Anyone there?

*peeps around the corner*

Hello? Anyone there?

*crickets*

Ah well.  I have returned! And I apologize.  I’ve long been absent from my blog.  Starting a new job, and the hubby returning to school has been quite an adventure. A busy adventure that has left me falling asleep before 10 most nights.  Also, I’ve been reading quite a bit and had several reviews in the Bowling Green Daily News.

However, NaNoWriMo is approaching! And I’m determined to win again this year. I just updated my novel, We Witches Three, and I’m fixing to start prepping like crazy to get ready for it. I’m thinking for lunch at work I shall start shutting the door and working for an hour in my office. Wish me luck. I’m going to create a board of inspiration.

By the way, I love my office.I love my job!

Other than that, we’ve been busy bees. I need to super clean.  I’ve painted my living room, kitchen and hallway. For future reference, wallpaper border is the devil.  I have one wall left in my living room and I have to paint the trim (my plan for this weekend).  I have yard sale stuff to post on Facebook and many clothes to go through. I also plan to go through all of Xander’s toys and get rid of some stuff.

So, more on writing in my next post.

Thanks for sticking with me guys!

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Writing: When To Know Yourself

For all of us, word count goals are important.  For writers who have deadlines, they mean something different.  To a struggling writer, trying to get back to writing everyday, they mean quite a lot.  We all have goals we wish to met, whether it be on a blog, writing a novel, or over several different projects.

I’ve heard many different types of advice from successful writers, bloggers, and people working their way to do so.  Hosting panels for SOKY Bookfest, this is often a common question.  Usually the answer is to writer every day.  I support that.

The past few years, I’ve been trying to write more.  It’s been a struggle. I wrote nonstop in high school (and before). It was usually short stories/poems/papers.  In college I was a creative writing major.  I changed my last year to a literature major. Due to certain issues, I was just kind of … burnt out on my writing.

I had a short story I had written for my advanced fiction class that my classmates loved. I still have their reviewed copies. One friend in the class even drew a dragon and other things on it to go along with it. She was a wonderful artist.  I still never was given an A on it, and it kind of upset me.  However, a year out, I decided I really wanted to work on it. I started turning it into a novel. The problem was, I realize now, that to go from short story to novel, you really have to plan. I did not do that. I just started writing all crazy like.

When I came to nano, I worked on the plot a bit. Realized it would sound much better in first person, and rewrote the entire thing, adding in a bit here and there.  I kept trying to write on it, but at this point I had a tiny child, was in grad school full time, and working and dealing with lots of life craziness/sadness.  Writing came to a halt.  Then, going back over the story with my friend Nick, he told me I was missing a real … evil I suppose you could say. I had this looming war but nothing concrete. And it was true. That was my problem. I had no idea where I wanted to go. We worked something out, largely thanks to his idea. However, I really need to go almost back to the start and rework quite a bit of things.

I decided to write only 250 words a day. 1000, a common goal for many, was just often to much for me many nights. Half the time I fall asleep with my toddler at 10.  The goal itself was stressing me out. Amanda suggested the 250. It was a good start.  I also did the alphabet series on my blog, and determined to post once a week on it. I’ve been pretty good about this (and thanks to all you guys reading!).

Back to work count, and the point of all this explanation.  As a writer, you will be bombarded with advice.  Everyone has something different works for them.  For instance, in my last panel the six authors talked about pantsing or plotting.  Some of them did a mixture of both, one did a general outline and went with what came, and one guy literally laid out the entire timeline of several books in a giant timeline on his wall. I mean, a super detailed one. We all started in amazement at him.  Many of us mentioned that we are not capable of that.

You really have to know you, as a writer, and what you are capable of. Set goals for yourself. If they are not working, lower them. If it feels like too much pressure, change them. When you find that you are meeting them consistently, raise them.  This way you are still challenging yourself, but you are not feeling so pressure from the get go that you are sabotaging yourself.

Finally, realize that sometimes you just are not going to meet those goals.  Or that something else may be more important.  Don’t go too long without trying to jump back into it however, because that’s just as bad.

