Posted in Nano, NaNoWriMo, National Novel Writing Month, Pep Talk, self promotion, Writer, writer advice, writer pep talk, writer tips, writer tricks, Writing

NaNoWriMo Day 12! 25k Down! 25k to go!

So, we’re 1/3 of the way (and some change) through NaNoWriMo! How is everyone feeling. I know that the week two blues probably set in for some of us, and I wanted to write this blog to let everyone know that it’s OKAY.

Even if you’re behind, it’s OKAY.

Even if you only have a few thousand words, it’s OKAY.

Even if you end up not hitting 50k, but still get your story started… it’s OKAY.

The simple fact of the matter is, sitting down and putting words to paper, putting YOUR story that no one else could ever put down out there? Well, that’s a pretty big accomplishment to me.

I have some friends who end up finishing NaNo out with 20,000 words, and feeling like a failure. Honestly though, I want you to sit down and think about it… who has the determination to sit down and bleed on paper for those 20,000 words? As writers, we tell the stories, we make up the words… we give people fuel for dreams. Don’t be ashamed if you couldn’t crank out a pre-determined amount of words in a month. Be PROUD that you are a writer.

And don’t feel like you can’t get caught up. All it takes is one good day of inspiration to suddenly find yourself with 5,000 words, 10,000 words. Even more. No matter, what just remember… you’re amazing, and no on else on this planet can do what you’re doing right now.

Not with your words. Not with your story. You are unique.

If anyone feels down about NaNo, needs a pep talk, or just needs a friend, tweet me on twitter @egodominustuus !

Until next time, guys! Keep reading and writing!

Author Amanda McCormick

Posted in Creative WRiting, Nano, NaNoWriMo, National Novel Writing Month, Pep Talk, Writer, Writing, Writing Advice, Writing Challenge, Writing Tips, Writing Tricks

A New Writing Schedule, Day One Progress

All right, so I got a little bit of a later start into today’s writing… but I am trying to keep the exact schedule that I was talking about prior, and so far, so good! Like I said, I started a little late, so I’m not finished like I would normally be. However, let me give you an update of what I have done! 

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I got myself completely organized, got my Scrivener document prepped for the new writing schedule, etc – as well as redoing my calendar and mirror sticky notes (oh yeah, I do those things). And so far today, I have written 5,000 words! I started at 1pm instead of the 9am that I’d intended. I wrote for 2 hours, from 1pm until 3pm to complete that word count. The idea of spending that hour to begin with, getting rid of the things that I dread? Really great idea! 

I did do a little personal writing, but I’m not counting it towards word goal because it was in a notebook. After that, I took a bit and did the dishes and made myself something to eat (read yogurt and tea. Shhh.)

Finally, because it was on my schedule, I did something that I’ve been avoiding with a vengeance since November; I sat down and properly did edits on the Prologue to my novel Cerulean Darkness! 

So… altogether, 5000+ 6000 if you count the personal writing in notebook) words, chapter edit, good blog. I’d say that was a successful day! I’m going to write another 1,000 words after signing off of here. Honestly, this new organization and schedule feels like something that’s going to work! It’s structure, it’s meeting goals one at a time… and it’s great for me.

 

What about you guys? What works for you!? I’m still going to do a blog (probably Monday) featuring some of what you guys say as feedback! Let me know!

 

Until next time, keep reading and writing!

Author Amanda McCormick (Follow me on Twitter to keep up with me throughout the day!)

Posted in Creative WRiting, Nano, NaNoWriMo, Pep Talk, Writer, Writing, Writing Advice, Writing Challenge, Writing Tips, Writing Tricks

A (hopefully) proper writing schedule.

WRITE

 

So, I’ve been sick this past week and a little bit of the week before. Needless to say, you shall not get your updates for my words written/read. I only counted sheep. However, I have been thinking about a schedule that I would like to have for my writing. I know I’ve touched on this subject before, but I think I have something really set in stone that should help me to get myself organized and properly working! 

I want to wake up at 8am every day (Goodness, gracious, is she serious?) so that I can spend an hour simply laying around, getting what I need to get done, done (housework, making lunches for the hubby, coffee, etc).

I would like to start writing by either 9am or 10. My preference will be to spend an hour at the beginning of each day getting the things that I really, really dread out of the way.

Once I can do that, I will be free and clear to spend the next hour writing on anything personal that I would like – my novels, etc.

After that, I think that two hours spend on writing for my work will suffice, because I should be able to pull between 3-6k words in that time. Following this, an hour spent editing my current novel that I am seeking to get published. 

After that, I can either call it a day, or keep working on whatever strikes my inspiration. I think that this is a good little work schedule to follow, however. Five hours which makes sure that I get everything that I need to get complete, completed… and all before the hubby gets home from work! It should also leave me with more time to read/blog guilt free (because I do like to spend at least an hour a day on my social media networks.)

