NanoWriMo Update

Week 2

Love this quote so much! Seriously, the reason I started writing stories was because I wanted to be someone I wasn’t. It helped me escape. And now I find that when I don’t write I am in such a grumpy mood. I haven’t been writing much before NanoWriMo…or much this year at all. It’s really sad really. But since I have been writing this month I have seen a drastic change in my attitude and its awesome!

Anyways, I know what you are really here for. You want to know where I am with my goals. Well…here you have it!

Day 1: 0
Day 2: 816
Day 3: 1598
Day 4: 1937
Day 5: 4469
Day 6: 3002
Day 7: 3840
Day 8: 2482
Day 9: 0
Day 10: 4044
Day 11: 2744

Total to Date: 24932

I have learned a few things already. One being that I am happier when I write. The second being that once you have written that first draft it is so much easier to rewrite the entire novel again. Even if you had 72,000 words in the first draft.

I have been putting off re-writing this novel because it was just so much. But I have a 72,000 word outline that I am using to write this novel. The first time around was fleshing out everything. Now, I can throw in things that will hint at things to come because I know exactly what is to come.

This has been a great experience. Last year I made it to the 50,000 word goal, but I never finished the story I was working on. I don’t even remember what it was that I was working on. This time I have a story that has been in my head for years, I have a rough draft, and I am using this month to make it better and get back into writing.

I have let one of my dreams slip through my fingers. I will not let my dream to write slip through my fingers too. I needed this boost to get me out of my slump and back on my feet.

How are you doing with the NanoWriMo?

NanoWriMo??

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Last year I participated in NanoWriMo and blogged everyday of November about my process and things that inspired me to continue writing. I don’t have the time for that this year. But I am still participating. Why?

I have fallen from my dream. I have let work and other life things get in the way. Mainly my obsession with wanting to lose weight and then there is the whole “I wish I had a boyfriend” thing. I have let my dream fall behind the couch and I am ashamed that I have not written much in a long time. Sure, I have my weekly short story, but let’s face it, 1000 words or less a week is not the way of a writer. I have missed writing. But it just feels so daunting now. I have seen what others have written. I have seen the hard work and the amazing results. I have let my own doubts get in the way.

This month I will play the NanoWriMo game and I will come back to the top of my writing world. One day I will publish my novel or two…or you know, be the female Stephen King…I dream big!

I am cheating a little this year though. I am using this month to rewrite my first novel. The one I keep telling everyone I am going to make better and end up…letting it collect dust in my files. I am finally going to sit down and finish this sucker once and for all. Then next month I will rewrite the second book. And January I will write the third. Then I will find a good editor to help me polish them all and start sending out to agents and publishers. I have to make this happen because it is the one thing that I know I want in my life. It is the only thing that has not changed since I was in high school. I grew up telling people stories, why stop now?

Things I Have Realized in November

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It is the end of the month and I feel like I have grown so much this month. Mainly in the area of writing. NaNoWriMo has awakened my muse and I am back on track. I have officially won this years NaNoWriMo as I reached 52,613 words yesterday. It’s not done, but I made it to 50,000 words in one month. I know I could do it again. I will be finishing my current WIP and sitting it aside until the first of the year. Then I will be picking it back up and two other novels for edits.

Don’t worry, I will still be writing through the month of December. I have another novel idea that I can’t wait to get started on. With December being such a busy month, I may not get another 50,000 words by the end of December, but I will make sure to write every day. I also want to keep blogging every day. I want to share the projects and awesome things I will be doing to get ready for Christmas and also go over the things I will be doing to prepare myself for the new year.

Here is your warning, I will be writing about getting my stuff organized and ready for the most productive year of my life. I have several goals already lined up to start at the beginning of the year. I honestly can’t wait for 2015.

On to other things. Here is a list of things I have learned this month.

