Devastating

The one thing that writers can’t Stand!

So the other day I was typing away and suddenly out of nowhere my computer flashed red. I rushed to the other side of the room, grabbed a cord, dashed back, hooked up the charger AND…. nothing. My charger decided to tear on me plunging into death. For normal people this isn’t a huge problem.

But when you are trying to finish NaNoWriMo, on a strict schedule, with only paper and pens, it isn’t going to work! Out of pure hate I cursed the world, asking God “why me!?! Isn’t there someone else you can pick on?” I was lost that day among the sorrows of what writers dread most.

Let me just say I freaked out, and this wasn’t a normal person freak out, but a writer’s freak out. You see writers tend to be a little crazier in the brain, which explains all of our great ideas, but this also means that I was living in a psycho universe.

I yelled, I cried, stomped around like a five year old, held my breath hoping someone would change my predicament. I thought it was the end of the world, or at least my world, and I didn’t know what to do.

Although, that was just the first day. Now the second and third days, something very strange happened. It was like I had been stuck in my house for FAR too long, and I had become one of those crazy people that neighbors steer their kids far away from. When I finally went outside I began to do stuff.I hung out with friends, went for a ride, and talked to my lovely neighborly strangers

Yes, it’s true. Over the last three days I have become a normal person. Someone who is almost sane, actually. There wasn’t any writers block fits, no emotional baggage with my characters, and certainly no stress with the deadline.

My head was clear today, and it felt as though the three days were casting magic over my fingers, because I could write as fast as a demon can fly with wings. Which is to say it was pretty darn speedy.

The point I finally understood today, and possibly why God (or the creator/Divine/ Etc.) placed this horrible event upon me, is we need to take a break every once in a great while. Its halfway through the challenge, and there is no way we can all stay sane if we don’t have a break. So put away your laptop, take a breather, and enjoy the bliss of life. Even if it is only for two days, it will help you more than you know.

Until next time,

A. Willow

NaNoWriMo Tips- How to finish your novel

Good Day Everyone,

Today I will be giving you a few tips on how to finish your book. It’s NaNoWriMo season and everyone is struggling to keep pace in this very timely race. So look for examples below and I hope you find an answer to the difficulty you are  facing.

1. I can’t seem to get past chapter 5 because I don’t know if the first few chapters are good enough.

Leave it up to the girl who changed her beginning 10 times before I perfected it. Listen carefully and closely, you must move on my friend. I never would have finished my book if I was only dwelling on the first few pages, because in reality you don’t actually know where your story is going at this point. Sure you might have a rough idea, and it may not be fitting into your image. But you have to move on. Writing takes on a life of its own, and stories make up their own minds as you write. If you don’t move on you won’t actually know the heart of your story. And remember, its easier to create a beginning once you already have a middle and end. You know everything about your book at this point and that will help you find the “perfect” beginning.

2. I have writer’s block. I don’t care what others say, it exists and I have it.

Well my dear friend I am in agreement with you, and trust me this is a very hard road to travel. For pointers it really just depends on your own style of getting back into it, and how you inspire yourself to continue. Here are a few pointers that I have learned work for me on occasions like this.

If I’m feeling uninspired and can’t think of what comes next, I will watch a movie that reminds me of my book. When the actors are playing out the scene that is the most dramatic, I feel my heart lifting and my hands are suddenly ready to type again. Its that surge of adrenaline that helps me find my writers focus again.

If I have no idea how to create the part that’s next there are two things you can do. You can either skip that part for now and hope it comes back to you or you can get out into the world and explore. Tell you friends and family about your book, and ask them for ideas. I’m sure they would be more then willing to help (but don’t go to a dramatic person that would say you stole their idea, or would rub it in your face 24/7 and humiliate you). If that doesn’t  work go out and just watch people, listen to their conversations, just feel the world around you. The only reason you may be missing a piece in your work is because you haven’t experienced it yourself. Like for my story I had no clue what to put in the middle of the book when a new character came in. Now, after meeting a boy (blush), I finally figured out he was the type of character I was missing. I had never been close with someone like him, and he really helped me see that character I’ve been secretly hoping for. So get out in the world, do things you never would do and experience.

3. Okay I’ll admit it. I’m scatter brained, but that’s the cost of being a wonderful author. Your mind is zooming and you can’t finish one work to another.

I have issues personally with finishing one book at a time. I start so many ideas and stories, but to be honest I never seem to be able to finish them. Yes I now have two books down my belt, but for how much I write I should have ten! My brain scatters and I can’t focus on one series. So I picked up a few tips that may help.

