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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Buddy System

Last week, when I was in my rut, I was looking for ways to motivate myself. Usually if I go to a coffee shop, or something, I can manage to get something done. Unfortunately, I didn’t even really want to do that. So I reached out to a friend. She’s studying nursing, and even though I’m writing a book, we’ve had success working together before. We tried to arrange something for last week, but it didn’t work. I think it’s safe to say that I’m out of my rut now, but it still doesn’t hurt to have that extra motivation.

Tonight, we made plans and got together at a coffee shop. It had been a while since we saw each other, so there was some socializing, but we both definitely got work done. It’s kind of nice, because you’re not alone and can have a quick chat whenever, but there’s also that second person that’s trying to get stuff done, and who is motivating you to do the same. I’m not sure how many words I wrote while we were out, but I made some good progress, and found some issues in the original draft. But that’s why I’m doing this.

I think having a study/writing buddy is a great tool if you are struggling to write. It’s one more person to hold you accountable, and who probably won’t judge you. But I think it’s also important to find the right buddy. If they just want to chat the entire time, it’s probably not going to work. Conversely, if they don’t want to talk at all, you might as well be working alone. Then, of course, there’s the dynamic where you are working hard, and you look over, and they are doing nothing. Honestly, it drives me nuts when I am working really hard and getting so much done, and they are on their social media. And it shouldn’t bother me, because it doesn’t affect me, but I just want them to be getting a ton of stuff done, too

Now, however, I’m getting to the most exciting part. I wrote a ton yesterday, as you might have seen if you read my blog, but today, I wrote even more. Which is INSANE! Yesterday I hit a new high score with 6,681 words, which was fantastic, especially with how last week went. Today, I don’t know how I did it, because I worked, but I wrote a total of 7,022 words. Actually, I kind of know how I did it. I’m super competitive with myself, that’s why tracking my daily word count on a board that I can see is super helpful. When I hit 5k today, I was already thinking that maybe I could hit a new high score. At that point, it was still 1,600 words away. That’s almost my daily goal! I have problems. But I’m feeling pretty good, all things considered. My hands hurt a bit, not going to lie, but I’m really enjoying the story at this point and can’t wait to get back into it. If I didn’t have to work tomorrow, chances are I would keep working on it.

Out of the Rut

Last week was rough for me. I felt like I was struggling to write, and then at the end of it all, I caught a cold, which put me in bed for a day, and obviously cut into any chance of writing, or getting anything done. Also, I kind of felt like everything was low key falling apart as I pushed to write, instead of rebuilding the foundation that helps me write.

Yesterday I spent some time getting all my ducks in a row, and it made a difference. I had a 3,000 word output. It wasn’t the best I’ve had this month, but it wasn’t anything to scoff at, especially considering the struggle of the week before. Today, I was off from my real job. On days when I don’t work, I tend to get a lot more done. It’s generally not because I’m more focused or anything, it’s just because I have more time. I probably procrastinate just as much as I do on days when I work, but there’s more time kicking around that I can do that. I’m still overcoming a little bit of that cold, so I’m trying to take it easy.

I slept until 11 o’clock this morning, and I was okay with it. It doesn’t help that I’ve been going to sleep a little later than usual lately, but my body still probably needed it. I then proceeded to do nothing for a solid hour, before I decided I should eat lunch and start my day. Today, I decided that the best thing to do was to head to a coffee shop to get some work done. I managed to hit my 2k word count for the day in just an hour. In case you were wondering, I can average about 2,000 words an hour when I’m on a roll. That’s why I know my daily goal isn’t insane. The problem is when I’m struggling. Then, I’m lucky to hit five hundred words in three hours. Today has been a good day, though. After putting in my time at the coffee shop, I came home, did a ton of cleaning, and then sat down to write some more. Before dinner, I had added another thousand words. Since dinner, I’ve added two thousand more. I just did the math, and I’ve written about a hundred more words in two days than I wrote all of last month.

This tells me two things. One, if you’re in a rut and you feel like you’ll never get out of it, just keep pushing. Eventually the rut will end, and even if you didn’t make a lot of progress during it, you still have something to show. Secondly, I need a tidy space to work in. I need to take those few minutes every day to make my bed and pick up anything on the floor. I forgot that last week, and instead of dealing with those simple things, I tried to work around them. It didn’t work so well.

