On Writing, Random Thoughts

Q&A On The Muse

Heya Lovelies,

I’m often asked a series of questions that revolve around my muse and how my prose poems and books come into being. Over the course of the next several weeks, I’m going to shed some light on them in hopes that you’ll see a little deeper into who I am and all that I do.

If you find that the question of the week stirs your mind, feel free to comment with your own thoughts, or answer it for yourself. If you do the latter, be sure to link back to me so I can see it. 


Question:
How does it feel when your muse runs his fingers through your hair, resting his palms bare on your crown?

Answer:

My muse is androgynous, taking on the form of whatever is necessary to fulfill the task. But when it comes out, it’s a rather strange feeling. It’s like my intrusive thoughts cease and words from another mind begin to form in response to some form of stimulation (one or more of the five senses, sometimes including synaesthesia). 

In terms of poetry, I try to ensnare one moment and throw as much authentic feeling (including those senses) into it as I can. 

When I’m writing my fiction, I transcend myself and become whoever it is I’m narrating. As they go about their lives, my goal is to transcribe those events in as much detail as possible.

In doing so, I’m able to breathe. Because it’s both freeing and relaxing. And that’s something I can’t live without.

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 resource library of downloadable content, sign up for my newsletter.

Earthen Witch, On Writing, Random Thoughts

Why My Books Are Free

Heya Lovelies,

Even after all these years, I’m often asked why I don’t sell my books. Why they’re free.

Let me start out by saying every writer is different. They take a lot of time, countless hours to create their books, and they make their own choices on how they will share their work. And in turn, they may elect to charge a price for them.

There’s nothing wrong with that. I fully support whatever decisions they make, because it’s theirs to make.

But my answer is simple. I write because it helps me. It’s my therapy. I crave the creative process, the ability to unplug from life and become someone new. Marketing and advertising are added stressors that often leave me feeling overwhelmed, so the idea of throwing sales into the mix is, simply, too much.

Have you ever heard the concept of benefits should outweigh the complications? That’s exactly where the scales list in the wrong direction for me, negating the most important aspects of what I do.

My stories help me. Give me hope that my future might one day be better. Why jeopardize that?

On the other hand, readers may feel something similar. The escape for a reader may be therapy for them. And that shouldn’t come with a price tag.

Often, money is something that’s very precious to people, and not a luxury to spend. Especially now with our new post-COVID reality.

I don’t want money to stand in the way of someone’s escape. What use is it off they cannot read them? I want anyone who wants to delve into the world to have that opportunity. I want them to feel that escape, to enter that new world. And not worry how much money is left in their bank account.

Giving my books away is something I chose to do because I hope, maybe, they’ll touch someone like they’ve touched me. And everyone deserves that chance to see it. Feel it. Experience it.

Perhaps one day that will change, I don’t know. But for now, that’s why I do what I do, and will continue to give them away.

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 resource library of downloadable content, sign up for my newsletter.

Earthen Witch

Slumber

“I didn’t know the true meaning
of sleep until I was in his arms.”

It was my favorite place to be, head resting over his heart, feeling the steady rise and fall of his chest, hearing the steady beat of his heart. When I awoke, still on his arms, I realized something important. I didn’t know the true meaning of sleep until I was in his arms.

© Sarah Doughty

A little something inspired by
my first novel, Just Breathe.
I’ve been feeling increasingly
nostalgic, itching to lose myself
in the ongoing story again.

Random Thoughts

The Dreaded Block

“The words may be on a break. But they’ll
be back. They always come back.”
Returning

I’m often asked about writer’s block. What to do? How to overcome it? How long will it last? These are all good questions, but they only really need one answer. Keep writing. Every day.

You may feel uninspired, like nothing you put on paper or type on the screen holds any value, but odds are, there is something there. Don’t delete them or throw them away. And the worst thing you can do is to put the pen away and do nothing.

There’s millions of things you can try to wake up your muse, but even if your mind comes up blank, you should write something. Even if it’s only a journal of what happened during your day.

My first fiction novel, Just Breathe, was based on a dream. Back then, I tended to forget my dreams and move on, but I was fortunate enough to journal the next day, and my mind kept going back to that scene. My focus shifted, and the story began to unfold. So, lovelies, don’t ignore your muse when it stirs, you might miss something incredible.

