Posts Tagged ‘writing advice’

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Hey everyone! I decided to do a little challenge for my Discord Server, and it’s going to be posted here so you can all participate as well (though, feel free to clicky click here and join the server if you’d like). Anyway, I’ve talked to the members there quite a few times, and we frequently discuss the fact that having a social media presence is important if you plan on publishing. Whether it’s traditionally, in which case showing an agent that you already have a built-in audience is beneficial, or self-publishing… which, of course, having a built-in audience speaks for itself! Social media is important.

So, I decided that I would help the members of my group (and any of you who want to participate) by giving blog topics/prompts/etc to write on! So many people have trouble keeping up with a regular blog, so… I thought I’d make it a little easier by giving prompts and challenges for people to complete in order to help them jump-start their very own blog!

I’ll be pulling from multiple places: My mind, first of all. That means the occasional Currently, WIP, what are you reading, etc, blog!

https://www.creative-writing-now.com/short-story-ideas.html <– I’m also going to grab at least one of these every few days. I love writing prompts, and I think it’s a great way to showcase your talent.

https://randomwordgenerator.com/phrase.php <— I am also going to pull from here for more randomized prompts!

Hopefully, all of this will help anyone who is having trouble coming up with thoughts and topics to get a blog going. The most important thing is repetition, consistency, and building a habit! I’ll keep this running for as long as people keep asking me to! Until then (I should be starting this in June, so go ahead and drop a comment, Discord Messsage me, or email me if you want me to involve you as well!)

Author Amanda McCormick

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Hey everyone! It’s been just a bit, but I had a thought as I was working on 4thewords today — I have a maximum amount of words that I want to get written every day, and I usually end up hitting that max… but… something you might not know about me is that I’m actually pretty bad at social situations. Like, I have a battery, and if I use it all up… well, I have to let it recharge for quite a bit of time.

Yesterday, I was out all day. In the morning, I played Pokemon Go for hours to get a black Charizard (Yeah, I’m one of those nerds xD I don’t care to tell you as much.) After that, I was home for a few hours (getting some work done), and then we went right back out to a BBQ to hang out with some friends that we haven’t seen for a while. We were there for 6 hours.

My battery not only died. I think it exploded. I don’t have a battery… I’m having to reorder one, and it’s taking a month to ship, I swear.

Honestly, though, I’m so peopled out and exhausted today that I just kind of wanna hang out with my baby and play some video games. So… I’m doing the minimum.

4thewords has given me a perfect minimum. 444 words. I have to do that many to get my streak for the day. Sometimes, doing the minimum is the best thing that you can do. Sometimes, you have to take care of yourself and not push it. It’s important to have multi-tier daily goals. The small one that you know you can get, even during a bad day… and then a big one that you strive for.

I have 444, and I have 2k. Today is a 444 kinda day. It’s still so important to have a daily goal and to hit it every day, because that’s how you form the habit of writing… but it’s also important to have in a net of self-care. It’s about finding that balance.

So, find your balance! Set your goals. I’d love to hear them in the comments below!

So, that’s my bit of advice for the day ❤ I hope it helps, and I’d love to hear your thoughts! If there’s a subject you want me to touch on for the next blog, leave it in the comments or email me!

Author Amanda McCormick

Twitter | Facebook PageNaNo Page | Tumblr | Blog Masterpost | My Writing Group
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Things are never quite so perfect as they appear. I wanted to just prod something out really quick to let you guys know that. So many people post perfectly posted photos and really make it seem like everything is amazing. Even I make some pretty fantastically posed pictures for headers.

I took the one above, and then I kinda zoomed out to see what the rest of everything looked like.

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Yep. That crackup in the corner is my kiddo giving me the stink eye. There are extra coffee cups, water bottles, a really dirty kitchen table… there are a bunch of things that make the picture imperfect. Never get discouraged because of pictures and snippets of people that you see on the internet, or even as a celebrity.

Those are just small fractions of a whole thing. I promise you, they aren’t accurate to how the world is really going. Everyone has mess, everyone has stress. Everyone has issues, and that’s what makes us unique and who we are. That’s what gives us the experiences in life that help us to be better writers.

So, the next time you’re on an instagram and you’re wondering how in the hell someone has such a perfect writing space, or a perfect bookshelf, or a really neat corner where they film videos…

Remember, there’s probably a pile of laundry and some empty cups just out of sight! ❤ We are all perfectly imperfect, and that’s just the way we need to be! So, don’t give up — keep on chugging ❤ Keep on writing!

