Ways to know fear is holding you back

Fear. It can one of may blocks in the road for writers when they start or finish a project. I began to struggle with this after coming back from vacation and missing my self-imposed deadline. I kept putting my morning writing off until the evening and then I would say I’m tired and head to bed.

Anytime I did “try” and write, I kept distracting myself on the internet.

Trying to think of ways to link your scenes together is as hard as looking at a blank page.

But the other day I realized that it was just the fear and self-doubt keeping me from going back to what I enjoy.

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Joining the crew of freelance editors

I’ve been debating about doing this for a while and I’ve decided to take the plunge: I’ve decided to take on freelance editing. 

Editing is something that I enjoy doing, especially when it comes to fiction. I’ve picked up a few projects from close friends that have asked for help with fiction works and academic papers. 

The kind of editing that I do takes on a form of line edits/basic copyediting* and developmental. I own Chicago Manual of Style book, 17th edition, so that is what I would use for fiction editing. As for academic, I tend to edit with a professor’s requirements of a paper and how it should be styled, i.e. APA, and basic line editing. I also would make suggestions on how to articulate what is meant.

EditingBlogGraph

Fiction and academic works are just two types I plan to start with, but not limited to once I am ready to take on works. (I’m finishing my novel, which you can track the progress under the Currently Writing tab and on Instagram.)

I will not take on any nonfiction works outside of academia as to not interfere with my day job,  which I mainly edit in AP style. 

I’ll make a separate post once I’m ready to helping out my fellow writers. 

P.S. I’ve created a Ko-Fi account, so if you like some of the content I produce here, feel free to donate there. It would be greatly appreciated.

 

*In Chicago style, copyediting is one word while AP style it is two.

Just a little left

A little update on my manuscript: I didn’t finish on time. The last couple of days I put a lot of pressure on myself to finish by my deadline and that’s all I could think about and struggled with the next words. Coming off a vacation would hopefully leave me ready to finish the last 18K words.

Few favorite writerly audio things

I was going to write about my word count this week, but I felt like I needed a little more time and break down my process better. So, instead, here are a few audio things that I’ve been enjoying these last few weeks:

Writing Excuses Podcast – Mary Robinette Kowall, Brandon Sanderson, Howard Taylor, and Dan Wells are the main hosts of the 15 minute segments. I wish they were longer, but they do touch on subjects more than once. They also bring in guest writers to help guide their discussion on said subject.  I would suggest going onto their website to explore what they have.

Well-Storied Podcast – Kristen Kieffer hosts this 15 minute podcast, which are audio versions of some of her articles from well-storied.com. Below are just samplings of her 50+ podcasts that I’ve enjoyed.

Audiobooks are how I am getting my reading fix on. So far, I’ve listened to what some may call must-reads if you’re interested in writing. Whether you’re starting to write or have something under your belt, these are great.

Anne Lamott – “Bird by Bird –  This was a short audiobook narrated by the author that gives you a push and a reminder to take on your manuscript one word at a time. I think this is a book that talks about the realities of being a writer.

Steven King – “On Writing“- This is also narrated by the author, this also reflects on the realities of being a writer. In the beginning, you hear about how King became a writer. His mini lessons begin after he talks about his life as writer and process of certain books. They are easy to understand and straight to the point, especially when covering the basics. This is a book that writers talk about when they talk about their journey.

I believe with anything that comes with writing advice, I think you should take what you need from the material. Not everything writers discuss is in stone.

Bonus:

Mugglecast Podcast – If you’re a Harry Potter  fan, I hope you’ve been listening to this podcast. If not, this is the perfect time; they all talk all things HP related and Wizarding World. The episodes are about an hour long on average and come out weekly.

Sophie Kinsella – “My Not So Perfect Life” and ” Surprise Me“- When I’ve listened to these audiobooks, I find myself immersed in the story; I listen to these while I work and I find myself laughing during the funny parts and during the emotion parts I feel for the character. Both of these books are narrated by Fiona Hardingham.

Progress Update: A new deadline approaches

Did I finish my novel on time?

No.

I originally planned to finish my novel Dec. 15. However, a graduate school application was due on the same date. In the beginning, I attempted to do both. It was a little stressful; I was trying to rewrite the beginning of Torque as well as finish the current draft.

So I decided it would be better concentrate on making my writing sample the best it could be. During my lunch break at work, I would hack away at it—mostly with editing, making sure I used the correct words and so on.

