Tag Archives: creative

September & October Recap 2019

So…it’s been a while. Hi! Sorry I haven’t posted a blog in a long time. Which is something that I’m very sad to say I missed out on. For some personal reasons and the business of life, I had to set blogging aside. That said, I’m back again! Though I don’t know how frequently I’ll be posting, I’ll try to keep up with these monthly recaps again.

So far in my life, last time I updated, I got engaged! My fiancé and I went looking at venues in the beginning of October and finally settled on one! We’re very excited to be planning our wedding! This past week I’ve been really sick, so I’m trying to recover. Luckily I’m starting to feel better!

What I Wrote:

Back in September, I was 18k words into my YA Foreign Princess WIP. I am very happy to say that I officially completed writing that book! I also went through several rounds of revisions for my adult fantasy romance, and submitted it to Pitch Wars! I made a lot of progress and am very proud of myself.

What I Read:

Total: 14

Between September and October, I read fourteen books!

Before I Disappear by Danielle Stinson ★☆☆☆☆

I really, really did not like this book. I felt like the plot was very jumpy and all over the place; the story didn’t make any sense, and it was really repetitive. This one was not for me.

Serpent and Dove by Shelby Mahurin ★★★☆☆

I wanted to love this book, I really did. This book had so much hype built around it and I was very excited to dive in. While I was enjoying most of the book – it was the end that really lost. I found the entire last act of this book to be very contrived, full of conveniences, and the ending had no emotional impact for me. I didn’t hate this book, but I definitely didn’t think it was worth the hype.

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid ★★★★★

My CP gifted this book to me for my birthday and I LOVED it. It was a very well-written, well-plotted, and well-placed read with a great cast of characters. I highly recommend this one!

Something in the Water by Catherine Steadman ★☆☆☆☆

I saw this at Target several times before I finally decided to pick it up. Unfortunately, I just didn’t connect with this story the way I wanted to. There was nothing creepy or thrilling about this, and I felt like I was reading the same kind of thriller I’ve read dozens of times before.

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Stepsister by Jennifer Donnelly ★☆☆☆☆

Another book I’m really disappointed by. I wanted to love this one, especially since it was in my anticipated reads, but I found this book to be so…I don’t know. The characters weren’t interesting, the plot was silly, and I discovered that I really don’t like my fantasy to blend in with realism. I just didn’t connect with this one, and had to force myself to finish.

The Babysitter by Sherly Brown ★☆☆☆☆

I bought this as a two-in-one book at Target. Unfortunately, this was another thriller that I just didn’t find to be “thrilling.” While the writing was fine and the story fast-paced, the biggest problem with this book was that the main twist is given away in the prologue. Our antagonist also gets their own POV, so there was never any mystery behind their actions or motivations, and it just didn’t sit well with me.

The Affair by Sheryl Brown ★★☆☆☆

Because this was part of the two-in-one book, I went ahead and read this one, too. While I liked it a little better than The Babysitter, this one still just wasn’t something I couldn’t connect with.

Party Games by R.L. Stine ★★★★☆

If you didn’t know, I love R.L. Stine’s Fear Street series. This is the first book in his new relaunch of the series, and I picked it up a couple years ago when it first came out, but never got around to reading. While yes the plot is a little predictable, and the writing geared at a younger audience, as a lifelong Fear Street fan I just couldn’t help but enjoy this book.

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Every Last Lie by Mary Kubica ★★★★☆

This is one of those rare books that I enjoyed almost every minute of. I liked the characters, the writing, the plot – almost everything. While I wished the ending would’ve been a little more impactful, I did enjoy this book a lot.

One Night at the Lake by Bethany Chase ★★★☆☆

When I picked this up, I actually thought it was a thriller! Turns out it was Women’s Fiction, which I don’t normally read. Whoops! That said, I was enjoying this book – until the final twist. I just have so many conflicting feelings about how this book ended and I’m not sure how to feel about it.

