Signed, Sealed, Delivered. You’re dead.

I’m having a rough writing day.

Even though I know I don’t write linear I struggle to acknowledge that fact when writing. Stubborn as I am I start at chapter one, moving on to chapter two and almost always into what I call “ stuckness”.

This ugly non-existing word means I’m stuck in the story, whilst I know I have to write something further down the line to figure out how the story works, but can’t make myself do it, because I want to follow THE RULES, and go from A to Z in a straight line.

Why do I do this? I’m scared I won’t finish the story. I’m scared it will suck no matter how many rewrites I throw at it. Mostly I’m afraid I can’t do it. I’m also scared the story is too big for my brain to handle, and yet too simple to ever appeal to a reader. I’m scared I’m wasting time. The fear of writing also includes the following fears:

  • Not being original enough
  • Not knowing enough words
  • I write too much Dialogue
  • I’m terrible at Dialogue
  • I don’t write enough Dialogue (you see what I’m doing here right?)
  • My settings/descriptions suck
  • Big time
  • Every word I write is boring
  • I am so slooooooow, by the time I reach “the End” a century will have passed and all words are irrelevant

Conclusion: Writing is scary sometimes

My remedy for this looming feeling of dread near a keyboard is not writing on the story.

I tinker on a blurb, twitter pitch lines or the query letter instead. The fear will shrink and slowly I will add words to paper. (some days I just end up with a handful of blurb lines or sixteen different queries). The plus side is it helps me understand the story better.

My favorite pitch of today so far:

YA THE BLACKLIST with magic. 17 year old Jenya Olivier is the Messenger of Crime. Signed, sealed, delivered. You’re dead. (needs to be said Stevie Wonder Style of course).

Tweeting that one.

A Way In Versus A Way Out

Day two of campnano

I’ve plunged back into a YA story for a complete rewrite. There’s distance between the world on the page and myself. So much distance that I’ve no trouble cutting and slicing through it. Unfortunately it didn’t take long for the HOORAY FOR REWRITING-Bubble to burst. Rewriting this story is going to be hard work, it’s going to take more than 30 hours to fix/recreate it into something else. And by something else I mean a far better story. But I’m going to take it one hour at the time and remind myself that small steps can lead to great change.

When driving to work today I realized I’ve changed too. When I was a kid, I wrote to escape. Not only from my not so easy childhood into my imagination, but I also already felt that WRITER could be a job and if it would make me famous and rich I could get away form my circumstances.

As a teenager I wrote partly for the same reasons, but also to handle all the things I was feeling and thinking. But honestly I still had dreams of MAKING it BIG. When I was a famous and rich writer everything would be better.

Now I know it doesn’t work like that.  I no longer write for a way out. My life is exactly where it needs to be at this point in time, and that’s okay. I write because it’s fun and it’s as close to magic as I can get. I can magically turn old and new feelings into a world on a page.

Of course I would like to be published and reward myself with a Henry.

Of course I sometimes worry if it’s a waste of time.

Of course I worry if my writing is any good.

But I also don’t care.

I write because it’s a way inside.

 

 

 

 

 

The Month of Story

Inspired by the Happier podcast hosted by Gretchen Rubin and Liz Craft I decided to design my Summer. My Summer consists of July, August and September, and I’m going to pick a theme and design a do-able project or some goals for each of those months.

July will be the month of STORY. August the month of FAMILY and September the month of HOME.

For The Month of Story I’m doing Campnanowrimo. This time I’ve picked the random cabin assignments- option and let myself be surprised 🙂

Goals for July:

1-1,5 hours of editing or writing every day.

4 blog posts

8 photos (posted on Instagram)

4 twitter posts

Woop Woop!

 

 

Two is a Club

I have a problem, because I discovered PODCASTS.

A dear friend of mine has been hooked on several shows for a while and has been trying to trick me into listening as well. Sending me suggestions, always mentioning it when we see each other, that sort of stuff. I held it off, well until, I didn’t.

So now I have a problem. I’ve binge listened to The Hilarious World of Depression with John Moe. It is a really good show, addressing serious mental health problems with a precise amount of lightness. But it caused me to be late for literally everything. I listened while driving, but if the podcast took longer I stayed in my car or drove around the place where I was supposed to be.

