Made the Quota of 10,000 Words, Finished a Book: Thanks NaNoWriMo!

By day 6 we should have done about 10,000 words for NaNoWriMo. Now that’s hard when you think about it.

I didn’t start off too great, maybe clocking in at about 250 words by the third day. But I am going to tell you now, that if you are slacking you can still catch up. I clocked in today at 10,772 words because I am making it my goal to succeed.

You see, I have a lot of book ideas, and about three unfinished books in total. Well today I accomplished more than just word count, I finally can limit those three books to two. I finished a first book to a trilogy, and feeling ecstatic and impatient  to edit, I know I must wait, because as of right now the second book of that series is at 19,000 words. ….Lets put this together shall we. So if I finish up on my 40,000 words that are due then I will certainly have that other book done!

It’s about time I have had this change. I’ve been slacking with my goals as of late. I just write what I feel and lately that hasn’t been enough. You need to push yourself to write the parts that you may not necessarily like in your book, but are necessary for the plot.

Thanks to everyone for participating in NaNoWriMo, you have given me inspiration to finish what I started!

 

The Writing Monster: Why NaNoWriMo will be the End of Me.

In the past I have mentioned how tremendously hard it can be to beat the clock, but now that its November those posts seem like nothing. NaNoWriMo is here, and it is blowing up in everyone’s faces. Do we have the time to conquer this new quest or must we fall like every other year?
Fight  I say. Today I am skipping the day…not on writing but on life. I am dedicated and will finish this book if it is the last thing I do.

I can see it now, by the end of the month I will be typing so ferociously, and so intensely that not only will I forget all of my bodily duties, but I will become one heaping hot mess. My clothes will be scattered across the apartment, my hair will be in tangled knots from my uncleanliness. My showers will have been forgotten as my mind glazes over and can only focus on one thing- the screen.

My hands, typing so fast, will grow dry and cracked. It should annoy me to the point of putting on lotion if I am in a sound mind, but at this point I would be too far gone. My school will be put on hold, throwing away my very education. The place I call work, may very well be a foreign mishap when I forget to clock in mentally.

There is no telling what I will become, but today is the start of whatever fever I am catching. To stop the world around me is what I am conquering today. Forget the real life I amcurrently living in and delve into the world of my characters. This is the way I must be when writing. If I want to finish NaNoWriMo, and if that wonderful book truly is going to be great.

The risk of being a full time writer is that you have to start thinking like one. Let go of the world and enter the forbidden fortress of your mind. There the creature of a dark world enters your soul and all you are left with is a beast on the outside. For the people that watch you fall into this realm they will be scared. They will witness before their eyes a monster coming out and replacing the person they once knew.

Don’t be scared of this place my friends, it’s a necessary part if you are to participate in NaNoWriMo. Because this month is beyond the possible and in itself is insane, YOU my dear writer must meet its match and become the abominable creature you never knew lived within yourself.

Wish me luck. This month I’m tackling the impossible and you must remember, nothing should be more important to you then your writing if you are  going to be successful.

…Well with a few exceptions of loved ones of course 😉 Please don’t ignore your child or spouse, that’s just asking for a sorrowful chaos to last longer then just our precious November.

As always feel free to comment below, and tell me about the monster you have seen come out of its shell this month!

A. Willow

 

NaNoWriMo: No More Excuses!

I know how your feeling at this moment when people mention National November Writers Month (NaNoWriMo). You were at first all in about a month ago, but now, a few days into November, you don’t know where to start.  This is what happened to me for the past two years and I get stressed, and upset that I haven’t started, so I put up a block and don’t start at all. crest-bda7b7a6e1b57bb9fb8ce9772b8faafb

Being a writer means that you have to get used to setting goals for yourself. This month is just a national set up to help all of us writers stay on track. I find it to be a very strong community, and once November hits there is so much help on thousands of blogs that you can’t say you didn’t know how.