© Sarah Doughty

In the comments, let me know what you do to overcome creative blocks.

On Writing

No Better, No Worse

Heya Lovelies,

When I started down this path of sharing my writing, I did it with the “fake it till you make it” idea in mind.

Outside of a few random pieces in high school and university, I’d never been published professionally before. But I wanted people to know I was serious about what I was doing. Yet, my confidence was low. Showing that vulnerability wouldn’t be faking it, would it?

So I kept my head high and pushed through the anxiety that came with every post. Eventually, as I worked on my novels, my number of followers was growing and that anxiety eased. After a time, it stopped. Several published (albeit free) e-books later, I feel I can safely say that I’m a writer now.

However, my confidence level hasn’t really changed much. Sure, I can see when people are just starting out, or if English isn’t their first language, but that doesn’t mean they can’t grow and learn. I did. Hell, I’m still learning.

When people do approach me, they ask for advice or help because they see me as an authority figure. Or that I’m famous. A household name. But I’m no Stephen King. Even he, a repeating member of the #1 New York Times Bestseller club, says he’s the “literary equivalent of a cheeseburger and fries.”

If that’s true, I’m the moldy cheese underneath a toddler’s carseat in a minivan. And I’m being honest.

I don’t think I’m better than anyone else, and I certainly don’t put myself in the category of being pretentious. I never have. Art is subjective and not everyone is going to love a writer’s work. The same goes for Stephen King. Or J.K. Rowling. I see no reason why I should think I’ve hit some arbitrary milestone that makes me better than anyone else.

Until next time,
Sarah

On Writing

About Bullies

As a writer who shares everything for free, online exposure is my main resource to find readers. And while being online does that, it also comes with a few downsides.

One aspect of that is reader dramatics: bullies and haters.

Why am I talking about this? Because you can’t please everyone. I aim to give people a little slice of life, but as much as I try to provide a wide range of topics, it happens.

What is a reader bully? These are the ones hiding behind their screens. These people are one or any combination of the following: they’re jealous at (or threatened by) what you do because they can’t, some memory or event was spawned by your words and they lash out, or they’re repulsed at your thinking, beliefs, or life choices and feel they must set you straight.

Extreme examples exist, but the ones I’ve faced tend to jab a little, hoping to stir some response. At the first sign of trouble, whether they’re attacking me or a friend, I block them. I don’t need that kind of negativity in my life.

Haters aren’t much different from a bully, but they might approach things in a different way. Some are vindictive, but others express their dislike. If they’re civil, I’ll draw the line by thanking them for giving my words a chance and for sharing their honesty. It still stings, though.

Next time, I’m going to discuss what kind of writer I am.

Until next time,
Sarah

Earthen Witch, Updates

That Time Indie Blue Reviewed Just Breathe

I read somewhere that Sarah sees her writing poetry as a moment, whereas her writing fiction as a lifetime, and when I read this, it made total sense to me because I’ve read Sarah’s poetry for years and it is a moment, a strong powerful smack in the gut moment, but definitely a moment, whereas when I read her fiction, I can see the entire universe is being considered and she is methodical, paced and thorough in her plotting and building of characters.

Just Breathe delivered for me. I was surprised. Sarah knows her art, and she drew me into her world almost immediately.

I’m very familiar with Sarah’s poetry and have always appreciated her blunt and honest way of telling it like it is, that’s why it was a surprise to find out she is equally conversant and gifted with longer art forms. This isn’t just a hobby for her, you can tell she takes her writing very seriously and spends a lot of time ensuring she gets it right.


It doesn’t matter if a character
is a witch or a vampire
and whether those things exist
in our world or do not,
it matters that we believe
as we read that they are real.
That way we become
invested in them.


Aisling (the heroine) is the kind of woman that women can relate to and she isn’t afraid to stand up for what she feels is right. For this reason, Just Breathe is a deeply redemptive book and that alone makes it worthy of reading.

And with this I leave you with one recommendation, pick Sarah Doughty’s work out of the genre and let it Just Breathe.