I’m feeling pretty jazzed about this week. I have a study/writing date set up with a friend tomorrow, and I’m thinking I’ll be just as productive. Unless we decide to talk. That sometimes happens, too. We haven’t seen each other for a few months, so our attempt could be a bust. But we’ll see. Overall, I’m feeling great about this month, which is surprising to me as I write this. All month, I’ve felt like I’ve been struggling and never hitting my goals. However, a few solid days have helped counteract the bad writing days, and I’m almost at my goal for the month, which is crazy! I’m actually less than 9,000 words away from my goal, and I have a full thirteen days to hit it. That makes me feel good. I’ll definitely get there and I have a chance to get a head start on April’s goals, which is important, because the faster I get the book written, the sooner I get to start revising it.

Getting Back On Track

If anyone were to ask me, I would say that, for the most part, I’ve been killing 2019 and my goals for it. Sure, it’s taken a few swings back at me, and it’s always good to have a worthy adversary, but overall, I think it’s been pretty alright. That being said, for the last week or so, I have been struggling. And I’m not exactly sure why. It could be because I’ve been trying to write book two, and struggling a little. It could also be because I kind of let everything else fall apart.

I’m a creature of habit. I’ve mentioned it here a million times before. Over the last week or so, my habit has fallen by the wayside. My room degraded into a disaster zone, and then I got sick, which made things SO MUCH WORSE. Instead of stopping what I was doing and tidying everything up to give myself a sanctuary, or close to, to work in, I just kept pushing forward, letting everything pile up around me.

Okay, I’m making it sound like I became a hoarder house or something. It wasn’t nearly that bad. It was an unmade bed, two loads of unfolded laundry, some dirty laundry on the floor, and a bit of a mess on my desk. It was, however, enough to throw me off. And while maybe that wasn’t it alone, it definitely wasn’t helping things.

Today, I took the time to stop, write a list (another thing I stopped doing for a while there), and then clean everything. I still have to put my clothes away, because it’s the thing I dislike the most, but at least everything is folded and ready to go when I get to it. It’s also sunny today, which is a nice change from the LONG winter we’ve been going through. So hopefully, I’m getting back on track now, and the word counts will start increasing like crazy, and I’ll get back into querying.

Nightmares

I don’t get scared easily when it comes to books or movies. I’m sure I’ve mentioned it before, but I tend to figure out what the twist is before I get there, so the reveal is usually just a confirmation of what I saw coming. And that kind of sucks, because I know that a lot of people get a big thrill out of getting scared. Even when someone jumps out and tries to scare me in real life, the best they ever manage is startling me, but not a full blown scare. And even that is rare.

However, my own brain can get me pretty good. It can make me question if there’s someone on the other side of the door, even if I know I’m home alone. It can trick me into seeing things out of the corner of my eye, and it can just generally freak me out. One time, it got me so good that I had to sleep with the lights on. I was twenty-two. Even closing my eyes was a struggle because I kept imagining creepy creatures trying to claw their way up on to my bed. It was great. Again, though, that doesn’t happen a lot. Sure, I’ll catch glimpses of things or people out of the corner of my eye, but I can generally quickly rationalize that away.

In all of this, I don’t tend to have many nightmares, and I think that sucks, because I know my brain is the only thing that can really give me a good scare. I’ve had this one nightmare twice in my life that got me pretty good. I was in an old house with a bunch of other people, and I woke up in the middle of the night to go pee. But when I opened the bathroom off the room next to mine, after noting that that guy had been missing all day, I found him sleeping in the bathroom. Weird. And later, I realized he was dead. From there, I opened the door to go out into the hallway, when suddenly the body of a dead woman fell on the floor. And it’s funny, because even this didn’t scare me, it just startled me a bit. On her chest, she had a note that read “now that your screams have awoken the house, be prepared to die.” I’ll always remember what that note said for two reasons. One, it was the first time I was able to read in my dreams, and two, I didn’t scream, so I continued my in dream search for a bathroom. A few other things happened, including a skeletal dog attacking, a black hole abyss opening on the ceiling, and the dead woman coming for me. It was awesome.

