Wednesday, 15 November 2017

NaNoWriMo: Week Two Summary

I wrote some notes on a new world I'm creating... Does that count?


Saturday, 11 November 2017

Let Me Tell You A Little Secret...

Being a writer sucks sometimes.
Okay, maybe that's not much of a secret. 
I'm pretty sure that every writer, at some point or another, has ranted about how much it sucks to be a writer.
Don't get me wrong, it's awesome creating something from nothing. I imagine that being able to do this for a living would be an absolute privilege.
But I don't do this for a living. 
I do this because I enjoy it - usually - and it's a dream of mine to one day do this for a living. 
However, on days like today, I doubt I'll ever be in a position to do this for a living. In fact, I doubt I'll ever be able to 'do this' at all.
Today, I spent my day staring at a blank word document.
I had it open all day. 
I barely left my laptop... But I couldn't get any bloody words out. 
I'd type a word. Or a sentence. Then I'd delete the word or the sentence. 
I just couldn't translate the thoughts in my head into words!

I've always doubted myself as a writer. 
In fact, just calling myself a writer is bloody terrifying. 
I feel unworthy of the designation. 
An imposter trying to steal the crown without having any claim on it but I write therefore a writer is what I am.
That's why today was particularly difficult... Because I couldn't write. 
I wasted an entire day trying to force something that didn't want to happen. I broke my belief in myself, in my story and made the fleeting highs disappear under the crushing weight of the lowest of lows. 
I know this will pass. 
I know tomorrow, or the next day, or maybe the next, I'll be back writing - hell I'm writing this now! - and my little world of dreams will right itself but until then it royally sucks being a writer.
Right now, it feels like I'll never finish a book. 
Never publish a book. 
Never achieve anything I dream of achieving. 
And that's hard. 
But it's at this point that it is SO important that I don't give up.
I have enough wisdom to know this much... But it doesn't mean that it doesn't suck. 

So now I've had my melancholy rant, and closed the blank word document, I'm off to watch a Christmas movie - yep a Christmas movie in November #sorrynotsorry - and I'm going to ignore the snarky, bitchy, part of my brain that's trying to hold me down and tomorrow... Well, tomorrow, I'm going to defy gravity.
Watch this space. 

Wednesday, 8 November 2017

NaNoWriMo: Week One Summary

I suck. 
I suck 100%.
I'm incapable of committing to anything... Well, except the other half. I've given fourteen years of commitment to him.

Okay, maybe I don't suck that badly. 

I mean, I DID begin writing during NaNoWriMo. 
I HAVE written words, I just haven't written a lot of words. 
It hasn't been through lack of desire to write, it hasn't (despite my earlier comment) been a lack of commitment to the cause. 
The reason I haven't thrown myself into NaNoWriMo is because I can't! 
I have had so much on at work that I've been drowning and it's the day job that pays the bills so it has to come first. 

It sucks but it is what it is.

This coming week, I'm determined to do better.
I probably won't manage to boost my word count by leaps and bounds but every little helps and the most important thing of all is to never give up and just keep swimming!

Week One total:
Net gain of 404 words.

Wednesday, 1 November 2017

NaNoWriMo: It begins!

It has begun!
I signed up!
God what a palaver I had signing up too... Here's a tip. Those thingies that ask you to re-enter your email which are supposed to catch typos? 
Or they certainly don't work on the NaNoWriMo site.
Want to know how I know this?
I'll tell you!
I went through the bumpf of adding my details at sign up.
I re-typed my email.
I entered my passwords, twice.
I hit submit and waited for my verification email... And I waited. And waited. And waited some more!
Where was my email?
I got fed up in the end and tried to re-submit but it told me my user name was taken.
So where was my email?!
Well, my computers nice auto-fill feature answered that... I'd added an extra 'a' to my gmail. I'd written @gmaail instead of @gmail but ONLY in the 'type your email box' not in the second box which is supposed to flag discrepancies.
There was no way to sign in and correct my error without verifying my account and I couldn't verify my account because I wasn't getting the email!
What is the point of making people re-type shit if it doesn't matter anyway?!
*bangs head on desk.*
Anyway, in the end, I changed my user name, and ensured my email was typed correctly in both boxes, and got my account set up but it's still annoying me.
My user name is now I Am Emery instead of Emery Nicolson because of that fuck up. 
I'll never be able to claim Emery Nicolson on NaNoWriMo now.
So... Yeah. 
First world problems, I know.
Anyway, that's my rant of the day done!
I'm off to actually start on my word count.

Good luck NaNoers!

Thursday, 26 October 2017

To NaNoWriMo or Not NaNoWriMo...

That is the question.
It's a question that I've been debating throughout October. 
Do I take part in the writing challenge which consists of writing a rough first draft - around 50,000 words - of a novel in a single month.
It should be an easy answer. 
I should say, 'hell no!'. 
I'm not a fast writer.
I don't do well with pressure. 
I write slowly as the mood strikes and work on whatever I am in the mood to work on.
Focused pressure cooker writing on one piece of work doesn't fit my style and wouldn't work for me.
However, my 'style' of writing isn't getting me very far either.
I have three books in progress of which one - the re-work of Something Wicked - is almost finished.
Two of those books in progress - Something Wicked and Carpe Diem - have covers begging to be let loose in the world.
I need to push myself. 
I need to finish those books and crack on with my other WIP.
I have ideas bubbling away for more books... Maybe a writing challenge wouldn't be such a bad thing?
I really don't know.
I guess there is no harm in trying, right?
Plus, I could twist the writing challenge my way. 
I could write whatever I'm in the mood to write with the goal of adding a collective 50k words to my works in progress throughout November. 
It's not exactly 'write a novel in a month' but it would move me on considerably if I managed it.
It would instil the discipline I so desperately need to sit down and write EVERY. SINGLE. DAY.
I can't really lose by joining up... It's not like someone will come along and beat me with a stick before yanking my 'writer' card if I fail. 
To be honest, there is no fail associated with me taking a serious stab at NaNoWriMo with the goal of adding 50,000 words to my WIP. The only fail would be not trying to do anything. Any gains to any of my novels is a big plus.
I think in writing this post I may have just talked myself into signing up for NaNoWriMo!

