How-To: Survive Nanowrimo

Also known as Survival of the Fittest.

30 Days. 50,000 Words. (I wish every single one of you good luck.)

Nanowrimo is here! And that means writers all over the world are boarding up their windows, locking their doors, and ignoring all further social interaction or human contact. Starting today, writers will start their long journey of 50,000 words by the end of the month. That adds up to about 1,667 words a day! Phew, that’s a lot of work!  Continue reading

Finding Time to Write

Writing just is not getting any easier.

One of the hardest things to overcome as a writer is finding the time to write. Because, truth is, life is in the way. Jobs, family, friends, college, and anything else in your life that just keeps blocking your keyboard, the way to your imagination and writing. We do not all have the time to write ten thousand words a day. Which is exactly why there are tips and tricks to finding the time to write.

Here are some tips to finding the time to write:

1. Commitment. As a writer, there is a lot you have to commit to. It is almost like selling your soul to the Devil once you release your imagination and become a writer. There is no going back. Which is why as a writer, you have to be committed. There are no buts or ands in the world of writing.

Taking the pledge as a writer means always sticking to what you do best. Which is writing. You always have to remember that. Staying committed will lead to success. But if you do not commit yourself to the world of writing, well, let’s just say you will not be too successful.

2. Your schedule. Our schedules are constantly packed tight. Meetings at work, going out with friends, or just being lazy for once. What you can do is you can tweak your schedule a little (just a little) to make a little time slot to write. Take some time out of exercising at the gym or catching up with friends to commit yourself to writing an hour a day. Though your schedule might be packed from one end to the other, you need to find just a few minutes in a day to type up a storm cloud of words.

3. Set a goal. Goals are always good. Setting a goal is always a good idea. After finding the time in your schedule to write (see above), you will need to set a goal. How many words you want to write, how long you want to write, and what you are going to write today and what you want to accomplish. Making a goal of writing five thousand words in an hour and successfully completing one chapter will bring you closer and closer to slapping “The End” onto your novel or short story.

You can also set a bigger goal. Such as when you would like to finish your book. If you want it finished by December, sort out how many words you will have to write a day to be able to reach your goal on time. There is nothing like succeeding. And, let’s not forget, if you fail, try, try again.

4. There are going to be those days. You are a writer. You are going to have those days when you feel lazy, or burnt out, or your inspiration seems to have been sucked right out of you. And that’s okay. You do not always have to write. Take a break, a deep breath, and just relax. If you go too fast, you are going to tire yourself and your brain out. And we wouldn’t want that, would we?

Take a day, or a week, off. Replenish yourself until you feel better and ready to write again.

5. When life gets in the way. That is another obstacle, isn’t it? Life gets in the way with everything. We cannot spend an entire week on our laptops writing or scribbling away at our notebooks without life coming back and snatching you away. Don’t become a social recluse or ignore family and friends just because you want to write. If life gets in the way, do not ignore it.

6. Words. Ah, yes, words. Aren’t words what make us writers? You are going to need words, so always keep a dictionary or your phone near you in case you need to look up a synonym for beautiful or you need a word that means repulsive.

7. Write. This is probably the most important advice of all. There is nothing else to say except write.

Write

Also, I would like to thank the Dollar Shave Club for this amazing opportunity. I really appreciate it.

If you have not heard of the Dollar Shave Club, they are this amazing organization that supply razors (handles included) for a low monthly fee ($1, $6, $9.) How it works is: You pick out a razor, then select your monthly fee, and the Dollar Shave Club will send the razors to your door. It’s simple, easy, and no trouble.

The Dollar Shave Club shaves both time and money, and that’s super-awesome in my opinion. 🙂

Dealing With Writer’s Block

There is only way to describe writer’s block. . .

It isn’t easy. It isn’t fun.

At least once in your writing career, you will find yourself facing writer’s block. And it won’t be easy. You’re bound to hit the brick wall sooner or later. And it will suck, bad.

Writer's Block

What’s the cure to writer’s block? I’m still figuring that out. You might never experience the stone wall that will one day appear in front of you. Or maybe, you will. And when you do, you are going to be so frustrated and angry and annoyed that it seems writer’s block will never go away. An incurable unfamiliarity, you think. But one day you’ll figure it out.

It is only through the wisdom and experience of writer’s block that you might never have it again. A trial that will tire you out, take away your inspiration and your alacrity will. . . disappear. There is no other way to put it.

Just think: you had it all. The plot, the characters, the setting, and then it all comes crumbling down. All because you slam into an invisible barrier called writer’s block. And you’re allowed to hate it. Writer’s block is hate-able. Not at all hard to despise and hate.