Last night I had a dream, which I would probably classify as a nightmare because someone was trying to kill me. I’ve had this happen before, but this one actually got into a really emotional place, where I was sure, if this guy caught me, he was going to torture and murder me. And, I actually woke up at the end of it. Then again, I was in bed all day yesterday, so I may have woken up because I had slept a lot. In any case, I’ll give you a quick recap of the nightmare.

I was working for the FBI, or something similar, and they/we were trying to find this really terrible criminal who would murder people and bomb events, etc. His name was “The Citizen”, which totally came from Miss Congeniality, because I watched that yesterday. I was in a grocery store and I saw this guy who was dressed like Tom Hanks in Catch Me If You Can. He had a golden lab, and was talking to one of the clerks. The clerk asked what the dog’s name was, and the guy answered. The clerk then clarified “Citizen”, and the guy said “no, The Citizen.” That’s when I knew this was our guy. I managed to release the dog, because I was sure he was part of the plan, but boy was The Citizen mad at me. I grabbed a phone from the store and was trying to dial out. Well, it took me a while to learn to read in dreams, and dialing phones is still a bit of a struggle. I have tried to dial 911 many times in my dreams, so I ran and set about trying to do that. I was hiding in the warehouse of the store, when I finally got through to 911; as in, I finally managed to punch in the right numbers. Little did I know that, while I was doing this, The Citizen was telling everyone that he worked for the FBI (and in that suit, why wouldn’t anyone believe him?), and that I was a criminal. Sly dog, that one. He also managed to block being able to call out on the store phones. I found this out when the phone went dead and I looked at the screen and it read “9102”, which I knew was the code for a blocked phone. And then he popped up. So I ran. I still had my cell phone on me, and sometime in between then and when I was trying not to get caught, I managed to call 911/the FBI. The only problem was, I was having to avoid so many people, because he had convinced everyone that I needed to be taken into custody. I was getting exhausted, and he was walking around like he wasn’t even slightly inconvenienced. It was bad. I knew I had to stay free until back up arrived, but I was running out of stamina.

I finally got to the point where I was almost entirely cornered by this big guy, who believed that I was a criminal. The Citizen was also coming up on us, and I knew I was almost out of time. And I started pleading and crying, trying to convince this guy that The Citizen was evil. I think I said something to the effect of “I’ll keep fighting because I have to. No matter what you do, I have to survive, and I have to get him.” Some very emotional plea that saved my life in the dream. Because when The Citizen came up, instead of grabbing me and turning me over, this big guy just started hitting The Citizen. I even managed to get a few punches into him, and then he was unconscious. The big guy said that he knew I was telling the truth because of how passionate I was. Thankfully, because that saved my life. And then I woke up, and I was like “oh, okay, that just happened.”

I consider this a nightmare because of how close I was to being tortured/killed. Because that was probably as close as I’ve been in a long time. I’ve been shot with arrows before, and that was probably close, and held at gun/knife point, but this felt a lot closer.

Anyway, I was texting with my mom about it today, and I said something about it being awesome, and she thought it was weird that I called a nightmare awesome, but one, it was super action packed, and two, it’s so rare that I have them! Hopefully I’ll manage another cold-induced action packed dream, or crazy nightmare tonight.

Down & Out

Over the last week or so, people all around me have come down with a cold, and it’s been closing in on me. For the last few days, I’ve been on the cusp of it, and I knew it. Yesterday, I went shopping in some thrift stores and, because of allergies/scent intolerance, I already struggle with being in them. Well, that, coupled with the illness that has been surrounding me, finally started to really catch up to me last night.

I hoped that a good night’s sleep would keep me ahead of it again, but it was not to be. I woke up this morning around eight and felt pretty terrible. So I went back to sleep. Since then, I’ve spent the majority of the day watching movies while sweating and drifting in and out of consciousness. It’s been great/also really gross. So sweaty. It’s about 7pm right now, and I think I’ve left my room about three times today, and that was only to go to the washroom. I’ve been subsisting on the snacks I have in my room, which is all I think I needed. And now, after so many hours in bed, I’m feeling better. Not 100%, but way better. I would say that my only current ailment is a headache, and I think that’s just because I haven’t eaten a real meal. That’s something that I think I’m gonna take care of right now, and then, if everything aligns to permit it, I want to write.

