The Babysitting Adventures of Rachel

It’s Gonna Be A Best-Seller…

Starting back in the summer of 2010, I started babysitting two boys. I only watch them during the summer as both of their parents work while the kids are at school, which is nice. They’re one of the few families that actually have the parents home when the kids are home that I know of.

So this is the third summer I’m watching them. The oldest, Jack, is now 13 and the youngest, Sam, is 11. The oldest has ADD while the youngest has ADD and a touch of Autism. They get along really well, but…you know, they’re brothers. Despite their special needs, Jack is actually capable of being home alone for a few hours and watching his little brother. However, he torments poor Sam half of the time. So instead of actually “babysitting” I get paid to “referee.” And it’s funny because last summer was horrible, but Jack has actually matured with age…for a boy. I honestly don’t think I need to be there. But I love hanging out with the two of them, so why not?

Anyway, the whole point of this post is to talk about what Sam wants me to do. We drove my cousin and her friend to their swimming lesson a few weeks ago. The swim lesson was only a half hour long so we stayed there to watch. Sam had his Nintendo DS and his Pokemon to keep himself company. I planned on playing my game, but I found myself caught up in watching the kids swim. But somehow Sam got a hold of my iPod and was looking at my calendar.

“Camp NoNoWr…what?” Sam stammered to read my July entries.

“Camp NaNoWriMo. It stands for National Novel Writing Month.” I laughed at his pronunciation and corrected him.

Of course, Sam has no idea what that is. So I explained the whole thing to him simply. Judging by the look on his face, he wasn’t all that impressed.

“Geez, Rachel…I knew you were a geek, but I didn’t think you were that much of a geek.” he scoffed.

Honestly, I was kind of surprised at how offended I got. Of course I was laughing, but I never really thought writing would be categorized as being a geek. That was certainly the first time I heard that, but I just don’t think Sam knew what to think about it.

“Hey, it’s writing. Writing is my career.” I replied and he stared at me funny. “Well…I want it to be my career. I want to be an author someday…sooner rather than later, I mean. NaNo is something that helps me get closer to that goal.”

From the look on Sam’s face, I now had his attention. And he seemed to understand, too. Yet, he was still confused because he knew I’m going to school to be a teacher and he knows I’m a teacher at a preschool. I explained I went to school for teaching as a day job just in case selling books doesn’t bring in enough money. But I am going to get my Bachelor’s in English. Being with children and writing are two of my favorite things to do. I can easily do both and if writing becomes more of a priority…well, my books are all picture books, middle grade, or young adult. It’s still kid stuff. He nodded an approval at my plan.

Then the wheels in his head began to squeak. Then they moved slowly and before I knew it, the rust was dusted off and the wheels were turning five miles per second.

“The Babysitting Adventures of Rachel!” he exclaimed. “You should write a book all about you and me and all the fun we have together! I bet you it will be a big hit!”

I found this amusing. Sam texts me throughout the school year every once in a while and when the summer nears and his mom and I start planning a schedule for me to babysit, he’s always calling me on the phone super excited. His mom tells me he constantly talks about me and she’s so happy by how much he loves me. If the child is not happy about the babysitter, then there’s an issue somewhere. But I was excited that Sam took an interest in my writing and he was trying to help me out. Although, at first I thought it was just him being 11, but then I realized he was serious.

“You can talk about me and you and Chance!” he continued on and on. “I guess Jack can be in there…maybe you can put Jackie and Katherine in there, too.” Then he whispers: “You know, just to be nice.”

–Let me stop to explain for a moment: Chance is his dog, Jack is his brother (as previously mentioned), Jackie is my cousin (the one who was swimming), and Kat is my other cousin (Jackie’s little sister). Continuing on…–

Then I asked a question I shouldn’t have (but I still thought he was joking): “How long should this book be?”

“Um…100 pages!”

Uh…what? Wow, he really thought this through in the past five minutes, didn’t he? Then he stuck out his hand and I shook it.