You’re a writer, right? So why should you experience writer’s block?

Easy. Writer’s block is a common “disease” that spreads around in writers’. You suffer for a bit, then you pull yourself together. You have to. After all, it’s no good to sit around and whine about writer’s block. There is a way to fix the problem, to make it all better and make the big scary wall go away.

You can make a road plan. Plan out where you are going with your story, where the characters’ are going. Figure it out, and the retched writer’s block might not be so bad.

Still, you’ll have your moments.

I Got Nothing

Emma Stone

It is going to take time, but all you have to do is force that wall back and make it through. You’ll figure it out and soon you won’t even remember writer’s block. It is a matter of time, though, before you get through it. At first, you will be upset. Then you will lose all your inspiration, and after that, you will want to scream at your blank computer screen. Calm down, though. Writer’s block isn’t so bad.

Sometimes when you write so fast and furious and it’s nonstop, you run out of fuel. There’s a thing that gets you going when writing, and you might just drain all of that out of your system after writing 30,000 words in a week. So take a step away from the computer, tablet, or typewriter, whatever you write on, and take a deep breath. Take a little break from writing. Pile up on some books to get your inspiration and motivation going until you are oozing ideas and a fabulous writing attitude (sorry for the mental image.)

Just take a minute to breath, away from Microsoft Word, or some other writing program you use. Relax and let all your brain muscles relax, drink in what you’ve accomplished, and don’t worry about how many more words you have to write. Or your deadline when writing a novel. It won’t help. Inhale, exhale, inhale; you will feel better in no time.

Have you ever had that steam come out of you when reading? Where you read through three hundred to five hundred books in only two days? That’s what you might have lost back when writer’s block hit you upside the head, instead, in this case, it was writing. Refuel your system, and writer’s block will disappear for now. Just do not overdo it like last time.

You also have to understand what writer’s block is. Writer’s block is when you do not know what to write, or how to continue your story. You might open the floodgates for a few days and the story will practically write itself, until you burn out.

Don’t neglect your writing. Best to press the pause button until you are ready to press play again.

For me, it’s been the past year I have had writer’s block. My ideas are squash (translation: they suck), and all my stories fall right through the floor, into the pit of my other hundreds of thousands of book ideas that failed to impress me and inspire the wheels in my brain to work. Perhaps I need to take my own advice. Perhaps I need to take a step back and stop trying so hard to write something good. I have been forcing myself to write something magnificent, something intelligent with amazing characters and sinister villains and witty dialogue.

Don’t force an idea. Let the story evolve and write itself. Let it bloom from a seed to a beautiful flower in your mind until you are ready to sit down, place your callused fingers on the keyboard, and write like never before. All of the writer’s block is gone. For now. Hopefully forever.

Go toward writer’s block with a headstrong attitude and surpass the challenge before you.

Finding Inspiration

Finding inspiration for a book is hard.

But think of it this way. Books that are written start off as a seed that naturally will grow to become something big and something great. Just wait and you will see.

There is the first little idea that you have when writing that stems out into this full-on story. It can start with the idea of a character, or characters, or it can be a simple idea such as (example) an apocalyptic world where civilization died off in the year 3054. Or it can start with the first words that the book will have, or a conversation between characters. Either way, writers find inspiration somewhere, something that kicks them into full-on writing mode.

Lightbulb

Some writers get their inspiration visually. You could go on Deviantart or just cruise the internet until you see a certain picture and, boom, you have a story that branches out into so much more. Some writers might get inspiration from their everyday lives, something that they do everyday or on most days and it just clicks, becoming the perfect idea. Other writers get ideas from other books, a certain sentence of quote that just gives them the little light bulb above their head! Another kind of way of finding inspiration is writing fanfiction.

Like, for example, Fifty Shades of Grey started as a Twilight fanfiction. Now it is a #1 New York Times Bestseller.

Inspiration comes in all kinds of ways and forms. You just have to find your groove and wait until that big idea comes to you, whether it be from an ordinary walk in the park, or something very, very exciting. The inspiration for your story might come today, next week, or next year, but one day that big vision will slam into you, jam itself into your head, and you won’t know what hit you.

What inspires you? Ask yourself this question and wait for the answer.

Either way, finding inspiration for your story is important. How else can you start a story? How do you get ideas for your story. What’s your inspiration? Is it visually? Is it in your everyday life? Did it start as something else?

But sometimes you do not find inspiration. Sometimes you just have to start writing and see what comes to you. Allow your mind to open up and your crazy imagination to take over (trust me, it’s there.) Let your mind that is blank with ideas be filled with all sorts of wild images and absurd ideas.

And then, when the time comes, find your inspiration and start writing.

Inspire