I'm so glad I did this. Anytime I remembered what made me write something a particular way as I read (the source of inspiration or how it almost didn't make it in), I'd leave a note. I don't want to forget those things! And I get the feeling that they're the kind of things that readers love to know.

I have to say that the idea to do this came from Nadine Brandes. It's so worth doing, though, if only for your own amusement. If you do want to share them, I think they'd work wonderfully as insider's material for a street team or the like. (Again, Nadine is brilliant.)

For now, you can satisfy yourself with 50 facts about Martin Hospitality.
Have you ever read your own published book or annotated anything? What are your thoughts on writing in books?


If you want more info on what it's been like for me to write a sequel, look for my post as a part of Naomi's Inkling to Write writers' conference! It will contain a variety of topics on writing, the publishing journey, and marketing. My post just happens to be titled Slaying the Sequel Monster. ;)

Saturday, August 11, 2018

5 Reasons to Have a RAP (Reading Accountability Partner) // Lisa Elis

As I said last week, I have a guest poster! I'm so glad to have my friend Lisa here today. We've done a cool thing of being reading accountability partners (RAPs) and are generally just good bookwormish friends. So, of course, she's here to win you over to the most bookish side of all and convince you all to have RAPs of your own. And if she's not convincing enough, you can go read my post at the very end. Enjoy!



Hey to all you readers of Abi's *waves* I'm super honored to be featured on one of my favorite blogs ^.^ Abi and I decided to collaborate on the subject of "reading accountability partners," which we have been for almost a year.

Abi was already a seasoned blogger publishing her first book when I stumbled upon the blogosphere (in the early reaches of 2017). I actually found her because of her book's blog tour :D I emailed her once, introducing myself, and that was that. Until she requested for beta readers.


Abi has been a fabulous welcome to the blogging world for me. She gave me a start as a beta reader and included me in my first ever Camp Nano cabin and generally just was an awesome person who made me feel at home. She was on the hunt for a reading accountability partner in the early fall of last year, and when I heard I was virtually jumping up and down in the comment section and waving my arms around, so obviously she picked me.


^^ kidding. she actually did her research on me first.


So, with that introduction in mind, I'm giving you reasons why you should seriously consider getting an Abigayle Claire a reading accountability partner in your bookworm life.


But before we begin, here's a note: not everyone needs an accountability partner. I don't. I handle my reading fine on my own, thank you very much. Some people like to have another person to keep them on track, but others don't. And that's 100% ok. But just because you don't need a reading accountability partner does not mean you can't have one, nor that you won't want one when you're done with this post. Let me explain.

Accountability in Reading


First of all, as the name itself tells you, a reading accountability partner is great for ACCOUNTABILITY IN READING. This just means you have someone to share your reading goal with and that someone will help you keep on track. That person is always there to poke you and say HOW IS YOUR TBR?


^^ (And I take my job seriously. Sometimes I worry that I'm a pest to Abi haha. So I try not to poke her too often).


Some of us need this more than others. That's fine. This is for those who need it.


General Bookish Chats

Secondly, a rap is great fun because YOU CAN CHAT WITH THEM ABOUT ALL THINGS BOOKISH. This works on Goodreads and on group chats as well, of course, but. Sometimes those don't work quite as well, because you feel like there are just too many people around and it's hard to carry a lengthy conversation with any of them because you are trying to keep track of all of them.


With your reading accountability partner, however, you can be completely free to start and carry a bookish conversation. That's one specification of the JOB and if they don't want to do it, then you can just fire them.


^^ again, just kidding.


The perks of chatting with your accountability partner are that


// it's one on one
// longer conversations are possible
// because she/he is your friend you can delve deeper than with your acquaintances
// both of you will make time for it
// if you chose your reading accountability partner right (and that's the topic of another post hehe) chances are you'll have similar opinions
// and even if you don't, you won't end up fighting over it because you know and understand each other


Recs from Someone You Trust


We all get bombarded with book recommendations from all around, and on Goodreads we tend to mark all books with glowing five-star reviews as "want to read".


