Posts Tagged ‘alphabet series’

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Hey everyone! I wanted to let you know what my next blogs are going to focus on! I’m going to do another Writing Tips A-Z series. It’s been a while since my first one, and I have a bunch of new things to say! So, hold on to your notebooks, get ready to buckle down ❤ It’s time to talk about writing!

Until then, keep reading and writing!

Author Amanda McCormick

Twitter | Facebook PageNaNo Page | Tumblr | Blog Masterpost | My Writing Group
Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com

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X is for XXX, and I do mean the naughty stuff… so cover your eyes if you’re of a delicate sensibility. Honestly though, I know so many people who have trouble with sex scenes/sexual situations in writing, so I thought that it would be a good subject to touch on. (Also known as: the author couldn’t figure out anything other than XXX and X-Rated that started with X, so she took this route.) So, when it comes to smut and writing, a lot of people seem to have a lot of issues. Whether it’s reservations about the content, or a simple air of being unsure about how to tackle the scene, I’ve had a lot of friends and random people alike who simply don’t know or think they don’t have the capability of writing a smut scene.
   The fact is… just like any other scene in the world, if you’re a writer… you can write it. It might not come as fluidly and easily to you as an action scene, or a horror scene… but it’s something that you can do. If you’re one of the people who aren’t sure about exactly what goes on in a smut scene, I’m going to encourage you to go forth and read. It might feel a little embarrassing, but you can learn to write it by reading it. Just see how it’s done, see how it’s handled, and commit that to your memory. Chances are, if you’re interested in writing a smut scene, you aren’t going to feel bad from reading one. Or two. Or a dozen. Read far and wide, because you don’t want to copy the tone of simply one person – you want to have as many examples as you can, so that when you tackle it, you can combine all of those examples, and make them stick together with your own, personal style.
   I’ve also met people who know how to write the scenes, know how sex goes… but finds themselves kind of embarrassed, or feeling bad for wanting to write it. So, here’s a message to anyone who has ever felt ashamed over wanting to write a smut scene:
There is nothing wrong with writing sex. There is nothing wrong with enjoying writing sex.
   Oh, I said it. And I meant it. Some people enjoy writing erotica, and there’s nothing wrong with that. In fact, some people have a lucrative career in writing erotica. I’m not saying that writing all erotica all of the time is the best way to develop your writing skills; I think that you should certainly include plot with your erotica, in order to be able to develop yourself as a writer… but if all of your stories have some smutty, sultry scenes in them?
That’s all the better, at least in my opinion.
   Sex can be part of character development. Sex can serve to further the plot. If you’re worried that adding a sex scene into your story will make you one of those people who just writes it superfluously, think again. Sometimes, you need interactions like that in order to further your story. Sex is something that is natural to human behavior – so it’s natural to include it sometimes within the scenes of your novel. Don’t feel guilty, and don’t let someone else make you feel guilty because you decided to include a sex scene in your writing. Chances are, if you think it needs to go in there… it probably actually needs to go in there.
   Now, for those of us who like to occasionally write little smutty stand alone pieces (raises hand high), there’s nothing wrong with that, either. One of my first fanfics that I’d written in so many years was supposed to be a smutty one shot. (Did it turn into a 60,000+ word monster with huge plot development, yes. But that’s beside the point.) I have quite a few fanfics that are just little smut shots. They develop my characters still, but they didn’t have to be written.
   I wrote them because I enjoy it. I wrote them because I knew that other people would enjoy it. And I’m not ashamed of myself. Smut writing, just like all writing, can be fantastic practice. In all of the really effective sex scenes that I’ve written, you’re also touching on emotion, emotional development, physical feeling, description. You’re hitting the high points of writing that you can practice with – and you are improving with every scene that you write. So. Don’t think that it’s useless… and… I betcha that there’s a whole crowd of people out there who would happily read your sex scene, if you post it up for the world to see.
   The point is, don’t be ashamed of yourself. You aren’t doing anything wrong in enjoying that XXX writing! If you want to write it, read it. Practice, and take it the same way that you take anything else – know that practice makes perfect, and you improve every time you write. Know that there’s nothing wrong with what you’re doing, and I bet that you’re doing a damn good job of it!
   A few side notes, for those of us who want to post this writing up on the internet: always make sure to tag it correctly. You do want to make sure that people know what they’re getting into. If you have some dubious forms of sex in the writing, research your tags – make sure that you let people know what to expect. Give them that courtesy. Also, research the rules of where you are posting. Some sites don’t allow mature writing – you don’t want to get banned by accident! Just make sure you follow the rules, and you’re respectful of your readers! My last side note is this: if you’re aiming for publishing, be aware of your target audience. Teen books probably shouldn’t have explicit erotica every other page, just saying. xD Other than that, don’t be ashamed of doing what you want to do!
   Until the letter Y! (We’re so close to finishing this out guys!) If you have any suggestions for future blogs, more information you want, things you want me to elaborate on, help with, etc, just let me know!
Keep reading and writing!