The Good Sister by Gillian McAllister ★★★★★

Like Every Last Lie, this is a rare thriller that I enjoyed from start to finish. The court-room drama, the twists, and the constant guessing kept me on my toes!

The Missing Season by Gillian French ★★☆☆☆

Oh man, I’m disappointed. I specifically picked this one up, thinking it would be perfect book for spooky season. A new girl moves to town only to learn about the urban legend of “The Mumbler”, a man who kidnaps and kills bad kids on Halloween? This should’ve had everything I wanted and instead…it didn’t. The urban legend plot is shoved the side instead, and most of the book revolves around Clara adjusting to her new life and finding friends. It was such a bore.

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A Game For All The Family by Sophie Hanna ★☆☆☆☆

Again – this book should’ve had everything I wanted in a thriller: a compelling mystery, intrigue, perhaps a ghost? No. Instead, I got a boring plotline with an annoying main character. I struggled to push myself through this one, and was skimming by the end.

Girls with Sharp Sticks by Suzanne Young ★★★★☆

This has been one of my favorites of the year – and this book had everything I could’ve wanted! An interesting main characters, a boarding school, mysterious things happening, strange behavior…I really enjoyed this one! I struggle to give this one 5 stars since I wasn’t blown away, but I highly recommend reading!

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What I’m Watching:

My fiancé and I started our rewatch of Lost and we’re already halfway through Season 4. Gonna be honest and say that Lost is one of my all-time favorite shows! What’s yours?

I also watched You and I started watching Designated Survivor. I’ve never really been into political thrillers before, but this one intrigued me.

Currently Reading:

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How I Did: September & October Goals

At the beginning of September, I gave myself several goals:

• Finish writing Foreign Princess WIP
• Organize list of literary agents
• Get submission materials ready for Pitch Wars
• Submit to Pitch Wars
• Plot out adult fantasy WIP sequel

I’m happy to say I completed 4 out of 5 of these goals! The only one I didn’t get around to was plotting out my sequel, but I’m pretty sure that’ll still take a while. Since I finished my Foreign Princess WIP in early October, I decided to spend the rest of the month taking a writing break!

November Goals:

• Plot out new adult fantasy romance WIP
• Plot out YA Alice in Wonderland Retelling Idea
• Do one more small revision for Forbidden
•Begin querying Forbidden
• Reread my YA Thriller and decide if I want to pursue working on it or not
• Plot out Forbidden sequel


How is everyone’s fall? What was everyone up to while I was gone? Let me know!

XOXO – Devon

Questions to Ask Beta Readers (My List)

Since we talked all about beta readers a few weeks ago, today, I thought I’d share my list of questions that I send out to my own betas. When I was first looking for betas back in the end of February, I came up with this list, and have been sending it out each time I enlist a beta. I find this list touches on everything that will help me as a writer know what needs to be fixed.

The important thing is to make sure you’re asking clear, concise questions that betas can answer easily. If you need more feedback based on something within the world, or a character, be sure to ask more detailed questions regarding that certain subject.

Note: This list is tailored to my own tastes and what I’m looking for betas to answer. Feel free to copy this list and switch it up to meet your own needs!

#1: Did you notice any obvious repeating grammatical, spelling, punctuation, or capitalization errors? Examples?
#2: Is there anything about the world-building that doesn’t make sense and could use elaboration? If so, please explain.
#3: Did the setting interest you? Was the world vivid in your imagination?
#4: Did the story hold your interest from the very beginning? Why or Why not?
#5: Were there any parts that confused you?
#6: Did you notice any inconsistencies? If so, where/what?
#7: Were there any spots where the story lagged or you lost interest? If so, why and where?
#8: Were there any scenes that bored you or had you skipping pages? Why?
#9: Was there enough conflict, tension, and intrigue to hold your interest?
#10: Were any parts of the plot predictable?
#11: What grabbed your attention most?
#12: Were you confused by the multiple POV’s?
#13: Who was your favorite POV? Why?
#14: Who was your least favorite POV? Why?
#15: What was your favorite and least favorite part of the book?
#16: Did the climax feel climactic, was the payoff in the end worth reading the whole book?
#17: Was the end satisfying?
#18: If this book were part of a series, would you pick up the sequel?
#19: What was your immediate thought after finishing the book?
#20: Lastly, why did you keep reading?
Bonus Question: Is there any way I can repay you for taking your valuable time to read my work? I am available to return the favor of a beta read as well!


