Writing Resolution: Week 6

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My New Year’s Resolution was to write. Preferably for a novel, but any creative writing will suffice. I must have my butt in my chair behind my desk for two hours each night to write. The time frame I set up was from 6-8pm Monday through Friday. Weekly posts will report on my progress and keep me on track!

Week Six Results:
Did I write all five days for two hours? YES
Word count for the week = 2079 words

What I Learned This Week:

  1. My word count is up from last week.  I was less stressed out and my creativity wasn’t blocked by worries.  Woo hoo!
  2. I wrote a fight scene!  Kicking, choking, and clawing all ending in fire and flames.  I think I’ll have to go back and add some more setting details to help ground the action further, but it was a tough scene to write and I’m glad I got it done!  
  3. I also tried writing a practice query letter for my work-in-progress now that I am beginning to have a more solid idea of my story.  Obviously it will go under a lot more revision before it is used, but it was a good little exercise and helped me get excited about the core of my story.

Anyone have any good tips for writing a fight scene?
How was your writing week?

Writing Resolution: Week 5

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My New Year’s Resolution was to write. Preferably for a novel, but any creative writing will suffice. I must have my butt in my chair behind my desk for two hours each night to write. The time frame I set up was from 6-8pm Monday through Friday. Weekly posts will report on my progress and keep me on track!

Week Five Results:
Did I write all five days for two hours? YES
Word count for the week = 1012 words

What I Learned This Week:

  1. My word count was abysmal, but I’m not going to beat myself up about it.  I still worked on writing stuff like plotting and research (which I don’t count towards my word count because it’s in notebooks, not typed). But as you probably saw Behind the Story post… this was a rough week.
  2. To solve my plotting/setting issues, I did something I hadn’t done before.  I kind of did little synopses for each possible plot/setting combo with what I’d do if I chose that option.  It helped because I wasn’t going over it all in my head.  After doing this, I saw the pros and cons of each option and which option fit best with my overall themes.  
  3. I really think stress and personal life has an impact on creativity. The reason I had such a bad week was likely due to stress at work. When you’re worried and stressed about other things, it’s hard to get your brain to change directions. I wonder if there’s like a stress chemical hormone in the brain that has to do with blocking creativity receptors.  Hmmm.
I hope all the black of the new layout doesn’t bother anyone.  I was absolutely bored of the old one, and wanted something with either typewriters or owls (as I love both).  Plus I wanted my blog and twitter to match because I’m a goober.

How was your writing week?
Do you think stress negatively impacts creativity?

Writing Resolution: Week 4

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My New Year’s Resolution was to write. Preferably for a novel, but any creative writing will suffice. I must have my butt in my chair behind my desk for two hours each night to write. The time frame I set up was from 6-8pm Monday through Friday. Weekly posts will report on my progress and keep me on track!

Week Four Results:
Did I write all five days for two hours? YES
Word count for the week = 3093 words

What I Learned This Week:

  1. I didn’t increase from last week’s word count, but I’m okay with that because this week was rough at work.  Report card time makes me want to pull my hair out.
  2. I did a better job of balancing my writing and reading time this week.  I finished TWO books, and I am thus a much happier person.  (Finished books were Liesl and Po and Cinder.  Look for my review of Cinder tomorrow!)  
  3. I’m writing a bunch of random scenes right now.  Nothing is in order.  I don’t know if I’ll hate myself later when I have to pull things together, but I’m learning about each character as I hop around.  At some point I’ll probably need to make some scene cards and start arranging things and figuring out what I need to write to fill in holes.  I’m kind of likening my creative process to how they do movies.  Don’t they not film the scenes in order?  And sometimes go back and re-film?  And then edit everything together.  Yeah.  That’s what I’m doing.  
  4. Writing creepy scenes, about ghosts, at night… FREAKS ME OUT.  I don’t read horror books.  That’s the one genre I stay away from.  And these will be nice ghosts, but they’re still DEAD PEOPLE.  And even if I know they aren’t real (since they’re from my head), I’m still getting freaked out.  Come on Winter, hurry up and be over so I have some daylight in which to write in… and then don’t get scared.
  5. I just wrote a scene with multiple mentions of the word pink and lots of butterflies.  It kind of makes me want to hurl at the girliness of it.  I’m so not a pink and butterflies person.  Where did this come from?  And the bigger question being… will I keep it?  Is there a way to make butterflies less girly?  If I mention proboscis and antennae… will that help?

Anyone else write scenes out of order?
Anyone else scared of ghosts?
Anyone else scared of pink and butterflies?


And a big “woo hoo!” for keeping my resolution through the whole month of January!!!

Resolution: Week Three

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My New Year’s Resolution was to write. Preferably for a novel, but any creative writing will suffice. I must have my butt in my chair behind my desk for two hours each night to write. The time frame I set up was from 6-8pm Monday through Friday. Weekly posts will report on my progress and keep me on track!

