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Time to Write

Rachel: “Why the hell am I putting myself through all of this?!”

Rachel and I were having a discussion about why writers write after she finished revising the latest draft of one of her novels. Honestly, unless we’re Stephen King or J.K. Rowling, we’re not making much writing, especially when we just start out. Rachel and I both have day jobs we love and enjoy, and we make decent money. So, why write?

Rachel has completed at least three or four novels, as well as a children’s picture book or two. None of them are published (yet!), but she has submitted and queried a few of her finished works. Her latest novel that she has finished revising is in its fifth draft (hence the quote at the top of this post). After finishing that up, she had sent me a, “Tag, you’re it!” text message to let me know that it’s my turn to critique and edit. I’m very proud of her tenacity regarding her writing, even if we do have “What are we doing?!” moments.

As for me, I have quite a few strong beginnings of novels in the works, some a couple of years old. My problem is ending the things. It’s difficult finding the time, the creativity, the whatever-other-excuse I can find. Within these past couple of days, I’ve been reading Chicken Soup for the Soul: Inspiration for Writers. It’s a brilliant read so far; I recommend it to anyone and everyone who enjoys reading and writing! Rachel and I found it among the writing books in Barnes and Noble during our last visit, and I’m in the middle of the chapter about finding time to write.

Reading some of these stories about people resolving to stop procrastinating and write even when they just have 20 minutes to spare was fantastic. Why can’t I do that? Even if it’s just a bit before going to work, to sleep, waiting for the kids to come home… I already bring a little notebook and a pen with me everywhere, and I can definitely write more during my lunch breaks at work.

It may not be New Year’s, but I can certainly make this as a resolution, right?

Happy blogging, everyone!

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Posted by on May 31, 2013 in Home

 

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Caught Up

Caden: “Forgive me if I’m being too curious, but may I ask why you were all in Akyna to begin with?” … Luyu: “No, you may not ask.”

Hi everyone! After skipping yesterday and being very confused by my word program’s way of counting my words, I’m all caught up to today’s goal of 10k words (with 14 extra words)! I started off great, just typing away, but by the end of it, all I was doing was asking myself, “NOW how many more words?” and “Am I caught up yet?!” I should have stolen Rachel‘s idea to grab a sticky note, write something along the lines of “Keep writing!” on it, and stick it over the corner of the computer where it shows the word count.

So after I was all set and done, it got me thinking. Am I getting bored of my novel? Shouldn’t I be more excited about writing this thing? If I was, I wouldn’t want to stop writing it, right?

I think that’s just the kind of writer I am, though. I’m much more sporadic and I usually do not write the same story every day. My mind goes in all sorts of directions and detours, and I’ve been doing very well these past two weeks about sticking with “Downfall.” I know I like the novel. I’m enjoying the characters. I’m not entirely sure where they are taking me, but the ride has been interesting so far and I have a vague idea as to the ending, at least.

I’m not so sure about Caden, the main character. I like his personality, and he’s fun to write, but he has a problem with getting distracted from his curiosity. He had his own goals at the beginning of the story, and now he’s on a totally different tangent. The goal is still in the back of his mind, of course, but he doesn’t have as much of a desire to fulfill it at the moment. Not only that, but his attitude toward “the other race” changed quite quickly since the beginning. He was never truly prejudice against Spiriters, but with the way he was raised, I still think he got used to them too quickly.

Well, we’ll see what happens at the end of this draft. Happy blogging, everyone!

 
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Posted by on April 12, 2013 in Home

 

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Why Writers Are Not Mathematicians

Rachel: “This is why we write. We like English, not math!”

So, usually as I’m writing for NaNo, I pause every once in a while and highlight the words I had written for that particular session to see how far along I am. Let’s use today for example. Rounding the numbers, I was at about 7000 words, a little ahead of my daily goal, and I needed about 500 to reach today’s goal. You with me so far? Okay, so I wrote for a bit, then paused and saw that I had about 200 words, which would logically make my NaNo total about 7200 words. However, upon seeing the whole of my NaNo, I apparently had about 7450 words for it.

