Wednesday, December 31, 2014

A Year Of Writing

First off, happy New Years Eve to everyone and I hope you have a fabulous year!
I was on Pinterest one day, looking through a ton of different writing related things, mostly writing prompts. I've been trying to keep those creative wheels greased in post NaNoWriMo. And there are a LOT of writing prompts on Pinterest. I highly recommend you go there for creative inspiration.
One of them I found was a very simple one and I think I've decided to use that one over the next year to see what comes from it. I won't put any sort of limit on myself, just let what happens happen. If it's only one sentence that gets done, well hey, that's one more sentence than I had done before. And those words add up. I'm adding these prompts to my calendar so that I'll see it every day and know which one I'm supposed to do. I'm still trying to think how I'm going to share each day's usage (which I think I've worked out now), but I would like to have a way to share my progress and such.
I have started up a group on Google+ for this very thing. I'm not sure that the link works directly, but just search A Year of Writing on Google + or just go to my profile and it should be there. There are boards on there for introducing yourself and for each day's prompt to be shared. You don't have to share how you've used the prompt of the day, but I plan on doing this as a way of keeping my own self accountable so maybe I'll actually write every day. But I would love it if you wanted to join in as well, there's still plenty of time. I'm planning on starting this January first (so...tomorrow...ahh!). :)
The link to the prompts list is here: 365 Writing Prompts for Creative Writing Since some of them repeat, I'll probably be substituting some of those from my own sources. That way it will always be something fresh to inspire everyone.
Have I mentioned how excited I am for this? I really do hope more writers will join me and the others already in the group. The thought sort of hit me somewhere around the middle-end of NaNoWriMo and the beginning of December. I toyed with it for a little bit and finally decided, hey...what the heck and decided to just dive in head first. Besides all that, I simply love writing communities. I've been blessed enough to be a part of several through my own close knit group of writing friends in my personal life, and then constantly meeting new writers through NaNoWriMo and Camp NaNoWriMo, not to mention Twitter/Facebook also. And if any of you should be reading this, know that I love you all. :) I think really, it's that mutual love of the written word and brainstorming about the impossible worlds we can create with just a few simple words, just hearing the kind of passion one has for writing always gets me excited about writing. Which is great because it always seems to come at the right time. So please, come join in on this adventure. The more, the merrier!

     Feeling inspired...

Saturday, November 22, 2014

NaNoWriMo 2014: Week Two

(Yes, you're reading that correctly, I'm sorry this is a week's been a crazy week. Please keep in mind as you read that this is all from the perspective of the end of week two.)
I suppose you could say this week was sort of up and down-ish. But mostly up, I’m glad to say. Heh, so much for the two week slump. Although, as far as what to say, yes, there was a bit of a slump. But word count, well…read on for yourself…Here are my stats so far.

My week two stats are as follows:
Day Eight: 0 total word count
Day Nine: 1,546 total word count
Day Ten: 338 total word count
Day Eleven: 0 total word count
Day Twelve: 935 total word count
Day Thirteen: 1,025 total word count
Day Fourteen: 0 total word count

