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The Dream

“Sometimes life is about risking everything for a dream that no one but you can see.”

I came across this quote some time ago. I’m not sure who said it or really how I came to find it, but it resonated with me. Maybe because I have this crazy dream where I am going to become a published author and share my little world with everyone. But it’s scary as hell. Because first, one must pull a story from the depths of one’s soul, and secondly, because every force in the world seems to be working against following that dream and people can’t seem to understand why you would want to quit your well paying job to pursue this. I mean, I get it. I wonder myself. But I did it. And I’m still not sure if I’m better off. If nothing else, I’m committed, or should be.

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Motivate Me

I hate the sound of alarms. They are so jarring, and even in movies, they cause me stress. As such, as soon as I could use music to wake up to, I made the switch. The problem with that is it ruins the song for me. There are a few songs that I used in the past that I can no longer listen to, and it sucks. There is, however, one song that I have used time and time again. It’s The Motivation Proclamation by Good Charlotte. The opening words are “Motivate me, I wanna get myself out of this bed.” It’s a very motivating thing to wake up to, as you might imagine.

I’m sorry to report that it hasn’t really been successful these last few days. I have been so unmotivated. I’ve done nothing other than work on a name or two, or draw some random maps. Really, nothing exciting at all. I think the problem is that I haven’t set a new goal yet. I have a bunch of nebulous ideas as to where I want to go next, but I can’t seem to decide. 

  1. Go back to book one and fix a few issues that I’ve thought of and that I’ve got through feedback.
  2. Move to book two and start fixing the ample issues on a first edit through.
  3. Continue doing research and figure out how to write query letters, etc. 

Now here’s my process. I don’t think going back into book one so soon after finishing it is the best idea, especially because I’m still waiting on feedback. Book two is a lot of work so I think I’m concerned to jump into it – scared even. And I feel like without the first book being more ready, what’s the point in all that research. So, I’m at a stalemate. And I’m not sure what to tackle next. 

Full Time Creative = Goal

I touched on this a bit at the end of the last blog post, but I think everything was a little muddled because my brain certainly was. I’m happy to report that I skipped work today, slept a lot, and am feeling quite a bit better. I’m not sure if I was/am coming down with a cold, but it may have just been that I was tired. I haven’t been sleeping the greatest, and having a real job means that I sometimes need to be places at specific times. Missing today was okay, because I can just do what I didn’t do today, tomorrow. That’s the nice thing about my fairly casual job. 

That being said, it would be so nice to just write every day. I’ve always struggled in the past, thinking that I wouldn’t have the motivation to do so, but I think, over the past years of so, I’ve proved to myself that I could. I have set myself goals, entirely independent of other people, and for the most part, I’ve managed to hit them. Plus, as I’ve mentioned before I’ve managed to find ways to keep myself productive every day. Granted, it doesn’t always work. There are certainly times where I just don’t do anything, but I think they are few and far between. And, if I really want to get something done, I can usually convince myself to do it.

As I do work, though, I find that I have to make sacrifices. One of those big sacrifices is being social, another one is sleep. The being social isn’t a huge deal, because when I moved, I left all my friends behind. Or at least most of them. So it’s not like there’s really a ton of times when I’m being invited out and can’t go. That being said, if I didn’t have a real job, I could go and visit/annoy friends more regularly, without having to worry about getting back to my job. I could just bring my job with me, though I might struggle to stay on task if I were exploring somewhere new.

The sleep thing is something I’ll likely always be sacrificing. I’m a fan of working well into the night and then sleeping in, so I may just be stuck with that forever. However, if I didn’t have to be awake at a certain time to go to work, then it really wouldn’t matter how late I stayed up. Definitely appealing.

However, I think the most exciting thing about the possibility of being able to quit my real job and write full time is actually writing full time. I could live in my world on a daily basis and spend my time creating everything that I could ever want to. That is the dream, but more so, the goal.

Brain + Words = Not So Great

I was going to write a post about self-doubt and doubt from other people, but I doubt I have the brain power right now to deal with that. My day at my real job was a lot longer than I was expecting, and as a result, I just want to sleep. Which is totally okay. The only way to be truly productive is to take care of yourself. I know from burning out many times that it’s not enjoyable. I, at least, feel okay right now because if I’ve ever had time to take a moment over the last year or so, it’s this. I don’t want to take too long off, though, because this girls got stuff to do. But a day isn’t going to be terrible. And sleeping is always a good thing. 

