THE JOY IN STRESS-FREE WRITING

Saturday, May 20, 2017

I've been thinking about writing. This should be no surprise -- since I'm always thinking about writing... but, more specifically, I've been thinking about my future of writing. 

Maybe I'm the only one who does this, or maybe you can all relate. But it's easy to think ahead a couple years and wonder if my novel will be on the shelf, or if I'll still be rewriting that Idiot Novel for the millionth time. :P

It's scary mulling over the future -- fantasizing the unknown. Throughout the last several months I've been setting bigger and tougher goals for myself, with that dream of becoming an author right before me.

Honestly? It's been exhausting. I've been hustling for the last two years, always writing editing (ha... ha...), always pushing myself. Don't get me wrong, it's important to set goals and encourage yourself to do better. Without all my goals, I would've gotten very little done.

But! It's also important to not push yourself past your limits.

As I've mentioned before, I'm taking May slowly with my writing. My goals for April's Camp NaNo made writing a little too stressful, so I had to take a step back and evaluate writing. I write because I enjoy it! Not to induce gallons of stress. (I don't think stress can be measured in gallons... but... go with it.) So taking a break and waiting to feel the yearn and the reason to return to the story again is a good decision for me.

And I think once I rekindle that fire and passion, setting goals will once again feel like a fun challenge and not a chore. :P I'm still doing writing related things (because how can I completely stay away?), but I pushed aside those crazy insane goals, and my head feels thousands times lighter. This break is exactly what I've needed. And I'm actually doing other things too!
played piano for fun - read through old drafts - spent time on bullet journaling - binged read books - longer devos - extroverted + hung out with friends - took several walks - cleaned my room (only for it to become messy right away, haha) - made a dessert - took a trip to the library - had more movie nights with the fam - spent more time with my sister - sucked helium out of balloons (hehe) - written 500 words - critiqued stories

^^ I probably wouldn't have done any of that if I had my overachieving writing goals to keep up with as well. I'm learning that it's important to pay attention to other passions and people! There are so many things I want to do. SO MANY. Becoming an author is a long journey, and I want to enjoy the process, living life to the fullest while I do so. (that means maybe not staying inside all day and ignoring the world :P) I'm doing my best to find a balance between it all. xD

Anyways, as you can see, I've only written 500 words this month... but I think that's okay. I've also started editing the first couple pages of Where Shadows Lie for the MYWW conference, AND I'M SO, SO EXCITED. I think this is one of the first stories I won't have to completely rewrite. o.o (of course there will be rewriting involved, but they key word there is: completely)

I don't know what will happen after May, yet. June is filled with concerts and writing conferences and vacations... and once that's all over, I'll be working near thirty hours a week (help). So we'll see. Maybe Camp NaNo in July is when I'll begin the writing craziness again, mwahaha.

Well, there you have it. This post is a bit messy and discombobulated (fabulous word, isn't it?), but I wanted to give a little update on this month.

You're all amazing. 

<3,
katie grace

(also, Christine wrote something kind of similar to this on her blog, but said it in a much more eloquent and readable manner than I managed. She's awesome.)

(also, also, how is it the twentieth of May?? I legit thought we weren't even halfway through the month and now I'm confused. :P)

how has writing been going for you this month? <3

64 comments :

  1. I don't want this to come across in the adult-trying-to-be-encouraging way, but that is such a mature decision - to have a break so you can pick up again in a better place and go where you want to go with writing.

    I like your list of things you've been able to fit in! It's amazing how little things add so much to life. And yes, discombobulated is a fabulous word, definitely! :D

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    1. Awwwhh thanks. You're so sweet, Jessica. <3

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  2. I totally understand. I've been going slow on the writing since mid-April and it feels so good. Taking a break :) And I've read something like forty books this year, about half of those in the last month.

    However: somehow my book is still kind of getting edited XD I'm... really not sure how I have time for that, but whatever.

    This was great! Also, good luck with thirty hours. That will be grueling :P

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    1. Ooooh forty books already? Dude you have me beat. I'm so behind on my goal. :P

      YOU GOT THIS. Editing is so tough but can be rewarding.

      Eeek. Thanks. I'm a bit nervous. xD

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  3. Thank you for this honest post!! I just finished my first draft (like. TWO. DAYS. AGO) and I'm going to take a break from it for a month plus. Next week will be a literal writing break, but come June I'll be back writing articles, blog posts, etc.

