Just be Writing

So after I whined at you last week I spent the rest of the week planning my way out of the hole I dug myself into. The plan is there, but I am not 100% sure it will work. But I’m going to try. Pretty much about to go into full hermit mode for the next 10 months. If this works, I will have a little more breathing room. It will require some serious self control though which has always been my downfall. Hopefully, I can fill my new free hermit time with writing! And reading!

I am so far behind in my reading challenge for this year. It’s bad.

I did finish the third book in the Court of Thorns and Roses series by Sarah J. Maas. I really enjoyed it. It was a slow start for me because I think it had been too long since I read the last one and I had a hard time remembering details about people or what was even going on. Once it picked up though, it really picked up. I read most of it in one day. I couldn’t put it down. If you like fantasy, I would recommend Sarah J. Maas. I have enjoyed a lot of her work.

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Next on my list is to go back to reading some murder mysteries/thrillers to get myself back in the mind set for my book. I am currently reading Into the Darkest Corner by Elizabeth Haynes.

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I read the first few pages already and I am intrigued. Hopefully it will get me going on my writing. I plan on trying to write something every day, again. Even if it isn’t for my book. I just need to get back to writing. I’m never going to finish my book if I don’t write, right?

I wonder how many times I have set up all my fool proof plans to get out of debt and finish my book and become a best selling author? haha! I am my own worst enemy. I am the only one who can change anything though. So, it is time to do it. It is time to get my shit together and have one less thing to feel bad about myself. It is going to be really hard, and it is going to require help/support from my family (I will probably be eating dinner at my parents house for the next 10 months) and friends but luckily, I have pretty much narrowed down my circle of friends to only those who are supportive and actually care about my well being over their desires to go do things and spend money. Plus, in the grand scheme of things, 10 months is nothing. It is less than a year. Once it is done, I will have 2 less things to stress about. That is something to look forward to! I will be putting some of my travel plans on hold (not Ireland though. that is 100% still happening Sept 2018) but once I will have more money at my disposal, it will be easier to make travel decisions. I think, in the long run, this is going to be so worth it and just have to keep reminding myself of that. Don’t you just love my motivational speeches to myself? Fingers crossed this one sticks!

So, I have barely talked about my book at all! I have gotten to this point where I am trying to start wrapping it up and I have this character who is 100% based on a friend I went to high school with and I am really enjoying writing him. I am nervous what he will think of his character but I think he will like him. I mean, hell, he pretty much is him haha. I have taken traits from people before for characters but I have never tried to put someone fully into my writing. It has been an interesting process for sure.

I am also excited to start writing her realization when she figures out who it is that is stalking her and making her life terrifying. I’ve started planting little seeds for her and they should be blooming pretty soon. Sometimes, I worry I am making her too dumb but I have to remind myself, we as humans to tend to be short sighted so hopefully she won’t really come off that way. Plus, it is always easier to see something from the outside vs when you are actually in the situation. I have to keep reminding myself to write her so that she is in the situation because she clearly is incapable of seeing the entire situation from the outside. I am thinking this book I am reading now will give me some ideas because it is one that is written from both perspectives (the killer and the victim). Sometimes, I feel like I need to add more to my killer. I have an entire background that I built up in my head for him that will never be in the book but I just have to keep referencing it as I write to ensure he reacts the correct way to things. Same with her, although, I don’t have as detailed a background for her haha I am not really sure why. His criminal profile is over flowing but she is kind of boring. I need to work on that too. I need to create some past for her to explain why she is acting the way she is in this situation. Maybe that is what I can write when I am not writing the book. I can flush out her personal history. Make her more of a real person.

Alright guys, I am feeling much more positive and motivated, if not a little intimidated for the next 10 months. But at least this post was more empowering than whiny, yea?

Time to get to work. These things aren’t going to do themselves.

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May the writing gods smile upon you!

Don’t forget to follow me here and on Twitter @AndytheWriter33.

 

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What am I even doing anymore?

I’ve been really bad about keeping up with this. I have also been pretty bad about keeping up with writing every day. I had a really good day last week, I wrote pretty much non-stop from 10 am-4 pm. When I stopped for the day, I still had ideas of where I was going but by the time I was able to sit down with my book again a couple of days later, I had lost it. That being said, I am at least slowly but surely making progress in my word count. Currently, I am at 28,047 words. A lazy google search told me “your manuscript must be at least 35-40,000 words long. The average nonfiction book, if such a thing exists, runs about 50,000 words; longer books run about 75,000 words.” I should probably be shooting for the 75,000 number just so I have plenty to work with when it comes to editing. BUT I am pretty close to that minimum number. Which makes me feel a little bit better.

I’m still feeling pretty discouraged these days though.

Honestly, I am feeling discouraged with every aspect of my life. I am starting to wonder if my creativity is hurting because I often feel bad about the rest of my life. I am 29 years old. I have two jobs. I still live paycheck to paycheck. I am drowning in student loan debt. I love my job but I’m starting to feel frustrated with the  lazy work ethic of a coworker. I do everything. I am okay doing everything, but I don’t get paid to do everything. I work my ass off for this company and while I know my bosses know this their hands are tied and they can’t pay me any more money. I think that is why the lazy co worker is really starting to piss me off. I do all the work, I struggle to pay my bills, I am always stressed and tired and sick. And he just sits there and does whatever the hell he wants all day long and gets the same (possibly more) money than I do. Even though he is doing 10% or less of the work. But even if he were gone, I still wouldn’t be making enough to quit my second job. On top of all of that, I have been struggling with this damn auto-immune disease that leaves me feeling like crap physically too. I can’t help but think all of this is effecting my writing. But then again, plenty of people derive motivation from this kind of stuff. “Oh my life sucks? I am going to get off my ass and fix it!” I have a hard time doing that. I want to get off my ass and fix it. But when you don’t even have enough to eat for a full week, it’s hard to feel confident in yourself to find a new job, to buy new clothes for this new job, to write a book you know will take off. But if I don’t do those things, I can’t complain about my circumstances, can I? If I don’t make the changes, nothing is going to change. So, how do I start? What do I do? Why can’t I write? Will I ever finish this book? Maybe I just need to go into hiding. Work then home. No where in between. Put myself on a super strict budget. Quit all my vices. Cancel all my streaming accounts. If I am home, I should be writing. That is all. My money will go to bills, debt, food, and meds. No more junk food, period. No more “i’ll start tomorrow.” no more “one more episode.” But how does someone who is notorious for having zero will power going to stick to this? I am the only one who can force myself to do this, how do I do it? Am I going to have to get some self help books? Do I need to make myself a strict schedule that I have to stick to? Why am I so terrible at being an adult? Where did I go wrong?

When did this post become my diary? Sorry guys, I have bitched and moaned at you enough for one post. I should start to actually figure out how to fix this…if you have any suggestions, let me know haha.

Sorry again for the lame post. But I guess the point of this blog was to write about the process and hell, struggle is part of the process.

Don’t forget to follow me on here and on Twitter @AndytheWriter33 (I try and keep that a lot more light hearted)

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!

 

 

 

 

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. 


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

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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Don’t forget to follow my pretty dull blog and my slightly less dull twitter @Andythewriter33

Happy New Year Everyone!