Ten Things To Do In Between Writing

I try to get as much writing done in one day as I can. I usually sit at my laptop and write 2,000 words at a time. Then I take a small break and go back to it.

I repeat this until my fingers are numb or my brain can’t handle words or the computer screen any longer.

Because I do this, I’m able to write up to 10,000 words in one day. Those words may not necessarily be any good, but at least I’m getting the idea down on paper.

So, in no particular order, here’s a list of things you can do in between your writing.

1. Take a walk.

I need exercise every once in a while and so does my dog. In between word counts I like to take Chip for a walk. Walking not only gets your body moving for a little while, it clears your mind and you’re breathing in fresh air. Then you can go back to your writing with a fresh mind.

2. Watch the rain.

You can’t go walking in a thunderstorm. I mean… You could. But I wouldn’t recommend it. I always found rain soothing; the sound it makes, its smell, and just watching it come down from the sky.

3. Play video games.

This is my personal favorite. Video games are my hobby and I don’t get to play very often between writing and work and other things. Video games help with writing, too. It teaches you about character development and has great story lines.

4. Eat.

I know I forget to do this while writing. I usually like to eat foods that get all over my fingers and who wants a cheesy keyboard? So, go make yourself a snack, eat, and refuel.

5. Clean or organize something.

Throw in a load of laundry or rearrange everything on your desk. A clean area to work is motivating and can make you feel more productive.

6. Play with the dog.

If you have one. If not… Go buy one.

7. Be social.

Why would you want to do this? You have your characters, don’t you?

8. Watch TV.

Just like video games. Except you should limit yourself to one or two episodes. Depending on the show before you know it, it will be the next day.

9. Run an errand or two.

Get out of the house every so often. It’s good for you.

10. Check social media.

Social media is a huge distraction. Get your word count done and use social media (and the Internet itself) as a reward.

What do you do in beweteen your word counts?

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I Have Issues

Today Was  A Joke…

 

Today was the first day in a long time that I have nothing to do. So I told myself that I was going to wake up early, take a shower, and write. And write, and write, and write some more. Except things didn’t go exactly as planned.

I’m stuck.

I didn’t get a chance to write at all this past weekend. There were some times here and there I would have been able to squeeze some words in, but I didn’t. Normally I would have or if I didn’t, I would have been freaking out about why I didn’t get anything done. Not this time. I didn’t feel like writing and that was that.

I’m going to assume I burned myself out when it comes to writing. But this burn out couldn’t have come at another time? It’s in the middle of the July, I have Camp NaNo to finish. Not to mention I’m already losing next week because I’m going on vacation. I don’t need to lose two additional days.

So I told myself today was going to be an all day writing day. I can’t tell you how many words I have written because I literally have no idea. I am so burned out that every time I tried to write today, I said: “Screw it!”

I’m writing Cybertra for Camp NaNo and I’m ahead of the NaNo goal, but 11,000 words behind my own goal. Two days and I’m that far behind…what? I forced myself to write it and I got about 540 words done. Then I realized…I’m just not into the story anymore. I still love the characters, the plot is good, but…well, the plot isn’t going as well as expected. I feel like I want to keep the prologue then scrap the whole rest of the novel. But that’s over 20,000 words…is it worth it to do in the middle of Camp? Is it wort it to do it at all?

I heard (I forget where) that you should never delete your writing whether you’re going to use it or not. Good writing is writing and bad writing is still writing. Not to mention there might be something in there that you will like later on. I hate deleting things I write because then I just feel bad. I mean, it was a good idea at the time I wrote it, right?

So I didn’t delete it, but I’m definitely not going back to the story any time soon. Which is sad because I was in love with it when I first started. I think I just need a break. Maybe next month I can get back to it. But now how am I supposed to finish Camp NaNo?

I tried writing a couple of children’s picture books…I finished one, but it sucks. I attempted to write another, but I got about two lines in and that was that. I started Hunter & Comet, the first book of a middle grade series I want to write. I wrote about a page and couldn’t get into that, either.

I looked at my list of stories to write. Maybe I just need something brand new? None of those ideas appealed to me. At the moment, anyway. And I’m afraid to start any new young adult novels because I already have four that need to be edited.

I tried writing some FanFiction. I wrote about a page then quit.

