Posted in Creative WRiting

Personal Experiences in Writing


My most recent blog challenge for my Discord Group was the question of how your life and experiences have influenced you as a writer. I think that for a lot of people, this will bring up good memories and thoughts… but for just as many people, it’s going to bring up some hurt and uncomfortable situations.

And that’s actually okay. I think that it’s important for us to realize that the bad things in our lives shape us and who we are just as much as the good things. It is all experiences that we draw on, all things that help us to grow as people and as writers. I know that I grew up in a really religious setting and I was extremely and very very much not a straight person. The trauma and pain that it caused me during a lot of my childhood was something that I draw on a lot when I’m writing situations that are similar. 

It’s not just that, though. I’ve also been in some very emotionally and mentally (thankfully never physically) abusive relationships. Those situations had me at my lowest lows, to the point that I wasn’t happy, and to the point that I could have not been here.

But I still am, and the pain and unhappiness of those situations is also something that I can draw on.

There are some other things that have happened to me that influences my writing as well, and there are actually a few of them that I’m not going to delve deeply into. 

It isn’t just traumatic experiences like that that have shaped me though. Falling in love for the first time gave me so much to draw on, seeing the world, flying out of the country. Having children gave me a whole new spectrum of life that I could write about. The death of my mother brought a pain into my heart that I can express through words.

The thing about life is the fact that we can make what we want from our experiences. Growing up and feeling like I was wrong, like I was a ‘quote the bible’ abomination… yeah, that’s a part of me that hurts. It’s a part of me that was miserable when I was young… but that also means that it’s a part of me that I can express when I write about topics like that, and I can put it out there for other people to read. I think if we can share our experiences and touch another person with them, make them feel like they aren’t going through something alone, then we’re doing pretty powerful things as writers. 

I feel like this is a post that I could have gotten so much more in depth with, really explained the situations and how they made me feel, what they made me think, what they have directly influenced as far as the things that I’ve written goes… but I don’t really want to make it about that.

I want to make it about all of you.

Let me hear your experiences, let me know how you use your life to shape your writing and change the world around you. We all have a voice, and every voice is unique.

What’s shaped yours?

Posted in Creative WRiting

I Always Come Back

Ha, you guys knew I’d end up coming back, right? I try to keep consistent on this blog, but life does occasionally get in the way. That’s part of what’s so good about a blog though — I can come back some time later and enjoy the fact that there are still people here, ready and waiting to read.

So, for a few updates for this blog. I won Camp NaNo. I finished the draft that I was working on (Committing Murder), got it printed, and worked on another draft for a bit of the remainder of the month. I’m pretty pleased with the progress that I made.

I’m also reading a lot more. Libby (which I will do an entire blog on) is a lifesaver, and I’ve started The Way Of Kings by Brandon Sanderson… so. Good. Oh my God. Entire blog about that one happening as well.

I’ve also gotten a new gaming computer and a new laptop, which… again, blog about those later xD and started using Instagram <— Clickclickyclick to see.

I’m using a planner, and hopefully I’ll be starting off with 3 posts a week (Monday, Wednesday, Friday). So… Friday is updating about my reading ❤ I’ll see y’all then!

Until next time, y'all!
Keep writing and writing, and keep being awesome!
Author Amanda McCormick
Instagram | Twitter | Facebook PageNaNo Page | Tumblr | Blog Masterpost | My Writing Group | 
Posted in Creative WRiting, pregnancy

Writer Life: Update

Life and Writing

As you can all see, I’m not really back on my blogging schedule just yet. However, I am super happy to say that at 1 day shy of the 17 week mark of my pregnancy, my morning (see: all day, all the time, no matter what) sickness has finally dissipated. This blog is just going to be a lot of me musing, thinking, and a general update on me. Hopefully (fingers crossed) I will be able to get back to my blog schedule after this, though I might just do some random blogs until Monday, and then start fresh (I always work better when I do it that way.)

Anyway, onward to the random thoughts.

First of all, I came into this year knowing that I might have a few days where I wouldn’t be able to write. My expectations for myself were still extremely high… but they were high with a little bit of a learning curve for everything I knew was going on with me. I’m sure that a lot of ladies who are pregnant, especially for the first time, are having to figure out everything. For me… figuring everything out came with a one week break from writing. It was the weirdest thing I’ve done in over a year, because I’ve written every day, consistently, for over a year… but this past week has been crazy. My husband has been extremely sick, and I’ve been fighting off the last of my morning sickness. What I haven’t kicked is the exhaustion that comes along with being pregnant. I’ve gone from insomnia to sleeping for 12+ hours a day. It’s so strange. However, it’s seeming to level out… but my body was demanding that I get that rest.

So, I did something that I wasn’t expecting to do… and I listened to my body.

I have to say it was the smartest thing that I could do. I took a week off, and I’m coming back into writing completely refreshed and rejuvenated. I’m going to recommend doing this to everyone – not just to pregnant women, but anyone who is going through something extremely stressful, or who is very sick, etc. Lower your word count – take some days off if you have to… but listen to your body. I know I’m a huge advocate for writing every day, and I still believe that you should.

