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Shit into fuel

Hello friends,

This has been an interesting week for me. Full of ups and dooooown(er)s.

The ups…

I’ve accomplished a lot with my novel, and I’m moving forward at an incredible pace. Also, I’m discovering I really enjoy the story. I may get through draft four or five before I start getting sick of reading it. (You writers know what I’m talking about 😂) Another plus…I can see a great deal of improvement in my first draft over those of my previous novels. I correct/change a lot less (let’s hope it’s because I make fewer errors and not that I’ve gotten worse at editing. Ha! But I’m going to be positive this year. So we’re going with improved writing skills.)

The downs…

I’ve still got a pretty severe case of imposter syndrome. I go from thinking that I’ve forgotten how to write to feeling like everything I write is complete crap anyway, and I don’t deserve to call myself a writer. But, as I’m trying to be positive this year, I thought about my imposter syndrome as I was walking and I realized it might be a good thing to have. After all, every writer I’ve ever exchanged chapters with that had (in my opinion) horrible stories/writing could not accept any criticism. The best I can figure is that they only trade work to gather praise and are confident that every word they write is gold. I have a hard time sharing (insert imposter syndrome here), but I appreciate constructive feedback. I got the most amazing (not because it was all positive) feedback from a beta reader (you know who you are!) and I feel better for clearly seeing my errors and being given the opportunity to fix them. Imposter Syndrome is good for me. It can be painful at times, but it makes me better and shouldn’t we all be trying to get better?

Another down of this week, I let an individual interfere with the way I feel about myself. I allowed them to reinforce my imposter syndrome by making me feel like the only reason anyone reads my stuff is my looks. Ugh! And maybe it was true for that person, and I’ve had things like this happen before. I even momentarily considered changing my name to A. Compeau or Al Compeau and putting up a male avi on my social media. Geez, I don’t owe anyone anything other than a story. I don’t have feelings for you. There isn’t anything “between us.” You may have noticed I stopped sharing book lines from Distant Spring while I was letting this person bother me. But I was quickly back to it.

To make it positive…

I realized I can’t change what other people think or do. I can’t even change how it makes me feel. So often people say, “don’t let it bother you” or “you shouldn’t care what other people think.” But I can’t help how things make me feel any more than I can help the things that others do. I can, however, turn that shit into fuel and let it drive me forward.

There is nothing wrong with the way I feel. There is nothing wrong with me. The reason I am the way I am is the same thing that makes me capable of doing the things that I do.

I won’t change me. Overall, I’m starting to love me.

But I will work to change the way I use what tries to drag me down.

Though I waver in feeling like I’ll ever be good enough, I firmly believe that I’m stubborn enough to do almost anything I set my mind to. It may take years and years, but I know I won’t give up! 2019 may be the year I see things start to happen, but if I don’t, I’m going to remember that every experience propels me closer to my goals.

Cheers!

Allie.

Blog

2019 Writing Goals

Hello friends,

I allowed myself too many distractions in the month of December and barely got any writing done. I wanted to finish writing the first draft of my novel by the end of 2018 but barely wrote a chapter.

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So, I’m setting some goals for 2019 that I think should be attainable and hopefully surpassed.

My 2019 writing goals

  1. Finish writing at least 3 books
  2. Edit at least 3 books (they don’t have to be the same 3)
  3. Believe in myself a little more
  4. Put my writing time first
  5. Post regularly on this blog

That’s pretty much it!

What are your writing goals for 2019?

Wooo! Feeling motivated! Let’s do this!

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Why is receiving so hard?

Hello Friends,

Before I start this post I wanted to say thank you to all my followers. I just realized that I now have just over 200 followers! I’m sometimes surprised anyone cares what I have to say and to know that 200 of you decided to click “follow” on my blog touches my heart.

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So…Christmas is just a few days away and that got me thinking about gifts. I really love giving gifts. I love the moment when I find just the write thing to give someone. Seeing their face light up or hear the joy I brought them makes my day. I LOVE giving gifts.

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Receiving gifts, now that’s another story.

It makes me so uncomfortable and I don’t know why exactly. Maybe it’s because I don’t particularly like being the center of attention and I’m being looked at. Or it could be because I’m afraid I won’t react the way the person is hoping and I don’t want to let them down.

