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Set Backs

I have to apologize.

I do!

Rienspel was supposed to release on Halloween, but... it's the second of November (as I first write this, anyways) and still no Rienspel. So I'm saying I'm sorry here. There's technical delays which need to be fixed - but I promise, Rienspel is coming as soon as humanly possible. (In fact, it is now here! Huzzah!)

When you're writing, set-backs happen.

This year, I decided I'm going to participate in #NanoWriMo!

(That's National Writing Month, for those who don't know) The idea is everything November you're challenged to write a book (first draft, anyways) in a month. For some (including yours truly), this sounds daunting. Intimidating! I mean, I'm pretty sure I've read about giants who were friendlier!

-But that's beside the point.

The point is, you can do it! It can be done, and now is every year, in November. So what does this have to do with set-backs?


Set-backs are often linked to limitations. There's something (real or otherwise) which prevents us from getting something done - pulling the trigger - attempting the impossible. We have quiet, sneaking assumptions which live inside us about what can and cannot be done, in actuality. When it comes to writing, especially, it's super-easy to say you're going to write such and such - it's mindlessly simple to blather about this latest project or that latest story idea... but quiet another thing to actually sit down, on a regular basis, and write.

When you sit down to write, everything else you might need to do - whether it's paying a bill or making a 'quick' snack - come pouring into your head. These are set-back traps. These are the little beginnings of limitations which, if fed and indulged, grow into monsters which squash our stories.

A few months ago, whilst browsing Imgur, I made friends with a Norwegian writer, Hanne Pollack. She was the one who really sold me on the whole NanoWriMo thing. I was suspicious at first. The whole 'write a book in a month' thing sounded too much like a gimmick...


Look, I'm happy if I can pop off 1k words in one hour of sitting before I get too distracted or anxious, and feel the screeching need to get up and do something else. 1k words per day is, after all, the prescribed minimum the illustrious Stephen King recommends in his On Writing. - and even that sounds like a lot for novices like me. But after one friendly session of writing sprints, I had well over 2,000 words down! Incredible!

Writing Sprints, what are they?

They're when you go up against someone else, or just the clock, and see how many words you can crank out in 15, 20, and 10 minute segments. Where usually, I was ambling along in my writing, the time-limits and competitive spirit spurred me on to create brand-new plot developments on the spot. I mean, I'm still surprised at where my own typing fingers carried me and my characters.

With a Click and a Clack and a 'TIMES UP!' - suddenly my story was scenes ahead.

Does it take work and dedication? - Sure thing.

But does it work? - You bet.


If you're reading this, even if it's not November, I'm always willing to do some writing sprints.

Come, all challengers!

Message me on my Facebook author page and we'll get to it, right then and there - or at *time of your choosing".

(*Caveat - please remember,

I Do live in Midwest Standard Time...).

Most of the set-backs I've encountered are really from my own attitudes and un-inspected assumptions about what I think I can and cannot do, and how I feel about it at the time. I know this may sound like mushy new-age mumbo-jumbo, but for as far as I've learned, it's true. Do I need to hone my writing skills to reach certain quality goals - sure; however, I'm only going to get better by writing more, reading wider, and spending time with other people who write.

As Sir Isaac Newton once said,

"Objects in motion like to stay in motions.

Objects at rest like to stay at rest."

(paraphrase mine).

Sometimes it's a bit of a struggle to get moving,

but once you do, the world (and your Stories!) becomes far easier things to grasp.

- What are your own set-backs?

- How have your own struggles with limitations helped you become a better writer?

Take the next step:

Check out my YouTube channel, Ryan Talks, where I talk about what it takes to write fantasy.

Support me on Patreon here.

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