02 November 2016

New Story Syndrome

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

Hello blogging universe! (Blogiverse?) I know I've been super off the grid lately. I guess it's hard to blog about writing when you're not actually writing, which has pretty much been the case for the past few months. I just haven't been able to come up with ideas lately. And I don't think I could write a blog post every week just talking about how I'm always tired...

Anyway, this month, I thought I'd take a crack at the IWSG's question, which is: What is your favorite aspect of being a writer? 

While I think there are a ton of favorite things, one in particular came to mind. I love that excited feeling when a story is brand new and the ideas just keep coming to you non-stop. I guess I've been feeling this way lately because I actually wrote something new! 

I wrote a short story to submit to the IWSG anthology contest, and I actually had a lot of fun crafting the characters and the world they live in. At first, I just had a basic idea of what I wanted the story to be. Then one day, the ideas started flowing (at work, of all places!) and every gap began to fill itself in. Of course, I procrastinated on actually writing the story, but I think I tend to do that when I really like a story idea. I like to keep it in my head for a while before I put it on the page. 

I think no matter the outcome of the contest, I'd like to continue with this story, whether that means writing short sequels or maybe even a novel (because I have chronic novelitis!). Even if the stories are just for me, it would still be a good way to keep the creativity going. I've come to realize that the less I write, the less I want to write. It's hard to pull yourself out of a rut. But since I've actually been writing lately, I feel more motivated to keep doing it. 

But that newness of a story is one of my favorite things. When it's all you can think about and you just want to keep writing and get those ideas down. That kind of excitement is a hard thing to ignore. 

05 October 2016

Everything and Nothing

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

I can't believe it's October already! Where is the year going?? I haven't written a blog post since last month's IWSG, and I guess technically a lot has changed, well, since I GOT MARRIED. But you knew that was coming (most of you, anyway). Vegas was lots of fun and the wedding was short and sweet and (mostly) stress free. I did manage to win a little money on the slot machines but you go through a lot of money on food and alcohol and getting around. So far married life is pretty much the same as non-married life, but my husband and I have been together for nine years before we got hitched, so really not much has changed. And no, I haven't changed my last name yet and probably won't change it on the blog or my social media even if I do, since I think I'll still use just my maiden name for my pen name. Still deciding. 

Ok, you get one picture before I move on to writing stuff! I loved my flowers! They were so pretty. And my blue shoes, but they killed my toes and I switched to flip flops after the ceremony. 

Anyhoo, onto writing stuff. Well, not much progress there. I mean, I have been busy. Plus having a full time job makes it difficult to get any writing done. But I also just haven't felt like it lately. I just don't feel the drive. I get hints of it here and there but I feel like I don't want to force it. I think it will gradually come back once I get back into a normal life groove. I'd really love to get the third draft of my novel done some point soon. I doubt it will happen before the year is over, but the sooner, the better. 

Sometimes I feel like I just don't know what to write about. That's probably why I haven't been blogging too much lately. I just don't have any ideas. I can never seem to come up with anything new. I really would like to write something for the IWSG anthology contest, too, but I'm not sure if there's enough time or if I even have a good idea. I do have something in mind, but I just don't know if I can develop it enough and get it to where I want it to be in the amount of time we have. 

It seems whenever I don't know what to do, I just end up doing nothing. I would really love to get something submitted for the anthology, because I think I would regret not doing it more than doing it and not getting in. How can you have a chance if you don't even try? The good news is that I do have a lot of time this weekend by myself to try to work on some things. Whether I get a story done or even just some editing on UL, I think I'll count that as a win.

07 September 2016

Off the Grid

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

I've been kind of off the grid lately when it comes to pretty much all forms of writing, blogging, and social media. Probably because I'm going crazy between work and planning this Vegas trip (which is this Saturday!!!!!!!!). I just haven't had the brain capacity for it. I even almost forgot about this blog post and I'm sure it's going to be half-assed since I'm trying to pack for the trip and still have to work the next three days. 

So I'm probably going to stay off the grid until we get back. Then I'd really like to crack down and get back into writing and blogging again. I did finish that Chapter 3 edit a few weeks back, but other than that, I haven't been writing at all. I do want to take a few chapters with me to maybe work on during my flights but I can't promise anything. Usually when I plan to be productive on a plane I just end up watching TV. 

