Coffee Share: In Which I Discuss Why New Year’s Resolutions Don’t Work For Me

We’re ending the second week of January and I’m just now writing one of these posts. Procrastination 101, guys!

Though, giving myself time to think about what I want to do and if I can do it was helpful. If we were having coffee, I’d complain about the silliness of making resolutions and why they don’t work for me.

I set goals that are too big!

The timeline for a resolution is in the name. A YEAR. Huge right? …not! But my idiot self will set goals so big that it takes a ton of time to complete them. When anything is too daunting for me to do, I procrastinate and it’ll be too late by the time I get to them.

Life gets in the way.

This is how I interpret my reality: there’re the things I want to do and then there’s life. Life doesn’t care about my ambitions; in fact, it doesn’t care I exist. It does what it wants!

So when life happens, my resolutions slip out of focus (what’s more important: building an author platform or figuring out how to pay that bill you don’t have money for? Exactly. The platform bill).

To be fair, this is true for any goal. Finding a balance in our lives is a part of being human.

Resolutions? More like a wish list.

This is the main issue. My resolutions don’t acknowledge my reality. I give no thought on how I will complete my goals only that I want to (Write 50 books in a year? Hell yeah! Wait…).

I also forget that things don’t happen cause I want them to. Like, just because I want to get published in every magazine doesn’t mean that editors are going to collective think: Oh, this writer is ambitions and wants to be published in my magazine. I can see she has a ton of talent and is a goddess on the page. Let’s publish her! 

Nope. 😦

So what’s a girl supposed to do?

I stopped making resolutions. It became disheartening to finish a year without accomplishing anything I set out to do.

But…I’m trying again this year with a twist. I’ve made doable quarter goals (January – April) with realistic expectations. My goals are:

  1. Read 2 Books (1 every two months)
  2. Freewrite for 15 minutes a day (total 1635 minutes or 27 hours)
  3. Post daily except on Sundays (total 91 posts)
  4. Out of bed by 8am 50% of the time
  5. Outline and Draft “Drowning in Your Sins” (a web serial 🙂 )
  6. Obtain a driver’s license
  7. Create a newsletter

I did something like this in 2016 and all I had to do was complete half of them. So that’s 3-4 goals for this quarter.

In case you’re curious, my 2018 “resolution” was to be fearless. Here’s what I accomplished:

  • I learned to play the piano
  • I earned two degrees
  • I’ve let others read my work (poetry and flash)
  • I bought the “Inky Tavern” domain name
  • I made some awesome friends
  • I held onto a job
  • I redesigned my blog so that it accurately represents me as a writer

Wish me luck and see you in the next coffee share!

Behind the Scenes Blogging Tag

I was scrolling through my WordPress reader one typical morning and found this blogging tag on Sophie Dishman’s The Journey Begins. I thought, “This would be an interesting post to do” but never did it because of…you know, procrastination.

Since I’m bogged down with my writing projects (hence why there wasn’t a post last week…oops), I figured writing a fun post wouldn’t hurt.

The way this tag works is that I have to answer the twelve questions below and then “tag” another blogger.

Alright, so here’s the questions:

 

1. Where do you blog?

On my laptop (sometimes on my kindle). I don’t have a place dedicated to blogging—or writing for that matter. Simply put, I write wherever I’m comfortable which may be at my computer desk, living room couch (or floor), garage, and etc.

 

2. Where do you find inspiration for your posts?

That’s a question that not even I know the answer to.

Sometimes I get ideas from other writers and writing communities that I follow via social networking sites (that’s how I got the idea for the post you’re reading and this Bookshelf Tag!).

If I see something online that I think is interesting, than I’ll dedicate a post to it (for example: Is YA Fiction Becoming Repetitive? or Basing Your Reading Habits off of Reviews is so…Grade School!).

