THE JOY IN STRESS-FREE WRITING

Saturday, May 20, 2017

I've been thinking about writing. This should be no surprise -- since I'm always thinking about writing... but, more specifically, I've been thinking about my future of writing. 

Maybe I'm the only one who does this, or maybe you can all relate. But it's easy to think ahead a couple years and wonder if my novel will be on the shelf, or if I'll still be rewriting that Idiot Novel for the millionth time. :P

It's scary mulling over the future -- fantasizing the unknown. Throughout the last several months I've been setting bigger and tougher goals for myself, with that dream of becoming an author right before me.

Honestly? It's been exhausting. I've been hustling for the last two years, always writing editing (ha... ha...), always pushing myself. Don't get me wrong, it's important to set goals and encourage yourself to do better. Without all my goals, I would've gotten very little done.

But! It's also important to not push yourself past your limits.

As I've mentioned before, I'm taking May slowly with my writing. My goals for April's Camp NaNo made writing a little too stressful, so I had to take a step back and evaluate writing. I write because I enjoy it! Not to induce gallons of stress. (I don't think stress can be measured in gallons... but... go with it.) So taking a break and waiting to feel the yearn and the reason to return to the story again is a good decision for me.

And I think once I rekindle that fire and passion, setting goals will once again feel like a fun challenge and not a chore. :P I'm still doing writing related things (because how can I completely stay away?), but I pushed aside those crazy insane goals, and my head feels thousands times lighter. This break is exactly what I've needed. And I'm actually doing other things too!
played piano for fun - read through old drafts - spent time on bullet journaling - binged read books - longer devos - extroverted + hung out with friends - took several walks - cleaned my room (only for it to become messy right away, haha) - made a dessert - took a trip to the library - had more movie nights with the fam - spent more time with my sister - sucked helium out of balloons (hehe) - written 500 words - critiqued stories

^^ I probably wouldn't have done any of that if I had my overachieving writing goals to keep up with as well. I'm learning that it's important to pay attention to other passions and people! There are so many things I want to do. SO MANY. Becoming an author is a long journey, and I want to enjoy the process, living life to the fullest while I do so. (that means maybe not staying inside all day and ignoring the world :P) I'm doing my best to find a balance between it all. xD

Anyways, as you can see, I've only written 500 words this month... but I think that's okay. I've also started editing the first couple pages of Where Shadows Lie for the MYWW conference, AND I'M SO, SO EXCITED. I think this is one of the first stories I won't have to completely rewrite. o.o (of course there will be rewriting involved, but they key word there is: completely)

I don't know what will happen after May, yet. June is filled with concerts and writing conferences and vacations... and once that's all over, I'll be working near thirty hours a week (help). So we'll see. Maybe Camp NaNo in July is when I'll begin the writing craziness again, mwahaha.

Well, there you have it. This post is a bit messy and discombobulated (fabulous word, isn't it?), but I wanted to give a little update on this month.

You're all amazing. 

<3,
katie grace

(also, Christine wrote something kind of similar to this on her blog, but said it in a much more eloquent and readable manner than I managed. She's awesome.)

(also, also, how is it the twentieth of May?? I legit thought we weren't even halfway through the month and now I'm confused. :P)

how has writing been going for you this month? <3

Writing! Books! Stories! Oh my!

Saturday, May 13, 2017
I'm back from my one-week blog break! :P This is my first time doing something writing related since Camp NaNoWriMo ended. Apparently "taking writing slower" ended up translating to, "not writing at all." Oops. xD

More on the break and writing thoughts another week.
My mind is a pile of slush, so I'm going to do a simple lil' tag and work on a more brain/mind/thinking post another time. ;)

(I copied and pasted this tag from some blog... but... now I can't remember which one. (proof that my mind is slush xD) Do let me know who I can give proper credit to. *nodnod*)




WHAT DRAWS YOU TO YA?

I think a lot of it is the fact that I'm a young adult myself! (which sounds weird to say, because I usually refer to myself as a teen) I can relate to the struggles and the thoughts and the circumstances the YA characters are in.

... kind of. Actually, I often can't relate a lot of the time, because they're fighting battles and slaying dragons. Or drinking. Or kissing. Heh. Let's just say that I can occasionally relate to their emotions and thought processes. xP

Plus teens are just awesome. It's a confusing time of life, filled with decisions and the unknown, but together we can help each other not feel quite so alone. The journey to other worlds is always nice, and meeting other fellow bookworms. ^.^

DESCRIBE YOUR WRITING PROCESS.


