"If there's a book you really want to read, but it hasn't been written yet, then you must write it." ~Toni Morrison

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

My Writing Motivation (Writercize)

This week, Writercize asks about my motivation to write.

What prevents me from writing?
1. Reading
I love to read so much that it often interferes with my writing time. This year I even started a Pinterest board to keep track of all the books I have read. During NaNoWriMo this year, I only allowed myself to read books about writing. This kept me more focused and inspired me to write.  However, it also made me want to start revising before I had finished the first draft.  I did manage to sneak in one non-fiction book this month also, since it was research for the novel I am writing :)

2.  My Crafts
I love to create.  I knit, crochet and bead.  In the evening, when I am sitting on the couch, relaxing after work, I usually pick up a project.  Sometimes it's my writing, but more often it's a knitting or crochet project.

3.  My Daily Routine
I have yet to put away time in my daily routine that is sacred and only for writing.  I work 40 hours a week, maintain my house, cook meals and spend lots of time with my husband and elderly kitty.  All of these responsibilities take away from my writing time.

4.  Internet
I almost forgot one of my biggest distractions: the internet.  I love to read blogs.  I can spend hours just staring at Pinterest.  I am a member of more than one social network.  Sometimes I can't use the computer for writing because there are too many ways to be distracted :)

What motivates me to write?
I have always loved to write and have kept a journal of one type or another for much of my life.  I used to rely on other people's prompts and searched out lists of new and interesting ideas and story starters.  Then, one day I realized that I had some of my own story ideas swirling around in my head.  I discovered NaNoWriMo and decided to give it a try.  Now I can't stop the story ideas and I feel a need to get them all down on paper, even if they never get published.

What prevents you from writing?  What motivates you to write?

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

WOTW: Fastidious

Fastidious: adjective, very attentive to detail

This week, as I was working on my current NaNo novel, this word popped into my head. It really wanted to be a part of my story. It called to me, "Hey, why don't you use me in your description of that new character? I know that I am the perfect word to describe him. I mean exactly what you want to say."

The only problem was that I could not pull the definition of 'fastidious' from my brain, so I turned to the Internet. Guess what? Fastidious was exactly the word I was looking for to describe the new character. Maybe it's a sign that I should trust my instincts more. It's definitely a sign that I should listen to the little voices in my head.

Has a word ever demanded to be used in your writing?

Friday, November 23, 2012

WOTW: Gratitude

Gratitude: noun, the quality of being thankful.

This is a word that we think about a lot at this time of year in the United States. The Thanksgiving holiday gives us a reason to focus on gratitude.

This year I am thankful for new traditions. My husband and I went for a hike at Silver Falls State Park on Thanksgiving morning. It was amazing. I have visited this park many times and I always have a feeling of awe when I go there. We enjoyed it so much that we have decided a Thanksgiving hike will be part of new tradition. We also changed our Thanksgiving dinner tradition this year. We are both vegetarians and usually we try to modify the traditional turkey dinner to fit our diets. This year we had lasagna, garlic bread, vegan Caesar salad, and sweet potato pie. It was the best Thanksgiving dinner I have had in a long time.

I am also thankful for my supportive husband, elderly cat, beautiful old house and a fun job that allows me to live the life I enjoy.

What are you thankful for this year?

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

WOTW: Startitis

Startitis:  a condition where a person feels the need to start many different projects without finishing current projects.

I first read about this condition on this wonderful knitting blog.  I have a very serious case of startitis.    I love to start projects, but hate to finish them.  Usually this strikes my crafting life.  I knit or crochet something but when it comes time to put on the finishing touches, like a button or a strap, I freeze.  I put the project aside and start something new.

For the last few years, since I started NaNoWriMo, startitis has suddenly struck my writing life.  I finally have some real writing projects, and none of them are complete.  The first novel I started writing is almost finished, but I froze and put it aside to start something new.  I wrote it during the month of November.  For many months after NaNo, I continued working on the story.  Then I got close to the end and realized I needed to add another character in order for the protagonist to get the information that she needed to succeed.  I immediately put the novel aside and started thinking about what I would write for next NaNo.  Now I have 4 books in progress.

I am beginning to wonder if I have a fear of finishing projects.  A completed project is a big responsibility.  Once you finish a knitted purse or a novel, you have to take the next step and figure out what to do with it.  What if I am so terrified of the next step, of doing something with my writing, that I never finish a project?

I have decided that this NaNo is the one that will change everything.  Since I am collaborating on my novel, there is a higher expectation of completing the work.  For the first time, I have someone who is really excited to read what I am writing and to help me edit and revise.  I am hoping that this motivational push will help me finally reach a writing finish line.

Have you ever suffered from startitis?  What helps you to stay the course and complete your projects?

Thursday, November 8, 2012

WOTW: Branding

Branding :  in my worl, branding is promoting your product, building a theme that connects all your work.

This week, I read this awesome post on The Writer's Dojo blog.  It really made me think about my branding.  I have one profile for both of my creative blogs: crafting and writing.  I am now seriously thinking about clearing my Blogger profile and adding a bio to the right bar of each blog that is individualized to that topic.  This way I can brand myself differently on each blog

While researching more, I found these great definitions:

"To understand branding, it is important to know what brands are. A brand is the idea or image of a specific product or service that consumers connect with, by identifying the name, logo, slogan, or design of the company who owns the idea or image. Branding is when that idea or image is marketed so that it is recognizable by more and more people, and identified with a certain service or product when there are many other companies offering the same service or product."

"Here's my definition: A brand is the set of expectations, memories, stories and relationships that, taken together, account for a consumer’s decision to choose one product or service over another. If the consumer (whether it’s a business, a buyer, a voter or a donor) doesn’t pay a premium, make a selection or spread the word, then no brand value exists for that consumer."  - Seth Godin

Do you think about your branding?  What have you done to create your brand?

Saturday, November 3, 2012

NaNo Has Begun!

NaNoWriMo has begun again.  Day 3 is already upon us, and I am feeling good about this book.  My husband and I are collaborating this time around.  He is more of an idea man, and I am the writer.  We are working with one of his original ideas.  He has been reading my work each evening and making suggestions for changes or for what might happen next.  It is nice to collaborate, especially since it means he is much more understanding when I decide to spend hours typing on the computer and not paying any attention to him :)

Usually when I am writing, I start with a very vague plan.  I usually know where the story will start and end, and I have a character in mind.  Then I just fly by the seat of my pants.  This time I decided to plan a little ahead of time.  Since I am collaborating, I wanted to make sure that we both agreed with the plan before I started writing.  Well, on November 1st, when I started writing, I was too lazy to take out my plan and look at it before beginning.  Today I finally took a peek at the original plan.  My main character chose a different name for himself.  The book chose a different beginning scene than we had planned.  Everything is just a little off.

Lesson learned:  Why plan when you're just going to ignore the plan anyway?  Now I can't even imagine my main character having the original name I had thought of, Troy.  It doesn't fit him anymore.  I am pretty sure that his even his race has changed in my mind.  I no longer see a scrawny white boy when I think of him.  I guess my plans have changed :)

Do you usually plan before you start writing or fly by the seat of your pants?  What do you do when the plan changes without telling you?

Thursday, November 1, 2012

WOTW: Sapience

Sapience:  (noun). Wisdom

I found this word in Christopher Moore's Practical Demonkeeping, a very clever and humorous book.