I thought it would be fun to share a few things that inspired Farm to Fabre. It started with farming shows. I watched loads of them.
Other inspiration came from the time I spent a child on my adoptive grandparent’s farm. It was a lot different from Andie’s farm in the book. But it did give me an idea for where I wanted to go.
For Doc, I didn’t have to look far for inspiration. My own battles with writer’s block and other struggles came in handy. It was almost cathartic to be able to talk through some of it, even if in fictional form.
I don’t remember when I started having a word of the year. Though, I do know I was inspired by a good friend, Lisa DiDio. But I often have two ‘words’ of the year.
One for my personal life and one for my writing.
This year I wanted to approach things a little differently. Well, maybe not differently, but more to expand on the theme. So instead of a word, more of an action or perhaps both? I’m not sure that makes sense but I shall attempt to muddle through my thoughts.
First? My words/phrase for the year…
Personal: be kind to myself
Writing: find joy in words
In all honesty, I’m not always as kind to myself as I should be. So that more than anything else is the focus of my personal goal for the year. To learn how to be kinder and more patient with myself. I imagine it’s going to be a bit of a challenge.
For writing, there are times when deadlines absolutely kill my joy. There are necessary evils but they often zap my energy and leave me floundering. I get so wrapped up in trying to rush through that I’m no longer having fun.
And enjoying my writing is incredibly important to my process.
I’m planning to do a little journaling this year to see how I progress with my intentions.
Some of my characters are created on the fly while I’m writing. Often, they’re ones that show up unexpectedly. Or, I’m so eager to start the novel that I don’t stop to consider who a character is until they’ve appeared into the story.
Dempsey from my Motts series was a character who surprised me. I never imagined he’d appear at all, never mind showing up in three of the novels. He played a far more central role than I anticipated.
Ivy and Tens are both characters who I knew would exist in their respective novels. I just didn’t take the time to develop them fully. I was in full panster mode while writing, so their personalities were created on the fly.
Ah, the joys of being a pantser.
Other characters required more careful thought and consideration.
Motts sprung from her name. I knew before I even plotted out the first book in my Motts Cold Case series that her name would be Pineapple Mottley. I spent weeks fully creating her marvellously quirky personality. She’s one of my all-time favourite characters.
Francis, from After the Scrum, was also developed from his name. I knew I wanted him to have a name that wasn’t gender-specific. The first meeting between Francis and Caddock had already been in my mind before I wrote the first line of the novel.
Of the two methods, I think I prefer the second. My characters who aren’t written on the fly are easier for me to write. But I still love all of them equally.
Almost every year, I’ve created a writing playlist for that year. Well, maybe not every year, but I’ve frequently done it. I always have a playlist for a book or a book series but my writing playlists are just random and not focused on a particular one.
The general writing playlists usually have more to do with my mood at the moment. I’ve started building my 2023 list so I thought I’d share the first ones to be added.
Easy on Me – Adele
Set Fire to the Rain – Adele
Let’s Stay Home Tonight – NEEDTOBREATHE
Good Life – One Republic
Try – P!nk
Someday – One Republic
Rise – Calum Scott
wish you well – Wrabel
All of Me – John Legend
love is just a word – Jasmine Thompson, Calum Scott
If You Love Her – Forest Blakk with Meghan Trainor
There is so much advice online for authors. The vast majority of it always seems to be focused on neurotypical authors. It’s something I’ve always found to be quite frustrating.
Much of that advice is often something that is no help to me at all. In fact, I’ve usually found it can be detrimental to my writing process. So I thought I’d share a few things that I’ve found work for me.
I’m not an expert in anything aside from my own process.
1. If writing blog posts feels like too much? Do bullet points.
2. Make a daily to-do lists and if even one thing is crossed off–that’s a win.
3. Do creative work in the morning. I seem to be at my most creative early in the day. Whatever your ‘on’ time is, do the writing stuff then.
4. If editing is causing anxiety, do one edit/one page/fix one issue per day until it’s done.
5. Using Pomodoro Study With Me videos as a way to get things done when I’m struggling to focus:
6. If emails are stressing me out, I close out my inbox. I’ve found the majority of emails can wait. The world doesn’t end if I can’t respond immediately.
7. Boundaries matter.
8. No matter what ‘all the experts’ say. I have to find a way to make social media work for me.
9. Some days, I just can’t write. There’s no shame in taking a break.