Author Amanda McCormick

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Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com

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I’ve been listening to On Writing by Stephen King lately (it’s a fantastic audiobook, especially since King himself narrates it!). There was a quote in the book that really resonated with me:

Writing is a lonely job. Having someone who believes in you makes a lot of difference. They don’t have to make speeches. Just believing is usually enough.

I am fortunate enough to have a husband who is more than just passingly supportive. He constantly encourages me, constantly urges me to write and to attempt to publish. He constantly cheers me on, and I wonder what my writing life would be like if I didn’t have someone like that in it?

I think that’s why I try to keep my writing server up and running and positive. I want to offer the same support to people as I get on a daily basis from my husband. I’ve really started thinking, and I really do realize that it’s that encouragement that helps people to go on. If you didn’t have someone who told you you can do this, I wonder… how hard would it be to find the will to wade through the hard parts of writing.

So… I guess that really the point of this blog is for me to give you a bit of advice. Find someone who will encourage you — whether it’s a writing group, someone in your life, or just an accountability buddy that you make via blogs, tumblr, or a physical writing group that you join. Find someone who can encourage you, because just having that person believe in you will make a difference between a good day and a bad day.

And if you can’t find someone, either join my Discord Group (Linked at the bottom of the blog), or listen to me here ❤ You can do this, and I believe in you. Your story is yours, unique to you and your mind. Only you can tell it! If you need someone to listen to you, just comment on this blog! I’ll listen, I’ll encourage ❤ I will be here to tell you that your writing is important and you can do it!

I have faith in you. You have someone to believe in you right here.

 

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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Scrivner up, baby monitor on, writing group active on the other side… I have my headphones on, even if they are only covering one ear. I’m trying to learn how to write at my desktop again while I have a baby.

Life gets a little complicated once you’re a Mama, doesn’t it?

I can write while I’m in bed just fine — my amazing and supportive husband bought me a new laptop to make it easier than it was before, even. However, I really get into my best flow when I’m at my desk. There’s something about the setup here, and the fact that I feel like I’m actually working instead of just tapping around while laying in bed. I’ve recently decided to double down on working (though I’m not actually working on RipTide right now, I was just organizing files xD), and part of committing to that is getting out of the bed and working at my desktop again instead of just working at my laptop.

It’s a bit difficult, and I know that any new parent, anyone who is going through a big change in life, anyone who has moved and is trying to get organized… anyone who is going through anything really can attest to this. The matter is though, it’s about taking a deep breath and deciding that you’re going to really commit to the goals that you set for yourself. I’ve always been a huge advocate for goals, for setting them, and for going with them.

This is the exact same. I’m going to try to spend at least 20 minutes a day at my desktop working on writing things, even if it’s just composing a daily blog until I’ve gotten more into the swing of it. It doesn’t sound like a lot, but when you have a nearly 8 month old clinging to you ever moment of the day… trust me, those 20 minutes can come few and far in between.

But I’m going to do it — and I think that this is a lesson that anyone can take to heart. Even if it’s just you trying to get into a habit of writing. You just have to tell yourself that you’re going to do it. You’re going to take those twenty minutes. Whether it’s 20 minutes to get writing done, twenty minutes to plot, to plan. Even if you’re only taking ten minutes.

Say you’re going to do it.

Do it.

You can do it, I believe in you!

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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Did you guys think I’d disappeared completely? I wouldn’t really blame you… I’ve been gone for a while, after all. The fact is, being pregnant and trying your hardest to move all in the same month of doing NaNo is hard. It’s made worse by the fact that I found out I’m pretty anemic (ergo, why I’m sleeping all of the time).

I have fallen behind.

And… I’m not going to let it freak me out. So, I’m saying the same thing to all of you who have fallen behind and decided to give up. ❤ Don’t do that! Falling behind doesn’t mean automatic failure.

Yeah, things are gonna be a little harder, and you’re gonna have to play catchup. You’re going to go through a few difficult days if you decide to do it all at once, OR you’re gonna have to slightly up your wordcount and spread it out through the rest of the month. NaNo is only half over, guys ❤ you can certainly still do this.

I keep thinking about the fact that my husband told me that I really needed to do Camp, because I’d be disappointed in myself if I didn’t. I keep thinking about the fact that I certainly won’t be able to do Camp in July, as I’m gonna be having a baby in July and even I’m not that crazy.

I keep thinking about the fact that he’s right, and there’s no reason to give up on myself. Even if I end up only getting half of what I planned to get, that’s still more than what I started out with. When you’re writing, when you’re creating, and when you’re trying? You never really lose!

So, keep your chin up, guys. We’re half through, and I know that you can keep on keeping on, even if it seems impossible right now!

