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HALLOWEEN 2021: when i used to dream nightmares | part two

HALLOWEEN 2021: when i used to dream nightmares | part two

I held my breath, terrified to make a sound.

I did not know how I got here: lying on my stomach on the floor, under a bed which I first thought was my own… but this was not my room.

Something moved in the shadows and I flinched, but then grew perfectly still as I caught the shimmer of eyes watching me, wide and scared.

Other children.

I was not alone.

Several of us were hiding here, under the bed and with nowhere else to go.

My heart pounding, I dipped my head a little lower and peeked out from my hiding place, finding a room with a gray carpet, gray desks placed alongside the gray walls, a gray chair upon which sat… a man, wearing a gray suit, yet not a gray top hat — no, that one was black, a hue so utterly dark that it would never be able to catch a ray of light.

The man was tall. Unusually thin. He reminded me of a scarecrow.

Of a skeleton.

He was motionless, and I released a shuddering breath, and—

Whirling around, he turned on his chair.

The man had no face.

It was white, simply white, an empty sheet, pale flesh without features, and yet…

And yet, I knew he could see me.

 

Greetings scaredy-cats and and horror-fanatics, and welcome to the second part of my 2021 Halloween blog post series, “When I Used to Dream Nightmares”! 🎃

 

As I told you all in the previous post, when I was 5 or 6 years old, I went through a phase in which I was often terrorized by pretty horrific nightmares, and the one above is one of the few which I still vividly remember.

To be honest, even at 29, I still think this one is pretty disturbing.

While my nightmare of the Skeleton Dragon was a recurring dream that plagued me about two or three times, this was — thankfully — a standalone, so the Faceless Man only visited me once. The nightmare was just as I described it above, yet somehow, I had all this knowledge while I was in the dream, and I knew this creepy guy stole children from their parents and then just kept them in that room. Which makes hiding from him seem like a pointless thing, I guess, but that’s just the way dreams work, right? They often don’t make sense, and neither do your actions. I just figure that the other children and I simply did not want the Faceless Man to see us.

But, what did he want from us? Would he eat us? Lock us up somewhere?

I never got an answer to that, since the dream stopped the moment his face turned toward me, and luckily I woke up in my own bed, in my own room, with no terrifying intruders present.

Yet that is exactly what has been intriguing me as I got older: how often does it happen that a nightmare stops at the exact moment that something truly creepy would happen? To me, that is always the case.

Which is why today, I’d like to talk a little about the power of suggestion — or rather, the horror of it.

 

Now then, let’s be honest: what is often worse? The idea of something terrible happening, or actually going through it?

In my experience it is the first.

Like back at high school, when I had to give a presentation before my teacher and classmates, I used to be so terribly nervous it made me feel sick. Yet when I was actually standing there, doing it, I often forgot all about my nerves and it turned out not to be that bad.

The same goes for watching a horror movie (what?)! Often the first half is the scariest for me, when inexplicable things happen — when objects move, but you don’t see what has touched it. When there are sounds and moans at night, but you never see what is making them. When the camera shows you that something is watching the protagonists, but you never get to see what it is.

Then, usually, during the climax of the movie you get to see this horrific monster or dreadful ghost that usually, for me, breaks the spell and takes away all fear, because somehow, actually seeing the devil isn’t as scary as not seeing it while knowing it is there.

Personally, I always like to add this to my own stories — I don’t write ghost tales (maybe I will one day, though!) so I can’t get away with keeping the demon invisible, but I do like to build up the tension in a scene first. Like I did in the prologue of INSOMNIA, when Jodi is playing with her dog and he disappears into the field of the farm, out of her sight. She can hear he gets hurt, but doesn’t know what is going on. Once she finds her dog, he turns out to be wounded and bleeding.

And then the sun sets, a shadow falls over her, and she knows, she senses something is behind her.

For me, the idea of a situation like this simply fills me with dread; not being able to see what is there, yet knowing that something is lurking behind you, wanting to hurt you.

Writing the part of that scene that comes after, of Jodi being attacked by the Nightprowler, was still pretty terrifying for me to write — but I do think one should never underestimate the power of suggestion, and how much scarier it is than when a character faces off with the actual monster.

 

But, that is just my opinion! What do you think? Is the mere suggestion of something scarier, or do you  dread the part that comes after, the actual showdown with whatever devil is haunting the story? I’m really interested to know how others think about this, so please leave me a comment down below! Who knows, I might learn something from it as a storyteller 😉

 

This concludes part two — which is also the final one! Thanks so much for reading everyone; please feel free to reach out to me 😀

 

Happy Halloween everyone.

May your dreams be filled with lovely nightmares…

 

(Oh, and… don’t forget to listen closely for the sounds in your house at midnight. Who knows what you might hear — yet will never find…?)

