“A ship is safe in harbor, but that is not what ships are built for.” -John A. Shedd
Y’all wanna know what I did? Hang tight… I’ll tell ya. 🙂
It’s been a minute since I’ve been here. I haven’t typed up a blog post since about September, October-ish. The last time I did, it was to tell you all that I was finally doing it. Like for real, it was happening.
If you read that post… you know I’m talking about my book. I’ve struggled to get it off the ground for years now… but this was the year. It was finally happening.
There were times I almost popped on here to give you updates, talk about word count, and regale you with tales of my writing escapades. Part of me wanted to share it with you guys… another part of me was tired of sharing all those things and then letting you all down… letting myself down.
I knew this time was different, but that didn’t mean you guys had any way of knowing that. So instead… every time I got excited, or hit some small milestone… I shot texts off to my best friend, called up my Mama, or talked my husbands ears off… because believe me, I was excited. They were all probably sick of me at various times along the way… but they were with me, all the way.
My mama read intimate scenes so she could inform me whether they were classy or not… she said I wasn’t allowed to embarrass her.. 😀
My best friend… read, I can’t tell you, how many snippets of text and provided feedback, which she wholeheartedly demanded credit for, mind you, and all the while complaining because she wanted to read the whole thing and I was moving to slowly for her. Apparently, I needed to speed it up.
My husband… who, let’s face it, understands things like alien ants taking over the world far better than he does two people falling in love… soldiered on head first into sounding board mode and engaged in countless plot point discussions, despite his disappointment at the lack of sci-fi. 😀
God… well… that almost speaks for itself doesn’t it? If He hadn’t turned my life upside down and inside out this past year, in the best possible ways, we wouldn’t be here. I wouldn’t be typing this and we wouldn’t be having this discussion at all. He kick-started everything and He gets all the glory.
As for myself… cause I did write the thing after all… 🙂 — I stuck with it. On days I didn’t wanna… on days I did wanna… and every day in between. I believed in myself, and for the first time ever… I didn’t care what anybody else believed.
There is so much freedom in that, I can’t even tell y’all.
So… In September, on the 14th. I sat down and started working again. I had roughly around 7,000 words. I now… Four & a half months later… have a completed, 80,000-ish word novel.
Say what?! Yeah… I did it! — I didn’t do it alone! But I definitely did it!
Now what? — Well, Gotta edit the blasted thing. But we’re gonna dive right in. Then I’m gonna turn around and dive right on in to the wonderful world of publishing…. (Y’all pray for me… I thought writing it was scary… eeek!) — At the same time… we’re gonna get started on book 2! Keep on rolling!
I started on this book 2 years ago… and couldn’t get it off the ground. — Well, y’all… it’s off the ground now… we’ve taken flight… and it’s only just beginning. 🙂
Ya know what you learn writing a book?
Things you think you knew… you did not actually know as well as you thought. — And sometimes it’ll make you feel like you are especially dumb. 😉
You will spend a ridiculous amount of time researching and googling things you thought you knew enough about. — Turns out there’s a lot you don’t actually know about simple things you thought you knew and sometimes what you know slips your mind altogether.
When you are trying to be descriptive and accurate…. there’s a lot you don’t realize you need extra help with.
I have examples!
Tonight alone I’ve googled… Japanese Maples, types of sweaters, plaid scarfs, kitchen decor, various shades of green, the definition of the word rich, how to describe the color yellow, words for describing a kitchen, the name of the silver refrigerators, (It’s stainless steel by the way, I own one! ) what outdoor furniture looks like, synonyms for… bright, dark, muttered, perfect, colorful, exasperated, capture, proud of, and emotion.
Y’all that’s just tonight. & I assure you it’s not just a one night thing. It’s an every day thing.
Anybody ever stumbles across my search history and they’re gonna think I’m an idiot. Like… next level dumb.
That’s okay though… as long as I nail descriptive and accurate. 👌😀
40 degrees. ✔
Might as well get some writing done under the stars for a bit. ✔😀
As all my fellow writers probably know… sometimes inspiration strikes at a moments notice and you get something really good & you’ve got to write it down immediately. — Sometimes that happens at just the right moment… and other times…. at just the wrong moment. — This is a story of just the wrong moment.