Honestly, I think the biggest inspiration is my life. If I’m having troubles with something or have something to share, then I’ll write a blog post about it (for example: Backhanding Procrastination When Camp NaNo isn’t Motivational Enough and Fight the Monday Blahs!).

I don’t get blogging ideas as easily as I do fictional ones unfortunately :(.

 

3. How long does it take you to write a blog post?

It depends on how busy I am. Sometimes it can take me an hour to a week.

 

4. Do you plan your blog posts? How?

I use to! I stopped recently in favor of focusing on my fiction (which is why things have been a bit haphazard lately).

I use to plan out five posts for the month and outline what I wanted to write. Then, I’d spend each week getting one post ready (writing, editing, and formatting) for a set due date.

 

5. What kind of Camera do you use?

If I ever decided to take my own pictures, I’d probably use my kindle, laptop, or Nintendo DS camera. Nothing fancy.

 

6. What editing programs do you use?

Inkscape or Canva.

 

7. Do you use a notebook to track your ideas?

I put my ideas in a dedicated folder on Scrivener or OneNote. Sometimes I jot them down on whatever I can find. It’s not a pretty process and I can loose most of my ideas if I’m not careful.

 

8. Do you take your pictures?

I use royalty free stock photos for my blog.

 

9. What’s your favorite type of blog post to write?

Two types: motivational posts because I like to help people and personal updates because they don’t take a lot of research or preparation (you just write!).

 

10. Who knows about your blog?

My family knows. They may browse around every so often. Oh, and you guys!

 

11. Are you an organized or messy blogger?

Messy. Very very very very messy. I’m not organized and I don’t plan them.

But that’s the beauty of blogging! You get the real, imperfect, me.

 

12. Biggest blogging pet peeve?

I read my posts over multiple times before I publish them to make sure there’s no typos or silly errors. Problem is, I usually find some seconds after publishing a post! It’s so irritating.

Sometimes I edit them, but most of the time I get into the “screw it” mood.

 

And that’s my messy blogging life!

I don’t want to impose anything on anyone, so if you feel like doing this tag—go ahead. Don’t forget to link your post back to this one so I can check it out.

Small announcement: Inky Tavern is now on Bloglovin! Yay 🙂

*Picture Credit

My Summer Goals and (my sorta borrowed) Accountability Method

Have you ever set a goal but didn’t do it because of procrastination or discouragement? Did you feel like total crap, too? I know your pain.

I think that this behavior stems from a lack of accountability. So I decided to change all that by making some summer goals for myself. The whole point of this challenge is to make my goals public so that I feel more responsible in completing all or half of them by the deadline (September).

I got this idea from Jenna Moreci, a YouTuber and author, who’s productivity increased thanks to this method. According to her:

 

“The risk of public humiliation is a very effective motivator.”

Jenna Moreci

With that said, my goals are to…

 

1. Finish Editing Ruin

For those of you who don’t know, Ruin is a fantasy comic that I’m working on. I just finished the third draft four weeks ago and plan to spend the entire summer editing the crap out of it. Then I’ll let go of it for the sake of production.

2. Outline the sequel to Ruin

The idea is to be able to write five books in the series. I’ve already wrote a rough synopsis for the sequel—I just have to flesh it out.

3. Finish Editing Retaliation

Retaliation is a science fiction novel that I’m working on. I’m currently fixing some issues that I hope I can finish sometime this quarter.

4. Start Drafting Retaliation

After I’m done “editing” (see #3), I’ll implement my notes into another draft.

5. Read 2 (or 4) Books

I’ve only read critical texts, college anthologies, and pricey textbooks this past semester. I need some aliens, ray guns, magic, espionage, and whatever other fiction I can get my hands before I go NUTS.

Since I’m a slow reader, I’m making this one flexible. I’m looking forward to reading Rise of Empire by Michael J. Sullivan and Strange Magic by James A. Hunter.

6. Write a (or 2) Short Stories

Another flexible one. I want more writing in my life, but I don’t want this to overshadow my other larger projects. I’ve already started writing a murder thriller that’s so dark and gruesome it scares me.