But every now and then, you have to take a breath. So pick your days wisely, give yourself a time limit, and just know that when you come back, you need to come back strong.

Moving onward, I really… really… really am seeing a direct correlation between the amount of caffeine that I consume and how much I want to write. I miss my giant cups of coffee – they were my writing fuel. I know that a lot of it is probably a habit that I established. I’d wake up – get a big cup of coffee, drink it and write in the morning… and now I can’t do that. It’s spoiled my habit.

I need to make a new habit. It’s the second thing that I’m really discovering in all of this. We can train ourselves to think that certain signals mean that we can or cannot write. You can’t become so dependent on those signals that you can’t write when you don’t have them. I have to learn to write without my big cup of coffee, as much as it pains me. If you can’t have your certain playlist, your certain writing area, your certain writing beverage or snack… you still need to be able to write. We can fight through it together, guys. I believe in us.

Lastly, I’m going to hit on the current… environment of the world, without really getting into my own political opinion. I know that things are hard for a lot of us – unsure, frightening, scary… and I’m just going to leave you all with a bit of advice (I might write an entire post about my thoughts on all of this later, but not now.) But that advice is this: We need our writers now, more than ever. We need our thinkers, we need our people who will give an opinion. We need the people who can offer stories for people to escape into. We need our creative minds now more than ever before. So please, keep on writing ❤ You’re amazing.

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
Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com

 

Posted in daily writing, patreon, religion, twitter, Writer, Writing, writing prompt

Take Two of Daily Writing Prompts!

That’s right, folks. I know that I tried to do this before, and I failed miserably. However, I’m going to start at it again. I would really, really like to get daily writing prompts going, and I figured that the best way to do it was to put them on here! This will also give me the ability to hold myself accountable for this writing! So! I’m going to start with some prompts from Writers Write, but I have a proposition for you all!

I would love it if you suggested my next prompt in the comments below! I think that it could make for some really fun and interactive writing!

So! Daily Writing Prompt #1

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Well, this isn’t exactly creative, but I find it extremely interesting. My current novel is about the zombie apocalypse, with the infected fueled by the power of Hell itself. My main character, while calm and collected, a real ‘good girl’ spend the former portion of the novel completely doubting the existence of any God that would allow such travesties to happen. The second half of the novel, her view point certainly changes, but I don’t want to spoil that for anyone who might read it later!

As to whether her beliefs meet up with mine? I’m Theistic Agnostic, so.

So, there we go. An extremely easy one, but still, a writing prompt! I would LOVE to see some creative suggestions!

Until next time guys! Keep reading and writing!

Author Amanda McCormick

(Find me on Twitter and Patreon!)

Posted in A Night of Writing Dangerously, NaNoWriMo, National Novel Writing Month, wordcount, words, Writer, Writing Advice, Writing Tips, Writing Tricks, zombies

NaNo Day 2

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NaNoWriMo Day 2 end of the day wordcount, 15,143.

Of course, I’ve completely gone off of my little plot map that I created. What was supposed to be one chapter turned into three, and I’m at 15k words and only just getting to type out the words ‘Chapter 4’.

I’m okay with this. It actually makes me pretty happy.

Sorry, by the way, about this Day 2 post being on Day 3. I figured this might happen a lot… because after a day of intensive writing, the last thing that I’m thinking about is writing some more on a blog.

Still, NaNo has been a great experience so far. I know that some people don’t agree with the entire concept of NaNoWriMo, because they say that all that you can write is a really shitty first draft. Honestly, I don’t believe that. It’s not going to be your best by any means… but you can take the time and effort to make it something better than simply ‘shitty’. It’s certainly not a waste of time, and it teaches you about having a proper writing schedule, about getting your words out every day, and about what it really takes to make a novel.

I have to say that I love it. There’s such a great community, and it gives you such a hype.

Not to mention… t-shirt. *Squeals*.

Ahem, anyway, I’ll get my words done for the day, and then I may write a blog about what I’m writing, or something else fun like that.

We’ll see! For now, back to my word count!!!

Until next time, keep reading and writing!

Author Amanda McCormick

PS! Find me on NaNoWriMo under the name EgoDominusTuus, or keep up with me throughout the day on my twitter @EgoDominusTuus – I’d love to see you there!

Posted in A Night of Writing Dangerously, day one, NaNoWriMo, National Novel Writing Month, Writing Advice, Writing Tips

NaNoWriMo 2014 – Day One

Day One. It Begins.

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So, my word count at the end of day one is 10,055. I am extremely happy with myself, because I got to exactly where I wanted to get to. I sat a goal of getting to 10k today, so that I would be caught up to Day Six in the NaNo world. I realize from participating in National Novel Writing Month last year that getting as far ahead as possible in week one is probably the most important thing that you can do. That way, when you’re going through the perilous struggle of the dreaded Week Two, you are ahead. The worst thing that you can do is to get behind in your Word Count… it gives you a really hopeless feeling, and makes you want to crawl into a corner and hide. Honestly though, there’s no reason to be discouraged! You can pull yourself out of any hole… hell, I’m proof. I literally wrote about 16,000 words today, between this, work and blog posts! You can, too!!!