This October I visited a site that made me think of something. All my life as a writer I have only accomplished to finish one book. although there have been many close reads, and many ideas for stories, all I am left with is a jumbled mess of unfinished stories. So I thought that if someone can finish a manuscript in less than a month then why can’t I finish what I’ve already started?

Writing is hard because goals are a necessity. We brush it off saying “Yeah, I don’t have time to write today”, but when you do that you are limiting your time to finish anything. The less time you spend to write, the more likely you will NOT be successful for your career as a writer. Sure, there are a few wild exceptions, but those lucky few were only lucky or had a REALLY good platform.

Most of us aren’t so lucky, and we must work to achieve our goals. So I want every aspiring writer to take out their keyboard, pen, or pencil and write until your arm feels like its going to fall off. We have to celebrate this month for the respect of our writing community as well as for the respect you have for yourself.

So when you have friends nagging at you to come out, and no matter how tempting it is to sneak off into the night use this excuse,  “I have a goal set for myself that I respect, and NaNoWriMo isn’t going to wait around for me. ”

Say this to yourself while your in the shower, at work, playing a board game, and as soon as you get free time you need to write write write. There is no waiting around for this, because soon it will be the end of November and the outcome is either you have a full manuscript or you don’t.

Thanks for reading and I hope you find the inspiration to keep writing away.

A. Willow

(Feel free to leave comments, questions, or concerns down below and I would be happy to get back to you.)

Change

Change is inevitable, irreversible, and necessary for every living thing. We all must age, everyone changes their perception, but the change that seems to matter the most are the changes we make on our own. woman-moving-boxes-istock-de

Today while I was packing, trying to figure out why on earth I had decided to move, it hit me. We all must go through change, but its our own choices that make us grow. We chose to walk a different path. We wanted to move on from the life we were previously living, and most of all we wanted change.

Although I have to admit, it can be really scary. Thinking about my life financially, friendships, and family really made me nervous. It affected each of them in different ways, and I didn’t know if I was making the right choice.

But if I stumble and there are a few mistakes here or there, that is okay. If for some reason this move doesn’t work out, and I’m left crying about the separation, I know that, in the process, I will be GROWING. 

I laughed at myself with this thought as I taped a box and set it on top of my small stack.

Think about it in these terms, and if you are a writer or avid reader then you know exactly what I mean.

Each protagonist in a story is going to change. The characters that grow are the ones that you view as your heroes. Now think about the villains or the ones you don’t like. Change seems to affect them very little if at all. That’s because a villain is set in his/her ways and they don’t want to grow.

This shows us that as individuals we want to see ourselves as well as our heroes grow in life. You cannot love a superhero if he keeps fighting the same battles and making the same mistakes over and over again. You would get frustrated and say “didn’t you learn anything from last time?”

So if your writing a story, or reading a book, look for this in particular. If you dislike a certain character this could be the main reason.

I will admit, I did stop packing to write this post, but I felt the need to tell everyone what was running through my mind. I want everyone to see that we all must grow in order to move on with our lives and learn new things. It may be a scary step, and possibly not in our choice to make, but the outcome will be well worth it.

Thank you for reading, and I hope everyone can begin to see change a little differently. Comment below if you have any thoughts, or feel free to tell a story about what changed you.

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.

Writer Appreciation!

This post is to my fellow writers I have interacted with online. I would like to thank everyone for being brave enough to put their work out there and show the world what we can do. Today I will be dedicating my time to showing everyone the fascinating things I have found on the web within the past week. They are all blogs and I hope everyone can get a chance to support and create that sense of strong community I know we have.

Blog 1– The first I would like to show grabbed my attention as a fantasy genre writer, but after looking at the picture it became much deeper. Not only did she write a wonderful expression of what we need to do when we are going through pain, but she also gives a drawing she drew herself. I loved this combination, and you are my #1 for the week! Keep up the good work Emily, and show everyone your wisdom of getting past the hard times. Feel free to look her up at  Emily’s Remedies at Life is Pain

right corner - purple

Blog 2–  The next blogger is someone whose writing spoke out to me. She has written a book that I am planning on reading soon, but after reading the first few chapters I fell in love with the way she writes. Please visit Bledel Brook’s  blog Live’s I’ve Lived and check out her book on Amazon. Its about overcoming hardships of a young girl growing up into a woman.

