Just Get It Written

Dream, Create, and Make It Happen …


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I’m a Tortoise, Not A Hare (IWSG)

Writing is like driving at night in the fog. You can only see as far as your headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way. – E. L. Doctorow

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It’s the first Wednesday of the month, which means it’s time for our group posting for IWSG. Insecure Writer’s Support Group is the brainchild of Ninja Captain Alex J. Cavanaugh, and his co-hosts for April are Suzanne Furness, Tonja Drecker, Toi Thomas, Rachna Chhabria, Fundy Blue, and Donna Hole!

As A-Z’ers kick off the A-Z Challenge and Campers get busy for a month of Camp NaNoWriMo, I find myself stuck as everyone else surges forward this crazy month. A-Z has always seemed so daunting to me, but Camp seemed like a good idea, especially since I really had fun with it last year.

In the end, I had to make a decision: Do I get back to creating, or do I stick with revising? I could have countless drafts and it won’t do me any good if I can’t see something to the very end—something that I would actually be proud to let others read (which is an insecurity that I will save for another day). There are times when I feel like I’m going in circles, reading and revising the same chapters over and over again. Is there any point to all of this, or am I deceiving myself? Am I chasing something that will never be? But I still love the story, and no matter how long a break I take from writing, I inevitably keep coming back. That, at least, has to mean something, doesn’t it?

One of my current WIP’s is my Camp novel from last year, Lost. It currently sits at 60,940 words. It’s very slow progress, considering I finished Camp with 51k words. I spent a lot of time second-guessing the third person narrative in which it was originally written. I ended up rewriting a portion of it in first person, just to see if that suited the story better. It didn’t. While some parts worked better with the first person voice, the over-all story suffered from it. So back to third person I went.

Maybe it’s a natural progression, something I had to do and see for myself, to see how the narrative plays out. Or maybe I wouldn’t have wasted all that time if I had a writers group or a CP. Who knows? Sometimes it feels like I’m hardly moving at all.

Do you find yourself rewriting scenes in different points of view, just to see how it works out? At what stage of writing/revisions do you feel confident enough to show your novel to others? How did you find your writers group and/or critique partner, if you have one? Any tips on how to find one?


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Celebrate The Small Things

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Celebrate The Small Things, is a weekly blog hop, wherein we post our celebrations, big and small, every Friday. Thanks to our host VikLit and my fellow co-hosts Diana Wilder, LG Keltner@Writing Off the Edge, and Katie@TheCyborg Mom for all their hard work!

With only a week left in October, I have to ask myself, where has time gone? I can’t believe NaNoWriMo is in one week! And I had planned to participate this year, except now I don’t know if I have the energy for it. Hopefully, the weekend start will be enough to get me into gear.

So what am I celebrating?

  1. Got my plane ticket booked for the Christmas holidays, and only at a minor inconvenience of switching airlines, as everything else was sold out. My fault for waiting this long to get my travel plans in order.

  2. Have been really enjoying Japanese restaurant near work. Highly recommend trying tsukumen if you have never before!

  3. Democracy. It’s something I take for granted, I suppose. It’s not a perfect system and being able to choose your own leader does not always mean you get a good one. But seeing how hard the students are fighting for it in Hong Kong, and continue to fight, makes me think that I’m lucky enough to not have to fight for it.

Some photos from one of the protest sites …

Admiralty

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What are you celebrating this week? Are you participating in NaNoWriMo? What preparations have you made leading up to it? I’m maggie_hk over at the NaNo site if you want to be buddies!

 


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I Am Done!

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That’s it, I’m done with Camp NaNoWriMo! I clocked in at 51,376 words; 51,358 by Camp NaNoWriMo’s count. But more importantly, I reached my goal of actually finishing the first draft. *happy dance

I haven’t begun to re-read yet so I’m not sure what I will find. I expect the word count to go up in revisions as I flesh out the scenes I’d left bare and pretty much skipped. Revising this draft would be some kind of hell, I’m sure. Joy! I just need to remind myself things could be worse when that time comes.

With two days one day left in April, I’ll be trying to finish a short piece I’ve put off and hopefully get some time to recharge before I start things again in May.

To everyone who has encouraged me and cheered me on, thank you! And a big shout out to all the wonderful peeps I shared this journey with. You guys rock!

As the month comes to a close, how is everyone doing with your own goals and writing?

 

My Camp NaNoWriMo Novel, Lost:

When two friends go to England for a holiday and one of them goes missing, chaos ensues and life as they know it will never be the same again.

 


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The End Is Near … Celebrate!

The end of April, that is, and by extension, Camp NaNoWriMo. I’m now at the 40K mark. I have less than 10k words to go, with five days left to do it. I need to get some writing done if I’m going to make it. We’re getting down to the wire!

And to all the writers (and even non-writers) out there, don’t you just feel that this song resonates a little too much with you?