Special thanks to Indie Blu(e) and Candice Louisa Daquin
for such an eloquent review of Just Breathe.
It was both unexpected and touching at the same time.
I still look back at this review with fondness.

I can only hope that as the series and overall universe has evolved,
Candice’s thoughts still hold true.
To read her review in its entirety, click here.

If you want to give my books a try, look no further.

~ Sarah Doughty

On Writing

How I Chose My Book Titles

Heya Lovelies,

When I started writing Just Breathe, I didn’t know what the title would be. I tossed around idea after idea and knew I didn’t have the right one. After I finished writing it, I realized the answer was staring at me the whole time.

The Earthen Witch universe might be adult urban fantasy and paranormal romance, but in the end, the characters are what drive the story. They are flawed, they experience some significant lessons we face every single day.

The themes underlying my books are significant. And there are many people that relate to those themes. One of the biggest themes is post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD. The condition is very real, and many people do not realize that anyone can have it. It’s not just soldiers that have returned from war.

When someone is dealing with this condition, life is not easy. Sometimes, it’s really damn hard.

There are common phrases in this book that directly refer to PTSD, and happened to be useful in a few other areas. These phrases hold significance to the main characters.

Just breathe was said often, in different applications. There was a pattern to them, however. It was all about calming down. Centering the self. And being in the moment.

I can’t begin to describe how those two words are like a lifeline to me sometimes. For someone experiencing that sensation of a flashback coming. For someone just so overwhelmed that they can’t figure out what to do next.

That’s when it’s needed.

Those two words.

When you’re spiraling out of control, those words can be a lifeline.

As soon as I recognized their inherent repetition, and their context, I knew. That was it.

That was the title.

And that’s what I’ve used as the basis. If there’s a significant phrase that ties into a theme, that’s going to be the title.

Think about that when you see the titles. You might be surprised what you’ll learn about life.

Until next time,
Sarah

Earthen Witch, Updates

Safe Is Now Available


The Fourth Installment of the Earthen Witch Novels is Here!
Always free

A formidable foe crashing Aisling Green’s wedding day turns out to be the least of her worries when tragedy forces her to question everything she knows.

The blows keep coming from all directions as Earthen witch Aisling Green grapples with the aftermath of a tragic day. Feeling her heart shattering over and over as a result is more than she can bear, so she makes a decision that will redefine her future.

She must carry unbearable emotional wounds, protect those she loves, and rescue a helpless victim from his would-be murderers — all while facing the looming threat of a powerful new enemy. Aisling’s mere existence has already cost her dearly, but more than ever, the heavy price of her survival is proving to be more than she can bear. Will Aisling find the strength to keep fighting?


✧✧✧✧✧
FIVE STARS

An excerpt from a review of Just Breathe:

“How is it possible I didn’t know that Kim Harrison and J.R. Ward had a secret love-child who goes by the name Sarah Doughty? I have no idea, but I’m glad to finally be in on the secret…”
Ian Gregoire, author of the Legends of The Order series

Updates

A Reinstatement Of Sorts

Heya Lovelies,

I hate to admit it, but it has been some time since my last update. It seems as though the pandemic put everything on hold. And not all in a good way. Sure, there’s been some positives, but for the most part, the last year and a half have been a collective blur — a sudden, unexpected adjustment in the everyday routines in which we were so familiar.

The same holds true for me as well. Last August, when my son began his 4th grade remote-learning school year, I took the plunge and forced myself to sit at my desk and write my next novel. After nearly four years removed from writing anything of real substance within fiction, I dove in. Trepidation and terror be damned.

It turned out to be the one thing that pulled me out of that four-year funk I’d fallen into after health issues and unfortunate world events dangled and stranded me outside the realm of creative headspace. I let myself become absorbed. Now that I’ve had some time to just bask in my fictional world, I’m making an honest effort to stop neglecting the other areas of my writerly life while I begin drafting another novel.

What does this mean?

A few things.

  • My newsletter, Mailbox Eulogies has been revamped and revitalized, complete with a freebie library for subscribers — more on this tomorrow
  • A minimum of one blog post a week that is not a regularly-scheduled prose poem
  • Maintain an active presence on Instagram

For now, that’s a good start.

Until next time,
Sarah