quarantine living

Reflecting on 2020 — a year of love and monsters

Reflecting on 2020 — a year of love and monsters

And here we are: at the end of 2020.

What a year this has been.

When I wrote the blog post in which I looked back at 2019 last year, I finished the article saying how excited I was for 2020 and that it would be a year full of new releases and adventures.

How right I was.

Okay, things didn’t go exactly as I’d thought — this year has been weird, to say the least, and yet, in a way, it went so much better than I could have expected or dreamed ❤️

Shall we dive in?

 

• January: Editing & Exploring the Insomnia Saga … & Yoga

Ah, January. When all was still normal. You still remember what it was like?

All right, all drama aside, this was a busy month that — when I think back on it now — actually passed me by in a rush. The holidays were over, and so it was time to get back to work. My editing-fairies and I worked on the final round of revisions for INSOMNIA‘s manuscript.

Meanwhile, I wrote a third short story for The Insomnia Files, in which I brought Alain Somnus and his friends to life; I absolutely loved working on this; diving deeper into the history of the Insomnia Saga, fleshing out the world-building… It was fun!

Also, ideas for a certain story regarding monsters and a girl named Kiss began to grow…

Apart from writing, I had also decided I wanted 2020 to be a year in which I changed my way of living, my view on life, my daily habits, etc., which is why — for the first time ever since I picked up yoga in 2014 — I had signed up for Yoga With Adriene‘s 30 day yoga journey of January on YouTube. I’m still glad I did that, because I can still tell I have learned things from that month that still serve me now 🙂 It also helped me become even more focused, which only improved my working-speed.

 


• February: INSOMNIA & KISSING MONSTERS

In February I was finally able to release INSOMNIA, the first book in the Insomnia Saga, and the launch of my English/international writing career. The day of release was something I had been looking forward to for months, and it was absolutely amazing, as I got some very supportive messages from both readers and fellow writers who were just as excited to meet Jodi and Kay — or to reunite with them, as some of them had also read the Dutch edition published in 2018.

That was February 11th. On February 14th, however, I released a second book, a novella this time — and a rather romantic one at that 😉

 

 

I’d begun working on the KISSING MONSTERS manuscript at the start of February, amidst the preparations for INSOMNIA‘s release, and it was a bit of a race against the clock to get it finished and properly edited before Valentine’s Day… but I made it (only because it’s a short read, really) and I honestly had a hard time deciding on which book release I was proudest that week 😀

With writing KISSING MONSTERS, however, I suddenly discovered a deep love for writing romance… and I was intrigued.

During the final weeks of February, I wrote The Nocturne Files, the second Insomnia Saga short story collection to be released later that year, all the while thinking of other stories I could write… You know. More romantic ones.

 


• March: Enter the Madness

And then came March.

During the months before we’d all heard the news about this virus spreading in distant countries, but within mere weeks it came closer and then arrived at everybody’s doorstep.

What. The. Hell.

The Netherlands (where I live) went into lockdown and so did many other countries, and everybody, all over the world, was anxious or angry or lost. Suddenly the world was forced to slow down, suddenly the streets were eerily silent, and everybody was waiting for it to be over. During the first week, I must admit I struggled with a bit of anxiety as well, having a hard time focusing on my work and feeling like I’d just entered a parallel universe… or the set of some kind of failed zombie movie.

Luckily I had decided to write a sequel to KISSING MONSTERS, entitled KISSING SHADOWS, which kind of pulled me through the weirdness, and, in the end, helped distracting me. Maybe it’s strange, but my inspiration kept on flowing, and before I knew it, I’d decided to turn the Kissing Monsters books into an entire series, deciding to focus on creativity instead of the virus, and make the best of my brand new quarantine life.

