Thursday, 18 January 2018

From Joey's Instagram

And the vlog is up! This week I'm talking about my questions from you guys! You can find it here: #authorslife #authorsofinstagram #indieauthor #amwriting #writerslife #writersofinstagram #authortuber #writingvlog #vlogger #writingtips #authortube #lovemyjob #ilovewriting #igauthors #igwriters

Questions From Readers - January 2018 [CC]


Monday, 15 January 2018

Spoonie Writer: How Much Is Too Much?


In my last Spoonie Writer piece (found here) I greeted everyone with the new year and listed my goals writing wise for 2018. Since then I've realised that I've never really talked about pacing yourself when it comes to both goals and the work load. Oh I've talked about saying no (found here) and I'm talked in other pieces about juggling the workload itself (here, here, and here). But if you're, like me, a spoonie who's also a writer, then you have to be thinking: when do I say enough is enough and realise I can't do that much? It's one thing to be realistic, but completely another to know when it's time to pull back and rethink matters.

As I've talked about before many many times, I'm a very organised person, and in being that organised I'm able to get things on track. I'm also someone who couldn't work a normal 9 to 5 job because there are days, like the remainder of 2017 after Christmas, when I'm just not well enough to get much or anything done. I've been chronically ill for over a decade now, coming up to almost two and one thing I have learned is that I have completely different limits than someone who's not chronically ill. I've also learned that I expect a lot from myself and that sometimes I go too far Sometimes I set the bar a little too high and then struggle to achieve my goals.

I'm not talking about not managing it, I'm talking about not being able to manage it. As in, even with all the time in the world, it's just not going to happen. It's taken me a long time to be okay with the limits my physical and mental health place on me, my writing career and the time I spend doing other things. I know it's a grieving process and I know that it effects everyone differently. For me, it was about both letting go of my childhood dreams, and making new ones, and also adjusting to being on a downward spiral health wise. Oh I don't mean that I don't have good days and bad, I very much do, but in the grand scheme of things, I'm not likely to ever get completely better. Not with any of my conditions, they are lifelong and chronic. That's just how it works.

So where do you draw the line? Where do you, as someone who wants to write and wants to be published and wants to proudly bear the title: author. How do you know when you're pushing yourself to unreachable limits? I'm a big believer in not setting yourself up to fail, but I'm also someone who likes to push the boundaries just a little. Either to check they're still there and solid, and also to see if I can find a way around them. I've been doing that my whole life and I don't plan to stop now. So the answer, for me at least, is not to lower my expectations completely, but to manage them along with my conditions. A good friend once told me that it takes a long as it takes. I wrote about it once, (found here) and it's something that has stuck with me throughout my writing path.

I'm not going to advocate for you to push yourself to breaking point and then spend days, if not weeks, sick and flaring. That's not what I'm saying. But I am going to say that as you adjust to life as a spoonie, as someone who's chronically ill, if there is an adjustment period that is, you need to learn what you can and can't do. There's a lot of talk of pacing in my circle of doctors and such, and there is merit with that. If you know what your body can handle, then you can adjust and work with it rather than against it. That said, if you're like me, you're going to want to push those boundaries every so often just to check. There's nothing wrong with that, you just need to be prepared for them to smack you in the face and send you to flare central.

You are the only one who knows your body the best. You'll hear from doctors and friends, relatives and other medical personnel. You'll get advice from them and sometimes from strangers, well-meaning or otherwise. But at the end of it all, you are the only one who knows how you're feeling and therefore you're the best judge of what you can and can't manage. When setting goals, when deciding to write or not, just remember to listen to your body and listen to those warning signs and work with them. It's so much easier for me to be as productive as I am now that I listen to what my body is saying, and I plot out the time I can spend writing. Generally I work half days. My doctor is happy with that and feels that it's better for me to do that small half day than push through a full day and then spend four of them recovering.

So to answer the question: How much is too much? Only you know the answer. I know for myself, but I'm me and you're you. Work with your limits and if you wanna check the boundary every so often, there's nothing wrong with that.

Let me know in the comments below how you can tell when you've pushed too far and how you cope with it? I'd love to hear from you all!

Follow Joey here on her blog, or on Facebook or Tumblr to be kept up to date with the latest news regarding Joey and her books. You can also sign up to her newsletter here.

Saturday, 13 January 2018

From Joey's Instagram

It's Saturday and I still got that chapter to write. It's also the day after Mepo and I feel horrible but I'm getting work done! I am on a Jonah chapter of #Invisible and loving where this story is going! ✒✒✒⌨📚📚💜 #authorslife #authorsofinstagram #indieauthor #writersofinstagram #writerslife #amwriting #booksinprogress #igwriters #igauthors

Friday, 12 January 2018

Interview with Tracie Podger

I am delighted to be welcoming Tracie Podger back to my blog for an interview. I met Tracie at #Darker2017 as she was also one of the attending authors and loved getting to know her. Here's a little about her.

