Write in Your Own Unique and Magical Way

We writers try to get our hands and eyes on every piece of information regarding the myriad of ways, forms, and fashions in which well-known writers write/have written. We try to imitate, emulate, grasp for any minuscule scrap of inspiration in which to awaken our creative muse. Stop and think about that for a minute. WE are looking at THEIR stuff to awaken OUR creative muse. And then we wonder why we have writer’s block?! Maybe it’s because we are trying to be more like them to get at what they have. We want what they have. We need to embrace what WE have.

We will never shed the skin of incompetence if we are trying too hard to grab onto what someone else has. It’s like comparing ourselves to them, trying to study them, trying to be like them. Don’t misunderstand – it’s all well and good to study and read and enjoy the works of others. It does feed the creativity and inspiration bug. But studying more on how someone else does something to improve your own writing might stifle your efforts just a bit. You can take all the creative writing classes in the world and study the works of every NYT best-selling author in your genre and still fall flat on your face.

Face it. You want to be the next J. K. Rowling. C. S. Lewis. Tolkien. No. You want to surpass them. Your first step in attaining this goal? Stop trying to be like them. Stop trying to write like them. Stop trying to beat them. Be yourself. Write from your own unique perspective.

Each person on the planet was born into a unique set of circumstances. We each were born with a mission, and we each have many purposes. We were not placed here to be someone else. We were not replicated. We are not clones nor robots. We have our own mind, behaviors, imagination and quirks that no one else has. We are each unique and special and it’s from that uniqueness you should find your writing groove. There is no one else quite like you. No one else has what you have. No one else has your voice nor can write like you. Own that. These are TREASURES!

Do you find yourself stuck quite a bit on your writing journey? There are so many reasons for this: Trying to be like someone else. Trying to be as good as… Not enough self-worth, not enough faith in ourselves, overthinking everything, the thought of “One day, I’ll be published. I’ll be famous. I won’t have to worry about how to pay the bills ever again!” All these things block us, psychologically and creatively, as well as emotionally, spiritually and mentally.

So my advice? And this goes out to me, too. Write from your own heart, your own soul, your own mind. Don’t wait for inspiration to strike, or for your muse to awaken, or a free hour in your day to show up, to actually sit there and write. You make the time each day, wherever you can. You do it because you cannot live your life without making time to do that thing you love – writing, imagining, playing/conversing with your imaginary friends. Get up 2 hours earlier. Stay up 2 hours later. But work it in somehow. Write during your lunch hour. Write instead of watching 3 hours of tv.

Make your inspiration:

Use a coffee cup that inspires you – either sit it on your writing space & fill it with writing tools or fill it with coffee/tea.

Fix yourself a glass of wine, or two, or three, if that helps with your flow.

Put on a “magic shirt” or “magic cape” in which to stir your muse.

Buy a “magic quill” and bottle of ink and sit it on your writing space. Or just a photo of it.

Heck! Go break off a limb and craft your own “magic wand” if that’s what gets you inspired! Or turn your pencil into a wand by decorating. Point it at your screen or tablet of paper or your brain and command, “Wake, Creative Muse! Create! Work through my mind and fingers! Make my writing great!” LOL (Go check out this cool page I found on creating your own magic wands out of pencils!)

Find something fun and add it to your writing routine. But make it your own.

And don’t focus on the end goal of being published. That’s putting way too much pressure on yourself. Just write because you love it. Do it for the fun of it. And if, one day, you finish the book and you revise and revise and revise and proof and proof and polish, then perhaps you can attempt to get it out into the world. But even if it never gets there, you have accomplished a great feat! You finished what you started. And that’s big. HUGE!

Ciao for now. Smooches! xoxo

-Carol

Fell Off the Face of the Earth

fallingNo, I didn’t. Though, I’m sure some of you probably thought I had. I’ve been so consumed lately with work and then Spring Break vacation and family time, I’ve not put much focus toward writing nor blogging. However, that’s all about to change. Yes, I’m gearing up for facing sleepless nights and early mornings once again. No more sleeping in till 5 or 6 am. I’ll still be putting forth my 46+ hours of work per week, adequate time for family and then all the extras will come in within those hours while the rest of the world sleeps, and I’ll be missing those precious hours of dreaming, though they’ll still be precious, as I’ll be appointing that energy to writing daily and blogging at least once a week.

And if you haven’t figured out how crazy I am yet…

Camp NaNoWriMo, Here I come!

