I follow this Facebook page called The Writer’s Circle. They post all sorts of stuff about writing. They often post about writer’s block which makes me feel better about mine because clearly it is a very common issue with writers. I just read a comment where someone suggested a way around it that I am going to try today.
- Make a list of tasks the protagonist needs to complete before the end of the story
- Put in chronological order
- How can they complete these tasks?
- Add scenes that will drive the protagonist to complete these tasks
I feel like if I do this with both the protagonist and the antagonist it will help me to get moving again. (Not entirely sure how to give credit for this idea. If anyone knows let me know. thanks!)
My biggest problem with writing this book is I can see the scenes playing out in my head. I know exactly what I want to happen and how it will happen but I am having such a hard time actually getting the images out of my head and putting words to them. It’s like I lost my ability to describe. Hopefully, if I just break it down like the above list suggests I can finally get something down on paper. That is my goal for today. To start working my way down that list. You know how much I enjoy a good list and crossing things off said list.
I think another big cause for my writer’s block is the fear of failure. I’m sure I have covered this before in past posts but my fear of rejection is almost over powering when it comes to finishing this book. I need to find a way to be brave and just say “fuck it!” I also need to remember that it’s okay if people don’t like it. Sure, it would be a lot cooler if I wrote a book that became a best seller but it’s okay if that doesn’t happen. The important thing is finishing the book and getting it out there. Having a copy of it sitting on my book shelf reminding me everyday that I actually completed a life goal. That’s what I need.
Another thing I am going to do today is write a game plan. Due dates for parts of my book to keep myself focused and get me to finish it. I need to decide a new final due date for my first draft. This is where a teacher would come in handy. If they could just come up with the deadlines for me that would be great! I don’t know why I am more inclined to stick to deadlines from someone else than I am my own deadlines.
Okay, it’s time to start working. I can do this. I am being positive. I am being open minded. I am staying focused! Here I go!
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Remember that time I was going to finish my book by the end of 2016? Yea…me too.
Welp, dwelling on that fact won’t finish my book so I guess it is time to get back to it.
I also didn’t meet my goal of reading 24 books last year. So I guess I will start again with that goal.
I was pretty good at not accomplishing anything I said I was going to accomplish…when I put it that way, it’s hard not to feel bad about it. But, if I am good at anything it is accepting the things I can’t change and moving on. Sitting here feeling bad about myself will only give me more reason not to write or read or do anything. There is no use discouraging myself.
So, here we go again.
My Goals for 2017
- Finish writing my book
- Read at least 24 new books
- Post at least 1 blog a week
- Pay off 1 student loan
- Start saving for Ireland 2018
That’s all I can really think of at the moment. It may grow it may not. I am going to work on creating some deadlines to keep me on track with my book as well. If anyone has suggestions on creating deadlines let me know! I am clearly terrible at sticking to things I set for myself.
As for what I am currently reading, I am still technically reading White Oleander. I also started another book my friend suggested but haven’t made it very far. I will probably need to start that one again. It is called Legend. It is the first of 3 books in a series. Time to start setting aside reading time everyday!
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Happy New Year Everyone!
As the end of the year gets closer, I am realizing what I am doing is not working. I have been writing again but not getting as much on paper as I need. I am way passed my deadline of June 1 to finish my first draft. If I want to have this book finished by the end of the year I am going to have to come up with something new. A new way to write or a different place to write or maybe my book needs a new direction. I have talked about experimenting with different points of view and I have been thinking about it a lot more recently. I have started reading another YA fantasy series call A Throne of Glass by Sarah J Maas. I really like the way she switches points of views. I just want to find a way to include the other characters thought process. I also want to find a way to include the serial killers thoughts but I am not sure how to do that without giving away who he is. I think I am going to spend this week doing some trial an error and see if anything feels right. I am definitely more inclined to write when I am enjoying a book series so it is good this one has so many. Maybe it will keep me going through the end of the year. Fingers crossed!
I am 6 books behind schedule for my reading goal of 24 books this year. That is sad. It shouldn’t be so hard to read 24 books in a year. Another plus about this series being long is I can add books to my read list fairly quickly. I never did finish White Oleander…I don’t know why I can’t finish it. I am so close to the end but I keep losing interest. Maybe after I finish Heir of Fire I will force myself through to the end of White Oleander before I start book 4 in this series. It seems like such a waste to be so close to the end and not get credit for it because it is unfinished. It’s funny how I will go through these phases where I will read one book after another and then something comes up that interrupts my flow and then it takes forever to get me back on track. I am like that with my writing too. I let too many things get to me and keep me from doing what I need to be doing.
