Tag Archive | writing

Everything I Write Sucks

This is where I am.

Everything I write sucks and I’m struggling to find a rhythm but this is different. This isn’t simply trying to find time; it’s struggling with the story I’m writing. There’s a crucial piece missing and I need to find it … soon.

I’m beginning to believe that Ms. Plath was right. Perhaps the answer is simply to just keep writing.

So I’m going to stop freaking out and just … 

First Draft Blues

As a writer, I’m just not in a great place.

I’m working on completing the first draft of a story that has turned into something completely different than what I originally intended

As I’m writing this book, I’m reminded of my younger years when I began a story and became so discouraged that I could never see it through to completion. I’d write a few chapters and then give up because I knew it sucked. At that time in my life, I didn’t realize that first drafts are supposed to, so I just surrendered to the suck and gave up. I know better now, but the feelings remain.

I’ve often struggled with the story for months at a time. Leaving Eva took about a year to complete. When I became frustrated with the story I simply walked away from it for weeks at a time. As I try to hone my writing skills, I find now that walking away simply makes me rusty. When I pick it up again, I have to sharpen those skills all over again and I just feel as though I’m trudging in knee-deep mud, unable to move forward. I’ve been more committed to writing regularly, so walking away from the story this time, isn’t an option.

Writing this story is so difficult that I want to pull my hair out. I know… I believe… that somewhere in there is the beautiful story of a young woman whose past is dark, but her love for her husband and children changes her. These are the stories that I love.
I’ve also been experimenting with my medium. This is also the first book that I’ve written mostly by dictation, so instead of the words flowing out from my fingers they have to come out down from my brain and out  of my mouth. The connection has often been fuzzy and the process, difficult. Although my brain is often racing as the words hit my mouth I often want to take them back, the moment I hear them come out. The biggest difference is that with dictation there is no backspace. I often find that what I’ve written is unintelligible and as I go back to reread, I struggle to try and figure out what the hell I was thinking.

Still, I am tenacious.  Although it’s been a struggle and I’m convinced that this is the worst story I’ve ever written, I’ll press on because I need to see how it ends. While, dictating has given me the ability to write thousands more words faster than I might normally have time for, I know I’ll send up cutting many of them. The heart of the story is somewhere in the mess of  extra words and tangled chapters; I can feel it. I just have to find it.

I know that in the characters of Liv and Danny, there is great love and passion. However as with many couples, there is also deep conflict which is all I can share right now. Will they end up together? Will they be happy? Even I don’t know the answers yet. I do know that the characters love one other deeply but as with most of my stories, and much of life, it’s not always about love. It’s about so much more.

This books is about love, betrayal, and deception. It’s about lives ruined by selfishness and indulgence, neglect and  regret. The dynamic between the characters is heartbreaking and strong, and I can’t wait to flesh it all out. In many ways, I know this will be the most challenging first draft I’ve ever had to pick apart. I would love say writing gets easier; instead it seems to get harder. I’ve expected that the story will fall into place faster but it has eluded me.  There’s something magical about the moment when a story clicks in place, and with this one it hasn’t had that moment yet.

I am happy that I’ve dictated this book despite the challenges and frustration. The importance of learning a new process and sticking to it has taught me that there are other ways to be productive. With limited time as a wife, mother, and a full-time career, it is often impossible to put pen to paper. Dictating has become my saving grace and I am committed to becoming more skilled in this process

As I struggle with this first draft, I am in a place where I am also wrestling with self-doubt. It’s the moment when I question my ability to write well at all, which is a common fear for many writers. I imagine that if the process was easier I would have already written a thousand books already, so I am trying to remind myself that I can do this. I am going to pull myself up by the collar, kick myself in the butt, and tell myself to stop whining. 

I know that I’ll make it through this somehow. I can feel it in my heart and deep down in my bones. I’m searching for the story and reminding myself why I love to write so much. Through this journey, I’m sure I’ll find what I’m looking for … those two beautiful words …

The End. 

The Eva Series, the Whoa-Giveaway, and other Things

On February 17th, the Eva Series was finished with the release of Saving Eva. It took almost four years, but Eva’s story is finally complete.

While I thought that writing the first book, Leaving Eva, was the most difficult, this one was certainly the hardest to write for a number of reasons. The main character, Brynn’s, life has been heartbreaking and cruel but with every tortuous moment, also came hope. I was unsure how to leave the final book in the series, afraid that I would let the readers down and taint the beautiful stories and characters they had come to love. But early feedback and reviews of Saving Eva are good … even better than good, and some of my most beloved readers are happy with the ending, which makes me incredibly happy.

With the completion of the series, I also wanted to make it available as a collection so that you could cry your eyes out with all three of them, at once. (Major tissue alert here!) If you love ugly cry books, believe me, you’ll want to read these. I’ve had readers message me about support groups for this series, as well as how much these books made them laugh and cry. If you want books that will rip your heart out, the collection is available on Amazon and is free on Kindle Unlimited. Don’t get mad at me if your eyes are too puffy to leave the house for a week. You’ve been warned!