Blog 3– A simple father that warms the heart of all of us. Short poems make it an easy quick read, but they stay in your heart and soul for the whole day through. Click on the  The Happy Husband and see what a father can produce through love and caring affection.

Blog 4– The last one of the day is another poem. This specific poem shows us that we may not like the person on shattered-mirrorthe other side of the mirror, but we should handle with reason and not a brutal force of destruction. You should visit the blog Saleem Dreams and the poem Self Reflections. And take a look at his other poems as well.

Thank you fellow writers and dreamers for sharing your hard work with the world. I chose you specifically because I found inspiration in each of your posts. There is a light that shines, and shows that human beings can overcome the dark side of ourselves. In this world today, too many people are falling to the darkness, and I find these writings refreshing. There is hope, there can be change, and there is love out there. We just have to go out and find it!

Please let me know any thought, comment or question you may have. I like talking to aspiring writers, and would love to grow my community with you!

Your community friend,

A. Willow

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

Getting a New Slice of Life

Hello Blog Followers,

I would like to say thank you for supporting me and my blog in the past. Although you may have been here before it looks much different now. I did  change my “cray cray for Ya” to “The world of A. willow”.  And here is why….

I felt that the young adult topic was too limiting. I was working with too many blogs at once, and now I am bringing them all together in one wonderful package. I am still an avid Young adult reader and writer, but now I will be posting new things along with the YA topic. These include: poetry, very short stories,  tutorials and help on writing, and just about how my day is going. This in the long run will help you keep better track of me, and I will be posting more often.  

Also with a new name I am getting a new vibe. Blue is cool and relaxing, and I felt it was better for my site to half a water vibe of calm, cool, and yet still energizing. 

Feel free to comment below about what you think, and if you like or dislike this new change. Thanks to everyone and I hope you all have a good day!

Sincerely A. Willow

 

Having Dialogue Anxiety?

Hello fellow writers,

For some of us dialogue comes to us easily and it’s the first thing we think of. Others of us may struggle with certain words in a phrase but know the basic idea of what we want to write. Then there are the unfortunate who don’t have a clue what the characters are going to say.

I have experienced all three of these in the writing of my books, and I’m here to give you some helpful tips as well as advice on why it may not be working for you.

When it comes down to dialogue and getting it right really depends on how well you know your characters. So please take this into consideration as I give the examples below.

Scenario 1: You know exactly what your characters are going to say and can write out conversations easily-

Congratulations! This means you know your characters very well, but you still must be careful. When you start getting used to your characters word choices you can become redundant and continually say the same things over and over again. Don’t worry though, first write everything out: finish the book, chapter, or sentence that’s in your head. Although, to avoid a catastrophe of words you must go back after a long break, and reread everything. You may be surprised how many “Aha’s, So’s and But’s” you find consistently within a chapter.This is when you must reshape and mold the words so your dialogue can flourish.

Scenario 2: You kinda sort know what you want to say, but you kinda sorta need help.

All you need to do is write, write, write. Even if you don’t know what your characters are going to say exactly, the best way to figure it out is to write out the scene. Even if the dialogue doesn’t match your characters personalities you know what is going to happen. This action forces you to get everything off your chest and its the editing part that can get a little difficult. Look over the dialogue and just continue to edit until you get your characters voice. Although I must warn you, if you try editing ten minutes after you write it, all you are going to do is frustrate yourself and be thrown into a dark place you won’t want to be in. My advice to you is skip over this section if you want to continue writing, wait a few days (a week is best) and then go back and think as hard as you want to on the dialogue. It’s never good to get dialogue anxiety and the best way to avoid dialogue becoming your enemy is by leaving it alone for a while.

