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Category Archives: Word count

A Writer’s Life

Most days I write. I get up in the morning, usually after 4-6 hours of sleep, still groggy and make coffee. While the coffee is brewing, which doesn’t take long since I have a Bunn coffeemaker, I start my morning pages–my ego is still asleep. I’m usually wishing I were still sleeping.

Once I take the first sip of coffee, I immediately feel better. Yes, I know it’s a mind thing at that point, but it’s a win for me because not only do I like the smell and taste of coffee, but various studies have proven that coffee is good for us…helps prevent cancer, etc.–I will take it as a win.

I head for my writing room. Here is a quick peak of my writing room:

I wish I could say that the first thing I do, after I’ve written my morning pages, is start writing, but most days I check my email, FB, and YT first. I respond to various messages, posts, comments…(I’m now on my second cup of coffee) and if someone posts a video that I can listen to while I work on my journal pages I’ll do that, unless I’ve already prepared my pages the night before.

Lately though, thanks to changing things up because of Project Me and Jenny Penton’s Planner Perfect method I’ve started on my top 3 things for the day. Mine are usually stretches, which I can do while I watch a video (or two, depending on how long the videos are, because I have to do 15 minutes worth of stretching–it helps keep my shoulders mobile, otherwise I’ll lose mobility again); start laundry; dishes and/or shower and get ready for the day.

Once I’m dressed for the day, I sit back down at my desk, open Scrivener, and read the last 2 paragraphs I wrote. Once my head is back in my novel I start writing. Big deal, right? So I’m writing. I’m a writer, that’s what writer’s do. Not as easy as it seems though. I get distracted by the sun shining through my window, by the beeps and buzzes of notifications from my tablet or phone, by the lack of coffee in my cup (I’m usually on my 3rd cup or about to get my 3rd cup, though somewhere in the middle of those cups of coffee I try to drink a bottle of water).

Butt in chair and write! I try to get back to the work at hand. Writing. For a few years now, I’ve been trying to establish a routine. A ritual. The thing about writing a novel is consistency, determination, passion…AND getting your butt in the chair and doing the work. Since I started planning my day differently, less “to do’s” and more “scripting my life,” I’ve realized that scripting my life is helpful for me personally, but not so much for my writing, which is what I consider to be my job. So, I’ve gone back to my writer bullet journal.

However, I’m not doing things the same way anymore. No more monthly calendar, and no more dailies. Not for my writing. I have a monthly log for my wordcount set up for August, and the weekly spread set up. I’ve got the wordcount goals set up so that I know about where I am, and I’ve pushed up my daily wordcount for August. During July I’ve been aiming for 1000 words a day every day, but for August I’m pushing for 2K a day during the week, and 1K on the weekends. That might change, but I am pretty sure if I devote 4-6 hours per day during the week, with breaks in between, and 2-4 hours on the weekends, I should be able to at least write 1500-2500 words a day during the week. I might end up lowering the wordcount on the weekends to 500 per day. We’ll see.

And so I can stay on top of things and and finish my novel… I’ve changed things in my writer’s bible and August is going to rock. I’m hoping to keep the blogs rolling with the videos, and my video schedule is set up for a Coffee Chat on Monday’s, Writer Wednesday, Journaling on Friday’s, and then something or other on Sunday’s… Not sure about that yet.

Here’s the video for that:

 

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NaNoWriMo Winner

NaNo-2015-Winner-Banner

I have officially won NaNoWriMo. Wooo Hooo! I’m so happy I made it, and with quite a bit to spare. 😀

Now it’s time to take a short break, a full day, from writing, and then I’ll get right back to it. 😀

 
 

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NaNoWriMo and Life Update

sick face

It’s been a rough week. I’ve been sick for the past few days, finally starting to feel better though. Writing while you’re sick is like going to work with a hangover the size of Mt. Rushmore. I don’t know how I managed to do it, but I did. I didn’t get the word count I wanted, but I did manage to write at least 1000 words each day that I was sick, which is saying something. **Patting myself on the back.**writing when sick

I’ve still got my buffer for Thanksgiving, but it set me back by a day–I needed a two day buffer for the Saturday after Thanksgiving as well. Oh well, I guess I’m going to have to get on the ball then and write.

I’ve created videos the past few days and it’s been especially rough–you know you’re sick when you don’t drink coffee first thing in the morning and drink orange juice instead, or when you make a video and don’t bother to put makeup on–in my defense, I’ve been sick and it’s NaNoWriMo. 😀

I’m not vain, I just figure if I’m going to bother with filming a video I could at least make myself presentable… being sick changes what you consider presentable–I was clean, had on clean pajamas, and had brushed my teeth–presentable. LOL!

The first day I was sick I tried the opposite method: Dressed up in hopes that if I didn’t wallow in being sick I might feel better–that only worked when the medication kicked in, once the medication started wearing off I was right back in pajamas.

