how I deal with writing doubts

I’m currently having one of those days where I think that everything I have written would be better written on the toilet paper. This thought process usually happens when I have too much on my plate. The stress of things, being sick, sick kids, a stagnant word count all amount to frustrating times.

Some days I don’t deal with the doubts. They run rampant with the head miles of how much I suck, my ideas suck and my storyline sucks. But somewhere in those moments, I hear a little ‘well, maybe it doesn’t suck that much. Just write the idea down and see if you can make something work from it’.  When I’m having a ‘this is craptastic’ day. I have a vent on paper. I write out a resentment sheet. If it’s still bugging me, I’ll talk to about it to hopefully gain an insight that puts my head right.

I’ve had to learn very quickly that comparison is the thief of joy. Granted yes, I write contemporary romance. The biggest genre. I wrote a rock star book. A very popular theme. There’s a lot of books out there with awesome storylines and beautiful covers. It’s been easy for me to sit and compare.  I have to remind myself of a few things. I wrote a story that I’ve not read before. I didn’t want my cover to fall into the sea of naked chests. (Nothing wrong with that if that’s your liking). I will often pick up a book and start reading. This is not to say ‘I can do better’, I never think that. That author had a dream to put their story out there for others to see, that’s what I think and I want to do the same thing. Be it a good reaction or not so good reaction to a story, that author is still living my dream.

There have been some days where my head miles are running rampant and I can’t stop the voices from saying how much I suck. There are some days where it will take me all day to write a sentence and then I’ll end up deleting it. When I have those days, I just walk away. I give myself a breather. By stepping away, this is a sure-fire way to get my characters to talk to me. Doing something else. Even the menial task of housework has been known to get me scrambling back to the desk to get the scene down.

When I know a scene or sentence or something isn’t sitting right for me. I’ll mark it down and workshop it. That means I sit down and brainstorm ideas of why it’s not working. When I’ve done that and if I still hate it, that’s when I start cutting ideas or moving them around. Just because it doesn’t fit there, doesn’t mean the whole thing is crap.

The main thing is – stick at it. Others might not believe in your dream, but that’s okay, they’re not living our lives. So how do you overcome those stagnant times?

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Rock Bottom Excerpt

I am super excited to share my story of an Aussie boy falling in love with an English girl while his world is falling apart. I have been working on this book for over a year and it’s getting closer. Sign ups are available for bloggers and reviewers, but I’m also going to do an advance reader copy giveaway for a lucky reader – keep your eyes peeled for that one.

Without further adieu – here is part of the first chapter of Rock Bottom.

 

Chapter One

REECE

My ears are ringing. The dull drone is amplified by the drumming of blood thumping in my head. This is not from the hordes of people singing along to our songs at a sold out concert. No, no. This ringing is from the understanding of the conversation that just went down. My band mate Sean is nowhere to be found. He’s dropped off the face of the Earth. That means, without him. I have no band. Without a band, I have no tour. Without a tour, I have no career. And without a career, I’m nobody. My band is my life, and now that the other half of the band is gone, I have no life. A little voice in my head is telling me ‘I’m Reece fucking Ashton, and I’m a superstar’. Well, I was a rock God until about twenty-four hours ago. I stand up, stretch my legs in the jeans I’ve been wearing since yesterday, and start to pace my manager’s office in the heart of London. My hands make a fist and shake my fingers open. This sick to the stomach feeling hasn’t left me since I found his letter of ‘I’m sorry. I’ll make it up to you’ in my dressing room yesterday. My stomach rolls again, but my anger tampers it down just for a moment. I close my hands over my ears, but that just amplifies the ringing, and let out a long frustrated sigh when I move my hands.

“There have to be options.” My gravelly voice doesn’t sound like my own. A couple of hours of hard drinking and trying to find the answer at the bottom of a bottle has left me feeling less than stellar. “What about a replacement?” I run my hand over my stubbly chin before grabbing at the back of my neck to try and loosen the muscles. I push off the chair, and it causes it to knock into the coffee table. I turn and catch a glimpse of myself in the window’s reflection. My normally styled blond hair is a floppy, lank mess and in serious need of a wash. Everything about me needs a wash. The dark circles under my green eyes highlight my tiredness. My Hendrix shirt has trapped the smell of sweat and alcohol as I’ve been too busy trying to call Sean to get answers and getting drunker with each dial. My hand slides up to my bicep and touches the tattoo peeking out from under my sleeve. It’s a picture of sheet music wrapping around my bicep. The first few chords of my first number one. It’s my reminder that hard work will pay off. It’s about the only thing that hasn’t been taken from me. As tired and as seedy as I am, I’m itching to go out for a run. I think I got an hour’s sleep on my manager’s lounge. This was the same lounge that I punched and kicked the shit out of when no one could answer me and the rotting truth had been confirmed. The last twenty-four hours have been my version of hell. I’m in desperate need of a shower, but wanting this sorted is my top priority.

