Biggest life regret: Throwing out “the box”

One of the #WriteMotivation goals for the month is to cull some gems from a box of old writing journals. I live in a one bedroom apartment. I need the space. I’m a writer; I need to publish something. It feels like a waste to have a box of journals filled with unseen, unpublished poems. Those poems weren’t created to take up space for years in apartment after apartment, closet after closet, state after state, storage unit after…you get the idea.

Last time I tried to do this I was 18 years old and I decided to go through the journals from the high school years. So I did. I decided everything sucked and threw it all away into my circular tin garbage can, never to be seen again. I always regretted throwing away that box of…my art. However ugly I thought it may have been in that moment. I had an artistic fit. I can’t take it back. I have often hoped that box of journals would reappear by magic someday, on my doorstep, looking clean and bright like they’d never been pitched into the round file.

Oh, the absurd fantasies writers have. That’s what makes us writers.

So it’s 2014 and I’m obviously nowhere near 18. Public service announcement to hotheaded 18-year-old writers: DO NOT THROW YOUR SHIT AWAY! EVEN IF YOU THINK IT IS SHIT! 

More than that, if I could go back to that day I’d not only stop my fit on the side of my house. I’d take things a little further into a serious mode. Let’s be open minded and not kill all our babies. Let’s divide them into piles!

Pile #1: Poems I can enter into writing contests. Some may be so damn good, they deserve some competitive love. If they get rejected, they can go into pile #3…

Pile #2: The burn pile, reserved for poems and journal entries about men I dated. I don’t really burn them, but shred them. Again, I live in an apartment!

Pile #3: The pile of things that can be saved! This is the pile of the best writing. These are the poems I will love and caress. I will rewrite each one ten times until it’s the way it deserves to be. Then I will love and caress it some more. Then I will publish it like the good child it is.

Then there may be another pile or two. We shall see. Maybe a pile of really ridiculous writing to be read to girlfriends on clothing swap night but ONLY if they have had wine. Some of my writing is far better when you are drunk. This is my sober judgment of it! 😉

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#WriteMotivation for January 2014

Ahh, January 1! What a day to set intentions, make resolutions… Well, I did that today. Six of us ladies gathered at sunrise to set our intentions in a sacred ceremony at the time of the new moon. So I am on fire to get things done today! The whole town seems closed and everyone is asleep, but here I am at my favorite coffee shop ironing out my writing goals for the next month. 

Awesome. 

Here are my ##WriteMotivation goals for this month: 

  1. 1200 words a day on New Adult WIP (has no title yet) 
  2. See if I can’t come up with a title for #1
  3. Sort through years of poems to cull the ones I want to work on for my 1st poetry book 
  4. Continue work on new adult WIP
  5. Locate old writing portfolio or at least old writings to create a writing portfolio
  6. Find out which local magazines are searching for freelance material and come up with ideas to submit queries
  7. Submit one query to a magazine or website (locally) 

 The NA WIP currently has 16,212 words with a goal of 31,000… I made a small goal for it but have been working fast on it. I’d actually like it to be longer but that’s a good goal to surpass for now. 

It’s been a goal for some time to use iBooks author to self-publish a book of poems because I’ve written a million poems. I may as well shit or get off the pot on that one. 

I have a YA WIP that’s been on the back burner for  a month or so since I got the idea for the NA book. 

And…finally, I have lived in Wichita for three years now and not once have I written for a local magazine! I’m way out of the freelance writing habit. I’d like to get back into it.

Want to learn more about what Write Motivation is? Go here

#WriteMotivation for September is over. Let’s see how I did!

Horrible…right? Actually, I will say no.

Let’s recap. Here were the goals: 

1. Finish creating my final outline(s) for my YA novel — that means character outlines, location outlines, and the overall outline. This also means I must force myself to imagine it out completely and commit to what I create. And. Be. Done. With. It.

It was as though once I wrote this, it eventually sank in that the outline was just done. Or I am just done with it. I don’t recall altering more than a word here or there. It’s fine. Let’s let it go and move forward. Via con dios. 

2. Write a compelling first page.

I don’t know if I wrote a compelling first page, but I did write a first page. I almost kinda wanna post the first sentence. But I won’t. I guess I’m still scared. 

3. Write a compelling Chapter One.

I did that. I have to finish it. It contains 3,000 words. Notice my goal was “write a compelling Chapter One.” I wasn’t definite enough with that goal. I should have written “finish Chapter One.” 

4. Once those three things are accomplished, I shall keep putting one foot in front of the other…or…keep on hitting one key after the next on the keyboard. Those letters make words, the words make sentences…and several tens of thousands later…there will be a book.

Ok, so Chapter One is *almost* finished but not quite. Since I am no longer in the business of beating myself up (because I wouldn’t do it to another writer) I will say all goals are accomplished and it’s a new month. I do wish I’d dedicated more time to the novel and to reading other blogs belonging to #WriteMotivation participants. I also wish I’d replied in a more timely manner to those who had replied to my blogs! Onto a new month, new goals, new possibilities… 

#WriteMotivation

#Writemotivation for September 2013!

#Writemotivation for September 2013!

The last two months are a blur, but it’s time to settle this restless butt back into my writing seat. Let’s get some #Writemotivation going with my friend, colleague, and fellow Kansas Writers Association board member, K.T. Hanna! Writers, sign up at the link provided in this post. Otherwise, it’s time for me to create and share my own goals list for the month of September. 

My goals are to be realistic so that they are achievable. Here goes: 

1. Finish creating my final outline(s) for my YA novel — that means character outlines, location outlines, and the overall outline. This also means I must force myself to imagine it out completely and commit to what I create. And. Be. Done. With. It. 

2. Write a compelling first page. 

3. Write a compelling Chapter One. 

4. Once those three things are accomplished, I shall keep putting one foot in front of the other…or…keep on hitting one key after the next on the keyboard. Those letters make words, the words make sentences…and several tens of thousands later…there will be a book. 

That’s all I can come up with. I am trying to be fair. I am not trying to achieve psycho-bitch-Type-A-Oops-You-Spilled-Your-Sack-Of-Crazy. Just want to start and be firm about it. Just trying to make this a priority for the month. That is all. It’s doable. I will also tell all those blurry things that got me all summer long to go kick rocks. 

“It’s like that. And that’s the way it is!” — Run D.M.C.

#Writemotivation update

So it’s been a crazy summer. I’ll leave it at that. I did finish outlining the novel and am in the process of creating my characters and settings. I have been going at a snail’s pace but I decided that is OK. I have realized that I need quite a bit of imagination time until the story is solid in my head, without any holes in it. That’s what makes me crazy — the holes. I have gotten excited about past ideas and started writing my ass off without fully outlining and imagining what I needed in order to create a strong story. I would write tens of thousand of words, go back over it, and realize I had made mistakes in my haste. Or maybe the story just changed from the original idea. Maybe it grew. Maybe the story became better or worse. 

This time around I am laying a strong foundation, however slow it is for me during summer of 2013. 

But now it’s Labor Day weekend and summer is over. I did write a first chapter of my novel. I hate it. It’s horrible. It’s very short. Why? Because it came to a screeching halt due to the lack of imagining. Not so much that I don’t have the idea. I do! But I need to put it all on the page to make it make sense to me. Then I can actually start writing a proper chapter. 

After years of writing short news stories under the gun in a broadcast newsroom, I am learning and adjusting to a new format. In news writing, everything was formulaic. Each day, I gathered facts to create an inverted pyramid to be written in such a way that it would be read on air in two minutes or less. 

Now I have freedom and don’t know what to do with it. I like this problem!