Tracie Podger currently lives in Kent, UK with her husband and a rather obnoxious cat called George. She’s a Padi Scuba Diving Instructor with a passion for writing. Tracie has been fortunate to have dived some of the wonderful oceans of the world where she can indulge in another hobby, underwater photography. She likes getting up close and personal with sharks.

And onto the interview!

How long have you been writing?
I’ve been writing for about eight or nine years now. I’ve been published since 2012.

Do you write in the genre you love to read?
I do, I think it’s important to read the genre you write in. It’s a way to follow trends, see what works and what you feel doesn’t. I’m fortunate that I read many genres and, consequently, write many genres!

Do you have any favourite authors to read?
My tastes change from month to month, and since I don’t get as much time to read as I’d like, I tend to favour indie authors over traditional at the moment. I can’t say that I have a favourite author although I very much admire Colleen Hoover simply for her fun, crazy mind and her ability to stay humble.

Are you an organised writer or not?
Very. I don’t plot my romances; I do with my thrillers because they can be a little more complicated. However, I’m disciplined and structured. I set myself time limits or word counts to meet with each writing session.

What's your idea of a perfect writing day?
No interruptions and Earl Grey Tea on tap!

Do you like editing or is it something you loathe?
I love editing. I’m fortunate to have a wonderful team supporting me and we work very much together to perfect each book. I read my work in as many different formats as possible, printed on paper, ebook, on the laptop, and I think just that keeps the story fresh.

What's your favourite social media? And why?
Oh, I’m on Facebook way more than I should be but I really do like Instagram.

Do you do character profiles? If so, why/why not?
Not necessarily. If I have multiple characters, I might do a family tree to see how they are connected/related. I see each character in my head and I write what I see. That image will stay consistent throughout my writing process. There are times when I wish I did, though. If there has been a little time between books that are in a series or connected, it would save me a lot of time when I need to remember hair colour!

How would you describe your writing process?
As I said, I see my stories in my mind, they play out like a movie. I start to write and then I really just let the story go where the story wants to go. Free styling, I call it! It’s not that I’m a ‘pantsa’ because I know the end way before I’ve got there, but I like the story to organically develop instead of following a structure.

Do you prefer ebooks or paperbacks? Why?
I prefer the convenience of ebooks and as I’ve got a little older, I prefer the fact I have multiple books on a single device that is easier to hold. But nothing can beat a shelf full of paperbacks.

How do you plan a book launch?
I start to plan months in advance. I line up the team in the first instance so we all know what deadlines we have to meet. We start with a release date after I’ve written the first draft, and work backwards from that. I’ll plan a cover reveal, organise a tour, prep the review team. Promotion will start pretty much as soon as we have teasers made and a pre-order link.

Do you have a favourite writing food? Drink?
Anything chocolate! I drink way too much tea and I like to celebrate a release with a large bag of Maltesers!

What's your favourite idea of a cozy afternoon?
Either writing or reading, no TV or noise, just curled up on the sofa.

How often do you write? Do you have a schedule?
It used to be every day but I probably spend three to four days a week writing, the rest is admin. 

You can follow Tracie on Facebook, Twitter and check out her website.

Join Joey here on the blog on Fridays for interviews, reviews and guest bloggers. If you'd be interested in doing any of those, you can contact Joey here

Thursday, 11 January 2018

From Joey's Instagram

Vlog is up! It's that time of the month where I tell you what I've been up to in the past month! Check it out at: #authorslife #authorsofinstagram #indieauthor #writersofinstagram #writerslife #amwriting #authortuber #writingvlog #vlogger #writingtips #authortube

Life Of Joey - January 2018 [CC]


Wednesday, 10 January 2018

From Joey's Instagram

#Repost @obsessedbybooksblog (@get_repost) ・・・ *´¨✫) ¸.•´¸.•*´¨)✯ ¸.•*¨) ✮ (¸.•´✶ (¸.•` ✏️ ✏️✏️New Release: Book Quotes Colouring Book ✏️✏️✏️ *´¨✫) ¸.•´¸.•*´¨)✯ ¸.•*¨)✮ (¸.•´✶ (¸.•` #BookQuotesColouringBook #ObsessedByBooksDesigns #ReleaseBlitz @obsessiveppromo @OBBDesigns Goodreads: Blurb 52 pages of adult colouring. Hours of entertainment, colour in the pages of various book quotes from some of the most fantastic books. Intricate patterns to test your ability to colour inside the lines. £2 from every sale will go to The MacMillian Nurses Created by Maria Lazarou @Obsessed by Books Designs List Of Authors T.L Wainwright,/JF Holland/Em Taylor/Renea Porter/KL Humphreys/Joey paul/Emily Cyr/Jennah Thornhill/Claire Colley/Katarena Parish/Brittney Coon/Liv Honeywell/Gabbie S. Duran/Laura Morgan/Ashleigh Giannoccaro /Jessa Ely/S. Ann Cole/Beth Mikell/S. Ann Cole/Joz Maxel/Bri Stone/Mya O’Malley/Bea Paige/Rebecca Hunter/KD Robichaux/Lily Luchesi Jack Ladd/Maggie Adams/Crystal Miller/M.E.Giguere/C. M. Johnson/Elle Ward /Martin Tracey/M.J. Schiller/Isobelle Cate/Sienna Grant/M.L. Kacy Purchase Link: Universal Link: Trailer:

