The Writer Side of Life

Thank You to 900 Followers!

Hello Writer Bees!

Exciting news! The Lady Jabberwocky blog just passed the 900 follower mark. Which means my humble little blog is nearing 1,000 followers. This is not a drill! Seriously, I never could’ve imagined so many of you tuning in every week to read my nonsense posts.

Thank you all so much for all the love and support.

Thank you for every like and comment.

Thank you for following my journey as a writer.

Frankly speaking, I’ve been feeling a bit burnt-out lately. Work is overwhelming sometimes. Dealing with writer’s block and self doubt can be overwhelming too. You have no idea how much I appreciate all the kind words and positive vibes from you amazing readers. If it’s alright with you guys, I’m going to keep this post short, curl up with a book and sleep. Some sleep sounds pretty nice. Haha.

But, I may need your help brainstorming something else. You guys are way smarter than I am. Recently, I’ve thought about creating some sort of virtual writing workshop / writers room. It’d be cool to have a space where writers could talk about their work, ask specific questions on their stories, gain some feedback and help each other. I want to reach more writers and encourage their creative endeavors. Not exactly sure how to go about that yet. Maybe a Discord? Maybe a Skype group space situation? Maybe an old-fashioned advice column? I don’t really know. Sorry if that doesn’t make sense, my brain is still trying to figure it out. Feel free to pitch your ideas.

Don’t forget! May of Mystery starts this Monday. I’m dedicating an entire month to writing mystery fiction. Prompts and posts with have a mystery spin to them. Detectives and femme fatales and clue hunting, perhaps a little murder. If you have any questions on detective fiction or any ideas for mystery themed posts, let me know in the comments. I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Once again, thank you all so much for the support. You lovely readers keep me blogging. Hope you all enjoy your weekend. Stay safe and keep writing.

Onward to 1,000 followers!

Love,

Lady Jabberwocky

Follow Me on Twitter!

Do You Need a Writing Degree to Be a Real Writer?

Hello writer bees!

Today, I’m posing a possibly controversial question.

Do you need a degree in writing to be considered a “proper writer”?

To some, getting a college degree makes you a bonafide writer, or a better writer than most. Others feel they can be storytellers without the diploma to back them up. And some young writers have a hard time choosing what they want to study, and if a degree in writing is even worth it.

I want to share my experience. Hopefully, it can give younger writers a bit of insight. Goodness knows I needed some insight when I was just a fledgling. For those of you who don’t know, I graduated from Hunter College with a B.A. in English. What do you do with a B.A. in English? How did that experience impact my journey as a writer? I’ll be diving into everything, the good and the bad.

Why I Chose to Pursue an English Degree

Let’s backtrack first. When I was in high school, I discovered my love of writing. I had an amazing teacher who encouraged my artistic aspirations. Without her, I probably wouldn’t be a blogger or an aspiring author right now. As I decided what college major I would pursue, no other subject could compare to English and creative writing.

I had a lot of ideas for a potential novel. Writing stories in various genres really interested me. I loved fantasy and mystery and historical drama and everything in between. Ah, to be young and full of inspiration. Wanting to narrow down my focus and find my niche, I thought going for a English degree would help me find the genre I’d eventually publish in someday. Like “Congrats! Here is your diploma! Also, you are a mystery writer! Now go write a whodunit and be on your merry way.”

Earning my B.A. in English was a wonderful experience. It wasn’t easy. Lots of late nights, lots of reading material, lots of stress. And I don’t regret a single minute.

Writing Workshops

While in college, my fiction writing classes were full-on workshops. Gathering around with fellow writers, discussing each other’s stories. I learned how to constructively critique someone’s work and became more mindful of my strengths and weaknesses as a writer. We read each others short stories and offered feedback in a really safe and sensitive environment. Don’t get me wrong, I was so nervous letting others read my work. But once you realize we’re all in the same boat, it’s not so scary. That was my first taste of a greater writing community.

Also, the very first draft of my current WIP sprouted in that class. Sharing that story in particular with my classmates was like the ultimate test run for my work-in-progress novel. Let me know in the comments if you want to hear more about that particular workshop session.

