Archive for the ‘Writing Goals’ Category

A twinge of writing envy

04 Aug

I have to be honest and confess to a little writing jealousy today. Not much, just an Amazon book recommendation which made me think “this should be me” which of course is totally unlikely, because the writer in question is good, established and has likely worked harder then I ever worked so far.

Nevermind, whenever I see a paranormal romance with a touch of magic, I get a little twinge of envy. And regret.

What to go with this writing jealousy?

So what do I do with that? I often get down on myself and take a break from the writing – oh big mistake! What I should work on is do what I did today, turn that negative energy into fuel to get to my white page and work, work work!

90 minutes today, squeezed between the kids and the meals and the cleaning.

What I learned today:

When I work on my story, the writing jealousy goes away and is replaced by hope! The hope that maybe, if I persist, work hard, and stay positive, that could be a little bit me one day.

Something to work on…

Still writing,
Marie-Claude xoxox

Rusty writing coming back

03 Aug

Back home and back to writing after my holiday home in Québec. I plan 2 weeks off from writing in the summer to spend lots of time with my mom and another 2 weeks at Christmas to spend lots of time with my family.

I feel a little rusty coming back to it after a long break but I managed an hour of light editing today – easing my way into it.

I spent my plane rides with an excellent and motivating book on goals by Brian Tracy, a pen and notebook. I feel I have a definite goal and plan for my writing now. It’s motivating but also scary.

I was nervous to encounter my writing again today. But somehow it was easy. I always wonder if I’m wasting my time, but today I didn’t feel that way at all.

What I learned today:

At the end of the day, while I’m still actively writing in the hope of making another sale and being read, I also really really love my time spend with my story. It’s MY time! Not truly lost, is it?

Writing today,
Marie-Claude xoxox


Writing tools I already have

16 Jul

Today’s writing was a mere 30 minutes of editing before the gym. I’m still liking this story – a lot.

Today’s writing: 30 min before the plane leaves!

I’m packing to go on holiday today, starting my first writing break of the year. I’m a little nervous about taking 2 weeks completely off writing today so I’m trying to figure out what I can do that’s writing related but not as formal as writing and editing. Options are reading contemporary romance to get more into it, reading books on writing, beta reading (I should really do that) or reading a goal oriented self help book to motivate me and give me better direction. I’m not sure yet but by tomorrow I should have a good idea of what works.

What I learned today:

I’m toying with giving sexy contemporary romance a real try (i.e. keep going with that genre) and I made a list of the tools I have to help me write those. Here it is:

“I have already tools to write romance!”

- The clear GMC method to write a blurb and set the story I got a long time ago from a workshop.
- The conflict grid – again from a workshop.
- Characters traits: defined using tricks from Jim Butcher’s blog.
- Characters sheet from Mary Buckman’s book.
- Characters questions from Donald Mass’ book.
- Save the Cat method to storyboard and plot.
- TV tropes for story idea.
- my own way to craft sexy love scenes!

And that’s what I have so far!

Editing, planning,
Marie-Claude xoxox


Running away from a story…

14 Jul

Today’s writing was somewhat self-indulgent.

2 hours of editing the contemporary romance then 1 hour doing the same think on the steampunk. Most of it I did super early this morning while my family was still asleep.

Why switching back?

What I learned today:

A strange thing happened as I continued to work on the contemporary romance. Yes it was fun. But then I started to think about where I could try to sell it. I googled publishers, then followed up on their authors telling myself that maybe I should read more of them during my upcoming holiday.

Then I saw that I had tons of competition and even if “that’s what selling right now” and it’s fun, I still get the same stress as I’m thinking of seriously submitting this new work.

Running away from a story doesn’t make the new story easier.

So lesson learned. Maybe I won’t be breaking the “finish what your start” rule after all, because running away from a story doesn’t make things easier.

The break was nice but I’m back on attacking the big complex fantasy story. Still going forward and still writing daily.

At time confused, but still writing,
Marie-Claude xoxox


Giving myself a free writing pass!

