Monday, 11 December 2017

Writing Around The Holidays - The Creative Process


So if you're like me, you'll be planning to continue writing during your down time. That includes during a holiday period. I don't just mean the big ones like Christmas, but all those weeks the kids spend off school as well. Because if, like me, you have a teenager running around in the background, life gets stressful when you're home working and they're around too. But for now I'll focus on the other parts of writing around holidays. And I'll try and give you some tips on how I manage.

Christmas for me has always been the time to see my family. As you all know, I use sticky notes to denote what I'm doing when and all of that. I have a colour coded system that allows me to tell at a glance what days are for what. Right now I have three white sticky notes. One is for a medical reason, the other two are Christmas and Boxing Day, which is when I plan to go and see my dad and step-mum for our Christmas get-together. My issue is that I also plan to try and get vlogs recorded, blogs written and some actual book writing too, since that's my job after all. So here are my five tips for getting work done during one of the most stressful times of year.

No one can work every single day without a break ever and not have problems. You need to make sure that you take time to just have some moments to yourself when you're not being asked to do something, or feeling pressured to write. If you plan like I do, then you'll probably have some days off, right? If not, be aware that even if you really really really want to get that thing done by the end of the month, it is supposed to be fun, and you will want to spend some time with your family. So be kind to yourself and even if it's just slotting some time to watch a movie or take a nap, do it!

I know, I know, insomnia sucks, but even if you find yourself at a loss of how to spend any of your awake time writing, you still need to sleep. That goes for writers who work through the night and then try to attack the day without any. The world will not end if you take a nap. And it helps you stay on top of things and be more creative when you have time to do so. It goes with my first post about being kind to yourself. Self care can be any number of ways, and sleeping can be one of them. Writers deserve that too!

Whether that's my adopting a schedule or just setting aside a certain time every day that you will spend writing, do whatever works for you. Like I said, I use sticky notes and I've found enormous leaps in my productivity. I spend more time writing and less time wondering what I should be doing. It's changed my working life completely. And I was organised before, I just never really went this deep into the rabbit hole. Now I'm there, I can't even think about changing how I'd do it. I feel lost without my plan of attack.

Everyone gets stressed at times, no one is immune to it. At this time of year, even more so because there's presents to buy, things to wrap, gatherings to attend. All of that is stressful, when you add it trying to write, it's no surprise that some people lose it for a second or two. I know I've struggled in the past with the same thing. Everything is going on and none of it is an easy fix. So if you do get stressed, don't be too hard on yourself about it. Take a breath and take a moment and then get on with what you're doing.

This is a big one for me. I know that I set sometimes unreasonable goals for myself. Other times I set them too low, but for the purpose of this piece, I'll stick with the unreasonable ones. If you've told yourself that you're going to finish this book by the end of the year and you're only just starting, think carefully about it. There are some people who can write a whole book in a month or less and my hat goes off to them. For me it takes between four to five months. If it's something you've never done before, don't set yourself up to fail no matter how tempting it may be. Manage your expectations by knowing what you can achieve in that time rather than go nuts and then feel like a failure.

So those are my five tips on writing around the holidays. Do you have any tips to share? Leave them in the comments below!

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Sunday, 10 December 2017

From Joey's Instagram

And yesterday marked the last words of #CrampingChronicles2! That means I have two new projects to start in the coming days! #authorslife #authorsofinstagram #indieauthor #writersofinstagram #writerslife #amwriting #bookfinished

Friday, 8 December 2017

Guest Blog - Trish Beinato

I always get stumped when others ask me, what is your writing process? Why? Because honestly, I’m not sure I have a process. I sometimes feel more like someone who just has this crazy idea out of nowhere that drives me crazy. It could be just that I wish they would make a story like this and then my crazy imagination goes off on a tangent of the main character would be perfect like this and so on. And then the story kind of tells itself. At least until I finish it, then I go back and make magic happen. I say magic, but what I really mean is tons of un-fun editing. 

Stories, in written form always have come easy for me. Since I was a little girl, I would fall asleep to a story that I dreamed up inside my head or I would sneak a light in the night as I finished a new book obsession. I would like to say I always wanted to be a writer, but that’s not true. I wanted to an artist and a teacher. It wasn’t until I decided to start putting the stories that were in my head down on paper and bravely had someone read- and they didn’t hate it, that I finally found my passion. This was finally the creative outlet I had been searching for. 

For those of us that are creative, it’s almost like a need. I have to create, I have to make things- stories, or paintings. Otherwise, I am would probably go crazy! Or maybe I am and I don’t realize it. Either way that was how I found my love of writing. All of the beauty I hind inside my head began to stream out onto my computer as if there was finally a sigh of relief. I have found what I truly was meant to do in this life.

So, no I don’t have a particular style. I follow the story and the characters journey. I record it, and I let them reveal to me what they want as the story unfolds. Then I go back and make it something people want to read. Hopefully, people actually like. So far so good. I do in my stories prefer strong female leads. I lean towards my stories having a romance in the story, but at the same time I don’t want my characters to be reliant on their love interest in the thank you for saving me with your love kind of way. I like my female characters to just choose love, and maybe even save the guy for once. I also like to find out what my readers like and try to write (using also the things I love) and try to incorporate them into my writing. 