If you can’t tell, my brain is having troubles with the words. Which is why it’s maybe a good day to not push myself to get stuff done. I still don’t have any large amount of feedback back from anyone, so I’m just kinda in limbo. I could definitely do more research into literary agents, but … I don’t want to. 

I’m hoping tomorrow will be a better day. I’m hoping that, after a good night’s sleep, and a day at work tomorrow, that I can settle down somewhere and at least look at the notes for book two. I think that’s the plan. I think if I go back through the notes, I’ll be jazzed to start. Plus, I want to expand what I have written for book two, so going back to my guide books would be a good place to start. And then, I guess, after that, I’ll have to read through what I have written for book two. It’s really crazy to think that I’m going to get into book two soon. Then that just makes me think how awesome it would be to be able to focus solely on writing books. That would be so cool. I think I would be so happy if my life could be: write book, edit book (a bunch of times), send book off, repeat. I would love to just be able to spend my time writing. That is the dream, of course.

A Weird Place

As I mentioned a few days ago I finished the third edit through my book and sent it off to a select group of people to go through it and give me some feedback. I’m shocked and pleased that one of my friends managed to get through it in less than two days and has already given me some feedback, which is overall pretty positive. I think the best was “omg, I’m so glad I liked your story”. Yes, that is a fear, but it’s even scarier for me because she only has one person she has to worry about. I have to worry about everyone who may ever read it. No pressure. She’s going to send me some more in depth feedback in the next few days, especially about some of the grammar and missing words I had. I’m not surprised on that. Another good comment, after talking about the word count, was “so you’ll either laugh or want to kill me when I say I want more.” I would say that’s a pretty positive comment. It’s actually interesting. I’ve sent the manuscript to a handful of people, and she is one of the only ones who has never read any of my work, so I guess it would make sense that she wouldn’t know what to expect. 

No one else has gotten back to be yet, but obviously her speed was unprecedented. Still, I’m very excited to hear from more people.

But now I’m in this weird place. I don’t want to go back through the story until I get some more feedback. I still think I need a break from it for a while and so staying away isn’t a problem. There are some areas that I know I want to go back through, but it’s not pressing right now. I did spend some time today copying book two out of the original file and into a separate one. There’s still a solid 100 untouched pages in that book. So many words. Such a poor ability to figure out how much was in the first book. It works out for me though, because I have all this extra work that I just need to touch up later. And add to. Book two is sitting at about 65k words right now, whereas book one started closer to 80k when I started the edits.  As I was copying it though, I noticed that there were a lot of parts where I just wrote in note form what I should write there, but didn’t actually write anything. So, I think it’ll be okay to beef up that word count, too. Also, I remember trying to get through everything as fast as I could so the word count wouldn’t be out of control, so I think it should be easy to bulk it out, without making the story drag.

Aftr going like crazy for so long, I not really sure where to go next. Book two, yes. Book one, not so much. So I’ve been doing research into literary agencies. It’s such a weird thing. I’m going through websites and judging if I think agents will be a good fit for me based on what they are looking for, but really having no idea. I’m making notes, though, and trying to figure out what I think will work best for me, and what they want in terms of submission guidelines. I feel like I’m back in school again or something, but I guess it’s the next phase. Well, after I go through the feedback I get from my test readers. I think the worst part is that, once I submit my queries, it’s up to a 12 week wait. And, they might not even tell you you want them. It’s just a “assume we don’t want you.” Yay!

But I’m sure it’ll be fine. Positive. It’ll be great. 

SLEEEEEEEEEP

Okay, so apparently the next step after finishing writing a book is to sleep – like the dead.