Week Two: 4,604 total word count

So yeah…after the first day of week two, I had a better week, at least when compared to week one. It's been a little rough as far as trying to get out of the slump of the beginning of the story. I think I finally decided to just skip ahead a bit and try to gauge when I would get to the main part of the story. But since I'm Pantsing this year, that's a little bit difficult to do.
I did find out two very exciting things about my potential that I never knew before. I'm still psyched about it too! Within the last 15-20 minutes before midnight on day 12, I wrote 639 words in a rush to up my count a little bit before the clock struck midnight and my novel turned into a pumpkin...wait...
Anyway, I had known before then that I could write 500 words in 30 minutes, but I didn't realize the potential hidden inside me. I didn't know that until I went searching for it. And you know what? It's a fantastic feeling and is still doing wonders for my confidence knowing what I'm capable of. But just wait, I'm not done yet...keep reading...
I further found out my potential that I never knew about in all my years of writing. @NaNoWordSprints on Twitter has been having #1k30min sprints throughout the month, meaning they were challenging WriMo's to write a thousand words in 30 minutes. Having found out that I could write almost that much in less than 20 minutes, I wanted to stretch myself further than I ever had before and just see if I could do it. Any boy did I. My fingers were flying across the keyboard like they never have before. And I. Made. It!! I wasn't sure if I could in the last few minutes, but I was close. But by the time the clock hit zero, I managed to crank out 1,025 words!
I think I've about decided to make December my month to focus on all the short stories I've been wanting to post on Wattpad/Booksie. I want to try to finish or edit them in hopes of beginning posting them either late December, or in January. I feel like that would be a pretty great way to start off the new year though, to do what I promised so long ago and post all of the shorts I've been working on. I wish I could've gotten around to it a long time ago, but every time I think about it again and realize all over again how much time has gone by since the last time I said "soon", I'm usually in the middle of some crazy day/week/month...etc. But I think I'm going to just make a stand against myself now and just decide to set aside some time just for those stories that have been so neglected. I feel like they've waited long enough to be read.
I've made quite a few new WriMo friends in the NaNoWriMo chat rooms this year too. I've actually kind of searched out a few rooms to see who all else was awake-at 3 or 4am. I'm glad I did too, there's some pretty cool WriMos out there. A couple of them are awesome enough to make a slight error in type just plain epic! For those who aren't as familiar with NaNoWriMo and it's inner workings, there are these chat rooms where we can interact with each other and share in the madness that is our chosen hobby/profession/whatever you may call it. In these chat rooms, we can arrange little word wars where we sort of compete against each other to see who can write the most words in a given amount of time-15 minutes is usually the most popular. Whether or not any of us consider it a true competition, it's still a great way to get more words written and get that much closer to that goal of 50,000 words by the time the clock hits midnight on the last day of November. Another type of war that can be held is a chain war, where a selected number of word wars are held back to back with a short break in between, as opposed to one war with however long of a break you wish. then, how, you may ask, did a couple of girls make this thing called a chain war into something epic? Remember the typo? I'm not sure what the original number was supposed to be, but it ended up being 300 10 minute wars back to back. One of them figured it out and it was going to be three days straight of the same war. All thanks to a typo. And now, since that one ended, there's one set up to continue til the end of the month. Pretty convenient when the chat rooms are quiet, or there's no one in the chat rooms, but you still want to war. It can be pretty motivating to war with yourself too. Try to beat your previous best enough, and who knows? You might just up your writing speed. Or discover a hidden potential you never knew existed. :)
To make things even more epic, there's now talk of creating a chain war at the start of next year's NaNoWriMo and have it run the entire month. Yeah, that's right, you read correctly. It's going to be so awesomely epic and I can't wait! If any other WriMos are interested, I'll share a little more detail on it the closer it gets...just don't let me forget, lol.

     Too much excitement to contain...

Sunday, November 9, 2014

NaNoWriMo 2014: Week One

Week one has been full of stress, interruptions or distractions and feeling discouraged from low counts. Also major computer complications. Brace yourself, my total count so far is pretty rough, and low. Here are my stats so far.

My week one stats are as follows:
Day One: 49 total word count
Day Two: 648 total word count
Day Three: 0 total word count
Day Four: 63 total word count
Day Five: 0 total word count
Day Six: 0 total word count
Day Seven: 0 total word count

