November 9 2016

My (updated) Writing/Creative Space for NaNoWriMo

It was dark and stormy night, no… no, it was a small and suffocating room, no… no. It was a room that needed to be rearranged so that I no longer felt closed in and suffocated.

The last thing I probably should be doing at the beginning of the second week of NaNoWriMo is rearranging my writing/creative space, but I couldn’t take it any longer. The longer I was the in the room trying to write the more closed in and suffocated I felt. Not only by the disorganization and clutter, but by the way the furniture was arranged. I love the view from my desk… I look out of the window and I see the sky, trees, (the neighbor’s houses), and our bench that sits beside the wisteria bush I planted last year. It makes me feel good, but the rest of the room–it didn’t make me feel good.

I kept thinking, I’ll get to it after NaNo. I moved a few things around before NaNo, but that wasn’t working either. Books. Shelves. More books. The little table that I loved but couldn’t really use and didn’t really fit in here. Art and journal supplies. Books. My typewriters. The antique dresser I modge-podged that I use for storage for things like my hats, gloves, craft paper, etc. The small antique writing desk my Aunt Jan gave me. The damn file cabinet that I just can’t seem to find a proper place for… Well, I finally, with Mr. Rockstar’s help, figured out how to arrange it so it was more open, and it was efficient, but pleasing to my eye.

Let’s face it, I’m in here more than anywhere else in the house, except for maybe when I’m sleeping… If I had the recliner in here I’m sure I’d fall asleep reading quite often, which is in part why it’s not in here (the other part would be because I really don’t have room, not until I can move the dresser somewhere else (it’s an antique that belonged to my husband’s uncle and eventually will go in the room my son is in when he moves out).  Instead of putting the picture in here individually, I thought I’d create a gallery. Hope you enjoy. 😀

November 6 2016

Real Life Tips for NaNoWriMo

The-Secret-Of-Writing-QuoteThe most popular bit of advice given in regard to writing are:

  • Writer’s write.
  • Just write.
  • Put your butt in the chair and write.
  • Write one word at a time.
  • Keep writing…

Each year I participate in NaNoWriMo (and NaNo’s Camps) to keep myself motivated to write everyday. Developing the habit of writing everyday is one of those crucial aspects of a writing career that is essential to success. Recently I heard someone say “If you’re not writing, you’re not a writer.” I think it’s important, as a creative person, to remember that there might be days when you don’t feel like writing, or being creative in general. When depression, anxiety, or life’s curve balls happen and the last thing you want or feel like doing is writing (or being creative). But if you want to thrive and survive as a creative person you have to find a way to get past those, to not only survive them but to thrive.

I love reading and writing. I also love drawing, painting with watercolors, coloring, writing in my journal… the combination of words and art help soothe my soul, they provide me with a healthy way to reduce my anxiety, stress, and help to keep the depression at bay. I’ve also noticed that journaling about my writing process, as well as my day, help keep me focused (and believe me, that’s hard to do since I have ADHD). When a shiny new idea pops up and tempts me to quit what I’m currently working on to go work on that shiny new idea, I just jot down the shiny new idea into my notebook, then go back to my current project.

When I’m afraid that I don’t know what to write next, or the fear of the blank page sends my anxiety into overdrive, instead of freezing and letting that fear overtake me I take a walk, read a chapter in the current book I’m reading (right now I’m re-reading the Stand by Stephen King), take a bath, get a cup of coffee or a bottle of water, eat a snack like cashews or a banana–during that time I’ve cleared my mind. The ability to write isn’t as super power. It takes commitment, diligence, resilience, and determination.

The best piece of advice I’ve ever been given in regard to writing is two parts:

  1. “If you want to be a writer, you must do two things above all others: read a lot and write a lot.” ~Stephen King
  2. “Just write, and keep writing until it’s finished.” Miss Franklin, my 9th grade English teacher.

King also said, “Reading is the creative center of a writer’s life.” I firmly believe that. If you don’t understand the basics of storytelling, of a book, how can you write one, especially a good one.

