On Finishing A WIP For The Longest Time, Ever.

Hullo, world!

I am finally back and logged into the blogosphere after a month+ hitout. I was actually hoping to come back on the last week of May for the afternoon tea post but ended up not being able to…(I know, I still have not found the right work-balance thing now that I have work on Saturdays.) If you remember me from May, I decided on a hitout to finish a WIP…given I haven’t finished one in like, two or three years. So, the big question is, did I finish my WIP?? *the suspense builds*

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YES!! 

I did finish my WIP, and I today, I want to talk more about it…

>> Read more about Osthauptstadt here

My Thoughts?

Some things I thought after finishing:

  1. It was easier than I thought??

Obviously, I had to be intentional about the time I make to write, where I was going, and maintain my inspiration throughout the little time I had to write. I also wrote in a cafe for one of the writing sessions, which was fun! I also fully inducted Notion into my writing life, and it has been a lifesaver. I used Rebecca’s Notion templates for setting up my WIPs. I am head over heels in love with Notion and don’t know how I functioned without it…I know, I really should try to get out of this plannerholic cycle, but plans and journals and notions spark so much joy inside me!!

  1. Didn’t feel like a great accomplishment…

This is kind of my honest reflection. Although I know I should be happy that I did, indeed, finish a WIP for the longest time, ever, somehow I don’t feel like I’ve done something great. Rather, it feels like something I should have done earlier and I finally got down to it…

  1. Trying to rush into another shiny new idea ™

Yes, you heard that right. As soon as I finished Osthauptstadt draft 0.5, I was already thinking of a new WIP to work on. I have a stack of WIPs I want to work on this year, some half-baked, some more-than-half-baked than the others, but I desperately wanted to not lose my writing steam. If you follow my email list, I started the month with a rather bold claim, “I will continue working and finish one more WIP by the end of June!”

Which, by the way, is totally not happening. *hides in a corner* 。°(´∩ω∩`)°。

  1. Feeling burnt out

I started out the month hopeful and thinking I could finish another WIP. After all, I just finished one. How hard could finishing another one be??

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Well. Any author/writer on the block can probably tell you about it. Also, for some strange reason, this week has been a tough one for me. Versus the first week of this month where I was like, “I can do anything”, this week was just…not that great. And, when things are like that, it’s usually a sign I should slow down…( ´•̥ו̥` )

  1. What is wrong with me???

Although this is kind of what I’m thinking right now. I finished a major WIP, I’ve been enjoying my new job, and I’ve been doing some of the bucket list things to do during summer. Technically, things are going well…

Now What?

Then, I realised: I’ve actually written a blog post on what to do in this kind of situation!

>> AH: 5 Steps to Recharge After A Major WIP

(And if you’re in similar shoes as mine, do take a moment to read through it; it’s quite useful, I promise.)

Now that I’ve poured myself another cup of tea and taken a breath, here are some things I’m planning to do:

  • Will take it slow, definitely.

So, obviously, I won’t be breaking my back trying to finish another WIP. 

  • Will follow my advice…

I’ll be reading some books I love and take this month to fill up my well of inspiration!

  • Probably follow the intense writing month -> rest month -> intense writing month routine from now on…

Earlier in the year, I was planning to have a WIP focus each month and slowly work through them. Yet, now I realise I need a more relaxed writing schedule to balance writing and life. ꒰◍ᐡᐤᐡ◍꒱

  • Take it slow (take 2)

I probably sound like a broken record by now, but really, take it slow! 

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And that’s it for today. 

Thank you for reading this post! How is your June going so far? What are some of your WIPs? Do you have a way of taking a break after you finish a WIP? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below; I’d love to chat with you!

Ares Prequel Review & WIP update

Hullo, world!

It’s back to rainy (or sleeting, shall I say) season here. From the sudden burst of spring-esque sunshine days and cherry blossoms starting to bloom, I was hoping that winter was officially over…

Alas, I had guessed wrong. (ˉ ˘ ˉ; )

But hopefully, it will start to get warm soon!

Weather aside, today is a special day for me–I will be presenting to you Jenna Terese’s Ares, a prequel to Ignite!! I’ll also be doing a mini update on my current WIP, so without further ado, let us commence!

Ares

Rating: 4/5 stars

Contents: Thematic elements

Reminds me of: MHA, Marvel, Frozen

“Ares could feel it. He could feel it in the frantic snow and the biting wind that pummeled ice into his face. He felt his sister crying.”

His sister can’t tell. Not ever.

Ares is the son of the leading scientist in superhuman research, Dr. Hiram Bailey. His father thinks like everyone else. Supers are a stain on society.

But he doesn’t know his own twins have powers.

Ares can keep a secret. But his sister? Her excitement over their powers just might make things dangerous for them both. 

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My Thoughts

Note: I received an eARC copy of this book in exchange for an honest review

Since I’ve had spotty experiences with prequels, I was a little nervous going into this. But, I needn’t have worried!

  • First of all, the sibling relationship. Ares and Astrid are too cute!! I knew from Ignite that the theme of family was strong, and the prequel captures the same atmosphere–even more so, I’d say, since it’s the backstory that we’ve all been waiting for. 
  • Ice & snow. I don’t know why, but there’s something really fascinating about ice and snow–in fact, a lot of the stories I love have them! (Think Snow Queen, Wicked Saints, Frozen.) And obviously, I can’t help but love this story filled to the brim with ice & snow. 
  • The family dynamics. While Ignite already hinted at the complex story behind Dr Bailey and Ares, this prequel offered the exact story that led to Ignite. And obviously, as much as I like Ares (#aresfanclub), I’m also interested in Dr Bailey’s story, so I thoroughly enjoyed this story. 

