Camp NaNo Update Day #12

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Writing is a solitary endeavor.

Writers peck away on laptops, tablets, typewriters, and in long-hand dictating stories being told by the voices in their heads.

Most times, it’s a comfortable collaboration. I mean, who doesn’t get along with their own brain? (Don’t answer that.)

But things aren’t always blue skies and free coffee refills.

Plot twists unwind, harsh thoughts are tossed around and characters retreat to the shadows to sulk.

Writers take their socially awkward selves straight to Snapchat and put on bunny ears, to Twitter to troll their friends, or to YouTube to watch sad videos about darkness and loveless worlds.

No words are being written and writers wonder yet again why they even bother. Careers in mass transit (read; UBER) or the culinary arena (read: DOMINO’S) are considered as well as taking a shot at being the next YouTube sensation because if that guy can do it, well…

But then you find a new four-star review on your last book on Amazon. You open your email to great feedback and winning praise from beta readers. A blog you follow has a great post on Scrivener that will save you time. An editing service you’ve wanted to use is running a buy now, use later special… and offering a 20% off deal.

And you smile.

Your day has turned around and things aren’t as dark and dreary as you believed. The sun will come up tomorrow, and you’ve figured out how to smooth the wrinkle in your WIP.

All because you walked away from your WIP.

No, this isn’t a post about the art of procrastination. No writer needs help with that.

It’s about knowing when to walk away from writing and reach out… for help, encouragement, support, FUN… and accountability.

Some writers can get so caught up in their own heads, they get stuck in a loop, moving neither forward nor backward. They need help and don’t realize it. They need to interact with like-minded individuals. (Who understands the mind of a writer better than other writers and avid readers?)

They could avoid a good deal of anxiety and thoughts of career changes if writers build—or strengthen—their network of support.

Families are generally the first level of support. Even if they never read a word of your writing, share the basic details with them. Never put up walls between your family and your writing.

Join a writing group. This can be a daunting challenge and can take time to find a good fit.

Just being a group of writers is not enough. Also writing in your genre is not enough. Even being close in age is not enough.

And being in a group is pointless if you do not interact. Trade blurbs or sales page details for critiques. Find a paragraph-partner or find out if the group allows public posting and critiquing.

It takes time to build trust in any group or team a writer joins. I wouldn’t advise joining any group and sending out entire manuscripts or even chapters to people you just ‘met.’

Make a plan with your group/team. Set dates/deadlines for brainstorming sessions, progress updates, and manuscript reviews.

Be reliable. Our obligations outside of writing will always be the priority but make your team aware of delays. Don’t be the weakest link.

I haven’t found my perfect fit writing group yet, but I do have a few amazing writer-friends who will point out my overuse of commas, my reluctance to hit the publish button and my tendency to use too many words when a few will do.

Not at all like this post. 😀


Day 12 word count – 23,519


©2018 Felicia Denise, All Rights Reserved

#FlashbackFriday: Meet Margot Schultz

Office manager Margot Schultz is the closest thing  closed-off attorney, Olivia Chandler, has to a friend. Margot doesn’t know all the details of her boss’ painful childhood, but she knows enough to understand Olivia’s quirky behavior and stunted emotions.

Margot returns in Family Matters.  Her loyalty to Olivia will be tested when another devastating loss leads Olivia to refuse help and push everyone away.


Dynamic and vivacious Margot Schultz never met an obstacle she couldn’t overcome… or knock down. Executive assistant and office manager to child-advocate attorney, Olivia Chandler, Margot always seems to know the right amount of charm, wit, and panache to use when dealing with anyone from grumpy judges to cagey Department of Children’s Service employees to Olivia’s peers – some of whom are less-than-ethical.

Early in her career, Margot worked for some of the less than-ethical-crowd. While they could be gods and magicians in the courtroom, pulling out wins from seemingly unwinnable cases, outside the courtroom was another matter. Margot could remember each and every personal errand she’d had to do, each gift she’d had to buy for multiple girlfriends and mistresses, and every lie she’d told to one of her bosses’ wives.

When Margot heard through the courthouse grapevine that the executive secretary of a successful young, female child advocate attorney was retiring for health reasons and had no replacement, she grabbed her resume, took an extended lunch and went in search of Olivia Chandler. Despite her unusual approach, Margot and Olivia clicked immediately.

The two women have worked side by side for over ten years. Olivia admired Margot’s work ethic. She encouraged Margot to continue her education when time allowed, and even paid for it, calling it a ‘sound investment.’ Margot would eventually advance from executive legal secretary to executive assistant and office manager.

Margot knows Olivia has no family and was a foster care kid. She doesn’t know the intimate details, but she does know Olivia’s adolescence was bad enough for Olivia to keep herself closed off to most people. Her boss seems to ‘live’ when focused and working on a case for their minor clients. The rest of the time, Olivia just seems to exist.

The divorced office manager is not one of those people who believe a woman needs a man in her life to be complete, but Bruce Bellamy has suddenly appeared in Olivia’s life, and Margot will do her part to keep him there.

Things are going to get interesting.


Margot Rose (Parker) Schultz

Age: She’s not telling – but probably mid to late 40s

Born: New York, New York

Marital Status: Divorced – has adult twin sons who are both Marines

Is two classes away from a Bachelor’s degree in Business Management

Loves to dance and can be found on a dance floor most Saturday nights

Collects souvenirs from the Roaring 20s – always says she would have made a great Flapper

Plays acoustic guitar, but rarely does as it reminds her of her musician ex-husband

Is somewhat estranged from her parents and siblings since she dropped out of college nearly 20 years ago to elope with her now ex-husband


Family Matters 3D cover

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