Elizabeth Barone


Tag: writing (page 2 of 2)

When Your Art Brainwashes You

I’m getting ready to cross the 60,000-word line for Savannah’s Song, the second book in the South of Forever series (and a sequel of sorts to The Nanny with the Skull Tattoos). After spending hours every day writing about Savannah painting, I caught the bug.

I started off by doodling on my outline.

Sometimes, I like to doodle while i #amwriting. #writersofinstagram #savannahssong #southofforever #NewAdult #romance

A photo posted by Elizabeth Barone (@elizabethbarone) on

I couldn’t stop there, though. Borrowing paint and watercolor paper from my husband, I sat down at my desk and started messing around.

I got tired of watercolor really quickly, though, and decided to go back to my first love: acrylic. In college, I took a painting class as my elective and fell in love. My great-grandfather was an artist and a poet. I guess I inherited his genes. 😊

I started working on my fifth sugar skull girl tonight. I love how much painting relaxes me. After a long day at the keyboard, I can get out of my head and into my hands.

It’s therapeutic, too; when I’m feeling anxious, moving the brush helps unblock that energy.

I’m still learning. My lines aren’t the cleanest, and I hate painting their mouths. Every time I try, I can’t get it right and end up having to cover it with something. Still, painting has been a lot of fun for me—and it’s also helped me better describe Savannah’s process while writing.

I’ll probably never be able to paint the things that I imagine she does, but it’s still something I enjoy.

What do you do to unwind? Leave a comment and share your favorite hobbies with me!

#ShowYourWork—Riley is Making Me Crazy

"All Riled Up" (The Nanny with the Skull Tattoos), by Elizabeth BaroneI’m having trouble with “All Riled Up,” the short story I am planning to treat my email list to. Specifically, I’m having a hard time getting a handle on Riley’s character. I want her to come off as vulnerable. I’m not sure whether that’s coming through, though. She’s taking a pretty promiscuous approach to finding love. Beta readers gave me varying opinions, which means it’s open to interpretation. I guess at this point, I need to just “be done with it” and let readers decide.

“Be done with it.”
-Skye Taylor

Usually, when a story is giving me this much lip, I put it away and move on. I really like this one, though. Plus, readers of The Nanny with the Skull Tattoos specifically asked for more Riley! Quite a few people wanted to know why she dropped off Max’s radar. I thought it would be fun to tackle that question in a side adventure. I knew what she was up to, but Max never finds out. He’s too busy with his own problems—and so is she.

I just need a little more time with this one. Bear with me! I will get it to you. :)

PS: Want to get this story for free? Sign up for my email list. CLICK HERE!

“Be an Amateur”—Show Your Work!

Show Your Work!, by Austin KleonLast Friday, my brother-in-law Robbie Pelletier stopped by while my sister-in-law and I were working in website hell. (I’m almost done with my brand new website, and can’t wait to show you!*) He dropped this book off and told us that we all needed to read it. (One of the best things about my in-laws is that they’re all artists, too.) He instructed me to bring it home to my husband so that we could read it first.

I’m already in love.

The book, by the way, is Austin Kleon‘s Show Your Work!—a book about sharing your process as you go. It’s an approach that I’ve tried to take throughout my career, but always stumbled upon.

“I’m supposed to be a professional. Maybe it’s not a good idea to share my mistakes.”

I’ve struggled with this over and over again. I’ve deleted months’ worth of blog posts because I got nervous about my failures being there for everyone to see. Every time I posted something along those lines, I received comments and emails thanking me, but deep down inside I worried.

After a recent itchy delete button rampage, I decided to give blogging another shot. And then, for weeks, I posted nothing. Sure, you could chalk it up to being too inundated by my battle with yet another bout of depression. Mental illness can be awfully exhausting. You could say that I just had too much going on in my personal life to take 30 minutes out of my day to write something up. Living with chronic pain can definitely make it hard to sit at the computer for long, and I already spend a lot of time writing. The truth is, though, I was just too scared.

I had lost my blogging voice.

Then I read Oprah’s list of “20 Questions Every Woman Should Ask Herself,” and the old urge to sit at the keyboard and share overcame me. Little by little, I began answering them out loud and inviting others to do the same.

Though I’m not far into Kleon’s Show Your Work!, the section on being an amateur jumped out at me.

Amateurs might lack formal training, but they’re all lifelong learners, and they make a point of learning in the open, so that others can learn from their failures and successes.

I’ve been so afraid to look unprofessional that I forgot how good it felt to share.

I can’t promise that blogging and I are on the mend, but I do feel comfortable again. It’s like after several years of hiding, I’ve rediscovered my voice. It feels pretty great.

*So, about that website. I’ve still got a few more pages to make, but it’s pretty close to done. Here’s a sneak peek:

New Website—Sneak Peek

I’ll be unveiling it officially to my email list in a few weeks, so make sure you’re a member of Barone’s Belles. Click the button below to join! It’s free, and it’s fun. DO IT. 😉

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