“What’s this for?” I asked.

“So I know you’ll definitely do it.”

Well, crap. Now I’m stuck. I have an 11-year-old wanting me to write 100 pages all about our fun together. How was I going to pull this one off? He had to be kidding, right? He was probably going to forget about this whole thing by tomorrow, anyway…right?

After I finished babysitting that day I thought long and hard about our conversation. I began laughing to myself and thought: challenge accepted.

A few days later (yes, he remembered), he told me that he wants it to be 256 pages now. Random number, right? I don’t get it, either. However, I did say challenge accepted, but I don’t think I’m going to be able to write that much about us. All we really do is go in the pool, play with the dog, and play Pokemon. Seriously. I’ll make the story 100-256 pages. No less than 100, no more than 256. But I doubt I’ll get to 256 pages.

I realized that I am probably going to make Sam’s life when I write this book. Of course I’m not going to write it ready for publication, but it helped spark a middle grade series idea (with the help of Kris when I told her this story) that I think I am going to write. And who knows? Maybe it will be the “next big thing.”

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Camp NaNoWriMo

Camp National Novel Writing Month…

 

2013-Participant-Campfire-Facebook-Profile

 

Show of hands–who is participating in Camp NaNo this year? I know that I am and I have to say that I am certainly not prepared for it…

First, I’m a little disappointed that Script Frenzy is no more. I loved that website and I loved participating. Can you do a script for NaNo? Of course, but it’s not really the same. I think they took down Script Frenzy because not a lot of people were joining it…as far as I’m concerned, there were a good amount of people on there. Most of the people on NaNo were on Script Frenzy.

Second, they changed the dates again. The first year I discovered Camp NaNo was 2011 and it was during the months of June and July. For 2012 it was July and August. Now, for 2013, it’s April and July. I’m glad we can all agree on at least July. I’m sure they changed it to April because that’s when Script Frenzy used to be.

Third, my OCD is kicking it. There are 12 months in a year and three sessions of NaNoWriMo. 12 divided by three is four. Each session should be four months a part. November, March, July. End of story. Of course, that would mean I would have to write 50,000 this month, but…whatever. The way they have it now is obnoxious. November to April is five months, April to July is three months, and July to November is three months. Make it even, please!

This poses as an issue. April is less than one month away and I have no idea what to do for it. Not to mention that I am already in the middle of a novel. I know some people are “rebels” and they just add 50,000 words onto whatever novel they are currently writing, but I don’t like to do that. I like to start fresh. So this means that I have to finish Take Over by April because if I start writing something new, I know for a fact that I will never go back to Take Over. And I really need to start finishing things that I start.

So I am going to try to work extra hard for the rest of this month and try to get Take Over finished up. Then I can start planning for April and…I have no idea what novel I am going to write for that. But I guess I can’t really worry about that right now because I have to focus on finishing Take Over. This is a lot to handle; especially since I’m trying to get school organized and such.

By the way, I finished reading Beautiful Creatures. It was a good book–everyone should read it. But while the movie was great, it really didn’t do the book justice. So if you’re one of those people who gets angry when the movie is completely different from the book, I say watch the movie before you read the actual book. That way, you can enjoy the movie for just a little bit. Anyway, that’s 563 pages added to my pages read count!

As you know because I haven’t posted in a couple of days, I have no written in a couple of days. I have been busy and I have been exhausted. I am, however, going to try my absolute best to finish Take Over by April. That gives me a little over three more weeks and I’m already doing pretty well on the story. I think I should be able to do it.

I just have to cut off all ties with life.

 

2013: 41,268/365,000 Words Written
2013: 1,495/18,250 Pages Read

Losing It

Baby Steps…

 

Today, just like any other Monday, I had class until 9:15. I drive my friend to school now (yes, I finally got my driving license two weeks ago…I don’t know if I ever mentioned that.) and she doesn’t get out of class until 11:45. I could have told her that I was unable to drive her home, but I decided to be a nice friend. It works out because now I have at least two hours to write.