It’s about four o’clock in the afternoon, I have to get something written. I want to get something written. But it’s not going so well. And I’m afraid today is going to be a bit of a waste since I’m probably not going to have another day to write all day like this one in a long time.

July Camp: Day One

Yay for Camp!!!

 

I have a lot to talk about today, so listen up:

1. My sister Kris and I decided to come up with some sort of schedule. It was actually her idea, but I thought of the idea a while ago (er, years ago). Of course, that was all mine was–an idea. I never even tried it for one day. But yesterday she came up to me and told me to help her stick with something. She showed me a “to do” list of hers. On that she stated she wanted to set a daily goal (words, pages, time, etc.) and do it every day. Monday through Saturday would be spent working on originals and Sunday would be FanFiction days. When I came up with this, I decided I was going to do FanFiction on Saturday and Sunday and originals would be Monday through Friday. I mentioned that to her and I don’t know if she’s going to do her way or my way, but either way we’re going to do it together. Since she asked me to help her make sure she completes this to do list, I decided that I’m going to do it, as well.

Yesterday, which was Sunday, we went to Barnes and Noble for our weekly writing session. I ended up working on my FanFiction because, well it was Sunday, a weekend day. For writing in a notebook, I got a whole lot done. Today is Monday (and the first day of Camp NaNoWriMo) so I worked on original. But since Camp started, I started something new instead of editing Hunter or Diary of a Lover or anything like that. I’m writing Cybertra. I’ll post the summary on here by the end of the month.

Anyway, I decided that I was going to write for at least one hour every day. The morning is really the only reliable time I have just to myself. So I decided that every day (all seven days of the week) I’m going to write from 7 a.m. to 8 a.m. That started today. And man do I wish that I started something like this a long time ago! I had the most productive day! I woke up at 6:30, took a shower, made an iced coffee, and wrote while I had Raph getting her daily exercise and I got my morning caffeine dose. My timer went off on my iPod after an hour, I took Chip for a walk, then I got myself ready to go out. I had to babysit toady from 9 to 3. It was great. Not to mention that by 8, I was wide awake, felt refreshed, and ready to take on the day! If this was any other normal day, I would have woken up around seven, realized I needed to take a shower, but say “eh, I’ll do it tonight,” then count down until I had to leave the house all while moping around in my bed watching TV…I’m really not that lazy, but sometimes….

Right.

2. As stated, today was the first day of Camp NaNo. I’m going away this week (leaving Wednesday afternoon and coming back Friday afternoon). So I can write on Wednesday and Friday, but I’ll miss Thursday. One day isn’t bad. But I am going away again the last week of July. The 20th to the 27th. I’m going to bring a couple of notebooks with me and work on FanFiction that week. Yes, I will be breaking my schedule, but I can’t bring my laptop. So I decided that I want to try to finish Camp before I leave. That gives me 20 days instead of 31. Of course, I’ll still have a couple days when I get back, but still.

This means I should write 2,500 words a day instead of the usual 1,613. I wrote 1,616 today. At least I met the standard quota. If I didn’t have to babysit today, I probably would have written a lot more. I have to babysit again tomorrow (double time…9-3 with one family and then 4-7 with another family). Wednesday I’m babysitting, then leaving. Thursday I’ll be gone. Friday I can write when I get home. All next week I’m babysitting 9-1. It’ll be tough, but I think I can make it work. I can at least be able to make it to 50k by the end of the month, if not by the time I go on vacation. I will do it!

3. My novel is weird. Seriously. I had a completely different vision in my mind for Cybertra and it…well, it took an unexpected turn. Don’t get me wrong, I love where it ended up going, but I was shocked…and was laughing. A lot. I can’t post the summary yet, so you’re going to get lost when I tell you this, but…in the novel, the father builds robots to help people in need. Elderly people, police force, etc. He makes 100 robots at a time and when they all get shipped to a big company that sells them places, he makes a new batch of 100 robots. But, in the prologue, his daughter is six and wants to keep one. All the robots look exactly the same on the outside. The only way to tell them apart is by their personalities. And…well, one of them, the one they end up keeping, has a very different personality. He wasn’t supposed to be this animated. He was supposed to act more…robot-like, I guess you could say. So I can’t give you a summary, but here’s a small excerpt from the prologue:

 “No, no, no! You must hold your pinky up. Haven’t your mother taught you any manners?” a small little girl wearing a pink, frilly dress with a sparkling tiara on top of her head, held up a small plastic tea cup. Her pinky was in the air and she tried to speak in a grown-up, mature tone.

