Writing Challenge, Writing Updates

Writing for Kids

Okay. So I have been told time and again that I should write children’s stories.

There’s just one problem. I haven’t been reading children’s books to know what’s out there even how to go about writing one.

So if you read children’s stories from like grade 5 or 6 on  up to young adult please leave the name of the author or authors you most enjoy and I’ll be happy to check them out.

I’m very excited to be venturing into this area of writing so I can’t wait to hear from you! Feel free to leave a comment or send an email to jisoucie@hotmail.com

Let me know where your emailing from. I’m curious to see where in the world my readers are located.

So send me your requests today! I can’t wait!

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Mental health, Writing Updates

Writing and Depression

I haven’t been writing for a few days. I must admit that depression has rolled in and I don’t feel like doing anything. I struggle to think straight or care about anything. I’m really indifferent, or numb to what goes on around me, or what I do during the day. I could stare at a wall or just sleep all day and it wouldn’t matter to me.

But there is a part of me that is still thinking about writing. Even thought during a depression I struggle to physically write, my mind is still working on projects, or trying to at least. This is when my depression hits its deeper levels.

There are times I’m depressed but not deeply, so I can still function enough to write something. Those are the days I go easy on myself when I do decide to write and just try to get something down. I don’t force myself to do a lot because I know it won’t take much to make my depression worse.

Writing and depression…how do I make it work? Well, it’s tough. When depression is bad and I am so exhausted I just sleep or stare at the TV I don’t bother to write on those days. I have to wait for the depression to abate a little to a point where I have more energy and more clarity of though and then I sit myself down at the computer and type out a blog post, or try something that isn’t so labor intensive. Then on days where I’m feeling really good, I’ll dive right into my latest project. It’s about working with my body and its illness and trying to make things work. So I have to really be receptive to how I feel, which I’ve been told that I am anyway so it works out.

If you have any questions for me, feel free to ask. I’m happy to hear from my readers. I hope you have a wonderful day.

Camp NaNoWriMo, Children's Stories, Uncategorized

Quiet Solitude

It’s after 10PM and everyone is in bed asleep. Even the dogs. I should be. Having a newborn I should be sleep when he sleeps but it’s so hard when the writing bug has come and won’t leave! Not that I want it to, mind you. I have one project in the works right now and thinking about another one I am planning to write for Camp NaNo in April. I know you’re probably thinking I’m crazy even thinking about doing this with a baby. And no I’m not one of those that does fine on little sleep. I do best on 9. But I am finding that even a little bit of writing, helps me cope with the stresses of everyday life. Plus, it’s fun and I enjoy it. With only 500 words as my word count goal, I think I should be able to reach that each day. We’ll find out!

I’ll be writing a short story this time around. Fantasy like. 

How many of you will be writing this April?

Will you be writing fiction, nonfiction, novel, or short story?

I would love to hear from so feel free to leave me a note in the comments.
Bye for now!

Snow Day

Snow Day Inspiration

My daughter is home from school today and my little man is 4 months old today. It is hard on these days when I have both kids. Trying to work through the noises from the TV and my daughter playing. But these moments can also be moments of creative inspiration! I never know what will pop into my head while watching my daughter play or watching a movie with her. My little guy can do the same thing only his inspiration comes with noises and the funny faces he makes.

For those writers who have children, do you find that you draw inspiration, even a small amount from your children? Has any of this inspiration ended up in your stories? We all know how much we can be inspired, but just how much of that inspiration do we actually use?

I admit, I’m guilty of not using a lot of inspiration that comes my way. I try to write down all the ideas I like. Well, I guess I also write down the ones that aren’t my favorite just in case I change my mind later, which I have done.

When you have a Snow Day (no school), what fun things do you do? How much writing are you able to get done? How do you manage your writing with kids running around?

I would love to hear what you have to say. Please leave a comment or feel free to email me at voice4butterflies@gmail.com. Also, if you’d like, please also send prayer requests.

Wishing you all a day full of less pain and good mobility!

God bless!

Memoir, Reflections of the Heart

In the Morning Hours

The early morning hours beckon me to awake. I’m not sure why but here I am taping on the keys to my keyboard. These seem to be the the hours where creativity kicks in. And all before the birds and sun awaken.