Week One: 760 total word count

Needless to say, my NaNo this year has been really rough. All of those things mentioned at the top of the post have really taxing on me. Several days I didn't get any writing only because I was having major computer issues. I'm still sorting that out, it comes and goes.
Anyway though, I really wish I could say I had a much higher word count at the end of week one than I do, but it's just been a long, tiring week full of distractions or interruptions. If there wasn't some distraction around and I was actually able to get a moment to begin writing with some kind of focus, here came an interruption. Quite annoying when you're as far behind as I am. But I think I've decided to have two or three days (probably three by now) writathons with 5k goals. That should get me caught up...if I can sit and write with focus for long enough.
But that's another thing I've learned this year-well two things. I've always been a Planner through all NaNo experiences, and it's worked for me. I like having my plot planned out, having a guide from chapter to chapter. But this year, I decided to just try throwing the rule book out the window and being a Pantser just once, to see if I could do it (plus I just really want to get a first draft done already). What I learned: It does not work for me. At all. This year has been the most difficult to write even when I do get time to write because I only have a rough plan like the one I've had since I started this novel years ago. The plot hasn't changed much, but the beginning is feeling a lot harder because I'm trying to just make it to the main part of the plot without boring anyone-myself included. I'm glad this is only a draft and I can do a lot of editing to the beginning once I get it done. I know it could be so much better.
The second thing is how much it helps to learn how to turn off the inner editor. Granted, I'm still learning, but I have a start on it anyway. A lot of what's helping is using the website Once you set a word count goal, it forces you to write until you get to your goal and you cannot edit until you meet that goal. A little frustrating depending on how many typos you make. Oh, and you can only see one letter while you're typing. There is a preview button so you can see everything you've written-if you can handle not being able to edit your mistakes, that is. I know what you're thinking, "that's maddening, and you're crazy." And maybe I am. Wait, yes. I most definitely am. Hey, I'm a writer, it comes with the territory. But trust me on this, it takes a little getting used to, but once you get the hang of it, it could really help if you're behind (like I am) on word counts because it forces you to not edit. And if you're like me and write using that during a sprint or a word war, then copy and paste it over to Word (or whatever program you're using) and only tweak the writing so it makes sense, you'd be amazed at what a difference it makes in your total word counts per day. I found out this summer when I was introduced to the program that I apparently have the potential to write 500 words in 30 minutes. I never knew that before. I'm still working on my WPM speed to get it up so I can type faster, but I'm happy with my current speed too. :)
Hopefully next week I can report higher word counts and say that I'm caught up. A friend of mine told me just a couple of days ago that you share your talent with others. You can use it to entertain others, and make it about them and their enjoyment. Thinking about my writing in that way, I hope it will help my word count go up. I tend to think more about all the little details that goes into my writing-which is good, up to a point. But allowing the writing to take control in a bad way and quite possibly hinder the actual writing is something I'm realizing and need to learn how to kind of block that out. Whenever I get to the point of the novel where it takes over and begins to write itself (as I've heard so many others experience), I feel like it will be both thrilling because I'll feel more like a real writer, and the tiniest bit terrifying, but only a little bit. I'll just be so excited whenever I can finally say I have a finished draft. So here's hoping that will still be able to happen this month.

     Desperately wanting to catch up...