Reading Everything

Remember when I said I was looking down to settle with one genre to write in? It didn’t quite work out as I expected. In college, I read everything. And I mean everything. Like I was reading Beowulf and Arthurian legend in the morning and Hemingway and Christie in the afternoon. Real talk? My narrator was born after reading an Edgar Allen Poe story. If anything, my horizon only expanded. Once I graduated, I was even more undecided about what genre I wanted to publish in. I really gained an appreciation for literature across all genres. By reading various genres and styles and time periods, a sturdy foundation was built under my feet. Maybe it’s strange to say, but I felt like I had a wealth of source material I could refer to and be inspired by. If that makes sense.

Life isn’t always sunshine and rainbows, is it?

Hard to Find a Job

After I graduated, It was tough finding steady work. I applied for many publications and ended up with a pile of rejection letters. Apparently, a bachelors degree in English isn’t enough to prove you are good at writing. That was a newsflash to me. I wanted to make a living as a writer, and it just wasn’t happening. Frankly, It was a dark time for me. Finally, I fell into freelance work, starting out as an unpaid intern. Around the same time, I started this blog. Then, more freelance opportunities opened up. And today, even though I’m stuck in a cubicle at an office day job, the passion for writing has not ceased. I’m still working on my goal to write a novel, after office hours, of course.

Final Thoughts

The B.A. in English gave me a solid foundation. My brain thinks differently about literature and storytelling because of my time as an English major. It was a valuable, rewarding experience I wouldn’t trade for anything. Well, maybe a finished novel.

Do you need a degree to be a proper writer?

In my opinion? No.

You know that quote from Ratatouille, Anyone can cook? I believe anyone can write. A degree doesn’t make me, or anyone else, a genuine writer. We all have imagination and creativity inside of us. Anyone can write a story and be considered a writer.


Do you think you need a degree to be considered a proper writer? Let me know your thoughts in the comments. And if you earned your degree in English/Creative writing, how has that experience impacted your journey as a writer? As always, I love to hear from you guys.

Also, get your magnifying glasses ready! May of Mystery is right around the corner, less that 2 weeks!

Stay safe and keep writing,

Love,

Lady Jabberwocky

Writing During Lunch Break: My New Favorite Writing Time

Hello Writer Bees!

Last week, I celebrated my 800th follower milestone, which I still can’t get believe. You guys are so amazing and supportive. Some of you were curious about my writer experience. So today, I’m sharing something new that makes me happy. With all the struggle going on in the world, it’s nice to be reminded of the small things in life that make us happy, right?

I started a new job back in August. A 9 to 5 cubicle job in an office. And as someone with no prior experience, being an assistant is tough work. The stress can be overwhelming sometimes. I’m managing as best I can. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, we were given the option of eating lunch at our desks. And the socially awkward introvert in me was thrilled by this. Don’t get me wrong, everyone working in the office is super nice. But, I like a little time to myself now and then. Translation: I like to hide from society now and then.

Over the past couple weeks, I’ve been working on my WIP during my lunch break. It’s like this quiet, hour long vacation, in the middle of a hectic day. Did I forget to mention eating while writing is my favorite combination? Seriously. What’s better than munching while making fiction happen? I absolutely love it. I look forward to this short lived writing time everyday. Maybe it’s the change of scenery, or me being away from home distractions, I actually get some writing done. Sure, it might only be 100 to 200 words a day. Still, I’m slowly creeping towards my goal of a finish novel.

Frankly speaking, I’m a night writer. Always have been. I prefer to write during the nighttime. To burn the midnight oil, as they say. My brain just feels more creative in the wee hours of the evening. Not sure why. And now, I can’t stay up as late as I used to when I was a freelance writer. However, writing during my lunch break has been a nice change of pace. I’ve fallen into a new routine. And I’m excited about it. This is a same small window of time, everyday, dedicated to writing and editing and outlining. Maybe that’s what I needed all along, to shake off my writer’s block.

