It's all a dream
At some point in your life, there's something that causes a spark throughout your body; something that literally sets your soul on fire. No matter how big or small, you can't stop thinking about it and you want nothing more than to experience that spark again and again.
So what is it? For me, it was the first time I picked up a pencil, when I was seven, and was given free reign to create a story that was my own. I didn't have a guideline or any rules, it was just mine. It was from that story everyone realized I had a knack for life's issues and could create a completely fictitious story rooted in reality with dynamic characters and conflict. It was at that moment, I became a writer.
The rest of my school career, I took to poetry, even having many published in anthologies. It was surreal that anyone could see something I created in such a massive way. My dream was to write and publish and be seen as the type of rock star Shakespeare once was! I mean, who wouldn't want that?
But, as with any dream, making it a reality is one of the hardest things you'll ever have to do. Where most people fail is putting the work in to make their dreams come true. The journey is different for everyone, but the payoff is worth it. The key is keeping your goals in sight and not letting failure dampen your spirits because YOU WILL FAIL a few times before you get it right. It's inevitable and absolutely necessary.
In my case, I've bounced around a few places before finding a home for my books. I still self-publish, but I do so with a platform that allows me to focus on the important part, like writing the book, and not so much on formatting, etc. Granted, I still have to market and find covers and what not, but I control the markets, money, and all the rights to my work. Would I love a deal with a traditional publisher? Um, yeah!! The reality of that happening is almost nil seeing as though I don't have an agent and almost all of the major companies don't take unsolicited work. So, self-publishing is where it's at for me.
My dream is not even close to being accomplished yet, but that's okay. I knew it was never going to be an overnight thing. What's important is that I'm working, every day, to do something to work towards my goals. Tonight, it's a blog. Tomorrow, it's hitting a certain word count. The day after, it's another word count and so on.
The bottom line - never give up! Keep pushing yourself and don't be afraid to take reasonable risks. It's never too late to go for your dreams, but you must be ready to commit to yourself and whatever it takes to get you there. What's the worst that can happen?
'till next time!
Is your mind your prison?
At some point, you begin to realize things about yourself. You notice that you always put your shoes on the same way or you follow the exact same routine without deviation every day. Or maybe you feel like you're missing something if you decided to skip stopping for coffee or breakfast. Some people, more severely, literally cannot function without doing certain things a certain way. At what point are you actually a prisoner of your own mind?
For me, it is almost relentless fear that something is severely medically wrong with me. I end up stressing myself out so bad that I literally manifest the very symptoms I'm petrified of and the cycle repeats over and over. It's terrifying and exhausting. Every little ache or pain means something shockingly severe is wrong with me and I panic. I know it's irrational and completely unfounded, but that doesn't mean the monster in my head is going to just go away. No, it just yells louder.
My monster is anxiety and it can be relentless. Most of the time, I am perfectly fine aside from boughts of insimnia here or there. Other times, I have trouble focusing or staying awake. I may obsess over things like symptoms of illnesses I almost certainly don't have, but swear that I do. I also get increasingly worried about my husband hating me or wishing I was better, prettier, thinner, and pretty much everything I'm not. I can be short-tempered or easily upset and could cry about anything. Those are the worst days - days I wish I didn't have to ever endure again.
How do I deal? Sometimes, not very well. I'm horrible at self-care. Having three kids and a husband and a full time job doesn't leave me too much time for, well, me. At any point, I am pulled in a million different directions and will gladly triple the load for those I love because that's the kind of person I am, but it's so unhealthly and slowly eats away at my mental health. We all need to recharge and I am trying to find my way.
Why do I bring any of this up? Simply because this is my outlet. This is my distraction and part of my self-care. Writing and reading are just things I need to do. I calm down, I rationalize, I imagine constructively, I give my mind something to do that isn't abusive to my well-being. Most of the time. This isn't an exact science, after all.
