Sunday, November 22, 2009
Ah--I hate and love my day job. It pays the bills. But it just doesn't compare to the feeling I get when I'm writing. In addition, there have been some recent changes for me that I have not quite made up my mind about. Ultimately--it's requiring more of my time, because it's an area that I am not exactly familiar with.
November Word Count: 0
The glaring number is continuously taunting me. I will not be defeated however! I am everywhere right now, doing everything - except what I truly want and need to be doing. I am going to start writing again - as soon as things settle down, and I have a sad, sad feeling that it won't be until December.
I refuse to give up. I've started jotting down my ideas in my notebook on the train in longhand, but have not had a chance to type anything up as yet. It's like this story is living in my head, taking shape and staking its claim, constantly there, keeping me awake at nights (and on the train ;) ), and I won't get any rest until it's out. I've grown extremely attached to my characters - even now, when I have not visited them for so long. They are waiting patiently for my return, and I truly hope I don't let them down.
I think about it constantly, and it's almost painful that it can only exist in my tired mind for now. I'm anxious to get my new ideas formulated and down on paper.
December... It's just around the bend....
Bye for now!
Sunday, October 25, 2009
It's come to a complete and total grinding halt. I don't know what happened. Not only do I not like it any longer, but I can't seem to get myself psyched up to write about it anymore.
Remember that rogue chapter I was telling you about? It became the end of me -- well, at least the end of my current manuscript.
Okay, so that wasn't just it. I've also been working some incredibly long hours at the office (17 hour days to be exact--including weekends), and that kind of time just doesn't leave room for writing. Perhaps it was a good thing though, because when I returned to the manuscript, I suddenly just didn't like it anymore. Perhaps it was because I came back to it with a fresh eye and saw things I couldn't see when I was so involved with it everyday.
Oh, don't get me wrong. I still love the storyline. That, I do not want to change. It's just the whole setting, the way things were progressing - it was not working for me. I'm at 200 computer pages right now...
...And although it's killing me, because I have made SUCH progress in the last few months... I have to start over. I have to. I might be able to use some of it in the new manuscript - but I think as of now, it will just be mainly for reference OR possibly for use in Book 2 if I get to that point.
It's a terrible feeling - knowing that you've come so far - I thought I was on the verge of finishing, only to discover I needed to begin all over again. But I am retaining hope however - I know I will be able to push ahead with what I've learned, and hopefully the result will be an even better manuscript.
Has this happened to any of you? What did you do? I would love to hear your thoughts...
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
I swear, since the day I made up my mind to make some changes in my life, hence starting this blog, and returning to writing my book, the most random things have been happening to me. I'm not sure if it's a vibe I've been sending out recently because of my new mindset, but people have been subtly encouraging me without even knowing it.
"You've got a lot to offer the world, but the world doesn't get to see much of you"
A co-worker, friend and mentor said these words to me first thing this morning. For the past three years, he has been offering little tidbits of wisdom and advice in the ways of the world. I have to admit, my life is somewhat sheltered. I've never been a risk taker, I can be painfully shy (seriously), and my parents have always been slightly strict. I'm loyal to a fault - when I find something I like, no matter what it is, I will stick with it, even long after I'm done with it and I hate it. Bad, bad, bad... Since I've been in this rut, things haven't gotten any better. In fact they're far worse. I find it hard to do much of anything because either I'm scared, or I can't summon the energy, or, etc., etc., etc. Sometimes it's because it's just too out there, and "I could never do that". If you've experienced this, then you know what I mean. I, for one, am desperately terrified of failure and rejection, but I've got to learn to deal with that, and accept it as a part of life.
Back to my little anecdote:
I ran into him in the elevator this morning, and after a slightly scathing comment about my lack of social life, we got to talking. He warned me that, as he put it, I "was in the prime of my life" and I shouldn't be sitting back and watching it pass me by. Anyone can do anything at anytime, but I wasn't seizing any of the opportunities that were coming along. He was just worried that I'd wake up 20 or 30 years from now and wonder what had happened to my life. Needless to say, I was floored. Without even knowing it, he had echoed my deepest fears. I'll admit it, for the past few months, that thought has crossed my mind more than once. I can't help it. When you've reached a certain point in your and you have absolutely nothing to show for it, it's daunting. It's completely nerve wracking to think that another 25 years could go by, and you might still have nothing to show.
After his little spiel, we parted ways, and of course, I'm thinking about this for quite some time after as I go about my day. As soon I got home, I decided I needed to share this with the world, because it couldn't be more true. I'm not sure if someone else said it, or if this was just his phrasing (I can't find it on Google), but I want you to remember this--I know I will.
