WIP Wednesday is Ready to Rock

Never be afraid to do one more edit, kids. I decided to give a thrice-rejected story one more read-through before I sent it back out. It now looks like this:

Well, not really, but you get the point.

I did the same to another misfit story, and it has suffered the same fate, but hopefully it’s all for the greater good.

As for May, I’m making it the month I finally write my novella. After a false start last month, some retooling and dragging my heels for far too long, I’ll be working toward writing it all in the next 30 days.

We all go through slumps. But there comes a point when you are sick of your moping and ready to get on with it already. I think I passed that mark a while ago, but got sidetracked by reworking these 2 misfit stories.

So, back on track, with a daily word count that I am charging myself to hit, I’m pulling myself out of this slump and ready to rock!

WIP Wednesday: My Dirty Little Secret

My words are broken.

I didn’t write much in January. Post-holiday lull.

February? Things picked up a bit.

March? The beginning of the month was slow-to-non-existent but things got cooking around the end of the month.

Now it’s the middle of April. Uh…I got nothing.

I’ve spent my time outlining a novella, tearing apart said outline to work out the kinks and putting it all back together again, but I have to say – there’s no denying I’m stuck in a rut.

My lofty goals back at the end of 2011? Haven’t even scratched the surface. And when writing is like breathing to you – and you AREN’T – let’s just say I’m not a happy camper.

Maybe I just need to stir things up, try something new, branch out, hand in my Full-Fledged Plotter Card and become a pantser. At this point, I’d stand on my head if it would help (and believe me, that would be a feat in and of itself, considering my upper body strength is lacking).

So…That’s where things stand. The only real progress I’ve made so far in the past few months is racking up a bunch of rejections and cleaning. And let me tell you — ‘round these parts? There is not a dust bunny to be found.

Freelance Life Recap – Feb. 21

Clay!I've fallen off the wagon in many respects here, dear readers.

I'm still freelancing, but everything else has suffered. I did manage to open up a few of my stories this past week. But I quickly felt lost, completely taken out of the flow of words and not inspired at all.

Whether the stories are just not holding my attention or I just feel like I'm staring at a big chunk of clay that needs some serious slicing and shaping (and punching), I seem to have hit a slump that I don't see any way out of yet.

So, what do I do? Use it. I've got a few articles on writer's block coming up this week (if you can't beat 'em, join 'em, right?).

I'm trying to get some of my week's work done today so I can sit my butt at my writing desk all week and make some progress. Because there is nothing worse than feeling like everything you've written sucks and you will never have a good idea again.

Which brings me to my favorite article this week. It actually comes from last week – Develop a story idea in five minutes.

Sometimes, after working all day, I end up feeling as though it's "too late" to dive into writing. I see this as sort of a self-defeating mindset, as you have all heard my talk of being an insomniac (and there really isn't any right or wrong hour of the day to write). Why I do this to myself, I don't know. Laziness, fear of suckage, what have you. But I figure I should take my own advice, and let this method of quick writing sprints get me back into the flow of writing.

So, how do you beat writer's block? How do you conquer that nagging voice in your head that tells you that you are no good? What's the longest you've gone without writing anything new?

I do know one thing that can only help – chocolate. Email me if you need my mailing address.

If you missed 'em, my other writing articles this week include a few on travel writing (both from home and abroad), a boot camp for writers who need a little discipline (like me) and one on how using your unique writer's voice can translate into sweet book sales.


WIP Wednesday: Wooing My Muse

writing deskDon't get me wrong. I love my writing desk. I searched lovingly (and longingly) for the perfect desk in local shops, online stores, and in local classifieds until I found the perfect one.

I am dazzled by its sweeping curves; smitten by its smooth surface. But some days, I just can't bear the thought of sitting at it.

Last week I wrote about how I seemed to be stagnating under piles of work and forced schedules. That's the thing about routines. Often, they run the risk of transforming into a rut. The good thing is I learned my lesson and did something about it.

I know, one of the tips for being a productive writer is to breed creativity by getting into the routine of it all. Whether its the same time everyday, the same music, the same treasured pen or the lighting of that same scented candle, there's no denying that those little tricks can have a Pavlovian effect.

So, the moment I found myself becoming bored with my story, I knew it was time to try something new, or else risk the onset of ABS – Anything-But Syndrome.

C'mon. We're all friends here. You can admit falling ill to ABS before. Dusting, vacuuming, alphabetizing your CD collection, tackling that dreaded pile of laundry or – heaven help you –  paperwork. Anything-But working on your WIP.

For me, the solution this time was music. I'm the type of writer who needs music playing while I write. Nothing with lyrics, mind you, but a musical soundscape that drowns out the little anoyances, like ringing phones and honking cars outside, but still doesn't distract me from my writing.

All I needed was a loaded MP3 Player, an ambient playlist and my favorite pen and suddenly, words were spilling out onto the page with renewed urgency.Know what? I'll take it. Anything to keep my Muse on her toes. Even if it takes me 10 pages to really get into the groove of things, I'll take that over writer's block (aka boredom) anyday.

Current WIPs

  • still whittling down one of my NaNo pieces, while adding a bit of flair. The idea is there, in my head. Now of I can just find the twisted words to translate the idea into something tangible
  • working on a piece for #fridayflash! Finally! I've only ever done it once, but have always wanted to make it a habit. Two pieces in progress – one at 348 words, the other still waiting to be transcribed from handwritten notes. Hopefully one will be polished enough by Friday
  • As noted above, almost there with my 500 Words A Day Challenge for today. Sadly, I haven't been putting as much time in as I would like, what with the freelancing and all. Better luck next week.
  • still have to get to my task from last week of going over upcoming subs and deciding which ones I want to submit to. I know shouldn't complain…but so many great markets, so little time…

How's your writing day going? Making progress? A little behind? How do you woo your Muse?

If you’re a writer participating in WIP Wednesday, post a link to your blog in the comments!

Fellow WIP Wednesday participants:

Modus Operandi

There's a new method to my madness…and I like it.

When I'm working on a piece, there is inevitably that moment of panic when I hit the wall of nothingness. When no amount of brainstorming, or pacing, or even coffee will inspire me with what should come next.

The 2008 me would sit, pout, gnash my teeth, and come to the delusional-yet-somehow-believable conclusion that maybe I'm just not cut out for the writing life at all.

Nicorette MonsterBasically falling prey to those nasty little voices in my head – which, for some reason, resemble the Nicorette Monster (even though I'm a non-smoker – way to go Johnson & Johnson Marketing Dept.)

But it's 2009 now. And there's a new sheriff in town.

The new me is not content to rest on my laurels, wallowing in self-pity. Hell, no! I'm taking names.

So, I'm going to let you in on my little secret. My only reservation? The solution was so simple, I'm almost embarrassed to share.


Here it is…

Lost, stuck, or perhaps simply bored of the piece I was working on, I set it aside…and swiftly started working on another piece!

That's it. Secret revealed. Hand? Meet forehead.

It's refreshing how easily I was able to put that one story aside and not only brainstorm a new idea, but put together a cast of characters, a plot, and underlying conflict to boot.

I've already written more in this one piece in a night than I have after days working on the other. Dude!

Of course, I know it won't always be this easy. But sometimes…you just need to let things brew a while.

And at the very least, it has restored my confidence and allowed me to dash those nasty little voices in one fell swoop.

Let's just hope one sinister little one will remain. Otherwise, I'm going to have to start writing romance novels.