NaNoWriMo Update: Week One

Excerpt of Silhouettes of Red (Diff. Font)

Hey there!

The featured image has a quick excerpt from Silhouettes of Red. Please read at your own risk. (:

As promised, here is my weekly update with a citation. My¬†week was exciting, to say the least.¬†It’s¬†my second year participating, and I noticed that my excitement/commitment levels were different this year. I struggled with staying active in the write-in’s that NaNo holds each week, I struggled to write extra (which I had no problem with last year), and I struggled with finding my ‘why’ for this story.

Let me back up a bit…¬†I’m writing a novel which features Edgar Bates. He¬†is a serial killer who has an obsession with blood. It was a story that found me on my way home one day. Thus, here we are.

Now, I’ve had a lot of feedback about what I’m writing.¬†75% of the feedback has been negative. People don’t understand why I would want to write about a serial killer. The other 25% are thrilled to see what I come up with and love my current concept. Unfortunately, the ones who I’ve heard from the most are pesky¬†Nay-Sayers. I really have upset quite a few people with my novel.

With all of that in mind, it’s hard to write something that people don’t believe in. On the other hand, it ignited a fiery passion for me to write it, in spite of them and show them that it isn’t quite what they think.

Thank you, stubborn self. (;

I realized that planning/plotting is not my thing for every novel that I write. It has a tendency to hinder my creativity or place pressure on me to write something. That limits me from completing chapters and moving the story forward and ends up giving me distractions/blocks to turn to.

I have managed to keep up with the word counts. I currently have 11,717 words. Now, that makes me behind for today, November 8th. My goal, after I finish this, is to write my 1,667 words and catch back up. Throughout the week, I overcame the negative thoughts/feedback of others and completed my word count goals. I also figured out some vital information about Edgar.

*Mini Spoiler*
Readers are either going to hate him or love him. He has a kind heart toward his nephew Malcolm, but also an undesirable need to torture (and eventually murder) women. Caution: Character may give you mixed feelings.

Well, that’s my update. It’s a jumble of thoughts that are rolling through my mind. I apologize for the random nature of it, but that’s what I’ve got for you. We’re starting week two, and I’m honestly excited to see where Edgar takes me on this journey to tell his story. I hope that your first week was successful!

Leave a comment on how you deal with Nay-Sayers. If you’re participating in NaNoWriMo, describe what you’re writing about! Oh, and¬†please try to¬†remember, it’s only a first draft. (;

Until next week,
— Shay <3

Journey of Chaos: Writing

Writing

When it comes to writing, I can’t imagine my life without it.

I often think about writing and crave the chance to take some time to do so. My mind considers the many different things to write about, and my imagination soars.

However, when I actually set aside the time to write, my mind instantly draws a blank. The motivation and eagerness that I had before waivers. Granted, it’s not every single time…

Just the majority. (;

What I would like to do is express how I change that thinking process and ultimately, explain how I press forward with my 11 ways to encourage an atmosphere for writing. Here we go! (:

1.) Tell yourself that you’ve got this. Often times, I find that when I tell myself things that are negative, I believe them. So I have been trying to reverse that effect and tell myself positive thoughts. I have the ability to write. I am prepared. I am creative. You get the idea. (:

2.) Take a few deep breaths.¬†Some days, my mind flies. I think about too many things at once, and it’s hard to concentrate. Allowing myself¬†a few moments¬†to consciously take a few¬†deep breaths really refreshes my mind to¬†help me refocus. I accept that time to focus on my breathing only, then another few moments to focus on my intention with writing.

3.) Understand that motivation and determination are different. Tell myself¬†that I¬†have the power to make writing achievable, every day.¬†Here’s what I mean by this… I can be motivated to do something based on my emotions and/or the time of day. Maybe my day was stressful, now I don’t want to write… Maybe my day was happy, now all I want to do is write, write, write! It’s late, I want to write, but I have to get up early, so maybe writing isn’t the best right now… Or, it’s morning, and I think I have a few moments to spare. I think I’ll write.