^^ (or, maybe not? but that's beside the point. the point is we mark  A LOT of them.)


We all have books we LOVE; we all have books we HATE; and we all have books we TOLERATE. A perk of having a reading accountability partner is that she/he may have read books you haven't, and can advise you one whether or not you would enjoy them.


It goes like this:


you: HEY DEAR R.A.P, I heard about this book and was wondering if you've read it and what you think and whether I should give it a go
your r.a.p.: OH THAT ONE. the good news is IT WAS MARVELOUS AND BEAUTIFUL AND A WORK OF ART AND STABBED ME IN THE FEELS
you: OH THANKS THAT'S GREAT AND I --
your r.a.p.:  OH BUT WAIT the bad news is that you won't like it
you: why????
your r.a.p.: It's about rhinos and we all know you had a bad experience with them as a kid and hate rhinos
you: ... awww nuts ...


Or like this:


you: This book that I saw a Goodreads friend review 1 star has a horrible cover did you know
your r.a.p.: OH YES and the story was even worse. there was this dreadful love heptagon and this jerk of a strong female character who kicked butt and this evil government she managed to overthrow and did I mention the cliche tall and strong and handsome and super friendly boyfriend?
you: .... but those are my favorite tropes ...
your r.a.p.: ... oops, I forgot ... come to think of it this is exactly the kind of book you'd love
you: REALLY?
your r.a.p.: yes but what is wrong with your taste buds I don't even know


^^ (r.a.p. stands for reading accountability partner, in case you didn't guess)


IN SUMMARY, your reading accountability partner can give you great recommendations just for you because she/he knows your tastes well!

Buddy Reads with a Person You Like


Buddy reading is when you and another person read the same book at the same time at the same pace and you DISCUSS it at intervals. Abi and I haven't actually done that yet (though we've discussed it) but I can tell you that it would be a great activity.


Especially if you pick a book neither of you has read.


It can be entertaining and fun or it could even develop into a STUDY OF LITERATURE and that sounds like a brilliant plan to me! Reading together, making predictions, watching each other's reactions, and learning together is a great thing to do with any of your bookworm friends, and reading accountability partners naturally lend themselves to this activity.


Book-Related Debates (and rants)

Abi and I actually have similar tastes, so we haven't had much of a chance to debate about anything (though we minorly disagree on a few things) BUT let me tell you from experience that it IS possible to be great friends with someone who has wildly different bookish tastes.


Now chances are that you won't chose someone like that as your reading accountability partner ... but still. No two people are exactly a like so chances also are that no matter whom you pick, you will still disagree about some things.


However, unlike with strangers who try to murder you when you disagree with them (kidding again. I hope?), your friends won't bite your head off. You may disagree, yes; you may even argue; but in the end you'll still respect each.


I have another friend with whom there's like an 80% chance that she hates a book I like. And while it's all too bad, we have great fun fighting over stuff. We argue a lot, but always end on better terms than we began, because we've agreed to not get offended and not purposely offend the other.


It's great practice debating with your friends - it's fun, it's exhausting, it helps you express your opinion, and it teaches you that you can disagree but not offend each other.
And that finishes my 5 reasons why you should have a reading accountability partner.




HOPE YOU ALL ENJOYED. thanks so much for reading my guest post, and thanks so much to Abi for having me over. Give her some beautiful comments below, and chances are I might drop by again to reply.


STAY AWESOME YOU ALL.
xxxx lisa


D O   Y O U  H A V E  A R E A D I N G   
A C C O U N T A B I L I T Y   P A R T N E R?
W H A T   W O U L D  B E Y O U R   F A V O R I T E  
A C T I V I T Y   T O D O W I T H   O N E?

