writer

My Writing Story

This week I’ve been really hitting the book tags on my blog so I thought today, I’d share a little of my writing journey and how I came to the realization that I wanted to be a novelist.

I’ve seen a lot of videos titled, how to know if you’re a writer but I’ve never clicked on them. It’s because deep inside myself, I feel it. Writing has been a strength for me, to express things that I couldn’t communicate. When I was younger, I had many trust issues concerning peers and I’ve never reached to that point where I feel fully able to confide in someone. I am now thankful for those lonely periods where I experienced a lot of pain, rejection. It’s what gave me my voice.

Here’s how it all started.

I’ve been writing my thoughts and feelings in journals for as long as I can imagine. The way I express myself isn’t very direct to a reader. There are parables, emphasis and much elaboration in how I feel. As I got older I lent bits of fiction to my feelings. At this point I didn’t think I could write a story,  I didn’t even know I was carving something out of nothing.

Like many readers and writers, I too lived within my imagination as a coping mechanism when my will to smile faded. I was a child who felt so deeply, and hurt so easily and I was disconnected from everyone around me. I felt misunderstood, and I still do.

From an early age, I’d look at a lot of movies. Sometimes I believe they thwarted the reality of love and relationships for me, but nevertheless, I became so engrossed with those movies, based mostly on love and also my books that stories began to take fruition in my mind.

I used to dream that one day I’d write a story like that and see it on a screen so I had this unrealistic dream of becoming a screenwriter. This is entirely different from being a novelist. Being a novelist is more of a struggle to me as I do better with dialogue and conversations.

During my teenage years, I started outlining stories… I even wrote a full story in a notebook in my last year of high school which I let one friend read, and she actually enjoyed it. If being a writer wasn’t such a world away from where I was at, I would’ve continued with my stories there.

After I left high school, I wrote books of poetry. I went through heartache, more rejection, I was emotionally disconnected from my family. I felt unsupported and pressured into studying things I didn’t want to study. Nevertheless I did it, because I had to follow norms, I eventually had to pay bills. I couldn’t just survive on a silly childhood dream.

There was a period of just work and university, I barely found time to read, the one thing that helped me throughout my life. I hadn’t even turned on the TV in two years. It was a horrible period in my life but the stories never left me. The worlds I’d build a decade before, the characters I’d molded, the lives they lived…it never left me.

Fast forward some years, where I’d now migrated, gotten married to a man who I believe could be my only true friend, and a kid later, I was better grounded in my life but still trying to figure out what I want to do personally with my life. I was searching for that part of myself that I never found. Did it mean going back to college? Did it mean settling again to do something I didn’t want to do?

It was through my daughter’s physical therapist that I learned about the world of self-publishing and it took me two years to even sit down in front of my computer and write. It’s been a year since I’ve started writing and outlining my story ideas, and it’s brought me self-fulfillment if anything. It’s my hobby, it’s my stress reliever. Do I wish I could do it as a career? Of course but the most important thing for me is, to read the very stories that took birth in my own head.

What roll does writing play in your life?

xo Kat

Start by Writing Simple Stories

Recently I have been so engrossed with writing techniques and listening to other people on Youtube share their writing journey or publishing journey. My eyes have opened quite a bit since I have started pursing writing full on. I have all of these stories in my head and the need to get them out is sometimes, painful. I go through these period where I feel like a failure because all of these ideas mean something but it’s hard to choose which one is the most epic. In the middle of writing something, I feel it mundane compared to what I know I can do. Deep down we know our potential, and we can only get there through hard work and diligence.

Last year when I started writing my first book-like piece, I was under the impression that to write something good one had to be over-the-moon smart but after hearing some of my most admired authors’ stories, I’ve started seeing writing from a different perspective.

I’d like to share something I’ve noticed, and also experienced to people who are pursuing writing, as a hobby or as a career. This is for beginners like myself and comments/tips are always appreciated on this blog!

There’s a Youtuber that I look at from time to time who shares writing tips. Said Youtuber has a self-published book out and I thought to myself, “Wow, her book must be something great if her tips are that great.” So I went over to amazon and downloaded a sample of her book and do you know what I found? Within the first few paragraphs I saw that she broke the very rules she was telling people not to break. Over usage of metaphoric descriptions, too much telling.