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I think if I lived my whole life and no-one ever gave me another gift again, I’d be okay with it.

Is it an aspect of my personality that makes me that way? I guess it could be.

I don’t mind giving my books away but when it comes to selling them, I feel sick over expecting to be paid.

Receiving praise or acknowledgment is difficult for me.

I’m horrible at asking for help. It takes a lot before I’ll do it. But I’m happy to help someone out if they need something.

If I go out with friends (even the closest friends that I’ve known for years) I’ll insist on paying for my own drinks or food if they offer but I’d love to pay for theirs.

I gave up my Patreon page even though I had a few patrons because I felt like I owed more than I was worth. Adding the tip jar to this blog floods me with overwhelming embarrassment. While I can tell myself that other artists get tips for what they do, deep inside I just feel like an undeserving imposter.

Maybe it’s about control. I don’t know. Is it selfish of me not to allow others the joy of giving that I enjoy so much?

Am I weird? Is it a personality thing or something we learn from our parents? My parents are both very giving people.

How do you feel about receiving and giving gifts?

 

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Control your content

Hello friends,

Sometimes my writing journey feels like this…

Wooo! It’s easy to feel like I’m getting absolutely nowhere. But I’m determined AF, and so when I come to a realization, I like to share it so that you can move an inch or so forward with me.

Here’s what I want to say…

ONLY SHARE YOUR WORK ON YOUR WEBSITE.

Now I’m not talking about writing guests posts or publishing poems or articles in magazines. I’m talking about using sites like Patreon, Wattpad, Chapterbuzz, or any other such site. But Allie, you say, you’ve used these sites?

Why yes, my darlings, I have, and that’s why I urge you not to use them. I have three main reasons why and here they are:

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Reason One: Those sites are a time suck. I spent so much time working on my Patreon, Wattpad, and Chapterbuzz accounts that I neglected my blog, my poetry, and my novels. In order to find any readers, you have to scratch other writers’ backs to get them to scratch yours. This is to basically falsely inflate your numbers to make it look like you have a lot of readers. It’s getting the sheep to follow a buzz you’ve manufactured. I wish people thought for themselves and dug to find writing they like but really they (not all but a lot)  follow the crowd. Therefore, you have to spend more of your writing time fabricating some buzz. (Patreon actually recommends you find creators to mutually support to grow your numbers. But it’s all false! I want REAL followers.)

Reason Two: Every time you post to these sites and then share via your social media, you’re drawing potential new readers to an external site. Why not draw them to your own? Showcase yourself and your kick-ass website, not someone else’s.

Reason Three: Your readers are yours to keep (as long as you keep them entertained.) Why work so hard to grow the followings of Wattpad, Patreon, or Chapterbuzz when they can decide to kick you off at any moment? If they don’t like or agree with something you wrote, they can boot you. Let’s face it, sharing ideas or stories freely in this day and age is dangerous business. I also don’t want to support any websites who silence anyone who disagrees with a CEO’s political or personal views. I know some may applaud the silencing but remember, one day they may come for you, too, dear writer. Free is free. And on my own website, I’m free to be me.

So, while it might take me longer to find readers, I’m still finding them. It may be a long process, but I’m in for the long haul because writing is my passion.

I’m grateful to all of you who have followed this blog, signed up for my newsletter, leave comments, and have purchased my books. You’re amazing! I will continue to share chapters of my works-in-progress under the sneak peeks tab.

And remember, you can find the link to purchase my books on the books tab or by clicking here or here to purchase a signed copy.

If you’ve read my books, I’d like to ask you to leave a review on Amazon and/or Goodreads. Reviews go a long way in helping indie authors like me to find new readers.

I’m going to keep on putting one word after another and I have no doubt that I’ll grow a following of readers who connect them.

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Thanks!

Allie

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Is this the spirit of Christmas?

Hello Friends,

I always wait until the day after Thanksgiving to start decorating for Christmas. As I fished out this incredible ceramic tree circa 1980 that my mom gave me last year, I thought about all the people that were out Black Friday shopping.

When I was a kid, I don’t remember hearing about Black Friday shopping or ghastly news stories of store employees being trampled to death by selfish, monster shoppers.

I remember my mom making gifts & the recipients being thrilled to be given homemade gifts–appreciating all the work my mom put in it.