Since the release of Leaving Eva, much like Eva’s story, my author life has taken numerous twists and turns.  Though certainly not as violent or uncertain as Brynn’s, nonetheless it has been rocky and surprising. I began as an Indie Author in 2013, admittedly naive and totally clueless. I then joined two separate publishers and subsequently lost them. While both experiences were vastly different, one lost by choice and one not, I learned a great deal about who I wanted to be and what I wanted my writing journey to look like.

As a result, I started my own imprint, Soul Sister Press, LLC. and while I am certainly not an expert in this  creative life, I continue to learn every day. The name Soul Sister Press made sense to me because I truly believe that soul mates come to us in many forms. I’ve been fortunate to have found many of mine in the form of sisters; other professionals and creatives who understand me and share my vision and passion. I love that we get to choose one another to bring our love of books to a beautiful completion. It’s the part of this journey that I love so much.

With Eva series complete, I’ll continue to work on more beautifully broken stories throughout the remainder of the year, as well as search for ways to thank everyone who has helped me along the way. With the help of Brenda Gonet of Starbound books, who is coordinating a WHOA-Sized giveaway, we’ll be gifting signed paperbacks, ebooks, and swag to lucky winners just for being amazing! I have the most wonderful readers that I could ever imagine and I am so thankful for them every day. This WHOA-sized giveaway will give points for everything below and at the end of the month (March), Brenda will tally them up and the WINNERS will get some very nice prizes! If you want to get in on the fun, just message  Brenda Gonet on Facebook with your entries!

whoa-giveaway

I’m also anticipating the release of my first audio book for I Run to You, which is set for release on my birthday, March 15th! Christine Rauch has a wonderful voice and I think she has the perfect voice to tell the story of Alyssa Bennet.

There are so many exciting things happening in 2017 and I can only look ahead to an even more incredible year! If you’re reading this, you’ll also notice that my blog and website got a new makeover, thanks to the wonderful Brenda!

Honestly … I just don’t know what I would do without my soul sisters!

Busy Little Author

I’ve been a busy little bee lately  in my personal life, professional life, and author life. I can’t remember a time when I haven’t been crazy busy, but it’s how I like it.

It drives my husband nuts because I can’t even sit still to watch television which has been that way most of my adult life. My mind is always racing with a thousand things to do, which makes it increasingly difficult to settle down. I usually move from one thing to the next, until I fall into bed exhausted.

As the boys get ready to go back to school, the shopping is done, and the summer is winding down, I am excited to get to focus on some of the author life things that have been neglected. Summers are an impossible time to finish and edit books, work on projects, and even focus on any marketing. I’ve decided that I’ll try and take at least one weekday this year, to try and focus on my author life because the buzz of too many unfinished things is enough to make feel stabby.

I also find that not having time to write also makes me extremely cranky, as well. When I’m writing, I am at peace and I need the time in my head to cope with the outside world, at times.

I have been able to finish a couple of things recently. I rewrote and added some chapters to The Forgotten, my fantasy series about how the selfish actions of one creature creates a world where the children have been abandoned and forgotten. It’s the first book in The Lost Children series. I loved the story about Jakob and Kell, but felt that it needed to be more robust and added some backstory to make it more interesting. This story is near and dear to my hear because the main characters were inspired by my boys and many of the children bear names of children I know. The next step for the Lost Children is to publish it in paperback.

I’m also in process of editing the third book in my women’s fiction series, Saving Eva. I’ve been hesitant as I finish it, afraid of disappointing fans of the series, but early beta readers love it. I do know that I’ll be adding a surprise ending to it, so you’ll have to stay tuned for that. (Sorry Elizabeth and Heather)

The first book in the series, Leaving Eva, has been reworked and is ready to be rerelease with Evatopia with a beautiful new cover. Eva’s powerful and emotional story will be available to new readers and will have the potential to reach a broad new audience, which is incredibly exciting!

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I’m also working on a super-secret project that I’ll reveal soon. It’s something that I’m terrified of writing, but I’m doing it for that very reason.

 

I’ll be sending out more information about my super-secret project in my newsletter, so if you’d like to know about it, sign up here! I’m only revealing the secret in my newsletter, so you’re not going to want to miss out!

 

The Forgotten

The writer’s mind is a weird place to reside. The twists and turns, the subtle paranoia, the dark and spirally stairwells that lead to the strangest of places. There is an inability to relax or stop thinking because the brain is constantly moving at lightning speed, even when you wish it wouldn’t.

These are all of the elements that propelled me to write The Forgotten.

Every book has a story about why it was written or what it was inspired by. My own writer’s brain, inflamed by tragedy at a certain time in my life, created this story before I even realized there was one.The two main characters, Jakob and Kell were inspired by my own two boys. The beauty and heroism of Jakob and Kell, as they save themselves and the other children is a reflection of how they’ve unknowingly saved me. Their goodness and love has made me become a better mother and a better person and without them I came to realize that I was doomed to a life of darkness. Writing The Forgotten was a story that originated from pain but evolved into something else entirely.

