Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Nah Nah Nah Nah Live for today

The Grass Roots. Ever heard of them? Yeah, I know they're old school. If you haven't heard their song "Live for Today" go look it up on YouTube then come back. Just kidding. You can look it up later. Anyway, it's talking about how we should live for today and the future will take care of itself. I know that I'm supposed to be working on all sorts of goals, but doesn't it ever seem like it's easy to get lost in them? I have a hundred things I want to be working on. I want to exercise and eat better to lose my baby fat. I want to keep up on my Thai that I worked so hard to learn. I want to own my own home, finish my scrapbooks, cross-stich, get my christmas shopping done early, read X amount of books, finish my manuscript, get an agent, get published, write another book...AAAUUUGGGHHH!!!!!!!!

I get so caught up in everything that I haven't done that I forget to stay in the present and enjoy the things that I am doing. It's so hard to stay in the present and work on my WIP when I'm already planning what I will say on my interview with Oprah about my long, arduous journey to fame. It's hard to enjoy the hilarious look on my son's face when I'm thinking about the laundry I'm going to do, the stomach fat I still need to work off, and the dinner that still needs to be cooked. I also find that I spend a lot of time worrying about things that haven't happened yet, but I have to plan out every possible response to every possible scenario. And then none of the practiced scenarios actually occur. I could have saved a lot of brain power.

How do you stay in the present and not get too caught up in the future?

On a quick side note. Don't forget to visit Jessica Bell and help her with her goal of reaching 500 new followers. Way to go working towards those goals Jessica!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Is Writing Fun?

Ok, so the title seems a little bit obvious. If we didn't enjoy writing we wouldn't do it. It takes too much time and effort to do it for the money (if we're lucky to get any at all), and there are certainly plenty of other things I can think of to do with my time (play Super Mario, read, play some more Super Mario.) Elana Johnson wrote a fabulous post that got me thinking about why I write.

Elana talked about the common phrase, "Treating writing like it's your job." Meaning, you have to be there and do it every single day. You need to have that time set aside for it, and do it no matter what. But she said that she doesn't believe in it. I don't either.

I have goals. I want to have my WIP polished and ready to go in time for the Utah Arts Council Writing Contest in May. However, I've been stuck on my rough draft, not sure where or how to take it (I have my characters in quite a pickle.)

I don't write every day. I work full time at a job that does pay me. I am a full time mom in the evenings when my husband is as school. I have to have a clean apartment or I go bonkers. I have to have clean clothes or I go naked. I'm busy. I'm lucky to get a couple of writing hours in on the weekends. Sometimes I can sneak it in during the week. And then I get stressed. I want to write, but I don't know what to write. I want to write, but I don't have time to write. As the stress mounts, my creativity plummets. I've realized that the more I put pressure on myself to write at every available chance, the more I'm not able to write at all! This is a frustrating cycle of disappointment, and certainly takes all the fun out of what should be something I love to do.  

So, tell me: How do you keep yourself from sucking all the fun and creativity out of your writing? How do you accomplish goals without stressing yourself out?

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Awesome Contest!

Hey, I just wanted to throw out a plug for Jessica Bell's awesome contest that she has going on right now. I think we all know how hard it is to get followers as we begin on our road of blogging. Trust me, I know. Jessica has come up with an awesome way to attract visitors to her blog. She is on a race to get 500 followers by the end of the year, a worthy goal indeed. What good is having an awesome blog if the whole world isn't reading it? She is giving away prizes for those who best help her on this quest. Visit her and get to know her while making new friends and discovering something new about writing. I'll be blogging more tomorrow so stay tuned!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Through the Fog

Oh my gosh, it's been 2 weeks since I've written. Shame on me! Not only that but I've hardly been working on my manuscript. Granted, I'm trying to work through the fog of a head cold right now. And I've been doing research for my novel.
Part of me just wants to work on my manuscript day and night. Forget research, just write the dang thing! And yet, I know that I'll never be in touch with what the people of Salem really went through if I don't. I have to beat back the devils on my shoulder saying, "It's ok if it's mediocre. What is important is that you get it done as fast as possible. Particularly since you don't have much free time, just get'er done."

The book I'm reading is amazing. I am reading The Salem Witch Trials Reader by Frances Hill. It is compromised mostly from the actual documents from the trials and is phenomenal. But it takes time. And it's easy to want to take shortcuts. But there are no true shortcuts in creating a fabulous novel. For those of you who don't know, I am writing a YA novel about a 17 year old witch (yes, an actual witch) who lives during the Salem Witch Trials. And the fact of the matter is, I can't sell myself short. It's frustrating when I can't write a bestselling novel in a week. Dang it all! But there are no shortcuts to greatness.

I just watched a DVD about Switchfoot (love them!) and how they created their latest cd, Hello Hurricane. They cut their manager, producers, music label, everyone, and did it on their own. It took them 2 years to create the one cd. They wrote over 80 songs, knowing that in the end they could only use 12. But they wanted to make sure that it was who they were, what they wanted, and that it would be the best that it could possibly be. Sorry folks, sometimes it takes years to create a masterpiece. It's not a race. There are no shortcuts.

What shortcuts are you sometimes tempted to make?