That’s all for now though ❤ I’m actually gonna go and get a few words written, so I can start playing the catchup game. Since I have ridiculous insomnia, maybe I can put it to my favor and get further along than I previously though. Of course, I have no idea what I’m going to be writing about… but that’s the fun of writing prompts, now isn’t it?

Okay, away!

So, until next time! Keep read and writing, and keep being the awesome people that you are!

Author Amanda McCormick

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

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So, here we go with Camp NaNo (she said, posting her day 1 report a day late. But, alas… that’s just how it goes sometimes. The good new is, I cranked out my words. I set my goal pretty small – 15,000 words for the month. I’m sure I’ll pass it up (I hope I will), but I figured that would be good… since I’m pregnant and in the process of moving before the end of April.

I’m still super excited to try!

I did make a decision about what I wanted to do for Camp though – I was really willy nilly about how I wanted to tackle it. At first, I thought I’d do rewrites on my novel Cerulean Darkness… and then I thought, “No, I don’t want to rush rewrites and end up having to completely rewrite the rewrites… maybe I’ll just finish my novel Limbo during NaNo!”

And then I thought… “But, I don’t really want to rush through that, either. I’d rather have something that I don’t have to rewrite 100% after I’m done with it.”

So, I sat and I wondered for a minute what I wanted to do… and then I realized that it didn’t have to be so complicated. It’s CAMP, damn it. You’re supposed to have fun at Camp, and I have full intentions of having fun with what I’m writing. I’m using this as a platform to get me back into the habit of daily writing, and I’m not going to make it something that stresses me out so that I don’t want to do it.

So, I decided on 30 writing prompts, one for each day. I’ll probably be posting some of them up here for you guys, and I’ll certainly post some of the prompts up (from day 3 on, since I’m not gonna be able to today) so that anyone who is struggling with how to get your words for camp can follow along! The point is to get yourself writing, and the point is to hit your goal! So, I think that’s what we need to do, and I think that we all need to just have a lot of fun doing it! I know that I, for one, am actually excited about the prospect of getting things started. I’m not even going to sweat it if I don’t finish the prompt – I’ll hit the word count that I can hit for the day, and I’ll leave it. If nothing else, I’m going to have the beginnings to 30 pretty rad stories, and I’m super fine with that.

I’d love to hear how Camp is going for you guys, with day 2 closing out. I’m at right around 1000 words so far, 500 a day. I’m happy with it. I’m really satisfied.

Let me know what your projects are, or if you wanna follow along with the writing prompts every day! Regardless, I can’t wait to hear about it!

So, until next time! Keep read and writing, and keep being the awesome people that you are!

Author Amanda McCormick

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

Tag Thursday

What is today? Today is a Thursday >_> and apparently the day that I decide to get back into my blogging. I’ve feeling great! I’m going to do an update blog after I finish this, but I wanted to get back into this exactly how they’re supposed to be going… so, Tag Thursday it is! I grabbed this tag from Jenna Moreci’s vlog! Enjoy, because here we go!


What kind of writer are you?

I am taking this to mean what genre do I write in? I dabble here and there, though you’ll mostly find me in the young adult area. However, amongst that I’ve done horror, paranormal romance, and high fantasy. I also wrote most of a lesbian sci-fi romance for NaNoWriMo this last year… I pretty much go wherever my muse takes me; it’s my favorite thing, exploring avenues that I haven’t been down yet… because you never know what surprises you’re going to find!

When did you start writing and what made you want to try it?

Shoot, I’ve written for a long time. I’ve always, always loved to read, and even before I was physically putting them down… I was writing entire novels in my head to put myself to sleep, finishing up books the way that I wanted them to end. I wrote my first novel in 6th grade though. I guess what made me want to try it was just the knowledge that there were so many worlds out there that only I could make. I also really, really wanted to make other people happy, the way that books made me happy.

What inspires your stories?

There is no one thing that inspires my stories. Sometimes I just have a dream, and realize that it needs to be a novel. Sometimes, it’s a writing prompt that I see. Sometimes, I go to my husband and I say: I want to write a novel about zombies. Tell me something that would make this interesting… and then he gives me a twist to it, and it turns into a novel. My creativity more than anything else inspires me, and the world around me.

What themes do you explore in your writing?

No particular theme. I feel like those are kind of something that you discover as you’re plotting your story out, isn’t it? I’m not the kind of person who is centric to one theme and one theme only as a driving force. I’m everywhere.

Are you a plotter, pantser, or plantser?