I did so well last week and now this week…nope. I wrote 1,946 words. Bad? No, not at all. Could have written more? Of course. Can I continue writing since I still have another hour? Yes. Am I going to? Um…

Like I said, I wrote almost two thousand words which is better than nothing. I didn’t write at all this weekend (but I should have) so I feel kind of bad that I didn’t write anything today. Of course, when I get home from work tonight, I’m going to sit down at my computer and attempt to get something done.

Do you want to know why I’m not in the mood to write right now? I’ve actually been reading. Yes, I have been reading. Amazing, right? I still have that goal to read 18,250 pages (50 pages a day) by the end of the year and I’m moving quickly on it.

I saw the movie Beautiful Creatures and I bought the book on Saturday. I am already half way through it. It was a great movie and a fantastic read. I read the book most of the weekend. It was relaxing on account that I had a cold all weekend.

I have that I read 932 pages so far. I am currently reading three books at once, so…I’m going to leave it at 932 until I finish one or all of the books because I’m already to getting confused and losing track. This is why GoodReads is a fantastic website. It will help me keep track off all the books I read for 2013 and then I can add up the pages.

Anyway…that is all for now. Hopefully I will get more writing done. I made the mistake of bringing Beautiful Creatures with me to school, so now I feel tempted to read it. Bye!

 

2013: 36,590/365,000 Words Written
2013: 932/18,250 Pages Read

Not Productive

Today Was A Bust…

 

Today my sister and I went to Barnes and Noble. We went about our normal routine; we went to Dunkin’ Donuts for breakfast, Starbucks for drinks, and Barnes and Noble to write. However, we weren’t there for any more than an hour when my dad called. We switched from Verizon to Comcast today and with Comet and Chip at home, he didn’t want to shut them in the bedroom and listen to them bark all afternoon. My sister and I ended up going home and taking the dogs to Nanny’s house where we stayed for about an hour and a half. They have no wi-fi, either so we couldn’t work on our writing at all.

By then, the guy was still at our house, but I had to go to work. So we went back to my house, leaving the dogs, I grabbed my things and went to work. When I got home from work, I had to re-connect the internet and now my laptop is being extremely slow. I assume it’s just trying to get used to the new connection, or I’m hoping so anyway. However, I am in no mood to write now.

While we were at Barnes and Noble, I did write a tiny bit, but it was under 1,000 words. And I never wrote yesterday, so I feel like I’m a bit behind. And because of that, I’m beginning to get annoyed at my writing. I have three novels completed and never bothered to edit any of them.

Well, that’s not true. I’m on the seventh draft of Diary of a Lover, but I never once edited Hunter, which I finished back in August of 2011. Saving Each Other I just finished less than a month ago, so I’m not going to get back into that just yet…I’m kind of sick of those characters.

However, I do have three children’s books that are completed, edited and all, but I don’t bother trying to get them published. Why? I don’t know. That’s what I think I’m going to do when I finish this post. I think I’m going to try searching for publishers and such. At least if I get those three children’s books out there, I would get my foot in the door for whenever I publish a novel, the extra money would be a plus, and maybe it would motivate me a little more to get something else out there.

I asked my sister to edit Hunter the other day. She hasn’t started, yet, but I’m hoping that once she edits it, it will motivate me to edit it and keep at it. Honestly, I wrote that so long ago I don’t even remember what happens in the book. It’s quite sad.

I told myself that, because I’m so into The Blank Page right now, I’m going to finish it. Then once I finish it, I’m going to work strictly on editing for a little while. I know my new year’s resolution was to write more, but editing is a big part of writing, even if I’m not adding word after word after word. It’ll suck because I absolutely hate editing, but if it needs to get done, then I’m going to get it done.