What inspired this is that I started a new novel last Saturday. On time of outlining the entire thing, knowing several characters, and my main story-line/opposition, I wrote 1000 that first night, and the next two. Three nights in a row I wrote 1000 words. I had decided that as my goal every day.  Last night, it didn’t happen. I didn’t feel good. I was exhausted.  I tried to write, and I hated what I was putting on paper. I wrote about 400 words, and called it quits. I needed to work on my characters, I decided before I kept writing, and I did not have the energy left to devote to it then (also I’m directing a play that is this Thursday. It’s zapping a lot from me). I wrote, and that was important. But I didn’t push myself too far past my limits, because that can be just as bad as not writing at all.

We all have to take nights off. Don’t be afraid to admit it.

Good night guys, I’m going to go work on my characters.  Happy writing!

Planning For Camp Nano

Hello everyone!

Time just marches on by does it not?  I am happy to say that I have met my writing goal every day this month. It hasn’t always been on my novel. A few days it was for book reviews. I wrote an article one day and didn’t even count those words. So I have been doing quite well, and I am super happy with myself. Maybe if I can keep this up, I can increase my word goal in a few months. For now though, I am happy with the progress I am making, and satisfied with the fact that I am WRITING on my novel weekly, whereas for the past year that has not been the case at all.

Maybe this is the year!

So, on to Camp Nano! Feel free to add me, and maybe we could start a group. I am still hoping to be finished with Fated Destiny by November, so that I can work on my Pirate Novel (which I will outline plot for in October).  Camp Nano in April and July are two of my major projects I’m hoping to help me with that. As I already have outlines, and I’m just continuing what I have been doing I do not have a lot of prep to do for Camp Nano. However, much of the same guidelines exist for it as do for Nano, and I will begin posting those tips come March 🙂

I think, sometimes, we writers lose ourselves and our writing because we feel like failures. We have friends who manage to write thousands of words a day, or we know professors who are publishing a book a year.  Or we had professors who tried to push us to better ourselves, but in the end it just made us feel as if our writing was not good enough. Okay, so maybe that’s just me, but I am sure some of you have felt the same way. It can be difficult (in EVERYTHING) to look at what others have accomplished or done, and not be doing the same.

Yet, we do not know what is different in their world from ours. They may have much more time to write. They probably don’t have a crazy toddler to watch who is OBSESSED with their laptop. They may have made writing their career, and good for them. As much as I love writing, I also love what I do. I think I would continue doing what I do even if one day I become a successful crazy novelist (haha).  We need to remember to be realistic for our goals, and what WE can do for ourselves.  Lowering my word count goal, and having a GOAL has helped me so much.  I feel a million times better a day, because I am writing every day. I’m being creative. It’s great.

Also, Operation Declutter is slow going, but its going. I have emptied my closet of an entire playpen’s worth of clothing that I am going to sell/donate.  I even got rid of a ton of socks (I had like three drawers worth…).  I’m going through my books. I separated out the book I have not read yet, and am now making that a priority before I am allowed to get random books (okay, Morning Star did not count). I want less crap laying around, and I’m working toward that. It feels super. I even just received a book about decluttering for a review. So woot!

I am hoping to have a couple of book giveaways at the end of this month, so stay tuned for me figuring that out 🙂

Peace!

Plotting is at an end!

The story is back!

Oh such happy days. I’ve started an excel sheet to keep track of my writing – I want to do 1000 words a day. I have a general outline of where I want to go, as I have said. I wrote 1,129 words yesterday!!

Today I wrote: 1132 words. Woot! I am feeling rather great about this.

To switch topics, Kentucky is fixing to be covered in two feet of snow. I work at a high school, so this is my second snow day, and I am off tomorrow already as well.  I finally cleaned my kitchen today, and I have been playing with Xander, which is awesome. I have been reading A Discovery of Witches as well. Anyone else?

I’m torn on it, but anxious to finish it. It’s for my book club. A review will be posted in a bit. If you want to keep track of what I’m reading, I usually update Goodreads.

I may do another post on an issue going on at my high school later tonight or tomorrow morning. I think I’m going to post on my Tiny Little Hobbit blog about a couple things too. I need to start posting on it.

All right peeps – time to get my kid to sleep!