Writing is Hard | WIP Update | November 2022 | Wondering…

Previous Post: Writing is Hard | WIP Update | October 2022 | Improving

Do you believe everything happens for a reason?

I think so… I really think so. I want to believe that every ounce of pain has a purpose, and every ounce of joy. I don’t want the world to be a random mess of dots colliding with each other. I want there to be a meaning to the madness, a meaning to the peace.

I know not everyone thinks this way. But that’s a good thing. That’s what makes life interesting.

Some believe the world is a random mess. Others believe in finding meaning in what does happen to them, not that there is meaning in what happens exactly when it happens, but using what has happened to move forward in their lives.

I don’t have any of the answers. But, I do have the capability to ponder them and come to a conclusion I can find on my own terms when I write.

Dare I say it again but it is such a joy and amazement and wonder to me that I must. I have rediscovered my love of writing! Working on The Lowell Saga is fulfilling instead of draining, writing blog posts is cathartic and releasing, and I am sending out poetry and short stories to online literary magazines again! I never thought I would lose that love in the first place but I am so happy to have rediscovered it. I don’t pressure myself into writing anymore. I just set a time to sit down and do it and allow the muse to come. And so far she has been coming and coming and coming. 🙂

I hope this means she is deciding to stay for a while haha

Like I have said before I don’t know if The Lowell Saga will ever see the light of a book store but that doesn’t matter to me anymore. I just need to finish the story for myself at this point and that is what is bringing the joy back to writing. It’s just for me, right now, at least 😉

Happy Thanksgiving y’all!! I am so thankful to be able to write again. What are you guys grateful for??

Till next month,

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(Currently still revising the first draft of TLS…..)

Writing is Hard | WIP Update | October 2022 | Improving

Previous Post: Writing is Hard | WIP Update | September 2022 | Healthy

October is one of my favorite months. The weather is perfect for sweaters and boots, I usually feel productive and creative, and there is just something spooky in the air. In the best kind of way of course 🙂

October started out very rough. I didn’t get the job I was pinning for, I fell back into old unhealthy habits and my anxiety spiked again and then again and then again…. Usually all of this would have been enough to debilitate me and write the month off as terrible. But I won’t do that. Despite all the misfortune I fell into, this October was a good month after all. Not just because it’s one of my favorite months in general haha but because of how I handled my misfortune.

I was depressed about not getting the job I really wanted so I let myself feel the sadness for a bit but, I didn’t revel in it. I picked myself up. I set a new goal and made a plan to get there. Then, I told myself that job wasn’t meant for me and there is something better out there waiting. Now, I am waiting to hear back about another job I applied for so *fingers crossed*!!

I recognized the unhealthy habits that I started to fall into again, and I forced myself out. I paused when I found myself falling into the same old patterns I had been dying to change, and you know what… for months and months of trying to change I think I finally am. I finally am. It was easier than it ever was before to pull back and recognize my mistakes before they got too far. For months I struggled to do this whenever I hit a roadblock. But, this October, it was easier than it ever has been to not let my emotions get to me to the point of hating myself and not being able to do anything for days. I still struggle but I am doing better. Improving.

And as for my anxiety, that is a condition I know I will live with for the rest of my life. It is not curable but it is manageable and recently, I feel I am coming to terms with how to manage it and not let it overtake my life. It will not control me, I will control it.

So October though difficult at times was a good month.

Writing wise my editing of The Lowell Saga continues… since it falls into the fantasy genre I have been tweaking the world building and trying to add more and more nuances to make it feel more fleshed out. One of the greatest aspects of a fantasy story for readers is the world! What I have learned about my writing process is that my first drafts tend to be nothing more than skeletons. I start with the characters, and their bones. All my stories start with the people they’re about and that is how I get the itch to write. During the first draft, I get a whole lot out of the spirit of the characters, a semblance of plot and a blush of world building but the story itself doesn’t have blood or veins or skin or flesh. Editing is when I add all that stuff in making the second draft more full and able to breathe on its own. Not move yet but at least it can breathe. At least that is how the first book of The Lowell Saga is progressing.

