March MadnesssteemCreated with Sketch.

It's been fun trying my hand at writing everyday for #MarchMadness. Unfortunately though, life has taken over and I have fallen behind.

I am happy about where I got to. It gave me a new understanding of my abilities as a writer and this is invaluable. Nevertheless, it has shown me that true preparation for a marathon of this kind does require a certain level of training.

I jumped in at the last minute. I didn't have an idea or any sort of direction. Now I have a strong female character that, with time, I can explore.

For now though, I am going to stop. I'll let the other writers continue in the race and I will cheer from the sidelines. I think by watching them, reading their stories, I will learn even more.

And most importantly, I can stop feeling the pressure and get back to feeling the pleasure of writing. That is, after all, my number one reason for writing. I do it to light myself up.

Here are the other March Madness writers. They are still in the race. :)


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I can completely understand losing the joy of writing when forcing it. By sheer luck or the universe or something, I continue to crank out words. I know it's not always my best but I'm hoping it lays the foundation for something better. I enjoyed your pieces and look forward to more in the future!

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Hey @balticbadger, it's good of you to stop by and share your kind words. I'm all about the joy! ;)

Now it's time to enjoy everyone else's words. Somehow, I haven't managed to do both. So little time, so many passions!

Keep going! You are doing great!

Thanks Ren. I will probably play about with the character of Doris, but I haven't time to commit to writing every day atm. x

You will get there. You are a busy gal!

I tried NaNoWriMo quite a few times and never quite got there, until last November... with the success of last November behind me, I thought that I could totally do this month too! :) Turns out life doesn't always let it happen, and it didn't help that I don't really like my characters or the direction I'm going.

For me, I made a last minute switch to turn my story into a semi-post-apocalyptic thing instead of a magical fantasy thing and I regret that hugely now. But at the same time, I wrote around 12,000 words that I wouldn't have written otherwise and I can still DO something with those words!

You did quite a lot!! And you created a protagonist that, as you said, you can explore. :) Who knows what her future will bring!

I'll be curious to see if @freewritehouse try and do another Madness in November, this time alongside NaNoWriMo once more, and maybe you could give it another try. I know I'll be trying... again!! Haha. :)

And most importantly, I can stop feeling the pressure and get back to feeling the pleasure of writing. That is, after all, my number one reason for writing. I do it to light myself up.

That's a huge thing also and I can't agree more!! Enjoy your craft!

:) :)

Hey @kaelci, thanks for dropping by!

I am super grateful for all that this opportunity has given me. It's been a fun run! But, I guess, I just ran out of steam/steem.

Still, I'm really proud of what I did achieve and now I'm looking forward to pursuing my other love: reading. I'll be dropping by your "semi-apocalyptic thing" real soon.


If you'd like to find them easier instead of scrolling through steem, I have them all here:


Alas, they'll remain unfinished! But I am contemplating how to rewrite them in my original plan of magic and wonder rather than coronal mass ejections and despair! haha

I completely understand running out of steam/steem. I decided over the weekend, when I did the weekendfreewrite, that I can't keep forcing myself to write something I have no interest in. Also feel reeeeally guilty because I started this march madness and can't even finish it myself!

I think @balticbadger and @wakeupkitty are going to have quite the SBI payday come the end of the month!!! 😉😀😁

No reason to feel quilty you gave me the drive to try something I never did before and I force myself to finish it. May and June I will be in hospital and don't know how I feel or what I am able to do so.

So I am grateful to you and am sure your books will be great 💖

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Haha! I hope one day to read more of your stuff. That's the thing about #marchmadness it takes it all out of you. So hard to read and comment, but I'm trying! I'm just a little obsessed with my own writing at the moment. Thanks so much for all the support so far!

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Magic and Wonder sounds just the plan! :)

I feel you. It should be fun and not forced. And yes, the second half of the month has taken its toll on me as well. I still enjoyed reading your #marchmadness and will continue to if you decide to pick it up again.


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Thanks @jeanlucsr, that's nice of you to say. :)

Ohhh, now I feel bad/worse for not keeping up with everyone's posts. Maybe you needed more encouragement, and I failed to deliver. Maybe you'll call on me as a beta reader. I do so much better if I can read a whole book or whole chapters in one document via my Kindle. Reading snippet from a dozen different stories in progress each day is just not how my mind operates. If I had a faster wi-fi connection I might be able to toggle from post to post and stay in the story. I'm going to take a look at yours again soon. I don't blame you for feeling constrained and pressured with the word count. I am allergic to that sort of thing. Somehow in November I did finish the 50,000 word story, but looking back, it is nowhere remotely close to publishable, and if I'd taken my time with it instead of rushing to meet a daily word count and finish the story in one month, I might have done better. Now I'm full of self-loathing and no desire to look at that story ever again. But it's not like this for everyone!!! Hang in there!!

