Writing Through The Slow Parts

So I finally sat down and started thinking about where my novel is going. Because I’ve been trudging through this section I’m on for DAYS and it’s been a struggle. Honestly, it’s the reason my word count hasn’t changed in days – because I DON’T WANT TO WRITE THIS SCENE.

So there are two recommendations if this becomes you.

First, you can SKIP IT! Move past it! Write the next scene that you actually want to write! Why should we spend hours and days and weeks struggling through a scene we hate? We can just add that scene later, when perhaps we can see exactly what point we need to get to. Plus, one could argue that trudging through a scene/chapter will just make for more crap we have to revise later when we’re done. It’d almost probably be easier to just add in the scene later than to revise the one you already wrote (plus, what will you have to change later in the story that you changed in your revision?). 

Struggling through a scene means we’re not enjoying what we’re writing. And if we’re not enjoying it, how can we expect our readers to enjoy that scene as well?

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The Winning Has Begun!

It’s time for another update, and so close to the last one!

Exciting times are among us, y’all. EXCITING TIMES. I invited students to update their word counts and revise their goals, and there are some BIG CHANGES TO TELL YOU ABOUT.

I SPEAK IN ALL CAPS WHEN I’M EXCITED.

Total Words Goal:452,03361
Total Words Written:104,162
% of Total Goal22.57%

104,162 WORDS!

WHAT!? I literally cannot believe how much that number jumped just today alone!

The % of total goal amount increased significantly because quite a few students lowered their word count goals, and I had 2 students back out completely (I only asked that question to those who are falling behind on school work). 

AND THEN

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Whoaaa, We’re (Almost) Halfway Through NaNoWriMo…

Whooaaaa, I am SOOO BEHINDDDDDD.

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It really blows because up through day 6, I was ON A ROLL. I was keeping up with the recommended word count per day everyday. And THEN the weekend happened. I came into it with every expectation of getting ahead, and then it just didn’t happen. To be honest, I slept a lot this weekend. I call it self care, though, because after the three day weekend, I woke up this morning feeling quite ready for the week.

This week is always a harrowing one at school (especially middle school). It’s the week before Thanksgiving break. It’s only a 3 1/2 day week, so keeping the kids on task is a challenge for sure. We’re wrapping up the end of a project right now, so today was not so bad. I also think my not being in a terrible Monday (but not monday) mood helped.

So before I roll into an update on my students, I’m just admitting to the world that on Day 13, I have 11,000 words (and I should have 21,667 words). I’m NOT giving up on the big goal. I am off ALL next week, and even though we’ll be traveling back to Virginia to see my husband’s family, we’re super broke so I’m pretty sure I’ll have a lot of down time to work on my novel. I REFUSE to give up on this story. It has so much potential. I’m just stuck in the slow part right now. It’s about to move on from that though so I’m going to keep trudging on until something happens.

AND NOW. For the update many have asked about in comments: MY STUDENTS! Continue reading

Cinco de NaNo

and I’ve seen some great strides!

Not just for myself (like I finally figured out what my story is about LOL), but for some of my students! Gah!

I gathered as many word counts as I could today, but we had a district assessment, so I wanted to be sure the focus was on that, and that NaNo writing stays secondary to classwork. Sadly, I could not make NaNo the sole focus of the month, because our fiction unit already occurred, and we’re tested on expository writing, but there are still plenty of students helping us come closer to our goal! Continue reading

My Students are NaNoWriMo-ing…

…and I’m so excited about it I can’t even contain it.

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Hello friends! Long time no blog! (I feel like I’ve had this intro in the last few postings, but it’s still true so.)

I am teaching 7th grade English (specifically writing) this year, and I offered my students the opportunity to participate in NaNoWriMo this year (through the Young Writer’s Program). My 4th period has a 30 minute advisory period, so for those students this is our project for the next month and beyond. For others, it was completely optional.

There is still one day to join in or change word counts, but as it stands right now, I have 65 students participating (35 by choice!), and we are setting out for a total of 497,700 words. (I’m trying to convince someone to raise their goal, or someone else to join in, so we can be shooting for 500,000 words!) Continue reading

Monday Musings #13

Outback

(I started this on Monday. It took me a day to finish it haha!)

