It’s week two of Camp NaNoWriMo and I’m proud to say I’ve made some really great progress!
It’s week two of Camp NaNoWriMo and I’m proud to say I’ve made some really great progress!
Sometimes you know that you want to write, but you have no idea what you want to write about. You’re ready to start writing the next great American novel, but every idea you come up with seems like it’s been told before. In today’s blog, I’m going to cover a few different tips that you can use to help come up with an original story idea that you can use to start writing a novel.
Surprise! I’m teaming up with Brooke Passmore, Natalia Leigh and Caitlin Lambert to do the AuthorTube Book Club! Every month we’ll be reading a book written by an AuthorTuber so we can review it and chat about it later in a live stream. The book for March is Keeper by Kim Chance, so be sure to get a copy so you can read along and chat with us during our live stream on March 30th, 7:30 CST!
I wanted to take the time to talk about two things: who I am now and how I’m going to improve myself in 2018.
2017 has been a crazy year for me. It’s been stressful and exciting and I think 2018 is going to be this times ten. For those who have been following me, you’ll know that I just graduated college. Before I was able to actually graduate, I had to figure a few things out, and one of the biggest things I needed to figure out was what I wanted to do after I graduated. I needed a job, but I didn’t know what field I wanted to work in.
As a self-published author, as someone who’s had to wear a lot of different hats over the years, I’ve come across a lot of different hobbies.
Most of you don’t know, but for my final semester of college, I’ve been working on a bit of a secret project. For my capstone course of college, I chose to make a documentary film on hiking called Life Above Clouds. This film is actually the reason I had to put writing my third novel on hold. Because I bit off more than I could chew. Making this film was the most stressful things I’ve done to date and tested every skill I’ve been working on, from production to marketing of the film to a brand new audience.
Watch Life Above Clouds! Be sure to comment, like and subscribe!
All these different career interests made figuring out what I wanted to do post-graduation really difficult. It wasn’t until I sat down and really thought about all the things I enjoy doing that I saw what everything had in common. No matter what medium I’m working in, the written word, photos, video and so on, I’ve always been telling a story.
When I finally figured this out, it felt like things had finally been resolved. I knew that when it came to job hunting that I needed to ask myself this one question: will I be telling a story?
My goal will always be to make it as a full-time writer, but I have to be realistic. Success isn’t handed to you, you have to work for it. Like I’ve said in my previous video, success isn’t determined by how lucky you are, it’s determined by how badly you want it.
In 2018 I’ve set a few goals for myself:
I feel big things coming in 2018 and I’m not afraid to say this: 2018 is going to be my year. College beat me mentally and physically. I want to re-discover myself, be a happier person, a better person than I am today. I want to be the best writer I can be.
I am a storyteller. Who are you? Tell me in the comments down below! How are you improving yourself in 2018?
It’s been a trip and a half for me as I’ve worked on self-publishing, not one, but two novels. Since I graduate college soon, which blows my mind, I thought it would be a great time to review how things have gone thus far.
Last week I asked you all to send me questions for a Q&A video and this week I’m here to answer them all! Not going to do a blog post today, but make sure to check out the video!
I recently moved into the basement of my house and I’ve been meaning to film a quick tour of my new space and today is that day! I’m super excited because I love all the space I have now! There’s room for all my books, my filming equipment, my guinea pigs, and of course my brand new writing desk!
Have a tour of your own writing space? Feel free to send it to me! I’d love to see it!
Recently I teamed up with Kim Chance to create a new tag, and that’s the Writing Rituals Tag! We each answered the questions, so now it’s your turn!
Watch Kim’s video: https://t.co/b0734bqUvh
When do you write? (time of day, day of week)
I work or have class in the mornings, so I’ve found my sweet stop to start writing is 7pm. My most successful writing days are during the week because on weekends I usually use that time to relax, or mainly have fun. It’s rare when I write on the weekends.
How do you seclude yourself from the outside world?
I turn my phone on silent and plug it in to charge on the other side of the room. If I’m having a day where I’m getting really easily distracted I’ll turn the internet off on my computer as well.
How do you review what you wrote the previous day?
I’m simple. I usually just read over what I wrote from the previous day. If I see grammar mistakes I’ll fix them, but I never worry about anything other than that. If I see a big problem I’ll make a note of it to fix later in the second draft.
