Wait, people do other things than write? Uh-oh, I’m in trouble!
As many of you know, I am a full time stay at home mom. Most of the day I am just chasing my almost one year old (three more days!) around the house. Within the last week she had given up in napping so that has cut down on my blogging/ writing time. But don’t fear, my husband had chosen next week as his vacation so I might get a great chunk of stuff done! J
Outside of chasing her and playing with her, I do a LOT of reading. I mean, a lot. I am often reading two of three books at a time and countless magazines and articles of all sorts! (Hey, I got to stay in the know with the rest of the world!)
I have tried to sew, crafting, painting and other hobbies but I have failed at almost all of them. That is why I have a series (it’s more of a monthly series) about any time I have tried to do a DIY project and failed! If you can’t laugh at yourself, you need to lighten up!
One of my friends have been bringing me to dance class on Thursday nights. But I have only been to two classes so I will let you guys how that goes!
What do you guys do when you aren’t dancing or writing? Let me know! J
If we were having coffee right now, I would be gagging. Coffee is like the nastiest thing on the planet… Hot chocolate on the other hand, now that is what is up! 🙂
I’m not a fan of coffee. I don’t like the taste, the smell or anything else when it comes to coffee. I’m the person who goes to the coffee shop and gets chocolate milk to go with my doughnuts! (Dunkin Donuts for life!)
But if we were having coffee (well, you might be having coffee), I would have a cup of hot chocolate. We might be visiting about all sorts of things. If we were really close, I would be talking about my daughter’s first birthday (I even wrote her a letter) or how I can’t wait for Halloween. I mean, who am I kidding, I am telling everyone about my love for Halloween!
If you were on of my writing minded friends, I would talk about NaNoWriMo. Are you prepared? Have you plotted anything out? What region are you in? What is your idea about? Are you going to be involved in some write ins? Which ones? I would also ask how your other projects are! I would also cheer you on about any achievements you have reached. I would listen to any advice you have found online or something you learned about this week with eager ears!
If you were one of my mother friends, I would ask how your little on is and what they are up to these days. I would listen to your stories about what trouble they had gotten themselves in and how you had to handle it!
Whatever friend you are to me, I would listen with an open ear to any problems you might have. Are you having trouble balancing life with work? Is your child getting more stubborn within the last week? Are you feeling forgotten? Do you need a break to take a bath. I am here for you (well, are close as I can be via the blog and the internet).
If we were having coffee, what would you ask me about? What would you want to talk about? Tell me below! 🙂
This is one of my favorite quotes when it comes to writing. Let me explain.
As writers, we often have an inner judge, jury, editor and critic that lives in our head while we are trying to write. We worry about what other people are thinking or what others might think. That is one of the major causes of writer’s block. Then at the end of the day, we have nothing. You can’t fix nothing!
As a lover of NaNoWriMo, I have learned a few things. First off, I learned that getting the words on the page is the first step in writing. It doesn’t have to make sense (on the first draft!) Just getting the words on the page should cause you to celebrate! That’s the second thing I learned; celebrate the little steps you take. In the long run it will help you achieve your overall goal! The third thing I learned during my writing journey is that you can fix the bad stuff but you really can’t fix nothing. (Have you ever tried to pay something with nothing?) Get the words down first and then fix it later!
It’s okay to have bad stuff – bad pages, manuscripts, or just bad words. That is part of learning. And to write is to learn.
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.
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!
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!
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!)
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. 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. . 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! 🙂
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! 🙂
Today in writing 101, we had a choose of one of four picture to write about. I picked, “The Window.” This is with the main characters of my current sci-fi project. Well, I will let you just get at it. Let me know what you think! 🙂
Samantha slowly opened her eyes to a dark room. She slowly sat up and looked around. It wasn’t her quarter. The air was heavy and smelled stale. She lifted her left hand up and felt the space next to her. It was a wooden wall. She slid her hand across the grain, the roughness of it pricked her fingertips. She felt small nail holes where two boards of wood met. A small smile formed across her face. Then, her reality sunk in.
Over to her right there was a dim light filtering in through a sheer curtain. Sam slowly stood up and discovered that she was wearing her night gown. A white, sheer, gown with single string straps. It wasn’t the uniform she last wore.
She pushed herself to her feet off the ancient wooden bed she was laying on. A small breeze brushed against her skin as she struggled to see in the dim light. Behind the curtain was the light source. Her guess was a small window but there was so little light it was hard for her to take an educated guess.
She reached out her right hand to pull the curtain back when she felt a hand and arm wrap around her midsection. Sam froze and looked back. Nick stood behind her. He was wearing nothing but his boxers. His body was well in shape; it threw her off guard. She pushed back from him and through the curtain.
His hand reached out to her as she stood facing the curtain. “Help me,” his voice cried out. Sam went to reach for his hand when the floor jerked her into the wall. She looked behind her to see a window. Samantha struggled against the shacking of the floor and the cries of Nick to get to the window. More cries began coming from behind the curtain. The closer she got to the window the faster her heart pumped.
Outside of the window was black nothingness of space. Tiny speck of starlight filtered in. The air in her lungs evaporated as her mouth swung open. Behind the curtain, everything went silent.
Samantha turned back to the curtain only to find black nothingness where the bed and room she was just in. She turned back to see the window open. A strong force was pulling her into the window. A cry for help went unanswered.
Samantha shot up from her slumber and looked around where she was. She was sitting on her back, on floor of the storage room. Vincent stood over her. His mouth was moving but she couldn’t hear him.
