Archive for the ‘Writing Advice’ Category

So, life is hectic sometimes, isn’t it? It feels like there are too many things going on to really find time for myself, let alone time to do something like writing. I often times end up going more than a week without blogging, even though I really want to do this daily.

And so, I am on a constant quest to find ways to incorporate writing into my daily life. xD Luckily (???) [I hope Luckily] I get to share the knowledge that I garner on that quest with you guys!

My tidbit of thought today is how it is so important to find your mobility in the world of writing. The simple fact is that the world today is so fast paced that you can’t afford to not have some sort of mobile way to at least jot down your ideas. Some people use pen and paper in the old school style, and some people take notes via phone. I have found a mixture of the two that I am really enjoying. I have a Note8 that I adore, and the stylus allows me to write via hand and store it onto my phone. I allows me to write as I go, including this blog post! I’m also going to get a mini bluetooth keyboard when I can afford one and it will hopefully up the productivity.

If you guys are interested I would love to do a blog post to highlight the positives and negatives of the Note8 as a writing tool. Let me know!

Until then,

Author Amanda Mccormick

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Monthly Wrap Up

Scratch the month in the photo and bring it up to the word yearly, and you’ll have exactly where I am! I’m going to go ahead and get my Yearly Writing Update, and I apologize for the fact that I haven’t give you monthly updates for the past little bit. Like I said (like I’ve said way too much) I’ve been busy and having things going on a lot… but all of that should be coming to a head soon, and I should be able to go into what’s actually been going on! I’m excited for that.

Anyway, no need to explain those things. Let’s get on with the update!

yearHere it is. It’s just a small chart, and it seems like it doesn’t hold that much… but goodness me, it holds all of my writing for the year. I can’t believe that I got so far. Let’s start first with the goals that I set for myself.

Main Yearly Goal: Write 1000 words every day of the year. I am super proud to say that I accomplished this! There were times when I thought that I wouldn’t be able to, and times when I wanted to cheat and count writing that really shouldn’t count… but I sucked it up and I made it through. I stuck to my personal goals and the parameters I set myself at the beginning of the year… and I made it. I had to fight for it some months, and some months it came completely effortless… but I made it. And more than that, I really learned a few things about myself. Writing every day helps with my stress, and it truly does form a proper habit. On the days that I didn’t get to write my words until close to the end of the day, I felt stressed, I felt unhappy, I felt incomplete. Writing is a part of me, and this year of experience taught me that.

2016 Stretch Goal: Write 1 million words in the year. As you can see, I didn’t accomplish this goal, but I’m not upset about it. I set my stretch goal as something that I will have to perform excellently to achieve, as something that I will have to super push myself to do. It’s something that I can work towards, so that I have the ability to push myself and to better myself. I didn’t make it, but I made it extremely far. If I’d have kept my goal of only 1,00o words a day, I would have had around 400,000 words.

Instead, I have nearly 850,000. I doubled what I wanted to do, I doubled my minimum goal. I damn near got to my 1 million. It gives me hope, and it gives me something to work even harder towards in 2017.

Reflections:

Overall, 2016 was a pretty amazing year for writing. I ended up getting back into fanfiction fairly hardcore throughout the year, and I’ve made some fantastic relationships and expanded my writing ability over it. I’ve started on a second draft for my novel Cerulean Darkness, which is something that I’ve never ventured into before. I’ve also set a pace for myself for my writing this year.

I’m going to do at least 500 words every day in creative writing – original creative writing – throughout 2017. I’ve gotten more comfortable with short stories, with writing prompts, and with blogging. I’ve expanded my readers by so many, and I really have to thank all of you for that. You’ve been amazing, and an inspiration. Getting to talk with all of you and get your input as well as getting to know you has been a real pleasure.

I feel like I’ve grown as a writer in 2016. I feel like I’ve expanded my abilities, and opened so many doors for myself… and I’m so excited to walk through those in 2017 and see where they lead. I’ve set myself some fantastic goals, and I can’t want to start striving for them!


I would love to hear about your year in review. How did you do on your writing goals? How have you grown as a writer? Let me know!

Until next time, you guys! Keep reading and writing, and keep being amazing!
Author Amanda McCormick

Twitter | Patreon | NaNo Page | Tumblr | Blog Masterpost | My Writing Group
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Okay, so I didn’t finish when I wanted to before, but I have exactly 6,896 words left, so I think that I can manage it today.

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How are you all doing for NaNo? I’ve really found it to be a completely different experience this year. With my mother passing away, there is a completely different drive for me this year… it’s almost like I’m rushing to the end of the novel, because I want to send her off with it. I know it sounds odd, but it’s how I feel. Writing this is really helping me to get through what would have probably otherwise been an impossible situation to deal with. I was so afraid when it happened, that I wasn’t going to be able to get any writing done.

I’m glad to find that it’s the opposite.

