As a writer, I never struggle with coming up with ideas for my next project. If anything I struggle with having way too many ideas and wanting to start them all at once.
On Wattpad, where I keep track of all my ideas and stories, I have 18 stories saved as drafts – each with a few chapters already finished.
If anything, I struggle with choosing between my many ideas and I can spend weeks or even months wandering around my many different drafts, writing 300 words here and 400 words there; never finishing anything.
I think what I need is some practice with writing. And some peace and quiet in my chaotic mind that enjoys nothing more than story development.
So last night I decided it was time to experiment with something completely different: write down a story I couldn’t change or couldn’t develop on further once I started writing.
Which stories can’t change? Stories from real life.
As a result, my newest project was born: 18 Months Single. It focuses on my own experiences with being single in a city where commitment seems to be the most terrifying result of liking someone possible.
I write romance for a reason: I’m a hopeless romantic. I also consider myself to be a “one man” kind of girl who doesn’t do well with the whole lifestyle you’re expected to lead as a single woman.
That being said, I actually don’t hate being single. I can function pretty well on my own and I’m very aware of the fact that I’m not just looking for any relationship.
Someone would have to be extraordinarily amazing for me to want to change my single status – that’s a given for me.
And no, I’m not talking about having a list of traits I’m looking for in a potential partner. I don’t believe in those. And frankly, I don’t care much about career, money, education, looks or social status. Nothing interests me less.
I look for values, I look for someone with a good heart, I look for honesty, I look for someone who’s willing to open up and be vulnerable with me and someone who’s ready to see me for what I am. And someone who’s willing to invest nothing but his time and emotions in getting to know me.
For some reason, those are some crazy expectations it seems. In my 18 months of being single I’ve encountered more drama than I would have ever wished to deal with in an entire lifetime – but it is seemingly what the dating reality has become since the last time I was single 10 years ago.
It has taken me 18 months of being single to really realize how I feel about dating and what it is that I want. And it has taken those 18 months to make peace with the fact that I’m not looking to create shallow relationships all around town and play the typical dating games.
It has taken me 18 months to make peace with the fact that everybody’s advice of simply (and pardon my French) hook up with as many guys as possible doesn’t really interest me. And make peace with the fact that that is totally fine and okay.
I don’t have to do anything that doesn’t feel natural to me, and even though I’m all for equality and doing whatever you want, there’s nothing wrong with simply having more old-school and traditional values when it comes to dating and relationships.
And honestly, I would rather spend time on pursuing my own (writing) dreams than waste any more time on a date with an emotionally unstable man who doesn’t know how to make up his mind about what he wants.
So, I’m writing it all down. Last night I published my Author’s Note and the first chapter of my new collection of stories that I’ve decided to title 18 Months Single – and you can read it all right here right now.
For the first time in a while, I’ve been able to dedicate all my writing hours to one single story, and I feel like I can keep going until every last bit has been told.
I wrote down the outline of the different chapters this morning, and so far I’ve planned 46 chapters in total. So buckle up, there are going to be a lot of honesty coming your way. All of it will be available on Wattpad as I write, but so far it seems to be flowing quickly.
My only rules for doing this are simply to never pass judgment on any of the men I’ve encountered. I don’t know their struggle, I don’t know their battles. Judging them wouldn’t be fair. Also, all names have been changed and I’m making an effort to only describe whatever I felt in their presence and – of course – to never write about anything that was told to me in confidence.
That being said – everything else will be available for all you nosy people to enjoy.
Because that’s what writers do. We write.
A lot has happened since I posted on this blog sometime last year. A lot. My life has been turned upside down and I’ve happier and sadder than I’ve been in years. I won’t bore you with the details – that’s not what I came to do today.
Everything that happened in the past year left me feeling a ton of things, but something has been quite consistent: the urge to write. Finally.
In fact, I have so many ideas now that I don’t even know if I’ll ever find the time to write all I want to write. All the stories I want to tell. All the characters I can’t wait to get to know. Who ever talks about writer’s block!? I just need more time.
