Posts Tagged ‘writing’

Word count: 21,149.

It always happens. You become brain dead. The words on the page/screen no longer mean much of anything and you don’t care.

It’s Saturday night and I’m already in my pajamas. Dinner has been eaten, ice cream has been consumed, the dishes have been done and the cats are sleeping.

7:00 on a Saturday night and I’m ready for bed.

This IS the life of a single woman. It’s nothing like Sex and the City. God, maybe I’m wrong here and it’s like that for everyone else BUT me. If so, I don’t want to know.

I am a bit behind where I want to be on my writing. I worked another 6-day week in addition to a couple of nights, so being able to be home and relax is exactly what I want to do. I have tomorrow off with a million things to do and then I start it all again Monday morning.

That means I have to somehow find a couple of hours tomorrow to write and I don’t want to.

And I am actually embarrassed at how trashed my house is right now. Plus my cats don’t do shit around here except shed all over the place and nag me when their food bowls are empty. Boots has now started waking me up at night when he wants me to move and take my spot. This morning at 4:30, he started to tap my nose to wake-up and move over. So of course I did.

So, yeah, just a bit brain dead. Bored with my book right now. It’s like the story sort of died out in the last chapter. I’m not going to worry about it now, but at some point when this is all done, I’ll have to change some things around.

I think doing NaNo really makes you decide if this is something that you want to do – write. I know a lot of people worry about getting published and as much as I would love that, I have come to realize that I write because I like to. I don’t like it every time I do write – tonight would be an example of that – but there’s this wonderful feeling of when you have written something that is perfect. You somehow managed to get the exact right words and write them down and they communicate perfectly.

For me it is one of the best feelings in the world.

Some say there is such a thing as writer’s block. I don’t know if that’s true or not, but there is such a thing as being bored and disinterested in your work. I am learning to keep going and blow right through it because if I stop, it’s much harder to pick it back up again.

I’ve had it happen before and I just kept going and it seemed to get better. I’ve been working on this story for over a year and I think in the future, I’ve got to get it done much faster.

I bore easily, so I’m not surprised to have run into it again.

So I am tired, worn out from a very long week and looking at an even longer week starting again.

How do you keep yourself going? Do you ever run into boredom with your writing? If so, what do you do to get interested in it again?

Word count: 14,959.

I took a quick road trip yesterday to see my family and didn’t get much writing done. Now that I’m back, I am wondering why I thought it was such a good idea to have blueberry pancakes for breakfast.

Oh, yeah, I remember – BECAUSE THEY TASTE FRICKIN AWESOME! That’s why.

Plus my Mom and my cousin made me do it. Yes they did. They actually did. My cousin put a gun to my head (right there in the restaurant and no one called the cops) and my Mom said she would be disappointed in me if I didn’t eat them.

Because I’m a writer, I get to make shit up. Like the above. I get to do this all day long. Well, most of the day I don’t because I have to earn money and I can assure you, no one is paying me to be a writer. I don’t know if anyone will, but no matter; I’ll write anyway.

I am tired but it was worth it. I had a great weekend with my family and will be going back up there for Thanksgiving. That is one reason I am trying to keep such a high word count. I plan on being done with NaNo before Thanksgiving so I can take some time off, take my writing and shove it in a drawer where the sun don’t shine and start on my next project.

But, back to the carbs. I don’t eat them hardly ever, but when I do, it’s like a drug. I get the immediate high and then the crash. Plus the fact that it took me over an hour to drive through Sacramento due to some horrendous car accident, by the time I got home my butt was killing me.

I have not figured out how to write standing up, so here I am again. Sitting down with a headache and pounding out the words.

The story is going fine and I’m just getting into the next section of it and am at a bit of a loss on what to do next. I’ve got the outline but I am learning to segue better. I still suck at it, but it’s getting better.

I am also way behind in my own personal reading. I just picked up a book called “Once bitten, twice shy” by Jennifer Rardin. I’ve been hooked from the first paragraph. I will be reading everything she wrote. Godspeed Jennifer.

Word count: 12, 644.

I’m still here with the rest of you. I am reading your blogs and comments on G+ but mostly too bleary eyed to say much back. I can handle a comment here and there on a thread and I must say, reading how everyone else is doing is helping.

The book is going very well, humming right along. I’ve written this one character (based on a true story) that is a real asshole and the more I think about him, the more I want to kill him off. I don’t know if I will or not, but it is quite amazing how we can take things that happen to us and turn it into a story.

I have had a few things come up on this book that stirred some long forgotten memories and emotions. My book has a bit of truth mixed in with the fiction, but I think we often use that to tell our stories.

I also know enough not to slam down a true story carelessly or to write about people I know. That I would never do, but it’s interesting the things I am using from the past to write fiction.

Whether this or other characters stay in the final draft, I do not know. Right now it’s all about getting it written the first time and letting the story evolve.

Last year when I did NaNo, I was completely alone with no support system. Now I have G+ with a bunch of writers that I chat with and it has been an amazing difference.

I’ve never taken myself seriously as a writer until a few years ago when I just jumped in and started doing it. There really is no way to prepare for it or to really understand it. You can’t easily explain to someone why you would rather stay home and write all by yourself than go out that evening.

But now that I am this far into it and it’s going well, I am enjoying my time with the story. I am now finding it relaxing and not hard. I am magically making the time for it and that is becoming a bit of a struggle, but that’s OK.

I like what I’m doing and I’m proud of myself.

That says a lot.

I am tired and bleary eyed, so I’m keeping this short. Hopefully get some sleep and start this all over again.

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?