Author Toolbox Blog Hop

Finding Routine After a Hiatus (Author Toolbox Blog Hop)

As you know, I have taken a long hiatus from writing, partly due to being a full time Mum, and partly because I let other things get in the way of my writing time i.e setting myself too much work for this blog and social media.

Now, I have set my priorities straight for 2020 and want to dive back in with editing my novella, Zombies and Budgie Smugglers. However, I am finding it harder than I thought I would.

I have now set myself some rules to get back into a writing routine and wanted to share them with you.

Chose a time of day and stick to it.

The mornings are best for me. My kids are early risers, so getting in a writing session when they’re eating breakfast and watching TV is best for me. If I get it done and dusted, then the rest of my day is free and I don’t feel guilty for not having written or for writing instead of family time etc.

Set low word count goals for the first few weeks.

I work best by hitting word counts rather than time limits. Ideally, 500 words a day would be perfect, but it is a daunting number coming back after a break, so I am setting small word count goals for a while of just 150 words a day. The sense of accomplishment motivates me each day.

Accountability is important.

Having someone ask ,what was your word count this morning?’ or ‘did you sit down and edit today?’ really helps me stay on track. Let people know what your plans and goals are and ask them to encourage you to stay on track every once in a while. My 9 year is best at this as she enjoys writing herself.

Mini deadlines over big ones.

When I was a mother of 1 school age child, I would happily set deadlines for editing and publication etc. Now, I have a toddler with me 24/7 a deadline seems scary. Deadlines used to motivate me, so I enjoy a mini deadline without the big stress of looming dates. For example, getting 15 pages edited in 5 days is doable and an extra push.


Do you have any tips to help me jump back on the writing wagon?


You can check out the other #authortoolboxbloghop participants and their posts here.


Content belongs to K.J Chapman

Find me on:

Instagram

Facebook

Twitter

Amazon

Goodreads

updates

November Update

Thanks for popping in for my November updates post. It felt like I had been a bit sporadic this month, but doing this post proved I did get a fair bit accomplished.

Writing

With just weeks until 2020, I have decided to write what I want when I want. This means I have done a lot of WIP hopping, but it’s the only way to make me sit down and write of late.

Blogging

I have finished my 4th and final blog series of the year. I hope you enjoyed my Picture This series as much as I enjoyed writing it.

I am going to take the next month to work out my routine for Writerly Bookish Stuff in 2020. I need to be consistent, but understand my own time constraints. I will let you know the plan after Christmas.

Reading

I have read a LOT of Christmas novellas this month. I did 7 reviews in total in 3 blog posts.

3 in 1 Book Review Part 1

3 in 1 Book Review Part 2

The Christmas Mansion

I am currently reading an ARC of Shadow of Ar’Sanciond by Sarina Langer.

What’s Next?

Next is Christmas. That is my sole focus, but I will continue posting book reviews and the odd Christmassy post.

Keep your eyes peeled for my plans for 2020.


Content belongs to K.J Chapman

Find me on:

Instagram

Facebook

Twitter

Amazon

Goodreads

updates

October Update

And just like that, October is done. I have had a productive month, even if I haven’t done a great deal of writing.

Writing

I finished the first draft of Zombies and Budgie Smugglers. I am not even going to look at it again until well into the New Year. Despite it being a novella, I found it the most taxing book I have written. Having a nearly 9 year old and a 17 month old made sure of that. Only joking, however, mum duties always come first.

I have started handwriting something new. I am not setting deadlines, so I can take my own sweet time. All I can say is… watch this space.

Blogging

My Picture This series has continued through October. We’re over the half way point, with more scheduled until November 27th.

October marks the last month of Author Toolbox Blog Hop until January 2020. If you missed that post on the benefits of writing by hand you can find it here.

Reading

This month I have read just 2 short books. You can find the links here:

Bug Out Guy by Gavin Griffiths

The Woman Who Lost Her Face by NBC News

What’s Next?

With a holiday fast approaching, and then the festive season zooming around the corner, I am not setting goals in stone. All I can hope is to read and write a little more.

Obviously, my blog series will continue. November 27th is the date of the final episode. I am rethinking series and posts for 2020, so for the time being, I shall be thinking about a few Christmassy posts to write in November and schedule ahead of time to make December easier.


Content belongs to K.J Chapman

Find me on:

Instagram

Facebook

Twitter

Amazon

Goodreads

Picture This

Picture This: Episode 4

I saw this stock picture and just had to use it. It jumped out at me for being equally amusing and creepy.

Feel free to join in with your own interpretation.

Picture Prompt:

My Interpretation:

The thought of going into work again makes me feel physically sick. I can’t look at that building and not regret the live I should have… still could have if I had the balls and the devil may care attitude of someone ten years younger and no mortgage.

