Tag Archives: writing tips

The Usefulness of Binders.

The Usefulness of Binders.
The Usefulness of Binders.

This writing Wednesday, I thought I would talk about my love of binders!  I love binders! They are just so useful!

Binders can be used in many different ways.  All lot of us remember having a binder or two during our school days.  Remember the teacher always showing us how to organize it?  Here are a few ways I use binders from my everyday life to my writing adventures!

One of my many binders I have, is a binder filled with notebook paper.  I use this one for free-writes, and brain dumps.  Sometimes staring at the screen doesn’t work or when my daughter is awake and I don’t want her to think I live at the computer, I pick up a pen and write!  And a few people out there are sighing to themselves thinking you know a notebook would work the same.  You are right, a notebook would work the same but I like to add things to my binders.  For example, if I find a great article of a funny picture, I would print it out and then hole punch it.  Then I add it to my binder!  And as any great writer knows, always carry a pen and paper with you.  For this I have a little memo pad that can clip into my notebook.  (We not at the moment. I am using a really girly one and it doesn’t have a hole at the top for adding a memo pad!)

Another binder I have is for my blog stuff.  I have really rough drafts of post written down on paper.  I have a personal goal statement for my blog (and something I don’t often share).  It also has articles I found online that I have printed out and added to it too.  And I often have a blog to-do list of up coming posts and things of that nature.  I also have a hard copy of my calendar of my posts at the beginning of my binders.  (I print my calendars out from here!) I have a very flexible plan of what I am going to post for the month.

On top of all that, I also have a plotting binder.  This is where I break down scene by scene of my novel.  Each scene is on a piece of paper.  On each piece of paper there is the characters involved in the scene, the goal of the scene and a brief outline of the scene.   All the scene go into one section.  Plus, with binders, you can rearrange the scenes (the pages) to your liking or what fits the plot.  Can you do that with a notebook?  Then I have another section for my characters.  Like for the scenes, each character gets a page. On each character page I list of their status, characteristics and any key information for them.  And sometimes, I place a plot point or a surprise here as well. (So I don’t often share what’s in this binder!)  A third section for any research I have done, any images that inspired me, notes for the plot and other tidbits.  To be honest, since I got Scrivener (I have a link to it on my sharing page) I haven’t used this set up for a while but I feel like I should still share it with others especially if you don’t have that program or any extra cash to buy it.

The other use for binders is for editing.  This is more aimed more for the novel length writers who need to edit their drafts.  I am more old school and I like to work with the paper (and I get a lot of paper-cuts!)  And I get my red pen out (or another bright colored pen) and start looking for things to fix.  But since I haven’t gotten to the stage just yet with my current project, I will just leave this for you guys’ pleasure!  (I have edited other projects, but I would rather not talk about those edits…)

Overall, I love binders. They are is very useful and so flexible!  Do you find binders as useful as I do? Tell me below!

Until next time…

Steph’s writing corner.

Steph’s writing corner.

Today’s Writing 101 assignment is all about where the magic happens – in other words, where the writing happens! I love sharing about my writing space. (It also asks questions about  writing habits, equipment and other things.  I will get to that in a few!)

We had just moved into a new place and it had a sun room.  It was dead space for us for quite a while but them we decided to create an amazing place for work to happen! It has become my favorite place in the house.

wpid-20150914_095312.jpg We have two desks, a corner desk and then a small glass top desk (that we have had forever!)  It has become our work corner!

wpid-20150914_095146.jpg This is the main computer in the house:  As you can tell, I have sticky notes all around the screen and I am never far from my notebook! 😀 We also have surround sound speakers that I like to use (I listen to classical or just instrumental soundtracks) when I am writing heavy or important screens!

wpid-20150914_095150.jpg  The other half of our corner desk.  This is where we keep pens, sticky notes, books, and other important stuff for life and writing! 🙂 (As you may have guessed, I use the desk more but my husband does use it to get his paperwork done for his work!)

wpid-20150914_095203.jpg We have had this desk for such a long time! It houses our (very) ancient laptop that I use when my husband needs to get some work done!   If you take a look on the wall, you see a calendar.  Keep this in  mind, I will talk more about it later on! 🙂

On the other side of the room are my bookshelves!  But I will go over those another day (and when my daughter hasn’t help rearrange them for the tenth time that day!)

