IWSG: Camp NaNoWriMo and Setting Smaller Goals

IWSG-Badge

IWSG Banner

It’s the first Wednesday of the month and that means it’s time for a new Insecure Writer’s Support Group update. If you’d like to join IWSG and visit the awesome writers in the group, be sure to sign up at the Insecure Writer’s Support Group website.

Camp NaNoWriMo BadgeJuly Camp NaNoWriMo

June was a tough and busy month for me, so busy that I missed my last IWSG post. I had no progress with my writing so there’s not much to report. This month, however, I’m trying Camp NaNoWriMo again.

Setting Smaller Goals

I plan to finish what I started during April’s Camp session. Except this time I’m setting my word goal at 20k instead of 50k. A smaller goal is more realistic for me right now. If I can pass that goal then hooray. If not, I’ll keep trying until I do.

I’m focusing on the short stories I somehow started in April when I was supposed to be working on my novel. So, those short stories are my first priority and then it’s back to my novel.

Is anyone else doing Camp NaNoWriMo this month? What writing project are you working on right now?

IWSG: Reflections and Failures

IWSG Banner

IWSG Banner

I can’t believe April is finally over. I’ve been busy, busy, busy and now finals are starting up at college! And guess what today is? It’s the first Wednesday of the month so that means it’s time for a new Insecure Writer’s Support Group update. For today’s post, I’m sharing some good and bad news. I’ll start with the good.

A to Z Challenge Reflections

A to Z Reflection 2015

Good news is the A to Z Challenge has come to an end, and I actually finished the challenge on time this year. But the fun’s not over yet. It’s become a tradition at the end of the A to Z Challenge for everyone to reflect about their time blogging through the alphabet. It’s called the A to Z Blogging Challenge Reflection and there’s a brand new linky list for A-to-Zers to join.

Reflecting is basically a time for people to sum up their thoughts about the challenge and visit the blogs they’ve missed during April. If you haven’t read mine already, here’s my post Reflecting on the April A to Z Challenge 2015.

Camp NaNoWriMo Failure

Camp NaNo

Now for the bad news. As the title implies, I totally failed Camp NaNoWriMo last month. I mentioned in my last IWSG post that I planned to take on the A to Z Challenge and Camp NaNoWriMo in April. While I finished the A to Z Challenge, I came nowhere near my original goal of writing 50,000 words by April 30th with Camp NaNo.

I only wrote shy of 4,000 words. And, yes, I know that’s pathetic. But some words are better than no words, so I won’t cry too much. I’ll just try again for Camp NaNoWriMo in July. So, did anyone else try Camp NaNo last month? And was April a crazy month for you too?

By the way, you can come join the IWSG and gather courage, support, and virtual hugs from like-minded people. You can signup at the Insecure Writer’s Support Group website.

IWSG: Let the Challenges Begin?

IWSG

IWSG

It’s April and that means it’s time for a new Insecure Writers Support Group update. This month’s IWSG lands on the start of the A to Z Challenge and Camp NaNoWriMo. And as luck would have it, I’ve signed up for all of these events.

A to Z Challenge Kicks Off

The A to Z Challenge is off and running. From now until the end of April, bloggers will be posting their way through the alphabet. For this year’s challenge, I’m posting about the Most Beautiful Libraries from Around the World. On top of this challenge, I’m also trying to finish a novel this month.

Camp NaNo’s Madness Begins

I joined Camp NaNoWriMo with the hope of writing 50,000 words in one month. It just so happens that Camp NaNo is running in April and so… I decided to take on Camp NaNo while also participating in the A to Z Challenge. But I may have bitten off more than I can chew.

Too Many Goals?

What am I thinking? Sure, I’m setting goals and having fun but today is only day one. And blogging through the alphabet, visiting lots of A-to-Zer’s blogs, while trying to finish a novel in one month may be too much to handle.

Is anyone else taking on Camp NaNoWriMo and the A to Z Challenge this month? Have you ever taken on too many blogging and writing responsibilities at once? How did you deal with those challenges?

Who’s Going to Camp NaNoWriMo April 2015?

Camp NaNo Participant 2015

Camp NaNoWriMo Banner

What is Camp NaNoWriMo?

After some not-so-successful attempts, I’ve decided to take another swing at Camp NaNoWriMo. If you’re not familiar with the event, NaNoWriMo is the National Novel Writing Month that’s held every year in November.

