It’s November 2nd

and I have not started my novel yet.

I have not plotted, I have not even figured out what I want to write about.

Am I panicking?

Nah.

There’s a lot going on in life right now. Good things! I’m married! I’m taking steps towards my future. I’m making decisions about life. I’m happy!

I’m also at jury duty as I write this. I’ve only been officially a resident here for 2 1/2 months and I already got a jury duty summons. Just about sums up my luck haha!

So if you’re signed up for NaNoWriMo this month and you also have not written anything, have no fear. You are not alone, friend.

But we WILL get to that 50,000 word mark. Even if it takes just a teensy bit more effort on a few of the days.

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Using Writing Software

So considering that I am not the most dedicated year-round writer as of yet, I have never played around with different writing softwares before. But I was scrolling through the NaNoWriMo Sponsor Offers today and decided I was going to utilize one of the free trials to see if this helps enhance my novel-writing experience.

I know Scrivener is the big one that a lot of people use. I see posts about it all the time from blogs I follow. I watched the introduction video and honestly felt super overwhelmed. Maybe one day I’ll be more in tune with software of this kind that Scrivener will have what I need, but right now, I’m looking for something really straight-forward.  Continue reading

It’s NaNoWriMo Time Again!

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Greeting, loyal followers, and long time no see!

Holy crap, it’s already October!

So in the last 2 months, we’ve obviously moved and settled into our new home in Texas. I’m stuck waiting tables again while I deeply consider what it is I want out of my future. The teaching certification is still on the table, I’m just trying to figure out if that’s REALLY the commitment I want to make.

I have troubles with commitment.

NOT to my fiancé, Brad, though. We are still getting married in less than 3 weeks! The 22nd of THIS MONTH is the big day! Things are falling into place, and actually living in the same town as we’re getting married in has been such a relief on everyone’s sanity. Continue reading

What Kind of Editor Are You?

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Disclaimer: This is a longer post than I intended, but it’s funny. Read it through, I promise you won’t be bored. 😉

Yesterday I finished transcribing a short story I wrote in high school with a friend. I briefly wrote about it in a post last week. It was written in two parts, but part two was never finished. Sad face.

Turning it into an electronic version was hard though for two reasons:

  1. I left the journals in my trunk (for 6 years), and one ended up under a forgotten ice chest. Thus, the pages were wet previously, and now dry. I wish I’d taken a picture of the first few pages. They were JUST legible enough that I was able to transcribe. But not an easy task, for sure.
  2. I had to resist the urge to edit everything now. This story was horribly written and I just wanted to fix it. But I do my best editing on paper. So I needed to just get it typed up first.

On the outside, the plot summary sounds pretty good. If I had to write it now, it would go something like this: Continue reading

Finding Old Writing

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I was cleaning out my car this past weekend, and when I finally managed to get around to the trunk, I found all sorts of goodies from my high school days. I found a bunch of my sheet music from band, including a few flute solos that I don’t remember ever playing. But I’m pretty sure I was trying to take advantage of having the copy machine password, so I made copies of music I wanted to learn. (Too bad I haven’t picked up my flute since I graduated high school.)

I also found a few journals with some old writing in them. One was a short story that I wrote two pages and then stopped writing, but it was really intriguing. Part of me thinks I had to have started that in college sometime, because it was pretty well written.

But it seemed to be about a girl with drug addict parents who lost custody when she was six or so. She was bounced from foster home to foster home until she aged out. Now homeless and desperate, she gets an offer to fulfill a huge $100,000 drug order, with the promise that she would get half the money if she was successful.

That’s where I stopped writing. Sigh. I’m hoping next week (this weekend is going to be insane with my 2 year college reunion) I can work on that a little bit. It’s an interesting premise in my opinion, and I’m curious to see where I can go with it. Heck maybe I’ll work on it today?  Continue reading

Eight Week Challenge with The Caffeinated Writer

Greetings and happy (early) Memorial Day!

I have eight weeks left to go at my job until my last day, and then we are on the road to Texas just one week later.

Before I leave Virginia, I really want to make some productive changes in my life. Take all the things I’ve committed to this year and actually accomplish some things!

This year, my new year’s resolutions involved losing weight, reading more, and writing more.

At different parts of the year, I’ve attempted to focus my attention on one of these goals, but (like always) a week later I’d lose interest.

Which brings me to my eight week challenge.

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Continue reading

Three Kinds of Writing Books Every Writer Should Read, Part 3 (Guest Post)

Part 3: The Life of Writing

The life of writing isn’t like a job where you clock in and clock out. Sure, if you’re a journalist, but not if you’re writing fiction. If a day goes by and you don’t write a single word, there’s no one to dock your pay.

So now, the final book you need in your regular reading diet as a writer: something about actually living the writing life. Because, guess what? Just focusing on the writing itself isn’t enough. Unless your goal is to finish your novel and stick it in a drawer. Or if you don’t actually care about finishing. Or if you just want to dabble, if writing is just a hobby. But if you want to get your writing out into the world and reach readers, you’ll need to do more. And you’ll need a guide. In The Art of War for WritersJames Scott Bell serves up 77 bite-sized chapters on how to succeed in the life of writing, organized into three parts:

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Three Kinds of Writing Books Every Writer Should Read, Part 2 (Guest Post)

Part 2: The Art of Writing

It’s sad but true: you can craft grammatically perfect prose, turn a nice phrase, and even come up with an insightful metaphor or two—and still write forgettable fiction. How many books feature the same stock characters and predictable plots? Or worse: unbelievable characters and clunky, hole-ridden plots? So, if you’re going to write, if you’re going to pour your time, your energy, your life into a world that doesn’t even actually exist—if you’re willing to do all that—why not make your writing the best it can possibly be?

In my last post, I featured a wonderful little book on the craft of writing, The Elements of Eloquence. It drills down deep into phrases, sentences, and rhetoric. Today, we look at the second kind of book that should be a part of every writer’s reading diet: a book on the art of writing, because writing is more than craft.

That’s right: as writers, we need to do more than just study the craft, we need to catch a vision of what great writing can be. In The Art of Fiction, John Gardner gives us exactly that. Continue reading

A Blogger’s Journey: What I Learned Joining Blogging Groups on Facebook (Guest Post)

 

By Brent Jackson

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I’ve been blogging on and off for nearly 10 years. I start a blog and I’m off to the races. I have high energy at the start. I have lots of ideas for posts. It all seems easy. I can look down the road and imagine a thriving community around my blog and all is good.

Well that’s how it always starts. Then reality sets in. The energy starts to drop after a few weeks. The ideas for new posts don’t flow as quickly. Before I know it … dead blog. I was getting to the point that I could picture an imaginary graveyard with little gravestones for each of my past blogs.

I finally broke the pattern! My current blog is a year old next month (May 2016). That’s far longer than any of my past blogs. My energy level is still high (with a little help from coffee). I actually have a backlog of ideas to write about. Scheduling travel and taking time for research is my biggest challenges this cycle. I guess that’s the benefit of finding a subject I’m passionate about. I’m confident this blog is going the distance. Continue reading

Writing About Your Life

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(I’m not writing an one, but) I’m not quite sure I understand how people can write autobiographies about their life (probably redundant, but whatever).

Like how do you know what’s important? What people care about? What “scenes” from the days you were on Earth move along some sort of narrative that you’ve felt was important enough to share with everyone?

I’m having a hard time with my Camp novel this month. I mean, I wrote the first 149 words (milestone, woo!) and now I’m having a hard time writing the next batch of them. I did some very minor planning: a very basic list of important events that should probably be covered, but then I wonder if maybe some of them aren’t really integral to the storyline.  Continue reading