So you want to be a writer: The Writer’s Wall


At this point, it’s pretty obvious that there won’t be a snippet for this week. Life conspired in numerous little ways last week to keep me from my computer, and even when I was able to open up my file, all I could do was stare blankly at the half-finished manuscript, completely frozen in terror.

Those days (or weeks, in this case) seriously suck.

One of the hardest parts of being a writer is overcoming distraction. Now, I could go into a long spiel on how you go about doing so except…I’m bad about it. Frankly, I’m the worst person to ask about avoiding distraction. In fact, sometimes I go actively looking for it in order to procrastinate – not consciously, it isn’t something I choose to do and yet, there it is.

That’s not to say I hate writing. Holy crap, this job is the perfect career for me, always something I wanted but never thought I’d have!! But to say it’s easy is, well, waaaaaaaaaaay the heck off base.

To me, what differentiates a writer from an author is simple: a writer writes, but an author FINISHES what they’re writing. Sounds simple, right? I mean, how many times have you thought about a great idea for a story, sat down, and started writing. All stories have similar components: a beginning, a middle, and an end. You have a great hook, the story is flowing…

And then, suddenly, it’s not.

In those moments comes the self-doubt, the second guessing, the absolute certainty that what you’re writing is drivel. Worse yet, a shiny new idea for another story might come to you, and you abandon your current project because it’s nowhere near as awesome as this new idea.

Sound familiar?

This point is where most people get thrown off track on a project, push it aside for “later”, whenever that might be. Now, if you’re a hobbyist who’s doing this because you love it and don’t see writing as a career choice, that’s fine. WRITING IS FUN. Making up new characters, imagining new worlds is such an incredible experience!

When it becomes your job however, things get tricky.

Take someone like me, who gets anxious about things long before they ever come to fruition. For example, a story could be barely out of the first scene and I’m already trying to figure out how I want to publish it, marketing, what the cover’s going to look like, and whether it will even sell, all while trying to create the best story I can.

No pressure, right?

Every writer is different, but the challenges are the same. You want to write the very best thing you can, but it seems as if everything is conspiring against you to keep it from being finished. The WORST part though is overcoming your own anxieties, the lingering self-doubt and uncertainties. Sometimes, the only thing that can keep you on track is remembering that, back when you first had the idea for this story, you thought it was awesome.

Because it sure doesn’t seem awesome when you’re in the middle of battling out what happens next.

If it sounds like I’m saying I’m a crappy writer, I’m not. If it sounds like I’m also trying to dissuade you from a career as an author, far from it. I’m just trying to convey what it feels like to be in that middle section of a story and second-guessing everything that you do, from a POV change to character introduction. It’s TOUGH being here, and quitting isn’t an option. Well, it is, but it’s not a good one. That’s the hardest part about being an author: finishing, even when you don’t want to.

Runners talk about the infamous “wall” they face during marathons, where your body just wants to give out and stop. There are a number of different things they can do to get past it, methods such as varying speeds or drinking the right fluids. There are a number of things we as writers can do too in order to get past this wall (also known as writers block):

– Go for a walk. Sounds easy right? But sometimes, it’s an easy solution to get away from the blank screen and see something else. Try not to stay away too long – it’s easy to get distracted and forget you were just doing a short walk – but the mild exercise can help you free your frozen brain on a problem.

– Try writing someplace else. One of the things I find most helpful is load up my current file onto my laptop and taking it to a local cafe during lunch. Writing in a booth vs my office chair can liven things up a bit.

– This one hearkens a bit to my last recommendation: ambient noise. Two of my favorite programs/websites for ambient noise are Coffitivity and Rainymood. Much like when I go to a cafe and have all the different sounds surrounding me, putting on a set of headphones and playing these two websites at a level just below a dull roar somehow calms me. These are better than music (for me at least) because, while music has lyrics that I often want to sing along with or get distracted by, both of these sites feature background white noise (a cafe with Coffitivity, rain and thunder with Rainymood). This is by far my favorite one to use, and I often get high word count days with both of these playing in my headphones.

– Brainstorm with yourself. If you’re a pantser like me (don’t write from an outline), sometimes you have no idea what happens next in your story. You’ll be moving along swimmingly with a story, and then…what next? The best thing to do at these times is to take a deep breath, open up a new file (or new page in your current one) and just start typing whatever comes to your mind. I call it stream-of-consciousness writing, where you’re basically spilling your guts to the keyboard. Maybe you’re not sure about the direction a scene is moving; perhaps it’s something that happened (or didn’t happen) two chapters back that you think might make things better. Don’t be afraid to second-guess yourself, but also don’t let it hold you back from figuring things out; type out what you feel is wrong, then start throwing out ideas on how to fix it. What I love about doing this is that, even after you’ve got it figured out, you have a written account of your thought process and, while it might be the weirdest thing you’ve ever read, there could be a lot of little gems that are now permanently written down.