I've explained this in previous posts of mine. Obviously my process changes with each draft, but here's an overall rundown I wrote last year, and this post is about my first time plotting a novel.


There's a short answer for you. :P

HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN WRITING? WHERE ARE YOU IN YOUR JOURNEY?

Three years and four months! Writing has done wonders, man. <3

Ha. Is there even an easy way to tell where one is in the writing journey? I'm at the stage of, "crafting art for pure enjoyment." Yes, publishing is a goal, but even more important than that is appreciating the process and not losing the joy in the journey.

I'm not even sure if that answers the question, but I plan on expanding this for a post, so I'll just leave it at that. ;)

WHAT DO YOU NEED TO WRITE? COFFEE? MUSIC?

Ahem. Well. Firstly, I need air. I find that attempting to pen the words is rather difficult without oxygen and feeling like my lungs are about to burst.

Secondly, I need a brain. For the first couple hours after I wake up, I lack this thing called "thinking," which is unfortunate. I am required to wait until the afternoon -- preferably late evening -- until my brain cells have developed into their full potential.

I also need something to write on, whether it be paper, a computer, a phone, tablet, my bedroom wall, etc... It isn't writing until you actually write. 

There. My literal needs. :P

IF YOU COULD OFFER ONE PIECE OF ADVICE TO ANOTHER WRITER, WHAT WOULD IT BE?


Ahh, this dreaded question. I've been asked this a lot, and I'm never quite sure how to answer, because there's not one piece of advice that I view more helpful than another. Becoming a better writer is gathering all the knowledge and tips you can get. It's being open to feedback, staying determined, motivated, and sitting your butt down in the chair to write the thing.

If I had to choose one... maybe be willing to have someone else look over your work. It's a scary step -- for sure -- but that first time I let another writer critique my first couple pages opened my eyes to major improvements I could make. 



[and now for questions about YA books:]

WHAT BOOK STILL HAS YOU REELING FROM IT'S PLOT TWIST?

(spoiler free, don't worry)

OOH. I had to consult Goodreads to help my snail-like memory, here are three:


Firefight by Brandon Sanderson
We Were Liars by E. Lockhart

Heartless by Marissa Meyer

The plot twists in these books were the, "oh my goodness my jaw is dropping, my eyes are wide, I'm gasping and have no air to breath, what the heck is even going on," kind of plot twists. If only I could experience them for the first time again... <3 


WHAT BOOKS ARE YOU MOST ANTICIPATING FOR THIS YEAR?

Bless the person for writing these questions -- thank you for saying books. Plural. xD

There are many I'm looking forward to, but if I had to narrow it down to a couple, I'm most looking forward to The Evaporation of Sofi Snow and Renegades. I have both of them preordered and CANNOT WAIT.


[covers lead to Goodreads]

WHAT IS YOUR ALL-TIME FAVORITE QUOTE FROM YA LIT?

All right. CONFESSION TIME. (here's what I got. #hamiltonreference) I don't track quotes in books. I didn't even realize that it was a thing that readers did until I discovered people writing down quotes on Goodreads.

I mean... it makes sense! Sometimes I do think, "wow, that was a great line." But since I read so quickly, I... just... don't pay as close attention to those individual words as I maybe should. Oops. Don't hate me, fellow bookworms. :P

WHAT BOOK DO YOU MOST HOPE WILL HAVE A MOVIE ADAPTION?


Hmm, another hard question to answer. I know that some bookworms are against having their favorite books being made into movies because of the fear that they'll be terrible.. but I can easily just ignore the movie failures if that's the case. For me, I'd be more afraid watching the battles and the aliens and the murder mysteries on screen. xD

One series I'd really like to see adapted is the Lunar Chronicles. Most would agree on that, yeah? <3



On another bookish related note... I'M SO BEHIND ON MY GOODREADS CHALLENGE. ...Seventeen books behind. But I went to the library a couple days ago, so I'm stocked up and ready to read all the things. (especially since school is almost done!!) So if you're interested in seeing all my bookish updates... let's be friends on Goodreads. *nodnod*

<3,
katie grace

what book(s) are you anticipating this year?

