The truth is, there is no writing happening lately, unless it’s for school or a work email. I just don’t have the brainpower. I have been feeling COMPLETELY overwhelmed with work/school/life and everything I want to accomplish…
Until I realized that wanting to do too much actually results in me doing nothing. Not with any degree of proficiency, anyway.
So…for now, I’m limiting myself to blogging/book reviews, work, school, and Holly Lisle’sFind Your Writing Voice and How to Find Your Writing Discipline workshops. (Yes, I’m aware of the irony.)
I just need to let some things go for a bit before I lose my grip on everything.
Today, I’m looking for something to get me writing. Inspiration, motivation, some kind of cattle prod wired to my chair that zaps me if I get up…. You know, the usual.
I work best under pressure, or with “too much” to do. Something about knowing there are a ton of things that need to be done keeps me focused and allows me to get things accomplished. (A close friend once told me, “You get more done before 9 a.m. than most people do all day!” This is easier if your days routinely start at 3 a.m. I’m just saying…)
My new class—my first journalism class—starts tomorrow, and I’m moderately terrified (likely to upgrade to “completely”.). My job responsibilities changed last week, with the addition of an entire second location to do administrative tasks for. Then there’s the novel I’m writing, the one I’m actively revising, and the one I’m outlining. Not to mention the copywriting class I’m working my way through. And the book reviews that are due or past due. Blogging. I think you see my point.
While this would normally prove super-motivating and really keep me focused and on-task, sometimes, I have to fight a little bit harder to get inspired. (Hence this post instead of my first 500 words of fiction for the day.)
With that in mind, here are four things that might motivate you (and me) to write:
This week was fairly productive, considering it was the first week of grad school (Eep!). I did a tiny bit of writing—1,000 words or so—in The Fall, plus outlining 10 scenes in it as well. Having an outline made the writing flow pretty well. Something I know, yet I still started writing this story with no outline. Smart move, there.
I did a little outlining in the Witches revision, also. I’m sort of feeling my way with that, since I’ve revised the story several times, and this is more of a re-write than a revision, but I’m using the current draft as a guideline. We’ll see how that works out. My voice and style have changed significantly since I originally plotted the story.
Yesterday I attended a local authors’ event with a friend. It’s part of the library’s Year of the Book promotion. Each author had a table, and they each spoke for 10 minutes.
My friend and I went because we both love Rachel Caine’s work. (I’ve read The Morganville Vampires series, the Weather Warden series, the Outcast Season spin-offs, and her re-telling of Romeo and Juliet. I’ve been wanting to read her The Great Library series as well.)
Somehow, by sheer luck, we arrived about 15 minutes before Rachel’s talk, just in time to hear Sarah MacTavish. (I feel like I’ve heard of her, but can’t swear to it. I read SO MUCH that authors sometimes get a little bit mixed up in my mind sometimes.) I enjoyed her talk, and the short chat I had with her afterwards, and bought her book, Firebrand. Young adult fiction about the Civil War from an author who carries her supply of books in an R2D2 suitcase? I’m sold! I’m looking forward to the read, just as soon as I wrangle enough time from my schedule for it.
My purchases for the day:
It’s been quite a while since I purchased physical copies of fiction. The bottom two books I bought at the event, the top three at B & N beforehand. I was so excited when I got home, but I had serious reader’s indecision: What to read first?
Answer: Firstlife, by Gena Showalter, because I’m hoping to get approved to review the second book in the series, and because I’ve been interested in this one for a while. Isn’t the cover gorgeous?
Confession: I read the entire thing last night. Loved it! The concept is so unique, and the characters compelled me from the first page. You should definitely read this!
Things will probably be kind of scarce around here for the next month or so. My new classes just started, with a heavy work load, and I’m moving in a month so I have to pack and go through all of the stuff in storage.
So, I’ll be working on Siren Song and the Witches even less. On the up side, I started writing my final project for my capstone class this morning, and it’s a short story related to my idea for the Camelot story, so at least I’m doing some fiction writing.
This morning, I finished reading one of the books for my American Women Writers class, The Coquette, by Hannah W. Foster.
Have you read this book? I had never even heard of it before seeing the reading list for this class. It was written in the very late 1700s, and is about a woman trying to choose between two men: a minister who wants to marry her, and a rake. She ends up alienating the minister, who marries someone else, and so does the rake. However, she ends up pregnant from an affair with him, and dies alone in childbirth. The tale is told in a series of letters between the characters, giving a good view of the characters true emotions.
