craft, motivation, personal, plotting, Speedbo, writing

What Speedbo Has Taught Me

Writing a book in a month is a daunting task, but I signed up for Speedbo (a Seekerville project) with the hopes of getting some much needed words on the page. I plowed in, writing as much as I could, and then my computer had to be put in the shop for almost a week. I wrote longhand, but didn’t get the word count I wanted in every day. And of course, our bathroom has been under construction, and has displaced us from our bedroom to the living room. It is like camping, living among a ton of dust, sharing a bathroom with the whole family, with a mattress on the floor and my underwear in a paper bag.

Despite all the obstacles, I wrote almost every day, but soon was dissatisfied with my WIP. I was bored with it. It was a struggle to envision scenes. I really didn’t care about the characters. And the word count has withered to nothing in the last couple of days. I’ve been praying about it, wondering what was wrong, and I’ve come to a few conclusions.

I need to write in the genre that I love to read. I love historical romance. I do read contemporary some, but it does not keep my interest like something set in the past. I particularly love Regency and Medieval eras and have read vast amounts of books in those time periods. So why would I be trying to write a YA contemporary? I have no idea, other than I have THE BEST story concept that would make a fantastic book. Since I am still new to writing, I probably need to stay with one genre while I grow as a writer. Stick with what I know and get good at doing it!

I need a road map before I journey into the making of a book. I went into Speedbo with a story idea. Actually, I had developed characters, backstory, and motivation for a different book, but then thought the story would be better as a YA. So when I started Speedbo, I just used the concept and some of the backstory and went with it. Well, I really didn’t think it through and floundered with holes in the motivation and plot. What a mess. My personality tends toward lists and rules, so I think I need a detailed map to move me through. I wonder why I didn’t think about that beforehand? Duh…

I need to go to bed early during Speedbo. I write best in the early morning before anyone gets up. It’s quiet, there is nothing on TV, Twitter and FB are quiet, it’s perfect. The problem with getting up at 5:00 a.m. is that I get super tired in the day and don’t want to get up in the morning. I need to get in bed earlier so that I am well rested and ready to write first thing. This was difficult for me this month because of the construction in my home and our mattress in the living room. But I hope that once things are back to normal, I can get into a routine and get into a good writing habit once again.

I’ve been praying a lot about all that I have been learning and made a financial commitment to developing my writing. I joined the My Book Therapy Team. For $14.99 a month, I have access to a wealth of information and tools. I want to be proactive in my writing and I think that the tools and books they provide will teach me what I need to know to write well and write strong.

What have you been learning on your writing journey?
Or what have you been doing to better yourself in your dreams?

p.s.  I lost 1.4 last night at my WW weigh in for a total of 19.6. Slower than molasses, but a steady loss.

craft, writing, writing books

Are You At War?

I’m reading The Art Of War For Writers by James Scott Bell. Oh.My.Goodness! This is such a good book. What I like about it are the short chapters, full of words that motivate and inspire. It is based on the book The Art of War by Sun Tzu, written well before Christ. Sun Tzu wrote about war and the tactics and strategies needed to win wars. Well, that is what Bell’s book is, but for writers regarding the writing life.

It is divided up into three sections:

1. Reconnaissance: about the mental game of writing.

2. Tactic: about the craft of writing

3. Strategy: about the business of writing (publishing)

Today I want to add a few of my favorite quotes from the first section, Reconnaissance.

“The writers of great books zealously learn the craft of their profession so they can release the power and depth of their imagination and experience.” p. 11

“Every moment spent whining about your writing career is a moment of creative energy lost.” p. 27

“Determine that you will act as if you had no fear. Act as if you are a successful writer. Don’t do this with arrogance, but with determination.” p. 30

“Finish your novel, because you learn more that way than any other.” p. 65

Aren’t those great quotes? Seriously, this book is a MUST for every writer. It is not a “how to” book, but a book that fills in the gaps and highlights the important stuff for writers. There is so much good stuff in this one!