Author Amanda McCormick

Twitter | Patreon | NaNo Page | Tumblr
Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com

(Pardon the weird formatting, for some reason… WordPress is being a betch to me.)

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W is for Writing Group, and it’s something that you should get on to, right this very second! I’ve really had such a positive experience with my writing since I started being more social about it, and I think that it’s really made a huge difference in the amount of words that I get done, as well as the fact that I manage to participate and win NaNoWriMo every year that I try, now that I have a group to hold me steady.

My writing group is a decent size, but there are core people who are always around, who always participate, and who are always there to encourage others to write. It’s so important, in my opinion, to have a writing group. Now, do I mean that it has to be a Skype group like mine? Of course not! Does it have to be a bunch of people? No way! A gathering of 3 or 4 would honestly be enough – I always have a little IRL writing group between me and 3 other friends during NaNoWriMo, and that’s just as helpful to me as the writing group on the internet.

The importance of a writing group is to have a group of people who you feel comfortable around – you need at least one other person that you can bounce ideas off of, that you can talk to when you’re feeling uninspired… you need at least one other person who can understand what you’re going through as a writer, because no one else really does. Unless a person also writes, they can’t really understand that world trapped in your head, that story that needs to be told. They don’t understand being awake at night because you have ideas burning a hole in your brain and trying to escape through your fingers. And they don’t understand the frustration and almost pain when you can’t write. I know, if I don’t write for a few weeks, it actually starts to influence my mood. I’ll get grouchy, and depressed, and extremely unhappy… and the instant that I write, that all starts to lift away like a curtain. To have an entire group of people who can surround you and understand that sensation is truly key as a writer.

It’s a social journey, whether we realize it or not. Writers like to write in solitude, but we enjoy our world being able to tell its story – we enjoy being able to discuss what we’re doing with other people. We need a group, a person, a close friend to hold us accountable for getting our words done. I really try to do that for my writing group – I’ll try to keep them on task, try to get them to write even when they don’t necessarily feel like it, but they know that they need to. During camps, I try to run crawls, and sprints, and wars – anything to get people to write. We all try to make it an environment in which we can enjoy writing, get writing done, and let everyone else know when we accomplished our goals.

So, look into a writing group! Or at least a writing buddy! If you need one on skype, I will happily add you if you want me to be that buddy (ego.dominustuus). If you don’t like to use Skype, check around. I’ve realized that most locations have local writing groups where you meet up once a week and share what you’ve done, what you intend to do, read your stories aloud, etc. Just find something, because being on this journey alone is a lonesome road – you need encouragement, a creative environment – you need someone to cheer you on, because what you’re doing is truly amazing. It deserves cheers, and words of inspiration, and urging, and prodding, and someone always in your corner. You’re a writer, you’re amazing. Never forget that! If you find the right Writing Group, I know they’ll never allow you to forget it, even for a moment!

 

So that’s all for the letter W! We only have XYZ left! How exciting that we’re coming to the close of the Alphabet Series – if you have any suggestions for another writing series that you’d like to see, whether it’s tips, tricks, whatever, just let me know! I really do enjoy helping people with my advice, my words of encouragement, and I want to continue to do so for as long as I can!

