Poetry

The List

“My heart was never yours to darken,
but you tried your best.
Too bad it wasn’t enough.”

No matter how much I try to forget about you, you’re always there in the shadows. Like my own personal ghost. My demon from the past. I’ve come to accept that you’ll always be with me, and I don’t know if that realization is a relief, or yet another burden for me to bear. Either way, I’ll keep compiling a list of all the things I’ve overcome — all those things you told me I could never do. And until the day I die, I’ll keep proving it.

  1. Fall in love
  2. Be loved
  3. Get married, happily, to a decent human that loves me back
  4. Own a home
  5. Get a college education
  6. Become a mother
  7. Raise an intelligent, empathetic human
  8. Write, and not be terrible at it (I’m humble, so I find it difficult to say I do it well)
  9. Explore other creative paths (like art, editing, book cover creation, and more)
  10. Rescue animals from sociopaths like you…

© Sarah Doughty
2018 (except for expanded list)

 One year older, one more year of memories.

On Writing, Random Thoughts

Q&A With A Wordsmith: A Day In The Life

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 many hours a day do you write? What does a typical day of writing look like to you?

Answer:

Let me start off by saying that I don’t have a day job. But that doesn’t mean my days are simple and easy. 

If I’m feeling well enough, I’ll write or edit from mid- to late- morning until lunchtime, take break for more coffee and then restart my pre-writing routine for another hour or two in the afternoon. 

With the pre-writing ritual I mentioned last week, I start up my playlist to settle my racing mind, and brew a hot beverage (usually coffee). By the time I sit in my favorite seat — a vintage, red velvet wing chair with a dark walnut frame, my mind and muse are ready to begin. 

While I’m writing, I know the progression of the story, so I don’t often run into instances where I just don’t know what to write. However, my muse may be on hiatus for a day here and there to show my progress. Otherwise, I’m usually able to churn out around three scenes over the course of the day, which generally equates to about one thousand words each.

There are plenty of days where I either don’t feel well enough (like a bad headache) to do more than one scene, or do anything other than stay in bed (in this case, a migraine). Self-doubt and debilitating anxiety often rears its head if this happens, but I do my best to accept that my circumstances won’t allow me to accomplish as much as I’d hoped. 

Because brain fog and eye strain are real to me, I try to keep myself balanced within my limitations and look out for signs that I’m over-exerting myself. Otherwise, I’ll end out regretting it the following day. 

Here’s a basic rundown
of my schedule on a good day:

10 AM to 12 PM – Writing or editing
12 PM to 1 PM – break for lunch
1 PM to 3 PM – Writing or editing

Being able to write as I do is a privilege that I don’t squander. If you have 12 hours to spare or only ten minutes a day, it doesn’t matter. The main thing is that you show up to do it. And don’t berate yourself if you’re not making the most out of each minute. 


Coming up, I’ll dive into the age-old question: does the plot come first, or is it the characters?

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.

Earthen Witch, Poetry

Outrunning The Truth

“No matter how far I go,
there’s one thing I cannot escape.
You. And it was never you
I was running from.”

No matter how far I go, there’s one thing I cannot escape. Your voice, calling me home. Your face, pleading for me to stop running. You. The memories of you, how they flood my mind and remind me of everything I have left behind. It’s the worst decision I ever made, to run from you and the reality of what came to pass. But I was strong enough to admit to myself that I couldn’t handle the pain. And I was drowning in it. These bones of mine cannot outrun the truth. Sooner or later even the distance wouldn’t be enough.

© Sarah Doughty

One way or another,
I would have to
face the truth
and that thought
terrified me.

Loosely based on the events in my
novel, Safe.

Poetry

Wrong Is Right

“I know you’re right.
We are wrong for each other.
But here’s the thing:
I’m in love with you.”

I listened to you tell me over and over again about how wrong we were for each other. About you and your future not mixing with mine. On some days we were like magnets, drawn together by our very nature. But on others, we were opposing particles, pushing one another away. I fought with you like it was the most important fight we would ever have — with so much passion and determination. Yet I barely registered on your radar. Like I was nothing more than a pesky fly buzzing around your head. And how could I forget the insults you threw my way, like it was both your weapon and your armor?

I know you’re right. We are wrong for each other. But here’s the thing: I’m in love with you anyway. And I’d rather spend my days fighting you, than spend another day without you.

© Sarah Doughty
2018

Anything is better with you involved.

Sometimes I wonder what would have been different if things with my husband went differently. This is how I imagined it would happen.

Poetry

Home Is You

“And I know that I’ll find you if I keep looking.
Because home is wherever you are.”

I sit here in this silence and all I have to keep me company is the moon. Though the crescent doesn’t cast enough light for me to see the world around me, I don’t feel so alone. And I suppose that’s the point. I’m never alone. No one is ever alone as long as they have their thoughts and something to guide their way home. And I know then that I’ll find you if I keep looking. Because home is wherever you are.