I didn’t write yesterday because I was out almost the whole day. And that kind of sucks. I told myself it was okay, though, because I would have all of today to write. I had great plans. But sometimes, plans don’t work out as you hope they will, and then it’s 7pm, and you haven’t touched your book for a few days. I also had half a mind to send off some more queries today. We’ll see if that happens, but if we’re being honest, it probably won’t. And that’s okay, but I seriously need to get on that soon. I’ve done a lot of research, it’s just a matter of putting aside the time to send them off.

However, first things first, I need food.

Books That Made Me Cry

When it comes to books, I’m not an overly emotional person. There have only been two times in my life when a book has made me cry, which I’m actually kind of surprised by. I think the problem is that I just require a very specific set of circumstances in a book to bring out the tears. Both times it happened was very unexpected.

The first time, I was pretty young. I would guess around I was around twelve. I was really into Christopher Pike books at the time. It was also a time where I felt the two options for YA were Christopher Pike and R.L. Stine. Definitely not, but that was my world and my choices. I read them both, but I was usually drawn to Christopher Pike, and I probably couldn’t tell you why. One of the first, if not the first, of his books that I read was called The Last Immortal. It was about a girl going to Greece for vacation, and some really weird things that happened, involving Greek mythology. Definitely an interesting read, though it also had some weird things. I really liked it though. And the end got me. It came out of nowhere, and suddenly, twelve-ish year old me was crying at 11pm at night, because obviously I had stayed up to finish the book. I’ve read the book a few times since then, but it’s never been able to evoke the same emotion. In fact, I didn’t even find the part that made me cry particularly sad. Like, I said, I think it’s a particular set of requirements that need to be met to make me cry.

Flash forward several years, and twenty-something year old me is online, buying ALL THE CLEARANCE books. Seriously, I would go on the Chapters site, go to the clearance, and buy like seven books at a time. And then seven more. And also go into stores. And I would read them all too. I had a problem. That problem still exists today, it’s just morphed into writing books, instead of reading them. Every once and a while, though, the reading binge comes back and it’s a little ridiculous. Anyway, one of the books I found on clearance was called Moonglass by Jessi Kirby. I had never heard of the author before, but the books sounded interesting. I picked it up and started to consume it, getting caught up in the main character’s attempt to come to grips with her mother’s mysterious death. And then again, somewhere near the end, it got me. I’m pretty sure I was sobbing. I’ve only read the book once, so I haven’t been able to test if it gets me again, but I have a feeling it wouldn’t.

There was one other book that I thought was going to get me. But it didn’t. When the sixth Harry Potter book came out, I was staying at my friend’s house because her family was out of town. We were both reading the book, though I was a little further in, because she had had to work more than me. I remember turning to her early in the book and saying “if the person that I think is going to die, dies, I’m gonna cry.” Well, I was right about the person that died, but not about the crying thing. It was then that I started to think I might not have a soul.

I just think it’s really hard to portray such strong emotion in books that it can evoke strong enough emotions to make someone cry. I also find it great when songs that can evoke that emotion as well. However, I think the best is when you see an artist, who has written a song, and no doubt sung it so many times that it should just be another song, tearing up. That’s when you know it’s an emotional song, and I think that’s awesome. But maybe that’s just me and my dead soul, because songs don’t make me cry either.

In any case, I will always remember those two books that made me cry, and they will always have a place on my bookshelf, along with any that manage to get me in the future.

Then vs Now

I’ve wanted to do this fun thing for a while, but I just haven’t found the time to do it. Which is a really lame excuse because it took me all of five minutes.

I’ve talked recently about how I’ve been working on my old fanfic and rewriting it. Partially it’s because it’s super fun for me, but also because it’s a great exercise to get the writing brain working. As such, I thought it would be fun to do a side by side comparison of the first six-hundred words of each story to see how different they are. The first six-hundred of the original fanfic are from fourteen-ish years ago, and are almost the first words I ever wrote in a story. Not quite the first, because I had to do a few in school when I was younger, and all that. But it’s the first thing that I wrote when I realized writing was a thing I could do. I think I had always just assumed that only certain people could be writers, and that I wasn’t one of them. By contrast, the following six-hundred words are much more recent. I think it was last year that I started on it, but not 100% certain. In any case, we’ve come a long way. Neither of the sections have been edited, so it is what it is. Enjoy!