Until the letter X!

Author Amanda McCormick

Twitter | Patreon | NaNo Page | Tumblr | Instagram
Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com

 

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V is for Versatility, and I think that as writers, it’s something that we should strive to have. This, of course, is just advice that I try to live by – so, if you have something that’s working for you… you keep on keeping on!

For me, versatility is something that I strive to achieve. We all have things that we excel at, and we all have things that we’re not so good at… but I don’t want to be one of those writers that can only write one thing – one type of story, one genre, one real set of characters, you know? I looked up the definition to Versatility, and low and behold:

adjective

1.

capable of or adapted for turning easily from one to another of various tasks, fields of endeavor, etc.:

a versatile writer.

A versatile writer… and that’s what I strive to be. I’ve written numerous novels (I’ve never even tried to publish them, shame on me), and they vary from Fantasy, to Paranormal Romance, to Historical Paranormal Romance, to Horror Romance, and a few other things in between. I like to write fanfiction for the sole purpose of versatility. If I write in other peoples worlds, from Hannibal Lecter to Kingdom Hearts, I’m getting to delve and practice my writing in multiple fronts. I like to write and try out as many different characters as I can, so that I can keep tuning in and keying up my ability to be a versatile writer. It’s part of the reason that I enjoyed the Roleplay community for so long – I was able to step into the minds of so many different characters, and it really helped me to develop a versatile voice with my own characters later in life.

I also try to make sure that it’s not just creative writing that I practice. I have recently been trying to do at least 2 blog posts a day, and I’m trying to make sure that they’re instructional and helpful (I really do love helping you guys out in any way that I can, so!). I do book reviews, I write for Textbroker in article format. I try to make sure that I can do more than just novel writing – I want to be a well rounded writer all around.

Versatility is something that can be a little hard to attain sometimes; I wasn’t always so wide ranged in what I wrote. My first novel was a fantasy novel… but after that, I would say that the next 5 that I completed were all supernatural/paranormal romance. While I really enjoy writing novels in that format, I sat back and thought about it… and I realized that it wasn’t the only thing that i wanted to write, the only thing that I wanted to ever be recognized for. So, I started writing horrorish novel, more zombies, less romance (though there’s still romance in there). It was completely different from my vampires/werewolves love stories that I did. I started writing about demons – extremely different to include devils and angels. I delved and dipped into post-apocalyptic. And I wrote a really big, really fat fantasy novel, which is something that I really want to strive forward with and publish. The point is, I looked at my writing, and I realized that I wanted variety, that I wanted to do something other than just paranormal romance. I wanted to be versatile.

This is part of the reason that I really enjoy writing prompts. I post them every Monday now, and I urge you to check them out and participate! The most recent one can be found HERE. Doing writing prompts can sometimes push you out of your comfort level, but that’s the point. Write something that you wouldn’t normally write – pick a perspective that you’ve never experienced before… pick a character that you aren’t comfortable with… and go for it. I encourage you to try to write at least one short story a week, and switch them up! Do something you wouldn’t normally. You can do it!

Write. Practice. Grow.

It’s so important that we do this – it’s so important that we allow our horizons to expand, because we might find that the next thing that we write is something more amazing than anything that we’ve ever imagined we could do. I’m urging you to push yourself, and I’d love to see the results. Check out the writing prompt I listed above, and write something that is completely out of your comfort zone. Post the link in my comments, or link me to it ❤ Be Versatile! Be proud of your writing!

And above all, never quit.

Until next time, with the letter W! Keep reading and writing!

Author Amanda McCormick

Twitter | Patreon | NaNo Page | Tumblr
Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com

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U is for Understanding, and I really think that this is one of the more important things that we, as writers, can have. It doesn’t necessarily pertain to our writing process (though I will touch a bit on how it can), but I think that it really relates to us growing as writers.

Understanding… is something that a lot of people on the internet simply do not have. They find it much easier to hide behind a screen and be cruel – they find it easy to berate and degrade others, because it makes them feel good. Though a lot of it happens in other venues, it can still happen in writing. I’ve seen people intentionally pick it stories and post the onto sites that make fun of writing – I’ve seen people intentionally pick out flaws and typos, and I’ve seen people make fun of writing in general… even though they never stop to think about what kind of an impact it could make on the writers in discussion.

