Archive for March, 2016

Camp

 Are you ready?

   In about 10 hours, California time, the writing begins. I’m fairly excited, even though I’m a little bit behind. I’m going to see how caught up I can manage to get in those precious 10 hours, in the hopes that I’ll be able to get to where I need to be. I have 2-3 more chapters in the story that I’m writing, which is my prelude to my NaNo story. (I know, I did it by accident. Sometimes, I just get very excited with my writing and a one-shot turns into a novella.)

Anyway, are you ready for Camp NaNo? Do you have your snack of choice and a good supply of caffeine?

I’m planning on posting every day during the month, to update you guys and let you know how I’m managing to push my way through the Camp – so I should be delivering quite a few good tricks and tips as I go!

I’m excited to hear what you guys are writing about! Let me know! Let’s Be NaNo Buddies <— Click the link so we can camp together!

Until tomorrow then! I’ll see you at Camp!

Author Amanda McCormick

Twitter | Patreon | NaNo Page | Tumblr

 

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Life and Writing

Hey all! I thought I’d drop in really quick to give a bit of a life and writing tip! Most people love the holidays, and covet their precious time off. However, you come across the small issue of having to worry about how to fit writing time in around family time. I thought I’d pop in really quick and offer a bit of advice, at least as far as what I do to make sure that I still get my words in while also enjoying my (in this case Easter) holiday with family.

First, and what helps me the most is the small laptop that I purchased. I bought a small Asus 11.6 inch laptop, much like THIS ONE. It has a ridiculously good battery life (8+ hours), and it’s small enough to fit into my purse. I can literally bring it with me everywhere that I go – during down time with the family, when we’re all just watching programs on the television, I can pull it down and get in a few hundred words. Anything that you have would work really – a tablet, ipad.

If you don’t have the funds or capability for a laptop, a smartphone can also work. Though you’re going to be writing a bit slower, you can still get in words, or at least your thoughts. Get a program like One Note, and you’re going to be able to store your writing so that you can fetch it to your computer when you’re safe and at home. If you can’t use One Note, monopolize on the accessibility that Google Docs offers. You’re writing in web storage, and you’re going to be able to fetch that no matter where you are. But, pull out your smartphone, take some notes, write some sentences. Get your writing in.

Of course, there’s nothing wrong with going the traditional route. This is actually my second preferred method, over smart phones. I carry a notebook with me everywhere that I go. Though my wrists don’t allow me to write by hand for extended amounts of time, I’m still able to get out bursts of paragraphs and sentences. As a writer, you will do your best to always have a small notebook and a pen at your disposal – who knows when you’ll find something inspiring, right?

If you simply can’t write during family time (I still suggest taking notes if you have good ideas, just be secretive about it, heh), get yourself up an hour earlier than you need to, and get your writing in while you enjoy your cup of coffee for the day. Though it may seem like a bit of work, you’ll go through the day feeling like you already accomplished your goals, and you won’t have to worry about getting home from family time with enough hours left in the day to still get your writing done. It’s better that you do it before you eat and socialize and spend all of your energy, I promise.

 

So, those are my few tips for making the most of the Holiday, though I’m sure there are plenty more! What do you think, guys? I’d love to hear from you in the comments!

Until then!

Author Amanda McCormick

Twitter | Patreon | NaNo Page | Tumblr

Writing Prompt

I decided that it was time for another writing prompt! This is another photo prompt, picture courtesy (and with the permission of) Garett Photography! Make sure to pop on over there and check out his amazing work!

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Here’s the photo. Write what emotions it elicits – a short story, a blurb of thought, a poem. Whatever comes to mind, write it down! I’d love to see/get to repost some of your responses, so tag me or post them in the comments! I can’t wait to see what you all come up with!

Until next time!

Author Amanda McCormick

Twitter | Patreon | NaNo Page | Tumblr

 

Writing Tips and Tricks

So, I’m about to touch onto something that all writers who put their work out there to be seen have to deal with. It’s the thing that frightens us, and the thing that quite often keeps us silent and insecure, when we should be proud of all that we can accomplish.