Yes? No? Just me then? *hides

 

I was supposed to do this last week but was in holiday mode that I totally forgot (I’m such a flake lol). Winterbayne has been lovely enough to compile a list of Camp participants here and regardless of how everyone’s word count stands at the moment, I’m sure we all have something to be proud of.

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Now on to my Celebrations:

  1. Progress of my Camp NaNo novel. There’s some pretty bad writing and skipping whole scenes going on but if I can crunch it to the finish line, I think I can actually finish the first draft, which for me would be an absolute win because we all know how long it takes for me to finish first drafts.

  2. Got a piece of writing (non-Camp related) done. One down, one more to go. Wish me luck!

  3. The weekend of course! I’ve been feeling under the weather these last few days so looking forward to the time off.

Celebrate The Small Things is a blog hop hosted by VikLit wherein we post our celebrations, big and small, each Friday.

What are you celebrating? And as the month comes to a close, how are you doing with your goals?


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A “Good Friday” to Celebrate the Small Things

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It’s Friday, which means Celebrate The Small Things with our awesome host, VikLit.

My celebrations:

  1. It’s Easter holidays, which means a long weekend (yay!)

  2. It’s also a time of gratitude as we remember what Easter is all about–sacrifice, a new beginning and God’s love for us (I know I don’t think of this often enough!)

  3. I’m now at 25,207 words for Camp NaNoWriMo. Still behind but finally broke my halfway goal.  I may post a snippet of my WIP after April (we’ll see how confident I feel!) but for now, I’m sharing my WIP’s theme song, Ships In The Night.

How’s Easter going for you and what are you celebrating this week? I’ll be hopping around the other blogs after Easter. I hope everyone else is enjoying their holidays.


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Mid-Novel Slump – How Do You Deal With It?

Neil Gaiman

As we reach the halfway mark of Camp NaNoWriMo, some will find themselves hitting the infamous mid-month slump. If you’re on track with your writing goals, you should be halfway through your novel by now. And if you’re behind, well, you’re probably beginning to panic, which brings me to Pep Talks.

Over the course of the month, you get pep talks from famous writers who share their words of wisdom and encourage you on this crazy, wonderful journey you’ve decided to take. What could be better than that?

Camp NaNoWriMo apparently has this feature, too, although on a smaller scale, it would seem, as they’re delivered directly to your inboxes.

It’s the 14th, which means I should have 23,334 words by now. At 20,040 words, I’m still two days behind. A few days ago, I hit my “mid-month slump,” way ahead of schedule. Writing was becoming more and more like pulling teeth. I had to force myself to keep writing, skipping ahead with the scenes, because otherwise I’d not get anything written.

All of us go through this, that moment when you wonder if you should simply give up on this story and move on to the next shiny thing. You begin to wonder whether anyone else but you would care about your novel and your characters. As a matter of fact, you probably want to stab each and every one of your characters by now for being the boring, uncooperative lot that they are.

It is easy to fall into this trap and go through an endless loop of never-finished stories. In these times, we need more than ever to have that cheerleader: someone who’s going to tell you to keep at it, someone who believes in you even when you have lost faith in yourself. Not everyone will have that, unfortunately.

There are way too many amazing pep talks but for today, I want to focus on the one given by Neil Gaiman.

In his pep talk, he sums up the frustration and despair that we go through when writing. We are not unique in this; all writers go through it. The difference is whether we choose to give up or forge on. As much as we’d like to believe, there is no magic formula. It’s all just hard work and we have to be prepared to do it.

As Neil Gaiman put it: One word after another. That’s the only way that novels get written. So keep on keeping on. Write another word and then another.

Which part of your novel do you find hardest to get through–the beginning, middle, or the end? How do you deal with it? And if you’re participating in Camp NaNoWriMo, how is your writing going so far?


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Crush The Inner Critic, Camp NaNoWriMo Style

When I first started this blog, my intention was to motivate myself and others to simply get the story written, without worrying about the tedious road ahead of revisions and publishing. After all, what is the point of letting your fears cripple you if you haven’t even written the novel? Sometimes we all need to be reminded to focus on the present, the things that are within our control, instead of being obsessed about the future.

In my first post, I talked about the advice I received from William Shawcross. I’d told him I was an aspiring writer but find myself hard pressed to continue sometimes even though I know where the story is headed. How do you deal with that? And so he shared with me the quote that he keeps next to his computer: Don’t get it right, get it written by James Thurber. I may not have gone and put up the quote next to my workspace but my blog serves as a reminder. And when I’m staring at a particularly bad piece of writing and tempted to press that delete button, I repeat that mantra to myself: Just get it written.

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Camp NaNoWriMo kicked off a week ago and so far I have written 10,054 words out of my target of 50k words. I am still behind and will likely fall further behind during the week but that’s OK. I have 10k more words now than I started with.

NaNoWriMo is certainly not for everyone and I know a lot of people who are against the very concept. How can you produce a novel in a month? There are enough books out there already and we don’t need more NaNo-written novels cluttering the (virtual) shelves out there.