            “I have not had time to learn manners. My apologizes,”

            The man poked his head through a door in the crack of where the young girl and her guest played on the floor of her bedroom. He opened the door a little more to see her smiling and laughing.

            “Well, it’s a good thing you came here, then.” She giggled.

            “Hannah?” he opened the door all the way.

            She froze. Her eyes grew wide as she shifted them back and forth between both of the gentlemen in her room. Finally, she leaned forward and whispered something.

            “Hannah,” the man sighed. He knew exactly what she was saying to her robot friend.

            “Oh, right! The inspection!” the android jumped off of the floor. “Excuse me, Mr. Noel! I must go see Mr. Noel! I am late…I am very late!” he brushed right by the gentleman and disappeared down the hallway going to the basement.

            Mr. Noel shook his head. He lifted his clipboard and muttered to himself. “Fix attention span on number four…”

Leo is what Hannah names him. He wasn’t really supposed to have a name, either. Oh, well.

Happy camping, everyone! 🙂

Sad News

I haven’t updated this in a while with very good reasons…

1. Everyone knows that we switched from Verizon to Comcast, correct? Well, the internet still refuses to work. It’s getting pretty annoying. I can’t use my laptop at all. I can’t use it to work on my websites, I can’t use it to update this, and I can’t use it for school. My dad is bringing my laptop to a guy to completely clean it out because it had a virus on it a year or so ago. All the other laptops work (sometimes), so we’re wondering if my laptop still has some bits of the virus on it and that’s why it refuses to work. So I’m going to be out of a laptop for a little while…well, I already have been out of a laptop.

I’m using the school computer right now so–I hate to say this–it’s a good thing that I go to school five days a week. I need to get absolutely everything done at school. It’s such a pain, though. The only thing I can use my own laptop for it for writing on Word. Which brings me to the worst part of this post as well as the other reason as to why I haven’t updated in so long…

2. My flash drive broke. My sister tried to fix it and the computer guy my dad knows tried to fix it. It’s completely dead. The guy said he could fix it, but the software would cost 800 dollars. He said he could ship it to Brazil so it would be cheaper, but…I said no. That’s too much. My uncle is going to try to fix it, but I really have my doubts that it will work. We’ll have to see, but I’m pretty sure it’s gone.

It really upset and discouraged me. All of my novels were on there. I didn’t have any other back-ups to the novels because my computer had gotten the virus. Along with school work, Sunday school stuff, and website stuff, this is everything I lost:

  • Hunter — I printed it out to edit it, so worse comes to worst, I’ll just have to type it up again.
  • Hunted — The sequel to Hunter…I was half way through it and now it’s gone.
  • Diary of a Lover — I printed this out to edit it, too, so again I can just type it up again.
  • Saving Each Other — My 2012 NaNo that I finished last December…100% gone. I had no back-ups and none of it was printed out…I have to start from scratch all over again.
  • The Blank Page — It wasn’t finished, but as you all know, I have been working hard on this one a lot. Now I have to start completely over again.
  • Asking Bobby & Ashley’s Day at the Aquarium — Both of these are printed out, so they’re safe.
  • Fast Friends — Didn’t get too far in this one, but at least it was better than nothing…now it is nothing.
  • Echo — I was almost done with this one…gone.
  • Last Friday — I wrote this in a notebook and I had one more chapter left. Typing it up took me a really long time and now I’m going to have to do it again…at least it’s not completely gone.
  • The Others — My very first NaNo and the only one I every won. I never finished the novel, but I only had one or two more chapters left…another one gone.
  • Far Away — A love story I started, re-started, and re-started again…I got pretty far with it and now that’s gone, too.
  • Diary of a Killer — Didn’t get too far, but I really liked where it was going.
  • A Job to get Done — I loved this one. I was over 50 pages into it…gone.
  • Pyro — The origin story of my muse…the one and only character who speaks to me while I write. He popped into my head long before I even decided to make him a character in a story. I have no idea where he came from, but now I have to write his story all over again.
  • The Battle of Cooper’s Place — A script I wrote for Script Frenzy…it was my first one and I won. It sucked, but now it’s gone.
  • Halfway to Heaven — Another script I wrote. I loved this script. I was going to turn it into a novel, too…now I have to re-write that whole thing.
  • Four Fathers — A TV show I based off of a Ninja Turtles FanFiction I wrote. It was coming along pretty well.
  • All of my FanFiction stories…which was somewhere in the 100s, so I can’t even list them all to you.

