Posts Tagged ‘writing’

Word count: 8,808

I mean, really? What was I thinking about when I decided to write this story? I’m not going to bore you with the details of it. Besides, you can buy it when it’s published and I’m rich and famous.

Yeah, right! It sure doesn’t seem that way right now. I thought my story would be easy to tell. I have it outlined and all I’m trying to do is follow the outline.

Why didn’t anyone tell me that the outline doesn’t mean shit when suddenly you have characters showing up out of nowhere and won’t leave?  An outline is supposed to be how your book begins and ends with a bunch of stuff in the middle, right?

Wrong! Oh no, not for me apparently. It seems that while I’m writing, if I have a thought about a scene or a character, suddenly I am writing something that isn’t even planned. It’s like I’m possessed.

But then I’ve got to explore the idea and see where it goes. Because I have to. I HAVE TO.

Sure, it’s great for the word count and is probably one of the reasons I’m a bit ahead of target. That plus I’m blowing off everything I can in order to write this month. So I realize it’s about the quantity more than the quality.

But that is a lie that I tell myself because the quality of what I write IS more important than the quantity.

My story is starting to get complicated. I’ve turned off my inner editor and am slugging it out, but I had hoped to keep this story simple and lean and it’s not cooperating with me. At all. Whatsoever.

How well do you follow your outline?

Word count: 6,994.

I realize it’s only the 3rd day, but I can already feel little parts of my life tugging at me. It’s just little nudges here and there, but it’s actually more about my mind-set.

You see, I have a tendency that when I decide to do something, I don’t let anything stop me. The reverse is also true. If I don’t want to do something, nothing can get me to do it. Even if I know I should. That makes it worse and makes me even more stubborn. Yeah, I know I should exercise an extra day, but if I don’t want to, the more someone points it out to me, the further I dig my heels in.

I like to think of it as part of my charm but I am sure there are a few people around here that would tell you it’s not so charming.

I am trying to stay ahead of the word count so I can take a day off this weekend. I’m going up to my Mom’s for her 82nd birthday. I haven’t seen my family in a couple of months and I am looking forward to it. I actually am but I know that it will take a lot of effort on my part not to have my mind on my writing.

I will have to learn to play nice with the other kids. This will be good for me. This will help me to get out of my writing planet and walk around with non-writers. I won’t have internet access there and I keep telling myself that it is good. I will be fine. The planets will not collide if I’m not online for a day. I can do this. I know I can.

Then why do I already feel pangs of anxiety starting to run through my body?

In a very strange way, I am glad I’m not dating anyone right now because, well, you know how distracting that can be. For hours and days and weekends. Just…too…distracting…

Where was I? Oh yeah,  I was talking about putting writing ahead of people. I may not have the answer for that but I can attest to the fact that anytime you sacrifice who you are for someone else, you might as well just call the funeral director for the burial because you’ve just committed suicide. It might take a while for you to die, but eventually you will. If not physically, you will suffer a slow and painful death spiritually.

So,  is my writing more important than the people I know? Yes and no. It’s a matter of being true to yourself and keeping the agreements you make with YOURSELF. Yeah, you. You’re the one that said you would do this crazy contest. You’re the one that said you were a writer and then started to write. You’re the one, just like me, who has no idea how to do it all.

When I see my unanswered emails sitting there and looking lonely or it takes me hours to return a text message because I’m writing or I find that I don’t really want to go out for coffee or dinner as I would rather write, then yes, my writing is more important than anything else.

I think it’s OK to be this way for a very short period of time. I’m the only writer I know so no one really knows how hard I work at this or how much time I put into it. It seems to be never-ending.

Books and stories and poems and songs don’t get written by themselves. Everything you read, someone sat down and took the time and energy to write it and I am sure it was hard to do. I KNOW it was hard to do.

So you tell me. How do you do it? How important is your writing to you? What do you sacrifice, if anything, in order to write?

Word count: 4,752.

How many of you are brave enough to do it?  I actually would like to read them, so please share them with me. I know for me a book has to grab my attention fairly quickly if I am going to continue reading. I may give it a chapter, but when I’m in a bookstore and trying to find something to read, that first sentence and paragraph is very important.

I also won’t buy books online if I can’t read parts of it. Sorry, it’s not about the money. It’s about me spending my valuable time with a book. Whether I spend $1.99 for $25.00 on a book, if I don’t like it, I feel ripped off.

Here’s the first two sentences of my book:

Eli thought it had been a wonderful business trip for the last week until she came home and found a used condom in the bed she shared with her husband SamUp until then, it had been great trip but not so much anymore.