And a result of that is my drafts are unusually very short for first drafts. But that’s okay. Writing is a process and everyone writes differently. I am, after such a rough ride this year, just happy to be writing again!

Hopefully in November I will be starting to implement all my changes in writing the second draft. I am not scared, but excited. Though I also know I have a long road ahead of me. But because of changing my mindset all through the past few months, writing isn’t a chore for me anymore. It’s fun! I am writing this story for me and maybe I will be lucky enough to share it one day.

Also Happy Halloween 😉

Till next month,

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(Currently still revising the first draft of TLS…..)

Writing is Hard | WIP Update | September 2022 | Healthy

Previous Post: Writing is Hard | WIP Update | August 2022 | One Step At a Time

September… that weird in between time where summer breathes its last breath and autumn starts to stir. I used to hate September. September meant school, it meant endless hours trapped in a classroom surrounded by people I didn’t want to be with and learning things I had no interest in.

Now I love September. It’s a season where life feels like a fresh start again, where I naturally start to feel more productive, and where that crisp rush of wind makes me reach for my nearest comfy sweater.

This past month I did a lot. I reinvested myself in editing The Lowell Saga, my current work in progress, by tweaking some of the main characters, reworking the lore and history central to the story and overall improving upon it to make it the best it can be. I spent hours listening to writing podcasts and reading articles all about craft. Susan Dennard is amazing and if you don’t follow her newsletter, and you are a writer, I suggest you go do that right now! Her insight on writing and the publishing industry itself has been so helpful.

My mental health has also been a lot better this month compared to the summer where I had more than a few rough days. This month I listened to my body, ate nourishing foods like oatmeal in the morning, fulfilled by cravings by going out for ice cream on the last hot day of the year, spent time with my family and my friends and overall was nicer to myself.

I have a bad history of bullying myself into productivity even if I know I am not up to it mentally, emotionally or even physically. I used to think (and still sometimes do) that if I am not actively working towards a goal I am failing. This September though, I took a step back. I let myself rest on days I needed to rest. I worked for an hour some days instead of five. I found myself happier than I have been in months and more productive ironically by giving myself the space to work at my own pace instead of the rigid schedule I usually set for myself. I may not work the fastest but I am working and taking steps in the right direction. As long as I keep going I will get there… with writing The Lowell Saga (TLS), with finding the right job, with exercising, with eating mindfully, with finding time for my passions, and with carving some time to spend with my loved ones. I will get there, and if I continue on the path I am on, with a healthy mindset.

Sometimes you just have to have someone tell you that you are enough. What you can do is enough. As long as you keep going. If you need someone to tell you, dear readers, allow me. You. Are. Enough.

Just keep going forward and you will get where you need to go when you are meant to get there.

I am very pleased with myself if I am being honest. I made some small changes that will have major rippling effects in the plot of TLS. Small changes that I am extremely pleased with. Extremely. I want to share more but that would mean spoilers and when this book is finished I want my readers to experience it as fully as possible. There is no other feeling like reading a book for the first time.

And hopefully I will write something others want to read. But if not and I am the only one who wants to read it you know, that’s okay. I need to write this story for myself either way and if others would find pleasure in it one day then this story will exist for you too, whoever you are out there.

My mindset has shifted greatly. I have mentioned this before in other writing updates over the summer but now it is really starting to take effect. I have stopped writing with the intention that I have to make the perfect book so I can be a writer and have my dream job and make enough money to survive alone on writing. Thinking like that only served to cause me stress and it pushed my perfectionism into overdrive. That wasn’t healthy for me.

Instead I have shifted into thinking I have to finish this story for me, and me alone. And that has made all the difference. It does not pain me to work on my story anymore, and I don’t have to force myself into working on it. I want to work on TLS, and I find joy when I do work on it. I started writing all those years ago because it made me happy, and it served as a creative outlet for me to put my imagination out there in the world and make it a little more bearable. The world can be a terrible place sometimes, as every human knows, but it can also be quite wonderful too.

Right now, the world is quite wonderful. 🙂

As always till next time,

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(Currently still revising the first draft of TLS…..)

Writing is Hard | WIP Update | August 2022 | One Step At a Time

Previous Post: Writing is Hard | WIP Update | July 2022 | Different Mindset

My life changed dramatically in 2022. So much so it has felt like a year already in my head, but it’s not even September.