What are your writing habits?

I am a strong believer of writing everyday.  I am a 100% night owl and I get most of my great writing done after the needs of the house are done and asleep!  I also keep an eye on my word count!  I am a lover of NaNoWriMo on top of that all so I have high writing count goals with a short period of time. But this doesn’t work for everyone and I understand.  I have had to train myself for this (and I am thinking of creating an eBook to share how I do it with others! Keep your eyes open!)

What equipment or supplies do you use to write?

Now I have a few different things that I use.   wpid-20150914_132231.jpg First I tend to always have a three ringer binder with filler paper!  I love these things.  (I love all kinds of office supplies!)  But I am a huge fan of binders (I use them for pretty much everything from brain storming to editing and showing off)  But I think I will post about my love of binders in the future.

Once upon a time I used to be all about ‘handwriting’ all my stuff because that is what all the great have done…  But they all lived before computers have taken front and center.  So I do use the computer for about 95% of my writing.  I use Word for a quick thought that I have before I can really work on them.  For most part, (close to 90% of my writing) I use Scrivener.  There is some much I can say about this program (and so many other writers agree with me!) But for the moment I will just say that is awesome and that you should go check it out!  <3 

What do you need and or want in a physical space?

Most important things to me, for my writing space, are a comforty chair, a solid working computer and a door.  But I love to have  a great sound system to blast off all my classical music and chocolate!  Other than that, I am happy!  🙂

Now, before I go, I wanted to share something with you guys.  Remember earlier in this post I told you to keep an eye on the calendar on the wall?  Well, here is a close up to it.  wpid-20150914_133959.jpg.  This where I keep track of my word counts every day.  You can click on the picture so you can see how many words I have gotten this month!  (Sorry I have HORRIBLE handwriting.)  But I strongly suggest that you do something like this.  This works for me!  I hate seeing zeros on there!  Don’t worry the first month about getting high word counts; just worry about getting words on the page  and then put how many you wrote.  Then aim to write more!

Well, that’s all for me at the moment! Keep an eye out for more posts about what I talked about! 🙂

Until next time…

Writer’s Procrastination

Writer’s Procrastination

I am in the middle on this statement.

Daydreaming or procrastination really does help your creative side to think.  It allows the creative juices flow because your brain is relaxing and isn’t focused on anything.  That is a why so many great ideas come from taking a shower or sitting in the oval office; it’s not a difficult task to do and your brain decides to wonder.  Overall, it sounds great.

But (and there is always a but!), too much of a wonderful thing is a bad thing! Only daydreaming will not get words on the page.  To be able to call yourself a writer means you have to – surprise! – write!  Write everyday (well at least 90% of the time – we all know how life can be!)  Please note, to be a writer, you must write everyday, but for being a published author or other anything else for that matter takes a different set of rules!

I call myself a writer, but that is because I write every day! If I always procrastinated then I would only be a ‘want-to-be-writer’.  That is not what I want to be! This doesn’t make me better than others – it does make me stand out.

But without periods of daydreaming and procrastination, the creative well might run dry. So you HAVE to have a balance between the two!  It’s a delicate balnce and it can be achieved! 🙂

Until next time…

Quote challenge

Quote challenge

I was nominated by Hopefrom this blog post.  Thank you for the love!

The rule is that you have to post one quote a day and tag three people in one post.

That is what I will do!  🙂 But first, let me share a quote.

‘Begin at the beginning,’ the King said gravely, ‘and go on till you come to the end: then stop.’