    And you highlighted really important aspects about being a writer! I feel one thing that writers need more of is the fact that they should take care of themselves, and as Beth Revis says, just go back to the art.

    GOOD LUCK, KATIE! Where Shadows Lie sounds like an amazing book. I am so happy you're having fun with it <3

    - andrea at a surge of thunder

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    1. DUDE SERIOUSLY?? AHH CONGRATULATIONS. *sprinkles glitter and confetti* Oh my goodness I'm so, so, happy. How many words did it end up being?

      Thank youuu, Andrea! <3

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  4. This was actually reeeaally encouraging. I feel like this sometimes too and I really struggle with losing focus with my goal for writing. And ack just all of this. *hugs post and keeps it to remind myself*

    I've been editing this month! And it hasn't been all that bad actually. I've got some alpha readers lined up to read it in a few weeks and an accidental deadline. But it's been good fun anyway and I'm terrified and excited at the same time.

    Aaand I'm hoping to be able to relax once I've sent my book off to them to go through. And I won't start planning anything new, I'll just do /nothing/. And that I'm really looking forward to.

    *nods* I can definitely relate to everything in this post. It's all for the /joy/ of it.

    Ooh ooh and also I did the Myers Briggs test recently, and I got ENFP so WE'RE TWINSIES. *bounces excitedly* XD

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    1. Ooh, an "accidental" deadline? I'm curious as to what that exactly means. :P

      YESS BREAKS ARE SO GOOD. *nod* When are you sending it off to them? Will you be writing in time for Camp NaNo again?

      AAAH. WHAT?? SERIOUSLY? YAY I'M SO EXCITED THAT I GET TO BE TWINSIES WITH YOU! Now I just need to meet you so we can be in-real-life twinsies together. xD

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    2. One of my alpha readers is a university student and they've got break in a few weeks - and he'll only have time to read it in his break then. So I need to have it ready by then. :P

      Ooh so I'm hoping to send it off in two weeks-ish. And then Camp NaNo will probably spring on me and I'll be a mess of cluelessness and might just end up winging it because I forgot to plan anything further than a vague idea. XD I will be writing something though.

      EEP YES! *flails* WE DO NEED TO MEET THOUGH. I'll come to America one day and SOMEHOW we'll organize something.

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    3. Oooh, got it. Eek! I hope that it comes together nice and quickly and with as little stress as possible. :P

      YESS I'm glad you're still doing Camp NaNo! I think I'll be writing and editing. Maybe. Who even knows. xD

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  5. I love that Idiot Novel part. :D I seriously snorted and then clapped my hand over my mouth before the manic, this-is-so-relatable laugh could begin. Ahem.

    This whole post has been a struggle for me, and I always have to step back and remember why I write when I feel the life getting sucked out of me. And I also have to constantly remind myself that I am more than just a writer, that I can't live like writing defines me, and THAT is such a struggle. But it sounds like you already get it, and I'm glad you've been able to read and play piano and be with your family and spend time with God. :)

    I hope this month continues to be refreshing to you, love! I'm praying for you! *hugs*

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    1. Now you're making me giggle. I'm glad you liked that. xD

      Aahh, yes. And I think now I'm just beginning to understand this whole process. I never really took a break from writing to improve on my love for people and music and doing other things, so I think it's been really good for me.

      Thank you so much! Praying for you, too. <3

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  6. OH MY GOSH YESSSSS thank you for this post <33

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  7. YAS, this post!! ^^^ I think I've written maybe a little over 1,000 words this month which is pretty cool. ;) but yes, no stress!!

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    1. Oh my goodness, that's still awesome, though! So proud of you. *hands cookies* <3 <3

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    2. Aw thanks. *hurriedly takes the cookies* I actually miscalculated my monthly word count cause it's closer to 5,000 words. 😜

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  8. Hi there!!
    I've just found your blog!!
    Ohh my I absolutely love it!! Your posts are amazing! I'll definitely stick around <3
    I'm new on the blogging world, in case you'd like to check my blog out. If not, that's alright. I'll still be reading your gorgeous posts!! <3
    xoxo

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    1. Hey Arya! I checked out your blog and I love it. I'm also new on the blogging world...
      I would love to comment on some of your posts but weirdly I can't...see any comment space.
      :) Just telling you because I would be commenting...

