Poetry 1-26-2023 (a collection)

I was supposed to write something wonderful today, about writing or marketing or something akin.

I was supposed to sell my books to you today and tell you how much you’ll love them, and how fun my writing is. I was supposed to remind you to submit, to tell you to check out my social. To connect to me in a thousand different ways, and hey–leave a review if you can? And tell me you’re favorite romance trope…

But today…is not that day. Today the poet sits in the captain-of-my-soul chair. Today I want to connect to you with words and not flashing scrolling reels. Because today, grief and loss are sitting heavy in my soul. Because I’ve crossed over a line I cannot travel back over. Because I have lost so much of myself. And I am tired. Today I am tired. And I’m full of heavy words and thoughts.

So– I’m not going to sell you my books, or my enemies to lovers tropes, or my poetic tomes. I’m not going to sell you myself today. I’m just going to gift you a piece of my heart, while I still have some of it to call my own.

Photo by Vera Silkina on Pexels.com
Rooted

I fell
a lone tree in the woods
not even the soft whisper of leaves
touching ground
to announce my end

and now, even slain
recumbent on the forest floor
my heart continues on
in irregular beats
a strange, sad creature
gnarled and stubborn
a stump not removed,
rooted too deep 
a fixture of these 
dark woods

you cut into my core
the center rings
the childhood yew
the heart of my heart
cleaved in two
with such a cruel and easy
grace

I am no fixture to you
no rooted thing
you see forests,
not me
a weeping willow, 
scythed down, 
with one stroke 
of your sharp
and pitiless
tongue.



Found
 
when they find me

i will be alone

the questions and headshakes
directed in quizzical depths
to the loam and silt they cannot sort through
no reasoning to be caught
in bucket or screen
 
when they find me

dressed as animals are
in the skin i was in
the day i roared into the plain
i will shock in cold white
filled with trout breath
and minnow kisses
 
When they find me
broken shell
battered 
lovely in purple and blue
head struck rock 
knee scraped branches
lips in shades to make 
mountain bluebell envious
they will lament
such wasted splendor
 
when they find me

the questions of why
i was lost to the brine 
a jointer to the self-takers before me
whispers will static the air
of all the ways i failed
and too long loitered in futility
 
when they find me

they will burn the empty package
while I sneak, 
soul-snake in water
down river bends to the sea

never to be found again


This Isn't a Poem for You

So this isn’t a poem for the broken hearted
it is not for those who were left behind
or ghosted
or dumped
or abused
or disregarded

This is a poem for those who watched
as another soul walked away
sat in their silence
was released from another person’s life
faced pain at their hands
or were simply ignored
into nothingness…

You are the warriors of time
you, who have felt the sting
of heart break 
and disappointments

you are the carriers of grief
and the bodies made of scars
and you have lived through
every burning cut
and every lonely night

This is not for the soul they broke,

this is for the you that survived.

This is not a sermon from some high tower
that you are stronger for it
that you are braver because of it
that you are a better person
a heart bigger, 
with these new and ragged cracks 
to let the light in

I will only tell you what I know

You survived.

you packed up your heart and your mind
and you moved on
you accepted their silence
you treated your wounds and closed the door
you started paying attention to yourself 
when they no longer did

and that carries weight

self determination
and the ability to move past
the fickle and soft-seated lies,
of a love always perched to flee 
the very second things got hard

Your feet remain grounded
and you outlasted

You heart is a seasoned warrior
and it may never let another in

but it doesn’t have space anyway
because in their absence
beyond the echoes of their abuse
the pain of their mistreatment,
you’ve filled your heart
with the unfaltering love
of yourself

they can’t ever move back in

there isn’t room any more.




Welcome to my Newsletter

Hey Cats and Kittens, (I have no idea why I wrote that. It’s been a very strange, life altering week, and I’ve filled up all the confused spaces with a lot of marketing so…I can’t be trusted with vocabulary)

I any case, Check out my new newsletter! You should be able to access it every third Thursday. If you follow the blog, it should be some repeated information but I’m trying to throw some new things in. Every month, I’ll also be running a recipe from my upcoming book “Raising Elle” and giving dates of book launches, signings, and events coming up this summer.

