Slacking

Obviously, I haven’t been on here as often as I would like to be for the past couple of weeks or so. I’d love to say it’s because I’ve been editing Collecting Humanity or working on some other sort of writing project, but no such luck.

9788867323135_350I did do a tiny bit of editing last night and I have been keeping up with my planner/journal every day. I’ve also been trying to write at least one or two poems every week. I know that isn’t going to get me my poem a day goal, but it’s progress compared to last year.

It’s as if I haven’t been able to get really plugged in lately.

But maybe it’s more that I’ve been too plugged into some things instead of what I should be. Besides my writing and brief bouts of social media, I should probably try to stay off of the internet. It wouldn’t be a bad idea for me to uninstall or at least move my Facebook app that I have on my phone either.

Something else that I would consider an achievement so far is that I’ve been reading more. I used to read all of the time, but I stopped that at some point last year or the year before for some reason. I’m currently working on David Baldacci’s Saving Faith that a patient, where I work, actually let me borrow. And, before that, I read Horns by Joe Hill; I haven’t watched the movie yet, but a friend of mine said that he liked it.

But I haven’t been blogging as regularly as I’d like and I haven’t been editing my novel in a way that will help me to finish it. My husband actually told me last night that he was happy I was working on it, that he would make me sit down and work on it if he could.

I’m planning on setting aside at least one night a week to focus solely on tackling the beastly project that is editing. And I’m going to try to post at least twice a week here and on No Penny Required.

Writing Goals for 2015

I know that there are a couple of days left in this year, but I felt like the beginning of the week would be just as good a place to put this post as any.

Looking back at the goals that I made for 2014, the only thing off of that list that I actually accomplished was finishing the novel I started for NaNoWriMo 2013. As you know, I did this by completely rewriting it for NaNoWriMo 2014. And, while I’m disappointed in myself for not having completed any of the other goals, I do think that the fact that I completed the big one, so to speak, is pretty exciting.

So, here are some of the writing goals that I have for myself for this upcoming year.

  1. This year’s “big” goal is that I want to finish editing my novel, Collecting Humanity.
  2. Another main goal for me is that I want to try my hand at freelance writing again.
  3. I’m also planning on blogging regularly both here and at No Penny Required. I made a commitment to both these blogs when I decided to purchase their domain names. I’m also playing with the idea of once again trying to create some sort of author website using Wix.
  4. You may have noticed in the sidebar that I’m going to give myself the poem a day challenge again as well. Even if it’s winds up being something I can’t use, I want to get something down.
  5. The same applies to short stories. I want to try to write as many of those as I can during the year as well, and the Story Pieces series that I’ve started doing here should help.
  6. I would also like to submit my work to different literary magazines,
  7. attempt to find a literary agent once my novel is complete,
  8. and get some professional head shots made for the web and also for, one day, the inside cover of my novels.

There are so many things to see and do and learn in 2015. What are some of your life and writing goals?

Editing Progress

Over the weekend, I started more seriously delving into the editing process for my NaNoWriMo novel. I also did a little editing of this actual site along with a little bit of Christmas shopping.

No, I have not finished my Christmas shopping yet. Usually, I would have been done and had everything wrapped by now…

I’ve started doing more shopping online this year and discovered that it’s difficult to not shop for myself along the way. Somehow, it’s easier to control myself when at the store than when on my laptop. For instance, after having shopped for the few things that I wanted for family, I decided to look on the Bath & Body Works website where they had their three wick candles on sale for $12.

I’ve had a bit of a candle problem ever since I’ve moved out, though I’ve pretty much gotten it under control. Sales like these make things difficult. Maybe, I’ll just allow myself one or two candles.

Now, the real reason I’m writing this post is to tell you about my latest editing endeavors.

So far I’ve started doing a read through while doing some minor editing and attempting to organize the piece with chapters and real scene breaks, but I hadn’t gotten very far. I kept sitting on this idea I had to help me fix the organization of the novel that involved sticky notes, but I couldn’t figure out how that wouldn’t be a big mess.

LOTR sword penOn Saturday I decided to take the idea and tweak it to something involving a notebook. I’m writing down a little snip-it about each scene as I come across it and then, with a different color pen, I’m giving it a timeline sort of word like “day 1” or “flashback.” After that, I’m going to work on putting everything it it’s proper order and chapter while fixing timeline holes.

