My Writing Journey- What I’m Working On/Thoughts Going Forward

Since I really do want to have writing as my job in the future, I figured I’d start a section dedicated to my journey and where I am. Hope you enjoy following me on my writing journey!

Two years ago, I started a trilogy of young adult, dystopian sci-fi books for NaNoWriMo 2014. Since then, I have been working on the trilogy and last year, on November 1st, I finished it. After giving it some time to rest while I worked on other projects, I am now returning to it for revisions.

The first book in the series is 159 pages long, and contains 79,874 words. It’s probably a bit on the short side but I’m trying not to worry about that right now. I can always make it longer if I need to.

After about a month of lazy editing, (the intense work begins at Camp NaNoWriMo next month, so I’m giving myself some leeway this month), I have hit page 30 out of 159 on my manuscript. I have deleted one character completely, removed another from the beginning, deleted multiple scenes and added a few as well. 30 pages has turned into 26, and I’m much happier with the story and the way it’s written. I feel like, slowly, it’s becoming the book I had intended it to be.

Editing is by far, not my favorite part of the writing process. I personally love writing the first draft. I love it’s creative freedom and the leniency it gives me to write something terrible and know it’s okay because everyone’s first drafts are terrible. But when I get to editing, I often feel boxed up and stifled. There is no leniency anymore, no more freedom. Suddenly, everything has to be good. Everything has to be perfect. You can no longer just throw a bunch of words on the page and call it okay, you have to meticulously organize them. And that’s what I hate about editing. BUT…

I did come up with a new way of editing that is making it a little more bearable. I created a completely new, empty document, and split my computer screen between that and the doc with my manuscript. Now, looking back and forth, I’m able to completely rewrite the entire story onto a new document, which makes it feel kind of like I’m writing a new story, even though I’m not.

It also makes it easier to change already existing things using this method (in my opinion anyway). For example, when I deleted my character, instead of having to find every scene she was mentioned in and remove her from it, I simply have to remember that she’s no longer in it and not include her. I no longer have to find things, I just have to write. It makes things so much easier.

But here come the thing that’s bothering me most right now. Not the editing, not the stifling perfectionism that comes with it, but the thought of what comes after. Once the second draft is done, the story won’t be able to grow without other people’s opinions and I’ll have to get beta-readers which, as a protective writer, is quite frankly terrifying.

And then after beta-readers comes something maybe slightly scarier. Querying.

And IF I’m lucky enough to get an agent, and when that agent then shops my manuscript around to publishing companies, and then IF a publishing company picks it up and offers me a deal, and IF I actually get published, my book will be out there in the world for ANYONE to see! Which ultimately is the goal and excites me more than anything, but… it also terrifies me.

All in all I guess, writing this second draft seems like the beginning of a very long process of scary new things. I’m committing myself to this project in a way that I’ve never committed to a project before (except my very first book but I’m not sure that counts because I was only a baby writer at the time).

I know I have an amazing family and group of friends who will rally around me and support me through every last second of it but still… it scares me.

So I’m trying to take this all one step at a time. Right now, all I need to focus on is finishing the second draft.  And I’m trying my hardest. I set myself a deadline of July 31st and I plan to be done by then.

And when the time comes, I will think about beta-readers and then after that querying, getting an agent, and then publishing. And can we please not even think about a movie deal? *faints*

Most of that stuff is pretty far into the future, if it ever happens at all, so I’m going to try not to worry about it now. If I’ve learned anything about writing recently it’s that it’s one big waiting game. And I just need to take it one step at a time. So that’s what I’m going to do. 🙂

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Camp NaNoWriMo Update (April 2016)

A couple days ago I hit 20,000 words! Yay!!! *throws party and celebrates*

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But unfortunately, this session hasn’t been all sparkles and celebrations.

Up until a few days ago, I really disliked my story. Fantasy just isn’t my genre and I really wasn’t enjoying my book. I came *this* close to giving up, and would have if I hadn’t been so determined not to break my NaNoWriMo winning streak. I didn’t write as much as I should have though and I, very quickly, fell behind.

I decided to just drag myself through though, no matter how tedious and torturous it was. Now I have hit 20,000 words and am actually kinda enjoying the story. I still don’t really know what I’m doing or where the book is going but I am pulling myself through it word by word.

So if you ever think your story is garbage or it’s not working, do NOT give up. Even if it’s the most boring, horrible, tedious experience of your entire life, do NOT give up. Push through the challenge and persevere! You never know where the story might go and what wondrous adventures it might take you on if you just decide to follow it. 🙂

I think one of the best quotes for my situation this month would be this one by E. L. Doctorow-

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It’s one of  my favorite writing quotes and I’ve understood it long before this book but this one gives it a whole new meaning. I barely even know what’s going to happen in the next scene. XD

Some other quotes to sum up my experience so far this month include-

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And this. Lots and lots of this-

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What is words?! What is story?! What is fantasy?! UHG!!!

Fun times…

But anyway! It’s getting a whole lot better and I can now see myself more easily reaching my goal of 50,000! I am starting to understand my characters and my world better and the other day, my MC even surprised me with something I didn’t even know she was capable of!  It’s been incredible to watch my fictional universe and the people I’ve put in it start to flourish and, really, that’s all I need. I can go from there on plot and other things.