August was a slow month for me but one of the very best. A lot of different GOOD things happened and bit by bit I feel like I am coming back to myself. No lie, 2022 really turned me and who I thought I was upside down. It forced me to rethink my entire life as it was and my entire future as I wished it to be. Even if it did shake me up, I learned a lot about life and myself. This August for the first time in a while I felt like a broken drummer finally getting their rhythm back. I turned 27, went on a trip up to Boston, thought and hustled really hard in the direction I want my future to head in, and I got back to my WIP.

I have two bulletin boards and two whiteboards up in my office space where I usually write. This month I started fresh, wiped things away and started picking up The Lowell Saga where I left it. One step at a time I can feel my love of writing returning, as well as that wonderful feeling that anything is possible.

I just have to remember to take it slowly, or I’ll fall back into my old thinking patterns and struggles which I talked a lot about last month. But for right now day by day, step by step.

I have made some major character shifts and plot changes this past month with The Lowell Saga, and with these differences the story feels more right to me. I am a very intuitive writer and rely on my gut to lead me a lot. I have faith that my heart and soul knows how to write this story, and that my mind will know how to edit it as I go along on this journey to hopefully one day publication.

I am still listening to writing podcasts and I have started combing through Susan Dennard’s old newsletters on writing, which if you haven’t read and you are a writer I highly recommend them! She gives great advice on her process and she is so relatable. She remains to this day one of favorite writers on the planet.

This past week I have also tried to force myself to sit down in front of my storyboards in my office and think. At first my old friend Fear was there but the more I sat, even if I was doing nothing but breathing and staring, the easier it got to be in the room. I wasn’t suffocated by my perfectionism, Fear started to fade into the background, and I felt the tingles in my fingers of why I wanted to write in the first place.

It is a beginning, and well… that is the best place to start.

Thank you all for listening,

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(Currently still revising the first draft of TLS…..)

Writing is Hard | WIP Update | July 2022 | Different Mindset

Previous Post: Writing is Hard | WIP Update | June 2022 | (*sigh*)

Today I finished reading The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg. It was a great read, full of a lot of interesting studies on habits and how to change them. I highly recommend it but that is not the reason why I brought it up (or started my July writing update with this paragraph lol). In the book there was mention of a religious figure, and of course the book talked about how he used habits to build up a huge religious society, but there was also a little side note that caught my eye. In that story the religious figure suffered from anxiety and depression, and there was a time that he couldn’t handle doing his services anymore. So he went off the grid for a time. It was just a small part of his story but it struck me all the same.

For so long I have avoided writing (part was due to life circumstances that were out of my control) but the rest I realized stemmed from the overwhelming task of writing a book. Perfectionism is something I’ve struggled with throughout my life. I wanted my story to be perfect but nothing is perfect. Nothing. It is impossible. But I still wanted it anyway. So I put off writing on my story in the few moments in my hectic life I did have. Because the task I set myself was daunting. The perfect book. I became increasingly stressed out whenever faced with the task of working on The Lowell Saga.

The other part of my problem I realized only after I rewatched Kiki’s Delivery Service which I hadn’t seen in its entirety in years. If you know the movie you will know what I mean when I say that in my dream of wanting to be a full time writer I put so much pressure on myself that writing wasn’t fun anymore. I became anxious, sad and I lost the belief in myself that it would ever come true.

As I am writing this post though, again I feel so much better getting all my thoughts out in words. Writing is a part of me even though I am struggling to find my footing with it again. July was a bad month in terms of progress with my story. I am trying to fix that. But the first step is in fixing myself.

Like I said, I haven’t made much (if any) progress on The Lowell Saga.

But I have started to listen to writing podcasts, and I have started to read more articles on writing, and I have surfed YouTube to watch videos of other writers and their routines and I have decided to try to adopt a new way to think. I can’t look at my story as a life or death situation anymore. All the joy of why I started writing in the first place just gets sucked away and I end up sad. So, I am going to start thinking of it less as a job and more as a hobby. That subtle change in thought alone already makes me feel immeasurably better.