I was going over scenes & dialogue in my head. So basically I was talking to myself… as if I was imaginary people, cause that’s not weird at all.. the whole back & forth… when I got a really good exchange. — I was like, ohhhhh! That’s good. That’s so good. I’ve got to write that down.
Except I was in the shower.
My laptop was in the living room. There were other people in my house. So I couldn’t very well throw on a towel dripping wet all over the place & run go get it. — I was like I’m going to just finish my shower & then do it. — But y’all…. I was antsy. I was like that exchange was so good and if I forget I’m going to be so mad. — So I moved on to plan B.
Find a notebook.
Now you would think… as a writer… I’d have one stashed in my bedroom somewhere. But no. I couldn’t find one. — I got out, wrapped up in a towel, dripping water all over the place while I engaged in a frenzied search for a notepad of any sort. Any would do. But, alas, nothing.
I found one piece of yellow construction paper & and an orange colored pencil. (Don’t ask, I don’t know. 😀 )
Anyhow. So there I was. Soak & wet, dripping water onto the bathroom counter and floor, after having dripped it all over the bedroom, and writing out dialogue with a pencil on a piece of construction paper.
To top it all off… the orange colored pencil was dull and wasn’t really showing up well on the yellow paper, so I had to re-write over several worlds multiple times. — It took a bit.
I did eventually manage to get it down and hopped right back in the shower to finish up.
But it wasn’t without an adventure first. — You can be sure from now on I’ll have a laptop, a notebook, or something within reach while I’m showering. — I learned my lesson. 😀
Y’all.. I don’t watch baseball. It’s boring.
But it was on mute in the background while I was working out & I was like they throw the ball… nobody hits the ball. They throw the ball… nobody hits the ball. They finally hit the ball… somebody catches the ball. So we start all over again… & again.. & again.
Then they did a monkey in the middle thing that didn’t make much sense to me & seemed kinda mean tbh. — Then I turned the sound on & picked a team… cause… why not? & then they looked like they were about to lose & at the home plate last second they took out the little guy running there… And all was not lost. I was yelling at the tv.. Like yeah.. we’re still in this thing.
We’re still in this thing?! WHAT?
Y’all I don’t even like baseball. I don’t know what’s happening right now. — But it’s still 1 to 1 & we’re heading into the 11th inning & I’m still watching. — Sooooo…. go Dodgers?!?✌😂
Another day down in the books. (Insert thumbs up here.)
Wrote 3000 words & finished a scene I’ve been working on for like 3 days now.
It’s flowing, it’s smooth, it’s good. (Ignore that I’m biased because, I, of course, think my own work is brilliant. 😀 )
I even sent a little snippet to my best friend/sister-in-law & I was like, “I don’t think I’m half bad at this.” And she was like… “Yeah, you have a knack for it.” — Yes, we talk like this… kindly, don’t judge us. 😉 ) — Then she told me to hurry up so she can read it in its entirety and not just the little teasers I keep sending her. 😉 — I mean… the snippets & the teasers are good… it’s all good, amiright? 😀 — If you don’t think I’m right… please don’t burst my bubble. Everybody has the right to bubbles!
Anyhow… progress is being made… we’re moving along.
Y’all… it’s happening.
There have been moments along this journey where I very much thought it would never happen. — It’s happening. Right now.
I’d kick myself for all the time I wasted… but I genuinely believe that I wasn’t ready until now. I couldn’t have done this before…. because I wasn’t in a place where I could do it.
I’m in that place now & it’s happening.
I know that there were a whole host of people who didn’t & maybe even don’t now, believe me or in me. That used to bother me so bad. I mean turn my world upside down bad… because I already didn’t believe in myself.
Y’all know what is beautiful? I believe in me now. — I have a confidence that I didn’t have before… That God has given to me… that has changed everything.
Nobody can undo what He has done. No amount of disbelief in me… can shake my belief in myself. You can’t shake my foundation… because God built it… it’s quake proof. 😀
But I’m sure there will be people who read this & think… Yeah. Right. Okay. Here we go again.
And y’all wanna know something…. That’s alright. I don’t do any of this for any of them. I do it for God first and me second. — But once upon a time…. I would have felt that to my core. I needed people to believe in me… in an effort to convince myself to believe in me, and when they didn’t… it just reinforced my disbelief in myself. (What a hot mess that was!) — & now…
If you aren’t #1 or #2… that’s God & me… & you do have an opinion that is one of doubt… that’s okay… you can have it, it’s yours to have… but it’s irrelevant. — You can’t tear down what God has built… and He has built me up.