  1. I CAN write 50,000 words in 30 days. I can write a novel in a month. Of course now I have to do edits and actually finish the rest. If my other novels have proven anything, I have another 20,000 to 25,000 words to go before the book is close to being done. But I can write a good bit in a month if I put my mind to it. I read somewhere that NaNoWriMo is about seeing what it’s like to be a full time author. The stress they go through to finish a book on time. I think I can do it.
  2. I can write 6,000 words in one day. More if I didn’t have to go to bed because of work. That’s right, I wrote 6,000 words yesterday alone. I didn’t think I had it in me. My max has always been around 2,000 and 2,500 words a day. Maybe I just stopped writing too soon. It was fun yesterday, doing nothing but writing. I didn’t even watch a lot of TV.
  3. If I just keep writing, I can get all the story down before I go changing things. I am so used to writing and editing at the same time. I would wait days before writing the next part of my story just because I didn’t want to edit the part I had already written. I have no idea why I felt the need to edit right after I had written it. I read somewhere, and it might have been something from Stephen King, that after you write, you should put your manuscript away for a few weeks to a month, let the story get a little dusty, and then come back for edits. They say you come back with an open mind and can focus better on mistakes and plot holes. We will see in January if that is true.
  4. I am a writer, an author. It is my passion and it is what makes me happiest in my life. I could go for days just writing and ignoring the world.
  5. You no longer have to have two spaces between a period and the next sentence. I have a whole blog prepared for you on that one.
  6. When I have written, I have so much more room in my mind for other things. I have the drive I need to plan things out and keep on top of things.
  7. Earl Grey tea is my drink of choice. It has the caffeine I need to get me through the day.
  8. My imagination is limitless if I use the things around me to inspire everything in my life.
  9. I love posting a blog every day!
  10. I am very happy with the path my life is taking and I can’t wait to see where that path leads me.

I am sure there are more things I have learned. I’m always learning, always growing. My greatest accomplishment this month was doing something I didn’t think I could do. It wasn’t about writing a novel, it was about proving to myself that I had the drive and discipline to be what I most desire to be in my life.

What have you learned this month?

Fingers Race Across the Keyboard

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I have not written much in the past few days. I have been tired and honestly, lazy. That is what it really boils down to, laziness. Yesterday I spent all day watching a Buffy the Vampire Slayer marathon. Then ended up in a bad mood. The day before I spent eating and trying to get a stupid game to play. I didn’t have time to write because I was too busy avoiding it.

Last night I realized something that made so much sense. The past few days I have been grumpy and tired. I could say it was from being bored and not getting enough sleep. I could blame it on my ankle hurting so bad I didn’t want to do anything but sleep. I could even blame it on my PCOS which can cause fatigue. But then I had to own up to the truth.

The truth is, I am a writer. It’s not something that I do just because I like it. I love writing, but I HAVE to write. Anyone that claims they are a writer and lack the NEED to write may need to call writing a hobby. For me, writing is not a hobby, it is a part of my life that I can not live without.

When I have time to write I am in a much better mood. I am happy and joyful. I don’t have words floating around in my head creating headaches and stress, because I had time to put those words on paper.

Why have I been so grumpy the past few days? Because I have not been writing. I have been neglecting my fingers the joy of flittering across the keyboard, creating that wonderful click clack noise and releasing the voices of the people in my head. The words come flying out like a caged bird who just figured out how to open the door. It is a freedom that I have tried to deny most of my life.

I am a better person, happier person when I write. Sure, I have been writing a blog everyday this month, but that isn’t enough for me. I have to write until I am exhausted. There are some days that I actually have to take a nap after I finish writing because my mind has been thoroughly and happily diminished.

I often wonder if I can really call myself a writer. What really makes a person a writer? And I wonder if I am just wasting my time dreaming of a day when people are actually able to read my word and live in the worlds of my mind. I worry that the world will laugh at me. But then I go a few days without writing and I remember why I love it so much. I remember why it is my passion and my dream, not just something I do on the fly.

What makes a person a writer? The need and desire to write fantastical stories that pull in a persons soul and keeps them there forever.

NaNoWriMo Update: 48,227 But I’m still writing today. I plan to hit 50,000 today.

Hello Goodbye

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Just a quick blog today. I have been busy since I got up this morning, or rather, this afternoon. I got off work at 5 this morning, and came home for some sleep. Once I was up I had to get the pie going for tomorrow. I am even making the crust, which I see now would have been a major time saver had I just bought the crust, but that’s cheating!