 


• April: The Insomnia Files & Writing ORIGINS & new daily life routines

I slowly became aware of the fact that the virus was here to stay, so I kept focusing on my work and published The Insomnia Files, the first short story collection within the Insomnia Saga and also my very first short story collection in general, which felt pretty awesome 😉

My writing flow still knew no limits, and so I began working on ORIGINS (Insomnia Saga 3) — and whoa, writing that manuscript was a rush. My working speed was off the charts, especially because my focus was almost inhuman (no, really) AND I found a new writing technique which I’ve been using ever since: I stopped rereading every single chapter I’d written. I simply wrote on and on, until a part of the book was finished, and only then did I backtrack and quick-edit the chapters, after which I swiftly moved on.

I swear, it felt like magic.

Next to that, I also made some changes to my daily life. As I couldn’t go out for my runs anymore (which was a bummer, but hey, I’d rather keep my family and myself healthy and virus-free, thank you very much), I began working out at home on a pretty strict schedule. I’d already been doing at home fitness workouts for years, but only in the evenings, and now I started doing them in the mornings too, to make up for the runs I was missing out on. Funny thing is, I almost started to feel healthier than I did before 😛

 


• May: Finished ORIGINS & Still the Inspiration Did Not Stop

I felt like I was half-possessed, or something. Not being able to go out gave me so much more time to write and so much less distraction, that I just threw myself on my writing. So even after I finished the manuscript of ORIGINS, I barely stopped to take a break but instead started writing plot outlines for various projects…

 


• June: NOCTURNE & back to the world of Kiss and Zane

In fact, at the start of June I had written 4 (FOUR) plot outlines for different projects; The Origins Files, the third Kissing Monsters book, and two entirely other and unrelated book series.

At the end of the month, I was excited for the release of NOCTURNE, the second full-length installment of the Insomnia Saga; I had done so many attempts at writing this book (also in Dutch in 2018), that I was actually relieved to finally see it hit the (digital) book shelves 😉

During the last week — during a heatwave, I might add! — I wrote KISSING SCARLET (Kissing Monsters 3) while editing book 2 for its release in August; finally, the Kissing Monsters series was on its way to publication…

 


• July: Summer holidays… relaxation? Explain that to my mind

Usually, it’s my “ritual”, so to speak, to take July and August off from work, to catch my breath and recharge.

The thing is, however, despite all the work I’d already done the months before, I didn’t feel like I needed a break at all. I just wanted to keep on going… which is what I did, although at a slower pace because I allowed myself more time to read and play video games. In July I outlined and then wrote KISSING GHOSTS, the fourth Kissing Monsters book… and by the end of the month, I was already working on the plot outline for book 5. Honestly. I was unstoppable.

And it actually felt pretty awesome.

 


• August: KISSING SHADOWS & A Spiritual Heatwave (for real)

Although still willing to go on and keep the flow going, in August I was forced to slow down when a pretty intense heatwave wrapped almost the whole of Europe in a suffocating hug. (Huh. That’s a poetic way of putting it.)

I’m not sure, I think it went on for over a week? In any case, it kind of turned my brain to mush and having a laptop on my lap wasn’t very comfortable (trust me, I DID try), so I spent my days drawing and crafting a bit, while also reading quite a lot~ It was fun, and while I kept brainstorming for the Kissing Monsters series, it also gave me some time to focus on other things.

As fitness workouts were out of the question, I did daily Tai Chi instead, which brought me to articles while browsing the internet concerning meditation, the Law of Attraction, and all those things related to each other. I definitely got intrigued by this other way of living and viewing life, and had always wanted to try meditation for real (not just the occasional attempt I’d made the years before). I never did, though, because “I never had the time”.

Well, the thing is, you just have to make time. And during a heatwave you’ve got plenty of that.

(Ever since that heatwave I’ve been meditating daily for 10 – 20 minutes, and have never skipped a day! I’m loving it ❤️)

During all this, I was also stoked to finally release KISSING SHADOWS, the sequel to KISSING MONSTERS, happy to share the continuation of Kiss and Zane’s love story with the world 🙂

After the heatwave, I wrote KISSING NIGHTMARES and finished it within a week~

 


• September: KISSING SCARLET & Back to work full-time

September came. Summer and autumn fought for a place, and I often took my editing and writing work outside to the balcony to enjoy the final days of warmth.

