Friday, July 11, 2014

Writing Challenge Update With How We Keep Creativity Strong

It's been a busy week. The Challengers have been writing fast and furiously! (even me, which is a shock).  Today, I'm asking this question: 

How do you keep your creativity strong while dealing with the business side of writing?

How are you doing?
CJ: Rough week this week, but I sent out giveaway books and finished final edits on latest book. Hope to release this weekend. I took this coming Friday off in hopes another 3-day weekend with less upsets might help me get a jump on the new project. Or rather, an old project that needs major edits. MAJOR.
Callie James
MVF: Yay on the book release! As for edits--you are my hero! Now this new/old project intrigues me.

How do you keep your creativity strong while dealing with the business side of writing?
CJ: The key for me is to minimize the business distractions. I set aside specific amounts of time for those items so that I can stay flexible and focused on the creative side of writing. I believe we can train our minds to shift into certain modes based on time of day. For me, creativity mode is 7:00 pm. I try to have everything else done by then. Needless to say, staying on a schedule helps. This works for me most of the time. 
MVF: I like this suggestion on specific time, and training our minds. I need to work on this! 

How are you doing?
KB: I wrote 1,700 words on a previous project, plus today on my current project. So I'm at 2,100 words so far. Yay!!!

MVF: That is awesome! Way to go!

How do you keep your creativity strong while dealing with the business side of writing?
Katherine Bone
KB: ARRRGH! That be a mighty tall order, Lady M.V. Writing is a business. When authors don't treat writing as such, they get becalmed. Like a captain mans the helm, controlling a ship's rudder, writers control stories only until they are handed over to editors and agents. Once out of the nest, business takes over. Managing both sides of a writer's life takes practice. Devoting certain periods of time can help a writer find balance and having a great brainstorming partner helps tremendously too.

 Ways I reconnect with my creativity are:

 * Watch a movie that really inspires me.

* Listen to music, usually soundtracks that help me access the feeling of the time period or Baroque music.

* Read a book in your genre or split off into a genre you have yet to discover, triggering a different part of your thinking process.

* Talk with a writing friend you trust. Brainstorm. Chat about life.

* Go to local writing meetings or attend programs related to your genre.

* Surf the Internet for information. Research a topic related to your book.

* Take a nap, then drink a coke with ice!!!

* Indulge in chocolate doubloons!

* Hug a pirate!
MVF: Ah, navigating the seas of writing can be rough--but I like how you steer your ship!

How are you doing?
Ingrid Seymour
IS: I've gotten 4750 this month. Not quite on track for my goal, but considering I managed this over the holidays, I feel very happy :) I have edits, too, but I'm not counting those. We definitely should be able to count them!! Darn goals! 
MVF: You most certainly can count edits! (They are my saving grace!)

How do you keep your creativity strong while dealing with the business side of writing?
IS: I think it would be very easy to resent the “business side of writing.” It does take a lot of time away from the craft. To avoid falling into that trap, I try to look at these two disparate things as a whole package. I can write for pleasure, but I also want to write for a living, and to be able to do that, I need to make good business decisions about my career. So I have no choice, I need to do both: write and take care of business. But even though I accept this, I also try to keep the tasks separate. I allocate time for business related activities and, most definitely, time for writing!  
MVF: That is a great way of looking at it. You're right--there is no choice you have to do both!