My art journal page for Day 19 of NaNoWriMo 2015. :D

My art journal page for Day 19 of NaNoWriMo 2015. 😀

I’m going to get back to writing now, I’ve got two scenes to write so I can get to the next chapter, which is a major conflict chapter and one I’m really looking forward to. 😀

 

 

 

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Embracing the struggle to get the words on the page

embrace struggle

Yesterday I only wrote 357 words. I’m not joking. The weekends are always harder for me because as I’ve said before, my desk is in the living room. I got up early (before the crack of dawn) to write. I sat down at my desk with my cup of coffee, in my favorite cup that my husband bought for me that says “Fresh-brewed inspiration for the day ahead,” and began checking my emails, FB, WP, etc. I wrote a post about the support we do or don’t receive from Friends and Family, and then I began reading the last few pages of my WIP. As I was writing an idea hit my mind for a novel like a home-run being hit out of the park. I opened up a new Scrivener project and wrote what I had down into it. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on August 25, 2014 in Family, Inspiration, Life, Word count, Writing

 

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Time, where does it go?

Time is either my best friend or my worst enemy. It’s now 10:48 AM and I’m on my second cup of coffee, yet I’ve been up since oh, I’m not even sure now, but the minutes have turned into hours and the hours have turned into what feels like days. Camp NaNo is almost over, and I’ve learned a great deal about myself this time as a writer. I decided to make this session work for me instead of speeding through words to get my word count. I outlined. I threw that one out and started all over. Only to find that I as I wrote I was really just writing back story, not the story itself. Back to the drawing board. What did I really have? Where did I want to go? What were my characters really doing? Concept. Theme. Character. Ideas. Plots. Plot bunnies. Structure. Inciting incidents and hooks, first plot points and pinchs, action and reaction, scenes and sequels.

There I was tumbling, falling into the hole like Alice, only where was I? I sure as hell wasn’t in Wonderland. No, I’d fallen into a black hole of structure that was bogging me down so much that I lost my creativity. Where had it gone? Was this what plotting/outlining felt like to a pantser? I couldn’t do it. I just couldn’t breath, I was suffocating in all that structure. I took a deep breath and watched the first season of the Vampire Diaries. WOW! Now those are some vampires worth drooling over, I’d take Stephan or Damon over Edward any day. Mind candy was exactly what I needed. But I still needed to figure a few things out for the concept of my novel. Research. I could do some research.

Since I’m writing a book about a natural born witch/psychic I might as well watch some witchy psychicy movies. Read a witchy/psychicy book or three. So off I went in search of movies with a psychic theme, a witch theme, or the supernatural in general. Vampire Diaries has witches, and that lead me to the Originals. The Original Witches. The Original Vampires. WOW! What a novel idea!!!

Oh wait. What about male witches? What about psychics? What about… Oh Wait A Minute! I have the Covenant on DVD. I watched it. I watched yet another season of the Vampire Diaries. I watched the pilot episode of the Originals. I watched Supernatural. I read three chapters of Harry Potter. I ordered the sensor for the Wii that my daughter gave us so we can watch Netflix on our big TV in the living room instead of on the computer (my desktop monitor is only 20″, not exactly great to watch a movie on when you’re on the couch instead of sitting at the desk. I read another chapter of Harry Potter. I read The Trouble with Fate by Leigh Evans (good book). I also read more of Larry Brooks StoryEnginerring. I went back to watching the Vampire Diaries. (NO, of course I’m not hooked. I’m only at the end of season 2 in all of one week).

And I’m back to my novel! Coffee in hand. The good kind, at least to me. I managed to get myself a bag of Dunkin’ Donuts coffee, which my husband does not like, and made a pot after he left for work. So here I am at my desktop, ready to write…. Only trouble is my mind really just isn’t on it… I need to finish that cup of coffee first.

I guess you could say I’m in a writing funk. That’s what happens when time isn’t on your side, or maybe that’s what happens when you procrastinate, or maybe that’s what happens when you spent so much time writing you managed to burn yourself out and need time to recuperate…I don’t know what it is exactly, but my mind has been wondering the past week. I guess I just needed a break. . I still manged to make my word count for the past week though. That’s something.

 
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Posted by on April 24, 2014 in Life, NaNoWriMo, Word count, Writing

 

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Writing, Day 5/30, and new keyboard

My new keyboard

My new keyboard

First let me start off by saying I just got the Adesso True Form Media Ergonomic Keyboard (delivered by FedEx). I love it. It’s taking a bit of getting used to. The reviews were right… It feels more plastic than rubbery, it’s loud when you type–click, click, click (which is fine with me because now I sound like I’m writing–I love that sound. The click of keys. It’s one of the things I miss about using a typewriter). And if you don’t know where your keys are without looking at them it wouldn’t be the keyboard for you, not really. I had been using my son’s keyboard because mine had keys that stuck, the labels were worn off of half the keys, and one of the keys was broken…Once my son came back I had to get another keyboard. I decided to go with one that would reduce the chance of carpal tunnel. Now that I’m writing full-time I’ve noticed that either my neck and shoulders hurt from hunching over the keyboard or my wrists hurt… Now that I’m typing the way you’re supposed to, with my hands in the correct position (which I should have been doing all along but with the flatter keyboards it wasn’t comfortable even with the little foamy thing I bought to help)…I find that I actually sit up straight while using the keyboard, I guess it’s because of the position my hands and wrists are in, the fact that I no longer have to lean over, but it’s much more comfortable. Happy writer over here!