Newsletter

If you like it, share it, and spread the good word

Also, don’t forget to send me your submissions for the Beautiful Twist. Come on, I know you have some poetry laying around needing a home, a cozy little book with a breathtaking cover. Something you could show off to your family and friends (look I’m published!) So don’t hesitate. May will be here before we know it. (Submissions should be sent to sereichert@comcast.net titled “BT Submission_your name”. Further details can be found here: Submit

Finally–if you live in Wyoming or along the Front Range of Colorado and you’re interested in hosting a signing or even a talk about writing, send me an message here on the website or via my email: sereichert@comcast.net and we’ll work something out.

Submission Time! (and some poetry)

Hey writer… have you taken my suggestion and thought of the 100-Rejection Year? You should. And to that end I want to give you another place to submit (but not necessarily be rejected by).

Below are the guidelines for this year’s upcoming anthology “A Beautiful Twist”. I’ll be accepting submissions up until May so you have plenty of time. The Beautiful Stuff is accepting submissions for its June 2023 Anthology “A Beautiful Twist”.

SUBMISSION GUIDELINES:

Open: January 1, 2023

Closes: May 30, 2023

submissions to: sereichert@comcast.net

Please send in your short stories (2000-5000 words), Flash Fiction (200-1000 words), Poetry (up to 5 poems allowed per submission), novel excerpts (up to 3000 words), and Personal Essays (up to 2000 words).

Genres include: non-fiction, fiction, speculative fic, western, sci-fi, fantasy, romance, erotica, historical, hysterical, time jumping primates, talking frogs, brains in jars, and ANY combination thereof. Submissions translated to English are preferred. All humans are encouraged to send in their work.

Contest is open to domestic and international writers but awards will be paid in US dollars. Please submit your work as an attachment to your email, including a cover letter about you.

Email subject line should read “BEAUTIFUL TWIST SUBMISSION_Title_Name”. The submission file (please use .doc, .docx, or another Word friendly format) should titled as such:

“BT SUBMISSION_Merry Krampus_Reichert”

Top 3 submissions will earn prizes. Runners up will be published in the anthology with a chance to compete in the Colorado Book Awards.

You may submit in multiple formats and multiple times but each submission must be in a separate email. You can copy and paste your cover letter…I’m not going to make you rewrite that thing, they’re a pain in the ass.

PLEASE DO NOT submit anything that has been previously published or that you no longer own the rights to. Simultaneous submissions are absolutely fine but LET ME KNOW if your work gets accepted elsewhere as soon as possible.

Prohibited subject matter: overtly violent or gruesome content that does not further the story, non-consensual sexual acts, racist/homophobic/misogynistic/hate filled writing, violent or hurtful actions against children or animals, and anything that judges, stereotypes, or seeks to harm another human being based on their human being-ness. I’m cool with erotica done tastefully and along the lines of the theme. I’m also cool with expletives if they fit the character and scene.

And now–Poetry

Photo by Todd Trapani on Pexels.com
awakening

There is a calm dawning this morning
like my soul
had been buried
in a hard-packed patch
of dormant field

left to the winter
dry and cold
a seed
forgotten

safer there
than in the hostility
of storm and freeze
above

but dawn is awakening
stretching her slow fingers
in golden pink
across the craggy clumps 
of dead grass
and uneven dirt

an easy warmth
a gentle hand
mother's touch 
softly shaking your shoulder

it's time to get up

good morning,
how did you sleep?

Soul Care

I’m not sure it’s a good sign when my first blog post of the year is late, but I think it’s probably an honest representation of my life. And let’s be fair, it’s only late by a few hours.

I had a busy year in 2022, and some of the seeds I planted are now bearing a shit-ton of fruit (mostly in the form of edits, publishing, book panels, and conferences) so I’m finding I rarely have time to brush my teeth, let alone keep up on my extraneous writing, teach my classes, love on my kids while I still have them around, and walk my dog. (sorry River, you great house hippo) but I’m not complaining.

