Posted in Creative WRiting

Blog Challenge: My Writing Space and Desires

So… I put the question to my writing group, what does your writing space look like right now. What do you want it to look like in the future. To answer this, I’m going to give a little scroll through my phone gallery to see if I have photos, or if I’m going to have to get up (clean the gummy wrappers that my kids keep needing me to open off of the surface) and take a photo.

Or three.

Yeah, three.

Look, I got lazy and decided not to start with my office first. I have an office, okay? It’s cool, it’s where my books live so my kids won’t eat them… and I never get to write in there, currently. You can’t watch a one and a three year old with the door closed.

So, we’re going to go to my gaming desk instead. Is that a sexy folding table you spy? Why yes, yes it is. Is that a rocker glider for a baby as a gaming chair… why yes, yes, it is. Is everything rainbows?

Of course it is, why in the devil would I pick anything else?

Honestly, I adore my gaming setup. You can’t see it, but right beside me I have an enormous shelf full of pop figures, fallout merch, coffee, and other nerdy things. I’d take a picture, but I’d have to clean it off and I don’t want to >_>

I sit at my desk more often than I do anywhere else; it’s behind a little gate, so the kids can’t immediately come up and smack my keyboard (My one year old’s favorite thing now is typing), but I can very, very easily keep an eye and ear out for them. As long as I am working on something that I have in Microsoft Word, a blog, or something that I have in google docs, I can sit here.

“But Amanda, we’ve seen you post pictures in Scrivener from your gaming desktop before, are you making excuses?”

No, random questioner who I just made up! I am not. The problem with Scrivener is my second writing set up, which has forever spoiled Scrivener 1 for me.

My second writing space is my Macbook Air and my lapdesk. This particular space is pretty great, because I can take it with me. It’s portable, it’s light as [insert awful chuckle here] air [keep inserting awful chuckle, because I’m punny, damn it] and it’s honestly a fantastic machine to write on.

It has Scrivener 3.

Scrivener 3. My best friend.

My bane.

You see, everything else that I own is a windows machine, and Scrivener 3 is not on Windows. My documents do not transfer. I can’t work seamlessly on them from machine to machine anymore like I used to.

Are you seeing the problem I’m having here?

Honestly though, it’s kind of all right? I don’t mind to swap to my laptop when I need to for writing novels — it gives me a different, fun headspace. I can, of course, do everything that I can do on my desktop ON my laptop. There are days where it’s just me, my lap desk, my macbook and a can of monster against the world (world being two evil children xD) and I’m fine with that, too. I really love that damn computer ❤

So… yeah. I kind of divvy my time evenly between those to machines, and that’s honestly all find and dandy.

But let me tell you about where I wish I could write.

Imagine thing — a nice, big room with a fireplace (probably a fake one, because real ones are bad for your lungs) crackling in the corner. There are bookshelves on all of the walls, stuffed mostly with books, though some have some fun nerdy things (see: Fallout and Borderlands) and one holds a really gorgeous antique typewriter… and a big stuffy comfy chair in one corner with a lamp beside it, just inviting you to read.

In the other corner is a really old wooden desk, and then a longer wooden desk beside it, making the perfect L-curve. There is not one, not two, but three monitors — the largest one is for writing, the second are for references and music control.

Oh, and the music is on surround sound, because this is my dream and I want to be fancy, damn it.

Mechanical keyboard. Totally rainbowed out. Super comfortable chair.

*gestures* Welcome to my perfect writing space. I have… the rainbows and that initial wooden desk. Yeah — that desk is important. Once upon a time, when I was a wee baby Amanda, I got my Dad’s desk. It’s a solid built thing, because people used to solidly build shit back in the day… I scribbled the word Gollum on it, once upon a time, because htat’s where my little Gollum figure sat. It’s got drawers and cubbies and it’s just a really sentimental part of me.

When I moved from Kentucky to California for ten years, I didn’t think I’d ever get to see it again.

When I moved back from California to Kentucky (See: Price differences between living in those two states with chidlren), I got my desk back.

