Tag Archives: encouragement

15 Ways to Beat Writer’s Block

Hello Writer bees!

Hope you are are staying safe and writing wonderful work. And if you are feeling stuck with your writing, that’s alright too. Sometimes, it can be hard to get the words on the page. Don’t be discouraged. Writer’s block happens to everyone, myself included. So today, I’m sharing some tips for beating the block and rekindling inspiration once again.

Be honest and ask yourself, “how do I break out of this funk I’m in?” and “What’s stopping me from writing?” Depending on what you need, there are three courses of action to take. Whatever route you choose, find what works for you.

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Push to Writing – the need to shake up you writing habits.

  1. Write in some place other from your usual spot. No need to chain yourself to your desk. Write in a different room of your home. Or outside. A new, quiet place.
  2. Freewriting: Write the first things that comes to mind, whatever it may be. Follow where the words take you. On a time crunch? Take a 5 minute writing sprint and write as fast as you can.
  3. Set deadlines and stick to them. Reach for a daily wordcount goal that’s achievable and works with your schedule. Even if it’s only a 100 words a day. You’ll be 100 words closer to your finished draft.
  4. Try writing exercises and prompts. They can be a fun, well-needed challenge for some writers. But where can you find prompts? I post a Prompt of the Week every Monday. Check them out!
  5. Use a different writing tool. Instead of a keyboard, switch to paper or sticky notes or colorful markers.

Recharge – The need to step back from your writing endeavors.

  1. Take a break! A real one. Relax. And don’t think about your story. A little separation from your WIP is fine. Sometimes, lightbulb moments happen when you least expect. I speak from experience.
  2. Go for a walk. Alone, with music, or with a dog. Walks are great. Socially distanced walks while wearing masks is even better.
  3. Get cozy and curl up with a good book. Fuzzy socks included. Let your mind unwind and dive into a whole new world.
  4. Drink some coffee/tea/alcoholic beverage of choice. And stuff your face with your favorite food. Writing is hard work. Treat yourself to that tub of ice cream or bag of potato chips. I won’t judge.
  5. Sleep it off, or just lounge around. Rest, physically and mentally. There are times when the best ideas can come right before you fall asleep. Keep a notepad on your nightstand ready, in case you need to jot down ideas.
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Getting motivated and inspired! – the need to get pumped to write again, or find inspiration.

  1. Browse through photos; especially images that relate to your story’s genre. Create an aesthetic board featuring images that remind you of your story. If you are writing historical fiction, keep a folder of snapshots from that time period.
  2. Talk it out. Talking to another person, writer or non-writer, about your ideas can get those creative juices flowing. Find someone you feel safe with and who encourages you. Don’t waste your time with people who judge you harshly.
  3. Read some quotes from some famous authors. Gather inspiration from the authors who came before you.
  4. Connect with other writers. The writing community is a fantastic group of creatives. Make friends, chat about WIPs, support each other through those tough times. It’s nice to have someone in your corner, to have that support system.
  5. Be okay with writing trash. Not everything you write will be perfect. And that’s fine, that’s what editing is for. Instead of striving for perfection, strive for the story that future readers can connect with. That’s the real goal, isn’t it?

How do you get through writer’s block? What’s your advice to a writer who is struggling? Let me know if the comments.

Stay safe and keep writing!

— Lady Jabberwocky.

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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

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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

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NaNoWriMo 2020 (Week 4)

Hello everyone!

There’s only a few days left on National Novel Writing Month. We’re in the home stretch. Keep writing everyone, the finish line is in sight!

Sorry, this update will be short. Recently, I’ve been starting to get wrapped up with holiday preparations. I’m spending time with family and doing some Christmas shopping.

For those wondering, I had a small, relaxing thanksgiving with my family. We watched March of the Wooden Soldiers, our holiday tradition. It’s a classic Laurel and Hardy film. I cooked a dairy free meal and stayed in sweatpants all day. A lovely dinner, indeed.

