Update On Writing and Future Plans

Hello loves! 

Today’s blog is a little bit different than usual. I have been making some headway with writing in the last few days (I have extra time to write due to the Virus) and I wanted to share some of that progress and my writing plan for the near future. 

Before I jump into it, I would like to know if you guys would appreciate a progress bar on various projects put on the homepage of this blog. It could be interesting to see what I am currently working on. Let me know in the comments whether that would be a good idea. 

The Blog

As you have noticed, I have been a little bit more active on this blog than usual. I have been trying to publish a new post once or twice a week. My posts are usually between 500 and 1,000 words and I spend a decent amount of time on them before posting. This means that that word count is not going towards my short stories and novels. The shift to something that is not fantasy can be a nice reset for my mind. So, it is a net benefit at this point. If/When I get publish I may go back to publishing once a week to once a month depending on my schedule but, for now, things will carry on as scheduled. (As always, you can email me ideas or put them in the comments.)

Short Story

This is the most exciting update, in my opinion. Sunday to Tuesday afternoon I wrote a complete draft of a 28 page 9,000 word short story. (that is why I didn’t post a blog on Tuesday) I had previously written a 5,000 page draft of the story but that was more of a really thick outline and I only kept two paragraphs from it. This taught me some really important things that I had known deep down but had not surfaced for me yet. 

I really love writing. It is exhilarating and I might actually be good at it. The words flowed very easily. On Sunday my word count was 4,218 which is a lot because there was so much else going on that day. I learned that I really can write a lot when I put my mind to it. 

I could totally write full time. This virus has allowed me to live as I would as a full-time writer before I got published. The lifestyle fits me and I am, surprisingly, able to push myself, create deadlines, and be a self-starter. This has helped me as I think about my future and what I want to do that writing is worth pursuing and I am going to do it no matter whether it takes two or ten years to get published. 

This story has two or three more drafts to go to but I am hoping to get it published in a Sci-Fi and Fantasy literary magazine as soon as possible. 

Novels

As I have completed a draft of my short story, I need to begin plotting my novel. This way I can begin drafting it. I am going to try to write between 2,000 and 5,000 words a day which will give me a novel draft in a month and a half plus the time it takes to plot it. I am going to take some time researching and plotting this novel before I write it so that the drafting process will go smoothly and I will have to revise less on the back end. I am hoping to have a completed first draft by early June and then revise in July and August. This will put me in a good spot to start querying in the fall, just in time for World Fantasy Convention. This is all tentative and, as we know, a lot can change quickly. So, who knows where we will be by then. 

Other Projects

I am always working on other side projects and I plant to overlap plotting, drafting, and revisions. So, I am always rotating in a new novel or short story to keep something fresh and keep my writing moving. 

I have a working idea page that I can go to and pick up plot and worldbuilding ideas and I have a page that is filled with scenes that I use to deal with writer’s block. I always have many irons in the fire and there is never a dull moment. 

I hope that this was an interesting and helpful update. Let me know if you like having these updates and what else you might wish to know about my writing, writing process, specific projects, etc. 

Stay safe loves!

Please feel free to email me any questions, stories, themes, or ideas I am grateful for all your contributions.

Email me at evilholmess@gmail.com

Give me a follow on Instagram @evi.l.holmes 

Follow me on twitter @RealEvilHolmes

-Evi. L. Holmes

Keep Writing (Even when you think it is bad)

I write this to myself as much as I do to any of my readers. It can be difficult to get yourself to write. This may be odd coming from a writer but it is the sad truth of the matter. Writing is not all unicorns and dragons. Sometimes getting your word count can be drudgery. In order to write better, you need to write more. 

Get Rid of Distractions

It can be difficult to focus on writing when other things are vying for your attention. I know that I often write with multiple other things going on at a time. I will have my phone and that alone is a huge distraction because I am tempted to check my messages or hop on social media. However, this is not conducive to writing. 

You need to get rid of distractions so that you are able to immerse yourself in the story and focus on what you are doing. Interruptions will through you further out of the story than you think. If you can immerse yourself in your story then your writing will improve and the more words you get on the page the better your drafts will be.

Set Goals For yourself 

You can often feel like you are floundering in the directionless ocean of words with no end in sight. A way to avoid this feeling is to set daily, weekly, and monthly. It can also be helpful to give yourself deadlines. This is especially necessary for unpublished writers. They need to get there stories written without any outside force or person driving them to the end. 

It’s a marathon, not a sprint. (but that doesn’t mean that writing sprints aren’t a useful tool, they are!) Your daily goals can be plotting, word count, time, or scene related. I find that it is helpful to have more than one of these goals, such as time and word count, in order to further your writing. If you focus solely on time, your wordcount could suffer. If you focus solely on word count, you could waste time and not be focused which will affect the quality of your work. 

Draw in Inspiration

It can be difficult to write when you are drained or feeling uninspired. This means you need to figure out where you draw inspiration from. Reading your favorite authors can be a great source of inspiration. See have they write and figure out the breakdown of their writing style so that you can understand your own style better. 

There are many different places to find inspiration and ideas. Go for a walk with your dog, garden, paint, cook or bake. Do something creative and stimulating but not mentally draining. When you write, it takes a lot of mental energy so you will want to conserve mental energy in author areas, while still being creative. 

Make a Working Idea Page to Consolidate Your New Ideas

What do you do with the ideas that you come up with, it’s too much to write at once? I use a working idea page. This is where I dump lists of ideas that I come up with throughout the day. I know that they are safe there and I can come back and grab any one of them when I need something to write. This can be useful because it means you will never run out of ideas because you wrote them down when you initially thought of them. 

Revise!

The bottom line is, you must revise. The first draft will not be what you end up with and that is a good thing because it is often a mess. That is okay. The point of drafting is getting words and ideas on the page and not to spin gold. Do not compare your rough draft to other author’s finished products. They have done revisions and that is a good thing. You will need to revise as well. 

How do you motivate yourself to write?

Stay safe loves!

Please feel free to email me any questions, stories, themes, or ideas I am grateful for all your contributions.

Email me at evilholmess@gmail.com

Give me a follow on Instagram @evi.l.holmes 

Follow me on twitter @RealEvilHolmes

-Evi. L. Holmes