Leave me alone, I know it’s a cluttered mess.

Fight me. I know it’s messy right now. That’s why I have a long second table build to look close to the same to make it an L-Shaped desk for all of my cluttery notebook needs.

This is my dream anyway, so.

Yeah, I got my desk back. This was the desk where I typed up my first book. This was the desk where I used to sneak at night when I was supposed to sleep to write on a clunky box of a computer that had windows xp on it. This was the desk, and it’s always going to be a part of my dream, because I love it that much. It’s got all of the Amanda novel writing inspiration seeped into the wood of it, and that makes it awesome.

So, what’s your writing space currently? What do you want it to look like? I love to see a little peek into writer’s lives! Let me know if you do this challenge!

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

bloghead

*Stares at the title of the photo she picked out* Daily Writing Blog. Yes, I’m going to try to get back to that. Things have been kind of beyond crazy on my end. I made a cross country move, didn’t have a house to move into (yay for sisters who love you <3), found a house to move into… had the roof in that house caved-in in the living room… (yay for sisters who still love you, lol), waited for the roof to get fixed… found out the carpet was trashed… >_> (Yay for my sister. Lol.)… but finally, finally we got everything sorted and settled!

Now we’re just working on still getting everything in the house totally homey. We recently finished getting my kids room baby proofed, so the only room left is…

MY OFFICE. That’s right, guys. I have a writing room, an office, a place for me to get all of my writing things done. >_> I just need bookshelves! (If you would like to randomly donate a bookshelf, check RIGHT HERE xD) I’m honestly really excited about it, because I’ve never had a space that was specifically and solely for writing before. I’ve always had to work at a desk in a room with other people, in my room in a corner somewhere… never in a place where I could go in, shut the door… and that be my world.

Having that area is going to make me really buckle down for this. I have a goal to have my rewrite of Cerulean Darkness finished by the end of the year, as well as Limbo; I want the two books to choose between for publishing. I’m also going to start publishing short stories, and I intend to have one of those up by the end of the year as well.

Basically, once I get that office done, I’m going to really give it my all. And ❤ I hope you guys are happy and willing to see me around a lot more, because I plan on getting back to blogging full force.

 

Until then, you guys! Keep reading, and keep writing!

Author Amanda McCormick

Twitter | Facebook PageNaNo Page | Tumblr | Blog Masterpost | My Writing Group

Posted in Creative WRiting, writing pep talk

Learning How To Be Again

20180307_105649.jpg

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

 

Posted in Creative WRiting

A Tour of my Writing Desk (Desktop Edition)

Life and Writing

So, I mentioned that I would do a blog about my downstairs writing space soon – I haven’t done one about here, though I have written about my upstairs writing space. The fact is, I have been using my downstairs writing space more and more lately, because of my dual monitors. I talk about the difference in my writing venues in THIS BLOG in a discussion of Laptop vs. Desktop if you’re interested. The particular space that we will be looking at right now is my desktop area.

Now, I use this space for more than just writing. You can bet your pretty eyes that I’ve played just as many hours of games at this desk as I have done writing. Fallout, League of Legends, Far Cry, the list goes on and on… but, I’ve recently found myself extremely attached to writing from this particular area. The blog that I mentioned earlier says why, but I’ll highlight some of it for you to see here:

If I had a choice, I would always write on my desktop. I have a mechanical keyboard on there that makes writing extremely smooth and fluid, I have all of my writing programs, and a huge screen, so that the split screen function of Scrivener is still completely visible. Each half of my screen is larger than my laptop screen, so splitting it in half is completely easy to use. I can use my secondary screen for other research options – I also have desk space and a ton of it. I am capable of doing any type of research, note taking, and writing that I need at my desktop. My Kraken headset is hooked up here, and it gives me fantastic music… but, the simple fact of the matter is… unless I’m writing when everyone else is going (which is a rare thing) or I get up at 2 am to write (and my husband misses me upstairs)… I’m never alone. I don’t get any type of solitary writing time at my desktop. While that’s fine for things like this blog, and even sometimes for my novels and stories, it can be extremely distracting to try to write at my desktop when people are really into their gaming.

