Trust Yourself

Trust Yourself

It’s only been a few months since I started writing my first adult novel. When I wrote the words “Chapter One” on the blank page, I have to admit, I seriously doubted I could reach the adult-length word count. I had only ever written middle-grades, and the thought of doubling my longest novel scared the living shit out of me.

I had so much doubt about whether I could do it or not but I didn’t let it stop me. And unlike before, I also didn’t try to write in any of the ways that I hear suggested by other authors. I stayed true to my creative process. Fast forward a few months and I’m nearing my target word count with no fear of not getting there.

The best part…I’ve had fun writing again. I haven’t struggled (much). Writing in a way that’s right for me (flying by the seat of my pants) and setting my doubts to the side has proven to be a winning combo.

So, lessons learned.

1) Don’t listen to anyone on HOW to write. Trust your intuition.

2) Believe that you can do it. (And if you don’t believe, just pretend you believe and get started)

 

I did, and now I’m a #NanoWinner2017 with less than 20,000 words to go to reach my word count goal.

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rocky

Fellow INFPs, do you feel me?

Fellow INFPs, do you feel me?

Oh, my fellow INFPs, can you tell me? Do you feel fundamentally flawed?

Much of the time, I feel like nobody understands me. So many people seem to operate on logic and don’t understand that I am based in the heart. I must seem ridiculous to them, and I find that when I speak to them I have trouble packaging my words in a way that helps them understand how I’m feeling or why I feel the way I do. And I’ll admit I don’t always understand them either. How does one work from the mind and not from the heart?

I feel destined to be misunderstood and alone. All the things they love about me come from the same place as the things maybe they don’t love so much.

All that they adore in us can turn into the reasons they chose to ignore us. Our passion. Our heart.

For as long as I can remember, I’ve always felt ashamed of the way I am. I noticed I was different–more sensitive–than others. Hiding the tears I cried during sad movies. Plastering on the fake smile that I cultivated to cover the injury inflicted upon me by the simplest of statements (to them) until I was alone and it dripped down my face like melting wax lips.

As I’ve gotten older, I’ve worked hard to embrace my sensitivity and what makes me…me.  But it’s tough when a friend tells you that maybe you aren’t worth their friendship because you get sad or upset when they attack something that you are extremely passionate about. They don’t understand that it feels like the world might crumble without those things which make your heart soar. Without which, we might stay hidden in the dark shadows that our pain buries us in. Often times, they don’t even see how what they may have said could be perceived as an attack at all. Are we unsolvable puzzles to others?

When I love someone and find them worthy of my attention, I love them deep within every cell of my body. This doesn’t happen often. I don’t have many people that I want to focus on in such a grand way, but when I find them, it is like magic. They are magic. But if they end up rejecting me, it feels like a world of color was suddenly reduced to gray.

They may not understand that because I care for them so much, their words can sting more than anything brought upon me by those I do not give a shit for. I guess that is a lot of responsibility to put on someone who may not understand the space in which I live.

But I don’t think they understand the heavy load that my affections place on my shoulders. I feel the pain of others deeply and am often compelled to listen and help. Their pain becomes my pain. If someone or something matters to me, I will put everything I’ve got into making it all better for them.

But not everyone is like this. Sometimes when I need an understanding ear or hand to hold, I can come up empty. Left to shoulder the torturous burdens alone. Not that other types are bad. They just don’t see or feel things the way I do. I understand that they are not trying to neglect or hurt me but they are…different. But understanding that fact doesn’t lift the clouds, does it?

So, am I meant to be alone?

Perhaps this why so many of our kind turn to the pen. The page will always understand the rhythms to which our hearts thump. Putting our words into black and white feels like the safest way to express and release our pain. Maybe no one will read or listen but it helps when we can transform our feelings–heart–into art.

Work-in-progress

Work-in-progress

I’ve been a little quiet on my blog as I’ve been in a great big slump. I’ve been struggling to believe I was worth anything. Not capable of writing anything worth reading. A face among voiceless faces drifting around the earth without purpose. What is the point? I kept asking myself. Who cares?

Well, I found out someone does care and it made all the difference in the world. And if they care, why couldn’t I? Once again, a switch was flipped. The world turned on. The sun rose. I began to believe.

And a few days ago, I began to write. I let go. I held on. Determination crowded the doubt to the edges. My laptop open. My fingers moving.

No concern for marketing or rules. Just the fun and joy that writing has always brought me.

For a few days now, I’ve gotten back into a writing grove (I’ll be knocking on some wood now.) I’ve got a new morning ritual that reminds me to believe, and it’s working.