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Onto my NaNoWriMo progress! Unfortunately, I haven’t written much this week. What with the holidays and all. I’m still hovering around 10,000 words, halfway to my goal. Although, I haven’t made much progress word count wise, I’ve gained a new perspective on my story. There’s been some tinkering with the outline and characters.

Suspects are developing and growing more complex. New scenes and setting are being added and explored. Clues in my mystery are being more thought out and carefully placed. Despite the word count total staying the same, my WIP has grown/evolved this month. And that, I will celebrate.

Also, I’m acknowledging my weaknesses as a writer. Setting and character descriptions don’t come easily to me. It’s something I’m actively working on. I’m trying to take the time to imagine something in vivid details. Man, this Nano experience is becoming a real eye opener for me, huh?

Still, I’m inspired to keep writing even after the end of November. NaNoWriMo in December anyone?


Thanks for stopping by this blog! I appreciate all the support and positive vibes. How’s your NaNoWriMo project going? Did you reach your goals? Talk to me in the comments. I love to hear from you all.

Stay safe and keep writing

—- Lady Jabberwocky

NaNoWriMo 2020 – Week 3

Hello everyone,

We are on week three of National Novel Writing Month. How’s everyone hanging in there? Hope your projects are going well and your plans are on track.

I’m nearing the 10,000 word mark, which is halfway to my goal. I’ve been writing a little bit everyday, mostly during my lunch break at work, when I’m hiding in my cubicle. Will I reach 20,000 words by the end of the month? The pessimist in me says probably not. However, I’m writing and actually making good progress. For once, I don’t feel stuck in my WIP anymore. And that was my main goal for NaNoWriMo, to get unstuck with my story. Can you believe it? It took two slow weeks of writing to finally kick in to high gear.

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But I will admit, I fudged up a bit. Another goal for the month was to not delete anything I had written. And I did. Believe me, I had to. Those unnecessary junk words were getting in my way. It was like pulling weeds out of a garden. Still, I’m trying not to delete any more sentences, at least for the rest of November. December will be a complete slaughter of words when I start editing, I can assure you.  

Remember last week? When I told you guys I was having trouble figuring out a single clue in my murder mystery? The story needed a piece of evidence connecting a suspect to the victim. This missing puzzle piece had been bothering me for weeks. Well, I might’ve cracked the case, no pun intended. I’m in the middle of workshopping an idea for a clue that might be what I’m looking for, what my plot needs. Although, I’m not sure yet if this clue will make the final draft, I still want to test it out. NaNo is all about trying new things in writing, right?

Image result for light bulb moment gif | Funny reaction gifs,  Vulnerability, Creative process

I think opening up about my writer struggles to you guys opened up my brain to a sprig of inspiration. Good thing this blog is like the empty void I yell my writer frustrations into.  Creative endeavors are hard work. Us writer need to stick together and support one another. The writing community is absolutely amazing that way. So, thank you very much, my lovely readers, for all your kind words and support during NaNoWriMo. You really have no idea how much I appreciate your encouragement and sweetness.

For now, I’ll continue writing this murder mystery while preparing for the holidays. Sounds reasonable enough.


Talk to me in the comments. Let me know how your NaNoWriMo projects are going. And honest question, what frustrates you about writing? This empty void is big enough for everyone to yell into. As always, I love to hear from you writer bees. Best of luck to everyone participating in NaNoWriMo!

Stay safe and keep writing!

— Lady Jabberwocky

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NaNoWriMo 2020 (Week 2)

Hello everyone!

November is flying by. We’re almost at the halfway point for National Novel Writing Month. Hope everyone’s NaNoWriMo projects are going well.

Good news, I’ve been writing. Not much, but words had been added to my WIP. I’ve written a little over 5,000ish words total, which is about 25% of my NaNoWriMo goal. Actually, I’m taking my own advice and reading my old posts on building suspense in fiction. Surprised some of my writing tips are actually helpful. The inklings of new scenes have been introduced to the outline. Funny enough, I resurrected a scene from my original draft from years ago. I guess having 1,000 drafts comes in handy, now and then.

