Posts Tagged ‘writing tricks’

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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

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Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com

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Deciding a project is always hard to do… and I’m having that issue right now. I’m doing my commissions, and I’m working on getting a very good rhythm going with those. I’m pleased on that front… but I’m still torn about which project I want to select as the novel that I really focus down on and polish until it shines.

And that’s just the thing — sometimes it isn’t always an easy decision. And sometimes you need to get some outside advice. I’m going to finish rewriting one into first person, and I’m going to add the last few chapters onto the other… and then I’m going to give the manuscripts to some very well trusted people to ask them which one they think has the most potential. It’s honestly so important to have people that you can trust, and people who you can go to for an opinion. It’s not me going for a critique, or for editing. It’s not even me going for constructive criticism (which is so important, trust me), it’s me trusting a small group of people who I know can read the book without me having to edit it and tell me, “Hey, this idea is better.”

You need to surround yourself with people who understand your needs, and who understand your desires. Look for a writing group, make some writer friends ❤ You won’t regret it!

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
Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com

 

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*Eyes header* Daily writing… oh, I’m supposed to be doing that, huh? I’ve finally hammered myself out a proper schedule that I want to start with again, and I am determined to keep with it. That is one of the hardest and best things that you can do when you’re really trying to establish a writing habit.

You (and when I say you, I mean me xD And it might work for you, too) need to have some sort of game plan when it comes to your writing if you are trying to take it seriously and make it a job. I’m not saying that you have to have a strict and stringent amount that you always stick to. I’m not saying that the world will implode if something happens and you can’t do it.

But having a plan, mapping it out, figuring out your goals for the day? It helps a lot. It gives you boxes to check when you’re done and a feeling of accomplishment when you’ve done it.

It’s more than that, though. I’ve talked about goals a lot, but they aren’t just to show you the finish line so you have something to work towards. They’re there to show you when it is okay to stop, and when it’s okay to not feel guilty that you’re done. That sounds weird, right? But, as someone who writes for a living… I pretty much feel guilty any time that I’m not writing. I could have done 5,000 words for the day, and if I take time to play a video game for a few hours (Hello, Stardew Valley Beta, you beautiful thing you) I feel guilty. I think to myself, “I should be writing right now. I could get more words.”

You can’t do that to yourself. Yeah, writing can consume your mind. Yeah, you can draw storylines from things as silly as Stardew Valley… but, sometimes, you have to give your brain a rest. Sometimes, you have to know that it’s okay to stop. That’s what goals are good for. If you hit that 1k, 2k, 3k goal — if you hit that 250 word goal — if you hit that 1 page goal…

You did it. Congrats. Yes, you can keep going. Yes, it’s awesome if you do. But you don’t have to. You can rest, and you can rest without feeling guilty.

I don’t know if this is a problem you guys run into a lot, but I know it’s something that I’ve had issues with more than once.

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
Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com

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Oh, man. That feels like all I’ve been able to do lately… playing peekaboo from around my child and prodding at my writing. I’m still managing to get things done on my commissions, but it’s set me behind on blogging. I am going to change that though. I want to get back to posting at least 2 times a week ❤ You guys have been amazing!

My husband and I are going to try to buy our first house soon instead of this renting business! It’s just gotten me even more serious than I already was about writing and making money off of it. If you’ve been enjoying my blog or anything of the sort, please check out my Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com link, or my PATREONwhich are both in huge support of my writing, and the content that I can produce with this blog. I’m going to be going double and triple time here in trying to get out blogs/commissions/articles and anything else that I can do to help scrounge and save for a downpayment to a house!

And therein is the writing tip of this blog. I have had so many people ask me how I get my focus, and how I concentrate and get so much writing done. The simple fact is this: there’s no easy trick. There’s no magical tip that will make you bust out words like there’s no tomorrow. It’s all about dedication, it’s about focus, and it’s about being willing to put in the time and effort that it takes to get things done ❤ Get an accountability buddy and get to. If you need one, I’m always happy to help!

Anyway, that’s all for this short blog, but expect a lot more and more frequently! If you want a commission, feel free to contact me at amandaleannemccormick@gmail.com!

How has your writing been going, guys? I’d love to hear about it in the comments! And remember, Camp NaNo is right around the corner!