– Finally, don’t be afraid to reach out to other writer friends. This doesn’t mean you have to find a critique group, but maybe join an online writing website where you can connect with other writers. Sites like Romance Divas (romance) and Dirty Discourse (erotica and romance) are great for romance writers, but every genre has their own hangouts. On there, you can connect with other people, make friends who understand your battles, and realize that you are not alone.

This post has gotten a lot longer than I’d originally intended (and a bit more convoluted), but I hope it helps someone. There is no right or wrong way to write; what works for one person may not work for another. The key is to find what helps you, what gives you the peace of mind and allows you to put words to the page. If you want to have fun with words and not worry about publication or anyone else reading your stuff, there’s most definitely no shame in that. If you want to finish something though, learn how to buckle down and make something for publication, well then, I wish you all the very best! 😀

Snippet Sunday, and I finally got out of the house!



Today was a fantastic day, even if it didn’t feel that way for a while. Went on a ride with the Lost Girls MC for their annual “Tutus for Tatas” breast cancer ride and had a blast, even though it was pissing down rain the entire time. Silly me didn’t believe the weather reports so suited up in my non-rain gear and got thoroughly soaked and chilled to the bone! Still, it was fun hanging out with other lady bikers, and I was SO CLOSE to winning the poker hand for the run: a full house, but someone beat me with higher cards. DANGIT!!! 😛

Well, despite the lateness it’s still technically Sunday here on the west coast, so technically I can say that I made my weekly deadline!! (Yeah, technically that doesn’t help those of you east of Pacific coast time, sorry!) Today’s snippet is particularly brand new, the start of Saint’s part two and some of this week’s (unedited) rough draft. For those curious about how and when this will be published *heaves a big sigh* I’m still not sure. I want to finish it ALL this time before I set a release date, as many people didn’t quite like the publish-as-I-write-it timeframe. I’m also calling it parts one/two/three because I’m not sure whether they’ll be three separate novels or one big one, and being able to mentally say “The End” is very rewarding for an author looking to write a 120k+ work. 😉

ANYWAY, on to what you want to see: snippets!! No Damian or sexitimes this week, fingers crossed that’ll change for next weekend! 😀


The first check arrived the day we got our eviction notice.

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Snippet Sunday post!

Stories are funny things. It would be easy to assume that the author is in control of what his or her characters do, but that isn’t always the case. Lol, this last week has seen me struggle to force my characters down a road they didn’t want to go to no avail; they wanted things to be a certain way and, dammit, they wouldn’t let me put down words until that happened.

Seriously, book characters be SO needy. 😛

Apologies for doing another Sunday snippet, no real excuse for this one except for the constant wrangling of characters. Heh, you think you know where your story’s going, then things like plot and junk blow up in your face. (Seriously, sometimes I envy people who can outline because that must be SO nice to know what’s happening next – me, I like [for the most part, some things are written in stone] to find out what happens along the way just as if I’m reading the book myself)

ANYWAY. On with this week’s post! I’m wrapping up the first part of Saint, which looks like it’ll clock in somewhere around 45k words. Does this mean I’ll be releasing this as a serial? No idea, I’m putting off decisions like that until I’m further through the story. I promise that, as soon as I know for sure how and when this puppy will be published, you’ll be the first to know. Now, on with the new snippet!! 😀

(*As always, this is an excerpt of a rough draft, so there may be mistakes and/or parts that don’t make it into the final publication. Still, I hope you enjoy!*)



“The entertainment’s going well, I see.”

His low voice wasn’t far from my ear, and I took a shaky breath. Damn the man, and damn my reaction to him. Damian flustered me, made my nerves go on edge every time he was around.

I shot him a look and was surprised to see that, whereas every other red-blooded male in the room was watching the dancer, Damian’s eyes were on me. I flushed, heat tingling across my skin as I turned back to survey the room. “They seem to be enjoying themselves.”

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Snippet…Sunday? (oops!)

The Dude has been sick all weekend, and I’m feeling similarly blarghy. So, silly me totally forgot about this week’s Snippet Saturday post, and for that I apologize!! Lol, if I’d known the flu would touch our humble abode, I would have scheduled this post ahead of time, but alas… *sigh*

So, a day late (but hopefully not a dollar short), but here is this weekend’s snippet of “Saint”, and I hope you enjoy!

(As ever, this is a rough draft, editing mistakes don’t mean it’ll be like that in the final version…on with the show!)



“What’s going on?”

“You’re my escort this evening.”

I didn’t like the way my heart leaped at the word escort. “To what?”
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Snippet Saturday: I am such a tease!

Apologies for posting this kind of late today! The Dude’s off, a rarity on a Saturday, and we’ve been busy doing a few chores, running around, and working on motorcycles. I might actually get my dirt bike working again, can’t freaking wait!!

