Well, actually just one lesson.
Do not open a document in Outlook email, work on it, add 2000 words to it and then save it and go to bed.
It will not be there when you wake up in the morning and want to look at it, with fresh eyes. No, no it won’t. You will be devastated and stare at the computer, mouth agape, for the better part of an hour while desperately typing phrases like ‘recover documents vista’ into google, hoping for a miracle. You won’t find one. And so you’ll have to spend your Wednesday night sulking while you muster up some energy to RETYPE whatever you typed the night before.
But you won’t feel like it, because what you typed last night was brilliant and inspired. What you’re retyping is so much cud, just regurgitated from memory. Your mojo will be gone and you’ll have to do something to bring it back.
But somewhere around 11:30, your mojo, your writing fu will laze it’s way in and leisurely hang up the keys and slip off it’s jacket and untie it’s shoes and at some point get around to giving you some motivation and inspiration.
And at 1:07 am, you’ll find yourself back in the spot you were in the night before. And you will feel awesome about it- but you’ll also learn your lesson and choose to SAVE AS and save it in two different places and email it to yourself. You know, just to be sure.
Just so you know, that’s what’s going to happen. So do not follow my lead or my example. Do it the right way, download it and save it and then edit it.
Cause if you don’t…….well WHO KNOWS what will happen?
Fuel Your Writing (which, by the way, is a fantastic new site published by the Fuel Brand of sites. Writing tips and guidelines and commiserations galore. Follow them at @fuelyourwriting or follow them on Facebook) published a new post today, which I think was written just for me, for two reasons: a) I have a mild problem with buying writing books but not reading them. But really, I have an excuse and that is that they are packed up, and I can’t unpack them because I don’t have a place to unpack them TO. And SO. I haven’t cracked open a writing book in… it’s been a while, alright? Today I am going desk hunting or at the very least bookcase hunting and I hope I find something I want to bring home and set up and call my very own, so that I can have a writing spot and SPACE for books. and b) I need a style guide. I mean, there is really only so much that the internet can do for you, until you find 12 different sites with just as many differing viewpoints and you don’t know which to choose, and so you close your eyes and pick one and hope no one reads it and goes “…..is that right? Is that how… hmm. I would have thought… did you look that up???”
Vacation was fantastic. Subperbly fantastic. It was great to see my family and all my friends on both sides of the state of Washington. Yay. It was a much needed, well deserved, and thoroughly enjoyed break. I have some photos if anyone cares– snaps 1 and snaps 2! Unfortunately I didn’t have much time for reading OR writing on vacation. I suppose that’s what a real vacation is though. Time away from everything you spend all your time doing. Nonetheless, I am back in action and ready to get back in the writing saddle. I’m looking for a desk and a chair to put in my study so I can start furnishing that room and have a place to write that isn’t a couch or a bed. Vacation gave me some good time and space and I feel like I might be able to get my arms around my latest project. I’ve had some feeedback on the first chapter and the accolades range from ‘what?’ to ‘really good’. *shrug*. Dunno what to do with that, so… onward ho! I have a chapter to consider and edit and a chapter to plan, outline andwrite. Weeeeeee! It’s good to be home,
Uhm. So, when I said I was going to attempt a new project, a lot of people said ‘oh, the first chapter is the hardest! Get that out of the way and you’ll be good to go!’ To those people I’d like to say— No. Because for me, the start is always the easiest and most exciting. It’s where I feel like I am finally accomplishing things and getting these ideas swirling around in my head out and on “paper”. I’m excited and I’m purposeful and I’m typing and fingers are flying and I’m DOING IIIIITTTTTTT! But then I get to the end of Chapter 1 and think… well. Now what? Because this is where I am. And here is where a little bit of fear creeps in because I realize that I know what I want this story to be about but I don’t have a freaking clue what happens in it. Odd, huh? And then I think ‘what kind of a writer has no clue what happens in their story?’ And there’s where I have to stop myself and focus on something else. So I figured out that I need to find out what actually happens in this story– what are the little valleys between the peaks of major action? I consulted my favorite reference– Al Gore’s internet– and came upon some tips on creating the story arc, which I hope will help me plot out the pieces. The following is from. Writing a Novel by Nigel Watts (by way of dailywritingtips.com):
So, anyone who is paying attention to this blog (which I think is just me) might have noticed that I added something new to my Writers Write page, which is the list of projects that I’m working on. YAY. This has been a long time coming– really long, almost a year. For about a year I have been writing drabbles and exercises and snips and shorts and fanfiction, in preparation for writing something completely original, out of my brain. On the one hand, I’m excited, really excited because this is a new step for me. On the other hand, I’m scared out of my mind. For really no reason. It’s just scary to me for some reason. I’ve had this idea rolling around in my head for months, now. I started doing some research on it a few months ago and I have a long way to go but I’ve at least started the project (I feel better calling it a project than a book because if I call it a book then I hyperventilate and then tell myself I’m ridiculous for thinking I could write a book that anyone wants to read) and I’m just going to keep pushing forward. No matter how stupid or kind of YA or juvenile I think my storyline might be (because it’s kind of leaning toward YA, which wasn’t really my goal, but… it will grow up pretty quickly, in the coming chapters, which I hope will rescue it from the YA genre. But I guess, if it ends there, it ends there. At least I wrote it), I’m going to keep on trucking. I think I have a very rough chapter 1. Could add more but I’m going to leave it, for now but I’m happy with the foundation I’ve begun to set. I’m also using yWriter for the first time and I have to say that for a new project, the setup takes a LOT of time and a lot of […]