Original Fanfic circa 2005:

My name is Jade Summers, and I am a witch. I have dark brown hair and black eyes and am turning 16 today. I go to Hogwart’s School of Witchcraft and Wizardry and come September will be starting my 6th year. I am a fairly powerful witch, and can use magic without the use of my wand; this is very convenient, but I don’t want people to know, so I always use my wand. I also never had to say spells out loud. Fortunately this was somewhat common, especially because we had to learn it in school, but I still said a lot of spells out loud, just to keep people off my back. Both of my parents were in Slytherin, both of them are Death-eaters and therefore I am obviously in Slytherin and clearly a pureblood. I don’t necessarily condone what my parents do under the influence of He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named, but I do think that the mudbloods and blood traitors are unworthy of our time and the muggle borns should not be allowed to attend Hogwart’s. However, Dumbledore is so much of a muggle lover that they still attend. Oh well, everything can’t be perfect in life, but tonight will at least be fun.

Tonight my parents are throwing a party to celebrate my 16th birthday, and tonight is the night that I will receive my Dark Mark from the Dark Lord himself. As I said before, I am not sure if I am supportive of the whole muggle baiting and taking over the world kind of thing, but I am a good daughter, and I will make my parents proud and do as they say. Because it isn’t a good thing when I don’t obey my father.

For the special occasion of tonight, my mother bought me a gorgeous dress to wear. It is a white dress with a sweetheart neckline and fans out in an A line fashion, with a bit of crinoline underneath to give it some body. It is absolute beautiful and it makes me look radiant. My hair is done up in a curly up-do and my makeup is light to show off my natural beauty. Tonight is the night that I seal my fate for the future and that I make my parents proud.

At five thirty, just after I had finished getting dressed, Kera, our house elf came up to my room to let me know that my father and a guest wanted to see me in his study. It was here, the time for me to receive my Mark, and I couldn’t believe that I was going to see the Dark Lord in person, the though both frightened and excited me. I checked my appearance in the mirror once more before I slowly headed out my door and down the stairs to my father’s study. I walked past the grand ballroom, where the celebration was to be held and was breath taken by the decorations. I wanted to linger and take it all in, but I then remembered why I come downstairs in the first place. I walked to the doors of my father’s study and knock lightly.

Rewritten Fanfic circa 2018:

At quarter to six, I slipped on my shoes and adjusted the diamond headband on my head. I hated it. I felt like it made me stand out too much, but my mother had insisted. I stepped in front of the mirror and took in my appearance. It had been a while since I had dressed up and I was a little shocked at the result. After years and years of training with Monsieur Allant in the summer, I had finally slimmed down to the size my mother had been at my age. As I got older, my hair had finally decided to lay flat, and with Sophie’s help, I knew I looked like the spitting image of my mother. It took my breath away. I felt like I was looking at an old picture.

I wasted a few more minutes admiring the way my custom-made dress fit me. My mother had insisted it be white as a sign of youth and innocence. She had said that my sixteenth birthday was very important. With my dark hair, and my slight tan, the white stood out even more, and I couldn’t help but twirl to show off the full skirt. It really was a fun dress.

But I knew I was cutting it close, and had to make my way down to my father’s study to meet him before he escorted me in. I left my room and headed toward the back of the house. Normally, I took the stairs near the front foyer, but I wasn’t allowed to be seen by any of the guests until I made my grand entrance.

At present, I felt a calming peace, but I knew that the second I walked into the ballroom that would go away. I wasn’t used to large crowds and I knew all the gods would be here. It was bad enough that they tormented me at school, but they never passed up the chance to do the same at my parties. My parents insisted I invite them, and theirs insisted they came – even though we couldn’t stand each other. It was especially hard tonight because my best friend, Evelynne, was away for the summer and couldn’t attend, which meant that I would be facing them on my own.

I finally reached my father’s study and rapped lightly on the door. He called for me to enter and I did, pulling the door shut behind me.

