How to Write When the Music Fades – Chronic Writer’s Block

When the music fades, write on, courageous writer!

But when the music fades, it can be hard to find a tune to write to. There are a million “best writing playlists ever” and a million blog posts with guaranteed keys to success in overcoming the fading music disorder, but . . . do they really negate the issue? Or is it something you, personally, must face?

Confession: The music faded recently for me. For now. You see, the WIP you may be familiar with, my YA portal fantasy, was a WIP. It is now RIP. For now. There are simply times when you have to accept the amount of work a story will need in its revising process, and I came to that point with the portal fantasy. However, I also realized that I did not have what it would take to rush into a second draft. It has been moved to the back burner.

And soooo . . . with that confession comes a little announcement. I am presently working on a new idea. Alas! I can’t divulge the details at this time. I must outline, outline, outline, and I must write, write, write! Stay tuned, because I’m eyeing my September “highlights and goals” post in just over two weeks for any *cough* official bookish *cough* announcements. But know, my friend, that I am marching on in the writing world, with or without the music, and I encourage you do to the same.

Everyone gives out tricks to the trade in overcoming writer’s block, but I think there’s only one thing you can really do when writer’s block turns chronic. Step back from your story and ask yourself what might be wrong with it OR what might be wrong with you. It isn’t always the manuscript. Don’t let that become an excuse to not writing. It may be sheer laziness. Yes, I’m being cruel! But believe me when I say I know how it feels.

In the case of chronic writer’s block, it may be the manuscript or it may be you. In my case, it was both.

So does that mean you’ll never read my portal fantasy? I doubt it. I believe in another year or so – maybe after I’ve finished this WIP, providing the outlining goes well in the next few days here – I will pick that story back up again. That’s the beauty of the moment when the music fades.

And so, when the music fades, write on, courageous writer!

Psst . . .  I will say, my critique partner has given the first chapter of this story idea a very good review. 🙂  Stay tuned.

Advertisements

Confessions of an Author and Farmer

(Update: You can now follow the Musings of a Goat Herdess series on this blog. For more information: WIPs)

We all have retractions in one area or another of our lives. That’s what we’re hearing today. Some of you will know that I’ve recently completed the first draft of my YA portal fantasy. The plan was, of course, to push through and get to work on the second draft. There have been some . . . changes to the technicalities of that plan. Allow me to explain. I think you’ll be excited with me by the end. 🙂

AUTHOR CONFESSIONS

“To everything there is a season,” says Ecclesiastes. The past five years of writing have been like one long season. I’ve learned so much, grown in so many ways. I thought I knew the direction God wanted me to take – to reach people through writing fantasy and historical, and the offshoots of those genres. And maybe that will be a factor of my work later on – in fact, I believe it will be. But to everything there is a season. And things are changing just a bit for this one.

FARMER CONFESSIONS

I’m a total diehard. According to the dictionary, “a person who vigorously maintains or defends a seemingly hopeless position, outdated attitude, lost cause, or the like.” And, well, farming is a lost cause. Somewhere around 2% of the American population is involved in agriculture. But really, that’s just nuts. All our food coming from massive corporations, small farms dying faster than drone bees . . .

But that’s a lecture for another day. 🙂

SO . . . WHAT AM I GETTING AT?

You’re probably waiting for me to stop chatting and get to the point. Okay, okay.

I’ve had this idea before, but never has it taken root. When I was talking with my mom a few days ago, it clicked. You’re going to start seeing something of a blog series appear here, though not in order of the chapters I’m currently writing, as I plan is to publish the novella I’m now working on. This manuscript is non-fiction, and fairly simple, entitled, Musings of a Goat Herdess.

I am, if you couldn’t guess, the goat herdess of our farm. It is a task I’m somewhat new to, though we have had goats for years on the homestead. Now I’m putting the hours spent with the nomadic caprine herd to print. This project is only a few short chapters underway, but the joy I’ve found in sharing such a special thing is immeasurable. Maybe you have little or no experience with goats or farming, but that’s okay. I hope you’ll be able to follow this project anyway.

WHAT’S NEXT?

I will be posting the first chapter of Musings of a Goat Herdess on this blog in three days (my next post). I’ll do a brief recap on what I’ve covered here, and as well, you’ll see a new page appear on this site where all this information and more, including projected release, cover design when available, synopsis, and more will be available. So please, dear friend, follow this adventure! In the simplest thing of the “nomadic goat,” as I’m calling this project, I’ve found such peace, such joy, such hope. I know you will be as refreshed as I have found myself.

So don’t forget, the first chapter will be here in only three days, and the designated page will follow this announcement as soon as possible.

