Writing Wednesday: Being vulnerable with our creations

Writing Wednesday: Being vulnerable with our creativity

When was the last time you allowed yourself to be vulnerable with your writing, art, or other creations?

Does the thought of that make you want to curl up in a ball and hide under the covers? I admit it makes me want to. But as authors and creators we have to open ourselves up and be vulnerable.

Vulnerability is defined as “capable of or susceptible to being wounded or hurt, as by a weapon, open to moral attack, criticism, temptation, etc.” (dictionary.com).

So sharing our work with others is the most vulnerable creatives can be. Whether it is sharing with a critique partner or beta reader, querying, publishing, or asking people to read and review your work. There is always the chance that something can go horribly wrong, that you will recieve harsh feedback or criticism of your art.

But there is also the chance that something amazing can happen.

That is what I want you to remember.

I’ve been sitting on a finished manuscript since last summer. It’s done, edited, and the best I can possibly make it on my own. Yet, I’ve done absolutely nothing with this since last September, with the intent to query but that never happened. Why? Because I am afraid of allowing myself to be vulnerable. Like I mentioned at the beginning of this post, vulnerability makes me want to curl up in a ball and hide. My writing, while not autobiographical in the least, is where I am most vulnerable. So much of me went into this book. The thought of people reading it is terrifying to me. The thought of sending a query letter and the first chapter to agents makes me anxious as hell. It’s not the rejection that scares me as much as putting my work (and myself) out there.

Last week, I confronted my issues with vulnerability.

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Monday Motivation: Plans for Amanda’s Nose in a Book

Monday Motivation: Blog Post Banner

It’s time for some Monday Motivation!

Monday can be hard, especially when you’ve just come out of a weekend that was much busier than you anticipated (pretty much every weekend when you’re an adult, right?). But it really doesn’t have to be. Not if you’re doing something you love. Making what you’re passionate about a career is something that so many people dream of, myself included. Monday Motivation is one thing that I want to bring to Amanda’s Nose in a Book at least once a month, to give you something that will motivate you to read, write, be creative, and do the things you love!

The past few years I have been trying to decide what to do with my career, with this blog, and just with what I want to do in general.

Amanda’s Nose in a Book has been pretty quiet. But it’s time to change that. I absolutely loved it when I was posting here regularly! It was fun,  I connected with other readers and writers, and met my two critique partners here.

I’ve decided to get “the fear” again (yes that is a friends reference) and use this space to combine my two passions: teaching and writing.

I’m an English teacher (currently a substitute) where I live. While subbing isn’t a bad job at all and I get to do something different every day, it’s not something that I am super passionate about. I love teaching. I love writing. And for a long time I’ve tried to find a way to combine the two.

In the upcoming months, there will be some huge and awesome changes to this site, and I will be starting so many other new endeavors.

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Writing Wednesday: Preptober

Writing Wednesday: Preptober

Happy  Preptober!

What’s Preptober, you ask? Well it’s the best month in the whole year (October) and NaNoWriMo Prep time. Hence, Preptober!

It’s the time of year when those of us participating in NaNoWriMo start to brainstorm, to develop our ideas, to come up with Pinterest boards for inspiration (here’s mine).  If you’re a pantser, this might be all that you do, just come up with a vague idea for a story, the characters, etc.

If, like me, you like to plan a little bit more, Preptober is your best friend!

I love knowing my story’s premise before I start writing. Brainstorming is probably my favorite part of the planning process. I love how bits and pieces of things start to come together as I find connections.

Do you use a notebook, Word (Scrivener or Google Doc), or your phone to help you keep track of your growing ideas?

As you plan this October, you’re going to need a place to record your ideas (you don’t want to lose those. That’s the worst). So make sure you have a notebook or computer document of some sort where you can add to your story idea as you come up with more information. This is also helpful when you have many ideas and are trying to figure out which one you like the best (often that is the idea you have brainstormed the most about). Continue reading

Writing Wednesday: Starting a New Project

Writing Wednesday: Starting a New Project

So you finished your last writing project. What do you do now?

Starting a new project can be scary, especially when you’ve spent so long writing, revising, and editing a manuscript already.

How do you know when it’s time to let one project go, and put it out into the universe, and start another one? That’s a tricky question, and there is no “right” answer. You just know. Maybe you’ve decided that your current manuscript isn’t the one that you want to query with, maybe you’ve been in the query trenches for what feels like forever, maybe you have published already but are just waiting around to be struck by some sort of inspiration.

But if we want to have careers as writers, we need to write more than one thing. And there is no better time than the present to start a new project.

Even if you write just for the fun of it, the only way that you can grow and get better is to keep writing. As you look at a new, fresh (and very very blank) Word document, doubt and fear may rise up. Don’t let it.

Instead, allow this new project to take you on an adventure you’ve never been on before.

Allow this new project to fill your imagination with new characters, settings, conflicts, and stories. Imagine yourself as a character in your story and see where that takes you.

Let yourself play.

You’re in the beginning stages, the brainstorming stages of your project at the moment. It’s okay if you throw your main character into the most ridiculous place right off the bat. See what happens and embrace it!

