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Will Write For Money

The second session of Camp NaNoWriMo starts tomorrow and guess what? I’m not participating!

What?!

Now, now, it’s not like I’ve totally crumpled in defeat and have refused to write. I will still be writing 1500+ words everyday (have been doing so for the past three days, in fact), but it will not be for a novel. It’s not even my own story, really, thought I almost feel as if it is my own at this point. I’m writing for a client — fiction, finally! — and the idea of taking on that and trying to write a novel? EEK! So, the novel is on the back-burner once more.

Meanwhile, I’ve been writing so magnificently fast in the past few days. After months of working on nothing but articles and edits, I feel light and free. There’s also the added bonus of it NOT being my story. This doesn’t mean that I’m slacking on my work, no-siree. It just means that I’ve finally found that feeling that I need to have when I’m working on my own stories. To put a twist on a popular saying: “Just keep writing, just keep writing”

Many times, because I’m so close to the story that I am working on, I tend to freeze up and fret over every single sentence. It must be perfect. It must be witty and beautiful and rich. This kind of thinking gets you about 100 words after hours of pulling your hair out in front of your computer. Don’t do it!

So, how do you detach yourself from your brain child? Well, I’m still working on that. Finding that metaphorical umbilical cord is a little tricky… And, I may have gone too far with that image.

I’m gonna go do something else now. See ya! Oh, and tell me if you figure the secret out before me. All I’ve got is a scenario involving snacks and sleep deprivation. Anyways… Toodles!

Eat. Sleep. Read. Write.

 
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Posted by on July 31, 2012 in Writing

 

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Packing for camp

Camping! …. Without the risks.

Sunscreen? Check. Sleeping Bag? Check. S’mores Supplies? Definitely Check.

Laptop?

Yes, I’m bringing my laptop to camp. Why? Because this is no ordinary camp, Kiddies. It’s Camp NaNoWriMo! If you’ve been following my blog, you already know the details. If not, in a nutshell, it’s a writing challenge. 50,000 words in one month– summer edition. This year, I’m in it to win it. There is no stopping me this time. Nuh-Uh.

I’ve checked in on my cabin every once in a while since they opened it and, so far, only one person has posted anything besides myself. And, I’m not sure I understand half of what they’ve said, which is sad considering this is a writing challenge. This might be similar to a chat room/board, people, but that doesn’t mean you have to write like you text. This person is nearly a decade older than me, so there’s no excuse for that teenage text speak.

Wow, I sound old….

The other cabin-mates are still silent. Hopefully they will at least say hello. It’s rather pointless to be placed in a cabin for Camp NaNo only to not talk to anyone. You could choose to do it alone instead, really. There is an option for that. I like having the virtual cabin, however, to turn to when I have questions or find myself in a writing slump. It’s also nice having that connection, especially if you live far from anyone else doing the challenge.

Now, besides “packing” for camp I’m preparing my brain for the road blocks that might be ahead. What do I do when the story just won’t come? What if one of my characters is rebelling? Stuff like that.

First things first, read as much as you can in your free time before the challenge starts. And, just because you’ll be spending several hours of your free time writing for the challenge, doesn’t mean you can’t read during that time either. When you find yourself stuck, go read something from one of your favorite authors. You can even mimic the style of that book to kick-start your own writing again. It’s okay to do that on the first draft.

Other things to do are:

  1. Change the view. Tired of looking for inspiration in the flat paint of your bedroom wall? Go to the kitchen table, a porch chair, a cafe. Anywhere else.
  2. Just go for a walk. Maybe you’ve already changed the scenery and that hasn’t worked, or you’re computer isn’t the portable type. It’s time to get some exercise, take a hike and take in the world around you. Carry some note cards and a pen with you because inspiration might hit while you’re out.
  3. Get elbow deep in another hobby. Take your mind off of your writing for a moment and go cook something or draw something. Do something that takes a different kind of creativity or no creativity at all.
  4. Go chat with fellow writers. In person, online, whichever one you have available.
  5. Participate in camp activities. Hey, it is Camp NaNoWriMo. Why not roast some marshmallows or sing camp songs? If you feel like the fun has disappeared from your writing, this can help bring it back.

