The Struggle is REAL

I’ve hit a few brick walls lately.

My goals have been slippery and the progress steep. It’s been hard to get purchase. Hard to find the energy to keep going. 

{still doing it.}

The last part of my walk every weekday morning ends with a steep climb up a tall hill.

It may be the hardest part of the journey.

It also tells me the journey is almost over.

Here is what I’ve learned: The climb is more fun than the tenure part. Getting to the top is more enjoyable than trying to stay there.

Jennifer Weiner Real Simple August 2020

Being at the top is great, but I’m looking forward to the downhill ride. Still, I can’t ignore that some say this is the best part of the journey. The hard part.

{It’s the REAL part anyway.}

…there will always be something bigger and better to chase. The work has to be its own reward, because external validations will never be enough.

Jennifer Weiner Real Simple August 2020

Everybody’s having a hard year. On the whole, I have few complaints.

{I’m climbing steadily uphill.}

AUGUST: A Descent

THIS IS HOW I FEEL:

Photo by Jou00e3o Jesus on Pexels.com

The descent from above, especially at night when you can see the lights glowing in the towns and houses around the airport.
Everything looks picture perfect, though somewhere in those houses are people living just like you and me. Nothing magical.

Editing is much the same way: It sounds glamorous, but it’s hard and dismal work. The end result will be worth it, when everything looks as though I intended it that way from the beginning.

After my writing month in JULY, I think I need to take AUGUST off in future.

This shouldn’t be a surprise to me, since MAY was the same after working my way through APRIL‘s CAMP NANOWRIMO, but I am disappointed.

I feel, not that I can do more, but that I should be able to do more, when I just can’t.

It’s an unrealistic expectation, but I expect it nonetheless.

I don’t know what next month holds, nor do I care to plan for it at this point. Don’t tell anybody, but I plan to wing it.

until then,

xxxlinsey

AUGUST: a Reflection

I’ve been thinking…

Am I to blame? Is there something I should have done differently? Does this really have anything to do with me? Is it as bad as all that?

Photo by James Wheeler on Pexels.com

Sometimes things look one way from one perspective and completely upside down from another. I wonder how that happens. Is it a trick of the light? Bad timing? Or totally not what you thought you were looking at at all?

why can’t things just make sense?

This month I have been working on GOODBYE with R and we have made some fantastic progress.

i’m still not happy …

It’s strange looking back on work I started so long ago (five years) and that I labored over so intensely (two of those, I think) and not recognize my own work. It’s hard for me to believe this stuff came out of my head.

except when I come across something stupid, then I’m convinced it’s my work.

I’m walking a tightrope between wanting what I have and having what I want. It’s difficult, but not impossible, to negotiate. Here’s to the third week of the month.

xxxlinsey

AUGUST: A Hope

I AM A HOPE*WRITER

I was asked to collaborate with another hope*writer on the subject of intentional kindness. This is what I came up with:

Intentional kindness involves thinking ahead to give a gift. Often, I have found, this gift is silence: allowing someone else the space to be themselves. Especially when we don’t agree with their opinions or views, silence can be loving our neighbors in a way that is difficult and sometimes impossible. Silence also leaves room for listening, another intentional kindness.

What do you think?

What is your definition of intentional kindness?

It also made me think of my purpose in being a hope*writer:

I’ve been struggling lately with how I write for Hope.

Hope is part of my daily existence, but in my writing..?

I DON’T KNOW…

So I ask you,

IS THIS BLOG BRINGING YOU HOPE?

If yes, how? and if no, how can it?

Thanks,

xxxlinsey

AUGUST, A Light in

I did make it to the end of CAMP.

YAY ME!

I won.

On the 31st I wrote 5, 905 words. Can you believe that?

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I finally realized what my problem was.

I was focused too much on perfection, a constant struggle of mine.

I spent way too much time on the “finished” scenes (in quotes because they are in no way finished, but they are complete) and not enough time writing the “to write” scenes.

Now my KANBAN board looks like this:

YAY PROGRESS!

In other words, I got off my butt, did the writing I needed to do, and quit worrying about what I had finished or not.

So, that was the end of JULY, what do we have for AUGUST?

Editing GOODBYE.

but more on that next week…Happy August, everyone!

xxxlinsey

JULY CAMP UPDATE 4: Houston…

Progress: Nil

Progress: Slow

Progress.

It’s been a difficult week. Those of you who know me know I lost a dear part of my little family this week.

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We’ve been in mourning, so not a lot of writing has gotten done.

That’s ok.

Sometimes life happens.

CURRENT WORD COUNT: 19,237

Winning means a little over 10k words before Friday at midnight to make a total of 30k.