Since my WIP is set in the 1920s, I’ve hit some bumps in the road with historical accuracy this week. Which happens. Coincidently, It’s happened quite a bit this week. Three or four things I thought about incorporating into the story were not around in 1924. Bummer. Still, it keeps me on my toes, and it forces me to think outside the box. Sure, my MC can’t take his date to a “talkie”, but what else could they do for fun during the roaring 20’s? Drinks at a speakeasy, anyone?

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When writing “historical fiction”, continuity and accuracy with every little detail is critical. So, if talking films or televisions or flashlights were not created yet, it can’t be in the story. That’s why researching your setting is important. And you actually learn a tidbit of trivia along the way.

Down side to NaNoWriMo, writer’s block and self doubt returned at the beginning of this week. However, I’ve rebounded and am pushing through. I’m starting to worry I won’t reach my goal for the month. I wish I could write more words each day. I’m sure I’m not the only one feeling this way. All we have to do is keep writing. We must keep in mind that progress is progress, no matter how small.

Stay Positive Good Vibes GIF by Positively Present

Y’know, this blog is about sharing my honest experience as a writer while helping other writers. And lots of you have commented in the past about how hard writing a mystery must be. I’ve encountered this exact challenge this week. Frankly, one single clue in my murder mystery is holding up the entire operation. Snagged on a small detail. Can you believe that? Like a missing puzzle piece that’s driving me nuts.

Sometimes, a mystery story is a mystery to the author behind the mystery. Even I’m still untangling things with my outline. Mystery writing is all about balance, juggling clues and suspects is the trickiest part. How and when to present a clue to the audience is like a game. That’s why I’m using my time with NaNoWriMo to sort clues and suspects in the story.

Detective GIFs | Tenor

I’ll figure it out. I’ll keep on writing. Just cross your fingers for me, writer bees.


How’s your NaNoWriMo project going? Talk to me in the comments. I love to hear from you all.

Stay safe and keep writing

—- Lady Jabberwocky

NaNoWriMo 2020 – A Slow Start (Week One)

Hello writer bees!

Hope everyone has had a productive start to National Novel Writing Month. I’ve been following a bunch of amazing writers on Twitter, reading their excerpts and praising their impressive word counts. Seriously, some of you are incredibly talented and really crushing November. Hats off to you folks. You are doing great!

Unfortunately, I’ve had a slow beginning to NaNoWriMo.

Of course I got super sick the first weekend of November. Of course I did. While everyone else got a jumpstart on writing, I was curled up with cramps all weekend. And then, when I started to feel better, the election happened. (And kept happening.)

I don’t know about you all, but I’ve been a bundle of stress and anxiety for the past couple days. Between NaNo and this seemingly never-ending election alone, my brain is fried.

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However, I’m trying to make up for lost time. Writing during lunch breaks at work and after hours. I’ve added a few thousand to my overall wordcount. Maybe about 3,000 words this week? Not a big leap, but hey, progress is progress. Sticking with my untraditional goals, nothing has been deleted, no matter how badly I want to. Plus, that twinkle of motivation is returning to my work, which is what NaNoWriMo is all about, right?

Yes, It’s been a slow start for me. I have not given up yet. Slowly but surely, this WIP will get finished. Eventually. Shout out to my lovely boyfriend for being supportive and providing snacks during this crazy time. I plan to spend this weekend doing some writing sprints, boost my word count up and workshop some new ideas for scenes. That’s the hope anyway. Cross your fingers for me.

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To all those participating in National Novel Writing Month, best of luck in your writing endeavors. No matter how many words you write, celebrate every victory.

How is your NaNoWriMo journey going? What is your project? What are your goals for the month? And seriously, how are you feeling, you know, emotionally? Talk to me in the comments. I love to hear from you.

Safe safe and keep writing, writer bees!