The fact is, not everyone is going to be perfect – in fact, no one is perfect. Everyone will have flaws in their writing – even professional authors have flaws in their writing. The difference there is that they have people to go through their writing, people who professionally go through their writing. You can’t expect everyone to be perfect.

I think that one of the most important aspects to being a writer, and a reader, is to be understanding. You have to think – everyone started at the bottom. Everyone started at the beginning. We all had to make the climb to get to where we are… so before you judge another person and say to yourself “Why are they even trying”… remember that, once upon a time, you were trying, too. Think of all of the times that you heard negative comments, and how those hurt you… and then think of all of the times that you heard something positive about your writing, and how much it helped. Every single positive comment that you say, every bit of encouragement, really helped to propel you forward, and make you strive to do better.

So, be understanding. Take the time to read others writing – if it’s not that good, then give them constructive criticism; my favorite thing is a compliment sandwich. Say something positive – give them a tip – say something positive. Be understanding of the fact that they’re being brave enough to put their writing out there… and that’s something extremely hard to do – that’s something that takes a lot of strength and courage. Remember how frightening it was for you to put your writing out there for the first time… and think about how much words of encouragement helped you.

Try to give that in return.

Now, I’m not saying that anyone who reads my blog intentionally goes and insults people… in fact, everyone that I’ve interacted with seems like genuinely amazing and wonderful people. But, I do encourage you to explore tags. Explore the Creative Writing tag, explore the NaNoWriMo tag. Take time to read others writing – and take time to comment on that writing. Encourage other people, make friends. What I’m asking you here is to do something quite akin to paying it forward! When you get a nice comment on your blog, go give one to another. Go and spread the love, you know? Be Understanding of the fact that we, as writers, really strive and grow off of people giving us encouragement, and people making us feel like we can do this. It’s part of the reason that I like writing advice blogs, encouragement blogs, anything that I can do to help others.

Pass your knowledge along, and give advice when you can. Never look down on your fellow writer, or judge them for their words… because you don’t know where they’ve come from, and who they’re going to grow into being. Your words could be the water that their creative seed needs to blossom ❤ Be understanding, my dear fellow writers, and do everything that you can to encourage your fellow creators.

 

I know this has been a bit of a strange writing tip, but I feel like it really applies to us as writers – be understanding and kind to other people, and you’ll get that same understanding in return… and, you’ll learn to be understanding to yourself. Because we are our own harshest critics! So, everything that I said above? Apply to your own writing, to yourself, and to your creativity. Be kind to others, and be kind to yourself. We’re all on this writing journey, and it’s together that we’ll make it through.

Until the letter V, you guys! Sorry if this was a bit ranty today, and a bit hug-power. Maybe current events of the world are making me feel like spreading some kindness.

 

Until next time, keep reading and writing!

Author Amanda McCormick

Twitter | Patreon | NaNo Page | Tumblr
Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com

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T is for Time, and it’s one of those things that I’ve already touched on a little bit, but I feel like I could expand on it and still get away with giving more advice. T is for time, and it seems to be something that we always run out of. It’s for time, which we never seem to be able to make enough of…

It’s for time, and I know that if we took the time to sit back and think for a minute, we could always figure out a way to put aside enough to get our words written for the day.

I’ve touched before on the fact that we need to set goals for ourselves that we’re capable of attaining easily – and to always have two goals: the attainable, and the stretch goal.

For me, the attainable is 1k a day. The stretch goal is 1million in a year. I know that I always have the time set aside for the first, and the second will come if I came make use of my time and push myself to reach something that I will have to work for.

So, when I say that I have time for my 1k a day, it’s probably easier than other people. I work from home; but that’s not to say that I don’t have responsibility. I can’t even write until 3-4pm in the afternoon. After that, I also have my dogs to take care of/take on walks/play with. I have a house to keep clean, dishes to wash, meals to (sometimes) prepare. I have things that I have to do throughout the day. I also have a somewhat busy schedule when it comes to going and seeing family and friends/etc. So, I looked at my schedule and I thought to myself, “How much time can I realistically commit to writing, every day, no matter what, no matter how busy I am?”

