30-Day Writer's Boot Camp, Writing

Writer’s Check-In

Hey, Fellow Writers!

I’m just checking in because I haven’t posted in a while. I should be getting some posts on here soon, but I really haven’t had much that I can actually publish to this website. If you’re new to the site, you know that I am using it as part of a Genius Hour Project for my English students. That also means that there are things that I’ve written that I will not be able to publish here.

So what have I been up to?

Sorry I haven’t posted lately, Rachel. I have been writing. I’ve been working on Julia Cameron’s morning pages, which have been really hard to do. She states that I should start every morning with three pages of free writing to get all of my writer-blocking thoughts out of my head in order to free up thoughts for writing. It has been darn hard to get three pages without feeling as if I’m repeating myself repeatedly (haha!). Maybe when school starts up again in a couple weeks it will be a different story. For now, they are darn hard. I’ve also been working on writing a piece. It is not, however, my WIP. This one has been much more personal, and I’m unable to publish it because… well… it’s personal. And I’m not into publishing my memoirs for the world (and my students) to see.

30-Day Writer's Boot Camp, Writing

Punching In, Punching Out

Day 6 of Writer’s Boot Camp

Today is about keeping track of my day. Rachel Federman has some really good advice on keeping track of my time usage in the day in order to not only see if my time is being used effectively, but also to make a plan later so that I can be more productive. She goes on to discuss that many of the people who only write when they’re inspired (me) are probably not going to be very productive in their writing lives. I have lived way this for years, so I closed my eyes in shame when I read this part. It’s like she can see inside my soul. Dang her!

I will do this, but I already know that I do not use my time effectively or I wouldn’t have grading to finish the last week of school and weight to lose this summer. Going to bed on time would be a regular occurrence, and I wouldn’t give my Sleep Alarm app a frowning face every morning when it asks me how I feel. Federman addresses the business of being busy in her book:

We all love to be busy. We love to say how busy we are. We’re addicted to what Tim Krieder brilliantly called “busy trap” and what Heather Sellers calls the “busy drug.” (41)

 

I can say that I do NOT suffer from this. And I actually call it BBS – Busy Bee Syndrome. I used to suffer from this. I bought my fill of planners and showed people how important my time was. When I first moved to Washington, that all stopped. I wasn’t teaching full-time anymore, and that was the first summer I realized how damaging BBS really was to me. Granted, I could keep busy during the first three weeks or so of summer vacation, but when the dust cleared and the boxes were empty from moving, there was nothing to do. And my brain couldn’t shut off. I’d spent years always having too much to do for school, and I couldn’t get rid of the feeling that something (grading, planning, emailing) had to be done now. It took me over two years to stop having that feeling.

I do fill my time, but I’m ashamed to admit that my planner is not share-with-everyone noteworthy. Truthfully, it’s not worth sharing, even embarrassing. If just thinking about how I use my time is embarrassing now, writing it all down is just going to solidify shame. However, it will be done. That is the task of the day. Once this is take care of, then I can move on to figure out how to use my time effectively in order to plan out my writing. After all, I stated in my goal setting post that I wanted to make sure that I wrote for at least 20 minutes a day (which I still struggle with), and I needed a plan for writing. Here, I’ll be able to figure out the best times to write and focus on doing something specific, as Rachel suggests in her book.

30-Day Writer's Boot Camp

Getting My Bearings

Day 4: Getting Your Bearings

Today is about figuring out what type of writer I am in terms of making writing a daily ritual. Even though this is only day 4, it has been a really fun process so far. Making my students are part of this has also made it quite entertaining. I’m gaining confidence in sharing my work. Naturally, they compliment me. They’re sweet, and I’m not sure they would tell me if I suck anyway. However, just the act of reading a fictional piece to them and putting myself out there has been freeing. Each time I read it, I get a little less fearful.

I have yet to get up early and write as I’m supposed to which leads me to believe that I may be one of those people who just needs to find/make time to write each day. One thing that has been new and exciting is that I look forward to finding time to write, and I was disappointed and upset on the two days that I didn’t. It has been a long time since I’ve felt such a strong desire to sit down and work on something. This blog helps quite a bit.

What Type of Writer Am I?