Saturday, August 4, 2018

How I Remain Productive Amidst Chaos

Me, productive in July?? At first blush, not really. But the more I thought about it, the more I realized how much I accomplished. It was a productive blur of craziness. I don't know about you, but I really want to know how I managed that.


OK, so first off I was not as productive as I wanted to be in certain things. However, some of the other things that ate my time were equally productive. (Hello, work?) So I think it's important to remember that every kind of productivity is productive.

If you're like me this means you get really good at productive procrastination. I think that basically sums up my July.

The aerial view of my life in July was being out of town the first two weeks and at work the last two weeks. Sounds like a recipe for productivity, right? Well ... yes, actually.

While out of town, I expected to:
  • finish reading Thief of Corinth
  • have ample quiet time to write toward my goal of 30k
  • start reading The Blue Castle
  • work for my aunt
  • see fireworks once
  • do some work on the train ride home

What I actually did:
  • finished reading Thief of Corinth
  • wrote half a chapter and then got a pedicure
  • wrote the other half a chapter and ate ice cream
  • enjoyed multiple Starbucks
  • binge-read The Blue Castle
  • attended my first major league baseball game and saw fireworks three times
  • binge-read Where the Woods Grow Wild
  • binge-watched Lord of the Rings with my cousins
  • worked for my aunt AKA created flowers for two beautiful metroplex weddings
  • had a movie night/sleepover with my other cousins
  • googled things to do in NYC and visit with the girl next to me on the train ride home
Are you seeing a pattern here? Some things didn't happen so my inclination is to call it all unproductive. But actually a ton happened. No, it wasn't all productive, but it was all worth it. I'm not going to apologize for my goals; goals are a good thing. But I'm not going to kick myself (too much) for not hitting them all either. Sometimes I think we need to adjust our expectations and look at what we accomplished instead.

While back home and working, I expected to:
  • babysit
  • do secretary work
  • go to church
  • house sit
  • celebrate my brother's birthday
  • hit my Camp NaNo goal (now reduced to 10k)
  • plan something for the Andora's Folly birthday
  • edit for Kellyn
What I actually did:
  • babysit, getting reading time, writing time, and treated to lunch
  • joined a youth club to support local candidates
  • did secretary work and handed out our info at a back-to-school event
  • heard some of the best sermons ever and visited with friends
  • binge-watched a TV show with my sister
  • got down time at someone else's empty house and watched a movie
  • decorated for an Incredibles 2 birthday party
  • taught Sunday School
  • had family in town
  • attended a friend's violin recital
  • did two sales, a giveaway, a painting, and more for Andora's Folly's birthday
  • got over 200 downloads of Andora's Folly for its birthday (!!!!)
  • hit my Camp NaNo goal of 10k
  • almost finished editing for Kellyn
  • wrote at a coffee shop
  • researched NYC again at a coffee shop
Again, didn't technically do that all quite how I planned ... Being a goal-setter and general list-maker, that can initially be a little traumatizing. But I'm learning that things outside of plans aren't always bad. Being flexible is often a good thing.

Of course, deadlines must still be met and we can't shirk our responsibilities. That's not what I'm suggesting. But I think the only reason I was able to be as productive as I was in what was a very out-of-the-norm month was because I let myself branch out. Yes, that's right. Deviating from the plan can help be productive.

Everyone needs breaks, so make them worthwhile. All the non-negotiables and random things that popped up were nice breaks from all my to-do list items. Conversely, all my to-do list items were sometimes relaxing and different from how I earn money. In other words, I have "work-work" and "passion-work." One's always a nice break from the other.

Being productive isn't always fun, but fun can be productive. Breaks are productive simply because they energize me to keep going. TV shows and movies are blatant relaxations, but that doesn't mean I won't learn something or get a new story idea. ;) I guess it helps that I never fully switch my mind off. That means I can do things that keep me from burning out without it being a complete waste of time.

That's how I define productivity: it's less checking everything off the to-do list and more using my time well.

