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Posts Tagged ‘Writer’s Life’

Over the last week, I’ve been far more faithful than I have in awhile to work on my book. As anyone who has been reading this for longer than a few months knows, I’ve been [painfully] trying to edit my sappy romance novel (it’s technically named God’s Masterpiece – but I don’t think I like it. It doesn’t work. I’ve rarely had so much trouble with a title before).

I really do think this revision will make it better – and by re-writing that one scene by hand and then transcribing it BACK to the word document, I’ve rewritten it like three times – but even now as I am typing it back in (and consequently editing it again), I keep thinking it isn’t right. But then, isn’t that what all writers think? It will never be ready?

You know, I am probably the person that is actually true for, unlike others. 😛

But, as I mentioned very, very briefly in a recent tweet – here’s my current issue: So, Josie is supposed to be quiet and shy and pretty awkward until someone gets to know her (yes, basically exactly like me). But at the same time, she is more confident when she is on her own turf (a.k.a., her home) – and i know this is accurate, because it is exactly how I am. But when trying to translate that to a book, I feel like it comes out, 1. like she is inconsistent character-wise and 2. Like she is annoyingly awkward and can’t stop blushing, which no one likes to read about.

So, that is what I’m trying to work through right now. How to make a heroine that is awkward, without being annoying and still at least a little endearing, shy and uncomfortable, but able to hold her own especially on her own turf, caring, but still gets impatient with her very sick mother (who, by the way is a conundrum herself, since she has cancer, is weak and sick, yet never stops talking and nags part of the time and is loving the other part of the time).

Characters. They drive me up a wall sometimes. Kind of like real people. In which case, maybe it’s okay?

And – that’s my ramble for today.

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So, I worked on the book during lunch today – but rather than continuing the normal editing process, I decided, particularly after discussing it with a friend, that I just don’t like this section as it is. So I am going to try actually re-writing it as opposed to editing it, and then comparing the two sections and seeing if I can make something out of that. So I began rewriting it – by hand. Sometimes I think that writing by hand really helps with creativity. You can’t easily see the previous words – especially if your handwriting is as awful as mine – and it is a lot more difficult to go back and erase and rewrite and rewrite again. So sometimes when I am having creativity issues I’ll try writing by hand for a little bit and that helps significantly. Since this section needs a lot of help, hopefully it will do the same.

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I am on page 51 of 104. Sometimes I think that, rather than editing this entire section where Keith is snowed in at Josie’s house I need to just push aside what I have and write it again. There is so much that just seems awkwardly phrased. But then again, the part is supposed to be rather awkward, so maybe it is just the situation and no matter how I write it, I will be unhappy. So I will struggle forward and see what happens. And also Josie’s mom is kind of whiny. But then again, she is sick, and who isn’t whiny when they are sick? Being a writer is so hard. Sigh.

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We had company tonight until almost midnight. I woke up at 9:00 AM and immediately started baking. I took a break to get some supplies from Costco and Whole Paycheck – er, I mean, Whole Foods – and then cooked some more. I made a lovely cake roll filled with pudding and whipping cream, Chocolate Revel Bars, Lemon Bars, Caprese Skewers, and beef stuffed crescent rolls. A rather good spread, if I do say so myself especially since we didn’t know we were hosting until yesterday. It was really fun actually to focus on some baking. I do love it and I rarely do it now that I am ALWAYS on a diet.

But anyway, although it is now almost 1:00 AM I did my 10 minutes of editing! I am on page 50 of 104, so not nearly as far along as I originally thought. I think this section focuses far too much on telling rather than showing, but I haven’t quite figured out how to “show” something when it is one person struggling through realizations as opposed to conversations. I wonder if other authors have trouble with that too?

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I am supposed to be working right now, but apparently after working 9-10 hour days all week to make up for being sick last week, and being extremely productive while I was at it, my brain is a little tired now. No, it has nothing to do with being up until 12:30 last night. Nothing at all. So I decided to talk to you all instead for a few minutes.

And yes, you caught that right, I was sick AGAIN last week – this time with influenza so I was definitely out and it was especially not fun since my mom was here again for training. Daniel had to take care of most hosting duties. Which means this is the first “normal” week since like early February, and we’ve been trying to work back up to the whole diet/working out/getting up on time thing again.

Unfortunately, the need to make up the 8+ hours I had to take for being sick (and that was with working from home!) has really taken away most of my writing time. I keep meaning to sit and work on stuff, but then I am catching up on food prep and cleaning the house and trying to fit in devotions (how wrong does that sound? I know it is supposed to be the first priority in my life, but sometimes it is difficult to rearrange my brain), and all the other things that go along with rejoining the human race after being sick.

Anyway. I am tired of sitting around and thinking of writing as a second priority (doesn’t that sentence sound familiar? How many times does a person have to come to the same realization before it actually sticks?) and am once again going to give myself a challenge. This challenge is to work every day for at least 10 minutes on editing my book God’s Masterpiece (You know, the light-hearted, sappy, hallmark-like book?). And I am going to do the same thing I did on my last challenge – check in on here every day to briefly say whether I did it or not – since that worked well for keeping me on track for my 15 minutes a day challenge.

