Archive for the ‘Inspiration’ Category

I have five minutes to write this before my job starts. I’m very ADHD and always have to be doing something so voila, blog post!

All I have to say is I think I have successfully made the conversion to morning person. How did I do this, you ask? It was easy when I gave myself an activity I was excited to do in the morning: writing.

I read a book called What the Most Successful people so before breakfast, and it sort of inspired me. It made me realize that the morning could be one or the, if not the, most productive part of my day.

Since starting to get up early in the mornings, I have not been interrupted once. Nothing has come up to force me to stop writing. That’s because no one does anything in the morning, which makes it the perfect time to get important personal goals out of the way, before the needs of others get in your way.

I have to say I’m a believer in the all powerful morning now. Besides, it just feels cool to be doing stuff before everyone else! It’s great to start your day advancing your goals right off the bat.

What do you guys think?

Well, yesterday was an interesting day. I got laid off from my boring and not ideal job where I have been working for almost two years. I thought I still had a couple more months on it at least, but in a way it’s a good thing. Working there did not give me much of an incentive to try to find something else because I had found a way to live with it, even though I knew it was not good for me.

Now I’m in a position where I have to find something else. Only, I don’t know what that thing is yet. I would like it to be writing, but that is not too realistic at the moment, and I will have to put in a lot more months (maybe years) of hard work before it is reality.

I know there are jobs out there I could very easily get, but those are not the jobs I want. I know they are the kind of jobs that would suck my soul dry. No one really wants those jobs, it’s just a matter of circumstance.

Yesterday was also interesting in the sense that I got my return edits back from my professor on Apocalypse. I glanced through them and there were some good comments made. I also had twelve sells yesterday, which is way more than I usually get. I have no idea if it was a fluke or if it will stay at that rate. I had about four sells by the time I heard the news before lunch at work, so I don’t think it was just people on Facebook or whatever after finding out about me losing my job. I tweaked my blurb a bit, but it’s hard to believe that more people would buy my book just because of that. Also, my professor wrote a stunningly amazing review, which you can find here.

I’m a little bit afraid of the future, because it is unknown. I do know what kind of job I would like to have:

1. Something that allows creativity (preferably writing).

2. Something that allows interaction with other human beings (who are not yelling, complaining, etc., at you).

3. Something that makes me feel like I’m doing something important.

There are jobs like that out there, but there are in high demand and only one person can get it, in the end, even if all the applicants are technically equally qualified and it just comes down to interviewer taste.

I’ve been waking up at 5:30 a.m. or earlier every morning just to write. My new novella has reached 24,000 words on its first draft, and I am going for 40,000+ words. I am excited in the sense that I am finally, finally getting into the flow of this, not expecting success immediately, and learning on the way. I want to have it done completely by the end of this month. And it is always encouraging when I hear someone say they liked something I have written. It is always validation that I am doing the right thing, and helps to avert those crises I sometimes have where I feel like I took a wrong turn somewhere.

Writing stories is something I’ve wanted to do since I was a kid. In a way I feel like I have wasted a lot of time in college not writing enough. But in another way I think I needed to be thrust into the harsh reality of the real world to realize how much harder I needed to work for it. College was a bubble – even though I had more time, I had less incentive to try. I had always assumed that I would magically just sit down and magically write an amazing book, because I was always filled with amazing ideas. Having amazing ideas does not necessarily translate to communicating those ideas effectively to paper. It takes a lot of work to put ideas to words, and words themselves change the ideas in a continual back and forth.

There is this cultural conception that creativity is a magical thing, when really it is just a lot of hard work. True, there are such things as bursts of inspiration – but these bursts don’t come out of the ether, they come as a result of putting in the hours every day. As your brain rewires, you begin to see the world differently and it becomes more natural as you form a habit.

Even though I don’t really want to do it, I’m going to have to force myself to find another job. I think in the end it will turn out to be a good thing, but there is a lot of not knowing involved and that is always the hard part, forgive the cliche. Since college I’ve become very aware of how hard things can be out here and how hard it is to find a good job you are happy with.