There's not a set formula to being productive of course, but those are some of the things that ended up helping me this month! I can't guarantee I'll be able to read that much or even write that much this month, but that doesn't mean I'm not going to try. Everything's always worth a try!

I mean, let's be honest. As healthy as planning/goal-setting is, it's part of life to have plans change. Embracing all the crazy, fun things amidst my endless to-do list and letting a few things go paid off in the end. I have more memories as a result and didn't sacrifice much in the process.

It all comes down to balance. A thousand sayings sum it up. "All work and no play," imbalance. "Be in the world but not of the world" an easier-said-than-done goal for balance. The good news is we don't have to figure it all out alone, at least not if we think to ask God. In the end, I'm motivated to get things done so I have time to have fun. Meet the deadlines, but live a little.

I have to close with this Max Lucado quote because I feel like it was providential that I stumbled upon it while writing this post.

Guess what? This blog post was productive procrastination. It needed to happen, but I was only motivated to do it because I should have been billing for my dad, editing for a friend, or getting ready for bed instead. It's amazing what happens.

I mentioned all that stuff I did for Andora's Folly? The giveaway ends today, so you can still enter here! Or you can read the full post I did about the book's birthday here.

Have a good week, and prepare for an epic guest post next Saturday!

Saturday, July 28, 2018

Andora's Folly Turns 1 // Christmas in July

Tomorrow will mark one year since I published the Andora's Folly e-book. In some ways this birthday has crept up on me and in some ways it feels like aaaggeesss ago that I released it. Strangeness. Lots of giveaways and random celebrating below--Christmas in July!


While Martin Hospitality was my first novel always intended for publication ... Andora's Folly is entirely different! Not only is it a novella, but it's a medieval retelling of Pandora's Box. I didn't dream up the idea or get inspired by watching a movie. I created it out of desperation for July Camp NaNo (a writing challenge) back in 2016. xP

The research was really hard, but the writing was the easiest I've ever done. I wrote every word of it in that single month of July two years ago. I learned that it was super fun to do retellings (no wonder  they're so popular!) and that novellas are probably my favorite length to write.


So what started out as a self-assigned discovery project for a writing challenge became this neat little story that I didn't completely hate. Thankfully all of you who've read it have enjoyed it as well. :)

Andora's Folly hasn't been a huge seller or won awards, but it doesn't really matter to me. Probably because Martin Hospitality is more of a success and also because I'm really quite happy with it as a story. It doesn't need all the accolades to make me feel better about it like I wanted with my first book.

As a result, I'd really love to do another Greek myth retelling at some point, possibly as a sequel. I  have so much on my plate (even just my writing plate) that I have no idea when or if that will happen! But I'd love to hear what myths you enjoy to get my mind going again. ;)

But enough about the book itself! It's a birthday party, so there has to be celebration!!!

And what's a party without a giveaway? Click HERE to enter for a chance to win all sorts of Andora merch.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

It's US only, but there are international options below, so stick with me. ;)

I'm so excited about the candle in the giveaway, you guys!! Ivy Rose created it custom through her Etsy, BookBurn Candles. The candle. is. AMAZING. The color and scent work so perfectly! For now, it's only available through the giveaway, but by the time you know if you won it or not, I'll also have it available for purchase through my Etsy!


As I'm sure you noticed, the book itself is not in that giveaway. Never fear! You can always find it on Amazon. You can get a signed paperback just by asking for $1 more than Amazon's price. I'd be happy to mail one to you!

If ebook is more your style, you're in luck! The ebook will FREE only Monday, July 30. (This is a change from what was originally announced.) So be sure to snag a copy and tell your friends that you think might enjoy it. This is a great option if you're international.
As I mentioned in a previous post, I'm part of a Christmas in July blog tour where we promote books and run sales. I've done all of that above! But part of the fun is both of my ebooks are part of two collaborative giveaways.


