Sunday, July 31, 2011

The deal with Muses and How to Find Yours

       I've done a lot of research about Writing Muses. I've found a lot of weird advice, from surrounding myself with people in sync with the universe, to always using your lucky pen.
      Basically from what I can gather, muse comes from the nine chicks who inspired Greeks to write and sculpt, and sing. Really I think the Greeks came up with that so they didn't have to share where they got their ideas from, but whatever. There are about four muses that kinda deal with Writing. Calliope, owns Epic Poetry (What makes some poetry Epic and other not I don't know) Erato, rules love poetry, Melpomene, who has dibs on Tragedy, and Thalia, who's all about comedy.
      Now and days people think of Muses more as actions and things than these nine very average looking women. It's also like their crack. Not that they have to get their supply from some sleazy street dealer, in that they rely on it. It's like superstition for writing.

     Honestly I think it's all a head game. Like  "If I don't wear my hat a certain way or do this or this or this, It's impossible for me to write" Now I've found a problem with that. You start messing yourself up in the head when you think like that. You'll have a herd time writing if you absolutely can not write if you don't have a hot glass of tea beside you, because one day you'll run out of tea or break your favorite mug or something like that and psyche yourself out of writing which breaks habits and streaks.

      Muses seem to be an excuse for your own awesomeness or your own crappiness. "Oh I only was able to do this awesome thing with the thanks of my muse." or more likely "I only did this piece of crap work because my muse left me." It's all excuses.  Now it's OK to have a little thing you do to get you into "the zone" when you're writing. Look at people who play sports, I'll give you a hint someone not like me, they'll do little things like rubbing last year's winning trophy or something like that before a game. The difference between touching a trophy and your writing muse is that your muse is a fickle thing. A trophy will always be a trophy, but your muse can alter, change and evolve little by little.

     I think a lot of people find their muses subconsciously, then when they figure out they should get one, they don't realize they already have one and they freak. Let's look at how I write. I wake up first thing in the morning, before I even get out of bed and I push out 500 words at the least. This makes me feel like I've started something and I need to finish it. So by the end of the day I come home still thinking about my story and how much of it I want to write for my daily goal. That's a muse! Another thing, I love graphs, so I'll write down my word count every day, and at the end of the month I'll write those up into a spread sheet and see visually how I've done. It's also cool to compare days in my writing log with days in my Journal to see what mood I write best in. (I've actually found out I write more when I feel like sleeping)

     Take a sec to look at yourself and see what gets you working. Maybe it's rewards (Definitely not me,) did you write 2000 words today? yes. BOOM! you get to wear a Toy Story 3 bandage on that Misquote bite that kinda hurts but doesn't really need a band aid. Or are you like me and you work best under pressure? If so Try using Write or Die, I work better with punishments than rewards (and believe me Write or die has some pretty harsh punishments,) Nothing to be to scared of though. Another thing you can do as a pressure person is wait until the last minute to do your writing. Now this won't work unless you've got a fixed deadline and some consequences. This is mainly for school work for me, I can churn out a really good paper in one night if it's do the next day but not if I do it a week before. Anyway, figure out what is working for you and stop worrying about finding your "muse" because it's all a head game. Spend your time Writing, not finding your muse.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

An odd Thing

      I'm currently in day three of a second self inflicted WriMo. My last WriMo in July failed horribly, because of lack of motivation, and lack of consistency. I feel like this month will be different.
    Not only do I want to have my novel finished the 22nd of August, because of school, it would also be really nice to finish this so I can start working on some short stories.
     I've gotten myself into a massive Word War with an author I meet off Twitter.  A word war is normally what WriMo contestants do to boost their word count. Normally two or three people set a time of say twenty minutes and see who can write the most words in that time. Me and James Tallett, author of the Four Part lands series, have erupted into a WriMo challenge of 50k words by August 31. I will say it's been giving me some super motivation to keep writing.
      While I'm writing I can already tell all my scenes are out of order, and I have these huge plot holes, and I can just tell editing is going to be a mess. It's really killing me not having things better organized. I've been trying to stop myself from going back and editing things because right now I know there's just to much for me to fix to not have the whole story written. If I start editing, I'll never finish, leaving me halfway with a story. I was up late reading all the pep talks on the WriMo site from the past years. I'm a total Nerdfighter, so I really loved John Green's pep talk. He talks about how we have follies, and writers will give up on a story half way through because they get bored, or the suckiness of their book tells them to stop writing. While I'm not at the halfway point just yet, i feel like that's what went wrong on my first WriMo challenge.
     I'm totally gonna finish this time, and It's going to be amazing, and after I write my 50k I'm going out to celebrate with bowling or something. If I don't finish I'll probably just sit in my room and hide for a few days while James soaks up the glory of winning, But I'm not gonna let that happen!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Writers are Like Whores