And there you have it. 18 stories lost…there were more, but they were only a page or so in so they weren’t really important because they were small prompts and such.

I cried. I’ll admit that. I was thinking of everything that I lost, all that time and imagination I spent on those stories…and they’re all gone. I have to say that it was a real eye-opener for me, though. That saying is really true…”you never know what you have until it’s gone.”

So I decided that not only am I going to keep up with writing more, I’m going to focus more on finishing everything that I start. Looking at that list, I had a ton of ideas and characters roaming around in my head. So I think it’s time to jot down small ideas instead of switching completely over to a new novel. I have a new novel in the works at the moment and since I’m in the mood to write it, I think I’m going to start off with that one. I still have a lot of planning to do for it, but that’s alright. In the meantime, I can start editing some novels…well, just Hunter and Diary of a Lover since those are the only novels I have left at the moment.

But now I think about it, I have a ton of novels that are started in notebooks…I should really go through my notebooks, huh?

Anyway, let this be a lesson learned for all of you! I have no idea how my flash drive broke, but I had two (well, now one). I should have put everything on both. I’ll keep that in mind for next time. So I’ll try to writing again as soon as possible, but I kind of need to wait until I get my laptop back. I think my dad is going to call Comcast, too…even though everyone else’s work, they still go on the fritz sometimes. Hopefully this will be the end.

Small Update

Hey everyone! I just wanted to give a small update because I haven’t posted in a couple of days. Of course, I haven’t posted in a couple of days because I haven’t written anything in a couple of days.

I now have 121 pages written out of my 360 page goal. Go me! Of course, in order to finish that 360 pages by the end of 2012, I have to write a little over 13 pages a day. Yeah, right. I think I could do well with something like that, but with finals at school, work, and Christmas coming up…not a chance. Especially since after Christmas whatever toys I get, I’ll be playing with them a lot.

Also, I have 33,229 words of Saving Each Other. 13 days late of NaNoWriMo and still not done, but better late then never. The end of this novel is near, as well. I have 105 pages so far and still counting.

My “To Do List” wants me to finish Saving Each Other and write 360 words by the end of the year, so I’m attempting to kill two birds with one stone…slowly. But that’s okay. 😉

Typing Away

117/360 Pages

243 pages left to go! And I have 20 days to do so. We’ll see how this goes. However, I did notice on the Challenges page that I wrote that I was going to finish a new novel by the end of the year. Well, all these pages that I am writing are from Saving Each Other. I don’t think that story is going to be another 243 pages long, so even if I don’t make the 360 page goal, I should finish the novel, which means that I have beaten half of my goals. I say half because it makes it sound like more! 🙂

I also realized that I make a challenge or goal and then I forget about it. That’s why I’m lucky that I still have to opportunity to beat those two goals because I just happened to remember them before the end of December. So I decided that I was going to make a new page.

It’s called “To Do List.” I explained everything on the page, but basically what it is is a list of everything that I was want/need to get done with my writing. I figured that if I had an actual list that I could check off and such it would be a lot easier to meet the goals, remember I have the goals in the first place, and which ones I have beaten. Here’s the catch: I only put ten items on the list. If I want to add more, I have to finish a goal in order to replace it with something else. I think that’s motivation to finish something, don’t you think? We’ll see how it goes. The page is published, if you would like to look at it. It’s up at the top with all of the other pages.

Other than that, I don’t really think that I have anything else to say. This is my last week of classes and finals is next week, so I’m just trying to get through that. But I did write six pages of Saving Each Other this morning! Go me!

Stupid School

I have been trying to get my writing done. I really have. The fact is that school just keeps getting in the way. My anxiety at school has been coming back, which is making things a little bit difficult, I think I’m coming down with a cold, and I just have school, then work, then homework, and then on the weekends I have Sunday school and such. It’s too much. I’m getting stressed out, but I’m handling it. I have good grades in all my classes so far and I have been going to school despite my anxiety trying to kill me. However, when it comes to writing…that’s a whole other story.