As for my previous WIP, One Light Shining, I don’t have an answer on that yet. I’ll be taking it to prayer. I want to make sure I know what the best move would be right now. However, for now, you’ll be hearing more about Musings of a Goat Herdess than the portal fantasy.

If you’d like to learn more, just comment! I’m happy to talk goat. And writing. And goat. And writing. And more goats and writing . . .

Ta ta for now, my friends! Keep an eye out for chapter one and the exciting new page for more details. 🙂

Book Update – Don’t Miss it!

Ookkaayy, time for a book update. As some of you may know, I’ve been writing for months to finish the first draft of my YA portal fantasy with the working title, One Light Shining. And now . . .

. . . I FINISHED IT!!! Please celebrate with me and throw confetti! 🙂

Of course, we’re having a party here today. Come one, come all! To celebrate, we’re doing two special things. First off, you all get to see the synopsis of this WIP (work in progress). This has only been seen by about three other people, so consider yourselves invited to something special.

Ready? Ready? Okay . .

Ties of blood are easily broken.

The words Cade spoke the night he killed his brother. Or . . . almost killed. Nothing haunts him more than the reality that he failed all those years ago to end the raging conflict between the nations. So, when two strangers come through the mysterious portal in answer to an ancient prophecy, Cade is ready to see his brother pay in full.

Wrenched from their modern world into a land of swords, bloodthirsty brothers and a nonsensical prophecy, Katrina and her long-time neighbor and nemesis, Andrew, grope for some kind of purpose in this strange world . . . but on opposite sides of a dangerous border. Spurred on by embittered contempt for Andrew, Katrina is more than ready to join Cade if he takes up the sword against the country of Mithunda. Until her own lust for revenge reveals a side of herself she never knew existed.

In a sea of secrets in which both are haunted by inner demons, Katrina and Andrew are forced to give the prophetic words a closer look, to search for what they truly mean. But the prophecy is shrouded in mystery, and all around them, people are proving determined enough to go to great lengths to see it negated.

All right, what do you think? Now, the story itself is still in first-draft stage, and to understand this, I highly recommend you check out Nadine Brandes’ take on first drafts. It’s brilliant. In short, I’m not finished. This is a 170,000+  word manuscript. I probably shouldn’t have made it so long when there’s another draft to be written. 🙂

Right now, the plan is to launch the rewriting during this November’s NaNoWriMo. Meanwhile, it’s an exhilarating feel to have the whole summer to tackle another project! Which shall it be???

Now, for the second part of this celebration, I’m part of the launch team for Tricia Mingerink’s new book, Deliver, which I reviewed here last week. To help wrap up the launch, I’m going to share with you guys today some of the other release-related posts hanging around. All this to say . . . “YOU MUST READ THIS BOOOOOOOK!” And mine, too, of course, but it’s not ready yet. *sighs*  So, to hold you over, check out Tricia’s series. It’s awesome.

BLOG TOUR POST 1 — BLOG TOUR POST 2 — BLOG TOUR POST 3 — BLOG TOUR POST 4

Well, that concludes our celebration. Did you have fun? I’ll keep bookish updates coming here and there, so follow along! It’s an exciting journey filled with twists and turns and triumphs and thudding and flying and failing . . .  You get the picture, right?

My Current Reading List and a Book Update

Well, it’s almost April, and I have read one of my TBR books so far. *shakes head in exasperation*  I hope you’re all doing a lot better than I am at your Goodreads goal. I set one of those for the first time this year, and I am not off to a good start. Anyway, I finished Melanie Dickerson’s The Beautiful Pretender. It took a little while to get through – just not my favorite plot style, but it was well written.

In other book news, I’m re-reading Richard Paul Evans’ Fall of Hades, the sixth Michael Vey book. And if you haven’t read that series, just do it. It’s epic. I’m sure you’ve heard the hype. It’s legit, trust me.

A BOOK UPDATE

I promised one! Here goes: I am officially on chapter fifty two, with roughly three or four to go. At that point, it’s edit, edit, edit. And I’m playing around with a few cover art ideas, though nothing is definite yet.

Oo, I almost forgot – I won in a writing contest last week. Indie e-Con over at Kendra Ardnek’s blog has just wrapped up for this year, but she ran a contest. I won in the category I entered. Eek! Outside of Faithwriters, I have entered almost no writing competitions at all. I’ll post the winning story on here in a day or two, so stay tuned!

HOW IS YOUR READING COMING?

Better than mine, I hope. I’d like to say I’m slacking because of school, writing, youth group . . .  Hmm. Those sound like excuses.

What’s on your TBR list? What’s on your has-been-read list? Let me know, and we can chat about bookish things!