Friday, May 27, 2011

Productivity--I haz it.

It's shaping up to be a good week here: in the past two days, I've cranked out 7k that I'm pretty happy with--yaya! Even though it's just a rough (first) draft, I'm really seeing ways I can iron this story out and make it fun/interesting/something-someone-somewhere-will-wanna-read.

Hopefully, this weekend will be even more productive, but we'll see how that goes. *fingerscrossed*

So how's your writing going? Any goals met?

hayyyyyyy :)

Monday, May 23, 2011

The Chaos Between

Ah, the Shiny New Idea (SNI) strikes again. I've started a new mantra (as of 9:00am this morning): I am going to finish my current WIP. I am going to finish my current WIP. I Am Going To Finish My Current WIP. IAMGOINGTOFINISHMYCURRENTWIP!

Maybe I should tattoo that backwards on my forehead. And then carry around a handmirror everywhere I go.

Okay, so maybe not. But I could definitely use a little in the way of focus right now. I'm so excited to be writing again that I've got a twenty-nine point five zillion ideas going on in mah lil noggin which makes it ohsohard to concentrate on anything at any given time because there's so much going on or so much I could be doing if I could only work on twelve WIPS of different genres all at one time....

Right. You get what I mean.

Hi, my name is Lee, and I'm battling SNI addition.

[Must. Not. Give. In.]

Suffice it to say, after this current WIP is completed and sitting nicely in a drawer for thirty days before editing, I shant be twiddling my thumbs in want of an idea. Or seven.

*head desk*

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

It's Okay to Suck. (Seriously.)

No matter how you say it, nobody wants to suck. At anything. I'm one of those people. Blame my perfectionism, my INFJ personality, whatever. Long story short, that trait is very deeply ingrained within my personality. It's there for the long haul, baby.

And you know what?

It's something I/you/we need to get over. That's right, I said it. You've got to be willing to suck at some things before you can ever get better.

Several examples come to mind, ranging from musical instruments to sports. Regardless of the scenario, however, the idea holds true. Ask yourself this question: 'What things am I naturally good at?' Got a scroll-like list yet?

Then try this one on for size: 'What are the things that I really love doing?'

Odds are, between the two questions, you'll have some overlap. But there may be a few things you love and maybe aren't so naturally good at. (This is where the musical instruments analogy comes in.) Some people are musically inclined. My family (largely excluding me) is one such group--everyone plays at least one instrument, usually two. My mom is just amazing--she plays piano, guitar, flute, sings....

But she didn't get to be seventeen kinds of awesome overnight. (I think it took two nights.)

*...maybe she's not the best example....*

A long, long time ago, I asked my mater familia to teach me her wicked-awesome-guitar/singing-jedi-ways. She obliged, began speaking in reverse syntax like Yoda and calling me 'grasshoppa'.

Wonder of all wonders (not), I sucked. Something about strumming and singing at the same time blew my mind to the point of short circuiting. I was pissed. First (bratty) reaction went something like this: Whatthehellwhyisn'tthisworkingi'msupposedtobeawesomeliketherestofmyfamilyamIadoptedthissucksIquit.

Yoda...erm, my madre, just laughed and handed me back my guitar pick after the ninth time I'd launched it airborne. And you know what she said?

Suck you do. Hopeless you are not.

And that gets us to the point of this whole rambling blog post: It's okay to suck. Seriously. Most people throw in the towel in the early stages of learning to do anything new because they can't handle not being awesometastic immediately.

To get to Jedi Master levels, you've got to be willing to suck first. To not be naturally awesome or a virtuoso. And that fact, well, sucks. But those people who do stick it out, deal with the ridicule, ignore the family members who point and giggle, eventually stop sucking. Maybe even get to the point where others consider them to be impressive. Maybe even Yoda-like.

The same theory can be applied to many different fields. Because it's on this blog, you can bet I'm going to relate it to writing. Many moons ago, once I decided I was going to get serious about writing, I found this awesome writing forum. I learned a ton immediately--the amount of Jedi Master Juice there is fantastic. I prematurely posted a snippet of a WIP up on the Share Your Work section, and promptly got told that it needed work. It wasn't fun, but it was necessary. I was told I sucked, but I wasn't hopeless. There might have even been some potential hidden in there.

Flashback to the mom and guitar session.

Through some self-motivation, I'm still writing. I can now say with complete honesty that I've gotten better. I understand the craft more now. Nowhere near an expert, but I'm learning more and more everyday just because I want to.

Most people think that writing is simple, that anyone can do it. They're only partly right.

All it takes is dedication and patience.

And the willingness to suck.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Why hello there, stranger.

Admittedly, I know it's been about four million years since my last post. I know that's not good. It's not because I haven't had much to say. Quite to the contrary: I've had A LOT to say...just not really about writing. This mainly because that evil monster called School consumes my life. She let me out for a short reprieve, however, so I'm here to make the mostest of it.

So, what have I been doing in the last two months? Well. I've--

1) Written 3 not-for-funsies papers*

2) Completed a rough draft of my thesis proposal

3) Completed AFLP analyses on 40 of my 130 specimens

4) Created presentation over completed research

5) Presented presentation at BigScaryScientificConference (Subtitled: PlaceWhereGraduateStudentHatersCongregateAndAnnihilate)

6) Collapsed with relief once BigScaryConference was over

7) Had a drink. Or three.

8) Made and presented another presentation.

9) Collapsed. Drank.

10) Attended music festival. Did not drink.

11) Ate copious amounts of candy

11.5) More candy/caffeine here.

12) Studied and took 3 finals.

13) Collapsed.

14) Preoccupied my mind by surfing youtube. (This is fantastic. I ran and bought several of her originals from itunes after finding this cover.)

15) Realized I haven't really done crap in the way of Actual Writing**

The good news is, however, that I've spent most of the day alternating between AW surfing and glorious WIP-writing. (AKA, It's been a damn good day.) I've basically outlined 3/4 of my romance novel, and that's something that makes me verrah happeh. I've also figured out a queue for my WIPs and set some goals. (Goals are a good thing.)

I plan on finishing two WIPs this year: my historical romance and my YA Contemp (which basically just needs a middle-section-rewrite), come hell or highwater. It's going to be tough, but I think I can do it.

So. hello! More stuff coming here (hopefully good stuff) soon, so check back!

Up next: It's okay to suck.

*Not-for-funsies=anything school related. Usually dry, boring, scientific style writing that sucks my soul.
**Actual Write=well, basically the opposite of above.