I’m not here to bash on another writer’s book, it simply wasn’t for me. But that’s not the issue. From what I gathered, this author had to build an entire world and characters in them, and it was quite a lengthy task. I myself, as a novice writer have many epic story ideas but I won’t pursue them quite yet.

Building worlds, and writing about other worldly elements is quite a difficult feat. So if you’re just starting off like I am, go simpler. Learn your craft before you tackle anything too hard. I think it was JK Rowling that said you have to get out all of that bad writing out before you find your voice. It’s like that saying, practice makes perfect. And no piece of writing is bad writing. Never delete your work. It came from a genuine place and it would project in your story. Anything you don’t like, can be fixed but never delete it.

Happy Writing! Leave me a comment to let me know how your writing process has been thus far 🙂

xo Coffee Doll

Where Do You Get Your Writing Ideas?

Where do you get your ideas?

Not very often I might be engaged in a conversation with another human, and I might reveal the fact that I write stories. Mostly it won’t be an interesting topic for them and they’ll likely move on but sometimes I get asked, “What do you write about?” My tongue gets caught for a moment because, while I do have a lot of ideas, I have been writing romance for the past year and people react strange when I say this. I’m focused on romance currently because it’s easier to navigate through the story and less research goes into it compared to my fantasy and thriller ideas. Those take quite a bit more planning and may take years to complete.

The question that follows the first one is, “Where do you get your ideas?” or “How do you come up with these ideas?” It seems unnatural to people who don’t see a story in every feature of their day, and sometimes it surprises me. What do non-writers even think about? I don’t know anymore. The moment I made the commitment to become a storyteller, most of my spare thoughts are focused on my characters or plot.

By the time I brush my teeth in the morning I have three or four things to write down that I may or may not use in a story. By the time I drop my kid of to school, I’ve made about ten mental notes to explore with an idea.

My ideas come from everywhere, and everyone. I’ve always been observant about people and the way they are, fascinated by the things they do and what drives them. I don’t judge people based on anything whether it be race, religion, choices…and that’s a plus if you’re a writer because you can explore a character in a non-biased way. I don’t exactly copy anyone’s physical attributes or their demeanor but closely paying attention can help you shape your characters in a relatable way.

Story ideas are always brewing in my head. No process or major thinking goes into the core idea of a story. The hard work comes when the writing starts but plotting the story just happens and it can be triggered by anything. Any thought or action can bear fruit into an idea for a story. It’s how story telling works. If someone pisses you off write about them. If you feel an emotion deeply, use that also in your writing. Anything and everything is part of a story. I have this book that I literally label book idea #1, book idea #2 etc. I’m sure I won’t use all of it, but brainstorming for ideas and plots is one of the best things you can do to let your ideas run freely.

xo

Writing Day Off and Ruined Coffee

Yesterday morning, as I groggily made my way to the kitchen for my cup of “day-starter”, I did something I do more often that I’d like. Instead of the usual non-dairy creamer that I use in coffee, I poured the kids’ soy milk in there instead. Thankfully, I didn’t pour a great amount but my coffee was ruined nevertheless. I glanced at the clock thinking of the three long minutes that I’d have to wait for another cup of water to heat and thought I’d surely pass out on my kitchen floor by then. So I did the unthinkable. Yes, I added creamer to the ruined cup of coffee.

Although the funny taste, I had enough gulps to wake myself up. I have no shame when it comes to caffeine in the morning. By no means was this coffee a day spoiler, compared to some of the abominations I’ve drank before but my brain registered it as such. After dropping my oldest to preschool, I felt normal. The day would be fair, I thought. But my brain kept thinking about that cup in the morning and nagging me to have a different day.

I thought surely, I’d choose a topic from my handy book and carve together something for my blog, maybe write a few words for a story but as the day progressed, none of that happened. I didn’t laze by any means, I caught up on life aka laundry. I write my best at night when the kids are asleep and I don’t have that niggling feeling that someone is going to make me get up from my spot. But last night I felt like I should have a day off. Bear in mind I do study as well so I was taking a day off from all of that. I opted to look at a movie since it’s been a while that I’ve sat down and really absorbed myself in a film.