What song is your go-to when you’re feeling uninspired?
These days I don’t tend to listen to music as much, mostly because I get easily distracted. If I do need to listen to music, I have a music score station on Pandora that I turn on to help me get into the writing mood.
What do you always do (i.e. listen to music, read, watch youtube, etc.) when you find yourself struggling with writer’s block?
When I have writer’s block I like to read because I feel like my biggest problem when I can’t write is that I literally forget how to form a sentence. I know what I want to happen, but I can’t get the words down. To fix this I read because reading a book reminds me what an actual sentence looks like.
What tools do you use when you’re writing?
Whenever I write I have one book that I always keep by my side and that’s Writing 21 st Century Fiction by Donald Mass. At the end of each chapter, the book has questions to help prompt you to improve your writing so I love using it whenever I feel like a part of my book is too boring. I also have my writing notebook out. This notebook has all my notes on my chapters and chapters and any other brainstorming ideas I’ve had while writing. I use it mostly for characters when I need to reference something about them or their history. I also use it to take notes on whatever research I’ve accumulated that I may need to refer to while writing.
What’s the one thing you can’t live without during a writing session?
Whenever I write, without fail, I will have two Word documents open on my computer. One is my manuscript and the other is the outline of my manuscript. I’m constantly looking back at my outline to see what’s going to happen next and I also modify the outline as needed as I write.
How do you fuel yourself during your writing session?
I always have water by my side when I write. I’m not one for snacking because I find it distracts me from writing.
How do you know when you’re done writing?
I usually give myself a goal for the day. I tend to write 1,000 words at a time, so if my goal is over 1,000 words, I take a break every 1,000 words. When I’ve hit my word count, I pat myself on the back and finish up whatever scene I’m writing.
Monthly check in time! Last month I did a July Goals video and today we’re going to go over my goals to figure out what I did or did not accomplish, and then I’ll be setting my August goals! And don’t forget to enter to win a signed copy of Essence on Goodreads!
My goal of July was to write 20,000 words, meaning my third novel would be 40,000 words by the end of the month. For a moment I didn’t think I would be able to accomplish this goal because I was on vacation the last month of July, but with an hour to spare, at 11pm on July 31st I hit 40,000 words on my third novel! This novel id becoming real! No turning back now!
Become a Re-model Master-
Last month I mentioned I was in the process of moving into the basement of my house. In the basement was an old desk of my dad’s from his childhood. My goal was to do a little remodeling to it and I’m proud to say, goal accomplished! I sanded it down, gave it three coats of paint and new knobs!
Re-Organize Author Website-
I had all the intentioned to re-organize my website, but I got distracted. Last minute I decided before I re-organized I wanted to re-vamp my website and doing that meant re-branding myself and that meant I had to re-design the banner of my website and social media sites. The great news is I love my new branding! Let me know what you think!
My goal was to exercise 4x a week. This goal is laughable. If you’re someone who’s ever moved, you know that after days and days of moving large items you’re too exhausted to go to the gym. So this means I maybe went to the gym twice a week…maybe.
Okay, time to redeem myself! I’ve got goals and I’m ready to accomplish them!
Another month another 20,000 words! I’m confident that I can hit this goal and maybe over-reach…maybe. 60,000 word work-in-progress here I come!
Post 2x a week-
Have you guys noticed I’ve been posting more often? I’m going to try to make this a permanent schedule for the channel and so far so good! Right now I’ve been trying to post every Tuesday and Friday, let’s see if I can keep it up!
Fall always seems to be a great time of year for me so I’m going to try to schedule at least two book signings for the future! Now I actually have a head start to this goal because I may have one book signing already scheduled. If you live near Oxford, MA be sure to visit me at the St. Roch vendor fair where I’ll be signing copies of my book!
Essence has been published for four years! It’s been a long journey, but it’s been well worth it! In these four years I’ve been able to do things I’ve only dreamed of: have a book signing in Barnes and Noble, speak on a book expo panel, be on the radio, be on TV, and so many other things!
I have all of you to thank for making this possible and my way of saying thank you is by giving away a signed and personalized copy of Essence. The giveaway will be through Goodreads and will be for two weeks only.
Read Essence now with the first three chapters for free now!
To help sum up the long road of Essence I’ve created a little video montage for you all to enjoy.