13 Jul

My writing this morning took a different turn. I did the one thing experts advise NOT to do, pause the writing of my steampunk sequel to go back and finish a sexy contemporary romance I wrote last year.

Writers: finish what you start!

Why you ask? Well, since I don’t have an agent to help me figure things out, I went and sought the advice of my mains, all hybrid authors (traditional and self published) and whose opinions I value a lot.

Talking to them made me realize that I kind of missed the steampunk boat by taking so long to finish my manuscript (going back to school to get a masters while teaching during the day will do that to you) and that everything is a hard sell right now, except perhaps for contemporary romance.

So I decided to give a shot to the contemporary romance I have collecting dust on my hard drive.

And I’m doing yet another thing writers shouldn’t do: I’m chasing the market!

Writers, don’t chase the market!

So I spent time fixing a scene this morning and it’s fun and, after a year of writing dark, complex fantasy with lots of action, historical setting and world building, it feels a little easier to focus on real characters with real problem in our world today.

So what I’m learning from this today:

My rule for now – write daily

That submitting is taking a toll on me (and that’s normal, learning to cope is part of the growth). And it’s perfectly acceptable to give myself a pass on following rigid writers rules because I need to make it a little easier on myself as long as I don’t break my rule for now – write daily.

Writing, editing,
Marie-Claude xoxox


Resistance to writing lurks everyday.

12 Jul

Today’s writing gave me a nice 1000 words. Now this month, it is a little easier to find the time to write because I’m on summer break and my kids are at violin camp for 3 hrs in the morning. I have the luxury of those 3 quiet hours to write at least a scene.

Today writing: 1000 words!

But despite that, resistance to writing lurks everyday.

The kids had a concert last night which meant a night out and a midnight bedtime for me. I went to bed thinking I would skip writing the next day. But then I realized that my husband was not using that evening out as an excuse to stay home from work.

So while I usually don’t like to view my writing as a “my job” for various reasons I don’t want to go into here, I see that making a commitment means that you have to follow through on that commitment especially when it’s difficult.

Now while I do have writing breaks planned in my year schedule (one of them starts next week), a late night is not an excuse to skip a day. I can find have a whole day, certainly I can to find a small thirty minutes in there somewhere. If I skip today, then skipping tomorrow will be so much easily justified and I’ll find myself skipping weeks.

Write daily, no further expectations.

So that’s what I learned today: excuses are easy to make. But my goal is simply to write daily, no further expectations. And for that I need to build my discipline, one day at a time.

Still writing daily,
Marie-Claude xoxox


Fighting with yourself, afraid of the page…

10 Jul

Today’s writing quota was quite good. A mere 200 words last night (because yeah I’m also trying to write before bed now) and a whooping 1400 words this morning.

Today’s quota: 1600 words.

You know how you can surprise yourself sometimes? Fighting with yourself, afraid of the page, then poof, done. So easy.

But this was a love scene, I was writing. I don’t know why but usually writing love scene is easier for me. And I’m left wondering why oh why did I decide to write urban fantasy with close doors. That makes no sense. I must have been high on succeess!! Ahah here’s a good lesson: never take yourself too seriously.

Which gets me to what I learned about writing today (yeah I’m trying to emulate little Arya from Games of Thrones here): this morning I wandered on Facebook to the big writers group I sort of co-own. And lo and behold, among a few great writing questions, there are tons, no TONS of “read my blog/buy my book” posts.

What I learned about writing today…

I had vaguely though of adding my blog there but uh…no. There is too much noise out there, I’ll stay here by myself for a while, thank you very much.

It really doesn’t help to shout out loud in a crowd of people who shoot louder than you. You’ll just get tired.

Just do your thing, be modest. Be consistent. Work at getting better. That is all!

Writing daily,
Marie-Claude xoxox


Back in the big kid writers pool again.

10 Jul

Who are you accountable to? By that I mean, in your journey to self-fullfillement, perhaps writing a novel, lose weight or get that degree, who checks whether you continuously work those small steps towards your goal or not?