So hopefully I'll start blogging again towards the end of this month. If not, then definitely next month! I kinda still want to do a Halloween themed muse party but I don't know if I have enough time to put that together! And what the heck would Jordan and I wear for costumes??? I'll probably keep up with Instagram during my trip because pretty much the only time I like to take pictures is when I'm doing something fun. Or if my cat is being cute. Or if I bake something...

But anyway, I shall be back (hopefully) in a few weeks! And hopefully with lots of writing happening as well! Right now I have to figure out what book(s) to bring on the plane!!!

03 August 2016

My Brain Doesn't Work

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

I should be honest, I've been staring at this post for a while now trying to figure out what to write. I don't know if I'm just too tired right now or just burnt out from everything. Work continues to be nuts. I work in a hospital so it's hard to predict--it could be crazy one day and slow the next. Right now it's pretty much just crazy. Plus this is the time of year where everyone takes vacations. I've actually had to be in charge quite a few times while my manager is off so that can be stressful. So I'm tired all of the time.

Then there's wedding/Vegas trip planning! I still have SO MUCH to do. I do have the most important things done, though. But I feel like there are still so many things I have to buy and plan and pack and yada yada. I also just got contact lenses for the first time, which is so weird for me. I've been wearing glasses since I was ten. I feel weird without them. I tend to switch back and forth depending on how tired I am when I wake up in the morning.

So I haven't had too much time for writing lately. I've been trying to finish up my Chapter 3 edit, but the first half of it pretty much needed to be completely rewritten. With the second half, I'm just trying to make the end more interesting. I think in the last draft it was a little boring, and I like to end the chapters not on a cliffhanger, exactly, but with something to make the reader want to keep going. But this chapter does have the cupcake eating scene, which is one of my favorites.

Luckily, we now have questions to answer for the IWSG, which is great when my brain isn't working. This month's question is: What was your very first piece of writing as an aspiring writer? Where is it now? Collecting dust or has it been published?

I love this question because I actually still have my first piece of writing. It was a children's book that I wrote when I was eight! I even drew all of the illustrations myself (poorly). I went on to write a whole series of books about mice before I switched to novels, but I keep this first one as a look back to where it all started.

Do you still have your first piece of writing? Anyone else's brain malfunctioning?

01 August 2016

Jordan Takes Over: Can You Keep a Secret?

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

Everybody get in real close because this post is top secret! I love a juicy secret, don't you?? I'm kind of an expert on secrets, actually. There's like at least ten of them in my first book. Seriously. Sadly, this secret isn't all that juicy, but it's still a secret. So everybody be quiet!

As much as I hate to ask, I need some advice. Ugh. I can usually figure things out on my own, but you know, I had to write a post today anyway so this seemed like a good idea. So! Next Tuesday is Sarah's birthday. And I guess if I want to be a good muse I should get her a present or something. But what?

Before you state the obvious, let's run through some options first. I mean, due to the weird worldly restrictions of the muse-writer relationship, I can't just go out and buy her something. Nothing's ever easy, is it? So that limits my options. Now I could totally do something music related, like write her a song. But that's kinda weird, right? I don't even write songs for my boyfriends. Well, ok, I've only had two. And a half...ish. Ok, I have written songs about the half-ish one, but those are secrets, too. So, shh! But anyway, a song probably isn't the way to go. I could finally tell her the name of my band, but that's just way too easy. She's gotta work for that information. I could make her an awesome playlist or something. I mean, she literally only listens to Hamilton. For months now. There's this thing called variety, people! She can't be reasoned with! MAKE IT STOP.

Anyway, ok, so, the obvious thing to give is INSPIRATION. I guess. It's not like it would take a ridiculous amount of effort on my part. But it's not exactly a concrete concept, either. How much inspiration are we talking about here? And when? And most importantly, at what point can I stop and take a nap??

I mean, I've gotta work around schedules here! Do you think she'll actually want inspiration on her birthday, or will she be too busy? So when? Before? After? How many hours are we talking here? I have a life. Or should we focus more on the quantity of writing? Say, one chapter? Two? I don't know. I'm not the writer here! That's why I'm asking you people! And don't say infinite inspiration! That's just crazy.