I still plan to WIN CAMP NANO  by the 31st, and I will update you next week.

Which brings me to August…

anyone want to read anything special?

JULY CAMP UPDATE 3: CRASHING THROUGH THE SURF

This week has been easier than last week. I’ve stayed on task and been heading in the right direction. I’ve made serious progress:

LAST WEEK’S WORD COUNT: 13,034

THIS WEEK’S WORD COUNT: 18,255

aerial photography of seashore
Photo by Daria Shevtsova on Pexels.com

It hasn’t been easy.  I’m not fighting the surf, but the waves have been tugging at me and slowing me down. It’s been a hard week for work and getting things done around the house or in the world, and I haven’t written much of what I wanted to write.

I didn’t get as distracted by editing tasks as I did the week before, but I didn’t move as much stuff on my KANBAN board: spoiler: ONE post it has moved…

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The last day of writing this week I really knuckled down with a good friend and we pounded out some words. This post was part of that. I’ve fallen behind in some of my other projects and caught up in many more.

Sometimes I feel the current sucking at my feet, but I believe I’ll make it. The end of JULY and the end of this challenge are within sight, and I know my plans for the future.

It’s a unique place for me, kind of like the top of Everest. From what I’ve heard, you don’t get to take in the view very long before you have to go back down…

action beach fun leisure
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

So I want to  RIDE THAT BABY DOWN.

NEXT WEEK will be the final update before the end of CAMP.

Honestly, I hope to have won by then, so keep those fingers crossed.

Thanks for keeping me on task.

xxxlinsey

JULY CAMP UPDATE 2: INTO THE WEEDS

brown fountain grass closeup photography
Photo by DapurMelodi on Pexels.com

I’ve heard this expression so much this week I had to begin with it.

 

Being ‘in the weeds,’ I guess, is to be hung up in the details.

Missing the forest for the trees.

That’s a bit where I am.

I got hung up in the prep for CAMP, and the writing got off to a slow start.

It’s going better now.

I’ve finished the ending and done a little more. Notes to myself look something like this:

THAT’S A  REALLY GREAT ENDING SO WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE TO SAY BEFORE THAT.

As of the last post, I had a little over 5K words.

To date, I have 13,034.

IT’S BEEN A GOOD WEEK.

(I wrote that before I knew it would be)

TODAY (JULY 7th) I caught up to my word count goal and am now back on track for writing 1k a day to make my goal. I’m excited, and I can’t wait to update.

TODAY (JULY 10th) I caught up again after falling behind. I wrote nearly three thousand words. I had more to say here, but my update didn’t save.

TODAY (JULY 13th) I am finishing this post before I do any more writing on LUKE. Priorities.

My progress has seemed scattered to me, but the truth is it’s been quite good. Not only the word count, but also the actual product.

I’m pleased with what I’m writing.

I went through beginning to end (or rather vice versa) and there’s very little off target.

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Here’s the progress my board has made!

 

I’m still getting distracted. Don’t think all those words are LUKE related. I’ve done a lot though, and I’m proud of my progress.

A little more than halfway to go.

See you next week.

xxxlinsey

JULY CAMP UPDATE 1: PREP

Hello all!

Welcome back to the madhouse.

You may or may not be aware that this is my first post since JULY CAMP NANOWRIMO began, but I wanted to show y’all how I have set up and prepped the last few days of JUNE. Here’s a recap of where I am on the project as of the last post:

Hope*writers had a 14 day challenge I took up at the end of JUNE. There were 14 days left in the month, and I challenged myself to work on my second novel LUKE for 15 minutes each of those 14 days.

I succeeded.

 

photo of a woman holding an ipad
Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels.com

 

LET ME SAY THAT AGAIN: I totally won JUNE

Now a little about how I prepped for CAMP.

You may remember that CAMP NANOWRIMO is a little different in that you can set your own word count goal. I typically use the CAMPs (in APRIL and JULY) to rework novels I have started in NOVEMBER. This project (LUKE) is an exception to that rule. I started it as a new project last JULY and am trying to publish it out of the order in which it was written.

Why?

Because it’s a completed story: I know the beginning middle and end. I know all the major events, though some of the details are bound to change. That’s not true for all my fiction, plus LUKE is definitely more “written” than some of my other ideas.

Since I know all the major elements of the story and have gotten stuck typing them in order, I’VE COMMITTED TO WRITING THE THING BACKWARDS:

WHY?!?

Because it’s good for me. I’ve never done anything like it before, but as several of my students can tell you, I often tell them to write the parts they know.

Often that includes the ending.

