The Writer Side of Life

Writer On: April Writing Goals

Hello Writer Bees!

Writing goals during a global quarantine? Sure, why not? Let’s make the most of lockdown.

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


Writing Plans

  • Participate in StayHomeWriMo.
  • Keep working on initial suspect interviews.
  • Write a little (~200-300 words) everyday.
  • Brainstorm new scenes.

Reading Goals

  • Read entire first draft. (because I’m stuck plot wise)

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

Writer On: March Writing Goals (Recap)

Hello Writer Bees!

So, the world turned upside down right after I posted my March goals. Did I reach my goals? Keep reading to find out.

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


WIP Novel Plans

  • Reach 30,000 total words. – I’m closing in on 30,000 words, the halfway point of my overall word count. Hoping to fly past that number while in quarantine.
  • Try not to edit or delete anything. – Yes! I didn’t delete anything, which, for me, is an accomplishment. I marked some lines that may need to be revised or cut. Otherwise, I just kept writing.
  • Work on initial suspect interviews – It’s a big job. More work needs to be done. Those initial interviews are important to the story, and they introduce all the suspects to the reader.

Reading Goals

  • Finish reading Dashiell Hammett’s The Thin Man – And they called Ernest Hemingway a minimalist. The dialogue’s really snappy and the husband and wife duo is one of a kind.

How did your writing endeavors for the month go? Talk to me in the comments!

Write with Heart,

Lady Jabberwocky

Writing Services // Follow Me on Twitter

Pen Name VS. Real Name: The Great Writer Debate

Hello writer bees!

So, lately, I’ve noticed a heated debate within the writing community. When you finally publish a story, should you use your real name or a pen name? For aspiring authors, it’s a tough question. Have no fear, I’m here to help!

Today, I’m taking a look at the pros and cons of both sides of the argument, to help you decide what name will be printed on your book cover.

See the source image

Pros of a Pen Name

  • The power on anonymity: Some people find freedom in using a new moniker. And If you are sharing a personal life story, you can keep it private. Your boss and your church friends won’t have any idea.
  • Choose a more ‘writerly’ name: Create a memorable, eye catching name that suits the genre you are writing in. Pen names give you a chance to give yourself the name you’ve always wanted.
  • Dip your toe in multiple genres. Be fluid and experiment in various genres with multiple personas. And if you fail to sell enough books, simply reinvent yourself.

Cons of a Pen Name

  • Difficult Marketing: It’s harder to spread the word on your book under a nom de plume. Keeping your true identity a secret may hurt your book promoting process.
  • Struggle with building an author-reader connection. And it takes some time for the name to gain recognition.
  • Establishing a brand new persona. With a pen name, you may have to balance a double life. That might mean managing multiple social media accounts and writer websites etc.

Authors That Used Pen Names

  • J.K. Rowling (Joanne Rowling)
  • Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens)
  • Lewis Carrol (Charles Lutwidge Dodgson)
  • Dr. Seuss (Theodore Seuss Geisel)
  • Stan Lee ( Stanley Martin Lieber)

See the source image

Pros of Using Your Real Name

  • Pride: That’s your name on the cover of the book. Sweet success belongs to you. Some writers dream about seeing their name in a bookstore. It’s a major accomplishment.
  • Easier to promote your work with your real name. Friends, family members, neighbors etc. will know it’s you. And you can do more local promos as well.
  • One name, one identity. No need to manage multiple social media accounts or author websites. Also, forget the hassle or confusion of a fake moniker. Readers and business associates know how to address you.

Cons of Using Your Real Name

  • Your name may sound similar to another famous name. That might cause confusion to readers.
  • You may have a forgettable or fairly common name. (Shout out to the John Smiths of the world.)
  • You are writing within a genre where books written by the opposite gender sell better. Unfortunately, sexism against authors is real.

Would you use a pen name or your real name when you publish a book? And what’s your take on nom de plumes? Talk to me in the comments!

Write with heart,

Lady Jabberwocky

To the Teacher Made Me a Writer

In the spirit of International Women’s day, I’ve decided to take a sentimental stroll down memory lane today. Let me tell you the story of the teacher who made me a writer and changed my life.

So Back in High School….

Let me give you an mental image of the kind of kid I was in school. An average B student. Definitely not one of the cool girls. I was awkward and lanky and a total mess. And I had no idea what I would do with the rest of my life.

In Freshman year, I wrote my first fictional story and discovered I actually liked writing. English was my favorite subject. Here was the problem. In my personal life, there was no one to encourage me to pursue my talent, nor acknowledgement that I even had a talent.

Until I Met this Teacher

For now, let’s call her Miss J. She was my English teacher in both my Freshman year and my Senior year. And she saw the potential in me that I didn’t even know existed.

Miss J was a kind and lovely person. She introduced me to literature that initially inspired me to write. Works like ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’, ‘Of Mice and Men’ And Greek Mythology. The first story I ever wrote was probably in her class.

Speaking of Mythology, towards the end of Freshman year, my high school wanted to remove Greek Mythology from the curriculum and planned on throw away a bunch of books away. The horror. Before they were tossed in the garbage, she gave me one of those books. Torn and tattered, it will always remain on my bookshelf.

Struggles with Self Esteem

This one time, we were assigned to write a scene inspired by Hamlet, the play we were reading at the time. I was so excited that I worked extra hard on this two page script. Even researched authentic Shakespearean language. After I handed it in, my teacher was genuinely impressed and asked if she could read it to the whole class. I told her ‘no’.

And even today, I still regret that decision. See, my confidence was under the floorboards at the time. I was incredibly self conscious, and felt like I was rubbing my great story in everyone’s face, and then everyone would hate me. “No, no, it isn’t that great. Surely, my work isn’t the best in the class.”

