Happy Friday and happy December everyone! It’s hard to believe that the holidays are around the corner and that this shit show of a year is finally coming to a close. I am cautiously hopeful that 2021 will be a better year. I’m trying to remain optimistic, which is why I don’t want to focus on the nightmare that 2020 has been. I want to focus on the positive aspects of it, because it wasn’t all bad all the time. So, grab your drinks and let’s wrap this year up.

A Look Back

2020 was a rollercoaster ride filled with more lows than highs, but there were still some positive aspects to it. Writing-wise I had a pretty good year, and that’s because I didn’t have as many obligations to fulfill. I didn’t have all the usual birthday festivities, outings, and barbeques to attend, which left me with more free time to work. Sure, it was a struggle some days. Some days were filled with nothing but anxiety and worry, while other days I could fully immerse myself into my stories. Those days were the ones with the big wins. They still are.

As the year went on and I adjusted to this new normal, I found myself straying from social media and media in general. The negativity was overwhelming, and the anxiety was crippling. I wasn’t getting as much done as I needed or wanted to. So, I unplugged and started spending more time offline than online. And it paid off. I wasn’t hampered by all the real-world drama, which allowed me to focus more on my writing projects, among other things.

November was my most productive month yet, which was a bit surprising. Normally, November and December aren’t as productive because of the holidays. The cooking, the shopping, the parties, and all the other chaos that comes along with the holidays doesn’t allow for much writing time. But since the usual family get-togethers have been cancelled for this year, I’ve had more free time to work on edits, revisions, and my other side WIPs (Work In Progress).

I’m not gonna lie, as much as I miss seeing our families, this has been a nice little change up. Thanksgiving was a quiet affair with just me, my husband, and our dog. We cooked all the traditional foods and spent the evening watching movies in our pj’s. It was one of the most relaxing Thanksgiving holidays I’ve ever had. And I’m looking forward to much of the same for Christmas and New Year’s Eve. But I’ve got to admit, it feels weird without my lengthy holiday to-do list. Part of me misses the chaos, while the other part of me is relishing in all the quiet, free time I now have.

I’m taking full advantage of that free time. I’m spending most of my days working on TWOLC, Book One edits and revisions, which are going better than expected. I know I’ve bitched and moaned about editing in the past and about how much I hate it, but honestly, I’ve come to love the process. I love how my writing has transformed. I love how the story and the characters have all evolved. With each editing pass, Nick and Karina’s story only continues to get better.

And much of that is because I was able to devote more time to studying craft and storytelling this past year. I’ve learned how to deconstruct books and how to work through an outline backwards, which is something I’ve never done before. I’ve not only deconstructed my own book, but I’ve also deconstructed other stories, TV shows, and movies. It’s really helped me get a better grasp on storytelling and editing. It’s made my process that much more efficient. It’s why the story has grown and transformed in the ways it has. I’m making sure that every scene and every word count. I’m making sure Nick and Karina’s story is consistent and that it flows without any plot holes or problems. So far, with this latest draft, I’m doing just that. As time-consuming as editing is, it’s all worth it. I absolutely love Nick and Karina’s story and I hope you all will too.

Now if you know me, you know that I’m a multiple project type of girl. I can’t stick with one thing all the time. It’s how I end up blocked. So, while I’ve been working on Book One edits and revisions, I’ve also been working on multiple outlines and drafts in The Witches of Luna Cove series, along with a couple of other side projects. So far, I have two completed WIPs, including TWOLC, Book One. One of my latest side projects, which is a twist on Hades’ story, is in the planning and research phase right now. If all goes well, I should be able to start outlining his WIP sometime next month.

The thing with me being a creative is that my brain is always churning up new ideas. It’s a miracle that I get any sleep at all some nights. My inspiration well is full to the point of overflowing. I’m not just talking about story ideas, I’m talking about website content, social media content, and blogs.

I’m gonna be honest, I was a bit hesitant when it came to writing character blogs. I’m not a fan of writing in first person POV. My stories are all written in third person POV, so switching to first person just felt awkward and clunky. It’s been an adjustment. Each time I start a new blog, it still takes some time for me to get comfortable. But I’m happy to say, it’s becoming easier with each new blog I write.

That’s the thing with being a writer, you have to be willing to learn and grow. You have to know your weaknesses so you can work on improving them, and I’m always working on learning and improving.

An Update

My Writing Life blog will continue in the upcoming new year. It will remain on the first Friday of each month except for January. I’ll be taking time off next month to focus on wrapping up Book One edits. Character blogs will be on the last Friday of each month. Character interview snippets will continue to be posted and I will post a new playlist soon. I was working on the Act Three playlist when I realized the songs were giving away spoilers, so I can’t post those. But I will post a new song list at the start of the new year, so keep an eye on that.

Holly’s character blog will be posted on Friday, December 25th, and Nick’s character blog will be on Friday, February 26th. My next Writing Life blog will be on Friday, February 5th.

That’s all I have for you today. Thank you for sticking with me on this crazy journey to publishing. I hope you all have a happy, healthy, and safe holiday season.