Category Archives: Encouragement

When Writing Strikes

Writers are compelled to write. We are constantly having ideas. We are constantly thinking about twist or problems in our storylines and we see inspiration just about everywhere. Generally speaking, the challenge is not creative flow. Writers are bursting through the seams with creativity. Things like organization, structure, and TIME are our biggest enemy.

I submitted my final draft of my new book (Book 1 of 3) to my editor just as summer break began. The second half of my novel was completed just as my final undergrad semester was beginning. By way of a rough critique, I have summarized that, critical thinking and strategic writing for school has a negative effect on my creative writing flow. One would think that I took that new learning and adapted it. One would think that I have spent the entire summer writing. Well fans… I did not.

BREAK TIME

My break from all things thought provoking has been well over do. I am a mother, wife, student, dedicated member of church, and full-time career woman. My mind is always spinning and at the end of the publishing process I was stressed and overstretched. Aside from journaling and brainstorming the cover specifications for my new book. I did not commit any new creative ideas to paper (or screen) all summer. This does not mean I didn’t have them, only that I took time to clear my focus and relax.
Upside: I feel rested and clear.
Downside: School starts in less than a week, and suddenly I have been hit with an overwhelming urge to do corrections, plan out new ideas, and inspiration for book 2 in my new series.

TIME TO WRITE

During the rewrite process of Dreams of the Heart, I struggled with the working and writing. Writing and books are my passion. As many of my followers know, I do not work in that industry. My time to do creative writing was limited and sometimes nonexistence. The emotional toll of “not writing” was at times so heavy that it would manifest itself through tears or intense journaling. Oddly enough I learned that if I had time to cry and journal about NOT WRITING, then I had time to rewrite and improve Dreams of the Heart. Eventually, I came to some solid resolves about the time needed to write and invest in my career as an author. I applied those lessons to my writing schedule while working on my second novel and finished in half the time. It is still a struggle, but I no longer fret over the common problem. We make time for what is important in life. Pushing my creativity, my stories into the world is one of the most important things to me. How long it takes it not nearly as important as the act of getting it done.

TIME TO WORK

As I start the Master’s in Library Science program at Kent State and I looking forward to all the new things that I will learn. I have been preparing myself for the 3 classes and the overload of papers that I undoubtedly will have to write. I understand that my time will be locked up with reading and writing research papers and that the time to work on my book series will be limited. I have somewhat purposeful put myself on “downtime” behavior in preparation for taking 3 classes in the fall. I have a strong feeling that my life for the next 3 months will be writing; one way or another.

However, as God allowed me to do with my debut novel Dreams of the Heart, I will push through it. God gave me this gift for a reason and I will use it. The work needed to be become a successful author is hard with or without school. I plan to rise to the challenge. My ideas are solid and despite only having a few days to outline them into a writing plan for next month, I will do it.

National Novel Writing Month 2017

It is National Novel Writing Month. November is the month to stretch your muscle, and your fingers to create the next great novel right. RIGHT!

National Novel Writing Month has a special place in my heart. This year as many may know, I published my first novel. I started Dreams of the Heart before my first participation year of NaNo, however the year I did participate, my first experience was the best. I was so encouraged, and simultaneously paranoid about my first novel project. Looking back, it was comical how scared I was to share my work, or even the amount of words I wrote; which is main element in the NaNo challenge I develop my own word count marco spreadsheet. Given my background in Information Technology, this is not an unrealistic resolution. Despite my misguided attempted at NaNo, through my writing journey I have learned that sharing helps you gain insight and perspective on everything from characters, to plot timing.

This year I will be focusing on the ending transition for series format and the overall rewrite. I plan to have these steps fully completed y NOVEMEBER 30th. This is important because I plan to publish my novel Twin Souls: A Blue Moon Series Novel is the winter of 2018. Getting the book to my editor is my primary goal for the end of 2017 and National Novel Writing Month is the best time to push myself to new goals.

I am looking forward to interacting more with the writing community and learning more about writing dialogue and time shifting within a single plot. Writing is my life.

Please keep in touch and follow me on this journey right here on my TanelaWrites.

Surrounded by Great Friends and Great Books

Great Friends

Writing is a skill that many have but few enjoy. When I discovered that my friend Diondra had a love for writing, I immediately became a supporter. Learning about someone through written words can give you great appreciation for the person they are.