Because in times of less time, I’ve discovered that I’m forced to let go of something. Sometimes it’s something I really wanted to do, or have, or pursue…but sometimes we have a brilliant opportunity to let go of something we’ve been holding on to for far too long that has been wasting our precious time and effort. I’m not saying it’s easy, but I will say it is worth it.


Think of this as your beginning of the year pep talk, not just for writing but for living.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Arrive gently into this year, or arrive like a fucking lion, all I ask is that you arrive. Be your own biggest advocate. If something has been weighing you down, impeding your growth, causing you to lose sleep or pick up the bottle a little too frequently, that thing does not deserve a place in your one precious life.

Take a deep breath, and take stock of the things in your life worth holding on to. You only get so many trips around the sun so travel light.

Are there relationships or situations that poison you? Where is the toxic pull coming from that robs you of your sleep, of your ability to regulate your emotions without coping mechanisms? What is the root of your distress and unease? Who or what is draining your energy?

Because the truth remains that whether you are seeking peace or a revolution you will not find either if you’re expending your energy in undeserving places.

Self-care is important but even more so is soul care (I’m not talking taking yourself to church and repenting—you sassy heathen *kiss*). Soul care means that you don’t accept things, people, situations, or habits that destroy, harm, or otherwise dull the luster of your soul. We all were born within the brilliant light of opalescent divinity, and darlin’, you were meant shine.

So when you drive to work and feel your stomach tie itself into knots. Or go out to meet that friend and feel your teeth clenching. Or look at all the diet books on bookstore shelves and feel the heaviness of trying to make yourself small. Or when you sit down with that one family member, or across the table from your partner and you feel anything but calm, loved, inspired and supported then it’s time to let go.

This requires trust. Trust that the universe has a BBP (bigger, better plan) for you, and it’s your job to start taking steps towards it. Towards what makes you happy. Away from that job, that friend, impossible and disgusting expectations and judgements, relationships, projects, whatever. Whatever the weight. It’s not meant to be carried anymore.

You’ve been around long enough to know that you ARE enough and you deserve love and respect.

You do not need approval. From. Anyone.

Your purpose does not require permission.

You are steeped in the sensual glaze of wisdom and confidence.

You do not have to continue on any path that doesn’t serve your happiness.

There is no requirement to stay somewhere or with someone who does not help your divinity flourish and grow.

So this year I urge you…rather than starting off the year with outrageous and unrealistic expectations on yourself (that have probably been placed on you by a society of consumerism and vapid body shaming) to take stock first. If you are nervous in the gut, triggered by people and situations, lying awake at night or drinking too much just to numb all of the other feelings that jostle around in your brain…find the root of this dis-ease.

And find a way (therapy, journaling, communication with friends, your faith, saying ‘fuck it’ and moving to Cabo, whatever your go-to catharsis) to dig it out and plant something better.

Because time is non-refundable, and your life is not replicable or renewable. This is it. The one we get. I beg of you, do not spend it somewhere that doesn’t deserve your brilliant, opalescent divinity. Shine. As you are meant to.

A Year in Review

Photo by u5f20u6210 on Pexels.com

Two days until we put to rest 2022, and I’m currently engaged in a battle with myself, whether or not this was a year of positive net.

It certainly was one of the most interesting ones I’ve survived.

On the bright and beautiful side, I pushed myself farther and to greater heights with my writing than I ever had before. I took chances and got out of my comfort zone, and thank goddess for that. Because those investments in myself and explorations into new experiences led me to some of the best connections I’ve made, the dearest of friends, more published pieces I’ve had in the last five years combined, and a publishing contract with a company I believe in. https://www.5princebooks.com/sarahreichert.html

Not only that, but when I put my fear of rejection aside, and made a deal with my writing bestie (Rebecca Cuthbert) I succeeded in my goal of 100 rejections for the year (along with about 15 acceptances that I’m so grateful for). My work was featured in awesome and quirky journals and sites and some even were accepted in more traditional venues. I co-wrote my first romance with my wonderful friend and mentor Kerrie Flanagan . I learned a lot about myself as a writer, how to manage my time in a busy world, how to write in different genres and formats, and how to shrug off the worry of failure. I learned that I can do things. Hard things. New things. Interesting things. Things I never even imagined. I learned that I can do whatever. I. Set. My. Mind. To.