 

What do you guys think? Do you have writing structure? Do you simply go by the seat of your pants? How do you tackle a day of work? I’d LOVE to hear from you – maybe the comments that I find most interesting can be little gust spots/links to your blog in my next blog! 

 

Until next time, keep reading and writing!

Author Amanda McCormick

Posted in Books, Creative WRiting, Pep Talk, Writing, Writing Challenge

Reading and Writing Weekly Count!

education-books

So, just as I said I was going to do… I’m posting my wordcount for the week. On top of that, however… I figured out something else that I thought would be a lot of fun. I’m going to post the number of pages I’ve read every week! 

So, first of all.. I didn’t quite manage the 2000 per day that I wanted, but I still got a decent amount written! 5675 words!

This was split up over the course of 2 days, each with me doing in the a little less than 3000 range. I would have written more… but after those two really great days… my room mate brought me home whatever sickness it is that he contracted from the kids this week (he works at a school). I’ve been coughy, sneezy, sore throat and headached… Which makes me want to curl up with a good book. I’m hoping that I will be able to write more in this coming week, and I will keep you all updated! 

However, on the page front, I did much better. Altogether I read 1270 pages for the week! I think I’ll probably shoot for around 1000 pages each week to be read! 

 

How about all of you? How much did you read and write this past week? What are your goals and plans for this week? I’d love to hear about it!

 

Until next time, keep reading and writing!

Author Amanda McCormick

Posted in Book Ponderings, Book Review, Book Thoughts, Books, Creative WRiting, Laurell K Hamilton, Lost books, Paranormal Romance, Pep Talk, Vampires, Werewolves, Writer, Writing, Writing Advice, Writing Challenge, Writing Tips, Writing Tricks

Blogging with my Sis, 2000 Words Word Goal, and Bout of Books

 

education-books

 

Allow me a moment to lift my eyes up to the title to make sure that I got everything covered. I think so. Anyway, so, this is a little update (I’m going to try to at least have a regular blog every Monday, if I can’t handle it for any other day.)

Anyway! What is going on in my life. I am continuing my binge read of the Laurell K Hamilton Series (reviews of the books can be found Here (books Five and Six)Here (Books Three and Four)Here (Book Two), and Here (book One). I am actually up to Book Nine in the series, but I’m a little behind on my book reviews. I will be getting those caught up this week! Talking about those leads me to the first little snippit on my blog title.

My sister-in-law and I are going to start a joint blog where we post our book reviews/book discussions etc. We’re even thinking about having an accompanying blog! We thought that, since we read a lot in the same genre, and since we’re both interested in blogging and letting our opinions out to the world, it would be fun to have a joint blog. It would give us a way to hang out more (since we live on opposite sides of the US now), and something to do in common! Also, I’ve spoken before about how important it is to have someone to hold you accountable for the goals you set out… so to have someone blogging with you? I think that would certainly help out!

Second on my little list of ‘to do’ in my title is my goal count of 2,000 words per day. It seems like a small amount when you look at it, but I know it’s going to be a challenge. I will be giving you all weekly updates of how I did, how I did it, when I fail… so, every Monday be expecting an update, and hopefully some advice on how you can achieve a word goal count as well!

And last, but certainly not least… I’ve been thinking about doing Bout of Books! I actually read about it on a blog that I follow, and I thought that it would be really fun to enter into a read-a-thon, since I never have before. If anyone has any thoughts on that, whether it would be good for me or not, let me know!

Anyway, I think that’s all that I have for this update! I have some work to get done so I can get that 2,000 word goal hit! 

Until next time, guys! Keep reading and writing!

Author Amanda McCormick

Posted in Creative WRiting, Nano, NaNoWriMo, Pep Talk, Writer, Writing, Writing Advice, Writing Challenge, Writing Tips, Writing Tricks

Challenge Yourself

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Sometimes, as writers, we have to challenge ourselves. I think that’s why NaNoWriMo is so popular… because it’s a competition that we have within ourselves. We don’t really get any huge prize (though a percentage off of Scrivener is always good)… but we get satisfaction of knowing that we accomplished our goals.

However, Novemeber only comes once a year, and Camp NaNo just isn’t as hyped. 

I think, as writers, we have to challenge ourselves every day. I find myself doing word sprints, inner word wars, as much as I can. When my writer group is online, we do word wars and sprints… it’s because the challenge is fun. We for ourselves to go for it, as much as we can, as hard as we can.

I think, especially when we’re not getting paid a huge amount (because I do get paid to write)… sometimes it’s a little harder for us. Especially for me, writing for other people as opposed to writing for myself… it’s hard. I sometimes don’t want to write at all. I find myself staring at a blank screen while Scrivner sort of taunts me in a ‘haha, you aren’t going to do it’ manner.