I went to a book signing/meet and greet thing a couple of weeks ago and while he was talking he mentioned how when you are a true writer nothing can keep you from writing. If you don’t write you are miserable. This is something I have heard a lot of authors say. It really makes me question myself. I do love to write and I love the feeling of someone reading my writing and enjoying it. That is exciting for me. But what I am hearing from published authors is that I am not a true writer because I have such a hard time finding the time to write every day. It is almost as if, because I have chosen to work 2 jobs and try and get out of debt instead of quitting everything and forcing myself into poverty in order to write, that I am not a true writer. I don’t think they intend to be discouraging but when I think about that it gets in my head. It makes me question my intentions. It makes me feel like a fraud. And the more negative I get, the harder is for me to write. Especially when I am always tired from working 2 jobs and being sick. When I feel bad about myself, I can’t write. When I am unhappy or in pain, I can’t write. For them, writing is their main source of income. Doing nothing but writing is their job. And yea, they did mention there were times where they quit everything, moved into their parents basements and just wrote but that isn’t always an option for everyone. At this point in my life, it 100% is not an option. College was expensive. Keeping myself and my pets alive, fed, and sheltered is expensive. Being able to get to and from work is expensive. It all adds up. And my parents aren’t even in a position to let me come live with them rent free while they take care of me and and my animals and I just sit around all day and write. That is not an option. I was not raised that way. Maybe, one day, there will be a time where my job will be just to write. That would be awesome. But at this point in my life, work has to come first. Writing is my hobby for the time being. And when I finish my book and go on my book tours and talk to people about writing, I will make a point to talk about how hard it is to have 2 jobs and write a book. I will make sure others know, it didn’t make me any less of a writer and it doesn’t make anyone any less of a writer.
If you want to check out the current series I am reading, below I posted my usual book cover photos with links to go buy them if you want.
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Sooo I started driving for Uber this weekend. I am hoping I can make enough doing that, that I can quit Job #2. That would be wonderful. At the moment though, I am just testing it out to see if it is worth it. If anything, it can be my beer money (even though I have no free time to actually drink anymore) plus I am bound to meet some interesting people. Or at least stupid people that make for a good story or good characters for my writing.
For example, I picked up a drunk woman Saturday night and took her home to her children. She lived in one of the richer neighborhoods in Dallas and was very chatty. While, she was perfectly nice, she did manage to annoy me a bit. She began to lecture me on safety. Something she knows plenty about since she has lived in “real” cities like New York, Paris, and Miami. She has also been mugged 4 times. Now, she is not dumb, guys! She has TWO engineering degrees. She insisted I should always be aware of my surroundings and only drive in “my area” because she could tell I was just like her. “Apple pie,” is how she described me. I nodded and said “oh yea of course, it can be dangerous.” She kept insisting I wasn’t taking her seriously. How could I? Living in Dallas, I must have a false sense of security because small towns, like Dallas, are so safe! Why would I ever for one moment fear for my safety? I mean golly, who ever hears about bad things happening in Dallas? She then asked me to take her by an ATM to get cash for her babysitter. I pulled up and she dug around for a bit searching for a debit card. There was a moment of panic that she may have left it at one of the bars she had been to. (Luckily, she found it, because I did not think I could stand driving her around on a hunt for her missing debit card). She then got out of my car with only her debit card and left her purse, wallet, and phone sitting on the seat…I still can’t figure out why she has been mugged 4 times. She is just lucky Dallas isn’t a “real” city or else I may have just driven off with all of her things.
So yea, I am sure I will get some more people worthy of sharing with y’all on here. That could make this whole Uber thing worth it. I mean, sure, drunk people can be a serious pain in the ass to deal with, but for the most part they can be entertaining as well. I will share every story I have with you guys.
