Author Archives: Erika Beebe

Begin to Write Again #AuthorToolboxBlogHop

The Author Toolbox Blog Hop is “a monthly blog hop on the theme of resources/learning for authors: posts related to the craft of writing, editing, querying, marketing, publishing, blogging tips for authors, reviews of author-related products, anything that an author would find helpful.” Want to jump into the writing tool box? Search #AuthorToolboxBlogHop or to join via blog, click here.

Thank you Raimey!

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Back in May and really early in June, I had a fantastic new idea for a contemporary fantasy in the works. I was following the 90 Days to Your Novel by Sarah Domet. My mind was churning and my fingers were flying. I watched videos to build scenes, found the perfect tunes to create moods, and had my outline done and everything. Then I decided to buy a home. Ouch. Chaos erupted and I couldn’t find the concentration to write in my usual routine. I couldn’t even pick up a book and finish it.

So this month, my topic is what I’m doing to jump back in. It’s been slow, like one toe, leg and finally I might be up to my waist in that water, honestly, this is the first time in years, I couldn’t push my brain or turn on the fuse. So what am I doing now? What do you do when your life explodes and you’re finally ready to start the momentum again? I also found a couple of great articles on the web from Writer’s Digest and JaniceHardy.com.

  1. Revisit your writing routine. Time of day? Minutes per day? Before my stress exploded, I woke up religiously at 4:00 a.m. I’d have my coffee ready and I’d sit down for almost a good two hours. So this is where I started. I set my alarm again. I had no pressure or goals. I just wanted to condition my brain and body to the early rising once again.
  2. Binge read. If your mind is open and ready for that sort of activity again.  I have finally calmed down quite a bit and I am enjoying a few good reads. They are true to my genre and definitely where I want to be. Reading the competition for where I want seems to get my mind all conditioned again.
  3. Reread all the manuscript notes, scene developments and character outlines/maps.
  4. Listen to music and watch videos that remind you of your story.
  5. When you see the pictures again, push the words around without too much pressure. Right now, I added on a couple of paragraphs to my first page. Don’t be afraid to add on to current scenes. There’s no harm in deleting, and eventually, I believe the voice will come again.

There is a good side to stepping away from your work of course. I fine tuned a few scenes in my outline.

One last thought:

Celebrate the Small Things: Replace Worry with Peace #FridayFeeling

Fridays are all about celebrating the Small Things thanks to a weekly blog hop created by author Lexa Cain. Joint co-hosts this week are authors L.G. Keltner @ Writing Off The Edge Tonja Drecker @ Kidbits Blog The mission coincides with what I’m hoping to do with my own writing, inspire and focus on the light when those slippery shadows creep around our shoes. Want to sign up? Click Lexa Cain’s link to find out more.

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I tend to over worry. At everything.

Did I say the right thing? Did I write the right words so every sentence pops? Did I catch every typo because I read and reread my work and even listened to it on a pdf reader out loud? Are my kids safe? Are they okay? Do they know how to handle the world if they aren’t?

If a thought flies through my head, I evaluate it, categorize it and dissect it into a million pieces. Maybe it’s my detailed mind that makes me love words so much. In any case, to Celebrate the Small Things this week, I’ve been working to find that inner peace again and to give myself permission to let worry go.

So what do you do to begin to find it?

  1. Give yourself permission. I started this week with a mantra. I am a human being. I embrace my flaws. I try my best. I give my best. If I screw up, that’s ok. I say it multiple times until I begin to feel it.
  2. Reach out to friends. My writing friend Becky has been the best resource in writing. We’re starting new manuscripts together and I couldn’t be more excited. We write similar styles, we read similar books, and we love the same authors. I think this is one of the key points in having a great crit partner.
  3. Be open and honest. With my kids, I try to explain everything. I let them know the things in situations that can be influenced. I talk to them about being nice to people, their friends, and complimenting others when you notice someone feels down.
  4. I busy my mind. I found a really great new book to read, The Girl From Everywhere, by Heidi Heilig. I’m 63 pages in and I’m loving the pirate ship, the maps to other time periods, and the mix of characters.
  5. Do something every day you love. I began my early morning schedule again. After my busy summer of moving into a new home and cleaning up my old place, I haven’t woken up as early as I should have. I haven’t been writing like I want to. I’m a bit scared I’ve lost my character’s voice, but I think I’ll get it back. Believe, right?