I think what’s important to remember is that NaNoWriMo never claimed you would have a publishable book in a month. It’s supposed to be getting that first draft out of you, which for some people, is one of the hardest things. NaNoWriMo is about forcing yourself to write freely, without care for grammar, voice, or any of those things. NaNoWriMo is about giving yourself permission to suck as you get that first draft out of you.

As Nora Roberts said, You can’t fix a blank page.

And that is what NaNoWriMo is about: turning your blank pages into pages filled with words. Once you’re done with that, then you can go back and fix it, in that little something called revisions. That is where you make your novel as close as possible to the perfect vision you had of it in your head.

So next time you find yourself frustrated with how horrible your writing is going, tell yourself: Don’t get it right, just get it written. (After all) you can’t fix a blank page.

Do you put up little reminders or quotes in your workspace? How do you quiet your inner editor as you go through your first draft?


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D is for Don’t Stop Believin’ and Celebratin’

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If you’ve been following my blog, then you know I love to do the more than occasional song share. Although I’m not doing A-Z , I thought it’d be fun to pick a song that starts with the letter D today and encourage everyone.

Don’t Stop Believin’

Believe in yourself. Believe in your dreams. Believe that even if things aren’t working out; sooner or later, one way or another, they will always sort themselves out.

So whatever you do, don’t stop believin’ …

What do I believe and celebrate this week?

My 3700 words written for Camp NaNoWriMo. Yes, I’m still behind on my Camp goals but I believe I will make it.  I have made a bit of progress as my stats page now says I will be finished by May 25, instead of the July 3 of two days ago. And if I don’t make it to 50k, that’s OK too. I would still have more words than I started with and as long as I continue writing, I will get there eventually (see what I just did there? LOL)

I confess I was a Gleek in the earlier seasons of the show (please don’t judge me) and always found this version more uplifting, so I’m sharing Glee‘s pilot episode version instead. For those who prefer the original, I’ve included an awesome live version by Journey.

Come and celebrate with us in Celebrate The Small Things. Huge thanks VikLit for hosting!

What are you celebrating this week? Have you ever despaired of seeing your dreams come true? How did you deal with it? What are you doing to work towards achieving that dream?


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Kicking Off April with Camp NaNoWriMo and IWSG

InsecureWritersSupportGroup2IWSG is a support group for writers and we do our group posting on the first Wednesday of each month. Special thanks to our host Alex J. Cavanaugh and his co-hosts Hart Johnson, Chemist Ken, Candilynn Fite, Terri Rochenski, Clare Dugmore, and Lilica Blake for this awesome blog hop.

April, for me, is Camp NaNoWriMo, wherein I attempt to write a chick lit about two friends who travel to England and the mess they get themselves into when one of them goes missing during the trip.

I have my Camp badge up on the sidebar which links to my Stats page over in Camp. At my current pace, I will finish on July 3, long after Camp NaNo ends on April 30. As you can see, I’m off to a slow start but it’s only the second day so there’s still time yet to get back on track.

I’m also happy to announce that I’ve finished the draft I’ve been talking about for the last two IWSG sessions. Yes, it still needs revisions but it feels good to finally have the story out of my head into actual written words. Thanks to everyone for the support and input!

Whether you’re doing Camp NaNoWriMo, A-Z Challenge, or something else, April promises to be a very busy month in the blogging/writing community.

What are you goals for April? Are you participating in any of the Challenges? How’s your writing going?


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Celebrate The Small Things – Endings and Beginnings

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Celebrate The Small Things is a blog hop wherein we post our celebrations (big and small) every Friday. Thanks to our host VikLit for this awesome hop!

It’s the last Friday of the month (time flies by so fast!) and I’m here to celebrate:

  1. Getting moved successfully. Moving is hard, packing and unpacking, getting used to new surroundings. I definitely miss the old place but such is life. We have to keep moving and things are only new for so long before we get used to them.

  2. I finally finished Draft 2.5 of my novel. Yes, I’m calling it 2.5 because I’ve gone and tinkered with it so much. I’m also announcing my draft as “done” after blogging about it for the last two months. Of course, it’s far for from being actually finished as I face the road of more revisions ahead. For now, I’m setting it aside and will probably come back to it after Camp NaNoWriMo.

  3. Another award! Thanks to CeeLee for the nomination. Watch out for my post sometime soonish!

  4. I reached over 100 blog followers sometime in the last week. Thank you Blogs with < 100 Followers, hosted by the wonderful people at A-Z Challenge, for being there from the start. You guys rock! (And if you haven’t signed up for A-Z yet, it’s not too late to sign up! They’re coming very close to 2000 bloggers).

  5. Four more days till Camp NaNoWriMo. Got some outline done but will probably be pantsing my way for the rest of it. I’ve met some wonderful people in the process of gearing up for it and together, we are taking this one crazy adventure. And that, I think, is one of the best things to celebrate about–the people we meet and the relationships we form along the way.

What are you celebrating this week?


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