Friday, October 17, 2014

Writing Prompts

With NaNoWriMo fast approaching, and me not exactly having the clearest idea of what I want to write yet, I've started looking up basically all the writing prompts I can find to get the wheels greased and going. I've already found one list of Sci-Fi prompts that do well in getting me to think outside the box. Or perhaps it's is bigger on the inside...(you're welcome fellow Whovians). I think I would rather have my "writing box" to be more like a TARDIS for that very reason, come to think of it.
One of these days, I'll eventually make it through my ever growing list of writing prompts. One day. But while I was searching, I came across this picture that said to describe it without using any of the obvious things in it (beach, people, sand, etc). Basically, the same concept for Taboo. Making that connection, it got me thinking, "Of course! Why haven't I thought of that before?" One good writing exercise is just that-to describe something and forcing oneself to not use any of the obvious words. Use the senses other than sight perhaps, how a place smells, how it makes you feel. I'll go on ahead and say it right now, that would be a fantastic exercise for me to do. I need more practice doing that.
And then I remembered this long (I'm talking 6 months here) writing exercise I've had since last year. I kept telling myself last fall that I would set aside the months starting from the summer, and go until the end of the year and I would complete the exercise. And according to what it says, "be a better writer". I remember it saying that you (the writer) would hate him for challenging you to do this, but in the end, you would be a better writer. I'm not really sure what or when it happened, but I've noticed lately that I am again going through another time in my life when I want to truly be a better writer. One worthy of having my stuff read. I want to be happy with what I write and be perfectly ok-content even-with the idea (and hopefully it would actually happen) of people reading what I write.
Anyway, I think perhaps next week I'll do my blog post on the six month writing exercise. For now though, I still can't make up my mind on what I want to do for NaNoWriMo. So from now until the end of this month, if you want to help me decide, I'm including a poll with the three options I keep bouncing between. The first is to do the third re-write of my first novel I started. I am determined to finish it one day and hopefully publish it. I love the story, but it needs serious updating. I shudder when I remember the things 15-yr-old me wrote way back when. But it is the story that made me really want to be a writer for the first time, so it's special to me. :)
The second is to start from scratch on a new story idea that I got in the past couple of months. It's not very well fleshed out at all, so I would probably end up pantsing through NaNoWriMo. A concept I'm still trying to get used to sometimes.
And the final one is to just work on a bunch of short stories I've had promised to post for a long time. If I concentrated on my list of short stories, I think I could potentially get up to ten (length of each one varying) stories done and posted on my Wattpad. Part of me really wants to do this because I feel like I've been neglecting y'all by keeping on promising I would post a new story or chapter, and it hasn't happened yet. And I feel like I would have a sense of accomplishment seeing more short stories ready and waiting to be read.
So. If you want to help me decide what I should do for NaNoWriMo, then let me know! :)

What should I work on for NaNoWriMo? free polls

Well, I think that's about it for this week. I'm sorry today's post is so late in the day, today's been an off day. But the important thing is the post is up now for the second Blogging Friday. Here's hoping I can manage to keep this consistant with how crazy life is, lol.


