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The Bookish Owl – The Fifth Elephant by Terry Pratchett

The Fifth Elephant Terry Pratchett owl

Aaaaaaaaand, I’m back on the Discworld!

Just started on The Fifth Elephant by Terry Pratchett, featuring Sam Vimes and his Watch. And since Sam Vimes is basically me (if I had been male and a guard captain in a fantasy book), I’m feeling right at home. The eternal battle between knowing something is the right thing to do and wondering why the hell it’s his problem, is something I can relate to.

Don’t ask me while Artemis is hugging the book in this picture. He just sort of dropped onto his stomach and refused to fold in his wing.
My owl is weird.

The Fifth Elephant Terry Pratchett owl

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How I Deal With Writer’s Block

Writer's Block notebook

Writer's Block notebook

You’ll find lots of posts and stories about writer’s block out there, all of them containing vastly different causes and solutions.

Because there isn’t one reason why people suddenly have trouble writing and in the same way, there isn’t a fix that works for everyone.

That’s why this post is titled “How I deal with writer’s block.”

9 out of 10 times when I have trouble writing, it’s because my brain is an asshole. Having been diagnosed with both Asperger’s Syndrome and ADD that shouldn’t come as a surprise to me, but somehow it’s still a source of wonder to me exactly how much my brain will try to ruin my life if I don’t keep it busy and makes sure it doesn’t have time to think.

I get stuck in my writing every time I have taken a break for whatever reason. Might just have been because I have been busy with other things for a while, but during that time I’ll suddenly have started overthinking everything and convincing myself that my writing is horrible, that it can’t be saved, and that I will never be able to finish whatever project I’m working on.

Logically, I know that’s not true. But the thing about this kind of anxiety is that it can’t be beaten back by logic.

Because my brain is an asshole.

But luckily, knowing what causes my writer’s block gives me what I need to find a solution. What I have found works for me is simply:

Write. 

Of course, seeing as my heart will start beating quickly and I will have a minor panic attack when I even think about writing, that’s not as easy as it sounds. So the trick is to make the act of writing seem less scary, so I can actually make myself sit down and get started. I do this by setting extremely low goals for myself. This one has proven a winner every time: Instead of setting a goal of a certain amount of words I need to write per day, I tell myself that I need to write ONE word on a draft every day. Just one single word.

Even my asshole brain can’t make writing a single word seem scary. And that’s where I trick myself into writing, because if I think of one word to write, I will already have thought of the entire sentence. Then I write that sentence down and I will probably already have thought of the next one while I type. Before I know it, I’m writing away and my brain will realize that it’s not actually that scary and maybe I don’t completely suck at it.

So if you tend to fret yourself into an anxious mess just like me, maybe give this a try. It works wonders at various daily tasks as well.

 

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Ghostly Scream – Excerpt (Chapter 17)

Seymour watched the magister leave before glancing at Selissa who had taken to scowling at the nearest wall. The look in his eyes suggested he didn’t quite know where to start.

“Should I be worried about you living with him?” he asked. “Angry peasants get into fist fights. Angry mages burn down cities.”

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Ghostly Scream – Excerpt (Chapter 39)

“A few weeks in, and your apprentice already holds you in such high regard,” Rowan said. “It’s heartwarming.”
Feryll frowned at them. “How did I end up surrounded by angry women?”
Selissa raised an eyebrow. “Would you prefer angry demons?”
The magister hesitated, eyeing her warily. “I would answer that honestly, but I fear you’d punch me.”