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Posts Tagged ‘goals’

I think I should join a support group for procrastinators. I have become really good at putting things off and getting distracted at the dumbest things.

Don’t get me wrong. My book is very, very important to me.  I think about it all the time. How can I improve this scene? What can I do to make this character grow? How should I show that? I think about this questions all the time. It’s just that when I lose motivation, it’s hard for me to get it back.

I’m still working on that.

Well, it’s going to change. Now. A couple of nights ago,  my friend, Kim, and I decided that we were going to really challenge ourselves as writers. We needed to step our game. So, we gave ourselves a goal: We want to finish our novels by October.

Now, that doesn’t give us a whole lot of time. I’m almost halfway through my book, and once I hit the mark, it’ll be smooth sailing after that. Although, I’m not about to force myself to write. Once I get to that point, I always stop what I’m doing, and I go off to do something else for a while.  I just need a goal to strive towards, so I can end this procrastination and get my motivation back in order. There are people out there who want to read this book haha. I have to finish it before I can do that.

Yes, life gets in the way still. Today, I found myself tackling a whole bunch of household chores.  Stress still finds its way to burrow its ugly head into my day.  But, with a goal in mind, I can learn to push it back.

I hope you all will stick with me as I continue this (very) scary challenge. You can check my progress by clicking on the tab “Check My Writing Progress”. Let’s hope that life doesn’t throw me too many curve balls and detour me from my task. October isn’t that far away….yikes.

And with that, I’m off to see if I can’t finally finish chapter 11. Tomorrow, I’ll post another character interview!

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My manuscript is really progressing as of late and I couldn’t be more excited.  I think what is making it so much easier than before is, well, my attitude.

Let me try to explain.  After I graduated college, I was under a lot of stress (and I still am). All I keep hearing is how hard things are going to be.  Throughout my life, I was never handed anything on a silver platter. I’ve always had to work hard, so it’s not like I was expecting life to be one huge song and dance number.  I admit, I let stress take  control of my life. I couldn’t focus on writing. All I focused on was trying to find a job and trying to pay off my student loans. Everything else was pushed aside.

Until January came around and I realized that I couldn’t just let my dreams and goals fall apart because of one little word. Stress. We all experience it. Even when we’re writing, it’s there, standing right behind you, making sure its presence is known. Sometimes, it will cause a plague of worry inside you, making you feel like you’re going to fail if you even try.

But, the thing is you have to try. You can’t let stress or worry win the battle. I was about to just throw up my hands and let stress win.  But, in my heart, I knew I couldn’t do that because I had a story to tell. This story wasn’t going away.  I’ve learned to take a few deep breaths and clear my head.  When it’s time for writing, I merely shut the door and get to work. Because it’s my time.  I just can’t sit back and not share my stories with the world.

So, if you’re feeling stressed that day and you think you just can’t do it, take a few deep breaths and know that you can. Push all those doubts out of head that you’ll never make it or you’ll never succeed. They’re wrong, you know.  Take a few moments and shake it off. Then, sit down and start writing again.

If I’ve learned one thing throughout this whole process it’s this:

You have to believe in yourself before you can really expect others to believe in you.

It’s all in your mind.  Create some positive thinking and the creativity will start flowing.

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Ah, progress.  It’s what every writer wants to see. They want to see the words in front of them as they saw it in their heads. I admit for a while I wasn’t seeing great progress, and yes, it brought me down. I felt a lot of frustration and I didn’t know how to handle it. But, with enough encouragement from others (they know who they are), I got myself back on track. So, here we are. Seeing progress.

Sometimes, I think ahead to the time when my book is published and people are finally able to read what I’ve been working on. They’ll be able to meet all the characters that I cherish and feel what they feel.  They will experience what they go through and maybe take away a better understanding of life they may not know about. I feel like that’s one of my purposes of being a writer. It’s a responsibility that I don’t take lightly. I want people to realize that there are so many types of people out there with so many different stories to tell. As a story-teller, I am responsible to share that with the world.