While editing releases for September as well as October, I worked on the manuscript for KISSING FLAMES, the 6th book in the Kissing Monsters series. It actually took me some time to get used to the busier rhythm of things again, but once I did, the flow returned and I fairly quickly finished the manuscript 🙂

At the end of the month, I celebrated the release of KISSING SCARLET, book 3!

 


• October: The Nocturne Files & my first KM reviews

In October things began to change.

For the better, that is.

I received my very first reviews for the Kissing Monsters series from readers… all over the world.

And WOW. Every single one of them simply blew my mind (they still do, actually); I never dared to expect that readers would fall in love with Kiss and Zane with the same amount of passion I’ve done, but that is exactly what happened, and I honestly don’t have the words to describe how grateful I am for the warm welcome that readers have given me and my story about monsters, angels and Gifted Ones ❤️ The reviews I have received truly are an author’s dream.

These developments really encouraged me in my writing and I didn’t think it was possible, but ever since I’ve been working on my books with even more gusto than I did before 😉 In October I wrote the 7th book, KISSING SECRETS, while also preparing the book releases of The Nocturne Files (Insomnia Saga #2.5) and KISSING GHOSTS (Kissing Monsters #4), designing the books, etc. It was really busy, but incredibly fun to be working on — especially now I knew even more readers than before were waiting for my stories 😀

In the final week of October I released the second short story collection in the Insomnia Saga, The Nocturne Files! I’m still really happy with how the paperback edition turned out~

 


• November: KISSING GHOSTS & passionate monsters & more reviews

The magic didn’t stop after October; in November the Kissing Monsters books kept receiving wonderful reviews, which made me pinch myself several times just to check I wasn’t dreaming~

It was also time for me to start working on the 8th installment, entitled KISSING PASSION. I think I wrote it in about… 3 weeks? I’m not even sure anymore; writing it was like a blur of excitement and emotion, because this installment is the grand finale to the story arc. It was so intense to work on, and I loved every single minute of it (even when I decided to rewrite that scene, and oh, that scene too, and so on; I’m incredibly critical on my work lately!! Guess that’s a good thing, though, right?).

About halfway through November I released KISSING GHOSTS (Kissing Monsters #4), which had already received some pre-publication reviews from my brand new ARC team, making the release day even more fun 😉

In the last week, my book designer and I also made the ebooks for KISSING NIGHTMARES (#5) and KISSING FLAMES (#6), preparing them for their December and January releases.

 


• December: KM Collection & KISSING NIGHTMARES & a secret “witchy” project

In December it was high time to slow down a bit. My editing team and I had finished the final revisions of the year in November, so I took my chance in December for some (mostly) uninterrupted writing time! ❤️ This is how I began working on a project for which I’d already written the plot outline back in May. It was actually supposed to be a stand-alone book… but after a week of working on it and falling in love with the world and characters (happens to me a lot, it seems… 😛 ), I decided to turn it into a series anyway.

Because, why the hell not.

It’s a story filled with witchcraft, magical spiders, and broody romance — I know, sounds more like a project for Halloween, but trust me, it worked just fine to be writing it surrounded by the Christmas lights in the room 😉

 

This month I had not just one, but two releases! First of all the Kissing Monsters Collection #1, released in both ebook and paperback edition, which includes books 1 to 4 from the Kissing Monsters series ❤️ The second was KISSING NIGHTMARES, the fifth installment… and that concludes my publications of 2020 🙂

 

 

And that’s it. My personal 2020 in a nutshell.

This year has been absolutely crazy. Many things have changed because of the pandemic, many people have grown restless, while others put their extra time to good use by creating beautiful things. I’m happy to belong to the latter, and, well… although 2020 hasn’t been exactly ideal, so to say, I honestly can’t say it has been a bad year for me.

It’s actually been pretty awesome.

