Friday, December 30, 2011

Real Life Reminding Me of Fantasy

For some reason, I've been finding these random places in real life that would make a perfect setting for a novel.

For instance, today, we drove past this giant park full of trees. Sounds like nothing special right? Well, you didn't see these trees. Some of them were growing sideways. Several of them had branches that twisted like someone being tortured and screaming. I live in a forest, but I've never seen trees that grew like this. There were 20 ft. long trees that weren't even a foot off the ground because they had grown horizontally. It was like an evil forest. The trees were alive, prickly, and terrifying. Most of their leaves were gone and the branches looked like witch fingers. I wanted to get out of the car and run around like a child.

I also found this abandoned shopping mall once. Don't ask me why, but it reminded me of the chronicles of narnia, where the children went into a "closet", but when they got inside, it was actually a portal to another world. Well, this mall looked like an ordinary shopping mall on the outside, but when you went inside, it looked like a park. There were trees growing all around and teenagers skateboarding while they listened to their ipods. The food court still had its tables and chairs spread out and old men were playing chess with each other. Seriously, I've only seen that kind of thing on television before, not in a real park, but it was happening here. There were also several couples (myself and my boyfriend included) walking around and holding hands. It was amazing. We were indoors, but it felt like we were walking around outside.

Maybe I should go around traveling more. It could really enhance my writing.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Illness and Pajamas

It's been very hard lately for me to do anything. I've struggled with my health a lot the past year and the last week was no exception. I'm in a lot of pain, which is a big reason why I haven't been able to update my blog.

I've also been struggling to be able to write, although I've got some writing done.

And that's one of my favorite things about being a writer. I can be sick all day and in my pajamas and still get some work done when my body allows me to have enough energy for it.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Car Rides

I have an overactive imagination.  For some reason, late at night, when I get in the car and turn on the heater, I start imagining that my car is actually a tiny room that I live in and explore the universe with in safety. I imagine giving the car a coating that would make it invisible so I could go to other planets and observe the aliens on it without disturbing their natural habitat. (Because in my mind, my car has suddenly become a spaceship.) I imagine the glove compartment becoming a food synthesizer so I can live and eat inside this small car for years to come.

I have no idea why I imagine those things, but I've been doing so since I was a little girl.

Do any of you ever imagine normal activities becoming extraordinary things?

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Sometimes The Reward Takes A Long Time

I remember that there was a children's church group I used to go to. It had games, stories, and toys that fascinated me. When it first started, fifty kids went every week, but the leadership changed and eventually those numbers dwindled down to only five children: my brother and I and the three kids in the church family that ran the group.

My Mother said that it always meant so much to her that they continued to run that group, nurturing and teaching her children, even though there was never a large group of kids around.

Well, that kind of reminds me of my blog and my writing. You see, I write in this blog regularly. I have a total of one follower and one comment. I also work on my novel every day and have found only one person who was willing to read the whole thing and critique it for me.

I'm glad that anyone cared enough to read the stuff I write at all (don't get me wrong), but I really hope that if an agent ever looks at this blog or someone else that holds my future in their hands, that they aren't turned off by the small numbers and instead they see the dedication I have to my writing career regardless of the results.

Because when you really love something, you can't stop doing it.

I have many goals in mind when it comes to my future. I don't have another job, all I do is work on writing and furthering this career full time. What people don't tell you is that it's a lot of pain and a lot of work with often very little results. I received another rejection for something to do with my writing career today. So far I've gotten no acceptances, but it hasn't stopped me.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Don't Worry, Just Write!

It was very difficult for me to create a blog. Why? Because I was afraid that I didn't have anything interesting to say and that I'd just bore everyone.

I'm not necessarily the blogging type either. I love to write, but I don't need constant feedback on what I say in order to keep going. I write stories because I love them and they help me escape.

I've talked to several other writers though and blogging has helped them get a following and get their name out there, so I knew I couldn't keep avoiding it. The problem is, I immediately started stressing over what I should say next and what I could possibly add to the world that someone else hasn't already written about (there are blogs on everything!) and that just made me feel overwhelmed.