So many things to do, hmmm. Anyways, the time is drawing closer and closer. For some, it’s already begun. I’ve still got quite a few hours to go. I mentioned this writing challenge to my young niece just last night — quite the blossoming writer — and she wants to try it as well. She was going to stay up late in order to do it too. Thank goodness she’s on summer vacation, or her mother might never forgive me.

Well….

Eat. Sleep. Camp. Read. Write.

 

 
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Posted by on May 31, 2012 in Writing

 

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Have your cookie, and eat it too

I ate my cookie. 🙂

Well, I ate it a while ago. If I wasn’t able to eat it until now I think I would have gone crazy. I probably would have torn it open with my teeth before now. But, I got to the 6,000 mark and then — with the lack of a cookie to bribe me — I started to wind down. What could I bribe myself with now?

Another cookie? Probably not the healthiest choice.

A movie? I wound up watching it even though I didn’t meet the challenge for that one.

Then, someone mentioned WriteOrDie.com. Yes, I thought. I’ve heard of that! So, I tried it today and have already cranked out over a thousand words since starting my writing session about an hour ago. Sitting like that without the distraction of web surfing and online games — whew — was one of the greatest feats of my life. The threat of my words being deleted, however, was the greatest motivation ever. I’d pause occasionally as I tried to think of a word that was eluding me and then the screen would turn pink, then red. I didn’t dare let it get to the final stage and start killing my story.

I suggest that if you’re having trouble concentrating, that you should give it a try. I suggest setting it to one of the more lethal settings, otherwise you might try to weasel your way out of focusing on writing your story. I know that I’ve spent many days staring out the window rather than getting something down on the page. Those moments are good, but they are like dreaming without action.

Now, with Write Or Die on my side I’m challenging myself to write 2,000 more words before the day is over. It’s time to catch up because I’m kind of — okay, try extremely — behind!

Write. Write. And Just Write!

 
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Posted by on August 11, 2011 in Writing

 

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50,000 words – No going back!

50,000 words – No going back!

“Never give up, never surrender!”

Somehow this quote from the film Galaxy Quest is fitting for this month. It’s July 1st, and that means Camp NaNo is officially here. 50,000 words to be written in 1 month. It’s usually only in November, but NaNoWriMo is trying something new. I just have one question. Why haven’t they done this before? It’s such a good idea! The better question, though, may be why haven’t I attempted this more often on my own.

I crashed, skidded a few painful yards, and then promptly burned on my first attempt at a personal NaNo. I also learned from it. Number one lesson I got out of it was take more time to think about what you’re going to write before you actually start writing. This is a good tip for me, perhaps not everyone, but most certainly me. My most still moments are my most creative moments, to paraphrase something a friend said recently. I don’t mean that I’m going to go live up on a mountain, away from all human contact while I slip into a zen lifestyle. I’m actually quite the hermit without going that far…

I just need to get my head back up in the clouds for a while. Believe it or not, but that family road trip that I was on last week really helped despite simultaneously ruining my personal writing challenge. I had an idea for a story on a similar road trip last year, and this year helped solidify it a little more in my mind. I simply stared out the window and started thinking.

Funny how that works out so well, eh?

So, I’m going to go get ready for my major writing session today. Camp NaNo may have officially started, but it’s 2 in the morning here, which means I need to sleep. At least a little. I may do most of my writing when I should be sleeping, but I’ve found that I have to do far less editing afterward if I don’t deprive myself of too much sleep. Also, if I’m going to be writing any of my story by hand instead of typing, I’m going to need the sleep. I can barely read my hand writing when I’m fully rested.

 
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Posted by on July 1, 2011 in Writing

 

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