I think I’ve never written this much in a year before as I did in 2020, and I certainly never published this many books in 12 months; this year I have released 10 works. Ten. I’m amazed just thinking about it, and I actually feel kinda proud too… 🙂

Also, 2020 has taught me to start thinking and living in a new, better way, focusing even more on positivity and learning how much of that energy can actually be “controlled” by a person. I’m not trying to go all Star Wars on you guys (however, “may the force BE with you”, though, really), but I have truly discovered that your mind and so your thoughts could very well be the most powerful tool a person has in life. Good thoughts and being grateful for even the smallest things in your everyday life really can change your entire world and bring your dreams to life.

So, here’s to 2021; I’m not expecting things to go back to “normal” again, yet I’m ready to dive into this year. No matter what, I’m going to make another great year of it, keep the inspiration flow going strong, publish lots of new releases, stick to my daily meditation and hone my positive-thinking skills… and meet many more readers, writers, great people whom I can share this with 😀

Are you ready for 2021?

Thank you so much for reading this very lengthy blog post; I hope you enjoyed it!

And, last but not least… HAPPY NEW YEAR!! I wish all of you the very best ❤️❤️❤️

 

— 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).

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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 News, 4 comments
DECEMBER 2020 Writing Update #2: Google Play Witchcraft

DECEMBER 2020 Writing Update #2: Google Play Witchcraft

He’s not just handsome. He’s striking in a way that causes a heart to trip and a breath to catch.

    Alice never realized before that beauty could be threatening.

    Until now.

— quote from secret project —

 

Well, this update sure starts out rather mysterious, huh? Suddenly Google Play has been linked to witchcraft, and I’m sharing quotes from a “secret project”…

If I still haven’t grabbed your attention by now, I’m not sure anymore what else to to 😉

 

• All of my ebooks are now also available on Google Play

They are!! I’m pretty excited about this, because I noticed there is quiet a number of people who buy their ebooks on Google Play instead of Amazon or Kobo — and since I want my books to be available for as many readers as possible, worldwide, this feels like a rather important step 🙂

So, if you’re interested, you can check out my catalogue here.

But… what does Google Play have to do with witchcraft?

Absolutely nothing.

But read on for a witchy update…

 

• Secret Project

As I said in my first Writing Update of December, I’ve started working on a fun side project this month, just to get my mind off the Kissing Monsters series and the Insomnia Saga for a bit. Without giving much away of the story (we’re speaking early phases here, so I really can’t share the plot with you guys yet; I’m so sorry!!), it has elements such as witchcraft, magical — but poisonous — spiders, and an intense and broody romance (the guy’s name is Dante. Need I say more?).

However, a week ago I still believed it would be a stand-alone book.

That changed drastically last weekend.

I don’t know anymore why I even bother to try and write stand-alones; I seem to be incapable of it. I wrote the plot outline for this book about 6 months ago, during the summer, and then it felt to me the story would make a solid read. And it probably would have, but… as I began working on the manuscript last week, I started seeing all these opportunities to flesh out the characters, to improve the world-building, that would make the story so much deeper and more meaningful… Also, I’ve totally fallen in love with the main characters, Alice and Dante. They’re so different from Kiss and Zane, for example, yet to me their connection feels just as strong ♥️

All of this made me decide to turn it into a series after all.

At the moment I’m thinking it will be a 4-part series, every installment slightly longer than a Kissing Monsters book — the plan is between 150 – 180 pages.

SO. This means 1) I am giving up on stand-alones, because apparently I am a pathological series writer or something (is that a thing?), 2) I’m currently working on a THIRD series… I must be mad. I mean, I’m not even sure yet how I’m going to be working on three series at once, but, uhm… yeah. I’ll probably make it work, knowing me. Because I’m utterly mad. (But glad to be 😀 )

 

As for non-writing daily life updates…:

 

• Lockdown

The Netherlands officially went into lockdown yesterday, and today all schools that were still open have closed. I remember when this happened the first time in March, I felt terribly restless and anxious. I actually feel nothing of that now. Maybe I’m just kind of used to the thought that things are no longer the same?

In all honesty, it really doesn’t make a difference for me. I’ve been in preventive quarantine for nine months now — to protect my family and myself —, meaning I have been living inside constantly. I haven’t gone out once (okay, apart from a bike ride and a short walk). I see others complain on Facebook and Twitter that they can’t go anywhere, and that their inspiration for creative endeavors is blocked because they can’t go out and get a cup of coffee… and it’s just so strange to me. Sure, I do miss going out for my runs and walks, and I really enjoyed visiting my city’s botanical gardens and I loved going to the cinema, but to me it doesn’t feel like the end of the world if I can’t do it anymore.

Don’t get me wrong, I am looking forward to when things will settle down a bit and I can at least go for a run (I miss those terribly), but I’ve always loved being at home ♥️

I hope, if you’re also living in quarantine and/or your country has gone into lockdown, that you’re doing well and still enjoying life 😉 Stay healthy, stay safe!!

 

This wraps up the second December update! I’ll be back later this month with the release of KISSING NIGHTMARES (next week!!) as well as the annual blog post some of you are already familiar with, in which I look back and reflect at the past year 🙂 Hope to see you there!

 

— 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 Writing Updates, 6 comments
JULY 2020 Writing Update: Strange Summer Holidays Part 1 + Kissing Lots of Monsters

JULY 2020 Writing Update: Strange Summer Holidays Part 1 + Kissing Lots of Monsters

July was my first “summer holiday” month, and, well… things were a bit different than usual.

Normally I’d go out, visit my city’s botanical gardens a few times, maybe go to a museum, the cinema, or to the nearby park where I’d sit down in the grass with a book and a snack to eat. Not all that exciting, I know, but those activities are what make the summer feel like summer to me.

Yet with the world’s current circumstances, things are bound to be different this year. I’m indoors all the time—really, the balcony is starting to feel exotic—, which actually makes it harder for me to break with my usual routines and work. Next to that, my inspiration keeps on flowing (I don’t think it has even stopped for a day this year; no writers block for me) and new book series ideas keep rushing into my head.

But do I mind? Let’s find out…

 

• Writing: KISSING GHOSTS

Let’s face it, writing my books doesn’t feel like “work” to me at all. I just love it, the entire process is somehow addictive to me—drafting the plot outline, then writing the chapters in detail and seeing the scenes and characters come to life… It’s awesome ❤️

So I guess it’s no surprise I simply resumed writing this month. As the title suggests, I continued working on the Kissing Monsters series, and so I’ve written book 4, KISSING GHOSTS.

Since book 2 still has to be released, I can’t tell you guys anything about it, but let’s just say that book 4 was exciting to write! 😉 There were some developments in the story that even managed to surprise me (HENCE THE MAGIC OF THE WRITING PROCESS!!), and the story line allowed me to discover even more of the world I’ve created for the series. Also, Kiss’s character makes a massive development that will influence the rest of the books, making me excited to find out what more I’ll also discover about Zane and the other characters 😀

I can’t say too much yet, but you can expect the release of KISSING GHOSTS somewhere near the end of 2020… ?

 

• New book trailer premiere: KISSING MONSTERS

Yes! Indeed! Yesterday the official book trailer for KISSING MONSTERS finally went online, kick-starting the continuation of the series.

Honestly, as the author, just watching the trailer makes my heart pound:

 

 

More Kissing Monsters trailers will be published alongside the future book releases, so stay tuned! If you’d like, please subscribe to my YouTube channel if you haven’t already so you won’t miss a single trailer~

 

• Writing some more: KISSING NIGHTMARES

After finishing book 4, it’s hard for me to stop. My mind already started shifting the puzzle pieces for the next book into place and I actually finished the plot outline for KISSING NIGHTMARES, book 5, a couple of days ago. I began writing the actual manuscript yesterday!

It’s going well, and I’m actually wondering how soon I’ll be finishing this series, since it’ll be 8 books in total…

Well, you do the math 😉

 

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• And… relaxation?

To be honest, writing could very well be the ultimate form of relaxation to me (lol), but yes, since it’s the summer holidays, I have also given myself some time to do other things.

For example, I’ve been binge-reading for a bit! I actually feel like I haven’t read enough at all this year, too busy with writing books instead, and I really started to miss it. So, on that note, I sat down last week and read for three full days—I was reading House of Earth and Blood by Sarah J. Maas, which is the first book in her brand-new adult fantasy Crescent City series, and it was AMAZING.