 

— Lynn

 

Don’t want to miss updates on my book releases? Then please subscribe to my blog (scroll all the way up, and you’ll find the subscribe button to your right. All you have to do is enter your email address, and then confirm your subscription).

or

If you’d like to stay updated and see more of what’s happening behind the scenes on a daily (hourly, even!) basis, please follow me on Instagram, Twitter and/or Facebook. I recommend Instagram for a steady amount of updates, since I’m sharing everything I’m working on in my stories; feel free to follow!

 

Thanks so much for subscribing and following ❤️

Posted by Lynn Robin in Lifestyle, 0 comments
HALLOWEEN 2021: when i used to dream nightmares | part one

HALLOWEEN 2021: when i used to dream nightmares | part one

The rough texture of the rocky floor scraped against my feet, and heat pressed down on my skin.

All around me, the world was burning.

From the corners of my vision, I saw the walls to my left and right pulse in the rhythm of a heartbeat; the walls seemed to be made of both stone and fire, the red-glowing magma oozing heat, heat, so much heat, and a wicked kind of darkness that tangled in my chest and made the air in my lungs heavy and suffocating.

I did not want to walk on.

Yet I did.

My heart racing, I took a step forward and then another one, emerging from the narrow cave into a larger one, the ceiling so high that all I could see were shadows — that is, if I would look up.

I did not.

For the floor, the walls, my body, everything began to tremble as a deep, thundering roar shook the cave, so loud that it was deafening, the cacophony vibrating in my very bones.

A creature rose from the sea of fire before me, blocking my only path, its eye sockets empty and dark — they were infinite shadows in which I found nothing but emptiness and corruption.

It was a monster.

A devil.

A dragon.

Made of bones.

 

Well, I can imagine by now you are probably wondering: what is this? Is it a new story? Has this crazy author written YET ANOTHER new book?

Nope, I have not, sorry!

This simply is the introduction to my very first Halloweenish blog post of 2021, part one of “When I Used to Dream Nightmares🎃

 

Sometimes I get asked whether I find inspiration in my dreams, and although I sometimes actually do (but that’s for another future blog post), I must say that often my dreams are just plain weird, don’t make any sense, and really are actually pretty mundane.

But that hasn’t always been the case.

As a child, I went through a phase in which I often dreamed nightmares. I think I was about 5 or 6 years old. I had a few of them every week. I don’t remember for how long this went on, and most of the time the nightmares were different, except for this particular one which I kept dreaming for several times.

It was the nightmare of the Skeleton Dragon.

That’s how I came to call it, as this monster must have visited me at night at least three times. I can still remember it so vividly, and it’s exactly as I described it above; suddenly I found myself in a dark, burning cave, where I felt unsafe and simply knew something bad was going to happen. But I couldn’t go anywhere else, and all I could do was walk on.

Then, the dream ended with the dragon rising from the lava and towering over me, roaring and intimidating.

After that, I always woke up, and ran over to my parents’ bedroom.

 

Back then it seriously terrified me and I remember actually being afraid to go to sleep at night, scared for whatever I would dream, even though my parents kept telling me it was just a dream and that it could not hurt me. Yeah, well, what else could they say to me? They couldn’t just pluck this horror scenario out of my head.

Nowadays, however, I find myself intrigued by my dreams from back then. Especially since I was so young, and I don’t recall ever having seen a horror movie at that age (I think I was 9 years old when I saw my first really creepy one).

Although, I think I can see where this Skeleton Dragon nightmare came from: back then, I used to play this game for the Nintendo 64 (yep, I’m talking about the good old 90’s here!), called Yoshi’s Story. There was a particular level in which you had to find your way through a cave and battle against fire spewing bone dragons. And oh wow, how that level terrified me 😅

If you’d like, you can watch a part of it here:

 

To be honest, now I actually think the dragons look quite cute and not very scary at all, but bear in mind that I was no older than 6 years old back then, okay? My dad and sister used to play this level for me, because I wasn’t brave enough.

But after the nightmare kept recurring, one day I was simply sick of it — and so I turned on the N64, inserted the game, sat down, and forced myself to play through the level all on my own; and with that, somehow, I managed to shove my fears aside and before I knew it, I had defeated this terrible creature.

The nightmare never returned after that, not even once.

And that was a turning point for me: that is when my fascination for horror and scary things began.

So in the end, I am grateful for the nightmares I had as a kid, as they were actually filled with fantasy, and simply were a reflection of my wild imagination that was a bit too much to handle for me at first, but then became something I loved and began to feed by playing video games, watching movies, and reading books 🙂

Nightmares aren’t all bad. Some are, in hindsight, pretty awesome.

Or is that just my wicked mind talking?

 

🎃

 

All right, this is it for this week — later this month I will return with part two of “When I Used to Dream Nightmares“, as I’ll tell you guys about a whole other dream as well as the horror of suggestion… and how that often returns in my storytelling 😉

 

Happy Halloween everyone.