Questions: What do you do to relax and regain your balance? Are you reading something great right now?

Lastly, I found this great quote by author C. JoyBell C., and it really makes sense.

 

 

IWSG Post 22: Learning to Listen to Feedback #IWSG

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[I wrote this post as a member of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group where we share our worries and also offer support and encouragement to each other on the first Wednesday of every month. If you’re a writer like me and you’re looking for a bit of support, you can click the link and sign up here]

This month’s awesome hosts are, Tamara Narayan, Pat Hatt, Patricia Lynne, Juneta Key  and Doreen McGettigan.

Thank you so much! And thank you founder Alex J. Cavanaugh!

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Back in high school, I faced my worst fear joining a creative writing group—public feedback. I’d been writing stories since the first grade and up to that point my stories and ideas had always been just for me. Not even my own family really understood my passion for words until much later.

Now looking back, I realize the gentle coaxing to join the group was pivotal to my next steps. I did enjoy sharing my chapters with a group of peers and our writing coach, our history teacher. I did like the subtle comments to add or expound or even clarify certain scenes or details. I also learned some of the pretty language was just for me, and not necessarily the reader. Still a teen myself though, I struggled with the personal side of comments. It wasn’t until later when I became a corporate trainer and trained to teach 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, did I realize the difference in specific and kind feedback and the others types of comments that didn’t matter so much.

This month IWSG questions asks us “What is one valuable lesson you’ve learned since you started writing?

Helpful, sincere and specific feedback is my answer. I’m thinking of the importance of feedback in everything we do. There’s a balance of course in helpful and kind feedback verses critical feedback, which might be more about the person and less about improving skill or contributing to a clearer and more successful outcome. Those writing friends who do know the balance also do care for our own personal success.

We always have a choice of course, and feedback is biased and personal based on our own backgrounds, but I do believe it’s necessary if given in the right light.

And favorite quote this week?

Celebrate the Small Things 9: Small Miracles and Gratitude Make a Difference #fridayfeeling

Fridays are all about celebrating the Small Things thanks to a weekly blog hop created by author Lexa Cain. Joint co-hosts this week are authors L.G. Keltner @ Writing Off The Edge Tonja Drecker @ Kidbits Blog The mission coincides with what I’m hoping to do with my own writing, inspire and focus on the light when those slippery shadows creep around our shoes. Want to sign up? Click Lexa Cain’s link to find out more.

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Worry creeps into our heads. The pulse races. The heartbeat starts to pound. The hairy monster you dreaded meeting is right in front of you, worse than you ever thought it might be. Before you know it, you’re waving your hand at the monster, or kicking and shouting outloud. In anycase, the thing you dread the most arrives and you actually pass it. How does it happen? How do you go from biting your nails, your knees shaking, to raising your arms and screaming outloud, “I did it!”

Yes, inner strength and perseverence counts.  But today, I’m thinking of our shadow champions. Our dearest ones who hold our hands in the dark when we can’t seem to get control. Today, I’m celebrating my own champions in my life who’ve helped me see through the dark, given me an extra flashlight and squeezed my hand right before I had to face what I really didn’t want to face.

This week I moved to a new home. I cleaned up my old home and managed to get everything done and vacated in the time I’d planned. It was rough. I pushed myself to the limits. I pushed others to the limits but the best part is, they still love me.

I have so many wonderful memories from the past three years in my old home, but now I’m ready to make new ones. So thank you to my partner Dave, my girlfriends Chrissy and Diana and my mom Joyce for all the love and support given through this difficult time.

On the writing side, my computer is up and running again and I’ve been rereading all my notes, my synopsis, and all my short clips of chapters I plan to include in my new working manuscript. Thank you Becky for being such a great writing partner and inspiring me to believe in this new idea I have.

My mother and stepdad came out for a whole weekend and I’m celebrating seeing them as well. They live in Denver, a solid 8 hour drive away from Kansas City, so we don’t see each other as much as we’d like.

My post is short, but my heart is big. Encountered your own small miracle this week with the helping hand of someone you love?

Always remember: