Clarisse David

Sassy Young Adult Romantic Comedies

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Clarisse
I write YA romance and love romance novels, Netflix TV shows and BTS. Read more.

Hi! I'm Clarisse David.

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Writing

Life Lately Vol. 2 | Returning to Writing

1. Building a writing routine.

After a year of struggling, I'm slowly trying to create a daily writing routine for myself. I'm doing this by:
  • rereading my favorite writing how-to books.
  • learning more about plotting and story structure.
  • setting 500 words as my daily word count.
  • downloading software and apps to track and boost my productivity.
  • following writers I find inspiring on social media.

My main issue is that I keep comparing my current pace to what I was able to accomplish a year ago. Before several depressive episodes and a host of other personal problems.

I'm trying to cope by thinking of life as a series of phases. You can't expect every phase to be the same, because your opportunities and successes during each one are different. It would be illogical to expect the same level of productivity, joy and even sadness.

2. Being passionate about more than one thing.

Young adult fantasy author Susan Dennard wrote a blog post about being passionate about things other than writing (a blog post I spent ten minutes trying to find sorry!). She says that writers can often get so wrapped up in writing that they build their entire identity around it.

That's not necessarily a bad thing, but if you experience writing-related setbacks, you might start to question your whole identity. Who are you if you're not a writer? What will you be left with?

She says that you should be passionate about more than one thing, about plenty of things if possible. When writing starts to become frustrating, you can turn to something else to relieve stress and fill you with joy.

My major passions are reading and writing. Reading is supposed to be less stressful, but my writer brain keeps working even when I'm supposed to be relaxing. When I'm reading, I keep noticing particular turns of phrase, how swoon-worthy the love interest is (very important), and a bunch of other writerly things.

Sometimes, I wish I could turn writer brain off so I could just enjoy the damn story. Haha.

Right now, I'm looking for a new passion that has nothing to do with writing. Web development seems interesting, and I've signed up for an account on freeCodeCamp. It's a website that offers free web development courses. We'll see how this Find a New Passion project goes.


3. Give me all the young adult romance.

I'm working on a young adult romance novella that I hope to finish by mid-December. My aim is to self-publish it in early to mid-2019.

While writing, I realized that most of the books I read this year are contemporary adult romances, and I've read very little young adult. If I'm going to write young adult romance, I need to rectify that immediately. I want to get a feel of what the recent young adult romance books are like and what issues they tackle. It's a good way to see what makes a particular young adult romance so good and sets it apart.

The most recent young adult romance books I've read include:
  • Heartstruck by Angeli Dumatol
  • When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon
  • Pride by Ibo Zoboi
  • My So-Called Bollywood Life by Nisha Sharma
P.S. This doesn't mean I'm going to stop reading contemporary adult romance books, because I adore them. I just need to figure out how to read more YA romance. LOL. Does that make sense?

4. Making friends as an adult is hard.

In my last Life Lately post, I mentioned that I moved from Iloilo to Manila and started a new job.

Moving to a new city involves meeting new people and actually...interacting with them. *cue terrifying piano music*

As an awkward introvert, interacting with new people is one of my greatest struggles. I suck at small talk. After you ask how the other person is doing, what else are you supposed to say? Is it socially acceptable to just nod and smile politely? Every time I muster enough courage to blurt out a sentence or two, I question myself right away if it was cool or not.

Sometimes, I wish I could skip the small-talk-getting-to-know-you-part and really start talking to people. About the movies they like, the books they read, and the things they care about with the fire of a thousand suns.

But that's not how making friends works. Haha. So, I have no other choice but to keep chugging along. Awkward small talk and all.

Wish me luck.

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