Don’t forget to follow me here and on Twitter @Andythewriter33 to hear more Uber stories. Maybe I’ll even talk about my writing again…
Is it weird that I have struggled to really come up with a detailed background for my main female character? I have all the basics but nothing really personal. My stalker/serial killer however, I have his entire life story written out. I guess I just kind of feel like with the two characters, I want him to be different than your every day stalker/serial killer character. But I want her to be very average. A normal person who anyone could relate to. There isn’t anything particularly special about her. She’s just there trying to live her life the best she can, tries to stay positive about everything and not let things she can’t change get her down. She doesn’t take anything too seriously. Then this whole ordeal is thrown in her lap and she all of a sudden is having to focus on serious things. She can’t joke her way out of it to make herself feel better. She starts having conflicting emotions about how she feels about what’s happening, how she feels about her boyfriend. She starts to question herself more than she ever has before. She wants to be strong but she can’t be strong all the time. She doesn’t like hiding things but also doesn’t want to appear weak to those around her. Her inner monologue is entirely different from what she is showing the outside world. I feel very strongly about showing both of these sides of her in this story. I feel like we have two different female roles. The strong female role is always strong and awesome and handles everything right and never questions anything. And we have the weak female role who can’t do anything by herself. I want my character to be strong but I always to show that no one is strong all of the time and that a lot of times, the face we show the world isn’t really what is going on inside us. So, I guess in that sense she will be different than other fictional characters BUT I feel like that also makes her totally normal and relatable. I just want to show how an actual normal person would handle this type of situation. I hope I can do that. I hope I can do her justice and people don’t just hate her because she isn’t a fantasy version of themselves. Maybe today, I will take a break from the actual book and figure out all the details of her life. What is it about her that makes her so relatable to everyone else? Maybe I could even try and get an artist friend to draw her out for me. I’ll give her a real face so I can better put her in these situations. A face to stare me down and keep me writing. I am always looking for ways to keep me accountable and it never occurred to me to use m y characters. I have just accepted that I will have an imaginary friend until I finish this book. Hopefully people don’t think I am a crazy person.
Side note: I am still working on reading White Oleander. Slowly but surely making my way towards the end. I did break out the inflatable pool yesterday with the neighbor. Didn’t do any reading but it will definitely be a comfortable place to read in the future if I can get past the stigma of sitting out there alone looking like a weirdo to anyone who drives by…
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Everyone has motivations for why they do things. Some people are motivated by money. Some are motivated by popularity. Some people are motivated by good intentions.
When it comes to my writing, my motivation changes from day to day. Some days, I am motivated by the thought of actually getting a book a deal and not working two jobs, living pay check to pay check. There are also the days where the idea of being a famous author really excites me. Other days, my motivation is to actually finish one thing I set out to do with my life and be proud of myself.
I see all these people living their lives and accomplishing things they set out to do years ago and it makes me feel like a loser. When I started college, I wanted to be a marine biologist. I quickly failed out of that. Then I switched my major to Criminal Justice. I loved my classes and excelled in them. I graduated with that degree with every intention of being a juvenile probation office. I wanted to help the kids who are getting on the wrong paths. I wanted to show them that someone out there cared. I wasn’t naive. I understood that the majority of the children/teens I dealt with would not want my help and would push back at everything I did for them. But I always said, “If I could just help one kid, then it was worth it.” Well after 2 and half years of applying for jobs in my field and struggling to pay my bills being a nanny, I finally gave up and took a customer service job to pass the time while I continued looking. Once a month for another 2 years, I continued to apply for jobs in the CJ field, while I worked. Eventually, I got burned out. I could only be rejected so many times. I finally accepted that it wasn’t what my life was going to be. Every now and then, I look at that and think about how much of a loser I am for giving up on that. But then I think that, if it was really something I was motivated to do, then I wouldn’t have given up. I still work in my customer service job and I actually really love it here. I am good at helping people and making them happy when they are angry. I am good at fixing peoples problems. It also gives me time to write. Writing is the one thing I have always stuck with. I have always wanted to publish a book and I continue to be motivated to it. No matter how many excuses I have, I always come back to it. Sure I worry that when it comes time to get it published, I won’t be able to take the massive amounts of rejection again. But, I like to believe that since this is the one thing I have always wanted that the rejections won’t shake me this time. They will motivate me to keep trying. To prove everyone (and sometimes myself) wrong. To prove I can do this. Even if I don’t become a famous NY best seller. Even if I end up self publishing and the only people who buy my book are my family members. That is all I need. To show myself that I can accomplish one thing I set out to do with my life.
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I started painting again this week. I always forget how much fun I have. It helps me feel more creative and actually then gets me feeling like writing more. Another thing it does though is get my brain thinking about all the paints and supplies I need. I already want to go to Michael’s on my way home from work today to get a bigger canvas and some fresh paints. I have a whole piece worked out in my head that may or may not be plausible. Hey! Kind of like my book! A perfect example of how I am full of great ideas but don’t always have the follow through to bring them to life. Maybe if I can actually bring this painting to life it will help me stay motivated to bring my book to life. Until then, I will continue to buy paint supplies and books.
Don’t forget to follow me here and on Twitter @Andythewriter33