This is something from my Journal I wrote on the 21st. 
     "I've realized something about this writing thing, it's that I want to do this for the rest of my life. That's a very scary thing when you think about it. I feel like writing is what's really important to me, and I love it.
      It's like I know I'll publish a book one day. It may be a long while from now, but I know It's going to happen. That gives me motivation to keep writing, making a blog post, and skipping hanging out with friends to write."

  One Part of realizing I'm going to be doing this for the rest of my life, is that it gives me a sort of easiness about everything else. Like I don't have to worry about what I'm going to do when I grow up, or any of that. I mean sure I'll get some job to pay bills later down the line, but It's a comfort knowing I've got writing.
      Writing is like a tool I have, It relaxes me, makes me get excited about something. It's the best anti-depressant. It's a bigger gush of power, and freedom than what comes with having my own computer, and my own license and my own car. Honestly I don't see how people are getting through their days without writing something that they put themselves into. 
        Isn't that what writing is? Putting bits of our self into these stories so other people can experience us. It's like writers are soul whores.
        A lot of times I feel that I write for a future me, especially in my diary. I write so people will know about me, my family, the people I love, and the times I live in. I've always had this idea that we're suppose to leave this world better than we found it, and writing is my way of doing that. I'm always at my best when I'm writing. 

      On a lighter note, one of my good friends asked me if I like this one girl. Apparently every girl I sorta kinda know thinks I hate them because I'm such a loaner. Literally I've had someone ask me if I didn't like someone because I'm apparently not friendly or something like that.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Half Way Point

                                                   My 2010 Writer Resolutions and Goals:

1)Write Every Day
2) Finish and Submit a Manuscript
3)Read one book I don't think I'll like per month
4) Get a 90 in English
5)Journal Every Day
6) Read Everything I can get my hands on and stop complaining about how boring it is
7) Find something everyday to inspire me
8) stop drinking soda

This is literally my goals from my first ever blog post. Seeing as it's July, the halfway point of our year, I think It's a good time for some self evaluation.

Hmm, very interesting. Seeing as school is over I'll cross off four. Recently I've been writing everyday. Probably not as much as I should be but it's a start. I have finished a Manuscript, but have yet to submit it. (I think I'll scratch the last part of that goal because no where in there does it have editing.) I haven't been reading books I don't like at all so that one's out the window. Read everything hasn't happened either. Find something to inspire me every day. Yeah no. and stop drinking soda. I have done that one. 

    Ok so thus far this year I've done nothing but stop drinking soda, finish a sad excuse for a manuscript. Written a but load of blog posts, Journaled Everyday (Most days) and complain about how I'm not a writer yet. It's time to adjust these goals baby!!

My 2010 half way point Writer Resolutions and Goals:
1) Write at LEAST 1,000 words a day, preferably 2,000
2)Finish and start editing a manuscript for Submission
3) Read one NonFiction book about something that interests me.
4) Do my Summer reading assignments before school starts on the 22 of August
5) Continue journaling every day, add length to my entries, and start holding on to keepsakes for my journal
6) Categorize my time into Writing, Personal, work, and free time. Then spend two thirds of free time reading.
7) Find something Everyday to Inspire me, and post it online to a Tumblr or second blog or something.
8) Set up a normal sleep schedule again and stop eating fried foods. 
9) Grow my personal Library by spending a set amount of money on Books per paycheck. 

