It’s that time of year. New things can begin, old things can be discarded, renewed or scrubbed up for another try. Are you a resolutionist? I am but my resolutions have changed over the years. I used to have very definite goals, like lose thirty pounds, exercise every day and so on. Now, I’m a bit more realistic. I resolve things like eat healthier choices of foods, move more and so on. Hey, if nothing else, I know myself.
One thing I always disliked about New Years, eve in particular, were the expectations. I always wanted to go to parties like the ones on tv. Boisterous, hearty and so on. And any get together I went to always fell short, maybe because, at heart, I’m a recluse and big celebrations also make me a little nuts. As I grew older and tried to find those celebrations, I grew to dread New Year’s Eve. Then I realized, I was making myself unhappy on a day when I needed to celebrate another beginning. So, now I celebrate the new year in a quiet manner. I read, write, drink something I enjoy (hot chocolate, spiked coffee, wine) and enjoy my own company or the company of a few friends and family. And guess what? I have a wonderful eve and a great New Year’s Day.
However you celebrate, whether you are a social animal and party hearty all night, or you are like me and enjoy quiet celebrations, I hope you had a wonderful eve and have a wonderful day!
I love the British way of saying Merry Christmas. I suppose it’s the uniqueness of it but it’s also the feelings it evokes. Happiness, merryment, joy. I’ve always found Christmas magical but to be honest, the magic is getting more difficult to capture as the years go by and life interferes. Work, busy home schedules, and reality serve to try to interfere with the joy of the times. I think that may be why movie channels like Hallmark and Lifetime and their never ending movies are so popular. For me, movies like this are refreshing to a point, but I love the music. Every year, I have to listen to Nat King Cole’s Christmas Song. It connects me to my long past father, who loved jazz and Nat in particular. I listen to Christmas hymns like Oh Holy Night, which is my fave inspirational song. It never ceases to send chills down my spine. And I sing silly songs, like Rudolph, Jingle Bells and so on. When I do this, the spirit of Christmas returns, sneaking up on me or flowing over me like a warm breeze. I’m so thankful for the talented lyricists and musicians who wrote these songs over the years.
May the joy of the birth of Christ and all the trappings of Christmas bring you and yours joy and warm breezes of feelings!
I’ve noticed a few things readers and writers have in common. A love of books is obvious, the smell, the magic of words. But there’s something else that is so much fun! It’s the little trivial things that we find in reading. Ever time I get together with avid readers and other writers I hear phrases like, guess what I found or, I was looking this up and… We love trivial or not so trivial facts and figures. I routinely pull up the google feature of my computer or phone just to answer a question like when toilet paper was developed or who the writer of a particular song that is running through my brain is. I have always been super interested in finding the little things in life, even back to when I used to get to read the dictionary and encyclopedia when my class work was done. I know, I’m a nerd! But proud of it. Now, with the internet making facts and interesting tidbits so easy to find, I am wallowing in the pleasure of triviality. Don’t be surprised if I start spouting facts, fiction and other nuggets of interest (or not) on my page in the future. Oh, I have to go look up something!
I’m not going to blog today but share this article about finding the time to write. I admit it. I have a problem with using excuses about working during the day and having job related things I have to do at home. This article is one I’m saving and going to reference now and again. It’s chock full of ideas of how to find the time! So, here goes, the link to the article is below.
What was I thinking? Sorry, small rant here. I work a day job that often entails home based evening report writing. After eight hours of work, followed by two or three of report writing, I really hate the idea of sitting in front of a computer even to write my stories, which I love. So, I’ve been trying other things, such as composing long hand, dictation while driving in the car and doing other “writerly” things such as editing, researching and so on.
First to the idea of writing long hand. I have several friends who write their first draft in long hand and then use the time they spend transposing it to computer as their first read through and edit time. It doesn’t work for me. I’ve found through this test that I think faster than my hand writes. I’ve ended up writing some in long hand when away from the computer but when I transpose it, I end up having something different. I spend way too much time editing my long hand for it to be successful. Next!
The attempt to dictate the story into my phone while driving was not successful. Thank goodness I didn’t have a car accident but I quickly found that if I’m concentrating on driving, which is highly recommended on the interstate and in the city, I don’t concentrate on my story, and vice versa. That experiment lasted all of two minutes before I declared it a failure. On to the next idea. That of using my writing time in other pursuits.
I’ve been able to research, further outline and attend to my story in other ways but it doesn’t result in words on the page. That’s my goal and it looks like that will still be my weekends and the odd evening I’m not spending the majority of my time addressing my day job stuff. My friends and I have a history of meeting in a chat room and sprinting for a couple of hours two to three times a week and that helps with my writing a lot. We’ve started this practice again after several years’ hiatus and I’m hoping to carve out those nights and dedicate them solely for writing on my projects.
So, dear reader, I’m not going to be able to follow June Faver’s excellent example of writing every day on my fiction. I will, however, spend every day addressing some aspect of my writing, whether it’s to write in this blog, work on my newsletter, write fiction, or try dictation in the comfort and relative safety of my own home. At least it I wreck, it’ll only be over my sofa!
I went to a writing retreat this weekend, in hopes of getting away from my regular chores and getting some serious words done. I didn’t do bad, I got a total of 1623 words so far, including the synopsis and storyboard. I didn’t get as many words done as I wanted but I did get some plotting done, with specifics about my hero and heroine, so it’s all good. One other thing I did get accomplished this weekend is that I found a dictation app for my smart phone that I want to use. I do a lot of driving during the day for my work and that can add to my writing time, as well.
The realization for me is that every day is not going to be a thousand word day, like when I’ve had to meet deadlines. I have to be comfortable with each and every word I get.
It was tough getting to writing tonight, after a busy day at work and mowing the lawn, but I remembered this accountability and worked to finish my plotting synopsis. I also worked on my storyboard for the project, a novella. Altogether, tonight I wrote 707 words.
I like using a synopsis to write down the progression of the story in larger terms. I try to hit the main points of the story and writing them down in a short one page synopsis has always seemed to work for me. I know a lot of people find synopses a chore but for me, it helps clarify my thoughts.
I also use a grid for a storyboard to plot out the turning points for my novels. The important stages of the story, where everything changes for the characters are something I’ve struggled to achieve in the past. Doesn’t everyone have the sagging middle? Drafting a storyboard helps me avoid that.
Well, that’s it for tonight. I’m planning on actually starting the novella tomorrow night, so hope for more words.
Total for two days:
A working synopsis
A working storyboard
A total of 1141 words.
I worked then mowed part of the back yard (battery mower gave out before the whole yard was mowed). I spent too much time on the internet and got sleepy before I started writing. I did start my story and got 242 words in before my eyes started to close. Total words for the week are: 1383. Going to bed. Tomorrow will only check email before starting to write!
It rained today, so no yard work after my day job. I didn’t play as much on the internet but it appears to be a hard habit to break. I finished the first part of a scene tonight and got 568 words with a four day total of words of 1951. I’m heading to a local writing retreat tomorrow evening, so hopefully will get some real word counts in by Sunday.
Making this commitment to write everyday and especially to document it has brough the accountability to the forefront for me. I do best when I have external deadlines (those set by others rather than by myself) so maybe this will help me to be more self starting.