I pushed myself pretty hard this last week to get through the third edit. Plus, since I picked up daily vlogging again, I have been going to sleep far too late. Well, that all kind of caught up to me on Friday and after I got home I feel asleep almost right away and had a two hour nap between 7:45 and 9:45pm. Yep, that’s a thing that happened. I was kind of hoping to sleep all the way through, but it didn’t quite happen like that. Instead, I ended up being awake until around 1:30am. I did nothing while I was awake though. I didn’t even leave the bed. Well, slight lie. I did get up to grab a bag of chips and then scarfed that while I finished my most recent season of Survivor. It was a good one. At least, I enjoyed it. Then finally, I fell back to sleep for a solid 10 hours. It was obviously needed.

Now that I am awake and kind of feel more human, I’m not sure what to do with my weekend. I was supposed to work today, but things changed, and I am very glad for that. I might make a list of the areas that I know are problematic in my story, or I might move on to book two. Not sure. I have, however, been getting a little bit of feedback from one of my friends that is reading the book and so far, so good. It’s actually really interesting to see what someone else thinks of the story, especially because I’ve been stuck knee deep in it for over a year now, so nothing seems particularly exciting anymore. However, getting text messages about certain parts of the story, things that to me now just seem like plot points, is super exciting and it’s making me enjoy the book in a whole new way. I can’t wait to get more feedback from this friend and from the other people I sent the story to.

Not sure what I’ll get up to for the rest of the day but I feel that taking a step back from my story for a few days might be beneficial.

The Next Step

I finished the third edit of my book. That’s CRAZY. It’s an amazing accomplishment, but I still felt like I would be way more excited about it. Instead it was more of a feeling of “oh, okay”. I remember when I finished the planning stage. I was SUPER excited about that. Then, I missed the end of the writing stage because I shifted where the book split a few times. There was no excitement there. I think the reason I didn’t feel excited was because it was the third time I got to that point. So, while very cool, didn’t really merit fireworks. Also, I still feel like there are some issues that I need to go back and fix, I just don’t think I can be objective about it right now.

So I’ve done a scary thing.

I sent the draft to a select group of friends to get fresh sets of eyes on it, and to help me figure out if there’s anything glaring that I need to fix, and also to see if other people enjoy the story as much as I do.

Super scary though.

I know the places that I want to spend some more time on, and I have to figure out a title for the book, but I think I’m going to take a day or two off; maybe even wait until I was some feedback. Soon, I’ll have to start doing research into agents and publishing houses and all that, but I think I’ll ignore that for at least a week. The plan it to blitz in the New Year, I think. So maybe in the meanwhile, I’ll start looking at book two and figure out what to do with that.

Sleep Deprived

Last night was NOT a good night. I edited my novel a little too late and the my vlog took a little longer to export than I was hoping. 

I got four hours of sleep and I have been hurting all day.

So naturally, I decided to edit my book. Considering the way I felt and still feel, I think it went pretty well. I stopped in a coffee shop after work and managed to get through a chapter and a half. It wasn’t until I got hit with a, you guessed it, timeline issue that I had to pause and then headed home. That was when I realized that my timeline issue was a little worse than I thought it was, but it’s fine. I’ll fix it. I put a post-it note on the wall with the other thirty or so and I’m sure it won’t get lost. 

I did manage to get through three chapters today and I think that’s totally awesome. It also means that I only have three chapters and the epilogue left! I can go back to my original goal of two chapters a day and I’ll still make it. Well… assuming I do actually edit, I’ll be good. I’m pretty motivated as the end is so close that I think I’ll get it done. In fact, I might even try to push it and do the rest tomorrow, which will give me the final day of the month to go back through any areas that I have concerns about.

Then it’s on to the next step.

The next step is sending it to a select group of friends that I have asked to give it a read through. It’ll be the first time that I’m letting someone see the whole thing, and that’s scary, but it’s also going to be SO helpful because I’ve been staring at the story for so long that I’m not sure if everything makes sense all the way through. There’s a two people that I’m more nervous to show it to. One has been on this crazy writing adventure and supporting me on it for a very long time. I’ve even shared some of my other stuff with them and it’s been good. The other person reads all the time and is working on their own book, so I super value their opinion because I know they’re really invested in YA fiction. But regardless of who reads through it, I’m sure that it will all be invaluable as I move forward.

That being said, I’m going to end this here. I’m sorry if some of the sentences don’t make coherent sense, but the struggle is real right now and I’m surprised I’m still conscious. Hopefully I’ll get to sleep immediately after I post this!