The Need to Write

Writing has evolved over the years for me. It started as a hobby I couldn’t stop doing and it gradually became more serious until it was something I couldn’t help but do. It became a part of me, so much so that it was a necessity. I NEEDED to write.

For a long time I said, “I want to publish for me.” It took me to this year to realize what that statement actually meant.

I remember when I didn’t know how to critique. Where other writers intimidated me and I didn’t want to share my work. I was embarrassed knowing that my skill wasn’t up to par. That I was a slow reader and I hadn’t thought through all my characters and plots like the other writers. What I was missing was confidence. If I didn’t take that first step I would have never started this journey and none of my stories would see the light of day.

Now I have goals and new ambitions starting with publishing. It’s the first big milestone. Write, submit and publish. Lather, rinse and repeat. I’m going to succeed. I have to.

I’m a writer, it’s what I do. I don’t want to write I NEED to write.

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About NaNoWriMo

Hey everyone!

It’s been a while, sorry I’ve been away. I decided to take on the challenge of NaNaWriMo for the 2nd time. I failed of course haha. And I honestly do have to commend anyone who takes up the challenge and anyone who suceeds. It’s incredibly difficult to write 50,000 words in a month. The key is knowing how you function, your strengths and weaknesses, then push and PUSH to finish. My weakness is time.

Setting aside time to continue to write was my problem. I knew I needed to write everyday and logically 1,666 words a day would have been enough for me to finish. But I underestimated my time. I also did not know the field I was writing in.

Not only was this new project in a genre I had never written in before, but it was also very personal. I decided to write a memoir about my Grandmother using her Diary as the skeleton. It was a strange yet beautiful experience writing the origin of not my own birth, but my mother’s. I felt very connected but it was all so surreal reading my “Nana” ‘s diary since she was so close to my own age when she wrote it. But the most challenging part is knowing that the diary only covers three years of her life. The rest I would have to learn from her retelling on the phone, in person or recorded. Hours and hours of note-taking and listening to accurately and cohesively write her life.

So my plan fell apart and I ran out of time. But I learned a lot about my own family history and the beginnings of what it takes to write a memoir. That was worth the struggle.

Lesson learned.

Writing something worthy

As much as I want to publish, I’m also a perfectionist. And fighting perfectionism is completely unfair because there will always be something to fix. I love my story and my characters and I owe it to them, myself and my supporters to make the story worth reading. 

With that being said, writing is rewriting and it’s a never ending process. Writing, reading, editing, takes up a lot of time. So much time. Sometimes too much time. I’ve been writing forever and my supporters as much as I love them, push and push for me to publish. 

I am part of a very small group of creatives and we all support each other. They have all the permission to bother me about finishing because they know me and my world inside and out. They understand the intensity that writing requires and they help me remedy my writer’s block. But for my supporters who demand I entertain them with a finished manuscript it sets a level of pressure that I’m not accustomed to handle yet. As common curtesy, it is rude to ask “when is it coming out” or say “hurry up” to a writer of any kind. As Pat Rothfuss once said, “I rather give you something great.” Because no one wants a half-baked story.

But there is hope! I’m finding time to write and I’m feeling more motivated than ever to get this finished. I love you all and thanks for the support you’ve given me. Just be patient a little bit longer! 

Going back to your roots 

Sometimes I find myself getting wrapped up in the thoughts that surround writing. People’s opinions, page views, followers, editing, grammar and I forget why I started writing in the first place.

I wasn’t made to write. In fact I was a terrible writer, slow reader, C student in English classes with serious phonetic problems as a child. All my friends wrote stories and drew art where I severely lacked in skill and talent. But I continued to write (and draw) knowing I could never live up to them and their abilities to excell in being creative individuals. I only let a select few read my writing and they were the hardest on me. 

Writing, first and foremost is for me. 

Some readers use writing as a tool for escapism. Well, so do I. As a writer I’m telling the movie that is in my head. Sometimes the story is sad, sometimes it’s funny but I enjoyed every plot all the same. I didn’t think about genre, word count, or spelling correctly I just wrote, blindly on the page allowing myself to be taken away by the words. They were easy to understand and I didn’t care if anyone read it because it wasn’t for them.