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    2. Welcome, Arya and Anna to the world of posting, flailing, commenting, stalking other blogs, liking, sharing, fangirling, and definitely not screaming about pizza. xD

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    3. :D Thanks! its a crazy yet Awesomastic (yes yes that's a word XD) world.

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    4. Yes I agree, awesomastic is a legit word because you said so. (I'm a fan of words that aren't in the dictionary.)

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    5. AHH WELCOME TO THE BLOGOSPHERE, ARYA! And Anna! It makes me happy to see other like-minded teens joining this circle of passionate writers. <3 Let me know if you have any blogging/writing questions! :D

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    6. SAME HERE musicgirl

      Tbh i've been here for 4 months without knowing about this world! It's crazy. Finally updating my blog and making it more theme-able (yeah that works XD) Then I'll be able to be more active and productive. Dude did I have no idea how this worked.
      Your blog really helped though Katie

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    7. Lol, I feel ya, it took me about two months before I found my groove on my own blog (which is a private blog or else I'd totally be nagging ya'll to follow me).

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    8. Make it PUBLIC, I really want to follow it. I'd be your stalker.XD And here I am nagging you to follow mine.
      *nagnagnag* XD
      http://worldthroughherheart.blogspot.com/

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    9. Haha, sorry but no, I only feel comfortable blogging if I know the people who stalk it in real life. 😕

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    10. I totally get you...I've been there and its always a personal choice. :) Don't feel bad for it

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    11. Lol, I published that last comment and was like, "wow, I'm such a buzzkill."

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    12. Haha, well thank you😂

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  9. Oh good, because I haven't been writing much either :P YES why is this month almost over?!?! This year is just like *whoosh* I can't keep up XD Best of wishes for all the not-completely rewrites, conferencing, vacation, and work <3

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    1. I feel like a lot of writers are in this position as well?? I think Camp NaNo wore everyone out xD

      THANK YOUU. <3 Good luck with all your things, too! I can't wait for your upcoming publications. :D (and alpha reading the sequel. EEEK)

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  10. SAME. I'm definitely 100% on board with this. I think it's so easy to stress about writing and then forget that STRESS IS FOR NANO, NOT MAY. XD

    But really though, great post. *nods* I've been sorta having the same thought processes lately- maybe it's a post-NaNo thing?? xD Either way, virtual pizza and sour patch for all is in order. WE WILL CONQUER THIS THING. xP

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    1. YES EXACTLY. I'm dedicating my stress to NaNo and only letting it unload then. xD

      Yuus I really do think it's a post-Nano thing. Seems like other writers are in the same mindset as I am, WHICH MAKES ME RELIEVED. :P

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  11. This is so true, I'm going through the exact same thing. Writing shouldn't be chore the way it has been in the past for me. I've never had so much fun writing as now.
    By the way you are doing AWESOME SERIOUSLY. ALL your books sound fascinating, I literally fangirled over them for a few days and still can't quite get over them. You really really REALLY inspire me. I don't think I'd be here without all the encouragement and advice on your blog.
    Your really a Godsent Katie! Thanks <3

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    1. Awhh, that makes me so happy! I'm really glad you've found the joy in writing. It's hard to feel that same passion without it.

      AH THANK YOU. Dude you are so sweet. *warm fuzzies* Thank you so, so much. <3 <3 I'm rooting for you and your novels! :D

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    2. Awww Thanks! <3 Here's my new Blog (deleting my old one) if your interested. ;) http://worldthroughherheart.blogspot.com/

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    1. I know!! I see Katie's pictures and then I realize that mine are total trash lol

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    2. Eep, thanks, Eliza! :D

      Haha, I wouldn't say that. You should see the dozens of other photos I had to take before capturing a good one. xD

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    3. *suddenly feels better about all the pictures I've taken ever*

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  13. Writing has been going good this month! Lot's of inspirations!