I’m not going to write anymore tonight because I am just not in the mood and I know if I force myself, I’m going to mess up the entire novel. Hopefully, I’ll get back into it tomorrow morning. I had a good routine going: I woke up early every morning, worked on my websites for a bit, wrote for an hour, and then posted on here. I have not done that since Tuesday…but Tuesday I had no school and no work and nothing to do, so I kind of wanted to take advantage of the fact that I could have stayed in bed for the entire day. With all the crap I have been doing lately, no one can blame me for that.

On a good note, I did start my resolution about reading more. Does everyone know the series Warriors by Erin Hunter? Well, there are so many books that I have lost count, but I do have most of them. I have read a few, but I decided to re-read them…especially because one of my RPG websites are based after this series. Last year, I read the first five books, so I decided to start reading them again starting with the sixth book. If I didn’t have work or anything else going on in my life right now, I would have finished it the day I started it. But we’ll take baby steps.

I’ll talk to you all tomorrow…hopefully after I write for an hour. I have work at 1:30 tomorrow, so if I get up early enough maybe I can do a little extra. That would be nice!

 

2013: 13,645 Words Written
2013: 183 Pages Read

Relaxation

I Got Nothing Done Today…

 

Well, I have been on a roll writing for at least one hour every day. However, I didn’t write at all today. But I did say that I was going to try to post on here every day, so here I am. I have no news, but I am posting!

The reason as to why I didn’t write today was because I was busy with my websites. For example, Stars Vs. Gems, Gaia Ranch, and Spilled Ink. Spilled Ink is a writing website that my sister and I are working on together. We already have one up right now, but we completely re-did the whole website. So that’s why I didn’t give you the link because it’s not open yet. However, we  are planning on opening it on Columbus Day…maybe sooner. I’ll explain more about the website when it opens.

Once I finished working on our websites for the day, I thought about getting some writing done, but when I looked at the time I realized that I wasn’t going to have enough time. Although, now that I think about it, I could have written a little bit. Getting a little something done is better than nothing. But oh, well. What’s done is done.

I had a very busy day today because of church. Everyone knows that I’m the co-director of the Sunday school, correct? Well, today the Bishop came for a visit. Plus the Sunday school were performing something in the middle of the service. Also, we had a luncheon for the ladies who run the Thrift Shop to say thank you for everything they do for the church. Usually, I’m at church from 9:30 to 12:00. Today, because of the Bishop’s schedule, the service was 2 to 3. But because of the thing the Sunday School did in the service, we needed to practice it. So we told everyone to come at one, which meant that I was there before one. Then after the service, we had the luncheon and, well…I was at church today from 12:45 to 6:00. It wasn’t a bad time, but I just didn’t want to be there for that amount of time as well as it being smack in the middle of the day.

Anyway, when I got home, I was starving (there wasn’t any food I liked at the luncheon) so my sister and I got Panera and we’ve been watching TV ever since. I’ve been too tired to do anything else. Although, I think I might go plan out the novel a little bit.

The Blank Page has three novels in it and I thought that I should plan those out. Not fully, but just enough so that when I have my characters writing them, they all make sense. So I may do that, but as far as actual writing goes…I’m not going to be boosting my word count tonight.

Speaking of planning out the novels, though, I found this really cool app on my iPod. It’s called “A Novel Idea.” It breaks everything down. You can click on “novels” and will ask you the title, setting, theme, tone, POV, premise, plot, and group. The group is something you make up. You can group certain things together. For example, when I plugged in The Blank Page, I put it under the Writers Group group. The other sections are “scenes,” “characters,” “locations,” and “ideas.” It’s very detailed and organized. I added The Blank Page as a novel and added Dominic, Justin, and Adair as characters. Then it allowed me to attach the novel to each character. It also allowed me to give Dominic, Adair, and Justin relations to each other. It really keeps you organized. I think I may use this to plan out the three novels that aren’t real. Then I might know enough information about them so Dominic, Justin, and Adair can write them efficiently in The Blank Page.

