I completed a “no editing as you go” challenge… and I was happier before

Let me start off by saying: I love challenges. They can inspire creativity, create community, increase productivity, and act as a catalyst for other positive changes. I’ve done many of them, and I typically walk away with an increased sense of purpose and clarity.

At the end of December, I completed a challenge to write 30k words in 30 days without editing any of them. This time, when I hit the word count goal, I felt tired, disconnected, unmotivated…

The magic of writing (for me) is in the process, which has always included editing as I go. Sometimes I write several thousand words before I go back, but ultimately, I go back. I sweep the whole thing, the previous chapter, whatever feels right. Then I continue forward, thoroughly entrenched in the story. While I was doing the challenge, I’d go back over the most recent material and see mistakes I wasn’t “allowed” to fix. It felt like being punished!

It’s been a few weeks since the challenge ended and I have mixed feelings on the value it added to my life. At first, I was mostly frustrated with myself that I kept going with it after I realized it wasn’t working for me. Now I can appreciate that it gave me more confidence in my process and inspired gratitude; I appreciate my freedom to create the way I want to more than ever.

For those who keep striving to better themselves through challenges and trying out new processes: I think it’s a worthwhile endeavor. My only piece of advice is to listen to your instincts and recognize you may have to take a different path than others to get to the end.

Signing off for now,

Sam

September Update

Hello everyone!

I wanted to take a moment to thank you for your support over the last several weeks. It’s been a wild ride getting the behemoth Kyanite Publishing engine off the ground but it’s starting to chug along and I couldn’t be prouder. In addition to moving into a new house and a new office, I’ve also been writing, editing, and talking to retailers about stocking the Kyanite Press and our upcoming titles. If you missed any of the activity, I don’t blame you. Here is a recap of everything that’s been going on.

 

BOOK REVIEWS

I reviewed “After,” by John Prescott, “The Unfortunate Expiration of Mr. David S. Sparks,” by William F. Aicher, and “Dancing at Midnight: The Life of June Parker,” by Rebecca J. Yelland for Peak Story Reviews. Check those out on the Peak Story Reviews website!

 

RECOMMENDATIONS

I put up a new page on my website dedicated to book recommendations from my friends and peers. I’ll update it every few months with new recommendations. Consider it a current, curated list from the Twitter #amwriting community. Eventually, I’ll be adding more publishers, publications, editors, designers, and other artists to the list.

 

INTERVIEWS

I was a guest of Laura Mae for her Indie Go Interviews series last month! Check it out here!

I’m also starting an interview series I’ll be hosting here on my website. Laura will be the first guest!

 

PUBLISHING UPDATES

What They Deserve and The Assimilation Agent are both still on track for publishing in November 2018 and March 2019, respectively. I also have a series debuting in 2019 through Kyanite Glass (electronic imprint) about a summer camp for psychics. I’ll be sharing more news on that soon.

 

THE KYANITE PRESS

The Kyanite Press, a bimonthly speculative fiction journal featuring short stories, launched on September 1st. You can purchase it on the Kyanite Publishing website or on Amazon. It’s also being stocked at The Wyvern’s Tale in Asheville, NC and will be shelved in more stores, soon!

 

Thanks for reading and staying tuned!

 

Sincerely,

Sam

Announcing: Kyanite Publishing & New Book “What They Deserve”

I have never been more excited to sit down and write an update in my entire life.

Today, July 11th, 2018, I am so proud to announce the formation of Kyanite Publishing LLC alongside my partners, B.K. Bass and Sophia LeRoux. Kyanite is an author-owned, independent publisher of speculative fiction and horror seeking to connect authors and readers like never before.

Kyanite Publishing Banner

We’ve each been building to this moment for what feels like our entire lives, and we are so grateful for the chance to help other authors put their stories out into the world (along with our own).

My titles, Marketing Director of Kyanite Publishing and Managing Editor of Kyanite Glass (a digital imprint), reflect my natural relationship building abilities, optimism, vision, and commitment to financial solvency. B.K. will be working as the Director of Acquisitions and Editor in Chief of The Kyanite Press, our bimonthly literary magazine, and Sophia will be working as the Director of Design and Operations and Managing Editor of Kyanite Kiss, our romance imprint.

what they deserve sam hendricks graphic

My other title, my first book!, “What They Deserve,” is coming at you in November 2018! I can’t wait to hear what you think about the cover design and concept. I’m finishing it right now and it’s intense!

In the first quarter of 2019, I’ll be bringing you, “The Assimilation Agent,” the first novel in a trilogy about alien genetic experiments. I’ve been building it in my mind for five years and getting it out on paper has been cathartic and emboldening in more ways than one.

Many of you have been supporting Peak Story Reviews over the past two months and I am humbled by your patronage, as are the authors of the stories we’ve been reviewing. We haven’t released much content there because of the publishing launch, but we’ll be getting back on a regular schedule soon!

If you made it to the end of this, thank you!

Sincerely,

Sam Hendricks

10 Ways Writing Will Bolster Your Bravery

I’ve heard a lot of my friends say they’re feeling scared recently. Scared of losing their jobs, scared of saying the wrong thing, scared of never achieving their dreams. I express myself through writing and have found that I can isolate and transform my fears when I journal, write fiction, or help others through writing.

