Filtering by Tag: not writing

IWSG: Writer Angst

The first Wednesday of every month is reserved for Insecure Writers Support Group (unless I forget). In these posts, I write about my insecurities as a writer. Make sure to check out all the wonderful bloggers participating!

Current Writing Mood:

Thank you, Schmidt, for summing things up so nicely for me. 

How is YOUR writing going these days?

Out of the Slump

It's been two months since my last post. I'm a bad, bad blogger.

Life has been hectic, as usual, and I was in a writing slump for a long time. Now, I'm back to my story and my life has settled down.

I met with an academic advisor last week and found out that I have everything I need for my General Associate's Degree. Not only that, but the following day I was informed that I only need eleven classes for my Bachelor's in Professional Communications.

Eleven classes. That's, like, three semesters. About a year or so and I'll be finished with school. How awesome is that?

An added bonus was that the classes I was signed up for this semester were extras -- I didn't need them for my degrees. So, I was able to withdraw from them and now I have a semester off. The timing couldn't be better, as I have wanted to do nothing but write for the last month or so.

The slump I mentioned earlier had gone on for months. I was halfway through Chapter 6 and I'd stalled. I went on my dream vacation (I'm writing a couple posts about how magical THAT was. Look for them soon) and couldn't write a word when I came back. From the end of September to mid-January, I was a writer who didn't write. And I was miserable.

Then, suddenly, I had a breakthrough. I don't know exactly what caused it, but one day I finished Chapter 6 and I didn't stop. I haven't stopped. I'm now about halfway done with Chapter 16, and I'm feeling good about things. So, yeah. This unexpected semester off from school is a blessing. Maybe I'll actually finish this draft by Spring.

That about wraps up the last couple months of my life. How have yours been? Productive? Are you staying warm in this horrible winter?

If not, here's a teaser picture from my vacation. Nothing like a little Italian sunshine to warm you right up!

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Part of the Process

A few days ago, I sat down at my desk determined to write. Get that damn Chapter Four revised once and for all. Write an all new Chapter Five. Get Words Down.

What I did instead could easily be called procrastination by some. I prefer to call it Part of the Process.

I spent the next forty-five minutes Googling pictures of my characters and various elements of the story. Then, I downloaded a simple collage program and proceeded to mesh all these pictures together in pictorial representations of my story.

Here are the results:

If you're curious about the cast, they are:
Katharine McPhee as Tierney
Ian Somerhalder as Jack
Paul Walker as Wes
Julianne Hough as Sam
Isla Fisher as Macy

Though I didn't get any words written that day, I did end up with a clearer view of the story I've been trying to tell and its characters.

So, tell me: what's YOUR process? Have you tried collage before? Was this pure procrastination? Isn't Ian Somerhalder dreamy?

IWSG - Losing It

Today's post is brought to you by the Insecure Writers Support Group.

Ever since the semester from hell ended, I've been trying to jump back into my novel. I'd neglected it for months and months, due to pieces of my soul being consumed by the evil Math, and so I was excited to dive in and pick up where I left off.

Only I couldn't.

I tried reading through the previous chapters.

I tried writing journal entries from the POV of my main character.

I tried free writing, hand writing, typing away on the computer.

I tried everything I could think of. But nothing was working.

And so I began to worry. Have I lost it? Am I no longer a writer? WHAT DO I DO NOW????

It's a terrifying thought, losing my ability to write. Writing is My Thing. It's what I love to do. So I've been fighting for it. I've been mapping out new ideas and rearranging the scenes in my outline. Anything to get the juices flowing again. So far, nothing has worked super well, but I think I'm getting there.

Or, at least, I hope I am.

So, what about you? Have you ever felt like you lost your writing? What did you do to get it back? And how evil is Math, anyway?

Balancing Act

Summer semester starts in just over two weeks and I'm just now starting to get back into the swing of things, regarding my writing. I've finally jumped back into my story from the beginning. I'm keeping notes as I read, jotting down things I think I could change, ways to fix overall issues, etc. I'm getting excited again.

I'm a little bummed that it's taken me so long. After all, once Summer semester starts, I may not have enough free time to continue work on my novel. Then again, I'm only taking two classes this time -- I learned my lesson last year. I will never take four classes over the summer again. But I start training for a promotion at work in a week or two, so there's extra work and studying time.