When I can write alone at my desktop, I feel wonderful. I feel like a very official writer, and it’s extremely efficient. All of the visual space for me makes my job much easier. But… I’m stuck in one room – if I need to get outside, I can’t take my desktop outside with me for some fresh air. I constantly have people over my shoulder, seeing my words, seeing my research, and generally making me feel like I’m being watched. Even when I move, my desktop is never going to be in a solitary writing room, because it’s my gaming machine – it will always be beside my husbands desktop. So… there’s never going to be privacy and isolation for my desktop writing. Though I find myself the most concentrated writing on my desktop (when I’m alone), that happens so rarely that it’s hard for me to say that it’s the best machine for writing. There is also the side note that my husband is a lot happier when I’m writing in the same room as him – because at least we get to spend time together, and I’ll occasionally turn around and say a few words to him xD

So, that’s the basic gist of why I enjoy writing at my desktop. The dual screens make it amazing, and I have some photos to highlight exactly why it’s such a lovely space to work from, when I’m given the chance.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

As you can see from the slideshow, I have everything a girl could need. 2 Notebooks, my bullet journal, my monthly planner that I write on – dual screens. (A Handsome Jack and Vegeta mascot), panda bears, pens, colored pencils, a metal calendar, iced coffee… just an altogether awesome setup. And honestly, I’d generally love to stay here, because it truly is a fantastic place to write from – the double screens make editing so easy.

But… there’s so much noise. What I didn’t take a photo of was the 4 other desks in this room. That’s a lot of people, that’s a lot of distractions. I need distraction free writing, whether I am happy about it or not.

Really though, this blog isn’t to discuss my writing space, as I did it in the one mentioned above. It was to give you a little tour of my desk – this is my space! This is where I write the majority of my blogs, and where I’ve done a lot of my personal writing lately. What I would really love is to see some pictures of your writing spaces! Show them to me! Tell me about them! Let me feature them on an upcoming blog! I love getting to know you guys, and being able to share our writing secrets with one another… and I think that the place that we write is one of our most personal writing secrets and one of our most cherished things that we can share!

So, pictures ❤ I’d love to see some pictures!

If you guys like blogs like this, I’ll do more, by the way – bookshelves, maybe even some video tours of my writing areas and whatnot. Just let me know! I love to put out content that you guys can enjoy and benefit from, as well as content that lets me interact with you!

 

Until next time, guys!

Author Amanda McCormick

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

Posted in Creative WRiting

Writing Tips and Thoughts: Laptop vs. Desktop

Writing Tips and Tricks

Inspired by THIS post on the Random Musings of a Muttering Mind, today’s tip/writing discussion will be about using a desktop vs. a laptop. I’ve probably talked about this before, but I don’t know that I’ve ever gone into full depth on my reasoning behind enjoying one more than the other. I don’t know if this is a tip and trick, or if it’s just musing, but this is my different thought processes for writing with both tools, so hopefully it can help you to make the right decision for you when it comes to your writing space.

I’ve talked multiple times about how it’s important to have a space for your writing, a place that is totally and completely yours. However, some of us don’t have the luxury of having a writing place that is ours – likewise, some of us don’t have the ability to have our desktop in a place that is isolated (While still having the ability to be connected to the router for… uhm… gaming purposes >_> Shhh.) Ahem. I can’t attest to anyone else and their setup, so I’m just going to go through what my current writing setup is like.

——  WARNING: INCOMING LONG Blog  ——

I have a few different writing instruments. First and foremost, I have my desktop: it’s set up in the common room of my household. My husband and I live with 2 other couples (because who can afford their own 2 story house with a big backyard in California?) and I have two dogs that are constantly needing my attention. The room that my desktop is in is the main socialization area for us, because all of our computers are set up in here, and we’re a very gaming household for the most part. It’s not odd for someone to be on a Skype Call at all points during the day. My desktop is at its own desk, I have an extremely comfortable chair – all of my writing programs are on here, and I have a huge 32 inch screen, and a secondary 20ish inch screen.