So, I decided to get ahead. I got ahead. I feel accomplished… and I celebrate with many Redbulls and Kitkats xD

Honestly though, Day One of NaNo is one of the most exciting. You’re getting your start, you’re carving your path! You’re making your way!

(This post will be shorter. My wrists… they sob.)

For me, I’m in the beginning of chapter two, and I’m ready to really get into the meat of my novel for day two. I’m going to try to pace myself for this next week, and just get daily word count (1667) to 3000 words per day. I think I can do it. I know I can do it!

Winners shirt, here I come!

Tomorrow, I’ll talk more about my Novel plot, and my setup in my Scrienver document!

Until then, keep reading and writing!

Author Amanda McCormick

Posted in A Night of Writing Dangerously, gaming ate my soul, NaNoWriMo, National Novel Writing Month, Promote Yourself, self promotion, world of warcraft, Writer, Writing Advice, writing promo, Writing Tips

A Countdown to NaNo and the Plethora of blogs to come!

So! I do apologize that I haven’t been blogging quite as much lately. First of all… shame on me, but I’m a horrible person who has found the joys of World of Warcraft. I’ve been playing it incessantly for a week…

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But second, and most important… I’ve been planning, plotting and preparing for NaNoWriMo! It’s only a few days away now, and I know that quite a few of us writers are literally chomping at the bit to get going with it. I personally look at it as a chance for publishing, a chance to finish something great… and I am even more excited about it this year than I was last year! I don’t know if it’s because I won last year, or because I already have a preestablished writing group and I know what I’m in for… whatever it is, I’m so antsy and anxious for it that I can hardly wait!

And so… I am warning you now – I plan on writing a blog for every day of NaNoWriMo! I am also planning on doing vlogs throughout. I want to keep myself and you guys up to date, keep myself accountable, and I would love to get some discussion started while I’m at it!

So! How many of you are ready for NaNo?

(If you’d like to join my authors group, hit me up on Skype – my name there is ego.dominustuus ! I would love to talk to any of you!)

Until next time, keep reading and writing!

Author Amanda McCormick

Posted in A Night of Writing Dangerously, fantasy, Nano, NaNoWriMo, National Novel Writing Month, novel, Promote Yourself, self promotion, Writer, Writing, Writing Advice, writing questions, Writing Tips, zombie

Choosing My NaNo Novel

Ah, so… November is literally just around the corner. I can hear it calling to me xD And I can hear the way that my poor husband will start cursing the month – it eats his wife, after all. Still, the NaNoWriMo website was finally relaunched! You can now put up what novel you’re going to be working on… and I am left with a bit of a question…

What do I work on?

I am between two novels in my decision.

One would be the Sequel to the novel that I wrote last year: Cerulean Darkness. This novel is called Obsidian Light. The series is a duology, so I would have that project completely finished (as far as writing… as far as editing? hahaha…) They’re Fantasy/Young Adult novels. I think that it would be great to get an entire series finished, and it would certainly feel like a wonderful accomplishment. Even though I haven’t worked on the book in a year, the characters are still very fresh to me.

On the other hand, there is a part of me that wants to wait until I have completely finished my edited on Cerulean Darkness first. After all, what will happen if I dive into Obsidian Light, and find that there is something, some scene, some character, some portion of the prior novel that I have changed to the point that the entire plot line needs to go in a different direction? I really do not think that this will happen… but I know that sometimes in editing, there are surprises that we do not foresee.

And so… there is my second option. It is a Zombie Apocalypse novel with a twist that I am hoping will make it more original and unique than every other zombie thing that seems to be out there right now. I’ve never done anything like this before, so I know that it would be a fun project to tackle. I am afraid with this, however, I will throw myself out of the Cerulean Series vibe.

So, the real question is… do I go ahead and write Obsidian Light? Do I carry on with my as of yet unnamed Zombie story? Do I rush like a madman to finish the edits on Cerulean Darkness so that my issues with Obsidian Light won’t be so present… or do I work on my plot and plan for Zombie Story?

Hm.

NaNo opens up so many possibilities, and it makes me feel so very creative. I’m never going to be upset over the fact that I have too many ideas!

What do you guys think? Are you facing a similar situation? What are you going to work on for your NaNo project? Let me know in the comments!

Until next time, keep reading and writing!

Author Amanda McCormick

Posted in A Night of Writing Dangerously, Creative WRiting, fantasy, fantasy romance, Paranormal Romance, Romance, Writer, Writing

Porcelain and Cerulean (Writing Blurb)

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“I would dream sometimes, though I did not admit it to myself. I would look across the Dead Lands and see the glimmer of the Cerulean City in the sky like some star. I would wonder what you were doing, how you were doing… and I would see in my mind the way things would have been if I had simply come into the birthright that was bestowed upon me. I wondered what it would be like to be at your side, watching you grow, protecting you.” A bitter laugh escaped him, “I imagined you as some beautiful thing, porcelain and cerulean.

An excerpt from Cerulean Darkness. 

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