After breaking her engagement and travelling 800 miles to start her life over, literature student Zoie is ready to live her life within the books she reads and the worlds she creates on the page.
Welcome to one of the October 4th stops on the blog tour for Fixed Moon by Katie Groom with Goddess Fish Promotions. Be sure to follow the rest of the tour for spotlights, reviews, author guest posts, and a giveaway! More on that at the end of this post.
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Author Guest Post
The thing that’s always stressed me out about LinkedIn is the “You must have a side hustle — no, you must have MULTIPLE side hustles” mentality that it pushes so hard. What’s that have to do with writing? Well, when you start taking writing more seriously and begin posting about it on social media, all of the “you must write every day – and you must write XYZ amount of words — to be a real writer” crew comes out of the woodwork.
It’s so easy to get caught up in that. To create unnecessary stress for yourself. I’ve been there. I thought I had tried everything to get the words out there, but it was just making me hate writing. I tried posting the amount of words that I had written on Twitter to my friends, but it was creating more stress because people would start holding me accountable to keeping up with that. Once, I posted how many words that I got down that day, and someone — a stranger — came into my mentions and told me to double that amount the next day. That was the tipping point for me. I knew that there was this magical word count of 75K that I needed to hit because of the industry standards of my genre. I had broken it down by to the point that I knew how many words that I had to write in a day to meet my goal. When I would sit down at my laptop and start writing, all I could do was look at that word count. Even if I removed the ticker from the bottom of the screen. I would constantly check it. Write a sentence; check my total. It wasn’t working for me. It was that stranger on social media telling me that I needed to write more. More. MORE. EVEN MORE.
I couldn’t continue on like that. I was beginning to resent my characters and my story. But I had a deadline, and I knew I could love my story again. I just had to make it less as if I was micromanaging myself.
So here’s five things that I did to make it work.
- I created a weekly goal. It was the total amount of words that I needed to hit my deadline. It didn’t matter to me if I hit the amount of Monday or Saturday. For me, this allowed me to have more freedom in the process. It was a goal with a scary, mean number, but it less stressful than the number pacing over my shoulder every day and yelling “You must hit 250 words in the next hour to hit your goal of 2000 words today!” (Please read that in a monster voice because I totally said it that way in my head as I was writing it).
- I gave myself a pass to not write on Mondays and Tuesdays. Those are the days that I go into the office for my day job (Human Resources — which is a stressor in and of itself), and the commute plus being an introvert that was going to have to be around a lot of people for two days in a row, I would come home exhausted. Before I gave myself this pass, I would really beat myself up over not writing. After giving myself this pass, there would be days that I would voluntarily open up the laptop and write — and it would actually be quality, rather than brain mush!
- I knew which days allowed me to write more than others, and I took advantage of that. Because I had the luxury of being off on the weekends, I knew I could bank more words on those days, so if I didn’t write on Thursday one week because I had a mentally draining HR issue that I had to handle or because I was so angry at my characters for a decision they made that derailed the rest of my plans (or that sorry excuse for an outline — I’m not a planner; I’m a plantser that is closer to a pantser), I wasn’t beating myself up.
- I would allow myself to take a weekend off if I was burnout from work or writing or both. Just like I would let my bosses at my day job know that I needed to take a day off, I would let my boss with writing (hint: it’s me) know that I needed a day off. It’s okay to take the time away to recharge.
- I rewarded myself at certain milestones — and some of them were not word count related. For example, if I completed a really difficult scene that was emotionally draining (or one that I had been avoiding), I was having sushi for dinner or maybe I took an extra day off from writing or got some new office supplies that were ridiculously cute.
Let me be clear that I know I have some luxuries that other people don’t have. I’m single with no children — it’s just me and my dog Delta, and she doesn’t have soccer games on Saturdays. I also realize that not everyone can work hybrid or gets weekends off all the time. And, it’s criminal to me that, in the United States of America, we don’t have a minimum federally mandated amount of paid time off. The point of this, really, is just to encourage you to find what works for you and go with that. Ignore what those people say on social media about these ridiculous metrics that you have to meet in order to be a writer. Do you write? You’re a writer.
Oh, yeah, and try to remember that Neil Gaiman states that he wrote Coraline at an average of 50 words a day. So, if you’re feeling like you aren’t writing enough — you are. Take a little moment to celebrate every little word that you write — and celebrate the days that you took off from writing. It’s good for you. 🙂
About the Book
by Katie Groom
Published 4 October 2022
Cinnabar Moth Publishing LLC
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Page Count: 308
Add it to your Goodreads TBR!
After breaking her engagement and traveling 800 miles to start her life over, literature student Zoie is ready to live her life within the books she reads and the worlds she creates on the page. She will live her life solo — only her stuffed animal Judy by her side.
Werewolf and literature professor Hugh has long been wary of letting people into his life, even for someone who’s almost 200. His life in Birmingham, Alabama, and his only two friends in the world are enough to keep him content. Not happy, but as near as he figures is possible.
Neither is ready for the literal sparks that fly when they meet. But Hugh knows those sparks mean his heart belongs to Zoie, whether she wants it or not. Desperate to prove he’s worthy of her, Hugh takes Zoie to places mortals are forbidden, drawing dangerous attention to them both.
Now, together with their closest friends, Hugh and Zoie fight against ancient foes and even more ancient laws for their lives and their love.
Zoie started looking for different passageways and doors; she contemplated what her best options were. A big city? Or maybe a rural area where the people were nice and welcoming. But, these portals weren’t even marked. She didn’t know where she would be going. She didn’t even know why she would be going. Just for fun, sure. But why would she end up picking a place?
She started casually walking until she felt pulled somewhere. The first four or five paths just made her feel uneasy. The next one smelled of chocolate, and she felt like that was probably a trick. Hansel and Gretel style tricky. And then, she heard a saxophone playing and turned towards a large, yellow, bowstring bridge. At the end of that path was a steel door with three grooves etched into it. Two from the opposite corners at the top, wiggling towards the center of the door. The third came from the bottom of the door, curved to the right and came back to meet the others.
Zoie took Hugh’s hand and started walking over the bridge. The saxophone music got louder and louder the further she went.
As she reached her hand towards the point where the three grooves met, water started to flow in each one, creating three little streams on the door.
She turned and looked at Hugh and jumped a little. Placing her hand at the center of the streams, knowing with absolute certainty where this door was going to lead, and pushed it open.
About the Author
Katie Groom grew up in rural Pennsylvania, where she received her bachelor’s degree in Business Management from PITT and her master’s in Employment and Labor Relations from Indiana University of Pennsylvania. In 2016, she decided to move to Alabama in order to avoid as much snow as possible (and to advance her career in Human Resources).
When she isn’t working, Katie enjoys reading, writing, jokingly critiquing movies and TV, and campaigning that the plural of moose should be meese. She also loves to take in live music (especially Hanson) and traveling, with the goal of reaching each of the continents. Katie’s favorite pastime, however, is spending time with her beloved Shih tzu, Delta.
Katie Groom will be awarding a $10 Amazon or B&N gift card to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.a Rafflecopter giveaway
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