In season five, episode two of the podcast, Addey was joined by Courtney (from The Courtney Project on YouTube.) Courtney has published over forty romance novels under the pen name Lyra Parish and as one-half of the writing duo behind USA Today bestseller, Kennedy Fox.
If you’re interested in following Courtney or reading some of her books, you can find out more on her YouTube channel, on Instagram, on Facebook, and on TikTok.
If you’re interested in learning more about Courtney’s work with her writing partner, Brooke Cumberland, as Kennedy Fox, visit their website here.
Now, imagine we are catching up on this week’s podcast episode while strolling through the sunshine. What did you enjoy most about this episode? Would you ever consider writing romance? Let us know in the comments below!
In this week’s episode, Addey was joined by Courtney (a.k.a. Lyra Parish and one half of the writing duo behind USA Today bestseller Kennedy Fox) to talk about all things writing and publishing romance! You won’t want to miss this exciting interview.
In season five, episode 1 of the podcast, Addey talked all about putting yourself out there creatively.
To read Addey’s edition of noteworthy (her personal writing newsletter) about putting yourself out there, click here.
If you’re interested in learning more about ask vs. guess culture, check out this article in the Atlantic.
Addey referenced several podcast episodes from previous seasons that relate to what she discussed in this episode. Here are the episodes she mentioned:
Now, pretend we are outside enjoying the spring weather (or, depending on where you live, running inside to escape the spring rain showers) and discussing this week’s podcast episode. What do you think about ask vs. guess culture? Which category do you fall into? And, more importantly, how are you going to put yourself, your writing, and your creativity out there this week?
We’re back with the first episode of season five! We’re so thankful to you for listening for so many seasons–there are even more great episodes to come. In this episode, Addey talks all about putting yourself out there in writing, and how that relates to the story of the podcast itself.
Have you missed us? Season 5 of the podcast is going to start up next week, and we couldn’t be more excited for you to hear it. Make sure you’re subscribed to the podcast on your favorite platform to stay up-to-date on each episode. Talk to you soon!
I have always written like the “stars will shatter tomorrow.” But now—I write until my eyelids cannot stay up. I’ve slept on my laptop before. By telling you this, I want to let you know that I understand. I feel the crush in my chest and need to keep my fingers pressed and moving constantly. Everything is for publication and everything…
That mind numbing listing happens often to me. It becomes a swirl of what I have to do or what I could do or what I want to do. I am learning slowly to do one thing that I want to do—that is writing for myself. Maybe journaling or experimenting with form. Something that is not “required” or that has a strict deadline. I meet my deadlines and sometimes I’m early. I keep three calendars—today, this week, this month. So far, this is helping me focus and slow down. My product is better too.
What do I suggest to slow down?
First, don’t blame yourself. Don’t praise yourself too much either. We all need to cope. But be gentle and let yourself know that you are trying something new. Not scary. Not invasive. Just a slight change.
Pick three things off your list. If you complete them or don’t—praise yourself. You did what you could do.
Take a class or workshop. This goes for everyone on the writing spectrum! It focuses you. You feel accomplished. It takes a small amount of time in comparison with the ‘to-do’ list of doom.
Get out in nature. That’s really an activity for every writer. Get sun, get something green around you. Write down five things you feel or see—maybe touch? A poem can be entirely about the touch of a fern and how it caressed your cheek.
Above all else—never blame yourself for not writing. You are writing every second you exist. You have dreams, see interactions and people, see animals, gossip…that counts! Give yourself credit whether you are speeding up or slowing down or maintaining. This road of life we are on is long—let’s write about it.
First, stop berating yourself. Don’t keep saying “I want to.” “I should…” “I am bad…” “I am not a writer…” Hush that creature on your shoulder whispering nonsense. You are a writer because you know words. Are you watching Hulu and Netflix? Good for you!
Try this exercise next time you are watching a film or movie. Make it fun though. Don’t obsess.
1. Ask a question. What is the plot? Is there something that I could use?
2. Characters. How do they feel real or do they?
3. Story arc. Is there one?
This is informal. As the plot moves along and the two new love interests enter just note that he is wearing jeans and she is wearing red pumps that most people would tip over in—and how does that change the interaction?
