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

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!

 

Monday Motivation: Setting Realistic Goals

Monday Motivations- Setting Reasonable Goals

Goals are important, especially to me as a writer.

Without goals. I would get nowhere with my book, or my blog, exercise routine, cleaning my house. I wouldn’t get anywhere really. With anything.

3631831Goals helps me to prioritize the things that are most important. They help me get stuff done! But it’s important to realize that while we should set goals for ourselves, it’s more important that we set goals that are realistic. If we set goals that aren’t realistic it’s likely that nothing will get done. At least that’s how it is for me. Continue reading

So You Want to Write a Novel- Part 5: World Building

world building

Photo from: earthobservatory.nasa.gov

With Camp NaNoWriMo just around the corner, I thought that I would continue my So You Want to Write a Novel series, to help me (and any of you who are doing it).

Setting is yet another necessary element of writing a novel.

If your setting doesn’t feel authentic (even if it’s made up), your book won’t feel as authentic. It won’t resonate with readers as much as you would like it to.

World building is essential to writing a novel. Authors should know a bit about their world and who lives in it before they start writing, even if they are pantsers.

Continue reading

Week 1 Camp NaNoWriMo Update!

tumblr_meiv8lmZo21rj8s0yo1_500

Hello friends, if you’ve noticed I haven’t been around much since April 1st, it’s because Camp NaNoWriMo has begun.

With a manageable goal for the month, I realized that I might be able to finally finish this draft of The Girl in the Glass Coffin. That is looking like it might actually happen! In the first couple days of week 1 I wrote Chapter 28 of TGGC and now I am about half way through Chapter 29. I’m hoping to have that finished and sent to my critique partners by Friday at the very latest.

Continue reading

Setting Manageable Writing Goals

setting manageable writing goalsThis week I am starting another month of writing insanity, Camp NaNoWriMo. While my goal is only 10k words for the entire month, I know I won’t get anywhere without setting smaller goals for myself. I want to make that seemingly impossible task of writing that much while I’m trying to get ready for a craft show, running a creative writing group, and practicing for roller derby twice a week— that much more manageable.

You can set all the Writing goals you want, but if they aren’t manageable, you won’t reach them.

Continue reading

Confessions of a Book Blogger: Why I haven't finished a single book yet this year.

bloggraphicOk… this blog was originally intended to be a book blog- a place where I could review and talk about books.

As of late, my intentions for this blog has taken a bit of a turn, a veer in a related (but different) direction.

In fact it’s the end of January and I have yet to finish reading one single book this year. At first I was kind of ashamed. I am a lover of books and reading, but my focus has been elsewhere. It’s been on the book I’m writing.

I’ve tried to read a couple of books lately. And they were both very good.

But they still sit on my night stand with a book mark in the middle, abandoned. They stare at me every morning when I flip on the light and say “Oh me! Pick me!” before I roll over to go to sleep every night. I feel guilty that I haven’t finished them.

Reading slump??? I don’t think I would call it that.

For me it’s more like a change of focus. I’m having a hard time focusing on the book I’m reading for any length of time before I start daydreaming about my own novel. Sometimes a break from my own writing and the world I’ve created is a needed and welcome thing. Other times it’s difficult.

While I will still be reading books, I may only post one or two reviews a month (more if I read something that I really enjoy), until I need a break from writing.

Have any of you felt like this before?

Do you think I should change the name and such for this blog to reflect that it is more about writing now?

My writing process- Brainstorming

Lately I’ve had writing on the brain. So much so that I’ve yet to finish reading a book so far this year.

*hangs head in shame*

Anyway, since I’ve been writing so much, I’ve been thinking a lot about my process in an attempt to make it more efficient and less stressful for me.

And I thought I would talk with all of you, to see what works for you. Maybe I could take bits and pieces of your ideas and create something that helps me focus more. For most people, their writing process begins with brainstorming. I’m no exception to that rule. So let’s start there.

my writing process- brainstorming

http://www.carolinemadethis.com/2014/07/30/lets-start-at-the-very-beginning/

http://www.carolinemadethis.com/2014/07/30/lets-start-at-the-very-beginning/

For me, brainstorming is a very general process.

I usually something in mind that I want to build a story around. It starts general, and moves towards something more specific until I have a setting, character, genre, etc., that I want to build a novel or story around. Even then, the specifics don’t often come to me until later.

Mind mapping is often what helps me go from general to specific details.

Starting with an idea or two, I branch out and find/create more specific details about the idea and try to discover connections between them. What fits together? What would help create a world? What character traits can I use? Sometimes more than one mind-map is useful as things get more specific and break down into smaller parts.

Listing is usually the other way I go about brainstorming.

Similar to mind mapping, this generally consists of me writing down things. It’s not unusual for those things to make absolutely no sense at all whatsoever. Even to me. This method is often how I come up with ideas for blog posts as well as story ideas. It allows me to go through and find ideas that I can combine, or further develop.

Some people do all of this on the computer, but I find that for me hand-writing everything is the best way to organize my thoughts. There is something about scrawling ideas on paper that really helps me to focus, or find ideas buried in my mind.

 

Check out the post I wrote for NaNoWriMo on Brainstorming.

 

What is your brainstorming process like?

Do you have an ongoing (and constantly growing) list of ideas? Do you come up with ideas one-by-one (that’s usually how it works for me)?

How do you keep everything organized?

Monday Musings- Creating a Writing Routine

One thing that NaNoWriMo really helps me with is creating a daily writing routine. As a writer, I understand the importance of writing something every single day (or at least working on my WIP in some way).

tumblr_m8vonhz5Ql1rn95k2o1_500But how do you continue a writing routine after the schedule and pressure of NaNoWriMo is over?

This is just one of the things I’ve struggled with since coming back from the holiday crazy time where I think I wrote/revised one chapter in my novel.

I didn’t focus on my writing for one whole month. That routine that I developed in October and November went ka-put. Now that I am working on TGGC again, I need a new writing routine. Otherwise I will never get anything done.

It takes about 30 days to make something a habit. My goal is to write or work on my novel for at least one hour a day for the next 30 days.

How am I going to do this?

1. Use a calendar

  • Mark days where I work for 1 hour
  • Mark when I work for more than 1 hour
  • Set weekly writing goals for myself.
    • Word Counts
    • Chapters revised or written (usually I shoot for 2).

2. Set aside separate time for blogging and a separate spot in my notebook/document on my computer

  • Blogging is very important to me, but it can distract me from other things that need to be done.

3. Reward myself for a job well done

tumblr-animated-disney-gifs-1

  • For example- Did I go 1 whole week achieving my goal of 1 hour per day?
    • Did I hit my word count or chapter goal?
  • I will let myself go on an extra long walk or something that will help to replenish my energy and creativity.

4. Make my document full screen

  • So I can;’t see when an email pops up or someone Facebook messages me. Biggest distractions ever.

5. Put my phone in the other room

  • If someone needs to get ahold of me, they can wait an hour.

 

What is your writing routine? What do you do to eliminate distractions? Let’s chat!!!