It’s the negative comment.

I’m not talking about constructive criticism. I’m actually a huge fan of that. I think that we have to strive to take criticism, to hear notes, to want to improve ourselves. The moment that we can’t hear constructive criticism is the moment that we stop wanting to improve ourselves as writers. No… I’m talking about the negative comment – the condescending reader – the brash brutes who want to tell us how bad we are without actually delving into how we could improve. These people don’t know what a compliment sandwich is. These people exist to be negative, and generally without an intelligent reason behind it.

We all have to deal with it. At least once in our lives, someone is going to tear us down with no actual logic behind it. It’s just something that, as a writer, you have to deal with. I did. Just today.

It took me aback, because it’s been a long time since I’ve had someone just throw a condescending “Well, this is cliche – maybe you’ll prove me wrong” or anything else of the sort in my face. Worded properly, insults can cut like a knife. Worded properly, for just a moment, an insult can send a writer spiraling into an existential crisis of self. Am I cliche? Am I a bad writer? Should I stop? Should I give up? 

The only thing that you should do is not listen to the person who comes at you with a purely negative opinion. They’re allowed to have it. It can even be valid, to them. But you have to remember that you cannot please everyone. You can’t even please almost everyone. Someone is always going to sit in the corner with a frown, and that’s okay. The most important person that you write for is yourself – never forget that.

Now, if writing for yourself isn’t enough… take a step back. Usually, if you’re putting yourself out there so that people can see you, you are getting some form of positive encouragement. You probably have people leaving positive comments, clicks, kudos, favorites, whatever if you’re posting online where people can see. You have friends who are there to hold you up when people try to beat you down. If you weren’t before, you are now. You’re fucking brave as hell for doing that – it takes a special kind of person to release their words into the wild with the full knowledge that there are wolves waiting to tear you apart. Ignore the wolves – make coats out of their luscious pelts to warm you in the winter. You’re doing something that they probably weren’t brave enough to do themselves. You’re a writer, and no one can take that away from you. Your story is something that only you can tell – even if you’re telling the same damn story that someone else told… because only you can put it in your words. Only you can see the world through your eyes and translate it into a tale for others to revel in.

Even The Most Popular Authors In The World Get Negative Comments.

Don’t let the negative get you down, because I promise, there’s always another side to the coin. There is always the positive. So accentuate the positive xD Eliminate the Negative.

 

Yeah. I just did that. Point being, don’t let the negative get you down. If it’s not done in a fashion that’s meant to help you improve, it’s not something that you need to pay attention to. ❤ You keep doing you. You’re amazing.

 

Until next time,

Author Amanda McCormick

Twitter | Patreon | NaNo Page | Tumblr

Writing Tips and Tricks

So, what is it, when you aren’t quite blocked… but you’re just kinda blah about writing? I don’t want to define it as writer’s block, because I’ve had that a few times… and it’s vastly different. I can write right now. I did a good 619 words in just a few minutes. But… I feel so blah about it. Whether it’s a lack of caffeine, a lack of sleep, or some other factor… I’m just feeling blah on my creative level today.

So, how do you deal with a horrible case of Writer’s Blah? First, you can always try to figure out what’s causing it – I often times find that if I keep feeling this way for an extended amount of time, taking a break, getting something to eat, getting some sugar into my body… it will actually help. Your creative process can be extremely hampered by your bodily needs, without you even realizing it. I’ve had days much like this where I couldn’t write anything until I stopped and made myself some lunch. Suddenly, I was energized and capable of spitting out my entire 1k, and then some. As writers, we often allow ourselves to get so wrapped up and distracted in our creative process and the need for words (or art, or sewing, or crafting, or whatever we do as creative individuals) that we forget that our bodies are machines, and we need maintenance. So always make sure that your tummy is happy, or you have enough sleep, or whatever it is that you’re craving.

For those of us who have insomnia (I am Queen of Insomnia, and sleep is not my friend), if you have a moment where it feels like you can take a nap, do it. I sometimes feel guilty when I decide to sleep before I’ve written anything. Don’t. Just don’t. Take care of your body. If it’s actually going to let you catch some valuable shut eye, do it.

