Good morning everyone! Kacey here again. I hope you had a fabulous week and accomplished a lot of writing. It was a 6k writing week for me. Not too shabby but I’m not 100% pleased with myself either. However, it is much better than that dull boring old word – nil, zilch, nada, zero, zip, zippo, naught, nothing – so I can’t get too down considering what I did accomplish.
I usually post my words for the day/week in a couple author groups, on my publisher group of writing encouragement that we have, and the like. Yesterday morning I did the usual update and later in the day received an email from an author this afternoon who wanted to know how I could accomplish high results, and what keeps me inspired.
Now, I’ve shared a post or two in the past about inspiration, but I got thinking, perhaps it bears repeating. It’s never redundant – IMO – to share words of encouragement, resolution, being there for others when they’ve either hit writer’s block, or their imaginations are sparking that day. So, I decided to sit back for a couple hours and think of some of the things that have helped me, inspired me and kept me going over the last 3-4 weeks, which helped me accomplish about 25,000 words.
First off, knowing that there is nothing currently on my “Coming Soon” page. I had a new release in Dec, Jan & Feb. 2 were new works (which took me a year to write both during health issues), and a re-release from a previous—now dead—publisher, and I’ve been steadily increasing word count in my latest WIP. I know myself well enough now that it takes me more than a month to write a full length book – I mean 40,000 and up. If I was working on a story that was say 10-15,000 words then it might only take me 4-6 weeks, and that’s with no interruptions. I’ve learned this about myself and know that a story is done when it’s done. I never set a word count – unless for an anthology, but that rarely works out for me because I can’t seem to stay within the word count limit – so the stories are done when my characters say they are. Now, with nothing on the upcoming page, I’m eager to get my stories done and see there is more on the horizon. Oh, I know I can self-pub as I do on the side (being a Hybrid author and all that fun), but I write the stories for characters who are active in my head. Overall, the drive to have more in readers hands drives me, as it should all authors.
Second, I’ve been distracted to a point, though it’s helped to distract me FROM what’s happening in my life away from writing. My second child is heading off to college, out of town in Sept, so the writing is keeping me from thinking about it too much. And it’s kept me focused on something I can control. With him leaving, I don’t feel that control of knowing every moment that he’s safe, his Diabetes is maintained and overall just worry for him. So, if this keeps up, and when he does go off to school, boy I might just have novel after novel done because it distracts me from my worrying and concern. And hell, the lack of control of keeping him close and understanding that he needs to spread his wings. Sometimes, life outside of writing can help. But I do not love it. Not a bit. But I’ll use the emotions to further my writing career along.
I’ve also taken to going back and reading some of my earlier work. For me, it’s motivated me to write deeper and fuller characters than what my older (3-4 year old works) titles had. I love all my characters, don’t get me wrong, but I’ve familiarized myself with them again and all the things that make them tick. But I also look at them now as a reader. I now see even more richness to each character. So much so, that if the time ever comes to re-release or revise them, I actually have some notes on my tablet copies in areas to enhance and bolster. I can also see my growth as an author and wanting to “show off” some of those new ways I’ve grown and learned into the new stories. I never thought I would use older titles to pump me up and remind me why I love writing so much, but I’m glad I did. At first it was because I wanted to revisit a character again and couldn’t sleep. Now, I’ve read 4 old titles again and am inspired to do more with them at a later time, and to push myself even further as a writer.
Music. I live and breathe music on a regular basis. Growing up, and with my own kids, it’s every genre possible that is always playing in our house. If we are cleaning rooms, dusting, rearranging anything or just hanging out playing a board game, we have an endless playlist of songs always going. I go through periods where I have to write in silence and others when music has to be playing. I’m in the place now where I need the music to be pumping hard in the background, a sexy song to get the erotic feels moving and the sad songs to punch me in the gut when writing a crucial heartbreaking scene. Lately, Ed Sheeran is a huge inspiration to me right now. His latest album, Divide, is exactly what I needed. As well, the 50 Shades soundtracks have helped a lot (though I’m not that big a fan of the books or movies) then did some fantastic magic with the soundtracks. Give me some smooth jazz and great R&B, and I’m happy. Things start to come to live when I can feel the beat thumping through my head. I close my eyes and can just let the music lead the character forward, propelling them into a great pace and the words flowing.
And of course, the simple amazing photos online helps so much. Hot sexy men and women photos that get the thoughts running rampant are a must. I use places like stock photo sites, Pinterest and Facebook to spot moving photos and looking for those images that spark a thought, a single sentence which can lead to a whole book, or simply take my breath away. And I am not just talking about sexy photos or erotic couples in each other’s arms; I’m talking any kind of photos. I visit cover artist, Jay Aheer’s “Simply Defined Art” Facebook Page a lot. The visionary greatness of her creations is always inspiring to me. She creates powerful and compelling images that I can’t even begin to figure out how, and I’m left breathless and pondering the emotions coming from each one.
Of course, I have to share something from Ed that is playing all the time here.
There are many more ways that author’s use to feel/be inspired and create great stories with. These are a few of mine, which have kept me sane, but I do have a few other author’s advice to what helps them that I plan to try if my normal routes don’t work. I’ll keep you posted on anything new that might help.
To be honest, the other thing I did just a couple days ago was … I took a day off! A full day of little social media, didn’t even take my notebook and pens with me to write if something struck me, and I played hooky all day with my husband. We didn’t do anything that would make anyone jealous – like take a cruise or anything LOL – we just went and did normal married couple, we are thinking of renovating a few household things – and then had a long lunch full of laughter and talking. No cell phones on the table, no computers, no cares or worries (our children have specific ringtones on our phones so if it wasn’t one of those, we didn’t care), and just vegged and hung out. I took a day off without even thinking about the words I still had to do, the blog posts or what story would be next, I simply took a day off and boy did I need it. More than I thought.
So, let’s add that to the list. Take a day off every now and then and just live. Leave everything else behind and simply recharge.
Until next week,