Drafting

Words, once they are printed, have a life of their own. Carol Burnett

My blog has been accusing me of neglect, since it has been several weeks since I last updated it and now it is April 8th and the last time I updated was in the middle of March. This time the silence has not been me hiding from my feelings.

I’ve been busy in my new schedule and I’ve also been putting a lot of time and energy into my novel’s first draft. Thus far, I’ve written 88,000 words in 71.8 hours over the course of ten or eleven weeks. I’m pretty proud of myself. And I definitely see that if I did this full-time I’d have the potential to be faster than I am now when I am writing in between adult commitments in my life.

Last week, I hit a snag, but I overcame it and wrote 5k on Sunday. So overall, the writing life is treating me well. And I’m plugging away. My characters are making trouble for as we speak and doing things I never expected them to do. But if the story surprises me, then hopefully it will surprise my alpha reader brother and beta readers too. And maybe someday some readers who don’t know me personally.

© K. Klein 2013

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Refuge

One good thing about music, when it hits you, you feel no pain.  Bob Marley

When I was in elementary school, I played flute, but I never practiced. I played passingly and usually sat towards the end of the section because I didn’t put the effort into improving my musical skills.

The interesting thing about music or art versus writing is that often there is the idea that writers are born and not made. However, writing is a skill like any other, and to develop any skill that means you need to practice.

I’ve been working on my writing practice this year. I’ve been writing towards a novel since late January and am at sixty-two thousand words. I’m happy with my progress. When it comes to my writing, I want to practice. I want to get better.

When I write, I am a happier and more complete person than when I do not write. For example, yesterday, I was in a funky mood. A bit anxious and upset and I sat down to write and just lost myself to my characters. And when I finished, I felt better. I even went on to write more in a second session later last night.

Writing is my refuge from the world. When I am telling stories it takes me away from my problems and issues. It allows me the freedom to bring my characters to life and to share them with others.

©K. Klein 2013

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Energy & personal limits

I like nonsense, it wakes up the brain cells.  Fantasy is a necessary ingredient in living, it’s a way of looking at life through the wrong end of a telescope.  Which is what I do, and that enables you to laugh at life’s realities.  ~Theodore Geisel

I’ve been running into my personal limits lately. I looked at the last time I updated my blog and cringed. However, I need to remind myself that I only have so much energy and so much time to do everything. There are only twenty-four hours in a day. And only seven days in a week. Even Martha Stewart (or insert your mogul of choice) has to deal with those constraints.

From what I can tell, Martha Stewart doesn’t sleep – maybe she a super secret new type of vampire? A homemaking vampire that is my bet. Now the question is, what do these new vampires eat? Blood seems to messy for the perfect homemaking vampire. Oh well, that isn’t my point.

Further, I need to cut myself some slack, I am drafting a novel. I recently hit 45k in the draft. I’ve been going strong since Jan. 28th. That is a big deal. So mostly, the words I might have used in this blog have gone to the novel.

However, it isn’t just writing limits I’m noticing. For me, I have a pretty set amount of energy in which to accomplish things. For example, my introverted nature means that social interactions take more chunks out of my energy than cleaning the bathroom or doing the laundry.

An interesting thing I’ve hit upon in my own limits of energy is that my social interaction energy pool overlaps with my writing energy pool. If I have a big day planned on the weekend, likely, I won’t have energy to write afterwards. Or I’ll prefer not to write beforehand and conserve myself for seeing my friends and family. This has hampered my write seven days a week goal. I am pretty happy writing six days a week.

Every writer is different. And the idea of telling writers to write everyday is that writers need to practice. My whole 2013 goal was to practice, practice, practice. And I’m overall happy with my progress. I honestly wish I could write a bit faster. But considering that I only write in chunks of time as little as a half an hour to as much as two hours a day I’m doing all right. I’m super proud of the day I wrote 4k, but I also devoted 5+ hours to that. So, time is a constraint. And practice will help me to not only improve my writing, but also help me focus, and writer faster.

Half of my slowness problem now is sitting down and concentrating on what I want to write now. Rather than doing half a dozen other things. Sometimes I have “oh shiny” moments and they come at the time I am trying to sit down and write. So the strategy is to get the water, tea, and snack before I sit down to write – instead of trying to write and then getting up every five minutes. I also have started logging out of social media so that I don’t have the temptation to check Facebook or the interwebs every two minutes.

Now that I’m aware of what makes me lose concentration, I can do those small things to help keep me focused when I sit down to write. And hopefully that means writing more words. Yay.

©K. Klein 2013

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Word Count Update & More Whatnot

I loved words. I love to sing them and speak them and even now, I must admit, I have fallen into the joy of writing them. Anne Rice

I am well into drafting novel-2 and have a bit over 18k at the moment. I am pleased with this progress. It would be nice if I could get the motivation to write for more than 1-2 hours in a day. But on the flip side, I am writing 6 days a week.

For some reason, mostly I think my social life; I can’t quite make it to writing all seven days of the week. I blame my social life because it takes up energy for me, as an introvert. And writing, though I love it, also takes up energy. So if I have a particularly social Friday or Saturday then I am probably going to not write much that day and so long as I can write six days a week I think I am ok with that. We shall see where my productivity experiment takes me.

My schedule is about to change this week due to new circumstances. And so that will affect my writing time. Although, I do know this much, I won’t be getting up at five am to write. I respect writers who do get up early and write, but I physically cannot do it.