— Lady Jabberwocky

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Buy me a cup of tea during NaNoWriMo?

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My Untraditional NaNoWriMo Plans

Hello Writer bees!

It’s that time of year again. NaNoWriMo season. Can you believe it?

For those of you who don’t know, NaNoWriMo is a non-profit that supports creative writing and educational programs for aspiring writers.  It’s also an event that challenges writers across the country to write 50,000 during the month of November. With National Novel Writing Month fast approaching, this really is a fun opportunity to connect with other writers and share creative projects.

Which leads me to the big question you’re probably wondering:

Am I participating this year?

Short answer? Yes, of course, I wouldn’t miss it! Maybe fourth time is the charm.

Here’s the thing. My goals for this year’s NaNoWriMo are untraditional, to say the least. Some probably won’t be impressed. However, they are the writing goals I’m shooting for nonetheless. And who knows? Maybe they will change during my NaNo adventure.

My NaNoWriMo Goals

  • Write 20,000(ish) by November 30th. Not the usual 50,000. Keep in mind, my WIP is well underway word count wise.
  • Push past writer’s block and self doubt.
  • Write without deleting or editing. This has been a problem for me in Previous NaNoWRiMo trips.

I’ll admit, my WIP has been stuck lately. Writer’s block is intense, as is the writer’s doubt. Feel like I just need to get over this hill to make it to the finish line. I’m using NaNo as a vehicle to get… unstuck. To workshop new ideas and to gain momentum once again. My greatest hope is to have a finished story by the end of it.   

Prepping for NaNoWriMo

Whenever I see other writers preparing for National Novel Writing Month, my heart swells with pride. Seriously, you all are remarkable. The way some of you are prepping inspires me. I only wish to have a morsel of that enthusiasm. Here’s how I’m getting ready for the main event.

  • Straighten out plot outline (again)
  • Create an aesthetic and inspiration board/file.
  • Flushing out characters.
  • Brainstorm possible additional scenes.
  • Organize all these sticky notes! They’re everywhere!

In an effort to share my journey with those interested, I’ll be posting weekly updates on this blog and staying active on Twitter during NaNoWriMo. I look forward to connecting with more fellow writers out there. As always, thank you guys so much for following my writer adventures. Your support means everything.


Are you participating in National Novel Writing Month? How are you prepping? How are you feeling emotionally? What are your writing goals? Talk to me in the comments, I love to hear from you!

Stay safe and keep writing!

Love, Lady Jabberwocky

Celebrating 500 Followers!

Hello Writer bees!

Lady Jabberwocky has hit a big milestone. I’ve reached 500 followers on WordPress. That’s unbelievable, that’s halfway to 1000. My brain can’t compute those numbers right now. Thank you all so very much.

It’s been a long week for me. My new job has been a challenge. Life has been a challenge. But to know that you all are rallying behind me keeps me going. I’m lucky to have such wonderful followers.

In honor of reaching 500 followers, I’ll let you in on what plans I’ve been brainstorming for Lady Jabberwocky. Lately, I’ve been considering some new additions to the blog, ones I hope you all will appreciate.

First would be adding a tip jar to the end of my posts. If you want to be generous and throw this dog a bone, the option will be there. No pressure to you guys. It would really help support this writer.

Also, I’d like to start having a book of the week, a spotlight on great works of literature. It’d be my way of supporting and encouraging readers and authors alike. The plan is to have a link to a book recommendation at the end of each Friday post. These ideas are still be on the drawing board, but I might test them out in my upcoming posts. Keep your eyes open!

Thank you so much for your support and interest in my humble little blog. Seriously, Lady Jabberwocky would not be here without you lovely folks.

Stay safe out there and keep writing!

Love, Victoria (a.k.a. Lady Jabberwocky)

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Need a burst of inspiration? Try one of my writing prompts of the week. Interested in reading my recent dabbles in 100 word stories? Check out The Basil Sprites and Death by Dinner Conversation.

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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