If you like to write and have an iPod, iPhone, iPad, or anything along those lines, then you should download this app. It’s really useful and it was free. I highly recommend it.

2013: 11,010 Words

Day 6

10,002 words…

 

Today is June 6, 2012. It is day 6 of Camp NaNo and I am behind with 7,622 words. Of course, I could not update my word count for about two days simply because the site was being a butt. However, now that I know I can start updating my count again, I have begun writing again…well, I will begin writing again as soon as I finish this post. I also have to blame life and school because I was dumb and decided to take three courses this summer. In the long run it will be better because I’ll graduate a whole semester earlier, but right now I’m kind of regretting it because I would much rather focus on NaNo and only NaNo. August is a whole other story which we will get into when I start planning for that one.

I have until 1:30 this afternoon to write as much as I can. Tomorrow morning, my sister and I are going to go to Barnes and Noble to write for a good few hours. I plan on getting really ahead then. I will have a mocha frap in one hand and the keyboard in the other…not really, but the frap will be next to me with my mouth wrapped around the straw and my eyes on the screen while both my hands type. I’m just that good. Now tomorrow I’ll need 11,669 words. I have 7,622 now, so between today and tomorrow I have to write at least 4,047 words. I think that will be easy to do just as long as my A.D.D. doesn’t kick in and the caffeine doesn’t leave my system.

Speaking of caffeine, I was doing so well (for about a month) not having coffee. Well, (I think a week ago) I have fallen back off the wagon. On the wagon? I don’t really know.

Well, that last paragraph was irrelevant to…everything. This could possibly be because I may just slightly MAYBE be stalling from writing…does anyone remember that I was going to outline? I outlined the first chapter! That’s something. Of course, I want to continue writing, so that’s all I’ve gotten so far on the outlining and I’m already half way done with chapter two.

Usually when I write a story (especially NaNo) I tend to keep going and going until I hit the 50k mark or I finish the whole novel. My novels are usually 95% percent dialogue and while I can picture everything in my head, my readers mostly have no idea what anything looks like, where they are, or what they’re doing. I also repeat myself a lot just to boost the word count so I repeat things while wording it differently. Yet, I noticed that the majority of this novel is description and there’s not too much dialogue. I haven’t been repeating myself (yet) and I have been using much bigger words (thanks to an annoying character who is prim, proper, and mean, but unfortunately he is needed for the story). Bigger words are a big accomplishment of mine on account that my vocabulary is crap.

You know, I use the word crap a lot in my posts on here…I wonder how many times? I should tag it. <—Caffeine talking.

Anyway, good luck with the rest of Camp and I’ll check in later with you guys again!

Writer’s Block or A.D.D? (Part 2)

So this is kind of like a follow-up on yesterday’s post…

 

I’m going to explain to you what I think I have. It definitely is not writer’s block, I can tell you that much. If I had writer’s block, I would not have a total of 120 story ideas. Now I have two scripts finished, two novels, and two children’s stories completed. Completed, as in written…not done-done. Anyway, I have ideas. What do I do with them? Clearly, I actually stuck with six of them, but what about the rest? This is where the A.D.D kicks in.

I have 12 ideas started. I may have written only one chapter, I may be half-way through the novel, or I may only have one or two chapters left to write; either way, I have not finished any of them. I have ideas for them. I know how they are going to play out. I’ve written the beginning, I have some middle to it, and I know how they are all going to end. Yet, I have not been able to sit myself down and actually write them. Why is this?

I can’t tell you the answer because I don’t know the answer. All I know is that when I get in the mood to write, I sit down and stare at the list of titles I have and what do I get done? Nothing. Why? Simply because I don’t know what to write. I think that is my problem: I have way too many ideas.

Now common sense would say to finish the 12 you have started before going onto anything else. How do you choose which one of those 12 that you want to complete first? Put all the titles in a hat and pick one from random? Sure, why not? Or maybe pick the one that is the closest to being finished or the one that is farthest from being finished. Okay, we can do that. But do we actually do any of that? No, of course not.

