The Writing Books On Which This Budding Author Depends

The Writing Books On Which This Budding Author Depends

It must be said that I have a pretty extensive library of books, and I’ve begun to add literary magazines to the shelves now, as well. A good part of this library includes books on writing, on editing, on reading like a writer, and those full of writing exercises that keep me from falling prey to the boredom-born monster who goes by the name of Writer’s Block.

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NaNoWriMo: Technical Difficulties

Due to a major arthritis flair-up in my right hand and wrist joints, I only wrote 904 words Thursday and none at all yesterday.  It’s still pretty uncomfortable right now, but today is Saturday and it is officially NaNoThon so I’m going to do some writing!  I plan to catch up and surpass the word count I should be at for today if I have to take double my arthritis pain meds to do it.  That sounds bad actually.  I think I’ll just suffer through the pain, keep writing, and make my word count that way – probably with lots of breaks.  Wish me luck?

Additionally, there are 4 days remaining before the fund-raising challenge is over, and I’m still only halfway to the goal!  So if you want your name or a name of your choosing to be featured in my novel, please donate!  (Click here for more details.)  I’m also not above taking pledges for word count goals: perhaps something like a penny a word?  That seems reasonable.

My current word count is 10,425.  I’ll update later on with my progress.

Good luck to everyone out there who’s currently working toward a creative endeavour.  You are all brilliant!  Thanks for reading, and have a lovely day!

Thanks to some phenominally generous donors, I’m almost halfway to my fundraising goal!

I haven’t quite reached my goal yet, though!  So please continue to donate.  Every little bit helps, from $1 to $100, I’m grateful for every single donation.

PS: If you attach your email to your donation, I’ll send you a handwritten card as a thank you.  You know you want to… I even use stickers and different colored inks to write them.  ^-^

Last night, I sent in my final edit for a short story I submitted to a local literary magazine.

The final decision about whether or not it will be published has not yet been made, but the fiction editor said that he and his team really liked my piece and that it was definitely being considered for their upcoming issue.  I made all of the edits they asked me to make (more or less), and I should find out within the next couple of months whether it makes the final cut.

I’m really very excited, and not just because this is the first piece I’ve ever submitted for publication.  It’s pretty good feedback that a story I really just wrote as a character building exercise for my current dystopian novel is being considered by a literary magazine for publication.

Let’s see how this goes, shall we?

Submission & Rejection

I have recently decided to put myself out there as a writer the traditional way. I know all about the self-publishing paths and I see their merits, but I want more than anything to be published through an actual publisher. So I have begun submitting my work to little online competitions as a precursor. The thing is: I’m not sure how good of a judge this is or is going to be for my writing. I just wanted to see if any of my pieces were accepted by random people online before I submitted them to actual literary magazines.

Perhaps I should be going straight to the literary magazines for feedback? Maybe that’s the better route for someone who wants to be published the traditional way? I know I’m not writing in any niche genres, and that seems the only way that amateur writers are getting published lately… at least the ones about whom I know.

I’m afraid of that rejection letter – the one that says my work isn’t good enough or that it’s weak or uninteresting or common. I know it’s part of writing and that once the first couple are out of the way it will become much easier, but I also worry about finally putting myself out there. Silly, really, when I look at the situation logically because I know that there’s no way I’ll ever get published if I don’t send my work somewhere that might publish it.

Rejection: what a fear. It’s the reason people don’t always chase their dreams, the reason not to tell someone you love that you love them, and the reason so many artists stay in the closet about their works of art. What a fragile thing, the human ego. I think mine could use some more character building via pain. Submissions – here I come!

Write or Die!

For the longest time, I could not remember the name of this site, but I stumbled across it again during another web search earlier.  Now I have bookmarked it, and will be using it every single night to write for the foreseeable future.  

For those unfamiliar with this site, it is a free online resource that pushes you to write your wordcount goal in the time you allot yourself.  It’s quite a useful tool to keep your fingers moving across the keyboard, rather than letting your mind take over and think your story to death.  

 Check it out if you are in need of a little push, or just want a slightly better distraction that actually keeps you writing while on a device still connected to the internet. ^_~

Reading Blocks: One Writer’s Cry for Help

Have you ever just hit a point when you don’t care about the ending of the book you’re reading? It’s not that the writing is bad – it could actually be quite good – you just find yourself uninterested in the ending. I’ve been having that problem with many books, lately. Some were books I’d read before, and loved so I figured I just wasn’t as interested because I knew how they ended (though, I’m the kind of reader who honestly does love rereading a story I love; like watching your favorite movie over and over again, it’s just worth a reread when you’re in the mood for that sort of thing). So I picked up a couple of new titles, and discovered the same problem persisted. A handful of them were by new authors, and I just went back through what I’d read so far in my mind, deciding that the characters were just not grabbing me the way a Sanderson or a Gaiman book’s might; I set them aside with the same disregard for the ending as the ones I’d read previously.

Of course, thinking to remedy my reading problem, I went straight to those two authors, and picked up books by them I had yet to read. Sanderson’s ‘Warbreaker’ and Gaiman’s ‘Neverwhere’ are now sitting in my audio library dormant and unfinished. Why? I’m not sure.

I am well aware by now the effect a Sanderson or a Gaiman novel can have on me. In fact, they are two of my favorite authors, and people of which I know. I love what they have to say both by literary and verbal means. So my apathy toward the characters they’ve created in these books must be stemming from elsewhere.

It could be anything, really. I have read a few short stories (the Nebula Award Winners of 2013, in fact), and found them captivating enough. One is still on my mind at the moment, and I cannot wait to get back to it. However, a novel? I seem to have hit a road-block. I have come up with a few options for this:

  • My tastes in literature are changing,
  • The messages in all of the books I keep choosing are either too predictable or too similar (and thus too predictable to me),
  • My own novels and characters are too prevalent in my thoughts,
  • The stress of life is preventing my attachment to fictional characters and stories,
  • I’m losing my love for reading.

I’ll be honest, if it’s option 5 – I may as well give up all hope now.

The horrible thing is that I’m heading into a semester during which I will be taking three heavy reading classes, one writing class, and one Shakespeare class. I have books I want to finish, and audiobooks to have read to me before then. I don’t have time for this strange reading block.

Not only that, but as a writer I also really need to be reading the books in the genre(s) in which I write. So this disinterest is not only strange, but remarkably inconvenient and a major hindrance to my writing productivity. I’m not sure how to begin to care about reading again – how to rekindle my passion for it – but it is extremely important that I do.

Perhaps I have simply become too disconnected from it due to reading via tablet, or listening to so many books on audio. Possibly it has to do with the fact that I have little time outside of work or off of the train to read, and my distaste for the locations is rubbing off on the stories. Maybe I’m just too tired from recovering the recent bouts of stress and illness to be capable of caring about anything other than my day-to-day routine. And it’s always conceivable that I’m just plain burnt out.

Whatever the reason, I’m currently adding Neverwhere to my extensive list of the unfinished books of summer 2013, and switching to a different genre in the hopes that this will remedy the issue. Yes, I’m well aware of the Mr. Albert Einstein’s definition of insanity:

“Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”

…let’s hope it doesn’t bleed into too many other aspects of my life, shall we?

Thanks for reading my unsettled nonsense, and have a charming day.