The event is online and has writers from around the globe participating. And the goal is to write 50,000 words, a novel, in one month. It’s just for fun, of course, to help people achieve some progress with their writing.

How to Join

Camp NaNoWriMo is basically the same concept except it happens during April and July. So if you’re like me and love to write but may need some extra motivation, why not join Camp NaNo?

You can get support from your fellow writers during one crazy s’more-filled and keyboard-frenzied month. I say bring on the plot outline, the inevitable cabin fever, and the daily word goals. I’m ready to finish a novel. How about you?

If you’d like to join Camp NaNoWriMo, you can sign up at: CampNaNoWriMo.org

Writing Goals

I’ll be hanging out at my camp profile. In the next couple of weeks, I’ll be outlining a new draft of my old sci-fi romance that seriously needs a new life.

My old novel A Servant and Two Masters not only needs a new title but a total overhaul, which means I’m working from the ground up to write a new story. Many of the old themes from the first draft and most of the characters will remain but the overall story is lacking, flat, and going nowhere. So I’m doing a full new draft.

This should be fun. Let’s get writing. 🙂

Insecure Writer’s Support Group and the A to Z Challenge Collide

Minion

IWSG-Badge

March is here and it’s time for an Insecure Writer’s Support Group (IWSG) update. Wow. I’ve been super busy and now with midterms coming up, I don’t know where all the time goes.

Have You Joined?

Speaking of time, the A to Z Challenge is only a few weeks away. Have you joined the Challenge? Have you signed up for the Theme Reveal? Did you know I’m going to be an A to Z Challenge minion next month?

I’m a Minion

Minion

During the Challenge, I’m not only participating but I’ll also be on Team Csenge as a minion, helping to monitor some of the blogs on the A to Z Challenge list. April’s going to be one busy month.

IWSG in April

Not to mention that April 1st is the first day of the A to Z Challenge and the first Wednesday in the month, which means it’s an Insecure Writer’s Support Group post day. So, that’ll be 12 blogs I’ll need to visit for IWSG and 5 blogs a day for the A to Z Challenge in addition to my minion duties.

Even with all the writing, posting, commenting, and blog hopping, I’m still excited for April. How are you feeling about the Challenge? Do you plan your posts far in advance for IWSG or the A to Z Challenge?

IWSG Critique Circle, Introduction, and Writing Progress

It’s Wednesday! The first Wednesday in the month means it’s time for a new Insecure Writer’s Support Group update. This month’s topic is critique groups.

Critique Circles

I’ve been a member of the online critique group Critique Circle for several years now, since 2012. The Critique Circle or CC, as most members call it, has been quite helpful to me over the years. While I haven’t been active on the site lately, there are plenty of writers who are keeping busy in the story queues and forums. The site even features private queues and forums.

A critique circle whether it’s online or face-to-face can be a great resource for us to find encouragement, positive criticism on writing, and feedback to hopefully improve our craft.

If you’re looking for a critique group or crit partners, try the Critique Circle. It’s free to join. There are also a couple of Facebook groups hosted by IWSG. There’s the IWSG Facebook Group and the IWSG Critique Circle. I just joined the IWSG Critique Circle today and I hope to see there.

Introduction

Apparently, I forget to introduce myself in last month’s IWSG post but better late than never. So, if you don’t know me already, I’m a writer, daydreamer, and would-be Timekeeper. Don’t ask about the Timekeeper thing.

I’m an ebook hoarder, part-time ninja, and I’m an avid lover of all things Steampunk. Steampunk books, movies, art, clothes, you name it. I generally love anything Victorian and really love the Victorian age powered by steam. In my spare time, I try to write stories about science fiction and romance and end up creating some weird combination of science fantasy.

Writing Progress

Speaking of writing, I would like to thank all of the wonderful people that visited my blog from last month’s IWSG post. I valued your advice and have started working on one of my old WIPs again with a simple goal of writing one paragraph a day. It’s slowly working for me and I may bump it up to two paragraphs a day next.

In addition to that goal, I’m working on something new. It’s a story that I hope will be better than my last attempt at a Steampunk novel, which failed miserably. I’m still working out the details for this new book, and there will be more updates coming soon.

In the meantime, if you want to meet other writers and bloggers, you can signup to join the Insecure Writer’s Support Group here.