I also listened to some episodes of the “Happier” podcast by Gretchin Rubin and her sister and stole one of their ideas: Start a two person book club, because two is a club!

Why didn’t I think of this?

Guess who I forced to be in a book club with me? Yes, you’re right! The same person who tricked me into the time consuming but also very VERY VERY awesome world of Podcast.

Revenge is sweet.

Short life update:

Currently listening to:

Reply all

Big Brains

99% invisible

Currently reading:

The course of love

Currently writing:

A story about a blue circus

Currently Editing:

YA draft that shall not be named

Currently preoccupied with:

PODCASTS

Camp NaNoWriMO

In which I become friends with my Muse (his name is Kip)

It’s July! And like I said in my post about Summer, I intend to write a lot this month.

But I’m slacking on the writing-blog-posts-part, so here it is: a July post 🙂

It’s nothing more than a short update on what I’m doing but still. I wrote it. (Maybe I can add the words to my daily nano count #cheaterthatIam)

I’m doing Campnano again. And having fun with a new story about a telepathic connection between a brother (who paints in only one color, either blue or red) and sister ( a barista who can make awesome Latte art but HATES milk, because the memory that clings to it rips her soul apart).

I guess the new story is also about coffee. Because I like coffee.

AND I am editing the previous story, which is turning into something that might actually be worth reading. I stumble upon sentences I don’t really remember writing and some are actually quite suprising. In a good way. Sometimes I feel almost proud of what I’ve written. And I’m not a person who finds it easy to be proud of her achievements. I’m terrible at writing descriptions, but some of them might work. Like this one:

The rain was washing away the remains of the day, clearing the city like an etch and sketch. The streets were shimmering and the air smelled like earth. Jenya loved this hour of night. Tourists were nowhere to be seen, the streets almost empty. The rain turned into a soft drizzle, making soft thudding sounds, indifferent of the surfaces it fell on. A couple hurried by, giggling and trying to balance an umbrella between the two of them. Jenya thought about rain, how it had made her feel warm and safe when she was younger, lying on her bed listening to it tapping the windows

The last six years she hadn’t felt safe at all, and when her window was tapped upon it was normally something that came straight from a nightmare.

I’m still really (really , really, really)  insecure. And a lot of times I tell myself not so optimistic things (why are you doing this/ this is not going to work/ why?/ all that time typing and stringing words together/ nobody is going to read or like your work/ etcetera). My inner editor (Pie is her name) still points out why things are not working, but hours go by where she’s just quiet. Maybe there is a muse and maybe he’s holding her hostage. Who knows?

I’m calling my muse Kip, because Kip is a cool name and sounds like a person who likes coffee. Kip and I are going to be friends.

 

 

 

When I think of Summer

Once upon a time, in a practically underwater country, not so very far away, a person named Irene was feeling rather bored.

And wrote a blog post about Summer, because Summer is cool.

*

June’s already halfway gone! How did that happen so fast??

The good thing is that it’s almost July and July means GOOD THINGS.

In case you’re wondering what these good things are, behold a list!

  • Summer (for details of my thoughts on things to do in Summer, see below)
  • Summer vacation part 1: Bretagne
  • (a ten day break at a wonderful piece of coast in France with four happy kids and one very handsome man, starting July 31st ).
  • Campnano is coming again!
  • (in which I intend to work on my writing goals like there is no tomorrow (Ha! As you may know I find “tomorrow “ an elusive concept).

These are some of the things that come to mind when I think of summer:

get a tan/eat a coconut/have weekly BBQ’s/swimming&beach/read books/drink champagne/have picknicks in the park/ go to a festival of sorts/ attend a wedding/buy a bikini/write an entry for a YA contest/edit Draft that Must not be Named until it’s worthy of a name/ dabble in contemporary YA because the idea won’t go away/ finally make that Polaroid branch I was supposed to make in May/make my own icecreams/figure out how to make Mango juice.

Ahh Mango Juice.

And she lived happily ever after.

(Back to work).

 

 

Breaking Down April

No, I’m not breaking down.

This post is to evaluate the goals I set for April.