Secondly, I have my large laptop. It’s kind of a broken piece of crap, though Gauness fixed a lot of its issues. It can now be taken off of its plug without automatically shutting down, and due to me ripping it open, all of the keys but the w key consistently work. (The w key will stick – if you ever see blogs where I’m missing a bunch of W’s, that’s why.) This laptop is a constant fixture in my bedroom. I’ve recently made myself capable of hooking it  up to HDMI, so that it can stream itself to a 42 inch television.

Third, I have a small little netbook type laptop. I got it when my laptop shat out for so long, and it’s been a real blessing. I never go anywhere without it, and I did a ton of my NaNo writing on it last year. It’s like… 11.5 inches total, and the keyboard is a chicklet that even my tiny hands sometimes get too excited for. It has a 12 hour battery life, so as long as I remember to charge it up occasionally, it’s usually always ready for me to write.

I also have an all-in-one desktop that used to be set up at my upstairs writing desk. Once upon a time, I had a writing space. I’ve written blogs about it – I had a desk, a printer, writing quotes surrounding me. It was fantastic and lovely, and I used it as frequently as I could. >_> that would be where the 42 inch television, my ps4/ps3 are connected now. Space management stole my writing desk away from me :/ My All-In-One has no place to be hooked up, so it’s out of the equation. To detail for you, it was okay though. Kind of slow, kind of clunky. But I did an entire NaNo on it – it’s only purpose was writing (and Guild Wars 2 >_> Shhh), so it was pretty wonderful, and I plan on getting it set up again someday when we move and I have my own writing area.

So, that’s my writing situation. I have 3 viable contraptions to write on, and I have a different mindset for each and every one of them. So, let’s start actually getting into the meat of this particular blog now.

If I had a choice, I would always write on my desktop. I have a mechanical keyboard on there that makes writing extremely smooth and fluid, I have all of my writing programs, and a huge screen, so that the split screen function of Scrivener is still completely visible. Each half of my screen is larger than my laptop screen, so splitting it in half is completely easy to use. I can use my secondary screen for other research options – I also have desk space and a ton of it. I am capable of doing any type of research, note taking, and writing that I need at my desktop. My Kraken headset is hooked up here, and it gives me fantastic music… but, the simple fact of the matter is… unless I’m writing when everyone else is going (which is a rare thing) or I get up at 2 am to write (and my husband misses me upstairs)… I’m never alone. I don’t get any type of solitary writing time at my desktop. While that’s fine for things like this blog, and even sometimes for my novels and stories, it can be extremely distracting to try to write at my desktop when people are really into their gaming.

When I can write alone at my desktop, I feel wonderful. I feel like a very official writer, and it’s extremely efficient. All of the visual space for me makes my job much easier. But… I’m stuck in one room – if I need to get outside, I can’t take my desktop outside with me for some fresh air. I constantly have people over my shoulder, seeing my words, seeing my research, and generally making me feel like I’m being watched. Even when I move, my desktop is never going to be in a solitary writing room, because it’s my gaming machine – it will always be beside my husbands desktop. So… there’s never going to be privacy and isolation for my desktop writing. Though I find myself the most concentrated writing on my desktop (when I’m alone), that happens so rarely that it’s hard for me to say that it’s the best machine for writing. There is also the side note that my husband is a lot happier when I’m writing in the same room as him – because at least we get to spend time together, and I’ll occasionally turn around and say a few words to him xD

