Writing myself sane

As writers, we know how solitary our passion is. We write in isolation, and during normal times, we break up the solitude by visiting with friends, having a life away from the computer, taking our pets to the park, …all the wonderful silly things we never thought we’d miss. Until the pandemic came along.

Now we struggle to get our daily words written, even though the number of distractions we used to disparage are no longer present. We have nothing but our computers for company for most of the day. Why can’t we stay upbeat enough to pump those words out? It’s not like our story-telling minds aren’t creating new tales all the time. We can’t type fast enough to get all those stories on paper (or screen or file). It’s disturbing to realize that even without distractions, we can flounder in our pursuit of writing another thousand words.

The creativity we normally use in our books and stories is being chipped away as we try of think of ways to cheer ourselves up. What can we do? Well-meaning friends advise us to take a break from writing. What they don’t understand is that for many of us, we have to write. If we don’t put those stories into words, we lie awake nights as they unfold in our minds, demanding our attention. But will my book ever get finished? I’ve stalled and can’t face another blank page.

Here’s an idea to cheer you up. It’s a version of goal setting, but it will let your mind take flights of fancy and light that candle of inspiration again. Get some 8 x 10 frames. Nothing fancy. Check the dollar stores. Maybe six plain black frames will do it.

For each frame, create a mock book cover. It doesn’t have to be fancy or professional. The first time I tried this, I drew them by hand and colored them with Crayola Crayons. Include the title of the book you want to write, or the one you’re working on now. Don’t agonize over a choice of title. It will probably change before publication anyway. If you can’t think of anything, just use Book One, Book Two, and so on. Play with fonts on your computer. Create eye-pleasing, big-lettered titles. While you’re at it, put your pen name on the cover. You can even add flourishes like “Million Seller” or “New York Times Bestselling Author.” These covers are inspirational. No one will see them but you. Put one in each frame and hang them on your office wall to remind you of your big dreams and goals. A big plus to this method is that you can feel like you are working on your book even when you’re not writing, because hey, you need to make your cover mockup, right?

This kind of optimism can really cheer you up. On those days when you don’t think you can write any words at all, there’s the mock cover of your book, hanging on your wall, reminding you of your initial excitement about that story and the future you imagined for it.

After I publish a title, I frame a copy of my professional cover to remind me of my accomplishment and cheer me on to the next.

For more ideas on Being Your Own Cheerleader, check out my self-help for writers book. Or just keep reading my blogs.

Still figuring it out

How long will it take me to figure out WordPress? Your guess is as good as mine. Since I’m also writing new books and creating paperback titles, the websites do not get as much attention as they deserve.

If you’re reading this and you want to view Regina Duke’s pages, click here.

My brain keeps telling me to breathe

as I move through the day.

The house feels empty, like my heart, 

since Buster passed away.

The other dogs are so confused

but mommy will not play.

There’s no joy left in racquet balls

since Buster passed away.

His loving eyes, his soaring ears,

His corkscrew tail, so gay,

How I miss that lolling smile

since Buster passed away.

My little butterfly has flown, 

He crossed the Bridge today,

But other doggies still need me,

since Buster passed away.

I held him in my arms for hours.

I wanted him to stay,

but those of us who love our dogs, 

we know that’s not the way.

He slept beside me every night, 

his face an inch away,

and whispered, “Meet me in the light”

before he passed away. 

Until I see my little guy 

come running on that day,

I’ll store his love here in my heart…

My Buster passed away…

Until we meet again, Mama Linda loves you. 

For Buster Brown White (7/12/2004 – 8/6/2020)

Linda Lou Writes

WordPress Day 21: Finally found out about Google Chrome. I should only use this browser for WordPress and Godaddy because it shows me information that never appears on the Safari browser!

Linda Lou Writes under different names. As Regina Duke, she made the USA Today Bestsellers List for the first 3-novel set of her romance series, Colorado Billionaires. As K. B. Woods, she publishes some of her “Strange Tales” series. As Linda White, she has academic volumes and dog training books. She has a PhD in Basque Studies (Language and Literature).

WordPress discoveries: This should be its own blog, because there are so many of us who struggle to learn WordPress. For example, it took me two weeks to finally understand what all the talk about BLOCKS is about. Once again, Google Chrome is great, because they actually provide hints on the screen!

Hint: When finished with a block, exit by hitting return.

Visit Regina Duke’s Website to see book covers, order through Amazon, and sign up for Regina’s newsletter. She likes to give away books.

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