Wish me luck?

Tuesday, 26 September 2017

The Evolution and Completion of Something Wicked

For those precious few who long ago (almost two years ago!) read a 30,000 word novella titled Something Wicked by the author Sorcha McInnes, I thank you (and I apologise).

Something Wicked was part one of a trilogy of novellas and the aim was to publish them in close succession telling the story of Colm and Millie.

I self-published Something Wicked in December 2015 and those who read it generally liked it (from the reviews anyway!) but I never published part two and I never finished part three. 
I had issues, you can read a little about them in my previous post. I fell flat on my face and almost quit writing.

Drawing a line under the past, aka Sorcha, and starting over was a great decision for me personally and I thought, long and hard, about never revealing that I had once tried to launch a career as Sorcha McInnes and just leave Colm and Millie in incomplete limbo.

But I couldn't do it. 

The simple fact is that I kinda love those characters and I felt I owed it to those who once read the novella to finish the story.
I had to finish the story before I could move on.

My options as I saw them were: 

Finish the novellas and publish them as Sorcha McInnes quietly and just leave them there for anyone who was inclined to look. 

This option would have been the simplest option. I had the second novella - which was titled Something Wild - written. I was writing novella three. I could have just silently published everything and walked away. 

It felt wrong. Cowardly.

Finish the novellas and publish them as 'Emery Nicolson writing as Sorcha McInnes'. 

This was doable. I had the covers, I just needed to have them adapted a little. I could then have promoted the novellas and then continued onward.
But it didn't feel right either.

Republish as Emery Nicolson and re-work the novellas into a single novel.

This option was the most complicated. It meant that I had an almost complete book in terms of word count but ONLY in terms of word count. This option meant I'd have to re-write sections, namely the chapters surrounding where one novella ended and the next begun. I'd have to be very clear, for those who read/purchased Something Wicked originally, that around 30,000 words were more or less the same as they'd already read and I'd have to state that Emery Nicolson IS Sorcha McInnes.

This option was what my gut, and my heart, told me to do. 
The truth is, Something Wicked should have always been ONE BOOK. I should NEVER have split it up into novellas. 
I did it so that I could start publishing my work sooner rather than later. I didn't split the story into novellas because it was the right thing to do for the story or the readers, or myself, but because I wanted to hit publish.
It was so stupid...

So, I decided that if I'm doing this, if I'm re-releasing Something Wicked, then I'm going to do it the way I should have done it in the first place. 
I'm currently re-working the novellas into one and then writing the ending.

I have a beautiful, custom made, cover to share as soon as I've finished re-working the manuscript, written the complete blurb, and settled on a concrete release date.

I'm hoping it'll be before Halloween but I'm not rushing it so if I have to hold off until Halloween next year then I will!

Saturday, 23 September 2017

From Sorcha to Myself...

The problem I have with writing is that I want to do everything NOW!
I want to write all the ideas now.
I want the words to magically write themselves.
I want to be ‘successful’, whatever the hell that means, for I still haven't worked out what I'd class as successful!
I want to have invested and loyal readers for my work.
I want everything I dream about... But, you see, there is a problem. 
Writing doesn’t work like that. 
Nothing in life works like that! 

A couple of years ago, I wrote a novella - Something Wicked - and published the novella under the pseudonym, Sorcha McInnes and I thought it was the beginning of my writing career and the truth is, it wasn't. 
Or maybe it could have been but I was an idiot and I had issues.
I didn’t follow the novella up quickly enough with subsequent books; Something Wicked was supposed to be part one of a three novella trilogy. I had a serious identity crisis, couldn’t overcome impostor syndrome, or get out of my own way, and generally made a complete fuck up of everything resulting in me deciding that my ‘career’ was over.
What a twat I was.
I fought back against the defeatist side of myself. I had numerous attempts to ‘resurrect’ my pseudonym, finish the novellas and 're-launch' myself but every single time I failed.

When I chose the pseudonym Sorcha McInnes I plucked the name out of thin air. It had no connection to me, my family or my personal history. It quickly felt fake and I hate being fake. I think that the name amplified the feelings of being an impostor in the world of writing and contributed to my crash and burn. The name, to me, became associated with failure. 

Sorcha had to die. She needed to die for my sanity, but my dream didn't.

I decided I'd try again, but this time I'd just be myself. However, I still needed a pseudonym because of my day job; Which I won't go into here. But what name could I use that was mine but not mine? I went back and forth for a while and settled on Emery Nicolson because it IS my name, just not quite how it is written, and therefore IS me and doesn't feel wrong. 

Once my identity crisis was put to bed - and GOD it took a long time to do that, I've overly simplified it here - I needed to start writing again. I had so many false starts. So many "I'm going to try that 100 days thing" and so many missed personal deadlines as I try to figure out who I am as a writer. 

It's hard when you just want to get moving in pursuit of the career you dream of and you feel like you're not getting anywhere because you haven't finished or published yet. The urge to rush constantly rides you but the simple fact is, I don't want to publish something I'm not proud of. I don't want to rush out something that could be so much better if I took more time over it. I DO want to hit publish and I want to scream I'm an author but I need to be smart but first I need to put something to bed.

I need to finish Something Wicked before I can move on with the new. 
So, that's what I'm going to do. 
My next post is on my plans for that...