For now, I’m making the most out of this pocket of time and appreciating every second.

Moral of the story, find the time to write, no matter the time of day. Even if it’s only a half hour. Even if it’s only 100 or so words. Progress is progress. Little by little, we all reach our goals eventually.


What time of day do you write in? And be honest, do you sneaky work on your WIP at your day job? Talk to me in the comments!

Keep writing and stay safe!

— Lady Jabberwocky

Follow Me on Twitter

Celebrating 800 Followers With A Blogger Brainstorm

Woah, Writer Bees!

A little over a month ago, the Lady Jabberwocky blog hit the 700 Follower milestone. This week, I’m celebrating 800!

What is happening? This is insane!

Thank you all so much for all the love and positive vibes. It must seem silly to some of you that I celebrate every 100th follower milestone. When I first started blogging, I didn’t think anyone would be interested in what I was writing about. Now, we’re closing in on 1,000 followers. I can’t believe it. I truly appreciate every single one of you.

I’m keeping this post short this week. There’s a good reason. My goal for this blog has always been to support writers in their creative endeavors. I’m starting to feel like this is becoming a platform that will do just that. Lately, I’ve been brainstorming ideas for future posts and possible series for Lady Jabberwocky. Some plans are in the works, I’ll need a bit more time though. I hope you all stay tuned for some new content.

And while we are on the subject of new content…. What do you guys want to see more of on the Lady Jabberwocky blog? More writing advice? More flash fiction? More on my writer experience? Let me know. I take your thoughts and ideas to heart.

Once again, thank you for supporting my humble blog and for reading my posts every week. Your lovely comments brighten my day. You guys keep me writing, and for that, I am so grateful.

Onward to 1,000 followers!

Love,

Victoria (a.k.a Lady Jabberwocky)

Follow Me on Twitter

How Lucky We Are – 100 Word Love Story

On our first date, we found a fountain in the middle of New York City.

How lucky we were.

Tossed our coins in, made wishes. I wished for happiness.

Something even more wonderful happened.

We two individuals became us. Together.

Partners. Outliers. Player One and Player Two.

That was almost ten years ago.

We have shared laughter and tears and smiles.

Forged adventures in the mundane.

Made love in thunderstorms.

A comfortable kind of affection, like soft clouds to land on.

All from two characters in a story crossing paths at the right place, right time.

How lucky we are.


With Valentine’s day coming up, I wanted to write about love. Call me a hopeless romantic, or a sap, either one. Inspired by my wonderful boyfriend, Michael and our relationship. He has know idea I’m doing this (Surprise honey!). We will be spending the weekend ordering takeout and having a movie night at home. Sounds perfect to me.

How are you spending Valentine’s Day? Lemme know in the comments. I’m genuinely curious, what with a pandemic and all.

Stay safe and keep writing!

Love, Lady Jabberwocky

Follow Me on Twitter

How to Choose a Read Worthy Book Title

Hello writer bees!

If there’s any silver lining to this chaotic time, it’s that writers are using their time to work on new projects. And with new projects comes a daunting task; Choosing the perfect title. It’s a huge question for any writer with a WIP. How do you create an interesting title that catches the readers attention and perfectly represents your story?

Today, I’m showing you what story elements can lead you to a read worthy title. Here are some ideas for where you can find the name of your book.

Character Inspired Titles

Image result for gatsby gif

If you have a character focused piece, pick a title that highlights the main character. Although it might be a simplistic option, a book named after a protagonist can be compelling to potential readers. And it doesn’t necessarily need to be the character’s name either. Think about the role the character plays in their world.

Examples

Setting Themed Titles

Consider naming the book after a prominent location featured in the story. Do the characters live in a specific town or residence? Or are they traveling to a certain destination? Settings transport the audience to a different time and place. Intrigue your readers with an invitation to a new world.

Examples

Memorable Line or Object

Is the adventure centered around a coveted object? Or is there a sentence/phrase that sums up the entire novel? A memorable line or item featured in the story can become a great book title. Search through the text and find those stand out bits that you feel represent the entire novel well.