I chose Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them, and I assure you, the movie was nothing short of fantastic. I thoroughly enjoyed it, and can I commit blasphemy and say at some parts I felt like it was almost better than Harry Potter. Oh no! I did not just say that. It’s not that it was a better story than Harry, but I felt at this age I enjoyed Fantastic Beasts. I grew up with Harry and my eyes glazed over as a teenager/adolescent when I read the books and saw the movies but if I were to see it now in my super late twenties for the first time, it may not have the same effect. Fantastic Beasts definitely hit the spot. It was absolutely terrific and I almost don’t feel bad for giving myself that day off.

xo Coffee Doll

At Twelve I Wanted to Be a Script Writer

This is something I was laughed at for, a lot. Growing up in the Caribbean in the nineties and early 2000s, there really was no creative opportunity at school. Almost everyone took an academic route such as accounting, business management, sciences etc. Computers and information technology was on the rise so everyone rushed to do that including myself. I was not advised according to my true skills and desires, hence I’m here as an adult, still trying to chase dreams.

Professing my desire to create something was a bit of a joke back then because there really was no way to make it happen. The avenues were far apart and unavailable to a wide audience and especially little old me with a middle class background and no influence. Who was going to encourage this bout of creativity in me?

I posted earlier how I escaped in my imagination, in worlds with different characters but I also escaped by watching a lot of movies. I just fell in love with carving a story, the beginning, the end and all the good stuff in the middle. This is what drew me in, the characters and the different stories that they had to tell. I also read some Shakespeare at a young age as we studied his work in Literature class and I was also gifted some of his books by my parents at Christmastime.

I self-learned how to put together my stories in mostly dialogues, and not descriptive. I genuinely wanted to write stories that you could see on a screen or a stage. I still do but as I got older, I have a better understanding of my capability and reality. This is something that has a slim to zero chance of ever happening but at twelve years old, it was a new dream, a pure dream. One that I had to suppress because I couldn’t foresee a way to make it happen. No tools or opportunities were available for me to learn this craft.

Whatever I know today is self-taught and I do intend to keep working towards just getting some good stories out.

xo Coffee Doll

Morning/Coffee Routine and Lack of Creativity

A lot of moms I know just roll out of bed, get their kids ready for school and they’re on their way. I just can’t start a single thought without a drop of coffee. Here’s how my morning goes…I wake up thirty minutes to an hour before I really need to wake up in order to have a cup of coffee. If I don’t, I won’t only be tired and cranky, I’ll be dysfunctional. My thoughts need to be collected before I wake the kids up. I am incompetent without coffee. That’s just the way it is, I can’t do anything about it at this point. I’m also diabetic and I’m not a breakfast person as soon as I wake up. I’m more of a brunch person so coffee holds me out until then without passing out.

So recently I’ve been feeling very incompetent about writing. I forgot about my natural born passion for storytelling and got engrossed with just producing any kind of content even the not so good kind. I mentioned before about kindle unlimited books that I found very unlikable getting great reviews and readers, and I felt like I should cut pieces of my stories and produce a quick read.

When I reread these rushed pieces, I not only disliked it but I disliked myself. I made myself nauseous. It’d be embarrassing to put such atrocities out into the world. But I also felt very inferior in my craft and I say my craft because it’s what I love to do, it’s what I truly want to do. Being a storyteller is my heart’s true desire. There I’ve said it.

In the last few days I’ve had an epiphany of sorts. I feel like I should really take a step back from rushed and disorganized writing, collect myself mentally then begin again, but with better planning next time.

Writing is not an easy task and because I’m struggling with it, I feel like maybe I’m not cut out for it. But I want to be cut out for it, I need to be cut out for it. So many characters exist in my head and their stories need to be told. I need to tell those stories like I need air. I’m not sure why I thought that successful authors write easily, that their creativity flows out of them with no effort. Great stories take years upon years to write so why do I sell myself short? The extensive research and planning that goes into a book is all part of it. After hearing about some authors’ journeys, I do feel inspired and motivated to continue reaching for the stars.

