Monday, April 27, 2015

Writing...For the Pain, For the Pleasure

I know plenty of people who struggle with writing. As writers, we've all been there, whining, "The words won't come," "I don't know what happens next," "I hate this story," to even "I can't make myself do it."

Some of these notions stump me. If you're the one in charge, creating your own story, in a setting of your choosing, with characters you've brought to life, then how can you be miserable? Despite what anyone tells you, writing is work. Hours of sitting at the computer, alone, 'talking to yourself''. Who does that? Only those crazy enough to stick with imaginary people and make stuff happen to them for 300 pages.

On the flip side, I know there are plenty of authors who LOVE everything about their story. It's their darling.

I was feelin' the love with my writing this past week. Although I only had time for two writing sessions and my word count isn't brag worthy, I wrote several scenes with passion. Those are the sessions I live for, when it's all smooth and flowing. But if it isn't, then it's our job as master and commander to fix it and make it so. If we're having trouble writing the story, then who wants to read that?

Of course, we struggle through certain points in our work, and we're thankful for editing, but writing shouldn't be a torture task. If it is, you need a good chat with your writing pals to find the source of the problem and eradicate it. Find your writing pleasure!

Word Count on the WIP: 25, 728

Monday, April 20, 2015

That Evil Comparison Game

I suspect many writers do this: compare ourselves, our style, our pace to other writers', and of course, we always compare ourselves to someone who writes 'better and faster'. Yes, yes, yes, I'm guilty of this. I have a friend who writes 4 to 5 books a year, and every time I see one of her updates that reads along the lines of, "Whew, just wrote 9k words today," I feel frustrated with myself, mad that I'm not at that level of production, or cranking out similar results.

But why?

Wasn't it Dr. Seuss who advised: "Be yourself, everyone else is already taken" ? And such wise words, since none of us are called to be 'like' anyone else. Doesn't this also ring true for how we work our talents? Just because some writers can and do finish multiple novels in a year doesn't mean that I'm any less talented. Heck, it has nothing to do with me!

We can only do what we can do. For some of us, that means accomplishing a NaNo draft, then taking 6-ish months to clean and polish it. For others, it means writing a page a day, a book a year. I have another friend who just finished his second novel...that took him 5 years.

So this week's quote is especially satisfying. I didn't managed 7k or 9k new words this week, but I did get ideas to paper. Yay me! and whatever you've accomplished this week, 100 words to 10k words, I'm cheering you on!

Word Count on the WIP: 23,014

Monday, April 13, 2015

Be a Writer

How true is this? When I mention to new acquaintances that I'm a writer / published author, I sometimes get, "Oh, I've always wanted to write a book," or "I've been thinking about doing that, too." Because as we all know, sitting down and writing a book (and then another...) is just that easy. All the characters, dynamics, plot points, and syntax just magically fall into place. Effortlessly.

On the other hand, there are self-defeating writers who want to write and claim to have a story, but their self doubts get the best of them. I feel for these people, because I've been there. The secret to this dilemma is really no secret; it's a truth: you just push through, write anyway.

Last week wasn't much of a writing success for me. I expected it to a degree, but was still disappointed.

What can I do? Hope and aim for better this week.

Happy Writing, My Friends!

WIP Word Count: 21, 360

Sunday, April 5, 2015

The Warrior Writer

'How are you feeling about your writing this week?'
(via The PAGE International Screenwriting Awards)

The self-defeating attitude can be a fierce warrior, just as a mild confidence can lull us into complacency. Each day is a battle between the two extremes for writers, right? Sometimes we peck away at our keyboards, flying high and so proud we’ve carved out writing time for the day, only to glance at our words and think, “This is garbage! No one will ever read or buy this!” The secret to winning the war is not to give up. Anyone can quit, let those nagging doubts prevails. But that’s not us. Let’s stand firm and cling to our goals. Plus, why not encourage other writers you know? How, you may ask. Simple. Check in with your writer pals, see how the WIP is going. Spend some time brainstorming with other writers, or talking about the latest trends in marketing. Only writers can understand and relate to other writers. Publishing is a strange game where the rules and design are ever-changing. So the fact of the matter is, whether we’re having a ‘genius’ day or ‘fraud’ moment, we need each other. The world of publishing makes no promises when it comes to fame and success, but that should never keep us from being devoted to our craft and telling the best story we can.
Word Count on the WIP: 20, 878 

Monday, March 30, 2015

Writing Progress...An Enemy?