If you struggle with a mental illness, don't be afraid to put yourself first. Tell your loved ones what you need. Tell your doctors what you need. If they won't listen, find a different doctor until you find one who will. You know yourself better than anyone so you better fight every single day to make your time on this earth exactly what it needs to be, happy, healthy, and full of love, because you deserve it. Don't let anyone dismiss you and know that there is always someone who loves you and will fight along side you.
ALWAYS KEEP FIGHTING
NEVER GIVE UP
YOU ARE WORTH IT
....and so am I
IF YOU OR SOMEONE YOU KNOW IS STRUGGLING AND NEEDS HELP, PLEASE CONTACT THE NATIONAL SUICIDE PREVENTION HOTLINE AT 1-800-273-8255 OR GO ONLINE TO HTTPS://SUICIDEPREVENTIONHOTLINE.ORG. YOU ARE NOT ALONE.
So there's this on the web, I'm not sure if you've heard of it, called Wattpad. This particular website is a place where readers and writers can engage, similar to other social media outlets. What makes Wattpad unique is that you can reach your audience and get feedback before self-publishing or pitching your title to a traditional publisher. What's pretty amazing about the site are the authors who've received publishing contracts due to their popularity there alone. It's definitely an untapped resource!
Now, as an author, it's a bit painful to put work into something and have it available to be read for free, but honestly, we give away so many copies of our work a year, it's really no different. I mean, the whole goal is to grow in your skills and your audience and Wattpad offers that option. But just like anything else, it takes work and dedication. Nothing ever happens over night.
The reason I bring up Wattpad is because I'm going to start posting short stories and other projects there every other week, at least. I have a ton of ideas for projects, but most of them are just for fun or to help spark my imagination. I feel having these works in a place where they might bring some of you joy makes the most sense. While I think all of us budding authors have dreams of one day hitting it big, I write because I love it, not because I want to get rich.
The content I have on there is old right now, but I will be updating it soon so keep an eye out for that post. Hopefully, I'll get a good anthology of short stories going and I'll publish it once I feel I've done enough damage!
Click the link below to jump to my Wattpad profile to read my work and follow me!!
NaNoWriMo stands for National Novel Writing Month, which takes place in November each year. NaNoWriMo is basically a massive movement, and non-profit, to get authors like me off our asses to complete a work in 30 days as well as help creative communities to keep this art form alive. We have to reach 50 thousand words (or more, but not less) in order to win NaNo for that year. Of course, winning is basically just bragging rights and obviously a mostly finished noved.
Camp NaNoWriMo is a bit different. Camp occurs in April and July. There isn't a hard cap on the amount of words you need to complete - you set your goals for what you're needing to complete. The good thing about Camp Nano is that you can finish something you've been working on and get the extra help from the community and other authors in and around you and your genre. Not to mention you can network and also it helps you to prepare yourself for NaNoWriMo in November.
Why participate in any of these? Well, the easiest answer is because sometimes we just need a little extra push to get to where we want to go. I have work that I've needed to finish for quite some time that I will finally be able to get done because I am choosing to coming to Camp Nano. Does it always work? No, but as with anything else, it's a choice you make. I also am looking for other authors or writers to network and befriend as well as potentially find someone to co-write with in the future.
The thing I love about the self-publishing community is that for the most part, the people you run into are supportive and want to see you succeed. Does it suck when someone else gets picked up or has more success than you? Sure, it can. But, you can't measure your day one against someone else's day one hundred. You have no idea what has happened in their journey to get them to where they are, but instead of feeling slighted, ask their advice and get feedback for what you could do in the future. Learn from your peers and be happy for them. We all share the same dream!
So maybe you're a budding writer and you have no idea where to start. Maybe you need a push to get that idea out of your head and onto paper. Maybe you have something written, but it's not quite finished or you want some feedback. Maybe you just want to meet some other writers to see if you really can do this (newsflash: YOU CAN!). Whatever your reason, Camp NaNoWriMo is open to you and I recommend you join! Open your mind to the experience and see how much you grown in only 30 days!
Whether you're a newbie or a veteran, you can find me here and I'd love to camp with you!
