Slacker(ish) Alert!

Okay, so I must admit that I was a little surprised when I saw that it has been 24 days since my last blog post.  Wow……there goes that New Years resolution!  While I’m pretty bummed that I let it go so long….I promise, I actually have been productive.  I finished my woman cave (a/k/a my office, a/k/a my writing spot).  It’s been awesome!  I’ve been doing research, including reading different aged children’s books to get an idea of what age group I would like to target.  I’ve really done quite a bit.  In fact, I even FINISHED MY FIRST DRAFT!  I just couldn’t stop myself last night.  The words just kept coming, so I just let them.  I’m feeling very proud of myself, but I’m dreading the next stage.  Revision.  I know how important this stage is, so I need to make sure and do it right.  I’d like to also work more on my characters as well.  So my question for all of you is, do you have any tips or suggestions on the revision process?  I’ve read that it’s usually good to let a bit of time go by in between revisions, but I would love some more pointers to help me along the way.  As always, thanks!

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My Woman Cave

I’ll start off by giving my bad news….my Grandma finally passed away on Wednesday afternoon.  It’s incredibly sad and I’ll miss her tremendously, but I know she was ready and she can now be at peace.

The good news is that, in attempting to keep my mind occupied, I have been very productive with my writing.  I am in the process of setting up my woman cave…a/k/a my writing space.  My birthday is Sunday and this writing space is my birthday wish.  We are turning our breakfast nook into my writing space.  It’ll have a desk, bookcase and whiteboard.  I started picking up some office supplies to keep handy and will order the desk and bookcase this weekend.  I also went to the library and picked up a ton of children’s books for research.  I’m trying to figure out what age group I want to target with my children’s book, so these books will help with that research.  I also picked up some books on writing children’s books so I could get some tips and pointers.  I started reading all of these books last night and have some great ideas.  I’m getting very excited about it all!

I talked to a good friend about really making my writing a priority.  I am going to commit myself to writing so many hours a week and if I don’t meet that quota, I will have some type of punishment.  I haven’t decided on that punishment yet, but I’m hoping that will get my butt in gear.

My question to all of you is…..do you have any tips on making a great writing space?  Also, any ideas for punishments on not meeting my goals?

Extra! Extra! Read all about it!

I finally started writing!  Alert the media!!

I’ve been so wrapped up in coming up with my storyline, that I never once put pen to paper (or finger to keyboard…I guess).  So last Thursday, I finally said, “screw it,” and just started writing.  I was hoping that the idea may just come to me as the words started flowing and that is precisely what happened!  I’m sure I’ll change the storyline numerous times along the way, but actually getting something down on paper is so completely gratifying.  Now my mind is swirling with all kinds of ideas!

I actually loved doing it too!  Thursday night, I could’ve stayed up until the wee hours of morning as the ideas just kept coming to me, but unfortunately, the 8-5 job doesn’t allow for that (insert frowny bratty face).  Not to mention, those stupid Powerball numbers failed to listen to my instructions Saturday night.  They’re so disobedient.  Oh well, maybe one day I can make writing my full time job.  One can dream, right?

Anyway, I am very excited about my ideas and can’t wait until it all starts coming together.  I will, of course, keep you all up to date on my progress.

Also, now that I’m finally moving forward, I would love any suggestions on organization, structure, etc…  I read something about a program called Scrivener’s that is helpful.  Does anyone have any tips on this, or unique methods you use?  As always, thank you!

Resolution Time Already?

Can you believe the new year is right around the corner?  Where did the last 12 months go?  No, seriously…where did they go?  I feel like I was trying to figure out my 2015 New Year’s resolutions just a few weeks ago.  Anyway, here we go again!  Time to start thinking of what changes I would like to make in 2016.  I’ve decided to make writing a key resolution for the New Year.  Specifically though, I’m not sure what to do.  Of course I’m doing the good ol’ classics too….you know….lose weight, eat healthy, exercise, be more organized, try not to complain as much….blah, blah, blah.