By the way, here is a picture of the ceramic tree I put up today. Now not only is it homemade but it’s used and old and I couldn’t have been more thrilled to receive it as a gift last year.

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What has changed? Are we all so much more materialistic than we used to be?

I’m disgusted, to be honest. People don’t even wait until black friday anymore, they start shopping elbowing, punching, (and did I hear, this year, shooting) their fellow human beings for more crap they don’t need on Thanksgiving eve now.

With bellies full of undigested feasts, these people–who should be grateful–transform into ungrateful, greedy beasts.

I would remind everyone of the grinch and the story of the Whos down in Whoville…

“And the Grinch, with his Grinch-feet ice cold in the snow,
stood puzzling and puzzling, how could it be so? It came without ribbons. It came without tags. It came without packages, boxes or bags. And he puzzled and puzzled ’till his puzzler was sore. Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn’t before. What if Christmas, he thought, doesn’t come from a store. What if Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more.”

But with the new Grinch movie peddling Honda cars I’m not sure the story holds up anymore. I think we may be broken and have reached the point of no return. Maybe I’m a grinch whose heart won’t grow but I’m pretty sure if we were to give people gifts that didn’t come from the store, we’d be met with crinkled noses and bows stomped into the floor.

What do you think? Is there hope?

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Happy Thanksgiving

Happy

Happy Thanksgiving, friends!

I am so grateful for everyone who has followed my blog. I’ve seen some wonderful growth this year and I’m looking forward to charging ahead and moving even closer to my goals.

I’m also grateful for everyone who has bought one of my books or left a like or comment on one of my poems or early-draft chapters. The support and feedback means a lot to me.

I have wonderful family and friends who make me smile everyday.

I am one lucky so-and-so!

Thank you! I appreciate you all! 🧡 My heart overflows with joy this Thanksgiving.

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Listen to yourself.

Hello friends,

I’m a little late on putting out my weekly post. I’ve been busy all month, and I decided to be lazy over the weekend. It felt great, and I feel refreshed.

I have lots of words to make up for NaNoWriMo, but I still feel like I’m going to complete the 50,000-word goal by the end of the month. I know some people that insist that writers must write every day but as I’ve said before, I disagree with that.

While I was taking my break, I thought about my story and what would happen. I jotted down a few notes in the margins. In those ways, I was still working on my novel. Not adding to my word count didn’t put me behind because I know where I’m going and I feel like I want to go there now.

I think it works for some people to chip away at their stories slowly every day. Some of us, though, work internally on our stories for a while before it’s all ready to spill out. We may end up writing as much or more than we would if we forced the words out slowly. It’s like everything else, we need to listen to our bodies and spirits. We know what’s best for us and drowning out other voices is an important thing to learn in the creative process.

Okay, I’ve got words to catch up on. Cheers!

Allie

Please visit my Amazon author page, check out my books, and consider buying one by clicking here.

Listen to yourself

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What is success anyway?

Hello friends,

Nanowrimo (National Novel Writing Month – where writers try to write 50,000 words in one month) is upon us again. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to participate this year. I’ve done it a few times now–along with Camp Nano (which happens in April)–and I’ve lost sometimes, and I’ve won sometimes.

But what is winning? And what is losing?

I always thought I lost Nanowrimo if I didn’t make it to 50,000 words in one month but when I was debating whether or not I wanted to participate this time, I realized that even if I didn’t “win” I’d end up trying hard and I’d end up writing more than I would otherwise.

In the writing world, there’s a whole pile of people deciding what makes others successful.

So I’ve decided I really need to get every voice out of my head other than my own and those of writers who support one another no matter what. No matter the publishing path, level, genre, or background.

I’m participating in Nanowrimo. I’m already a winner.

I’m a winner because I want to write and share my stories and I’m taking the steps I need to do that.

What could ever be losing about that?

If you’re a writer or an aspiring writer and you start putting words on a page, congratulations to you! No matter who you are or what your end goals are, you’re brave and you’re a winner. With each attempt you’re getting closer to where you want to be. There are plenty of people who want to write a book and never even get started. It might take you a while but you’ll get there if you keep working.

Success!

rocky

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Social anxiety, anyone?

Hello, friends!