Yes, indeedy, I’ve lost my mind, taking the plunge of investing up to 50,000 words and finally finishing my novel (book 1) during the month of April. I’m not entirely sure it will be 50,000 words that I type during the month, as I’m half finished with book 1 already. Mostly, needing to reorganize, then finish. Certain parts need to be transferred to books 2 and 3. So, that’s my main objective for April – finishing book 1.  Then May will be spent revising, editing, proofing, polishing, employing my beta readers, querying agents/publishers, and finding representation/ publication. A little crazy?  Yes. Impossible? Never. I have reached 50,000 words before during a NaNoWriMo and Camp NaNoWriMo, so I know I can do it. Plus, it does become a bit easier once you get in the habit of getting up at 2am or 4am every morning to get in your 1,500 to 2,000 words per day.

If you are a writer and love a challenge, I encourage you to join in April’s Camp NaNoWriMo. It’s free and it’s most helpful if you need a kick in the pants to motivate you to get your rear in the chair and write a book or finish something you started. Wanna learn more about it? Check this out.

When you work from home and have a family, you set a crazy schedule that best works for you.

Here’s my schedule now:

M-F

Up, fix coffee, get ready for the day 6-7

Work 7-8

Fix breakfast and lunch for the kiddo 8-830

Work 830-430 (while walking 2 dogs every hour, it seems)

Prepare and sit down to supper 430-5 or 6-630 (depending on day)

Family time (depending on how much homework and studying Mini-me has) 5-8 or 630-9 or 10

Get ready for bed – anytime between 8 and 10, depending on what’s going on that particular day

Sometimes, it varies, though. Sometimes, I start at 4 or 5am, depending on what else I have going on that day. And if I have to be out at appointments on a particular day, I’ll spend part of Saturday morning getting the rest of my work hours. Plus, getting in a smidge of writing time on some of those mornings or evenings. Sound crazy? I rather like it, myself. It’s not that hard working in your pajamas or a t-shirt and shorts, and for clients you actually like, doing work you actually like. Plus, it’s nice setting your own schedule.

My new schedule, starting April 1, will look more like this:

M-F

Up, coffee will be ready (on auto) 4am

Write quietly (in office or livingroom) 4-6

Get ready for day 6-7

Then, everything else, and making sure I get to bed NLT 8pm, and hoping Hallie can make it to bed by then, as well

 

I’m gonna be a tired Mama-jama.  Of course, if there are appointments anywhere that day, I’ll be getting up at 2am to fit it all in, as well as getting up super early on Saturday morning. I’ve done it before.  This is not just my schedule for April but will my schedule for May, as well, since I will need to fix all the details and polish the book the month following Camp Nano. Half-way dreading it and half-way super excited to dig in!!  Are you coming to camp? Will you be joining a cabin? Look me up if you like and shoot me a message.  To message me inside the camp, I think I’m Carol-Blake or Carol_Blake. This may be my last opt-in for the cabin-mates. A couple of times, it was really great, because a couple of the bunk mates made good conversation and I made new friends (that are still friends in and out of camp) but most of the camps, the cabin was pretty quiet. Not sure that I’ll be making much conversation in April, either. We’ll see.  And good luck to you, whether you join us at camp, or not.

What are you doing in April? Got any big goals planned?  Been thinkin’ about you guys! And been missing y’all.

Chat soon! Smooches!  xoxo

-Carol

The Latest…

Camp-Winner-2015-Web-Banner

Not sure exactly how I did it but I did it.  While working my 36-46 hours a week, chasing after a busy teenager, managing to clean our filthy house (with a lot of help from Hallie!), and mowing a few acres each week, I somehow got in the writing time I needed to work on my novel, and run a contest for a couple of weeks!

My goal was set pretty low for this camp, because I knew I wouldn’t be able to put time in each and every day.  My original goal was 10,000 words.  My final count was…wait for it…

15,864?!

Once I reached a bit over 9,000, I stopped counting.  Then, on July 31st, I checked it and yup, I exceeded my goal.  Yea!  I’m sure much of it was rambling.  You know how I do.  I get caught up in it and ya can’t shut me up.  You know I ramble.  Kinda like I’m doin’ now.  Anyway…

So, that’s what I’ve been up to.  Working hard on my novel.  Got the character name I was looking for!  Thank you, my friends out there, for participating.  That was really fun!  Hopefully, I will finish this novel within the next couple of months.  That’s the plan anyway.  Was planning on finished by the end of August.  We’ll see.  I’m gonna try.  Got a little bit to finish.  Then revising, revising, revising.

Just sticking my head in to say hi, I hope you are well.  I know I haven’t been on the ole blog much but, well, by what you can see above, I’m pretty busy these days.  Perhaps I’ll get back to posting more on a daily basis when I’m finished with the ole book.