Most importantly, have fun!

Whether you are a pantser, a planner, or some combination of the two, it’s important that you have fun and that you love your story. You won’t love it all the time, but try to enjoy your new story and your new world. Add elements that you love. Make it exciting for yourself.

Starting a new project is a fun and exciting time for a writer. Time to take that shiny new idea and run with it!

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Write 365- Day 2: Making a Plan

write 365 day 2: making a plan to write

If you’re just as in love with these journals as I am, you can find them at http://www.heyatlascreative.com/shop .

A few days ago, a friend mentioned that she was challenging herself to write every single day for an entire year.

And I thought, hey I can do that.

I should do that. I will at the very least try to write every single day for a year.

Since last November, I’ve been struggling to motivate myself to write. Last year was the first in 4 years that I didn’t win NaNoWriMo. I was depressed and couldn’t find that creative spark within myself. This year, I decided to rewrite my entire first novel as a young adult novel because the story worked better that way. The progress with that has been slow the last few months.

Write 365 might just be the thing to get my brain acclimated to writing every day, to accomplishing some words in a WIP every single day. And I understand that this may be hard, that there may be some days were the words just don’t flow. I’m prepared for that. I’m also prepared to not get myself down if there’s a day that I don’t write. Continue reading

Camp NaNoWriMo Diary- Day 5: My Writing Space

Hello friends!  How is Camp NaNoWriMo treating you so far?

As of now I’m on track with just over 3k words, although I didn’t write at all yesterday. Today I’m trying to get a little bit ahead but I’m struggling with the scene I’m working on.

My main character just had an accident and was found by her friends and grandmother. Right now I’m writing the aftermath. None of the characters know what actually happened so it’s all worry and speculation. This scene was technically in the last draft but I’m adding in a couple of characters and a slightly different outcome. Continue reading

Camp NaNo Diary- Day 1- My Survival Kit

Hello and happy day 1 of Camp NaNoWriMo!

Are any of you struggling to get going today? I know that I was. I spent nearly one whole day this week going through the last draft of my novel and planning out what changes I wanted to make and what needed to stay the same. But when it came down to it this morning I looked at a blank Word document for a while before getting distracted by something else.

A few hours later I made myself come back to my computer. I made myself open up that new document. I looked over my notes, looked over where I left off in the previous chapter and started to write.

Once the words started flowing, I finally started to put that self doubt aside.

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Monday Musings: Camp NaNoWriMo April 2017

Hello friends. I know it’s been a while. I’m pretty crappy at this consistent blogging thing. I want to get better at it though.

Camp NaNoWriMo 2017 Banner

April is only a few days away and you know what that means– Camp NaNoWriMo!

Honestly, I am so excited for Camp NaNo this year. Last November was a complete bust and I kind of lost all will to write very early on in the game. But I have a great game plan for this year and I am so ready to go.

My project for Camp NaNoWriMo this April will be… The Girl in the Glass Coffin.

You might be thinking– wait, haven’t you been working on that book for years? Didn’t you finish draft 4 last year?

Yes and yes.

Earlier this year I was trying to plot out some events that will happen in book 2. I tried to start writing and things just weren’t working out for me. The story felt weird and the characters were blah. But I had a revelation. Continue reading

Quarterly Goals: Jan- March 2017

Quarterly Goals: Jan- March 2017It’s very easy for me to set huge lofty goals for myself, often ones that I never end up accomplishing. However, when looking at the short-term, it’s much easier for me to create goals for myself.

The purpose of making quarterly goals is to look at things in chunks of time and what you would like to accomplish in that smaller chunk of time vs. an entire year. This helps to break up your goals and make them more manageable and therefore you’re more likely to be successful!

This year I will be making quarterly goals. That way, I can change, keep, make new ones as I go. Many of the YouTubers and writers I follow do this and it seems to work for them. So with a new year upon us, it’s time to see if the Quarterly Goals thing works for me.

Amanda’s Nose in a Book – Quarterly Goals for Jan – March 2017

  • Edit one chapter of The Girl in the Glass Coffin each week
  • Revise one chapter of The Source Chronicles: Book one, each week (and maybe finish draft 2).
  • Query 2 agents a week with TGGC
  • Read one book a week

Sounds like a lot, huh? Well I’m pretty flexible and if I manage two chapters in one week and not all of one the next, I will be okay.

The purpose of these quarterly goals for me are to keep writing, keep pushing on, to get out of that rut I’ve been in for a while.

And then there are some personal/non writing related quarterly goals:

  • Post to Bookstagram at least four times a week
  • Blog at least once a week
  • Exercise 3 times a week
  • Use my planners to keep track of when I exercise, blog, IG, write, etc.
  • Do 3 new things that I’ve never done before (can be anything– traveling somewhere new, trying a new recipe, going out of my comfort zone).

What do you all think of my goals? Do you think making quarterly goals (short-term goals) would help you achieve your overall goals?

Hope all is well. Much love from this snowy little winter wonderland in Central New York!