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I was genuinely attempting National Novel Writing Month this year with a brand new idea involving a steampunk version of the Lohengrin legend.  Then, a freak accident occurring exactly two weeks ago landed me in the Emergency Room with a broken ankle.  I’ve gotten to wear a cam boot for the better part of two weeks and out of work.  I gave up on Nano with the overwhelming depression coupled with the staggering feeling of being useless.  I’ve spent the time idling away on Internet surfing, moping, and video games.

Meanwhile, I have my second story for my Creative Writing class due and I am hurriedly trying to finish it as well as trying to find a way to solve the initial problems.  Though, this third attempt gave me two previous story ideas I might try at a later day.  But it always fun to dapple in one’s own fantasy world, is it not?

The poetry I mentioned posting is at a standstill.  I don’t have the energy or the will to format it properly.  I’m feeling itchy and uncomfortable and annoyed but such is the way when I am in a rut.

My foot hurts me constantly and I just want to go back to work.  But I fear that I won’t be able to for longer than expected.

But I’ve been writing, whatever little progress it is.  On my main project, I’ve reached over 46,000 words which I realize isn’t much when you think to pass Nano you have to reach 50,000.  But I am determined, as always.

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I was in the break room some few days ago, furiously scribbling away in my notebook.  A lady passes me, sees what I am doing, and mildly asks, “Writing a book?”

I respond timidly, “Trying to, at least.”  (Mind the colloquialism.)

She, rather surprised, stares and essentially says, “Oh, that’s great!  I thought you were just were working on homework; I was just kidding.  But keep at it and get the hell out of here!”

The conversation made me smile for the remainder of the day, until I was met with some rather unkind people, as is what usually happens when I go to work.

In other news, with my current project, I’ve broken the 40k word mark and completely filled an entire notebook.  So now, I’ve retired one notebook and started on a new.  It’s pretty exciting for me.

Meanwhile, I am learning just how time-management skills are important with work, school, a speech, two papers, and a bad addiction to writing and video games!  Too bad I lack them.  The time management skills, that is.

Also!  Have a picture of me and the Boyfriend!  It’s his birthday today!  And my grandfather turns seventy-six as well!

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Reading

I came across this article:

“Have You Met a Writer Who Doesn’t Read”

It’s interesting, contains a valid point, but I would have to staunchly disagree.  It does not represent absolute truth.

I have a serious problem with the superior, almost arrogant tone the blogger maintains when judging who is a writer and who should be one.  Writers are not definably created out of readers.  Writers can be created from non-readers, illiterates.

Please note, this is not to say that reading isn’t important.  Reading helps.  Reading is important. For most, reading plays a vital role in writing.  But it does not define a writer.  What a writer writes, chooses to write defines a writer.

I like reading.  However, with my life as of late, I’ve little time to do so.  It’s disappointing.  I love books, but I do not have the energy to complete the second half of A Game of Thrones.  Or, I should elaborate.  I have energy, yes, that I would much prefer to utilize elsewhere.  In certain times, dependent entirely on my mood, I will choose to write over reading.  When you add it all up, I write more than I read in a week.  As a matter of fact, I have not read a book for several weeks.  But I’ve written thousands of words.  Does that mean, then, by this blogger’s standards, I am not a writer because I did not invest nonexistent time into reading? I think not.

The concept is not universally applicable.  And another thing.  I think the blogger mistakenly categorizes reading into a singular group: books.  Books are not the only methods of reading.  Goodness, no.  In a week’s time, I do read, process enormous amounts of information.  I read Internet articles, particularly about blogging, publishing, and writing CONSTANTLY.  And really, I read articles constantly.  Practically, every time I jump on the Internet, I read at least three new articles that pop up on my subscription lists.  Does that not count as reading, as well?  It may not be a book, but would not reading about writing be just as useful as reading the work of another writer?

Maybe I’m just snubbed by the whole idea expressed on the post–how dare these children who hardly read want to become writers!  What is wrong with them for not reading more!–the sentiment that seems to be shared is that it feels wrong for non-readers to pursue a possible dream in writing.  It is not the job of writers to put down aspiring writers because they do not read as many books as they do.  Encourage them to read, yes, but do not “dog” those who do not because they are part of this “younger generation” that everyone seems to feel is a generation of unintelligent, uneducated philistines who have the over-inflated ego as everyone else does.

By the way, just about every writer has a huge ego.  Some are better at masking it than others.

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I follow various writing communities on Twitter, mostly for the tips and tidbits on writing, networking, and publishing.  I find it interesting to read articles and quotes that draws perspectives from many other writers, editors, and publishers.  One specific company-slash-group is an account called Writer’s Digest that reminded me of a less user-friendly version of Jon Winokur’s @AdviceToWriters.  They had quotes, articles.  One particularly tweet interested me– something about blogging and networking.  I clicked on it.