I love this first and second sentence. Every time I think about tweaking them a bit, I just can’t. I don’t know if  they will survive the second draft, but for right now, I love them.

I’ll also confide something to you, but only you and that is: this is based on a true story. That one moment in life where everything changes and goes off the rails. But before you jump to conclusions, it didn’t happen to me but it did happen to someone I know. I’ve put a bit of a creative spin on it, but it did happen.

It’s funny how we as writers can take a moment and build a story around it. I think that makes us the coolest people in the universe. Whether any of us get published is not relevant. What is important is our stories and what we do with these moments in life and how we use them.

If you look around, there are stories everywhere to write about it. All it takes is the intention to do it and sitting your butt down in a chair for a long, long time and telling the story.

So, don’t be shy. Tell me about your story so I can learn.

Words written today: 2,356

Not bad for my first day, but it’s always like that. You know it’s coming and BAM! Off you go! I’ve been chomping at the bit for over a week to get started.

Here we go, right? All bright and shiny. I found it hard not to start before today. You commit yourself to this idea of writing a novel in a month – you know it’s nuts – but you just can’t help but be excited about seeing what you can do.

This is my second year of doing it. Last year, I heard about it for the first time about 3 days before it started. I signed-up and jumped in without any idea of what I was going to write about.

I had started writing again about a year before. I gave up being a writer years and years ago for all the wrong reasons. I have a busy life with lots of stress, just like everyone else.

I agreed with a “friend” that I wasn’t good enough. See previous blog on my various acts of stupidity and that was one of the biggest mistakes I ever made.

Life had gone in a direction I had never imagined, most of it pretty brutal and unhappy. I’ve had to overcome more than my fair share of hurt and betrayal.

One day, I woke-up and I was 50. 50! How the hell does that happen? It was a really turning point for me and all in a good way. I spent a few months really taking a look at my life in between doing the paper chase.

I realized that I had never gone after the one thing I always wanted to be and do and that was writing. I don’t know how it is for other writers, but I hate having people read what I write. Doesn’t make much sense because isn’t that the main point of writing? Have others read it and like it?

The fear of rejection is very powerful. More powerful than I like admitting to. But there it is. I soon discovered the world of blogging and with a very deep breath, I published a silly little story on a website where I had been chatting with about 15 people the previous year.

The next thing I knew, they said they loved it, laughed along with me and wanted the next chapter. Chapter? What chapter? I had no intention of doing anything other than that little story and now people wanted to read more?

So, the next day, I wrote something else and they wanted more. Suddenly I was writing this book, a chapter a day and making shit up as I went. All thought the story was true!

Oh geez! What do you do? Do you tell them the truth that you’re just pulling it out of your ass as fast as you can or do you tell them that it’s true.

I said nothing and kept writing. After I posted one chapter, I got emails within an hour wanting the next one.

No one was more shocked than I. Plus I was doing it at work because I didn’t have a laptop or computer at home. Hell, I still don’t have TV or cable. I would come into work early, write something and post and then go on with my day. I ended up writing, for fun, what has now become the first draft of a novel.

I print it out and now my family wants to read it. They, of course, love it but they are biased but that’s OK. My sister then buys me this laptop with the promise that I will write everyday and never stop. I agree to 4 days a week and a deal is struck and I come home with this little laptop.

Fast forward to NaNo last year and I jump in and I HAVE ABSOLUTELY NO IDEA WHAT I AM DOING! None at all. I remember spending a lot of time alone during that month and becoming obsessed with word count. I would check in on Twitter for some words of encouragement, and it helped. But in the end, the only one that can do the writing is the writer.

I found out I was committed to doing this and honing what I could about writing all by myself. I’ve read a million things about it, but it doesn’t matter. It’s all opinion. What matters is that I – and you – write and write and write and not worry about it.

So, here I am again and I decided to blog about it because maybe it will help me to do so and maybe it will help someone else. I hope so.

So here we are. The first day is complete. I spent the previous weekend getting as much done as I could at home. But the laundry will need to be done again this coming weekend, I’ve got to be out-of-town with no internet access on Sunday. My job will still require at least 60 hours of my time and the world will continue to spin with or without me.

I write because I like it, but it’s hard and lonely. There’s a lot of things I don’t do so I can write, but that’s my choice.

But for now, I’m good to go. I still don’t know how I’m going to get all of this done.  I love the idea of my story but getting it done in a month without me tossing the laptop across the room will be interesting.

So, how was your first day?

Could it get any worse for people with kids who are participating this year? I think other than December, November has to be the worse month to do this, but here we are.

I have much empathy for you as I live alone, so it doesn’t matter what I do tonight. I can hand out candy or turn the porch light off and pretend I’m not home.