If you read my first book, Acceptance you will notice that they all have super natural powers they have to learn to use and come to terms with. Sometimes their powers even create tragic events unintentionally. The reason for this is I am a huge fan of Marvel. Since I was a child and before it was cool to be a comic nerd, I was toting around Marvel, DC and Top Cow comics. My most prized possessions are a Wizard signed by Chris Claremont and my photo with Stan Lee. I’m still fangirl-in' all over it. 

Yet, we can’t be successful floating around on a whim with our fan girl (or boy) loves and sheer luck. So, I have for the production of book three incorporated a lot of Derek Murphy’s tips for writing from his Dot Plot, which can be found on his website And I think it is helping to focus the book more and leading up to a nice epic battle, that even I’m looking forward to! But the characters in my crazy head are still driving the bus and at times scaring the shit out of me in the process! I’ll let you be the judge of if it ends well.

You can follow Trish on Facebook or Twitter.

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, 7 December 2017

From Joey's Instagram

And that's #LightsOff finished! The end of the trilogy. All printed and files ready look editing wise later! #authorslife #authorsofinstagram #indieauthor #writersofinstagram #writerslife #bookfinished #LightsOutTrilogy

From Joey's Instagram

The vlog is up! I'm looking back on 2017 and all that's happened. Check it out here: #authorslife #authorsofinstagram #indieauthor #writersofinstagram #writerslife #vlogger #authortuber

Looking Back on 2017 [CC]


Tuesday, 5 December 2017

From Joey's Instagram

#TEASERTUESDAY Can Tara find Kaolin before it's too late? Buy here: #authorslife #authorsofinstagram #indieauthor #amwriting #writerslife #writersofinstagram #DyingThoughts4 #bookstagram #bookboost #bookworm #readersofinstagram #amreading #books #reading

Monday, 4 December 2017

My Rules Of Work - The Creative Process


I know that I've been around a lot of the writing world and seen these kinds of posts. The talk of special rituals or rules that the writer must complete before they can sit down to actually doing any writing. Early on in my writing journey, I had a similar kind of process until I realised that actually, all you gotta do is write. Therefore I wanted to do a piece today about how there are some rules I have before I get on to my writing day, but they're not really the kind you think of. I thought it'd be a fun little piece, so here we go. Joey's rules of work!

Now if you've read any of my books, you'll know that ninety-nine percent of my characters all drink tea. Copious amounts actually. It's an ongoing joke between my editor and I that she searches for the words "tea" and "cup" before she starts editing to see just how overboard I've gone. I'm trying to curb myself better now because it was getting silly! It makes me laugh though because both of my editors - my previous one and my current one - said the same thing. They don't know how much is part of the story and how much is me thinking: hmm, cups empty, better refill it!

I've got auditory processing disorder so I struggle sometimes with music as a whole. It's something I love, but not something I can excel at. I have various playlists and such, but I often find that where other writers talk of needing music, I usually don't. I also have some scenes where I can't have music because then nothing gets done. My brain is too busy trying to do the sound stuff that I can't focus on the writing stuff.

Like right now, I'm in the middle of a chapter, but I'm also writing this blog post, and talking to people on Twitter. I usually also have a conversation going with a friend, but she's gone for a nap. So I can manage to do both or several things at a time. I don't need to be completely focused on the writing for it to flow nicely. Sometimes yes, there will be times when the scene is really intense and I need that focus only on my writing, but other times, the majority of times, it's fine. That said, I can't talk and write. As in I can't hold a conversation orally and still be able to type.

Now the way I work, I don't do a set time every day. That's probably because I have the time to write when I want to. If I were also working a regular job, that would change I am sure. But when I choose to write, I'm never setting myself say, an hour to get it done. I know that I write best without deadlines and stress, so knowing that I don't put time constraints on my writing life. It just feels like an easy way for me to get stressed out over nothing.

Along with that fourth rule, I can always pause to nap, talk, or do something else for a while. I work like this because I can, something I know I am very lucky for. If I feel the need to nap but am knee deep in a chapter, I'm not going to push myself to the point of feeling like crap. My health comes before my writing, so if I need to take some time to relax or chill or sleep, I will and I won't feel even a tiny bit guilty about it.

So there you go, my five rules of writing. There's not a ritual that I have to go through. I generally open up Open Office, pull up my work and just write to my heart's content. Like I said, I did used to think you had to write at a special time of day and spend a certain amount of time doing so, but now I pretty much let my brain tell me when it's time to go, and when it's time to stop. Listening to your body, especially in my case, is always a good idea!

So, do you have any fun rules for writing? What are there? Let me know 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.

Saturday, 2 December 2017

From Joey's Instagram

Help! I'm being held captive by a #MissViolet. She demands #cuddles and no writing. #authorslife #authorsofinstagram #indieauthor #writersofinstagram #writerslife #amwriting #kitty #snuggles #catsofinstagram

Friday, 1 December 2017

From Joey's Instagram

And it's December 1st! The last month of the year and planning to finish two books, start two more and begin the new year with edits a plenty! On with the work! #authorslife #authorsofinstagram #indieauthor #amwriting #writerslife #writersofinstagram #writer #booklover #selfie #oxygenuser #bookworm #lovemyjob #ilovewriting