Anyway. Today marks a new chapter for me. Quite literally. I just published the first chapter of the story I’ve been writing lately, Bound To Be Broken.
It’s live on Wattpad right now (check it out here). That’s right. I’m turning my story into a webserial. I’ll be publishing chapters every week, taking my readers along with me as I write the book.
And there’s a good reason for that. I’ve been obsessed with this way of working as an author. Really. Back in the day, many of today’s best-known authors published their stories chapter by chapter in magazines. Why should we not do that today? And why should we not use the fantastic opportunities the internet hands us?
So here I am. With the first chapter of my story out there. It’s a fantastic feeling.
Actually, I finished the chapter more than a month ago, but I worried so much about the cover that I allowed it to be my excuse for not publishing. But tonight I had enough. I was tired of holding back on my dream because of something as stupid as a cover. I can always change it. Who cares!?
I decided I didn’t. So I just threw this cover together and uploaded it. Did I seriously let that hold me back for so long!? Never again …
So let me tell you about Bound To Be Broken. I’m effing excited about it. The genre is somewhere between romance and new adult. I’m changing between two narrators, Miranda and Tracy.
Miranda lives a fairytale life with her loving husband and their happy son. But when her husband suddenly changes she tries everything to win back his love and affection, while keeping up appearances and slowly losing herself.
Tracy is a confident businesswoman with a lust for younger men that she can spend a night with and never see again. But that all changes when she meets a more age-appropriate man that she can’t decode and who throws her off her usual game.
I’m so excited. Honestly. And I can’t wait to tell you more.
10 years ago I promised my favorite teacher that I would keep writing and publish my stories someday. That promise never left my thoughts even though it’s been a decade.
And today I’m fulfilling that promise. With no intention of stopping.
I’ve always enjoyed writing stories. As a kid I had a vivid imagination and I would spend hours writing the stories that I saw in my head. In the beginning it took me ages to finish one story – I had to run my fingers across the keyboard for every letter because I had no idea where each letter was located. I remember wondering a million times why they didn’t just put the letters in alphabetical order.
But I made sure my stories got told. When I was little my stories were mostly about animals. They would talk to each other, but humans could not understand them. They went on adventures together, mostly fleeing from evil humans, and they always ended with the animals surviving because they had their friendship.
Later on my stories involved humans instead, and as I hit puberty they were almost always about love or friendship – mostly reflected in my own “love life” at the time, with the good girl falling for someone and then trying to battle her love for this guy with still being a good girl. Hah!
In school I loved when we had to write stories. My work was always praised by my teacher who I to this date still hold very dear and who I credit for inspiring me to keep telling my stories. I remember handing in my final story, just before we graduated, and her telling me: “One day you’ll publish these stories”.
Even though she told me this ten years ago I never forgot it. Publishing my work has been a dream of mine for as long as I can remember.
For many years I stopped writing stories, but they never stopped playing out in my mind. And the only difference in my stories now is that my characters speak to me in English.
Now this presents one major problem for me: English is not my first language. Danish is. I understand English just fine, and living in America presents no issues for me communication wise.
But writing a great novel in your second language isn’t easy. I will see these scenes play out in my mind, but when I sit down in front of my computer to type them out I’m disappointed with the words I’m left with on the screen.
I find them simple and colorless, their impact completely tasteless in my mouth. It’s not that I feel like I write much better in Danish – Danish is a much more limited language than English, since there aren’t as many words in Danish.
I’ve tried telling my current story, which has the working title To Live Forever, in Danish, but my characters speak to me in English and trying to translate them to Danish proved to be almost impossible for me.
So here I am. Struggling with the words I write, but still loving the story. My plan at the moment is to simply write out the story and then have a very rough first draft.
Then I’ll go in and try to edit what I have. That might work. But I’m becoming more and more aware about the long process writing a book truly is. How do authors do it!? My admiration for anybody who has ever finished a book is tremendous – you are all some kind of super humans!
Do you write in a second language? How do you feel about that?