I really do think this writing thing will work out. I’m getting better and better. I’m going back to read Night of the Necromancer, my first book, and realizing that a lot of it feels choppy compared to what I’m doing now. A new version of it should be online soon, with completely revamped formatting. Things are only looking up writing-wise. I’m still waiting for the big payoff to come. Or maybe there will be no big payoff…just a gradual climb upward.

Whatever it is, I think I’m on the right track. I just need to keep going.

Toughness

Posted: December 19, 2012 in Inspiration, Writing
Tags: , ,

Haven’t posted for a while. I want to post at least three to four times a week, but lately I really haven’t much to talk about.

Apocalypse is doing just fine, thank you. It’s actually doing slightly more than I expected to, which is great. It feels good. Lately, I’ve been feeling rather discouraged concerning my writing, but seeing the results is giving me a much needed push.

I’m 4,500 words into my next novella, a new series that has working title of Dark Prophecies. I got some cool ideas (I think). The trick is just weaving them together into a compelling yarn.

All that news aside…for those who follow my Facebook, you know I have taken up running lately. I’m sure you’ve noticed the inundation of running alerts that seem to fly at your stunned and disbelieving face approximately once every several hours. And I know you love them.

I took it up last year for a brief stint (about two months), but had no idea what I was doing. Curiously, I didn’t research it to find the most effective way to do it and improve.

I’ve been running since October, and I’m in much better shape than before. I’m on a 10K in 55 minutes training plan…not because there is a particular 10K I’m training for, but because I want to use that plan as launching pad to jump into a half-marathon training plan – probably two hours, which is very doable by late April. I may adjust for a faster time, depending on how training goes.

I write about running because I’m at a point where improving is starting to become increasingly difficult. I was amazed with my training plan that by week three I was running five miles (albeit at a very slow pace). Distance was no problem.

Going faster was the hard part.

I just got back from an almost seven mile run, where I had to do seven half mile stints at an 8:30/mile average pace. For a serious runner, this is a breeze. However, being a newbie meant this was the most difficult run I had to do.

I’ve never really been that physical of a person. I sucked at sports as a kid. I had a zero batting average one year in little league (no…I’m not joking. I was pretty pathetic). I was better at art and, yes, writing. And video games.

It never really occurred to me for most of my life that I might be able to do something physical, because I had failed at it so hard my whole life that had no success to reinforce me in that direction. In fact, the first time I ran I was embarrassed and thought I looked stupid. I guess I just didn’t see the point. But after graduating college, being inactive sitting 8+ hours a day at a desk, I knew something had to change. I didn’t really gain weight, but I still didn’t feel good about myself. I wanted to be in shape while I was still young, so I made a goal to make working out a priority.

I started running last October, and I don’t know why I didn’t start sooner. Those first runs were hard – even getting to two miles nonstop was very difficult. It took toughness, even if a little bit – the willing yourself to go on, despite pain. That is how we all grow, physically, mentally, spiritually.

Normally on my speed work (runs designed to help you increase your speed), I haven’t been able to maintain the target speed for the speedy stretches. Tonight was different, because I actually succeeded. In fact, for the first two stints I ran faster than I was supposed to (averaging 7:45/mile and 8:00/mile for both of them. I started to realize a lot of my limitations weren’t physical – they were mental. I did have the strength to push myself on if I willed myself.

I’m also realizing that if you want to improve at running, you have to be consistent. Thanksgiving week, I didn’t run once, and I paid for it. My average pace dropped almost by a full minute per mile.

I’m thinking a lot of disciplines are the same way – repeating a discipline builds a habit, be it a sport, martial arts, or…you guessed it…writing.

Every successful writer I’ve ever read says if you’re serious about writing, you do it everyday…not just everyday, but at least 1,000 words a day. I missed yesterday, but I intend to get my words done today. Not counting this post, of course. I’m talking fiction.