If you have an idea write it down. Yes even go a little further and imagine it. Suddenly, as if lightning hit you and gave you a wonderful idea, you keep finding yourself going along with the story unable to stop. This is good. Great even, but tell me, is this  the story you want to send out to publishers and agents? What book do you want to finish? You need to push yourself to finish one book at a time, just one. You need to force yourself to think about the book, and be apart of that book in order to stay focused. Becuase if you get a new idea every night that is just going to cause chaos in the mind and you won’t ever be able to be an author. So I want to tell you to respect the new ideas, and to fold them and put them in their designated drawers neatly, but don’t get carried away if you want to finish something else. You need to be able to think reasonably and make sacrifices if you want to finish a book this November.

Okay, I’ll admit it. All of these were issues I’ve had in the past. I don’t know what you are going through, and I don’t know if you need more help. So please leave a comment below if you need help with something and I can certainly leave you with a wonderful tip that can hope fully help you along your way.

A. Willow

The Instance of Gold

What is it to us if people view our work? Does it actually matter how many hits our site takes, or how much recognition we get from fans?

The answer is yes, it does matter. Everyone wants to be noticed whether they want to admit it to themselves or not. It’s the way our human minds work. To feel respected and honored at finding out that people appreciate all the hard work that we do.

Because, my fellow bloggers, we do work hard.

We follow our dreams whether it is writing, painting, or socializing. We step foot into a world where no one else dares to go, because they see it as foolish and not the “correct” way of life.  The biggest thing that separates us is that we have a dream. A dream to be bigger, and greater, than we are right now. To achieve what seems to be the impossible, but we know deep down in our hearts that our dream is true.

Can you feel it. That raw energy coursing through your bones as you do the thing you love. Writers getting a sensual high when they’re on the brink of a tremendous idea, just like when painters feel the rhythm in their brush as they paint the flowers.

It may take time for you to notice it, or for you to find the one thing that makes up your dream in life.

The reason I’m bringing this up on this very special day is that I have finally found my purpose. I’ve known for years that I wanted to be a writer. Storming the impossible book industry that is incredibly hard to break through.  It was today though, while I was sitting in class that I realized I don’t need to follow the “correct” way of life anymore.

Why should I waste my time learning things that I don’t care to learn about. Why shouldn’t I focus my energy on figuring out the book industry now instead of learning about the history of a writer who has been dead for over 100 years?

For many, we may feel the pressure to follow the way our societies want us to go. They may force school down your throat, or shove a big paying job in your hands, and tell you to be happy because you are successful….

But is that truly being successful?

Because if you aren’t able to do the one thing that makes you happy, is that a success!?!

I’ve learned through life, as a creative person, that I don’t belong in the social majority. Writing should be my life, and it WILL be my life all because of a dream to be great.

I’m not trying to tell anyone that they need to quit school or leave their jobs, but what I’m trying to show you is that just because it’s the norm, does NOT mean you have to follow the rules.

Rules are made to break. And when you finally see that your heart and soul are with you on this journey those rules will vanish completely.

Follow your heart and know that with each step you take it gf-heartbrings you closer to your dreams.

Am I Meant To Be A Writer?

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Are you prepared to come face to face with the one question that has tortured the best of us? Wondering if you are good enough to make it in the world of writing. There never has been a question so vile and yet so beautiful to your soul.  At the beginning this  question made me toss and turn in bed until the light began streaming through my blinds. This question tortured me as I finished my first book doubtful of its worth. I always thought I writing came naturally, but I never thought I was meant to be one until now.

You may ask me, “How on earth do you know you’re meant to be a writer A. Willow? Did God come down and tell you this is what you are  going to do? Did He already plan out your life so you know you’ll be comfortable financially?”

My answer to you is a bit long, but the short answer is this “I can Feel it!”

If you are unsure of if you want to be a writer in your life, then listen close. I will reveal what it takes, how hard it is, and what your life will most likely look like.

I have researched to the point of exhaustion, and I am still learning everyday forcing myself to learn about the writing world. The truth is making it as a writer for a living is hard work.  If you write beautiful stories, if you structure a poem perfectly, or even if you think of the greatest character in the world, if this comes to you naturally then hooray for you. But that won’t be enough!

