Archive for January, 2014

So, I’m going to try to work up the gusto to do a vlog! I got my new webcam in, so it’s exciting. I wanted to set it up so I could do a tour of my desk and perhaps a few introductions on my writing style/method/whatever. I’ve been in a really weird mood lately – I think it might be something that most people who chase writing as their career feel. I mean, honestly… it’s a bit discouraging at times, because you know that there’s not a guarantee that you’ll be able to have the job that you really want. There’s no guarantee that your novel will ever be published. There’s no guarantee that anyone else will ever ask for a commission.

Honestly, I’d love to be a published author some day. I’m working on editing novels up so that I can actually pursue that dream, but knowing that there’s a chance that it could take a long time, that it could never happen? It can be depressing. I’ve noticed that when I get down about this stuff, I put in job applications for local stores. It’s honestly a little funny – I mean, I’m doing all write with my commission business. It’s not constant, but it’s enough to make a difference in my life. I’m going to be going back to school within the next few months (it took a while from moving to California, settling, getting married, but the time is right)… and I’m going to make something of my life.

But every now and then, I do job applications, because I know that my chosen career path isn’t a guaranteed thing.

That doesn’t mean, however, that I’m going to give up. I know that you, as a writer, get discouraged just the same… don’t give up. Never give up! Writing is a dream, a passion, it’s a thing that burns inside of me. It’s something that I need to do, that I want to do, and that I get extremely grumpy when I don’t do. Put in job applications, run around in circles, climb a tree, adopt a dog… do whatever you have to do to placate that feeling of listlessness as you continue to climb and struggle along your chosen career path… but never give up. Keep writing, keep trying. Your words mean something. Your words are amazing – your words are something that no one else in this world can ever produce, you know?

I tell myself these things. It’s hard, you better believe that I know it, but I’m always going to keep trying. I’m going to buckle down and take it seriously. I’m going to edit, going to talk to publishers, going to maybe self publish some short stories… and I’m not going to stop writing.

Writing is life, is breath. We, as writers? We can never stop.

 

-Amanda McCormick (The oddly musing writer).

I think coffee and word sprints are what get me through the day sometimes. As someone who does commission writing, I’m honestly not completely enthralled by the things that I have to work on. There are times when the story is just ‘blah’ to me, and I’d rather be working on my personal writing (because that is what is going to make me a rich and famous author some day, really… it is.) Still, the commissions are what make the money, and I’m more than happy to be doing them. I find, though, that one of the best things for getting them done is taking them a chunk at a time.

I’ll do 500-1000 word ‘word sprints’ (Write the words as fast as I can without stopping, no breaks, no looking or checking anything until I’m done). I find that it’s really easy when I have such a low goal, and I get the work done MUCH faster than I would looking at it over it’s 10k word entirety. When you take things in small chunks, you stop yourself from getting overwhelmed at the enormity of a project. I find that if I do 5-10 settings of sprints, with little breaks in between to listen to a song that I want on youtube, or a 5-minute reward of browsing tumblr… it’s a lot easier to take the stories that I’m not fond of. Before I know it, a few hours have gone by, and I have nearly the 10k words that I need.

Another secret to the life of a writer… coffee. Oh, praise coffee. My Keurig is honestly the best machine that I’ve ever had in my entire life. It’s like… pop in a cup, press the brew button, coffee at my fingertips. I’ve never seen anything so amazing! I don’t even have to get up from my desk, I just get to have coffee whenever I’d like. Of course, I use the coffee as a reward as well. If I get so many words, I can make myself another cup. It’s a great idea, and it makes things a lot easier for me. My coffee Guru Bunny:

Captain Caffeine makes sure that I don’t cheat. He mans my Keurig machine and watches over me. Once I’ve completed a goal, he’s kind enough to let me have another cup.

We all need mascots in our life.

-Amanda

NaNoWriYe

Posted: January 11, 2014 in Uncategorized
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So! Apparently I’m signing up for something called NaNoWriYe. It’s not as intensive as NaNoWriMo, and it certainly won’t be the time sucker that NaNo was. It just seems to be a proboards forum where you can sign up for an amount of words that you plan to write this year… and receive support from the insane people who plan on joining in. Writer tip 201: Having a support system is an amazing thing. While we writers are often times very solitary creatures when we work, guarding our free time like a mama bear guards her cubs, I also find that I really like the support that online friends can give. They don’t make actual noise, you can minimize them when needed… but they are always there to offer you a helpful word or a cheer when you need it.

I honestly can’t argue with that!

So, I have signed up for NaNoWriYe 2014, with a goal of 500k words for the year. Honestly, that sounds like it’s not very much to me. I plan on trying to get at least 2k a day done, plus extra… but we’ll see how it goes. I’m sure I can always change my goal count if I surpass. I’ll be doing NaNoWriMo again this year, of course… there are so many exciting prospects for 2014 when it comes to writing, including me finally buckling down and getting something ready to be sent in to publishers. I’m excited!

On a completely side note, I am getting an amazing 3DS game (Theatrhythm) and a really nice HD webcam. I’m thinking that I’m going to try to venture into the realm of vlogging (I will always post links to them here), just to see if that’s a good way to reach out to people as well. Honestly, I’m a little nervous about it, because I’m actually a socially awkward person… but it sounds like it could be something fun.

I’m always willing to try.

2014 is about pushing my limits above and beyond, and seeing how much I can really do! I hope you set the same goals for yourself!

Until next time!

-Amanda McCormick

So, one of my very first bits of advice, which I didn’t follow myself for a long, long while… you need a proper space to work. You don’t have to have an office, you don’t have to have a room for just work… but you need a place that is your work station.

I wasn’t thinking about this for a long time – I was doing my work on the couch, in the bed… wherever I was at the time. This actually had a really negative influence on my work. The thing about our brains would be the simple fact that they associate a location with what you DO in that location. I’m on the couch: Oh, I could turn on the TV while I work. I’m in my bed: Oh, a nap sounds fantastic.

What I needed all along was something like this!

I’m at my desk: Oh, let’s make coffee and get to work.

 

I also find that it’s important to personalize your work space. Mine is new, so I’m still working on it… but I have my little rabbit who captains my coffee cannon, my post it ninja, my makeshift calendar, a painting… just a few things to make me feel like this is MY area.

 

 

Honestly, the difference is amazing. You won’t realize it until you have your space, but your ability to concentrate, to associate this space as YOUR writing space, the space that you go to think? I promise, it’ll make all the difference in the worl

Cheers guys, and until next time!

-Amanda McCormick, your friendly aspiring author and freelance writer!

A Writer’s Life

Posted: January 11, 2014 in Uncategorized
Tags: , , ,

(Doing a copy/paste for my blogs from blogger!) 

 

As a freelance author who also enjoys writing novels in her free time, I’ve been asked quite a few times as to how I manage to do freelance work. Honestly, it’s not easy, it’s not steady… writing is a whirlwind of people wanting and loving your work and then dry spells that would make even a nun faint. However, through this blog, I am hoping to give writing advice, to post some of my own stuff… and to just generally give insight to the life of a writer.

So, you can look forward to tips and tricsk for Freelance Commissioning, Writing Tips, some of my own personal feelings/struggles/thoughts as a writer, and excerpts from my work! I am hoping that this blog will be able to reach out to people, to get both the information and my name out there! Rule number one to writing: If people don’t know your name, you need to try harder!

 

-Amanda McCormick