Writing My Brutally Honest Truth

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.

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A new chapter … literally

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.

Writing in your second language

Celia Schow

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?