Why do you want to be a writer? Is it because you love creating stories to tell and sharing them with the world? Is it because you want to be rich and famous after you’re on the best-sellers list?
Whatever the reason, being a writer is not an easy job. You don’t write a bunch of words, send it to a publisher, they publish it on the spot, it sells, and you get a ton of money.
I’ve always been torn between being a teacher or being a writer or possibly trying to do both. I can’t express how many times people have said, “Be a writer. They make more money.” Unfortunately, that is not the case. If writing were that easy and made a ton of money, every person in the world would be an author and we’d all drown in books… now wouldn’t that be nice?
Writing does not equal money. It doesn’t matter how many books you sell; unless you’re on the best-selling list or you write the next Harry Potter series, you may have to look for a day job and write on the side.
Writing is not about the money. It’s about sharing stories whether they’re fiction or nonfiction. Writing is a way for people to escape reality, get creative, and exercise their imagination.
You need to love writing. You need have to a passion for it.
School has officially ended for the semester and one thing we learned has been sticking with me, so I thought I would talk about it. So this won’t be like my usual posts, but I hope you’ll stick around to read it, anyway.
In one of my classes this past semester we read a short story called Sur by Ursula K. Le Guin. I won’t describe it too much in case any of you would like to look it up, but it’s about a group of women travelling to Antarctica and keeping it a secret. One of my classmates posted on the discussion board asking about the “achievement” in the story. A few of my classmates were debating on whether or not the expedition to Antarctica could exactly be called an achievement. This is simply because the women in the story kept it a secret. They didn’t share their achievement; therefore no one knows about the achievement. How can you do something as great as travel to Antarctica and never share the news?
I commented on the thread stating that achievement is measured by your own personal goal and your perspective on it. For example, I believe travelling to Antarctica is a huge achievement; especially since it was their first time doing so. Just because the group of females did not share their journey with their friends, family, and the press, it doesn’t mean they weren’t successful. To put it simply, they wanted to travel to Antarctica and they did. Wouldn’t you call that an achievement?
I associate the word “achievement” with “success” because they’re both about reaching a goal. According to Dictionary.com, this is one definition of success: “the attainment of wealth, position, honors, or the like.” I can only half agree with this. The reason I agree with it is because of the “position” part. I used to want to be the director of the preschool I worked for. If I had worked my way up to that position then I would have felt successful because it was something I wanted to do and I would have worked hard to get there.
The reason I disagree with that definition is because of the “wealth” part. Money does not buy happiness even though our paychecks always make us smile. However, once the bills start rolling in, our smile fades and we’re back to square one. If your goal was to make it to the top of your career with a nice pay raise, then I could call that successful if that was something you really wanted. If it was a job you truly enjoyed and you weren’t doing it just to get rich off of it; even though the money would be a plus.
Another reason I disagree with it is putting the story into perspective. Sur is a work of fiction, yes, but no where in the story did the group of women attain wealth, position, or any honors. They kept their goal a secret from the world. They deemed themselves successful because they had achieved something they wanted to do.
Another definition of success by Dictionary.com is: “the accomplishment of one’s goals.” I have to say that I like this definition a whole lot better. However, what exactly is a “goal?” Again, it depends on your own perspective and what you want. My big goal is to become a full-time writer. Yet, there are many little goals along the way.
When I write my standard 2,000 words in one day, I consider that an accomplishment for that one day. When I finish a novel, I consider that to be an achievement. I’ve never completely finished editing a novel enough to throw it at a publisher, but I’m sure when I do that will be successful in itself and I’m sure I will be very happy with it. When I get a novel published for the first time, I will be successful. Will I be a full-time writer after publishing that one novel? No, probably not. However, I will write more and the more I write the better I will become. I will come up with more ideas and become more creative. Eventually I’ll come up with a novel good enough to allow me to stay home all day and do what I love and do best: write.
It won’t matter what position I’m in if I still have a day job and it won’t matter how much money I’ll be bringing in. My goal is to share inspirational characters, interactive plots, and open up a brand new creative world for all my readers to love and enjoy.
Today is Kris’s birthday! I am officially four years younger than her now…until my birthday, that is. Kris works a lot and it’s very difficult for her to get a day off. She gets two days off a week, but every once in a while she’ll get a call on one of those days off asking her to come in because someone else called in sick or whatever. So, she did the over-night shift Sunday night into Monday morning and asked for today (her birthday) and Saturday off. She always has Sundays off, so she thought it would be nice to give herself a little weekend.
