That whole thing about how a writer should write everyday has been put to bed by me, especially since I’ve been on a 3-month blog pause. I write when I feel inspired and I don’t force my creativity. I let it come naturally. And, although I haven’t blogged in three months, I have been writing intermittently on my book, Reconciled. I’m truly amazed at how far I have come in only six months. It’s a lot farther than I have ever been and it’s such a good feeling. I’m not in the final editing phase just yet, but I’m getting pretty close. Right now, I’m transitioning the scenes to one another, which also involves continuing to write dialogue and narration to provide more depth. This is taking longer than I expected, but I’m generally happy with how it’s going. You can’t rush a good thing, right? In the meantime, I will press on and keep blogging about my progress.
It’s important to set goals for writing a book; otherwise, it can be an overwhelming process. I get overwhelmed easily so it’s beneficial for me to break my goals down into obtainable parts. This is why I write all my dialogue first and then go back to incorporate dialogue tags, narration, and if need be, more dialogue. I’m at this point right now. My scenes (chapters) are written, but they are getting fleshed out with these things during the next few months.
When people find out that I’m writing a book they want to know how many pages I have written so far. Well, I can’t really give a true account of this because I don’t write from beginning to end, not even when I’m writing all the dialogue first. I can only answer how many pages of dialogue I currently have written. With that being said, I roughly have 50 pages. It may not seem like a lot but considering that I’m aiming for my book to be between 180-200 pages, I believe that I’m right on track. My idea is to have 20 chapters that are 8-10 pages per chapter. I think that is reasonable. Breaking it down like this provide me mini-goals to keep me on target.
A book has a beginning and an end. How it gets written is up to the writer, as long as it gets written…and that starts with setting goals.
I’m excited to say that I have all my scenes set up for my book, Reconciled. I’ll be spending the next few months transitioning them to one another and then editing. My story is developing into a book and soon I’ll be publishing!
This book will actually be the first one in a series. I’m not sure how many books in the series there will be, but I intend to start working on the next one in 2018 after publication of Reconciled. It will be called, Unleashed.
The feeling of being close to finishing is phenomenal. It’s been a long journey and at times it seemed like I couldn’t see the end. However, little by little I have persevered and pressed on. I’m really going to be a published author! I won’t celebrate just yet…not until I’m truly at The End.
I ultimately write for myself. That’s the reality of it. I also would like to think that others find what I write interesting. I’m writing my first book and my target audience are those who generally read urban fantasy books. However, the thought does cross my mind: Are people going to like what I publish? I think many writers get so caught up in whether they think their target audience will like what they write that they don’t get anything written, or they get stuck in the never ending cycle of revision. I’m trying not to fall into that, but it has got me thinking lately since I’m nearing the end of writing my book. As writers, we aspire to get something published to where we become authors. That is the goal. It doesn’t stop there, though. We want to get something published that others want to read. The only advice I can give (and take myself) is to write a story you want to read. No doubt there will be others out there who will want to read it, too.
My writing involves movement. I think in a dance step, a yoga pose, or a tai chi move. These modes of movement help provide clarity of thought when I write. Some people can just sit and write, but I find it hard if I can’t get up and move around.
I have practiced lyrical dance most of my life, started yoga about ten years ago, and recently discovered tai chi within the last year. I incorporate all of these in my life so, it is quite natural for me to include them while I’m writing. The meditative nature of lyrical dance, yoga, and tai chi is what enables me to think and tap into my creativity from the flow of movement joined with holding a finished step, pose, or move.
Exercise while learning and studying has proven to be beneficial so, it only makes sense that it can be that way for writing, too. It’s amazing how more focused I get from exercising while I write!
Music moves us in a lot of ways. For me, music helps me write. Just as many have playlists for when they exercise, I have a playlist for when I’m writing. It changes over time and is largely influenced by the content I’m writing about. Certain songs trigger me into a writing mode, much like muscle memory in exercising.
I listen to Contemporary Christian music and lately, I’ve attributed most of the writing I’m getting done on my novel by Rend Collective, a Northern Irish Christian band. Their music is presently moving my pen, which I find both inspirational and enlightening.
I love all their songs, but these are the top ten that I listen to the most:
“Build Your Kingdom Here” – Campfire (2013)
“My Lighthouse” – Campfire II: Simplicity (2016)/The Art of Celebration (2014)
“Every Giant Will Fall” – Campfire II: Simplicity (2016)/As Family We Go (2015)
“More Than Conquerors” – The Art of Celebration (2014)
“Boldly I Approach” – Campfire II: Simplicity (2016)/The Art of Celebration (2014)
“Strength of My Heart” – Campfire II: Simplicity (2016)/The Art of Celebration (2014)
“All That I Am” – The Art of Celebration (2014)
“Oceans (Where Feet May Fail)” – Campfire II: Simplicity (2016)
“10,000 Reasons” – Campfire II: Simplicity (2016)/Campfire (2013)
“Joy of the Lord” – Campfire II: Simplicity (2016)/As Family We Go (2015)
Ultimately, music has a way of motivating and inspiring me. It helps to organize my thoughts and ideas into something that I am proud to put on paper. And, it will continue to be an important part in my writing process.
Coffee, wine, or tea? They each play a part when I’m writing.
Coffee is my motivator. It gets me started when I’m writing in the morning or late at night. The aroma alone is motivating. I live in Washington, which is the birthplace of Starbucks and the coffee capital of the world. I might be bias on that, but Washington is known for its coffee, right after being known for its rain.
Wine is my encourager. Should I put this in the story? Of course! Should my character say that? Definitely! Should there be purple ninja teddy bears? Wait…too much wine. Honestly, wine helps me keep writing no matter how silly the idea gets. The point is to get it all down on paper and edit later.
Tea is my voice of reason. It is what I drink when I’m reflecting and editing. This is where I generally throw out half of what I have written. Maybe not that much, but it feels like it. It is during this time that I realize something I wrote doesn’t work and changes need to be made.
This is my beverage-writing cycle. Right now, I’m in the coffee-wine part of the cycle. It doesn’t look like I’ll be drinking tea until the Fall.
And, just for clarity…there will be no purple ninja teddy bears in my story.