Not normal...but lots of fun.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Getting Started

I want to discuss getting started today.

I DON'T want to talk about starting a project, a first draft, or an edit. I want to talk about starting something that should be simple: the writing work for the day.

I don't know if everyone else feels this way, but I have the hardest time simply starting my writing at the beginning of each session. I can sit my butt in the chair, I can pull up my WIP (Work In Progress), I can even read over what I've done yesterday, and suddenly, I'll be hit by such dread of starting to write again that I'm locked in place, unable to move the cursor.

It shocks me every time this happens. It doesn't matter that the writing the day before made me feel euphoric and accomplished (which it always does), it doesn't matter if I stopped at an exciting, perfectly pre-planned part of the story, it doesn't even matter if I've been waiting all day to do this. Dread fills me and I freeze in place, not wanting to start again.

Worse, my brain says: "Hey, why don't we go check out twitter real fast first? Or maybe read one blog post ABOUT writing? That will get us ready to come back and get to work, motivated and trained to do it right." Only that never happens. I switch over to my browser, check twitter and some writing blog posts and suddenly, I'm surfing the net, finding more and more to distract me from getting down to the business at hand.

It's frustrating, and it reoccurs every time I take a break from writing. I'm broken from the flow of the words, and ripped back into the real world. From there, I have to force myself back into the swing of things.

It's hard work. Not only am I transporting myself back from the real world into the imaginary scene I was building, but I have to re-frame my mind again, in such a way that I can translate that imaginary scene of images, sounds, and thoughts into real words that other human beings can actually understand and relate with. If I really do it right, they may even be able to see some kind of approximation of what I see.

It's kind of like my brain is a computer. Every time I walk away from the story, even for a few minutes to walk my dog, it's like I shut the computer down. And once I come back, I have to wait for it to load the operating system, software, and current project back up. Only instead of waiting, I decide to play on my already-switched-on Wii instead.

Anyway, any suggestions from anyone on how to make the new beginning process easier? Other than taking as few breaks from writing during my day as possible, of course. I'm going to be integrating that into my writing schedule immediately. But does anyone else struggle with this problem, or do you have something completely different dogging your writing footsteps?

Okay, now it's time to...

Writing Quote: "If you do not breathe through writing, if you do not cry out in writing, or sing in writing, then don't write, because our culture has no use for it." --Anais Nin

Thanks for reading, and happy writing everybody! Hope you're enjoying your time off from work/school!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Doing the Math

So I sat down today and did some equations. So much math, it made my head spin. And now I'm excited and hyped up to get my writing done.

Now, you may be asking yourself: What would math have to do with writing? It really depends on the math. As a fun project, I decided I'd figure up a projected amount of time until I complete my current writing projects. Of course, I had to make certain assumptions in order to come up with a figure.

Supposing I write every single day, without breaks; that it takes me 2-3 days to complete each 10-15 page chapter; and that there are 20-30 chapters per book, it should take anywhere from 40-90 days for each 1st draft.

I wrote in 1.5 months for each first draft (roughly 45 days), plus an extra month to work on any details needed to prepare for the next book and/or any excess chapters I may need to write. Then I put in a 3 month break from writing, where I spend my time planning and preparing for other projects and allow my 1st drafts to percolate before going back over to edit. In editing, I give the same 2.5 months as I did for the 1st draft. Then, as a final figure, I put in 1/2 of a month for publication readiness process (researching publishers, preparing letters for publishers, going to writers' conferences, etc.).

With those figures in place, I project it will be at least 1 year and 8 months before Dragon Marked will be ready for publication. If I am able to stick with this rigorous regiment, I could finish my currently planned projects in 29 years and 9 months. That would be completing 43 novels and 25 scripts (I have a lot of ideas) in less than 30 years...if I could stick to schedule.

While it would take a long time to see any sort of reward for this sort of schedule (almost 2 years before the first book could be ready for publication!), the end result would be extraordinarily profitable and prolific.

What do you think? Total waste of time? I kind of like it. It makes me feel excited and brings out an itch to write. I think this will help me keep my dedication going.

Writing quote: "Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing. "
Benjamin Franklin

Anyway, great hearing from all of you, and I hope you like my latest odd writing tactic. Happy writing!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Gardening With Skill

I don't have as much skill with words as some people. In many ways, my words simply don't sing off the page.

I'm good, don't get me wrong. But I read some articles, books, and stories and think, Wow. I wish I could do that. And then I remind myself that someday, maybe, I just might be able to. All I have to do is continue working at it.

But it takes so long. Wouldn't it be nice if there was some kind of magic cure? Take a potion and poof! You're a literary genius. Of course, if it were that easy, everyone would do it. So, how can you become as good as the other guys?

There's no real guarantee you ever will. I've always thought that building skills was kind of like gardening. You can create a garden if you try, as long as you have some seeds (a specific skill set) soil (a mind), some water (work), and a little time. However, what your garden yields depends a lot on the quality of those products. How much watering you do really effects how much food you will get from your garden. And what type of skill you develop depends on what seeds you plant. Not to mention the fact that the soil must be healthy and fertile for development.

The soil, or mind, is where talent comes into play. Many people don't believe that talent has anything to do with becoming an expert at any given skill-set. I disagree. While it is true you can make a garden with almost any soil, with enough determination, it's also true that it's almost impossible to grow roses in a desert. You need rich talent to develop rich skills, just as you need rich soil to develop rich fruits and vegetables in your garden.

The water, or work, you give your skill garden, influences how well your skills develop. If you want your skill to grow, irregular work will not yield as richly as regular work would. You need to water your skill every day, without missing days. The more days you miss, the more your skill garden will suffer.

That's my view of skill building. Thanks so much for reading, and have a great day!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Writing Blues

Oh, the writing blues. How do you get your writing done when life turns crazy?

Mom made it through her surgery fine. She had either a stroke or a TIA right after, but she's doing better now. I'm so glad. We still don't have the answers we went in for, but she's alright and that's all that matters.

Life is still churned-up crazy, and my writing has definitely sat on the back burner far too long. I'm already filling the itch to set fingers to keyboard and write, write, WRITE! I'm almost desperate to work on my story, after so much drama and extreme stress. Maybe I should bury myself in my writing instead of my books.

Thanks go to everyone for being so supportive while my mom was in the hospital. I really appreciate your kindness and support. Have a great day everyone. I got a date with a dragon, and I simply cannot miss it. ;)

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Hospital Jitters

My mom just went in for a cerebral angiogram and I'm sitting here nervous. This is an invasive surgery where the doctor will go up into her femoral artery (in her leg), stick a tube up through her veins to her neck, then inject a dye into the veins of her brain, so that they may make sharp, clear images of her brain. She's scared to death, but she has a wonderful doctor working on her, and it's far better than a brain biopsy, her only other option at the moment.

Shockingly enough, Mom would prefer not to have her brain cut into, if she can avoid it.

So, I'm sitting her waiting to find out how it goes. Please let the doctor come out with good news. Please?