There's no need to feel bad/worse, @carolkean, not for my sake. I don't intend to let go of Doris, instead I want her to explore her more by spending some quality time in her company. At the moment, I snatch moments before heading out to work. It's just not enough time for running a marathon. ;) However, it is time enough to play and tinker.

I completely understand that reading snippets of one story then another is difficult. You are jumping into so many worlds and are bound to get a little discombobulated. Still, the fact that you are doing that for so many, is, in my opinion, a reason to feel proud (not bad/worse). Thank you for all that you do.

And, as I have been writing this to you, I've felt the stirrings of the magical muse and know that my way forward with Doris is writing vignettes. The plot can go hang itself (for the time being) on a coat rack and wait until Doris is ready. :)

What a great line!!! The plot can go hang itself (for the time being) on a coat rack and wait until Doris is ready -- yes!! Write the vignettes!! Dare to be different. I was thinking about Doris as I lay awake in the night. And Deirdre. And how the structure of the novel might demand that Doris see Michael with another woman and jump to conclusions, or see Michael at the doctor's office and think he's hiding a cancer diagnosis, and pull Deirdre into some kind of panic supported by a certain secrecy the tight-lipped Michael would maintain. Maybe he's in Big Brothers/Sisters and acts as a surrogate father to some inner city girl. And if all sounded logical to the author, fine, but I've always bristled at the How to Write books and "Put Fire in Your Fiction" (Donald Maas) - an author friend of mine hired Maas as an editor, and he advised her to have the mother in her car see a woman in front of her at the railroad crossing, car stalled, and the mother guns the engine and pushes the first car off the track, narrowly missing a collision with the train herself, and denting her own car. This was so contrived, I advised my friend to not even go there. It seemed to me Maas had not read her novel very closely, or he wouldn't suggest something so jarring. Let the natural, inevitable events unfold, and if readers prefer near-death escapes and smashed cars, pick a genre known for delivering that stuff. Henry James wrote riveting chapters in which the heroine never even left the room. Not all stories have to action-packed and plot driven. The best, imo, are character driven. Go Doris!!

I’m blown away...

I was thinking about Doris as I lay awake in the night. And Deirdre.


Sorry to hear you quiet I hope to write till I have those 50,000 but it is hard and part of the time I do so half sleeping.
No storyline over here either, but it will grow/come while writing. Never thought that was possible.

I assume you will end your book one day and publish it? Hope to read it then.☘💖

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The good thing about letting go of the madness of March is that I will be able to spend some time reading the work of others.

I foresee some fun coming my way as I dive into the imaginary worlds of my fellow writers. And, who knows maybe I'll just extend the time span and allow the 50,000ish words to come in a more relaxed, leisurely way. <3

I did it - read all your chapters so far - and you're really onto something with this! Maybe you'll envision more of the usual plot-thriller-suspense-action thing as you keep writing. For me, plot is the hardest. Most books and movies leave me annoyed with the contrived conflicts and the STuPID things people do in order to keep the plot moving. A lot of best-selling women's fiction is literary and character-focused, not plot-heavy. Your story is coming along fine. If you don't want to do the 50,000 words in 30 days thing, that's fine, but do keep us up to date with Doris!! I want to see something great happen. The plotters will tell you she has to have the worst thing she can imagine happen to her and all looks hopeless, but then she rallies around and triumphs. (This is the part of plotting that grates on me as a writer.) I hope to see more of Doris in the beta readers group!

Ah, you are sweet. Thank you. I really appreciate you taking the time to read Doris' story.

You're right, it was the plot (or the lack of one) that was getting in my way. I'm actually beginning to taste the excitement again, now that I have released the pressure I was holding onto. We are such strange creatures, aren't we?

Authors are not as strange as the stereotypes would have believe. :)
I have so many books I could Kindle-loan you on writing. If you're interested. You're in the right place already, here at freewritehouse. The best method, imo, is to freewrite and see what emerges. Let your subconscious take over. I'm always surprised at the characters and plots that emerge in my own freewrites. The prompt is not a rule; it's only there for those who say "nothing comes to mind; I don't know what to write" -- somehow, a single word or phrase is all it takes to trigger a memory or a feeling. "Apple tree" or "Apple pie" might summon a deluge of memories about chores on a farm, peeling, slicing apples to freeze for pie or to be canned. Some of the prompts are said to be challenging. Like "Local Derby." I'm so happy you're recapturing the excitement Doris brings, not just for you the writer but for us the readers!

Free writing is generally the way I write. I need to let the flow take me again. 😊

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I miss your story, but I completely understand. I hope Doris finds her way to realizing her full powers because I agree with you, she is a great character.