Monday, January 17, 2011

I Haven't Given Up Yet

I've just given myself permission to wait until I finish one big dream before starting on the next. But I was just sitting there a couple of days ago and I had an idea.

It was an idea that changes my original Nano story a little, but it's basically the same. It just makes it better. I wrote it down and then gave myself permission to forget about it.

But then I had another idea for the same story the next day. Again, I wrote it down and gave myself permission to forget. Maybe this is how it's done.

Monday, November 22, 2010

I'm a Loser

It's not going to happen. I'm not going to win NaNoWriMo.


I don't know why I thought it would be possible with a two-week vacation to Florida in November. I only just hit 4,600 words this afternoon. I should be close to 40,000 now.

Oh well.

But I'm not to give up on the novel. Even though sometimes I think the story drags and I should just give up because I suck at writing, sometimes there is a little flash of a good scene. So I just keep reminding myself that this is just a first draft. A starting point. Besides, I know I'm a rewriter. That's when it's the most fun. First drafts blow.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Oh No Nano

I had really good intentions. I brought my laptop on vacation. I thought I'd have a ton of time to write after everyone went to bed. But it's not working out that way.

First, the time change and jet lag had me all screwed up. Plus, I am still getting over a cold. Still, as in two weeks. So I'm not sleeping well when I do sleep. And my brain hurts from all the coughing I've been doing.

Second, the family's been staying up pretty late. By the time they all go to bed, I'm totally wiped out, too, and just find myself staring at my computer screen. Too tired to think.

Third, cold medicine gives me writer's block. The only reason I'm writing this is because the Sudafed wore off and I am up early at my sister's in New Orleans. The kiddo's with grandma in Florida. I'm sure everyone will else around here will be up shortly since I'm hacking up a lung out in the living room.

I've got another week of vacation, so I'm hoping I can get on track. Not sure how, though. But if I don't, I'm going to have about 47,000 words to write Thanksgiving week (during which time my father-in-law will be staying with us).

Why does NaNo have to be in November? Why couldn't it be NaFebWriMo?

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Hello NaNo!

I'm in trouble. I already started over and it's only Day 3 of NaNoWriMo. Well, at least it's only Day 3.

But I love my NaNo novel. It's fluffilicious! That should be a word. You can find me HERE. I need to change my author profile -- that one's from last year. *gasp*

My synopsis is below. I'm going to try hard to leave it alone now and focus on the story. (I'm only 560 words in and should be at 5,000. Yikes.)

Kate Running (Working Title):

Everyone at Dunham and Burke loves Kate. She’s the life of every after-work party, at ease under pressure and would gladly set up camp in the spotlight. And, at 27, Kate McKendrick’s at the top of her game in this small advertising firm just outside of Seattle.

But when another writer is hired to be her teammate, Kate finds her job threatened and, more importantly, her status as coolest coworker. Now everyone loves Phillip with his tan face, toned legs and healthy lifestyle. A marathoner. Whatever.

On one particularly soul-crushing day, Kate declares anyone can run a marathon, to which Phillip retorts, “You wanna bet?” Of course she does. Kate’s not one to run away from a challenge. The only problem: Kate’s not one to run…at all. (That is unless it’s from the office to happy hour at Downtown Dave’s next door. Hello, $2 margaritas!)

Will Kate win the bet? Or will she die trying?

Copyright 2010 Kerrie T. and How To Be an Author

Monday, October 25, 2010

Why Am I Doing This?

So, I started a blog post to answer that question last week. It was awful. I couldn't figure out why I wanted to write light-hearted women's fiction (aka chick-lit). I could think of really good, mature reasons to write a memoir or a children's book, but none for women's fiction. All I could come up with was: to see what the cover would look like.


I was ready to just give it all up. And I did for a few days. I just stopped working on stuff. But, tonight, I think I've answered my question.

I am doing this because I love to read light-hearted women's fiction. Think Sophie Kinsella and Emily Giffin and Lauren Weisenberger. These books help me escape. And laugh. They make me want to skip down the street while wearing a flowy pink dress and stilettos. To get a mani/pedi. To kiss my husband.

So, I am doing this because I want other women (or men) to feel this way, too, when they are reading something I wrote. To just have a little fun, darn it. Life doesn't need to be so serious. Books don't either. That's what I say, anyway.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

The 6,000 Word Curse

It always happens right around this time.

I start off with an idea and it’s like I’m writing to keep my family alive. I don’t even want to breathe I’m so afraid of losing the scenes, the pictures in my head. It just all comes spilling out. It’s like I’m stranded in the desert and the words are water, and the more I write, the less thirsty I will be.

I slow down after the first couple of thousand. I think. I write. I think. I write. But I don’t mind because this is what writers do. Yes? At least that’s what I think they do anyway. It goes on like this for a sweet little while and I think, “This is it! The idea is great! I can do it! Yay, I’m a writer! I will be published!” But then, as I approach 5-6,000 words…

It all dries up. Poof, it’s all gone. No momentum. No excitement. No idea what I’m doing.

This is when I start wandering in the heat. This time, though, there are no words to fill me up, and I start to get really panicked and depressed, and suddenly I look like Chevy Chase in Vacation and I’m stumbling along with a pair of pants on my head, yelling, “Taxi! Taxi!” at tumbleweeds.

What is it about this number of words that curses me?

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Discouraged, Confused

I came down the stairs around 9 p.m. Friday after having put our toddler son to bed late. We had a busy evening. My husband was still working, as employees of that big software company in Redmond tend to do when they get home.

I went straight to the kitchen to pick up dirty dishes and put away clutter when he said it.

"Have you been working on any of your books lately?"

My back was to him as I tucked away a high chair I'd thought about selling, but changed my mind (it's too old), and I mumbled, "No, I've been feeling a little bit discouraged."

"What? Couldn't hear you."

I turned around, but kept my eyes away from his. "I said, No."


Still not looking at him. "I dunno. I guess I've just felt a little discouraged." And then he dropped the subject and we made our way over to the couch. He turned on Vacation, which we've seen at least 100 times, and I zoned out.

What is my problem? Lately, I just don't care. (Although, I know I really do care to write because my heart started beating faster when I wrote "I just don't care.")

I'm re-reading Anne Lamott's Bird by Bird and I love it. But it's been inspiring me to write more freely than I have been. I've been trying to write with formulas in the interest of getting something done, but Anne says to write more about characters and let the story develop. What she says makes so much sense and every time I read her book I am so inspired. I think I'm lacking self-confidence and feeling overwhelmed.

Sometimes I feel I can conquer anything, I'm a warrior writer, and sometimes I feel I'm not worth conquering it. Like all I want to do is something I know I can do and that people will probably read -- blog posts on my running blog, Facebook status updates. Know what I mean?

How can I get some self-confidence back?

I'm participating in "Wannabe Writer" confessions at Confessions of the Unpublished. Go here for more info.