© Sarah Doughty

Because home is wherever you are.

Poetry

Heart Full Of Dreams

“Oh, you beautiful soul, don’t let the world decide your fate.
You can be and do whatever your heart can dream.”

Oh, you beautiful soul, don’t let the world decide your fate. You don’t have to be exposed out in the sun if you want to come alive in the dark. You don’t have to follow your mind if your heart demands to be heard. Choose for yourself if you want to explore off the trail, just don’t forget the compass to bring you home. You can be and do whatever your heart can dream, just remember that at the end of the day, it’s important to be. Truly. You.

© Sarah Doughty

Dare to dream, but don’t forget who you are.

Poetry

Failures

“The worst thing you can do
to a victim of abuse is to tell them
how they’ve failed.”

Sometimes I wonder what happened to human decency. Or maybe it was a fictional, utopian belief that it once existed. Humility as a lost art. Empathy no more than myth. Especially when it comes to victims of abuse, society fails to understand them. Where they have learned the hard way what it means to be stripped of all their power — the power to speak, to fight back, to own anything or act on something — they are broken vessels of their former selves. So when they are finally free and have the opportunity to rebuild their lives, understand that this is a critical time for them. They need support. They need to feel like they matter. That what they feel or say matters. Not to repeat the same horrors. So tell a survivor how strong they are. Tell them they are important. Lift them up. And never tear them down.

The worst thing you can do to a victim of abuse is to tell them how they’ve failed.

© Sarah Doughty
2018

Try telling them what makes them strong.
What they’ve accomplished.
Tell them some more
about how amazing they are.

Poetry

My Gravity

“It wasn’t the earth keeping
me grounded. It was you.
I just wish I realized it sooner.”

It felt like floating in space, living without you. I never realized I needed gravity until you showed up in my life and made me feel like I belonged with my feet planted and you there by my side. It wasn’t the earth keeping me grounded. It was you all along. I just wish I realized it sooner. And for that, I will always be sorry.

© Sarah Doughty
2018

You deserve far more credit
than you were ever given.

Poetry

Soul Puzzle

“And that’s what hurts the most.
You didn’t just leave —
everything we were was a lie.”

My world was complete with you in it. Like you were the final piece to the puzzle that made up my soul. Everything was perfect, and when the end of us finally arrived, it hit me like a train. And that’s what hurts the most. You didn’t just leave, you told me that everything we were was a lie.

© Sarah Doughty
2018

Was there nothing real after all?

On Writing, Random Thoughts

Q&A With A Wordsmith: On The Artistic Process

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:
What is your artistic process? Does anything impede that?

Answer:

My artistic process varies depending on what I set out to do. But mostly, it’s a delicate balance between ritual, creativity, and technical skill. 

First and foremost, however, I start with a ritual. Always beginning with coffee or another hot drink of choice. And while I’m firing up my machine to brew, I’ll start up my playlist to a section that best fits the task at hand.

With my steaming cup of goodness in hand, I sit down and just listen to the music for a few minutes. It’s almost like a meditation.

Once my mind is clear, it signifies that the creativity is ready to come out in full force. 

If I’m going to work on writing, I reread the last chapter I completed, much like hitting the rewind button on a movie for a quick recap. This helps me settle back into the story, and into my narrator’s head. 

Then, since I have the plot outlined — steps A-Z, beginning to end — I know where I need to go. And as I’m seeing the events unfolding like a movie, all I’m doing is transcribing everything I can.

My poetry and prose is somewhat similar, except I’m isolating events and packing as much emotion and life into the words as I can. 

If I’m editing, I still search for the right mindset of following along with a movie, because it’s important I don’t lose those critical attributes like pacing, but at the same time, I’m looking at the draft with a critical eye, zeroing in on plot holes,  continuity slip ups — like a character walking or standing still, or just issues with grammar and flow. 

However, I do want to note that when it comes to my fiction, I don’t mix writing with editing. If I’m working on the first draft of a manuscript, I won’t open a draft to start rereading or editing. I like to keep my concentration on one timeline so I don’t end up confusing things. 

Though I may switch to creating other things like book covers, or just stop altogether due to some other limitations, I try to give myself the flexibility to do so without berating myself or feeling like I’m neglecting anything.

The biggest impediments to my processes, however, is self-doubt. It could be that I’m going slower than usual because I can’t quite visualize something or transcribe it right, or I run into a wall where I begin to question a decision or an action. And then intrusive thoughts start to pop up like weeds in a garden. 

That’s a terrible idea. No one’s going to like that. 

Or: You might as well stop now, that thing is dead weight and you know it. 

I often have to remind myself that hiccups do happen and that whatever the problem is, I’ll find a way to fix it. 

If I let those overgrown thoughts blossom in that garden, it’ll take me that much longer to clean things up, stop beating myself up, and get back to what matters. 


Coming up, I’ll discuss how long I spend writing on a day and walk you through my writing day routine. 

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.