October 2017 Newsletter: Stop Stressing About Your Writing and Enjoy the Process

Happy October, everyone! The time of the pumpkin has come. What fall treats are you looking forward to? Pumpkin pie is sounding like a good writing snack right about now….

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Book recommendations: 

  1. Boston Metaphysical Society by Madeleine Holly-Rosing - a supernatural steampunk comic book set in alternate 1800s Boston. Yep. A bunch of awesomeness wrapped up into one amazing volume. My review is here and my interview with the author is here.
  2. The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas - I’m actually really shocked that I have apparently never recommended this here before. This is an amazing well written classic novel full of adventure and great characters. You need to read it. 
  3. The Tomb of the Sea Witch by Kyle Robert Schultz - an hilarious sequel to a very clever series. If you want an epic, unique fairytale retelling that will make you laugh out loud, this is for you.
  4. Girls’ Last Tour by Tsukumizu - slice-of-life manga set in a post-apocalyptic world? That sounds like something that wouldn’t work, but it absolutely does. 
  5. Winnie-The-Pooh by A.A. Milne - a children’s book that never gets old. Charming, funny, and oddly applicable to adult life, this is a book you should own. And you need the copy illustrated by Ernest H. Shepard. That’s a nonnegotiable. 

If you have questions about the age appropriateness of any of these books, feel free to get in touch with me. I'd be more than happy to give a brief overview. 

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Writing Tip of the Month: Enjoy the Process

We writers have to juggle a lot to write and publish a book. We have to develop characters, explain worlds without info dumping, hit a certain word count, weave in themes without preaching, and do it all while maintaining a consistent and likable writing style. On top of that, we have to make sure we’re marketing our work and maintaining a social media presence.

It’s a lot to handle and often gets very stressful. So much so that we sometimes forget to take a step back and enjoy the act of writing. 

I know it’s hard. Life gets busy. If your aim is to publish, writing ends up turning into a job. And it comes along with all of the things that jobs include: Deadlines, stress, business meetings, etc. 

However, writing doesn’t always have to be about deadlines and word counts and perfect character arcs and beautiful prose. It can. Sometimes it should. But not always. 

Sometimes you need to be willing to let all of that go and just write. Even if what you write sucks. Even if it’s not at all connected to your WIP. Even if it’s not a piece you’ll be able to use until late into book 3 and you’re still pushing through book 1. 

We all reach the point where we need a break. And, when you reach that point, it becomes increasingly important to decide, "You know what? Today I’m just going to write for fun. Not for publication. Not for an audience. Not even for my own perfectionist self. Just for fun. That’s it." 

And you know what happens next? You get a little bit of your old spirit back. The spirit you had way back when you were just writing because you liked it. It’ll give you the energy you need to keep moving forward with your grand plans to meet deadlines and publish the next bestseller….Or, you know, the next book that will sell enough to fund your caffeine-consumption. 

This month I’m challenging you to zoom out a bit and remember why you started writing in the first place. Then, with that image in mind, take some time each month to just write for the pure joy of it. You’ll be surprised at what a huge difference it will make.

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Last Month: 

In case you didn't notice, I missed writing a newsletter last month. *facepalm* I have a hard time remembering that a newsletter is actually something that I do now. I tend to forget about it in the midst of novel-ing (shush. That's a word), blogging, and social media-ing. 

So what have I been up (aside from forgetting about important writing platforms)?

I went to the Long Beach Comic Con with my fellow Constant Collectible writers Chad "Goody" Goodwin and Susannah Metzler (AKA: S.M. Metzler). It was possibly my favorite comic con to date. I got a chance to interview the amazing Madeleine Holly-Rosing, author of the clever Boston Metaphysical Society that you really should read. I also got a chance to say hello to Jody Houser, one of my all-time favorite comic book authors (known for the Faith comics). So many fangirl moments. 

Oh, and I got some new artwork: 

I love that Batman looks like he's about to beat somebody to death with a heart balloon. 

I started my new job at my college. I'm now a writing consultant, which means I'm mostly helping students fix up - or develop ideas - for their essays. One paper on The Allegory of the Cave referenced the Matrix and I almost lost my cool because wow. There are other students out there who work nerd references into their writing? Awesome. 

I did not finish my rough draft for The Stump of the Terebinth Tree, but I did reach the peak of all of my character arcs. Now I just have my major climax to write and I'm home free. 

I got to meet with E.B. Dawson, a talented indie author and all around cool person.


You should read her books. Any of them. All of them. You really can't go wrong. Though the Creation of Jack series is my favorite so far.

I was brought back on as the Live Events Coordinator for WriteOnCon 2018. I had the opportunity to fill this position this year and am super excited to do it again next year. For those of you who don't know: WriteOnCon is an online writing conference that covers the writing and publishing of children's fiction through NA. It's helpful, affordable, and fun. You should check out the website and the video

This Month

I am starting a new Youtube Segment. Yep. It's (probably) going to be called #ChatWithIndieAuthor and will involve me doing interviews with various indie authors. The focus of the interview will be to get some behind the scenes look as the lives of indie authors: What's their day job? How do they balance writing with the rest of their life? What are some of their writing goals? Do they secretly fight crime in the dead of night? We're going to find out.

The video to announce this new segment is coming out this Wednesday, so you are now one of the few people one earth who know about this news. Lucky you.  

I'm going to Stan Lee's Comic Con. Myself and a few other Constant Collectible people will be stalking the halls of this LA comic con. If you're going to be there, please let me know! I'd love to meet you. 

I'm going to start planning a series of short story publications. Yep. I'll be publishing some more short stories for you all. My goal is to finish up The Stump of the Terebinth Tree and then move on to a short story series that I will self-publish. There will be at least four. Two of them will be out before May of next year. And that's all of the information I'm going to give you. You'll have to wait until next month to learn more. 

What about you? What are your plans for this month, writing or otherwise? I'd love to hear from you! 

Answer to the question you may or may not have:

I've moved my newsletter over onto my website rather than keeping it as an email for one reason: Money. *greedy cackling*

Actually, it's more of a legality thing. I'd like to start using Amazon Affiliate linking in this newsletter, but these types of links aren't allowed in emails. Thus, I'm moving these newsletters over here. 

Whenever you click on my Amazon links and then buy something from Amazon that day, I get a small (really small) commission with no extra charge to you. So if you have anything you need to order, just visit Amazon through one of my links. I appreciate your support!