Ideas are all around us. Well, they’re all around me, anyway, I don’t know about you guys…but my point is that whenever I go out I see something or I hear something and I just have to write it down. No questions asked I just need to write it down so I have something to play with later on. Even though I should be playing with my already started story ideas. But take the other day for example:

My sister and I were getting dinner. I was sitting in the car while she ran into Subway. It’s around 6 PM, still light out, I’m sitting in the car alone, it’s quiet. So I talk to myself. I always do. But as I’m getting into a riveting conversation with myself, I notice a woman dashing through the parking lot with a two-year-old boy in her arms. Looking back at the stores, she could have either come out of Chuck E. Cheese, Subway, or Dunkin’ Donuts. I’m going to assume Chuck E. Cheese. She’s all dressed up as though she just got out of the office. She was wearing a white, shiny blouse which was tucked into her black pencil skirt…with sneakers. Awkward. She was walking so fast that she looked as though she was just going to tip right over. She kept looking at the baby and then glaring at the space in front of her, back to the baby, back to glaring. Judging by the look on her face, she was not a happy camper. That sucks. She gets to her silver car, which is parked almost in front of me, but about two spaces over to the left. She puts the baby down, puts her black purse down, and then stares at the baby. She looks up and puffs out her cheeks as though she was letting out an angry sigh. While she rummages through her purse and unlocks her car, I watch the baby. He just stands there in the next parking spot with a blank expression on his face. Clearly, he has no idea what is going on and why should he? He’s two (possibly). Then I take a closer look and what’s this? A sling on his right arm. Interesting. He gets scooped up by the woman and they both go into the back seat as she straps him into his car seat. Her purse still lays on the parking spot next to them. Huh. She gets out, turns around and looks at the back of her skirt. She rolls her eyes and throws her arms up in the air frustrated. Alright, then. She closes the door, tosses her purse in the front seat, closes that door, and walks over to the other side of the car. She lights a cigarette and makes a call on her cell phone. Her lips were moving quickly as she spoke and her facial expressions showed she was clearly angry at something. Someone?

Look at that last paragraph. Just by observing one little scene in real life, you can come up with a whole lot. What store was she coming out of? What was she doing there? Was there someone else there with her? Why was she wearing sneakers with a dressy outfit? Why was she angry? Who was she angry with? What happened to the boy’s arm? What relation did she have to this baby? Why was she in such a rush? What did she sit in? Or did her skirt just get a hole in it? Who did she call? What if someone ran right up and grabbed the purse as she was busy with the baby? Or worse, what if someone ran right up and grabbed the baby as she was fighting with the car keys?

Only one thing caused all that to happen. However, there are so many possibilities you could come up with before learning the truth. As a writer, you can come up with so many different ideas for something like that. You can make your own twists and turns and you can write and rewrite one certain thing because there is so much you can do with just that one scene!

Why am I telling you all of this? Well, that’s because I’m not quite sure writer’s block even exists. It may be all in our heads. I mean, that’s okay. We’re all writer’s, we’re all insane. But all you need is an idea to get rid of writer’s block and all ideas come from something, someone, or somewhere. You just need to keep your eyes wide and ears open.

So, with something like that, you could easily write a short story or make a whole plot out of it for a novel. Use it as a prompt, even. Either way, it will get those rusty gears in your mind turning once again and your fingers will take it from there. Once you get into the swing of things again, you can get back to work on those unfinished novels.

Wait, we couldn’t decide which ones to work on first, right? Well…that’s another story for another day.

Writer’s Block or A.D.D?

All These Characters in My Head Won’t Sit Down and Shut Up….

 

What is writer’s block?  Basically, it means that a writer has run out of new ideas.  They cease to write for a little while due to lack of idea, inspiration, whatever you want to call it.  This could happen in between writing books or it could happen while you’re in the middle of writing a book.  It can happen anytime, anywhere, to anyone.  To put it simply: it sucks.

