My friend sent me this comic from Zoology, and I think it’s just about right. Click to see it bigger on it’s homepage:
This is something that was running around the internet a lot yesterday, but something I’m definitely struggling with of late:
One common thread in many of these is letting yourself be distracted. I know for me, sometimes, I find my best ideas come in the shower. Another one seems to be getting up and going somewhere, whether it’s a walk or Tibet. I think I might just take a walk today, I do spend too much time in the house
I was inspired by my friend’s post on the March method here:
In fact, I’ve had that tab open for, well, a week. He’s right though, writer’s write, and it’s something I’ve been very remiss about. I should be writing whether I feel like it or not, and whether I’m in the throes of hot inspiration or not.
I’ve been in a bad rut of not writing, of late. I’m sure that’s part of why I failed so hard at nanowrimo this year; I was out of the habit of writing. I’ve found, from personal experience, that if you can just get back into the habit of writing, then your muse will start coming round again, maybe even bringing cookies.
When do I write best? For me, either first thing in the morning or late in the evening after hubby goes to bed. I’m married to a noise person who always has to have the TV on or music going, when I need near silence to write. And since my writing space is the living room, it’s not like I have the right to tell him to stop everything.
So, that said, I’m putting up this post and pushing up my sleeves. Feel free to poke me and make sure I’m writing and not fiddling around on Farmville.
We all have those well worn phrases that drives us crazy. Here’s a list of twenty from the bbc.
Cliches are one of those things that it’s easy to fall into for many of us. They are well worn and comfortable and that is just why they are so dangerous and should fall to the editors pen.
Wil Wheaton wrote an excellent post yesterday on the writing process. Well not just on the writing process, but about how he finds inspiration and assurance from other writing blogs. I’m surprised he doesn’t mention Neil Gaiman’s blog on his list, but that’s one I also make sure I read.
First off, yes I freely admit I’ve been slacky on updating this blog. No good reason for it either. So I apologize and will attempt to get back to my regular schedule. I am, however, also starting college next week, so if I am slow, that may be the reason, but I’m going to try anyway.
That said, today I wanted to share a link via Lifehacker: Musician Ryan Adams’ Success Secret.
The article talks about Ryan Adams and his approach to being a musician and a songwriter. Ultimately, it’s simple: he’s being paid to write and record songs, so he writes a couple songs a week. Nothing earth shattering, but truly simple. To quote the article:
“It implies that if you don’t take the simple action, then you cease to be. A song writer who doesn’t write songs ceases to be a song writer. An author who doesn’t write ceases to be an author. A non-smoker who doesn’t keep cigarettes out of his mouth ceases to be a non-smoker.”
Most of us have busy lives and a thousand other things we need to do, or even, we’d rather be doing. Lately I’ve really been learning the value of the fifteen minute timer. There are plenty of busy people who steal hours late in the night to do that thing they truly love doing. Even if sometimes they hate it.
So, I’m sure I can find fifteen minutes somewhere to pull together a decent blog entry a few times a week. Just like I make sure I write every day, even if it’s something I think is worthless, at least I’m giving my muse it’s daily workout. Writing is not about the flash of inspiration, though when it happens, it’s nice. Writing is about being consistent. About sitting down and filling up a page, then the next one, then the one after that. Even if you never see your name on the spine of a book, by doing, you succeed.
My friend Sonja wrote an excellent post yesterday about query letters and offers up one of her own for analysis. She also has links to a couple more like that.
I think need to work on my own query letter some more.
Anyone who has known me for longer then about five minutes knows I’m a lousy housekeeper. Now you’re wondering what that has to do with writing.
I’ve been cleaning house, last week, into this, using a couple of online tools (and pandora), that would be equally useful to the writer.
To me, one of the best tools a writer can have is a simple timer. Feeling unmotivated? Set the timer for ten or fifteen minutes and just write what you can in that time. I’ve found that with writing, ten minutes is a good set for me. I don’t get much more done in fifteen. In nanowrimo we call them word wars, but really you can do them anytime. Like if your stuck on something, or just can’t seem to finish a scene, or are just looking to squeeze some writing into a busy day.
The other useful website I’ve been using is NowDoThis. It’s simple enough. Enter whatever tasks you want to get done, in the order you want to do them. The site gives them back to you, one at a time, with a shiny “Done” button when you are finished with that task. Then it gives you the next one. I’ve realized I’m a bit scatterbrained and I frequently have about five things I want to do at once, which means I’ll forget something or not finish something else. With this I can concentrate on the task at hand and pretend the next one doesn’t exist quite yet. This could be used to as well as a sort of outlining tool.
I know I ended up taking last week off. Promise this week I’ll get back on schedule!
My friend Marna‘s very first book just went live yesterday, it’s an ebook and everyone should go buy it here:
And because Marna is just cool like that and her book lends itself she set up a cafepress shop.
And I should point out my other friend Sonja also has ebooks, you can find those here:
Randy Pausch died a few days ago. I admit I’d never heard of him, or this lecture, until then, but really, you should watch it. It runs about an hour and fifteen minutes. Fantastic, powerful stuff.keep looking »