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…..)

“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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“Book”

Prologues began,
before first cries can.

Pages turn
making us learn.

Chapters close,
finding hardship and foes.

Life is a book,
sometimes giving less than it took.

But stories don’t end
until for ourselves we can fend.

There is meaning in all,
especially when we fall.

One day we’ll know,
that this
was how it was supposed to go.

Photo by Mikołaj on Unsplash

©2021 Jai Lynn

This post “Book” appeared first on Jai Lynn.

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Snapshot 9/30/21 // “Workaholic”

Currently listening:Astronaut in the Ocean” – Masked Wolf
Currently watching: Anne With an E S1 (rewatch)
Currently playing: Final Fantasy VII Remake
Currently reading: The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

September wasn’t a real month. TBH in my head it is still August. I still feel summer everywhere even as I am staring down the fallen leaves in my front yard. Not much happened but at the same time I was constantly busy. Is there a word for this feeling? How do I describe it better…?

Imagine a train station. There are so many people around, all with their own agendas and thoughts, getting on the train and others getting off. Then there is you, standing stock still in the middle of the platform. You have your own agenda too. But, your agenda was to take off on a plane… and you are at a train station. Being that there are no planes around and no other way to leave the train station but on a train… you are stuck.

That was what September felt like to me.

September Goals:

  1. Work on The Lowell Saga. Check.
  2. Maintain my healthy habits. Check.
  3. Be more open to possibilities. After this month I think I can handle almost anything. Check.

October (The month where I may reveal I have supernatural abilities) Goals:

  1. Work on The Lowell Saga. Always.
  2. Maintain my healthy habits. My life is a perfect graveyard of trying to be better and consistently falling short.
  3. Have fun. A major highlight this month is a mini trip to Salem, MA which I am ECSTATIC about. Perfect timing. I need to have some fun, badly.

What I Read:

  • Reasons to Stay Alive by Matt Haig. August was a bit dark that was why I decided to pick up this book, and it was a good decision. The title says it all. Honestly. At some point in our lives we all might need this as a pick me up. I swear by Matt Haig, ever since I read The Midnight Library, and now I want to read all his books.
  • Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert. This hit the right spot at the right time in my life. It’s a rare occurrence but when it does happen I know it does for a reason. If I had the resources and time I would totally follow in Elizabeth Gilbert’s footsteps. I want to travel and find myself for a year. Where can I sign up? All kidding aside though her struggle in this book is something we all as humans struggle with. Finding ourselves and our own version of happiness, a way to survive. After these past few years I think we could all use a way to survive, or a means to put things in perspective and find the will to go on with this crazy thing we call life.
  • Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery. This book was a joy to read. Right after I watched the Netflix show I bought all the books and nothing has made me feel calmer or more steady. Anne of Green Gables is so grounding and simple in the most pleasant way. That was a weird way to describe it. What I mean is that it helps to remind you that life is more about the simple things. The air on your cheek, the flowers outside your window and your loved ones all around you. Oh, and of course there is Gilbert Blythe too haha 😀
  • Kagerou Daze v. 2 by Jin and art by Mahiro Satou.
  • Blue Lily, Lily Blue by Maggie Stiefvater. The Raven Cycle is so cathartic and nostalgic at the same time. I wish I knew someone like Richard Campbell Gansey III. Maggie Stiefvater is a genius at nuance and atmospheric writing. Her characters are just so real. So real. I’m an articulate mess of emotions right now. All you need to know is that this series is on my all time favorites and that is all I am going to say. I read a lot of books but nowadays it’s rare to find one to even touch this list. All of us readers have that list. The list of favorites that just speaks to our soul. The ones that hit us at the right time in our life when we needed the story most and so will forever have a special place is our hearts. This series is one of the few on my list. Okay now I promise I’m done.

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.

Serendipitous Posts I Read in September:

My Round Up of July Posts:

I can’t wait, I can’t wait, I CAN’T WAIT TILL SALEM!!!!! I’ll take pictures!!!

If any of you guys have ever been, please give me some recommendations!! This is my first time ever visiting!!

Till next time,

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