We've all got something to offer the world, we just need to stop hiding long enough to reach out and show it. I think we all have the power to make a good difference too, regardless of whether it's through your writing, your music, your artwork or whatever form of expression you choose. I know things didn't work out the way I wanted them to. I was supposed to be in a very different spot in my life by now - believe me, my plans were drastically different. One by one, I feel as though I've been giving up on each of my dreams. I'm realizing though, that just because they didn't work out the way I planned, I shouldn't have to let them go. Not without a fight.
I hope you'll do the same...
Monday, October 12, 2009
I haven't been writing all that much in the last few days. I'm currently just over 65k, but if you remember a few posts ago in September, I mentioned that I had left out a very significant chapter at the beginning of my book? Well, now it's coming back to haunt me. Unless I go and shape and define this chapter, I don't know if I can move forward with writing this piece.
I'm at a very crucial point in the novel that depends heavily on that chapter. Not only does it set the tone for the rest of the book, and possibly the series, but it's a huge deciding/enlighting/EVErything factor! And it has to be accurate. The problem is--you can't have accurate unless you have the information, and I don't have it!
The thing is--I haven't quite decided what I want to happen in that beginning chapter. My MC is supposed to have a serious talk with someone about what is going on with her, but I'm suddenly iffy about whether this someone should even know. Mind you, if I decide they shouldn't, this might change quite a bit of the entire book, and it's going to mean some very long nights for me to make it right again. I think it makes it better though, so it may very well be worth it. At the same time however, on the other hand, it also clarifies quite a few things and... argh... I'm completely confused!
The only thing I do know is that I can't move forward until this is sorted out. Ahhhh!
Something tells me we're not hitting that October 25th deadline anymore. I'm not too, too concerned with that--I'd rather figure out what I need to do first.
First things first... I'm going to go attack that rogue chapter... Wish me luck!
Bye for now!
p.s. Happy Columbus Day/Happy Thanksgiving (depending on what you're celebrating) to everyone out there!
Monday, October 5, 2009
This applies to work, family, friends--you try to please your boss, your clients, your co-workers, your family, your friends, but in the end, doesn't it seem like either everyone is happy and you're miserable or no one is happy and you're miserable? These are probably worst case scenarios--it's not to say that we aren't able find joy in making others happy, that in itself can bring us the most happiness, but where do you draw the line and just say no? I'm doing this for me...
I had one of those days today. I am currently stretched between two projects at work, and both of the individuals I am working with want me to drop the other project, and devote my full time to them. So what am I doing now? I'm working insanely long hours to try and get both jobs done, because apparently I have the hardest time just saying no, and standing up for myself. I want both of them to be happy. Not just because it's work, and I have to--this is one case where it's actually my choice.
In doing this, although they are happy, I'm giving up something that makes me happy, and that's being able to write every night.
This is my own fault, of course and I realize that.
The thing I wonder is if we ever unconsciously apply this to our writing. I know many of us are after that ostensibly elusive dream of becoming published--I know I am. I want to somehow make my mark on the world, I suppose, but without causing a big splash. I think encouraging others to read is one of the most remarkable gifts we can give. I've always communicated best through my writing, I enjoy it and it makes me happy. If I can bring joy to others through it too, well then, that's just a double bonus.
Right now though--I write for myself. I am writing the type of story that I know I would enjoy reading. I know others may not like it, but should I be writing to please them? It is a little bit of a double edged sword. If you don't write something that people will want to read, then how will you market yourself, and where? How will you be published? On the other hand, if you start significantly changing your writing just to chase after the latest craze, are you selling out?
I don't know if I can consider writing a job as yet--I mean, I know it is, but its brings me such a wonderful feeling, it doesn't feel like work at all. I can't say the same about my current day job. If you can be in a job, career, etc. that not only brings you joy, but brings joy and satisfaction to the lives of people you touch through it, then I think you have succeeded.
The sad thing is that when we are young, we are able to escape, find new worlds, discover magic in all forms... As we get older, very little intrigues us in the same fashion. For me though, a good book will always recapture that feeling. I like to lose myself in the words, to search for something that just might be bigger than what we know.
That said, I would like to reiterate:
You can't please everyone, but you should never give up on trying to please someone... If you've reached one person (at times--even if it's yourself), you've made a difference, no matter how small. Again, I know, all common sense, but definitely something we forget to remember...
Sorry, I know today's post was a little deep, but like I said--it's been one of those days...
Do any of you ever feel this way? I'd love to hear of any examples (success stories or trying stories) where you were faced with the tough decision of trying to make everyone happy at the expense of your own sanity.
Sunday, October 4, 2009
I have decided that I am going to finish the first draft of my novel within the next three weeks. Today being October 4th, let's set a date of October 25th for it to be completed.
Considering that I've been coming home from work close to 9:00 p.m. every day this past week, this might be a little too ambitious, but we'll see how it goes. Life is nothing without trying to work towards something, right?