Man, some days, I wish I had a time machine and could tell my younger self to not be afraid of showing my talent. That being awesome at something won’t belittle others. And honestly, I still struggle a little with that low self esteem logic today.

One of her many sweet notes.

Words of Encouragement

In my Senior year, Miss J asked us to write journal entries, which she would read. I was still nervous about others reading my writing. To break from that fear, I decided to just be funny. My journal was filled with my (embarrassing) humorous observations, kind of like what you see on the blog today. And she loved them.

So, I kept writing. She said I had a natural talent as a writer and that I had a quirky voice. Thank goodness for that quirkiness. I was amazed and humbled and happy. My silly scribbles made someone laugh. Nothing was more fulfilling. Miss J wrote me these encouraging notes, pushing me to pursue a career as a writer. I still have those notes. The most touching note from her is scrawled in my yearbook, hoping that the next time she hears my name, it’s because I’d have won the Pulitzer prize. (Insert tears here.)

Her note in my yearbook, from 2011.

To a wonderful teacher, I’d like to say thank you, from the bottom of my heart. I don’t know where I’d be right now if it wasn’t for your encouragement. You inspired me to pursue creative writing and made me the writer I am today. And you also inspired me to start this blog, where my quirkiness has room to roam and where I can encourage other writers to write their story.


[This is a repost, but an important post, nonetheless.]

Write with Heart,

Lady Jabberwocky

Writer On: March Writing Goals

Hello Writer Bees!

I’ll be sharing my writing goals for the month with all of you. Come follow along my writer journey and check in at the end of the month to see if I achieved my goals.

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


WIP Novel Plans

  • Reach 30,000 total words.
  • Try not to edit or delete anything. (NaNo in March anyone???)
  • Work on initial suspect interviews (That’s a big job for a murder mystery)

Reading Goals

  • Finish reading Dashiell Hammett’s The Thin Man

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

Writer On: February Writing Goals (Recap)

Hello Writer Bees!

I set some writing goals at the first week of February. Did I achieve my goals? Keep reading to find out!


WIP Novel Plans

  • Add 5,000 words to total word count. – I kept adding sentences and deleting sentences so my total word count did not change too much. I couldn’t help it. I added about 3,000~ words altogether. Progress is progress!
  • Change setting in one of the final scenes. (Rewrite needed) – Originally, this dramatic confrontation in the story took place at the scene of the crime. By changing the setting, it brought this unexpected plot twist. I love when your own writing surprises you.
  • Give some TLC to a character. One suspect in my mystery needs work. Frankly, I don’t know if it’s me second guessing myself or not. I reworked a character and considered adding elements to make him more complex. I just don’t want him to be the “gay one“. While he might still need a bit more tweaking, it was nice to spend some quality time with a side character. Even minor characters need TLC sometimes.
  • Rearrange sequence of events in the beginning. (Editing needed) – Oh boy, it was like rearranging furniture. This chunk of events in the beginning of the story felt so disjointed and bumpy. I had to find the right order of events, so things made sense. I’m still smoothing out transitions but I think I got it.

Reading Goals

  • Read a book. Literally one book. – I bought more books, but didn’t read much this month. I really need to read more.

Tune in next week for my writing goals for March.

How did your writing endeavors for the month go? Talk to me in the comments!

Write with Heart,

Lady Jabberwocky

Writing Services // Follow Me on Twitter

Is The Sims 4 Freelance Career Accurate? A Real Freelancer Finds Out.

Hello writer bugs!

My birthday was this week. And the Sims 20th anniversary was this week too. So, to celebrate both, I’m gonna kick back and play the Sims.

Now, I’m no gamer. Sorry. On occasion, this lady enjoys playing the Sims for hours at a time. Whenever lighthearted entertainment is needed in my life. But there’s a twist! I’m mixing my love of the Sims with my freelancing adventures. This is a post I’ve wanted to do for so long, and today feels like the perfect time.

How accurate is the Freelance career in the Sims 4? This lady freelancer is putting it to the test.

Meet Brie Lance, the freelance writer. Note the messy bun and the oversized sweater. A typical appearance for a freelancer in the wild.

I played through a couple of days (sim time, of course) and found that some parts of the freelance career path were nailed perfectly and with that iconic sense of sim humor.

  • Sometimes you get assigned those fluff articles, or “clickbait” articles. Yes, I’ve written those listicles. Yes, I’ve written those oddball topics. Everyone starts somewhere, right?
  • The whole rewrite and revisions aspect of the game is 100 percent accurate. And I can confirm that that initial disappointment to rejected content is also accurate.
  • What I loved most was the diversity of projects. Everything from articles to ghostwriting to proofreading essays. All of it. Freelancers must be incredibly versatile. You never know what you’ll be working on.

However, not everything about the freelance career was correct. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not criticizing EA nor expecting changes. This is just one lone freelancer’s opinion.

  • Freelancers can have regular 9 to 5 jobs while also freelancing. I know a lot of writers who have day jobs. Actually, It’s odd that sims weren’t able to even have a part time job while perusing freelance work too.
  • Working on multiple projects at once. Freelancers are hustlers, and usually are juggling several different projects at once. That would have been a cool game function for the more experienced freelancers.
  • I’m surprised her social meter wasn’t in the red all the time. The poor girl never left the house or talked to her neighbors. “Chatting with the client” isn’t really social interaction.

And when Brie Lance the Freelance writer needed a break, she just hung out in her pjs and played sims in her sadness. Sounds about right to me.


Happy freelancing (and simming), writing bugs! Talk to me in the comments!

Write with Heart,

Lady Jabberwocky

Writing Services // Follow Me on Twitter

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