May your dreams be filled with lovely nightmares…

 

— Lynn

 

Don’t want to miss updates on my book releases? Then please subscribe to my blog (scroll all the way up, and you’ll find the subscribe button to your right. All you have to do is enter your email address, and then confirm your subscription).

or

If you’d like to stay updated and see more of what’s happening behind the scenes on a daily (hourly, even!) basis, please follow me on Instagram, Twitter and/or Facebook. I recommend Instagram for a steady amount of updates, since I’m sharing everything I’m working on in my stories; feel free to follow!

 

Thanks so much for subscribing and following ❤️

Posted by Lynn Robin in Lifestyle, 4 comments
it was a strange summer

it was a strange summer

Hey there, Sleepwalkers; Monster Kissers; Wild Strangers from the Sea,

It’s me again. I’m back!

As I do every summer, I took a break off writing full time during the months of July and August — meaning, I don’t edit any manuscript or worry about getting them ready for publication; meaning, I usually keep on writing, though more on a casual level, without thinking about all the official stuff that comes with it.

But… this year was different, for some reason.

 

 

Without me realizing, I had kind of worn myself down the months before my summer break, as I’d been writing, editing, planning relentlessly, running to try and catch up with all the tasks I had set out for myself. Somehow, I hadn’t noticed how tired I was — until I forced myself to slow down.

The last couple of months have been strangely lazy and messy at once for me. Lazy, because I just dropped everything after finishing the third book in The Sea of Her series around halfway July, since I just needed to catch my breath and had just had my first COVID vaccination, which affected me more than I expected…

…0r wanted to admit to myself.

Telling myself to stop being a wuss, I just started to run around again, expecting myself to pick up the pace a few days after getting vaccinated, doing workouts and other chores, ignoring how tired it made me feel.

Yeah, well… that was a bad idea. One of the worst I’ve ever had, actually.

To make a long story short (because, really, I have far more interesting stories to share which I’d rather spend thousands of words on 😉 ), I was forced to park my butt on the couch and stop being my disciplined self, because my health was seriously suffering from it and to be honest, that really freaked me out. I just felt so tired, guys, I didn’t feel like me at all!

Also, I had to face reality and finally admit that I was trying to do too much on my own regarding my writing, only to get frustrated with myself for not accomplishing all of the tasks I had set out for myself, simply because there’s only so many hours in a day. This is why I’ve finally accepted some more help to support me in this entire writing adventure of mine, meaning someone will start helping me from now on with tasks such as promoting and also growing my ARC team. (I’ll share some more details soon~)

No worries, I’ll still be present personally on social media and my blog — so, when you’re talking to me, you’ll truly be talking to ME, as always ❤️

 

Anyway, since August I’ve been fully vaccinated after getting my second jab (and I don’t know about you guys, but the side effects from the second one were pretty awful if you ask me, I felt like a zombie for DAYS), but the weeks after I’ve been recovering in sudden, rapid speed — also mentally.

You know what? I’m feeling pretty good now 🙂

I’ve started going for regular walks during the final week of my summer break, which was when summer made a sudden comeback and painted the sky blue and warmed the air. It felt so great to be outside, be in the sun, breathe in some fresh air that smelled like both summer and autumn. This week the weather hasn’t been so spectacular, but that’s fine; I’m simply glad that I feel strong again, not just in body but also in mind.

With this post, I just wanted to give you all an update; although my presence on social media has remained rather steady this summer, I did kind of slack off on this blog. But I’m telling you now that I am back, have sent the third manuscript of The Sea of Her out to my Editing Ninjas for the final round of revisions, and have begun working on the fourth book! 😀

I’m glad to be working again — I mean, playing video games all day is incredibly fun, but… actually doing something, creating something… to me, that’s what life is really about ❤️❤️ Happy to be back!

So, like I said, it was a strange summer. But you know what? I’m more than ready for a wacky autumn 😉

 

Well, that’s it for this week! I’ve got some fun blog posts planned for the next few months, which will be a bit more “upbeat” than this one. (Hopefully it hasn’t been too gloomy and angsty, haha)

How has your summer been? Are you ready for autumn? And, better yet, for Halloween?

(*whispers* And… is it REALLY too soon to start mentioning Christmas…?)

 

— Lynn

 

Don’t want to miss updates on my book releases? Then please subscribe to my blog (scroll all the way up, and you’ll find the subscribe button to your right. All you have to do is enter your email address, and then confirm your subscription).

or

If you’d like to stay updated and see more of what’s happening behind the scenes on a daily (hourly, even!) basis, please follow me on Instagram, Twitter and/or Facebook. I recommend Instagram for a steady amount of updates, since I’m sharing everything I’m working on in my stories; feel free to follow!

 

Thanks so much for subscribing and following ❤️

Posted by Lynn Robin in Lifestyle, 4 comments
The Magic of Going Off the Grid

The Magic of Going Off the Grid

• The Magic of Going Off the Grid •

 

Sometimes you just need a break.