Today will be a short post as I am trying to make my weekend as productive as possible, and it is honestly too easy to get distracted by all of these great blogs out there :).
Bye for now!
Saturday, October 3, 2009
I also came to a little bit of a staggering realization. I just thought it before, but now I know it for sure. I am nowhere near finished!
What does that mean?
So I did a little bit of research, and it looks like YA novels tend to run anywhere from 50K to 85K, but no more, thus so far I figure I am in pretty safe territory. I read on a few different sites that a Fantasy novel can run to up to 100K, but this is a YA Fantasy, so I'm not too sure. Plus--I'm a new writer, so trying to publish anything too long might not be wise.
I'm really hoping that I can wrap it by 80K at LEAST (before edits), and again that is MS Word count, not Printer's Rule (I really need to figure that out--a few sites have been giving me different counts). If anyone reading this knows for sure, please help! I would welcome your comments.
My book is a YA Fantasy, and I think that genre allows for at least up to 100k. Things are happening a little out of sequence, but I find as I am re-reading I like it, and it somehow works.
For instance, one of my secondary characters just spilled the beans on something that my Main Character wasn't supposed to know until later. It will complicate things for her relationship with my male MC, but when I re-read it, it made sense that this was how she found out. This book seems to be writing itself at times. :)
In my next post, I am going to be setting Goal #2, which I haven't quite formulated as yet. I'm still deciding whether to make it very ambitious, or just stick with what I know can be achieved. But hey... I did surprise myself with Goal #1, so who knows?
I'm going to try and get in a few more pages tonight. I left my last chapter off in the middle.
Bye for now!
Sunday, September 27, 2009
Honestly, I'm flying through these chapters. My characters have really come to life. I'm a little worried that I need to add more however. The entire book is just revolving around these two people. More are on the way, but it's important that readers see the dynamic relationship between the two.
I need to cap it off though and I've just realized that I'm barely halfway through the book. I think 80 more pages will put me at 245 pages (but this is at 1.5 paragraph spacing). I need to double space and figure out exactly what font I'm supposed to be using and what this printer's rule count is all about.
I've come across several amazing blogs--many of which I will be linking to very soon, and they have a wealth of information that I hadn't even known I needed to think about. It seems so easy--write a book, and then publish it. There is SO much more that happens in between--I can't believe I've been so ignorant.
I'm not thinking too much about publishing right now (not yet), I'm so excited to finish this project. I need to go through some veritable editing after (I've left out a very significant chapter at the beginning because I needed to go back and word it correctly, but the rest of the book just took off and I never went back).
I'm 5000 words away from my word count goal of 60k before the end of October. I think I will be reaching it before the end of September--even though it's not too far away!
It's an amazing feeling, knowing that the end is so near. I've barely scratched the surface though--this is just the setup for what's to come. I hope that makes sense. I'm sort of bubbling over with excitement. Does anyone know the feeling I'm referring to? I think I need to wrap everything up within the next 40,000 words, and I'm starting to wonder if I can.
Okay, I'm going to head back to it--just wanted to do a quick update.
Bye for now!
Sunday, September 20, 2009
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
Progress has not stalled however!
Where am I now?
I'm not sure if that's good or if I'm writing slowly, but it's impressive to me! Especially considering where I was not too long ago. :)
I'm going to start doing regular status updates--I'll probably try for a weekly post to recap word count, and any other intriguing tidbits that may happen in my not so intriguing life.
Alright, let's set a goal (since where would we be without them?):
60,000 words by the end of October 2009
Attainable? I think so. I just need to stay focused.
Wish me luck.
I'm bone tired right now--it's been a long day, but I'm going to go try and finish this chapter and get started on the next one. We are currently on Chapter 9.
Bye for now!
Saturday, August 8, 2009
This is extremely exciting for me. I'm not entirely sure how long I'll be able to keep it - I suffer from constantcompulsiverevising-itis. Quite serious.
I've learned though. I used to actually DELETE (should that be a four letter word?) everything I had and start from scratch. You have no idea the hours I spent lamenting over lost words. As time goes by, it's hard to remember exactly what it was you wanted to say and how you wanted to say it. That's why we write it down! Now instead, I keep the old stuff, and merely start anew if necessary or do my favourite: REVISE.
I'm going to go re-read what I have and see if I like it. It's currently at six chapters. That little walk earlier in the week really helped me! I need to declutter my life and mind, figuratively speaking (maybe literally?). Where do I start?
Okay, I'm off - I need to make this a very productive day.
Bye for now!
Wednesday, August 5, 2009
It was so calming and peaceful. I think everyone needs to take the time to do something like that - something that truly makes you feel at ease and in sync with the universe.