I just decided all of this this morning. I made a huge list of all my homework that I need to get done. My Health class never has homework, so that’s not a big deal, but I made a list of all the math homework, science homework, and discover teaching homework I have for the rest of the semester. I didn’t list my multicultural communications homework only because my professor gives us the homework week by week and not for the whole semester. Anyway, I’m going to get a good chunk of it done because it honestly isn’t that much to tell the truth…it just looks like a lot. I am going to go home today (because I don’t have work today) and between today and Monday (October 8) I am going to try to get as much homework done as I possibly can. Hopefully I can get all my homework done for at least October, but we’ll see.

This way, with homework out of the way, I’ll be able to focus on writing instead of homework. It’ll be the same amount of stuff I have to worry about, except I’m replacing homework with writing. I think it should work out. The other thing that I thought of doing was going through my novel list and writing summaries and/or outlines for each novel. I was looking at the list earlier and realized that there are a couple of stories that I had no idea what the plot was supposed to be. So if I outline each novel then not only will I remember what it’s about when I start writing it, but I will also have an idea about what each chapter is supposed to be about and it’ll be easier and faster to write the novel.

Does this all sound good? Does it all make sense? Probably not because I know that I said I was going to work on a book full of short stories and such to be self-published and now I’m changing my mind…again. But I guess that’s fine because I have to coordinate everything with life. Unfortunately, life is a little important. Anyway, so when I get home today I’ll start working on all my homework…I can’t start now because I only have my books for the classes I have today…which of course has no homework.

This will also be good because if I get all the October homework done early, I can try to get my November homework done really soon. If that happens then I will be able to focus more on NaNoWriMo! Yay! I can write my NaNo novel while in school and after work and such things like that instead of doing homework. When I start outlining my novels, I’ll outline the novel I’m going to do for NaNo…whatever that may be, I don’t know yet.

Anyway, I’ll update about NaNo sooner rather than later since it’s already October and November will probably be here before we know it. I’ll also update about my homework and we’ll see how that goes. I have about 100 stories to outline…this is going to be interesting!

Lists

I Need To Make A List Of Lists To Make….

 

Remember that post I made about organization a few days ago?  Well, this post kind of goes along with it…lists.  Lists are pretty much a way of organizing.  It’s not organizing physical things, but it’s organizing all the thoughts that are floating around in your head.  You make a list of all those thoughts and you have them neatly and visually on a piece of paper that you and read and check off.

I make a list for just about everything.  My oldest sister got me into that one.  She makes a list of everything possible and I’ve started to do that, too.  But in a way, I’m glad, because I feel as though I don’t have to remain on my memory all the time.  I have a good enough memory, but I tend to remember the things that I want to remember…which usually isn’t a lot.

Anyway, just like the sub-title says, I need to make a list of the lists that I need to make.  It sounds OCD, but it’s true.  When I clean my bedroom, I make a list of all the things that I need to do before I finally deem it clean enough to leave alone.  When I help clean the house, I make a list of every room that I need to clean and sub-lists for everything that I have to clean in each room.  I work at a pre-school.  Nap time is 1-2:30 in the afternoon and I usually go into work around one.  That means I have an hour and a half to do basically nothing but watch the kids sleep and get paid for it. Of course, there are a lot of times when I clean up the classroom and prepare for the next day or week or something, but on the days that there really is nothing to do: what do I usually do?  I make lists.  Lists of things I have to do, I have to clean, I have to buy…lists of my writing.

Making lists for your writing (especially if you have a lot like I do) is very helpful.  Seriously, I can’t stress enough that lists are the best when it comes to organizing your writing.  I have a three-page list of all the ideas I have for novels.  I have them broken down into categories: young adult novels, middle grade, children’s books, essays, movie scripts, TV scripts.  That’s the list of the ideas that I plan on getting published someday.  I have a separate list for the stories on my FanFiction account that is much, much longer.  Sad, but true.

You can make a list of novel ideas, a list of ideas that you want to happen in one novel, a list of characters, a list of titles, plots, etc.  You can make a list (like me) of which order you’re going to write these novels and another list for which order you’re going to edit these novels.  If, for whatever reason, you get stuck on something, go back and look at your list.  Trust me, it helps.

Now let’s just see if you can keep track of all the lists…