And I thought, 20 minutes. I can always promise myself 20 minutes of writing time, no matter what. Even if it’s while I’m taking a bath, settling down for bed, (hell, using the bathroom). I usually always have 20 minutes that I can sit at my desk and get my one-thousand words for the day in. A lot of the time, I have more than that twenty minutes, and this is where my 10k+ days come in.

But those twenty-minutes are mine, and I made sure to look at my time, what I had, what I knew I could promise away to myself, and I made that sacred.

J.K. Rowling says it fairly well:

“Be ruthless about protecting writing days, i.e., do not cave in to endless requests to have “essential” and “long overdue” meetings on those days. The funny thing is that, although writing has been my actual job for several years now, I still seem to have to fight for time in which to do it. Some people do not seem to grasp that I still have to sit down in peace and write the books, apparently believing that they pop up like mushrooms without my connivance. I must therefore guard the time allotted to writing as a Hungarian Horntail guards its firstborn egg.”

Be ruthless with your writing time, because it’s yours, and you’ve committed to it. Whether it’s 20 minutes that you have free in the day, whether you’re writing on your lunch during work – whether you’re bringing your laptop into the bathroom with you and getting your writing time fit in there. If you stay up an extra half hour after you get your kids to sleep, or wake up an hour before they wake up. Whatever your writing time is, whatever you find that you can commit to… commit to it. And then don’t let any excuses get in the way of you and that writing time.

If you’re tired? Write.

If you’ve had a long day and you don’t feel like writing? Write.

If you feel like you need a nap? Write (and then take a nap).

If you need to make dinner? Write while you’re cooking!

The point is, don’t let excuses get in the way, and don’t let people say to you, “It’s just writing – you’re not getting paid for it (maybe you are, and they still discredit the fact that writing takes you putting your butt in the chair, who knows). Just skip it this time.

Don’t let them disrespect your passion like that. Whether you’re committing to writing every day, or so many minutes a week, don’t let yourself waver. You’re setting a pattern, you’re setting a habit, and you’re pushing forward with something that is important to you, and something that you’re passionate about.

Time is something that slips away from all of us – and it’s something that we sometimes have trouble managing. But if writing is truly something that you’re passionate about, and it’s something that you want to improve upon – something that you want to publish, show the world? It’s worth setting the time aside for. It’s worth committing to. It’s worth protecting and treating like a job.

Your writing time is precious – guard it as such!

That’s all for today, guys! I’ve really been enjoying doing this Alphabet Series for you guys! If you have any suggestions for other list type things that you’d like for me to do after I’m done with this, let me know! Otherwise, I’m sure that I’ll find something myself. I’ve realized that it’s really fun to follow along a general outline for blogs, and make it my own, with my own twists and turns. I still have the letters U-Z (getting close to the end!) left to go. If there’s anything that you’d like to see for those letters, let me know in the comments. Otherwise, I’ll figure something out for them, and I’ll keep doing my best to give you advice as best I can! Remember, this Advice is certainly what works for me; no advice is perfect for everyone (except maybe to be kind to others and chew with your mouth closed?), so take what you will and give advice to others for what works for you! I’d love to see it!

Until the letter U! Keep reading and writing, guys!

Author Amanda McCormick

Twitter | Patreon | NaNo Page | Tumblr
Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com

P is for Publishing, and I’m not exactly an expert on this. So, I’m not going to talk to you about i as someone who knows what they’re doing… but instead, as someone who is searching for the answers.

When I first approached writing and getting something published, I had it in my mind that the only way that I would try to publish was traditionally. Of course, when I first wanted to publish, publishing through Amazon wasn’t even a thing. There have been a lot of bounds and leaps in the Publishing World that makes it a lot easier to get your book out there than it used to be. Whether it’s through Amazon, or the smaller publishing houses that are now popping up everywhere, you have more options.

