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Welcome to Mother/Gamer/Writer for the Rise of The Arcane Fire Blog Tour. For today’s tour stop, please enjoy a guest post from author Kristin Bailey on “How to overcome writing obstacles and finish your novel” and enter for your chance to win a copy of the novel and a swag pack!
Rise of the Arcane Fire by Kristin Bailey
Series: The Secret Order #2
Published by: Simon and Schuster on 2/4/2014
Genres: Action & Adventure, Young Adult
View on: Goodreads
Grab it: Buy on Amazon
About the Book:
Mysteries of Meg’s past and threats to her future are revealed in the second book in The Secret Order trilogy, set in steampunk Victorian London.After her parents died in a fire and her grandfather disappeared, Meg Whitlock thought her life had come to a standstill. But when she learned that the pocket watch her grandfather left her was really an intricate key, Meg, with the help of a stable hand named Will, uncovered the Amusementists: members of an elite secret society dedicated to discovery and shrouded in mystery. Now the Amusementists are convening in London, and Meg is determined to join their ranks. But being the first girl in the Order has its difficulties, and with Will away in Scotland, Meg fears she can’t trust anyone but herself. Her worries are only supported by the sabotage happening at the academy, with each altered invention being more harmful than the last. With threats lurking around every corner, and while trying to prove her worth as the first female Amusementist, Meg must uncover the identity of the academy’s saboteur before the botched devices become deadly. And after she finds evidence of a sinister and forbidden invention, Meg must stop it—or risk the entire future of the Amusementists.
How to overcome writing obstacles and finish your novel…
Writing can be a very difficult thing to do. On one hand, writing is a joy. It can be a wonderful manifestation of your imagination and creativity. Writing is one of the few ways you can capture someone’s mind and direct their thoughts the way a conductor shapes the music of an orchestra. Sometimes the words flow, and your characters feel like they could come alive, and your plot is thrilling and your prose sparkles.
And then there are those other days…
The painful ones.
The days when the well of your thoughts feels like a deep dark and empty pit, and pulling anything from that endless abyss takes all the effort and strength you can muster.
I’ll admit, Rise of the Arcane Fire was a relatively easy book. I had a great time writing it, and expanding Meg’s world. Creating Amusements was a fun process, and forcing Meg to develop and grow felt so very satisfying.
Not all of my books has been like that. In fact, my latest project was nearly a nightmare. I learned something though. There are three things that are key to surviving to the end of a book when you are struggling.
#1. Here there be dragons. Better know which ones you’re fighting.
Almost anything can block a writer up and make it difficult to press on. Sometimes life throws a loop. Maybe you have to move, or your husband is deployed, or there’s an unexpected death in the family, or illness, or surgery. Maybe it is a wedding you have to plan for, or there’s a baby on the way. Maybe the baby just arrived. Life can get crazy, and when it does, it steals your writing energy.
But it isn’t just physical things that can sap your writing strength. Sometimes there is no enemy greater than your own mind. Negative feedback, depression, anxiety, and pressure can turn your thoughts into a minefield. Sometimes fatigue sets in, and your eyes cross every time you try to look at your work.
You can do something about some of these things. Some of them you just need to survive until you feel you have enough strength again to write, but the one thing that will mess you up worse than anything is not acknowledging why you are having difficulty. We are so trained to avoid “excuses” and “just write” that sometimes we don’t acknowledge that on occasion you have to make allowances for life, and take care of yourself. The last thing you need is a load of guilt about something you already feel bad about.
Figure out what is stopping you and take steps to reduce the impact of that thing on your creative self, then get back on the horse when you have a clear enough head to handle it.
Which brings me to…
#2. At some point, you have to finish the book.
It may take strength and fortitude, but no one wants to read a story that isn’t finished. Whether you are on contract or not, and in spite of everything that gets in you way, you have to find your way around and through all of it until you reach the end of the story. When you have a deadline, it is even more difficult, because that deadline isn’t understanding of your life circumstances. Even if you’re not writing, you have to find some way to move forward. Momentum makes a difference, but I won’t lie, sometimes writing feels like slogging through five feet of mud the entire way to the end.
But there always is an end, and the only person who can reach it is you.
The best advice I can give for deadlines is to try to be realistic about how quickly you can comfortably write without burning out, and then add an emergency three weeks. Not being honest about your own limitations only makes things harder in the end.
#3. The end isn’t ever really the end.
Sometimes what stops us up is the sheer weight of the pressure to make something great. While that is always the goal, no writer reaches perfection in the first draft. That is one pressure you don’t need if other pressures start to creep in. You can always revise, but you have to begin with something.
So go forth and write bravely!
The only one who can stop you from writing is you.
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