What do you think of this list? Are you going to use it the next time you’re looking for betas? Let me know in the comments!

XOXO – Devon

Birthday Book Haul

With my birthday come and gone, I’m sure you can imagine there’s something I asked for: books!

Lots and lots of books. With so many new titles releasing, I just couldn’t wait to get my hands on them! Luckily, my friends and family were gracious enough to buy me several books or give me gift cards to buy the books myself! So, I thought I’d share with you all the books I’ve received for my birthday!

(Books in no particular order!)

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I also have to give a huge thank you and shout out to my friend and CP, Tauri Cox, for gifting me Kingdom of Exiles, You Are a Badass, and The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo!

Are there any books here that you’ve read? Or any you want me to read first and give my review? Let me know in the comments!

XOXO – Devon

4 Reasons to Join the Writing Community

Writing is a lonely process. Most of the time, us writers are holed up in a room, all alone, with our own thoughts, dreams, and ideas. It’s such an isolated process that it can be hard to remember there are other writers – and people like us – out there. Since joining the Writing Community two years ago, I’ve connected with so many amazing writers, and found a place where I can fully be myself.

So where do you join the community?

It’s all over the place! Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, etc…However, Twitter is the best place to be the most active. So many writers have accounts, as well as literary agents and publishing houses, and it’s the easiest place to interact and communicate.

But what benefits are there to joining the Writing Community?

1.) Community

There is a community full of writers out there. People who are on the same journey as you – whatever level you may be at. There are those who are writing their first novel, or their second; others who are ready to self-publish or already have. Whatever path you’re on, there will be hundreds of others just like you.

Like I said before, writing is a lonely process. But finding a community that you can connect with, where you can talk to like-minded people, makes the writing process a little less lonely.

2.) Connections

Being part of the community also means making connections with people. Other writers, editors, freelancers, critique partners, beta readers, and literary agents – they’re all people you can meet, and it’s important to get to know them.

Well, you don’t have to get to know all of them.

But making a few meaningful connections with other writers who can become your critique partners, or getting to know what an agent likes or dislikes by their tweets, can build meaningful connections that are guaranteed to help you along the way.

3.) Advice

Another amazing part of the community is learning advice from other writers, agents, and editors. So many of these writers tweet out daily writing advice, or agents will tweet things they frequently see go wrong in writer’s query letters or manuscripts.
Twitter can be a goldmine of advice.

Follow writers like Delilah S. Dawson, Susan Dennard, or V.E. Schwab for advice on writing.

4.) Platform

Whether you’re self, traditional, or small press publishing, one of the most important things you will have to do as a writer is build your author platform. By building an audience of people who are invested in you, and your work and brand, you’re already making a name for yourself in the publishing world.

Marketing is harder than ever these days, with so many markets oversaturated with products; but by ensuring you are active, and actively making connections with people, you’ll only continue to grow and build your platform. Follower count isn’t the most important thing – but building connections is.


If you’re interested in joining the community, follow along with hashtags like:

#WritingCommunity
#writingcommunity
#amwriting
#amediting
#authorlife
#writerlife

Do any of these tips help you want to join the community? How do you interact with other writers? Let me know in the comments!

XOXO – Devon

Interview with a Writer: Chantel Pereira

Are you interested in getting to know more of the writers who are part of our amazing community? As part of my blog series, I’ve interviewed some of the writers in an effort to get to know them better, as well as share their stories!

