I am suffering from an inability to concentrate. I’m used to be able to get out and get some energy out, or get out so that I can come back and focus… and here I am, not being able to get out. It’s messing with my concentration (that, and the fact that my children are wilding out because of the stir craze).

So, how do you deal with your concentration being a bit wrecked because you don’t have the ability to follow whatever usual routine you used to have?

Well, first of all, you accept the fact that your routine just isn’t going to be the same for the moment, and there isn’t anything wrong with it. You might be able to get more words, you might be able to get less… but things are going to be a little different… so… you need to establish a new routine. Set yourself up a new schedule, set yourself expectations. You have to change things around so that you’re getting a new habit going — unless your habits haven’t been changed by everything going on… in which case ❤ Awesome and you keep on keeping on!

❤ These are the things that have worked for me, though. I downloaded Microsoft To-Do (across phone and computer), I set new goals for myself, and I try to just get it done as much as I can. And as for concentration (I’ve been writing this blog for the past hour because of the lack of it), just steal away the quiet moments that you can. Set yourself apart at least 15-30 minutes to write if you can manage, and take advantage of it. Do what you can, the best you can. It’s all that you can do right now ❤

I think the most important piece of advice, and the one that I can give a 100% stamp of “this is right” on is this… don’t be hard on yourself right now. Things are weird, things are changing, and you are allowed to be thrown off ❤ Just keep trying.

Until next time, y'all!
Keep writing and writing, and keep being awesome!
Author Amanda McCormick
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I had an urge to help everyone boost themselves. Drop your social media links in my comments ♡ And follow mine if you wanna ♡ Let’s help each other be visible!

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Today, I am having a small write in with my friend. We’re a bit late to getting started, because my oldest son has decided that he will stay up until the sun is up and shining and bright every morning… but we are having a write in.

We set ourselves some goals — 3k minimum, 5k stretch. Do we know if we’re actually gonna hit those goals? Nah. Are we gonna try our hardest to? Of course we are.

The thing is, especially in a time like right now when you can’t hang out with the people that you usually do, and when your entire schedule is getting thrown for a loop… it’s still important to do things like this. You still need to hold yourself accountable, and you still need to try to schedule events when you can.

I personally have been slacking in this department. I am on Day 5 of getting back to a writing schedule, and it’s starting to feel really good for me again. I hadn’t been writing consistently, and I was letting the depression of being stuck inside and everything that was going on halt me in my passions.

Not anymore. ❤ And I really encourage you to do the same thing. Take charge of your creativity, even though things are weird… and even though you might not actually feel like it. One of the great ways of doing that is with things like virtual write ins!

There are a ton of groups out there (My Discord Server) (Yeah, you can click that to join xD) is just one of them. We try to keep each other active, even when we can’t see each other in person. People say that writing is a lonely, lonely job… but it doesn’t have to be. I would honestly even wager that having a support system makes it a million times easier.

So, today I’m doing a virtual write in with one of my very good friends. We are going to check in on each other throughout the day. We are going to do some sprints, maybe a crawl. We set minimum and stretch goals. Hell, we might even hop into a voice call if we get frisky. But… we’re doing it. We’re writing, and because there is someone keeping track and keeping tabs, I know that we are both more likely to succeed.

So… grab yourself a writing buddy — heck, if you need one, I’ll be your writing buddy! Try to schedule something like this, because I can promise that it will make the writing easier, and it will make you feel less isolated in this time of…

Well…

Isolation.

You’ve got this, and the world needs your creativity now more than ever.

Until next time, y'all!
Keep writing and writing, and keep being awesome!
Author Amanda McCormick
Twitter | Facebook PageNaNo Page | Tumblr | Blog Masterpost | My Writing Group

So, I love to talk about writing programs that help me along the way, because I really love to read about people and their tips and tricks, how they end up helping my favorite writers to get their work done.

I recently got a MacBook, so I was loading it with new programs… and one of the programs that I found was Microsoft ToDo.

It’s a really simple program. It launches when I turn my computer. It’s just a list — a little list that shows me what I need to be doing for the day… and when you do it, it marks off and makes a nice little bing noise.

I’m a sucker for a pleasing noise xD

Anyway, I sometimes think that it is the simple programs that can really help us the most. In my case, this goes onto my phone as well — I have constant reminders of what I need to do, when I need to do it, and what I have done. No matter how you do it, I think that setting goals and then keeping track of your tasks is one of the more important things that you can do, if you’re trying to keep a schedule. You’re holding yourself accountable, and if you share it with a friend, they are, too!

Do you have a list? Do you bujo, maybe? Let me know how you keep track of your tasks!

Until next time, y'all!
Keep writing and writing, and keep being awesome!
Author Amanda McCormick
Twitter | Facebook PageNaNo Page | Tumblr | Blog Masterpost | My Writing Group

“When Daisy Allen’s family is brutally murdered by the infamous Hopkins gang, she’s left with two options: drown in a bottle of whiskey and grief, or saddle up and hunt the killers down. Accompanied by strangers in pursuit of the same outlaws, Daisy takes to the Colorado plains with an old revolver and a hunger for revenge. But the Hopkins gang isn’t easily found, and as their pockets run dry and the trail goes cold, Daisy and her companions may be at the end of the road. She must learn how to survive in this dangerous world of outlaws and gunslingers, or her only chance at avenging her family may be lost.”

Pistol Daisy (Pistol Daisy, #1)

I wasn’t sure what to expect when I went into Pistol Daisy — I’m not an enormous fan of Western novels, but I am a huge fan of Natalia Leigh. The first chapter didn’t convince me I would love it, but the more I kept reading, the more I realized that feeling that way was a good thing.