Earlier this week, I posted a small snippet of new material over on Facebook that seemed to get some people excited. For today’s Snippet Saturday, I’m going to cheat a bit and include that, but also a bit of material from earlier to set the scene. As usual, the regular caution applies that this is an unedited manuscript, not everything may make it into the final book, blah-blah-blah. 😉


(oh, and mom, you can stop reading here 😛 )



Jeremiah looked at me. “You two head upstairs, I’ll deal with this.”

My mouth moved silently, unsure what to do. Lucy took my hand, snagging my attention. She gave me an encouraging smile, even if it was weak around the edges. “It’ll be fine, but you should go and take care of yourselves for right now.”

I nodded, still numb with shock. Walking a few steps, I stopped beside Damian, looking up into his face to get his attention, but his focus hadn’t wavered from the table. Not knowing what else to do and unable to speak past the lump in my throat, I reached out and took his hand. Only then did he finally look back at me, and the turmoil I saw in his eyes took my breath away.

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We won’t forget…


I think most Americans can say they remember where they were when they heard about the September 11th planes crashing. I was back in California, nearly graduated from college, late for work, and glued to the television because I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. I turned on the television not long before the first tower fell; by the time the second one fell, I was beyond horrified.

September 11, 2001 was a day that we as an American nation will never forget. For my honeymoon this April, we went to Manhattan and got to see both the memorial as well as what remains of Ground Zero. Folks, you have NO idea the magnitude of the whole thing until you’re standing there in the middle of where those two buildings used to sit. The area of devastation was immense, and I’m shocked at just how much they’ve bounced back in such a relatively short period of time. It’s amazing and awe-inspiring and horrific, all at the same time.

So for those of you who lost loved ones, for the men and women who died in the building or who died doing their jobs trying to rescue people, we will NEVER forget you…

Snippet Saturday – AHW cameos!

Happy Labor Day weekend to my fellow American peeps! I’m steadily working on “Saint” (progress bar and word count so far is on the sidebar to the right), and today being Saturday it’s time for another official snippet!

Now, I’ve made it no secret that “Saint” is set in the same world as AHW. Well, today’s snippet shows that…well, heehee, enjoy! 😛

DISCLAIMER: All snippets shown here are done in real-writing-time, meaning that aside from cursory inspections they’ve yet to be edited. While I can’t promise that everything I write for this story will make it into the final published draft, this is one part I really hope makes it!


“I’m getting something to drink,” I said an hour after arriving. Jazz’s attention was on a younger Arab man, a prince of some kind (I’d lost track of all the people I’d been introduced to by now), and I hoped it would be my chance to escape.

Jazz shared an eyeroll with her new beau. “The waiters will bring you whatever you want, you just have to flag one down.”

I stood up anyway, smoothing down the dress and stepping back from the table. “Sounds like a plan,” I said, giving her my best fake smile.

“Can you get them to bring another bottle of wine,” she called as I started walking away. “Appreciate it, love you gorgeous!”

Only when I’d gotten a few feet from the table and knew she wasn’t following me did I finally let out my breath. I moved past a server carrying an appetizer tray, shaking my head and murmuring “No thanks” as I made my way to the other end of the gardens. All I wanted was a few minutes alone, to breathe and decompress from everything around me.
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Snippet Saturday returns!

Wow, looking back I can’t believe how long it’s been since we’ve had an official Snippet Saturday post! Man, a year sure comes and goes a lot faster than it used to…but I digress. 😉

I’m working on a brand new project, a spinoff of my AHW world, and am having a ton of fun writing this story. Right now I’m still working out the details on publication and hope to announce something in the next few months, but you all seemed to thoroughly enjoy my weekly snippets with AHW and Castaway, and I wanted to bring back that anticipation again.

Folks following me over on Facebook (SHOUTOUT to my social media peeps!) already noticed that, earlier this week, I already posted up a small excerpt of the new material for “Saint” (tentative title, it may change down the road). Like I said, I’m having a lot of fun with this story, making words come easy (pray this pace keeps up!!!), so for today I’m showcasing a brand new snippet.

Gotta say, it was one of my favorite scenes to write, and given how much I’ve enjoyed (*ahem*) other parts of my stories before, that’s saying a lot. So, without further ado, I give you: the interview.



The silence stretched, and after looking everywhere else, I finally settled my eyes on Damian. He was still staring at me, face inscrutable. Unlike his sister, there was nothing comforting in his expression. “Tell me,” he said finally, breaking the growing tension of the room, “why does a waitress from California think she’s qualified for a job as my assistant?”

Nausea, not butterflies, turned my stomach, and for a quick second I thought I was going to throw up from nerves. Swallowing it back, I raised my chin and squared my shoulders. “Can we have a seat, Mr. Saintcrow?”
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