What is A.D.D?  Attention Deficit Disorder.  You may have impulsive actions; you may have a high hyperactivity level, or lack a high attention span.

The difference between writer’s block and A.D.D is that you can be diagnosed with A.D.D and…Let’s face it; writer’s block is all in your head.  My point is if you’re a writer, how can you tell what you have?  Regardless of being diagnosed with A.D.D or not, we can pretend to diagnose ourselves (if we assume that we have it).

Anyway, writer’s block means that you’re fresh out of ideas, correct?  Well, I don’t have that problem.  If you read the Writing tab at the top, you would know that I write young adult novels, middle grade novels, children’s books, and I have a few ideas for scripts.  Now…if I had writer’s block, would one think that I would have ideas for 7 scripts (5 being movies and 2 being TV shows), 5 children’s books, 10 middle grade novel (but it’s a series, so there will be more planned), and 98 young adult novels?  No, I don’t think so.

Now, I self-diagnosed myself with A.D.D a long time ago, but I was never tested for it.  I don’t know for certain if I really have it.  So, let’s assume that I don’t have it since I was never tested for it…18 out of 120 ideas I listed above have been started.  Only 6 of those 18 ideas have actually been completed…two of them are children’s books, two of them are young adult novels, and two of them are movie scripts.  The sad part is that one of those children’s books would have never even been thought of if I didn’t have to write a children’s story for my Child Development class in high school.

Now finally on to my point…how do you know if you really have writer’s block or A.D.D when it comes to writing?  The answer?  You don’t.  In one case, you could be in the middle of writing one story, but stop and move onto the next because you may have ran out of ideas on what to do next.  Then you would have writer’s block.  In the other case, you could be in the middle of writing one story, but stop and move onto the next because you lost interest in the story.  The plot is moving too slowly, you hate your characters, or you simply have an idea on what to do next, but you don’t like it.  Or you could be writing a scene and from that scene a whole new plot unfolds in your head for a completely different novel. That happens to me a lot and I cannot stress enough when I say a lot. That would probably be A.D.D. Either way, that novel is not getting done.

So, what is it exactly that I’m trying to say?  Whether you have writer’s block, A.D.D, or your pen just ran out of ink…that novel is not going to write itself.  Ideas or no ideas, new ideas or old ideas, keep that pen flowing or those fingers typing because believe me; once that first draft is done, a huge relief of accomplishment will surge through the veins in your body.

It took me nine months and seven days to complete the first draft of my young adult novel.  It was the very first novel I had ever finished (aside from the two children’s books).  I felt so relieved that I had actually finished something.  Sure, it was just the first draft and it was crap, but now I get to look forward to editing it and then finally kicking it out the door to get published.  I have edited it a couple of times and believe me, it still needs a lot of work.  The other young adult novel I completed took me two months and three days.  That one turned out even worse than the first novel I finished.  However, I got it done regardless of if I had ideas or not.  My main goal was just getting it done…which is why the first draft is so crappy.  Now when I edit it, I will catch errors, plot holes, and come up with new and better ideas for the story.  Believe me, it’s a lot easier working with something crappy than it is working with nothing at all.

Now, most people say that some novels can take up to a couple of years to write.  I believe that, but even though my first novel didn’t take me a year to write, I found that I felt much more accomplished with the novel I wrote in two months than I did with the novel I wrote in nine months.  So, it may be better for some people to write their novel slowly and carefully.  But, if you stay in character, keep the plot moving at an okay pace and actually have a beginning, middle, and an end; I think writing a novel as quickly as possible is the best bet.  Sure, editing will be harder than actually writing the story, but that’s how it should be.  When you write, have fun. Say what’s on your mind and write whatever ideas pop into your head. Then when you edit, you can curse all you want…what better way to take out your frustrations on a novel than to scribble all over it with red ink?

Don’t get frustrated because the novel isn’t finished; get frustrated because the finished novel isn’t polished to a sparkling shine.