Thursday, May 24, 2018

Nostalgia


For the month of May, we’re discussing the many ways to get yourself out of a writing rut. Especially after writing over a dozen books, I’ve found that it can eventually feel monotonous and like nothing about this matters at all. Believe me, I know how that feels. I know how awful it feels to be stuck in that place of “does this matter at all?” and I know it can be a struggle to break out of it. That’s why we’re discussing my personal methods, all month long.

Tuesday, we talked about the importance of getting reviewed, to help yourself out of a rut. Today, I want to keep our discussion in the same vein.

Read your old reviews


Of course, this only counts if you’ve actually published or been reviewed on works you wrote a few years back—but really, we’ve been talking as though you’ve written over a dozen works, so this shouldn’t be too hard to do.

Remember the first book you ever published? Go read the reviews on that book. I don’t care how bad you think the book is, or how well it was received in general. I just want you to go read those reviews.

For me, that book is Telekinetic. And yes, as many of you well know, I’m entirely out of love for that book. It has problems. I want to go back and rewrite it, because I love the story but I do not like the way I wrote it. But, I do occasionally go back and read the reviews for Telekinetic.

Why?

Because I learn something from them, every time.

I relearn the things people have always loved about my writing, I remember what it was like to be publishing my very first book, and I learn even more things I could be doing to make my writing better now.

And yes, I realize that this advice is extremely similar to what I talked about on Tuesday, but this time, it’s a little different. This time, it’s more about the nostalgia of it.

There’s something extremely telling, about the first work a writer releases. I’m not sure what it is exactly, but the first release is usually the one we’re able to look at constructively, no matter what. So going back and looking at those reviews, the good ones and the bad ones, is a great way to learn something, and to remember what it was like to be in love with writing, like you were back then.

And for those of you who haven’t published yet, but still find yourself in the rut? I highly recommend that you start sending your works out to people, once you’ve finished writing them. Ask them for an honest review. Then, the next time you find yourself in this rut, you can go back and read the things they wrote.

I still have notes like that from Telekinetic as well—and I go back to them every few months, just as a reminder.

Don’t be afraid to be reviewed, and don’t be afraid of the past. Both are things we learn a great deal from.

[love]

{Rani Divine}

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

In Review


All month long, we’ve been talking about ways to get ourselves back in the writing zone, especially when we’ve felt like everything we’ve been writing is the same and we’re trapped in a rut of “why do I even bother”—and each and every thing we’ve talked about is something that’s personally worked for me, so I like to think I’m giving you some good advice. ;-)

Today’s focus is one that I know many authors struggle with, out of crippling fear about the negative side. But I’m not suggesting you should focus on the negative at all.

Get yourself reviewed.


I know, it sounds utterly terrifying, doesn’t it?

Every writer has that innate fear of being reviewed, of finding out what people actually think of our work. I’m not entirely sure why so many of us are so crippled by it, if I’m being totally honest, but I do know that I’m in the same boat.

However, being reviewed is a great way to get yourself out of a rut.

How? In one of two ways.

If it’s a positive review…


Then it shows you that you’re doing something right, and you should stick to your guns and keep doing what you’re doing. Positive reviews remind us that our writing can’t be all that bad, and that there really are people out there who want to read the things we want to write. It’s a confidence boost, something to tell us that we can really do this, that we can really do something with the thing we love to do.

And if it’s a negative review…


Then there’s something we can learn from it. Negative reviews almost always give us notes on things we can work on for the next book—which can be a great way to get out of a rut. Reviewers don’t seem to like how you write your characters? All right, now you have something to work on for your new book, and something that will make this new book far different from what you’ve written so far.

The point, today, is that you get reviewed. Even if it means giving your book out to some people who will read it and review it for you.

Reviews aren’t bad things. They can teach us, enlighten us, and give us a boost.

But don’t let them cripple you. Use them for your good, and only your good, and then look the other way. That’s the best possible advice I can give you, when it comes to reading reviews in general.

[love]

{Rani D.}

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Placement


Writers write. That’s what they always say. But you know what? Sometimes it’s hard to stay in that frame of mind. Especially after writing over a dozen books, there comes a point where we start to wonder if we’re doing anything beneficial at all, if there’s any reason to continue writing, or if we should just give up and call it quits.

That’s what we call a rut, and that’s what we’re trying to claw our way out of, all month long.

This week, however, is all about inspiration. Tuesday we talked about music, ambiance, but today I have something that could be even more important.

Find an inspiring place


It’s hard for me to actually follow this advice. I struggle to find places where I can write, places where I actually feel inspired in the moment. But I do know that they exist, because I have found them before, on occasion. Actually, for me, the most inspiring place is a boring classroom setting. I love it, Put me in a lecture, and I’ll write you a novel.

That’s not how most of us work though, is it?

Get out there and find a place of your own, where you can write what you want to write, where you feel inspired to write the things you need to write.

Whether that be a coffee shop, a city park, a train, or a classroom—find what works for you.

The biggest thing here, I think, the thing that writers struggle the most with, is the fact that other writers think we’re strange, for writing where we want to write. But you know what? We are a little strange. If you’re not wonko, then you’re not a writer. So go hang upside down and write, if that’s what you need to do. None of the rest of us have the right to say anything against where you want to write. It’s not our decision, but yours. It’s not our inspirational place, but yours.

Get out there and find it. Experiment with new places, places where you didn’t think you’d be able to write. Try new things. Check out new parts of your city. Write in the place you least expected.

Find that inspiration, whatever it takes.

If it comes right down to it, flip the rut over and use it as a bench. As long as you find a place where you can sit down and write, where you won’t be distracted, where you can get in the zone and write the words your mind so desperately wants to write.

Because as they say, you’re not a writer if you’re not writing.

*sigh*

[love]

{Rani D.}