Creativity is not dead.

xo Coffee Doll

Writing Hiatus and What I Did Wrong As a Writer

pencil-1486278_1920This January(2017) makes it a year since I started my eBook writing project. I completed two contemporary romance novellas sometime during the first half of last year. I knew they weren’t good, or even readable even but it’s something I just wanted to complete. I self published on Amazon Kindle and since then I’ve taken down one of them for rewrites. I think I left the second one up as not to hurt my small ego.

After those two books which were the first and third part of a series, I started another writing project, and then another and then another. Here’s where I went wrong.

Impatience. I think this was the main thing that flopped my entire project as a self published writer. I read a lot of books published with Kindle Unlimited and when I say a lot, I mean I can knock off a book in one sitting. It rarely ever takes me more than two days to complete a Kindle book. A lot of what I read on Kindle are contemporary/erotic/dark romances and historical romances. I just love stories set in the past especially in places such as England and France. I do enjoy a good highlander romance as well, and most recently, Viking stories.

Back to my point, I read a lot and I see other authors releasing books like crazy and I get impatient. I know I have my ideas and plots, my characters thought out and I just want to get it out as fast as possible. In doing that I skip loads of the outline and planning process, and I get stuck. I’m left with chunks of the story and plot holes.

Bad planning. The first story that I decided to go with wasn’t a very interesting one, however I took time and care in plotting my scenes and characters. The same with the second. And it kinda worked. But on reading some of these Kindle books which I thought were written well but didn’t take a whole lot of planning, I decided on short cuts. Instead of following my own style and principles in carving a story, I was trying to do what other authors did, books that I left negative reviews on. I thought if people could love and review a not so well written piece, they might read mine. My introductions are usually well detailed but I started jumping right into the story where the two main characters met. I felt as if a lengthy and informative introduction might bore readers. I made shortcuts in my story and it had an effect on my characters and overall plot.

Time management. If you’ve read some of my previous posts or even the about section, you’ll see that I have a preschooler and a toddler, and my days are often booked and busy. Some women do it with grace but I’m not one of those. I do it with coffee and I’m often overwhelmed. I’m not a very focused person all of the time and it’s a downfall of mine. When I first started writing, my husband was supportive and still is but at that time I literally sat by my laptop and worked on my book day and night. He handled the kids and things around the house. As the year progressed, I realized that my life can’t be this way. At some point in time I have to revert to my duties as mother, wife and errand runner. I also study which should be taking up most of my time as well. In my head I thought I’d take a month or two, write my eBook as quickly as possible and then take a rest period to catch up on everyday life, but I soon found out it doesn’t work like that. So I thought I’d write for a couple hours after I put the kids to bed but I’m so exhausted by that time that nothing worth reading ever gets written. I just can’t keep up with everything. I’m not a quitter though, writing is my passion. I just need to revise my schedule and try to fit everything in as best as I could. Currently, that’s not happening.

Can’t decide on a genre. I love reading all genres, from romances to thrillers, fantasy to crime fiction…I love it all…and I love to write it all. An idea doesn’t come in the form of a genre to me, it just comes. Sometimes I’m having a hard time with a script and I feel the need to change the initial story and cross genres. For example if I feel like I don’t have enough for a plain romance, I’d try to make it a suspense or dark romance. It all really comes down to properly outlining your story, and that’s where I’ve failed drastically.

Can’t stick to one story. I do get stuck in the middle of a story most of the time even when the climax and resolution are clear to me so what do I do? I have all of these ideas in my head so I get started on another project and think to myself I’d just get back to the first project when I’m not so blocked up anymore. What happens is, by the time I get back to the first one, I’ve lost momentum. The story sounds ridiculous to me. I wonder what on earth was I even thinking? It sounds like a preschooler wrote it and then I feel like I can’t even finish that project.

Not staying true to myself. I do struggle with staying true to my story and characters. Organically a lot of my characters are flawed and they do very wrong and absurd things but I tend to rewrite and sugarcoat it thinking I’ll be judged for how dark I write my characters. I soften them up and then they become like pieces of furniture. This is something I have to stop doing altogether. I need to stop thinking of what kind of readers I will attract and just write my darn story.