“Good evening, Jade,” he said, without even turning to face me. He was wearing a tux and I could see him using the large mirror in the corner of the room to adjust his tie.

“Good evening, father,” I said, curtsying slightly to him. I saw him smile in the reflection of the mirror before finishing with his tie and turning to face me.

“You look beautiful,” he said, and I knew he meant it. My father almost never complimented me, so the few times that he did, I knew it was genuine.

“Thank you,” I said, averting my gaze a little. My father crossed the room with purpose and I could sense him getting closer.

“Tonight is an important night for you, my dear. Are you ready?” There was no answer except yes. My mother and father always expected me to be ready for whatever they, or life, could throw at me.

“Of course, father,” I said, raising my face to look at him.

“Excellent,” he said slowly, drawing out the word. He reached his arm out, and I placed my hand on it, my heart starting to beat quicker in my chest.

Feeling Great

I still don’t think I’m quite there with my story and being able to sit down and pump out north of six thousand words in a day, but I think I’m doing alright. I also think we’re getting closer with the massive word count days, which is exciting.

I’m someone who is not a HUGE fan of exposition because I think it’s often down poorly, especially in movies when they’ll just have someone narrating everything you need to know over the opening credits. It hurts my soul a little. That being said, the world I’m creating both in this series, and in a broader sense, for my all my stories, requires exposition and sharing a lot of information. The nice thing is that I know I have a lot of stories that will help to build and shape my world, the downside is, with several books lined up for this particular story, there’s a lot that needs to be conveyed. It doesn’t need to all come out at once, thankfully, but I feel like the start of each book will always be a little heavy with it. I mean, I think a lot of books are a little slow at the start as you establish everything. Even though it’s a series, I don’t want to completely abandon the first book. I need to draw it into the second book, so it feels like a nice continuation. But, I also need to do some explaining, just in case someone picks it up. I want it to stand on its own, while also contributing to something greater.

I think that’s why I’ve been struggling a bit. I’ve been setting up this new little world and, as much as I LOVE world building (I could honestly spend every moment of my time doing it), I don’t love writing it out as much. I would rather do it all in point form and then share it with everyone I see. That doesn’t work so well for an actual novel though. The nice thing, though, is that I’ve done the world planning already. It’s actually kind of the sad part, because, like I said, I love doing it. But, I have my planning guides that I created before I started writing the books, and those have been LIFE SAVERS.

Planning Guides

In one, I have all my characters and places, and in the other, I have my books, each split into three acts. They aren’t perfect, for sure, but they are pretty good. Overall, I managed to get most of my characters and places in the first run through. I spent a few months working on it, and it shows. I, of course, missed a few people or places that I added after the fact, and I changed things about a few characters, but that’s why the insides are covered in notations and Post-It notes. I think it’s mostly because I’m just always trying to world build. The books aren’t as good as the characters and places for two reasons. One, I definitely screwed up the planning for the first book because I figured I knew it well enough. Turns out it was too much for one book, and if I had planned it better, and actually written out everything that happened, I probably would have figured that out beforehand. Alas. The series definitely isn’t a trilogy anymore, but that’s okay. Secondly, when I do this for my next book, or series, or whatever it is, I’m not only going to break the books down into acts, but I’m going to break the acts into chapters. I thought about going this at the time, but honestly, I was lazy. It probably would have made things a little easier now had I done it. But we live and learn, and overall, the guides have been an invaluable tool for me. Any time I have a question, I can usually find the answer in one of the guides. In fact, the other day, I was trying to figure out what type of clothes my main character wears, and I had a breakdown for that in the section about her. Honestly, even just writing about them is making me so happy. I poured so much time, love, and effort into them, and it has paid off ten fold.

All this planning, and even the dreaded exposition at the beginning of the books has been paving the way for me to get to where I currently am in the story, which is the exciting, plot/character driven stuff. I’m so excited about it, and I can’t wait until I get into the thick of it, as right now, I’m still skirting the edges. I’ve also made some big changes (in my head) from draft one, and am looking forward to getting there so I can get them down on paper.

Yes, I’m feeling good about things now.