I don’t even like my colleagues. Pretending to be happy advising the rich what to spend their money on when our salary barely affords us a weekend break away every two years.

I tell myself the same thing every morning. ‘Go in, do my job, get paid.’ I am saving for early retirement, every extra pound goes toward getting out of the rat race. And that means not spending my lunchbreaks down the pub with the team.

Suki invites me every day, and every day I tell her the same excuse. ‘Thanks, but I have got to pop home and let the human out.’

As if I own a human. Those things are way to high maintenance. My mum’s human still hasn’t learnt to shit on the garden yet.


Content belongs to K.J Chapman

Find me on:

Instagram

Facebook

Twitter

Amazon

Goodreads

updates

September Update

So, September has shot by in the blink of an eye. My husband and I are another year older, my dad got remarried, and my daughter started another year in school.

Writing

I have been going at a snail’s pace in regards to my writing. Other stuff took priority this month. I’m not in a rush, so it’s no biggie. It’ll be written when it’s written, right?

Reading

I had the pleasure of beta reading Sarina Langer’s Blood of the Dragon. I’m afraid you’ll have to wait for a review, but just know it is a fantastic 3rd book in the trilogy.

I am still reading Girl Online by Zoe Sugg, and my hope is to finish it in a week or so, and then get another novel under my belt before October is out.

Blogging

My Picture This series has officially started. It is bizarre to think that this is the last blog series of the year on Writerly Bookish Stuff. It ends on November 27th, and then I have some Christmas related posts to get us through December.

The final instalment of my First Draft series coincided with #authortoolboxbloghop, and I am pleased with how the series panned out. I hope you found some of my experiences useful.

What’s Next?

October is the final month of #authortoolboxbloghop this year. (Returns in January). I shall be posting October’s post on Monday 14th October.

I have some more posts planned for the Picture This series. Remember, you can join in and create your own interpretations of the prompts if you wish.

Finally, I do plan to write at least another 2k of Zombies and Budgie Smugglers. It might not sound a lot, but it’s progress in a busy month of adulting.


Thanks for journeying through September with me.


Content belongs to K.J Chapman

Find me on:

Instagram

Facebook

Twitter

Amazon

Goodreads

first draft

First Draft: The Ending

This post has been on the back burner a long while. I actually wrote tips for a satisfying ending when I did the vote to ask my readers what series they’d like to see on Writerly Bookish Stuff. When the First Draft idea came out on top, I put it on the aside to include in the series… finally, here it is.

Tie Up Loose Ends

There needs to be some sort of conclusion to the conflicts that presented themselves during the narrative. Unresolved conflicts is highly unsatisfying for the reader.

Believability

The ending has to arrive naturally as a result of the story arc. You must not force the ending you want on your narrative or you will have unsatisfied readers.

Cliffhanger After Conclusion

A cliffhanger is not a conclusion. A cliffhanger is another story spur that carries the reader further on with the narrative i.e. into the next book. It cannot take the place of concluding certain conflicts to the story so far, even if the main arc is still ongoing.

Know When to Stop

This can be tough. Knowing when to start the beginning of the end is ultimately a gut instinct. Be aware if starting new conflicts that you have time to resolve them or if they can be part of the longer arc into subsequent books.


Content belongs to K.J Chapman

Find me on:

Instagram

Facebook

Twitter

Amazon

Goodreads

first draft

First Draft: Beating Procrastination

Midway through the first draft is when I start to procrastinate. It doesn’t mean my story bores me, it means I’ve been at the same slog, pouring over the same story for a long time, and other stories start screaming at me to be written. Pinterest calls me, Youtube calls me, and I fall into the black hole that is social media.

Thankfully, I can recognise the signs now and try to nip them in the bud. Here are my tips to beat Procrastination.

Time schedule

The best way to beat procrastination is to have a writing schedule. If you only have thirty minutes to write, you are more likely to sit and write as much as you can in that time slot. If you don’t set a time limit, you may feel like you have all the time in the world to procrastinate a little, and then voila… your time is gone.

Disconnect the Internet

Social media, music sites, and Pinterest can be huge distractions. Try disconnecting the wifi, so you can do nothing but write your story.

Take a Break

Sometimes, procrastination is due to lack of inspiration or tiredness. Take a walk, go meet friends for a coffee, watch that episode on Netflix. A step away from your work may be just what you need to go back at it afresh.

Change Up Your Drafting Process

Are you procrastinating because your scene is particularly tough to write, or because you have you been focussing on one scene all week? Shake up your drafting process for a few hours and write out of sequence. The change of pace and scene may be just the ticket.


I hope these tips help you cut down on procrastination and get the words written.


Content belongs to K.J Chapman

Find me on:

Instagram

Facebook

Twitter

Amazon

Goodreads