 

Right?

 

Don’t get me wrong, I think the Internet is one of the best inventions ever made. Also, I enjoy social media and have mostly positive experiences with it. Then again, I like to share my words with the world. I like to share what I’m working on, daily.

 

But sometimes the endless chatter of other people, even when you can’t actually hear them, can be deafening. As you scroll through your feeds, you’re confronted with hundreds of opinions, so many different ways of thinking, so many eyes that perceive the world differently. And no matter how strongly you believe in your own opinions and perceptions, no matter that you’re absolutely certain about the road you’ve taken… all those voices still manage to find a way to creep into your mind.

 

And then the whispers begin. And soon those quiet voices turn to shouts and screams.

 

Before you know it, you start overthinking things way too much, you start to worry about other people’s thoughts, you start to imagine scenarios that haven’t even happened yet and probably never will… and then you feel tired. Burned out. And instead of seeking silence, which you actually long for, you return to those platforms again and again and soak up even more noise — only to fill your head with even louder shouts and screams.

 

Sounds familiar?

 

To me it certainly does.

 

I’ve had a crazy last couple of weeks. My summer holidays had started, but it didn’t really feel like it.

 

On my first holiday Monday I got my very first vaccination. The side-effects weren’t too bad. A sore arm for a couple of days, but mostly I just felt tired. I’d planned to, but didn’t write a single word, because I honestly couldn’t be bothered. Which was fine, right? Because it was the holidays.

 

Tell that to my brain: I just couldn’t fully rest, didn’t allow myself to, because I was still working on The Tide of Her, book 3 in The Sea of Her series. There was this constant voice in the back of my mind, nagging me to work on it, to just finish the manuscript…

 

So, I gave in to that voice in the second week of my holidays. And it felt great! I wrote chapter after chapter, everything was just flowing. And yet, at the start and at the end of every writing day, I felt utterly exhausted. First, I figured I was just tired from the creative process and needed a break.

 

Yet that wasn’t the case.

 

After a few days, I realized that besides writing, I was also furiously checking and updating my social media, while also constantly checking the number of downloads for The Sea of Her; the ebook edition has been available for free since the day of release, and it has been crazy. The book has already been downloaded far more times than I expected — which is awesome!

 

But, what happens in my mind, is this: I keep looking, daily, at the increasing downloads. Then, I start checking sites such as Amazon, Kobo, and Goodreads to see whether anyone has already read it and placed a review or left a rating. And even though The Sea of Her has already received several reviews, which have all blown my mind and I couldn’t be more grateful for, I start worrying about all those other people who have downloaded my book, are maybe reading it, and… Will they love it? Will they hate it?

 

That’s what was exhausting me. Not the writing. But really, worrying about how my writing could be perceived by others. Which is absolutely pointless, because it is out of my control, and every single book, every single author out there receives both good and bad responses. Because there are so many different people with different opinions and views, right?

 

Which is fine. That’s simply the way the world works.

 

Luckily, I realized this soon enough. I also realized that I am not writing for the people who possibly don’t like my books. I write for those who do love them and care as much about my characters as I do.

 

So, on Wednesday night I made a decision. I still had 5 chapters left to write for the manuscript, and I decided it was time to finish them all; to just sit down and finish the book. And to do so, without any distractions, without constantly reminding myself of all the different people and countless opinions out there, I had to go off the grid for a bit.

 

The next day, I immediately turned off my Wi-Fi, simply opened my manuscript, and began to write. It was just me and my story, just me and my characters, just me and the fictional world I have created.

 

It was awesome. It felt just like when I was still a teenager and simply wrote stories for myself (as I told about in my previous blog post). When I didn’t worry about other opinions. When I barely had any social media accounts. Long before I stepped into the world with my books, wanting to be seen, to be read.

 

Those five chapters practically wrote themselves, the words simply flowed, and I was so invested in my characters and world that I, just for a little while, forgot about everything else. When I finished the very final chapter, I swear my legs were actually shaking with the adrenaline of it (spoiler alert: the ending of The Sea of Her book 3 is INTENSE).

 

Writing like this again was such a wild ride, and I loved every minute of it. At the end of that day I went back online again, to celebrate finishing the book; that way I could still share the accomplishment with readers and fellow authors, but without all the unnecessary distractions.

 

Maybe this doesn’t sound all that special. I’m pretty sure that there are more people out there who go off the grid every once in a while, simply to catch their breath and distance themselves from all the noise. I actually used to do this more often, although this year, I actually can’t recall a single day that I haven’t shown up online.