Of course, her boss told her that she would have to come in again on Monday to do the closing shift if she wanted the weekend–you know, in order to give her her full 40 hours. Kris said, “I don’t care!” So she has a weekend. She had today off in which we ordered out to eat, did presents, and had cake.
“Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.” –Dr. Seuss
I know I haven’t post on here in a while (blame my internet), but we’re not going to talk about my writing at the moment. Right now, I feel the need to talk about something very important going on in my life. I tend to have a hard time putting my feelings into words and talking to people about it. I realized a long time ago that I tend to express myself much better through writing than any other way. So I’m going to get a few things off my chest:
As you all know, I am a preschool teacher at a wonderful private preschool ten minutes down the road from my house. I was promoted to teacher status at the beginning of this school year. I was very close to becoming lead teacher, but EEC wouldn’t certify me because I’m not 21 yet.
Anyway, I have had a great experience and I have learned a lot through my fellow teacher and the director of the preschool. Yes, it is just the three of us. This is due to lack of enrollment at the school; therefore we were struggling financially. In fact, that’s why I got bumped up to teacher because one other teacher got laid off due to the money issues.
Does anyone see where I’m going with this?
Due to low enrollment and lack of money, we had to close the school down. We weren’t even able to make it until the end of the school year in June. So today, our last day before winter break, is our last day of school. Forever. After today, I am officially unemployed. Of course, I have a few ideas of what I want to do next, but it won’t be with my kids anymore.
I wrote all the families a note and even wrote a note to my two co-workers. I basically thanked them for everything they’ve done because they all had a huge impact on my life whether any of us realized it or not. I also included the Dr. Seuss quote–call it corny, but I felt as though it was appropriate in light of everything going on. None of us have ever gone through this before. The parents have never had to search for a preschool for only six months before their child goes off to kindergarten. Myself and my co-workers had never been out of a job like this before. And the kids have obviously never had to leave their friends and teachers like this. Although, a lot of the kids are going to same school together, which will be good.
So, yeah…everyone is sad. But we’ve all been sticking together and have been trying to make it positive for the kids. Today we played games and did fun activities with the kids. We had a proper goodbye with them, so it was good. Not to mention the parents filmed the kids saying goodbye and made a video about it. I cried. A lot. In a good way, but it definitely hit a nerve.
Last year we got our pictures taken (one of the parents is a wonderful photographer) and she made collages of all our pictures to make a class photo. I ordered one and my mom told me to write the kids’ names on the back. She said, “You think you’ll remember, but come ten years down the road you’re going to be struggling to think of their name.” So I did. And we took a group photo of the kids this year and I wrote down their names. But honestly, after everything that’s happened, I don’t think this a group of kids I will ever forget.
Now I wrote this poem a little while ago. I found out I was losing my job back in November. I had the thought of posting something on here for all to see to show how much I love these kids and families, how much I’m going to miss them, and just how much they mean to me. So I hope you like it because it came from the heart:
When you smile,
When you laugh,
When you give me hugs,
You inspire me.
When you’re so proud of your creation,
When you sing the songs we’ve learned,
When you make connections,
You inspire me.
When you play with your friends,
When you use your kind words,
When you share your toys,
You inspire me.
When you help your friends,
When you’re having fun,
When you’re trying your best,
You inspire me.
When I hear “please” and “thank you”,
When I hear “excuse me” and “I’m sorry”,
When I hear “I love you”,
You inspire me.
When I see your innocence
With everything you do,
I am inspired
To be the best I can be.
The picture today explains the way I feel about my NaNo novel this year. Of course, I tend to love everything that I write, but this year I feel as though I’m really going to win NaNo. I have never once won the November NaNo and I really believe this is going to be the year.
I love this novel so far mostly because I’m falling in love with my characters. None of them have the personality that I originally planned on them having, but they’re lovable, anyway.
My two main characters, Detective George Florence and Lilah Williams are still only acquaintances right now, but I can see them getting closer and closer to each other as each word gets written. And no, before anyone takes that the wrong way, George and Lilah are not going to end up together into a romantic relationship. They’re going to be friends and work partners and that’s it. It’s more like a big brother–little sister relationship. And Lilah is one really annoying little sister.
This morning I got about two hours of writing in and wrote 3,342 words on my novel. I’m still ahead of the game and I’m going to try my absolute best to keep it that way.
Yesterday I said I was going to start writing five pages a day, well I actually wrote about ten pages this morning. So I’m excited about that.