Y’all…. It’s happening. — & I’m excited! 😀
PSA: The grammar here is atrocious. I’m going to strongly suggest… 😀 … that you kindly disregard it. Ya see here… I was writing for hours on my book before this & that requires being grammar conscious.. and it’s a royal pain. I’m all grammar’d out and I don’t have it in me. — I will start sentences with and, put commas and periods where they do not belong and……. all sorts of other nonsense that is frowned upon. — Please, ignore my sloppiness. You guys are the best. 😀
I learn a lot from other authors. I learn from reading… which I truly believe is one of the best ways to learn about writing.
The other day I tried a new author. And it was this author’s first book.
As someone writing a first… it pains me to read first books by new authors and pick it apart. Because I know… I knooowwww… the work, the time, the sweat, and tears… all of it. I live it. It’s heart wrenching to know people are going to pick your work apart and find flaws in something you’ve created and come to love very much. — But that’s the name of this game. People will read your work as an author and they will judge it. Good or bad… one way or the other… they’ll feel some sort of way about it and that’s their right. —
But as a writer… it makes it much more difficult for me. I feel bad judging someone else’s work when I didn’t like something. I want to like it all. But that’s just not the case. That’s not how it works and at the end of the day… I can also learn a lot from books that I didn’t like or that I found flaws in. — Sure… I know people will find flaws and issues in my work… and that makes me feel like a hypocrite… hence the reason I probably feel so bad when I don’t like something. —- Which is what happened with this book.
I tried it because it was suggested and I knew it was a first time author and I wanted to see what that read like… because typically I’m reading books by authors that have published a multitude of books… and that’s always going to be a different kind of read.
So throughout what I read of it… the author kept telling me that the main character was sarcastic and was a bit of a smart mouth. There were several times where that was expressed and eventually I went.. You keep telling me, but it’s not in the dialogue and it’s not in her thoughts and it’s not in her actions. It’s not here anywhere. — She wanted me to know her character was sarcastic but if she had never told me that… I would have never known.
And I immediately thought…. don’t do that. Make sure that if I tell readers something about my character and it’s a huge part of their personality…. that they’ll see it throughout the book. They’ll see it in the dialogue, actions, and inner thoughts. If my character has sarcastic tendencies… let there be no room for doubt. If one character doesn’t get along with another…. make sure the reader can see the tension and that it doesn’t come across like they’re best buds. Things like that. Making sure everything matches up and balances out… Everything has to carry over just right all the way through… it can be a fine line! Lemme tell ya! —
Now I didn’t like the book. To be fair… I don’t think I was the right target for it. I really don’t. But at the same time… it really did help me to pay attention to things I don’t want to do with my own work. — One of the other things was that it moved very fast and didn’t really go in hard. I didn’t feel like I got enough information or got to know anything about anything before we had moved on to another scene. — and I immediately said, don’t do that. Don’t linger too long… but also.. let my readers get to know my characters and what’s happening and get a feel for each and every scene. Even short ones. Create depth… I want people to turn the page having known exactly what I did about what was happening. Clear & concise… not just sort of brushing over it where you feel like you kinda missed something, but you aren’t sure what. —
& y’all I feel like a jerk for saying that about some one else’s hard work. I really do. & I know she was trying to move the story along to get to the good stuff… but I believe that all of the smaller parts in between the big ones matter just as much as the big ones. If you gloss over them quickly and with very little depth you miss out on so many opportunities for character and story building. You also run the risk of leaving readers like me… feeling like they’ve missed something.
There’s so much to learn from the work of other author’s… even when it’s mistakes or problems. And as much as I hate to find issues with a new authors work… because I know the tides shall turn someday… y’all.. ya girl ain’t no fool. 😉 — When there are issues… those are things I can learn from. So I do.
I feel like a jerk when I’m doing it though… so there’s that. 😉
I don’t really have anything to say. I thought I’d pop in because it’s been a minute… Like a week or so… & I wanted to say Hey.
My husband & I went camping for a few days earlier this week & although I took my laptop.. I never even opened it. But alas, I’m opening now!
