Friday, June 2, 2017

June Update!

Hello everyone! May was a very busy month for me. I went on a long road trip and was very busy with work. Plus I've gotten older. I've also been debating how I want to move forward with my career prospects. But some great news is that I've been able to write quite a bit!

I was extremely excited to see that I was over 16,000 page views when I logged in about a week ago. It's been a long journey with this blog, going on almost 3 years on August 6th, and it's definitely had it's ups and downs. Some months I've been great about posting and others just haven't been. I keep visiting this post in the draft section, and have changed it a few times, but I just wasn't able to get any words I liked up for May. But, I've had a lot on my mind.

Deciding what I want to do has been a bit of a challenge. While writing will always be the ideal choice I know it's not realistic. But, do I want to go straight into another job that is simply business related? Do I want to pursue music? How would I even do that? What about my own business and what the heck would I want to do? Needless to say, there's been a bit of turmoil on what I want to do. The only thing for certain is I want a different job ASAP!

Anyway, I have been able to write more this last month. I'm excited for Camp coming up in June and have already thought of some blog posts. Now, getting the blog posts written is a completely different story, but I'm hopeful. As for my story, I'm hoping to edit it all in July, so I've got a bit of progress to make before then. I'm still debating between figuring out the whole series, and start writing the second book, or wait and see the response before I carry on. Plus, I could get new ideas, and feedback before getting too far.

That's all for this post. I'm hoping to get started with some of the new ideas I've gotten for blog posts. I'm also planning on spending some time writing and getting ready for Camp. If you have any suggestions, comments, or life advice in general, feel free to comment below! As always, thanks for reading.

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Things I've Learned: Camp '17

Hello everyone! Camp is at it's tail end and I've almost reached my word count goal. This NaNoWriMo camp has been a curved learning experience for me since it's the first event I've participated in since working full time. So, I'm going to share my experience and what I learned from writing in Camp this month.

Time Management

To be honest, I was mainly writing blog posts before camp started up. Sure, I was trying to organize and prioritize my writing, but it had been a few months since I had jumped into writing. I thought having a planner with my word count goals and things to do would be a great way to approach camp. The main problem with a planner is, you have to use it. In hindsight, I always use my phone, so it would have been more beneficial to have writing reminders on there.

One big shift I started about two weeks ago was communicating to my partner that I needed time to write. It was a hard transition at first, usually we watch shows for a long time and then maybe do other things. This last week was much easier, especially since he found a game he enjoys, and I've gotten to write so much more because of it.

Finding a time to write should have been my first priority instead of thinking that time would magically appear. Now I hope to continue this trend, even if it's only a few times a week, so I can still have writing be a part of my daily routine.

Smart Goals

Changing my goals from 50k, to 30k, and ultimately 15k was a hard thing to do. In the past, I probably wouldn't have considered doing such a thing, and then floundered with it. I saw I was having problems getting to that word count that I originally set. As the word count per day needed to finish on time grew, I became more stressed, and less willing to write.

If I would have kept it at 50k, I know for a fact I wouldn't have gotten anywhere near 15k of words, and by changing my goal I was able to get motivated once again to continue writing. Is every word perfect? No. Will it need work? Yes. But, more importantly, did I enjoy writing? Yes.

Now, I had forgotten that with Camp you can choose between: words, hours, minutes, lines, and pages. In the future I plan on using a category other than words, most likely pages, to keep track of my progress. That way I can learn more tricks to keep myself motivated to write and other ways to fit it in my busy schedule. But, there is one other reason why it was so hard to write.


Outlining

Outline is something I try to do, and generally fail, to accomplish before any writing project. There's two reasons that come to mind. First, I don't always know what the story should include and therefore don't have a clear outline. And second, I come up with 'better' ideas along the way, which generally make me question my decision on writing it.

For my current story I had actually started writing this back in August or thereabouts, by hand. Before camp started I knew that I only wanted to pull the characters, and a few scenes, out of that story so I was essentially starting from scratch. The only clear direction I have is to make it a series, since I bought the book covers at a great price, and there were five made for the series. I would love to use all five but I need more time to figure out what the overall plot should be to make it last and be enjoyable to myself and potential readers.

So the TL;DR aspect of this section is that outlines can, and should, be your friend during Camp. Even if you don't listen to them, it'll at least give you an idea of where to go.


Things for the future

I believe encompassing all three of these things I've learned with help me immensely, and I hope it can help you too, no matter what your strengths or weaknesses are. I just happen to be a stubborn procrastinator who gets pretty book covers without writing all of the series first. But, the more I remind myself, the more I can work on it and move forward. Will my time management is perfect? No. Will my goals be the same as other writers? No. Will my next outline be earth shatteringly good? Hopefully not, but you get the point.

Even if you didn't participate this Camp with your writing, how do you think you could better yourself as a writer? It will benefit you, as it has for me, just to identify something to improve upon. It doesn't have to be perfect but it should help you reach your ultimate goal for yourself.

So, if you found my blog post helpful, please share it with a friend or post a friendly comment. I hope to get back into the groove of things in May so please check back in. Until next time, keep writing. :)

Monday, April 17, 2017

Day 17 of Camp!

Hello everyone! I hope those who are participating in Camp Nanowrimo this April are having success. I have had a slow start this month, especially with work being busy, but I'm trying to write when I can. This poor blog post has been picked at and worked on for nearly 10 days. For this blog post I thought it would be great to talk about how to examine your word goal and reach your word count goal by the end of April.

First thing first, while you most likely have developed a goal for yourself at the beginning of the month, doesn't mean that you must stick to that goal. For example, there is a method called SMART Goals (which you can check out in the link), in which you make a goal how you please. They have several suggestions for each of the letters so you have the freedom to decide what it means for you.

Now, it may seem counterproductive, but it may be better to adjust your goals based on your progress and how you anticipate the last 8 days of April going. By having a goal you know will be attainable it will help motivate you to write and accomplish your goal. Of course, you could modify your goal to have a lower word count until the 20th, but have your overarching goal be your original goal. After all, this is your writing project, and you can accomplish it as you see fit.

Reaching the word count goal vs planning for it are two completely different things. My month started with a goal of 50k and hopefully go over. Since then I've decided to shoot for 15k and, if I'm able to write more, boost my goal back up again. At first, I was planning on trying to reach my original goal, but then I realized I was actually avoiding my writing because it was a bit overwhelming to me.

While it is frustrating for me to know that, in the past, I was able to achieve 50k within a month with no problems, I also have to realize that I need to work through my current situation. It's much different for me to write while working in comparison to writing while in school or during the summer break. Now, as much as I'd love to quit my job and write this blog and my stories all day long, it's sadly unrealistic at the moment. But, maybe one day.

That's all I have for this blog post. I'm hoping I'll have an opportunity to write a few more blog posts this month. But, who knows at this point. Good luck to all those who are participating in Camp and hopefully I'll be more active again in May.