I wouldn’t say I have social anxiety disorder. I’m an introvert and going out to parties, and social situations exhaust me, but I would never say I have a disorder. Usually, when I feel like doing these things, I have a great time but am always ready to be home again.  However, I have an event coming up this weekend, and I feel absolutely sick about it. I wouldn’t be lying if I said I was so anxious about it that I was considering hiding in a park somewhere rather than actually showing up.

The social anxiety institute lists the following symptoms for social anxiety disorder:

People with social anxiety disorder usually experience significant emotional distress in the following situations:

  • Being introduced to other people

  • Being teased or criticized

  • Being the center of attention

  • Being watched while doing something

  • Meeting people in authority (“important people”)

  • Most social encounters, especially with strangers

  • Going around the room (or table) in a circle and having to say something

  • Interpersonal relationships, whether friendships or romantic

So all these fit for me except for the first and last. And, btw, who would be okay with the second? Are there really people who don’t mind being teased or criticized?

Anyway, I know I need to do events like this to promote myself as an author and my books. But the thought of being with no one I know and chatting with strangers all day makes me feel physically ill.

I’m afraid I’ll look ugly.

I’m afraid I’ll say stupid things. Enter too many umms and uhs. Stumble over what I want to say. Basically, I’ll look like a big fat idiot.

Also, while I always got good grades in school, never got less than As in all my math classes, dealing with money makes me feel sick. Will I give the wrong change and appear to be an idiot? Will I fumble with using my square reader?

Ugh, I’m going to be a complete douche bonnet. I just know it.

I’m scared.

One good thing about me is my imagination. It allows me to travel to other worlds and write them down.

One bad thing about me is my imagination. Every time I imagine myself dealing with anyone, I imagine out all the worst things that can happen and all the awkward and stupid things I’ll do.

*Sigh*

*Deep breath*

*Muttering* I can do this.

I can be brave. I’m going to be brave. I’m going to fake confidence and hold my chin up.

Does it matter if I’m the only one who knows how terrified I am inside?

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My First Award Nomination

It’s a beautiful surprise when someone takes time out of their day to recognize your blog. It’s easy to feel like we’re shouting into a void and wonder why we do this at all, then something like this happens.

Bushra, I’m deeply touched and I want to take a moment to say how grateful I am that you nominated me and how fortunate I feel to have connected with you. You’re truly a ray of sunshine and I enjoy your blog posts and the supportive comments you leave on mine.

So, let’s hope I’m doing this right since I’m a noob.

Rules

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This beautiful graphic came courtesy of Bushra’s blog

1) Thank the person who nominated you

Thank you so much, Bushra! You are such a kind and supportive person. I appreciate you taking the time to think of me and nominate me for this award. You’re amazing.

2) Include a link to their blog in your post

Friends, you’re seriously going to want to check out Bushra’s blog. Click here to visit!   Or click here! She has a gift for creating beauty in this world, whether it’s through her creations or her uplifting words. You’ll be better for having discovered her.

3) Share 7 facts about yourself

1- I still have my writing journal from third grade 😂

2- I took karate for 1 week in the first grade and have been convinced ever since that I’m a total badass because of it.

3- I find funny people irresistible. I want to be around them all the time. It really is my favorite quality in a friend.

4- I have an optic nerve drusen in my left eye and I’m terrified that I will go blind in that eye and be unable to drive and lose my independence.

5- Craft beer is a BIG part of my life (bigger than I ever expected)

6- I have 3 rescue dogs and I love them to pieces.

7- I love living in small towns. People are kind and there are more green spaces.

4) Nominate 15 bloggers of your choice to keep spreading the love

Here’s my list of nominees…

  1. K E Garland | Inspirational quotes, stories and images
  2. Give It A Spin
  3. Frugal Husband
  4. H.A. Callum
  5. Writing Block 
  6. Relatable Thoughts
  7. Seeking Divine Perspective
  8. Saving Joyfully 
  9. randieri.com
  10. Fractured Faith Blog
  11. Peatmore News
  12. brokenanvil29325 
  13. Writings By Ender
  14. Christina Anne Hawthorne
  15. Melanie at Home

None of the nominees should feel obligated to accept or do a post. I just wanted to recognize your blogs. I think you’re great!

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