Examples

Bonus Tips for Book Titles

  • Represent the right genre: If you pick a title that sounds like a fantasy story but it’s really a murder mystery, reader will be confused. Choose a title that reflects the genre. Research book titles in your preferred genre before naming.
  • Understand the theme: What themes does the novel explore? Underlying themes can be transformed into thematic phrases. Theme inspired titles give a nod to the audience of what the story is about. (ex. Pride and Prejudice)
  • Look through bookshelf: Check out your bookshelf, or the shelves at a library or bookstore. As a reader, what kind of titles catch your attention? Novels from other writers may inspire a title for your own piece.

Bottom Line

When coming up with a book title, focus on the core elements of the story. A character, a setting or even a memorable line can become a read worthy title.

What is the title of your WIP/Novel and how did you choose it? What are some of your favorite book titles? Lemme know in the comments.

Stay safe and keep writing!

Lady Jabberwocky

Follow Me on Twitter

December Writing Goals – NaNoWriMo Continues?

December is here. The New York Winter chill is upon us. NaNoWriMo 2020 is officially over. Or is it?

Even though I did not reach my word count goal this month, It’s fine, I still feel like a NaNo winner. No matter how many words you wrote, you should still feel like a winner. Any amount of progress is to be celebrated.

Frankly, National Novel Writing Month was a great experience for me. I’ve met some extraordinary writers here on WordPress and on Twitter. Seriously, you guys are incredibly talented. I love hearing about your story ideas as well as your experience as writers. We’re all in this writing community, we need to stick together and support one another.

I’ve actually added words to my WIP. For a long while, I wasn’t writing much. I felt stuck in my plot and completely unmotivated to fix it. The self doubt was heavy on my shoulders. NaNoWriMo pushed me to write. To write regularly, on an almost daily basis. Inspired me to add new scenes, to give my characters complexity and to be more creative. And the world needs creativity now more than ever.

So, to keep momentum going, I’m going to continue to write like it’s NaNoWriMo into December. And maybe even into the new year. I’m holding onto this newfound spark for all it’s worth. For my writing project,  I’m still hovering around the halfway mark, only a couple thousand away from my original goal of 20K. The finish line seems so far away, I’m still battling my fear of never completing my WIP.

Will 2021 be the year I finally finish and publish my novel? I really do hope so.

Thank you for the support and love, writer bees. Sending you all the positive writer vibes.


How was your NaNoWriMo experience? Did you reach your goal? How is your writer spirit feeling? Talk to me in the comments, I love to hear from you all. And check out this week’s writing prompt.

Stay safe and keep writing!

—-Lady Jabberwocky

Follow Me on Twitter

Writer Finds a Real Job? (Big Blog Changes)

Hello writer bees!

If you have followed this blog long enough, you’ll know I’ve been job hunting for a long time. I’ve been a freelance writer for three years and even wrote about my freelancing experience. Despite my love of writing from home, I’ve been looking for steadier work, or at least a regular paycheck.

An opportunity has opened up. It’s a 9 to 5 office cubicle gig. Not exactly the most creative space. I don’t know if it’s for me yet, but I’m giving it a try. We’ll see what happens.

The next few weeks will be a challenge. Right now, I’m stressing if I can juggle this opportunity, this blog and my WIP. Learning to balance it all is difficult. A tough decision, but Lady Jabberwocky may need to go on the back burner for a couple weeks.

So, what does this mean for the blog? Frankly speaking, I’m not exactly sure what kind of content to post at the moment. Writing prompts are scheduled into October, so you guys will still get weekly prompts on Mondays.

Sadly, there is a chance of no more Friday posts for awhile. I haven’t had the heart to pull that trigger just yet. If you guys have any ideas for post ideas, let me know in the comments. I’ve considered writing 100 word stories. Or maybe answering questions from you lovely folks. That could be fun, right? Again, we’ll see what happens.

I’m adjusting to a big change in my life and still figuring things out. Please be understanding during this time. This blog will always be a space for writers and storytellers alike. I hope to continuing blogging and engaging with you wonderful readers, it’s truly a passion project I don’t want to let go of just yet.

