04 January 2016

Jordan Takes Over: New Year's Whatever

**The first Monday of every month, I let my muse take over the blog. I apologize in advance.**

First of all, I'd just like to point out that the last post on this blog was my post from last month, so that means Sarah is slacking off more than me. Let's all just keep that in mind the next time she yells at me.

Anyway, so it's a whole new year or something. Big freaking deal. People do the same thing every year, they say how they're going to change everything about their lives and do so much better and then two weeks later everything is back to normal. It's so lame. You know I hate lame things. What is it about a new year that makes suddenly makes people go all psycho?

I've never had a resolution. Well, mostly because I'm perfect. But that's not the point. Actually, it's really because if I want to do something, I just do it. I don't need that extra push of motivation that a new year supposedly brings. Ok, so maybe that isn't the best advice to give to everyone. Doing and getting the things you want doesn't always come easy. I'm not saying it's always easy for me, either. But sometimes trying to get those things and figuring out how to get them can be half the fun. But somehow people spend most of their time making excuses and not actually trying to do the things they want.

So let's say you've got something you want to get done. You want to read more or write more or lose weight or exercise or ask out that really hot guy in your music theory class (wait, what?). You have to ask yourself what's really stopping you from doing it and I guarantee that it's not the time of year. Like you've been telling yourself, oh, it's December, I can't start anything new in December. Well, why the hell not???? You just wasted a whole month where you could have been doing that thing you want to do! So you're still not writing and you're still fat and you're still not getting laid.

You know what else is super phony? The whole new year's motivation never lasts. Sure, you may have a few weeks where you'll actually feel productive and you really think it's gonna last forever, but it'll wear off. So why do people pretend that every new year is suddenly going to be different from all the previous ones?

This is what I want you to do. Stop giving a crap about what time of year it is. I'm serious. No lame excuses. If you want to do something, just do it already. If you need to think think about why it's so difficult for you to motivate yourself, then do that first. But stop relying on the beginning of the year to motivate you. January is sick of your bullshit.


07 December 2015

Jordan Takes Over: Too Much to Deal With

**The first Monday of every month, I let my muse take over the blog. I apologize in advance.**

So it's kind of been a ghost town over here lately. I've seen tumbleweeds, I swear. We're basically pulling off the bare minimum here--IWSG last week and my post today (because those are requirements!), but I can't really promise anything else. It's really a day by day thing at this point. Look, it's hard enough to come up with blog posts when you don't have any ideas, but then when you add on having no time to come up with said ideas, it gets even harder. I know what you're going to say, "But Jordan, helping with ideas is your department, why aren't you helping???" To which I would say, be quiet.

I didn't even really want to post this month but my birthday is next week and how else was I going to get all of you to wish me a happy birthday?? (I'll wait). We were actually thinking a while back of having a Christmas themed Muse Party Blogfest next week but with the whole new job thing, there just wasn't any time to plan it. So we'll probably have another one for the blog anniversary at the end of May. See? That's plenty of time. So we should start planning now...

People always complain about having no time. It probably gets more blame than your muses when you aren't able to write (which is hard to believe because you blame us for everything). There are always things in life that you have to do, and they usually push aside the things that you want to do. Time management can be a bitch. And if you've got way too much going on, you may miss what's going on around you.

I've got a perfect example! This year is the big 2-0 for me (thank God, felt like I was going to have to be a teenager forever!), and Book 2 takes place a few months after I turn 20. And there is a lot going on in that book. Seriously, if you think I have it easy, you are so wrong. I'm very busy. So let's break this down:

First of all, there's the basics: I'm in college full time and have a part time job on top of that. I have my band, so there's gigs, rehearsing, trying to write new songs. My mom is getting married (lame) and I'm supposed to give her away (so lame), so there's that. She's also getting rid of our apartment (pretending that she actually lived there in the first place) so I need to find a new place to live. THEN. I get contacted by a family member who I've never met (SPOILERS!) so that complicates things a lot. And on top of all of this, because I'm an idiot, apparently (don't quote me on that), I decide to throw a new boyfriend on top of all this mess.

So what happens when you have too much on your plate? Well, for me, it's that I'm too busy to notice that my boyfriend gets progressively more abusive until it is waaaaaaaaaaaay too late, but we won't get into that. For most normal people, it will probably lead to some kind of nervous breakdown. You may just hide in your bed for a week (which isn't always a bad thing). But chances are, you're definitely not going to have time to do the things you want to do.

So it may be quiet around here for a little while until things get sorted out. But don't worry, I'll still pop in every now and then to make it a little loud.


02 December 2015

When Does the Writing Start?