Today, I’m introducing Chantel Pereira onto the blog, and I’m so excited to share her story!


#1. What got you into writing? How and when did you first start?

I feel like there has never been a time in my life where I wasn’t secretly obsessed with creating, telling, and hearing stories. However, I’d say the definite moment when I decided I wanted to be a writer was in the fifth grade when our class was assigned The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. Before then, I’d never read anything as fantastical and magical as that, and I recall it being a significant time in my life. But I didn’t start taking writing seriously until the sixth grade when I stumbled upon my first novel idea during a class camping trip.

#2: Where do you usually get your ideas?

While I find most of my ideas when I’m around nature (I sort of have a knack for thinking up my best stories while in forests), I find ideas everywhere – Pinterest, music, scents, myths and folklore, reinventing classic tropes. I also shape many of my ideas around my personal life. How I felt during certain moments in my life and how can I take that mood and root it in a fantasy or horror setting?

#3: What current project are you working on right now? What was the inspiration for this project?

I am currently working on a handful of projects, but the two I’m closest to firing out into the world are my two MG Fantasy novels. The first is the rewrite of my book titled, The Irretrievable Ones. It’s the first book in The Yawning Graves series, which is a Harry Potter, Hocus Pocus, and Stranger Things-inspired MG about witchy cursed forests, secret libraries, disappearing girls, Halloween, and abandoned witch cities.

The inspiration for this project came from my years growing up in northern Canada (where it is set). I grew up in a town steeped in negative stigma surrounding mental illness, and as a result, a high suicide rate amongst its youths (especially amongst Indigenous children). The Yawning Graves came to me not simply out of my desire for a Canadian Harry Potter-type story with strong-hearted girls and soft boys, but out of my wish to pull that veil off themes of lgbtq and mental health in small northern towns. To talk about these scary realities in the safety of a fantastical, hopeful story.

Also, fun fact – this is the novel I first wrote/thought up on that sixth-grade camping trip.

The second book I’m working on is called The Phantom Imaginarium which is a story about Manuela Hierro, a ten-year-old inventor who stumbles into a carnival for ghosts, and discovers she has only one night to defeat a tyrannical puppet master who has stolen the sun and sunk the carnival into one endless night.

#4: Traditional, Self-Publish, Small Press? What path to publishing are you pursuing/have pursued and why?

Traditional. I want nothing more than to see my books in Indigo and for them to reach as many readers as they possibly can. I also have a secret bucket list of milestones I hope to achieve, and following the traditional route would be my best way of ticking off this list.

#5: What’s the best writing tip you’ve ever received?

The best tip I received was from Neil Gaiman’s Masterclass. And I’m horribly paraphrasing it right now, but it’s, “Be honest and brave in your writing”. When writing, we’re crafting a series of lies into something believable. The greatest way to do this is by pulling from the truths of our lives – whether that be feelings we felt and/or the lessons we’ve learned the hard way. And sometimes, while it can be scary to figuratively put pieces of our soul onto the page and turn our stories into horcruxes, it becomes that much more of a powerful story. For both the reader and for you.

#6: When are you most creative?

I’m most creative at night. I’m the quintessential night owl. I truly admire all those writers who wake at the crack of dawn and dive straight into their stories, but I can’t do it. I’ve desperately tried. I also always find that my best ideas come during the colder months – it must have something to do with all that autumn and winter magic in the air.

#7: What authors inspire you the most?

C.S. Lewis, Tolkien, and J.K. Rowling were the authors that inspired me to start writing, but I’m also inspired by Stephen King, Maggie Stiefvater, Emily Brontë, Shea Ernshaw, and Claire Legrand.

#8: What’s your most anticipated read in the next few months?

WILDER GIRLS by Rory Power and A SORCERY OF THORNS by Margaret Rogerson.

#9: What are you currently reading?

I’m actually just about to crack into A Sorcery of Thorns. In the meantime, I’m diving into the manuscripts of two of my writing friends: SECRETS WITHIN THE GRAVES by Elora Cook, and AT THE LAKE’S EDGE by Lyndall Clipstone.