 

Anyway, it was a valuable lesson for me, and I’ve decided to go off the grid during writing more often from now on, to treat myself to a bit of stillness, and to connect even deeper to the stories I want to tell — and then, yes, share with the world 😉

 

 

How about you? Are you constantly online, constantly wanting to share — or have you also experienced the magic of going off the grid every now and then? I’d love to hear about it, so please feel free to leave a comment down below ❤️

 

— Lynn

 

Don’t want to miss updates on my book releases? Then please subscribe to my blog (scroll all the way up, and you’ll find the subscribe button to your right. All you have to do is enter your email address, and then confirm your subscription).

or

If you’d like to stay updated and see more of what’s happening behind the scenes on a daily (hourly, even!) basis, please follow me on Instagram, Twitter and/or Facebook. I recommend Instagram for a steady amount of updates, since I’m sharing everything I’m working on in my stories; feel free to follow!

 

Thanks so much for subscribing and following ❤️

Posted by Lynn Robin in Lifestyle, 2 comments
A Little Bit About Me: When I Finished my Very First Manuscript

A Little Bit About Me: When I Finished my Very First Manuscript

Actually, a usual writing update was due for this week.

 

But in all honesty, I just don’t feel like writing one. At all.

 

Which is why today I’d like to talk about something different. I want to talk about June, the sixth month of the year, the start of summer; to be exact, I want to talk about the month of June 14 years ago, when I was a fourteen year-old-girl, a teenager who spent her free hours after school and homework drawing, playing video games… and writing stories.

 

I want to share a cherished memory with you all.

 

Let’s just begin by saying I never really liked school. The classrooms felt stuffy to me, stifling even, and although I’ve always been eager to learn new things, there were several classes that just felt like a waste of time to me, as I had to pour so much of myself into studying things I just knew I would never have any use for in the future.

 

So, whenever I could, I loved to escape to other worlds. Those created by others and brought to life in books, movies, and video games — but especially those I could make myself.

 

I had always liked writing. As soon as I’d learned how to read and write as a little kid, I began making up short stories, about a wizard who had lost his book of spells and needed the help of several witches to find it so he could use magic again, or even one about a sunflower with razor-sharp teeth who bit everyone who came too close, until a brave girl with a watering can gave him some water and calmed him down (yeah, my mind has always been a weird place).

 

However, as I grew older, I realized I wanted to write an entire book. Not just short stories of several pages. No. I wanted to do what all those amazing authors did, whose books and series could hold me spellbound for days, weeks, months, with intricate storylines that grew with each book and made me yearn for the next release.

 

But it was hard. Again and again, I started writing a book, only for my ideas to dry up after only a few chapters. I kept losing touch with my characters, didn’t know where to take the story, and so I kept giving up on a project only to dive into a new one a little while later… to end up with yet another unfinished manuscript.

 

It didn’t really bother me, though. After all, I was only a kid, and writing was just about having fun.

 

Yet something changed 14 years ago, during a rainy holiday in May. I was at home, the skies were gray, and it kind of put me in a melancholy mood. I just sat behind my computer, listening to my favorite anime and video game soundtracks… and there it was; a new story idea, unfurling in my brain. Characters whose voices were suddenly so clear.

 

I just started writing.

 

The story opened on a rainy night, and during this first chapter the main character — a guy with some made-up fantasy name which I may or may not use again in the future, because I still quite like it — was fighting for his life against an enemy who wanted him dead for some reason. Honestly, I don’t even remember why anymore. And maybe I didn’t even know it back then, but it just didn’t matter.

 

What mattered was that even after the holiday ended and I went back to school, I kept on writing. What mattered was that May turned to June and no matter how busy I was with homework, I kept finding moments of spare time to add chapter after chapter to this story. What mattered was that I didn’t lose touch with my characters and grew to love them deeply in just a matter of weeks.

 

What mattered was that I, later that month, finished it.

 

Finished my very first manuscript.

 

It was only 75 pages. It was mixture of several video games and anime shows I loved; you could definitely tell what had influenced me back then, and so maybe it wasn’t all that original. In truth, it was a mess; the writing was flawed, the storyline lacking. Actually, it felt more like a sequel to a book that had never been written, instead of the start of something new.

 

But it did not matter. It still doesn’t.

 

Because by finishing my very first manuscript, I tasted something that I wanted to know more of. By finishing it, I began writing more and more and slowly honed my skills as a writer. I finished my second manuscript in August that same year, during my summer holidays. My third, the next year.

 

And I’m sure that if I’d read those manuscripts now, I would cringe in agony because, really, those stories weren’t very good.

 

But like I said — it doesn’t matter.

 

Finishing those manuscripts have all brought me to where I am today: a published author with two complete series, and two more that are currently getting published.

 

I am so happy to be where I am today.

 

Which is why, whenever June comes around and I smell the familiar scents of this month, whenever it is gray and I smell the rain falling on warm earth, I find myself remembering how I wrote and finished my very first manuscript back in 2007, and how much the story meant to me afterwards and actually still does, as the characters are always in the back of my mind.

