The creative process to write books: a series of changes

As I published Kaleidoscope Eyes, I’ve been thinking about the creative process to write books.

There’s all kinds of strange highs and strange lows. On the most challenging days, blocks fill you up with negativity: “Is this good enough?” “Is anybody going to be interested in this?” “Why would someone want to read an unknown author?”

While writing my novella, I went through stages where I thought my work had no potential. I felt like I wouldn’t be able to finish the job for not having a compelling story. Self-doubt was a huge obstacle.

However, part of the creative process to write books involves finding ways to overcome those blocks and stay tuned to your creative seasons. I’d like to share my experiences here.

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20 things that made my 2021 interesting

We’re just about to finish 2021, a year full of life-changing events. I’m grateful for all the experiences I had, and all the opportunities that came my way, especially for writing.

New priorities redefine the way I live my days, but there’s always a chance to make room for all the things that matter to me. I’m confident 2022 will teach me how to become better at it.

Here’s the list of 20 things that made my 2021 interesting.

  1. Getting pregnant and giving birth to a baby boy
  2. My mom’s visit for two months
  3. Publishing an article on women’s empowerment in Excelsior, one of the most prestigious newspapers in Mexico. (The article is available in Spanish only).
  4. Collaborating as a blogger in Apocrifa Art Magazine. I wrote about indie authors, creative entrepreneurship and writing life in general. (All articles are in Spanish).
  5. Taking a course on creative writing for the first time in my life. It was wonderful.
  6. This video on the importance of being yourself. It’s one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever watched on YouTube.
  7. Reading more in Spanish. This year I read El Amor en los Tiempos del Cólera, Ficciones, Cuentos Naturales, Plagio, La Ciudad Oculta 2, and Mucha Madre.
  8. Discovering the following musicians: Chet Baker Quartet, Debussy, and Vangelis.
  9. This song
  10. Finishing my book!
  11. Dave Gahan’s Imposter album
  12. Depeche Mode’s photo book
  13. A playlist I made to celebrate Mexico’s Independence Day
  14. Discovering that I want to explore folklore through dancing. Watching Amalia Hernandez’ ballet was inspiring.
  15. Deciding that, someday, I’d like to become a judge at the Olympic Games
  16. Playing Mario Kart again
  17. Meditation as a more regular practice
  18. Writing about beginnings
  19. Writing more in Spanish
  20. Buying books for my son

Writing on paper: an analogue tool that still works

Writing on paper is one of my favourite activities. It allows me to slow down and think better. Seeing my hand in motion as I scribble down is still a fulfilling experience.

I can strike out ideas on the go and stop at any time to find out what comes next. On a digital format, I find this process a bit more intimidating. The text box is blank, and all I can see is the cursor blinking; waiting for you to come up with the perfect words to type. It’s a lot less spontaneous.

It’s almost an obligation to come prepared to work at the computer.

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Finding your voice in the things you hate

In the creative world, it’s common to hear conversations about “finding your voice.” You know, that thing that makes you unique when it comes to expressing yourself or bringing ideas to the table.

Once it’s time to turn your abstract thoughts into tangible actions, it’s a struggle to capture your true essence in them. How do you discover your own voice then? There’s many answers to this complex question. I recently discovered one through a powerful exercise that helps you reveal truths in an authentic way.

It’s simple, yet effective.

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An author’s mindset for the editing process

I recently wrote about the editing process when you are a new author. This time, I want to talk about an author’s mindset when working with an editor. Interactions will vary from person to person, but I think it’s worth noting a few aspects before the work starts.

What do you need to know about this professional relationship you’re in the process of developing? I attempt to answer with a few thoughts and my own experiences for you to have an idea.

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How to approach the editing process when you’re a new author

Last month, I experienced one of the greatest moments of joy that a writer can savour: finishing a manuscript. Seeing every chapter full of life, dialogues and monologues was glorious. Celebrating such an accomplishment was certainly meaningful; however, the work doesn’t stop there. The next immediate action is seeking an editor.

I did my own rounds of editing, but I’ve always known that, when it comes to ensuring that your story flows properly, a fresh pair of eyes is a must. This is the first book that I’m self-publishing, and it’s crucial to invest in its quality so that the world can enjoy it.

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Special Needs

Sometimes, I don’t want to talk.
I don’t want to share
what you won’t understand.
We shouldn’t waste our time.

Playing devil’s advocate
doesn’t cheer me up
on a day I want to give up.
You don’t know, but I suffocate.

I just want to be okay again.
Life should be simpler than this.
So listen to my truth and believe me.
Pain does exist.

Do you know what that means?

Opinions that matter

The other day, I came across this post on Twitter:

This short video contains a piece of advice that is truly thought-provoking. Whose opinions really matter to you? The idea of making a list is brand new to me. I have never considered an initiative like this, and now I see great value in it.

There’s always a small group of people you trust. Whenever you are working on new ideas, you ask them what they think, and you find their feedback useful. You respect them, and they respect you. There’s a reason why their opinions matter.

In a digital world, where anyone can criticize your work mercilessly, you have to learn who to listen to. Not all opinions matter. It’s unfair to let trolls influence your every move and your every thought.

Those whom you trust are the ones that can offer you solid comments. You know you can only expect honesty from them. Listen to them and nurture meaningful conversations.

If you were to start that list right now, how many names would there be on it?

Away for a few weeks

My husband and I are travelling to the other side of the world this week. We will take a break, and we’ll be back until November.

We’ve planned this trip for over a year, and we’re really looking forward to it. The time has come, and now we can enjoy it after months and months of hard work.

I’m also looking forward to all the thoughts that will pop up as I experience places I never thought I’d visit. Of course I’m ready with a brand new notebook to capture as much as I can. Travelling is inspiring after all.

I’ll be back with new ideas and lots of pictures!