On the darker side of things, I was, and still am engaging in a battle with my daughter’s worsening OCD. It is a constant in our lives and I am in a cyclical ride of refilling and emptying out my patience levels, trying to find and give to her compassion on the daily, reassurances to the virulent voices in her head that tell her on repeat horrible things will happen if she doesn’t follow its asinine rules. (More Info Here) I have to put aside my own anxieties and depression, I have to square my shoulders and tuck away my own mental strains so that I can be a solid rock for her during this ongoing storm. In turn, these pressures have left me very little space for other people’s bullshit, and maybe that’s a good thing.

I’ve become aware that I no longer tolerate the levels of injustice I used to. I no longer tolerate the levels of disrespect and flagrant wasting of my time that some people think is acceptable. That I’m not going to let assholes go on being assholes without telling them they’re being assholes. And I’ve come across some doozies in the last few months.

Not for the first time, I got a taste of gender imbalance and misogyny in my outside-of-writing-profession. It’s disheartening, especially, when it comes from men in a position of trust who have been my supposed ‘family’ for so long. It reminded me that the imbalance of power in our culture is always in play, no matter how safe you think a business or place is. I watched as a world that was once my sanctuary turned into a dark place where people I once trusted, threw dirt on the grave of my autonomy and denied my worth as a human being.

I’m still battling with if I should stay at my instructor position for the sake of the children and other females in the school. Is their instruction and safety worth more than having to put up with the culture that would allow and overlook frightening behavior and disrespect? Still battling over that one, and I guess if I give myself time to think (as I’m doing this week from social media) I will arrive at the solution that is the best for myself and the people I care about most.

But I have my writing, and I have my friends, and I have people who have stood by me and loved me and shook their fists for me when I just wanted to curl up and die. And that’s not nothing. Years like this teach you who your allies are. And who you should not put your faith or your respect in. They teach you who will stand by your side, and who will throw you under the bus, for their own personal gain. And that knowledge is not nothing either.

So as you look into the new year, I urge you to not forget the lessons you’ve learned. I urge you to write your own story. One worthy of you. I ask that you take leaps of faith, and do things outside of your comfort zone. I ask that you let yourself get rejected and keep moving forward. I ask that you let loose your imposter syndrome and know that you and your art are more than enough to be shared.

In this new year, surround yourself with people who put your safety in mind and value your worth. I urge you to stand up for the friend in need of some fist shaking. I urge you to not put up with anymore bullshit, especially the hateful, uneducated, dehumanizing kind. Use your heads, use your hearts. Build this year, 365 single days at a time, and find something at the end of it that has made you outgrow a little more of the old you.

Choose what to carry, and what to let go. Some things are too heavy, but more than their weight, they don’t belong to you. They are not yours; they serve no purpose to you or to the greater good of the world. They are merely weights that keep you from getting to where you’re meant to be. So know when to let them go, and don’t berate yourself for leaving them behind. Sometimes the absolutely strongest thing we can do, isn’t to keep holding on. It’s in the letting go. So you will have both hands open for the next, better opportunity.

Poetry 12-22-22

I have to admit. This isn’t in the holiday spirit. Unless you count gifting myself and other women I know, a reawakening of strength and self-worth, that has been laying dormant for too long. So yes. Consider this a gift, not just to me, but to any woman who has ever felt this dynamic, this pressure, unasked for.

How We Dare

What is it from the mouths of men
the decadent lies
the wasted words they think will woo?

And how quickly they turn to anger
when those wilting platitudes
fall like daisies thrown at
our fortress’ metal walls.

I am too heavily armed to submit
to the weak volley
of your empty affection.

How dare you not love me
as I love you?