It came out of nowhere. Along with the sudden urge to type out the novel I’ve had in my head for years, I couldn’t resist picking up every book on my way that sounded interesting. I’ve read more in the past two weeks than I’ve read in years.
At the moment I don’t feel like slowing down. I’m still waiting for someone to invent a pill that will give you 8 hours of sleep in just 1 hour. I need more hours in the day to read all my books.
So with all the stories I’m currently consuming I thought I’d write a few words about them on this very blog – and in the future I can do some more book reviews (it’s funny to think I’m excited to do them in my sparetime – I used to hate doing book reviews in school. Oh well.)
Allow me to introduce you to one of the books I’ve read these past few weeks. I’ve mostly been reading women’s fiction, but in this post I’ll tell you about the only non-fiction I’ve read lately.
The Bingo Theory by Mimi Ikonn
Do you know Mimi Ikonn? She’s pretty big on YouTube (check out her channel here), is a very accomplished entrepreneur and business woman, but also an inspiration to lots of men and women because of her outlook on life.
I stumbled upon her on a podcast some time ago, and I’ve been following her and her amazing husband Alex’ journey ever since. I feel like Mimi and Alex are the perfect example of what I want from life. Their businesses, the way the conduct them, how the enjoy life, how they travel … I want that.
I’ve tried to work really hard (the traditional way) and felt terrible. I’ve also traveled the world for more than a year, and felt terrible as well. It’s such an inspiration to see a couple pairing work and travel so perfectly as Mimi and Alex does.
If you want to learn more about these two beautiful humans (and you should), I really recommend checking out Mimi’s interview on London Real here. Also check out Alex’ interview which is equally amazing here.
Mimi has been working on a book for a long time, and it’s finally out. Of course I had to get it, and instead of just buying the eBook (which I normally do) I actually got the real book because I loved the cover so much and wanted to have it on my very limited book shelf at home.
This dedication left me all teary eyed – oh the feels!
This is not a love novel. It’s something really different. According to the cover it’s a revolutionary guide to love, life and relationships. I think the video Mimi did on the book when it launched describes perfectly what it’s about.
Mimi has this theory. She calls it The Bingo Theory, because it’s about how you can become a bingo – you know, the perfect combination you’re striving to get when playing the game Bingo.
Being a bingo – according to Mimi – means to balance your feminine and masculine energies perfectly. By doing so you become a better human, more prone to succes in life and in your relationships. You also become somebody other people look up to. Mimi even argues that some of the most beloved people of our history was bingos.
This isn’t your average self-help book. It’s much more. Even if some people might not agree with Mimis choice of “feminine” and “masculine” to explain the different energies she talks about (I entered a stupid discussion below her video about this … Oh dear, never go there), there’s still a lot for everybody to learn and think about, even if they are so PC that they can’t get over the words “feminine” and “masculine”.
In the book Mimi starts by talking about the four different types of people there are: feminine-strength female, feminine-strength male, masculine-strength female and masculine-strength male. Her theory is that we all have one energy that is dominant, and the work lies in understanding and using your other energy to even out the dominant one and becoming a bingo.
Then Mimi talks about how to use this knowledge when you’re dating (I only skimmed this part since I’ve been in a happy relationship for almost eight years now!), and in an existing relationship. She finishes the book by talking about how to use it in your career and business life.
Feminine or masculine strength
The book does get quite a few harsh words from reviewers on Amazon, which doesn’t really surprise me since people do have strong feelings about this type of book. Many can’t get over the use and descriptions of “feminine” and “masculine” energies – they think they’re demeaning and implying that women generally are weak or that it it’s a feminine thing to be weak and not ambitious (which Mimi describes as a masculine strength).
I think all of these people refuses to understand what Mimi means – even though she actually writes it out pretty clearly. In chapter 3 Mimi talks about owning your strength, and she even writes out pretty clearly: “The feminine energy is not weak” as a headline. Does it get any clearer?
It’s a shame that some people just won’t accept this. She even writes over and over that your strength energy doesn’t have anything to do with your gender. And being a feminine strength male doesn’t make you any less of a man.
