Still Writing!

I’ve been going strong for a week straight now. Writing every day! It’s been a wonderful feeling. I can’t say how many words exactly I’ve written because I am hand writing at the moment and haven’t typed up what I have so far. I can tell you have written almost 35 pages front and back in my Game of Thrones notebook my friend gave me for Christmas. I’m sure when it’s all typed up it will look like nothing but it’s a nice feeling to see how many pages I’ve already filled and I haven’t reached a stopping point yet. I’m not sure if I have mentioned this already, but I’m currently working on an entirely different book. I needed to keep writing and kept getting stuck with the serial killer book that I went a different direction. I have always written books that are more or less based in reality and with my serial killer book, you know that I often struggle with “how things work in real life” when I am writing it. So, instead of working on my usual type of writing, I decided to take a page from all the YA fantasies I’ve been reading and try a world that I can make up as I go. Let me tell you, it is way more fun! Don’t get me wrong, I am still excited about and want to finish my serial killer book. That is THE book. But this one I have so much more room to work with. It doesn’t matter if it’s not “how things work real life,” because it isn’t real life. There is no way it could be real life. So my inner critic doesn’t question every sentence I write. I get to write and feel productive and happy and grateful to be writing again. I’ve even been able to push myself past the worrying about whether or not something needs to be in it. I just write. I have managed to finally get it through my head that this is the first draft. It doesn’t have to be perfect. What’s important right now is getting it all out and on paper and completed. Once this is done, I can go back through and edit and take things out and work from scene to scene to make them flow better or make more sense. My hope is that I will finish this one and feel so excited and proud of myself that I will then be able to take that fuel and get moving on my other book again.

All that being said, I haven’t written a single thing working on my descriptions. But I feel like my excuse is valid since I am actually working on my book and the whole point of those writing exercises is to help me break through my ever present writer’s block and that just isn’t here at the moment. Although, maybe keeping up with different writing exercises will help keep me from getting stuck again. If I keep my mind focused on one thing I may burn out again but if I switch around while the ability to write is still there, maybe I can make it last longer…

I’ve also been keeping up with my reading. Currently, I am on book 2, Prodigy, of the Legend series by Marie Lu. It’s about 2 teens in a dystopian America. Not going to lie, there have been parts that are pretty unnerving that make me feel like this the type of America we may be headed for…but I won’t be covering politics in this blog so that’s all I will say on that. Anyway, I am enjoying the books. I am halfway through this second one and then there is just one more left. (I am glad it isn’t one of those long series that isn’t even finished yet.)

I head back to Vegas next weekend for our annual trip. Since I am no longer forcing myself to post everyday, it will be nice to not worry about whether or not I’ve posted while I am drunk or in the middle of winning big at black jack (fingers crossed). I gotta say, I am ready for that vacation. Working every day is exhausting. I can’t wait to just do nothing. To not have to wake up and be anywhere at a certain time. I can’t wait to take a bath in the giant deep bathtubs in the hotel room! Perfect reading spot. And I can’t wait to see my friends who have since moved away from Dallas. It’s been too long since we have all been together.

Anyway, don’t forget to follow me here and on Twitter @Andythewriter33 let’s see how long I can keep the writer’s block away!

 

 

 

 

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I wrote!

I wrote again last night! From the time I got home from work until 2 am! I took a short intermission when my sister came over for a bit but then I was right back at it. It felt great to write again and I woke up this morning excited to get back to it. It’s hard to explain the feeling of being able to write again. After pushing and pushing myself and barely getting anywhere, it’s like someone opened the flood gates and it’s just all rushing out. That sounds so corny but I honestly can’t think of a better way to explain it. It’s such a release. This must be what addicts feel like when they finally take a hit of whatever drug they have been craving.

I finally understand what all those people mean when they say, “if you’re a real writer, you have to write.” That always made me feel so defensive when I couldn’t write. Like screw you, I’m a writer who can’t write! But now that I am writing it explains so many feelings I was having and couldn’t explain. I was misinterpreting what they were saying. I feel happier today. I feel more relaxed. I feel like all this negative energy I had been carrying around is just gone. I can’t believe I never put that together before now. I am writer and I have to write. If I don’t I will be unhappy.

Now, I just have to find a way to keep it flowing. I am scared to lose this feeling. What if I wake up tomorrow and it’s gone? Now that I know what it is that’s causing the stress, I don’t want to go back. I have to hold onto this for as long as I can.

Wish me luck!

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Don’t forget to follow me here and on Twitter @Andythewriter33

Ramblings and Tangents

I have started and erased this post about 10 times. Everything I write just sounds so stupid. I know I am my own worst critic but so far everything has just felt like ramblings and tangents. Nothing I’ve written has flowed from one paragraph to the next. Or even from one sentence the next. It’s all so forced. I’ve gotten stuck in this habit of thinking too much about how people will react or what people will think of me. It’s a strange feeling. I usually don’t let those feelings get to my blog writing. I mean the whole point of these is to work through my writing struggles and it shouldn’t matter what people think of me. It shouldn’t matter if anyone even reads these. All that matters is I’m writing again.

 I’m also reading again. I’m dragging myself through White Oleander. I am so close to finishing it. That’s my goal for today. To finish that damn book. I don’t know why I’m having a hard time with it. She’s a good writer. She’s great at describing the scene. I can really picture it as I read. 

I feel like it’s the exact opposite of mine. I can picture everything in my head but I worry the readers won’t be able to. That’s something I need to work on. I need to be practicing my descriptive writing. Since my vignettes kind of fell short maybe I could start doing that. At least once a week I need to describe a scene from my daily life. Anything, any place, it doesn’t matter. Once I’ve gotten better at describing things around me that I can actually see I can start working on describing the things in my head.

Alright! I’ve managed to give myself a new assignment during this post! At least it should help get me writing more. I’ll keep you posted. 


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Writing, Writing, Writing…

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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Don’t forget to follow me here and on Twitter @Andythewriter

 

New Year, Similar Goals

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!

A New Approach

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New Motto

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.

 

 

Don’t forget to follow me here and on Twitter @Andythewriter33

 

Job #3

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…