See! Netflix to the rescue! You are writing. Could you create a few sentences where your characters interact like that?
Do you like word games?
They count. Everything from apps to word finds. Anything that makes words move. I use word magnets and lead a group. Every day I post a new set for everyone to try their hand at a poem or short story. It seems childish—but once you add in fun—the sluggishness starts leaving and the creature stops whispering.
What if tragedy occurred?
If someone died, you might feel numb or in shock. This is natural. We can go between the two states and have everything in between. If you feel numb—write NUMB. On the page, it will blink back at you. Then maybe Hurt? Anger? Who is next? All valid and scary questions. Write them down. Every feeling is valid. Don’t judge. If you must have structure, time yourself and run with it page after page. Dump out your emotion. Don’t worry about if it’s publishable. Truthfully, some of my best work comes from pain and emotional dumping. It’s authentic. That’s what our audience wants. That’s what we crave.
|Stay tuned for part three of this series next week!|
During the pandemic can you scale how active your writing has been? In my writing circles, they answer 1 if they are lucky and not -10 and 11 if they seem to have fallen into a frenzied pattern. I fall into the latter category—I write and submit like I’m on fire. Most of my friends struggle to put a pen to the page or to type a paragraph. No response to the stress we are living is wrong. I want to make that clear.
NOT WRITING IS OKAY. WRITING FASTER THAN THE SPEED OF LIGHT IS OKAY.
If you want to jump-start your routine—I’m not going to say “sit and look at the page for twenty minutes…” That’s a waste of time. Color your feelings on the page instead. It would do much more for your writing than staring and hating yourself. If you color your name blue and the river blue—is there a connection? Is that a spark of at least a sentence? I am blue and the water is blue because I am of the river. Not too bad for scribbling.
What if you are like me and you can’t slow down? You have to get out every project, every poem, your novel and memoir because… it might be too late? You might die? Someone has died? I use writing as a coping mechanism right now. My cousin died of Covid before there were vaccines and my motto is to write like the stars will shatter tomorrow. I feel like I don’t have time—so I write. I do not want to say that writing is bad—but sometimes—I at least have to reflect and realize why I am writing. If I don’t have a deadline for 3 am in the morning, why am I writing at 2 am? I am learning the art of slowing down. I have my long ‘to-do’ list—but then I have my ‘today’ list. I try to keep only three writing-related things on it. If I have an event or am teaching that may count as two. I might add a submission. I do my best to journal and get my feelings out though.
Write like the stars will shatter tomorrow…
So—now what? In this series, we are going to look at the spectrum of writer responses. I will focus on the two extremes, but for those that find themselves in the middle, you get the benefit of all of the suggestions.
|Stay tuned for parts two and three of this series in the coming weeks!|
Do you write about love? With Valentine’s Day quickly approaching, love is on a lot of people’s minds. Love also shows up in much of what we writers tend to write about! Of course, that’s more obvious if you write romance, or if you write about a romantic relationship at some point in your writing, but even if you don’t write with romance in mind, most stories feature love in some way. Whether it’s brotherly love, unrequited love, friendship love, lost love, or twisted love, love tends to come through in our writing.
With this in mind, and Valentine’s Day right around the corner, take some inspiration from this post to write about love. Take inspiration from the imagery of a beautiful rose contrasted by a wilting rose to write about love. Or take inspiration from your life to write about love. Take a topic about love that’s been blasted from the headlines and turn it on its head.
In season four, episode ten of the podcast, Addey and the other borrowed solace editors, Amber and Nicole, talked all about reading.
If you’re interested in taking on a reading challenge with some of our editors, here are the self-imposed challenges Addey and Nicole are taking on:
Read 26 books in 2022
Finish all of the series that you’ve started and never concluded in 2022
On top of reading, don’t forget to write! Without reading, our writing can lack inspiration and flounder, so remember to participate in both parts of the literary world.
Now, pretend we are getting ready for Valentine’s day (whatever that means) and discussing this week’s episode. What are your reading goals for this year? Any reading tips or bits of advice you’d like to share? Let us know in the comments below!