Such a good question. And such a hard one. Here’s what I know:

  1. There are two places that I absolutely love to go when I want to work on writing: Starbucks and my deck. Sometimes I’ll even do both in the same day. Noise is not a distraction. That’s probably the teacher in me because there are so many things that have to be tuned out in the classroom on any given work day.
  2. There doesn’t seem to be any particular time of day right now that I’m motivated to write more than other times; however, in a little over a week, I’ll be on summer vacation. During the summer, I typically start my mornings writing about or researching my interests. It’s the busy school year that makes scheduling really tough.
  3. I really like to write by hand, but I have wrist issues that keep me from being able to do this for long periods which makes typing the logical answer. I also have a newer Mac that I absolutely love, so that makes it easier to accept my physical flaws and their inability to withstand a lot of writing. (Stupid wrists!)
  4. I think I look for the ideal writing time too much and need to figure out how to push that nonsense out of my head.
  5. I don’t know if I’ll be an everyday writer or not. Even though I struggled for two days to find twenty minutes to write, I also had no problem sitting down at 10 PM after Cam’s baseball game to write for an hour and a half. Even as I write this post, I’ve already spent a good thirty minutes or more on it. When I do sit down and write, it’s for a good chunk of time.

I may not know for sure what type of writer I am, but I know some of what works and doesn’t work. I’m hoping to learn a lot more over the next 26 days as I continue this 30-Day Writer’s Boot Camp.

30-Day Writer's Boot Camp, Uncategorized

Writer’s Boot Camp: Day 1

For those of you who haven’t read the previous post, I’m beginning a 30-day writer’s boot camp. Each day for the next 30 days will have some form of writing from me regarding this boot camp. I’m a little nervous, but I’m putting myself out there anyway.

Girl writes in a notebook on a wooden desk with a cup of coffee and laptop

Day 1: My Dream Writing Life

The directions for this day say that a supposed to describe my dream writing life.

My dream writing life is being able to work anywhere, but I picture myself at a Starbucks with a notebook and computer in front of me. I’m sipping on an iced chai tea latte and pondering how best to write the next sentence. The writing flows smoothly, there’s no hesitation, and I have many breakthroughs.

I have two successful blogs, one for health and the other for education, both of which I’m able to make money from. I have two young adult novels another my belt. The third is a trilogy based on vampires. No Twilight, I promise.

Writing

It’s Been Too Long

It’s been a long time since I’ve published anything to this blog. I recently purchased a couple of books to get me back into writing: Writer’s Boot Camp by Rachel Federman (which I can’t seem to find online anymore) and Complete the Story which you can find at Barnes and Noble. The goal is to immerse myself in writing for the next 30 days and post it here.

I’m a little worried about this because we have 17 more days left a school which means that I’m going to be really busy trying to get papers graded and fit in any curriculum that needs to be completed. Waiting for summer is a viable option, but I was hoping to be writing in full force before summer came so I could use summer vacation effectively. It would also be a shame to wait for summer, work a writing regimen into my schedule, then have to create a new regimen all over again when school starts back up in September. It may be tough now, but it will be worth it if I can pull it off.

I will be posting for the next 30 days as part of this boot camp. If I miss a single day, I’m not reaching my goal. Wish me luck.

Fiction, Writing, Writing Ideas

NaNoWriMo

Screen Shot 2013-11-02 at 5.21.19 PMIt’s here! National Novel Writing Month. This year I’ve signed up as a participant, and I’m very excited. Originally I was going to meet with my writing club every Saturday during the month of November, but I got scheduled to work so I’m on my own. This really stinks because it’s the 3rd, and I haven’t written any words yet. The goal is 2000 a day. I’ve never attempted anything like this, but I think that it will force me to put fingers to keyboard and get this book written that I’ve thought about doing for almost three years. And thinking is about all I’ve done for it. I’m excited and nervous at the same time because it is so easy to just think about doing it. So much easier than actually sitting down and making myself do it. However, that time has come and gone. It’s time to get down to the nitty-gritty, shed my fears, and just do it. Wish me luck!

If you’re interested in signing up, here is the link: National Novel Writing Month

Good luck to you too if you take the challenge!

Story-Starter Sunday, Writing, Writing Ideas

Story-Starter Sunday

magic pen (series C)Sunday!!! I’m in the process of watching my Steelers playing the Jets, but there is a commercial on, so I’m getting ready to post Story-Starter Sunday. I love this day. It’s always fun to think up different ideas for you. I hope you have as much fun using the story starters as I have writing them.

Story Starter: No matter how hard she tried, she just couldn’t break through to him.

Happy writing!!!