For Readers & Writers

from Susan Dennard

March 13, 2015
Another Friday the 13th. The second one in 2015. I wonder if this means something...

In other news, my trip to Philly, New Jersey, and NYC was amazing. To any and all readers and writers I met along the way: THANK YOU. I had so, so, SO much fun thanks to you all.

For the Misfits:
Recent Musical Jams

It's that time! Time to share some awesome musical finds!

But first: Don't forget that I'll be chatting and signing books at the Oak Lawn Library on 3/18 at 7PM! If you're in the Chicago area, then I'd LOVE to see you!! 

AND, in case you're new to the newsletter, I have a signup form for Truthwitch ARCs. I can't guarantee that everyone will get an advanced copy, but if you sign up, then you've at least got a very good chance. ;)

Now on to THE MUSIC.

I have to give a huge, huge, MONDO thank you to reader Juniper for turning me onto 8tracks. This website and app have introduced me to some awesome new music over the past two months.

And, just as Juniper kindly shared her favorite playlists with me, I thought I'd share mine with you all!
What I REALLY love is that I can share playlists with non-members--that was something I couldn't do with Spotify. So, to celebrate this new sharing method, I've made a fun playlist of my most recent musical obsessions! (No surprise: there's a TON of Dragon Age stuff on there. ;))

Happy listening!

For the Daydreamers:
Regaining Your Writing Groove

I got this question in the forum a few weeks ago, and it really hit a deep chord for me. I can just feel the frustration (and self-confusion!) in this question--and I can so very, very relate.

Any tips for refocusing on my writing? The writing that I love is the reason I’m doing this author thing in the first place, but after such a long (unfortunately necessary) break from it, I don’t have my groove back. Did you experience anything like this after SS&D was released?

You are so, so, SO not alone, @jonesgirl4.

I cannot emphasize that enough: this happens to EVERYONE. I don't know a single author who hasn't felt this.

I mean, I definitely experienced this "loss of groove" after Something Strange & Deadly released. Then again after A Darkness Strange & Lovely released...and then AGAIN after Strange & Ever After too.

Any time I have to step away from writing and throw all my energy into something else, I find it VERY hard to get back into the drafting groove.

That "something else" includes revising or copyediting or any of the non-drafting stuff! When I put ALL my creative focus into something that is NOT drafting a new story, then I always, always, always find it hard to refocus.

Darn near impossible to refocus, actually.

As I've touched on in the past, the Drafting Susan is SO different from the Revising Susan or the Book Event Susan or the Social Media Susan...or even the Newsletter Susan.

True fact: I had to drag myself away from writing this afternoon to do this newsletter. I was totally in the story zone, but I have a duty (one that I value and take very seriously) to deliver regular, high quality content to my Misfits and Daydreamers. So, in-the-drafting-zone or not, I
 FORCED my brain to shift gears.

And, once I finish this newsletter, I will force my brain to shift gears back into Drafting Mode.

If you're like me (and my author friends), then every time you start a new book, you feel like a beginner. Every time you sit down to draft something new and untread, you realize you have NO IDEA WHAT THE HECK YOU'RE DOING. Every word feels horrible, and you wonder how you possibly wrote an entire book before this (and published it, too! You must've fooled everyone).

Ha. Welcome to being a writer.

This is why I cannot emphasize ENOUGH the importance of ritual and routine. BICHOK as much as you can (it doesn't have to be everyday! Just what works for your personal rhythms).

Daydream and refill your creative well at every opportunity.

Immerse, immerse, IMMERSE yourself in your writing as much as you can.

Above all, though, be kind to yourself. I'm being the biggest hypocrite here since I'm never kind to myself, but it's worth mentioning anyway.

It's not easy to jump back and forth, and almost ALL creatives struggle with being amphibious. Trust the process; the book will come out.

At least, this is what I KEEP telling myself as I struggle right now to write a first draft of Windwitch. ;) Every morning, I sit at my laptop or notebook and I hammer out some words. A lot of those words get thrown out by the end of the day, but at least I'm showing up for work. That adds up over time.

I'm also immersing myself in my writing as much as a I can (no blog posts, fewer newsletters, sparse social media interactions), and I'm immersing myself in the FEEL of my book. I use music (see above), video games (Dragon Age Inquisition!!), TV, movies, and books to LIVE in the world I want to write about. Stories are all around me, so my Muse has no choice but to live-breathe-think-EXIST in that realm.

And I'm finding that the more I show up every day and immerse-immerse-immerse, the more the flow and writing-love are returning.

I hope the same approach works for you. :)

Now here are some links to wrap up your week! 
And as always, if you have any questions about, drop by the forum to askThanks for reading!

photo by Emily Rae Photography

Copyright © 2014
Susan Dennard
All rights reserved.

110 West 40th St., Suite 410
New York, NY 10018

I'm a misfit, a daydreamer, an animal-lover, and a (now gluten-free) cookie-eater.