7. Write a (or 3) Guest Posts

After my blogging hiatus last year, I want to be more involved in the blogging community. The hope is that a blogger (or three) will be willing to allow me to post something on their sites.

I’m actually already ahead in this one (no…I’m not cheating!). Again, it’s flexible because I don’t want this to overshadow my larger projects.

8. Post Once a Week

If guest posting doesn’t satisfy my need to rejoin the blogosphere, posting once a week sure will. That’s 14 posts total!

9. Be more active on social media (Twitter/Facebook/Pintrist/etc).

I feel like my social media feeds are lacking something: Me. Don’t get me wrong! I retweet, like, and comment (sometimes). I just think I should be a little more active—not spammy active—just mellow active.

10. Get Podcasting Equipment

Yep, I’m planning on launching a podcast! I pretty much have all of the equipment save for the intro/outro music, media host, and editing software. You’ll hear more about this in the future so keep an eye out!

 

And there’s my ten goals for this summer quarter. Although I’m aiming to get all of these done, I need to complete a minimum of five goals to win the challenge. Should be fun.

You can use the same accountability method to help with your productivity too. Don’t forget to link back to this post!

I’ll let you guys know how I did in September!

Later! 🙂

I’m Back: With a Gift, Opportunity, and Updates

It’s true, I’ve been silent for awhile (like a year). However, I wont bore you with the details because that is not what’s important. What’s important is you, dear reader/subscriber.

Many of you have been genuinely concerned with my disappearance and have not only kept in contact with me, but have also encouraged me to make a return into the blogsphere. Well, I’m back and I’m going to put an emphasis on connecting with you and helping you in anyway I can.  I’m offering an opportunity and some goodies as a way of saying thank you. In addition, I have a favor to ask and some general updates.

Guest Post Opportunity

I’m now offering guest posting opportunities to anyone who is interested. You don’t have to be an “expert” to post on the blog. I feel that everyone has something to share and will have the chance to do so—as long as they follow these guidelines.

Guest posting is a great way to get your message out into the digital world. You’ll expose your message to people you probably wouldn’t have met if you had posted on your own blog. Bonus if those people actually share your message via their social networks!

Why not give it go at Inky Tavern?

FREE World Building Templates

I feel grateful that so many helpful subscribers have taken the time to sign up to Inky Tavern. I want to give back to you guys by offering you the gift of assistance.

I find that the biggest challenge to writing a new story, or writing a current one, is keeping everything organized and well developed. It wasn’t until I started using a “Story Bible” approach to my writing did everything become easier. The templates that I’m offering you are two of the many world building templates that I use for my own writing. They are designed to give your world building efforts a jump start! I hope you find them useful!

New subscribers will automatically get the gift by getting forwarded to a secret page. Current subscribers can get it by sending me a direct message or letting me know in the comments.

Community Survey

I want to be more valuable to you guys! To do that, I feel that I need to figure out more about you. That is what this community survey is all about. In taking it, you help me and this site improve. You can take the survey below or take it via this link. Thank you!

General Updates

In other news, keep an eye out for an official post from me sometime this week! Also, many of my WIPs are nearing production stages which is REALLY AWESOME! Check them out here.

 

Other than those things, everything is going great on my end! I would love to hear how you guys are doing. Tell me in the comments below.

A New Tag…A Social Media Tag!!

About a month(?) or so ago, Kate Jane created this interesting Social Media Tag that I think will catch on (or have already caught on). It creatively uses a number of social media platforms, like Twitter and Facebook, as a frame for writers to talk about their current (or past) WIP. I’m going to use Burwood Murder, a short story, for this tag. 🙂

Here’s how it works:

The Rules:

Copy the questions below and answer them. Then, tag five people to do the tag and notify them; make sure to leave a comment including your post’s URL for the person who tagged you, so that they can go read your post!