This novel is going really well: the characters are awesome, the plot is moving right along, and instead of writer’s block I keep coming up with more ideas for the novel (and the whole series). I really hope this blog post doesn’t jinx me, either!
I hope everyone else doing NaNo is doing just as well and is in love with their novels, too! Because the whole point of NaNo is to do something you love. And it’s kind of hard to do that when you’re not cooing over your characters and excited about new plot twists and turns!
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 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.
I know that it has been well over ten days since I have posted on here. Honestly, I have no reason for not posting, I just have not been doing it.
However, I haven’t really been slacking when it comes to writing, though. I have been going back and forth between editing Diary of a Lover and writing The Blank Page all the while trying to write Adair’s novel, Justin’s novel, and Dominic’s novel. It’s been a process, but it’s going. I have to say that I’m liking Dominic’s novel a lot better than Adair’s and Justin’s. Dominic is writing the mystery.
I have no idea where to start! I have a lot to say and I don’t know if I’m going to remember it all. I had Starbucks today and I am extremely wired! Seriously, ask my sister…and my mother…I was bothering them both. Singing, dancing, making weird noises, walking funny, yelling, laughing, falling on the floor, being loud…true story.
ANYWAY, I have three things to talk about…at least that’s all I can remember that I had to talk about…
First, Spilled Ink is back up for business. About two years ago, my sister and I started a writing website. Life got in the way and we kind of let it die. However, we wanted to get back into it so we made a new website for it. We came up with some new ideas for it, kept some old ideas and scrapped the rest of the old ideas. We hope the website grows a lot and is very successful.
Let me tell you a little about it: There are prompts, tips, writing races, co-authoring, and a role-playing section. There’s a place where members can review and discuss books they have read. Also, each member has their own board where they can post their own stories and other people can review the stories. You know, give feedback and critique. The link is on the Come Find Me page of this blog, but here it is again: Spilled Ink. Please go check it out and if you like, go ahead and join. We’d love to have you. 🙂
Next, I was thinking of adding more to this blog. My sister gave me this idea a while ago and I have been thinking of doing it ever since. I just never got the chance to actually do it. I was thinking about it more today and I think I’m going to really do it. However, I want to get your opinions anyway. So, if you don’t mind, please comment on whether you would enjoy this and want me to do this: once a month, I was thinking of doing a volg (video blog, for those of you who don’t know). So, once a month instead of posting words, you’d get to hear it straight from my loud mouth. Wouldn’t that be awesome? I don’t know when I would actually start doing this, but I thought I would throw it out there and see if you guys would like that or not. Of course, if the majority of you say no I may do it anyway. 😀
Third, I guess I should update about my actual writing, huh? I have been writing bit by bit each day since my last post. Since my last post I have written 7,659 words on Take Over. I plan on writing a little more tonight, but I probably won’t get the chance to update this later tonight and tell you all how wonderful I have been doing with my writing! I’ve been a good girl lately. 😀
I guess I do have more to talk about…fourth, my sister and I went to Barnes and Noble today (hence the Starbucks). We were looking at writing books when we were supposed to be writing. I have been thinking a lot about my future lately and I decided that it’s time that I really start looking for publishers. I have two children’s books written and ready to leave the nest. So I found one of those books that lists publishing companies, agencies, magazines, etc. I wrote down a few publishing companies that represent picture books. So, while I finish Take Over, edit Hunter and Diary of a Lover, and write Saving Each Other for Camp NaNoWriMo, I’ll be sending my two picture books off to publishers.
Also, Writer’s Digest sent me a thing in the mail about their annual writing contest. I’ve done it before (and lost, obviously), but that was two or three years ago. I think I’m going to try to do it again this year. I think I’m going to send in a poem. I don’t write poems often, although I would like to. I wasn’t going to bother with the contest again this year, but the other day, in math class of all places, I thought of a poem idea. I think that was my inner muse saying, “Do the Writer’s Digest contest!” Because seriously, when do I come up with poemideas?
Anyway, that’s that. Send my picture books to publishers, polish off my young adult novels, prepare for Camp NaNo, finish Take Over, do the contest…I have a lot on my plate right now. But I like it. I have wanted to be an author since I was ten and I finally want to get started on it. Meanwhile, I’m going to promote myself as much as possible. So follow me on here, on Twitter (the link is also on the Come Find Me page), and on my other Spilled Ink website. Then sit back and watch me succeed. Because I’m going to make it no matter what. 🙂
2013: 72,855/365,000 Words Written
2013: 1,749/18,250 Pages Read
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