Maybe that way it can go back to being something I love and not something I have come to fear.

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(Currently still revising the first draft of TLS…..)

Writing is Hard | WIP Update | June 2022 | (*sigh*)

Previous Post: Writing is Hard | WIP Update | September 2021 | What am I doing…..?

So I changed my calendar because it is now June and there was a picture of a fish. That made me happy. Nothing else today has made me happy. That is why I needed to preface this post with THAT. The last time I did one of these is not even worth mentioning because it was so long ago. Let’s just get into it.

I am rereading my first draft and having a hell of a time with all the problems I am finding.

(*sigh*)

There is a lot of editing to do.

But let us talk about the bright side lest I depress us all. There are some good things that I am happy with. yay. I wrote a first draft in the first place! Also yay. Am I struggling? Yes. Am I pushing myself anyway? Yes. Because there is something bright waiting on the other side of this draft.

I’ll just keep telling myself all this as I slog along. It’s all part of the journey.

Pray for me my fellow bloggers. PeAcE oUt.

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(Currently revising the first draft of TLS…..)

All the Places I Have Been, Where I Am, and the Places I Am Going?

Hi.

It’s been a while.

I haven’t posted since November 2021. Ever since I started there had never been a moment when I didn’t post at least once a month. That is until November 2021. Life is a weird and funny thing. I started this blog because I wanted to join a community, I wanted to share my work with others, and I wanted to record (in a way) my journey to hopefully one day becoming a published writer. I am pleased to announce that that is still the goal.

Let’s just call that the “Places I Am Going” bit of this post. One day I still hope to have a published book under my belt that one day you all (or anyone really) can just walk into Barnes and Noble and see there just sitting on a shelf. Yeah… that would be pretty cool.

Right now, I am going through a major life change. Which is also cool! And scary! And fun! And weird. But all in a good way! That is “Where I Am” lol.

I don’t know how much I will be posting on here or when or what. But I am going to try to write something at least once a month. It might not be scheduled poetry or snapshots like I used to do but I will be writing something. Something.

How enticing, am I right? 😉

All my sarcasm aside, I am just happy to be here typing away again at my computer. Regardless of who decides to read my dribble, if anyone even wants to anymore. Now we are heading into the “Places I Have Been Bit” and I totallyyyyyy get it if that’s not your cup of tea. The important bits about my blog I put first, so feel free to jump ship now if need be.

I won’t judge you.

After the past seven months I’ve had, trust me, I won’t. But you can feel free to judge me if you want. At this point I don’t really care. And I don’t mean that crassly. I just mean that I realized a lot of things are more important than me worrying about what others think. What’s important is what I think of myself, and that I listen to myself and trust myself. And I am. I really am.

At the end of 2021, my life started to control itself. Let me explain. I was no longer the driver of my destiny. I was letting destiny, drive me. Work got hectic, my healthy habits I had taken years to build started to chip away and then, I stopped doing the things I love most.

I had been working at the same place for the past three years. When I started I was an anxious, lost and unconfident little girl who was a rock stuck at the bottom of the ocean. Gradually, the more time passed I came to love my job and the people I worked with. I wrote at home in my off hours working on my blog, writing the first draft of my story The Lowell Saga, and reading book upon book upon book. I wasn’t nervous anymore I loved everything I was doing. I found myself and my confidence grew. Then as time wore on things started to change. The pandemic happened, attitudes at work shifted, and suddenly I couldn’t focus on anything else besides waking up and going to work and coming home. I stopped hanging out with my friends. I started binge eating on the weekends that eventually slipped into the weekdays. I stopped playing video games. I stopped reading.

I stopped writing.

At the end of March 2022 I caught COVID again, for the second time. I was home sick from work for two weeks. Those two weeks of solid rest opened my eyes. I hadn’t had a week off in over three years. It took me getting sick to realize that I had lost control of my life. I wasn’t happy at my job anymore, I gained weight, I wasn’t seeing my friends except for rare occasions, and I didn’t have any time to enjoy my life’s passions.

So, in May I left my job. Anxious and lost again, but having gained the confidence that everything will be okay. I learned all I could and now it’s time to move on.