Enter the US-only giveaway HERE


Enter the international giveaway HERE

You can see the remaining posts with their discounts at the links below:

Discount: The Mystery of the Missing Cufflinks


Giveaway and new release: “Finding Christmas Joy”
Thank you all so much for joining me! It's fun to have made it this far with Andora's Folly. Enter the giveaways, spread the love, and be on the lookout for some new things coming to my Etsy soon!

Are you enjoying July or looking toward Christmas?

Saturday, July 21, 2018

Why I'm an Editor

I got an email last month from BookBaby (a self-publishing company) whose subject line read "Get pro editing at a fair price." I clicked on it not because I needed an editor but because I am an editor. It's nice to know what one is up against. And I gotta tell ya, it was crazy.


The email led me to BookBaby's editing services page. This is what I found. *cue dramatic music*

Tiny, I know. But remember their headline as we zoom in:


images were screenshot from BookBaby and are not my own
I'm not gonna lie. Even though I had to dig these images out of my inbox trash, that turnaround time is pretty great! But do you see that price?!?! *faints* The fine print reads "Based on a 60,000-words, non-fiction book." I ... don't think that's any of us.

Please understand that I'm not in any way bashing BookBaby. I've never used them and I've even heard good things. In fact, they're just one example of big companies who charge a human soul for a single book service. Some of the others they compare to in that chart.

Well, if you're croaking over that price, don't feel bad. "Working class" price or not, I'm croaking too.

When I first started the journey of self-publication, prices like that are what I kept running into. And it was a little discouraging. But instead of shelling out money I didn't have (the real reason I didn't cave), I kept looking. And looking.

Now that I have more of a group here with people doing similar things, I realize that 50% (I made that up) of writers I know also offers editing, web design, cover design--or some other common feature--for a pretty great price.

So, why did I decide to be an editor?

  1. Frankly, even the cheap are still pricey. I mean, that's mostly just the way it goes because a quality job deserves fair compensation. But I'm still the cheapest "professional" I know by far.
  2. I wanted to help people in my position. Most of my online friends (you guys) are non-millionaire, self-publishing peeps. I can't even articulate how incredible it is to help similar people achieve similar dreams.
  3. I chose editing specifically because I truly enjoy it. I'm that super annoying grammar nerd. I have to refrain from correcting printed typos with a red pen. Plus ... editing is basically getting paid to read books before they're even published. It's a win-win.
  4. I want self-publishing to be higher quality. It's got a bad rap exactly because we plebian writers can't afford to pay $3,000 to publish a book. So ... some don't pay anything. The books suffer as a result! And I die a little bit every time I watch that happen.
I hope that gives you a little bit of a feel for my "mission statement" as an editor. Editing is something I decided I wanted to do in my senior year of high school. I can't tell you all how grateful I am that I landed here doing freelance editing for friends instead of in college with no time to actually write or edit. Although I probably would have gone if they'd had a degree in editing. ;)

So to level the playing field between me and BookBaby, I'm over half as good for less than half the price.

I'm always updating how I do things, so the best place to find out more about my services is my editing page. But the most I've ever charged is $3 for every 1,000 words. Still something to save up for perhaps, but I do think everyone should pay for editing as well as other services for each book. I can be inexpensive because I'm not the most experienced person out there, but what I don't know I learn, and this is not my sole income. And yet we seem to be doing just fine. 

The good news is there are options. That's what self-publishing is all about, and that's why I'm an editor.
For those of you still exploring the options, hang in there. Don't pressure yourself into doing it all of paying for something you're not happy with. For those of you providing options, you're awesome. Feel free to promote yourself in the comments. ;) For those of you who have chosen me from among the options, wow. I'm so glad we've come this far.

DON'T LEAVE YET! Please ;) Since Andora's Folly is about to have a birthday, you can grab the e-book on SALE today and tomorrow (Sat + Sun). Thanks!