I know it’s hard to believe, but I’m a very simple person. I don’t drive an extravagant model of car. I mean, I drive a KIA. It’s worth $6.99. I don’t have a lot of clothes. The clothes I do have aren’t anywhere near designer or anything. I don’t particularly like really fancy food. In fact, the fancier the food, the less I probably like it. A great night out, for me, is hanging with some friends, having a slice or two from Fellini’s Pizza, and then watching a bad movie on cable. So why, when it comes to writing, I try to get all fancified, I don’t know. But it isn’t working. So I need to get back to what worked. and what worked was being simple. Simple meant one, singular goal: To improve my craft and skill at the art of telling a story. I have done that, by mere consequence of writing more and reading more, but it used to be that I would pick out a trait that I didn’t like about my writing, or read an instructional book on writing and put those skills to work. That was why I was writing such things as fanfiction and drabbles and snippets and such and such. It wasn’t so much the story– though it was, some, the story– it was the skill. I was inspired to improve on certain things, one skill at a time. Was I writing effective dialogue? Showing, not telling? Eliminating adverbs? Using descriptive imagery? Creating more effective transitions between people, or events, or gaps of time? Simple meant enjoyment: writing to enjoy the process, to enjoy reading it back, to enjoy hearing how others liked reading it or how it impacted them and in what ways they could relate. Lately, it’s like dragging myself to the computer, and I avoid writing because I just no longer enjoy doing it. It’s now more pressure on myself to ‘finish the project’ and not enjoy writing […]
It’s official! 6 weeks, 12 lessons, 8 assignments, 12 quizzes, one final exam and I am a graduate of Advanced Fiction Writing! \o/ This was my first class and I really enjoyed it. Started off kind of easy but then it got a little more difficult, which I didn’t mind at all. I picked up some great tips, and techniques, dos & don’ts and now I have all of the lesson plans saved for future reference– a really good starting point along with all of the writing books I have bought (and haven’t finished– I have an excuse, they’re all packed up!) So now I am thinking I will take another, but not sure. Write Like a Pro starts July 15th, I may take that one, or some other selection. I’ll be traveling through some of that, so not sure but I’m tempted! Anyway, YAY!
It’s time for the word count that I forgot to do on June 30th. I need to set some kind of reminder! I started doing this at the beginning of the year, based on a Livejournal community doing the same thing. I missed the deadline by a few days :( so I decided to challenge myself to do it. The idea is based upon the adage that only 10% of your material will be usable, and if that’s true then the only way to produce quality writing is to write more. So in order to write more … I uhm…. write. More. Hence, Get Your Words Out. What Counts? For the structured program, any purposeful writing– blogs, snippets, drabbless, short stories, long form, etc. For me, I count anything I wrote on purpose except for blog posts. And I don’t think I counted anything I wrote for the writing class, since they tended to only be a paragraph or two at most. My Progress I started the year with a goal of 200,000 words, mostly because I had just started really writing and wasn’t sure what I was capable of. It sounded like a good, lofty goal that I could work hard to achieve. Months later, I realized I was going to surpass my goal because I am, as they say in literary circles, wordy. *shrug* I met my goal in May, and reset it to 300,000. I’ll just keep moving it until I hit December 31 and we’ll see where I end up. I plan to do NaNoWriMo this year so that will be 50,000 words– I’m sure to surpass 300.000 by November 30. Let’s see where I am so far! Goal: 300,000 Previous Count:249568 New Words: 18613 New Count: 268,271 Words to go: 31,729 I’m very excited about that number! \o/ It represents a lot, for me. Mostly that I am doing something I never thought I could do. And the more I do it, the better I […]
Test test test testing!!!!!! Testing Windows Live Writer as a desktop application for WordPress. Pretty neat! We’ll see how it looks when its published, though. And Happy 4th!!
I can’t. CANNOT. take anymore right now. It just occurred to me tonight that I haven’t blogged since last week, but I set up this blog to be my writing blog and not a personal one (because my personal life is so boring even *I* am not interested in it, let alone enough to write about it. There’s nothing exciting about ‘got up, went to work, came home, wrote, went to sleep’. Meh) and I haven’t really had much ‘writey’ things to blog about. And, I find that I can either write, or I can blog about writing. I’d rather write, so I’ve been plugging toward completion on my WIP. Soon, these voices will stop talking to me (or each other) in my head, and I can move on to some other voices. I recently finished a writing class and I’d like to take another one, so I’m on the hunt for something I can do online or via correspondence that doesn’t cost 17 million dollars. I got a lot out of the class I took, namely the correct terms for things I’ve been doing instinctively, and tried to break some bad habits (like adverbs). I picked up tips on effective story telling, drawing the audience in and even a great chapter on dialogue. I wrote a few pieces for the class as well, short snippets that are somewhere along the weekly posts I was doing. I’d like to take another because, well frankly, I feel like I need to be pushed a bit harder. Of course, I’m scared of being pushed harder, but right now while I’m not being pushed, I think I need it. I review my twitter list several times a day and sometimes I’m just so jealous at the talent I see. People working hard on 2nd, 3rd, 5th, 12th books, plugging away at them and offering great advice. I feel so way behind everyone else and like I’m the kindergartner looking at the big kids […]