It’s the development of the main character, Daisy, that is truly the shining accomplishment of this novel. The world is wonderful, immersive, and entertaining… but Daisy, her mind, and her development and growth as a character are truly what stood out to me. She goes from a young and innocent girl to a woman, hardened by her continued experience with the world.

I found that all of the things that made me question the story initially were all of the things that made me love the development as it carried on. Natalia Leigh writes her characters with such effervescence that you can’t help but be swept up in the whirlwind of their world, their wants, and their journey.

Truly a great read — my only complaint is that it was so short! Can’t wait for Whiskey City’s release!

I received an ARC of this novel in exchange for my fair review ❤

The Forbidden Game, by L.J. Smith

So, here we are. I have committed to reading every day (amongst some other things that will be another post for another day). Last night, my kid hit his head and we landed in the ER (he is fine ♡) and I instantly went for an old favorite while we waited in observation for 2 hours.

Read the rest of this entry »

Because I can admit that I kind of let Animal Crossing just eat me for the last couple of weeks. Things have been weird — let’s not try to dance around that. Whether you suddenly have no job, suddenly have your family/significant other constantly home because they have no job, or have a family member who is out constantly because they’re essential… things are strange.

So, how are you handling the pandemic?

I let myself have a few weeks to kind of just hide. I was playing Animal Crossing like it was the only thing I could do. I wasn’t really writing, I wasn’t really working on much of anything at all…

And then yesterday, I realized how icky I was feeling because I hadn’t been writing.

I don’t know about you guys, but when I go a while without getting something done creatively, I start to actually feel icky/depressed. Writing is therapeutic for me, and it really helps me to manage my stress and emotions. It’s been a bit harder lately — my kids are constantly stuck inside, our entire routine is completely thrown off from how it usually is, and nothing is the same.

But… I sat down, and I downloaded Microsoft To Do… and I am going to try to get myself back into a routine that includes writing, reading, and the things that I need to do for my own mental health. It actually gets me into an extremely depressive state to not be creative; even though I’m having a ton of fun on Animal Crossing, I’m ignoring the things that actually help me to function as a happy human.

Time to quit that.

So, how are you handling things changing? Because it’s not to late to re-establish a routine, or even set up something altogether new in these changing times!

Let me know how you’ve been ❤ You’re all on my mind and in my heart!

Until next time, y'all!
Keep writing and writing, and keep being awesome!
Author Amanda McCormick
Twitter | Facebook PageNaNo Page | Tumblr | Blog Masterpost | My Writing Group

I’m not sure what this post is about, except to kind of address the atmosphere that is going on right now. I have friends who are too stressed to write, friends who are too afraid to find their creativity… and then friends who are completely oblivious to what is occurring and just keep on keeping on like nothing is happening.

I’m not saying that any of these methods are correct or incorrect. I do think that this is not the time for us to duck our heads creatively and go into hiding. If anything, I want to spend this time making sure that I produce things that make people happy, that I can get my writing out there so that I can help to distract the people who are worried and stressed, who aren’t sure what they’re going to do with everything that is currently going on.

So, I’m going to do my best. I’m going to do what I can do from home, and I’m gonna be working on getting my stories out there that I know people enjoy. I’m going to try to post on here more, and to generally be as active as I can be, so that I can contribute my drop to the well, so to speak. I just want to be able to give people a moment of peace, a moment of happiness, a moment to forget how crazy things are going right now while they escape into the worlds that I write and create.

Long-winded way to say that I’ll be posting a lot more fanfics, and a lot more writing prompt responses and whatnot, but… yeah. xD That’s what I’m saying.

And I’m encouraging you all to do the same thing. Do what you can to help, even if it’s just a random act of kindness for a stranger while you’re at the store. Do what you can, because even if it is just a drop… eventually, enough drops will fill up that well that I was talking about, and everyone will have something to drink.

Do your best. ❤ Be your best. Especially in times of stress. 

Keep reading, keep writing, and keep on keeping on!

Author Amanda McCormick

Writing Prompt: Flight

Posted: February 21, 2020 in Creative WRiting

Flight:

The angel stared at the demon, and a small smile came across his features. “Do you ever wonder, my friend, why God didn’t give humans wings?” His own glorious expanse of white spread out behind him, as though given a mind of its own and curious about why they were being spoken of. The demon chuckled in response, his own lips lilting and his eyes flashing a bright crimson.

“Probably because they’d try to escape if they had them.” His response was soft, jovial, but the words behind it were contemplative. “Think about it, they try to fly all the time.”

“Yes, but then they hit the ground and die.”

“Most of the time.”

The words were banter, soft, full of comradeship that lilted with a tinge of something else that was even more forbidden than the fact that they were speaking to one another at all. Things were… strange, to say the least. But they wouldn’t have it any other way.

“What do you think would happen, if we were to find a way to give one of them a pair, just to see?” The demon’s voice was full of mischief, and the angel tilted his head to the side.

“We would probably draw more attention to ourselves than necessary.”

“Well, what if we just… taught them to fly?”

“And how do we do that?”

There was a moment. A beat. A pause. “I suppose we could show them how to build a craft? They can’t have wings, but at least they could take to the air.”

“Don’t you think that they’d try to escape?” The angel batted the words back to the demon, and the demon laughed.

“Where would they go? The moon?”

His eyes were already fixed on a house across a hill, where he knew two brothers lived. It was time to have a little fun.

2020 Writing Goals

Posted: February 19, 2020 in writing goals
Tags: , , ,
  • Finish all outstanding fanfic series or Discontinue them.
  • Get over 100 fanfics posted up on A03
  • Blog at least once a week
  • Finish Collab novel
  • Finish Limbo
  • Finish Cerulean Darkness Rewrite
  • Finish Committing Murder
  • Finish Unknown NaNo Novel (Obsidian Light?)
  • Write at least 10 short stories
  • Query agents