Now, I’m not saying that you should give in to all of your little whimsical urges – such as, my brain is certainly telling me that I need to play Fallout. xD Nice try, brain. Write first, game later. But for actual physical, or emotional (shout out to all of my fellow creative people who have anxiety/depression/etc issues), you have to take care of yourself. Sometimes, when my anxiety/depression is getting the best of me and making it hard for me to write… I step back, I go, I take a shower. I dry my hair, I make myself feel comfortable and nice and clean… and sometimes, that’s enough. Sometimes, if I’m feeling anxious and depressed, I ditch my plans and just write about how I’m feeling. 

What I’m trying to get across here is, if you’re suffering from a case of Writer’s Blah, there’s usually an underlying reason. Stop, step back, check yourself and your needs (not your wants) and give your body those things. I bet it will help!

 

Until next time!

Author Amanda McCormick

Twitter | Patreon | NaNo Page | Tumblr

 

Life and Writing

So, today’s blog will discuss something that’s I’m sure we actually all struggle with -finding time to write during your busy schedule. For me, it’s not even that I’m busy. The fact is, Fallout 4 came out with its first expansion, Automatron, so I’m honestly finding myself hard pressed to log off of steam to get my writing done. The proof is in the writing statistics. I’ve had two days where I only just got my 1k in words.

But the fact is, I managed to get that 1k. No matter what happens, if you’ve set yourself a writing goal (or any goal, honestly), the most important thing you can do is not let yourself get distracted. I’m actually using my DLC as a reward – if I get my 1k done, I get to play without guilt. If I get my writing done, I feel like I earned my gaming. The same can be said of anything that you want to do – set yourself up a reward system, if writing seems a chore. If you get ____ amount of words, you get an hour of gameplay.

If you can’t manage your full quota in one session, break it up. If you write 500 of your 1,000 word goal, you can play for an hour. But then, you must break to write the other 500 before you can finish playing guilt free. The same can be said of things other than writing. If you have to clean, clean a specific room, play for an hour as a reward, rinse and repeat. With anything, even if it sometimes seems like a chore, putting in a reward system is the best thing you can do. Though writing isn’t a chore for me, I’m having to reach into my inner discipline right now to keep myself at it.

It’s easy to make excuses in my mind – my monthly wordcount goal was 31,000 words, and I’ve already doubled that. I can skip a day – it doesn’t matter. But… the thing is, if you make yourself a goal, and you look back on the days that you failed your goal… you’re not going to feel good about it. Though it might seem worth it at the time to skip out, or make excuses, I promise you’ll feel more proud and accomplished for showing that you had the discipline to stick to the goals that you set out for yourself than to make excuses and fail. ❤

No matter what, even if you do miss a day, just remember that tomorrow is a new page, a blank slate. Don’t give up. Keep striving forward. We all have it in us to accomplish our dreams ❤ It’s just a matter of putting one foot forward!

 

Until next time,

Author Amanda McCormick

Twitter | Patreon | NaNo Page | Tumblr

Weekly Writing Update

So, I figured it was time for me to do a writing update! I’ve continued on my streak of getting my 1k a day, though I’ve slowed down a little in the wake of editing a massive story (read Fallout 4 Fanfiction that is completely original Work) to put up to the internet. I rarely edit, but since this one was 42,000 words long, I gave it a little bit of a look-see. If you’d like to see, it’s a lot of backstory (read SMUT) about my character Quinn. (Do take care of the Archive Warnings, however. Could trigger some things.) Anyway, you can find that HERE if you’re interested. ❤ If you click, please at least leave a kudo if you like it ^_^

So, other than that, let me go ahead and get my little calendar up for you guys!

March20

As you can see, my wordcount is climbing right on up there! I’m getting quite a few things done, which is pleasing. I’ve also been using MyWriteClub a lot, which I spoke about in a post I wrote just a bit ago, so go check that out if you’re interested! It’s a fun way to organize your writing, especially if you don’t want to mess with navigating spreadsheets like I’m doing!