I had times myself for about 15 minutes. I could have gone on and one; so I cut it here. I hope you liked it! (Again, a little disclaimer here. This is equivalent to a free write which then in turns means it’s not edited [completely] and etc. Please just enjoy it without trying to destroy it! Thanks!)
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!
Alright, here is another Writing 101 assignment. This time this is a ‘one word prompt’. It boils down to you pick one word (here are the words: treasure, regret, home, love, uncertainty, secret.) and then write about it. Sounds great? Well, to me, it is!
I like to time myself when I write. 15 minutes was the magic number this time. (For my fiction writing I give myself 15 minutes and for my other writings I tend to give myself 10!) I feel it helps me get the words out. Not everyone likes that, but for me it works. One top of that, this will be a sample ‘rough draft’ of my current work in progress. It’s a little odd, but when I looked at the writing assignment, the next scene for my current project popped into my mind.
The word that popped out to me was Secret. So I hope you enjoy!
Here is a little back story. This is a futurist science fiction novel. The main character is Sam, a redheaded woman with a secret. She is currently under ‘house arrest’ and is just trying to get something to eat. **Note: This is a rough draft of my current project, this is no how perfect. I just wanted to share a little bit of writing. I know that it’s not perfect; that what editing is for. (I know grammar is off, descriptions are more tell-y than show-y – that is what the second draft is for! 😀 ) In the meanwhile enjoy! You are welcome to leave some feedback if you wish, just be polite and nice. Thank you!
Samantha walked into the mess hall and looked around. All conversation had stopped and all eyes were on her. She took a deep breath in and walked over to the counter. Bryant stayed close but didn’t get within two steps closer to her. She froze in her track when she noticed that Haniyyah wasn’t there. It was the younger man who often covered the night shift. Samantha stepped forward and forced a smile.
“I would like to have the basic human survival meal,” she chuckled to herself. It wasn’t the time or place but her words made her laugh.
The young male looked at her with wide eyes. His eyes shifted from her to Bryant standing behind her. “I was told to only produce bread and water for you. Captain orders.” His tone was soft and weak and his words were soft.
Sam nodded her head, “I understand,” she replied. “I’ll take that then.”
“Okay,” he answered. He walked over to the food processor and punched in her order. He walked back to her. “H told me to make sure you were okay?”
“Who is H?” Bryant butted in.
“Oh, she’s just the old lady that is here,” he replied as he gulped. “She’s kinda like a mother to everyone.”
“Hm,” he nodded his head. “Just tell her not to worry about this one.” He moved his eyes toward Sam.
“Just let her know that I am fine,” she said with a high tone of uncertainty. For the first time in her short life, she was feeling nervous and scared. There was a secret going here and somehow she was the center of it. Most of her life she had to hide, keep secrets and distance herself from others. Right now, she couldn’t tell if being different was going to help her or hurt her. It wasn’t directly her she was worried about; she worried about her father, Haniyyah, Nick and the rest of the crew. Was she putting them in danger?
The mess hall doors open and Nick walked in. They locked eyes. With every ouch in her being, she tried to swallow her emotions and become the computer she always had to be.
So, what did you think? I got about 365 words done in fifteen minutes! What did you get written! Share it below! 🙂 Thank you!
Writing is a very personal thing. No two writers write for the same reason. My reasons are different from the writer in the next blog over. No two people with write the same. So, why does someone write? Well, i can’t say why Bob writes, but I can tell you why I write.
To start off, like I have said many times before, I started writing while I was in eighth grade. I remember it clearly because we had a writing assignment. Normally I struggled with it because I wasn’t a big fan on writing. I didn’t get the point of it. But this assignment was different. It was a free write. The teacher told us to write about anything we wanted. Up until that point in my young life, I wanted to be a paleontologist. So I decided to write about dinosaurs; I wrote them finding out about humans (they were time traveling dinosaurs.) I turned it in on the due date and waited for my grade, My goal was to get at least a C and not fail. Instead, I was called to her office (even now as I rack my brain, I can’t remember her name but I can so clearly see her face and her cute little button nose). Fearing for the worst, I prepared for the principal to be there and everything else. But it was only her and me. I sat down and took a deep breath in. She smiled and told “I think you should study the art of writing.” Assuming she was referring to my poor grammar, I frowned. Another smile and the words, “You have a gift with words. Your paper made me laugh so much. I think you need to join our writing group.”
At twelve years old, I never thought about being a writer. I mean, yeah, I enjoyed English classed and I loved to read but how was I supposed to be able to write like writers do? Lo and behold, I learned how and I struggle when I can’t get any writing done.
The reason why I write is complicated, to say the least. I grew up in an abusive environment. My father for the most part was out of my life and I was a very depressed little girl. On top of that, I am one of the first classes in school that grew up with standardize testing and we always had to write that way. Since I was young I was taught to journal; to write down what I was feeling as a why to express myself. It had become second nature for most of my childhood but it was always for my therapist and me. It wasn’t until that moment that I realized that I could use that skill and turn it into something else.
I guess what I am trying to get at is, for me at least, writing is a way for me to express myself and open up in away that is comfortable for me. At the same time, writing has help me cope with things that I didn’t know how to handle. Writing helps me create things that let’s me entertain and amaze the world around me!
As I am typing this up, a tear rolls down my cheek. For me, writing is like breathing; if I can’t write, I die. A little dramatic but it’s true. I love to share writing with others. Some view writing as a lot of work. I enjoy every minute of it (even the days I want to pull my hair out). I won’t change it for the world.