Once, during NaNoWriMo 2011, I tried to get up two hours earlier than normal to write. I was in grad school, and looking for time to write. What happened? I spent the entire two hours drinking coffee and staring into space incoherently. It comes as no to surprise to me, as I have been a night owl since childhood, but it can be disappointing at times.

The mornings and I just do not get along. I set the alarm twenty or thirty minutes earlier than I need to get up so that I can hit the snooze button and hold the day at bay for that longer. It doesn’t help matters that I also have trouble sleeping, so that even on good days I still wake up a bit groggy. It sucks to be perpetually overdrawn on one’s sleep bank. Oh well, in the end, I am a night owl and I shall make time to get the writing done even as my schedule changes.

©K. Klein 2013

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Life outside of writing

Nothing encourages creativity like the chance to fall flat on one’s face.  ~James D. Finley

I bitch and moan about writing a lot, but when I finally get down to it; it is what I love to do. However, I do plan on making it my career, or at least one of them, depending on how things pan out. That means that I need to figure out ways to blow off steam and refill the well.

One of my greatest pleasures in life is reading, but that also tends to be from a critical or work space. Especially if a book is not working for me or I am trying to tackle one of those cannon novels I can’t believe I didn’t read in college when I was working towards an English degree.

I have things that I am interested in learning how to do that I don’t quite have the money to pursue at the moment, but I guess that is ok. Here is a brief list:

  • Learning Spanish – an addendum to this one b/c my wonderful public library has a subscription to Mango, which is an online language learning service. I just found out about it today. It is awesome. I still want to take a conversational class at my local community college. I really want to improve my speaking confidence.
  • Take a painting class
  • Learn how to knit/ crochet. I really want to knit myself a pair of arm warmers
  • Learn how to quilt
  • Resume jewelry making. Stuff is in storage now. If I had some money, maybe take a class.
  • Learn how to sew more than a basic hand stitch. (Even than needs work). Boyfriend’s mom just lent us her sewing machine, score. Now to make time.
  • Travel
  • Photography – I need to keep reminding myself my phone has a camera. I really, really want a DSLR

Aside from crafty stuff, I enjoy going to museums, concerts, plays, and other cultural events. Sadly, in my major metropolitan area, it is super expensive to get into the awesome museums. If/ when I have money, I want a membership to my local major art museum. I always leave that museum feeling refreshed and inspired.

On the bright side, I can take walks in local parks for free. The weather isn’t conducive to that right at the moment. But my area does have lovely places for me to go and wander around. And I also enjoy doing yoga. And the volunteer tutoring I started in January.

I suppose once I get my financial life back in order, I can pursue some of these things. I just need to have patience. I also need to focus a bit. For real, I am not a reckless dilettante despite what this list says about me. But it is nice to know that I do have a life outside of reading and writing – things that can be rather cerebral pursuits. Because really, I don’t have a hard time relaxing, not at all. No, not me.

©K. Klein 2013

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Rule Breaker

The wonderful Moonstonemaiden nominated me for the Shine On award, which I accept gratefully. However, it comes with rules:

The Shine On Award Rules:

1. Link back to the blogger who nominated you.

2. Post the badge on your blog.

3. Answer the questions posed to you.

4. Nominate five bloggers who shine a little light in your day and be sure to notify them.

5. Issue some questions you’d like them to answer

I’m feeling a bit rebellious today; I am going to forgo the badge. And I am not really sure whom to nominate for the award. So I am going to forgo that bit of the exercise as well. However, I will post some questions, and if you feel so inclined you can answer them in the comments.

Here are my answers to Moonstonemainden’s questions:

Do you have a favorite book series? What is it?

Just one? Oh my goodness, I read series upon series of books. I am a fantasy loving girl at heart. I’m not sure I can even come up with a top three or top five. I suck at favorites. But here is an attempt (in no particular order):

  1. Harry Potter by J. K. Rowling
  2. Adventures of Eli Monpress by Rachel Aaron
  3. Mercy Thompson Series by Patricia Briggs
  4. Lord of the Rings J.R.R. Tolkien
  5. Dresden Files by Jim Butcher

What is the funniest movie quote you’ve come across?

This question leaves me blank. I watch movies, but quotes from them don’t tend to stick on my head. Though I do love character quirks, like Captain Jack Sparrow saying savvy.

If you could karaoke one song perfectly, what song would you chose?

Raise your glass or pretty much anything by Pink

Dogs or cats?

Both. You can’t make me chose.

What is the one household chore you loath the most?

I hate doing the dishes by hand. Something about leftover food – especially from another person’s plate, eww.

My questions for you:

  1. What is your favorite movie?
  2. If you could pick one author to have lunch with, who would it be?
  3. What song would you chose to be the theme song for your life?

    ©K. Klein 2013

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Drafting & whatnot

 “This is how you do it: You sit down at the keyboard, and you put one word after another, until it’s done. It’s that easy and that hard.” – Neil Gaiman

The news I was waiting for came today and is as great as I hoped it would be. Yay. I haven’t been this happy in a long time.

The other thing on my mind at the moment is the first draft of novel-2. I have been writing every day. Woo, I am back on the bandwagon. And since I started this draft on Monday I’ve written 7, 281 words.  This is about 1.5k/ day. That isn’t terrible for about an hour or two a day.

Hopefully, I will be able to get every further back into the groove and start writing more hours per day as well as more words per day. And the wonderful boyfriend helped me format my draft of novel-1. It is off into the hands of my beta readers.  Overall, it has been a great end to the week.

©K. Klein 2013

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