Everyone has their own unique rituals when it comes to writing. Some start with a meticulous outline while others laugh in the face of a writer’s block while pantsing it all as they go. Some even lie somewhere in between.

My whole writing career and even when I was in school, I was a pantser. It was easy with the fact that I could sort of fracture my attention, write as I go while listening to lectures. Then when I was in the last few years of college I got an iPhone which I used to just record my lectures. Most of my professors were fine with this so I’d just spend the whole of the classes writing, going back later to listen and transcribe my lectures. I even made a good chunk of spending change by selling the transcribes for $5 a pop, $10 for that one professor that went on a lot of tangents. No one complained about that.

I didn’t need to plan anything out because, especially in my last three semesters where I was taking 7-9 classes a semester, I had hours of structured time to just write. I’d go back to figure out what I liked and rewrote what I didn’t. It was easy and exactly what I needed to do to get through classes. I have ADHD and sitting still just to listen to someone was out of the question most days. Especially since we had switched meds for me right before I went away to school. The new meds didn’t have as much of a punch as the others but also didn’t have the crash that made me grouchy and anti-social. The worst thing to be when going off to share a room for nine months with a stranger.

Then I graduated college and my structure was gone as well as my meds because I was an idiot. The meds I was on had to be built up in your bloodstream for a minimum of 14 days to work optimally and I had been horrible at taking them regularly yet I still succeeded. Got Dean’s List a few semesters in a row even. I hadn’t realized that the concrete structured schedules of my days were what allowed me to take 7-9 classes (course overload because I had 4 majors) and get As in all of them.

So, I graduated and started working. I worked changing shifts so my structure was gone. All except for NaNoWriMo, I barely wrote the rest of the year. It’s taken me years to figure out the factors that worked in my factors in college and the factors that have worked against me out of college. I realized that without structure, I needed to go back on meds. It took a while but I’ve not been back on ADHD meds for about 2 weeks and let me tell you. It’s helped a lot.

Now, for the structure, that I’m still working on. Slowly I’m building a support network but it’s not where I need it to be yet.

That all being said, even if in a very long-winded way, I can’t be a pantser anymore. I’m no longer forced to sit at a desk with no phone, no computer, no distraction, and just write and rewrite until the plot is what I want it to be. My writing rituals and methods need to evolve. It’s taken me up until this past month to realize that. I need to figure out how to plot. How to write up an outline in a way that works for me.

I tried, kind of, the snowflake method and I know I need to give it another shot but the first attempt failed. I got so hung up on fitting the exact structure of the snowflake method and burned myself out fast. It’s hard for me to write about a story without actually writing the story.

My writing rituals are constantly in flux as I’m trying to figure out the best method for myself. It’s frustrating, especially on days that I have the whole day to write and yet I don’t get anywhere near my word count goal. Or when I have no idea where I’ll be going next in my story. An outline would be amazing helpful at that point but instead, I start doing what I call ‘meandering writing’. Meandering writing is when you write in a way to get words on a page but nothing advances. No character development, no plotlines, nothing. It was a method I used in college to get through a block but again, I had the time to break through the block. Get to where I wanted and then rewrite the whole thing. Now, I have neither the time, the focus, nor the energy. Self-motivation is hard when one has executive dysfunction.

From here on out, I’ll be trying a slew of different techniques, programs, workshops, and whatever else I think could help to get me to where I need to be. Everything I try I’ll report back here. Some might find it helpful. Some might not because everyone is different but if there are even a few out there that are struggling like I am and have the same type of ADHD as I, maybe I can help them out as well.

So, next week, I’m planning on doing a deep dive into a program called Aeon which is supposed to help authors keep track of their timelines. Let’s see if it helps.

A quick update of my #onemillionwords projects. My total word count for the year is 140,529 words. I’m 111,551 words behind but my goal for April and Camp NaNoWriMo is to write 100k words this month so I can start trying to catch up. Wish me luck!

VeL’s official blog is now accepting guest blog posts! 

Our blog is dedicated to everything creative; whether that be promoting a multitude of authors to current pop culture. VeL is a neutral publisher who’s looking to help creative individuals ranging from authors to game designers. We work and showcase everyone from indies to industry professionals. Our goal is to showcase two guest posts a month so we can promote as many different types of voice as we can. If our calendar fills up fast we’ll add 1-2 more per month for the remainder of the year (2021).