I haven’t had time to write today, but I am only about 5,000 words from my NaNo goal. I am hoping to get a good chunk taken care of tomorrow in between food comas.

Also, I was able to buy Sims 4 today because Origin had it on sale for half off. I was so excited for it, until I had it downloaded and EA decided to add a few bugs to keep me from playing. I have been fighting with that for the past 30 minutes. I know what you are all thinking; “Heather, you don’t have time to play games.” But I do! I swear I do. Okay, maybe I don’t but I love Sims!

Anyways, off to finishing my pie I go. I hope everyone has a wonderful rest of the day, no matter what you are doing. For me it’s working until 4 and then resting until 9pm Friday night. I can’t wait to eat all the wonderful food tomorrow! And possibly get my stupid game playing.

Anyone baking anything for Thanksgiving?

Don’t Quit Your Day Job

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I once dreamed of quitting my job and becoming a full time writer. It is kind of why I started writing in the first place. I wanted to be my own boss, control what I did with every second of my life. Then, I woke up to the fact that it wouldn’t work and here is why.

1. Experience inspires creativity! I have written things that were inspired by what happened at work or what happened in the world around me. I have started stories that grew to amazing things, just because someone said something funny or did something that irritated the crap out of me. I can be a very morbid person and I have developed stories where people were killed in some very creative ways. I recently worked in a deli and that deli had a huge oven where they baked bread. My first thought was “Hmm…I wonder how many bodies could fit in there.” I swear I have the mind of a serial killer, but the heart of a saint.

2. I wouldn’t actually write all day. On my days off I decide I will spend the day the way I would if I was a full time author. This usually involves me staring at a blank page, channel surfing, watching YouTube videos, or looking up random things on the internet. Having I job I have to go to inspires me to write and get something down on paper.

3. I would become a recluse. I wouldn’t leave the house. I wouldn’t have money, because I haven’t been working on my books. I would only leave the house if my parents made me. I would only shower when I felt like a pile of dirty clothes. It would be a bad thing!

4. I like people way too much.  I love the interaction of work. I love meeting new people and sharing my life with them.

5. I like working. I really do love the manual labor. One day I plan to have my own bakery and that will come with it’s own experiences and daily interactions. Will I have time to write? Of course I will, because I am super human. I like the daily grind of getting my hands dirty.

The fact of the matter is, I love getting out of the house and doing things. I also love writing about the things I have experienced. I love even more, taking those normal days and writing fantistical stories. I am inspired more by daily life than anything else.

When I lost my job in February and decided to spend my time writing instead of looking for a job, I got so bored. Not that writing bores me, but without the daily interaction with other humans I had a lack of inspiration. My ideas were not dried up, but they were hiding from me. What idea wants to be present in a world that doesn’t move?

Maybe to others inspiration comes from being online or watching TV. Maybe your ideas come from time spent alone in thought. But for me, I get ideas from other people and situations that I find myself in. I find inspiration in the secret places of the world that only I can see. Just seeing my bedroom walls holds no excitement when too much time is spent there.

What inspires you? Do you think you want to become a full time writer? I was never meant to be one thing. I have to have a little bit of everything.

The First Words

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As I have stated before, I have been doing a lot of research on writing. I have been soaking up everything I can that will help me in my writing. Of course, I bring that to my blog and share with my readers because we have to help each other out, but most of it you have already heard.

The thing I have been reading about this week is that first sentence, paragraph, or page of your novel. My first sentence of my WIP  is “I don’t know who I am.”  I think I am going to eventually change it now that I know the importance of the first line, but how do you know you have a good first line?

What really constitutes a good first line?  All the things I have read, there is a lot that must be said at the beginning of a book.  You have to know who your protagonist is and what their issue is.  You have to give a summarized background that can bring the reader to the present, but not give to much away.

But it’s really that very first line that grabs the readers attention.

In my own experience I have read the book blurb, and then the first paragraph.  Of course, if it makes it that far I will look at reviews on goodreads, not that reviews have much to do with me reading it.

I decided to look up a few first lines of some of my favorite books, just to see how much their first lines drag a reader in.