My goal is to finish editing it (I actually think it will only take me like a week  if I work on it regularly), send it to one more person to read (this person says she will actually get me feedback, unlike most people I sent it to the first time), implement any edits, and then submit it. Soooo, instead of limiting myself to a week, I am going to say I will do this until I FINISH EDITING IT! Keep me accountable, guys, keep me accountable.

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Having left off last time saying I was getting up at 4:45 AM and “happy” about it, I was thinking it was about time for an update, and a question from one of my friends accentuated the fact.

And the verdict is currently: I am still getting up at 4:45. And I am still at peace. Oh, there are moments – like last night, when I buried my head on Daniel’s shoulder and determinedly cried out that I didn’t want to get up at 4:45 because I wanted to stay up and watch another movie while (sort of) working on my book. Daniel just held me and reminded me that once we got up I would be happy for it and reminded me of my weight loss goals and – more especially – of the cruise we would be taking in a week, and I took a deep breath and reminded myself of my determination to look at it as a challenge, not an obstacle – and cleaned up and went to bed. And he was right; I woke up and, though it was hard, reminded myself that it takes actual work to get what I want – and after I actually did Calisthenics and was on my way to Starbucks to do devotions, I was happy I had forced my way through, as always.

So the long and short of it, it is going well. And I think, if only because of my purposeful integration of God-time into my schedule and my willingness to sacrifice my night-owledness, I might actually do it this year. I might actually meet my fitness goals. And, by default of a good schedule, might also meet some of my writing goals.

Speaking of which, I got a Scribbler box, which is – according to them – the only subscription box for Writers available. It was sooo much fun to unpack! But they had included what they called a writer’s challenge. And the challenge was to write down your writing goals for 2018 and then put it away somewhere to look at in December. And I wrote down the following goals:

  • Get something (anything!) published in Writer’s Digest (really, anything would count, but I figure with their numerous writing contests, they are the most likely candidate.
  • Finish Ethrill (I decided another 50,000 words ought to do it [I think], and did the calculations and realized if I wrote 220 words a day I could get to that by the end of the year no problem. I realized this last Monday. Want to know how many words I’ve written? None. I WILL catch up. I WILL!
  • Finish editing and submit God’s Masterpiece for publication (realizing it won’t be accepted, but at least can say I’ve submitted a book in my life)
  • I feel like there was a fourth bullet, but those are the only three I can remember offhand, so I must not care much about the fourth one.

My new calendar has a writing tracker calendar so I plan to use that to track Ethrill words – and catch up when I do thing like last week and avoid it because I’m afraid I won’t be able to think of what to write.

My husband came up with a great idea to help with this – he suggested I write a short story placed in Ethrill but having nothing to do with my current story to get to know my world better. I Love that idea. I always have the goal of writing a short story a week (because of that one quote that I will post at the bottom), but have only actually accomplished that – um – never. But maybe I’ll try again but this time make the short stories in Ethrill to acquaint myself with my own world. We’ll see.

Good luck all you writers as you try to meet your own goals!

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I just ordered a planner completely themed around being a writer. Yup. They have those. How I only thought to look for them now, I have no idea, but there are apparently plenty of them – some of which are plenty expensive as well. But, they are so cool! They let you track your word counts, goals, tasks (writing or otherwise related), have character sketch pages, plot pages, and any numerous amount of things that you didn’t even know you needed until you saw it! I looked up several, but narrowed it down to the two presented by The Writing Pal, and almost against my better judgement, went for the expensive one. The WriteMind, which lets you customized. To tell the absolute truth, I kind of liked the idea of the Novel Planner better, but I simply fell in love with the planner covers in the WriteMind. Also, apparently it transports better, and that is kind of important. I can’t believe I spent that much on a planner (I have a hard time spending that much for shoes!), but at the same time I am super excited.

Writing, or rather, editing, has been very off and on this week. We are training in a new person at work and between that and meetings, it has been hard to squeeze in long enough lunch breaks to actually have time to edit. I am still working my way through Writing Magic, but decided to skip the writing exercise for today because it is a long one and would take most of the time and I wanted to write a blog post for no particular reason (except maybe to avoid editing).

I’ve also cut my 45 minute lunch break down to 30 minutes so I can leave work earlier and work out in the gym downstairs but still get to drive home before traffic gets horrible.

It can be very hard figuring out priorities. Cutting out 15 minutes of writing/lunch time doesn’t seem like much, but add in heating up and/or prepping food for lunch and suddenly your time has dwindled to very little indeed. But – I want both to write and to lose weight/get in shape/be a healthier person. And, as I am discovering this week, I am apparently more likely to actually work out if I do it before I get home because once I get home I just want to settle down and enjoy the evening after a long day’s work. So I am going to try this for awhile and see what happens. Hopefully I’ll get into enough of a groove that I can settle down to writing pretty quickly – and either way it is still more than I have been doing!

Anyway, good luck to all of you who are also trying to balance life and writing! I know I’m not the only one.

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