Alice in Wonderland

This one of my favorite quotes of all time.  It’s from Alice’s trail in Wonderland and it hits the nail on the head so well!  As writer’s (or just humans in general) we like to talk and tell others what has happened in our everyday lives.  But was all share the same problem (from time to time at least), we tend to have trouble deciding where we start a story or when to end it.  The latter is often a bigger problem in everyday life while where to start is one common problem in the writing world.
I don’t have a magically cure all, but I can tell you this, start at the beginning.  I know what you are thinking – oh that’s just SO helpful Steph.  But really, do it.  Think of your main story.  Say your character has to go get milk from the store and on the way she gets kidnapped.   Should you start with the day she was born or with her getting out of bed wishing for an adventurous life?  Which did you pick?  I would totally read the beginning with her getting out of bed and wishing for an adventurous life; and, as she gets the milk for her cereal she finds out that is all lumpy and …  This could go on and on, but do you get a little bit of what I was saying.

That was just a very broad blurb about beginnings. Endings are often the ‘fun stuff’ and almost everyone loves to write them (but readers often hate them!  No one wants things to end.)  But that is for another blog post.  I’ll have one on endings soon enough!  🙂

Well, no challenge is complete without challenging others!  So, per the rules, I have to tag three other bloggers.  Here it goes!

  1. Tracey
  2. Deborah
  3. Miss Ky

I picked you guys out since I really enjoy your blogs and I can’t wait to see which quotes you guys (well, I should say ladies!) pick out!

Until next time…

August Wrap Up and a Game Plan to Fix it!

August Wrap Up and a Game Plan to Fix it!

Oh man, August flew by! I don’t know where the time went.  I now have an eleven month old tiny terror and it’s another month closer to NaNoWriMo!

August was a piss poor month for me when it came to writing.  My word count was 9649 FOR THE WHOLE MONTH! That is pathetic!  On top of that, I only wrote for a eleven days out of the whole month. I feel like a liar when I say that I am a writer! A writer writes everyday (or does something related to writing).  I only did it eleven day out of the month! I am just shocked by that!

So I have came up with a game plan. Like I mentioned before, NaNoWriMo is now even closer!  Like two months away! SO I need to work on getting my word count up.  Like a runner doesn’t run a marathon overnight, I need to train for this!  I got inspiration for this from here.  Emily suggested to to train in a two part series.

Part One: A short story of 12,500 words. (Or over) Easy peasy, right? Okay, sure. But do it in 12 days. (Yes, time frame is pretty much arbitrary. I didn’t say it was a logical challenge.)  – 

Adventures in Writing

So the first part is about writing a short story to get words on the page and get your whistle wet! Words can’t come out until you start taping the keyboard!

Part Two: After part one and a short rest period, say 4 days. Step it up to 25,000 words in 30 days. – 

Adventures in Writing

Part two is all about increasing your word count. It will take a month to do, (Maybe September?) It is something you need to stick with! 🙂

But what if this is too much for you to take on at once, well, I know for me and my busy life, I need to slow down a little bit (and by slow down, I mean take it easier than this).   For me, I get very limited window to get a lot of writing done, so I try so hard to get words down but if you are anything like me, sometimes you bite off more than you chew.

That is what happened it August. I put that I wanted to get 2000 words done a day but when I sat down to write, I became a deer in head lights!  I was so worried about how many words I was writing that I froze.  That is not what I writer does -freeze all the time.  A writer writes!  So I came up with this little plan!

I choose to start this little experience in September (I know I am crazy!).  To begin with, this plan will take almost six weeks to do.  Why?  It is all about conditioning your body and mind to write.  It takes time for you body to adjust and you really don’t want to set yourself up for failure! So here is the overview: (and remember, adjust this for your goals and what you are available to do!)

  • Week one – 500 words a day
  • Week Two – 750 words a day
  • Week Three – 1000 words a day
  • Week Four – 1250 Words a day
  • Week Five – 1500 words a day (Note to win NaNoWriMo on time you need at least 1667 words a day!)
  • Week Six – 2000 words a day

What do you think about this?  Do you think you can do it?  Or do you like Emily’s idea?  Let me know!  I love to help and I would love to help you guys, so let me know what I can do!

I’ll keep you guys updated on how it goes for me!

Until next time..