Not Editing Saved My Life!

Have you ever wondered how some writers can publish books every few months? I never gave it much thought as a reader. I was just happy my favorite book series was up and ready for me to purchase or borrow. I dive into the book, and I’m also elated to find that the author has tons more books in other series. So, imagine my surprise when I started writing my own book and couldn’t seem to type a paragraph without going back and re-editing and thinking that this was almost as bad as college writing term papers!


I couldn’t figure out the secret to knocking out pages in one sitting or how to just let my ideas flow and not have to come back to it and re-check everything to make sure it made sense or sounded good. If you’re secretly a perfectionist like me, you know how hard it is to move forward without constantly re-analyzing your previous tracks. I get obsessed with the details and lose focus on the mission.


I decided to research how editing kills creativity, and I realized editing was killing my creativity! If editing wasn’t a factor, I could write pages for days and become a one-woman book factory. I remember when I was younger, I would write storybooks and be at it all day just as happy and naïve but inspired and glowing with the stories that appeared in my loosely folded construction paper. I would even write series, draw pictures, and everything. When I was done, I didn’t think about if the commas were right or if a phrase was used in the wrong tense, or if the tone was relevant or not.


I decided to do my research on editing, and I found three main ways to edit. You can edit before you finish writing your work, after you finish writing, or combine both methods. The first method is extremely safe for someone like me, but it takes a lot of time. I would probably only complete one book a year this way. The second method, I’m not even going to lie, is very scary to me. Not being able to edit while I write would worry me being that I’m trying to be a best seller and all. I might even be able to crank out a couple of books a year, reminding myself that I am doing this writing thing, and my inner child will be very happy.

The third method seems to be the best of both worlds. I can write and just go crazy, but after about 20 pages of sweat beads and anxiety, I could go back and make sure I didn’t write myself off a cliff! So, what do you say? What method do you use to edit? Please, let me know what you think!

A Whole New World: Becoming a Novelist.

