April 17 2017

Camp NaNoWriMo Week 2 (I’ve been procrastinating)

This Camp NaNoWriMo, and we’re just past the two week mark, I’ve been guilty of procrastination. Hello, my name is Burgess Taylor, and I am a procrastinator. The ironic thing is that I’ve been procrastinating with things that I also love to do, as well as things that I don’t really even care to do–things like washing dishes, laundry, cleaning the bathroom. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve also been procrastinating with things like Netflix, Hulu, reading, making videos, and social media (FB, YT, etc). I do and don’t consider spending time with family procrastinating, unless of course I initiate a Netflix marathon for me and Mr. Rockstar, which I have done, and I’ve let him convince me to do–and it was so hard to convince me to put off my writing to watch Wayward Pines on Hulu, or to watch most of the show Prison Break on Netflix. šŸ˜€ And yet, I was productive… most of the time when I watch TV I journal, and sometimes I write by hand. But this time, and maybe it’s because I still don’t have my laptop, I have not been writing nearly as much each day, or every day, the way I have during previous Camp’s.

What is procrastination?Ā The action of delaying or postponing something.Ā Why do we procrastinate? Many experts will tell you that we procrastinate to avoid or put off doing something we don’t want to do, but when I was working through Julia Cameron’s self-guided course “The Artist Way” I learned that most of us procrastinate because of fear. Fear of failure or fear of success. There are also chronic procrastinators. Some procrastinate because of the thrill of doing things at the last minute, it’s an adrenaline rush I suppose. And some procrastinate because they are poor decision makers. Whichever type of procrastinator you are, if you’re a creative person, I’m betting that it’s the FEAR that is keeping you from creating–from writing, drawing, etc. For me, it’s the FEAR. Continue reading

Category: #amwriting, Anxiety, Camp NaNoWriMo, Creativity, Depression, Fear, Life, Procrastination, Productivity, Scrivener, Self-Doubt, Writing, Writing Life | Comments Off on Camp NaNoWriMo Week 2 (I’ve been procrastinating)
January 30 2017

Bullet Journal for Writers, Writer’s Bible, and Novel Notebook

Quite a few of my YT subscribers requested that I go back through my outlining process since I’m revamping my “Witchy Business” book, now titled “The Seventh: The Carolina Witches Chronicles.” The second book in the series is called, “The Curse of Seven: The Carolina Witches Chronicles.” In order to do the book(s) justice, I really need to revamp the outline, not just the POV. Originally I used 1st person POV. I soon realized, while working on a completely different novel, that the “Witchy Business/The Seventh” book needed 3rd person POV. Funny how that works… it’s not always shiny new ideas that tempt us while writing, it can be old ideas that won’t leave us alone that also tempt us.

I took a look at the original outline, including the videos from the outline process, and I realized I had the right idea… at least for the most part, but my antagonist was not thought out enough, nor did I have a clear ending. I need to come up with my last sentence… that sentence just before I have my husband type “The End,” (like in Stephen King’s Bag of Bones”).

Continue reading

July 28 2016

A Writer’s Life

Most days I write. I get up in the morning, usually after 4-6 hours of sleep, still groggy and make coffee. While the coffee is brewing, which doesn’t take long since I have a Bunn coffeemaker, I start my morning pages–my ego is still asleep. I’m usually wishing I were still sleeping.

Once I take the first sip of coffee, I immediately feel better. Yes, I know it’s a mind thing at that point, but it’s a win for me because not only do I like the smell and taste of coffee, but various studies have proven that coffee is good for us…helps prevent cancer, etc.–I will take it as a win.

I head for my writing room. Here is a quick peak of my writing room:

I wish I could say that the first thing I do, after I’ve written my morning pages, is start writing, but most days I check my email, FB, and YT first. IĀ respond to various messages, posts, comments…(I’m now on my second cup of coffee) and if someone posts a video that I can listen to while I work on my journal pages I’ll do that, unless I’ve already prepared my pages the night before.