So this writing one….I feel like I need to be really specific to have the best chance at success.  I was thinking of these:

  1. Write at least one blog post every week.
  2. Write a short story once a week.
  3. Read five new books a month.
  4. Turn off my inner critic.  (this one is going to be HARD)

It’s not much, but it’s a start.  Do any of you have any writing resolutions that have worked for you?  I’m always open for suggestions.

Operation Success!

So I’m not going to lie….I haven’t done much writing the last week or so.  I’ve been down with a cold and pretty much spent the last 6 days on the recliner, in my pajamas, watching Maury, Price is Right, and all the other guilty pleasure shows we’re all too embarrassed to admit we watch when we’re sick.  However, I’m feeling better (for the most part) and am feeling a renewed hunger to write.  One cool update to report is that my writing exercise (this one) has been very successful.  If you’ve never done it, I highly recommend you try it.  Craig Hole, one of the guys that I’ve done this exercise with actually created a short story inspired by our exercise!  How freaking cool is that?!  You should check it out right here.  While you’re there, take a look at his blog!  The exercise really does help you with writer’s block and, for me, it has helped fill my brain with all these new ideas.

Since I’ve definitely deemed this exercise successful, I’d love it if anyone else out there had any other ideas or exercises that they’ve found to be successful.  Help a newbie out!!  Somebody?  Anybody?

Writing Exercise Update

So I’ve been fortunate enough to try my writing exercise with a couple people.  For those that didn’t see my last post (shame on you! haha), I highly suggest you check it out.  It’s basically an exercise that is designed to help you not overthink things…and JUST WRITE!  Overthinking has definitely been my kryptonite in this writing process, but I can absolutely see the benefit in this exercise.  You’re supposed to respond within a specified amount of time, which has helped me tremendously.  When I’m forced to just write…..I JUST WRITE!  Imagine that.  Additionally, the people I have done the exercise with so far have been great writers (intimidatingly so), so I feel like it’s forcing me to try even harder.  While I’m not at their level, I like the challenge.  Also, from the stories I’ve done so far, I feel my mind going into overdrive.  I’ve had a bunch of new ideas for a storyline pop up in my head, which is exactly what I’ve been needing.  So I would say this exercise has been a success so far!  Do you guys have any other ideas for great writing exercises?  I’d love to hear them!

Writing Exercise

I really wanted to start this week off with a blog post, but was drawing a blank on a topic.  My brain is still on standby following an exhausting weekend.  As much as I hate to admit it, I didn’t do anything related to my writing.  My weekend consisted of football, Jeeps and more football.  Oh wait……did I mention football?  Yes, even more football.  Anyway, I mentioned to a friend that maybe I should blog about recent news events.  However, he wisely suggested that it might not be a good idea.  He’s right though.  I can be very passionate about certain topics and the last thing I need to do is upset or irritate any of my readers (yes, I finally have some!).  He also gave me the idea for my blog post today!  Thanks buddy!

So, he recently heard about a writing exercise, which sounds incredibly helpful and actually really fun.  Maybe you’ve already heard of it, maybe not.  Either way, it goes something like this.  One person writes two sentences….about anything really.  Then the second person writes one sentence.  The first person follows with another sentence….and so on and so forth.  This creates a “story,” that literally can shift directions at the drop of a hat.  This continues until one person says, “the end,” which can be at any time.  The last person then gets to write one last sentence.  The writing of the sentences is timed as well, so you really don’t have time to think (or overthink) what you’re going to say next.  It’s supposed to help people overcome writer’s block.  I think it sounds pretty brilliant myself.  I keep being told that I just need to start writing and stop thinking.  This sounds like the perfect way to try that out.

I would be thrilled if this exercise not only helped me, but maybe some other aspiring writer too.  So, I’d like to throw out an invitation.  If any of you are interested in trying this out with me, I’d be stoked!  Shoot me an e-mail if you want!  It’s 7thtimesacharm@gmail.com  Let’s do this!!