How dare you reject
my half-hearted attempts?

you should rejoice
that my loins find you ripe
that I shower you with compliments
shallow and unasked for!

How dare you not return
the blessings of my favor
the short-lived and asinine desire
?

how dare you not lie down
and accept this righteous gift?


To which I give response…

How dare you.

How dare you come to me expecting?

How dare you shower me with words
and fantasies unasked for?

How dare you assume
my heart is anything like yours?

But most of all

How dare you bellow your unwavering love
while not listening to the words I speak?

Claim to love the magnificence of me
until I open my mouth to tell you no.

As though your fantasy talked back
but she didn’t say the words you wanted
so you overlooked her autonomy.
and continued on, unhinged

How dare you stake claim on a land
you do not own?

On a human you hold no rights to?

What is it from the mouths of men
that make them prophets of conceited expectation?

I am no man’s to own
I am no one’s to desire.

Turn your beaded and greedy eyes
on some other prey

I am not magnificent for you.

I am magnificent for myself alone.

Last Minute Gifts for Your Favorite Writer

So, I’m cutting this close, ya’ll. If you haven’t shopped for the writer in your life yet, I have done the dirty work for you and compiled a cute little list (including links) to some of our favorite, most useful things (*pst* most of it has to do with buying uninterrupted time to write). Because while we all love new pens and pretty journals that are too pretty to actually write in, some of these things might be a pleasant surprise for the writer you love.

  • Noise cancelling headphones: For sooth my friends, nothing will stop that magical flow of words quicker than the chorus of leaf-blowers outside (also check out this brilliant blog about why those are the worst things in the world. Kindly go F*c& Yourself…  ) Something that they can listen to their playlist (or nothing at all) on while their writing timer goes or they need to be focused. Here are a few options from bougie to budget friendly: Headphones
  • A hotel room for the weekend. Dude. It isn’t like they’re taking their shady little affair out.  Unless you’re jealous of their books and their writing—in that case, move along and fall in love with someone else, because you can’t take away a wordsmith’s words—this is a lovely way to show them that you care about their uninterrupted time.
  • Aqua notes, for those of you who find inspiration in wet places…um…right, I’m just going to leave that one at that. Aqua-Notes
  • A desktop coffee cup warmer. We get so engrossed sometimes that the live-giving nectar of coffee (or tea if that’s your poison) often goes cold by the time we need another hit. Cup Warmers
  • A comfortable butt cushion. Seriously. Books are written by butt-in-the-chair time. Asses and low backs (especially of those that bore offspring) are similarly busted this way. Cushion for Your Tushin
  • Writer’s Tears Whiskey. (yes, with an ‘e’ because its Irish) They have multiple varieties and prices. I have a small, unopened bottle in my desk drawer that my father gave me…the angels keep taking little shares of it but I haven’t opened it yet. It’s a symbol of the people who believe in me.  
  • Gift cards to local book stores, or coffee shops (do your small business owner’s a solid and spread the love locally)
  • Gift card for a massage: typing at a desk for hours is murder on all kinds of muscles so show them that you care about their physical wellbeing, without having to give them an awkward-for-both-of-you shoulder rub. Just make sure their certified, licensed for your state, and within driving distance.
  • Gift card for house cleaning. Fuck, nothing is more horrible than having to choose between my writing or cleaning the grout. Truth be told, the writing always wins, so thus, my grout has now colonized and are forming unions. The point is, I could really use someone to do those things that I have to work really hard at ignoring so I can follow my true purpose. I mean, if I’m working for ‘free’ either way and a housecleaner at least gets paid for their services, its actually more noble that this exchange happens.

Survival of The Writer: And What National Novel Writing Month Teaches Us

I’m going to keep it brief and give you a little excerpt at the end of this blog to tie up another great year of NANOWRIMO. I hope that your month was successful and that it taught you something about your ability to persevere, in the face of ominous word counts, writer’s block doldrums, and persnickety characters that don’t do as they’re told.