Now the question is how am I going to make these goals unlike I did the others? Well I've already taped these goals on my mirror so I don't forget them. I know it's a dumb trick but I've seen it work. I'm also starting a separate notebook dedicated entirely to my goals. 
     If anyone has any other tips, or they want to share their goals hit me up:) Ya'll rock.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

The Thing with Short Stories

   I hear tons of Authors talk about how when they were young the made themselves sit down and write one short story per week for...forever. I've tried writing short stories, I really have. I just can't for the love of my Characters have so little happen to them. See, here's the thing with my characters, I spend a lot of time modeling them, and talking with them, and thinking about them. Maybe you don't do that with short stories but I'll just say it feels wrong, It's like a one Night Stand.
    We spend all this time with our Manuscripts to a point where if feels like we're dating them. Right now I feel like I'm married to mine, and I'd feel bad moving around so much. (OMG I totally date like that too, ha who said you need a life for Life Lessons).I suppose if we're going to compare this dating thing to writing we may as well go all in.
     When you're young, you shouldn't be in these deep relationships where you spend all this time. You're still growing, and finding out what you like and don't like in people The same goes with books. When we're young we need to write stories, and write a lot of em to know what we like to write, how we like to write it, and all that junk. Eventually We'll get "Married" to a full length book, but for now It shouldn't be my main goal.
    Wow when I wrote this I didn't think I would be making this huge discovery *FacePalm*. I think I'm going to try harder with writing short stories. First I should probably start reading some short stories (Anybody got any haha) then writing them. I think I'll probably keep going with my manuscript for now, but I think after this one I'll tuck it in the vault for six months. September I'm going to devote all my writing to short stories, this is a time between when I should be done with my second Manuscript, and before my first comes out of the vault.
     Anyone got any tips when It comes to short story writing and how it's different from writing novels? I love the support you guys, and I'll see ya next time :) DFTBA

Friday, July 22, 2011


      As far as plotting for my second Novel, I want to make sure I'm keeping a record of how I'm doing it so I don't forget next time around. I'm using Note cards cut in half so save on cost. I started out buy writing the major things that I know I want to happen then spread those all out in order. Then I started filling the spaces with new note cards with new scenes or ideas.
     Secondly I've started a chart very much like JK Rowlings for the Order of Phoenix. A chapter column, a month column, then across the top I listed all my plot lines. Then I just filled things in. Coming up with my plot lines wasn't that hard. After having thought about my story for so long I pretty much know where I want this to end up.
     Another thing I did was lay all my note cards out on a huge wipe board in order, then use a marker to draw my plot line, labeling my catalyst, climax, and other things. For that thought I mostly worked out the months of things.
     I'm really motivated to get this first draft over with before August 22, the first day of school. Stephen King says in his book "On Writing" that First Drafts of Books shouldn't take more than three months. I feel like that's what went wrong with my first manuscript. I spent so long on the first half, that by the time I got halfway I was just tired of my story and just wanted it to be over with. Besides that I like starting fresh with the new school year, I think I'd want to get back into my study habits before I really get into writing my third manuscript, just so I don't completely fail tenth grade.
      It's getting to a point where all I'm thinking about is my novel, or getting it published. I'm a little embarrassed to say all I've done this morning is wake up, put my contacts in, and write this blog post. Next I'm going for breakfast and a shower, then I'll be writing until I have to go to work tonight. Is this obsession normal?

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Vlogging, Classes, and other things

     I've thought about starting up a youtube channel where I vlog about writing and share tips and things. I actually tried one video and let me just say vloging is very different from blogging. Much like blogging and writing, Vlogging takes a lot of time and planning, not to mention editing. I tried, but I just don't think I want to spend my time making videos when I could be writing. Maybe later down the line I'll start some videos but I'm just not sure I want to invest into that while I still need to spend so much time practicing my craft.
    I went to my first creative writing class tonight, held by my public Library. It was originally suppose to be for teens, but there were so few people that they let the two adults who came stay. It was literally me, my friend I forced to come with me, this old Asian lady who ended up only wanting to know how to write a how to book on dealing with your adult children, and this other lady who didn't talk much but took notes the whole time. There was also this little girl, maybe ten, who I think came with the teacher so she doesn't count.
    We started with an exercise where they had "After dinner our host told us the house was said to be..." and we had to finish the sentence. We all got sharpies and wrote our answers on the butcher paper. I said built on an Indian burial ground. Most of the answers had to do with ghosts and hunting's and things. After we did a character exercise where they showed us an old lady smiling with her dog. We all decided she was a Psychology professor who went crazy after the loss of her son in 9/11 and is soon diagnosed as cancer. After that we did a flash fiction about our character we created and all shared ours. People went very different ways.
   My friend had the lady in a assisted living center for crazy people and the dog was brought in to help with therapy for the patients. The Asian lady had the woman start her own business selling dog accessories, and the little girl had her have no friends, her dog die, her house burn down, and her be diagnosed with cancer all in the first few paragraphs.
    We didn't really write much, but we all got a general idea of how our story would play out. After we talked about plot: the three act structure and climaxes and that sort of thing, we spent forever talking about the best form of dictionary and the troubles of using a Thesaurus and other obvious questions.
    I don't really feel like I learned anything I couldn't have from my "Writing Fiction for Dummies" book or on the Internet, but it was free so I suppose I can't complain.
    After everyone else left, my friend and I stayed so I could ask them some questions about the publishing company who talked to me. They said if they ask me for money I should walk away, they also said before I send them a Manuscript I should send one to myself so I can have it post marked and unopened if any question does arise. They also advised I read over anything they have me sign very carefully, and maybe even have a lawyer look over it. Apparently the lady who wrote the Vampire Diaries signed away the rights to her entire series because she didn't look things over well enough.
    Some time next year, either first semester or second, I'm taking a creative writing class. I'm hoping it's not going to be like this one. I'm also kinda hoping my teacher will let me use his room during lunch so I can bring my laptop and write during lunch. Honestly I'd much rather do that than sit and talk with my friends for an hour and a half. I just realized how much of a loaner I'm becoming haha.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Suck long and Hard!