I admit that I ate a lot of the candy last night. I couldn’t help it. That’s why I never buy it because that’s what I do – I eat it.

Anyway, I’ve seen a lot of posting and talk about not being ready for NaNo and I think that’s the whole point of it. It’s not about being ready. It’s all about doing it in spite of it.

This will be my second year and I’ve been ready to start since last week. I am using this time to finish my first draft of a book I started over a year ago. I seem to be able to always find something else to do.

But over the last few weeks, I have put my writing way on top of my list of priorities. After eating, sleeping and working, it comes in at 4th place. Sometimes I nudge it down to 5th when family/friends obligations come up, but not too often.

But maybe someone can answer me this – How DO you get ready to take a month out of your life and rearrange it completely and make writing your priority? How does anyone do that?

I know what I do. I get up early and try to write, but I always seem to forget that I am the WORSE morning person to have ever awakened. I’m not kidding. I’ve never been someone who is wide awake and happy first thing in the morning. In fact, I’ve actually had fights with boyfriends and family over it. I tell them “Look, it takes me awhile to wake-up in the morning, so if you could just cool it for about 1/2 hour, everything will be fine” and then they take this as some type of challenge. Yeah, that’s about the time I start looking at tossing my coffee at them, but I’ve learned to just to smile and not say anything until they stop bouncing around like Tigger on meth.

So, morning doesn’t work well for me. I’m much more creative in the late morning and early afternoon, so most likely I will spend my lunch hour working on my word count. I usually take about 15 minutes for lunch, but even then I can get something done.

I have an evening or two that I can work on it, but there’s a few nights that I can’t. What I ended up doing last year was jamming on the weekends and that requires turning off the phone and unplugging the internet.

What is hard is that the people around me just don’t understand but they know me well enough to realize it is absolutely pointless to try to tell me anything or to get me to do something I don’t want to do. I tell them about NaNo and I get this hesitant smile from them and you can see them mentally scratch their heads and nod. It doesn’t make any sense and why should it?

It’s insane to write 50,000 words a month and I have yet to learn how to turn off my inner editor. I’ll post more on that later, but it is a huge challenge for me and most writers.

Last year I had severe sleep deprivation and I am hoping to avoid that this year, but I honestly don’t see a way around it. I am going to have to force myself to write in the morning and do everything I can to hit my daily word count.

Plus I am trying to finish before Thanksgiving, so my word count will have to be at least 2,173 per day.

So, here we go! Tomorrow is a big day and I would love to know what you do. How do you make the time to do this?

Have you done this before and if so, what happened to your book after Thanksgiving? I am still working on mine. For me, about mid-year of completing it, lots of things went wrong in life and I had to put my writing aside to take care of a family emergency. I found that I lost my momentum and it was very hard to start it back up again.

I hope that by doing NaNo again this year, I will enjoy it and get back into the habit of writing every day and actually finishing the first draft and start my next book.

What are your long-term goals for NaNo? I am dying to hear from other people

Really? What did you expect?

You sat down at your computer and you had a lot on your mind. It could have been the fight you had with the spouse/significant other/various other PC terms that I don’t give a rats ass about.

Or maybe you wanted to share a political point of view or something happened at work and you wanted to talk about it. Maybe you just wanted to say something and get it out of your system.

You sat down and you wrote about it and you poured your heart and guts into it and then you did the unforgivable.

You hit the enter key or the share key and you put your words out there for the entire world to read.

What did you expect? What did you really think would happen?

You thought that you would be accepted and that you would be understood and maybe even loved a bit for your words and your heart and your soul. You actually thought everything would be OK and that your world would be better for the one sin y0u committed that will never, ever be forgiven.

You had the audacity to communicate.

How dare you! How dare you go against the norm of THIS society and actually put down, in words, what you think and what you feel. No, you aren’t supposed to do that. You are NOT supposed to rock the boat or have a different opinion than others.

You have NO right to have an original thought.

You should burn in hell for that. We should all string you up, laugh at you, share your stupid post and be done with you!

But I won’t. I will read what you have to say. I will comment or not, but I will know that your words came from your heart and soul and it has nothing to do with what I think and I will not pass judgement on you until you do something really stupid and then I will nail your ass to the wall for it.

And that stupid thing is when an idiot comes along and bashes you and then you do something really idiotic.

You defend what you wrote! What? Oh no, don’t do that.

Then, because stupidity has a tendency to go downhill very fast, you then begin to argue and the fight begins.

You see, the reason you defend it is because there was something about what you wrote that wasn’t really “you” or who you are and you got nailed on it.