“And even if a replacement was an option, what are you going to pay them with? Hugs? You have no access to any equity. The company isn’t going to comp you on this,” David, my manager says while holding his palms up to me. Even when it’s gone to shit, he’s optimistic about the future. “Besides, it was a done deal. Either the pair of you or nothing. That’s what the contract says.” So much for optimistic.

Taking David’s advice, we pooled all our assets under the business name. My bank accounts, bar one, are all managed under the umbrella that is now being checked over by the fine-toothed comb of the taxation department. That equals all my assets, even the money in my accounts tied to the business, are frozen. I have one credit card in my name and was set up for emergencies. I’m meant to be rehearsing on a stage that sits in the middle of an arena getting ready for our first world tour, not chewing my nails in an office watching it all disappear before my very eyes. My fingers dig into the back of the material covered lounge chair, and I lift it off the ground to bring it down sharply. If all eyes weren’t on me before, they are now. The jolt satisfies only a tiny part of me, and I fight the urge to toss the chair out of the window. Knowing that I would have to pay for that window to be fixed is the only thing stopping me.

“I can’t fucking believe this!” My left fist slams into my right palm. Pivoting on my foot, I pace in front of David’s desk. My knuckles rap twice on his desk before I turn to face him. “Truly. All fucking gone?” My right eye starts to twitch. I throw my fisted hands in the air and yell out ‘fuck’ ’til my lungs empty before pressing a knuckle into my eye. The two younger executives make for a quick exit following my outburst. I wait for them to scurry from the sinking ship that is my life before David turns back towards me. I’m fighting the urge to punch someone in the throat. “How in the fuck did this happen? How could this happen? You’re my manager, tell me how this happened! I trusted you that this would be the best decision. Where does this leave me? I can’t leave the country. I have a house I own outright back in Australia, but I can’t leave here to go back to it. What am I supposed to do?”

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Rock Bottom is © to Josephine Traynor and subject to change This work of fiction is protected by international copyright legislation and may not be copied or reproduced in any form except small amounts for the use in a review.

15 things about Josephine

Facts aboutJosephine

I was thinking of a fun post and I really like getting to know authors and little things about them, so here’s a quick 15 things to know about me 🙂

  1. I write my character maps and synopsis by hand in art books (nice big pages).
  2. I have a pen and sticky note problem. Seriously, wouldn’t have to buy a pen or sticky note for at least a year.
  3. My favourite tea is Darjeeling.
  4. My favourite season is Autumn. Warm sunny days with a crisp night for snuggling in bed with a book – perfection.
  5. I’m right handed.
  6. Dogs are fine but I prefer cats.
  7. I usually write in silence.
  8. I swear too much.
  9. I can’t stand Brussel sprouts. I have a horrid childhood memory from me that has scarred me for life.
  10. I’m able to lick the tip of my nose with my tongue. Don’t know why I’m sharing that, just thought it was interesting.
  11. I’ve been writing stories for years but finally got brave when I got sick of seeing others living my dream.
  12. My favourite food is bacon and eggs on crusty bread with Worcestershire sauce. Anytime of the DAY!
  13. Josephine is her favourite girl’s name.
  14. Traynor comes from Will Traynor of Jojo Moyes’ Me Before You.
  15. It’s been a struggle to get to 15 – I really do think I’m a typical suburban mum, dealing with life, two young kids, school, shift work and writing. I just want to make people happy with my stories. That’s my wish.

If you’d like to make contact with me, have a look for Josephine Traynor or @authorjtraynor on the socials.

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Announcement

Date announcement 1

So I have a little announcement to make.

I am super excited to say that my debut standalone rockstar contemporary romance Rock Bottom will be releasing on August 1. The cover is going to be revealed on June 20.

I am working with three different promotion groups to help Reece make a great entrance into the world. If rockstar romances are your thing, please look at the sign-up form and I’ll post the others as they become available.

The super speedy Enticing Journey Book Promotions already has sign-up available HERE.

Blurb:
Money. Fame. Success. I had it all. And now I nothing. No band. No contract. I’m roughing it with the commoners and I have no idea what the hell I’m doing.

Reece Ashton is used to living the dizzying heights of being a celebrity, that is until the other half of his band leaves just as they’re about to embark on a world tour. Sold out shows, groupies and the high life are long forgotten as he has to learn to fend for himself while living in suburbia. Hiding out in the tiny town of Portmouthe, England is as about as far away from the spotlight as possible. He doesn’t want to be there, and he’s got nothing but time on his hands. No job, limited money and no life skills – he’s completely out of his element. No one in town knows he’s there except one girl who keeps his secret. Falling in love was never part of his comeback plan.

