Friday, December 30, 2005

The year that will be (I hope)

I don't really believe in resolutions, mostly because I've never been able to keep one so this will be my list of goals for 2006 instead.

1. Write. Write more, write everyday, write whether or not I want to. Just write.

2. Submit. To journals, contests, whatever, just get it out there. Keep submitting, even if I get rejected.

3. WRITE. I'm putting this one twice because the most basic, first step of being is a writer is you have to sit down and do the work. This is something I failed to do as much as I wanted in 2005.

4. Stop being such a terrible procrastinator. I cannot put off until tomorrow the dreams and goals I have for today, foremost of which is being a writer. Set writing deadlines and stick to them.

5. Get out all those poems I wrote last year and really look at them. Take the time to rework the bad ones and polish the good ones. Then, see #2.

6. Plan to make more of a commitment to NaNo than I did this year.

7. Finish the novel I'm starting, rather than abandoning it halfway through.

8. Keep my blogs updated.

9. Read more.

10. Stop making excuses for why I haven't done any of the above.

There it is, that's my plan for 2006. I made strides this year but only small ones. Next year, I hope to take giant leaps.

The year that was

The Ups:

This year was the year that I finally got serious about my writing and had a real creative breakthough. I took off the blinders and was finally able to take notice of all the inspiration that's out there.

I had my first story published in September, which was a positive sign that I'm headed in the right direction.

I decided to get organized and went through all the half-written, false starts I had and catalogued them. Doing this one simple thing helped me to generate ideas for other projects I'd like to work on.

I finally got the idea fleshed out for the novel I want to write and I'm getting started on the research.

I started a writing blog, which will hopefully continue to be a motivator for me in the new year.

The Downs:

I didn't write as much as I wanted to, or as often as I wanted to, mostly due to my own laziness. This is an issue I hope to address in 2006

I didn't submit my work as frequently as I would have liked, again, mostly due to my own laziness. I let several writing deadlines pass, purely because I procrastinated.

I abandoned the novel I was working on, despite the fact that I liked the general idea of the story. It just seemed too cliched and overdone so I put it aside, although I may bring it out again sometime in the future.

I didn't finish NaNoWriMo but that's not really a down because I didn't finish it last year either.

I didn't dedicate as much time as I would have liked to poetry, both reading and writing it.

And now.......

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

This may seem kind of silly.....

...but I just discovered a new website, Basically, it's a site where you can read and post affirmations but it also has helpful articles related to goal-setting and creativity. Thus far, my experience with affirmations has been limited to "You're good enough, you're smart enough, and doggone it, people like you" but I thought I'd give them a try, even if it seems kind of silly.

Why do I do this?

Please, someone tell me. Why do I write? Why don't I just give up? How in the hell do people decide that this is how they want to spend their lives? I must be crazy.

Now that I got that out of the way, I feel much better. Submitted a story to Word Riot last night. I love the stuff they publish over there, it's really good, smart writing. It'll probably get rejected but I figured, what the hell. The only way to find out if I suck is to put it out there and see what happens, right? I read somewhere once that the average story is rejected twenty to thirty times before it's published. Jesus, what a scary thought. It's funny how so many commercially-popular absolute crap books get published but there are so many unknown, genuinely good writers out there who can't get their voices heard. Depressing. I must go and purge the evil writing demons.

Sunday, December 25, 2005

Merry Christmas

I guess it's still correct to say that, right? You never know anymore these days. Anyway, hope everybody got what they wanted for Christmas. I'm still waiting for my trio of male strippers to arrive.

Happy Holidays!!!!

Thursday, December 22, 2005

With regards to my earlier post....

....I don't know if anyone saw or cares, but last night Daniel Franco was booted off Project Runway in favor of a man who strongly resembles General Zod from Superman II. I'm a little broken up but I'm trying to work through it.

But what I really want to do is write

Pretty clever title, eh? Eh, at least I thought so. So anyway, it occurred to me that since I started this so-called writing blog (Hey, that's pretty catchy, maybe I should change the title to that.) my posts have been about all things writing, just not my writing. So today, I make an attempt to change all that.

So what do I write? Basically, if I had to pick a genre it would definitely be fiction but after that, things start to get blurry. I like to think I'm writing literary fiction but I'm not a literary critic so what the hell do I know? Sometimes, I think I'm writing women's fiction because a lot of my characters are female and/or deal with female issuse but I really hate that title. Also, some of the stuff I write is similar to southern gothic but that sounds a bit scary, doesn't it? So, I've just decided to call it socio-comi-tragic-women's-lit-fiction, which doesn't sound clunky at all.