So I’mma tell y’all some random nonsense from my day. — You’re welcome. 😀
I couldn’t find my pencil bag earlier. Y’all know the ones you used to get in school to hold all your pens, pencils, markers & such? They have the holes and you can snap it into a binder and you’re all good? — I have one of those. I keep my pens, sticky note pads, small notebooks, and things like that in there. I also keep my little thumb drive in it. So it’s vital to my success. — Anyhow, I found it……. under a pile of clean laundry I dumped into the recliner earlier. Yes, I took it out of the dryer & dropped it into the chair like a good little procrastinater. & we’re not going to talk about that other load of laundry that’s still hanging out in the dryer either. Nope… it is of no importance. Y’all go on ahead and put it out of your mind… I already have. — Laundry? What Laundry? 😀
I watched an episode of Bonanza tonight at Mombie & Papa’s. Then an episode of Walker Texas Ranger immediately following that. It made me smile. I remember watching those shows as a kid because my mom watched them. & not as a kid because I was a kid when they came out… I’m one of those dreadful millennials the world warns you all of…. No, they were definitely re-runs from when I was either not born yet or… aged 2 til 10. (Yes, I just googled Walker Texas Ranger’s run time. Don’t judge me. 😀 ) — Anyhow… it was nostalgic & makes me wanna binge some Walker. — The heart wants what the heart wants…. & it wants the eyes of a ranger upon me. — Except not in a creepy way…. that definitely sounds sorta creepy and stalker-like. — No, I mean in a walker texas ranger way. He’s no creepy stalker. He’s the one that will take out your creepy stalkers. — Ya know what? I’m just gonna stop now. This is getting away from me. I have no idea what I’m saying right now.
Also, I cleaned my shower today. Tho I’m sure none of you care… I did indeed do so. — Does that now give me a free pass for failing to fold and put away laundry? I feel like it does. I’m going with yes.
Anyhow. I’m gonna skip out of here & do a little writing. (Not this writing, work writing.) & then go climb in bed & crash with my favorite husband & my favorite pup. I only have one of each of those, just to clarify. In case any of you thought I was collecting husbands and puppies. Tho collecting puppies does have its merits. 😀
See y’all soon!
I gotta tell y’all bout what just happened…
About a month ago I started writing every day.. I still write every day, just so ya know.. that hasn’t stopped.
Because of that I write way more often, obviously, and I’m better at it. I genuinely believe that writing, in a lot of cases, is a God-given talent. It’s no different from the singer or the painter or the musician. It’s art, just like all the rest. Anyone has the ability to write, and that’s great, but I do believe that God gives some people an extra special ability to do so.
Just like I can sing… but you probably don’t want to hear it. While I’m capable of it, I was certainly not gifted with the ability to do it very well.
My husband can paint and he has real talent. Me? Ha! He’ll show me sometimes, like early on in the painting and try to explain what it’s going to be and how it’s going to come together.. and I’m like… I don’t get it. — He’ll say, you have to envision it… and I’m standing there like… Nope, I got nothing. — Because I’m not a painter.
I’m a writer.
I’ve struggled to stay consistent with writing and that has affected its quality. Writing is like any art. If you don’t do it very often, you’re going to be rusty at it and it’s going to show. With any art, not just writing. The more you do it, the better you are at it.
Here’s what happened…..
I downloaded a book earlier and started reading… I was stumbling through paragraph after paragraph because my brain was thinking like a writer, not a reader.
All I could see was sentence structure, the various tenses, how the author wove her words and sentences together, and the detail in her work. All I could see was how it was strung together…. and I realized it was because I’ve been so immersed in writing lately that my mind was reading like a writer, rather than a reader.
I have a God-given talent that I haven’t utilized the way I should have over the years. So it’s been pretty rusty when I did bust it out sporadically.
However because I’ve been using it so much lately it’s improved in a thousand different ways. One of which means I’m going to have to make an effort to put aside thinking like a writer when I’m reading.
I’ve never had that happen before. Sometimes stuff would jump out at me and I would think, oh that’s good, I like what he or she did there. — This was different.
This was… I didn’t even know what I had read because all I was seeing was how it was put together. So I’m going to have to figure out how to shut that off, cause ya girl here likes to read. 😀
I just thought I would share that with you guys. Every day I feel more like the writer I’m meant to be… and I like it. And since this blog was always intended to be about my writing journey… seems fitting to mention it.