So why did I start sharing my work? 

One person looked at my hobby and said, “You’ve spent more than half of your life writing. Why not share it?” I was honestly scared. I never posted in forums, never sent drafts, never joined RPs, because I was scared of public opinion. I liked that writing was for me but it was also the only thing that secretly defined who I was. Letting people read what I’ve written, was like inviting someone into my mind and heart. I became completely and utterly exposed. 

Exposure although scary, has been empowering. And sometimes in order to know where you’re going, you need to know where you’ve been. 

Creative mama duck

Imagine, you’re sitting at a table in front of an audience. You don’t know the people in front of you but they want to know you. They are ready to ask the hard questions. The ones you feel you aren’t ready to answer. Your chest feels tight, your hands clammy, suddenly you don’t feel comfortable in the chair you’ve been sitting in for 10 minutes now. Then someone announces that your session is about to begin and the room hushes down  till it’s completely silent. Your throat is dry but you managed to utter “I’m ready for your questions now.” The first hand raises and it begins.

A panel like that is something I dream about. And honestly the act of publicly speaking terrifies me. Or should I say it DID terrify me.

Recently, I was asked to talk in front of the the most judgmental audience ever.

High school freshmen.

(Or at least that’s what I thought.)

My nervousness resulted in word vomit (that was to be expected), but I was honestly surprised at how curious they were. They listened intently, they drilled me about my life, college, and work. I sat in on a whole day and every class was more energetic than the last. Some questions made me laugh, some were very innocent, and a handful were challenging to answer.

When I said my goodbyes and finally headed home I felt– accomplished. Truly accomplished. That my work and words made a difference.

I didn’t realize that speaking like that helps me as much as it does the audience. It builds a special kind of bond I never knew I could have with strangers or KIDS for that matter. I’m not sure how I survived but I hope I inspired at least one of them to continue writing creatively. There was so much untapped talent in the room that their writing started to inspire me! 

I believe in the next generation to help keep writing alive.

My note to other writers out there now, let’s pave the way for them! 

A quick check in

Hey everyone!

It’s been a while since I’ve written a blog post but I’ve been pretty busy starting up new projects and adultering.

Since my last post, I’ve decided to re-read the draft I thought was done, only to realize it wasn’t ready for the world yet. There’s still a lot of polishing left to do on this rock. That was also the first time I was a reader to my own work. I read the entire manuscript and all I have to say is, I’m sorry haha. I am apologizing in advance for putting you guys through some serious emotional turmoil. Who knew writing gothic literature would be my chosen genre! (I’m seriously cracking up at myself.)

On the other hand, Saviors of Souls has been ramping up! Thank you so much for reading! It’s a boost of confidence to find notifications that people are reading and liking my chapters! I couldn’t be more excited to reveal the plot to you guys every month. I hope everyone enjoyed my early holiday surprise 😉

As for my current projects,  I’m a bit scattered and somehow I’m able to find time to work on them. I gave myself a deadline for the pilot to an indie tv series I’m writing. Luckily I’m about halfway…. (Definitely not sure if I’m going to make my deadline but I’m sure as hell going to try!) It’s a completely different style and tone than what I’ve written so far which is somewhat of a challenge. It causes me to think a little longer on foreshadowing and action by showing and not telling.

Ah, a screenwriter’s life.

Ah, an aspiring author’s life.

Ah, a storyteller’s life.

Ah, a broke-twenty-something-year-old’s life

(I’m working on it I promise haha…)

 

And Happy Holidays!

Dingbats and Updates

I’m excited to announce that I’m preparing an ebook of…

“Saviors of Souls Volume 1: The Angel, Oliver”

It will include all the chapters of course as well as official artwork, guest fanart, a character bio of Oliver and a bonus story!

Here’s a sneak peek of what the dingbat will look like inside the ebook.