Although I was just a few short steps from "civilization" and reality as it is, I felt as though I was millions of miles away without a care in the world. Apparently lots of people have already discovered this - I'm late in the game, as usual.
Apart from some crazy killer dragon flies, it was perfect!
For the first time in a long time, I was able to just clear my mind, and it felt really good. I came home all excited and brimming with ideas for the novel. I'm going to go write them down before I lose them. I don't know how long this sense of euphoria will last, but I'm hoping for a while.
Bye for now!
Monday, July 27, 2009
You know, although I'm really enjoying writing, it's hard! I haven't actually sat down and just written anything in a while, and yes, it feels good, but I can't get past the jumbled thoughts. Plus, I keep getting distracted with work and life. I'm not sure how to balance all of this. I'm so tired every day when I get home, but I still manage to drag myself to the computer to try and get a few lines down.
I've set out an itinerary: I try to write everyday for at least 2 -3 hours. It varies though, depending on what time I get home from work or what needs to be done that day, what errands I have. It's like a never ending battle sometimes. I wonder if there will ever be a day when I can just write OR just relax. Or both. Wouldn't that be nice?
Do any of you experience this? What do you do to keep yourself on track?
Bye for now!
Sunday, July 26, 2009
Each time I re-read what I have, the more I don't like it. I know exactly what I want to say, how the story should be going, what will happen at the end--but it's all in my head. I can't seem to get it down onto the page the same way it is in my brain. It's just not flowing correctly. And it's frustrating the heck out of me!
So now, I've decided to try another tactic. I'm doing an outline. I hope I can still salvage some of the work I had before--it would be such a waste otherwise. Almost 60 pages down the drain. Aye.
Alright, I'm going to see how much writing I can get done today, I shall keep you posted.
Have any of you ever experienced this problem? How did you deal with it?
Adios for now.
Friday, July 24, 2009
Now that I have arrived and have stated my purpose, I thought I should divulge exactly what type of book I am writing:
I know, not really a big surprise considering the recent surge this genre is seeing, but I love it. I have been writing teen stories for as long as I can remember. They do tend to run along the romantic side, but hey--you need that teen angst in there. What YA would be complete without it? (In my opinion anyways)
Now, it will be a series because I don't think I can fit everything I want to say into one book. It would end up being one million pages.
So, on that note, very roughly, here is the main content I will be including in this blog about my journey:
1. Writing the Book
2. Revising/Editing the Book
3. Researching Agents/Market/Publishing Companies
4. Drafting a Query
5. Revising the Query
6. Sending out the Queries
7. Waiting/Biting my nails (proactively, of course!) -- *sidenote* can you bite your nails proactively?
In addition, I will be including any helpful hints or tips that I pick up along the way. I'm sure I will go back and revisit this list and add more to it, but for now, there we have it.
It's in no particular order either even though I've numbered it. These are just the things I want on there from the getgo. And also, lots of bits of randomness and life moments :D.
I am prone to thoughts of randomness. I may also jump around a bit on this blog--again, random things occur to me all the time, and you may just be the lucky (unfortunate?) ones who get to read about it.
Alrighty, I think that's it for today. It's late. Kind of. You know what I mean :)
Bye for now!
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
So I'm trying something new. I'm extremely bored, unhappy and ready to make some changes. I'm stuck in a dead end job, stuck in a rut, stuck in life... you get the point... basically I'm stuck.
What am I doing about it? I'm writing a book. I'm trying to do something I know I really enjoy. I can't really describe it, but I just feel good when I write. Okay, we're getting ahead of ourselves. First things first...
A little bit about me:
Well, I'm not exactly going to tell you anything really tangible about myself, not yet anyways--I'm very sorry. Before I completely lose you though, let me explain. You are going to get to know me, just not the visual details, I guess--you know... the boring stuff. So what you will be seeing is my joys, frustrations, heartaches, triumphs, basically my journey even if you're not seeing the person making it.
Why, you ask?
I am trying to write and publish my first novel, something that I have wanted to do my whole life. If it works out--that's amazing.... if it doesn't, well, the only person I would have disappointed is myself. Yes, I have an odd way of thinking, I know (hence the blog title..hehe... do you get it?)
I haven't told a single person what I'm attempting as yet (except my sister). It feels too personal, and I'm not too sure how it will go over. So for now, this will be my online journal.
To be completely honest though, I would love to be published, but right now, I'm trying to focus on finishing the thing. I've never, ever finished an entire novel before, bits and pieces here and there, tons of short stories, but not a whole book... so here's to hoping, and lots of hard work and determination. If I can finish it, that would be success in itself (well, for me anyways). But I know it's going to be a long, difficult road. Anything worthwhile always is.
Alrighty, enough for Post #1. I look forward to you guys joining me as I embark on this endeavor. It should be an exciting ride. I hope you enjoy reading :).