Leaning In and Knowing What to Focus On
I've been spending a lot of time with fluctuating emotions this summer. I've had moments of pure motivation and have rolled through projects like they were the easiest things in the world. Then, I've had energy being blocked within me and been unable to do more than look at any one thing with near-loathing.
A lot is going on in the world right now. I mean, a lot has been going on for the last six months, but I feel like it just keeps compounding and being able to process it all and keep moving is becoming harder and harder.
So, let's talk about what I've been motivated to do and how it may help make me, and possibly some of you, feel better about not being able to get a million things done day after day without flagging.
Recent projects that have been blocked for me mostly include my own WIPs and creative writing. It's been so difficult to be creative!
But some good news is where my focus is going, which includes finishing a new draft of a ghostwriting project I've been working on and getting a handful of beta readers on it for a final round of casual editing before we send it to a professional editor, and getting the presentation for the Marketing for the Post-Published Author class put together so I don't have to worry about too many things before the class on July 11th. We've even gotten a final draft of a book cover put together in the last week, and that's amazing!
But back to creativity. I wonder where the roots of the creative river flow from? Like a wellspring that's only trickling right now.
And this is a great way for any of you to look at your own struggles. Sometimes you can't force a dry spell. All you can do is figure out where the root of your creativity is and figure out if you can unblock it or not. Sometimes, I have to surrender to forces outside of my own control acting on me and my energy. Nothing I can do about it beside try to separate things out and move forward.
Don't be too hard on yourself for not getting where you want to go with your work.
But if you're really trying to get it going no matter what, consider tackling it from a different angle. I recently had an accountability partner/friend/mentor reach out about another check in soon where she informed me that the new transcribing tool (otter.ai) I told her about had completely changed her life. Where she had a goal of 25,000 words, she surpassed it and ended up getting 55,000 words down instead.
So, consider looking at other ways to get the words out.
In other good news, I've been doing a lot of mentoring and coaching recently, as well. A few young people have reached out to me through social media asking for advice about their writing, and one of them was actually something we've touched on before, but in the vein of offering good advice, I thought I'd share it here.
The question was about character development and transitioning from scene to scene in a story, especially if you're writing from multiple perspectives.
One thing they noted was about their characters all being amiable and kind to each other. No one had any ill wills as far as I was informed. While this is all well and good, I can tell you all that conflict is the thing that moves a story along. You need things to start going wrong and people to stop getting along so that we can root for them to resolve it. Not only that, but as you develop your characters, even your characters in nonfiction pieces, each of them should have a different goal and motivation for doing what they're doing. It's the whole reason they do x, y, or z from scene to scene and why things evolve the way they do throughout your plot.
Nine times out of ten, really developing these motivations will solve your scene transition issues as you move through the plot of your book, and that makes it 1000% easier to write the middle of the book, which is usually the greatest struggle for authors.
But it was great getting to help someone with their writing, especially people who are just starting on their writing journey. In fact, I've really been taking to coaching again, so I hope to be doing a lot more of that as the summer unfolds.
If you have something you'd like advice on or would like to hear me speak to through social media or here in this blog, please reach out. I'm always looking for new topics to write about!
Want to know more about the amazing things happening at Courage Publishing? Have you seen some of the awesome new merchandise we have? What about our next Author Marketing Class on July 11? We'd love to see your support, so please let us know what you think!
Lexi Mohney is an award-winning, self published author and a book coach living in Ann Arbor, MI. Throughout her writing and coaching career, she's lived by the motto of courage, and worked with her own coaches, groups, and support system to see her Big Audacious Dreams come true so that she can help others achieve success, too. Her first published piece, Carnal Knowledge, won an award at the 7th Annual Bisexual Book Awards in NYC on June 1, 2019. She is in the process of querying agents for her latest novel, Soulkind, which is the first in the Soul Hunter Series. Contact her through her website or find her on social media with any questions.