This is my first year teaching, and I have one big complaint to make:

Why do we have to raise kids to only be expository writers and not creative writers?

This is the biggest complaint of all teachers, right? We have to teach to a test, not teach our kids things they’ll use in real life. Not all kids are going to grow up to write academic papers in their career for their entire life.

Should students be writing expository often? Obviously. Most college writing is expository in nature and it should be mastered before you get there.

But how do we raise the next JK Rowling when creative writing
is barely touched in school?

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I Read 6 Books in 2017…

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But I accomplished so many other things I had never planned for, so is that really something to be ashamed of?

Hello friends! Long time, no post!

So I logged into Goodreads on 12/29 and was so depressed when I saw how far from my minuscule 30-book goal I still was. 30 books is barely one per 2 weeks. I had friends accomplish their 75-100 book goals! What! Continue reading

2016 Year in Review

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So I scrolled back through my blog posts and found the one where I listed my goals for 2016. So here we are, in the last week of a very up and down year, and it’s time to look back and see what kind of accomplishments I made.

Here we go:

Blogging:

  • Get 500 followers
    • Accomplished. I currently have 507 followers. Yay!
  • 10,000 views
    • Close but no cigar. Had I not stopped blogging, I’d probably have accomplished this one. But 9,100ish views is not something to scoff at!
  • Have an active following, where no one is afraid to comment and discuss!
    • I would consider this accomplished. 
  • Continue posting a few times a week
    • I was doing great until we moved. But that’s okay.
  • Never forget a Monday Musings
    • Nope. MM died out pretty early in the year lol
  • Post at least 20 book reviews
    • Did I even post one? 
  • Bring in more followers to the blog from Twitter
    • I did bring in significantly more readers this year from Twitter than last year. So check.
  • Get 250 Twitter followers
    • 415 as of right now. Check!

Writing:

  • Finish a second draft of Cover Up
    • I need to finish the first draft too, LOL
    • First draft was finished. Second draft was never started.
  • Finish the first draft of Where I Belong and start editing
    • This was not a good writing year for me.
  • Write two additional pieces of short fiction per month
    • Not even one.

Reading:

  • Read 30 books (I know it’s not much, but it’s more than I’ve read in a loooong time)
    • According to Goodreads, I read 17 books this year. I averaged over 1 a month, and that’s an accomplishment to me.

Personal:

  • Get married!
    • CHECK!
  • Feel good in my dress (I’m really trying to get it taken in, but we’ll see)
    • I was never NOT going to feel good in my dress.
  • Save another $1,000
    • We saved a lot, spent it all on the move, and are back over $1,000 in savings. So check!
  • Go out and do things with new people
    • Seriously I need friends here
    • I never accomplished this in Roanoke haha

I’ve posted about my slump already for the year. But I’m over the negative thoughts. I may not have been able to mark off all my resolutions for this year, but I made a lot of progress in life this year. I built this beautiful blog. We moved to Texas. Brad and I are finally married.

Next up: big moves with my career. A house. A new dog (or 3).

Bring it on, 2017. I’m ready for you!

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

Eight Week Challenge: Update 7

the caffeinated writer

Ahh craziness all around. We’re leaving in 10 DAYS. I’ve been crazy busy packing, going through my last week of work, and just mentally preparing myself to say goodbye to these beautiful Appalachian Mountains.

As such, I do not have much of an update for my eight week challenge. As much as I figured this would happen, I really haven’t focused on any of my goals recently. I finished one book, started another but probably can’t finish it before we leave (and it’s a library book so…) and while I’ve been packing (a workout!) and walking (thanks Pokemon G0!), I’ve been kinda eating whatever I want.

😦

But it’s fine. I’m midway through the last week of the challenge, and while I probably won’t be able to say it was the most successful, I know that I did make some accomplishments. But I’ll go through all that sappy stuff next week when I do my final update.

This is all I have to say in this post today, as it’s getting busy and I’ve got a lot of stuff to do. I can’t wait until I’m moved and settled in so I can get back to regularly posting on my own blog, as well as get back to reading more of the blogs from friends I follow.

I hope you all have a wonderful week!