And I’ve already found a timeline hole. I have a scene labeled “day 2” in which one of my characters references “a month later” as if it were in the present.

As I’ve mentioned before, I haven’t written this big of a beastly project before, so I think that this will be the perfect way to organize lay out and figure out how to make it make sense.

I’m going to find a lot more holes that need to be filled because, during NaNoWriMo, my goal was to simply get all of the words down.

The sticky note idea probably would’ve worked just as well, if not better, because I would’ve been able to move said sticky notes around to get them in the correct order. I simply couldn’t figure out where I was going to stick all of them.

New Things

New Posts

In my last post, I mentioned a new serial post that I was seriously considering starting. Well, I’m trying to make that happen.

Starting this Friday, you’re going to get scenes from a work of fiction that I literally just started working on.

Since I’m going to be posting them pretty much as I write them each week (on Fridays), there’s going to be minimal editing, so there’s a chance that the flow might be off or that I might forget Bob’s name in one scene and change it to Fred. But, really, who could possibly forget about Bob?

I would love to tell you all about the story, give you a little teaser to make you want to read it, but all I know so far is that it’s about some fairies and a young woman who didn’t know that she could talk to them or that they even existed.

I’m thinking about calling these weekly posts Story Pieces and there will, of course, be a page that helps you to keep track of them. Until I come up with proper titles, the stories will be referred to as things like “Bob’s story” or “The Fairies”. On the page, I’ll have the scenes links to each scene in the proper order. This means that, if I somehow manage to write some scenes out of order, they will be in the correct order on this page.

Pages

Speaking of pages, I very much need to edit these. Besides pages that don’t quite make sense to me anymore, there are things that need to be updated and a picture that’s no longer available and…it’s simply a work in progress.

I’ve already taken down the “What I’m Reading” page. This is because I don’t update it regularly enough. Also, I have the GoodReads widget installed and I seem to update that more frequently than the page I had set up here. It isn’t a perfect list, but the fact that I can update it on my phone seems to make it more likely that I will, in fact, update it at all.

If you would like to find me on GoodReads, my name there is Seannalyn.

Widgets

Now that I think of it, the widgets need to be edited too.

There’s going to be some deleting, rewording, rearranging, and possibly the addition of new widgets if any look applicable. So, consider this a work in progress as well.

The part that talks about when IBW is updated needs to be changed after some consideration, and I failed my personal poem a day challenge. I’m not going to be able to create 300 something poems in the past three weeks or so of the year. Although, I might try to do that again in 2015, hopefully with better luck.

Site Specific

As you may remember from earlier this year, I decided to splurge and buy a bundle off of WordPress. I bought the Premium Plan.

WordPress_Bundles

As you can see, this includes, among other things, a free domain name and that’s the main reason that I bought it. I’m fairly certain that I didn’t use any of the other features besides enjoying the lack of ads here. That, paired with the fact that it costs $99 every year, caused me to cancel the bundle.

When I canceled the bundle, a break down of all of these features that I had purchased, along with their individual prices appeared. I’m still trying to figure out whether or not I want to spend $30 a year for the domain name.

So, we may or may not be returning to http://www.ibreathewords.wordpress.com and you will start seeing ads on this site again starting in early January. I am sorry about the later and will get back to you about the whole reason that I went premium in the first place.

Finding Time

Noveling

This past year has been a big one for me and it’s almost gone. Looking back, I regret not completing more writing projects and not using the gym membership that I pay for every month whether or not I go.

The excuse that I’ve used, mainly to myself when I questWinner-2014-Facebook-Profileion these things, is that I don’t have enough time. But, after once again tackling NaNoWriMo this year, I know in reality that I’m just lazy most of the time. How could that be a wake up call for me, you might ask.

This year, I am among the proud winners of National Novel Writing Month.

The novel that I created is probably the only writing project that I finished this year, and it is also the biggest writing project that I have ever completed. Somehow, I managed to slay the beast that is 50,000 words.

Somehow, this project became a lot less harder and unattainable as the month went on. I’m not saying it was easy–far from it–but it was no longer impossible. When you think about it in the short term, you only have to write 1,1667 words a day.

When tackling a huge project like this or setting a huge goal for yourself, it’s easier to look at it day by day.

