I’m Back! And “Doing The Hard Thing” Discussion.

Hello world.  Have you missed me?  It’s been two weeks, but I’m back.  The real reason I haven’t been posting is because I haven’t really been writing or editing much.

To be honest, I had hit a bit of a roadblock.  One story needs last minute edits, the second needs fairly large re-writes, and the third needs to be written.  I was at a place where I didn’t have the motivation to jump into any project.  I just wanted to sit at home and read and watch TV.

But never fear!  I’m back.  I’ve jumped back in.  I’ve written a brand-spanking-new opening scene for my first novel (it involves sneaking out of a second-story window), and I’m psyched to get the other edits finished this week.  I’m back, and I’m here to stay.

Because I’m not a dreamer.  I’m a WRITER.

Dreamers write a little for fun, but when the going gets tough, they switch to another story, try something different, or simply give up.  But Writers – Writers – push through, keep trying, and write til their fingertips are sore.  Writers will do the hard thing now because that’s what we do.

I think this whole concept is summed up pretty well in a recent VlogBrothers video:

 

So this blog post is a promise that I will keep doing the hard thing now because I want Future Me to be a published author.  And maybe this post will also be an encouragement for any of you out there who have been waiting around for the opportune moment before you get back into writing.  Don’t wait, don’t dream.  Write.

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The Epicness that is NaNoWriMo

If you look up the word “Epic,” in Beth’s Dictionary (a little different than Webster’s), there will be this picture next to it:

The LOGO

Because NaNoWriMo is the pinnacle of all things epic.  At least in the writing world.  At least in Beth’s world.

It’s been two days so far.

Notable Moments of Day 1:

  • “Attending” the Live Write-In online and seeing the comments just flood the video and the writing just HAPPENING.
  • Sitting at my bea-u-ti-ful desk and eating twizzlers.
  • THE VOICE.  OH. MY. GOSH. I love this story’s voice.
  • Hitting 2,000 words.
  • I should have plotted the plot a little more…

Notable Moments of Day 2:

  • Writing in those 20 minutes before I had to leave for school and thinking that I might switch to present tense
  • Attending a Write-In at my community college (where I take classes) and WRITING with REAL LIVE people
  • Word sprint at said Write-In.  15 minutes.  650 words.  Wowzer.  (I got second place; the lady in charge pulled of 700+)
  • Chatting about characters and Plot Ninjas and killing characters and favorite sentences and wordcounts and all things NaNoWriMo
  • Hitting, you know, 3000 words
  • Hitting 4000 words!!!!!
  • Getting a button that says “I Novel,” a sticker that says “Contents Extremely Imaginative.”  I love them both dearly.

button nanowrimo-extremely-imaginative-sticker

  • Finally being home and doing some more editing on TSOC.  Because I’m still putting those nifty line edits back into my MS text document.  Yeah I didn’t quite finish before November.  Oooopsy.
  • I now have a blister on the side of my right ring finger.  ‘Cause apparently I type on the side of that finger.  Greaaaat.

If y’all are doing NaNo, what’s your wordcount?  Mine is currently 4,542.  And that number feels amazing.

And if you’re not doing NaNo, who cares!  Write like your chair is on fire this week anyways.  Okay, maybe that wasn’t the best simile I’ve ever written…  But NaNo is all about quantity over quality, so who cares.

Towards Beta Readers? Eventually.

A couple weeks ago, I was telling a friend about my story for the first time.  Her response: “When can I read it?!”

Which got me thinking.

When can she read it?

I also have a writer friend who just sent me his MS.  I then promised to send him mine when it was ready.

Plus there’s family, other friends, etc, who are all sitting around just WAITING to read my book!  (That’s how I imagine them at least.)

And then there was the critique last week that basically said “Stop posting on CC and go get this published.”

But wait.  The most important thing has occurred: I was reading/ reviewing chapter 1 last week, and I got hit by this feeling.  It was the feeling of a voice whispering this is really good.  Like really, really good.

So, friends and family, the answer is Eventually.  You can read it Eventually.

I don’t know what ‘eventually’ means, but it sounds like a very, very long time.

^ One of my favorite quotes from Thomas and the Magic Railroad.

Yes, Thomas, Eventually will probably be a very long time away.

I still have to finish re-writing this blessed story, and then edit the re-writes, and then fix my story arc, and then change my characters up, and then add a scene here, and….

I think I can, I think I can, I think I can…

i think i can

When You Don’t Meet Your Camp Nano Wordcount Goal…

(…you cry.)

You make hot cocoa and watch Doctor Who.  You check Facebook.  You waste an hour listening to a really good audiobook read by Andrew Scott.  You spend all afternoon working in the garden.  You waste time trying to find a program to create a map for your fantasy world.  You check Facebook.  And then you pound out a few hundred words and collapse into bed feeling like a failure, because you didn’t meet your goal today.  (Repeat as many times as you like.)

CampNaNoProgress

And you stare at your little orange graph, willing it to go up.  You remember the good old days (around Day 8) when you were actually close to your word-count goal.  You replay in your mind that one day you wrote over 2,000 words, wishing it would come back.

Then you cry some more, accepting that those days are over with and done for, forever a thing of the past.  You make excuses.  You’re just too busy, you have a lot of homework, you’ve gotten a good amount done anyways… why bother catching up?  Besides, you wrote 400 words for your history homework, and another 200 in your journal, and that makes up for not working on your novel, right?

And then you sigh, pull out the laptop, and determine not to get up until you’ve written 2,000 words.  Why?

A Delicious Thing To Write

Because writing is delicious.  It’s wonderful.  It’s an opportunity to lose yourself, to create new friends, to conjure up new worlds, to explore the very depths of your imagination.

When I said I was going to write 40,000 words in April, I meant it.  I’m going to hold myself to it.  Because having a better novel will be equally delicious.  Because I call myself a writer.  Because writing is who I am.  Now if you’ll excuse me, I have 2,000 words to write.