Blog Talk

The ‘Oh-God-Why-am-I-Doing-This’ strop

Tamtrum

Today I want to talk to you about something a little different. It’s not horror related, though at a push it is writing-related. Today I’m talking about empathy.

I’ve always thought of myself as empathic; I try to put myself in other people’s shoes in any situation, but like all people, I am a work in progress and sometimes I jump to conclusions before empathy can kick in. I want to share with you a moment of realisation I had a few months ago and how it helped me become a more empathic person.

Today I want to talk to you about something I call the ‘Oh-God-Why-am-I-Doing-This’ strop.

The ‘Oh-God-Why-am-I-Doing-This’ strop is very much a strop. I think it is the little, more annoying brother of Imposter Syndrome. Where instead of feeling that one shouldn’t belong, one feels more like they can’t belong despite everything. No matter how hard you try, no matter how much success, praise etc you receive, it’s not enough to convince you that your effort is paying off. Any progress you make is painfully slow and laborious, far too much work for far too small a return.

You see why I call it a strop?

Continue reading “The ‘Oh-God-Why-am-I-Doing-This’ strop”
Katie Recommends

Katie Recommends: Jenna Moreci

Heeeeelllooooo everybody

Today I want to talk to you about a great no-nonsense writing advice channel.

Jenna Moreci

Jenna gives useful advice, which is helpful given that she is a writing advice channel. She delivers it in entertaining bitesize bits that are easy to digest. She also backs up her arguments for why she’s advising a certain course of action, which always helps in my opinion as it’s good to know why something works.

Lastly, she has very useful sponsors.

Recently in the last couple of months, Jenna was sponsored by Get Covers and on her recommendation, I gave it a go and boy was she right.

FYI I also recommend Get Covers but I’ll talk about that in another blog, today is about Jenna.

Jenna also has playlists for specific topics, such as characters, marketing, self-publishing etc, so you don’t need to review her catalogue and pick out what might be useful she’s done it for you. Booya.

Blog Talk

Falling out of Love

I’m all out of love!

Today I want to write to you briefly about falling out of love.

Dramatic right!

This is very much a case of “I’ll get over it, I just need to be dramatic about it first”. Because there’s nothing wrong with being dramatic when people think you’re doing it ironically.

To get to the point, I am of course talking about writing.

In particular, a topic of writing that ties in quite nicely with my recent blog about burnout. This is often a symptom of burnout for me; not always but often enough that I’ve noticed the correlation.

I have fallen out of love with my current long-form WIP, A Walk in the Woods.

For me falling out of love with a work in progress can range on the emotional scale from “Oh well, that sucks. What’s next?” to “Oh God noooo, my only son!” it usually depends on my investment in the project.

Photo by cottonbro on Pexels.com

Investment wise I’ve been working on Walk in the Woods for a couple years. I’ve spent a lot of time crafting my characters, themes, and settings etc., I’ve changed the plot more than once with additions and subtractions, and at the start of this year I paid a four-figure sum to have it edited (I said it’s long-form fiction, edits aren’t cheap but well worth it).

So, as you can imagine when I realized I was getting really sick of working on this, I went hardcore into denial about falling out of love. I made excuse after excuse, I’m tired today, this is a low point in the story so of course I’m fed up, maybe there’s something going on technically that I can change to spice it up, I’m not well this week my motivations bound to be affected etc. etc. the list goes on.

But last night I gave in when I had an idea for another long-form piece and immediately tried to make excuses as to why I can do that instead of Walk in the Woods. There’s nothing wrong with my motivation, it’s just this piece that’s dead.

But again, I circle back to the level of investment I’ve made. It’s damn high.

I can’t just let this die, right?

No. No way am I giving up.

As a compromise with myself, I have decided to take a break. Though to be honest this is my usual habit with long-form projects anyway. I normally keep putting them down at regular intervals, hence why it takes me so damn long to write anything of substance. Putting stuff down helps a lot; it helps me not lose motivation/love and it also helps spot obvious mistakes I might have missed if I looked at it constantly.

Anyway, why am I writing this to you? Am I that honestly that vain or arrogant that I think you’re chomping at the bit to know what projects I am taking breaks with and which I’m working on at the moment? I like to think not.

I am writing this for those of you who might be also experiencing ‘burnout’ or ‘falling out of love’ with a project.

Don’t give up on it, you’ve put a lot of work into it. But it is ok to take a break. It’s not a failure.

Try putting said project down for a couple weeks/months. Then pick it up again, if you still feel the same then put it back down, and take a longer break. Pick it up again and look at it in a year. Then another year, and another if need be.

I’m not saying every project deserves to be finished, but hey hard drives have lots of space and word documents are usually pretty small. It doesn’t hurt to hoard this shit.

An example of beneficial story hoarding!

I started writing The Grey House when I was in my twenties (I’m 36 now) and I put it down when I hit a brick wall with it after the second draft. Last night out of nowhere I had a wonderful new plan for it. There are a ton of changes, but it’s fundamentally the same idea and I’m excited about it.

So yeah, stories aren’t people, it’s okay to put them in a drawer or hard drive for months or even years.  You can always pick them back up.

Writing Advice

Pre-Conceived Notions About Being a Writer

Kill your ego

Today I would like to talk to you about being a writer.

I know a writer talking about being a writer! So new! Never done before! Such a unique perspective. Fortunately, I’m not trying to be groundbreaking today, I just need a chance to rant.

I’m a member of several writer groups on various social media sites across the internet and that exposes me to a lot of people in the very early stages of their writing journey and thus also exposes me to a lot of the preconceived notions people have about writing and that’s what I want to talk about today.

Before I start, I want to stress that I am in no way gatekeeping the writing community, it’s an amazing place with some incredibly supportive people and if it can continue to grow then that can only be a good thing. I’m also not trying to gatekeep the craft of writing, I’m not about to start saying “You’re only a real writer if you have sold X number of copies or made X amount of money” That’s all bullshit in my opinion.

What I am going to say is that you need an open mind to be a writer, you need to be flexible (seriously flexible) in your thinking and you need to lose your ego, stuff will be easier without it, trust me.

Continue reading “Pre-Conceived Notions About Being a Writer”
Katie's Stories

Horrorzine Book of Ghost Stories

If you can’t plug during the Christmas period when can you?

My short story Scratching which appers in The Horrorzines Book of Ghost Stories would make a fantastic Christmas gift for any horror fan in your life.

Get your copy NOW!

“This collection of ghost stories is fresh, varied, and entertaining. Perfect company for long a winter’s night.”  – Owen King, co-author of Sleeping Beauties

“An incredibly creepy collection of stories of the recently and not so recently dead, written by some of the finest writers in horror. I suggest that when reading, do so in the daylight, because reading these at night will only make you more aware of your own, unempty house.” – Susie Moloney, author of The Dwelling and The Thirteen

“Gruesome, eerie, horrific, sometimes uplifting; this is a terrific selection of ghost stories that satisfy the soul—they chill the blood, too.” – Simon Clark, author of Whitby Vampyrrhic

“Looking for a perfect evening? Spend the night hunkered down in your favorite chair with only a reading light on, and dive into The Horror Zine’s Book of Ghost Stories. Forget sleep, these tales will keep you enthralled till daybreak.” – Tony Tremblay, author of The Moore House

“Nobody keeps the supernatural alive like The Horror Zine.” – Scott Nicholson, author of The Red Church