Friday, October 10, 2014

The Blog Life

So I recently went back to look over my blog history for how often I've blogged since I first started a few years ago. I know it's been extremely sporadic the past year or so, to say the least. And I want to do better about that. But life's been crazy with everything going on in the family, so it's hard to balance everything and keep writing, let alone blogging. Of course, I will be trying to focus on writing a lot more for NaNoWriMo. I mean, in my mind, that's my writing month. It might as well be called Writember instead of November, lol.
But anyway, I realized that the first couple of weeks of this blog was pretty much just non-stop blogging. I would blog once, even twice a day for a week straight. That's definitely a lot more than I've been doing since. So I've been thinking it over, and I think I'm going to try to designate a blogging day. One day a week, I will set aside some time to update a new blog post. Hopefully over some time, this will become a habit I don't even need to think about. I would like to have maybe two a week eventually, but we'll see how this goes. I have to get one habit started first. While I'm at it, I'll probably just have a day set aside for writing as well, that way I'm more guaranteed to have at least one day out of the week to write. Right now, with things as they are, I'm getting less than that done. Maybe it's just NaNo Prep, but I've had that writing stirring inside me and on the brain a lot more than it has been. I still don't know exactly what I'll be working on come NaNoWriMo, I may very well end up trying to multi-task as I tried doing in July Camp NaNo. There's so many ideas stirring around, and I've discovered in the past year or two that if I let that energy build up, then I'll have more excitement and drive when I actually get to writing. If I jump on whatever pops in my head, then my energy and ideas run out fast. Perk of waiting: most of the ideas I have are one little piece and tend to be a bit on the obscure side, so in waiting for my idea tank to fill up, the words generally pour out more at a time. And it's better that way. I can flesh it out a little better having thought it out a little more.
Chances are, once I decide on a writing day, you'll probably see posts about no interruption days or #WritingWednesday...something like that. I rather like Writing Wednesday, now that I think about it. Anyway, whenever I decide on a set day, there will more than likely be posts popping up here and there about it. Heck, I may even have a daily total at the end of Writing Wednesday (or whatever day I pick). That is...if my total word count isn't embarrassingly low, lol. Then again, anything is a step in the right direction. And it would be more than I'd have gotten done the day before. I think while I'm at it, I'll go on ahead and say I'll start today with Blogging Fridays. I'll start trying to get a new blog post out each Friday. The November posts will be the same as usual-stats at the end of each week, then it'll go back to normal posts. I rather like this designating a day thing. I'm thinking maybe I should've started that from the beginning, but back then I was blogging all the time. It'll be nice to get back to blogging more often again. Who knows? Maybe I'll even break my previous record for posts in a year (grand total of 20).
So here we go, first Blogging Friday in what will hopefully be a long line of Blogging Fridays. I'll say it now, if I don't make it one week, I probably have a very good reason. And I'll announce when I finally settle on a writing day as well.
One last thing...I just want to take a minute to thank anyone who's read anything of mine-whether you're a first time, or returning reader of this blog. Or maybe you're a reader on Wattpad/Booksie. Or a follower on Facebook/Twitter. Whatever it may be, I thank you, and I am flattered that anyone would take time out to read whatever it is. Lately there's been a peak in Twitter followers, and I just want to say thank you everyone! I've watched that number slowly climb since I started on Twitter, and seeing it climb higher since this summer just reminds me that my dream of writing is happening. Slowly, but surely, one day I will hold in my hands the proof copy of my debut novel. And a lot of the reason why will be because of you, dear readers. Because your support and encouragement-whether voiced or not-will be a big thing that pushes me to really go after writing. I'm getting there more each day. So thank you, everyone, anyone who has been there through all of this so far, and whatever may come. You mean more than you could know. :)

     Love always,

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Gone running with the Doctor. Be back soon.

Borrowed for a few adventures.

The Doctor

I seem to be doing a lot of apologizing for hiatus' in blogging, don't I? I had meant to keep up with blogging, even had a growing list of blog ideas to keep me going. But then I met the Doctor. That is to say, I finally got around to sitting myself down and watching this show I kept hearing so much about. I'd watched the first reboot episode a long time ago, but had yet to watch anymore up until roughly a month ago. Almost five seasons in, I am definitely a hooked Whovian now. Heck, I was a hooked Whovian before the first season was over. I think it's safe to say that until I get caught up (which should be soon-only three more seasons to go), my writing and blogging will probably suffer a little. My goal is to get caught up in plenty enough time to participate in NaNoWriMo as usual. I have two ideas I'm going back and forth between.
I know I promised a summary of how the Camp NaNoWriMo session back in July went, but there isn't much to tell. Still, I'll get on that and post how it went soon. Somewhere in between all the running with the Doctor.
Other than my newfound Whovian-ism, life has been a bit crazy. My mind is spinning with everything I have going on, or the things I need to get done. Plus some things going on with my grandparents for the past few months. I'm trying to get a handle on things, but it's just a lot. Please bear with me. I'm trying to get back to writing and blogging, but there's so much else lately that's grabbing my attention. Once I manage to make a decent dent in my to-do list, hopefully I'll be able to really get back to writing. But sadly, for right now, writing takes a break while I work on other things in life. But come November, rest assured one way or another, I'll be back to writing. One thing I can say about July NaNo is it gave me newfound confidence in knowing that I can hit 500 words in 30 minutes-something I never knew about myself before. Knowing even a portion of my potential does wonders for confidence for my writing in general, but more specifically in NaNoWriMo. Sadly, I have a standing record of not hitting that 50k goal all of the years I've participated. Only one year have I gotten even close. I doubt this year I'll hit it, but then you never know. One year though, I will hit that goal. And one year, I will be attending The Night of Writing Dangerously. Knowing me, I'll probably talk and socialize all night instead of writing like I'm supposed to, but I have no idea if I'll even get to go more than once. Although, it would be really cool to hit that 50k goal that night. I think they take your picture or give you a crown or something like that. It's been so long since I really looked at The Night of Writing Dangerously.
Anyway though, just thought I'd drop a quick note saying that I'll be running with the Doctor for a little bit longer. But come November, I'll have writing on the brain again. I have actually been thinking more of writing lately, but there's just too much else going on for me to have the time right now. Once I get some of that checked off my list and off my mind, I'll be more free up to focus on writing for NaNo. :)