As to my larger laptop – when downstairs becomes too noisy for me, I can go upstairs and use the laptop. It’s fantastic, my room is cool, the lights are always off, the windows are covered with blankets – I have two fans going, my music coming out of my television… and… I’m not as comfortable as I was at my desk. If I want to use the 42 inch television, I have to sit upright, which completely defeats the purpose of a laptop to me. I’ll usually just use the screen anyway – it’s smaller, so split screen for Scrivener isn’t as easy. If I need to research, I have to minimize my work to do so… and, 9 times out of 10, I’m using my laptop in my bed. My bed is a place for sleep – my bed puts my brain in the mindset of try to sleep, Amanda, even if you do have terrible insomnia. My writing reflects that. I’m slower, I’m more inclined to put it away to take a small rest. A lot of people like laptops, because they allow them to lounge and do whatever they need to do… but, at least with a larger laptop, they tend to have a shorter battery life, and you have to have a backpack with you at all times to carry it around. It’s not super portable… and I know a ton of people who end up just keeping their laptop in their bedrooms most of the time, once they get a little older and their battery life starts to wane (my laptop is about 3-4 years old, so the battery has waned).

When I write on my laptop, I get a sense of calm and softness, and I’m very comfortable (because I’m laying in the dark, in my bed). I’ll still write, and a lot of times, I’ll still write a lot… but it’s a lot slower than if I were on my desktop. Even the keyboard hurts my wrist more. The writing posture of writing on a laptop while laying in bed is probably what did my wrist in so many years ago – so writing at my laptop will always make my wrists hurt/fingers go numb much quicker than writing at a desktop. But… I have solitude. Wonderful, beautiful, amazing solitude in the quite of my room, surrounded by my bookshelves. Yeah, I might end up doing a meet and greet with my pillow and covers… but at least I can get my writing done in the silence, even if it does take me longer.

And then, we go to my third little writing implement. I got my tiny laptop for last years NaNo, and I have to say that it’s been a lifesaver. It’s small, so it’s not the easiest thing in the world to write on. I’ve actually connected it to a keyboard via usb a few times because it was so small… but it’s portable. I can go from writing at my desk, to writing on my couch, to writing outside, to writing at a coffee shop, to writing upstairs, to going to my mother-in-laws… and my writing is never interrupted. The battery life almost guarantees that I won’t run out of juice… and I’m capable of conveniently being able to write wherever I want to. I used my small laptop a lot for NaNo, because I had friends over and we usually sat at my dining room table, surrounded by candy/pizza/soda getting out words in. I can’t really split screen my Scrivener on this laptop at all – the screen is too small. After a while of using it, my eyes feel strained, because the screen is so small. My fingers cramp… because the keyboard is so small… but it’s there, and it’s useful.

The small laptop isn’t for comfort – it’s for convenience, and it’s done its job so far. I’ve been able to pull it out and get bits of inspiration out, no matter where I am. It’s so small that I can carry it in my purse no matter where I go… and I’ve started carrying a purse no matter where I go simply because of the laptop.

So, I have three pieces of technology, and… as it turns out, they all have different functions.

My Desktop provides Productivity and Concentration… but only when I’m alone.

My Big Laptop provides Comfort and Solitude… but my writing will suffer for it.

My Little Laptop provides Convenience and Access… but it’s small and less comfortable.

The fact is, all three of the tools have their drawbacks. I feel like, no matter what, I’m probably always going to feel this way. Maybe, someday, when I have my own writing room, I’ll set up my All-In-One again, and hook my Big Laptop up beside it. That will give me dual screens, dual functionality, and the sense of a desktop. But, I’ll probably always go back to wanting to write in the darkness of my room sometimes – especially since I am a late night writer with my insomnia, and my husband hates for me to leave him in bed alone.

I think, what this blog is really getting to is the fact that there’s never going to be that perfect writing formula. We, as writers, do whatever we can to write. We scribble on napkins, we write in notebooks, we carry around laptops that are too small, and sit at desktops when they’re too loud. We do whatever we can to get our writing time in, and it’s not always the most convenient of ways. If it’s convenient, it’s rarely comfortable, if it’s comfortable, we’re never as productive. It’s the way of life. So, what I encourage you to do instead is use every writing tool that you have. Use everything that you can to write. I usually find myself going on a cycle with my writing implements listed above.