Lately though, thanks to changing things up because of Project Me and Jenny Penton’s Planner Perfect method I’ve started on my top 3 things for the day. Mine are usually stretches, which I can do while I watch a video (or two, depending on how long the videos are, because I have to do 15 minutes worth of stretching–it helps keep my shoulders mobile, otherwise I’ll lose mobility again); start laundry; dishes and/or shower and get ready for the day.

Once I’m dressed for the day, I sit back down at my desk, open Scrivener, and read the last 2 paragraphs I wrote. Once my head is back in my novel I start writing. Big deal, right? So I’m writing. I’m a writer, that’s what writer’s do. Not as easy as it seems though. I get distracted by the sun shining through my window, by the beeps and buzzes of notifications from my tablet or phone, by the lack of coffee in my cup (I’m usually on my 3rd cup or about to get my 3rd cup, though somewhere in the middle of those cups of coffee I try to drink a bottle of water).

Butt in chair and write! I try to get back to the work at hand. Writing. For a few years now, I’ve been trying to establish a routine. A ritual. The thing about writing a novel is consistency, determination, passion…ANDĀ getting your butt in the chair and doing the work. Since I started planning my day differently, less “to do’s” and more “scripting my life,” I’ve realized that scripting my life is helpful for me personally, but not so much for my writing, which is what I consider to be my job. So, I’ve gone back to my writer bullet journal.

However, I’m not doing things the same way anymore. No more monthly calendar, and no more dailies. Not for my writing. I have a monthly log for my wordcount set up for August, and the weekly spread set up. I’ve got the wordcount goals set up so that I know about where I am, and I’ve pushed up my daily wordcount for August. During July I’ve been aiming for 1000 words a day every day, but for August I’m pushing for 2K a day during the week, and 1K on the weekends. That might change, but I am pretty sure if I devote 4-6 hours per day during the week, with breaks in between, and 2-4 hours on the weekends, I should be able to at least write 1500-2500 words a day during the week. I might end up lowering the wordcount on the weekends to 500 per day. We’ll see.

And so I can stay on top of things and and finish my novel… I’ve changed things in my writer’s bible and August is going to rock. I’m hoping to keep the blogs rolling with the videos, and my video schedule is set up for a Coffee Chat on Monday’s, Writer Wednesday, Journaling on Friday’s, and then something or other on Sunday’s… Not sure about that yet.

Here’s the video for that:

March 23 2016

Writer Wednesday | Preparing for Camp NaNoWriMo

Camp nano 2016Slowly but surely I am getting things in my life organized, part of that includes my new writer bullet journal and preparing for Camp NaNoWriMo. I’m using tarot and the hero/heroine’s journey to loosely outline my novel–the same one I started back in November for NaNoWriMo. Since November I’ve changed the first 3-4 chapters completely–I wasn’t starting at the right place. Since November, I’ve been using the 12 week self-guided course from Julia Cameron’s “The Artist’s Way” to help me with my creativity and living a creative life. And, since November I’ve become much more organized.

My First 2 Bullet Journals
My First 2 Bullet Journals

Part of how I’ve become more organized was to stop trying to use pre-made planners, they just don’t work for me, and to instead roll with a system that seems as if it were made for people who are To-Do List’ers–the bullet journal system. I started bullet journaling, and then realized that for me personally, I needed something more along the lines of an omni-journal (so I could throw in my sketch-your-day/illustrate-your-life/Hobonichi style journaling in there), but I needed something separate for my writing. I have a writer’s bible, I use it to put all of my writing stuff in: an insert for the actual novel, which I use when I handwrite my novel, and an insert for what I call my writer journal, where I talk about how my writing went, how much I wrote, what I thought about it, any shiny new ideas…

Planning a novel has been quite a bit of a journey for me–a few years worth of trying to find what works for me. I’ve tried various things (Save the Cat, the Marshall Plan, the Snowflake Method, Janice Hardy’s method for Plotting your Novel, etc) and what has worked the best for me is using Tarot cards and the Hero’s Journey, which I learned from taking Arwen Lynch’s eCourse. I have a playlist on YT where I went through the course:

I had a ton of fun. And am continuing to use it so I can revamp the novel I wrote in November, except now I have a Leuchtturm 1917 Master Notebook to use as my “Writing/Writer” Bullet Journal. I needed more space than the A5 allowed for my planning. And since the journal isn’t leaving my home, except on rare occasion, I knew I’d be fine with the large size of the Master Leuchtturm. (And it is a whopper: over 200 pages of what looks like vanilla colored paper that is perfect for writing (not so much for art journaling though) and it has an Index–a win in my book.)