The Questions:

  1. Twitter: Describe your plot in 140 characters or less.
  2. Facebook: With the parents/grandparents flooding this site, who is your oldest character?
  3. Instagram: What does one of your characters look like? #selfie (find the closest picture you can!)
  4. WordPress: Designing your theme is the funnest part, so how would/did you design your book cover?
  5. Tumblr: Naming your blog is so difficult! What did you name your book?
  6. Spring.me: Get your weirdest questions answered. Ask your main character one weird question, and have that character answer.
  7. Pandora/Spotify: What kind of music are you playing whilst writing? If you don’t listen to music, what do you think your main character would listen to?
  8. Myspace: All good things must come to an end! What is one book idea that you were really into, but lost interest in?

My Answers:

1. Twitter: Describe your Plot in 140 characters or less.

He was chasing down a murder story…until he became one of the victims.

2. Facebook: With the parents/grandparents flooding this site, who is your oldest character?

There are a lot of older people in this story, but the oldest is Walter who runs a junkyard.

3. Instagram: What does one of your characters look like? #selfie (find the closest that you can):

Let me tell you something: You’ll be surprised of the type of pictures you can find browsing the Internet. (*shudders*)

Anyway, if anyone could look like my MC, Drew, I think it would be this guy:

mechanic-electoronics-431x300

4. WordPress: Designing your theme is the funnest part, so how would you design your book cover?

I think if I could make a book cover for Burwood it would have a murder object, like a hammer, smashing something off screen (or off-cover I should say) with blood forming the title.

Gnarly, right? I thought so to. I don’t think its very original though, lol!

5. Tumblr: Naming your blog is so difficult! What did you name your book?

To be honest with you, I never settle on a particular title. I usually just name my drafts after a symbol/idea that came to mind when I was drafting/outlining the story. The “symbol/idea” for Burwood is murder in a small town.

6. Spring.me: Get your weirdest questions answered. Ask your main character one weird question, and have that character answer.

ME: Have you ever wished you could fly?

Mysterious Murderer: I think this would be a different story if I could do that.

7. Pandora/Spotify: What kind of music are you playing whilst writing? If you don’t listen to music, what do you think your main character would listen to?

I didn’t listen to anything while I wrote this, but Drew may listen to heavy metal or techno.

8. Myspace: All good things must come to an end! What is one book idea that you were really into, but lost interest in?

I tried to pen a romance novel a few years back…but the thrill quickly dissipated and I lost interest. Heck, I can’t even remember what it was about! I guess it’s germinating somewhere in my unconscious…somewhere

Tag, You’re It:

  1. Luther Siler
  2. Miska Jenkins
  3. Taylor Grace
  4. Nirvana
  5. You want to try? Knock yourself out.

One Lovely Blog Award! Yipiee!

It’s a rewarding feeling when I log onto my blog or open up my email to find awesome messages from my buds! It’s a wonder that there are people out there who even read what I write and I’m truly grateful to them. Vik Tory Arch and Kaleiyah-P are two such people. Both nominated me for the One Lovely Blog Award and said that they liked what I do here on the Tavern.

Thanks gals! I’ll do my best to keep my posts coming for peeps like you.

lovelyblogaward

Ok so the rules are…

  1. You must thank the person who nominated you and include a link to their blog. You must list the rules and display the award.
  2. You must add 7 facts about yourself.
  3. You must nominate 15 (or more) other bloggers and comment on one of their posts to let them know they have been nominated.

7 Random Facts about ME

  1. My favorite color is green
  2. I like stories where the villains are relatable
  3. I’m a clutz so you shouldn’t trust me with anything fragile
  4. I hate the feeling of falling behind!
  5. Butterfingers are my favorite candy
  6. Defiance is my new favorite MMORPG and TV series
  7. The Black List is another favorite show of mine

Tag You’re It!