Since I know the ending, I’m going to write it. Since I know the scene before that, I’m going to write that too, and the scene before that, and so on.

When we get to where I began before, I’ll deal with it.

I think my characters will look different this way (from back to front) and it will be easier to write some of them.

Some of them are just going to be hard to write no matter what.

Moving on: CAMP NANOWRIMO Prep:

I started putting together my notebook. I blessed myself the day I found these things and remembered the hard work I have already put in:

Lots of notes on characters. What they do and who they are. I’m really excited I found this.

This is what I spent the 30th of JUNE doing:

 

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 KANBAN1

I decided to make a KANBAN board to help me with this month. I’ve done a very simple one here with only three categories.
TO WRITE: The scenes I haven’t done yet. For the purpose of CAMP this year, I’ve decided to group all the scenes together and either rewrite or heavily edit those that I have already written.

IN PROGRESS: These are the scenes that I am currently working on and will be writing this month. When I decide to work on a scene, as soon as I have any words on it, I will move it to the IN PROGRESS board.

DONE: I’ll take each scene and move it down accordingly. I’m really excited to be able to see my progress throughout the month and to be able to share it with y’all.

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STAY TUNED FOR MORE CAMP UPDATES THIS MONTH AND HAPPY JULY TO ALL!

man with fireworks

Photo by Rakicevic Nenad on Pexels.com

14-DAY CHALLENGE: PART 2

Last week I went through some rough moments. I hope this week will be better.

Still…

Something isn’t Nothing

I have a whole lot of something. An entire week’s worth of writing I didn’t have before, and much of it is actually on topic! How wonderful!

beautiful blur close up colors
Photo by Akshar Dave on Pexels.com

JUNE 23: ELECTION DAY

Got a lot written in my notebook before falling asleep most of the day. Then watching the countdown clock while trying to read for censorship. All in a day’s work.

I did do some interesting work on LUKE’S background. You know, pre-story elements that influence or foreshadow events in the novel.

JUNE 24:

I typed the word LUKE.

Actually, I did begin the very important step of organizing a story binder for my novel. This is where I take all the loose pieces of paper and put them together in a binder. It reminds me of story elements I may have forgotten (like the layout of a certain apartment complex) or need a refresher on (what was the bartender’s real name?). Remember, it’s been a year since I looked at this stuff and not all of it has stuck.

JUNE 25:

I am hopeless. I will do the hard work.

Today it has been especially hard to write about LUKE because I feel so uninspired and tired of the whole project. I’d love to say there are only five days left in the challenge, but that’s only in the blog challenge. I don’t know why I can’t seem to sit down and write about LUKE no matter what I do. So here I sit writing about how I can’t write about my book. That sounds like a filthy excuse, and I should go back to writing.

Upon a second glance, it looks like I did some important background work on a couple of characters. That’s never wasted time.

JUNE 26

So, I’ve done more blogging about writing than writing itself. That’s ok the writing will come next month.

JULY CAMP is next month (only a few days now). I’ve adjusted my goal from 50K to 30K.

SAD FACE 😦

If you remember, I wanted to write 50K in APRIL and didn’t make it. I did make 30K.

While I totally believe it’s possible to write 50K in a month and plan to do it again in NOVEMBER, I don’t think this month or this project is the time to push boundaries. I would rather have 20K of usable words than 50K of gibberish, which is usually what I come up with the first go round.

For JULY’s hard work, I am going to try to write LUKE backwards.

Yes, you heard me. End to beginning.

You may be thinking:

But why?!? Didn’t you say you already have the beginning done?

YES! look how far it’s gotten me…

JUNE 27

I started practicing the backwards thing, trying to tell myself the story in reverse. I actually remembered quite a bit, I’m proud to say.

Here’s me getting real with myself about a couple of my characters:

They’re not going to be considerate people, and they’re not going to have good ideas.

Sometimes I have to get over what I thought I was doing and write the characters as they are, not as I would wish them to be. Not everyone in my stories are nice people, and though it would be great to only write about nice people, I’ve committed to telling the truth in my fiction, and the truth is frequently ugly.

JUNE 28

Yet another (unconventional) character has appeared in my peripheral vision, and though s/he must be acknowledged, I’m not sure s/he must be developed. We shall see.

Questions about setting. Whether the events I have taking place are appropriate for the location they are taking place and vice versa. How do my characters fit into this setting, and do I have the right things in place.

JUNE 29

More blogging than writing, but that’s ok. It’s the last day of the month tomorrow and that will be my final prep day. I’m going to continue assembling my notebook and will be ready to rock and roll on the 1st

…with all my scene sticky notes listed backwards.

Catch you up next week!

xxxlinsey

 

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