  1. Twilight by Stephanie Meyers –  “I’d never given much thought to how I would die — though I’d had reason enough in
    the last few months — but even if I had, I would not have imagined it like this.”
    **Yes, I admit to reading this book…all four.  And loving it.  I didn’t care as much for the movies, but I love the books.  I remember reading the first line of the book and wanting nothing more than to sit in the floor of Target and read that book then.  I bought the book, took it home, and let the Twilight world swallow me whole. I couldn’t put the book down and I don’t care what anyone says.  The first line is genius though.
  2. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling – “Mr. and Mrs. Dursley of number four, Privet Drive, were proud to say that they were perfectly normal, thank you very much.”
    **First, when someone says something about being normal, you know something is about to go down. Second, they sound so snooty, you just have to keep reading to find out what is going on. I don’t remember reading the first line of Harry Potter.  I didn’t find the book at the store and fall in love with the cover or the blurb.  I honestly started reading Harry Potter just because so many people were against the book.  I don’t know how many people remember, but when Harry Potter first come out, there was a ton of hate surrounding it because of the whole witch factor.  I laugh at the protesters now.
  3. The Gunslinger by Stephen King – “The man in black fled across the desert, and the gunslinger followed.”
    **Who is the Man in black and why is the gunslinger following him??!! Seriously, this was one of the first Stephen King books I read and I was hooked from that first line. You know what Mr. King does here? He speaks to the inner curiosity of us all.  We read because we want to know who the man in black is and why he is running.  Is the gunslinger following or chasing?
  4. Dead Witch Waling by Kim Harrison – “I stood in the shadows of a deserted shop front across from The Blood and Brew Pub, trying not to be obvious as I tugged my black leather pants back up where they belonged.”
    **I love a strong female character and leather pants just scream power.
  5. Dead Until Dark by Charlaine Harris – “I’d been waiting for the vampire for years when he walked into the bar.”
    **I have told you all of my obsession with vampires. You say vampire and I am in.  But I will admit that I didn’t even know about the Sookie Stackhouse novels until I heard about True Blood.  And since I didn’t have HBO at the time, I had to resort to the books to see what everyone was talking about.

This post has become a little long, and I am sorry about that.  I have fallen in love with finding the first line of my favorite novels. It’s amazing how one line can hook a reader.  It’s also a little scary how important those first words can be to the success of your novel.

Tell me, what is the first line of your favorite novel, or even, what is the first line of your WIP?

I Could Never Live Alone

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I have this terrible problem. I get so caught up reading or writing that I forget to live. I forget to take a break to eat and sometimes I just forget to sleep.  Add that to my crazy work schedule and you have an involuntary anorexic with a sleep disorder.

Lucky for me I still live at home with my parents and they do all the cooking.  And every once in a while they get dishes out of my room that I have failed to take to the kitchen. When it comes to sleep, they only remind me that I have to be at work early and I should think about getting some sleep.  I can only imagine how bad things would be if I lived alone.

I would only buy foods that I could grab and go with.  You know, things like chips and packaged snacks.  I would have sandwiches as well because those are easy.  Some easy mac and cereal.  Things that are quick and easy to throw together so I can get back to my books (whether writing or reading) or what ever craft project I am working on.  And I would only eat when I was so hungry my stomach is trying to eat itself.

When I do cook, I always forget that I am cooking and end up burning things. I can’t tell you how many times I have forgotten to turn off the oven or stove top.

I can’t help it, my mind just goes in a different direction every two minutes.  I won’t even tell you how long it took me to write this post.  I’m really tired today, so it’s even worse today. Someone has to tell me, is it a writer thing, a reader thing, or should I just chalk this up to another Heather thing?

I even have a problem staying on track when I am talking to someone or walking through the store.  My mom is the only one that can keep up with me when I go on a rant because I can be talking about one thing and in 2 seconds I’m on another thing.  In the stores if no one is keeping an eye on me, they will lose track of me because something has caught my eye and I don’t exactly tell anyone what or where I am going.  I am like a child sometimes.

It’s just a part of who I have become.  A curious girl who just goes where her mind takes her.  The only time I don’t have a problem focusing is when I’m writing or reading or working on a project.  Everything else in life just can’t hold my attention for long.  Not even TV can hold my attention for too long.

