Author: Helen M. Pugsley

Helen M. Pugsley comes from a small town of twenty in eastern Wyoming. She has been passionate about writing since she was small. War and Chess has been her ‘baby’ so to speak, of five years. She started working on it as a freshman in high school. The story line all started out as a dream she just couldn’t seem to shake. Helen has won several writing awards during high school for her short stories and poetry. In 2012 she won honorable mention in the Famous Poets annual contest, had an article about her summer camp experiences published in the camp’s newsletter and as of April 1, 2012 she has enjoyed VIP status on Teenink.com in addition to winning an Editor’s Choice Award for a haiku on the site in February 5, 2015. That same poem was published in their April 2015 Magazine. In 2013 she won Honorable Mention for her flash fiction story in Scholastics Art and Writing Awards and again she won Honorable Mention in the Scholastics contest in 2014 for her poetry. Helen enjoys traveling and is always planning and the next trip... From September 2016 to December 2016 Helen held nine book signings for her debut novel, War and Chess. She has been all over North America. One of her proudest accomplishments is walking into Mexico alone. So far she has only crossed one ocean (on her way to Hawaii) but she hopes to change that with a flight to Scotland. Visit her on Facebook‘s War and Chess page!

Don’t Get Burnt Out!

I love music. I love to sing, I play the trumpet, and I love to listen to music. Right now, as I write this I’m listening to some 60’s pop while downloading the soundtrack to The Great Gatsby (2013). I probably use my stereo more than I do my TV.

To be perfectly honest, I’m quite mean to myself in the mornings. Sometimes I feel the need to remind myself that I could have been a great musician. But no. I chose the life I lead now. A librarian who writes books. I have played my trumpet until my lips swelled so much that when I puckered them I could touch the tip of my nose. I’ve made people cry with the beauty my singing. It was that one song I worked and worked at. But you know what the problem was? I got burnt out.

I had the opportunity to surround myself with professional musicians as a teenager. Yes,

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3 Tips for Dealing with being Burned Out at Work by HalieCrawford.com

people who were able to put food on the table with music. They helped shape me into the talented musician I was. But you know what happens when you play yourself the same song 20 times in a row? You memorize it. The next 200 times you begin to hate it. Then the next 200 times you fall so deeply in love with the song it becomes part of you. Then suddenly it’s the night of the concert.

That’s my concern with NaNoWriMo. I chose to become a writer because writing is the one thing that put the fire in my blood like I was told playing music should. I have had both the opportunity to try to make a living from music and a living from writing. I do not regret those times but I’ve learned firsthand how easy it is to hate what you once loved. What you once lived for. Don’t sacrifice your passion for a word count. Be gentle with yourself this annual holiday and don’t get burnt out.

 

 

About Helen

Helen M. PugsleyHelen comes from a small town of twenty in eastern Wyoming. She has been passionate about writing since she was small. Helen enjoys traveling and is always thrilled to excite friends with tales of playing music on the streets for money, conversing with the drunks who frequent gutters, and the epic struggle of finding a decent bath when living in a car. Visit her on Facebook‘s War and Chess page!

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The NaNo Rebel

I don’t like NaNoWriMo much. I go through this same cycle every year! I promise myself every year I’m going to write a novel in a month. Maybe not 50,000 words, but a novel!

After the success of my debut novel, War and Chess, and quitting my job to become a full time author the pressure was on! This November 1st, once again, I fired up my NaNoWriMo account. (I’ve been playing this game since 2013)

Nano RebelI wasn’t sure what I was going to do but I was working on two projects. One, I am writing the first draft. If I weren’t a NaNoWriMo rebel that would have been the novel I worked on. But I like writing first drafts with pen and paper. Drafts that you can take to the mountains without worrying about it dying, as electronics are bound to do.

My second project was typing up some old stories I think might be promising as a new publication. That second project is what I chose to report to NaNoWriMo’s website. It was a lot easier than counting the words I write on paper by hand. Really, I just needed some accountability. Someone to email me when I’m making whimpy excuses about how long hours typing makes my back SCREAM. But yet, somehow, I was just fine spending most of the morning on Facebook drinking coffee…

So I was already being a rebel by not creating something new. Just making sure something great was backed up, which is my least favorite job. I wound up getting 2/3rds of the way finished with this project! I was at an awe inspiring 10,000 words by December 1st. Yeah, I didn’t join my brethren in sleep deprivation, stress, or trying to remember that when great Aunt Bessy asks you, “Have you found a man yet?” you keep your decorum and smile.

I stayed true to my nature and stayed a rebel for yet another NaNo year. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’ll be prancing around downtown in my leather jacket Christmas shopping.

 

 

About Helen

Helen M. PugsleyHelen comes from a small town of twenty in eastern Wyoming. She has been passionate about writing since she was small. Helen enjoys traveling and is always thrilled to excite friends with tales of playing music on the streets for money, conversing with the drunks who frequent gutters, and the epic struggle of finding a decent bath when living in a car. Visit her on Facebook‘s War and Chess page!