Yes, but what do you write? Now that I've got that out of the way, I feel like I should talk about the actual work. Basically, I have this big notebook I call my Writing Bible where I write down all my ideas and then I just pick one out and go with it. This is how I get most of my ideas for short stories. I do have two ideas for novels, one of which I've written the first few chapters of, the second of which is in the outline stage and has been for several months now. My big plan for this blog was to post chapter excerpts from them here but so far, I've been a bit lazy. Anyway, that, along with several other things, is going to be one of my writing goals for 2006. I figure since I didn't have any for 2005 and just half-assed it most of the way, having at least this one is a major accomplishment. I don't know if anyone reads this blog or not, but if there is, I hope to be giving you something to actually read here soon.

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Help for the hopeless

So, if it hasn't become clear already I am the queen of procrastination. I consider writing an awful, dirty chore but I'm trying to turn over a new leaf, since it's almost the new year and all. I wanted to set some specific writing goals but wasn't sure how to measure my progress and a beacon of light shining through the clouds I discovered Peder Hill's website. It's part-writing blog, part-writing guide with tons of writing tips as well as excerpts from his work in progress, Dreaming Underwater. The most useful thing I found was a book tracker which tracks the amount of time you spend writing, your average word count, etc. and graphs it so you can chart your progress. You can download it here and save it to your computer in Microsoft Excel.

Friday, December 16, 2005

A list....

....of things I recommend

1. reverb - This is an online journal I came across today. They have lots of good stuff to download, including this article.

2. What Should I Read Next? - This is an online database for booklovers. You create a list of your favorite books and the site will generate suggestions for other books you might like.

3. The Creativity Book : A Year's Worth of Inspiration and Guidance by Eric Maisel (or any other book by him for that matter) - Full of tips to help you move your creative projects forward. Buy it here.

4. 13 Ways of Looking at the Novel by Jane Smiley - A great book about becoming a better writer through reading. Get it here.

5. Writing quotes - I found a great collection of quotes covering every aspect of writing here.

6. The Chronicles of Narnia - Best. Movie. Ever. (Although I do have a teensy little crush on the faun.)

7. - Lots of ways to procrastinate when you should be writing.

8. Rufus Wainwright - Because I love him.

9. Pugs - Who doesn't love pugs?

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Quote for the day

"Writing a book is a horrible, exhausting struggle, like a long bout of some painful illness. One would never undertake such a thing if one were not driven on by some demon whom one can neither resist nor understand. - Winston Churchill"

I think that about sums it up for today. I've been so busy working I haven't had any time to write or post or do anything but there's this voice in the back of my head screaming "Write! Write!" and so, that is what I must do. Just wanted to pop in and update the blog so I don't look like a total slacker. I have three days off starting tomorrow so hopefully, I'll have something more interesting to post in that time.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

In unrelated news.....

.....Season 2 of Project Runway has started and I just wanted to say...

I Love Daniel Franco!

Thank you, that's all.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Aargh, Part II

"I was working on the proof of one of my poems all the morning, and took out a comma. In the afternoon I put it back again." ~Oscar Wilde

This is exactly how I'm feeling today. I'm thisclose to being finished with a story I've been working on for a month and it's driving me crazy. I tend to write rough drafts really quickly but editing takes me forever. I usually end up writing ten different versions of the same story before it's done and sometimes it doesn't even resemble what I started with. I tend to overthink and exhaust every single possibility before settling on an idea and even then, I'm never 100% sure it's the right way to go. Thinking is just as exhausting as the actual writing for me, that's probably why it takes me so long to get anything finished. I'm getting pretty sick of my character by now, which I consider a good sign that I'm almost done. Aargh.

Sunday, December 04, 2005


I got up early this morning specifically so I could sit down and do some writing before work and here I am, surfing the net aimlessly. I woke up, thinking about what I wanted to work on and it looks like I won't even get to it before I have to go to work. I am definitely having an I-can't-do-this-who-am-I-kidding type of day which makes it so hard to get motivated. Does anyone else ever have this? I am such a terrible procrastinator and I know it's going to bite me in the ass one day. I've been thinking about applying to a creative writing program just so I'd have some structure but I always hear such bad things. Really what I need is someone to stand beside me every minute of the day and say "So shut up and write already!". Ok, Ok, enough complaining, I'm going to go and WRITE like I said I was.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

About me

It occurred to me that I didn't say anything about the kind of stuff I write so I thought I'd put up the following link:

It's a short story I wrote for a contest and so far, it's my first published piece. I like to write short stories although I do have a novel in progress that I plan to post excerpts from. I also write poems but I won't subject anyone to those just yet. Anyway, happy reading.

Here we go again

This is my second attempt at keeping a writing blog and I'm hoping it goes a little better this time around. Basically, I just wanted a place where I could write about writing, if that makes sense. I first started writing about three years ago and this past year, I've really gotten serious about it. Hopefully, this blog will help to keep me writing, one word at a time.