My word count on the left; my cabin's word count on the right.

My word count on the left; my cabin’s word count on the right.

This is the next thing on my list of things that make me happy. Word Count… Wooo Hooo! I’d gotten a little behind schedule Thursday and Friday because I was finishing Save the Cat and filling up my corkboard with index cards, some of which I’ve now color coded. I’ve got the literal corkboard with index cards to use when I’m tired of being at the computer but I want to look over things for my novel, or I just need a different perspective. Sometimes the physical act of writing out things with a pen, color coding the index cards, or going through the index cards themselves helps me figure out something I’m missing or just not seeing when I’m at the computer. Don’t get me wrong, I use the hell out of Scrivener’s corkboard. It’s one of my favorite parts of the software, but I grew up writing with a typewriter, a pad and pen or pencil, and index cards. Sometimes when I get stuck I go back to “old school” stuff. But today I kicked ass, and I’m not done yet. Right now my total word count is 9,666 (don’t freak out because of the number, I’ll be adding words soon enough), and out of that total I wrote 2,208 words today. Kicking ass and taking names. I’m also working on a few of the minor character’s sketch sheets because those characters will be introduced soon. I’ve already introduced her mentor and her sidekick, though that’s just in passing reference because the sidekick is her mentor’s daughter. MC is just now finding out about her heritage, powers, and her destiny… One of the major themes of the novel is the whole Predestination versus Free Will thing. Since she’s a Nephilim she has the powers of an angel, and the soul/free will of man. She has to choose to fulfill the prophecy. She has to choose to be the Peace Bringer. (I love all these trope terms… They really help me flush out the beats I need to go through in order for her to fulfill her role as a hero, as well as the prophecy).  I’m not one to follow the rules though, so my MC, the (unwilling) hero of my story is a female. One of the Watchers is a female angel. The secondary antagonist is a red haired, green eyed male Nephilim who has chosen the side of the Fallen. The mentor is a Southern woman, a psychic, and is educated but has the Southern drawl/slang…She knows who she is, where she came from, and unlike the unwilling hero/MC she doesn’t feel stuck in a small town in the South or ashamed of being from the South. The MC has a long bumpy road ahead of her, but she’ll get over her fear of being stuck in a small town in the South, learn to appreciate the camaraderie that comes from being part of a small town along with the pitfalls–everybody knows everybody and their business (but the helps her because when someone new comes to town everyone knows it–grapevine of gossip).

small town quote

One of the things I really liked about the Beautiful Creatures was that the author’s nailed what it’s like living in a small town. Where I live is a rather small city/town and the natives often call it the pit because once it sucks you in you never get out. I grew up in Charleston though, which is large city compared to where I live now, but still growing up in the same place, with all the same people, means everybody knows you, who you’re related to, where you live or at least the neighborhood you live in… Sure there were people I didn’t know by name in the back of my neighborhood, or who had just moved in, or who didn’t have children…but for the most part I knew my neighbors and I felt like I was part of a community. The MC wants to be anonymous. She wants to get out of her small town, move to the city, experience life without being judged or labeled a black sheep or feeling ostracized because she’s different. What she doesn’t realize is that you can be alone in a room full of people, just as well as be alone in city full of people. She’s always known she was different, always felt like she didn’t fit in, she’s finding out why that is, and it’s not just an internal thing. She is different. (Hell, we’re all different, but that’s a topic for another day.)

So I’m off to finish the chapter I’m working on. which is my CATALYST chapter. Happy writing! And have a great weekend.

 

 

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Camp NaNo Day 1

So I’m coming right along with my novel for Camp…3226 words on Day 1. Not bad for the first day.

I spent part of today organizing my physical writer’s bible. I’ve printed out several things over the past few months–writing resources, outlining info, detailed character worksheets–and I needed a place to store them, in an organized manner, instead of stuck in various drawers of my desk. Now that I’ve moved my desk to the living room, there’s no way I can continue to have the creative clutter I had on the desk when I was in my own writing room. I dream of having a writing shed/barn/cottage/ in the backyard one day, but for now I’m in the living room….

Book cover, Save the Cat, notebook, etc

Book cover, Save the Cat, notebook, etc

This is actually clean considering it's Camp NaNo

This is actually clean considering it’s Camp NaNo

Thought I’d share what my desk looks like while I’m at Camp….IIt’s much cleaner since I’m in the living room now.

 

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