Before I do this I’d like to underline that these goals were just there to give some direction and also to make me put in words what I wanted to work on in April.

As a reminder this was April’s Project:

1 – Make Plot Outline (for Editing Purposes)

2 – Edit First Draft (Obvious)

3 – Create Synopsis (Kind of dreading this one)

4 – Write a couple of blog posts (Because it is fun)

5 – Start short story/ new story (To distract from point 2)

And

Make a blog post about my writing challenge to see how many hours I spent writing/ how many words/ how many chapters edited.

I finished or started the things in green, but didn’t do the things in red because I wasn’t as quick in revising/editing as I thought I would be.. After one week of campnano I changed my goal to hours instead of words.

Let me break my April writing down for you in days:

Date

 

Hours What/why?
April 1

 

0 Because of hangover after birthday party. (I turned 34 on 31st of March)
April 2

 

2 Cut things. Also keep shifting things around in chapter 1 and 2.

 

April 3

 

2 Day job. Added some but also cut things. Moved things around.

 

April 4

 

2 Finally started editing for real. Chapter one mostly
April 5

 

2 Chapter one revised/edited
April 6

 

2 Chapter two revised/edited

 

 

April 7

 

2

 

One tiny blogpost. Chapter 3: delete/ repeat. Added some.

 

April 8

 

Weekend (0) House painting /chores ☹
April 9

 

Weekend (0) House painting/chores ☹
April 10

 

 

3 Tinkered again with chapter 1 & 2, and send it to someone to read.
April 11

 

 

4,5 Returned to chapter 3, added/cut/rewrite
April 12

 

 

1,5 Chapter 4
April 13

 

1 Looked things up/ get in touch with writerly feeling
April 14

 

1 Wrote Blogpost
April 15

 

1,5 Chapter 4 done, needs more revising in next draft but okay for now. Need forward momentum so on to chapter 5.
April 16

 

2,5 Chapter 5 started also some reading on WordPress reader to look for interesting blogs to follow (also known as procrastinating)
April 17

 

Minutes Easter things
April 18

 

Minutes Work and birthday party prep
April 19

 

Minutes Kid birthday party/ housecleaning/grocery/ watching Luther, because: Idris Elba and Ruth Wilson😊
April 20

 

Minutes Work and stuff
April 21

 

3 WordPress and a bit of editing.
April 22

 

3 Chapter 5 !
April 23

 

0 Work and stuff
April 24

 

4 Chapter 6
April 25

 

0 Kids vacation, went to a zoo
April 26

 

1 Kids vacation, zero concentration
April 27

 

4 Chapter 5 & 6 Done
April 28

 

4 Started chapter 7
April 29

 

2 Chapter 7/ WordPress
April 30

 

2 Chapter 7 done

What have I learned about my process this month? Well I’m a slow starter for sure. It took me FOUR days to realize that if I wanted to improve this draft I actually had to sit down and well, DO SOMETHING. And with that I mean, FOCUS and put words on paper. And even worse: delete everything that doesn’t work. (Which also took time, because I only really cut things when I send my work to someone else).

So by the time it was April 4th I had that realization and in the days that followed work was done. But then the weekend came around… In which I promised to help to paint and didn’t get around to write much. This is also true for work days and days when the kids are free.  It was a very busy month with loads of obligations but I still managed 50 hours.

Of course I could have done more, but I don’t mind. I like being hooked on watching Luther, going to the gym, meet friends, have dayjob (not liking that one), having 4 kids to entertain on occasion, having a relationship, read books.

And I’ve found some writerly friends! Some say Campnano is very different from the Big November Thing, and that’s true, but I really liked my cabin.

I would have worked on my story anyway but I’m glad I’d a group of people doing the same thing, dreaming the same dreams, fighting the same insecurities.

For May I’ve decided to just keep on keeping on. I learned that if I’ve longer stretches of time I get more work done, so I’m trying to get those this month.

May Goals:

  • Continue Edit on The Draft That Must Not be Named 😊
  • Make a Polaroid branch and blog about that project!
  • Blogpost about editing process part two
  • I’m going to Copenhagen this month, so expect a travel post by the end of the month (probably just pictures, because well Copenhagen!)

Ciao!