It is 3:46AM EST on this last day of November, and I have a couple of hours before I have to get my daughter up for school. These hours are mine and so the words must pour forth from my soul for I cannot hold them back. I have much to say on many topics. I have a couple of articles I’d like to write and then work on my memoir, Reflections of the Heart.

In Reflections of the Heart, I share my story of losing my mother as a teenager at 17 and how my faith in God saw me through the pain of loss and moving forward with my life even though it was difficult. I want to write this story to give hope to those children and adolescence who have lost either one or both parents. You are not alone and there is hope. There is a bright light at the end of the tunnel of grief.

Have you lost a parent while in your teenage years, or younger? What things did you do to see you through the grief and to help get yourself back on your feet? I’d love to hear your stories if you are comfortable sharing them with me. If you don’t want to leave a comment you can email me at jisoucie@hotmail.com.

Also, if you’re a writer, when are you most creative, early morning, mid morning, late morning, afternoon, evening?

My best to you in all you do today! God bless!

J. Soucie

Writing Tips

6 Key Steps To Finding Your Passion As A Writer

Have you ever had a love of writing but at some point, find it died out and writing became more of a chore. Where did the enjoyment go anyway? The following article has some good tips to getting that passion back!

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By definition, writers are passionate creatures. You can be an exquisite writer by tapping into the passion of being yourself.

Source: 6 Key Steps To Finding Your Passion As A Writer | Write to Done

Memoir, Reflections of the Heart

Fear? What fear?

Alright…I have to admit fear has been a big factor and has kept me from writing my book and yes, even writing on this blog and my other blog Voice 4 Butterflies. But over the last several months, there have been some changes and I am learning to kick fear out the door and write anyway. I can’t tell you how freeing it has been.

Fear was making me think any idea I had wouldn’t be good enough, or I’d second guess the idea I had going and completely stop and go to something else. And so I would jump around to other projects and could never focus on one.

You may have noticed this in my blog posts how I’ll talk about one project, and the next post will be about something else, and the next one a totally different project. Wow! Talk about a head spin! I probably left you confused as well as myself. I’m sorry for that.

I guess it’s just part of a writer’s journey in figuring things out for herself and working through creative anxiety and learning how to squelch it and move forward regardless. I think we all have to deal with this at some point. If not, that’s great! I wouldn’t wish this on anyone. It’s tough to go through and then really focus on one project and go through it no matter the anxious thoughts one has. Do you deal with creative anxiety? If you do, how do you work through it?

For me it’s about prayer and leaving fear behind when I set out to do something. When I start to feel it I do my best not to accept it. I really had to learn that I could allow myself to feel fear, or say “No! Not today not ever again!” and move one with my project.

So…you may be wondering what project I have jumped back to this time.

I’ve gone back to working on Reflections of the Heart which was previously titled A Daughter’s Reflection. Reflections of the Heart is a tentative title. If you have forgotten what it’s about it’s okay. As much as I have probably confused everyone I don’t blame you.

Reflections of the Heart is a memoir based on my experiences and journal entries as a 17 year-old who finds out her mother has late stage ovarian cancer. The story takes you on my journey to learning the horrific news, to being my mother’s main caretaker, to losing my mother, and then trying to find my way through grief, discovering who I am, and stepping out in faith. My faith was a huge part in how I got through everything. It may be a sad story it is also an enlightening one. I have over 1400+ words done in this rewrite and that’s not counting what I wrote longhand this morning. After this post, I’ll be going back to writing. The writing bug has hit big time and I’m relying on God’s strength to help me fight any fear that may try to deter me again. With my fists up, I’m going in!

Camp NaNoWriMo

Camp NaNo Wri Mo Day 14

Number 14

Another sunny mild day here in Maine. I was up early this morning walking the dogs and listening to the birds just as the sun’s light was creeping over the horizon. I could have just closed my eyes and sat on the deck listening to the sounds of nature. So awesome and relaxing.

But I had to make sure the hubby was off to work and my daughter off to school. The house is currently quiet with everyone gone and the dogs have nothing to bark at. That could quickly change though.