And since this post has taken 2 hours to write…no lie, I’m having the worst time focusing today…I shall leave it at this. Sadly, I don’t have a NaNoWriMo update today because I haven’t written much.

Maybe tomorrow I can focus more on writing  a better post…

I Will Call It A Break

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I love a busy day. I love getting up early and going until I can’t go anymore.  Lately I have not been able to do that because I have been too tired to do much of anything, but I did get my writing done.  That was, until today.

I didn’t go to bed until 4 this morning.  4 hours later and I was back up, too many ideas and things to research running through my head.  I had to get up, despite the little sleep I got.  I spent 3 hours researching things for crafts I want to start making and selling.  I researched and watched videos.  I created notebooks in OneNote and made list and estimates.  I was a busy little bee this morning and not once did I get distracted by others in the house or random videos that had nothing to do with what I was researching.  I was productive.

Then, I had to talk to my mom and tell her all the things I had planned and show her all my work.  My mom is my business partner in everything I do.  She will one day be my personal accountant and will be paid well.

Once all that was said and done, I got something to eat (yep, waited 4 hours to eat), got a shower, and out the door I went.  I had a birthday party to go to for my best friends baby’s first birthday. She told me I had to be there or she would be mad.  Can’t have that, so I went.  I spent two hours with screaming kids and scented oils.  I left with a major headache.

I got home just in enough time to show my mom some pictures and head back out the door with her for some shopping.  Hit up a craft store and spent a little money, then Dollar Tree, Walmart, and Chinese for dinner.  Another four hours out of the house and I was finally home.

It has been a long and busy day.  I am tired and ready to go to bed.  Not to mention I have to be up to get ready for work in about 5 hours. What?? Work 5 hours in the morning and come home to start on Christmas gifts. It is a burden to love creativity and home made gifts. I slept most of yesterday, so I had some energy built up and ready to go.  I just didn’t know that all that energy would be spent outside of the house.  This puts me another day behind on my writing, but I am determined to make it to 50,000 words by the end of the month.

I just won’t get any closer tonight because if I write in my current state, my characters are going to be riding rainbow highways on top of chocolate unicorns, headed to Glitter beach on Pluto.  So today I will consider a break from writing. Today was down time, a time to step away from the fantasy I have created and enjoy the world around me. But tomorrow I work twice as hard!

NaNoWriMo Update: 42,962

Just a Little Rant: People Don’t Understand Writers

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There is something that annoys me to no end.  And I seem to get it from every one around me.  People that claim they know me and feel like that gives them the right to tell me what to do.

I’m not talking about telling me when to put gas in my car, when to go to work, wash clothes, or feed my puppy.  I’m talking about the people that are convinced that I am not having fun in my life because I don’t get out much.  I don’t go to parties. I don’t drink. I don’t hang out with a lot of friends.  They think that just because I stay at home on a Friday night, I am just not living my life.

I have been told that I need to live a little.  I need to get out and try new things.  I need to push myself to the limits and see what I am really capable of.  What they don’t understand is that I am pushing myself. I am testing my limits, just in a different way then what they do.

I have never been the one to get out much.  It’s not because I don’t like going out, I’m just exhausted from all the stuff I am doing in my head.  I don’t need to go to a bar or drink some alcoholic beverage to have fun.  I am in my head, hanging out with people that actually know me, people that I am trying to get to know myself.

I am pushing myself this month.  I am trying to write 50,000 words in 30 days!  I am also trying to write a post every single day.  I am pushing my mind to expand and to stick to a goal. A non-writer may not see how this is as thrilling as seeing the world, but they lack imagination. I don’t need to go to the ocean, because I have a character who just went and told me all about it. I don’t need to go to a bar, because my character works at one and I know what goes on there.

I may not be living my life the way others think I should. I sit at my computer and type away. I even play a few games here and there. Some don’t see it as adventurous, but I bet I have more adventures than them.  Not to mention all the books I am reading, all the worlds I am seeing that they will never know.

Don’t tell me that I need more adventure in my life.  Don’t tell me I am not having fun in life.  The truth is, I am having a blast and I go on a new adventure every day. Just because I can’t take pictures doesn’t mean I am not living my life, it just means you don’t have enough imagination to go along with me.

NaNoWriMo Update:40,360