Unfortunately, since we’re such a small company we are not able to pay as of now but hope to in the future.

What Type of Content We’re Looking For:

  • Articles about the writing process
  • Gaming; tabletop or other
  • Book reviews, especially those from indie, BIPOC, and/or queer authors
  • Promoting your own projects
  • Recipes
  • Binge-worthy TV shows

Thought of something really cool that isn’t on the list but you think our readers would still like? Submit it!

Length should be between 500-2000 words. The sweet spot is 1500 from what we noticed. If the piece or you are expecting the piece to be longer, please consider breaking it down into a series.

VeL does not accept blogs that are previously published or sponsored.

How to Submit:

Email us at submissions@voxetliber.com with “Guest Blog” in the subject line followed by the title or subject matter. Response back is generally 5-7 business days.

Please also include a 100-200 word bio about who you are, what you do, and/or anything you are particularly into at the moment. Please also attach any images you’d like within the story. We try to post 1-3 per post if applicable. These can be from Shutterfly or a similar service as long as they were posted for commercial use. One of the images should be a headshot or another image that you feel represents you and your brand. You are welcome to include any and all related links to the article or yourself; website, social media, etc.

Who are we? Who is Vox et Liber Publishing? That’s the big question for every new business. Who are these jokers and why should I give them attention/money/my undying love? The simple answer for us is we’re a publishing house. We publish quality stories in different formats whether that’s the written word or serial podcasts. It’s that simple.

The more complex answer explains why VeL was even thought up, to begin with. I, the founder, have been a writer and part of small press publishing for over ten years. Most of my days were spent reading and surrounding myself on all social media with everything to do with good stories. 

Then the fire nation attacked. Sorry, I couldn’t help myself. 

Truthfully, I learned more about the imbalance of voices being published yearly. Everything is white, and straight, and male.

VeL was founded because we need to change the culture of publishing. This last year, or two, has been a big eye opener to many about how toxic the publishing culture has become, or maybe always was. We need to change the lack of representation. There are so many amazing stories being told by people who don’t fit into the current publishing mold that isn’t being published just for that reason. Both of these reasons are the fuel that fed VeL in the early days of creation. We are also aware there is still a lot we have to learn to publish stories for everyone but we are happy to learn it, either by experience or just by stopping to listen.

As a white woman, I subscribed to the notion that any new female character (and they were always white) was a win for all women, even BIPOC women. Except it’s not. Not really. Sure seeing more women in lead roles is good but if none of those women EVER look even remotely like the kids, teens, young adults consuming the media then they will start to feel like an other, an alien among the populous. I felt it when I saw nothing but skinny, perky, straight girls in the media. I am none of those things and never will be but at face value, I still had a lot of characters I could see myself in. I do not have to face micro transgressions about my race or straight up everyday racism. So, when I went to hide in the media to get away from the real world problems I had a sea of options. Many, many people don’t have that. Representation matters.

No child human should be made to feel other and left out. We are a human race that cannot progress unless we progress together. Whether it be in the sciences or the arts.

When I and the staff at VeL say women, this means transwomen too. Trans women are women and trans men are men. End of story.

We’re not here to save anyone or to be a savior. We’re here to give a platform to good stories and especially good stories written by marginalized voices. As a reader, I would love to devour more books with fantasy elements taken from cultures other than Europe. I mean, I love some Tolkenite fantasy but let’s be honest, it’s grown very stagnant. It grew stagnant when it had no reason to. We have hundreds of cultures, modern and ancient, around the world to pull inspiration from but all you see over and over again are pale-skinned elves and knights fighting dragons. Hell, there’s even ANOTHER retelling of the Arthurian brand new on Netflix as we speak and yes, it’s on our to-watch list because we’re weak humans.

That’s why VeL was born. It was born from a want to make something we love better. To take the market back from the big 5’s tight clutches and give them a kick in the ass before making a point to expand the market. To expand it so everyone has a boatload of media they can see themselves in. Not just one or two token stories. Or being told to be satisfied with that one gay and/or BIPOC character that gets killed off halfway through for no reason.

That is also how we will be moving forward and in light of a lot that has come out in the publishing world this last month or so, we have specifically made a point to talk to our staff that no one gets a pass for bad behavior. No matter if an author becomes the next Steven King and makes our little publishing house explode, allowing our tiny staff the ability to buy gold toilets by the case, even that author will get dropped immediately.

We created this to start something better and we will fight to keep it that way.