Thanks for sticking around, writer bees. Keep writing and stay safe.

Lady Jabberwocky Victoria

5 Legendary Lady Authors (Before J.K. Rowling)

Hello everyone!

So, a few weeks ago, I was scrolling through Twitter and saw that Mary Shelley was trending. My initial reaction was “Yes, what a queen, she deserves to be trending in 2020.” Then, I found out why. Someone posted this.

And the #WritingCommunity on Twitter lost it. Women writers were unheard of before J.K. Rowling? Writers and bookworms alike began sharing some of their favorite female authors. And although it stemmed from an ill-informed tweet, it was amazing to see a community celebrate some outstanding ladies.

No, I’m not suggesting we burn this tweeter at the stake. Everyone is entitled to an opinion. However, I’m taking this as an opportunity to shine a light on legendary lady writers. So, here are some of my favorites female authors.

See the source image

Agatha Christie

The undeniable queen of crime herself. Some plot devices in the mystery genre, such as the plot twist and “parlor room scene”, came from her. With a writing career spanning decades, she is the creator of beloved fictional detectives Hercule Poirot and Miss Marple. Considered the most widely published authors of all time, her work is outsold only by Shakespeare and the Bible. Undoubtedly, Dame Agatha Christie is one of my favorite female authors.

See the source image

Toni Morrison

Known under the pen name Toni Morrison, this prominent female author has written many novels and essays focusing on the black experience. Featuring her poetic style and powerful voice, her most notable novels includes The Bluest Eye and Song of Solomon. In the time of the Black Lives Matter Movement, her writing and words on race relations are more important than ever. Sadly, Toni Morrison passed away last year, but her legacy lives on in her work.

See the source image

Mary Shelley

An English novelist from the 19th century, Mary Shelley is the inventor of science fiction and author of Frankenstein. As a Romantic female author using gothic elements, she created the most recognizable fictional monster and forged the start of a new genre. When I think of writers thinking outside the box, I look to Mary Shelly. The depth and complexity in her narrative still astounds me.

Fun fact, she is daughter of another famous female author, Mary Wollstonecraft, who wrote feminist work like A Vindication of the Rights of Woman.

See the source image

Gertrude Stein

A pioneer in the LGBTQ+ community, Gertrude Stein is a queer female author of the Lost Generation. Best known for The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas, her playful prose style and lighthearted humor set her apart from the rest. Plus, she was friends with Ernest Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald and Pablo Picasso. Talk about squad goals.

See the source image

Harper Lee

You know the phrase ‘write what you know’? Harper Lee did just that. She drew inspiration from her own life, growing up in the deep south, and put that in her writing. Although she only wrote two books, Harper Lee has made a significant contribution to literature. In my opinion, To Kill a Mockingbird is a true American classic. And even decades later, her work still strikes a chord in all of her readers.


Of course there are a ton of other talented female authors throughout history. Virginia Woolf, Judy Blume, Ursula Le Guin, and Maya Angelou, to name a few more. The list goes on and on.

As a female writer myself, these extraordinary women inspire me to publish a book someday. I could only hope to follow in these ladies footsteps.

Who are some of your favorite female authors? Lemme know in the comments. And be sure to click all the links, it helps support this blog.

Stay safe and keep writing, writer bees!

— Lady Jabberwocky

Writer On: August Writing Goals

Hello Writer Bees!

Wow. It’s August already. Time to set some new writing goals.

If you’d like, take a look at my July goals and last month’s recap.


Writing Plans

  • Write 200-300 words a day.
  • Brainstorm WIP (in general).
  • Write a short story for the blog.
  • Straighten out the clues of the mystery story.

Reading Goals

  • Read something in fantasy genre.
  • Keep reading over draft.

What do you guys think of my goals? And what are your writing plans for this month? Talk to me in the comments!

Write with Heart,

Lady Jabberwocky

Writing Services // Follow Me on Twitter

1 2 10