Now I just need to finish my storyboard, which means making copies of the tarot cards that I pulled for my outline and putting them on the storyboard; cleaning my desk off, and finishing the last bit of my outline. šŸ˜€

So here are some pictures of what I’m working on in my bullet journal for writing:

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Category: #amwriting, #writestuff, Camp NaNoWriMo, Goals, Journaling, Life, NaNoWriMo, Outlining, Planning, Scrivener, Tarot, Writing | Comments Off on Writer Wednesday | Preparing for Camp NaNoWriMo
August 29 2014

Ordered a Mac

Oh Happy Day!!!! Oh happy day!!!!Ā happy day

Apple iBook Laptop, G4 iBook 1.33GHz Processor, 1GB, 40GB, 12.1″ 1024×768 Display, Combo Drive ,WiFi, 56K Modem ,10/100 Ethernet, Bluetooth, Mac OS X 10.4 (Tiger)

ibook apple

It’s not a new one. It’s an old one, not ancient but old. But I’ve reviewed them and I’d rather purchase a used one to make sure I’m going to like working with the Mac platform before investing a lot of money into one. Ā I’m excited though, to say the least. I’ll have it next Friday, so in one week I’ll be able to use Scrivener for Mac. HEY NOW!

I can’t tell you how excited I am… I’ll finally be able to use the corkboard function in Scrivener the way I want… I’ll have to find a discount thing for Scrivener for Mac b/c my winner package for Camp Nano is gone.. I don’t know what happened to that code.Oh well, I guess. Unless someone knows how to access the code b/c I can’t find it now.

But oh well…I’m so excited… Just brimming with happiness over here. šŸ˜€

I’ll be able to write when I do go out over the road with my husband.. Speaking of which, we leave Tuesday morning and won’t be back until Thursday evening… And the next day my Mac ibook will arrive. YAY ME! Oh, I already said that.

I know, I’m behind the times. I would love to have the iMac and the MacBook Pro, but I’m starting small to make sure it’s something I will enjoy using. I’ve been a PC user for 20+ years. Ā Guess I’ll be watching videos on YouTube to learn how to use it, lol!

 

Category: Life, Scrivener, Writing | Comments Off on Ordered a Mac
March 31 2014

Cover for Camp NaNo Book and other stuff

I am so excited….A fellow NaNoer made the cover for my book for April’s Camp NaNoWriMo which starts tonight at midnight (only 1 hour and 15 minutes away for me)… And I love it!!!!!

To see the original version check it out here http://qoalaka.deviantart.com/art/Revelations-444134467?ga_submit_new=10%253A1396312029
To see the original version check it out here http://qoalaka.deviantart.com/art/Revelations-444134467?ga_submit_new=10%253A1396312029

My cover… I saw this pic while looking through Deviant Art and she got permission from the artist to use it. Isn’t it amazing! How it turned out! The pic itself! I love all of it! It looks like a real book cover. I am just so excited!!!!! Ā (Makes me feel like a bonafide writer!!! Once again I’ve changed everything at the last minute! SIGH!!!

bonafide writer mug

I can’t seem to help myself. I’m using almost the same premise. I’ve changed the character’s names, and the title of the series but not the title of the book. I’m in the process of changing the whole outline to fit the revamped premise and characters… Double work, maybe, but I was reading Blake Snyder’s Save the CatĀ and realized what I had wasn’t going to work, not the way I wanted it to. Thus the changes. I’m okay with that. It means working on my outline at the last minute, but I’d have been doing that anyway, at least now it will be the right concept, theme, etc for what I want. I’m happier with it now, even though it means more work. But I found a great outlining video over a year ago from Katytastic that if you’re interested in learning more about outlining using the 3 act structure from Snyder’s Save the Cat, or outlining with Scrivener in general, it’s a great start.