  1. J.H. Mae
  2. Nirvana
  3. Luther M. Siler
  4. Mishka Jenkins
  5. Taylor Grace
  6. Raevenly Writes
  7. David J Delaney
  8. Arya
  9. Sabrina Wolfheart
  10. Damyanti
  11. D. Emery Bunn
  12. Winter Bayne
  13. Story Medic
  14. Carol J Forrester
  15. Rachel Carrera

Hopeful September Goals

I’ve had a busy August! Though I didn’t get much blogging done, I definitely completed asmart_goals number of other tasks.

Like:

  • Started / read / and edited many of my projects
  • Read a few shorts (and reviewed them)
  • Finished a book (not reviewed)
  • Cut my posting frequency down
  • I’ve lost count of how many school assignments I’ve had to do

August caught me by surprise. But, now that I know what I’m dealing with, I’m ready for September.

My goals are:

  • Keep up with my school work (I shiver at the thought of falling behind)
  • Continue working on my writing projects
  • Read (I’ve got a couple of books on my TBR list)
  • Write some book reviews
  • Blog twice a week
  • Keep slogging through my critical read through for my NaNoWriMo project

I’m pretty sure that I’ll run into some problems this month. Maybe something distracts me or I’m “too busy” to do something else. Even so, that’s no reason for me give up. At least I can say “I tried.”

Dude, What Happened to You?!

So there I was finishing my last writing assignment for the week. After slapping on some finishing touches and glancing over my wording to make sure it was “Desiree Authentic,” I felt odd. Empty. Alone.

A tumbleweed would’ve complement my emotional state perfectly.

Yeah, like that! Thanks, Internet!

Then my Inner Voice spoke out…

INNER VOICE: You do realize its been weeks since you visited your blog. Right?

 

What rhymes with knowledge but gives you head tumors? College. Which is also the reason behind my absence.

At the beginning of the semester I knew I was going to have to sacrifice a ton of time in order to keep up with my studies. But I had NO IDEA it would take up so much time. Not to mention that I’m only juggling a third of my actual course load.

However, as odd as this next bit may sound, I enjoy studying. The awesome part about college is that you can study what you like (within certain parameters). I like my writing, so, I study the craft. In fact, my classes are pushing me to be more creative.

So, to all those who were wondering, I’m alive!

 

What’s been going on in your neck of the woods?

Do You Know What “Draft” REALLY Means?

Let me tell you what I discovered after two continuous weeks of editing a short story.

We all know what happens during the first draft. We just sit and puke “creative vomit.”

What do you do with vomit?

No seriously…

Do you sit down and pick out the orange carrots and sweet peas?

No! You flush it.

The purpose of the first draft is to get a general idea of how you want your story to go. Then you go to the second. Is that draft perfect? Of course not.

Time for the third edit. Perfect? Nope. Fourth? …You get the idea.

So when can you finally label a manuscript “my final draft” or “my finished draft” or “ready for publication?”

Never. There will always be a draft! A-L-W-A-Y-S!

You may now throw your computer at the wall.

Don’t let this bit of information discourage you. The trick to overcoming a draft is knowing when to say “enough is enough.”

Enlightening, right? You’re welcome.

 

Have you ever had something like this happen to you? Why do you think it happens to you? Lets talk in the comments!

I’m Gunning you Down, August!

Hectic, productive, eye opening, and oddly relaxing.

Huzzah!

That’s what July has been for me. I got more done this month than I originally planned!

Lets see…

  • I read and reviewed 2 books
  • I participated in Camp NaNo and finished the first draft for my novel
  • I finished the critical readthrough of my sci-fi novel
  • I wrote a short story (first draft)
  • I’m all set for classes

Looking ahead, I plan to…

  • Read through Lantern
  • Start the second draft of my sci-fi novel
  • Finish editing my short story
  • Start and finish a 4000 word short for a writing competition
  • Read a book, a few shorts, and review them all
  • I may cut my posting frequency down to twice a week (gotta keep myself school focused)

So…that’s what my August looks like.