Madelyn Arnett knows all too well what it’s like to be on the wrong end of the paparazzi. She’s quietly rebuilding her life in the sleepy town of Portmouthe away from the prying eyes of trash media when the most famous musician on earth ends up in her workplace. Worried that when the media comes hunting for him, they’ll find her, and she’s worked too hard to let some spoiled little rock star take her life away from her. But this helpless rock star is in need of a friend. Turns out, she’s the only person on the planet to truly know the real Reece Ashton. Fighting to not fall in love, she knows their time is fleeting as the glare of the spotlight comes hunting for Reece.

Life update …

So my fantabulous editor, Emma Mack of Ultra Editing Co has sent me back the edits for Rock Bottom and it’s now off to my proofer, Kim Ginsberg.  My cover designer, Cassy Roop of Pink Ink Designs has given me a cover that I absolutely adore! Can’t wait to show that chunk of love off.

I have been struggling with a story idea for a few weeks. It has been a real pain. The characters were being troublesome. I spent more time deleting what I’d written than adding to the story and felt like I was starting to lose my spirit. I vented to an author friend, who said ‘what else have you been thinking about?’ and I told her about my series idea. Well, that’s all it took. I packed away all my bits and bobs on The Office and pulled out my sketch book and started my series.

I sat my butt in the chair and wrote what was in my head. I managed to pump out 2,500 words that Friday night. The following day, my butt went into the chair again and I wrote what was in my head. Several interruptions and a grocery shop later, I got back in the chair and continued to write. I managed to pump out a might 12,500 words in ONE day, plus plot the other two stories in the series as they are intertwining. It still blows my mind. These characters are full of fun and spirit and a pleasure to write. Today though, (Sunday) I woke with a massive headache and had to have a nanna nap through the day. LOL.

By moving onto another story, I’ve even worked out why I was hating The Office so much. I know that story is going to be a total rewrite but that’s okay. I love what I do. If writer’s block is hitting you hard, do something else. It might seem like a wasted effort but if it gets you past a hurdle, the blip, the roadblock or gets you out of your own head – it’s worth it.

I’m signing off now to get back into my story and have a great day.

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About me

So a little about me …

I’m a writer with a dream of sharing the characters I see in my head with others and have you fall in love with them too. I have been a writer since I was a little girl and finally got brave enough to show my work to a friend. My friend asked for more and that, in turn, resulted in me showing a couple more friends, who told me this book needs to be published.

On the other side of the pen name, I’m a mother of two and that’s a big part of why I’m using a pen name. This is MY career choice, not theirs. It’s not about being ashamed of my work, far from it, I am super proud but I have a responsibility. The other reason is due to wanting to keep the focus on my work. For the lack of a better pun, I’m an open book, ask me anything, but I think my books are far more interesting than I am.

I think about writing and characters all the time. I love nothing more than sitting down at my computer, or even with my pen and notebook, to get my imagination down on paper. I try to create characters that feel like friends, people that the reader would want to know. I aim to write stories that not only give you a laugh, but have you thinking about your own life.

About the actual name – I’d chosen another name and found out that there is another author out there with the same name. Back to the drawing board, I chose my favourite name – which was Josephine. As for the Traynor part, I’d just finished read Jojo Moyes’ Me Before You and Will Traynor’s choices and suggestions about living to the fullest and without regret was another push for me to follow my dreams.

Thanks for dropping by and I hope you fall in love with a few laughs along the way.

Josephine

Where I’m at now …

So a little about where I’m at now.

My debut novel, Rock Bottom is getting a final run through and then it’s on its way to the editor for her to start on May 1. I’m expecting it back by the middle of May while my cover designer is working away.

I haven’t picked a release day yet and I only get to be a debut author once and I want to get it all ready to go rather than being rushed and missing deadlines.

Rock Bottom was so much fun to write. I had vivid images of certain scenes that it took pretty much a night for me to get it to six thousand words. It was just coming out of me. The characters were very persistent with showing me their lives.

Reece is really a manchild but in his defence, he’s not had to do the things for himself. I’m really excited about this book, yes, it’s a contemporary romantic comedy about a rockstar but I don’t believe I’ve read a book with this story line and that’s what sets it apart.

Madelyn is a heroine that I fell in love with. She’s strong, determined and that can actually work against her in some instances. She’s too independent to a fault.

I’ll keep you updated with developments and until then, have fun!

Josephine