Today’s actual count is 20,004. You guys are at the point where you need to break that 20k goal, and let me tell you… it’s always a fun doozey to break! I know that week one has trickled away, and we’re nearing the end of week two. I know that the shiny new novel power is starting to wear off. I know, for some of you, you haven’t even started, or you’re behind. Guess what though, guys? You can still do this. If you started right now, you still only have to write 2,600 words and some change today. I know that seems like a lot, but it really isn’t. If you get ahead, it will make that number go down. If you’re behind, you can always catch up. You can do this.

The novel inside of you is something that no one else can give this world. Even if it’s the same story that’s been told, no one can tell it like you. No one can give it the emotion and experience that you can. You have an entire world living inside of you,  begging to be let out. You owe it to that world and this one, and most importantly, you owe it to yourself to do it.

Writing a novel is truly a labor of love. You’re putting your heart and soul into this piece, and sometimes… sometimes it gets a little exhausting, but just think about the end result. Thing about how you are going to feel when you cross the end of the month, 50k words richer, and able to say I did it. You can do that. I know you can. And if you ever think that you can’t, pop by here, and I’ll remind you.

You are an amazing human being. Not everyone can sit down and bring a world to life. Not everyone can really call themselves a writer and mean it. You have the fate of a world that has never been brought into existence in your hands, and you’re sculpting it. That’s impressive.

So, if you feel like giving up… remember, don’t. You’ve got this. You are amazing. You are a writer. You are going to win!

Until next time, keep reading and writing!

Author Amanda McCormick

Twitter | Patreon | NaNo Page

So, this particular Countdown Tip is something that I have recently decided to try out myself. Much like saving pictures to your desktop for inspiration, the website Pinterest allows you to do just that. Now, I’m not saying that you should spend your entire NaNo time glued to your phone or web browser by any means… but especially in these few days that we have left until NaNo begins, it’s a great way to get yourself hyped and get some visual ideas in your head.

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Above is a picture of My Pinterest, which I just started today ^_^

If you don’t like Pinterest, there are other options. Some people like to create a Tumblr specific to their novel to reblog photos, quotes, etc. Some people go the old fashioned route and actually make a pin board in their room. The point isn’t necessarily how you do it, but the fact that you’re doing it. When you find yourself stuck at 1,000 words, looking at your inspiration board (through whatever venue you chose) could give you that extra push that you need to keep on going.

How I do this is a little funny. I mostly pin faces. I pick what my main characters are going to look like, and then I search the internet far and wide for people with those appearances. I like to have expressions for sad, angry, elated, miserable… because I can look at that and get a bit of an actual feel for how my character is feeling in a particular scene if I’m having trouble. Of course, doing fantasy novels, I also love to pin pictures of potential locations, magical-awesomeness, etc. But that little burst of inspiration does help!

So, I know that Pinterest isn’t for everyone, but think about having some kind of inspiration section for your novel, so when you’re having tough times in that third week of NaNo, you have something to help push you along! NaNo Prep is there to get you through the tough times!

That’s all I have for now. I’ll be doing little posts like this until NaNo begins. I can’t wait. Only 4 more days! Are you ready?

Until next time, keep reading and writing,

Author Amanda McCormick
Twitter | Patreon | NaNo Page

All right guys, so this is my last little post for the night, and I have a few things that I wanted to say before I did my accountability. First of all, you’re all amazing. I am loving the feedback and enthusiasm that I’m getting over my prompts and advice. I love being able to connect with each and every one of you. That’s why I wanted to mention the fact that I have a writing forum going now. CLICK HERE and sign up – me and some of my friends are on there. It’s just a forum to post writing, post for word wars, post for rants and creativity… anything you want. I’d love to see you there.

Now then, about my daily writing!!!

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Words Written : 2201

Daily Goal: To get caught up on blogging – ACHIEVED!

I only had those two things to spill about, but I’m really happy with everything that I got done today. I can’t wait to see you all for the prompt tomorrow!

Until next time, keep reading and writing!
Author Amanda McCormick
Twitter | Patreon | NaNo Page

Heh. So, a huge influx of blogs was supposed to come last night, but I was really sleepy so they didn’t. However, they will be coming today. I’m not going to spam them all at once… because that would be a lot. Here is what you can expect throughout the day:

  • Writing Prompts for the 25th and 26th – To be posted directly after this. This I just the actual prompts, not my responses to them.
  • Response to the prompt from the 24th. I have this done already, I just haven’t had internet access for the past little bit. So.
  • NaNo Writing Tip – I have a lot to say on a certain non-internet subject.
  • Response to the 25th’s prompt.
  • And at the end of the night, I will post a response to today’s prompt and my Daily Writing – I’m going to just lump together the last few days for that post, because it will be easier, and I’ll also talk about internet-less-ness a little more.

So, there’s going to be a lot of posts going up on the blog today! I hope you guys are ready for it!

Until then,

Author Amanda McCormick

So, today I set a shorter goal for myself. I knew I’d be busy, so my main desire was to get up a tip blog, and my writing prompt. I’m pleased to say that I filled all of my expectations today. If I end up writing something else before the night is through, I’ll just come back and adjust my total words written today, because I don’t want to post an entirely new blog just for a few hundred more words. Still, I’m proud of myself, and happy to be staying on track!