Isn’t that the greatĀ thing about WriMo though?… You sort of need just a little pantsing to make it fun… At least for me I do. I’ve gone from a pantser to a plotster so I guess I have to throw some pantsing in there somewhere or it’s not fun for me.

I’m in a cabin now, with people near my age bracket (last time I ended up in a cabin with a group of NaNoer’s around my children’s age, which wasn’t really a good thing for me since they are between the ages of 25-14)…I’m happy about that. And our living room is finally finished… YAY! I no longer have my writing room… BOO!! But my son has his room back. He was injured while at bootcamp. He’ll be able to recycle in the next 6 mths, but he has to heal. While he’s healing he’ll be going back to college and is thinking about going in the reserves (Navy or Air Force) instead of going in the Army full time (Can’t say I’m unhappy about that–I’m all for serving our country, but I believe in working smarter not harder and the Army and Marines are definitely in the work harder category).

The pillows on our couch match my writing space...
The pillows on our couch match my writing space…
Red bookcases and desk go well with our updated look.
Red bookcases and desk go well with our updated look.

So here are the pics of my new writing space… Instead of being in the dining room we decided to completely rearrange our living room so that I could have my own little space. We painted the walls, moved everything around, and put our pictures in completely different places so that I could have this space. My husband ROCKS!!!! (Now I just need to paint the hallway and we’re done with the khaki/taupe color and it’s off to figure out what color to paint our dining room and kitchen. I love how our new living room looks.

Ok, I have less than 1 hour so let me get back to outlining. Happy NaNoing and have a great night.

 

Category: Color, Family, Home, Life, NaNoWriMo, Outlining, Pictures, Red Bookshelf, Red Desk, Scrivener, Writing, Writing Space | Comments Off on Cover for Camp NaNo Book and other stuff
March 24 2014

Outlining for Camp

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As April approaches I am busy outlining my novel for Camp. It’s called Revelations: Book 1 of the Elioud Legacy. It’s a working title. I’m not sure I like the word Legacy, Ā (And I need a different picture but that was courtesy of a fellow Nanoer and II’m grateful I have a bookcover. It’s all a work-in-progress.) I’ve been thinking of something else… But we’ll see. I like color coding. I also like the way that you can use the outliner mode in Scrivener. For the first time I am actually putting word count targets for each chapter scene, and section (Part). I know I’ll need to edit, and things will change, but it gives me an idea of what scenes and chapters I’ll need to work on more later down the road.

OutlineI would love to have the majority of it planned out by March 31st. One of my favorite things about Scrivener, is that in the inspector you can put a synopsis for each part, chapter, scene… and it shows up in the corkboard, as well as in the ouline mode. There’s also the project and document notes, which come in handy when there’s an age, date, fact, etc that I need to remember.

Don’t get me wrong, Scrivener doesn’t write the novel for you, but it is magical in a sense. At least to me it is. It allows me to put all of my research notes within my project or I can create a story bible, which I have for the actual Elioud Legacy series. I’ve often thought about how I’d love to switch to Mac, when I can afford to, but honestly, by the time I can afford to I’m pretty sure the Windows version of Scrivener will have hopefully caught up with the Mac version by then.

On a side note…My husband had an interview this morning and got the job. It’s local, so Ā no moreĀ OTR (over the road) anymore. He’ll still be driving a truck, but this one won’t have a 53 foot trailer, but is aĀ roll-back, which is a form of tri-axle (like a big dump truck). Those trucks remind me of the huge yellow Tonka truck my brother and I had as children. GI Barbie often used it to rescue GI Joe and Ken, along with a few other barbies, when I was a child. (As you’ve guessed, my brother and I often played together, and I was determined that Barbie be independent so poor GI Joe was often captured just as much as Barbie was, and they both war camo.) Anyway, at least now my husband will be at home at night and on the weekends and get back into playing his guitar and singing. Perhaps he’ll learn enough new music to start playing acoustic shows again–Rock on!.

