Tag Archives: persistence

the benifits of a continuous practice

21 Mar

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Recently, I stated using Instagram to document my #continuouspractice. The basic idea is to pick something you want to practice and stick with it for 100 days, documenting as you go along. I picked writing, which I first felt was a little silly since I’m already writing nearly everyday as it is. Still. I think, more than anything, I wanted to give it a go so I could see all my minutes, hours, and days building in this new format. It’s been a way for me to look back and see that, wow, this is all adding up. I’m devoted af, and it’s creating whole, complete, magnificent works.

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And so, every day, I snap a picture of my writing time. Later I post the pic to Instagram and to a private writing group I’m a part of on Facebook where we keep a daily #continuouspractice thread.

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The practice has helped me to focus in on my work more so than I was without it. I’ve seen how my days add up, and so I try to use them to the fullest. I finished editing my WIP quicker than I expected. Now I’m using my practice to work up the next big idea as well as set time aside for this little ol’ blog of mine.

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Feel free to follow me on Instagram for more, and don’t hesitate to jump into the wonderful world of #continuouspractice, whatever your practice may be.

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Happy writing!

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resolutions in writing

11 Dec

Resolving to write in the coming year is a given for me. I have to write, so I like to narrow in and break it into smaller goals:

  • I want to finish edits on my current work-in-process.
  • I want to finish the first draft of a book I have in mind, supposing things work out for that to happen (just trust me on that one).
  • I want to write some poetry.

Notice how I only said “I want to write some poetry”? Not a poem a day, or a week, or even a month? That was intentional. Some resolutions are better left vague.

I started a poetry blog so I had a place to collect and share them. Try as I may, the artist in me can’t help but want to share the things I write. Is this just the nature of art? The introvert in me is still trying to adjust.

My other two resolutions are being carried over from last year. They are THE BIGGIES:

  • Get an agent
  • Get a book deal

I’ll carry these two resolutions over for as many years as it takes!

But I’m hoping that this is my year 😉

Are you resolving to write in 2015?

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Next up is Resolutions at Random

a dozen things i’d tell my younger self

14 Oct
Ronald and me, circa 2010, Thailand

Thailand, 2008

1. Go ahead. Hang up on those telemarketers.

2. Don’t sweat the mess. Keeping a tidy house is not how you want to be spending you time, trust me. Did someone see it? Don’t sweat that either. IT’S FINE. So you’re not going to be remembered for how orderly you were. So what?

3. The world is a wildly confusing place. Form your opinions, but don’t expect to be right all the time.

4. Don’t rush your plans. Think slowly and carefully about where you’re going with your life. At the same time…

5. Make decisions! Yeah, you’re going to make bad ones, but picking a path and walking down it is better than being in limbo all the time.

6. Mistakes are great. Mistakes are the best teachers.

7. Rejection will help to refine your art and transform you into a badass. Don’t shy away from it.

8. Let the kids flip the pancakes, even though they suck at it.

9. Wake up early. You actually like it. No joke.

10. This is not a perfect little world so drop the perfect little facade. Things getting real? Well, get real with them. Don’t be embarrassed for you or anyone else. You’re not putting on a play. Besides, if you were putting on a play then you’d need all of that emotional and awkward  and messed up stuff or else it’d just be boring.

11. Don’t take yourself too seriously.

12. Persistence is key. Forget about easy. Easy gets you nothing.

Anyone else feeling any of these? I missed a lot. Anything you would add?

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i’m holding my moon horses

21 Jan

My plan was to query CSSW at the end of January, but plans have a way of changing. These plans were no exception. Because when I finished my last round of edits, The Voice of Reason showed up UNINVITED and started talking to me. He said, “Hold your moon horses, young lady.”

(For those who don’t know, there are moon horses in my novel; they are horses made by the light of – never mind.)

Then he proceeded to point out – oh, I don’t know – A MILLION different aspects to my story that I should look at and work with some more. I’m good at laughing in The Voice of Reason’s face and going about my merry little way, but this time I didn’t laugh. I crossed my arms, puckered my lips out to the side, and scowled.

My husband gets this face a lot. Probably because he and The Voice of Reason get along so dang well.

Long story short, my list of agents to query is absolutely dreamy, and I only want to send them the very best. So I’m waiting, and working, and scowling.

Send chocolate.

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when you realize your story is awful…

13 Jan

Oi. This latest round of edits is killing me. And possibly killing the book as well. Funny how scenes and sentence that looked so good to me one week can look like hell the next. Only, funny… yeah, that’s not really the right word.

I’m telling myself all the right things: with any project I’m working on, my thoughts are bound to be fickle and fleeting; the important thing is to keep to the writing and the editing whether I’m on a high or a low. Think the book sucks? Fine, but keep working on it. Think it’s a sure-fire New York Times Bestseller? Fine, but get back to work.

Still, I find it a bit disheartening to read through what I thought was very good and instead come to the conclusion that it’s all kinds of messed up.

I’m not the first person to feel this way. I don’t know a lot about the world, but I do know, without a doubt, that the greats and the failures alike have all had conflicting thoughts over their work during its creation. I also like to imagine that the greats are the ones who kept working on it even when their current state told them that the piece was crap – no – especially when their current state told them that the piece was crap.

So I’m getting back to work on mine. Maybe it will fail like my other four novels. Or maybe it will grow into something great. Either way, this is no place to stop.

I’ll let you know if my opinion of it changes.

God, I sure hope it does.

I’ll leave you with a response from one of the greats…

Neil Gaiman Answers Well

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and now onto pitch wars

2 Dec

You missed me, didn’t you?

Well, I missed you, and here I am. Back from the NaNoWriMo trenches and already flung onto the battlefield that is Pitch Wars. Apparently I don’t like to, you know, stop for air. Air. *Pshaw* Who needs that?

NaNoWriMo went well for me this year. I didn’t reach my 50k goal because I didn’t write a single word the last week on account of kids being sick and the whole holiday rush on top of work, but I’m still feeling great about what I got out of it. Nearly 40,000 words of a very cool story that I’m excited to pursue off in the future. I didn’t write what I told you I was going to write. I threw that out early on. I’ll tell you about it sometime when I feel like beating my head against a table.

So, Pitch Wars! I submitted my four entries just moments ago, and I am jazzed. I’m taking CROW AND THE SECRETS OF THE SPIRIT WOODS on its first walk around the block since its creation and rounds of edits, and I couldn’t be more encouraged. We’ll see if any of the truly great mentors I submitted to decide they’d like to take it a few miles. If not then I’ll have one more round of edits and start querying agents. I am so looking forward to it.

‘Perseverance’ has been the word I’ve kept on repeat this past three years while I’ve been writing my heart out, piling up the rejections as I go. Maybe I’m getting close now, or maybe it will be another three years or more. Either way, I’m enjoying the process, the thrill of curious agents and the growing pile of form rejections.

I’ll keep at it.

And I hope you will too.

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Neil Gaiman, ladies and gentlemen

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i’m doing it anyway

16 Oct

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This is it. The image I’ve decided to put up on my desktop during the month of November. Because it captures what this year’s NaNoWriMo feels like to me.

I’m going to rewrite my story, The Warrior, but this time around I’ve decided to tell the whole story. I’m going to take the three books I had planned out and make each book into one part.

Scene upon scene are losing their places on the paper; fully formed characters are bowing out; something very cool is coming together.

But I’m mostly sure it’s going to be a disaster.

I can’t do this, you guys.

But I’m going to do it anyway.

Surely I’m not the first to try, right?

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