 This is like a huge mash up of all the advice I've ever gotten. Don't waste your time researching all this "How to write" crap because eventually it'll all start sounding the same. Save the hassle and just watch a few videos like this one and start writing, and keep writing.
Here's another from the same youtube channel, if you can't tell I really like these guys :P

and eventually we'll all become crazy playing out guitars and rambling about something while naked on our bed.

Monday, July 18, 2011

A whole New World

     So It's completly diferent having my own computer and license. I've got this weird thing called freedom and can I just say it's awesome. I feel like I've been more productive in my writing the last two days I've had my computer than the last month.
     I'm trying to get into this thing called Evernote. It's like my writing notebook, on the computer,and cell phone, and ipod and stuff. I'm not sure if I like being dependant on my internet access, or the battery life of my phone (Something no one would have a right mind to rely on) But so far I'm really liking it for organizing my writing notes.
      I've been sick the last few days so I can't wait to have things back to normal so I can actually start planning some more writing time. Till next time :)

Sunday, July 17, 2011

I've been awful

      Yesterday I was so pumped about my computer, and the publishing thing I forgot to tell you I've been feeling like complete and utter shit the last few days. Yesterday I left work early nearly crying because I felt like I was about to feint. I've been getting strep throat lately, and it seems like every time I get a cold or flu or something it pops back up. My Dr. is closed til Monday so I guess I'll be chilling for the weekend, I just hope I don't miss to much work.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

So this how it feels...

    So I've finally got my computer and can I just take a second to say this this is freaking amazing! But back to more important things. I got an e-mail from someone interested in publishing my manuscript. They haven't asked for money, or anything else that sounds specious so me and my parents are thinking this is the real thing. They found my manuscript on Inkpop I think, because it's the only place I have it up at, and they're looking at publishing it.
      I'm just in a state of complete and utter amazement at the moment. They haven't said they will so I don't want to set myself up for a letdown but they said they'll review my manuscript and decide if they want to publish it. I've found only one problem...
     I've got to finish the darn thing.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

How's it feel to be 16?

     To be honest it feels like shit. No, not being 16 in general, just being up is shit. I know I know, I'm young and I shouldn't be loathing my birthday until I'm at least late 20's but I'm just thinking I'm 16 now, and I should be so much better at writing than I really am.
    My self moto Wri Mo was a complete bust. I have no clue how I'll manage this come November. I still haven't gotten my computer because my mom and sister decided to start selling Mary Kay which requires $800 dollars of merchandise to start. So I don't get my computer until next payday.
   I am proud to say I finished my first Mokeskine Journal. I plan on putting up a video of me flipping through it once I get my computer. Before I got mine I was always interested what a Writer's Moleskine would look like and I could never find videos or pictures of one so I'm hoping a lot of people will feel more comfortable about writing in them before buying one. I'm on of those researchers. I love looking up reviews and stuff of things I'm going to buy. I'm making mom take me to get a new Mokeskine (Plain large hardback) with $20 dollars I got from my grandma. I can't wait to start journaling again.
     Until I get my computer I'm calling that my excuse to not write. Somebody please knock some since into me for not writing. I've read all the craft books I can afford and they are all starting to sound the same. I just don't know how much longer I can call myself a writer if I'm not writing.