And when it comes to the actual writing, if you don’t write… you won’t have a book, and you can’t edit a blank page, can’t publish the book you don’t write… And the first draft isn’t going to be perfect, or as Hemingway said, “The first draft of anything is shit.” I remind myself of that daily. I also remind myself that the worst thing I’ve written that day is better than what I didn’t write. Letting go of the perfectionism is one of the best ways to survive  and thrive during NaNoWriMo. Turn off your inner editor when you’re writing the first draft. It’s called the Fugly First Draft for a reason.

Here is additional real life tips for NaNoWriMo:

Category: #amwriting, ADHD, Art Journal, Creativity, Depression, Fear, Goals, Inspiration, Life, Motivation, NaNoWriMo, Productivity, Uncategorized, Writing | Comments Off on Real Life Tips for NaNoWriMo
October 25 2016

My Favorite Writer Resource Books

Books. I love books. All kinds of books. As a writer, I’ve found myself more and more drawn to what are known as writer resource books. LIke I said, I love books, but the ones listed below are some of my favorites in regard to writing.

Books like Christopher Vogler’s “The Writer’s Journey: Mythic Structure for Writers,” which explains the Hero’s Journey in great detail. Or “Nail Your Novel: Why writers abandon books and how you can draft, fix and finish with confidence,” by Roz Morris, or “The Wonderbook: The illustrated guide to creating imaginative fiction,” by Jeff Vandermeer, which has great pictures/illustrations  that are inspiring all by themselves,  but it’s a great resource as well.

Stephen King’s “On Writing” and “Secret Windows,” are great writing resource books, and since King is such a prolific author that when I read that he got rejection slips in the mail it motivates me to keep writing. 😀

Since I’m using Tarot and the Hero’s Journey for outlining my novel here are a few books that I’ve found helpful: “Tarot for Writers” by Corrine Kenner, and “The Storyteller’s Tarot” by Linda Perfect.

Now if you’re looking for an interesting and fun writing resource, one that is filled with good information and will make you laugh and keep you interested, check out Chuck Wendig’s “The Kick-Ass Writer.” If you’re into suspense or mystery then check out Carolyn Wheat’s “How to Write Killer Fiction.” If you’re interested, “First Draft in 30 Days” by Karen S. Wiesner is a pretty good read as well.

And for those of you who aren’t into outlining, especially if you’re a pantser, you might want to check out Chris Baty’s “No Plot? No Problem!” or “Ready. Set. Novel!

And once NaNoWriMo is over, you’ve finished writing that first draft, and you’re ready to edit your novel, you can check out “Self-Editing for Fiction Writers,” by Renni Browne and Dave King.

I have quite a few other books, but these are some of my favorites, the books that I prefer to read and that have helped me. 😀

Hope this helps.

Arwen’s YT video using Tarot for writing: https://youtu.be/V90tAWykxVY

Arwen’s 33 Days to Finish Your Novel: eCourse Info: http://tarotbyarwen.com/17242-2/

Wizards’ Tarot Deck by Corrine Kenner: http://amzn.to/2cC5xI2

Rider Waite Tarot Deck: http://amzn.to/2dfPRvb

Radiant Rider Waite Tarot Deck in Tin: http://amzn.to/2d16J9M

My Writer’s Bible: http://jonelifish.com *Note, if you use the code: “Burgess10” you’ll get 10% off your purchase (coupon is good for all merchandise except for Custom-Made Traveler’s Notebooks).

Colored Index Cards: http://amzn.to/2cTqLRM

Dry Erase Calendar Board: http://amzn.to/2cPr17o

Shakespeare Tarot Cards: http://amzn.to/2cTrnXj

Lord of the Rings Tarot: http://amzn.to/2ct75Xk

The Hobbit Tarot: http://amzn.to/2ditJTQ

The Witches Tarot: http://amzn.to/2d16VWA

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Thank you!

Category: Books, NaNoWriMo, NaNoWriMo Prep, Reading, Writing, Writing Resources | Comments Off on My Favorite Writer Resource Books