#10: What’s your favorite book or book series?

Without a doubt, my two favourite book series are The Raven Cycle and Harry Potter. Namely, The Prisoner of Azkaban, The Order of the Phoenix, and The Deathly Hallows. As for standalone books, I devoured Sawkill Girls, The Devouring Gray, and The Wicked Deep.

#11: Favorite childhood book?

The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. I recently received a new copy for Christmas since my original fell apart. I was also a massive fan of the Redwall Series.

#12: Biggest book pet peeve?

I detest when what could be an interesting scene takes place off page.

#13: What book has made you cry?

I cried recently with Sawkill Girls! Without delving into too much spoiler territory for those who many not have read it, I adore gray characters– and this one is full of deep motives and high stakes.

#14: Favorite writing snack or drink?

Blueberries, Peanut M&Ms, and tea – lots and lots of tea.

#15: What’s your biggest fear? Writing related or otherwise – or both!

On top of a constant fear of failure, I always fear that I’ve missed my moment or lost my chance. Strangely enough, I also fear that if I do make it, that I will lose significant time with my cat, Hagrid, and with my loved ones. I know it’s a ridiculous thought, but it is unfortunately there.

#16: What other hobbies do you have outside of writing?

I’m a huge lover of the outdoors. I love camping, hiking, and BONFIRES. I am also extremely passionate about the paranormal and horror. Outside of this, I attempt to act – emphasis on the attempt. I was part of a geeky musical theater group that also did improv, sketch comedy shows, and I’ve been able to test the waters with voice acting. (If any of you ever meet me, I do a mean Hamtaro). Most recently, I also got the chance to act as an extra in Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark.

#17: Biggest real life pet peeve?

People who diminish the seriousness of disorders like ‘OCD’ by using it as a quirky word for liking things to be neat.

#18: Any final words to aspiring writers out there?

Failure is a gift. This took me so many years of heartache to realize this, but failure is such a gift. Yes, it can break you. Yes, it can make you question whether you should throw in the towel. But the moment you can silence it, learn from it, and get past your tears, failure always rebuilds you into the strongest version of yourself yet.


All About Chantel

Chantel grew up surrounded by water and woods in a small northern Canadian town wfnMLMiZwhere there were more deer than people. A proud daughter of two hardworking immigrants, she now lives in Toronto with her fiancé, Eddy, and her hell-raising cat, Hagrid. Originally, she intended to pursue a career in music. However, after a physical setback led to some serious soul-searching, she decided to risk it all to pursue her childhood dream of becoming an author since her other childhood dream of becoming Elton John was already taken.

Through many all-nighters and early mornings trudging for her finals through the snow, she acquired her Honours Bachelor in Literature with a minor in Classics from Lakehead University under the mentorship of Michael Christie. She then moved to Toronto to acquire her Certificate in Book Publishing from Ryerson University and is presently pursuing her MFA in Creative Writing.

When she is not writing, she is wishing that she was…or obsessing over Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter, black tea, musicals, and Halloween. An avid horror movie buff, amateur ghost expert, and hobbit, Chantel aspires to write the type of stories Guillermo Del Toro would want to direct.

Follow Chantel!

Instagram: @chantellpereira
Twitter: @chantelpereira
Tumblr: @barrierspark

Elora Cook: @eloraflora13

Lyndall Clipstone: @writerlyndall

 

 

May Recap 2019

May was a hard month for me. Between what feels like constant kidney stone pain, some personal things going, and just feeling stuck in life, I’ve had a rough month. I’m really hoping for a fresh start in June!

What I Wrote:

Well, I didn’t get any writing done; but I did finish outlining three of my new projects, which I’m very excited for! I have big hopes and ideas for these projects, and am so excited to start writing them!