For six month now, I’ve been on a journey to find more self-contentment and meet certain goals like, writing and try to walk again, by building habits with the help of the Sea Change Program run by Zen Habits Blog author Leo Laubatta.

I’ve been tackling my to-do list, exercising and writing daily, tackling my clutter and beat my paralizing fear of rejections by getting back in the game of submitting my writing.

“Back in the game!”

Who am I accountable to right now? Not many people. Thankfully the Sea Change program has a forum where I report daily and where I met wonderful people on a similar journey, but I feel I need more writing focus.

And the accountability part of my journey has prompted me to return to this blog.

I’m have started to submit my completed novel to many (yes many) agents and the rejections are pouring in (yes, people, getting published once is not a guaranteed road to be published again).

(And BTW here’s a great article on dealing with rejection from a guest at Musetracks today.)

Which means that my resolve is faltering and that little voice in my brain telling me I’m just a one hit wonder is getting stronger and stronger.

“Writing is not for sissies.”

So I need the accountability to stay on track for the long run. Reporting to this blog, even to a mostly silent readership, was key in rebuilding my daily writing habit and I now face the reality of having to buckle down and write despite it all (and by all I mean the constant reminder that writing is not for sissies).

“Better keep swimming.”

If I’m playing in the big kids pool again, I better keep swimming, as my friend Jenn Bray Weber likes to remind me, and bring back all the tools I got.

Hence, welcome back universe. I’m writing daily and telling you about it!

Much love,
Marie-Claude xoxox


Goodbye for now…

05 May

Well this is the time to say goodbye to this blog for an undetermined time, maybe for good. I haven’t been very active in the last few months mostly because I am concentrating on my writing. I am working on some great projects and want to give them my full attention both time and creativity wise.

Blogging regularly takes a lot of one’s mental energy and as writers I think we have to decide where to put all that creativity. For me, it’s at the page, in my manuscripts. This is where lies my “happy writing place.”

So I have decided to blog a lot less and only at Musetracks, a popular blog for writers that I am very proud of. We started it as unpublished authors with big dreams and now we are still great friends and writing partners and the blog has grown bigger than we ever imagined.

So you can find me there on Mondays, but I do hope you will stick around on other days because we offer a lot of inspiration and companionship to fellow writers, along with the chance to pitch to agents and editors once a month.

Much love,
Marie-Claude xoxox

p.s. if you like social media, you can also add me as a friend on Facebook or on Twitter, or Instagram as marieclaudewrites


And what if the manuscript doesn’t sell?

16 Feb

And by that I mean sell to a publisher or catch the eye of an agent.

I’ve spend my not so long writing career with a plan that had back-ups, if this doesn’t sell, I’ll have another series to submit and so on. And I’ve written a few first-of-series manuscripts now (which still need tons of editing) and had always thought that they were back-ups.

But as my whole writing approach change, to a more habit-driven, kinder, soul-stirring, organic approach, I am starting to also change my idea of what I should write next.

I started thinking about what my writing plan would be if I had total control. Not because I want to do that, in fact I’m not really interested in putting all the effort and money it takes to self-pub (if I did, I’d hire an editor, a copy editor and a cover designer and I just can’t afford that).

But I was asking myself what if I was guaranteed a sale, at my own conditions. What would I be writing now? It’s obvious to me now that I would continue with the series I am currently working on. I am totally in love with it. And once this series in well started, I would continue to write the occasional gothic paranormal trilogy.

I would writing my sword and sorcery theme, because I might as well be honest, this is what I am really into.

So why have been derailed? The more I am away from the buzzing of the “business” and listen to my inner writing voice, the more I know what I truly want to do.

And I know that an unsold manuscript is more than a failure. It’s time spent with loved characters, a lesson in patience and huge practice at the writing craft, which I love just for the sake of it.

Would I still write it without the money? Yeah probably.

Much love,
Marie-Claude xoxox


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