So let’s see. Today is day 14 for Camp NaNo and if you’re writing a 50,000 book this month then today you should have at least 23,338 words. I have 47,305 right now but I am stuck. I have about five chapters written which of course will probably change. One of these chapters could easily be two but I’ll work about breaking things up later. I have come to a point in my story where I think I am going to have to rewrite the story before I can move on. But, I think before I go ahead with that idea, I am going to print out what I have typed so far and take a look at it. Maybe there is a way I can continue on without having to sacrifice all of the work I have put into the book so far.  As it is I have already deleted several thousands of words and could have been done with reaching my word count goal. I had to make myself STOP editing! That is so extremely hard especially when you get to a place where the flow of the book isn’t what you were planning on and that does change how you can continue on to reach the conclusion of the book. However, perhaps a wise thing to do is simply make a note in the manuscript that I am switching gears so I can continue writing and head on to the direction I want the book to take so I can reach that conclusion. Hmm….

I guess it is in these struggles that we learn the tips and tricks that will aid us in other writing projects.

I’m curious… What little tricks have you learned, or discovered, while working on your own projects? Feel free to leave comments. I would love to hear from you!

Best of luck to all you creatives out there!

Camp NaNoWriMo

CampNaNoWriMo Day 11

Ah, yes. Here we are on day 11! It doesn’t seem possible we are in this far already. The month is screaming by it seems. The sun came out today and the snow is melting away and forming streams down the driveway and roadways, rivers and lakes are rising, and mud is abundant. Yep. It’s spring alright. Once we get past the dirty part of it spring is quite beautiful with the trees budding and flowers and grass awakening and baby animals being born. I love this time of year. The fresh air ushering in wisps of inspiration.

I can picture me now, out on the back deck with a mug of tea, the dogs running around playing, birds chirping, the new leaves rustling in a gentle warm breeze, the sun beating down warming my skin. Ahhh… The outdoors…nothing like it!

Okay, okay…time to stop daydreaming. It’s not THAT warm yet and there’s still mounds of snow on the deck…but it’s shrinking! Won’t be too long and I’ll be able to take my writing outdoors. Are you more inspired to write outside with nature surrounding you, or do you do better indoors?

It’s time for me to tackle today’s word count. I have about four full chapters to my book now and working on the fifth. My story isn’t going like I really want it but I must hold that inner editor behind bars if I am going to get the framework for the novel down. That is always the challenge. (Don’t worry, Inner Editor, you’ll have your time in the spotlight. It’s just not now!)

The day is winding down but now that the house is quiet my creative juices are ready to flow (and less likely to be interrupted). So I must stop looking up how to structure a memoir and just write my story. Ugh! If it’s not the Inner Editor it is research that gets me. I need to put them both in a box and lock it and throw away the key if I’m going to get anything done.

So….here I go…………..

Camp NaNoWriMo

CampNaNoWriMo Day 8

Number 8

The sun is shining bright but the temp is still rather cool with a windchill of 25 degrees Fahrenheit. I’ve done a bit of reading this morning in the Bible and in Joyce Meyer’s book Beauty for Ashes. Reading always helps me get in the mode for writing. Do you find reading helps you or do you have another way to get your creative mind going? I also have a writing buddy and we both take five minutes and work on a story together. She will write on it for five minutes and then after I read what she wrote, I pick up the story and continue it for five more minutes. This is also a great way to spark your creativity!

So far I am up to 14,000 words and I have not begun writing today but I am about to. How far have you gotten? No matter if you have 1000 words a day or 10 words, it’s all progress! Don’t be too hard on yourself if you don’t make the word count as you would have liked. All that matters is that you sat down and tried. Any amount of words written is progress and that much closer to finishing your book. Writing is not supposed to be stressful and to me, it’s not supposed to be a competition with other authors. It’s about enjoying the craft and sharing your work with those who were meant to receive it.

I’m not one for competition. I know some people thrive on it. Me? I find it too stressful and it totally kills my creative flow. Stress = 0 Creativity! But that is me.

So as the sun melts the snow outside, and the pellet stove roars behind me, I am off to continue work on Secret Anguish. I just have to try NOT to do any major editing and just write to get it down. I can always make it better later. I already know I have some things to change, but I have made mental note of them and have pressed on.

Off I go to float in the sea of words, fishing for the words to haul in and create a masterpiece.

Have a great day!