I’ll work on my desktop when things in my house are quiet – if my music turned to half volume can drown out the noise, then that’s what I’ll do. It’s comfortable because I have an ergonomic chair, and it’s productive because of the screens. I’ll get a lot of my work done at my desktop. But then, as the day wanes, people get louder than their games. I’ll save my work, and head straight upstairs – stretch out on my bed… and get my writing done there, if I haven’t finished it yet. And, if my husband decides we have to go out, I’ll quickly open my small laptop, synch my cloud, and get to work there.

My Cloud is my savior. It allows me to access my writing through all three machines, no matter what. Through Cloud and Google Docs, writing on multiple machines no longer means that you have to carry a flash drive everywhere (I do that anyway). So, when asked… desktop vs. laptop… I think the real answer is, “What’s the situation and circumstances?” I have a schedule, basically, to make all of my writing devices work for me – you figure out what works for you, and you hold tight to that. I still really urge you to have your own place for writing… because, when I had my desk for writing upstairs, I felt fantastic about it. But if life, clutter, a lack of space, or whatever, stops you from doing that… make new places. My desk, when I turn on a specific playlist… is my writing space. I get into that headspace, that zone, and it’s amazing.

My bed, when I turn the fans on and a certain playlist… is my writing space.

My little laptop? It’s xD A convenient writing space for when nothing else works. Don’t get caught up on having to be on a particular device to write, I guess is what I’m really trying to say. You’re a writer. Your words demand to be spoken. So write them, my dears! Write on desktop, on laptop, on netbook, on paper, on napkins, on your hands and the walls if you have to.

Just write ❤

 

Sorry for the extremely long rant. I apparently  had a lot of thoughts with this particular subject! I will see you later for the continuation of my Alphabet Series! I would love to hear about your experience with laptop vs. computer, and your writing setup in general! Please, leave me links, or comments!

Until then, keep reading and writing (no matter what device you use!)

Author Amanda McCormick

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

Posted in Creative WRiting, NaNoWriMo, National Novel Writing Month, reading, Writing, Writing Space, Writing Tips, Writing Tricks

Your Writing Area Is Your Best Friend (NaNo Tip #4)

So, I know that I’ve preached this particular lesson a million times… but with it coming up on NaNo, I’m gonna preach it once more. One of the most important things that you can do to help yourself get ready is to make sure that your writing space is in order. The last thing that you want is to find yourself with a disorganized area to write… you’ll spend the first day working out the clutter, and you won’t get that jump start on NaNo that you need to get.

That’s not what you want in life. You want to sit down to a freshly cleaned, decorated, organized, candy-stocked (yes, oh yes) writing area. This is going to get you into the place that you mentally need to be in. Trust me, if you have a place that you can go to that you dedicate solely to writing, it’s going to help you out. When you sit there, you will be in your writing mind frame. The important thing to this, though, is to make sure that you only use this area for creativity. More than that, once you sit down… do not get up, don’t browse the internet, don’t twitter or blog or anything… until you’ve gotten your word count for the day.

If you sit and focus, you’re going to turn this writing space into a real haven. It’s going to be where you go to meet your muse for sweet little rendezvous in the night when you can’t sleep. This is your sanctuary… treat it like it is. Here are a few things I do to spruce up my writing space:

  • Get a calendar that you can reuse. I have an erase-able calendar, and during NaNo I write my word goals on there. Seeing it checked off helps a lot.
  • Make sure all of the clutter and distractions are cleared away. No game systems and no trash.
  • Stock your area with notebooks, pens, paper, and anything else that you need for your creative process. You don’t want to have to go on a run for it, after all.
  • Have drinks/snacks on hand. I have a little shelf for them. When I’m in my zone, I don’t have to get up. I don’t have to do anything but go go go.
  • Decorate it with inspirational quotes, or a picture… something motivational. Anything to let you know that you’re in your safe writing place. Make it aesthetically pleasing to you.

