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Vilhelmina Ullemar, Writer Posts

How to fail in style

Okay, so I’m a wildly competitive person. Particularly, I like to compete with myself—to reach goals that I’ve set for myself. Once I’ve achieved one, I quickly look onwards to the next. It’s a mindset which has helped me with many accomplishments I wouldn’t have achieved without it.

It’s also exhausting. And honestly sometimes purely detrimental to my creative process. You see, I used to view writing as purely for fun. I had stories I was hoping to finish one day, sure, but I never felt bad about not making progress. I just enjoyed them when inspiration struck. This wasn’t a way to finish projects, but it was entertaining.

Then along came NaNo — short for National Novel Writing Month, or the yearly online challenge in which thousands of writers around the world each pledge to write a novel in a month. Fifty thousand words of one, in fact—starting at midnight on November 1st and ending thirty days later. Between the years of 2005 to 2007, I participated a few times without reaching the goal; each time I fell short feeling a little bit like I’d failed. That wasn’t enjoyable.

In 2014, something changed. It was the first year I hit the 50k mark, and the first time I ever finished writing a whole, book-length story. Once I realised I could do that, something within my writing mind shifted. The goal-oriented side that already controlled so much else in my life took over.

The pros of this: I actually began to finish projects. Within the next few years, I published my first two books. I felt like I was on a roll.

But things changed. I became busier in the rest of my life, finding that putting so much energy into forwarding my medical career didn’t leave as much time or stamina for writing. At least not in the way that focused on word counts and daily targets. And because that was the way I thought I needed to do things, but couldn’t—I stopped.

Again, I felt like I failed as a writer.

The truth of the matter is I probably need to balance these two. I do want to finish things, but I don’t want to feel like I’m forcing myself to do it. I want writing to be fun. I don’t want to care as much about the quantity of the results, but I do want to go back to enjoying the process.

It’s about time for NaNoWriMo to start again. I wasn’t going to join this year, because I just started a new job. I won’t have the time, I thought—at least, I won’t have enough of it to be able to win.

Then I realised maybe I don’t have to. Maybe I need to learn how to fail, without feeling like it’s a bad thing. Perhaps I need to get back down from my high writing horses and just write. Who cares if it’s fifty thousand words in a month or five hundred. Who even cares if they make sense?

You may consider this my official participation announcement. Thank goodness I’m planning to fail!

Honestly, all I care about is making writing fun again.

So, here’s to failing. In style.

If you’re also doing NaNo and, you can add me as a NaNoWriMo buddy. If you just want to watch, I’ll be blogging about my journey right here. Enjoy the ride—I know I will!

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Pen name migration in progress!

All right! Back in November when I wrote my previous blog post here, I’d decided to make the move from my previous pen name Nina del Arce to using my real name Vilhelmina Ullemar. I still had two books published under Nina del Arce—and originally, I intended to keep it that way. At the same time, I was planning on publishing future books in those series under my real name.

Well. I changed my mind. It’s been a lot of work, much of which is still in progress, but I’m actually re-publishing both REVIVED and CEMETERY SHIFT under Vilhelmina Ullemar. Check out the new e-book covers!

Things are a bit slow in updating, so some of the Amazon stores still say the author is Nina del Arce —and I’m not quite sure how to change my author page on Goodreads without messing with the entire system, haha. But hey! It’s getting there.

For now, I’m focusing on migrating the e-book versions and getting them into more different stores, starting with Kobo and Smashwords. Since I’m new to both of those platforms the books don’t have any reviews there yet—let me know if you want a free copy in exchange for posting a review on one of those sites.

As for the print versions of the books, I’m going to migrate them as well—I just need to make sure I’ve sorted out any errors in the process before I get to that.

Anyway, that’s it for now! More updates soon!

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It’s alive!

Woah, okay. This is a big deal. A whole new website, with a blog and everything!

OK, it’s really not that big. Not the site in itself—anyway. Moreso is the reason that I needed it.

You see, I only just recently had a dramatic change of heart (which is very me, by the way), and ditched my former pen name. The one where I’d published two books, already had a website, a Goodreads account, and several social media accounts. Oops?

But honestly, it was too much work keeping up separate identities. I barely have time to be me as it is, besides taking care of the day job–I definitely don’t have the time to be two people. Therefore, I decided to let go of the pen name Nina del Arce and use my legal name to promote all my future work.

That being said, I haven’t yet completely decided what to do with the two series that I started under my pen name (I know, shocking!). But I’ve been stuck on the sequels for years—partially because I’ve been far too busy doing other things, to be fair, but also due to a change in my creative agenda. I just don’t feel like working on those books right now, so I’m not going to. I may return to the series at a later time, but for now they are put on ice. The books will still be available through Amazon, though!

Anyway. I’m working on new things. I’m excited to write again—and that’s worth a lot. Here’s hoping you guys want to join me as I continue on my writing journey in the years to come!



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