Determination on the other hand, for me, is setting myself up for success. That equates to me deciding for the moment to do something regardless of emotion or the time of¬†day. I set the bar for myself and then chase that goal to complete it. Think of it like going to work. Maybe you don’t¬†want to go, but you’re driven by the determination to pay your bills (or I am, at least) and get that paycheck at the end of your pay period.

4.) Set up an area that is strictly for writing. Having a personal space all to myself for novel-writing really encourages me to want to go over there. It’s a reward to go to that place and work on something I love. (:

5.) Stay consistent in the writing times that I choose. I schedule out two times a day, minimum, to write for thirty minutes. That’s not so bad when you think about it. Most¬†times, I want to continue,¬†but even if I can’t,¬†I know that I get some writing time the next day.¬†For me, it’s a non-negotiable.¬†Whatever my day holds, these slots of my time are valuable and already set aside for me.

6.) Set up a playlist that inspires me to write. I’m a fan of Audiomachine, Thomas Bergersen and Varien for writing because they aren’t familiars with words to distract me. That being said, I set up a playlist for different styles of writing. If I’m writing horror, I don’t listen to romantic or techno songs. The general gist, if you know, it will help you write, that’s what you should enjoy, so that’s what I strive to do.

7.) Set a timer and have rewards. A lot of people that I know use candy to incentivize a response. I don’t know about you, but I’m not a big candy person. So for me, I’ll set a timer, but once it goes off, I get to do something that I want to do. For example, if I know that I’ve listened to classical music for my writing, then I get to select a song/playlist of my choice for the duration.

In some cases, I will also get to switch my writing location (like go outside, or drive to Starbucks for a coffee/tea). I’ve also placed foods/drinks in the kitchen as rewards but try not to do so much with delicious rewards as that’s not always the best option. I’ve even considered giving myself stickers if I write for the¬†whole time. Everyone loves stickers. (:

8.) Give myself time to figure out what I’m trying to write before I start. I often give myself a few moments to think about what I intend to write. Where am I going with this page? What am I trying to say? Who is involved? This helpful tip came from the owner and creator of #12MAD for non-writers, [check it out here]. When I allow myself to consider the concept I’m trying to write about, it makes it easier to get the message out in the time that I’ve given myself to write.

9.) Decide what I’m going to write. Though I have projects that I’m working on, at any given time, I still have the power to decide what it is that I’m working on for the day. Will I continue working on Open Deception so that people can read it on Wattpad¬†or¬†Figment? Have I added a blog post in a while? Will I write a chapter in my zombie novel from three years ago? Would I like to start a new book or work on a short story? Is there a poem I want to work on today? Maybe I want to write an email to someone or a gratitude letter. Who knows! I have lots to choose from, and as long as I’m writing, that’s the power I like to have. (:

10.) Turn off the internet and/or write by hand.¬†All too often, my writing is distracted by something that I’ve allowed to interrupt while in my process. I have realized it’s okay for me to take time for myself and do the things that I want to do. This includes writing. So if I have to turn off the internet so that I can stay focused with little to no distractions, I will. As for writing by hand, sometimes our creativity flows in abundance when we write by hand. There have definitely been a few different times where I’ve written by hand to complete a chapter I’ve struggled with and ended up pushing through it.

11.) Write with a friend.¬†When I do things with a group of people, I tend to get more accomplished. Whether it’s one person, or three, I stay focused and more often than not, motivated. They may not be a writer (just yet), but maybe I can spark that interest. Even better, perhaps they have something that they have to work on, and they’ve been procrastinating. Ultimately, it opens up opportunities for progressive writing. I can make it a game, a race, a challenge, or even a team effort.

So there you have it friends, 11 ways that I am offering to encourage your atmosphere for writing. I know they’ve worked for me in the past and will continue to present opportunities for the future. What are some ways that you stay encouraged to write? What are things that you do differently? Share your ideas below.

Until Next Time,

 

Shay