 

One day, I hope to rewrite this story. To turn it into the book, the series it was always supposed to be, but which I wasn’t ready to write back then, because I barely knew what the hell I was doing.

 

One day, I hope to reunite with those characters again and have you, my readers, meet them.

 

But whatever happens, I will forever have this memory, and it will always remind me why I fell in love with writing and why I’ll keep doing it for the rest of my life.

 

To tell the tales that are born in my mind.

To give life to all those characters, all those voices I really want to be heard.

To share worlds with other people for them to escape to, if only for just a little while, just like other authors and creators have always done and still do for me.

 

Thank you for reading this, especially if you’ve made it all the way here! I just didn’t feel like summarizing my weeks — maybe I’m in a melancholy mood, or maybe I just wanted to try something new for this blog, but I simply wanted to share something about myself, something that felt a bit more personal.

 

Please feel free to let me know whether you enjoyed it; if so, I might write more blog posts like this, because I realize I have a lot more to tell 🙂 Also, if you’d like to know more about something, or would like me to get into more details, just leave a comment below!

 

Well. This is it for today ❤️

 

Warm wishes,

Lynn

Posted by Lynn Robin in Lifestyle, 6 comments
Happy Birthday to Me: A free KISSING MONSTERS gift

Happy Birthday to Me: A free KISSING MONSTERS gift

Hi everyone!!

Today I am celebrating my 28th birthday (yay!), and although I know it’s me who’s supposed to receive gifts, I felt like giving something back as well this year 🙂

Which is…:

 

• KISSING MONSTERS: a FREE Kindle download on Amazon for a limited time!

Starting today, KISSING MONSTERS will be available as a FREE download on Amazon until September 12th!

You can find it here.

I’m aware that most who follow my blog already own a copy of KISSING MONSTERS — but if you know someone who’d like it, please share this with them so they can download the book for free before the offer expires after September 12th ❤️ Thank you!

 

• Now back to celebrations…

Of course, I’ve received some wonderful gifts myself from my family today 😀 Lots of books I am DYING to read (check out my Instagram story for a peek!) and even a video game called Story of Seasons: Friends of Mineral Town for the Nintendo Switch! I know, I know, it looks all very cute and bubbly (which it totally is); although the books I write have pretty dark themes, in all honesty I’m a sucker for those chibi-style, brightly colored video games such as the farming titles of Harvest Moon and Story of Seasons. I’ll be having loads of fun with this one, especially because I used to play the original version for the GBA when I was a twelve year old kid 😉 NOSTALGIA TO THE MAX.

 

Okay, I’ll keep this post short and sweet so we can all go on with our day! Please, if you can, share the news about KISSING MONSTERS with anyone who might be interested, and, of course, have a lovely day yourself!

— Lynn ❤️

Posted by Lynn Robin in Kissing Monsters, Lifestyle, 6 comments
5 Tips & Tricks for a high-productivity-healthy-indoors-lifestyle from a YA Fantasy Romance Author

5 Tips & Tricks for a high-productivity-healthy-indoors-lifestyle from a YA Fantasy Romance Author

Hey there!

Last month I posted April’s Writing Update, in which I told you about the changes and improvements I made to my lifestyle — being an author, I’m already used to living indoors… and yet, our current world has forced me to make some changes in order for me to stay healthy, fit, but also productive creatively.

I’d been thinking about sharing my tips and tricks for several weeks now, but wasn’t sure whether I should; I had already seen many similar posts pop up all over the internet, and wasn’t entirely convinced that I could add something new to that.

However, I decided to run a poll in my Instagram story to ask you, my readers, this very question — and, well, after I got a 100% “yes” from several votes, I figured there are people interested out there after all 😉

So — are you ready? In this post I’m going to talk about schedules (nothing neurotic, promise), at home workouts, things that can motivate you and improve your mood, AND, especially, how to maintain a high-productivity.

Let’s go! ❤️

 

• Indoors High-productivity TIP #1: Schedule your day

To be honest, this is still pretty new to me. Usually I’m not one for living by schedules. I think it actually sounds rather neurotic. AND YET. Because I wanted to keep my productivity high while writing one book and editing another one simultaneously, I decided to give it a try.

Turns out I’m loving it! Besides all-things-bookish, I have also started scheduling my at home workouts. I used to go out for runs and walks (mostly in the mornings), but ever since I can’t anymore, I caught myself slacking off a bit. I still did my indoor workouts in the evenings (I already did those before all this), but my “daylight training” (for a lack of a better description) was kind of non-existent… and I didn’t like that, because my health is important to me, and I actually LOVE working out.