Hope everyone had and continues to have a great Monday! I’m going to enjoy my cup of coffee and do some more outlining now that we’ve finished cutting the grass, the yard is clean, dinner’s out of the way, and the laundry is in the washer.

 

Category: Home, Life, NaNoWriMo, Outlining, Scrivener, Writing | Comments Off on Outlining for Camp
March 18 2014

Preparing for CampNaNoWriMo

As I type this Scrivener is open on my desktop waiting for me to go back to filling out my character sketch sheets for the novel I’m going to work on for April’s Camp NaNoWriMo. I’m excited. So far I’ve got the name, Revelations: Book 1 of the Elioud Legacy; the bulk of my characters names, and the synopsis, as well as the prologue done (though it’s strictly a rough draft version so I have some back story to work with. I still need the name of a town in the South, most likely I’ll use South Carolina since I’m familiar with it, but Georgia is on my mind, (That’s a song). I was thinking of names like Liberty, Prosperity, Harmony, or Haven (though Haven is so over used and I immediately think of the SciFi television series based on Stephen King’s “The Colorado Kid” when I hear that name.

I love using Scrivener. I’ve checked out Evernote and One Note, and they’re cool for notes, etc, but I can do the same stuff with Scrivener, at least for what I need it for. I’ve been researching the differences lately, and came to the conclusion that Scrivener is just my GO TO product. I am one of Scrivener’s biggest fans. The only thing I don’t like about Scrivener is that their Windows version is not up to par–the Mac version has so much more. Stuff I’d really like to use. Ah well. I suppose I don’t have it as bad as the Linux users who have Scrivener so I shouldn’t complain. Ah, to hell with it! I’m complaining. No doubt about it. I wish they’d get on the ball with updating the Windows version.

The Mister is back on the road, and he’s alone this week since I’m at home. I have a doctor’s appointment tomorrow. Hopefully, the Doc will give me the cortisone shot in my arm and my rotator cuff will feel better. I have more mobility in it now than I did, but it still hurts like a bitch.

I found a few writer workshops (online) I’d like to attend (not sure if “attend” is the right word, maybe take would be a better word…I’m rambling and over-thinking–that’s what happens when you’re alone for two days after being with someone constantly for a month. I’ve started talking to myself, even when I write. LOL! Or maybe it’s the writer in me. I guess it’s all good as long as I don’t answer myself.

It’s been rainy, gray, and cold here in the South. I’m sick of “inclement” weather and ready for Spring, sunshine, flip-flops, and fruity drinks with alcohol instead of so much coffee and hot chocolate. Though in celebration of St. Patty’s Day I should have gotten myself a bottle of Bailey’s and then the “inclement” weather wouldn’t have been so bad.

Time for me to go back to Scrivener and my character sketches. Gotta love that I can put pictures on theĀ corkboard of my characters…

Characters for 2014 Camp NaNo
Characters for 2014 Camp NaNo

Yep, that’s right. Lots of visual inspiration for my characters. Ā The corkboard, binder, and project/document notes are well used by me.

Category: Books, Home, Life, NaNoWriMo, Scrivener, Weather, Writing | Comments Off on Preparing for CampNaNoWriMo
March 3 2014

Writing (on the road) without internet

For the next week I won’t be able to post anything that requires internet. I’ll be writing, but it won’t be on my blog, not even via my phone. I’ll be back on the road with the husband, my third week in a row out on the road with him, but this week my phone will be out of commission and his phone isn’t a smart phone, so the most I might be able to do with it is FB, which I seriously doubt I’ll bother with. I think this will be my week away from all internet distractions. A hiatus from the WEB.

No FB, no email, no Twitter, no blogging, no Googling, no Instagram….Nada. Just me and my laptop and Scrivener. If we were somewhere out there on the road that had free WIFI I could use the D-Link and gain access to the World WIde Web and peruse the internet all those wonderful distractions, but I do NOT think I will. I think a hiatus from the internet is just what I need to get through this part of my novel.

Sure there are some things I need to research but it can wait until I get back home. Good thing I’m not one of those people who worries about my stats.