I often wonder if I'm crazy to pursue this dream of writing. It's become clear over the last year or so that it's damn near impossible for me to balance life and writing. My writing has suffered because of school. As much as I love my story and characters, I had a really hard time jumping back into it when I had free time. It scares me, the idea of giving up writing because of everything else going on. Writing is my first love. It's my dream. My passion. I can't live without it. When I'm not writing, I'm thinking about writing. When I'm not writing, I'm feeling guilty. When I'm not writing, I'm feeling sad. Words have gotten me through a lot in my life and I feel like I owe it to myself to hold onto them.

But I've got to finish school. I've got to work. I've got to be a grown up.

I want a full life with a good job, a house, kids. The whole shebang. But I'm worried about how I will have all that AND my dream.

Dreams are tricky little buggers, aren't they?

So, for all of you out there who are managing to balance life and writing, whether you're going to school like me, or already have your home and family and job, how do you do it? Any advice? Words of encouragement? I'm dying to know!

I Think My Brain's Busted

It's October 2nd. I should be a frantic, frenzied mess. I should be maniacally revising my WiP and working on an outline for NaNoWriMo. I should be freaking out.

But I'm not.

No, instead I'm spending ridiculous amounts of time dallying around on the internet and playing Sims. WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME???

I think I'm having a mental breakdown. No, really. I'm serious. What other reason would I be so...unfocused?

I really need to get it together. I've got less than a month before the absolutely insane four weeks in November. The only saving grace I have is that I know the story I'm gonna be working on. I know it and its characters well. I just have to rework it and make it stronger and more...logical. Just an outline. That's all I need. Usually, when I'm starting a new project, I need an outline, character interviews, page after page of notes and research. But not this time. Just an outline. Maybe that's why I'm being so nonchalant. I think I've got it under control because I've been working on this story for so long. I'm not taking into account that whatever I've got written for it (an entire word-vomit of a first draft, written from too many POVs and filled with purple prose) is useless. Everything has to go. I have to start anew. I need to hammer that concept into my thick head. Maybe then I'll be good and motivated.

Or at least I hope so.

I leave for work in about twenty minutes. It's going to be a long, hectic day. I wasted three hours this morning doing nothing of importance when I could have gotten a lot accomplished. All day, I'm gonna kick myself for that. And all day, I'm going to remind myself that I've got a lot of work ahead of me. Maybe by the time I get out, I'll be motivated with just the right dash of freaking out.

So, how about you? Am I the only one who's so daggone unmotivated? How do you get past this?

Easily Distracted.

Okay, so it's official. I am a horrible, terrible, god awful blogger. Two weeks since my last entry. That's just unacceptable. And I wish I could say I had an excuse. A real, honest to goodness reason why I have been MIA for fourteen days. But I have nothing.

To be frank, I've been the queen of all slackers. Not only haven't I written a blog entry, I haven't touched my revisions. I have half a page of scribbled notes for chapters three and four, but other than that, I haven't done a single constructive thing lately.

Why, you ask?

Because of this:

Yep. I'm addicted to The Sims. To be fair, it's the only video game I play. Unfortunately, it's one of those games that sucks you in and you lift your head three hours later and wonder what the hell just happened. When did the sun go down? How did that movie you were half-watching end? I'm sorry, were you saying something. Yeah, it's like that. I stopped playing this game last year for just this reason, but the moment I reinstalled it on my computer, I knew I was asking for trouble.

Turns out, my willpower is crap. Absolute crap. My thought process looks something like this these days:

I should work on chapter three.

Oh, but my Sim is thisclose to a promotion at work.

But Mari's at the doctor. I should really finish that scene.

But...Sim toddlers are SO cute!

Mari's baby is cute, too.

Yeah, but it's still a fetus!

And so on. I'm slightly worried I'm going insane. Or maybe I'm just desperate for mindless distractions so I don't have to sprout a few more gray hairs from working on my book.

In other news, Fall is here. I love me some fall. It's by far my favorite season. But with the cooler weather and changing leaves comes the realization that November is just around the corner. And November means NaNoWriMo.

Oh, boy.