And so… I have decided to set a challenge for myself, starting today. Even if it isn’t very much, I want to write 2,000 words a day. A lot of my commissions are between 6-15k words… so 2,000 won’t make that much of a dent, but I honestly think having that challenge will make me write more than I realize. I’ve noticed when I start writing, when I accomplish that goal, I feel vitalized and can often times do a 6000 word+ day. It’s because I’m giving myself a task, I’m setting goals… and I’m hitting those goals.

Sometimes I think as writers, just hitting goals is such a huge boost to our confidence that it gives us the energy to keep on keeping on.

So… who has a daily goal set for themselves? And who should start doing daily goals? I’d love to hear from you in the comments below. Heck, I’d even love to keep in contact with you – after all, it’s much easier to keep up with your goals if you have someone asking you… have you done your words for the day? I plan on doing a weekly update of my word count/how I’ve done as far as my goals. I’ll probably post it every Monday. :3 So… I’m excited. I want to be held accountable for what I tell myself I’m going to do, and that’s why it’s going to be posted live and here. If anyone wants to join in, I’d love to have you along for the ride!

Until next time, keep reading and writing!

Author Amanda McCormick

Posted in Book Ponderings, Book Review, Book Thoughts, Books, Creative WRiting, Laurell K Hamilton, Paranormal Romance, Pep Talk, Werewolves, Writer, Writing, Writing Advice, Writing Tips, Writing Tricks

The Truth about Writers and Caffeine (And Anita Blake Novel Reviews)

caffeine

At least for this writer, I know it’s a necessary thing. Call it a bit of an addiction, but I think that when we push ourselves to write so much, so early, so late into the night, we need it. I know that I, for one, feel completely energized after I’ve downed my can of Redbull, or my morning cup of coffee. 

I think it’s honestly the need that we have to pamper ourselves in some way or another, and since we’re writers and the best we can do is a comfy chair or a new workspace… coffee, caffeine (and chocolate :3) is our way to pamper. I certainly would never take it for granted, and I know that I’ve seen dozens upon dozens of pictures of writers with that happy, beautiful coffee cup in hand. What about you guys? What do you do to pamper and reward yourself for writing hard?

 

As a side note, I’m going to be reviewing the Anita Blake novels in groups – I figured it would be more interesting and less monotonous that way. So, expect a review for those books… just not anytime soon. I’ll be reviewing them individually on my Goodreads, so feel free to check that out if you want to. I’ll be getting back to my writing challenge, as well as giving you guys a bit of an updated word count/work space tour! 

 

Until next time, keep reading and writing!

Author Amanda McCormick

Posted in Creative WRiting, Nano, NaNoWriMo, Pep Talk, Writer, Writing, Writing Advice, Writing Tips, Writing Tricks

Writing 5,000 Words in an Hour and some Change

The-Writer

 

Goodness, sounds like an impossible feat, doesn’t it? I decided a few weeks ago that I wanted to make a writing log, I wanted to do something to time myself, to see how much I wrote, what were the best lengths of bursts for me to write in, etc. I got a nice, regular composition notebook and wrote “Writing Log” on the front of it with green sharpie, so I could feel official. 

So, I’ve only been doing it for one day, but I noticed something pretty awesome. Keeping a log like that actually helped! Seeing my writing, the numbers, on a chart? Well, it made a difference! Not only holding myself accountable, but being able to see my progress on a paper as I went… there was something about it that inspired me to write more, to write faster, to write better. Allow me to copy my log for you below so you can get an idea of what I did.

 

July 29th Writing Log

Start time, 8:30PM

8:30-8:45 – Warm up Free writing, 1,000 words.

8:45-9:00 – Word Sprint, 1,247 words.

9:00-9:15 – Free writing, 750 words.

Break from 9:15-9:20.

9:20-9:30 – Free writing, 820 words.

9:30-9:45 word sprint, 1,200 words. 

Word total: 5017 Words

Writing Time, 1 hour, 15 minutes.

 

So, you can see that I managed to accomplish quite a bit of work during that time. I was able to see what strides I did, what writing bursts were the best. Allow me to explain that free writing is writing that I could do while taking a break at any time to chit chat with friends, to browse facebook or tumblr, etc. Word sprints were writing without stop, without checking anything, without anything else going on. I gave myself a small break in between to completely close down the document and look at something else. I am hoping that, by keeping this log, not only can I accomplish quite a bit of writing… but I can establish a pattern of what works best for me, what doesn’t, what times I write the most, etc. 

I think that, as writers, we should look at our writing like anything else. People often times pay attention to when they are most productive, how they manage things the best, etc. We should do the same! We should hold ourselves accountable for word count, for how much we work, for the amount of time we slack off and get distracted, etc. If we could do that, we’d get more done. More than that, if we could establish a pattern of what worked best for us… think of how much more we could get done?

That’s my tidbit of advice for the day – try keeping your own writing log journal. If you have, if you have thoughts on it, or anything else, drop me a comment! I’d love to see what you think!

 

Until next time, keep reading and writing!
Author Amanda McCormick

Posted in Pep Talk, Writing

Vlogging and Job Applications

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).