And here’s where I had a problem with this story, because some of the letters are written from the rake’s point of view, and he’s a complete and total jerk, who refuses to take responsibility for his own actions.
He makes a concerted effort to come between Eliza and her other suitor. When that relationship goes down in flames, he marries a heiress, and says she can’t blame him for his actions, because she knew how he was. What? He pursues Eliza unmercifully, and when she eventually gives in, he blames her and loses all respect for her. The pregnancy is all her fault. When his wife finds out and leaves him, and he loses everything, still he doesn’t want to accept blame. He does seem remorseful after Eliza dies, but still doesn’t really own up to his faults.
I enjoyed the book somewhat, but this character drove me mad. Deliberately hurtful, selfish, greedy…everything was her fault, even though she repeatedly rebuffed him. When tragedy struck, he still wasn’t fully ready to accept blame. I found him entirely unlikable and criminal.
And to be honest, his attitude and behavior is quite reminiscent of some of the prevailing attitudes in society today. That girl in the provocative clothing who was the victim of sexual harassment, abuse, and/or rape? That was all her fault, for dressing like that.
Since when are people not responsible for their own actions, including hurting other people?
I finished up the outline for Siren Song in January, and then promptly didn’t write a word until… late February. My “goal” (which I frequently find myself ignoring) is two 500-word sessions a week. I can remember writing 10,000+ words a day for NaNo years ago, so 500 words twice a week should be ridiculously easy. Should be.
As it turns out, actually making myself sit down and write is almost impossible. But this morning, I made that my first priority, and wrote 1,000 words.
Not setting any records with that, but I’m thrilled with it.
I also started outlining my final project for my capstone class, which is a short story based on the mythos of Camelot. I’m actually looking forward to writing it, and using it as backstory for when I start writing the Camelot project sometime in the future (because my Muse gave me a fantastic idea with that months ago).
This week has been plenty busy. Craziness at work (which should soon be resolving itself in a very positive way.). Trying to get everything for the first week of classes done, as well as the reading done for the second week (Just about have that complete.). And perhaps I should pack sometime today, since I’m leaving for Atlanta tomorrow. Perhaps…
However, HTRYN Lesson One is going well. Sort of. It’s a bit depressing, but I should finish the first pass through Witches today. I’m seeing a lot of the same issues. Being aware of them is the first step to fixing them, right? (Here’s hoping.) I’m seeing a lot of telling-not-showing, and there’s more distance from my characters than I’d like. I do have an idea about fixing one issue that’s been bothering me somewhat for a long time, however.
I’m also less than five scenes from finishing the outline of Siren Song! I’m really happy about that, even if it’s not the greatest outline ever. I’m hoping there will be less wandering about with an actual outline to work from. (Knowing my tendency to get distracted, I’m almost positive that will be true.)
I’m off to finish things up so I can enjoy my sort-of-mini-vacation!
Last week wasn’t the best week–writing or otherwise–that I’ve had lately. I ended up working five days. My mom moved back to New Orleans. There was a lot going on. I didn’t get as much done as I had hoped/planned.
I think I got one writing session in. And approximately zero sessions in on my other projects. Only five blogs written as well, and the ones I did write were short at best. But that’s okay. Tomorrow is another day.
This week, I’m planning on three writing sessions, three brainstorming sessions, six blog posts (plus an extra book review), work on two essays plus a project, a midterm exam, cleaning my computer room again (why does everything migrate there?), and work on a couple of projects. Oh, and (hopefully) five or six workouts. Plus working four days.
Hmm. When I list it like that it seems like a lot.
So, I was supposed to be off all last week, and I had big goals: “writing two essays, starting another, and beginning work on a leadership project, in addition to a plethora of textbook-reading), but I’m also going to get in six solid writing sessions. At least that’s the plan. And six brainstorming sessions as well.” How’d that turn out? I’m glad you asked. (I’m pretty sure you asked, didn’t you?)
I actually ended up working Monday evening and Thursday morning for a few hours, so the week wasn’t quite as free as I planned. But…I got those two essays written, and 1/5 of the third one done as well. Made a start on the leadership project. Did all the homework/quizzes/reading for this week. I think I only got in four writing sessions, but that’s twice as many as a normal week, so I’m calling it a win. I also edited TWELVE FREAKING CHAPTERS in Witches (I totally didn’t realize it was that many. Wow.) I also moved all my drafts to Google Docs, which took a ridiculous amount o f time, considering there were 10 manuscripts. I worked on brainstorming/outlining for my three current WIPs. Wrote a total of six blog posts. And read six books.
Dang. I was way more productive than I thought. Even snuck in a couple of naps, too.