I for one am proud of you. The winner of the goodie bag will be chosen this week and I’ll announce the name on the blog this week. Think of it as an early Christmas. I’m still curious to know how it went for all of you and if you have any pitfalls or successes you’d like to share, please send them my way. If this was your first or your 25th, I know that you got something out of the process.

If anything, it teaches us how to manage our time better, how to flow with the writing even when its not going how we think it should, and how to keep going even when its hard. I hope the very best for your project. My final piece of advice is this:

Being the first day of December, I ask that you take that hard-earned manuscript you slaved over for a month, save it (Twice) and put it away. For a whole month. Don’t look at it, don’t tweak it. Don’t edit it. (the only exception is that if you’re really close to finishing something or the whole thing, keep extending your daily word count goal until you’re at a good stopping place). Don’t open it again until January 1st at the earliest. Give your brain and your thoughts time to settle and reflect, so you can come at it with fresh eyes and a begin the process of turning that beautiful raw material into a wondrous book.

Here’s a little (unedited) piece of my third novel in my new series. I was particularly excited to work on this one as it brings us back to a favorite family from the coast of Maine. Enjoy! (and Congratulations)

“Faith Harrison set up her camp with little effort and a practiced efficiency that showed she’d done it several times before. Setting up the tent and small awning from it in the protected berm of a small hill, she set out a small ring of rocks. She didn’t even think she could get a fire started. Everything was so damn wet here. She put what little fuel she had beneath the awning in hopes it would keep some of it dry for a fire tonight. A shiver ran through her body as a drip of rain fell from her piled up curls and down her neck, tracing between her shoulder blades, two fine and pale angel’s wings. Her brother Jackson called her scrawny, her mother called her scrappy. Her dad said she was lithe and strong, like her mother, but Faith never felt nearly as strong as her mother Destiny. She was bookish and quiet. The kind of girl that would disappear into the corner of a library or pub. If it weren’t for the striking red hair.

Iagan hated that he couldn’t reach out and see her like he could with his magic. He was decidedly a plain, human male with nothing special about him. Except his unfailing curiosity and strange stirrings of desire for the young woman who was trespassing on his land. Owen had laughed at him. Danika had gently slapped his cheek, said it was good for him to share his space. And that she liked the girl. There was something earthy and grounded about her. And she wasn’t afraid of a little dirt. Iagan wanted her gone as soon as possible. He grumbled as he searched for the binoculars, he’d purchased in a vain attempt to become a bird watcher fifty years ago. No birds lived here, nothing lived here. Except magical things. He climbed to the top most tower and peered out to the south ruins. She’d set up her small orange tent beneath a hillside for protection and had created a fire ring. She’d not get anything started in the rain. She’d be cold and miserable by the end of the week. Hadn’t she’d said she was a graduate student? The poorest, scruffiest excuses for humans of all. He watched her move, a small speck on the green hill, setting up her camp and moving with a grace that was calming.

What would that body look like moving through his house, quiet, calm, long limbed and warm. He felt his hand in hers, the warm brown eyes…the upturned nose and freckles. Faith Harrison. He wanted her. But he wanted her gone even more. He wasn’t in the business of ruining young women anymore, and she was too clever and disinterested to fall for his charms anyway. He’d simply have to suffer the summer until her research was done and then he’d be rid of her.”

NANOWRIMO: WEEK 4

Hey! You’re in the homestretch, and whether that is a cause for rejoicing or a cause for panic, it’s still your last week. Below are some thoughts. Remember to send me your email along with comments and stories about how its gone so far, what you’ve learned, what helped, what didn’t, what you’d do differently, or if you’d ever do it again. I’ll put your email into a drawing for a Writer Care Package, stuffed full of lots of useful goodies that every writer needs.

Here’s your final week pep talk.


Good morning!

For those of you who’ve been following me through the month of November, this marks the final installment of surviving NANOWRIMO (National Novel Writing Month). I’ve been flowing with a life-stages theme, and had intended to title this week “Retirement” but the thing with NANO is that only some of us will spend the last week resting and reaping the rewards of a month packed with hours of dedication to your project. A lot of us will find this final week to be the last, desperate attempt to finish.