How are you doing? 
DBS: I managed 3,000 words. It nearly killed me, but I made my word count goal on one project and got up to 80K. Taking a little break for the next few days, so we'll see where I end up next week… I've been avoiding project #2, too, so Netflix might win, LOL.
MVF:Oh, I so understand avoidance tactics. Good luck!
D,B. Sieders

How do you keep your creativity strong while dealing with the business side of writing?
DBS: I've been lucky when it comes to mixing business with creativity. Most of the online promo I've done has involved fun guest posts and interviews, which tend to be creative (check out CD Brennan's Sundae with Nuts interview series for some fun with a side of saucy). I've been inspired by designing swag. I also have a great time preparing blog interviews and reviews for authors/work I love. Digging deep into questions on craft, characterization and plot, and themes has definitely helped me dig deeper in my own work.
MVF: Finding something in the business side to make it interesting is always fabulous! (I love making swag)
How are you doing?
D.T. Krippene
DTK: The fourth has had its toll on productivity, which is close to zilch.  Also had a few edits to do for Victoria, which in my mind, doesn’t count.  DW leaves for Vegas tomorrow to begin grandbaby watch with oldest daughter (due end of month).  I’ll be alone again (isn’t that a song?), and have high hopes of regaining some ground.
MVF:  Edits count! and Congrats on the new grandkid! :)

 How do you keep your creativity strong while dealing with the business side of writing?
DTK: I haven’t crossed the sales line as yet, but I spend quite a bit of time managing my website and blog to build a presence.  It can be a time sucking monster if you let it, what with blog, twitter, Facebook, Pinterest.  I try to handle all the social media stuff at night, when creativity is shot full of holes and all the brain can handle is “routine”.   
MVF: I like that you set a time aside for this--I am seeing a pattern with this. A good thing. 

How are you doing?
Tanisha Jones
TJ: I managed to complete four chapters before my journey into the land of Mickey Mouse- Orlando, Florida.   I managed 26,996 total words  for my WIP which has been edited and re-written. My plan is to get back on it as soon as I return from Hogwarts tomorrow  during my down time.  I have 15,000 before I reach my goal  of 6 chapters.  
MVF:  Well I am impressed! And say high to the big cheese there at Mouse land!

How do you keep your creativity strong while dealing with the business side of writing?
TJ: The business side of writing really is not something I deal with too much right now. I have a novel in submission and it's been rejected and rejected and it gets to me sometimes. It is discouraging but then I focus on the writing I'm a story teller at heart and even if I simply just have it for my own pleasure, I enjoy writing. So even if the business aspect falls apart, I feel confident in the story that someone somewhere will appreciate it and that's what keeps me going.  The business side will work itself out, eventually.
MVF: I like your attitude--the business side can truly suck you dry--but you cling to the joy of writing; outstanding!

Moriah Densley
How are you doing?
MD: 3000 words of Victorian snarkiness, and I enjoyed every moment! Next up in the story is some bad news for the heroine, so next week I will have a very different report.
MVF: Oooh, I can hardly wait! :) Huzzah! (I love her victorian snarkiness!)

How do you keep your creativity strong while dealing with the business side of writing?
MVF: I can't answer this for her, but I know she prioritizes and she a whiz at swag (but I will have her answer this herself when she can!)

 And there is me, M.V. Freeman

M.V. Freeman

How am I doing?
MVF: A little over 2000 words on the new book, and I am planning something new. Plus there are these little shiny projects....

How do you keep your creativity strong while dealing with the business side of writing?
MVF: This is the million dollar question. How I keep it balanced is remembering what I love about writing, reading authors I adore and writing when I can. Business, I am learning to compartmentalize, but it has to get done. There is no choice or I don't have a career...

How are you all doing?  Come back next week...see what they have to say about how we carve out writing times.  



  1. I'm loving this. I'm enjoying everyone's answers and keeping motivated on the writing challenge! Thank you, Mary.

    1. You are most welcome Ingrid!
      This is a blast--and keeps me motivated as well, so I should be thank you! :)

  2. Woe! I think I must have been drinking too much rum when I answered these questions. Mine aren't anything like anyone else's. LOL!!!

    1. Katherine--they are fine, *this* is what I love about questions, I never know what people will respond and I learn something new every time!

  3. Great post! So much good information...and those word counts! Wow! Can't wait for next week.

    1. Thanks Alicia! (Oh, it's been fun for sure!)
      Glad you stopped by!