Where Have I Been??? (and some news!)

Currently listening to: Say Amen, Panic! at the Disco

Could I have gone any longer without making a new blog post? A year and a half or so since my last post…that’s probably a new record. So what have I been up to, you may ask? Well, there’s been a lot of writing involved. Songstuck’s sequel has been revamped…oh, maybe 4 times now? To be quite honest, I’d been hitting some creative blocks with the story, and I’ve been trying to work that out. In the meantime, I’ve got another work in progress that I’m loving at the moment and hope to have a full draft completed in the next few months.

What else have I been doing? Traveling, for one. I’ve taken a few more trips to the east coast, and loved every minute. I’ve visited family and been awed by some amazing performers (lookin’ at you, flying all over the arena in a bungee-harness, P!nk…). I took a bit of a hiatus from writing for a few months during a rough transition period at work. It’s amazing how sheer exhaustion–mental and physical–can drain your creativity and motivation. It was in the midst of that hiatus that I started sorting things out with myself and trying to reset. Reworking old drafts suddenly felt like a chore, and wasn’t helping me out of the funk I’d found myself in. That’s when I turned toward a new story, and that’s just the change of pace I needed.

So now, to the news! I will be making an appearance at a writer’s even at Books to Benefit in Normal, IL. Books to Benefit is a great nonprofit organization that works to promote literacy. You can get more information about the event here.

~Sofia

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Back Down the Rabbit Hole

Currently listening to: “Just Like Fire” by P!nk

I HAVE OFFICIALLY GRADUATED! Now I have my Master’s degree, and I’m gearing up to start the brand-new job I got to go with it. But in the meantime, I realized something.

I’m not a student anymore. I’ve been a student for my whole life (okay, minus the first couple of years). And for the last two years, I was a student all the time. No summer breaks, no long, luxurious winter breaks…I didn’t have more than 5 days’ worth of break at a time, and I certainly haven’t had a break where I wasn’t expected to be thinking of assignments that needed completed.

There are no assignments right now. No papers or presentations or exams.

What the hell do I do now???? My job isn’t going to involve a ton of off-hours work. For the most part, I’ll be able to work while I’m at work, and once I’m home, that’s my time. You know what that means? I’m going to have time to write again! This will be the first time I’ve ever had that-leisure time that I can actually afford to spend writing. I had to shoehorn writing in while I was in undergrad, and quite frankly, even I wasn’t on top of my shit enough during the last year of my Master’s to put my coursework on the back burner like I did back then. It was rough trying to get Songstruck written, and it was rough getting all of the finalizing work done on it last year. But it was doable. This year, though? Guys, there are a lot of exams and things involved in wrapping up a Master’s degree. I’ve had time to sketch out some basic ideas–including some ideas for changing up how Stagestruck is currently going-but that’s about it.

And now that’s gonna change! I’ve got a few things coming up–a little trip back to NYC and then an event at a Barnes and Noble store–but then I’ll be getting on a more solid writing (and hopefully blogging because seriously, I suck at this. Someone give me an idea for a fun topic that can turn into a daily/weekly blog thing. :P) routine. I’m really looking forward to it.

~Sofia

Opportunity Knocks, or How To Sell Books

You know what’s tricky? It’s not writing the book (though that’s hard), or editing the book, or getting a cover for the finished book.

It’s getting people to buy the book.

That’s kind of where I get stuck. My book sells, don’t get me wrong. I see sales come in, or take a look and see that someone’s been reading a Kindle copy. But I don’t like to throw myself out into the spotlight, and along with that, I don’t actually enjoy marketing. I don’t like trying to get reviews. I don’t like reading reviews. I’m really just content to know that my work is out there, and that some people might find it and like it. I never thought that would happen, and never really imagined that I would be able to say that I’ve published a book. So to some extent, that alone is enough for me. But I do still like to see sales come in. I mean, there’s always something especially nice about seeing that someone, somewhere has decided to spend a couple bucks to read my work. I mean, that’s just outrageous, right? This thing that I spent so long making, and someone I don’t know–and in quite a few cases, someone who lives on an entirely different continent–decided they wanted to buy it? I love that. I’d love to see people keep finding my work and taking a chance on it.

And that’s where the “opportunity” from the title comes in. It’s still in the planning stages, and may not happen at all, but I might have a chance to participate in a workshop at a pretty big bookstore, and that bookstore would put in a special order for copies of my book. I would take part in some of the activities planned, maybe do a talk about what the process of self-publishing and/or writing a book is like, things like that. It’s the best kind of marketing for me, really, because I wouldn’t really be doing any marketing–I’d just be talking about stuff I know and like, and my book would just happen to be there.

~Sofia

Journals and Jobs

I know, I know-I apologized about a month ago for the lack of activity, and then I promptly went silent again.