What I realized after awhile is that I just need to relate to blogging like I do with my novels. Sometimes the scenes I type sound stupid and nothing like I was picturing in my head, but I sit down and write them out anyway. I edit and study writing until it comes out more like I hoped it would. I'm ahead of lots of other people because I take the time to type it up. I don't just daydream about it, I do it and struggle the entire way through to the end.

I realized that blogging is the same way, except different because I'm writing small chunks of thoughts and posting them. They don't have to be different or unique than everyone else out there. I'm just beginning and I haven't yet found my voice. I just have to sit down and do it and if I make that commitment then I'll be much farther along than all the people who type nothing or blog for a short while and lose momentum. If no one likes what I have to say, then at least I tried and can still improve until I make it to the point where people do like what I write. It's a waste of time to worry over it.

That being said, I've also decided that I'm going to start blogging using a few of the writing prompts on occasion that I read from the site "The One-Minute Blogger."

Basically it has the same message as this post. Just sit down and write. Don't worry about it; make a commitment. It gives you prompts to make it easy and you don't have to spend longer than a few minutes doing so.

I think it's great and maybe it will help me start finding my voice.

Hire An Editor After You Are Finished

I told someone in a writer's group once,"I can't read these chapters out loud yet. I'm not finished with them."

And they said,"You're supposed to share it with people and editors BEFORE you finish."

I disagree entirely. You share after you're done. If you can still find stuff wrong with your manuscript, then you're not ready for an editor. You're only ready once you think it's perfect. That way, they're pointing out stuff you'd never find on your own and you learn and grow as an author.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Lots of Great Writers

Something that makes me sad on occasion is how many great writers there are out there who don't make it. Not for lack of working hard to make a great product or lack of talent, but just because their story isn't right for the marketplace right now or whatever other silly reason.

I also don't believe anyone should ever think they are a bad writer. I used to be much worse at writing than I am now.

There's just always room to improve and grow and if something someone writes is considered bad, I think that just means they still have a lot of room to learn.

Studying writing has helped me tremendously. Maybe authors who are good at writing are just the ones who have been corrected the most.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Writing for a Living

My dream is to be able to write for a living. I would also love to edit for a living, too.

But when I imagine people actually reading the things I write, I freeze and panic. It doesn't make a whole lot of sense, which is why writing a blog is actually helping me to face more of my fears than just writing novels that no one will be reading any time soon.

It puts more pressure on me to get over that feeling and also makes me a better writer because I must come up with stuff to write without having as much time to edit things. Edits are a security blanket to me, which is why if you ever read a first draft of mine, you'll think it's a bunch of gibberish, even though it makes sense to me.

Every writer should have a blog. =)

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

The Hard Part

Movies always make the hard part of writing seem like coming up with the idea. There's always some author who is struggling with writer's block and doing all these crazy things to cure it while her agent nags her about whether or not she's done yet, reminding her of the deadline that's already passed.

In reality, the hard part is actually having the motivation to sit down every day and write. It's trying to juggle life and at the same time develop a following on your blog and on twitter while you polish a novel that you've been working on full time for the past two years. It's being patient when you see little results and okay with the fact that no one is going to praise your work or even read it probably until a long way down the road. It's struggling with loneliness and getting people to care enough about your book to buy it when you're finished. People aren't holding their breath, waiting for you to come up with the next greatest idea and even if you do come up with something, it doesn't mean much if you don't take the time to polish it and present it in as flawless of a manner as possible.

If you have an idea for a good story, don't let it just sit in your head. That's not what writing is. Take at least an hour a few times a week to work on writing your idea. Don't worry about it coming out perfectly. My novels always read like a second grader just wrote them in my first draft. You write and rewrite until they transform into what you imagined.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

I feel safe

Today, while writing, I was sitting with my dogs on my bed and I remembered being a child and pretending that my bed was a boat and that the ground was water, filled with sharks. As long as I stayed inside the boat, I was safe.

When life felt like a sea of sharks, my imagination was always that safe boat, keeping me sane during it. Picturing it just now made me feel so good.

No wonder I love being a writer. The people and places in my head are always a comfort to me.