Saturday, July 14, 2018

Get to Know Me Tag {Writers' Edition}

I decided to shake thing up a bit and do a full tag in a post. I did the non-writers' edition aaagggess ago. But do not feel obligated to read it. o.o It's back in the dark ages of the blog so really. Just continue on.


The rules:
  • link back to the person who created the tag (Savannah)
  • thank the person who tagged you (Rosalie)
  • tag eleven bloggers (like I ever do that :P)

Vital Stats + Appearance

(pen)Name: Abigayle Claire, my first and middle name
Nicknames: Abi. Just so you know, that's the only one you're allowed to use. But there's also Babs and ... worse when my brothers get creative.
Birthday: August 15, 1998. So just like Rosalie who tagged me, I'm about to bid farewell to my teens which is ... yeah, I'm not ready.
Hair color and length: Reddish, brownish blonde. I've lightened it blonde at the ends for now. It's currently mid-back which is short for me.
Eye color: Green
Braces/piercings/tattoos: I've had braces, but currently only have pierced ears. That's all I'm planning on ever having.
Righty or lefty: Lefty!! Like that's news, haha. But since I do most sports right-handed I'm a little ambidextrous I suppose.
Ethnicity: I mean ... white American but a big European blend. My strongest strain is German.

Firsts

First novel written: Ha! Ok, the first one I ever, ever wrote was not novel length, but it was called The Dolphin at Grandpa's Hut. Basically as classy as it sounds all handwritten and illustrated by yours truly in a notebook.
First novel completed: Technically the one above was my first "completed" story longer than a page that I can remember. But for novel-length it's obviously Martin Hospitality.
Award for writing: I've won some voter-based ones from the 2017 Indie E-Con for Martin Hospitality, but the big one was Readers' Favorite. I ... still can't really believe it. I got a 5-star book review from them and then won an honorable mention in the Christian Fiction category. So amazing!!
First publication: Again, Martin Hospitality for self-published. I hope to someday be traditionally published as well.
Conference: The first one I attended was a little one-day conference in East Texas. The first "real" conference was Oregon Christian Writers Conference last summer. *cue angelic singing*
Query/Pitch: I pitched at OCW which was ... terrifying. It was just an idea at the time, but even though it quickly turned into my first rejection, that idea is now a full-length draft. Behind the Act is waiting on some revisions, and then I'll keep pitching it.

Favorites

Novel (that you wrote): Behind the Act. I don't know if that's surprising or not. I think it's my favorite because it was my first manuscript to write off a long-time idea. Even though it hasn't gone far yet, I feel like it's going to be really powerful and go really far someday. That keeps me excited. :)
Genre: Contemporary. I never thought I'd say it, but my favorite thing to write is modern day. It adds a simplicity and relatability that I adore.
Author: Louisa May Alcott.
Writing Music: Typically soundtrack music. I have playlists of relevant songs with lyrics, but I cannot write with lyrics no matter how hard I try. 
Time To Write: Late at night. It's not always my favorite time to write, but it's simply the best for me.
Writing Snack/Drink: Chips, chocolate, or dried mango. Ice cream. ;) Occasionally I drink tea.
Movie: Oh gosh ... I can't choose just one. I love You've Got MailThe Village, and Anastasia.
Writing Memory: I remember practicing the cursive alphabet for fun (yes, I was that sort of child). I also remember loving a library book on Helen Keller and trying to copy the whole thing down into a sketchbook so I could keep the story. I failed, so I guess my mom decided it didn't matter that I still have three-ish chapters of a plagiarized biography somewhere. xD
Childhood Book: THINKABOUTTHISAHHHHH