There’s a lot of toughness to writing, too. Like running, you can always improve. You can never just coast along, write the same book twice. I mean, you could, but you wouldn’t be getting better. I feel like I’m in a period of growth, writing-wise. A year ago, I would have said quality of writing, not quantity, matters. Now, I think it’s the opposite when you are starting out. Someone who’s learning, like me, needs to learn to write a lot. The more you write, the more mistakes you make. The more mistakes you make, the more you learn.

It takes toughness to sit down everyday and type words, especially when the Muse doesn’t want to show up. The Muse is a flighty thing – it’s your job to show up as the writer, but the Muse can do whatever the hell she wants. Sometimes, she’ll show up when you’re nowhere near a computer, and the words she whispers in your ear are lost. Sorry if that analogy was weird, it felt weird and creepy writing it.

Anyway, point is, this is something I want to show up to every day. I’m learning. I’m glad my new novella is doing better than I expected. I hope more people get to read it. I’m excited to write more on that series, as I really like the world. But I’m also very excited by this new series I’ve started. Fantasy is one of my favorite genres to write in, if not my favorite. And it’s also exciting to not to do something medievally and cliche.

This has been a long post/rant. I apologize; I really didn’t have the time to write a shorter one.

I am in no way saying that I’m tough; I’m just saying we all have the potential to be. I’m just saying I’m starting to get it.

Don’t really want to spend much time on a post today, but I heard something that’s gotten me thinking: “Giving up is a permanent solution to a temporary problem.”

I’ve been thinking that as far as my writing. I came home, feeling pretty down. I don’t know why. I think it comes from the fact that I know I won’t ever be happy having a quote/unquote real job. I’ve always wanted to work/write for myself, and that’s it. Not that a real job is bad; maybe I’m disillusioned by the whole thing.

I’m getting better at not letting things get to me. It’s important to try and stay consistent and get things done, even when you’re not feeling up to it.

I started writing on my new story, getting about 1,500 words in. All in all, I really like it. I don’t know if any of it will remain in the final product, but it’s good to be writing and getting it out. This story has me excited.

As far as the quote, I think hard times, for the most part, are temporary. After one set of them, you’re onto another. And sometimes, feeling down for no reason just happens and you have to roll with it. Some days are just better than others, and oftentimes there’s no rhyme or reason to it.

It’s encouraging to see that my book is doing better than I expected. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not quitting my job anytime soon. But it gives me hope that things might get better for me. I think, writing-wise, I want to stick with doing novellas on Kindle for a while. I do want to submit stuff to agents, someday, but for now at least this seems like the course for me. It gets me practice and I’m still in the learning phase.

I’ve always wanted to be a writer, but it is taking a really long time to figure out what that looks like. I finally feel like I’m going down the track and making progress. I’m working on it every day. I’m always thinking about my next story. I get excited when I sit down to write, and I feel encouraged by everyone’s support. In the end, you can’t do it just for others; on some level, you have to it for yourself, because it’s what you really want, just like any other thing – or you won’t be happy.

I’ve doubted lots of things in my life. Nothing has been off the table. But rarely have I doubted that writing is what I want to do with my life. As I said, it’s something I’ve always wanted to do, and the pieces are coming together, slowly, and I’m starting to see a picture. I’m realizing the picture is me, in a way.

Before that sounds too narcissistic  I just meant it in this way; I think when you know yourself, the rest comes a lot easier. Knowing yourself is one of the hardest things ever, and something I’ve been trying to figure out for a while. Then again, it’s a balance, and you don’t want to over-analyze, which is probably my cardinal sin. I think I’m getting better with that, too. Writing helps.

Anyway, I think what I’m working on now has a shot to be really good. It has darker themes, but in a good way. It’s still in its infancy, but this “figuring out the story” part is my favorite part of writing – when the possibilities seem endless and you write and experiment and fail until you find what works. You just dive in, trying new things, and pray that it works. Like life.

I said short post, but this is turning into one of my longest so far. So…yeah. That’s all I have to say about that.