When Inspiration Strikes

Last night, while I was trying to calm my brain down enough to fall asleep, I was hit with a sudden idea for a story. It always seems I am hit with these inspirations when I am not in a position to write them down. In bed at the edge of sleep is generally when they happen. Surprisingly, I have always told myself, “Oh I will write that down tomorrow.” But I never do and then the idea is gone. So last night, I actually grabbed my phone and just typed out what had come to mind.

She is awoken from her sleep by something scratching on the window screen. She tells herself it is just a branch in the wind. Moments later, her room is flooded with light. Something has set off the motion sensor in the backyard. Again, she thinks of the wind. Next, her dog is up and staring into the backyard. She can’t bring herself to look. She is frozen with fear. A low growl starts to rumble from the dog as she closes her eyes and continues to repeat, “It’s just the wind.” The light goes out and once again her room is dark. The dog lies back down and silence fills the vacant space. She is almost back to sleep when the light floods her room again; she rolls over and looks towards the window. She sees a faceless man staring at her.

Of course, after I wrote this out, I couldn’t get the idea out of my head and falling asleep became even more difficult. Thank goodness for my rain sounds app.

I have decided, I need to start keeping a notebook and pen by my bed at all times for cases like this. I would be so disappointed if I had lost that. It will fit nicely into my book. I will also be sure that I always have a small notebook in my purse for when these hit me during the day. Or when I have a break and can just brainstorm ideas. I could make more lists! I also like to pull inspiration from real life. Sometimes, I will be at Job #2 and a customer will come in and I can’t help but think what an interesting character they would be. I try to memorize every detail I can about them. I want to start a character journal that is just full of character profiles to use later on. Unfortunately, I cannot always get away to write things down when I am at Job #2. I will need to find a way around that from now on. Any suggestions?

Where is the most inconvenient place inspiration has hit you? Or the weirdest place?

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Excuses not to Write

I got home from Job #2 tonight, changed into my comfy clothes, sat down on the couch and turned on the TV. 30 minutes into watching Jaws for the umpteenth time, I realized, I hadn’t written my post for today. “Next commercial break, I’ll start.” Movie comes back from the commercials and I realize I still haven’t opened my laptop. “I’m so tired. Work was exhausting today. Do I really have to write tonight?” Then I remember my goals I set for myself YESTERDAY. “You have to post every day!”  I start to think about all the excuses I have not to write.

  • I’m too tired
  • One more episode of whatever show I’m currently binging
  • Wesley (dog) is being really whiney and I have to go outside to get a break from him
  • Bronson (cat) won’t stop walking on the laptop
  • Everyone is going out to the bar and I want to go to
  • I have writer’s block (this is the most common excuse)

I really could on. The excuses are endless. The thing about being creative is I can always come up with a reason NOT to do something and it will be a valid reason. (I am also great in an argument)

The weekends are really going to be the hardest part of sticking to my writing goals. After working 8 hours of retail on Saturday and Sunday, the last thing I want to do is think about anything. It will always be easier to lay on the couch, open a beer and turn on the TV. But becoming a published author isn’t easy. The things that come too easily never last or aren’t worth it. If I am going to finish my book, I need to be writing every day. That is the entire point of this blog. So starting today I will no longer accept excuses from myself for why I can’t write.

  • I’m too tired Write for 30 minutes then you can go to sleep
  • One more episode of whatever show I’m currently binging It will still be on Netflix when you’re done writing
  • Wesley (dog) is being really whiney and I have to go outside to get a break from him Put the dog outside
  • Bronson (cat) won’t stop walking on the laptop Close the cat in the back of the house
  • Everyone is going out to the bar and I want to go to You can meet up with them after you write
  • I have writer’s block (this is the most common excuse) Write a short story in 23 minutes

I got the 23 minute idea from the blog A Hole in Serenity. He attempted to write a short story during his train commute home from work. For me, starting with a blank page from scratch is sometimes daunting but if I can get in the habit of doing this every time I have writer’s block, I really think it will help.

Now, it is time to go work on my book for half an hour before I go to bed. I will wake up tomorrow; go back to Job #2, followed by family dinner. When I get home from all the chaos around 8 pm, I will be full of excuses not to write but now I will remind myself of all the reasons I should be writing.

What are some of your excuses not to write? Or just excuses not to do the things you should be doing?

Don’t forget to subscribe to my blog so you never miss a post! And if you need more of me, follow me on twitter @Andythewriter33

Writing Goals 2016

After I made my first post yesterday, I went exploring through Word Press. I wanted to get an idea of what other people are doing out there. How this whole thing works. How to get people to actually read what I am writing. I followed some people, left some comments, and got some ideas for things to do that will help me write more. I came across one blogger who listed out her writing goals for the year and I love this idea. I love making lists because when I complete something on it and cross it off, I feel like I actually accomplished something. (For someone who struggles with being VERY lazy, crossing things off a list really makes me happy). Also, I feel like if I share my goals with everyone it keeps me accountable. Feel free to bug me periodically to ensure I am sticking to my list.

So here goes, my Writing Goals for 2016

  • Write out my goals
  • Write a blog post everyday
  • Write one 1,000 word vignette a week (to be posted on Thursdays)
  • Write a minimum of 1,000 words a week for my book
  • Complete the first draft of my book (6/1/2016)
  • Edit book draft

Now that I have my list and have shared it with the world (and by world, I mean the 3 people I can confirm are actually reading this: shout out to my work buddies!)  I can start working towards meeting all of these and crossing them off.

As I write this I am realizing I won’t actually get to cross anything off for a while (2 of those I can’t really ever cross off. At least not until the end of the year) so I added one more goal to the top of the list in order to get that satisfaction. Don’t you just love crossing things off lists? Come June 1st I should be able to cross off 2 more things and will update y’all on that progress!

How do you feel about lists? Do you find them helpful? Does crossing things off give you pleasure? Let me know in the comments!

Also, I want to mention Live to Write-Write to Live, as this was the blog I got the Writing Goals idea from.

As I have already said, I will post daily and every Thursday I will post an extra exciting vignette. If that isn’t enough for you, follow me on twitter @Andythewriter33 and if THAT isn’t enough for you, too bad. That’s all I got.

 

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Welp. Here goes nothing.

My entire life, I have had one constant goal. “Be a published author.” The past few years I have been working on my book and hoping one day it will be published and sitting on book shelves all over the world. I realize that’s a stretch. Honestly, if it just on one book shelf other than my own, I will be just as happy. (no my moms shelf doesn’t count either)

In an attempt to keep me moving towards this goal and fight my persistent writer’s block, I have decided to start blogging about it. Maybe no one wants to read about how a 27 year old is struggling to write a book in between working two jobs and trying not to drown in student loan debt. But, maybe there is one person out there who is struggling too. Maybe, that one person can relate. Maybe, someone has already done all the things I am about to do and wants to help me along the way. If anyone actually reads this I, again, will count it as a success. It’s all about perspective people.

I welcome comments/questions/concerns. Let me know what you would like to see here. Let me know if you have any advice on how I can meet my goal.

If you feel like you aren’t getting enough of me here, follow me on twitter @Andythewriter33 and you can see more of my random thoughts day to day.