I will try to get another update in before the end of the month! If you want, let me know how you guys are doing with your Camp NaNo goals! I’d love to hear about your experience! 😀

I’ll talk to ya’ll later and, until then, remember to keep writing!

NaNoWriMo 2015

Hi guys! I just wanted to do a quick post to tell you how I’ve been doing with NaNoWriMo this year. Yes, it is official. I am participating in NaNoWriMo again! 😀

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Yes, yes I am!

My word goal is 50,000 and last night I hit 25k which means I am halfway there! Yay! I am hoping to reach that goal by the 20th.

I am happy to have more people doing NaNo with me this year. I have so many friends, on the internet and in real life, who are participating this year and it is really fun to have people with me on the journey.

I wanted to tell you a little bit about my project. It’s a contemporary, coming of age/finding yourself story with friendship and a little romance sprinkled in. I have been enjoying writing it so far, even though my characters are being rebellious and straying from the plan. I had originally planned for my MC to fall in love with one guy but she ended up falling in love with another. :/ Characters, am I right?

I haven’t read much in the contemporary genre, and haven’t really written in it either, so I was a little nervous about writing it this November. So I decided to read To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before and finished it a few days ago. It was really good and helped keep me inspired. Now I’m going to read either Fangirl, The Night We Said Yes, or Amy and Roger’s Epic Detour. I stared reading Fangirl two days ago and so far it’s really good, although the third person writing is a little odd.

So far, NaNoWriMo 2015 has been going pretty well for me. How has it been going for you? What is your word count so far? What genre are you writing in? Let me know in the comments! I’d love to hear. 🙂

I hope to do another post about NaNoWriMo soon. Until then, I wish you all amazing luck with your writing endeavors this month!

Camp NaNoWrimo is Here Again

It’s officially the first of July and you know what that means? Camp NaNoWriMo is now upon us! This time around I will be working on two projects. A collaboration I started with one of my best friends, and the last book in a trilogy I have been working on since last November. I am hoping to write at least 10,000 words on the collaboration story, and however many words it takes to finish my other one by the end of the month.

I know this session is going to be amazing since I have a bunch of amazing friends going on the journey with me! They’re all incredibly supportive, encouraging, and are always there when I need them (whether it’s for help with writing or just for a fun conversation). I know that, with them by my side, I will be able to accomplish my Camp goals.  I have the feeling that this July is going to be a month for getting all the writerly things done.

Good luck to everybody participating this month, but a special good luck to the friends who are going on the journey with me (you know who you are). I hope everyone has a great time and gets a lot of words written. If you are participating, and have a goal, let me know in the comments what it is! I would love to hear what you are working on!

Good luck, and remember, no one can write the book you have inside you. Write the first draft with your heart and the second draft with your brain (not sure who said that but I love it) and keep going no matter what! Now stop reading this post and get writing! You can do it!

Writing Update and Goals

Okay guys, I’m going to write a quick post to update everyone on how my writing has been going. When 2015 started, I began to ease myself back into writing from the break I had given myself in December (I needed one, 80,000 words in a month really takes it out of a person). But now I am back into writing full swing. Last month, I signed up for this new website called Write All Year (WAY), which I will link if anyone wants to check it out. ( http://www.writeallyear.patchwork-press.com/ )

In a nutshell, WAY was created with the idea of keeping the community of NaNoWriMo all year round. It has forums, accountability tools, pep talks, and, my favorite, Twitter sprints. It was not created by the same people who brought you NaNoWriMo, and because it just started a few months ago, it’s not huge but, with time, I’m hoping it will grow. Using WAY I was able to keep track of my word count goal for February, and, with the help of WAY Twitter sprints, I wrote 50,453 words in the sequel to my 2014 nano novel.

In the past few months I have been working on the sequel to my 2014 Nano Novel, and editing the first Nano Novel. Yesterday, I signed up for Camp NaNoWriMo and am super excited about that! I’m not sure what I will be writing for it, because I’m not sure how long it will take me to finish my work in progress. I may be done with it by the end of the month. If I do finish my WIP this month, then I’ll probably start work on the third book in the series.

There are also two short story contests coming up that I am planning on entering. It will be the second time I’ve shared my writing with someone outside my small group of writer friends, which is kind of scary, but I’m doing it anyway. 🙂

Here is a list of my writing goals for this year.

  • Finish the second book in my trilogy
  • Start and finish the third book in my trilogy
  • Edit my first Nano Novel and let some people read it
  • Edit my Nano trilogy
  • Start a new book or series
  • Find a way to get my books printed in book form without publishing them          (if anyone knows how to do this, please leave a comment to tell me!)
  • Participate in and win Camp NaNoWriMo 2015
  • Participate in and win NaNoWriMo 2015
  • Start getting my work out there a little more

So, that was my quick update on how my writing has been going and my writing goals for 2015. Feel free to comment and tell me how your writing is going and what your goals for the year are! Talk to you later and, until then, remember to keep writing!