Apparently Writer’s Digest has an “online university” where you can take various classes on how to blog correctly for nearly $200 a course.

Rip off.

Ridiculous, no other explanation.  It’s absolutely ridiculous.  I mean, I can understand freelance writing classes– those can be expensive.  (I can easily recall one author’s personalized writing workshops that were pricey, but understandably so).  But this Writer’s Digest University… I don’t know if I would call it a scam.  Rip-off?  Yes, definitely.

I did a brief browsing through their “course list”.  “How to Build Your Blog Boot Camp” lasts three days for $199.  Then, “28 days to Your First WordPress Site” lasts 28 days for the same price.  Definitely a rip off.  I mean, using WordPress doesn’t take a particular know-how.  And WordPress provides countless tutorials, and the interface is very friendly.  Hello– speaking from experience.  This is my first WordPress site.  I’ve had it a little over a month.  No problem.  Blogging?  So long as you hold an air of professionalism, blogging is easy.  Networking’s more difficult, but you can EASILY find FREE articles that give you pointers on how to do that.  You don’t need to pay two hundred bucks for common sense.  It’s a rip off and it angers me beyond words.

If you’re a writer getting out, new, starting out, be careful.  Don’t waste your time with that sort of thing.

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So in my numbing schedule of work-eat-sleep-repeat, I’ve managed to exhaust my muse for my 2011 Nano story, thus enabling me to pick back up on my fantasy project.  To do so, I decided to read the 35,000+ words I have so far, starting from the beginning.

My reaction to my work was utter disappointment.  I’ve stopped myself from reading it after suffering through about a quarter of it.  It’s crap. I think so.  I have no idea what made me think it was brilliant to begin with, other than the concept.  I’ve told my friends as such–who have utterly lied to me about its supposed greatness–and they cannot seem to fathom my sudden vehemence with my own work.  They still insist on this nonexistence genius.  I cannot, will not believe it.

Once I consider, though, I realize, it’s not bad, not by any means.  Just, when reading it, I realized how I could make it ten times better.  I don’t know if that stems from my habitual habit of being vastly too critical of myself, wanting to always improve, or if it’s normal for any writer to always look at something they’ve written and just have this urge to make it better, that it could be better.  Probably a mixture of both.

It is understandable, then, you see, for me to be so frustrated that once I’ve finally figured a way out of a fictional dead end with certain mechanics of fictional magic, I am now filled with this fiery, insatiable need to rewrite at least half of my 35,000+ words.  Rewrite or serious editing.  I keep telling myself that the latter half is written much neater and needs no such attention.  But, who am I kidding?  Might as well rewrite the entire thing!

This is why I never see progress.  I think it’s somewhat odd though.  With my 2011 Nano entry, I never/have not felt as though it needed to be rewritten.  If anything, I feel as though I should retain that style and continuously express it with other things.  My problem was and is, however, the actual art of retaining it.  I am stuck, stuck I say.  And this perpetual state of exhaustion and grumpiness from being partially employed does not aid in this conundrum either.

I end with this article I chanced upon to help your writing not become as stagnant as mine.  These writing tips I have seen essentially with any other tip sheet for writers.  Even though I do not entirely agree with these continuously expressed guidelines for writing, I do like how the author explained each point.  So here’s, the 10 Mistakes’ List.  Also, the image above does not belong to me, neither does the quote expressed inside of it.  Both are from A Knight’s Tale, and I took the liberty of editing it into one convenient photo for gawking.

“The first draft of anything is shit.”  — Ernest Hemingway

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I did not work today.  Today, I finished some laundry, sat down, and wrote.  It was a very nice experience, and in one sitting I managed to furiously type out 2,437 words without getting up.  Also, mind you, this was straight typing.  Normally when I write, it’s by hand in a college-ruled composition notebook, all of which I am forced to type later for digital preservation.  Instead, this time I went directly to my laptop.

What I wrote, though, was not my original fantasy project I’ve been working on since February (of which, I am at 34,583 words).  The one I worked on today was an incomplete National Novel Writing Month entry from this past November (I got to about 16,000 words), post-apocalyptic based off one of my favorite video games.  Last night, I was putting some things on my replacement Kindle, one of which was said Nano project.  I converted a file to PDF, transferred it over and did some reading before I went to bed.  Strangely enough, I was hooked on that old-ish writing style.  There was something I really enjoyed about that particularly piece.  It was detailed yet brief.  And I like that.  I’ve began to abhor overly-complicated details.