Soon the postings are going back and forth and I sit back and watch. I shake my head because you could have done several things and been fine with it.

You could have deleted their stupid comment. Remember, this is a social network and not a democracy and as far as I’m concerned, it’s my post and I don’t owe anyone anything.

You could have blocked them and saved yourself a lot of time and grief and used that for creative energy.

You could have ignored them, which is the biggest insult of all and trusted your dedicated readers to oust the troll that got out of his cage and chase him away.

The opposite of love is not hatred. It is indifference. You could have yawned your way out of it.

But you didn’t. You carried on with the drama and lowered yourself to their level. The more you defended your position, the greater the value you gave him. You showed everyone that this persons opinion of yourself was more important than your own.

Now, I can live with most of that, but then the real harm can follow after that which bugs the hell out of me.

You stopped communicating. You decided that it was all so horrible and terrible and no one likes you and you went outside and ate some worms or had a drink or even worse, came back on your post/blog and whined.

Screw you if you can’t take it. Seriously, screw you if you let anyone get in your way of communicating.

Because the thing that you forgot was for every negative comment you received, there were at least ten positive ones.

You kicked us good guys to the curb and that pisses me off. Even if no one ever responded or stroked you or said a word, why would you care?

Do you write and post to get approval? Go to hell and don’t waste my time.

But if you have something to say, then say it and let the chips fall where they may. Maybe no one will approve, but so what? These are your words and your stories and your soul and if you don’t think it’s important, why should I?

Go ahead and communicate and keep it up, no matter what.

I dare you.

Discipline sucks

Posted: June 12, 2011 in funny stories
Tags: ,

It really does.

Of course, I am saying this because I need to get my writing done for the day, the house cleaned, laundry done along with a ton of emails and text messages to answer and a few phone calls to make.

Plus I have a ton of reading to catch-up on, blogs to read and books to finish and new ones to start.

All on my day off and instead, what am I doing?

Having fun on Twitter (y’all should follow me) along with checking Facebook every 5 minutes and drinking coffee and thinking about getting things done.

I am also working hard on convincing myself why I really don’t need to go work out today at Curves.

I am losing the argument with myself as I sit here and stare at my workout clothes. They stare back at me, I just know they do.

But anytime I start this conversation with myself, I get up. I take off all my clothes and I stand in front of my full length mirror. It takes me a minute to open my eyes and look.

I lose the argument and my gym clothes win. I quickly grab them (I always wear a very long and baggy T-shirt) and out the door I go. I try to remove the image of what I just saw as I race towards one hour of hell.

The machines are evil and I curse them the entire time. I don’t like to admit that they work and sometimes I almost cry when I think about the machine that makes me do lunges, over and over again with all that weight on my shoulders.

I am over 35 so therefore I am fighting gravity. I vow to win.

In addition to all of that, this is the help I get when I am working:

The paw you see belongs to Boots. For some unknown feline reason, he has to always to have his paw on my hand while I work. Cute, yes? Well, it is for about the first 10 seconds, but after that, not so funny.

But I normally get him to settle on sleeping on my lap with his pinhead on my arm. I manage to write in a very odd position but somehow it gets done.

His purring is soothing and I’ll take love anyway I can get it.

I often ask myself why work so hard on this book and blog? I mean, what is that all about?

I can’t answer the question other than to say that it makes me happy when someone reads what I wrote and they like it. It is as simple as that. There isn’t really anything else to it.

So I would like to say that I love all 4 of my subscribers (5 if you count me) and please give yourselves a group hug. Really, do that because I think it’s great that you read what I write.

I don’t care about the numbers or how many I have. One would be enough for me. Scouts honor.

The discipline aspect of this is hard. There are so many other things to do such as…well, shit there’s part of the problem.

The fact of the matter is, I would much rather write than do most anything else.

So thank you for reading this.

I still have to get 2,000 words done today (blogging does not count) and somehow I will get it done.

From where I sit, I can see the dishes needing to be done. The floor needs to be swept. Litter boxes need a cleaning, dusting will be a nightmare and then there’s the bathroom. Ah yes, the bathroom is calling to me.

The day is finally starting to feel like spring after all the rain recently, so it’s time to put on a T-shirt and shorts and sneak a peek at my legs to make sure they are presentable to the world and quarters to find for the laundromat.

It’s also time to put my thoughts of the ex-boyfriend out of my mind.

I was putting something away yesterday. I opened the drawer to the night stand and saw condoms.

It made me miss him. Big time.

I stared down at them and wondered if I would ever need to use these again and should I throw them away?

I kept them and closed the drawer.

I felt a small smile on my face.

There is always hope.