Posts Tagged Dedication

Capturing Inspiration

Inspiration is a tricky thing. I’ll always remember the night I finished my first novel. It was a meandering, unplanned, angsty beast I spent most of my high school career working on, and I really had no idea where I was going. Then, one Friday night, I watched Empire Records for the first time. As soon as the credits started I turned off the TV, walked over to the computer, sat down, and finished my novel.

That ending took me nine hours and came out to about 15,000 words. By the time I finished, the sun was already shining on Saturday morning. I went to bed, woke up sometime in the afternoon, and realized with a feeling of great accomplishment that, after four long years, my book was finally done. Read the rest of this entry »

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Inspiration through…Deprivation?

Two thousand ten was a great year. Including the completion of my first novel and winning National Novel Writing Month on a second book (oh yeah, and having a baby), I achieved many things in the realm of developing myself and my craft as a writer. But I’m hoping to make 2011 much bigger and better. The long list of goals for the year? Oh, I’ve got it. And multiple novels have made the list.

A Bad Case of the “Januarys”

On the whole, Januarys are hard for me. Sure, I like the idea of a blank slate, a pristine canvas on which to start fresh. Right now I can feel like the world around me buzzing in resolutions – diets, exercise programs, renewed work ethics, high levels of dedication and resolve. But my Januarys always end up feeling like a bad case of the “Mondays”…on steroids. I always say that January is the “Monday” of the year. And it never seems to bring motivation. Instead, all I feel is the pressure of three-hundred-and-sixty-five days to not screw up. (If you think that sounds a bit pessimistic, then you’re right. I’ll admit it.) Fifty-two weeks to create something amazing. Twelve months to make a difference in my life and in the world. (I have big aspirations, can you tell?)

But rather than searching high and low for inspiration like my normal posts would suggest, I’m taking another tactic. I’m not looking for the drive that will get me into gear so that I can crank out my goals. Instead, I’m taking the month to work on honing my focus. Read the rest of this entry »

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Share Yourself

Writing my first book was a huge rollercoaster of emotion. With no training, I jumped in head-first and just went for it. It took me nine months to birth the first draft and in that time, I grew dramatically as a person and found out what it really meant to be a writer. I learned that not only does being a writer mean persevering when it’s work and not just fun, requiring huge amounts of dedication, but it also means putting your heart on the line.

Ups and Downs

When I first started, the adventure was a total rush. Writing felt amazing and I was on fire. I’d fly through fifteen hundred words like it was nothing. Piece of cake.

But then, something happened. As my novel approached 50,000 words (the midpoint for the story), I could feel myself losing momentum. First it slowed, and then one day it ground to a screeching halt. And after a few days…a week with no progress, I found myself in a state of writing depression. Fortunately, I was able to feed from the encouragement of some fellow writers and get back into the game. I even made it to that surreal moment when I was able to type the words “The End.”  But once the first draft was complete, I had a whole new animal on my hands. Read the rest of this entry »

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Discovering Inspiration: National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) Part 2

A few weeks back, I talked about experiencing a surge of motivation caused by the pressure of writing fifty thousand words in thirty days, aka NaNoWriMo. Today I want to share with you the flip side of that intense commitment – the mid-month slump.

Inspiration versus Hard Work

In the beginning, I was writing in a mad frenzy of excitement, following my synopsis, pounding out words like nobody’s business. But there is a much-feared thing that puts dread into the hearts of all NaNoWriMo participants. It’s known as: Week Two (dun dun DUNN).  Along with many other writers, I experienced a case of the Week Twos, but for me it hit somewhere around Day 12 or 13 (and continued throughout much of Week Three as well). It happened when I reached a plot drop-off, the place I’d been stumped in my pre-writing. It was the end of my known outline.

But while I was (temporarily) out of material, I knew one thing for certain: I couldn’t stop writing. I couldn’t afford to waste any time sitting around twiddling my thumbs waiting for inspiration to hit. Somehow, I had to work through it. Read the rest of this entry »

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