Week Three Results:
Did I write all five days for two hours? YES
Word count for the week = 3125 words

What I Learned This Week:

  1. My word counts are going up!  I’m averaging 600 words per day, up from 470 words last week.
  2. Writing is really cutting into my reading time.  To the point where I’m craving curling up with a book in the evening.  I really didn’t realize what making this resolution would do to my reading time.  I don’t want to cut down my writing time because I’m making so much progress, so I guess I’ll just pray for a snow day…  
  3. I’m a very plot and character driven writer in my first draft.  Plot and character details flow smoothly.  The thing I’m struggling with right now is voice.  My main character does not have a consistent voice.  One day she’s logical and snarky, and the next day she’s meek and obedient.  It’s starting to frustrate me, but this isn’t the first time I’ve struggled with voice.  It’ll work itself out eventually.
  4. And my brother is awesome!!!  He made me a CD to inspire my writing (without me asking him to)!  He knows about the basic plot and genre and compiled 20 songs with various moods.  I can’t listen to music with words when I write because I find the words distracting.  And I needed music with some mechanical sounds… The songs he picked out are PERFECT.  šŸ™‚

Anyone else struggle with voice?
Anyone else have specific music preferences when they write?

Resolution: Week 2

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My New Year’s Resolution was to write. Preferably for a novel, but any creative writing will suffice. I must have my butt in my chair behind my desk for two hours each night to write. The time frame I set up was from 6-8pm Monday through Friday. Weekly posts will report on my progress and keep me on track!

Week Two Results:
Did I write all five days for two hours? YES (sorta)
Word count for the week = 2514 words

What did I mean by sorta? I worked 13 hours on Friday and came home feeling achy and exhausted. So I went straight to bed and made up for the time I missed on Saturday.

What I Learned This Week:

  1. My magic word count number is 470. I’ve hit that average number of words four times. I think once I get further into the story, the word counts may get higher because I’ll know my characters better. But we’ll see.
  2. Blogging can be a distraction. I really should log out of blogger when I sit down to get started.
  3. One night, I was stuck on what to write, so I forced two characters together who I knew weren’t going to get along. Magic happened, words flowed, and what came out of it revealed a lot about who these characters are.
  4. I came up with the most glorious villain this week!  I’m really excited at how evil she’ll be, how she fits into the established plot, and how she evokes some themes that I really care about.

Anyone else want to join me in writing every evening? I swear it’s fun!

Resolution: Week 1

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My New Year’s Resolution was to write.  Preferably for a novel, but any creative writing will suffice.  I must have my butt in my chair behind my desk for two hours each night and write.  The time frame I set up was from 6-8pm Monday through Friday.




Week One Results:
Did I write all five days for two hours? YES
Word count for the week = 3,242 words


What I Learned This Week:

  1. Even on the days I wrote total crap and was totally braindead exhausted, I was glad afterwards that I stuck with it.
  2. I hadn’t done enough prep work for my novel in the areas of secondary characters and world-building.  I got a little stuck halfway through the week, but then decided to use my two hours to do character bios and setting sketches.  Still progress on my novel.  Still typing.  Still words.  And it’s more than I would have done had I not made this resolution.
  3. I’m going to run late sometimes.  Three of the five days I didn’t get home until after 6pm.  So instead of cutting my writing time short, I adjusted the two hour time window to 7-9pm.  I’m glad that I still kept my writing a priority, and hopefully I’ll continue to do that.
  4. The writing time is cutting into my reading time.  I thought I’d have finished Daughter of Smoke and Bone by now… and I haven’t.  Late night binge reading on the weekend might be in order.
I think that if I can make this a routine for the next three weeks, it will stick.  And while two hours sounded like an enormous chunk of time, I found that it was getting easier later in the week and the time was flying by.
I’m pretty happy I made this resolution, and I can’t wait to see how much progress I will make over the next few months.
Anyone else want to join me in writing every evening?  I swear it’s fun!

Setting Up a New Year’s Writing Resolution

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I’ve never been big on New Year’s resolutions, but this year I’m taking the opportunity to goal set and start up a writing routine.  No more excuses.  If I want to call myself a writer, then I need to write! (And regularly, not just when the mood strikes me.)

Between now and April is the most free time I will get all year.  No grad classes.  No reading lists to get ahead on.  Just me and my time.  I’ve already said that I relish this time of year because I get to read what I want to read, but this year, I’m setting a goal to start and complete a first draft of a new novel…by April 1st.  (April is when I get started on my reading list for summer, hence the April 1st deadline.)

It’s no NaNo (writing 50,000 words in a single month), but considering there’s some research that needs to be done, I think 3 months is a tough but realistic time frame.

Now here’s where I had to do some troubleshooting.  I wanted to set up a specific time of day where I could productively write.  I’ve struggled with this in the past.  I get out of school around 3pm each day.  And while afternoons would be the preferred time to write because I’m not dragging tired yet… it’s not realistic considering after school I could have meetings, parent conferences, errands, etc.  So 3-5pm is out.

And 8pm is prime TV hour.  So 8-9pm is out of the picture.  And then to be totally honest, any time after that I’m too tired to be productive.  And I need to start winding down around that time or else I suffer from insomnia.

So, I’ve decided prime writing time is going to be after fixing dinner, while drinking tea, from 6-8pm.  My goal will be 500-1000 words per day which will place me at perfect first draft range of 45,000-90,000 words over a 3 month time frame.

So if anyone would like to join me in gluing their butt to their chair from 6-8pm every night and cranking out some words.  Let me know.  We can exchange word counts or something.

Here’s to a new year filled with the click clacking of freshly typed words!