What I Read:

Total: 7

Shadow Crown by Kristen Martin ★★☆☆☆

I read Ms. Martin’s first novel, The Alpha Drive, last year and was really unimpressed. I felt there were far too many problems with the novel and that it needed a lot more work before being published. That said, I debated for a long time on whether or not I wanted to buy the first novel in her newest series, but finally caved and decided to buy.

By far, Shadow Crown is leaps and bounds ahead of her first novel. The writing is much smoother, the plot is less jumpy, and the story is more focused. However, Shadow Crown is not without err.

The novel is littered with grammatical errors, the use of modern language, and military time. Phrases like “firing like missiles” and “awesome” are used. The characters act without much reason or motivation, and the entire inciting incident only happens because our main characters makes a decision that is completely out of character. We’re constantly told things instead of shown them, and there is hardly any world-building.

While Shadow Crown is much better than The Alpha Drive, I have to give this two stars. It’s clear Ms. Martin is improving as a writer, but I still think she needs work.

Someone Knows by Lisa Scottoline ★★★☆☆

This is my first Lisa Scottoline novel, and I’m really torn on how I feel about it. The writing was absolutely beautiful, and the world was vivid. The characters were interesting and complex, and every voice was unique and easy to follow.

The novel is divided into two parts, following the past and present. The past part of the novel was by far my favorite, and the mystery was well constructed and amazingly written. However, the present part of the novel – which takes place twenty years later – felt like it fell into the thriller cliché a little too much. The killer was outed easily, but the final, end twist was unexpected and it really made this novel.

But between the beautiful writing, there were far too many characters to follow whose POV’s felt unnecessary to the overall plot. One character also keeps a secret from his spouse, and has a choice to revel this secret, but he choose not to. This character decision was something I could not get behind, and it’s one of the reasons I have to take a star off.

Someone Knows is a really close four stars, but I would definitely pick up another Lisa Scottoline novel and give the author another shot.

The Summer I Turned Pretty Trilogy by Jenny Han ★★★☆☆

The Summer I Turned Pretty ★★★★☆
It’s Not Summer Without You ★★★☆☆
We’ll Always Have Summer ★★☆☆☆

I’m rating the entire trilogy three stars, but I’ve given each book in the series an individual rating as well. After reading, I have some major thoughts on these books.

On one hand, I loved the first book. I really connected to the main character, Belly, and identified with her struggles as she grew into a young woman. The writing was simple, yet beautiful, and I didn’t expect to enjoy the first novel as much as I did.

Unfortunately, my enjoyment for this series only faltered as I went on. The quality of the writing stayed the same, but it was the two love interest’s behaviors and actions that made me enjoy the series less and less. I didn’t agree with Belly choosing either love interest, not after the way they treated her throughout the series, and by the end I found myself rooting for Belly to find her own independence. Unfortunately, the books ended in a way I just wasn’t happy with.

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An Unwanted Guest by Shari Lapena ★★★☆☆

I’ve read both of Shari Lapena’s previous works and enjoyed them, so when I saw she’d released a new book, I picked it up without hesitation.

An Unwanted Guest is clearly inspired by Agatha Christie’s novel, And Then There Were None, and there’s even a slight mention of the novel within the book itself. Lapena does well to make sure her own novel is original and interesting, and the premise really pulled me in.

What really fell flat for me is that the end twist – while I didn’t see it coming – just didn’t grab me the way I hoped.

The Night Olivia Fell by Christina McDonald ★★★★★

Okay, I LOVED this book. The writing was beautiful, the characters were complex, and the story was fast-paced and so gripping. The story was unique, and I love the parallels between past and present. This book brought tears to my eyes in the end, and I was satisfied with the journey and ending of the amazing novel. I will definitely be picking up Christina McDonald’s next book!

What I’m Watching:

Well, May marked the series finale of Game of Thrones. I admit that I was crushed by the ending. I’d been rooting for Daenerys to win the Iron Throne since day one, so seeing what happened to her was so disappointing.