So this brief post is for those who are struggling through the last four to five days to make up those words, or at least push to do what they can.

I hope, more than anything, and even above the lofty goal of 50,000 words, that you are still trying. That you haven’t given up. That you have built a habit of writing so that you don’t feel complete in your day unless you’ve spent at least some time on your work.

Because, that’s the whole point. This month is more about teaching us to prioritize our lives to include our writing first (or at least at the top of the to-do list) and to know that we CAN accomplish great things when we give it the time and love it needs. It’s more about building the habit of writing than it is about reaching the specific goal.

So often in our lives we self-limit. So often we are told it can’t be done, we can’t, the work is too great, the effort pointless. So often we are told that struggle won’t be worth the outcome. But those voices and those opinions fail to factor in that it is not just the outcome that is rewarding. The end result is not all we are working for. Its the journey in getting there.

When we challenge ourselves, the bigger reward lies in the struggle. New ventures, hard and thankless work, and lofty goals teach us how to plan, how to plot, how to push ahead when we simply don’t feel like it or when others around us question or scoff at the ideas before us. Challenges shine a light on how amazing and resilient we are so that, no matter the outcome, we learn what we are capable of. And once we know what we are capable of, the bonds of doubt weaken and we begin to believe that if we can write a novel in a month, we can edit it, publish it, write another, and another, and another. And if we can write a book we can take a class, or teach a class. We can climb a mountain, we can travel across the world. We can do anything we set our minds to.

We can.

You can.

You’ve only got a few days left in this month and I BELIEVE THAT YOU CAN do anything you’ve set out to do. You are amazing. You are imperfectly perfect and there’s no one in the world who can finish this month the way you will.

Deep breath, writer. Don’t let the home stretch scare you. Let the struggle instead be your gift and one which you are grateful to work through. You can. You will.

NANOWRIMO: WEEK 3

Hey! It’s week 3 and if you haven’t sent me a comment or update on how your process is going, please do! I have a drawing going on for a Writer Care Package, with all sorts of fun goodies for you to enjoy as a treat for surviving this month. And speaking of surviving, let’s take a look at the dreaded week 3.


Hey there writer.

I know I don’t have to thank you for being here with me because if you are akin to me, you’re looking for any excuse to change up the monotony of this novel-writing month and escape that mad-dash. Perhaps you’re feeling like this story you’ve been pouring your heart and soul into for what seems like years is starting to stale. Things are getting drab. The plot line is petering out. The characters have run out of things to say.

This is the dreaded, dead-ended doldrum, (say that one a few times fast) of week 3. And it can often feel like middle age in its sunken sails, stagnant air, and the questioning of the choices that brought you here.

Photo by Johannes Plenio on Pexels.com

With only days left in this crazy adventure, you may feel like you just don’t want to go on. That perhaps it would be easier to abandon your project all together and take a hot little novella out for a spin. Maybe start seeing some poetry on the side. Perhaps dabble in a little erotica?

While I encourage some dabbling (especially in erotica) I would argue that all of those exploratory practices can be done right in your own work in progress. So you’re bored, so you don’t know what the characters will say to one another…I urge you to start a new chapter, in the same document, where your characters take a jump off of the tracks and do something completely unexpected. Put them in a different time, put them in a different dynamic…hell, switch their genders and see what happens. Write a poem that serves as a synopsis to the story, first from one character’s perspective, and then from another’s. All of this play might help unlock the paths your novel needs to get going again. Think of it as putting some wind in those sails. A little spice in between the pages.

And all of those words you put down, even if they may be edited out later, still count as words towards your 50,000. Let’s be honest, at this point in the process, any word count is better than none.

It’s normal to feel a bit discouraged and bogged down in week 3, but what you’re building is worth hanging on to. It’s worth the investment of time and thought in this, the darkest, dreaded, dead-ended doldrums.

Hang in there kid. Go get freaky with your WIP and spice things up to see you through to the end.

Next week, look for the final, and highly inspirational installment of my NANOWRIMO survival guide.