However, through my research, what I’ve learned is that even if you do self publish, you’re going to have to do so much marketing. What I’ve learned through my research is, even if you publish traditionally… you’re still going to have to do marketing.

My research is what led me to my blog, what led me to my Twitter… what led me to my (used to be completely about writing until Fallout overtook my life) Tumblr. It’s what will eventually lead me to a youtube channel, once I can afford a proper camera (any help or suggestions there are appreciated <3). It’s what led me to make my Patreon.

I decided that I needed to have a social media presence of some sort before I even thought about publishing. What I want to try is going through the traditional venue, and if that doesn’t pan out after trying for a few years, I’ll self publish. Regardless of what I do, I want to get my name out there first, so that I am capable of telling people about my book, and the fact that it exists. Basically, what I’ve learned is that you need to be fully capable of marketing yourself, because there are a million and one books out there, and yours (no matter how amazing) will be one amongst those million. So, establish yourself – get a blog, get a youtube channel. At least get a circle of friends that will know about your novel and be able to spread you around by word of mouth. I’ve tried to make as many connections as I can, and I’m still striving to do that while I edit my (what I hope to be) debut novel.

It’s about loving and caring for your baby through all the processes. You are your best advocate, and you can recruit more!

As far as information on publishing, I’ve found some really good youtube channels to help with that, as well as Google articles. Check out channels like BookishPixie and Jenna Moreci. There are dozens of good youtube channels out there for people both traditionally published and and self published (the two people I listed are as such, in order). The point is, I’ve realized that there are a lot of amazing writers out there, and I’ve realized that the writing community is one of the most caring, giving, and lovely as far as wanting to help each other goes.

So, when it comes to research, always turn to the people who are willing to help you.

The only other advice that I know to give (because I’ve honestly just learned a lot of what I’ve learned through research – my point above) is to try to get published in magazines, newspapers, whatever. Get your name out there. Build yourself a reputation! You can do it!

Of course, the most important thing to getting published is to finish your novel – and I don’t mean just write it. Edit it. Get it Beta’d. Get it edited again. Maybe do another round of Betas. Polish that baby until it shines, because whether you go through traditional or self-pub, you want to give it the best chance possible.

For this blog, I’m really leaving the comments open. I implore everyone who has tips and advice to comment it below, and I’ll add it to the body of the blog. ❤ We should all pull our resources to make this easier for each other. You’re all amazing, you’re all writers! You deserve to be heard!

Until Q (oh dear, what is Q gonna be?),

Author Amanda McCormick

Twitter | Patreon | NaNo Page | Tumblr
Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com

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N is for NaNoWriMo, and it’s a subject that I could touch on all day, every day… and I’d never get tired of it.

For those of you who don’t know, NaNoWriMo stands for National Novel Writing Month. It is an event that takes place in November, every year. Thousands of writers come together online to drive themselves crazy and attempt to write a novel (also known as 50,000 words) in a months time.

Now, there are many reasons that I think this particular event is something that all aspiring (and even established) authors should participate in. Expect this blog to be long, and full of NaNoWriMo promos, as much as I can, because it’s truly changed a lot about my writing, about the people in my life… and about me, in general.

First of all, so many people ask this question: Well, what do you win?

You do get prizes – discounts on writing programs, editing, publishing, etc… you also get some cool free stuff, like a copy of your novel, or a chance for someone professional to look at it. The prizes change every year, depending on what the sponsors have to offer. The fact it, isn’t not the prizes that really make NaNo worth it to me. While they’re cool, and enjoyable, it’s really much more about the experience, and the things that you take away from NaNoWriMo.

I first participated in NaNo in 2012… and I didn’t get in to the community. I worked on my novel for about 3 days, and then got distracted with my every day life… because I didn’t have any real life friends that were also writers.

The next year, I did something sensible, and I visited the forums. I made NaNo friends through tumblr, and expanded that to posting about my Skype Chat group (open if you guys want to peek in) in the NaNo forums… and it’s turned into something amazing.

I truly don’t know if I would have won NaNo all of these years without the help and support of my chat room – and that’s one of the first and most important things that I think NaNo has to offer…

Community.