Do I believe that writers are born and not made? Yeah, I do. This is what I’ve wanted to do for as long as I can remember. It’s like what I was meant to do. One day, I hope people will see that and appreciate the work that I’ve done. If not, that’s okay because I know I will appreciate it.

I’m not doing this to become popular or whatever. If you are, then you may be doing it for the wrong reason. It’s not about having a huge fan base (although I won’t complain if that happens!), but it’s about reaching out to people with stories they can relate to. It’s about making people feel good and letting them know they’re not alone. If I reach out to more people than I can even imagine, then that’s great! I would love for that to happen. But, if I only reach out to a handful, then at least I’m making a difference with someone.

It’s about quality not quantity.

So, whenever I think about the future, I smile. I look forward to connecting with people merely by sharing this story I came up with. I look forward to introducing them to all of my characters, knowing they will love them just as much as I do now.

It’s a great feeling, isn’t it?

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Ever since I was a little girl, I’ve always wanted to be an author. That was my biggest dream in life.  I wrote my first story when I was five (you can read about that here if you missed it..check out the pic at the end of entry. It will haunt me for the rest of my life haha) and that was the start of my long writing journey.  In high school, I managed to complete two novels. Unfortunately, one got lost forever as the computer I was using at the time crashed before I could back up the file. The other I still have, not really sure what to do with. It’s kind of just sitting in my documents, waiting for something. I don’t even know if it’s really good enough to be published.

I digress. When I first attended college, writing fell by the wayside. School work consumed a  lot of my time and when I wasn’t doing that, I was out with friends. It wasn’t the second semester of my freshman year where I found the passion again. A little screenplay set off by a long, epic impromptu story I told to a friend made all the difference. It brought back that reason to write again.

I’ve always told myself that I wasn’t going to be some generic writer who does it just for the heck of it. I’m not setting out to be on Oprah’s Book Club (though if it ever happens, I won’t say no…).

I write because it makes me the happiest. I write because it makes me who I am.

The novel I’m working on right now is about a topic that not everyone wants to talk about, but it’s out there. I want to write this book to open up the lines of communication and get people to talk about something they may have been hiding from friends or family. I want to change someone’s perspective on things, to let them see a different side of life they may have never experienced before. I want to delve deep into those personal issues. Yes, sometimes, it isn’t easy to be so personal. It can get hard to put my characters through such trials, but I really feel it’ll be worth it once people have this book in their hands.

All writers should have a huge passion for what they do. Sadly, some do not, and that shows in their works.  I hope that my passion for writing shines through in my novels. Honestly, I hope it shows in this blog.  I want to be taken seriously and not passed aside as some “wannabe” because that’s not what I am.

I’ve owned up to the title of “writer” now.

“You write to communicate to the hearts and minds of others what’s burning inside you.  And we edit to let the fire show through the smoke. ”

~Arthur Polotnik

Why do you write? What keeps you writing?

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Tonight, I think we have a cause for celebration. What is the reason, you ask? Well, I am very happy to report that I have managed to get back into my novel! Yes, I am now back working on my lovely characters (who I have seriously missed by the way) and getting those pages to flow. I don’t think I could describe the feeling of writing to someone who is a non-writer. I’ve tried and failed. They can’t comprehend what it’s like to see the people and places you’ve been seeing in your head as words on a computer screen.  Then, there’s the feeling of knowing that one day someone could be reading those words and hopefully be inspired by them.

It’s been a couple of weeks since I’ve done any actual writing. Wait..scratch that. I sketched out a scene in a shady tattoo parlor while my brother was getting a tattoo last week. 🙂 I’ve done more than I thought! Yes. Still, my story is always with me. The characters are always with me. Sometimes, I’ll be listening to music and a certain song will come on that will make me think of a certain character. I’ll think that maybe he or she would be the type to love this song/band. Maybe this character would rock out to this song in their car while waiting for a red light.  So many things make me think about my story. Television shows, movies, other books. Maybe a certain conversation will spark some creativity. Sometimes, it only takes the little things to make the creative wheels turn.