APRIL HIGHLIGHTS // 2017

Saturday, April 29, 2017

PHEW. You probably already know what I'm going to say, but I'm going to say it anyway. "Wow, was this month crazy." Maybe when I'm ninety-seven (and still posting on this blog for the hypothetical situation), I'll be able to say, "Wow, what a lovely month of rest and relaxation." Or not because I also still want to be livin' life to the fullest when I'm old. So... maybe it's a good thing that all my months are busy and crazy? It's a sign that I'm actually doing things?

A lot of those busy things were good things, though. Like..
  • an amazing weekend youth retreat with mah youth group (so much fun and friendship <3)
  • cleaning my room! (this is considered worthwhile mentioning since it's a very rare occurrence)
  • lots of extrovert-ing and people-ing
  • finding my chapstick (that I thought I lost for several months, and it was really just at the bottom of my bag. oops.)
  • had the chance to babysit for the first time in a loooong time. I just really love small children. <3
  • discovering a new awesome song (Hard Times by Paramore. it makes me want to dance xD)
  • finishing up the second to last month of school!
  • I had to make the unicorn frappuchino several million times and that was almost the end of me xD
  • I'm finally getting better at consistently going to bed before 1am! Wahoo! (pathetic... but... #nightowl) 
HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. If I'm trying to be optimistic... I could say that I'm succeeding with my bookish streak of reading less and less each month? Which is just a really bad way of saying that I only read one book this month. And it was for school, so I'm not sure if it exactly counts. xD

I read This Changes Everything by Jacquelle Crowe. It's a very fresh and inspiring perspective of the gospel and how that bleeds into our every day life -- especially as teens. She's super young herself, so I'm impressed at how dedicated and motivated she is. Definitely an inspiration. *nodnod*

So... not much to talk about in the bookish section. One more exciting thing, though -- Tricia Mingerink released her fourth (and last *sniff*) book, Deliver, in the Blades of Acktar series! If you like Christian fantasy, assassins, amazing characters, and pure epicness... go read those books.


Ahh, writing. Writing did go well this month... just not as well as I anticipated it going. I had a high goal of 75,000 set for NaNoWriMo, but I ran out of steam and ended with a little over 50k instead. And I'm okay with that.

Lately writing has been getting rather stressful with all these goals and wanting to write and edit and do allll the things, and focusing too much on that has started to take away the fun in writing. So I'm going to take a step back and take writing slowly in May. I'm not going to set any big goals for myself -- I just want to write because I enjoy it. Yes, I'm a writer, but I'm also a musician, a blogger, a reader, an artist, a sister, a friend, a barista, a procrastinator, a student... and I want to make sure that I'm allowing time to explore and enjoy other aspects of my life.

So I'll still be doing some writing (I don't think I could completely stop)... but just little amounts for the next month or so. :)

I unfortunately have no pretty image pictures because... ahem... I was lazy.

At the beginning of this month, I wrote about the fear and freedom of first drafts. If you want to see some aesthetically pleasing pictures and read words from my heart... that's the one to click on. ;)

I posted a lil NaNo themed flash fiction... "Beware the NaNo Beast." (mwahaha, how threatening. how scary.)

And last week I went the easy route and summarized my Camp NaNo progress. (And since that update, very little progress has been made. How lovely. :P)
Do you like writing flash fiction? Or maybe you've been wanting to give it a try? Rosalie is holding a flash fiction challenge, and a giveaway is involved! It'll be a lovely Camp NaNo wind-down exercise. :D

I related real hard to the Christine's post about the struggles of being an extroverted writer

Aimee had this genius idea of listening to one new album a day this month, so I'm stalking alllll the music recommendations. xD

Since writing has become so exhausting and stressful, I'm taking May a bit slower and am going to catch up on beta reading, reading in general, and other art-ing things. (or maybe just napping. we'll see.) I'm not going to post on Saturday the 6th, but hopefully it'll work out so I can post the rest of the Saturdays. :D

I'm hoping to maaaybe give Nadine's #Walk30Days challenge a try, so if that happens, then I'll most likely do a wrap up of pictures (because I love pictures of nature <3).

I hope your month was amazing! Remember to rest. Eat some pizza. Buy a donut. (now I'm sitting here bemoaning the fact that I can't be spontaneous and buy a donut because it's 12am. Sigh. xD)

<3,
katie grace

what are your plans for may?
what's your favorite kind of donut? (because this is OBVIOUSLY important knowledge)