It Happened Again

Yesterday I woke up and I wanted nothing more than to sit down and write. Unfortunately, I had to go to work. The same thing happened this morning. I woke up, looked at my wall of crazy lady notes, and wanted to write. But then I had to go to work.

It’s a bit of a terrible feeling when all you want to do is write, but you can’t. Because there are so many moments when you know you have to write, but you just don’t want to. I’ve had a solid week of that. And I’ve gotten through it, but it’s a lot harder to write a bunch when you are just not feeling it. I also feel like it shows a bit in your writing. Because I’m working on draft 1.5, I’m not super concerned about it, as I know I can edit it out later in one of the major revisions that I know is coming. Still, it sucks when every word is a struggle and you’re trying not to get distracted.

I think things might be changing for me, though. It’s probably in part because I’ve been being SUPER adamant about sitting down and writing, even when I don’t want to. I tell you, habits are a great thing. However, I also think it has something to do with where I’ve got to in the story. I think I’ve mentioned it before, but for various reasons I have a large about of this book written, but also, it’s quite clipped, as in I condensed it a lot when I was working on it. This means that I have to add a fair number of words to the project to get it to the length I want, but more importantly, to tell the story that I want to. As a result, I haven’t been able to just revise what I have (which is why I’m calling it draft 1.5). I’ve had to write a lot and expand on ideas. This has meant a lot of remembering things, and shoving stuff in, but in a way that works. Now, however, after adding around 13,000 words to the initial word count, I think I’ve caught up to the story in some regards. It’s still not going to be an exact word-for-word transcription, but it’s a lot easier to draw from, and that’s exciting. It also helps that the story is on the upswing and I know that I’m about to get into things that I can’t wait to write about.

So maybe, just MAYBE, I’m out of the slump that I’ve been fighting against, and writing will just be awesome again.

Habits Achieve Goals

I woke up this morning and all I wanted to do was write. Unfortunately, I was awake because I had to go to my real job, which meant I couldn’t. Though, if we’re being honest, I thought about rearranging my schedule so I could skip the day. Too bad I have too much to do this week. I’m not sure if I was talking about this here, I’m more inclined to think it was on my vlog, but I was recently battling with motivation vs habit. I often say that I have no motivation to do something, and it’s usually pretty true. But unlike with procrastination, where I’m actually a very productive person, when I have no motivation, I don’t want to do anything. And if it gets really bad, I get into the “but I don’t want to!” whiny state, which I’m not sure is a place I’m proud to be in. It happens, though, and it’s kind of funny. When I’m there, I’m like one step away from throwing a temper tantrum.

I digress.

Typically, when I write, it’s not because I’m suddenly motivated to sit down and pump out 2,000 words, or something. Usually it’s because I know I have goals that I need to hit, and because I’ve developed this habit of sitting down at the computer every day to accomplish them. The feeling this morning as definitely a flash of motivation to write. I wasn’t even thinking about my story at the time, I was just so stoked to sit down and spend the day putting words on paper/screen. But then I had to go to work. Which definitely sucked a lot. I can also tell you that it’s about ten hours later now, and I don’t still have that motivation to jump in and write. I am going to write today, however. I’m somehow not behind my word count for the month, but I think that is simply a result of not counting the last day of the month when I was setting up my goals, and also some days where I exceeded my goal. Which is lucky, because I definitely had a few days where I didn’t write. Yesterday was a prime example of just being too busy to write. But there were also two days leading up to that where I hit my goals for my fanfic, but then never made the transition to the actual book. I feel like I’ll get better at this as the month goes on. Also, I kind of have to if I want to hit my goals for the next few months. It’s very important that I hit each month’s goal so I can progress to the next one. No pressure.

If you are wondering, though, I have been writing a lot of words this month. My grand total between the two projects is just over 23,000 words. I think that’s great for about a week of work. It works out to just over 3,000 words a day. But my daily goal is 4,000. Also, of all those words, only 9,700 are for my actual book. I’m the worst. But I’m okay with it.

Anyway, I was hoping that my splash of motivation would come back while I wrote this, but it didn’t. I guess there is the overwhelming motivation to get published that is always there for me, but it doesn’t really help with the day-to-day. Right now, that motivation is struggling to make me query. But we’ll get back into that soon, hopefully.