Photo by Quang Nguyen Vinh on Pexels.com

I couldn’t be happier about publishing my first book. I love poetry and all that comes with the freedom of writing in my own, personal unique style without the fear of breaking tedious writing rules. I’m a person who doesn’t prefer rules when it comes to being creative. However, I don’t disagree with hiring editors for writing books. Personally, I just want to be free, but I digress. With that being said, I decided to try my hand at writing a novel. Let’s just say I’m hooked already.
Whenever I would write as a teenager, I would always write storybooks. I actually took a huge chance at writing poetry. I always admired the way poets could tell a story in words that sometimes would be in disarray or scattered along a page. As an adult, I started back writing during my time in grad school, which I did not finish, but that’s information for another type of blog post. In between classes, I would write on my cell phone, notebook, or laptop, all these poems that just sort of took me on this journey towards a full poetry book. I learned that writing poetry is one of the writing skills I never knew I had. I also enjoy it. I feel that if you don’t have confidence in yourself, no one else will, right?
Now back to the present time. It didn’t take much to make up my mind and take a shot in the dark and begin to write a novel. Initially, my brain said Why are we doing this? We haven’t even finished the next poetry book yet! And I told my brain to be quiet. I’m every woman, and I got this! With my next poetry book already mapped out, I actually had to take a mental break. Self-doubt started to creep in. I started looking at my prior book sales and reviews and started doubting my ability as a writer. Questions ran through my head daily like Why write another book if I’m not making tons of sales with the one I have? Or, How can I be a better marketer if I’m not that good with social media? My teenage self is looking at my adult self, saying, This is a whole new world we didn’t anticipate. I started thinking about what it takes to be a writer in this computer age. These thoughts crippled my ability to develop ideas: this and a busy lifestyle outside of being a writer. I decided to support other writers and continue to read books and watch movies hoping to gain inspiration. I told myself that I would wait for that golden moment when my brain decided to flow with new ideas. And, I knew it would.
Guess what? Something happened mentally that made me re-assess my method of writing. I simply stopped stressing and started enjoying the time I wasn’t stressing about writing. Suddenly ideas started flowing. Taking a break made my mind overflow with new ideas that I had never dreamed or considered. I was seemingly being led down a rabbit hole where science is concerned, and I was DELIGHTED. Why haven’t I started on this years ago? I ask myself. Well, sometimes you have to wait for inspiration. You can’t force ideas to come. So, once I realized what my next book, I feel, is destined to be, I continually immerse myself in information. I’ve mostly been watching videos and researching cities and locations where my characters live. I’ve settled on my main character, and I’m satisfied so far with where I am in this journey. Sometimes I wonder if writers tap into some sort of unconscious bank of knowledge. Maybe this is where we find these ideas to create stories of people or places that we’ve yet to discover or even comprehend.
We have all of this conscious and unconscious information hovering around in our minds that we are, in turn, able to weave into stories. We essentially can see the stories in our mind’s eye. Ok, I did not mean to go in this direction, but while I’m here… I started studying information about unconscious thoughts. After some research, I stumbled upon an article called “A Journey into Chaos: Creativity and the Unconscious.” It’s an older article but relevant. I learned that on a neural level, at rest, our mind is like a sponge absorbing knowledge from various sources such as sound, images, and concepts, whether abstract or concrete. Our unconscious brain is making connections between verbal and visual associations. Our creative processes and decisions depend on unconscious activities. The brain is working in an “episodic memory” state where various sections of the brain are making connections out of information. An example would be your brain connecting things from the past, present, or future.
I didn’t mean to bore you, but I knew I discovered something; I just didn’t understand how this process worked. So, yeah, basically, science tells me that all is not lost or that there is no wasted effort. My brain just hasn’t figured out a solution to my writer’s block! To conclude, I’m going to give myself grace and begin this journey with an open mind. I’m having so much fun these days reading about other writer’s quirky writing obstacles or their tales of character development from hell. And, I’m so excited to meet my characters and begin creating the worlds I see forming in my head. I’ll say “create again” because my younger self is very happy with my decision, and I’m going to make her proud.

If you’ve got some funny stories of self-discovery, please share. Subscribe below! Share your blog, or if you’ve written a novel, book, or story, please feel free to comment with advice or encouragement. I’d love to hear about your writing journey. Thanks! 😉     

Available on Amazon!

Writer’s Block Savior: An Homage to Overcoming the Stigma of Procrastination

Photo by Karolina Grabowska on Pexels.com

I struggled with procrastination for a long time, as it relates to my writing. This doesn’t include the papers I had to write for college. That was just brutal torture. I was literally drudging through the mud to the finish line to earn an advanced degree. Long story short, I decided to follow a long overdue dream to just do what I love instead of what I thought was prestigious. No pun intended!

I learned that writing a book is not just meant for those who have massive time blocks to spare or slow-paced lifestyles. No. Writing is for the truly determined who want to have their say. So what can save you from writer’s block? How do you just get it done? It’s as simple as just writing.

The old tried and true just get straight to the point theory. I started writing on a pad of paper, and yes, it was a pretty notepad. It wasn’t expensive-pretty, but it was motivation enough. Don’t think about anything else, nothing. Don’t even think about who you are, your background, how you speak, or anything else that distracts you from writing the content you feel in your heart. Once you get a rhythm to your writing, you will soon see a pattern. This is your writing style and what will eventually make you stand out as an author.

I’m not a writing expert. I’ve just been writing for so many years. I realized that, yes, I have something to say, and it’s valid! Most writers feel intuitive about their work. Once you take the first step to start writing, you’ll be surprised at how many ideas will begin to flow. The key is to keep notes of any ideas you have; that way, you can pull from those ideas when you go back to writing.