It's the first Wednesday of the month, which means it's the posting day for the Insecure Writer's Support Group. Click the link to learn more and sign up!

I haven't been doing much blogging lately since I started my new job. Adjusting has been a lot harder than I anticipated. Mostly because I'm exhausted all of the time. I pretty much work all day, come home, eat something, then maybe watch a little TV before passing out. I hardly even turn on my computer unless I have a day off. I haven't quite figured out how to utilize my mornings better, since I don't start work until 11. Even when I get up early it doesn't feel like enough time to be really productive. 

But I didn't want to talk about work for this whole post. I wanted to talk about writing. Or lack thereof. I know I wasn't exactly writing much before I started the job, but I feel like I'm waiting around for the inspiration to strike. I know I have to actually try write before anything happens, and that I probably need the time and mental capacity to do so, which I just don't have at this point. 

But the fact that I'm not writing, and haven't in a long time, really makes me sad. I really want to write, but it's like the longer I don't do it, the harder it is to start up again. I feel like I just need some time, even just an hour or two, to sit down with no distractions and just force the words out. Even if they come out horribly, even if they have nothing to do with the piece I should be working on, at least it would be something. And then hopefully I can keep moving forward from there. 

I actually have this whole weekend off so I'm thinking it may be a good time to start. Just to write something. Anything at all. 

How do you start writing again after taking a (ridiculously long) break? How do you find time to write when there is no time?

25 November 2015


I'm behind on a lot of things. The dishes are piling up to an obscene amount. I'm ridiculously behind on all of my TV shows (I also watch way too many TV shows). I was supposed to blog on Monday but that didn't happen. Don't even ask about writing. I know, I wasn't really writing before, but now I don't have the time or the brain capacity to do so. But at least I have a good reason.

I started my new job last week and it is exhausting. I wouldn't necessarily say it's more physically demanding than my previous job, it's just that my body isn't used to working this hard anymore. After work every day my feet and my back hurt so much that once I lay down it's hard to get back up again. The very first night I actually went to bed at 8:30. Luckily since then it hasn't been as bad but it's still a lot to get used to.

So there's a lot of adjusting to do. I'm still getting used to the whole working thing. I think once I adjust to the schedule and (hopefully) overcome the exhaustion, maybe I can get back into a routine with all of my other stuff. I just don't want to push myself too hard just yet. I don't want to force out a blog post if I don't have any ideas and don't really have the time to do it. So I'm thinking my posting will be a little sporadic for a while. If I come up with some good ideas I'll definitely try to post. Or even better, if I have some writing progress to report. But for now I'm just going to take it easy.

Luckily I have today off so I'm mostly going to try to catch up on the dishes and TV, and maybe try to squeeze in a little writing. I do have to work tomorrow though (boooooooo!) so I hope everyone else has a good Thanksgiving!

11 November 2015

When Vagueness Goes Wrong

When we choose to be vague about something that we write, it always leaves things open to interpretation. Maybe that's what you want, and maybe it isn't. People may be able to figure out what you actually meant, they may just stare at it scratching their heads, or they may take it in the entirely wrong direction.

Ok, that paragraph may seem a little vague in itself. Usually you have to have a really good reason for being vague. It most likely shouldn't turn up in your fiction, unless, for instance, if your character is doing it on purpose. It's perfectly fine to confuse other characters but confusing the reader may be a bad choice. If the reader isn't in on it, or if you don't give an explanation for being vague, it may just make things confusing.

But there are times where you may need to be vague, but that can also go wrong. Take my blog post on Monday, for instance. When I was talking about my idea for a weird scene, I decided to be vague about what it was actually about. This was pretty much for one reason: censorship. Well, ok, spoilers, too, but that was more about who was involved in the scene rather than what. I didn't want to say what was happening because I figured it would make some people uncomfortable. While I'm totally fine with adult content in my books, my blog probably isn't the place for it. So I figured vagueness was the way to go. And that's where I went horribly wrong.

This is where vagueness can get you into trouble. I mentioned that my weird scene involved a character texting a family member while "something else" was going in. Now, I was totally fine with people having absolutely no idea what I was talking about. The point of the post was to talk about the idea of writing weird scenes, not about explaining what this weird scene was about. But at some point during the day I had a slap-myself-in-the-face kind of revelation.

I felt like people assumed I meant my scene was taking place in a bathroom, to which I would say, EW! Really, I'm open to writing about most things, and I've certainly written scenes that take place in a bathroom, but never involving the most common things one would do in there. Because, like I said before, EW! I can't imagine a scenario in one of my stories where that would be necessary. Some things are better left unsaid, really. As far as I'm concerned, my characters don't go to the bathroom. What I meant was that something sexual was happening, but I just didn't want to say it (because fiction-writing me is a lot braver than blog-writing me).

