Tag Archives: inspiration

Tips for Surviving NaNoWriMo

Yep. It’s November and you know what that means. It’s NaNoWriMo.

I had hoped to get this post out earlier, but illness kind of prevented that, so better late than never, I suppose, right?

It’s the morning of Day #9 and my word count isn’t where I want it to be, but I still have hope.

Having participated in NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) since 2005, I like to think I’ve picked up a tip or two along the way.

So, I’ve decided to share.

Tip #1: Pace yourself. Writing 50,000 words in 30 days may seem like a massive undertaking and leave you feeling completely overwhelmed, but the truth is it doesn’t have to. 1,667 words per day is completely doable, and if you break it down into even smaller goals… say 834 words in the morning and 834 words at night it’ll be an even easier goal to smash.

Tip #2: It’s never to early to kill off a character. In NaNoWriMo… anything goes. I once killed of a main character in the first chapter. Surprisingly, it worked and pushed the other characters forward. Death scenes take up a lot of words. So, does sex.

Tip #3: Editing is for December. Turn off your inner editor. Yes, it’s hard, but completely doable.

Tip #4: Turn off distractions. Procrastinating is the worst enemy to any NaNoer. If it helps set a timer, and turn off the WiFi. Research is fun, but time consuming.

Tip #5: Have fun. Because if you’re not having fun while writing, there’s really no point.

 

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How to Deal with Rejection

1C4CDA24-390A-47D4-A4FC-A2410B9F55B3I hate to say it, but life has gotten busy. Looking for work has taken up the bulk of my time and I’m still no closer to being employed. So, as a result, August has given way to September and Spring is beginning to leave its mark, ever so slowly.

My story Owl Eyes has yet to be picked up, despite sending it out to a few different anthologies it’s been rejected. I’ll likely add it to the pile of stories I’m collecting to put into an anthology, but even so it doesn’t lessen the sting of rejection.

So, on that note I thought I’d share a few ways to deal with rejection as a writer.

1. Try not to take it personally. I know, it’s hard and you’re first instinct will be to take it personally, but do try not to. I promise good things are just around the corner.

2. Allow yourself time to be disappointed. Let’s face it… rejection hurts. Take a moment, but don’t dwell.

3. Have something on the go. Don’t force the words but have something to throw yourself into. Hope springs eternal and you won’t get published if you don’t keep writing.

4. Let it go. Let it go! (Sorry! I couldn’t resist. Hazards of having a daughter who loved (loves?) Frozen. But it’s true. Patience is a virtue and humility even more so. Don’t get angry. It’s no way to have a writing career.

5. Try to get rejected. I know it sounds crazy but you can’t get published without taking a risk and sending your work out into the world. For every two rejection letters you might receive an acceptance letter. How great would that be? A dream come true, I bet.

I hope this list has inspired you to keep going, even if at times it seems hopeless. If it’s has, drop me a line in the comments. If not, I encourage you to also comment, perhaps with your favourite song. You know, the one you just can’t get out of your head? Inspiration comes from everywhere after all.

 

 

 

 

 

When I’m Not Writing

It’s been quite an eventful few days around here and when I’m not writing, I dabble in a few other hobbies. On the odd occasion, I run around in period appropriate costumes and LARP. This past weekend saw me corralling eight children, four of them my own into a makeshift 1890s classroom and attempting to have them learn something.

Suffice to say it mostly backfired and what they really did was get handed a balloon and make they’re own fun, running around in a room that was actually fitted out as a church, while trying to keep their balloons from hitting the floor.

And when they weren’t playing with balloons they were making posters or running off with bandits. Yep, actual bandits! Did I mention it was a western LARP. My accent was non existent, and my teaching skills are a little rusty.

Besides LARP I do occasional get the odd moment spare to put my graphic art skills to use and work on a few book covers. I’m immensely proud of my latest two…

Time  KeeperA6A8B45E-476B-48A7-B924-6CB3C0FD728B.jpeg

and

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They turned out surprisingly well and I’m happy to say both are still available for purchase. I’d love to see them both sold in the not too distant future.

Drawing Inspiration from Dreams

D76EB3F1-B447-4E18-A927-398319F2A838Inspiration can strike at the most inconvenient of times. Often, I find myself drifting off to sleep and then an idea pops into my head, for a story or novel and I just have to write it down before I forget.

Other times, I’ll wake up in the morning or the middle of the night after the most interesting dream, and again I just have to write it down.

Why the hell wouldn’t you?

I know, I know. Drawing inspiration from a dream… It’s cliche, right? But what if it’s not? What if you have a really kick arse dream that is just the right fit for a story? With all it’s untapped potential, you should totally use it. It would be a shame not to.

Now, I’m not talking about making a full blown novel out of one teeny tiny dream , that might not be feasible but maybe you can get some mileage out of it to create a really cool short story.

You won’t know until you try.

I’ve done just that in the past, actually. Other times my dreams have been weaved into a single scene.

That’s the thing about inspiration. It can be found in the most unlikeliest of places. So, don’t go discounting or discrediting your dreams just yet. You might just be lucky enough to find that rare gem.

I have, a few times. So, I’ve written them down, stored for later use. Ready for when, I finally get around to expanding upon them.

Just last night I had a dream where some of my extended family all gathered together on my front lawn awaiting my return. I thought it was weird (and slightly annoying) that they’d come to my house without any prior warning. Upon waking, I still find it weird. But also curious. I can’t quite shake the feeling that there’s a message in this dream, as it was all just a little too real. But I’ll dwell on that aspect of it all tomorrow when I have a clearer head.

 

Writers Block and How to Prevent it

062A0903-0290-4E84-A776-FDB4140EB813.jpegI come across a lot of writers complaining about writers block. They seem to all have one thing in common. How do you overcome it, and even better: How do you prevent it in the first place?

Firstly, some tips to overcome to overcome writers block.

– Go for a walk. A change of scenery and fresh air often brings about new ideas.

– Read a book. Often reading a book written by someone else is enough to trick the mind and get you in the mood to write again.

– Listen to music. Instrumental or songs with lyrics. Either can work.

– Create a routine. I’ve spoken of this before. Writing daily creates a habit, which in turn creates a want to write. A desire to write.

– Journal. Keeping a journal, while not fiction, is still writing and may help banish your creative block. At best, if it doesn’t banish your block, it will help clear your head.

Secondly, some tips on how not to overcome writers block.

– Television. It’s such a mindless activity but I do enjoy several tv shows. So to compensate I watch tv a little less. Or I write while watching tv.

– Refusing to write. While inspiration is one thing, you have to write something. Otherwise the well will just dry up. Don’t just wait around for you muse. Force her to show up.

– Procrastinating. Putting off writing is also not the way to overcome writers block. It’s the way to avoid it completely and counterproductive.

Lastly, the way to prevent writers block is quite simple. Really it is.

Pick up your pen (or go sit at your computer) and write.

And, if you’re still not convinced, try it.

Write about a memory. Write about something you saw while shopping… a person you met. Anything, as long as you write and don’t stop, stick with it. Because  if you love writing, if it’s what truly drives you then it’s better to write something than nothing at all.