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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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

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

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

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

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

Until then,

Author Amanda Mccormick

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So, here we are on the last day of Camp NaNoWriMo… and I’m actually completely unsure of whether or not I’m gonna win. I have around 3000 words to still write, and I could probably get it done…

But, I have other obligations. I have a room to get completely cleaned out so that I can move and get settled before I pop out my little monster ❤ I have to somehow find enough time to still get enough sleep so that I don’t feel ill (which involves me sleeping during the day because I toss and turn at night). I have a million and one things to do… and I know that there’s a chance that I will fail at NaNo (though I will update you guys tomorrow and let you know for sure as to what happened)… but the point is, I don’t feel bad about it.

That’s kind of the beautiful thing about Camp. I don’t take it as seriously as the real NaNo. I don’t think of it as something that I have to win – I set myself a goal, and I do my best to attain it, but I’m always really happy with the results, regardless of whether I got 10,000 or 50,000. Maybe I’m just weird for the fact that I don’t think Camp is as serious as the November NaNo, but that’s kind of how I go along with it.

I’m also pretty pleased with what I managed to do this month, as far as my writing prompts go. I haven’t gotten that much done, but the ones that I did do have inspired me for new novel ideas, which is always amazing (and a little hectic, since I should seriously quit having new novel ideas all of the time – you know, editing one completely would be a much better use of my time xD). Still, I’m happy with the ideas. I’m extremely happy with the fact that I feel creative, even if I don’t have the time to be as creative as I’d like right at this moment.

I’m looking forward, and onward. Onward to a time when I’m going to have my writing space set up in our new house, and it’s going to be in the same room as my baby. I’m not gonna be able to just sit and write for hours on end (obviously, there’s gonna be a little on there), but I am going to be able to concentrate on my writing while my baby is napping in the same room as me.

My mind is certainly flooded with a lot of thoughts right now. As a first time mama, you tend to go in circles in your heads about how things are going to work, how things are going to be, (how labor is gonna be, oh dear), and a million other things. But my mind is also focused and clear on the fact that I want to write – more than that, that I really and truly want to focus on getting a book completely polished and sent off to an agent. It’s not really about making a ton of money (though that would be nice, eh?), it’s about setting an example for the sweet little boy that I’m bringing in the world. It’s about showing him that you can follow dreams, and that you can put your mind to something and get it done.

It’s about a lot of things. And Camp has happily gotten me back into the set of mind that I love writing, and that I can do this writing things even when things are crazy. I might not always get as much done as I wanted to, but I’ll still get a lot done.

Camp, writing, NaNoWriMo… it’s always such a wonderful experience, because it always brings you back to the core of what you really enjoy doing, and it makes you think about it.

I love to think about writing, and I certainly love to think about someday seeing my book on a shelf. This month has given me a taste for how being busy is going to change my writing habits, but it’s a good taste. It’s a taste that is getting me ready for the future… and it’s a future that I’m more than willing to embrace and get ready for. So, yeah, I may not win my Camp adventure (though just writing this blog is pumping me up to do just that, and I really do think that I can!), but I still feel like I’ve won, regardless of what the word count says. I’ve done a good job, and I’m ready to run as close as I can to the finish line with the thoughts and feelings that I have right now. I’m ready to get there, and feel like a winner regardless.

I am wondering though, how has Camp been for all of you? I’d love to hear about how much writing you’ve gotten done, what your stories were about, etc. I’d love to hear about the ups and downs of your camp adventures – just link me to blogs that you wrote about it, or write the blogs and then tag my name in them! Whatever you do, I’d love ot hear about it!

As a side note, now that the month is coming to an end, I should be getting back to the other types of blogs that I was writing before – the writing prompts, tips, currently, tags, etc. I’m excited to get back to those, and I would love to get some feedback before I do to see if there’s anything else that you all would like to see for my posts! I’m always more than happy to please you guys while getting things done, and I’m really excited about my progress and moving forward!

So, I think that about covers everything for the moment. I will have another blog up either this afternoon or tomorrow to let you guys know if I managed to get those last few thousand words that I needed to get in order to actually win at NaNo. Looking forward, it doesn’t seem like that much after all, and I really think that I can do it! I know that you guys can! It’s the last day, just push as far as you can!

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