Poetry, Earthen Witch

Shutting You Out

“Shutting you out was my worst mistake.
Like I left you before I let you go.”

And I felt it. The end. It wasn’t just one thing, though. It slowly drifted away from my outstretched fingers. Carried by some unseen current. Though I tried to hold on. To you. To us. It wasn’t enough. That was when I began to drown in the broken pieces of my heart. You see, I never wanted things to turn out this way. With so many tears and a future we dreamed, torn away in a matter of minutes. I couldn’t bear to look at the expression you tried to hide. The one that told me how lost you felt. And there I was, trying to keep myself from facing a reality I didn’t want to recognize. By shutting you out, it was like I left you before I let you go. It was the biggest mistake I ever made, not being there for you as you were for me. I couldn’t ask your forgiveness. Not after this. I didn’t know if I could ever forgive myself.

© Sarah Doughty

Sometimes I manage to break my own heart when I write the adventures of my charactersmy characters. And still, this moment is by far one of the biggest heartbreaking things they’ve ever had to endure. Even today, it feels like a fresh wound, open and deep, spilling over. If only I could stop all the obstacles that stand in their way. If only I could take those burdens from them. But this is their story. I must tell it as honestly as I can. Good parts and bad.

Poetry

Bask In The Light

“No matter how broken you think you are,
bask in the light you find.”

Life is made up of moments. Good or bad, they are meant to be felt. They are meant to be lived. For the longest time, I was certain the bad outweighed all the good. Like a stain on a pristine cloth. But I’ve realized the good might not have come from all the wrong. All the hurt. All the darkness and shadows that haunt us from our pasts only make the light more vivid. More contrasting. It makes the good parts stand out that much more. So no matter how broken you think you are, bask in the light you find.

© Sarah Doughty
2017

Find the light
and don’t ever let it go.

Poetry

In The Wind

“Wherever you are.
Whenever you need it.
I’ll be there, in the wind.”

I know there’s little to say
that will bring you comfort.
There’s going to be rough times ahead.
But just know that I’m here for you.
In whatever capacity I can.
I know it’s not enough right now,
but know that I care.

If you ever feel like you’re
overwhelmed with grief,
or that the chasm in your heart
is too much, or if you just feel
like you need a moment of peace,
find the wind. I’ll be there.
Wherever you are.
Whenever you need it.
I’ll be there.

Find the wind.

© Sarah Doughty
2017

On Writing, Random Thoughts

Q&A With A Wordsmith: On Manuscript Timelines

Heya Lovelies,

As a writer taking a rather unique path, I often receive a wide range of questions. So far, I’ve covered some broad topics which you can find here and I’ll continue to shed some light on further questions. With luck, you’ll gain some understanding and insight along the way.

If you have a question you’d like me to answer, feel free to comment or drop me an email.


Question:
How long does it take you to write a book?—What about your first published novel?

Answer:

From beginning to plot the story idea to the first draft’s The End, Just Breathe took roughly two months. How is such a thing possible, you ask? My health was such that I was often (and still am) plagued with migraines, insomnia, and anxiety, so I was unable to work. Because of that, my mother was generous enough to look after my son during the workdays my husband couldn’t be there to help me. That left me with a solid four hours, spread out over the course of the day and night after my son went to bed to write. 

To be honest, I was so focused on trying to put so much down in fear of losing my flow or falling away from my heroine’s true point of view, that I wouldn’t allow myself to do much of anything that wasn’t related to it in some way. So I wouldn’t recommend this single-minded focus to anyone that wants to finish their manuscript. Why? Burnout is a real thing and you will drive yourself into creative exhaustion.

And, I promise you, all that self-doubt is unfounded. The story is there whether you write furiously for several hours a day or only one. 

That being said, for those of you with a day job, if you can devote yourself to one thousand words to your manuscript per day, you could finish writing a 50k word book (that’s the standard NANOWRIMO length) in under two months. 

And I can tell you from all seven novels I’ve written, that when you plot first, you already know the story and what comes next. So it wouldn’t be difficult to transcribe the journey of your hero from spot A to B in one writing session and be ready for C to D the following day. By knowing the story first, I have dropped two or three thousand words in an hour without difficulty on many occasions.

As for my most recent manuscript, I took roughly five days to plot it out, and then wrote in the mornings (when I was well enough to write, of course) when my son began fifth grade in August. I took the evenings and weekends off to recharge and still managed to reach The End … for now before the beginning of October. 

So the next time you dream up a book to write, don’t think about the daunting task of writing so many words. Develop what happens first, then write it in small sections

For instance, using Just Breathe as reference, the first chapter was divided into three scenes. First, the heroine and her best friend were introduced in the library. The second was a brief trip down memory lane. And finally, the next scene picks up after they leave a restaurant and our heroine sees the hero for the first time. Each scene was roughly one thousand words, written separately.  

Since I edited my books, this process took about twice as long as the actual writing. With each pass, I went from fixing big errors like plot holes, and continued passing through, addressing smaller issues each time, right down to the grammar, until I felt like everything was right. 