It’s beautiful to me how a story can grow into itself and become something even more than what it was intended to be. As I wrote The Forgotten, more beautifully strong children emerged, as well as a seemingly harmless creature called a Yashwa, who ultimately destroys the entire Balance of all things. I write a lot about the Balance in this book because I believe that balance is the center of a good and healthy life. Without it, life can go awry and become uncontrollable which is why it’s a strong theme in The Forgotten.

As the story evolved, so did the need for an obvious enemy and the  Ubilez were borne, reflecting the darkest places in my mind. Black and spindly with collective, yet individual voices, oily and evil to the core I envisioned them as a monster that could reach deep into  your core and gut you from the inside out. The ugliest creatures have always been easy for me to see in my mind and I was thrilled that my children loved this awful creature almost as much as I did.

In some ways this book has been one of my favorite to write. I knew in the beginning that it would be a Fantasy novel and somewhere along the journey I realized how freeing it was to just be able to create without limits. Being able to let my imagination go, unbridled, was exhilarating and fun and I loved that I didn’t have to be tethered in reality as I wrote. I’m looking forward to continuing the series with the next two books. Writing this series has given me an entirely new appreciation for being a writer and I look forward to continuing the journey.  I hope you’ll join me on the journey to find The Forgotten in The Lost Children Series

Amazon

“I have loved everything that this author has written and this book was no different. She made the characters crawl out of the pages and come to life for me, many of them being children which was a bonus.I love that I can pass this down to my daughter to read and that it was such a interesting read. I’ve decided that I really need to read more in this genre.
Thank you Jennifer Sivec!!”-Jensi Mooney (Amazon review)

Pre-funk I Run to You

When you think you’re unlovable, how do you find the courage to love?

All of Alyssa Bennet’s life, the two people who were supposed to love her the most have let her down. Anna, her best friend, and her beloved grandmother, Nona, are the only constants in her every day; that is until the unbelievably perfect Landon Daniels comes along. For the first time in her life, Alyssa begins to believe that she might just be worthy of being 
loved.

When the unexpected happens and threatens to snatch away her first chance at happiness, Alyssa must decide if she wants to continue her journey alone, or embrace the love she’s always wished for.

Women’s Fiction author, Jennifer Sivec explores hope, courage, and mortality in this gripping novel about one woman’s struggle to discover what it means to come to terms with your past, and above all, love yourself enough to be loved.

When you think you’re unlovable, how do you find the courage to love?

All of Alyssa Bennet’s life, the two people who were supposed to love her the most have let her down. Anna, her best friend, and her beloved grandmother, Nona, are the only constants in her every day; that is until the unbelievably perfect Landon Daniels comes along. For the first time in her life, Alyssa begins to believe that she might just be worthy of being 
loved.

When the unexpected happens and threatens to snatch away her first chance at happiness, Alyssa must decide if she wants to continue her journey alone, or embrace the love she’s always wished for.

Women’s Fiction author, Jennifer Sivec explores hope, courage, and mortality in this gripping novel about one woman’s struggle to discover what it means to come to terms with your past, and above all, love yourself enough to be loved.

 

 

If you LOVE getting a great deal, you’ll want to download I Run to You. The Pre-funk deal begins Feb 8-10 , free on iTunes and .99 on Amazon, Feb 11-15 it is 1.99. Don’t miss this!

 

Being a Writer

Being a writer is weird. Strange. Frightening. Disconcerting. Dizzying. Horrifying. Breathtaking.

Amazing.

I should’ve recognized in my early life that I was a writer because I’ve always loved stories, often seeking them out on every possible canvas; books, movies, art, news, music, people, and even commercials. Stories could always intrigue me, enthrall me, and draw me in, and often the effect lasted for days. 

With every person I’ve ever met and every problem I’ve had there is an interest about where they came from, what motivated them, and how they have became what they are. Even if I didn’t ask them, I imagined it. 

Being a writer has allowed me the freedom to explore this curiosity as well as my imagination in a way that makes more sense to me. I can indulge my intense curiosity and contemplate the hearts and minds of my characters without reservation. I can also create a world that I can control, instead of watching it helplessly unravel before me, as true life can have the tendency to do. Yet, as freeing as it is to control the destiny of my characters and plot the outcome of their stories, writing can also take a turn and the story can still end up completely changed from they way I intended it to be. 

This is also part of the beauty of being a writer.

Finding something within that I never realized existed, giving it life and permission to breathe, is unbelievably intoxicating and I have fallen in love with it. I don’t know what I ever did before I was a writer and I don’t know how I existed when I wasn’t. 

I’ll often have people ask me about my writing journey because they want to write. I’m sometimes unsure advice to give, other than to “just write.” Everyone’s path is their own. I believe that if you’re a writer then at some point, you’ll know. You’re heart and soul will scream it out to you, though it may only sound like a whisper at first. But when you can no longer silence the chaos and pouring out your heart onto paper is you’re only option … you’ll finally know.

You’re a writer.