The writing industry in this decade is excruciatingly hard to be apart of and even harder to be successful. That is why I am trying to show you that if you are not already working hard then you need to. It’s just like everything else in this world,  if you don’t work for it you will not get anywhere.  It’s not just about writing every day, it’s about promoting yourself everyday.

I learned from a very helpful book  that you are your own marketer. You are the best person to promote your work, sell your work, and find the best agents, publishers and etc.  So to put it blatantly, besides working hard to write everyday, the hardest part is to promote yourself everyday.

In future posts I will tell you how to promote yourself.

The next thing you need to know is that writing can take a toll on you emotionally as well as mentally.

You may begin sending out your works, start a blog you think will generate popularity quickly, and even read out your poetry expecting a huge applause. Now, when I tell you this next part I truly wish the world worked different. It saddens me to say that more than likely these beautiful things of recognition, appreciation, and excitement for your writing probably won’t come right away. People will reject your work, your blog may start off with no followers, and you may not get a standing ovation and just a few scattered claps from the audience.

This is normal. Yes, I just said that you are a normal writer, but don’t be offended. Most of us start off normal, and must gain enough experience, and/or followers to witness all the beautiful things I mentioned above.

Yet again this has to do with building your platform, but to build your platform you need to understand that you do begin at the bottom no matter how awesomely fantastic your work may be.

Writing doesn’t just take talent, it takes a lot of time, energy, and sometimes even emotional stress.

Hopefully I didn’t scare you away by telling you what it takes to be a writer, because the overall outcome of writing is rewarding.

It may be different for everyone, but I want to tell you why I want to be a writer. Honestly there is no one answer that will tell you if this is the path you should take, but I can give you one definition of knowing.

If you feel like writing is your life, a part of breathing in and out, the sense that life fades away as soon as your pen touches paper.That is when you know you are a writer.

Writing for me is like writing out my soul. Feeling the words mold into my heart and I breathe them back out into the air to tell everyone about what I am experiencing.  There is no feeling that comes even remotely close as I type words onto a page. The reward is the feeling of beauty and wonder as you see your work. Creating a world in your head and exploring it as you find it on your page.

Writing is a gift only a few of us have, but it’s the ones that pursue it that are truly magical. You may be a writer at heart, but it takes a warrior to become a writer in this world.

Do you feel that warrior within you?

For me I don’t have it everyday, but I am struggling to bring that warrior to my everyday life. Please let me know if you feel the warrior within yourself, and what you find helps you overcome the challenges of being a writer.

Your blogging friend,

A. Willow

Move On To Write Long

We writers have all been there before, the horrifying truth that you are, in fact stuck. You are unable to keep your words flowing, and you can’t seem to think of the next step. Some of us may call this writers block, and most of the time it is. There are other times though, when you just feel dry, like you’re sick of writing the same story over and over again.

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What I’m here to tell you is to MOVE on.

It does us no good to just stare at our computers for hours trying to think of the next big step you or your character must take. What’s important is that you keep writing.

Getting stuck on a certain piece of your writing may make you angry, and impatient to finish, but what I have learned is that when you push yourself to finish a project even though you aren’t feeling it, the story is going to turn out horrible!

Trust me I have done it many times. Staring at the page without a thought in my mind is torture, but what is even more treacherous is reading the end result after bulldozing through. To help you through this, I have something I would like to share.

There’s a secret I’m going to tell you about myself that might frighten you, but could eventually help you along your writing careers.

I am one of those people who have a million thoughts zooming through my head. I have so many ideas for books that I begin to start a few chapters into a new book, but then stop after the first day. At first I thought this was my downfall, because I’m also the type of person who likes to finish what I have started in a timely matter. (In other words I’m impatient and I don’t like a jumbled mess of projects- it distracts me too much). I have realized  over the past few years of my writing that this also helps me.

Let me explain.

To have more than one project to work on isn’t a bad thing. It helps you move along fluidly in your writing life. Yes, it might be a bit of a mess, but it sure helps you write longer.

If you are stuck on a story and it’s the only thing you are writing on, then you can’t do much practice now can you? With more projects its easier to move on from where you’re stuck and continue to write what you love. As I have mentioned in earlier posts, there are certain ways to help you with writers block, or ways to help your creative juices flowing, but this is probably the most important to a writer.

As we all know,

The more you write, the better writer you become.

Isn’t that our ultimate goal, to become the best writer we can be?

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If you need more help on writing, look around at my different posts. If you can’t find what your looking for feel free to ask me a question in the Thoughts box below.

As always, I love listening to everyone, so don’t be shy.

A. Willow