A Love Letter, From Me to You

1000w

Thank you.

If you’ve ever read a single one of my stories, if you’ve come to be a friend online, if you found me two seconds ago and you’re wondering who the hell this chick is (hang around, I’m fun, I promise): thank you for being here.

I’ve been through some pretty dark days this past year. I won’t bore you with the details, but suffice it to say that for a while there I fell out of the loop. Stopped blogging. Stopped doing a whole lot of things. I’ve had a novel sitting here in maddening disarray for months because I just couldn’t get my shit together long enough to finish it.

Then you came along.

Those of you relentlessly hounding me for the next novel (and I say that with love).

Those of you who took a chance on some crazy author chick and let me be a part of your day, on FB or IG or wherever.

Those of you who are watching and waiting for me to fail (hi!).

Because of all of you, I’m not giving up on this writing thing. Because of you I’ve dusted off that tatty old manuscript and I’m ready to rock it. I’m going to jump back in with both feet and a head full of dreams.

So thank you. For everything. Let’s have some fun together, shall we?

-Stef

*image from uppercase mag

Writing Game: Pick the Next Word

I was reading Pillars of the Earth last night (and I’m NOT FINISHED so no spoilers please!) I reached the bottom of one of the pages and noticed it cut off mid-sentence; the rest of the phrase would be on the next page. I caught myself guessing which word would complete the sentence. It so happens that when I turned the page, I was right!

What does it mean? Absolutely nothing! But it’s a fun little game to see if you’re on the same wavelength as the author. By guessing the next word, you’re putting on your writer-hat and interacting with the book and its language.

Maybe you can see right away why the author went with that particular word choice; it might have been used for brevity’s sake, or because it was the most descriptive. Maybe it’s a signature word the author uses frequently (Ayn “Sanction” Rand, I’m looking at you).

If you guessed a different word, does your word substantially change the meaning of the original phrase? Or are they synonymous? Do you like yours better?

Try it! I’d love to know how it goes.

30 Excuses for Why I “Can’t” Write Today

I’m tired of making excuses to myself. So in a fit of pique I scribbled out a list of all the reasons I can think of not to write.

These are transcribed exactly how I wrote them, questionable grammar and all.

1. It’s hard.
2. I can’t make a routine because of my shifts @ work.
3. I’ll never make a living at it. (why bother?)
4. My friends are humoring me.
5. I’ll probably get sued.
6. No one reads horror.
7. I’ll never get rich writing e-books.
8. The internet is more fun.
9. I need uninterrupted time and quiet and a thunderstorm or perfect Fall sunlight and…
10. Who do I think I am, anyway?
11. My ideas are stupid and no one has told me.
12. I don’t like to give up other things to make the time.
13. The tax forms are confusing.
14. It’s all been done before.
15. I can’t describe exactly what I see in my head.
16. I’m afraid of cliches.
17. I don’t have a proper editor and am probably making so many mistakes.
18. My office is messy.
19. I want the lifestyle but I don’t want to put in the work — I want it just to happen.
20. My job gets in my way.
21. It’ll just get stolen anyway.
22. There are a million other people doing the same thing as me at the same time as me.
23. I don’t have an English degree.
24. I’m already behind on The Plan.
25. It’s a pain to lug my laptop around.
26. I could write more at work if there was a table in the locker room for me to sit at.
27. I’m not great at networking.
28. I can’t concentrate.
29. What if I actually write a novel then hate it?
30. I’m scared.

Honestly, there are some thoughts on this list that I’m not especially proud of. But I’m glad I wrote it out: the whole list was written in only a couple of minutes, and it felt good to get it out of my system. I figured I’d post it here as a confession of sorts. There must be other (new) authors out there feeling at least some of these things.

Now that I see it in front of me, I can see how ridiculous some of these thoughts are, and how the “obstacles” that seemed so big are really just me being lazy or cowardly or…

Feel free to make whatever comments you’d like on this one: I’m having an introspective Let’s Get Real kind of moment. Do you share any of these feelings? What are your go-to excuses?