An avid reader, Diondra is a devoted Christian, teacher, awesome singers, and a writer. Her new website shares some of the most amazing experiences and heartfelt emotions. I encourage you to take a look around. Check out diondrasplace. Here is the link to my favorite post thus far https://www.diondrasplace.com/9-movies-to-look-out-for/

 

Great Books 

 

So I have been reading a lot lately. After my first semester at Kent State, I had to purge some of the technical habits that were blocking my creativity. I went on a high level binge of paranormal fantasy books. I update my reviews on goodreads.com often, so to access my full list of reviewed book please visit Fun Stuff tab.

However today I must call out a series that has surprised me and wrapped me in paranormal fiction delight. After looking for a gargoyle story for more than 4 months, I had given up. It seemed that the creativity on paranormal creatures were limited to Vampires, Werewolves, Faeries, Casters, and of course Angels. Most that know me well understand I love a good vampire romance (thanks Twilight) and stories of Faerie Warriors disarm me every time (thanks Sarah Maas). Despite my continued love affair with the “out of this world” element, I yearned for a gargoyle story. Maybe it’s because I grew up in the early 80’s and have fond memories of short lived tv series “Gargoyles”.

Well I found what I was looking for in the Revelations series by Randi Coley Wilson. The series follows Eve Collins who has just become aware she is something special and has an important part to play in a war she did not even know existed. Her protector Asher St. Michael holds all he secrets and is tied to Eve and her destiny in more ways than one. Now she has a gargoyle clan of her own and must train and fight to be everything everyone else expects her to be. The story has love, hate, fights, faeries, and magic all in one and I am tickled that I came across it when I did. The world the author has built is somehow magical although it clearly has an urban real-world setting. The character’s descriptions and abilities stretch the imagination even for the fantasy genre, but they are very real in their emotions. The plot of each installment twists and turn just enough to hook you in and make you root for the good guy AND the bad guy. Eve and Asher’s intense bond throughout this saga is engaging and keeps you thinking of romantic and forbidden love.

Currently I am on book 3 of 5 on the series. And while I do tend to read series that follow the same characters, I rarely find myself reading them back to back within 1 weeks’ time (except Sarah Maas books). I read the first book Revelations in about 1 week, and immediately read book two finishing it in under two days. Now I am on book three and I had slow myself down to do some of my own writing. To read my full review of each book, but visit my Fun Stuff tab and click in the image of the book. 

Your Environment Your Mind

By Tanela Hicks

Sometimes putting your mind where it needs to be is just the thing that can put YOU where you need to be.

As the Midwest moves through a cool and rainy summer, I am reminded of the fresh beauty I saw while vacationing a couple years ago in Boston. Now I should preface everything that follows by admitting that I have an unfounded love for this city. I have no ties to the city and have never lived on the east coast, but for reasons unknown I have always loved Boston. It was April the weather was perfect for walking, thinking, and writing. The views from my hotel were not great but the moment you stepped into the heart of the city everything around me changed my perspective. Before my visit I was in a dead stop on my projects and my overall was at a low. The change of scenery had a strong effect on me as wife, mother, and writer.

Your environment can change your view and your view starts in your mind.

The weeping willow trees in the Boston Public Garden were transparent yet extremely bright and alive. A lighter green than expected and only semi bloomed, these trees did more for me than any advice column or spa day could have ever done. The swayed and swung as if they had direction but knew there job was to stand still. I would like to think they did it for me, but I know that it was really God’s design and plan. In life sometimes standing still is exactly what God wants us to do. He wants use to allow him to move and groom us for his will and purpose. The pond that quietly moved below the trees provided moisture in the air and calm to the sound of the wind. Despite the quiet scene, I remember that day it was quite busy. There were children playing in the park. Groups of tourist were rapidly walking through the park, missing the nature beauty. But then there was a couple sitting privately hug together in a sweet embrace that rejuvenated my romance and gave me the inspiration to hold my own husband’s hand (after I took the picture of course).

Don’t Lose the View

Taking the time to sit and see things through a different lens ultimately changed my life. In that moment I sat there a promised never to lose that soft heart and soul that God gave me. I promised to once again start using the gifts God gave me to help, move, and inspire others, just as that couple done for me.

We spent a total of 6 days in the city. The memory of the trip still stands strong with me, and now 2 years later I still go to this place when I feel the need to surround myself with beauty and inspiration. Especially when writing. I no longer have to physically be there, its impact was so strong that it has made a permanent mark in my mind. This place gives me happiness; it gives me peace, and reminds me of my promise and Gods vision.