… What? How does that even remotely make sense? How did my 200 words turn into an increase of 450 for the story? Which count do I believe?

On one hand, I’m like, “Hey, I only need about 50 more words!” On the other hand, I know I did not write that much just yet. For NaNo’s sake, where it counts the story as a whole, I’m going to update my word count based on the amount of words my Word program claims my novel has rather than just add on my daily count to the previous scores. I just hope the NaNo validator at the end of the month agrees with my Word document!

Happy blogging, everyone!

 
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Posted by on April 9, 2013 in Home

 

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On Par

Caden: “Look, I’m trusting you all not to kill me anytime soon. Can’t you trust the same of me?”

I’m a touch over 7,000 words into my Camp goal, which means I’m on par for the month so far. Hopefully I can keep it up until the end!

I plan on writing a post at some point giving a few more details about this novel, or at least writing a bit about the characters (especially since there have been a couple of posts where I quote them at the top). However, I’m afraid I must keep this post a bit short, because I’m pretending to have some semblance of a social life tonight. 😀 Actually, some of my coworkers and I go to a sports bar and grill that has 25 cent wings on Monday nights. Yeah. We’re cheap. Me, even more so, considering I get free water with the wings instead of an actual drink, haha!

On a last note, I’m liking this little writing routine I have. Whenever I first get the chance to relax and go on my computer or laptop (affectionately called Jarvis and Pip, respectively) for a couple of good hours, I write my story, getting up to the goal I want, then I come and post here. I get my writing done and reach out to a community of other writers, whether their blogs are about books, food, or dogs.

So, thanks to this community, and whatever genius decided to create WordPress. Happy blogging, everyone!

 
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Posted by on April 8, 2013 in Home

 

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Writing and Cleaning

Durail: “What is your business, mage?” Caden: “You ask me that now?!”

My Camp NaNoWriMo characters are on the move. They just performed a daring escape and are on their way to hop the border to enter the next country. The main character is Caden, an Air Mage, and he’s only truly met a handful of the others, while a couple of characters, like Durail, Caden just glanced at while the group fled from their pursuers. Only when they got a break did Durail think to ask about what Caden was doing with them.

The novel is called “Downfall” (for now, anyway), and is about the clash between two different types of magic and people. One are the mages, like Caden, humans whom learn Air, Fire, or Earth magic as they get older. The others are Spiriters, a people whom are connected with an animal spirit guide since birth. The spirit guides themselves are connected with a main element, although the only point to that seems to be to give them an advantage or disadvantage against mages and their magic. Each element is weak or strong against the other two; therefore, if one has a spirit guide with an affinity to Fire, then he/she will not be as affected by Air Magic.

I’m enjoying the idea of the story and the characters, although I’m not entirely sure where the story will end up. Each character has his or her own goals, despite a few of them getting distracted from said goals. There are definitely a few parts I dislike, such as how quickly Caden came to trust the Spiriters he’s hanging out with, but I’ll deal with those scenes when I edit the book. I only wrote about 400 words of it today, while my daily goal is 834 (considering I’m going for 25k rather than 50K). However, yesterday I got ahead and was only five words off of today’s goal.

That’s right. Five. I was only five words away from having two days’ worth of NaNo word counts, and I didn’t even notice.

It was nice, though. I wrote about 400, still ahead, and got halfway to tomorrow’s word count.

Then Rachel and I cleaned. A lot. Our room is still a mess in some areas, but we had a lot of fun on our little cleaning spree that started due to me trying to find a bug on my then-messy desk, but I digress. Spring is coming, everyone; it’s time to clean!

On that note, I hope everyone else’s writing is going well!

 
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Posted by on April 7, 2013 in Home

 

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Left or Right

Me: “What is the difference between ‘all right’ as two words and ‘alright’ as one word?” Rachel: “I have no idea.”