To close this off, I’d just like to say I’m a novice writer. I call myself a writer because I write. A lot of work needs to be done before I can put out a book to my satisfaction, hence I’m taking a writing break(from eBooks). I need to become more organized in my craft and evolve as someone who can really believe they’re a writer. I wish to focus on my blog a little more as it’s something I’m also passionate about and have been putting on the back burner.

xo Coffee Doll

Image: pixabay.com

About My Blog

I do have a tagline at the top of my blog with words of what my blog entails but I thought I’d share why and how I got my blog started.

I know I haven’t been blogging recently, I’ve been caught up with life and a lot of projects (writing) day and night so my blog took a backseat for a minute. I do however, have a lot of topics to cover on my blog. Hopefully I can get to it soon.
For a while I have wanted to try vlogging or making videos on Youtube but I’m too shy for it so blogging is perfect for me. I have been writing and keeping journals since forever so I’m quite comfortable in this space.
Why have I started a blog? Well, I have a lot of things to say and I don’t like posting small statuses on Facebook. People always think it’s an attack or it’s about them, plus I feel like I can archive longer notes on a blog. 
I don’t like talking about personal experiences to people but blogging gives me the freedom to tell my stories in a way that could inspire people or maybe even entertain. I love debating topics in a non-biased manner, even if other people don’t agree with my point of view and that is something I can’t do on most social media platforms. Most people just lack the capacity to think straight and detach their own hang ups about things. 
Like my tagline says, this blog is about parenting, diabetes, lifestyle, thoughts, rants, inspirations and books. I’m an avid reader and an aspiring writer, books mean a lot to me. I do book reviews on this blog, so if you’re into that, check out my older posts and subscribe for newer ones. 
A lot of people that I know personally don’t know about this blog and there’s a reason for that. I’ve always felt different, a square fitting into a circle and that’s mainly because people around me can’t stop with the negativity. This blog is to express my freedom and growth as a human being, something I can’t do in my everyday life. 
Anyways, thanks for listening to my little rant.
xo, Kat

Wearing the Victim Card

Everybody has played the victim card at least once in life to manipulate a situation for their own benefit, and I say once lightly because I’m pretty sure it’s more than that. Then there are those that wear it. It must get exhausting always playing that card, wouldn’t it? Shouldn’t it?

I’m not ignoring the fact that some people are actually victims, of abuse etc etc. Let me just put that disclaimer out there firstly.

Self-victimization is often fabricated for attention or manipulating other people and situations. I have recently seen people playing this role like they’re getting payed for it because they don’t want to accept being wrong. It’s difficult for them to apologize because they feel like someone else will have a sort of upper hand on them, instead they play victim and shift the blame to someone else. This is their sneaky little way of thinking they’re “winning” something.

Victims look for sympathy and attention from others when they aren’t enough for themselves. They can’t or won’t improve their situation, they bring a lot of negativity into their space and they also take advantage of people who show care and concern. I have actually dealt with being a convenient shoulder to lean on for a few people with this kind of behavior. I genuinely cared and then year after year after year, I realized these people could not be helped. It was like going in circles, no ending for it. I strongly believe people let this victim role consume them because they refuse to take responsibility for their own actions and choices in life. They get a sort of fulfillment from an outsider who will confirm what they want to hear.

Having this type of mentality, makes a person stubborn and negative. They will tell you over and over about the negative things they think and feel, but disregard anything you tell them in order to change their opinion or better their situation. From experience, I’ve seen people exaggerate a situation, putting me into a panic that something bad was going to happen to them, getting me all worked up and worried and then nothing. Maybe something will turn out good, maybe something will turn out bad but victims hold on to negative outcomes and it’s not nice to put people who really care through that.

Playing victim is a state of mind. We may feel sympathetic towards people who put themselves down or are always in a negative mood but we have to be conscious of what is real and what is a lie. Several individuals took me for this ride and exhausted me with it. What happens when you show concern, people take advantage of it and that’s all you are to them. Convenience.

xo Kat