Those are just a few tips, and I’m sure that you guys have a lot more! I’d love to hear them! Either way, make sure you’re ready for NaNo!

Until next time, keep reading and writing!

Author Amanda McCormick

Twitter | Patreon | NaNo Page

Posted in NaNoWriMo, nanowrimo prep, National Novel Writing Month, patreon, writing prep, writing prompts, Writing Space, Writing Tips, Writing Tricks

Prepping for NaNo (NaNo Tip #3… I think.)

Facebook_cover

So, I’ve been posting a bunch of writing prompts to prep for National Novel Writing Month, but just doing prompts isn’t the only prep that you need. Some of my tips have mentioned a few other things, but I wanted to really think about it and make a list for how I prep for NaNo. This post came about because I asked in my earlier post how you guys plan for NaNoWriMo. I’d still love to hear that, but for now… here is how an Amanda Do.

  • First and foremost, I do prompts. I know, you already know this… but it’s one of the more important things for me. If I haven’t been writing every day, it gets me into a habit. It’s a very important habit!
  • Secondly, I make sure my Scrivener is ready for me. I plot out my novel. I’m not a huuuugeee planner. What I tend to do is use the notecard feature on Scrivener. I will write something like: Chapter One – Introduce main character. Chatper Two – Introduce so and so conflict. Basically 1-2 lines about what I want to see happen during the novel. I don’t even do it for a guideline so much as just to see that I have enough content to get through the novel.
  • Third, I like to make sure that my NaNo room is all amped up. I start talking to people, trying to get the hype going. I have a few steady writer friends who I talk to all year long, but getting fresh excitement in the room is important to me.
  • Fourth, though I won’t do this until closer to the end of the month… I make sure that my writing area is completely clean and organized. I have a writing area all sectioned off… and it’s where I do a lot of my NaNo work. I can’t do that if it’s a mess… oh, I can’t do that at all. Along with this, I fix my calendar, write my word count goals, etc. I like to be able to mark off the days that I finish, how ahead/behind I am, etc.
  • Fifth, I make sure that I’m stocked up on coffee, energy drinks, and discounted Halloween candy. I think that one explains itself >_>
  • Sixth and finally for the moment, I get myself as hyped as possible. I look at my story, I plan out more details for it, I watch NaNoWriMo videos from people like Katytastic. I do everything that I can to get myself going so that I can do what I love to do on that first day…

And what is that, you might ask? First day, as soon a November 1st hits… I like to write. I write all day. I write as hard as I can. I word war, I word crawl, I participate in sprints. I do 1st day 10k. Yeah, that’s right. If I can, I like to get 10k in the first day. It gets you so ahead, and it’s a great goal to go for, even if you only get 5k. Getting ahead is so important!

Anyway, this post is getting a little lengthy, so I’ll end it for now. I’d love to hear how you guys prep! Let me know!

Until next time, keep reading and writing!

Author Amanda Mccormick

Patreon | Twitter 

Posted in Book Review, broken laptop, funding, gofundme, patreon, Writing, Writing Advice, writing issues, writing problems, Writing Space, Writing Tips, Writing Tricks

That Broken Laptop Thing

So, for those of you who keep up to date with yours truly, I’m going to give you a little information. My laptop is broken. It’s seriously killing me. I have a writing computer, and it’s good and all… but I really do get a lot of my work done on the go. x.x the lack of laptop is hindering me from being able to get anything productive done. ._.

I just wanted to post this to let you guys know that the book reviews and writing blogs ARE coming. They’re just going to be a few minutes – I need to get like 200 bucks saved up to get a new laptop x.x I will resume posting on my desktop, but it’s just not the same. I am on the go so often x.x without a laptop I feel naked.

Anyway, thank you to those who have questioned where I’ve been! I really appreciate it so much!

And for those of you who want to help out, I’ll leave a few links below!!!

My Patreon | My Amazon Wish List Thank you so much to everyone who has questioned where I am… and know that I won’t be gone for long! Nothing keeps a good writer down!