Have a happy February everyone. 🙂

Insecure Writer’s Support Group: Ups and Downs

IWSG

Just Joined IWSG

This is my first Wednesday taking part in the Insecure Writer’s Support Group (IWSG). It’s a group for writers to discuss their doubts and concerns about their craft. Everyone in the group posts on the first Wednesday of each month. So here I go.

Writing Woes

I haven’t had the most confidence in my writing lately. Ever since my laptop died back in September and I completely failed NaNoWriMo in November, I’ve taken a laid back approach to writing. So laid back that I haven’t written anything new in the last couple of months. I’m at a lost for words. It’s not writer’s block. It’s just discouragement.

I haven’t figured out how to climb out of this rut. Now I’ve had new ideas, tons really, for so many new stories, characters, worlds, and plots. I’m coming up with new ideas everyday. But I don’t want to start anything new until I finish my old projects. And these projects need to be revamped from the ground up. A lot of my old stories are so bad and need so much work, revisions, and editing that I’d basically be starting them over from the beginning.

Any Suggestions?

So what would you suggest? Should I work to right the wrongs in my current projects? Or try something new? Have you faced this or a similar obstacle with your writing? And do you think you should ever give up on a project?

Be sure to visit the other writers in the Insecure Writer’s Support Group or signup here.

Oh Horror! I’m A Gardener!

George R.R. Martin

I was watching some of the lectures from Brandon Sanderson’s class on fantasy and science fiction last night, and to my immense horror I found out I’m a gardener. Not the green thumb variety. Gardening is a term used by George R.R. Martin, because he’s one, which means a writer works by discovery.

In short, you don’t work well with outlines or a rigid structure to your writing. You develop a story through discovering or learning as you go.

That’s me. I write by discovery and I edit my stories as I go, which explains a lot. Like, why I’ve rewritten the first chapters of every one of my novels at least ten times over. And why I can only get so far in any one story and then have to go back and revise when I’ve yet to finish draft one!

Or when characters change and grow into their own persons, I have to edit my novel to adapt to those changes. And I’m constantly writing a chapter or so only to go back and edit a chapter or so.

It’s like taking one step forward and two steps back. Progress is made but it’s very slowly. And now I know why. But I’m not explaining it as clearly at Sanderson does. Take a listen for yourself. Video four deals with gardeners and architects.

Lecture 1

1. Intro to Sci-Fi/Fantasy Writing.

2. Ideas are cheap

3. Class format

4. Gardeners vs Architects

5. Writing group essentials

You can find the rest of Brandon’s 2012 Lectures at Write About Dragons.

Image source of George R.R. Martin.

Free Summer Fantasy and Science Fiction Online Writing Class

Write About Dragons Online Writing Class

Are you excited? I sure am! Thanks to the awesome site CritiqueCircle.com, I was directed to a free writing class.

Brandon Sanderson of Write About Dragons is offering a free summer fantasy and science fiction online writing class. Yes, it’s totally free and totally online.

That means you get to learn how to write right from the comfort of your own home, or local library, or coffee shop, you name it. I don’t know about you, but I need all the writing advice I can use, and if it’s free that’s even better.

If you want to join the class, head on over to Brandon’s blog for the:
2013 Summer Class Sign Up

Class starts July 1 and ends in August. If you want to get a feel for what the course will be like, you can check out Brandon Sanderson’s 2012 Lectures. And don’t forget to tell your writing buddies.

Image Source.

Challenge to Write Daily

Nanowrimo

Remember those few lessons from the F2K writing course? In one of my posts I’d mention my opinion of Ray Bradbury. That man’s books scared me as a kid.

However, I’m not eight anymore and I think I can handle a dark circus. So, I picked up a couple of Bradbury’s books at the library, and I was a little surprised by a single sentence he wrote in the afterword of one book. Speaking of the early days when he first started out, Bradbury stated:

I wrote every day after that, for the next sixty-five years.
-Ray Bradbury, Something Wicked This Way Comes

Can you imagine writing everyday for that many years? That’s amazing! I no longer think people have any excuse when they say they can’t or don’t have the time to write everyday. If you’re able, it can be done. Bradbury did it. You can and so can I. I’m going to try my hardest to write each day, everyday for the rest of my days.

I also want to work on some new short stories. So far, I’ve got about 3 finished. I would like to start submitting those to magazines, but that’s a step I’m not ready for yet. For now, I’m focusing on finishing my Camp NaNo goal of 50k words in 30 days.