10 things I must have to write!
The title of this blog is actually a line of total crap. All a real writer needs to write is their preferred medium for getting the ideas out of their head, be it a pen and notepad or a computer, and the willingness to tell a story. But over time, I think all authors find little tips and tricks that help them in their process. Here are a few of mine!
1. My laptop. When I was a teenager, my mother could never go wrong buying me pens and five subject notebooks for Christmas. I would use those suckers up as fast as she would buy them. Many of them I still have, containing stories that might get revived one day. Who knows? Now that I’m an adult (in age at least) I have a love affair with my laptop. I might not be able to play the piano because of hand-eye coordination issues, but by golly I can type fast! If my house ever catches on fire, the laptop must be saved.
2. Binders. As much as I love my technology, I still love seeing things on paper. For some reason, it solidifies things in my mind. For every novel I write there is a 3-ring binder, some call it a bible. This notebook usually has my character profiles, setting pictures, notes and outlines, and a spreadsheet I call my book profile. A book profile contains information like who did the cover, who edited, who got review copies, the ISBNs, and buy links. Once I have a first draft, I print the entire novel and stick it in the binder so I can edit with an old school red pen.
3. Reference books: Every writer has brain farts. You sit there snapping your fingers trying to come up with that one word which has checked out of your mind and gone on vacation. Having a thesaurus and a dictionary near by is so dang handy! I also use books like The Emotional Thesaurus, and other craft books.
4. Spotify. I freaking LOVE Spotify. I should be their spokesperson. (Hmmm…) This music program has freed me from the insane downloads into my iTunes account. They have a free service, which is great, but I subscribe monthly. Even my husband admits it’s worth every penny and he doesn’t give a rat’s a$$ about music. For me, finding and creating playlists for each book, sometimes each character, is a must. Music helps me focus and center my thoughts. Yes, occasionally it’s distracting and I find myself dancing in my office instead of writing. But we all need a dance break, right?
5. Nap time. Not for me, for my toddler. Since I’m a stay at home mom with a two year old, I live for nap times! That’s when I get to be author not mama. The key to balancing the two roles is to identify those precious moments when you can write and seize them. You don’t “find” time to write, you MAKE time to write. It’s a choice. When someone tells me they don’t have time to write, I want to say, “it’s obviously not that important to you”. If writing is a priority, turn off the television (that reality show sucks anyway), lock yourself in your bedroom if you have to, sit in your car during your lunch break, and find five blasted minutes to write a few words. It’s more than you had five minutes before.
6. Nap time. Not for the toddler, but for me. There are days when I’ve been writing since 7am and it’s now 7pm. These are my binge days and nothing gets done. No laundry, no dishes, and the kids are lucky to be fed. Usually after a binge, I have to take time to rest, to call one of my girlfriends and have a conversation with a living breathing human being. Sometimes, I have to take a bloody nap! My mental health depends on it. After twenty to thirty minutes, I’m energized and ready to kick some butt.
7. Smelly stuff. No, not garbage, ya weirdo. Candles or wax warmers work best. Scent is a powerful sense and can transport your mind places. Most of the time I have a scent associated with my books. My character, Avery, has a certain body wash associated with her. I just bought a wax scent that I’ll use for Hayden’s book. My husband says I have a super-sniffer, so scent is very important to me. Having that extra mental boost allows me to relax and channel a character or setting.
8. Multiple places to plant my butt- or my feet. I like being able to move about my house when I’m writing. I write in my office, my bedroom, my dining room, my living room, on the front porch, on the back deck, and recently I added my treadmill to these locations. Thanks to my hubs, I can now walk and write at the same time. I haven’t fallen yet, so that’s cool. Variety is the key. Find places that offer comfort with little distraction.
9. Distractions. Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know what I just said. However, as I said in #3, every writer has brain farts. There are times when you need to take five, regroup your thoughts and try again. For these moments, I have various distractions. Mine are music, looking up house plans online, browsing for model photos (hot guys always help me reset the brain), or even playing with my kiddos. Allow yourself to shift your brain and you’ll find the answers you were seeking. <
10. Persistence, Determination & Encouragement. These are three things every writer needs in their mental toolbox. Persistence: do you know how many times Harry Potter was rejected? Nuff said. Determination: My sweet Yankee friend, author Jennifer Probst, once told me that every book I publish is like playing the lottery. You never know which one might take off. But if you never take the chance, you’ll never win. Each time I start a book, each time I edit, each time I even conceive of a new idea, I’m thinking this could be the book that changes my life. I won’t give up or stop educating myself until then. Encouragement: we all need to surround ourselves with people that believe in us, and with things that give us a push when we need it. I have a corkboard called my happy wall. When I get an email from a fan, a letter from a friend, or a funny picture, it goes on the wall. These are the gems that help me battle bad reviews (because they’re a fact of life) or those moments when my confidence is shaken. I take a moment to focus on the beauty of this gift called writing and remember that this is my dream, my talent, and no one can offend me unless I allow them to.
Thanks for joining me today! I hope my craziness helps. Please look me up, drop me a line, or check out one of my books! www.authorjoannagrace.com
The Divine Chronicles
Genre: Paranormal romance
Number of pages: 271
Word Count: 85500
Cover Artist: jleeann.com
One warrior fights for the love of his life, while another warrior finds his.
The gods have summoned…
Thracian Master, Ryse Castille, and Deities around the world travel to the Heavens and face their creators. It’s time for a murderer to come to justice and Ryse will have a front row seat at the trial. The Heavens have a few unexpected surprises for him; he prays one of them will be a reunion with his beloved Avery’s spirit. He’ll stop at nothing to bring her home safely and see his father’s killer brought to justice—if the gods don’t destroy the Olympian race first. Their fate rests on his shoulders.
While the Master is away…
Elite Apprentice, Dante, has a monumental responsibility in Ryse’s absence. He must watch over the widowed queen and Avery’s comatose body until her spirit is returned. In the wake of the king’s death, the gods send Lysandra, an Oracle, to earth to guide them through the troubling times. Weighed down by the constant disapproval of his father, Dante finds solace in her admiring eyes. Their unexpected affections are cultivated amidst the secrecy and constant threat of exposure. Both Oracle and Elite are bound by their oaths—the very things that might wrench them apart.
Two Warriors. Two Quests. One Final Judgment.
About the Author:
JoAnna Grace lives in a world of alpha males and strong females where true love conquers all—at least in her mind!
From the time she started holding a crayon she began to create magical worlds. Her first book was a series of pictures about a puppy princess. The story changed each time she told it, but there was always a happy ending! Her first written story was about girls who changed into tigers.
Now those stories have become a bit more complex!
JoAnna’s tales are spun at her home in East Texas where she lives with her husband, three kids, and a couple dogs. When not hiding behind the computer screen you can find her camping, boating, and shopping.
Sign up for her newsletter to receive information about new releases, events, and giveaways! www.authorjoannagrace.com
JoAnna loves to hear from readers and fans!
You can find her at the following places:
October 6 Guest Post
Author Anita Cox
October 7 Spotlight
Sizzling Book Blog
October 8 Guest blog
October 9 Spotlight
CBY Book Club
October 10 Spotlight
3 Partners in Shopping, Nana, Mommy, & Sissy, Too! http://3partnersinshopping.blogspot.com
October 11 Guest blog
October 12 Spotlight
October 13 Interview
October 14 Guest blog
Dark Side of Romance
October 15 review
October 16 Review
Paranormal Romance and Authors That Rock
October 17 Spotlight
SBM Book Obsession
October 20 Interview
October 20 Spotlight
Underneath the Covers