The boyfriend and I also stopped watching The Magicians, which was a bit disappointing, but we just didn’t have any interest anymore. On the flip side, we’ve begun watching Psyche and The Tudors, which we’re both really enjoying.

I am devastated that Netflix took off Switched at Birth. I was halfway through season two and loving it. Since they’ve taken it off, I’ve been watching The Fosters, and am already halfway through season three!

Currently Reading:

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How I Did: May Goals:

Back in May, I gave myself several goals:

• Outline YA Fantasy Thief Idea
• Outline Secret Project Idea
• Actually make a plan to go back to school
• Create my June blogging schedule
• Begin writing YA Fantasy Thief Idea
• Begin writing Secret Project Idea

I’m proud to say I completed three of these! I outlined both projects and created my June blogging schedule. I wanted to come up with a plan to go back to school, but unfortunately, I had some decisions to make that I was holding back on making. I’m proud to say I have made a final decision, and am excited to move forward with my education!

I really wanted to begin writing my two new projects in May, but wasn’t able to, considering it took me most of the month to plan both novels! I also decided to add a third new project to my plate as well, which I’m proud to say I also finished outlining!

June Goals:

• Create my July blogging schedule
• Finally apply to school
• Begin writing YA Fantasy Thief Idea
• Begin writing Secret Project Idea
• Begin writing Sci-Fi Idea

What’s Coming Up On the Blog:

I have a brand new series planned to be released this month, so stayed tuned for that!

I’ve also been considering doing more full-length book reviews instead of only these smaller reviews on my Monthly Recaps. Do you guys want to see more in-depth book reviews? Let me know!


How’d everyone else’s May go? What goals do you have planned for June?

XOXO – Devon

9 Tips to Make Writing a Habit

Writing is a special gift. But why do so many writers struggle to actually find time to put words on the page? Well, it might be because they haven’t developed a writing habit.

Life can be extremely busy. Between full-time and part-time jobs, children, social commitments, or other day-to-day things, finding the time to sit down and let your creativity flow can be incredibly difficult for some people. And there’s nothing wrong with that; taking care of your children is obviously more important than writing. But if you find yourself really wanting to develop a writing habit, and are struggling to figure out how, here are eight tips that might help you out!

(Keep in mind: You don’t have to follow all of these tips. But implementing just one or two of them into your daily schedule might just improve your writing life!)


#1: Write at the Same Time Everyday

Whether it means getting up an hour before everyone else, or waiting until everyone else goes to bed, find a time that works for you. Find a slot in your day – morning, afternoon, evening – that will have no interruptions and no distractions.

Writing at the same time every day will not only train your mind that that time slot is the time to write, but also let your family and friends know that time is when you’re busy. Commit yourself to this every time you write. You don’t have to write every day to be a writer – but you have to be consistent.

#2: Use Triggers

Maybe it’s your favorite cup of coffee or tea in the morning. Or maybe the scent of your favorite candle or incense. Whatever it is, use it to your advantage. Before you sit down to write, implement this trigger into your writing schedule.

If you get up in the morning, make a cup of coffee the first thing before you write. The smell of the coffee, and the act of getting it, will tell you brain it’s time to write. Over time, these triggers will help get you in the mood for a writing session.
Whatever it is – coffee, tea, a scent, maybe meditating an hour beforehand – use whatever trigger will work best for you. It’s important to get yourself excited to sit down and write, and be in the right headspace.

#3: Eliminate Distractions

Turn off the TV. Keep your phone in the other room. Disconnect from the internet. Whatever you have to do to keep yourself distraction free, do it. If you sit down to write during your allotted writing time, but find yourself checking your phone, or browsing the internet, it’s time to eliminate any distractions.

Distractions will only keep you from getting your writing done. Your writing time has to be for you. The internet can wait. The TV can wait. They’re not going anywhere.