Yesterday I was thinking about what we did before the internet. Before FB, Twitter, Instagram, Google, etc… Before cell phones. When we remembered telephone numbers. When we played more board games. When I wrote with a Brother Word Processor and was grateful for it because typing on a manual typewriter is hard work, and so is an electric one when it comes to errors (White Out is helpful but…) and as I thought about writing my term papers on that electric typewriter, which meant using footnotes, and praying you didn’t make any errors because that meant typing the page all over again because my teachers would mark your paper with all kinds of red ink if you used White-Out. I remember when I had to work harder to get a few chapters written but the words came easier in part because I didn’t have so many distractions.

This week I’m going to concentrate on the writing. I’ll miss blogging. I’ll miss FB and Instagram…But I won’t miss being distracted.

Hope everyone has a good week. I’ll catch up with things on the Reader this weekend, and write a few posts. Right now it’s time for me to get some much needed sleep.

Category: Life, Scrivener, Traveling, Writing | Comments Off on Writing (on the road) without internet
October 24 2013

Outlining: From a Pantser's POV

Outline for NaNoWriMo 2013
Outline for NaNoWriMo 2013

As I’ve talked about before, I’m more of a pantser than a plotter, but I’m trying my hand at outlining this NaNoWriMo. I’ve found more than a few different ways that writer’s outline, including the 3 act structure, Blake Snyder’s “Save the Cat” version, Larry Brook’s version of outlining/plotting from “Story Engineering,” and quite a few other’s. I don’t know which one will work best for me. I’ve tried outlining my novel with each form of outline as I read the various ways, and to tell you the truth–I still don’t know.

I wish I had someone who would do that part for me. I talk. He/she listens and takes notes. I come up with the ideas, the names, the plots, the themes, the B story, the world building, etc. and the other person does the outlining, the making of maps, the creating the world, and then I go in and write the story. Until I’m a famous writer making real money at my profession, the kind of money that would afford me an assistant I don’t see that happening so I’m stuck doing all the nitty-gritty work myself. And to me, that stuff is the nitty-gritty hard work stuff.

The writing isn’t hard. It’s all the crap beforehand that’s hard. At least for me. BUT, last time I really tried to create a novel for NaNoWriMo I got bogged down in the middle, lost in translation, misplaced my muse, and ended up losing horribly all because I didn’t know where I was going with the novel. I had a clear idea when I started. I pantsed. I knew who my character was and what she was doing, and what was supposed to happen, and I started writing. I wrote. She talked and talked, and then before you know it the character had taken over and then I ended up at the midpoint of my novel and I looked up and realized she was fickle and indecisive and had no idea of what she really wanted, “Hey, don’t blame me. You’re the writer!” she said.

Character Outline on the Corkboard in Scrivener.
Character Outline on the Corkboard in Scrivener.

This time that won’t happen. This time I’m plotting. I’m working on my outline. I’ll still stay open to what the main character needs, to what’s going on with the setting, the theme, the plot, the arc of the story and the characters, BUT I will have a map (my outline) to help guide me and keep me headed in the right direction, even if I randomly take a few shortcuts, or a few side roads.

I’m just so thankful to Scrivener. Without Scrivener there is no way I’d be able to create an outline that still allows me freedom to change things around without going absolutely crazy. For allowing me to switch things around in the binder. For enabling me to color code things so it’s more convenient and efficient for me. I LOVE Scrivener. I’m still learning, and I really wish that the Windows version was as fancy as the Mac version. (Hello people, not all of us can afford a Mac or prefer a Mac. I’d have one if I could afford it, even if it meant learning everything all over again.)

So now I’m going to go to bed. It’s almost 4AM (my time) and I’m exhausted. I’ve posted on both blogs now, and I’m ready to fall asleep curled up with my husband’s pillow (that still smells like him) and fall asleep watching something on Netflix–Friday evening can’t get here soon enough–I miss him!

Category: Life, NaNoWriMo, Outlining, Scrivener, Traveling, Writing | Comments Off on Outlining: From a Pantser's POV