Wednesday, September 3, 2014

IWSG: Brainstorming my novel

It's time for Insecure Writer's Support Group, the most amazing bloghop you'll ever participate in as a writer. If you need to air your insecurities and find others who share them with you or have amazing, encouraging advice, then you NEED this group. So hop on over to Alex Cavanaugh's blog to learn more and sign up.
I got stuck. I was working on a project for Camp NaNo in that I had half an outline for...and when I got through to the place where my outline ended, I sputtered to a stop. I'm usually a pantster, so this road-block was unprecedented. I spent a few bewildered days trying to get started again, worrying that I wasn't writing anything...

Then I had an idea. What if I spent a few nights brainstorming my novel? So I grabbed my colored sharpies and some blank paper and started scribbling. I wrote down things I already knew, things I'd already written about, and then found a few of the things I didn't know yet. And those led to things I hadn't written yet, but that I knew I wanted to. It was a GREAT experience...and a good reminder that not all Writing is about word count.

I haven't added any more recently to my manuscript, and probably another brainstorming session is due. But I'm looking forward to that now.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Insecure Writer's Support Group: Spending time on something you love

It's time again! Time for Insecure Writer's Support Group, the most awesome group out there on the interwebs, if I must say. You can find the linky list to sign up for IWSG here, and if you're a writer you should DEFINITELY sign up. Giving and receiving monthly encouragement from others in the trenches of writing, creating, publishing, rejection, acceptance--the entire roller coaster that is the life of a writer--you don't want to miss out!

My insecurity this month comes from the list of "shoulds" that hovers around me whenever I sit down to do something like writing (or painting, which I also enjoy). I find myself blocking up and not being able to access my creative muse because all I can see is the pile of dishes in the sink, or the giant tumbleweeds of dust bunnies chasing my cats around the house, or the dwindling bank account sending out an S.O.S. for more freelance editing clients.

Some days it doesn't matter. Some days the muse is prodding me so hard that I have no choice but to write (or paint). And I have a few different lines I use to combat the list of "shoulds", but mostly I just want to go hide under my desk, and then I don't get ANYTHING done, not even anything from the list of "shoulds"!

What do you use to fight back and claim your writing/creative time?

Sunday, July 6, 2014

No Day But Today

I got the creative bug this weekend...Friday morning actually.

I was listening to the Rent soundtrack...well, just one song that I owned's the Finale B (lyrics below), so it's a mash-up of the best parts of the rest of the musical...and I just had to get up and paint! So I did, thinking I'd do one painting and put the lyric that inspired me in it. (Yes I paint, but I'm a writer first, so words can feature large in any form of art I do).

Well, there are no words and there are four paintings and I bought the entire soundtrack. It was a crazy, beautiful, inspired morning.

There is no future
There is no past
Thank God this
Moment's not the last

There's only us
There's only this
Forget, regret or
Life is yours to miss
No other road, no other way
No day but today

I can't control
(Will I lose my dignity)
My destiny
(Will someone care)
I trust my soul
(Will I wake tomorrow)
My only goal
(From this nightmare)

There's only now
There's only here
Give in to love
Or live in fear
No other path, no other way
'Cause I die without you

I die without you
(No day but today)
I die without you
(No day but today)
I die without you
(No day but today)

I die without you
(No day but today)
I die without you
(No day but today)
No day but today

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

IWSG: Camp NaNo edition

Hi everyone! It's time for Insecure Writer's Support Group, hosted by Alex Cavanaugh. Anyone can join, so hop on over to the IWSG page for more information and sign up! You won't regret it. Support, encouragement, we all need that, right?

So I don't really have any complaints this week. Which... is huge... usually there's something nagging at me. But I'm letting it all slide off my back right now because it's July, which means it's time for Camp NaNo!

I've been participating in NaNoWriMo for a few years now, and I have to say I always thought those "Camp" kids were kinda crazy. Why in the world would you need/want to do it again in the middle of the year?

Well, I've been bitten by the Camp NaNoWriMo bug, y'all. I had a good idea and a challenge from my podcasting co-host Merianna, and here I am getting ready for Day 2! (Oh, there's an insecurity... have I ever mentioned on here that I podcast weekly about publishing and writing? Check us out: ThinkingOutLoud)

But I'm no newbie, not anymore. I have an outline, a character sheet, and WriteOrDie to get me to my MODEST goal of 30,000 for the month. Not pushing it, just enjoying it... taking the story from start to finish and leaving the rest for revisions.

And we'll leave the insecurities to the revision process.
How is everyone else this month? Did anyone else even consider Camp NaNo this year, or was that just me?

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Summer Solstice Party

I love California. It's been 9 months now and I still love being back in Cali. One reason why is this lovely group of women that I can share magic moments with... moments like these.

I threw a Summer Solstice Party tonight, and we had a blast! I'm so blessed to be able to share magic, food, and fun with these wonderful ladies.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Insecure Writer's Support Group: Only you can know

Hi! It's time for the Insecure Writer's Support Group, created by Alex Cavanaugh. Seems to be the only blog post I can be reliably certain of writing. Well, that's ok. If you're an insecure writer, like me, and you're dying to find a group that will boost your spirits, this is your lucky day! Hop on over to Alex's blog and sign up, then start posting! We're happy to include you.

Feedback. Reassurance. That's what this group is all about.

Positive feedback is awesome. So is the reassurance that you're good at this... that someone wants to hear your story. That someone else cares the way you do about your characters.

But a lot of times you don't get that kind of encouragement until you're near the end of the project. So what do you do while you're in the middle? In the throes of stress and anxiety, wondering whether you're just a hack who can't even cobble together a basic paragraph...?

Me, I do a lot of avoiding, of hiding from my work and finding anything else to do to make me feel successful, confident, better about myself. On the one hand, that works, because I don't have to feel those horrible crushing feelings that the fear of failure causes in me. But on the other hand... there's still this novel sitting there... waiting to be written. Waiting for me to return to it.

At some point you have to make a decision. You can do this. It's your story. You have to tell it. Is it worth it in the end to go through the pain of self-doubt, to struggle with the fear of inadequacy? Only you can know. Only you can say. Your characters, your story... it's yours. And even if you find that the feedback is less than positive and the reassurance is thin at best, you're the only one who can tell it.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Working stuff out

I've been quiet for a while, I know. I'd offer a better excuse, but really the only reason is that I haven't taken time to sit down here and write anything. That includes creatively as well as blog-related. I hope that I will get back on the wagon, soon. Very soon.

In the meantime, I've been spending lots of time hunting my monsters in different ways... like this one: I ran Bay to Breakers yesterday!

Bay Bridge, Morning, San Francisco.

Don't know who this Jack was, but he was excited. I'm on the right.
Next to the bunny...

Friends! Getting ready to run!

I never thought I was a runner... never thought that one day I would run more than 7 miles and still have any energy at the end of it... Apparently that's only mental! Because after working toward it, training and making myself get out there, even when I was nervous and less than confident in myself, I succeeded!

No I wasn't the best. I didn't WIN the race, but I ran it. I finished it. I finished well. I'm hoping to translate some of the lessons I'm learning through running about myself and my will power to the other areas of my life that I love and care about (like my art and my writing).

I'll go into more detail on some of those lessons later... they'll be worth unpacking here, I think.

What do you challenge yourself to do? What puts you out of your comfort zone and teaches you something about yourself?