-Author Amanda McCormick

Posted in A Night of Writing Dangerously, Family Time, Friends, Loved Ones, Promote Yourself, Vacation Time, Work Space, Writing, Writing Advice, Writing Group, Writing Question, Writing Space, Writing Tips, Writng

Improved Work Space, Vacations, and Prep

All right! So, as I said earlier, I needed to take a small break from writing. A lot of it was because of some things going on in my personal life… and another huge part of it was the fact that my husband is currently on a 2 week break himself. It was nice to take some time to just spend with him. A lot of the time, I think that we as writers get completely caught up in the fact that we have to write EVERY DAY. Even I get caught up in that – I think I’ve even posted it before. However… I want to just say that I think it’s actually really important to take the time to spend with your loved ones, with the people that you care about. I’ve still been getting out 1-2000 words a day during this vacation, but I haven’t been on my blog, really promoting myself on social media, or working on book reviews. That’s going to start back up on Monday, and I’m really excited to get back to it! But yes… take the time out of your life to make sure that you don’t miss your special moments – except for in November. Nothing but writing exists in November xD

Other than that, I wanted to talk about my new work space (photographed above!) I came to a realization. There were two very important things missing from my workspace. The first was something that I have been noticing over the last few months. Even though I have my dedicated work space, even though I had a laptop to write from, even though I had a desk and my own corner… I would always creep downstairs to write on my gaming laptop when the house was quiet. I don’t know if it’s because I grew up writing my first novel on a desktop… or simply because I like the feel of a computer screen and keyboard. Whatever it is, I wasn’t writing half as well on my laptop in my work space, because I always wanted to wait until 2am to write on my desktop.

That needed to change!

I had a desktop ordered about a week ago, along with a really pretty mechanical keyboard that glows blue (the simple joys in life!), and I have to say… even during my vacation when I’m not writing as much? I’ve really, really noticed a difference. I really feel more professional, more happy, and more comfortable writing. I think the lesson from this is not “YOU HAVE TO HAVE A DESKTOP!” What the lesson is… is that you have to follow what makes you happiest! If you want to write on a laptop, you get yourself a work laptop. If you want to write on pen and paper, stock up! And if you want to write on a desktop computer… don’t let anyone make you feel like you have to write on any of the above mentioned. You do what makes you feel the most comfortable, what makes you feel the most productive… whether it’s buying a desktop specifically for writing… or jotting notes on your forearm during work to type down later!

The second thing that I was missing was less significant… but just as important. It kind of ties in to my prep – I got myself a printer! I really, really wanted one. I think that it’s amazing to be able to print out your words, to see them physically in front of you. I also have some inspirational things, commonly used words and alternatives, emotional wheels, writer cheat sheet and the like hung up around my desk. Not only do I get to print out my writing, but I get to print out inspiration. It’s amazing!

And last but not least… prep. Oh, yes. Game of Thrones will tell you that Winter is Coming.

Writers will tell you something else, something just as scary (and exciting!)… NaNoWriMo is coming! I’ve told you all about NaNoWriMo countless times… but as October winds down and November draws near… I’m starting to really feel the anxious excitement for it! I can’t wait! I’m trying to decide exactly what I want to work on. For me, prep for NaNo is a lot of notebooks, a lot of pens, at least 3 outlines on Scrivener… and making sure that My Writer Group is prepared! (If you would like to join that and you have Skype, just comment, by the way! I’d love to have you all!). I’ve been talking to all of my friends, getting to talk to some long-lost-friends… and honestly, I’m so excited for it that I can hardly stand myself. So, I will definitely have more on that – perhaps even a vlog about  my preparation and Scrivener setup for it? Who knows! I can’t wait.

Gyah… it’s so good to be blogging again! I will have something new up on Monday!

So, how do you guys feel about the topics brought up? What do you prefer to use as a writing tool? Do you take vacations from your work… and are you just as excited for NaNo as I am? Let me know! Comment below!

Until next time, keep reading and writing!

Author Amanda McCormick