Somewhere along this line, I worked on book cover creation, sharing on social media, and generally preparing for the book’s launch. Once all of that is finished, it’s basically just a matter of scheduling the date of its publication. If you’re publishing traditionally, this process may take far longer, but just remember: nothing is impossible. 


Coming up, I’ll discuss the differences between uniqueness in a story and how I account for my ideal readers’ preferences.

Until next time,
Sarah

P. S. If you want to see for yourself what books I have to offer, find your FREE copies at your favorite retailer

P. P. S. If you are interested in learning more about me, my books, and other various, important topics on a monthly basis, along with access to a free, ever-growing resource library of downloadable content, sign up for my newsletter.

Poetry

Scraps

“I was no one.
And, in a way, I still am.
But I learned long ago to take scraps.”

When I was still a child, I was no one. Because who could possibly care for a broken little girl like me? But, every damn day, I appreciated the fact that I was still alive. That alone gave me hope. Those rare bits of honest kindness from others were like icing on the cake. I took what I could get and fought through another day.

That was the world I knew. That is the world I still know. But that’s okay. Because I learned long ago to take scraps.

© Sarah Doughty
2017

No matter who you are
or what you’ve survived,
you deserve more than scraps.
You deserve to be treated with importance.

Poetry

This Allure

“Everything about you holds me captive.
And I don’t ever want to escape.”

And this feeling I have is building inside. It holds me tight and mesmerizes me by its allure. It’s the wanting of you. How my lips itch to connect with yours. How my ears try to catch every sound you make. How my fingertips crave the sensation of you. From your skin to the softness of your hair, I am held captive. But it’s not something I ever want to escape.

© Sarah Doughty

It’s strange,
being enchanted by you
is more comforting
than I ever thought possible.

Poetry

Travels

“My spirit travels with the wind, my love,
and we will find each other in the dark.”

This world isn’t black and white, but so many people perceive it that way. I’ve seen beyond the gray and into a place where even shadows have some light to dance with. I’ve seen the rainbows after the storms and felt their pain, as if for once they’d like to be granted a wish.

I’ve felt the wind and how whispers carry. I’ve heard the trees reaching just a little higher to catch some of those words. Even though this world is often dark and no other souls are in sight, I can still feel you there, like you’re right behind me. And if I turn around, I might catch a glimpse of you there. But the space where I feel you is empty.

It’s always empty. But if I look beyond what my eyes can see, I will see you in between life and dreams. And if we’re both lost, all we need to do is find the wind. She always knows how to bring us home. And it is there we will find each other in the dark.

© Sarah Doughty
2017

This was inspired, in part,
by the lovely Wilder of @wilderpoetry.

Poetry

Sleepy Daylit Eyes

“The next day always comes.
Just remember to keep going.”

I thought, once upon a time, that fireflies gathered together just beyond the horizon, and combined their bio-luminescent bodies into what people called the sun. My sleepy eyes would watch, and wonder what it would be like to shine up there with them. Together. To make daylight possible. To make the sky turn blue by reflecting their light back at them. And let the clouds take center stage.

Those giants could be fluffy, white cotton candy, with the sun glimmering through them. Or they would blanket the sky, rumble and cry, like I so often wanted to do. And sometimes I did. Because I knew, I wasn’t the only one in so much pain. But then there were days when the expanse of the sky was empty. Nothing but blue as far as my eyes could touch.

But no matter what happened during the day, I was sad to see those fireflies heading towards the horizon, slowly dimming their light as they went, welcoming the moon to rise and take their place.

© Sarah Doughty
2017

The next day always comes.
Remember to make the most
of your time.

Poetry

Hold Me Together

“My love, you are all the comfort I need.
So promise you’ll hold me when I fall apart.”

I can feel it starting. The breaking. The cracks in my resolve. The emotions bubbling up and seeping through any weak point it can find. And I know it’s coming. The undoing. The inevitable fall to the floor in nothing more than a jumble of raw nerves, pain, and tears. But you’re right next to me and I cannot help but wonder if you’d be my shoulder. If you knew how much I needed to be wrapped in your arms and held together, would you do it? Would you be the brace I’d need to hold me upright? Would you hold me while I fall apart?

© Sarah Doughty

It’s okay to feel.
And it’s okay to turn
to someone you trust
for comfort.
It doesn’t make you weak.
It makes you human.

Inspired by
my wonderful friend,
Dipendra Tamang of @thangbalay.

Poetry

Fireflies At Night

“And darling, I do.
Flaws and all.
I shine like the moon.”

The stars flickered and danced above my head. Like fireflies just beyond my little, outstretched fingers. They dotted across the expanse and my eyes filled with dreams of a better life. Even as the moon took center stage, it never felt complete, looking up at infinity, without seeing the stars there, too. Without them, it felt like an incomplete canvas. It felt like pieces of me were gone. But somehow, I knew, they were still up there, hiding. Reminding me that it’s okay to feel lost. To be invisible. Because one day, I would learn to shine like the moon.

And darling, I do. Flaws and all. I shine like the moon.

I am my own home.

© Sarah Doughty
2017

It’s okay to feel lost.