I am not a trapped rock anymore, more like a little blue fish drifting through the deep. And that is me.

ALL me. The place and person I need to be right now.

Let us see where this goes…

/

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“The Same”

A shirt fresh and new,
now worn but still blue.

The color, faded,
and the style, dated.

The perpetrator, Time,
committing a habitual crime.

I will still be
but not the same me.

I still have my name
but I’m not the same.

And my shirt still fits,
even with all the rips.

We are different
and we are the same.

And I don’t ….

Can nothing stay?
Does it all go away…

Was I never me?
Am I always who I am meant to be?

I don’t know anymore.

Is this fate,
am I just bait?

I don’t know anymore.

Photo by Akira Hojo on Unsplash

©2021 Jai Lynn

This post “The Same” appeared first on Jai Lynn.

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“Shadow”

A tale as long,
as the sun is old
or as short as a song,
hummed in the cold.

I was walking along,
the withered way
when the air felt wrong
and my mind began to stray.

The sun was little
falling from the sky,
as I noticed a riddle
following nearby.

Dark and thin
or wide and light,
a shape of like kin
following through the twilight.

My heart gave a fright,
but then it fell to calm
when the wound in my sight
healed with a balm.

Only my shadow, you see,
was behind me that night.
Walking behind me
seeking monsters to fight.

In that moment I knew,
I was never alone.
Never one but two,
together, fighting the unknown.

©2021 Jai Lynn

This post “Shadow” appeared first on Jai Lynn.

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Snapshot 10/31/21 // “Season of the Witch”

Currently listening:Bless the Broken Road“- Rascal Flatts
Currently watching: You S3
Currently playing: Animal Crossing: New Horizons
Currently reading: The Once and Future Witches by Alix E. Harrow

I can’t imagine a world without Octobers. It is one of my favorite times of year. There is just something about the leaves turning gold and the wind whispering in your ear and thrill of Halloween around the corner that makes it feel so magical to me. Like there is something waiting to be found just where we can’t see in October. I live for that.

I also live for the fact that I got to go Salem, Massachusetts this month for a weekend. Oh, what a time to be alive.

October Goals:

  1. Work on The Lowell Saga. Fail.
  2. Maintain my healthy habits. Fail.
  3. Have fun. WIN

November (the month where I should be writing) Goals:

  • Get my priorities straight, again. I kind of fell of the wagon in a lot of regards to my life’s goals this month. I got to do better. But… I did have a lot of fun in October 😉

What I Read:

  • The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern. I don’t know how many times I have reread this book… but it has been many. Something about the autumn always has me craving the midnight diners, the Ice Garden, and the love story interwoven all throughout. This book is one of my favorites of all time. Like The Raven Boys. I know I bring up those favorites a lot in this section but that is only because I have a constant need to keep rereading them, haha! That is proof of how much I love them. And The Night Circus is something I love dearly.
  • Pumpkinheads by Rainbow Rowell and Faith Erin Hicks. This. Was. Adorable. The perfect fall read. I breezed through it because it’s a graphic novel and I can’t believe how wonderful it was. A nice slice of life is something we all need in our lives from time to time and this hit the perfect autumnal spot.
  • The Atlas Six by Olivie Blake. Wow. What a BOOK. Read it. That’s it. Just READ IT.
  • The Crucible by Arthur Miller. Soooo, I might have mentioned that I went to Salem this month and of course I had to reread The Crucible. I read it in school years ago and though I did not appreciate it then I love it so much more now. Especially in context with the real life historical event that took place in 1692. It’s scary how easily it happened and it frightens me how easily it could happen again.

What I’ll Be Writing:

  • Poetry- posted every Wednesday
  • Writing Is Hard | WIP Writing Update- posted in the middle of the month
  • Snapshot! Monthly Recap- posted the last day of every month
  • Announcements- posted as needed

If you want more information about any of the above, you can check out the About page on my site or just click here.

My Round Up of October Posts:

November. Oh, November. I honestly… have no idea what is going to happen this month. But, life is weird like that isn’t it? We can plan and plan and plan…. then the rains pour down (or the sun comes out!). Hope for the best, plan for the worst.

Till next time,

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