There is an entire community of writers out there, and they’re all rooting and cheering for each other. You can truly get lost in the support, lost in the waves of helps, tricks, tips, suggestions, and friends. As a writer, I think that one of the most important things that you can do is have a writing group – a support group… a list of individuals who understand the insanity in your head and help you to move along with it.

I found that through NaNoWriMo, and I’ve won every year since I established that group. I’ve made some amazing friends! Some people, I don’t talk to that much. There’s a few that have become extremely good friends, even venturing into some of the best friends that I have both in real life and online. I’ve also pushed forward with connections that I have in the real world, because some of my friends that I know personally have participated in NaNo with me!

I think that NaNoWriMo is especially important for writers who need help starting a pattern, starting a habit. I’ve spoken so many times, and I will continue to sing the song that forming a writing habit is one of the most important things that you can do. Writing every day is key to making writing as commonplace to you as breathing – something that you do, even when you have writer’s block. Even when you don’t feel like it. (If we didn’t go to our normal jobs every time we didn’t feel like it, we’d get fired. If you’re approaching writing as something you wanna do professionally, give it the same respect <3) With NaNo, you’re required to write 1,667 words every day to hit your 50k goal at the end of the month. Now, whether you wanna do that every day, every other day, or whatever… you have to establish a pattern. Just blowing if off won’t work. And after writing consistently for a week, you’ll start to realize how comforting, how compelling, and how fulfilling it is. I did NaNo for a few years, before I realized that I wanted to make every day a NaNoish day – it’s what helped me to establish my 1k a day rule.

Honestly, there are so many benefits to NaNo – like I said, I could touch on it all day, every day, and still have things to say about it. The last thing that I will say is that it can help you to finally finish that book. The difference in your confidence once you’ve finished your first book is phenomenal. You are one of those rare, fantastic people who can say I wrote a book. So dive in, participate! Add me on there, if you want to be writing buddies! I am EgoDominusTuus ❤ Just looks me up! I hope I see you there next year!

 

For those of you who aren’t ready to tackle NaNoWriMo in full just yet, try checking out Camp NaNoWriMo. It’s basically the same, save for the fact that you’re already sorted into a cabin of similar writers (they did the connections for you <3) and you can set your own word count! The next camp starts in July <3!

 

Until next time, with the letter O!

Author Amanda McCormick

Twitter | Patreon | NaNo Page | Tumblr
Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com

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So, May has come to and end, and with it another month tucked under my belt as far as my writing goals are concerned. While I didn’t get everything that I wanted accomplished (and I’ll touch more on that later), I did get quite a bit of writing done. Even though I might not have done as much as I wanted, I still hit my 1k a day – in fact, I surpassed it, and managed 53,366 words for the month.

I’d say, all and all, that’s a decent amount of words. Here’s my calendar (I’m not doing a screen shot for my Excel document, because it’s not on this computer.) I am still touting the praises of doing stars as rewards!

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Low and behold, my mighty word count, and all of the blue stars that a girl could ask for. But not really, because I want to get at least 25 more stars than this for June. (That’s right, at least 75,000 words.) My word count for the year is up to just a hair over 400,000… and I really think, if I push for it, I can get that One-Million-Word-Year. It’s what I want – it’s a stretch goal, but you should always reach for the moon!

Onward to what I didn’t accomplish – I want to blog more. I’ve been doing fairly decently with my blogs, but I dropped off on a lot of what I was doing before. I made graphics for it over two months ago xD It’s time that I hop into it.

Writing Tips and TricksWriting PromptWriting PreviewWeekly Writing UpdateFiction FridayBook Review

I made these a while ago, with full intentions of having a topic to discuss for most of the days of the week. I’m going to do weekly writing prompts and updates – those two I am certain of. I’d also actually like to delve more into reading again – I’ve been slacking on that. I want to do at least 2 book reviews a month. I don’t think that’s too much, or pushing myself too hard!