Oliver_dingbat

 

Inspiration

As I wait for my editor to get back to me I’ve been trying my hardest to stay in the mindset of the first novel in my Heartstring Trilogy, Innocently Precious. It’s been extremely hard to take a pause when all I want to do is start the rewrite of the sequel, Dangerously Sinned. Within this hiatus it’s more about keeping my momentum but not completely losing my interest. So now it’s about keeping my inspiration.

I find reading as important as writing. For a writer, reading is like an artist looking at another artist’s work. It’s different, sometimes better than your own and it allows you to compare and contrast their style with yours. Sometimes it’s completely opposite than your own work but this isn’t about judging or critiquing. It’s about learning what sets your work apart from theirs.

Having adventures and sharing stories is the oldest form of storytelling. (I tend to like this one the best.) It truly feels like a vacation when you’re out exploring the city, experiencing nature, visiting family or friends in other places. It’s good practice in plot progression and explaining emotion, while experiencing new things helps remind you that you are a person with feelings. (I’m not saying all writers are sociopaths but we can be numb sometimes.)

Watching films and playing video games! (I know it sounds like BS but hear me out.) There’s no better way to actually see other worlds with your own eyes than through the magic of movie making and CG (computer graphics). It’s world building practice and seeing things differently especially for costume, culture and color. Another thing to pay attention to is the character development and physical actions by actors on screen. Some are natural and some are awkward. Each style gives different tones which helps with character quirks and attitudes by showing and not telling.

Lastly, keep writing!  Short stories are fun projects for digging deeper into characters or blocking out other stories. It’s also fun to challenge yourself and write in other genres and styles. Hosting creative parties can be fun too. Lots of ideas can spur when you’re in a room of creatives. 😉 -cough saviors of souls cough-

So there’s a peek into my life at the moment! Keep inspired guys!

The hamster wheel at rock bottom

I’m talking about the moment where you feel like you’re not going anywhere.

There comes a point where a plateau happens. These moments define people.  It determines weather a person is capable of overcoming the obstacles that are ahead.

You are your worst critic.

Right? Right.

But sometimes it takes a reminder that they aren’t as alone as they may seem. It’s definitely not an easy task but I’ve seen many people become victims of this hamster wheel at rock bottom, myself included. Sometimes I feel it’s hard to keep a positive attitude about something that isn’t going anywhere. But the same can be said about receiving a critique that hits too close to home. It shoots you down and traps you in it’s net.

We’ve all been there. It feels horrible, it’s even demeaning at times, but it’s necessary.

What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.

Right? Riiiiight.

I like to think of those naysayers as hurdles. In order to get to the finish line you have to get over them.

I’m a realist. So I won’t lie and say that this is easy because it never is. Even though it may seem like you’re going nowhere remember that giving up is truly not moving at all.

Making the Table of Contents important again

The Table of Contents, in my experience is a timeline. It was a tool used to help me find where I left off when my bookmark fell from the book. But recently I’ve seen lesser and lesser of the usage of the table. In fact my editor for the Heartstrings Trilogy seems to think they are obsolete and I shouldn’t have one. Even though I love the tradition of having one there in the front of the book.

Writing Saviors of Souls is an interesting experience for me since this is the first time I’ve written in the drama genre. (Or at least I think this is drama. It seems to have a foot in romance and a pinky finger in scifi too.) But most importantly it’s the first series that I’ve written where the timeline is the driving force. Each volume must be read in the order I’ve written it for my audience to completely understand where the story is going. Versus being able to pick up any volume and have it be it’s own stand alone story. Essentially, each volume demands to be a stand alone story because it’s the point of view of one character. But writing in an omniscient view allows me to follow one character but share the thoughts and emotions of another making it easier to transition from volume to volume.

Which is the exact opposite in the Heartstrings Trilogy where I write in first person and switch POVs. But also allowing each individual book to be it’s own stand alone story. (I would like to think that’s the case. But it is a trilogy so they all have to connect of course.)

Writers’ politics I suppose.

But with all that being said, the timeline for Saviors of Souls is incredibly important in following the story. So why should a good tradition like the Table of Contents go unappreciated? Doesn’t that just mean there could be more confused readers? (In my case yes.)

Although most series are not as complicated as mine…

Well. I did this to myself.