Here are 10 reasons writing helps eliminate fear and bolsters bravery. I hope one or some of them can work for you. If you don’t need any help in the bravery department, maybe you could pass this along to a friend. As always, I accept that my opinions are not for everyone. Bravery is noble but I in no way wish to offend or condemn those who are not brave.

#1 – A daily journal can help you figure out what’s important enough to be brave for.

It’s all fine and well to aspire to be brave, but why? I want to be brave for the people and things I love: family, community, education, the environment.

If you take the time to journal daily, or even once in awhile, you’ll probably be able to look back over your musings and clearly see what matters to you jumping off the page. Once you know, picture those things when you find yourself in moments requiring bravery. If your actions are in line with your values and support the things you love, your bravery will be more likely to bubble up.

 

#2 – Making lists can turn scary, intangible obstacles into real goals.

Sometimes the obstacles in the way of our bravery, like fear of being judged, fear of losing, fear of the unknown, etc. manifest in our thoughts as foggy, unexplained anxiety. To combat the paralysis big decisions and projects can create, make a list of the things that you want to accomplish and then write out the obstacles.

For example, if you want to become a rock star, some of your obstacles might be forming a band, money to travel, and stage fright. Under each obstacle, write down some ideas of how you could power through, over, under, or around the obstacle. Following the same example above, under ‘forming a band’ you could write down some action steps, like: post an ad on Craigslist, post an ad on social media and go to local venues for live music. Smaller actionable goals also help you realize your own momentum and completing them gives you a boost.

Show your lists to someone you trust to see if they can come up with even more ways to turn your fears into actions.

 

#3 – Journaling can help you relate to yourself differently.

When you take the time to write down the important things happening in your life, you might start to see yourself as the writer of your own story, which you are, rather than a passive actor. Bravery can seem abstract, but it’s really about separating yourself from your fears in a single moment. When your journal, you can see those moments more clearly.

Another tip: write what you would have said or done if you’d been braver, as well as what you did. See the words on the page. Picture yourself saying them. Picture yourself as the character in the story you want to be. Over time, you just might become them.

Journaling also contributes to your mental health, so this is a tip to remember!

 

Let's get started, journal, writing, hand, bravery

#4 – Creating characters involves sussing out their values, conflicts, and motivations. It can help you to learn yours.

If journaling isn’t up your alley, try writing fiction! It’s like playing make-believe and dress-up except better. Your characters can be as brave as you can imagine but for their bravery to seem real they’ll need real motivations, values, and obstacles of their own. Once you’ve created a few characters, compare and contrast them with yourself. Get to know yourself. Really dig deep, and you might just uncover some bravery under there.

#5 – Writing plot can make you a risk taker.

Write down a one-page synopsis of the “plot” that is your life. Then write the ideal plot for your life.
Thinking about your life as the plot of a book might open up your brain to possibilities outside of the most common, practical, or simple. When you have new roads to go down, you might find yourself more willing to take risks to see where they lead.

#6 – Writing will give your fears a place to live.

The opposite of courage is cowardice if you believe The Wizard of Oz. Rather than letting your fears live inside you, let them live on the page. Write them down and then commit to yourself that you’ll leave them there. When you feel scared instead of brave, imagine your fear back inside your journal or computer. You don’t have to carry it. Give it another place to live and fill the empty space with books, instead!

#7 – Writing dialogue forces you to imagine all the different things a person can say.

Real life is hard. The conversations you have with people exist inside the structures imposed by our society and the institutions you’re a part of. If you’re a female at work, for example, the things you feel comfortable saying are probably more limited than a man at a pub.

Try writing dialogue that isn’t restricted. Be as honest or outrageous as you can stand. How does it feel? What would be the consequences for talking like that in the different areas of your life?

 

#8 – Some people, especially women, minimize their authority. Writing about a non-fictional topic can help demonstrate expertise.

I know a lot of people who are afraid to own their knowledge and experience. If you’re one of those people, writing about what you know can help you to realize what your strengths are. Hopefully, when you see them in writing, you’ll become brave enough to share them with others.

Find something in your life you feel adept at. It could be anything from making scrambled eggs to utilizing the Google platform for your small business. Then write a how-to guide or workflow. When you’re done, consider sharing it! I guarantee there are people in the world who know less than you and would love to hear your unique way of explaining it.

 

#9 – Forums are sometimes safe spaces for interacting through writing.

It can be easier to feel brave behind a computer screen than in person. If you start behind the computer, use it as a stepping stone to more acts of courage in other areas of your life. Some people abuse the anonymity of the internet and I’m not suggesting you do that. Rather, own everything you write online just like you would in person.

 

#10 – Sharing your creations can cause feelings of temporary bravery.

Sharing what you write with people (not your dog) is scary. Take it from me, who waited 20 years to share anything substantial online. Whether you journal, write a political essay, describe an event in your life, respond to a writing prompt, or write a poem, share it. Share it with your family or somebody at work. Share it on social media or on a forum. By sharing your work, something you created from thin air, you are opening yourself up to criticism, accolades, rejection, and acceptance. It requires courage and once you’ve done it you’ll be one step closer to another act of bravery!

If you’re looking for a coach, editor, reviewer, content creator or just a new friend, please reach out!