Friday, June 18, 2010

Finding the Time to Write!

It is 5:00 in the morning, and I am wide-awake. It seems that my internal clock has chosen this as my new wake up time. The house is quiet and the birds outside are making the neighborhood aware of their existence. (I am happy to report that after waiting a month, I finally have birds coming to my new bird feeder, YAY)

I started on a new WIP yesterday. What I thought was going to be a possible short story series quickly turned into a novella or novel series. I love the feeling of starting something new. My heart races and my fingers type as if they are on autopilot. The world stops around me, and I completely submerge myself into the new world that I am creating. When it’s good, it isn’t work—it’s pure enjoyment!

Someone asked me yesterday, “between going to College, being a mom, working, and taking care of the house, how on earth do you find time to write?” My response, “writing is my outlet from all of those things. It’s not a task, but a sense of strength in my life. I find the time because I love it!”
I don’t mind when 5am rolls around and the characters in my head are awake and ready to start their day—now if I could just convince myself to work out at that time!  Oh well, another day maybe J   

Do you find it a struggle to find the time to write?

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Friday, June 11, 2010

Unleash Your Inner Muse!

My Muse visited me this morning with a completely new plan. She wanted me to write a short story as a different challenge for myself since finishing the first draft of my novel. I spent the morning going against her and telling her “no way!” After much debating back and forth, I am pretty sure she swore at me—can a Muse do that?

I decided it was in my best interest to listen to her, so I sat down and wrote my very first short story. I finished within an hour, and it is sitting on my lap as I type this. Is it the best short story ever written? No, and it needs a lot of well-deserved attention, which it will get. However, this short story is a symbol of my getting past the limitations that I have set upon myself somewhere along the way. Statements like “I am horrible at short stories!” or “I could never write a short story!” crushed my ability as a writer to listen to my Muse, and create work that captures the essence of who I am as a person. 

I am sharing this, because I know that I am not alone with this type of negative self-talk. So stop it! Start believing in your writing abilities. Try something that you have been telling yourself you would never be able to do. You might actually find out that you are capable of a whole lot more than you have ever imagined! 

Sunday, June 6, 2010

My Weekend Book Review - Stephen King "On Writing"

I want to write this as quickly as possible out of fear that I will forget all the emotionally driven words that came to mind while reading “On Writing” by Stephen King. I literally just put the book down, and I am satisfied with the result. So here we go:

At times while reading, I felt as though I was sitting in front of Mr. King having a conversation with him. I will admit that I have never read any of his work, only watched the movies that stemmed from his writing. Being from Maine, I have always known a lot about him through his work with the community. I will be picking up his books because of this book. I enjoy knowing more about his thought process during the writing of his books.

I have never been much of a fan of horror, but I am inspired, so horror books will now be on my list of things to read. The writing tips within the book are priceless. As someone who writes out of pure enjoyment, I found it offered a tremendous amount of common sense advice.  I say common sense, because when reading it, I found myself smacking my forehead and saying, “of course, that makes sense!”
Here are a few points that I enjoyed.
·         Do not stop a piece of work just because it is hard. 
·         “Life isn’t a support-system for art. It’s the other way around” (p94).
·         Fear is the root of bad writing. Let go of the fear!
This is only a small percentage of what I got out of the book, but I relate to them because they are the issues that I am having right now with my writing.

I recommend that you read this book if you have not already. It inspired me to continue with my craft, and not give up! I make many errors within my writing that would drive Mr. King crazy. It is okay, I am working on it!     
For the record, my first draft was a lot longer than this. I used his formula and cut it down 10%. J

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Goodbye Mr. Rat, Hello Sleep!


For the past two weeks, I have been dealing with a rodent who I will refer to as Mr. Rat.  How do I know that this rat is male? I don't, but if I think for a moment that it was female, I will assume there might be babies, and honestly my poor nerves can't handle it.  Mr. Rat moved into my home and started harassing me from the beginning.  He made loud chewing sounds in the walls, and scratched through the night.  I originally thought it was just a mouse.  The mousetraps went up and soon they were being carried off into the unknown.  I thought wow, strong mouse. It took me quite awhile to admit that it was actually a rat.  

The rat haunted my peaceful writing sessions and would pop its head out at the worst times. I ran screaming from the room once when it ran near my feet. Sleeping was not an option. As soon as I would lay my head down, I would hear it sniffing around and the pitter-patter of its feet across the floor. A live trap and some larger traps later, I thought I had it taken care of. I was wrong!  I stayed up until 4:30 in the morning waiting for it to be trapped. It walked half way into the live trap and then left it as if telling me that I was stupid to think it would fall for that.    

It was time for the poison--I didn't want to have that around my house, but I couldn't let Mr. Rat run my life anymore.  It was placed under the cabinets, and I waited days for it to take its toll.  Mr. Rat continued to walk around the house at night, and wake me from my dreams.  It became so bad that if someone rattled a bag I was up off the couch searching him out.    

Today was Day 2 of my schedule, and I was staying on task! I was just about to sit down to write a blog entry and work on a chapter of my book when I caught a shadow out of the corner of my eye.  It was Mr. Rat.  I chased him into my sons' bedroom, and there I waited ten minutes on my knees with a large pot in my hands.  Eventually, he came out of hiding, and I covered him with it! He was captured.  I'm happy to say that he no longer resides in my home. I dropped him off in the woods near some water.  He didn't look too well, and I'm sure that he probably had tasted a bit of the poison.  I did feel bad for him for a second, but I tried to give him plenty of opportunities to leave my home without harm! I am hoping that this is the end of the story for Mr. Rat and myself.  A second chapter dedicated to possible baby rats is not something I look forward to writing!  Mr. Rat lived in my home for a few months, and I thought it appropriate that he have a place in my writing.  Goodbye Mr. Rat, hello sleep! 


Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Finding Balance

Writing requires a certain amount of balance. Actually, life in general requires a certain amount of balance. Balance is something that I have struggled with my entire life. If I am successful in one area, I am usually falling behind in another. May left me feeling overwhelmed and stressed out about what I have yet to accomplish. Therefore, June is the month where I find balance between my daily responsibilities and my writing.

Last night I sat down and made a simple schedule that I can stick to for the week. I want to emphasize simple because I typically make very elaborate beautiful lists that serve very little functionality. I have a morning and evening routine adapted from (I love her!) My schedule includes the 2 h’s – homework and housework—after these are completed, I have writing time! This includes writing at least a chapter of my book and working on at least one of my blogs. I scheduled reading time, as this is very important to me. Most importantly I have to fit in mommy time with my kids J we all enjoy that!

So how am I doing?
Day 1 – I have had a successful day. I completed my 2 h’s and spent some mommy time with the kids. I am writing later than I normally would be, but I am doing so with a much clearer mind. I am excited to be moving towards the goals that I have set up for myself. Finding the balance in your life is about realizing what you want to achieve for yourself, and making the time to do it! I had to give up some phone time with friends, and keep my social networking down to a minimum today in order to cross off everything on my list, but the point is I DID IT!