#4: Organize Your Writing Space

Wherever you write – at a desk, the kitchen table, the couch in the living room – make sure it’s clean and organized. Having a clean space free of distractions will keep your mind clear. Not only that, it will prevent you from wanting to get up and organize the space instead of write.

Your space should be clean and organized, but also allow you access to everything you need – a pen, notebook, etc. – so you don’t have to get up and go search for it. Keep your writing space creative. Fill it with motivational quotes or posters. Hang up posters from your favorite TV shows or movies. It’s important to keep your space neat, but to also make it a safe haven where you can sit, uninterrupted, and let your ideas flow.

#5: Set Small Goals First

There’s nothing wrong with wanting to aim high for bigger goals. But if you’re trying to develop your own writing a habit, shooting big might not always be the best.
It’s best to start small and pace yourself.

Start with a small word count or time frame. For example, tell yourself you’re going to write five-hundred words for the day. Or you’re going to write for twenty minutes straight with no distractions. Whatever it is, push yourself to meet these goals.

Once you’ve managed to meet these goals for a few days, or maybe a week straight, begin to raise them. Instead of writing five-hundred words, bump up your count to seven-hundred. Increase your time from twenty minutes to thirty. Gradually, you will begin to meet higher word count goals without burning yourself out.

The important thing to remember is to take it in strides. Writing is like a muscle, and you need to train it appropriately. An athlete wouldn’t push themselves to run a marathon when they’ve never run one before, or even trained for it, would they?

Writing might be a different kind of “sport”, but you need to train yourself all the same.

#6: Make Writing a Priority

If there’s one tip you should follow out of everything else, this should be number one.
To put words on the page, to make this a habit, to find any success as a writer, you have to make writing a priority. There will be times when you need to turn things down in order to write. There will be times when you just have to say “no”.

For example, let’s say Friday nights are the only free time you have to write. But every Friday night you go out with friends and get drinks the entire evening. Are you making writing a priority here? No.

There may be times when you have to put writing above all else. This doesn’t mean neglect your health, your children, your spouse, or your loved ones – but it may mean sacrificing fun social activities, or missing the newest episode of a show you love, because you’ve made writing a priority instead.

Don’t burn yourself out, however. Remember to take a step back and have fun. Remember to take care of yourself. But don’t constantly put writing to the side in pursuit of something else, because if you do, you may never find the time to write.

#7: Set Boundaries

Once you’ve decided to make writing a priority, you will have to set boundaries. This means being able to say “no” to friends, family, and loved ones. This means telling people that this time slot you have – maybe an hour on your lunch break at work – is now writing time, not time for socializing.

Your friends and family may be frustrated by this. But it’s important to set those boundaries with them. Your writing time and space needs to be respected.

Writing is like work. Your family wouldn’t just barge into your workplace, would they?

#8: Be Accountable and Consistent

If you’re trying to build a writing habit, keep yourself accountable. Make sure you’re following your goals and the schedule you’ve set yourself. If you need to, find an accountability partner who will cheer you on and motivate you to keep going.

If you don’t hold yourself accountable, it’s easier to slip up and lose consistency. The more you lose consistency, the harder it will be to form a writing habit.

#9: Reward Yourself

Maybe there’s a movie coming out that you’ve been waiting to see, or a book you’ve been eyeing on the shelf. Whatever it is, use it as a motivator to keep yourself going. For every five-thousand words you write, you can treat yourself to a fancy Starbucks drink, or a sweet treat. When you write ten-thousand words, treat yourself to a fancy dinner. You get the gist.

Keep a reward in the back of your mind. Something you can finally give into buying or doing. Writing should be fun, too. There’s nothing wrong with treating yourself when you hit a milestone.


No matter what tips and tricks you decide to implement here, the important thing to remember is that you need consistency to form a new habit. Research shows that it can take sixty-six days to form a habit. Writing is like everything else – you need to train yourself to sit down, show up, and do the work.

“Start writing, no matter what. The water does not flow until the faucet is turned on.”
— Louis L’Amour

XOXO – Devon