I’m terrible at maintaining a routine, you guys, and I doubt I’ll really get better at it. I’ve been trying for years to be good at things like this. Things like using planners consistently to keep my schedule straight, or journaling every day, or keeping up a blog…I try. I’m just really bad at it. So as an update, here’s my life so far, broken down into easy-to-digest (or easy-to-ignore for those of you who really don’t care 😛 ) bullet points:

  • I have another exam on Saturday. This one’s to certify me as a National Certified Counselor. It’s a Big Deal and I’m hoping I don’t fail.
  • I haven’t studied for that^ because, again, I’m bad at routine things like regularly making time to study.
  • I got a JOB!
  • I’ve bought about four new journals in the past two months, and they’re all still basically blank
  • I dozed off and fell off my exercise bike the other day
  • I have another trip to NYC (and another ticket to Hamilton)

 

That pretty much covers it. I’m also using April (or more specifically, Camp NaNoWriMo) to buckle down and finish Stagestruck. I’m so horrendously behind schedule on that, and part of the reasoning is that I feel like I need to overhaul a lot of it. Something just isn’t clicking right now, and I’m not 100% sure which element is bothering me. Not knowing makes me reluctant to work on it, because I don’t want to work on a project if I don’t think I’m going to like the final product. At the same time, I don’t want to scrap it entirely and I don’t want to start editing things prematurely. It’s a pain, and I keep finding excuses to procrastinate. Granted, some of those excuses are pretty damn valid. For example, that exam I mentioned up in the list? That’s pretty freakin’ important. Because as much as I’d like to be a super-successful author who doesn’t need a day job to survive…I’m not, and I’m getting ready to start a career outside of writing. To guarantee that career, I need to pass that exam. No passing means that the job offer I snagged a couple of weeks ago will be withdrawn and I’ll be in some serious financial trouble once student loan payments start. I need a job, so pretty much everything leisure or hobby related needs to be on hold until at least the end of this week. After that, I think I’ll have finally run out of excuses to feed my procrastination and uncertainty.

And hell. Maybe I will just start rewriting Stagestruck. Or maybe I’ll break from my usual habit and actually plot things out and find out what needs to change that way.

~Sofia

Time Flies!

Wow! Sorry for the radio silence. The last few weeks have seriously been kicking my butt.

I was sick for a while with some odd, undiagnosed (because I’m one of those people who never thinks to go to a doctor until I’m already feeling better) illness, first. So that was a terrible few weeks. I was also spending those few weeks frantically studying for a big exam for my grad program. Friendly tip: make sure you know what the date of an important exam is. I’d thought it was March 25.

It was, in fact, March 4.

Anyway, I got that exam out of the way, only to realize that I’ve also been falling behind on my internship hours, which I need to, you know, finish my program. 😛

So all in all, I’ve been having a hectic time lately, and my free time hasn’t been spent writing because, honestly, when I’m this busy, writing stresses me out, too. I’ve worked on a few projects here and there, but not the projects I need to be working on (read as: Stagestruck). I’m finally getting myself back on track, though (except with those pesky internship hours), and that means hammering myself back into some semblance of an actual routine. Time for school stuff, time for work stuff, and time for writing stuff. I’m also trying to kick my habit of starting story on top of story on top of story and neglecting existing works. I’ve got Stagestruck to finish, after all, and I’ve got another project that’s maybe 1/3 finished that I’m rather fond of and would like to finish. And I got a lovely idea for another one that I’ve forced myself to jot down in a quick note on my phone and then leave alone. At least until I get something else off my plate! I know that Camp NaNoWriMo is coming up, and NaNo has always been a good time for me to really focus on getting writing done. I’m always able to make myself sit down and get words on the page when I’ve got that as a motivation to carve out more writing time than usual. Once I get the first draft done, things always go pretty smoothly as far as revisions, edits, etc. I just need to get the words down first!

~Sofia

Short Stories

Currently Listening To Irresistible by Fall Out Boy

The site that currently hosts my short stories, QuarterReads.com, is no longer active (*sad face*). In light of that, I’ll be looking for another place to post the stories. I’ll probably settle on Wattpad, but I’ll do my due diligence and see what other options are out there. In the meantime, I’ll also be posting the full short stories (rather than the shorter samples) here on my site.

If you use any sites to post short stories or other writing, or if you have favorite sites to go to read content on, let me know! What sites do you like? Dislike?

~Sofia

Merry Christmas & Happy Holidays!

Currently listening to the In the Heights Original Cast Recording

Merry Christmas, everyone!

If you’re anything like me, the holidays tend to be something of a mixed blessing. On the one hand, they provide a much-needed break and some fun celebration. On the other hand, they’re exhausting. I love my family, but for Christmas, I usually have around three days’ worth of near-constant family contact.

Basically, I need a break from my break. 😛 I need a nap and some alone time. Luckily, I’ve had a couple of chances to have some of that alone time. And I’ve been spending it writing like crazy, because my Christmas break is also the only tiny sliver of time I’ve managed to carve out as writing time. I’ve fallen behind my original timeline for having Stagestruck‘s first draft completed, but I’m okay with that; I’m making good progress on it, and that’s what matters right now.

In the meantime, remember that I’m running a giveaway of the new edition of Songstruck on Goodreads. Just click here and follow the instructions to enter!

3d on transparent SONGSTRUCK

Happy Holidays!

~Sofia