That basically explains how my sister and I go about our writing. We just go with the flow, occasionally throwing ideas and stuff (like paper balls and straw wrappers) at each other amid distractions and getting actual writing done. It’s Saturday, a day of the week that I rarely have off of work, so we woke up early enough to go to Barnes and Noble as it opened to snag a table to write with our laptops. We were there from 9 to, like, 2ish, and we both made our word goals for the day. YAY!

I’ve been doing pretty well keeping up with my NaNo goal, not only for word count, but for sticking with one story as well. Usually when I attempt NaNoWriMo I get happy just getting some words written, whether they’re for this story or that novel or my random comic book attempt, etc. I’m doing my best to stick with one story and see how far I get on it.

I guess this is what I get for being a “pantser” kind of writer. I go where my story takes me with barely any outlines. In fact, I’m lucky if I have an idea for the story endings! The last time Rachel and I were at Barnes and Noble, we found a book called How to Blog a Book by Nina Amir, and there was one part that described “right-brain” writers and “left-brain” writers. I was definitely left-brain while Rachel was a right-brain writer. One of us focuses on the details, the other likes the big picture, and there were plenty of other ways to tell them apart. It was quite interesting, and totally made sense when describing Rachel and me. We both love to write, but the way we create our stories can be so different. Despite these differences, it’s tons of fun having someone to join on this writing journey.

It’s like one of those parties from role-playing games: “You have written 1000 words! You’ve gained a level! You’ve learned the move ‘Spell Check’!” I’m not sure what levels Rachel and I would be at. She would definitely have a greater Speed stat than I with the rate at which she types. Perhaps I would have a stronger Vocabulary stat, haha!

I hope everyone else who is on their own writing journey has a friend or twenty to join them on this quest. Happy writing, everyone!

 
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Posted by on April 6, 2013 in Home

 

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Let’s Go

“Let’s go! / Make no excuses now / I’m talking here and now / I’m talking here and now / Let’s go!” – Calvin Harris, “Let’s Go”

I honestly should just listen to that song on repeat during my writing time. It sums up the need for me to focus on my novel rather than, say, web comics, cookie recipes, and pictures of cute puppies. Instead, I’ve been listening to Disney songs lately. “Streets of Gold” from Oliver and Company is currently playing on my Pandora.

This April I’m doing my best to participate in Camp NaNoWriMo. Instead of having the usual goal of 50,000 words, I’m aiming for 25,000 due to my sporadic work schedule (and, okay, I’ll admit, lack of focus). So far I’ve been doing great with staying on track, hitting the daily goal of 834 words a day. I’m even a tad ahead of the 3336 goal for day four with 3450 words! Yay me!

I was also honestly thinking of my future fairly recently. I adore my current job, but I’m not certain I want to remain there for the next 40 or so years before retiring. I would love to have my own place with a dog or two and a room dedicated to my computer(s) and books (those that I’ve read and those that I’ve written). To achieve that, I would like to have enough success with writing to make a modest living, even if I need a part-time job to help pay the bills. To achieve that, I need to write and, ya know, finish a book or six.

The NaNoWriMo community is amazing at coming together and supporting each other, with quite a few being able to publish their novels (ever read Erin Morgenstern’s The Night Circus? That was her NaNo winner!). Another source of inspiration I have is my sister Rachel (over at Spilled Ink), whom also got bit by the writing bug years ago and probably has more writing passion than me.

So, what’s stopping me?

“Hello, my name is Kristen, and I am a procrastinator.”

I mean, I could blame my muses, but I’m sure D.L. and Tech would not be very happy with me for doing so…

Therefore, I’m going to do my best to commit to writing a bit each and every day. Doing NaNo should help me establish this habit since writing every day is a huge part of the challenge. Another habit I will do my best to establish is updating this blog more than once every six months. Having a network and community of people working toward the same goal and having the same passion for writing (among other topics) would be lovely!

With all that said, wish me luck!

On a side note, this post is almost 500 words… I wonder if I’m allowed to add that to my NaNo word count. 😉

 
1 Comment

Posted by on April 4, 2013 in Home

 

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