I will continue on with my writing tips and tricks! I still have N-Z in my Alphabet Writing Tips Series, and I’ve been having a lot of fun doing that! If you guys have any suggestions for topics, blog posts, activities, writing prompts, etc, just let me know in the comments! As it is, I need to make one more graphic design, because I’d like to update you guys weekly on my book revision process – I’ve been diving into it, and it’s been enlightening. I may either update you with that on my Weekly Writing Update, or have a day for it all on its own. I’m not sure yet, I’m going to figure it out.

I do know that I want to be even more active with this blog. It’s extremely enjoyable and rewarding to get to connect with other writers, and it’s something that I want to continue to do. Hopefully, within the year, I’m going to actually start doing some vlogs as well – I have that in the works, once I acquire a proper camera and whatnot. I just love getting to hear from, about, and help other people who strive to do that crazy thing called creating.

So, that’s all for my May Update, and I hope that I will hear from you all about anything that you’d like to see! I’ll be posting up another blog tomorrow for the letter N in my Alphabet Tips series. N is for one of my favorite topics – NaNoWriMo! If you have anything to say about it, want to add to the blog, etc, hit me up with some comments! I’d love to make it as big and informative as possible!

Until then!

Author Amanda McCormick

Twitter | Patreon | NaNo Page | Tumblr
Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com

 

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M is for Money, and what a devilish thing that truly is. I can actually come into this subject, having both been there and done that, but not in the capacity that I want to, strive to. So, let me talk to you about money and writing from the perspective of someone who wrote for commission.

Writing commissions is something that a lot of people are interested in. Just making money writing for a living is something that people are interested in. When I was but a young girl (ahem, this was just 5 years ago, so I wasn’t actually that much younger, but still), I decided to try my hand at writing commissions for a specified group of people. At first, it was amazing – I got so many commission requests. They literally flew in, because I was priced lower than the competition, and I was cranking out better quality. The fact is, I can write 10k in one sitting, if I want to. It’s not that difficult for me, though it can be exhausting.

I didn’t take into account the fact of how exhausting it would be. I was making enough money to get the things that I wanted, to do the things that I wanted (I wasn’t making that much, but still)… and for a while, it was wonderful.

For a while, I felt like I was finally getting to do what I wanted to do.

A few years passed, and I started to realize that my dream wasn’t exactly as fantastic as I thought it was. I wrote predominately smut, and I had an enormous fanbase. They wanted to talk to me, to be my friend (and I did make friends with quite a few of them), and they wanted the same type of story.

Over. And over. And over.

Writing is a joy, a pleasure… but there was something so monotonous and unfulfilled about writing the same content, over and over again.

I became so popular, that I didn’t have time to work on my personal writing. What was worse, if I had time, I felt guilty about writing on my own work, instead of the work that I owed. My creativity suffered, my muse suffered… and I suffered because of it.

I wrote commissions for nearly 4 years, and there were parts of it that I loved. I loved getting to do what I was good at, what I enjoyed, what I loved as my job. I loved the freedom of it…

But, I didn’t love the way that it made me feel, and the way that it took away my time to write things that were important to me, that mattered to me.

So, I decided to leave the commission business for the most part. I will still take commissions, and I still love writing stories for other people, but I’ll never let myself get in over my head like that again. I was at a point where I owed over 100k words, and there was no time for me.

You can’t let yourself get so boggled down you forget about your roots, your core, who you are as a writer. Making money is important – I do some commissions now, and I have a Patreon, and I do articles for pay. I still make my money, but I also make sure that I have time for my personal writing.

I would love to someday be an author, professionally. It will still be stressful, still be exhausting… but it will be stress and exhaustion for my own work, and I think that’s important.

This blog is a little ramblely, I realize. M is for Money, and I’m going to tell you this here and now – getting money for your writing isn’t worth compromising your own muse and creativity. It might feel good initially, but you’ll burn yourself out.

I couldn’t write for nearly 6 months after I stopped doing commissions, and it put me into a state of depression and anxiety that I didn’t realize the depths of until I started writing again. ❤ Take care of yourself. Don’t overwhelm yourself. You’re worth more than that!

Until Next time with the letter N!

Author Amanda McCormick