I would consider myself a plantser. I plot, but I don’t plot so heavily that I don’t have wiggle room. I try to leave myself space for discovery while having a clear route from beginning to end – if I just so happen to deviate and see something along the way? Well, all the better, yes?

Where are you in your writing journey?

I… am… in a weird place. I have two novels that I really feel like I could seek publication with if I ever got them properly polished up. I have an amazing support system in my husband and family, and I’m pretty happy with the social media presence that I am very slowly garnering. I don’t know… I’m just on the teetering edge of really going for it, I guess. But being pregnant and wanting to really show my kiddo that you can go for your dreams may be the push that I need.

Have you entered any writing contests, and have you won or lost any?

Uh? Yeah, I’ve entered a few in my lifetime? I’ve won the few that I entered, but it hasn’t been too many? I’m really weirdly private about my writing… which I should get over, since I wanna get published.

Who are your writing heroes?

L.J. Smith and J.K. Rowling. – L.J. because she’s the one who really got me into the genre that I started writing in. Rowling because she was turned down so many times, and look at her now. Honestly, everyone who strives for and acheives their dreams inspire me.

Have you been to a writing conference?

Nope. I should change that.

What are your top three tips for newbie writers?

Ohhh, top three tips, huh? Well, lesse.

  1. Keep writing – that’s the hardest part. It isn’t always going to be good, and it certainly isn’t always going to be easy… but the best thing that you can do is keep writing, whenever you can, because it’s going to make you better, and it’s going to help you to grow as a writer.
  2. Don’t be afraid to take constructive criticism – I’m saying this to every form of artist, from writer to musician to someone who draws. You have to be able to take constructive criticism (not people being a dick, never take that). But when people tell you how you can improve, you need to listen. Never become complacent. Do not stop striving to better yourself. The moment that you think you’re the best you can be is the moment that you will never improve again. The only person you are in competition with is yourself, but you should always try to be a better artist than you were yesterday, and most often than not, constructive criticism and always trying to learn is the way to do that.
  3. Give yourself a break, but only in moderation – Sometimes, things aren’t going to work out the way you think. Sometimes, your book isn’t going to get accepted. Sometimes >_> you get pregnant and are so sick/distracted you can’t write for over two months. It’s okay to give yourself a break, but do it in moderation. Don’t let a necessary break turn into excuses. You know yourself, push yourself as hard as you can without breaking.

And there we have it! That is the Author’s Life For Me Tag! I challenge you all to complete it and link back to me, so I can see your answers!

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

 

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

 

Writing Tips and Tricks

Oh, so my tip is going to involve me actually doing what my tip says… that’ll be interesting. Honestly, I thought that this was one of the best ways for me to get back into properly blogging – with a tip, and that tip is something that I’m going to take myself.

When you’ve found yourself falling out of your writing habits, the best thing that you can do is to just Jump Right In. That’s right – feet first. Don’t think about what you need to plan, or what you need to do, or how you need to do it. Just… just do the thing. I’ve been sitting and not working on my blog, and yesterday I should have started posting again… but I was too busy thinking about how it wouldn’t work properly, and an Update Monday after I haven’t been writing wouldn’t flow… this, that, and one excuse after another. The simple fact is, you can’t wait for a perfect moment. You can’t wait for the perfect thing.

You just have to do it.

I was going to wait until I felt a little better, and then I realized that I’m not going to be any more sick sitting here and writing out this blog than I would if I was sitting here and watching youtube videos. It’s just a matter of being determined and realizing that you’re going to have to do what you need to do.

So, yes, this is my tip for you. File away those excuses for another day – if you let yourself drop off of your writing habits, don’t beat yourself up over it. I still managed to get my 1k a day, thankfully, but I haven’t been blogging or writing very creatively lately. Just jumping back into blogging every day seemed so daunting… but you can’t let that fear stop you from doing the things that you want to do. You can’t let yourself get overwhelmed… and you can’t make excuses. If you’re tired, you still have 10 minutes to write… if you’re cold, warm your fingers up and write for 10 minutes. If you haven’t properly written a blog in a month and you’re afraid that you’re going to do a bad job (Yes, self, I’m talking to you) then just do it anyway.

You won’t regret it. It may not be the best thing that you’ve ever cranked out, if you’re just getting back into the habit of it… but it’s going to be a beginning. It’s going to be a start, and the sooner you shift yourself back into your proper habits, the sooner it’s going to be coming smoothly to you again. Think of it that way.

Until next time guys!!! Keep reading and writing, and keep being absolutely awesome!
Author Amanda McCormick

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

My Discord Group (click to join) is starting to rev up for NaNoWriMo! If you want some help with plotting and a group to stay steady with after, feel free to click and join!