Anyway, I’m really excited for Camp coming up in April. I’m going to be doing a Fanfic, as I mentioned earlier, but a lot of the content that I have to finish before I can do the fanfic is completely original. I’ve really been enjoying myself, because the process of creating these original characters for the stories has made me flex my writer muscles. If you’d like to see about River, her story is A River Runs Through It – I’ll be working on it up until April starts, but I’m hoping to have it finished by then, so keep an eye on that!

So. Yeah. I haven’t had as many huge days this month, but I’ve been really pleased with my steady churn out of words. Sometimes, just having a bunch of good small days is just as good as having a few good big days that wipe you out – I’m enjoying myself, I know that much. My rule is just to get my 1k for the day, no matter what… and then let my muse carry me as far as I want to go after that. I’ve realized that, by the time I get that 1k churned out, even if I wasn’t feeling like writing before, I’ve basically started my engines, and my writing mojo is there after.

Setting yourself a goal and striving for it will get it into your mind, your mental makeup, even your reflexes to get those words – everything is easier after!

 

Until next time!

Author Amanda McCormick

Twitter | Patreon | NaNo Page | Tumblr

Writing Prompt

 

So, I realized that doing daily writing prompts was a bit too much for me to keep up with. When I didn’t manage, it just made me feel bad. Since you should never feel bad about writing – especially if you’ve just laid out a little more than you could chew for yourself… this is going to be a prompt and a tip all in one. Never be ashamed to adjust your writing schedule that you make for yourself. It’s not about being the person who pumps out the most writing amongst your peers. It’s about you getting some writing done, feeling accomplished with yourself, and establishing a habit. If you set a goal for 1k a day, but have to cut it to 500, do not be ashamed. Be proud that you’re getting that 500, and that you’re mature enough to realize that re-working your expectations is perfectly all right!

Anyway, tip aside, I pulled my prompt from Pinterest today! So please, take a look HERE and pick one of the 25 Fantasy Prompts on this list! I’ll be posting my response either today or tomorrow! I can’t wait to see what you all come up with!

Until then!

Author Amanda McCormick

Twitter | Patreon | NaNo Page | Tumblr

Writing Tips and Tricks

I’ve spoken before on finding a way to keep track of your writing. I’m constantly experimenting – I’ve found two ways that work for me so far, and you’ve been seeing how I implement those.

 

So far, I use a spreadsheet, and a desk calendar. That, in tandem with a daily WriteDeck has been my go-to method for the past few months. Today, I discovered something else, that’s put a new spin on writing… and I’m finding that I really enjoy it!

The site is called MyWriteClub, and it seems to be in beta right now. However, you can add friends, get into sprints with aforementioned friends, set daily/monthly/etc goals for yourself. It’s just another place for you to have accountability, and I always promote accountability. The perk of this place is, if you do end up joining… we can be friends! We could even potentially sprint together. I find that I really, really love encouraging my friends to write – so if you do join and you want me to be the little fairy on your shoulder, reminding you to write, just let me know.

Anyway, this site is just another tool that I find so important in the writing process. You have to find what works for you, and once you do… you keep that method held tight to your chest. Whether it’s a chat room, a chart, a calendar… or you randomly feeding yourself candy bars (guilty), you do whatever it takes to get your writing done! No one can write your story but you, after all!!!

 

Until next time, enjoy my short tip! If you want to add me on MyWriteClub, my name is EgoDominusTuus – or leave your name below! I’ll prod you! HERE  is a link to my personal sprint, which is always open. There’s a chat function there, and I’d love to see you there. (No, this isn’t like… click bait, advertising, whatever. I just love making writing friends xD <3)

 

Author Amanda McCormick

Twitter | Patreon | NaNo Page | Tumblr

 

Writing Preview

 

So, while I was on the Bart train today on my way home from SF, I half dozed and had a little dream. I decided to write that out and share it with you all. Keep in mind, this is unedited – it’s more a stream of thought than anything… and I totally recommend that you guys do the same! It helps you to get your daily word count, and even if it isn’t your best writing (such as this is not mine), it could be the beginning of a great story, given a little work!

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