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    1. YAY! Glad it's been going well for you! :D

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  14. OH YES. We write because we want to write and tell a story and for the joy of writing. NOT to be stressed out and hate ourselves for NOT writing. This month I'm taking things slow by editing an old novel and planning a new one, so it's not stressful at all! Thank you for this lovely, inspiring post. <3

    may @ forever and everly

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    1. Exactly! Awh, I'm glad you're having fun editing/planning this month. Planning a new novel is always so exciting. :D

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  15. I totally think it's great when we listen to, like, our own selves and brains and journeys and take writing at our own paces. <3 There is NO use burning ourselves out!! That's for sure!! I'm glad you've been having tons of fun with non-writing things too.🎉🎉 I've been going a bit like a mad-writing-fiend this year, but tooootally enjoying it. :D I just finished an outline for a book I'm really excited to write for Camp NaNo in July. 😍

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    1. YEAH DUDE YOU HAVE BEEN GOING INSANE. I don't even comprehend your skills but I'm very impressed. Can't wait to someday read oneee. <3 (especially after how much I enjoyed the Dead Boy and the Paper Cut <3)

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  16. I don't know why May decided to jump into hyper-drive, but it's irritating.
    Thank you for such a great post, I totally agree. Sometimes the writing/blogging community seems really wrapped up in achieving goals and making deadlines but I think that there is a lot of value in taking the time to live the other aspects of your life, as you put. We can't always be glued to our screens! I find this easy cause I have so many other things to do, but I know it can be a big deal for some, thank you for sharing the joy of relaxing and living life!

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    1. Right?? It's craziness. o.O

      Thanks for your sweet comment! I totally agree with everything you said. This life is special and there's so many things to enjoy in it. <3

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  17. Aghhh I needed this post XP I just sorta...crashed the other day. I've got this gigantic list for the week and not enough sleep. If I was a cellphone, my battery life would be in the red zone. I love to push my limits, but, as you said, there's a difference between pushing your limits and pushing over them. Thank you for this reminder <3

    audrey caylin

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    1. YESS. Meee. I've been in the "yellow" warning zone for awhile, and then halfway into April I plummeted into the "black screen of death" and was just like #nope. I'm slowly charging my passion and fuel, and am getting excited at future writing projects... so... I think the break has been working. :D

      YOU GOT THIS. <3

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  18. Sounds like you've been having an amazing May - LIVING, not just being busy all the time. I need to make sure I'm /living/ life and enjoying the journey, not just focusing on the next goal. (hahaha goal?? I've written 500 words this month too) ;)

    I'm sure your novel will realise you have its best interests at heart and cooperate eventually. ;D

    Jem Jones

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    1. YAY we're word count twinsies for this month! ;)

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  19. I've only written like 500 words on my WIP this week... things are still so slow after school! I think IEW just drained my inspiration for a while!!!

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    1. Oh man, I did IEW from like 4th to 10th grade. I feel you. Ouch.

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    2. *whisper* What's... IEW? :P

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  20. You know, everyone needs a break (or just needs to slow down) every now and then. Knowing when to do so is important, as is staying in touch with the real reason you're writing. When you get consumed by deadlines and stuff it's easy to lose sight of that. Glad you're relaxing and spending time living life!
    I haven't written much lately either; I had to deal with a bunch of stuff for graduation, because I'm homeschooled and our graduation includes a display table (with pictures, school accomplishments, things that represent our interests, etc.) for each graduate, and I had to get mine together as well as make a memorial table for a friend who passed away a few months ago, so writing fell by the wayside.
    Anyway, have a nice few weeks!

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    1. Ahh, you're graduating this year? Wow. you might've said that before, but... I'm bad at remembering those types of things.

      I hope the graduation goes well! It sounds like a neat setup -- and how sweet of you to do that for your friend. That would be hard to do emotionally. :/

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  21. You're so write... ('scuze the pun, I couldn't help it) We all need breaks, time to clear our heads, space to properly put our priorities in order. And when someone is as good a writer as you are- I'm not flattering, I truly mean it- then it's a deserved break. :)

    -T. x

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    1. (YAY FOR PUNS. xD)

      Pshh, you're flattering. ;) But thank you. I've been enjoying the break and it's going to be a little bittersweet for it to end. :P

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  22. Oh yes, stress can absolutely be measured in gallons--big, sloshy gallons that weigh us down and seem like they'll spill at any moment.

    Writing, man. It's powerful.

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    1. Exactly! I'm glad you understand what I mean by that. XD

      Dude. It really is. I'm always amazing by the weight and power words can hold. o.o

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