Currently I’m reading Wicked Saints by Emily A. Duncan, which I’m also enjoying immensely. It’s a relief, really, to be able to read for long periods of time again. This way it takes me no longer than a week to read a book, instead of three 😉

To share my love for reading, I’ve started a new photo series online (on Instagram, for example~) called “Lynn’s Reading Corner”, in which I share my current reads. I’m actually working to add more of a personal touch to my social media appearance. which I hope you can appreciate 🙂 Just so, you know, you get more of an idea of “the person behind the author”. Even though most of my life revolves around my writing, I do have other activities 😛

Also, I’ve been playing some video games—at the start of July I ordered Pokémon Shield for the Switch (twenty years later and the games still manage to steal my heart; they’re SO much fun ❤️), and a couple of weeks ago my dad actually bought Ghost of Tsushima, which we’ve been playing together ever since; the graphics are amazing and the gameplay is really great; the combat dynamics are so smooth and effective. Loving it 😀

Meanwhile, I keep getting new ideas. I actually have 9 different book series I want to work on. Two of them are the Kissing Monsters series and the Insomnia Saga, so at least I’m working on some of them, but it’s a struggle not to give in and take on another project! x”D COME ON, LYNN. CONTROL YOURSELF.

 

Well, this writing update has become longer than I expected! Guess I had more to tell you guys than I initially thought.

The summer is strange, though not necessarily bad; I’m genuinely enjoying the things I can do while living in preventive quarantine… and hey, all this actually gives me more time to write, which I consider a very good thing for my mental health, because I have so many ideas my head feels like on the verge of exploding some days 😛 (Let’s hope it won’t, though.)

What is your summer like?

 

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COMING UP NEXT MONTH: On August 18th we’ll be celebrating the release of KISSING SHADOWS, the sequel to KISSING MONSTERS! It won’t be long now… 😀

— 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!

Posted by Lynn Robin in Writing Updates, 6 comments
MAY 2020 Writing Update: the ORIGINS of awesome writing

MAY 2020 Writing Update: the ORIGINS of awesome writing

Okay, first of all — I’d like to apologize for the slightly lame title of this post x”D I thought it was pretty witty, actually, looking at the fact that I wrote my book, ORIGINS, this month… and working on it had been awesome, so…

Yeah. Well.

Let’s move on and dive right into May’s writing update! For me it has been a month of success and inspiration, and I’d love to tell you guys more about it! 😀 Let’s go:

 

• ORIGINS: the manuscript is finished!

Yes, you read that right! In April’s writing update I already told you guys I wanted to finish writing ORIGINS (Insomnia Saga 3) in May… and well, if you’ve been following me for a while, you probably know I usually always complete the tasks I set for myself 😉

I finished writing ORIGINS during the second week of May. I’d been writing like a maniac for days straight; I just kept on going, finishing one chapter after another, because I had to finish this book…

And then, suddenly, I’d written the book’s epilogue. And that was that.

It felt awesome, though I must admit it was also slightly anticlimactic — first I’d wanted nothing more but to finish the manuscript (because I have SO MANY other ideas crowding this brain of mine), but the moment I was done, I honestly was a bit disappointed that the journey had come to an end.

Because writing ORIGINS certainly was one hell of a journey; of course, I’ve put my heart and soul into every installment of the Insomnia Saga, but this being the latest book I’ve worked on causes me to be a bit overly “attached” to it, so to speak 😉 I absolutely loved the process, especially because it went so smoothly. The characters felt truly alive to me and every idea I had for this book just seemed to fit in with the plot perfectly.

I managed to put every scene that was in my head for this book into the manuscript — I just LOVE that ❤️

 

ORIGINS was written in 6 weeks and 1 day! (yes, I checked)

 

I actually can’t wait to share ORIGINS with you — but… book 2 still needs to be published x”D The wait is nearly over, though; NOCTURNE (Insomnia Saga 2) will be released in ebook and paperback next month!