Currently

Reading: I'm actually ... not currently reading anything.  After reading two really good books (Thief of Corinth by Tessa Afshar and The Blue Castle by Lucy Maud Montgomery), I'm in a lapse to soak up their 5-star awesomeness.
Writing: Chapter 28 of Martin Crossroads
Listening to: A Good Doctor episode :P (Highly recommend this show!) I'm actually trying to find some new artists to listen to, so give me recs! 
Watching: Anne with an E Season 2. I wasn't 100% crazy about the first season and it's not really following the books ... but I adore Gilbert soooo ...
Learning: I learned new kinds of flowers while working for my florist aunt for two weeks. I learned you can spell "acknowledgement" as "acknowledgment" too. (What?!) In general I'm working on learning patience hehe ... not my strong suit. But this draft isn't coming together as fast as I'd like it too. I babysit a lot and spent time with younger cousins. It's all good practice.

Future

Want To Be Published: I want to continue to be published for forever honestly. I'll be self-publishing Martin Crossroads next and then turning some energy toward querying Behind the Act.
Indie or Traditional: Both! I'm already indie published, but I really want to be hybrid some day. :)
Wildest Goal: To have my books in Barnes & Noble. It might sound silly but it's one of my biggest. I might die of a heart attack at that moment. To have my books in other languages would be pretty cool as I've already got it in other countries. I'd say to win a famous book award but I kind of fell like I've already done that, too. It's pretty neat to see how many crazy awesome things have already happened largely thanks to God and you guys.

And I'm really just getting started. So now I'm going to go work on Chapter 28. ;)
Nooo, I'm not tagging people. But please do feel free to do this tag or answer some of the questions in the comments! Also, I know I don't do tags on my blog very often. But don't be afraid to tag me if you want to. I often answer some of the questions I'm tagged with in my newsletters. :)

Have a great weekend!

Saturday, July 7, 2018

Creative Things To Do With Your WIP

Instead of a bunch of writing tips, these are some fun things to do with your work-in-progress that are not about writing. Things to help you stay inspired or just make the somewhat tedious (but exciting) process a little more fun.



Do you get stuck when writing your WIP? Ever get the sudden urge to make an aesthetic? I don't consider myself a very creative person except for when it comes to writing. And yet even I get tired of staring at black words on a white screen.

Here are a bunch of fun things to try as they strike you. (Notice a lot of them have to do with enjoying your workspace which happens to be my bedroom.) Most of these I've tried myself although I can't claim credit for coming up with all the ideas. ;)
  • reorganized my bookshelves (gotta make room for that manuscript and new notebook)
  • made aesthetics on Canva and printed them off
  • hung fairy lights on my wall ... and bookshelf 
  • hung original cover artwork on my wall (because I have a watercolor cover!)
  • started a public Pinterest board with sneak peeks or a private one for ideas
  • collected WIP-like items in a box ... feathers, buttons, pictures, Altoid tins, movie tickets ... whatever fits!
  • made myself fan art (or even just something cute for the writing space)
  • hunted for favorite quotes in the manuscript
  • reread positive reviews of my published books
  • start a bookstagram account
  • annotated book one in the series I'm writing (helps for the future books too!)
  • fill out character charts (at least, I think that's fun)
  • take a basic personality quiz for your characters
  • create an inspirational desktop wallpaper: [book title] won't write itself
  • create a Hangouts chat with a close friend you can ping ideas/story snippets off of
  • create an idea bank in a cute jar or piggy bank
  • buy laptop skins just to make the writing process more fun
  • take a walk
  • wear a fun bookish t-shirt, use a bookish mug, wear bookish jewelry
  • read fiction books similar to the one you're writing
  • watch a movie with something in common with your book (for Martin Hospitality it's The Magic of Ordinary Days)
  • name your laptop *cough*
  • buy a new notebook (not to use, are you crazy?)
  • have a good bookish discussion with a friend
  • buy yourself a cactus or succulent to tend
I'm sure there are others, but that's what I've come up with!
What things have you tried that were actually enjoyable or profitable? Have you ever done something creative like this to renew interest in your story? I'd love to hear how it goes if you try one of these!