On top of that, I always notice that working out regularly not only makes me stronger physically but mentally as well; it makes me feel fit and alert and focused, which increases my productivity in, yes, writing! (Or any other [creative] profession or hobby you do)

To give you an idea, here’s how such a schedule looks like for, let’s say, a Monday:

 

• MORNING

— house chores

— edit 15 pages of manuscript

— BREAK: social media check/replying to messages/post something new

— edit 15 pages of manuscript

• AFTERNOON

— write on new manuscript

• EVENING

— make dinner

— 15 minute meditation

 

And here’s a random Tuesday’s:

MORNING

— edit 15 pages of manuscript

— WORKOUT: 30 minute HIIT

— edit 15 pages of manuscript

— write blog post

AFTERNOON

— write on new manuscript

EVENING

— WORKOUT: 50 minute cardio kickboxing + strength training

 

Every day is different, so it’s okay to mix it up a bit and make different schedules for each and every day of the week. As you can see, however, I tend to do my editing in the mornings and my writing in the afternoons. This is because A) I’m more focused earlier in the day, and B) writing is more fun for me, so I have something to look forward to later that day 😉

 

• Indoors High-productivity TIP #1.5: Making a schedule

The first thing you need to figure out is what you want to get done that day. Be realistic, though — don’t plan too much, or you’ll only put yourself under an immense amount of pressure that won’t make you or anyone around you happy.

Try to estimate how much time you need for a certain task. An hour? Several? The entire morning or afternoon?

Once you’ve figured that out, try dividing it into three parts; morning, afternoon, and evening. Of course, you could also consider making some kind of time table — for me, however, that’s a little bit too much. I don’t mind putting some pressure on myself (in fact, that only stimulates me to work harder and get more results in a short amount of time), but to feel like I’m racing against time and having to keep an eye on the clock while working, isn’t really the most relaxed atmosphere to me. BUT: in the end, it’s all up to you as an individual. Find what works best for you ❤️

It’s better to schedule too little for your day rather than too much; that way, you get to have this feeling of accomplishment because you’re able to check off all of those boxes, and maybe even get some extra work done. That feels a whole lot better than ending up with unchecked boxes and feeling like you haven’t done enough, right?

 

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• Indoors High-productivity TIP #2: Keep your energy level high — at home workouts

I love writing. I also love to write A LOT — as much as I can each and every day. I love being able to finish not one, not two, but even three chapters a day. It helps me stay in my story’s flow and it keeps the creative process fun.

In order to keep that up, however, I’ve found out some time ago that you need to do some things to keep your energy level high. One of those things is being fit yourself. I’m not saying you need to be some kind of athlete, but science has proven multiple times that exercise helps reducing stress. And what does stress do for you? Absolutely nothing, except making you feel like crap and low on energy.

To get a good workout you don’t need to go to a gym and be surrounded by dozens of sweaty, red-faced people (during these times that’s a bit of a horror scenario, isn’t it?). Actually, you don’t even need to go outside.

Really, you can do it all at home. Don’t worry if you don’t have any fancy equipment; cardio and body-weight workouts, for example, don’t require any equipment at all.

My go-to YouTube channel for this is FitnessBlender. I am a HUGE fan of this channel. It’s run by the couple Kelli and Daniel, and I believe they have 600+ different workouts, as well as warming up and cool down exercises. During the videos, they give many tips for each and every exercise, explaining what to do, and what NOT to do to prevent injury.

One of my favorite no-equipment workouts is most certainly this one:

 

I know, this is a rather intense workout — but no fear! If you’re not used to working out or just don’t feel like jumping around the room for 50 minutes, there are also some neat low impact workouts out there.

This is a fun one and a great workout (you don’t need to bounce around to get some decent exercise; this works just as well):

 

 

If, for whatever reason, you absolutely HATE fitness workouts, there’s always yoga to consider! It’s another great way to stay healthy and keep the energy flowing — I actually love using it as a mid-morning break in between editing manuscripts.

My all-time favorite yoga YouTube channel is most definitely Yoga With Adriene:

 

 

This is a video I especially love — it’s called “detox flow”, but it’s actually not just a detox for the body, but for the mind as well. When I feel like too many thoughts and ideas are crowding my head, this is my go-to video 🙂

Or have you ever considered pilates? (Which is my latest fascination):

 

 

Or perhaps tai chi?

 

• Indoors High-productivity TIP #3: Healthy mind; happy mind

Even if you’re living indoors where there’s little influence from the outside world and even if you don’t have a lot of contact with other people, sometimes your mind can still take a wrong turn and drag you down a road of darkness filled with hungry demons eagerly waiting to tear your heart out.

Okay, so maybe that sounds a bit dramatic, but it CAN feel like that. We all know mood swings. We all know depression, even if it’s only a tiny little bit. The advice you normally get whenever that hits you, is to go outside; take a walk; breathe in some fresh air.

But what if you can’t go outside?

Well, I believe meditation can be a solution — sometimes all you need is to be still for a bit, to reorganize your thoughts, open the drains and let the dirt out, and do some breathing exercises.