If that still doesn’t help, and you can’t even write out the scene then you my dear friend are having writers block. Its at the point where you know what you want to write, you know how you want the scene to go, but you just can’t think of how to write it out.

If you need more help on writers block please visit my other posts that will help you more thoroughly:  Writers Block and How to Handle it.

Scenario 3: Your characters are elusive and there is nowhere you can go without saying to yourself, “Dang, I know what he will do but how the hell does he respond to this?”

Dialogue is hard enough as it is, but when you don’t know your characters as well as you should dialogue nearly becomes an impossibility. Think of it this way, when you are talking with a friend or a family member, you always seem to know what they’re going to say . Are you psychic!?! Sadly, your probably not. You just know that person very well, and if you know your characters well you’ll know what they’ll say in any situation. Your characters need to become your best friends, your family, and the people you know best. If you don’t know them well enough then you NEED to.

My best advice for you is to go explore the world. If someone you know acts like your character go become their best friend for a week. If your character is like a TV show star then go stalk them for a month (the character on TV, NOT the actual star. I am not encouraging you to go lurk outside someones house!) If you don’t have a clue  on anyone who is like your character, then you have to go take risks and adventurous endeavors.

For example:photo

If your single go date people you never even thought you would be interested in. You don’t have to be into them, but I will tell you this. Dating someone is going to let a lot more doors open for you then just listening in on conversations. When you date someone you get very personal and hopefully honest with the other person. You begin to notice their little quirks on the third date and possibly even learn why they’re tormented by large dogs.

Here is why I know this can work.

For about a year I was stuck on my second novel in my series. I knew what I wanted the protagonist to be like, I knew what skills he would have, but I had no clue how he would react or what he would say, because to be honest I had never met a guy like this before. Then one day an opportunity arose and a guy asked me on a few dates. To be honest I wasn’t completely into him, but I thought why not give him a chance.

That chance turned into me finally being able to step out of my writers block and write-write-write until my book was finally complete.

Meeting new people gives you the chance to meet the character you never knew!

So whether you are stuck with what to say, or if it comes fluidly, you must look over every detail. Get out into the world, listen to conversations, and explore. Dialogue may not be your top priority but it’s very important to your book, short story, or novel.

Struggling Through the Abyss of Time

Hello Fellow Writers,

Today I will share with you a problem I have been facing over the last six months. I have bashed myself down time and time again because I simply tell myself, “I don’t have any time to write.”

Is this statement true for me as well as for you? Do you feel that time is your enemy with your studies, work, family, and friends that you are unable to make time for your writing?

For some this is a daily struggle, others a few times a month, and a few that hardly have to worry about time. To those of you who don’t worry about timing Hurray to you! but for the rest of us time-crunchers, here are a few of my thoughts that may help you as well as me.

imageThe way we writers must view things no matter how busy we are is that time doesn’t stop just because you’ve stopped writing. You may want to be a big famous author or poet one day, but here’s the thing, if you aren’t writing you are stuck in time. The literary world isn’t going to stop the busy route it’s taking and slab you on the best sellers list.

You have to work for that all on your own.

You won’t be handed your accomplishments, instead you will have to work for what you want in life. We as writers must MAKE time everyday to write, we must make time to market ourselves every week, and we most certainly have to send out our works at least once a month. You need to start being that annoying writer who never takes no for an answer. Get your name out to the public, the publishers, and the literary agents. You need to imagine yourself as a persistent hornet, striking at every opportunity you are given.

Praying to God, talking to your friends, and writing when you simply feel like it isn’t going to be enough.

In america we have this sort of motto, that you can do anything you put your heart to, AS LONG AS YOU WORK YOUR TAIL OFF!

There are no tomorrows without the beginning of today, so start getting off the “another day” train and begin writing today!

Write, write, write.

Work, work, work.

And Advertise yourself.

I know that time might seem like it’s out to get you, but honestly only you can take time by the shirt collar and hold it down to go in the direction you want. Time is not completely our enemy, it just takes the courage to becomes friends with it and make it a frenemy.