The only complaint I have is that it felt too short! And now I can’t wait for book 2 to come out…

This book is for you if you like:

  1. Complicated family dynamics 
  2. Sibling relationships
  3. ice, snow, and superpowers

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Jenna Terese believes stories are powerful. That’s why she’s dedicated to creating fiction that will impact the world. You can find this INFP dreaming about the future, fangirling over her favourite books, geeking out about Marvel, playing piano, or sipping a chai tea latte as she writes sci-fi novels.

WIP Update

As you might know, I’ve been agonising over reworking my earliest WIP–Juliet. The title itself is a placeholder name, which is unusual since I usually know the title before everything falls into place. 

In fact, if you know anything about trying to go back to that first novel you wrote–well, it’s kind of tough. 

At the same time, Juliet has been the story of my heart. It’s made me realise how far I’ve come in my writing and now I’m at that point where I can understand what was working, what wasn’t, and how the story has come to outgrow me. Don’t get me wrong, I still love the story. But now I know that it doesn’t have the depth I need or a sort of “literary frame” to expand my central messages and themes. 

So now, I’m developing the depth. I’m working it out by reading books on genre conventions (sci-fi), astrophysics, philosophy, and more. I’m scratching the overarching story and decided to push back the time frame after everything has happened. I’ve come to the tough realisation that my characters weren’t doing anything–things just kept happening to them. And as hard as it is, it’s also been rewarding. 

I honestly don’t know how long this will take. I might take the next month off and try a spring NaNo since I’ve been dying to *actually* write. Yet I know that no matter how long it takes, I’ll keep at it…because it’s the story that matters. 

And that’s it for today!

Thank you for reading! Have you read Ignite? Are you excited to read Ares (and Embers)? Or better yet, are you in the #aresfanclub? Is there a story that’s been on your heart, always? Let me know in the comments below; I’d love to chat with you!

AH: …But I Need A Platform!

Hullo, world!

It is another glorious Saturday. Although so many things have happened in this world (and in my life!) in the span of just a few weeks, every day I wake up is a constant reminder that God is good. And He is able. 

Deep thoughts aside, I’ve been thinking a lot about my blogging and bookstagramming habits. This is my fourth year at SJ Barnard. Over the course of years, I’ve had setbacks, days when I didn’t know if I should be blogging, or had no idea what to write about. I also started a bookstagramme account that I have an intense love-hate relationship with. I’ve gone on too many hitouts to count. 

But every time, I keep coming back to this thing called my Author Platform. 

So, if you are a writer out there who’s felt alone or floundering on this topic, this post is for you

1. A platform is for you. 

First of all, I think we should remember that no matter where you’re at with platform building, it’s for you. 

A platform is a sort of gallery, a small nook in this wide world, to showcase the things you love, the thoughts you might have to offer, small joys and tears and everything that matters to you. (Well, not every single thing, for privacy reasons. But you get the idea.)  

Of course, it’s good to keep in mind that you’re writing to an audience. You might have even heard that you should have an Ideal Reader. 

Well, I’m here to tell you that the Ideal Reader is you

If there’s one thing I’ve learnt through blogging (on this blog and other ones), it’s that blogging, at its heart, is about telling your story. Especially for authors. I’ve heard so many people get tired, burnt out, or feel like blogging is not worth it anymore (with the rise of other popular mediums). And maybe it’s true. Not many people might read blogs anymore, at least not like in the Golden Age of blogging.

Even so–I don’t know about you, but I love reading. In all of the blog posts I write, I write to myself first. I’ve been blessed that there are other people out there who enjoy my blog & have shown so much kindness to my musings. 

When it all comes down, it’s this: Do you love what you do on your platform? If not, why? Take a moment to ask your heart. 

2. It’s okay to take a step back.

And obviously, maybe you’re a bit burnt out–especially when you feel like quitting. I’m here to tell you that, hey, it’s okay to take a break! (For those of you who might remember, I have a tendency to go on hitouts announced and unannounced at various intervals of time.)

When I first started blogging and bookstagramming, I felt like I needed to be posting continuously, or else my readership would wax, wane, and disappear altogether. Which is completely irrational! 

I want you to take a moment and think about your absolute favourite author. Now, imagine that the author has not published in a while. (Like, think Donna Tartt or J. R. R. Tolkien’s publishing pace.) Would you forget about them if they haven’t been published in years?

Of course not!! 

Likewise, once you establish a base following–it could be your family, friend, or someone across the world–they won’t disappear. Take a deep breath, a step of faith, and trust in the connections you’ve built up so far. 

3. Don’t get hung up on numbers. 

This is another thing. When you start off trying to build a platform (because authors need to market themselves), I think the numbers start to feel like everything. (Gahh, I just lost another follower tonight! They are leaving by the hordes!!)

Must I explain more? 

*inserts serious, contemplative silence*

Your value is not some number and will never be reduced to how many followers you have on Instagram or Twitter or wherever else

So there. 

RECAP:

  • DO have fun building your platform…the Ideal Reader is you!
  • DO take a break whenever you need to–you can always come back to it.
  • DON’T think that the number of following you have is the value of yourself or your platform. 

And that’s it for today!

Thank you for reading! What do you think? Do you have an approach to your platform? What are some things that matter to you? Let me know in the comments below; I’d love to chat with you!