Squishes and smooches!  Love yooze guys!  xoxo

So how ya been?  What have ya been up to?  Tell me everything!  *cup in hand and eagerly listening*

Light It Up!

fire-spitting-dragon

Ignite the world with your words.  Spitfire!

– Carol Blake

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How would you put your spin on it?

Sorry I haven’t posted an update lately.  Been swamped.  Didn’t get to 25,000 words in Camp Nanowrimo, but I did reach 21,638.  I will continue to find ways of carving out some writing time each day, even if it means I have to get up at 2am.  Still trying to work in time to write out my lesson plans for a class – not even halfway done, yet.  Working 47 hours per week, which is good.  I’m not complaining.  Will probably continue like this another week or two and then, I’ll shorten my hours closer to 40.  Looking forward to vacation at the end of May for sure!  No social life to speak of right now.  Just working and chasing my kid around like a crazy woman.  She’s doing so much!  Not complaining about that either.  Hanging out with her and Mama on the weekends.  Love my girls!

What’s going on in your world?  Drop me a line.  I know I am really missing you guys!  Planning on doing better with catching up with all of you very, very soon.   I wish you well and only good things!

Love, hugs and smooches!!  Go out there and spit fire!

– Carol

 

Oh, and om, let us all make time for getting down our words and get to the point of sharing them with the world.  I’ll leave you with this…

So light ’em up, up, up
Light ’em up, up, up
Light ’em up, up, up
I’m on fire

Gonna be singin’ that all day, now, aren’t ya?  You’re welcome.

(image courtesy of mrwallpaper.com)

You’re a Stah!

star smiles

What a cool thing to say to the one you love, be it significant other, child, parent, best friend.

__________

Sorry I haven’t been on here much lately.  A post here.  A post there.  I’m slackin’!  I need to get crack-a-lackin’!  I have had soooo many contracts come in (thank You, Lord!), so I’m working around 46+ hours this week.  For those of you that don’t know, I work from home.  I’m a single/divorced parent of a busy, hungry teen, so I have to work, work, work.  But I love my work, my clients and wouldn’t be doing anything else, except perhaps writing books full-time if I had the opportunity.  Ah, wouldn’t it be nice to be independently wealthy so you could follow your heart’s desire.  I would write books, stories, songs, poetry.  I would garden.  I would landscape.  I would volunteer my time and money.  I would clean more.  Yeah, don’t look at my house.  I’ve been slackin’ on that, too.

I’ve also been trying to squeeze in time for Camp Nanowrimo.  I’m a bit behind but I try to write some every day.  Didn’t get a chance to yesterday.  I hope I get a chance to make time for writing today.  How are you doing?  Drop me a line and let me know what’s going on in your life.  Let me know if you have any prayer needs, because although my faith may be weak at times, I know the Big Dude Upstairs listens and answers prayers.  If you don’t believe, ah, tell me your needs anyway, because I believe in Him and He believes in all of us.

Have a wonderful and wacky (in a good way) Wednesday and may none of us run into any wack-a-doos (weirdos), unless you count me, of course.  😉

You make me smile!  You’re a stah!

Love ya!  *smooch*

-C

As a Writer, Are You a Fool?

roald“A person is a fool to become a writer. His only compensation is absolute freedom. He has no master except his own soul, and that, I am sure, is why he does it.”

–  Roald Dahl

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It can be a rather lonely profession at times.  I don’t know about you, but most of the time, I like my alone time, especially if it means I get to have time to write creatively.  Oh, sure, at times, even for work it’s quite enjoyable granted the contract is writing something you’re interested in.  Sometimes, you’re writing technical mumbo-jumbo you couldn’t care less about but it helps pay the bills, huh?  So it’s not all bad.  When you’re actually writing something you love and you’re getting paid for it, aw yeah, that’s the good stuff.  And when you can score a free couple of hours to write creatively for yourself?  Man, that’s gold.  And working from home doing all of that stuff, and fitting it in around family time.  That’s priceless.

Do I sound like a credit card commercial?

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Sorry I’ve been out for a bit.  Too much going on – trying to figure out how to do lesson plans for a class, trying to fit in Camp Nano, working on contracts, looking for more contracts, writing for work, writing for fun, family time, cooking, cleaning, walking the dogs, the list is endless.  I’ve not forgotten about my blog and all you cool peeps.  Just running out of time to do everything.  All work and no play makes Carol a dull girl.  Chocolate and wine helps!  😉

So how are all of you?  What’s going on in your world?  Tell me everything.  Gimme the skinny.

Who all is participating in Camp Nanowrimo?