Now I’ve got several spin-offs left to write for the Insomnia Saga, and I hope to begin working on book 4, SOMNUS, by the end of this year 🙂

 

• NOCTURNE official coming soon trailer

Speaking of NOCTURNE…

For those of you who haven’t seen it yet, I’d like to share NOCTURNE’s official coming soon trailer that went online last week! Personally, I’m totally fangirling over the spookiness of it~

 

 

NOCTURNE releases in ebook and paperback on June 23rd!

As I said before, the wait is almost over! I hope you guys are just as excited as I am 😉

If you’re curious, I’m sharing some quotes of NOCTURNE on my Instagram feed, so go ahead and check it out!

 

BEHIND THE SCENES SEP 2018 - Brainstorming

• Brainstorming madness

After I finished writing ORIGINS, I actually thought I was supposed to take a break off writing or something. I don’t know why, but for some reason I expected myself to take it easy for a bit.

My brain works in mysterious ways.

However, literally a few hours after I finished ORIGINS, I already realized I just didn’t want to stop writing, I didn’t need a break: I wanted to go on.

So that’s exactly what I did; I began working on plot outlines for several projects that have been living in my mind for a while now, and I’m not sure what is going on in that head of mine these days, but it’s like I’m unstoppable.

Within a week, I wrote the complete plot outlines for the stories included in the Insomnia Saga short story collection, The Origins Files (Insomnia Saga 3.5), and for the third installment to the Kissing Monsters series, which is entitled KISSING SCARLET.

After I’d finished those, I began working on the plot outline for another book, which will be the first installment to yet another series! I’m not able yet to tell you guys everything, except that it’s going to be a series of stand alone installments of dark, romantic fantasy stories ❤️ I’m very excited about this project, so I hope I’ll be able to share more soon! I’m currently really enjoying the plot outline/brainstorming process. It’s going very well, and I expect to have it finished by the end of this afternoon, as a matter of fact 🙂

The “problem” I have with writing all these plot outlines, however, is that every time I finish one, my hands are itching to start writing the actual manuscripts x”D I don’t, though, because writing all of these plot outlines first is part of my amazing-summer-writing plan (wait for it, here it comes):

In two weeks’ time, I’ll be joining my designer to make NOCTURNE‘s ebook, paperback and book trailer. After that, there will be one or two weeks left of June, and in July/August I’m taking a bit of a summer break, as I do every year, in which I allow myself to do some other stuff besides writing (like reading and playing video games~). However, I’m so full of inspiration these days, that I don’t really want to stop, so I’m working ahead now by finishing all of those plot outlines, so I can just sit down during my summer break and start writing, without having to think through and solve plot-issues.

That’s like the summer-holiday version of writing, right? Next to that, I won’t have to edit a single manuscript in July and August, so I can focus entirely on my favorite part: simply writing my books ❤️

Sounds pretty neat, huh?

 

All right, I suppose this wraps up May pretty nicely! I’ve done a lot of writing, as usual, and am thoroughly enjoying the process 😀 I’m also currently editing NOCTURNE in the mornings — it’s the final round of revisions before we’re going to turn it into an actual book! I can’t wait to hold it in my hands~

Oh, right — did you see last week’s special blog post on my 5 Tips & Tricks for a high-productivity-healthy-indoors-lifestyle? If not and you’re interested, please check it out! I’m sharing my own favorite tricks for getting the most out of each day while in quarantine, so maybe you get something out of it as well 🙂 It’s an article full of inspiration, chasing dreams, fitness, yoga, meditation and even tai chi!

Next month will be NOCTURNE‘s release month, so expect loads of awesomeness coming your way! I hope to see you there 😉

As always, thanks so much for reading! If you’ve got any questions or just like to say hi, feel free to drop me a line in the comments section below! ❤️

 

BE CREEPY. STAY FREAKY.

— 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).

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Posted by Lynn Robin in Writing Updates, 4 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 😉

 

NOV19_LynnRobinGoesEnglish BLOG

• 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 😉

 

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!

 

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Posted by Lynn Robin in Lifestyle, 2 comments