And those that read my previous post about school, know that it didn’t work out in my favor. So now, this brings me here: a couple of months into the year with a new deadline. March 28, 2018.

MissedDeadline

I’m thousands of words behind my writing schedule, according to the days I marked in the Scrivener app, which are Monday through Saturday. Sunday was intended as a rest day, but not so much now.

In order to combat this, I’ll be dedicating my mornings to writing sessions until the deadline. There will be a couple of days where this may not be possible, but I will make it work.

In the past, when I participated in NaNoWriMo, I journaled about how the sessions went and where I stopped if I had go somewhere. I thought it would be best to pick this little habit back up, just to document how this all went.

I decided to keep the short entries contained to my bullet journal near my new word count tracker.

 

I’m also taking the approach of writing in scenes and out of order. The scenes are things that have been on my mind for months or days and are easier  to get down on the page. This allows me to fill in the blanks and spur motivations to link what’s written.

I should’ve started writing out of order months ago. I am a little over 94K words in, with about 40K to go. It’s a little overwhelming to think about, but I have scenes written down for the majority of my remains chapters.

When the deadline passes, I’ll make another blog post in April about how finishing my manuscript went.

The attempt at an ideal writing day

The idea of creating an ideal day started to stir in my head sometime last year. I originally planned to get a blog post out to the internet then, but it fell to the wayside.

Over the last couple of weeks, I played with the layout (which took the longest), what I wanted to include, organizing it, and other things of that nature. I guess what got me in this process was how to create one with a fluctuating schedule and two separate off days.

It’s easier for me to run errands on off days–these are days when I start writing in the afternoon while I am at my local Starbucks or home.  On my early work days, I have a limited time to get writing done, but mostly free after. I can get through a chunk of my word count goal if I go to work  in the afternoon.

In all this mini-chaos, I decided to have my work days on one page and writing on the other.

IdealDaysSpread

My ideal day for work, left, and writing day, right. I color coded to make things easier to understand when it comes to my schedule. The main layout follows my Monday, Wednesday and Friday work days. Tuesday is indicated with a T next to a color coded dot.

I tried to stick to the routine I normally do when creating this. But now I’m wondering, am I just writing down my routine? What makes this ideal then?

When it comes to writing, getting any kind of time in is ideal. I think when you’re creating your own ideal writing day, or a general ideal day, the root of it is time management. How do you spend your time normally and how do you want to change it, or what are the things you want to hold yourself accountable for?

In the end, I wanted to create something for me to take note of everyday, especially when I say I don’t have time. I’m going to use this visual as a reminder to myself, and hopefully to writers, that it can get done. Even if it’s just on a lunch break.

As writers, we put a lot of pressure on ourselves to reach word goals, get the dialogue or prose right the first time. This is something you shouldn’t stress about. This is something you should use a guideline and keep yourself accountable.

Supplies used:

Leuchtturm1917 A5 Medium notebook – grid, Red

Grid paper – to plan

Marvy Le Pen – Black, Grey, Periwinkle

Sharpie Pen – Fine – Green, Purple

Muji Polycarbonate Ballpoint Pen .7mm with grip – Red

A lesson in rejection

Hey writers,

This is a random post spurred by an email rejection. Yup, you read that right. And it stung.  

At work, I have my personal email up in a tab–I check it when I get into work. After settling into the groove of things, I went to my browser and noticed the blue dot next to the Gmail icon.

I clicked and saw the email. The first line filled in the preview area.

To clarify, I didn’t sumbit a query, I submitted an application to a creative writing program. I thought what I had would get me into the program. The email was general rejection letter explaining why I wasn’t accepted, how it’s complicated judging process, and how the rejection shouldn’t deter  me from writing. 

The email was crack in my confidence–I almost started to cry. I had my thoughts of how it would go if I got accepted. I was ready for that. I was excited for it. But clearly this is not the path I’m meant to go on right now. And that’s ok.

MPhanQoute
I updated the people who knew I applied to the program and they responded with encouraging words. It was helped me feel better. And it also became my fuel to keep writing.

While this isn’t a query rejection, it’s still one nonetheless. It’s something that’s a part of the writing process.

I think it’s ok to be upset for a couple of days or a week about getting a rejection. But as long as you don’t linger on the pain or have it stop you, you will be fine.

Do you what you need to do to move on from it.

And keep writing.