So, yes, it is time to celebrate my return to the novel! It’s a great feeling. I’d like to take the time to thank fellow blogger/writer, Jill, who gave me some great advice last week while I was going through my horrible slump. It was advice well needed and it helped so much. 🙂 You can check out her blog here

Oh, and I have a few ideas in mind for the blog fest I will be hosting soon. Hopefully, I’ll announce all the details by the end of next week.

Update: Some of you may have noticed that I changed the title. I have decided that I don’t want to be thought of as an “aspiring writer”. I want people to know me as a Writer instead. The Undeveloped Story is a means of motivation for those to start working on the stories you’ve held on to for so long and never did anything with. Develop them. Bring them to life.

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Chicken Soup for the Writer's Soul


A few weeks ago, I mentioned I was emptying a box from college and found my treasured book of Dr. Seuss stories. Of course, this made me happy not only because that book was quite expensive, but also because even at 26, he’s still one of my writing idols. Well, along with that book, I also found my copy of Chicken Soup for the Writer’s Soul.

Most of us are familiar with the Chicken Soup book series. They have been published for years now. You’ve got one for the Mom’s, the teenagers, grandparents, couples. You name it, they probably have a book of inspiration for it. This book was given to me a few years ago as a gift by one of my dear friends. He gave it to me the weekend before I was to leave the college we both were attending. I was transferring to another college, so my friends there decided to throw me a “farewell party”. Derek knew how much writing meant to me, and by giving me this book, it was his way of saying “Don’t give up.”

In the book, you have your usual sappy inspirational stories, but hey, sometimes you need that to get you going. At least, I do. There are days when I need a good cry to set the creative juices flowing. The Writer’s book has stories of how to deal with rejection and how you should never give up even when all the odds are stacked against you. Sometimes, I do feel like that. There are many days when I doubt myself and I need the time to think about why I’m doing this.

Not all the stories are the ones that make you want to pull out a Kleenex. Some are entertaining and some are just laugh out loud funny. Some of these people are your average, every day people. They are teachers, cops, parents, grandparents, store clerks, etc. Even though they come from different backgrounds, they all have one thing in common: the passion for writing. They want to help inspire other writers to not be afraid to go for what they want to do.

Inspiring others has always been a great thing for me. It has been something I have wanted to do for a long time. I’ve always been told to accomplish my dreams. My mom had to sacrifice a lot so I could have that opportunity. I’m not going to let her down. Accomplishing my dream will be like my gift to her for everything she has done for me.

One of my favorite quotes in the book comes from novelist, Erica Jong:

And the trouble is, if you don’t risk anything, you risk even more.

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Currently, I’m sitting in my bedroom with the window open and a nice breeze blowing in. The summer heat has definitely started to affect my writing. On extremely hot days, my brain doesn’t seem to want to function the way I need it to. That’s why I’ve been getting my best writing done at night. It’s less humid and I’m not as distracted as I am during the day.

We all write at different times. Some people work better in the mornings, some in the afternoons, and then there are people who thrive during the night-time hours. For me, it all depends on certain situations. If I’m too tired in the mornings, I’ll leave my writing for either the afternoon or evening. There are days when I have too many things to do, so I have no choice but to postpone working on my novel.

Of course, distractions can happen at night, too. Right now, I keep getting distracted by the crickets chirping outside my window. Some people find that soothing, but not me. Every chirp breaks my concentration. I know I need to buckle down and get some serious work done, considering I haven’t met my daily writing goal yet. It’s a good thing I don’t have to get up too early tomorrow morning.

I guess I should close my window now to shut out the chirping and get everything accomplished before bed. Maybe tomorrow I’ll be able to work in the afternoon like I prefer.

What time of day do you prefer to work? Do certain situations or environments prevent this from happening?

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