And I haven't even developed an idea to run with this year. I was seriously hoping to have Mari's story finished and polished and perdy by the time November rolled around. I don't think that's gonna happen. Nonetheless, I'll finish her story. November will just be a vacation.

Ha. I don't think you can call writing 50,000 words in 30 days a vacation of any kind.

I need a game plan. And for someone to steal my Sims discs.

Vacation's End...and a New Idea

It has been decided -- by me and pretty much everyone else in my life -- that I need to get back to work. Alas, my little writing-free vacation is over. Half of me is a petulant five-year-old, dragging her feet and pushing her bottom lip out in a pitiful little pout. But the other half is practically jumping up and down in excitement. I haven't looked at my novel since June 30th. Well, other than thumbing through my proof copy. And I can't wait to get back to it with fresh eyes and a renewed enthusiasm.

Dana has volunteered to finance a self-publishing venture, should I choose to take that road. I haven't quite decided if this is what I want to do. On one hand, I know a ton of people in my life would buy a copy. More than half the people I work with, my family, Dana's family, our friends. But beyond that, I don't know how far the reach is for this method of publication. Or if it would even be worth the financial burden I'm sure it would be. I have to wonder if it wouldn't be a better idea to pursue traditional publishing. Decisions, decisions.

In the meantime, I think I should just focus on getting the daggone thing done. Once and for all. And then I'll go from there.

But here is the problem I'm encountering -- A Shiny New Idea.

This idea has been fermenting in the back of my mind for the last couple of weeks, keeping me from working on an old manuscript and pretty much rendering me useless. I've done pretty good about resisting the temptation so far. My worry is that once I get started on the final revisions of my current project, I won't be able to stop thinking about the new idea.

So, here's my Question of the Day: How do you quiet the siren song of The Shiny New Idea? Any advice would be amazing!

My Writing Vacation

I am a horrible, horrible blogger.

To be honest, I've been a horrible, horrible writer too.

You remember when I said I was taking a break from my current WiP to work on an old one? Well, it somehow morphed into a plain ole break. I haven't picked up a pen or opened a word document in about a week. For the first few days, I enjoyed the living heck outta it. But now...I kind of miss it. The adrenaline, the frustration, the whole damn process.

I got a confirmation email last Wednesday for my Createspace copy. It's not gonna be perfect. In fact, it's gonna be a downright disaster. No title page, chapters starting on the right AND left sides, the cover not exactly what I had in mind. Oh, not to mention the same scene in Chapters 12 AND 14. BUT! It's mine. A real live copy of something I slaved over for months. So, even if it isn't perfect, I'm just super-excited to hold it in my hands, ya know?

I have been addicted to Sara Bareilles' new song lately.

It's catchy and fun and I sing it all day at work. Much better than having Adam Lambert stuck in my head, let me tell you.

I've been doing some driving lately. A friend of mine took it upon herself to teach me and so once a week, she picks me up and lets me drive around town. Last week, it was just the back country roads while I got comfortable behind the wheel. Yesterday, I drove the busier streets. And I didn't run over any pedestrians or back-end someone or have a panic attack! Next time, we'll probably try the busiest street -- which just so happens to be the street I work on. It's my biggest driving fear. Well, that and the highway. But gradually, I'm conquering these fears. Couldn't be prouder of myself. Isn't it silly that driving has scared me so much?

I finally got to go to the beach yesterday. I love to swim. LOVE to swim. But I rarely get to do it. We've been in the middle of a heat wave 'round here, but I've been stuck at work all day. Wouldn't it figure that my day off is when the heat breaks? It was still plenty warm enough to swim, though I'm sure I would have appreciated it more when the weather was nearing a hundred degrees. Still felt amazing to dive into that cool water. If I could, I'd swim every single day of my life. I think I was a fish in another life.

I have to get ready for work (I hate Saturdays!), but I'll leave you guys with a couple links I thought were super helpful. Well, they would have been if I was actually WRITING right now. Ah well, soon.

201 Ways to Arouse Your Creativity
10 Writing Tips That Can Help Almost Anyone, courtesy of Janet Fitch

I'm hoping to get back to something resembling a blogging routine soon. Wanderlust Wednesdays, book reviews, progress updates. I've got my fingers crossed! In the meantime, Happy Saturday, everyone!