     Always running...

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

I'm baaaack (again)

Wow, so it's been a long time since I last blogged. I've missed this, but quite honestly, I've had an extremely rough year as far as my writing goes. No matter how badly I wanted to write something, it seemed that every time I sat down at my laptop, I would end up just staring at the blank screen. And that annoying blinking cursor. I'd be lucky if I got a paragraph down. But it happens. I find it hard to believe that there is a writer out there who doesn't struggle with the occasional dry spell. Or as one of my best friends calls it, writer's frustration.
The years since I've started writing and working toward that lovely goal of being a published author have been very up and down as far as total word count. Sadly, with most of the years being a very low word count. But I was-and still am-always, always writing a story in my head. I'm always brainstorming on an element I'm trying to expand, whether it be a character's back story, or trying to figure out how they would respond to any given situation. Or even trying to plan out how my fantasy world looks for my future dragon books. That one will take several more years, probably.
Anyway, my point is, even though I've had even lower world count than my usual low word count, I've been brainstorming a lot on my different projects. And I actually have several newer projects I'm working on now.
Which brings me to this month: the July session of Camp NaNoWriMo. I'm using this month to try to give myself that kick in the pants I need to get a few projects done. Several short stories, and a couple of novels I'm trying to get started. You can find them on Wattpad once they're done. And yes, I will be posting on here to give a heads up that they're there.
I'm going to try to do a weekly update as the month goes by (edit: whoops...ok, maybe an end of the month update on how the Camp session went), and I have a few other blog posts in the works too. Here's a preview of what's to come (in no particular order):
  • How seven words can make a difference
  • A few book reviews (I haven't forgotten about those....I just need to finish the books first...)
  • A little more detail on a few of my current projects
  • A different kind of blog hop
  • A letter from me to you
So I'm just easing myself back into the writing world. I always forget how much I love to write. But when I do begin writing again, it's like a familiar feeling very much like seeing an old friend you've known your whole life, but don't get to see very often. It's that thrill and excitement of getting to see them again, and you're just giddy for a while. It sinks in, and you begin to realize just how much you've missed them.
I'm not making any plans for sitting down and finishing a novel. If it comes, it comes. I'm just playing everything out by ear right now. I'm trying to finish a few short stories and getting a good start on a couple of side project novels. I'm not making any plans on if I'll try NaNoWriMo in November yet. I'll make my mind up once the month gets closer. Although, I will say that this month has really gone very differently-in a positive way-than I would have thought. It's really given me quite the boost in my will and enjoyment to write than I've felt in a long time. And truth be told, it feels really good. I'm feeling more of a sense of accomplishment than I have since I don't know when. I don't know when that first great (I hope) novel will be finished and out there. For now, I'm just enjoying working on the things I am at my own pace, steadily getting them closer to being finished. Once I get these projects done, there will be a bit of a blow up on my Wattpad page, lol.
Oh yeah, and since the post previous to this one was about my dragon short...I am still working on that one. I know what I want to do with it, but my mind's been everywhere and back again for a while. Rest assured, soon enough, it will be up on my Wattpad page, and possibly on here. For now, I'm focusing on a few of my other projects and I'm making some nice progress so far. Here's hoping it continues to go that way. :)

     Always writing (even if in my head)...