Tuesday, 9 January 2018

From Joey's Instagram

Miss Penne is snuggling under the Toby tree and lights off because I'm done for the day! #authorslife #authorsofinstagram #indieauthor #writersofinstagram #writerslife #amwriting #catsofinstagram #kitty #snuggles #pastacats #MissPenne

Monday, 8 January 2018

Reading And Writing - The Creative Process


With the new year starting, and having read over 170 books last year, I thought it would be a good idea to talk not just about writing in this piece, but about how the process of being a reader can actually help you as a writer. I have a vlog planned on this topic in February, but I wanted to start the new year right and give you some tips about reading that won't be covered in the vlog.

First I thought I would give you a little background on me as a reader. I have always been someone who loved losing themselves in books. That all kinda changed when I got sick, started uni and fell into a bit of a reading slump. Oh I'd still read, just not to the levels I did before and do now. When I got my Kindle in 2010, that's when things really changed for me because suddenly I had access to books. All these books that had been out of my reach and I could read and read and read. As I finished my degree and starting writing more often, I fell into a pattern of reading even more. Now I generally read between 150-170 books a year and I couldn't be happier with my reading life.

For my birthday, my mum got me a brand new Kindle as my old one was a bit heavier and starting to become a little obsolete. I couldn't have been happier for this gift and I started the new year with a bunch of books already at my fingertips. So how does being a writer and a reader intertwine? You'd think it was something most writers do, reading helps fire up the synapses and also gives you a glimpse into other worlds. As a writer, it's something I feel is a big part of being able to write as well as I do.

But what happens when it comes to deciding how to spend your time? I mean some people don't have time to read and read. They've got a day job, or kids, or the only spare time they have is spent writing, and can I really blame them for that? Being an indie author is a full time job, hell being an author of any branch is a full time job. On top of your own works and commitments, you need to find time to delve into other works of fiction. It's a really important part, for me, and for other writers and authors I know, of the writing and creative process.

So here's five ways you can read and still juggle the other time constraints in your life.

A lot of people don't seem to realise that audio books do count as reading. Yes, you're listening but you're still reading. These can be done in the car, or on your phone and all the rest. You can spend some of your busy time listening to books. I know Amazon has a good platform with Audible and I know that there aren't as many audiobooks out there as I'd like, but they can be a great way to get some reading done while doing other things.

I do a lot of my reading at night before bed, or when I'm having an off day. The Kindle has made that so amazing for me because I don't have to worry about having the strength to hold the book. It doesn't matter if all you do is read one chapter or two, it's still reading and you'd be amazed at how good it feels to lose yourself for a bit in a book.

I don't know how much this applies to other people, but for me, I take my Kindle everywhere. Hospital appointment? Read while I wait. When I used to do the school run? Read while I wait for pick up. The list goes on and on. It doesn't have to be much, but you'd be amazed at how that time stacks up and before you know it, you've finished the book and are onto the next one.

This one is simply that there are some people who read way more than me, some who read way less. I'm not saying that you should read 150 books in a year. I don't live your life, so the amount for you is whatever you want it to be. I see some of my friends on Goodreads set it as ten in a year, and that still counts. Any number counts. So don't be put off by everyone else talking about how many they've read. You don't live their lives and they don't live yours.

And finally, #5 - READ WHAT'S FUN
I know that a lot of people sometimes feel like that have to read certain books, even if they don't appeal to them. That's just not true. I don't read any book that I don't think I'll enjoy, and if I get into it and hate it? I don't finish it. Life is too short to be forcing yourself to read books you hate. Find what books you wanna read and read those. It doesn't matter what genre, fiction or not, just find something that you know you'll enjoy and read to your hearts content!

So those are my five tips for reading with a busy life. I plan to aim for another 150 in 2018. I hope you'll join me in the Goodreads challenge and remember point four! Now, I need to go and lose myself in a book! Let me know if you have any tips in the comments!

Follow Joey here on her blog, or on Facebook or Tumblr to be kept up to date with the latest news regarding Joey and her books. You can also sign up to her newsletter here.