 Nope, not gonna share what it is. It’s a secret and may just be a little weird. But then, I’m a little weird, so what does that matter.

I wanted to share a few lines from my works-in-progress. Normally, I don’t share anything because I never feel good enough. I’m going to get over that, and I’m going to let my voice be heard.

It feels good to be writing again. My goal is to have the thriller I’m working on done by the end of the year. I’m also in the very beginning phases of a romance. A few lines are down, and I have it churning around in my mind, playing like a movie shrouded in a thick fog that I’m still trying to see through.

I stopped writing for a while because I stopped believing I could. All it took was for someone else to believe in me and to let me know it. And you know what, I kinda feel like I can do anything at this point.

 

Writing Lows

Writing Lows


I open up the file of my work-in-progress and stare at the page. I don’t type anything. I sigh. The lid on my laptop closes. Another day goes by that I don’t write a thing.


Why do I keep doing this? It’s certainly not because I have writer’s block. I know exactly where my story is going. 


I’m haunted. It’s self-doubt. It’s feeling like a failure. It’s wondering if it’s enough that this story might only matter to me, and no one else, to get me to finish it.



I want to be successful. There’s no denying that. I won’t pretend for a minute that I don’t care if no one ever reads my work. 


 I’ve never liked being the center of attention, but I’d like attention to be given to the characters and worlds that I spend so much time on and care so much for. 


Oh, how I love to write! I always have. I love spending time in another world. I absolutely adore it when my words make people connect to my characters and makes them cry, laugh, or get grossed and/or creeped-out.  


But it’s heartbreaking to feel like none of it matters.



I don’t like shouting into a void. 





I don’t like feeling like a talentless fool. 

So how do I continue? How do I keep on writing stories that no one will ever read? 

Writing is a huge investment. Financially and emotionally. I wish more readers knew how much heart we put into our work. 


But this is part of the process it seems. My heart dances to the tune created by the thousands of words that compile my little tales and then thuds into the pit of self-doubt and worry that no one will ever want to read them. 


Sorry to moan. I’m an emotional person. Why hide it? 


And maybe some of you are feeling the same about whatever brings you to great highs and lows. 

I’m hoping that putting these feelings out there will help me take off on a writing frenzy again. 


As Henry Ford said, “When everything seems to be going against you, remember that the airplane takes off against the wind, not with it.”

Fingers crossed. 

The biggest writing mistake I keep making.

The biggest writing mistake I keep making.

I keep making the same frustrating mistake in my writing over and over. It’s not punctuation, grammar, spelling, dialogue or action tag errors (although, I do make these too.)

No, it’s that I keep thinking I’ll remember things.

The other day, I was in the shower (a place where I do the majority of my best thinking), and an exciting new element of my book was revealed to me. Oh, it was so exciting and excellent I knew I’d never forget it. So, I didn’t bother writing it down. I got a little busy the rest of that day and didn’t have time to start the next chapter. By the next day, I couldn’t remember quite what it was. The problem is that I have so many ideas, they tend to blur together, and I confuse them.

I spent yesterday doing another activity that produces ideas for me…walking around. But I never could quite remember exactly what it was I had thought up. I was like a donkey walking around with the carrot dangling from a string just out of my reach.

(I think the muse does this to punish me. I mean, she gave me this beautiful gift and I didn’t appreciate it enough.) Occasionally, I could scrape my teeth along the tip enough to get a little taste of what it was, thinking I was about to remember, only to realize I’d never get a good grip on the whole dangling, delicious carrot and it would slip away. Ugh, I really am a jackass!

So the lesson for you and especially for me….When you get an idea, no matter how big or small, write that s*$# down! Write it down!

You know, I’ve looked through my journal or picked up one of the approximately two million scraps of paper in my office where I did write things down. And I read things didn’t remember writing. True, some of it is written in the middle of the night in the most illegible penmanship on earth, but it amazes me how quickly things can fade from my memory.

Write it all down, pals!

One day I’ll follow my own advice and save so much wasted time walking in circles after carrots.

💔

💔

My heart has disintegrated. I love music and I love Tom Petty’s most of all. The music and lyrics he created connected deep within my soul, touched me, moved me. I feel so much more alone in the world today.

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One of my favorite songs is Walls. I posted those lyrics before. I’m doing it again. There is nothing on earth that can reach you in the deep places that music can and Tom will always be the greatest.

“Walls (Circus)”

by Tom Petty

Some days are diamonds
Some days are rocks
Some doors are open
Some roads are blocked

Sundowns are golden
Then fade away
But if I never do nothing
I’ll get you back some day, ’cause

You got a heart so big
It could crush this town
And I can’t hold out forever
Even walls fall down

All around your island
There’s a barricade
That keeps out the danger
That holds in the pain

Sometimes you’re happy
Sometimes you cry
Half of me is ocean
Half of me is sky, but

You got a heart so big
It could crush this town
And I can’t hold out forever
Even walls fall down

Some things are over
Some things go on
Part of me you carry
Part of me is gone, but

You got a heart so big
It could crush this town
And I can’t hold out forever
Even walls fall down

You got a heart so big
It could crush this town
And I can’t hold out forever
Even walls fall down

Rest in Peace, Tom. I hope I get to meet you someday. Maybe we can raise a little hell and roll a joint together. All my love. All my thanks. All my joy. All my sorrow. Thank you for the inspiration.

Author Interview 📚 Christina Kaye

Author Interview 📚 Christina Kaye

Hello friends, I’m proud to bring you my interview with the award-winning author, Christina Kaye! I’ve read a number of Christina’s page-turning books, and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed them all. 

The first book I read was LIKE FATHER LIKE DAUGHTER, and I loved it so much I went on to read the entire FLESH & BLOOD TRILOGY. 

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Click here to get your copy!

So, here we go…

Christina Morgan Profile Pic

Author Christina Kaye

Q: What is your favorite thing about writing?

A: I write suspense/thrillers, so I love coming up with interesting, new, and exciting twists for my books.

Q: What is the most difficult part of the novel writing process for you?

A: I have a bad habit of “info dumping” in my first manuscript drafts. I tend to get a bit verbose sometimes and go a bit overboard in trying to expose my characters’ backstories.

Q: What inspired you to write Like Father Like Daughter?

A: I watched a documentary one night about a girl whose father was a serial killer. It made me wonder…what would life be like if your father was a murderer? And then, what if you were also accused of murder yourself? That’s how I came up with the idea for this book.

Q: How long did it take you to write Like Father Like Daughter?

A: About eight weeks for the first draft. Then I spent about 2 months editing with my editor. So in total about four months.

Q: Do you plot out your stories, fly by the seat of your pants, or some combination of the two?

A: Usually, I just let it flow and write as the ideas come to me. But I’m currently working on a manuscript for a psychological suspense novel with 3 different characters written in all three POV’s. With all of their stories to keep track of, I typed up an outline and it really is helping.

Q: How do you select the names for your characters?

A: Every time I hear a name I like, I type it in my “notepad” on my phone. Then when I go to write a book, I just refer to my list of favorite names and go from there. But, I will admit to using an online name generator from time to time.

Q: Are you working on anything new?

A: Yes, as I said, I’m working on a new psychological thriller about a psychic with a dark, secret past who is hired to help two men (a detective and a search and rescue coordinator) find a missing six-year-old girl. It’s my favorite novel so far. So fingers crossed!

Q: Do you prefer to write in the morning, afternoon, night, or whenever you find a spare moment?

A: I usually write at night, but with a full-time day job as a paralegal, I have to just write whenever I have the time.

Q: Do you have any writing rituals?

A: Not really. I know some authors write to music, etc., but I can’t do that. I need absolute silence in order to write.

Q: What do you think makes a good story?

A: I think if you can create characters that readers will care about and want to root for, and combine that with a story that is somewhat original and intriguing, you can capture and hold the readers’ attention to the very end.

Q: Dogs or Cats?

A: Dogs. Although I do have one of each.

Q: Savory or Sweet?

A: Savory/salty/cheesy.

Q: Beach or Forest?

A: Beach. Always the beach!

Q: When you’re not writing, what do you like to do with your free time?

A: What free time? With a full-time job as a trial paralegal, two teenage daughters, a dog, and a cat, not to mention my writing, I rarely have any “me” time. But when I do, I love to read.

Q: How can readers keep in touch with you? Do you have a website? Are you on social media?

A: I try to be very accessible.
www.xtinakayebooks.com
Facebook/xtinakayebooks
Instagram/xtinakayebooks
Twitter/xtinakayebooks

Q: Do you like to hear from your readers?

A: Yes! Good, bad, or indifferent, I love talking to readers whenever possible. It teaches me what I’m doing right and what I can improve upon.

Q: Is there anything else you’d like people to know about you?

A: I also help other authors perfect and refine their queries before sending them to agents/publishers. All the information about those services is available on my website.

Thank you, Christina!

Well, I hope that you all enjoyed the interview. The next time you’re looking for a great thriller to read, remember Christina Kaye!