Please help me welcome, JT Hall to the blog :)
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What keeps me motivated, and do I get writer’s block?
I’ll address the second question first. Do I get writer’s block? There were several years where I wrote almost nothing, back when my daughter was young, I was in a new relationship, and I was dealing with the aftermath of a yucky divorce. At this time I was also feeling frustrated with the traditional process of writing—write something, submit it, wait for rejection, repeat, over and over. I’d had a few fantasy short stories published in extremely small press magazines, but I didn’t have much confidence in myself as a writer. I sat on a novel I’d written in my twenties and went into an editing spiral on it.
Things changed in 2011.
The first thing that happened is I purchased a Kindle and discovered eBooks. This led me to Amazon and the whole self-publishing phenomenon. I suddenly felt galvanized—there was a new pathway to becoming a successful writer! I started writing more, starting with a very modest daily word goal. I read blogs of writers who had mentored me in the past—Dean Wesley Smith and Kristine Kathryn Rusch. And I discovered Goodreads, and the whole new mmromance trend. I’d been writing slash fanfiction for years. So it made sense to start writing my own gay romances. For some reason I always struggled when writing fantasy, but writing gay romance flowed so easily. I began with some short stories and novellas to get a feel for creating my own characters and plots.
I started writing Murder Once Seen May of 2013.
Since then, I haven’t really gotten writer’s block. There are easier days and harder days, but every day I feel motivated. I’ve found characters and stories that I want to write, and I want to see out there. I was hoping for a more traditional publishing for the Oddities series, so I was thrilled when Riptide offered me a contract, especially since they were my number one choice. But nowadays I feel confident that even if I don’t have a publisher I can put out a good project on my own. Having the freedom to self-publish put all the power in my hands, and there’s no one to blame but me now if I don’t get words out there.
To me, that meant everything. I always wanted to be a writer. And in the LGBT world, I found the kinds of stories that most motivated me to write.
It’s a great time in the history of publishing.
So to finally answer the question of what gets me motivated? I’m motivated to get the next book done, or the next chapter, or even the next scene. I’m impatient to see my stuff out there for readers to enjoy. Since 2013 I’ve finished three mmromance novels; this month is seeing the release of only the first one, so look for more in 2017. I’m nearing the climax on a YA gay paranormal romance so I’m hoping to get that done in early 2017, and then I’m also just starting the third Oddities book.
Working on multiple projects also keeps me motivated since I can move to a different project if I get stuck or bored with one. I’ll have daily word goals for each project—perhaps I want 400 words a day on Project 1 and then 300 words a day on Project 2. I also have them prioritized so that if I don’t get to everything on a given day, at least I’m hitting the most urgent project. Since I also work a day job my typical daily goal is about 1000 words total, but lately that hasn’t been happening because I’m job hunting at the moment and things have been crazy. But then again, I’m also working on blog posts and developmental editing, so if you added those words in, I probably am hitting that goal, or close to it.
I guess the final motivation is just that writing bug inside me that I’ve always had. I love to write. When I’m not writing, I’m not happy.
That means that no matter what is going on in my life, I’ll never stop completely.
About Murder Once Seen
In the city of Nis, things often aren’t what they seem.Derwin is a bounty hunter gifted with the Oddity of superhuman strength and agility—perfect for hunting down fugitives and demons who roam the streets. One killed his boyfriend two years ago, and Derwin won’t stop until he finds out who. Police suspect it was someone he sent to prison, but he can’t shake the idea that they’re missing something.Elliot is a rentboy who’s been living on the streets since his parents disowned him. He mistrusts everyone and, given his uncontrolled ability to Read Objects and a client list that includes a major gang boss, despairs of ever having a normal life.Derwin and Elliot meet in a storm of lust. Derwin’s Oddity is fed by the pain of others, but he only wants what’s freely given. Elliot loves pain, but needs safety and a way off the streets before he can allow it. They may be able to solve each other’s problems . . . if they can survive long enough to work together.
Available now at Riptide Publishing. http://riptidepublishing.com/titles/murder-once-seen
About JT Hall
J.T. Hall has been writing for many years under this name and others, and has appeared in magazines, anthologies, and online books. She earned her BA in creative writing from the University of Arizona, her master’s in education from Argosy University, and works as an independent technical writer for state and federal programs. In her free time, she volunteers for the LGBT community and is active in the leather scene. She has a teenage daughter and a partner of over ten years. They live in sunny Arizona with three adorably cute dogs, three black cats, and a hamster who loves peanuts.
Connect with J.T.:
- Blog: jthallwriting.wordpress.com
- Twitter: @JTHall7
- Tumblr: www.tumblr.com/blog/jthallwriting
To celebrate the release of Murder Once Seen, one lucky winner will receive a $20 Riptide credit! Leave a comment with your contact info to enter the contest. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on December 17, 2016. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries. Thanks for following the tour, and don’t forget to leave your contact info!