Well anyway, I guess I'll figure something out. Hopefully I won't just fall asleep and forget...


06 July 2016

IWSG (because I can't think of a title...)

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

So...I haven't been blogging for a while now. Or writing, actually (well, that's not all that unbelievable...). I've just been drained lately. Physically, emotionally, creatively. Work has been particularly stressful lately. So when I'm not working I pretty much just want to sleep. I've even started taking naps in the afternoon. I hate naps. So anyway, I just haven't been feeling the inspiration lately. I haven't even come up with blog ideas, but honestly, I haven't been trying very hard to find them. I guess I just felt like taking a break.

So of course, I have no idea what to write about! Luckily the IWSG folks have added a new feature: a question to answer! This month's is: What's the best thing someone has ever said about your writing?

Hmm. Well, ok, when I first read this question, it kind of depressed me. I honestly couldn't think of anything. I could tell you several instances where people told me my story was awful (ok, two), but I don't think anyone's interested in that. But good? And something specific? That was tough. I actually had to go digging for something, in a long buried Facebook message from a former coworker who read the original short story that would turn into UL. He said: "I am very impressed with your ability to flesh out your characters and environments. You have an attention to detail that is of a high order, without being overwrought, and you know just when to pepper dialogue into the exposition." So that's good, right? He went on to provide some constructive criticism as well, adding that "I hope this isn't too harsh. I'm harshest on work that I like the most." It was actually kind of nice to go back and read this since I don't let anyone read my stuff, like, ever.

Perhaps I would add another honorable mention, because it wasn't really something good that was said, but the reaction was exactly what I was looking for. When I was sending out my second draft chapters as I rewrote them, I did have a few friends and coworkers who were actually keeping up for a good chunk of the book (you know, before everyone decided to just give up *sigh*). I'm sure I've mentioned the twist at the end of Chapter 17 before. It's one of my favorite moments in the book, actually. Well, the day after I sent it out, I went to to work and when another coworker came in, she walked up to me and screamed "WHAT DID YOU DO????" which honestly was the exact response I would want from a reader after that particular chapter. So it was pretty uplifting for me.

Ok, so I started this post thinking I had nothing to say and I've rambled on forever. That's usually how it goes, isn't it?

06 June 2016

Jordan Takes Over: But I Don't Wanna!

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

People like to bitch and moan. It's just what we do. It makes us feel important. Especially when other people are around to hear us bitching. I mean, would you read a book or watch a movie or listen to ten songs in a row where everyone is happy? No, because that's boring. We like other people's misery even more than our own. It just makes for good entertainment.

People like to bitch the most, I think, when they have to do something that they don't want to. Like me writing this blog post. Wait, what? Did I say that? Prove it. Things like, going to the dentist, or getting your car inspected (I live in NYC, I don't need a car, haha!). Or maybe just going to your job every day. Every second can't be filled with great, fun things that you love doing, right? It's just part of life.

Case in point, Chapter Three. Well, the first half of it, anyway. We finished the edit (if you can call it that, it was basically perfect already) of Chapter Two on Tuesday, but you wanna know what's happened since then? A whole lot of nothing. And it's not my fault.

Don't believe me, do you? Look, I am perfectly willing and able to provide inspiration for this scene. I've even suggested ways to change it so it works better and fits in some setting crap that we haven't put in the first two chapters (Yes, it was my idea. No one is here to deny it, right? So it's the truth, then.). But a certain Miss Writer Lady (who shall remain nameless) doesn't want to work on it. Why? Because it's too hard! Boo hoo.

This is a scene that needs to pretty much be completely rewritten. And that's too hard and scary to even attempt, right? Hey, remember last month when I talked about how you blame your muses when you can't write? Well, that is not always the case, thank you very much. Sometimes you're too scared to write or you just don't want to do it because it's too hard and needs too much work,

Well, GET OVER IT. Guess what happens when you don't even try? Nothing! At least if you make an attempt, you'll eventually get through it. It could take forever, but eventually it will happen. And then you can move onto the next scene which is way more fun anyway.

So, in summary: Suck it up and stop your bitching.