Can I get 1,667 words, go to the gym, write that one poem, finish that one book report today? Don’t think about what you’re going to do tomorrow or about how daunting the end goal is, think about what little pieces you can get done now, in the moment rather than stressing about what has to be done.

During November, I made sure to set aside at least an hour a day, most of the time multiple hours a day, to work on my novel. Sometimes, I would write more than I needed, and sometimes I would write less than was needed. But I always seemed managed to somehow manage to get caught up. I even finished the 50,000 words during the afternoon of November 29 when it wasn’t “due” until November 30.

NaNoWriMo_Word_Graph_2

 

I almost cried when I saw that word document hit page 100. And then I actually cried when I verified my word count and the video of some of NaNoWriMo’s staff cheered for my victory.

It’s such a glorious feeling to have completed a novel.

And now I’ve started the editing process, which I have a feeling is going to take me a long time considering the fact that it is rather long and also a shitty first draft. I did finally come up with a title that I just might keep–Collecting Humanity. Thoughts on this would be greatly appreciated.

Blogging

Once again, I haven’t done very much blogging. At all.

I now have plans to blog here at least once a week. I don’t really have a game plan as of yet for what I’ll be discussing, but it’ll be fun as usual!

One idea that I’m thinking about trying out is a series of weekly posts that give you a scene or chapter in a work of fiction that I’m working on. I think that this would be great because it would both keep me accountable and give me the opportunity to share my work.

I’m also going to be blogging a couple of times a week on No Penny Required. This is where I review a number of different things.

Taking a Break

I know that I’ve said I’m going to start blogging again time and time again, and this promise keeps falling through. The funny thing is that it isn’t because I don’t want to blog–I very much do.

And, despite the fact that I haven’t been present here, I very much have still been writing.

I recently finished a short story that I’d been working on. Well, it’s more “finished” than actually finished because I’m pretty sure I’m going to need to rip the thing apart and rewrite it. But, my shitty first draft is done! I’ve also written some random poems and dabbled a little bit with my novel, and I started a new project yesterday.

Said project is going to be a number of retellings of different stories in the hands of a feminist. I’m still trying to figure out how I want to write these–I’m leaning towards short stories at the moment. I’m hoping this project will be one that sticks.

I’ve also handwritten some posts for No Penny Required, I just need to stop being lazy and get the things posted.

I think the main reason that I haven’t been as present here is because I’m feeling inadequate. What right do I have to try to help others with their writing when I am still learning myself? But…isn’t that the point? Aren’t we all always learning? Maybe if I learn to grasp that, open myself up the idea, I’ll once again feel like I’m able to contribute.

And so, the point of this rambling post is that I’ve decided to take a temporary break from this blog I love. I’ll never stop writing, but I feel that I need to take a step back from IBW and reevaluate what it is I’m doing here.

As always, your thoughts are welcome. Happy writing!

Hello There

I know I’ve been on hiatus for a while (again) and I’m sorry about that, but I think I had a good reason. On Saturday, May 31 at 1:00 pm I married the man I love.

The few short months leading up to the wedding, especially the last because I’m good at procrastinating and bad at asking for help, were packed with a flurry of plans.

Now, we have a new to-do list a mile long withe everything from getting his stuff moved to my-now-our apartment, to changing my name, to planning the honeymoon for later this year… But I’m not stressing as much as I normally would be because my mom brought it into perspective for me. My husband and I need to take it one thing at a time, one day at a time. It will get done.

Part of what helps me stress less is by spending more time writing. Partly because of this and partly because I’ve simply missed it, I’m going to try to start blogging regularly again.

But, since I’m now running two blogs, the regularity of posts is going to change.

For example, I’m going to have posts for here (I Breathe Words) Monday, Wednesday, and Friday this week while posting on my second blog on Tuesday and Thursday.

The afore mentioned second blog is called Food for Thought. This Tumblr blog of mine has been several different things in its lifetime and I think I finally settled on something that’ll stick. Food for Thought is a blog of reviews on a little bit of everything and anything–recipes, restaurants, products, companies, etc.

I know that I already do reviews on IBW, but these are different. Although, with the lower number of posts, I’m now contemplating having the literature type reviews I do here on Food for Thought instead….

Also because the number of posts are different, I’ll need to rethink weekly posts. Obviously I’m still working out the kinks to my new plan and I hope the end results are wonderful.