Ever felt this way? Like you have the story, the whole picture inside your head, but you can't regurgitate it fast enough?

Well, that's doesn't sound right.

What I mean is, sometimes you know the whole story but it takes longer to express and buld that world than you thought, or at least longer than you'd like. I know people who can write a book in 6 weeks. That's not me. (Maybe one day? Eh, maybe not.) From the start, I think I know I'm a 4-draft writer. At least.

When you're painting those pictures, directing that movie on paper, there's a big transition from your head to a reader's hands--and getting it all right, so the reader's experience and emotions are just what you aimed for.

I had a chunk of time I devoted to my WIP this week, and while I made progress, it wasn't as much as I wanted. It's not enough! Why can't I write faster? is what I kept yelling at myself. For some, me included, such thoughts can work against you. Discourage you, make you quit.

But I--WE--must not stop writing.

I know the first draft is garbage, but I can work with a draft; I can't work with an unfleshed idea or an empty page.

So as I take a deep breath and launch into this week (already worried that upcoming commitments will deplete writing time), I'm making the decision to be happy with Progress. Any Progress.

And I'm going to keep telling the story.

Here's an article (a little dated but still good) on writing and making progress.

Have a great week of writing, Friends!

WIP Word Count: 18,420

Monday, March 23, 2015

Bonus Post

Admittedly, this doesn't have to do with my WIP, but I'm celebrating and wanted you to join in.

My new book (novella) A Dream Called Marilyn is out today!

Here's hoping you check it out and enjoy!!!

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Writer Problems

What are some of the biggest challenges you face while writing?

I think most would agree that TIME is a big factor. We carve it out, steal it, sacrifice it, the works. All in a desperate attempt to make something with words.

This week, I invested more time in my kiddos than in my writing. I'm pretty proud of that, not because I swapped out being Awesome Mom for Working Writer, but because I know that time is a precious gift, our greatest commodity, something we can give and something we never get back.

I also invested in a writing workshop on Saturday. There's nothing like meeting and connecting with writers. We are an interesting bunch. I learned a lot, survived accidentally going down a one way street the wrong way (isn't writing like that sometimes?), and endured some harsh but needed feedback on a chapter.

Even so, I made progress on my WIP.

Word Count: 13, 321

Monday, March 16, 2015

Breaking my own rule

It's not Sunday.

BUT, I had to chime in, with a little bit of Monday left, and share that I met my goal! Made it to 10k, well, 10,243 for anyone who's counting.


The bad news? I'll have to revise my writing goals for the rest of the week, meaning I may not hit 20k by Sunday night (esp with being out of town all day Saturday).

But I guess we'll find out next Sunday.

Keep writing, reading, and editing, My Friends!


Sunday, March 15, 2015

The First Week

Needless to say, the first week of writing the new book didn't go as planned, but then I'm not sure exactly what that 'plan' was, other than to write. It's a good reminder, though, that when it comes to putting words on the page, you have to MAKE the time, or take the time away from your ordinary activities.

Like most writers, I'm trying to juggle several things (writing-wise) and hoping to do a good job at all of them. Is that possible?

But after starting the novel last week, I have over 6k words. Respectable, on some levels. However, my goal is to hit 10k by Monday night.

Who's with me on meeting their own particular goal?

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Day One--The New Novel

I did it. Despite the fear that gripped me, distracted me, made me doubt. I'm keeping another personal log (on paper) so I'll have a place to vent and cry when needed. My first entry? 'I'm scared. Scared to start, scared to commit, scared I won't finish, scared it will be a dud.' I took a deep breath and started anyway. Then later tonight, I saw this quote..... (Thanks again to Lisa Keyes for sharing.)

#amwriting #newnovel #icandothis! #fearless

The Goal

I'm not sure anyone will ever read this blog. That's fine. This blog is for me. My intention? To keep a record of what it's like to write a book, from start to finish. As of today, I haven't written a word but I have a decent 'outline' and notes for getting started.

I plan to write updates, every Sunday, on the progress, setbacks, and so forth. Plus, I hope this keeps me accountable to my work.

My goal with this new project is to have a rough draft in 6-8 weeks, then spend the summer working on revisions, and *hopefully* publish this book by September / October.

This is scary. But a good scary.

Let's see how my plan unfolds, how it turns out in reality.

#amwriting #writerslife #thewritingprocess