Author Journal 3rd – 9th May 2021

I can’t believe we’re into May already! Last week just wheeched by, and I’m still trying to get my head back round the right way.

As you’ll see below, I’m still working on making plot, motivation, stakes, and character changes to my stack of index cards for Working The Asset. In my fantasy version of pre-editing, it was going to be so quick and easy to make all these changes. But it’s not. It’s slow and laborious. Though, not as bad as doing it after writing 80K words.

The pre-edits are helping me craft a pretty incredible story (well, the kind of story I love to read, anyway), and I’ve had to remind myself often that I’m learning a new method and that it will get faster with each book.

If it wasn’t clear from the above paragraphs, last week did not go as planned. But, the story is growing into something that genuinely excites me. Something I know will be worth the hard slog. Something I can’t wait to share with other romantic suspense/action-adventure romance fans.

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Author Journal 26th April – 2nd May 2021

Since I took last week off to refill my creative well, I obviously have no work goals—other than the well refilling—to review. I fantasised that this would be a quick two-paragraph entry, but here’s the thing with giving yourself permission to chill, your mind miraculously clears. And, with that clearing, you learn some things about how a well-oiled machine of creativity can groan under the pressure of hyper-productivity and eventually seize up.

What I Learned When I Allowed Myself To Breathe

The things I learned seem so damned obvious now, but I couldn’t see the problems in the depths of non-stop work—the problems that I had created. 🙄

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Refilling the Creative Well

In my last post, I’d mentioned that I’d be spending the rest of the week refilling my creative well. One of the things that do it for me is fun music videos.

Now, don’t go thinking I like pop. I don’t. I can’t stand it. I love metal, rock, and some folk-rock. Never pop. But… J-pop group WORLD ORDER is a different matter. These guys make me smile and laugh and have the ability to turn a not so great day into a smiler.

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Author Journal 19th – 25th April 2021

This last week was so different from my norm of the previous few months. I could get down on myself, or I can use it as a learning experience that I’ll take with me into my next holiday time (in about three weeks from now 🥳)

Review 12th to 18th April 2021

My writing goals for last week were:

How Did It Go?

Uhh, it didn’t really go. I got around 25% of the work done, and that was like pulling teeth.

Well, after my mandatory level of caffeine intake, I sat myself down like I usually do: herbal tea, some Ludovico Einaudi, my notes, and two stacks of index cards … but my normal work vibe was missing. I couldn’t focus on the job and struggled to get just one scene done on Monday.

On Thursday, Ludovico went from calming to fudging irritating and was promptly replaced by silence. I managed to clean up and change eleven card sides (two scenes), boiling them down to just four. I was finally starting to feel the work vibe coming back.

Or so I thought.

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Author Journal 12th – 18th April 2021

Hiya! It was a pretty good work week last week. No real distractions aside from the fact that I’ve run out of chamomile tea! It’s okay; I’ll rectify that tomorrow. 😅

Review 5th to 11th April 2021

My writing goals for last week were:

How Do I Think It Went?

I’d mentioned last week that I’d have to do the bulk of the pages twice because I’m writing an action-adventure romance. This is down to the fact that these subgenre stories essentially contain two plots. Both of the plot threads share equal billing (50% each), and it requires a delicate balancing act to get it right—the same is true of romantic suspense, paranormal romance etc.

What I failed to remember in my scheduling was that with romance (the dual-protagonist kind that I write) is that the heroine and hero also have equal billing. Meaning, I had to do two sweeps for the romance plot. So, yay, more work. 😑

Onward.

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Author Journal 5th – 11th April 2021

Hi and welcome to this week’s Author Journal entry.

Review 29th March to 4th April 2021

My writing goals for last week were:

How Do I Think It Went?

Last week started great. On Monday, I exceeded my daily goal. I actually managed to triple it and gave myself a healthy headstart on the work.

Tuesday and Wednesday were devoted to site building/maintenance and blog writing—last week’s post and a post on my craft site. As those were my days off, we treated ourselves to two excellent movies: Bad Company and The Man in the Iron Mask.

Thursday, I was still going strong, getting a couple more pages done than planned, but other tasks needed my attention, preventing me from getting more done. But I was happy with the work.

Then Thursday night threw up a bit of an issue. For a few weeks now, my left ankle has been in agony—not enough to stop me running, stupidly—and that night, it decided to swell up like a balloon. I knew then that I would have to get it seen to, or there’d be no running, and that doesn’t sit well with Neen (my inner chimp who loves running).

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Author Journal 29th March – 4th April 2021

closeup photo of journal book and pencils

Welcome to my first public author journal. I’ve been doing these for my own eyes for about a year now and have found them invaluable in helping me to conquer my writing to-do list.

This method is pretty simple, and I’ve used it to tackle many non-writing tasks and projects with great success. I start with a review of the previous week—the goal(s), how I felt I did, what worked, what didn’t—then it’s into the goals for the upcoming week, and finally a quick assigning of tasks to days.

I think this works for me because I’ve got a set of goals to accomplish for the day/week. I love crossing things off my list, and with each completed task, I’m motivated to get the next done etc.

Review 22nd – 28th March 2021

My writing goals for last week were:

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Crawling Out From Under My Rock aka An Update Post

book on a white wooden table

It’s about time I did a writing update. I got out of the habit of doing updates, and I suppose the time away made it a wee bit daunting. But here I am, braving the blank blog page.

A while back, I decided I needed a break from pre-editing Working the Asset (Deniable Unit #1). The story still excites me, but there’s something not quite right about it. A bit of time away and a good hard look at the structure will fix it when I get back to it. Of that, I’m certain.

So, what have I been spending my time doing? Besides a significant declutter, dealing with injuries/illnesses–my own and Jez’s–and going yarn daft, I took a story structure course to up my outlining skills. 

A Fear of Pants

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Website Transformation

Hi All!

It’s been way too long since I was last on the site. This week, fingers and toes crossed, I plan to rectify that with an update post… but not today. Today’s post is short and sweet.

Basically, I’m in the midst of transforming the site to do double duty: author site with a wee boutique where I’ll sell my* handcrafted knit and crochet goods. I know, I know, romantic suspense and yarn don’t tend to go together, but they’ll be separate on the site. Well, that’s the plan.

With it being a plan, and that I’m the webmaster, the site might look a bit screwy for the next week–my sole focus this week is to get it all pretty like. So, apologies in advance for the screwyness.

*My wonderful husband, Jez, is generously donating his time and skill to help make the items. He has an addiction to making hats; seriously, the man is a compulsive hat maker.

Right, I’d best get on with fine-tuning the site.

Thanks for stopping by!

Update!

After endless designing, I finally came to my senses and built a new site just for our yarn obsession. You can check it out here: braithwaitecrafts.com 😍

KonMari equals AWOL

It’s October and I should have been back in the word mines for a week or so by now. But, I’m not.

After my week off at the end of August it seemed pointless getting back to work only to have another week off for my birthday—sounds like a lot of off time, but I hadn’t had a day off since June.

Anyway, after my time off I sat down to work and found that I couldn’t. I just kept getting distracted by the neatly organised clutter. No matter how much I tried to ignore it, I just couldn’t focus.

It was driving me crazy and I knew that cleaning wasn’t the solution. I actually already had the solution: Marie Kondo’s book The Life-Changing Magic of Cleaning.

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