Yet, in essence, the piece is fanfiction.  I’ve written my share of fanfiction, of course, but I’ve tried veering towards the more original as of late.  I’ve felt that fanfiction gets me no where in the realm of writing.  I want to finally establish myself as a writer, and to do that, I must write my own things that I can publish with my name.  My name.

I don’t have anything against fanfiction and I see nothing wrong with the whole concept of fanfiction.  But, I’ve grown tired of it.  It got to the point where I have more and more ideas for original things, and fanfiction was distracting me.  I didn’t have time for original things.  Well, now it feels as though I don’t have time for either, but nevertheless.

What separates this piece from the typical fanfiction is because it’s different.  I say so.  I create my own characters, my own situations.  Really, I only use the backdrop of the setting.  I like Wastelands.  And, besides, it got me writing again, which I’ve been stalled on for the past few weeks.  I need to exhaust this creative tank before I can fully pick up on my serious project.  This is fun and it got me writing.  I am not going to complain.

Now, to work on my reading.  I said before how I was going to do book reviews.  And I will.  Eventually.  I just need to read books.  The current book I am reading is A Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin.  I’m only a few chapters in and I can tell its brilliant.  My next book is Changeling by Philippa Gregory, who I’ve always enjoyed as an author.  I plan to do reviews on some of Amanda Hocking’s things as well.  It’s a diverse selection.

And, as much I will probably regret it, I’m going to do something, a whole thing with Fifty Shades of Grey, just for the sake of doing.  I’ll be adding some comparisons and thoughts to Twilight but I am not going to write a full review for Twilight or any of its sequels.  I’ve exhausted that enough (I’ll elaborate this in the future).  Perhaps I’ll do a separate review on Meyer’s The Host.  Also, I need to read Paolini’s  Inheritance eventually.  I’ve been following that series for God knows how long now.

Also, I’ve been thinking about expanding the readership of this blog, so I briefly—briefly, mind you looked at Blogaholic Social Network and apparently there’s a difference between Author/Writer blogs and Book Blogs.  Also, I’ve also briefly considered making a different blog for more casual points.  Who knows?  I’m going to bed now.

The photograph above is not mine.

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Starting out in the deli, I have received numerous amounts of helpful pointers and counsel on how to do my job correctly, efficiently, and effectively.  However, one piece of advice sticks out among the others, given to me by a certain lady whom I really look up to.  She tells me, in essence, that everyone has their own way about doing something.  As long as the end result is the same, it does not matter how you go about doing that.  After some thinking and sweating in my new station wagon that has no air conditioning while the temperature was well past 107 degrees, I decided that the same principal can be applied to writing.

First, it must be determined what the end result is needed to be achieved.  In the deli, that can be having all the party trays finished in time for customers or cleaning the meat slicers to certain standards.  How can this compare to writing?  What would be a successful result for writers?

I must admit, this entry was also spurred after stalking some forums for the past few days.  In particular, I read along as members would treat other members with arrogance, supposedly because they were published authors.  Mind you, this was a forum for roleplaying.  I’m not a regular of the forum so I don’t know what the social circles look like.  However, when a certain member claims to be published, I would expect a certain degree of writing to come with that.  Perhaps I’m being too critical.

I digress.  Success can be measured many different ways, all dependent on both the writer and the targeted audience.  For a writer, success may mean simply being published or reaching the New York Times’ Bestseller List.  For the reader, a successful book may be one that merely entertains them or challenges their very perspective.  So, in essence, its very subjective work.

One may be critical that a certain work has choppy syntax, impeding the flow of the whatever of the unimportant pace of the nonexistent plot.  What may be intended is a voice that short, succinct and expresses taciturn or staccato thought.  Take the male gender, for example.  The Boyfriend isn’t usually fluffy with his word choice.   That’s by no means the understood norm, though.  I don’t believe in a norm, unless it concerns formulaic plots and archetypes for certain genres and audiences.  In fact, I like it when I’m surprise.

Also, I’ll be quite honest, I started this blog over a week ago, and now I am at a loss for what I was supposed to ramble on.  I meant to say something meaningful, and I would hate to leave rather abruptly, but I’ve nothing more to say.  I’ll leave this rather open-ended.  Mayhaps I’ll return to it in the future.

As an apology for my apparent laziness, here’s an article I found a while ago on the Lulu blog about eBook pricing models.  Also, I’m considering doing book reviews to give this blog more substance, because as it stands, it’s just me rambling on about uselessness and sharing the obscure article with some sundry photographs.  Book reviews should be more enjoyable than my cynicism.

The photograph above is James May from BBC’s Top Gear.  I do not own it.

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