From the trenches
Let's face it, life hits us with a ton of shit sometimes and all we can do is grit our teeth, clench our fists, and mow through the days. Is it easy? No. Is it fun? Hell no. But it is life and sometimes you have to decide how you're going to face it; head up and fast or head down and slow. I'm a head up and fast kind of person, which is exactly why I've been out of the game for so long.
In a very short period of time, a lot of things kind of fell apart and together simultaneously. Getting married, getting pregnant, getting sick, being on disability and bed rest due to the pregnancy, getting better and going back to work, having the baby, being on maternity leave, going back to work and dealing with the sleepless nights that come with a new baby, and now dealing with having a toddler again after eight or so years and maintaining my other kids, as well. My older two sons are great with their little brother, but mom is still a tired mess because working full time and sleeping around four or five hours a night kicks my ass. But...I'm alive and kicking and doing what I've gotta do in spite of it all. I know this phase of his little life will go by quickly, so all I can hope is that I will be able to maintain momentum.
One thing that has happened, though, is my continued and ever-growing struggle with my anxiety. I absolutely love my children with every fiber of my being, but there are only so many times I can restart the same three or four movies on Netflix or read the same cardboard books before my brain starts to melt inside my skull and I'm left with pudding between my ears. I have been so focused on giving everything as needed that I haven't taken the necessary time for myself and my mental health. I have had several break downs and mood swings have been a regular thing. My poor husband has endured, although I'm sure there have been plenty of times he wished I came with a mute button. Oh well, it's what he signed up for.
So recently, I've decided to slowly step back into the things that made my mind happy. Reading, writing, imagining, creating...all of those things were like breathing for me for so long and I have mostly forgotten it all. You'd think with having as much time off as I did, I would have made progress, but nope (lol). The monster on my back got the best of me and instead of keeping it at bay by feeding my creativity, I let it feed every single ounce of self-doubt and self-loathing I possess. Needless to say, it's been an interesting and not exactly fun ride and I'm ready to move forward.
Luckily, many of my previous contacts in the blogging and writing communities are still valid so I've managed to pick back up where I left off, mostly. I've lucked out and actually had some new folks jump on board and join my Beta Readers Group to help me with future work! It's exciting to meet new people so eager to help me and I have to admit that I'm feeling the new author jitters again! It feels like the first time, y'all!!
My goals are big for this year, but I'm confident that if I stick to my guns, I'll hit them with little trouble. Firstly, I will be publishing a completely different work Falling Undercover. It's a romantic suspense novel and something exceptionally different from LoS, but it's very exciting! I'm not sure if it's going to have any serial aspect, but I'll probably leave it open enough for the possibility later.
After that, I'll be releasing a retitled and revamped work Thea's Reawakening. This novel will kick off a type of shifter series that will be a side-project for when I need a fun little to-do. Likely, these will be shorter novels, but novels none the less. I don't know if they'll all be connected yet, but wouldn't it be fun! I'm thinking something along the lines of Terry Spear's The World of Fae novels (which I absolutely LOVE).
Lastly, but certainly never least, I have some pretty massive work ahead to finish on Legacy of Secrets. Guys, I'm gonna be honest, I don't know exactly how many books I have left. It could be three, it could be four, but I'm hoping for the latter. Not because I don't want to keep the story alive, but because I have other stories BEGGING to be written and I'm not very good with multitasking my stories. It's been WAY too long since I've released something as it is, I don't want to have another three or four year hiatus because I'm trying to perfect the story. However, I can't push it because then the story will be shit and I can't have that either! So, I just ask you be patient with me and know that I will be doing my best to tie up all the LoS loose ends and do the story some justice.www.amazon.com/Lisa-Logue/e/B007FG4XCI/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1520998961&sr=1-1
I think that's all I've got for now. I'll come back in a few days and write something else while I procrastinate from the writing I should be doing (HA!). Good night all and don't hesitate to drop me a line or even join my beta group I've linked above!!
I'm a writer, a mother, a wife, a friend, a sister, and a daughter. My journey as a published author is in full swing and I'm inviting all my friends along for the ride!