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My Total Words Written Today: Around 1,000, give or take some that I deleted.

My personal Word Goal: To Finish My Prompt – got it!

Daily Writing Prompt Completed: Yes!

That’s all for today guys. These posts aren’t going to be long unless I did something super awesome. I certainly hope during November I will be meeting my goal every day! We will see!

Until next time, keep reading and writing!
Author Amanda McCormick
Twitter | Patreon | NaNo Page

NaNo-2015-Participant-BannerRead, read, read. ”If you don’t have time to read, you don’t have the time (or the tools) to write.”

-Stephen King

   This is advice that I take to heart. I read voraciously, and I try to read without bias. As writers, we absorb everything that we read. It’s through reading and just writing (a lot) that we hone our skills. We study the art that we love this way. However, I sometimes find that people take this a little too far. It doesn’t just happen with authors that we love. We see people’s style in life, people that we’re around… and we’re impressed. Imitation is the highest form of flattery, they say.

   Well, I say that originality is the key to your writing success.

   I am in no way implying that you’re going to be able to come up with an all new, completely original idea. I know what you’re thinking. It’s like this…

   But, I had this great idea about people who were living underground and then they–

   No, that’s been done.

   Okay, so maybe I write about mermaids who–

   It’s been done.

   Fine! I have a completely original idea about a hobbit who–

   Seriously?

   I’m not saying that you should be discouraged and never write. I’m saying that this is where originality comes in. You are going to write about something that’s been done before. I’m writing about a half-demon stopping the apocalypse and mermaids this year. It’s been done. Multiple times… but what I can bring to the table is something solely and completely unique to me. I can bring my voice. No other writer in this world can tell the story the way that I can, the way that my characters will, the way that my voice can. This is where you shine – this is where you become an author who will stand out. Now, the problem arises when we read and find ourselves coveting the way that an author writes. We love their tone. We love their voice… and so, we try to emulate it.

   We can’t do this as writers. We have to take a breath and realize that our voice is our own, and nothing is better than us using our tone. We will pick up little nuances from our favorite authors, and that’s okay. However, if you do your damn hardest to sound just like Stephen King… the only thing that you’re going to do is make sure that no one ever gets to hear you for what you are, for your originality… and that is a damn shame. You’re the only you this world has… so do everyone a favor and let your own writing flare shine!

That’s all that I have for right now, and I hope that you guys were able to take it to heart! Until next time, keep reading and writing!

Author Amanda McCormick
Twitter | Patreon | NaNo Page

Welcome to the new little segment of my blog that I call ‘My Writing Accountability’. In lieu of NaNoWriMo, which is fast approaching, I thought that I would start doing this. I think that one of the most important things about writing is to make sure that you’re accountable for when you do write and when you don’t. So! Before I go to bed every night (whether it’s before midnight or 6am) I’m going to post a blog to hold myself accountable for how much I’ve written and what I’ve worked on. At the end of the month, I will do a total words written thing so I can see how I’m doing. I might expand on this as I get into the swing of it, who knows! I think this is going to be good for me. I’d love to know if you all are doing it as well! I’ll check in on you!

So, without further delays!

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So, today I worked on writing prompts.

My Total Words Written Today: 2,010

My personal Word Goal: 2,000

Daily Writing Prompt Completed: Yes!

I achieved my goal and did 3 new installments on The Graveyard, which is turning into a promising little short story!

My post is just going to be a little short post like this, so that you guys can see if I’m making progress! I can’t wait to hear how you guys did!

Until next time, keep reading and writing!
Author Amanda McCormick
Twitter | Patreon | NaNo Page

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So, I’m sure that you guys have noticed that I haven’t been around so much for the past few days. I’m going to use this as an opportunity to go forward with my next NaNo tip. This one is really important, because it can make or break whether you finish your novel. I don’t recommend doing it on purpose, but sometimes you are going to fall behind. Sometimes life happens. Sometimes the world that you live in and the life that you’re responsible for will get in the way… and that’s okay.

Like I said, I don’t recommend getting behind on purpose. I don’t think that you should intentionally put off your writing if you’re in the right state of mind to do so. However, if something happens and you need to take a few days? You take a few days. Your writing isn’t going to disappear if you take a day or two to get yourself back into sorts. What will disappear is your inspiration if you force yourself to, and writing suddenly becomes associated purely with that bad thing that was happening.

Sometimes you have to take a break.

It may be that half way through NaNo, your pet… goldfish… yeah, your pet goldfish Flippy dies. Take a day or two. Yeah, you’ll get 3000 or so words behind, but as long as you don’t let that overwhelm you, you can come back from it in a day or two when you’re feeling better. You have to know that sometimes it’s okay to breathe. You are a writer, but you are also a person! Don’t make writing something associated with that pain.

That’s all for my tip today, guys! Breathe, take it a step behind, and never let falling behind make you think you can’t finish. ]

Until next time, keep reading and writing!

Author Amanda McCormick
Twitter | Patreon | NaNo Page