Meditation is also great when you’re feeling happy and you’re in a good place, of course! Personally, I’m doing absolutely awesome lately, yet I still like to practice meditation from time to time because I like the sense of calmness it gives me (especially because my brain has gone into overdrive and I have too many new book ideas floating around).

I gotta be honest, I’ve just started doing meditation a bit more seriously since this year, and that’s why I really like guided meditations — you know, in which you’re reminded to not let your brain go monkey-mind on you while you’re actually supposed to empty it.

For that, I turn to Yoga With Adriene once more! This is a video I quite like (it’s a recent one, actually):

 

Other ways I sometimes use to clear my mind is to simply listen to some music (can be anything), read a book, play a video game, draw something. You just need to find what works best for you at that moment, until you’re feeling grounded and balanced again.

 

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• Indoors High-productivity TIP #4: Stay motivated; remember WHY

This, of course, is an important one.

To me writing is my absolute passion, so I actually don’t need much to stay motivated and keep on doing it — the fresh ideas my mind comes up with constantly are doing a fine job. Next to that, I don’t find it too difficult to stay motivated for my workout routines, because I enjoy them.

I guess that’s the trick to staying motivated for whatever it is you’re doing: simply loving it.

Of course, other people can help inspire you. To me, there are many people in this world who inspire me on a daily basis. One of them, again, is Yoga With Adriene. (I swear I’ve not been hired to advertise her, lol.) The reason she inspires me, however, is her honest, positive attitude; she practically seems to exude happiness, and I guess that’s why she’s so popular. Everyone likes and is attracted to positivity — negativity only drags you down. Her way of living has inspired me and reminds me often to see the good in things, even in the bad, and to be grateful for everything I have rather than be frustrated with the things I don’t have (yet).

This is just one example — there are many more people who I find an inspiration, like some of my fellow indie authors who have published over a 100 books, have an amazing fanbase, and make other people happy with their stories on a daily basis. Seeing and reading about those things motivate me immensely; it literally sends my heart racing, and gives me a boost and the courage to chase my dreams as an author.

However… while others can inspire you, the BEST way to stay truly motivated for whatever you’re working on every single day (while at home and indoors), I believe that your true motivation and inspiration has to come from yourself.

Huh, what?

Yes.

All you have to do is remember WHY.

Why are you doing this? Why have you begun working toward your goal? Why have you decided to start chasing your dreams?

That answer alone should be enough to keep your fire burning — and stay productive 😉

 

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• Indoors High-productivity TIP #5: Give yourself a break

We’ve reached the final tip, which is going to be a very short, very simple one:

While being indoors all (or at least most of) the time, it can be very tempting to keep going constantly. To keep up the productivity. To not stop working, because home is where the work is happening, and you have to keep on going—

Well, yeah, to achieve your goals, working hard is important. But to keep up your productivity and to stay healthy — physically and mentally — sometimes you need to give yourself a break.

Some days you have to tell your schedules to go to hell. Some days you have to allow yourself to slump down on the couch and read a book, play a video game, or watch a movie or series.

And that’s okay.

It took me a while to realize this. The first few years of my author-life I kept on going 24/7, and felt bad and even guilty whenever I took a bit of time off, feeling like I wasn’t doing enough to achieve my goals, like I was wasting my time. That’s why I even had a hard time doing regular workouts, because as long as something didn’t have anything to do with my writing, it felt like a waste of time.

The thing is, though — it isn’t.

Because you only live this life once and you’re allowed to have fun with things that don’t have anything to do with your passions or dreams. Because working out doesn’t merely make me stronger physically, but mentally as well, which also makes me a better writer, because it makes my mind clear, which helps me work faster.

Give yourself a break sometimes. Allow yourself some rest. You’re not a machine — no matter how productive you wish to be, you’re still just a person, and some days you’ll feel better or stronger than others. And that’s totally cool 🙂

 


 

All right! With this, we have reached this very lengthy blog post, in which I’ve explained my top 5 tips and tricks for a high-productivity-healthy-indoors-lifestyle.

Of course, everyone is different. What works well for me, might not work at all for you. Still, I hope you may be able to get something out of my tips, or at least got inspired to improve your own way of living.

Or perhaps it’s already totally awesome and you don’t need to change a thing. In that case — keep it up! 😉

I hope you guys enjoyed reading this! Tell me, have some of my tips inspired you? Or do you have a trick of your own that works well? Feel free to leave a message! Red heart Also, if you think a friend might benefit from this post, please share~!

 

BE CREEPY. STAY FREAKY.

— Lynn

 

PS. Just to be clear — although I stated that you don’t even need to go outdoors to get some healthy exercise done, I didn’t mean that you shouldn’t ever go outside. After all, in normal circumstances, being outdoors is good for your health as we all need sunlight and vitamins. So, as soon as it’s safe to venture out again… please do 😉

 

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Posted by Lynn Robin in Lifestyle, 2 comments