I think it’s ironic how this is pissing off so many people, mainly because their reaction comes from a place of seeing the feminine strengths as “weak” and the masculine strengths as “more right” in a sense. How ironic it is …
Something I don’t understand is why being a great, loving mother who puts aside her own career to be there for her kids (feminine strengths) is somehow not as “right” or “cool” as being a very career driven, hard working and ambitious person (masculine strengths).
I think what we all need to agree on is that we just do what’s right for ourselves and stop judging people who has other values than us. And stop viewing the “feminine strengths”, as Mimi calls them, as weak or not as good as the strengths she calls masculine.
How I can use this book
As a writer, I found this book extremely interesting and usable for my own character development. One thing I’m struggling with the most while writing this first draft of my novel, is how the characters are all too similar and somehow take the voice of myself too much.
I really need to go more into each character and make sure they have their own personality. And with the knowledge from The Bingo Theory I feel like I can develop deeper characters and better understand how they will react in certain situation and also how they will interact with each other. I’m so excited to give them more depth and thus making them more interesting and easier to fall in love with.
Personally, I can use this book to work on my feminine strengths, which I think I’ve neglected a bit. I do have lots of feminine interests, such as makeup and girly fashion, but again – feminine strengths are not about your gender.
Also, now when I talk to my friends and family I do find myself thinking whether they’re feminine or masculine strength individuals. It’s quite fun, and it does give me a better understanding of people and how we all work.
I’ve always seen our differences as “values”, instead of feminine and masculine energies, but I find Mimi’s theory very similar to my thoughts on values. Where Mimi’s theory differs is the talk about how to become a “bingo” – the perfect blend of both energies, whereas I’ve always thought that I couldn’t change my own values. So that part really left me with a lot of food for thought.
I’ve given The Bingo Theory 4 out of 5 stars on Amazon as well as on Goodreads. I’ve learned a lot reading it, and I think Mimi did a really great job of describing her theory and put a lot of interesting thoughts in the reader’s head. Also, it’s just beautiful. I adore the cover and the illustrations in the book, the font is so sharp and a joy to read, and I just really like the formatting. That means a lot to me.
Where it’s not 100% there for me is because I feel it’s a bit too “simple”. I’m sure Mimi has a lot more thoughts on this subject that she couldn’t fit into the book, and I know you have to stop somewhere when deciding what to include and what not to include, but as a Highly Sensitive Person (HSP) there were lots of things that I didn’t see myself in and had trouble applying to my own life.
I know that we’re all very different, and some of have other traits or issues than being just feminine or masculine strength people. So that is where I felt like The Bingo Theory lacked a bit of insight.
But I learned a lot, and the theory has really helped me in a lot of ways, so I would definitely recommend it to everybody – even the macho-est of guys, you could really learn a lot about yourself and your partner by reading this.
Thank you Mimi for sharing your ideas. I hope to read much more from you in the future. Well done on publishing your very own book – it’s beautiful and interesting.
This city … <3
So … I have a confession to make. This might make you want to close down this blog right away, but please hear me out. I’m a huge Kardashian fan. There, I said it. I even pay $3 a month to gain full access to Kim’s app (and Khloe’s … Ahem). Talk about being a fan girl.
But listen, I enjoy it and it doesn’t harm anybody. So! Kim does this segment on her app that she calls “Currently”. I really like that segment and I’ve decided to rip her off and do it on this blog too.
It’s pretty simple, so here we go:
The fact that some of my old clothes fit me again after losing 30 lbs.
That some of my clothes are now too loose – who’s going to send me some money for shopping?
Ben & Jerry’s ice cream – no regrets.
an over-sized tee and panties. Home is where the pants aren’t.
Kamelot – One Cold Winter’s Night album. I will never get enough.
Sopranos – amazing HBO series about the life of the mafia in New Jersey.
Everything by Jojo Moyes. Can’t get enough of her writing since I finished Me Before You.
A larger vocabulary in English (and some fries, who am I kidding!?)