For me, there were more days of self-doubt than productivity. It wasn’t until I realized that being a writer meant having ideas and writing them down until you create a body of work. I took breaks to research writing, editing, and publishing. I treated my writing as birthing a baby or creating a piece of art. I wanted to make sure it would be whole once it arrived in the hands of its reader. Along my writing journey, I stopped and remembered to love myself. So, in the end, procrastination became my saving grace.

 

Comment what you think below!

Book Released and Networking. How Does This Work?

So, I’m just going to speak on my behalf and say that I am not good at social media. This is not at all a “how-to” article, nor will I be providing any knowledgeable information on how to network. This is just for fun and giggles to hide the fact that I’m actually freaking out about my new journey as a published author. Although writing comes easy for me because I have a big imagination and spent most of my life living in made-up scenarios in my head. It’s how I want to believe most writers deal, you know. I’m socially awkward, and I sometimes suffer from resting bitch face, so writing is a must needed skill for the things I just can’t say if I tried. So herein lies the issue.

I don’t know about any of you other writers, but I’ve been struggling to find my actual voice outside of writing to promote my work and network. I had to write papers and think pieces for college, which was only bearable if I could be creative, but it taught me a lot about my writing style. But I noticed if I had to present information in person, I would generally clam up, stutter, and just fall short at effective presentations. I’m struggling to write this blog because I’m overthinking how informal I might sound if I said it out loud.

Most people don’t even know why people want to be writers, to begin with. That’s one selling point I try to not think about. Do people think it’s even a job outside of, say the person who writes box office movies or hit tv shows? Probably not, I mean, who cares, right? That would be the perfect thing to say, but I’m not perfect, and I wonder if this is why I fear networking as a writer. But just me writing about the love I feel for jazz may get the side-eye.

I genuinely don’t know how to sell writing honestly. I want people to know my love for sunsets and feel how I convey the color of the sky. Readers gone read, for sure. So, I’m banking on people who love to read. Side note, do you like to read the same type of stuff you write? I personally read a lot of romance. It’s probably not even healthy the kind of addiction I have with my kindle. But, I don’t necessarily gravitate towards romantic literature to write. Is this weird? Somebody. Anybody? Don’t leave me hanging.

Strategy or Not

One common strategy to social media is a “writer’s lift” or, as I call it, “chain gang.” Don’t get me wrong, I love it because that’s the only thing I know how to do on Twitter to actually promote my book. Then I’m met with maybe 30 other authors who are promoting to each other but aren’t we all just tryna make $10 on Amazon kindle?

I’ve also found it hard to connect with writers or publishers without feeling like I’m freaking someone out, thinking I’m weird. Like “Hey girl, I just saw your photo and author status. I don’t know you, but can we be friends?” And I’m always too happy and excited for my own good, but maybe that’s a good trait unless it’s someone shady trying to sell me a pre-paid publishing deal. Lastly, there’s the battle of finding a great author’s photo. I don’t have one yet. Hey, I still look like my “professional” photo, minus the filter, and 10 lbs I gained. But, I digress.

I really don’t take myself seriously despite my facial expressions most times. I love to laugh and connect with people to support them and learn from others who have already mastered the writing game. So, if this moved you in any way or you just want to add your funny perspectives, stories, or advice, please leave a comment.

Introducing My New Book “Lunch Break Poetry: A Book of Abstract Poems”

Hello, and thank you for visiting my website! I coined the phrase “Lunch Break Poetry” to describe quick, abstract poetry on-the-go. This book of poems are snapshots of small facets of life. Imagine capturing a memory for an audience. Remember the feeling you experienced and how you wish you could put it into words. I hope you enjoy all that I’ve captured in these poems and are inspired to do the same.

Let’s share a vibe! Leave a comment below and tell me what you think about my book. Don’t forget to subscribe and follow me on all my social media to stay updated. Thanks for joining me on this journey!

“Lunch Break Poetry: A Book of Abstract Poems” written by T. Annette is now available on Amazon!