But maybe I'm wrong and people actually understood what I meant. Some of the comments were vague as well so I have no idea what my readers were actually thinking. Maybe I just overthink things waaaaaaaaaaay too much (what else is new?). But I'm also thinking bigger picture here. When you purposely try to be vague, you leave whatever you are saying up to interpretation. So readers can take it whatever way seems reasonable to them. If you're fine with people being clueless, that's one thing, but they could also take whatever you're saying in the entirely wrong direction. So we have think if being vague is really worth all the trouble.

Have you ever written anything vague? Did people take it the wrong way?

09 November 2015

Embrace the Weird

Before I get to the actual post, I'd just like to thank everyone for their well wishes last week on my job hunt. I have good news! I got the full time job that I applied for!!! I have orientation next Monday and then start the next day. It's the 11-7:30 shift that I talked about, and I get every other weekend off, so I don't think this will cut into my blogging time. I think I will be taking next week off blogging, though, just to get situated (and work through all of the anxiety...). I'll probably still post this Wednesday (or Friday...or both...) but if not I will be back on the 23rd!

But anyway, onto writing stuff!

I recently had an idea for a scene, and I thought it was a little weird. Ok, technically, it was just part of a scene--the very end, actually, and it was in Book 3. I know, I'm getting way ahead of myself but I just can't help it. But I figure by the time I get around to actually writing the book, I'll probably have it completely figured out and that will make it easier to write.

About this weird moment--well, I don't think I should share the details because it's a bit inappropriate. Let's just say it involves a character texting a family member while...something else is going on. Hopefully you get it. If not, it doesn't really matter. What matters is that my first response to this idea was, "It's too weird! No one would actually do that!" But at the same time, it kind of felt right for the character. It was weirdly bizarre, but in a fascinating and entertaining sort of way.

So what do I do with this scene? Forget it or just go with it?

My initial response was just to forget about it. A million different thoughts cross my mind all the time when it comes to these stories, but I don't always use all of them. But the more I thought about it, the more I liked this moment, not in spite of its weirdness but because of it. Sometimes people do weird things, and those things are usually more entertaining than the normal, boring, or everyday moments that are more likely to occur. So if it's weird, but still believable, why not use it?

What really made sense was that the moment felt right for the character. It actually seems like something he would do. There's actually a scene in the first book that has the same kind of weirdness (it involves lemon bars...I won't get into it...), and I really love that scene. It works in the moment. And if something works, then there really isn't any reason to get rid of it.

The thing about weird scenes is that they definitely won't always work. They have to fit the story, the characters, even the particular scene that they're in. Yes, these moments can seem strange, but they also have to be believable. But if your only reason for not using a particularly weird idea is just because it's weird, then maybe you should rethink it. Sometimes your instincts are right, and those weird scenes can turn out to be something great.

Do you ever come up with weird scenes? Do you try to make them work or get rid of them?

04 November 2015

Rambling Insecurity

It's the first Wednesday of the month, which means it's the posting day for the Insecure Writer's Support Group! Click the link to learn more and sign up!

Like with most of my blog posts lately, I have no idea what to write about. Sometimes it just feels like my brain has stopped working. Or sometimes I feel like every idea I come up with is something I've written about before (I couldn't even tell you how many times I've written a post about not having ideas).

Which isn't to say I'm not incredibly insecure. I've just probably already mentioned all of my insecurities several times before. I still haven't actually written anything for quite some time. I keep trying to motivate myself to just write something, even if it's something silly or pointless or short or poorly written. Just something.

I'm hoping things may actually get easier once I have a real job again, which will hopefully be soon. I had not one, but two job interviews on Monday (the insecurity over that could take an entire post). I applied for a full time position, but by the time they called me they only had part time, but I interviewed anyway. Only yesterday I got another call that the full time is available again, so I'm hoping I get that. It would be an 11-7:30 shift, which I would love since my last job sometimes had me working until 1 or 2 in the morning. Plus that still gives me plenty of time in the morning to blog, which I was afraid I'd have to cut back on if I worked full time again.

But anyway, my real point is that if I have an actual full time job, then all of my free time can be exactly that: free. I can do whatever I want. I don't have to worry about having to spend every second trying to make money just to pay my bills. So I will actually have more time to write.

I don't know yet if I should say my time trying to break into freelance work was a failure or not. Maybe it's just not what I really want to do. So maybe it's a better idea just to have a regular job and work on what I really want to write in my spare time. Then maybe some day I can make enough money to only do that (if I'm really really lucky).

But I think for now I just have to take it one step at a time. I'm pretty sure I've said that before.