TFR’s #MondayMotivation – Dec. 18, 2017

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A day will come when the story inside you will want to breathe on its own. That’s when you’ll start writing.” – Sarah Noffke

It’s easy to think that if you sit down every day and try to write, that the story you want to write will come, but that doesn’t always happen. Sometimes it’s hit or miss, sometimes what you write just doesn’t work for the piece your working on, or if you’re starting fresh, you might stumble into a bunch of false starts before you can really get going.

But that’s all normal.

You’re not always going to hit it on the first try, but that doesn’t mean the writing you do outside of whatever story you finally land on isn’t ever wasted. You can always take those pieces, be it short scenes or pieces of dialogue and hold them until the time is right. You really never know when you’re working on a scene and you go, “Hey! That scene I wrote that one time a million years ago would be PERFECT here.”

And on the subject of finally getting to the story you REALLY want to write, there’s no one-size-fits-all shortcut. There really never is. You need to figure out what inspires you, and when you’re not writing or working or sleeping or interacting with other humans that you interact with willingly, you should dive into what inspires you and soak up the inspiration. Always try to find something that inspires you, that triggers that thing in your head that makes you want to write something of your own.

It’s never going to be perfect, and it’s not always going to be easy, but it’s still should be a ride that you enjoy. Still, never be afraid to take a break, to step back from your content and write something else, when you’re so inclined. It’ll allow you to return to your primary focus with new energy. Everyone needs a day off sometimes, or even a vacation.

And on that note, I need to get ready for mine!

As always, here’s to a productive week of writing. Don’t forget to sign up for the #MondayMotivation Newsletter by clicking HERE. Taking a bit of a break on this, so the next edition will land in your inbox in January.

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-Kathryn, the Fake Redhead

TFR’s #MondayMotivation – Dec. 4, 2017

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The only writer to whom you should compare yourself is the writer you were yesterday.

That quote is a SUPER fancy way of saying that you really shouldn’t worry about writers who you think write better than you do or have better careers than you do, so simple reasons like the fact that they got started before you did. There is no upper limit to being a writer. You can be a writer at 10 at 20 at 40 at 80. It just doesn’t matter.

Your writing career is your writing career. There is no “standard” to follow, no “magic formula” that explains success. It happens when you work for it. And it’s HARD. There’s no hiding from that. Being a writer is hard, being an artist is hard, because everything comes from you.

What’s important is that you be proud of you accomplish, and you take pride in what you put out into the world. Nothing else matters. If you write one book every 10 years or one book every 10 months, you are still a writer. It doesn’t matter. You just have to keep going and keep persevering. Don’t follow some set of rules that you think you can’t fit into. Come up with your own rules and forge your own path as a writer. No one will tell you that you’re doing it “the wrong way”, and if they do, then they’re not telling you with YOUR best interests at heart.

Always keep writing, because that is the only way you’re going to grow your craft. I am a better writer than I was yesterday, and I am definitely a better writer than I was ten years ago. Being unpublished in the traditional sense doesn’t matter. Don’t worry about what people think on the outside, it’s about what you know and what you know you’re capable of, and striving to work past that every time you sit down in front of your computer.

As always, here’s to a productive week of writing. Don’t forget to sign up for the #MondayMotivation Newsletter by clicking HERE. The next edition should land in your inbox tonight.

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-Kathryn, the Fake Redhead

*#MondayMotivation quote found on my Pinterest Board: Inspirational Quotes About Writing

#MondayMotivation – Dec. 4, 2017

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“If I had listened to ‘the rules’ back in 1990, there would be no Harry Potter. Stories about schools are passé. 95k words is too long.”
– J.K. Rowling on Twitter on November 9

I know I’ve talked about the impact the Harry Potter series has had on my life in previous posts, but I really can’t mention it enough. It was so important to me. When I first got my hands on that book, I was not very much of a reader, but it was that book and that series that really flipped the switch for me. I started reading and imagining other worlds and I haven’t looked back since.

The other thing that I love about the Harry Potter series is that I can look at it critically, and still love it despite its flaws and issues (and my agreement that Ron and Hermione should not have ended up together). But that is neither here nor there, since the point of today’s post is really about Rowling’s tweet about rules.

Rules, as always, are meant to be broken.

Never let anyone tell you that there is no audience for your story. There is always an audience. It may not be easy to find, it might take a very long time to get noticed within that audience, but there is always an audience for whatever you work. It doesn’t have to be a large audience for you to find people who are so passionate about the stories you write.

If someone tells you they don’t think it’s time for vampires or magic or wizard schools or what have you, don’t get discouraged, and don’t stop writing your story, because you are the only person capable of telling it. Your story is not like the stories people are saying are like yours. They might have similar themes, but they are NOT your story. Write for you, not for who you think wants to read it. The audience will come with time, and there’s nothing to say that there won’t be a resurgence in your story by the time you’re done.

Nothing is static, especially not writing. One of my favorite lines from the Battlestar Galactica reboot is, “All of this has happened before. All of this will happen again.” And again. And again. And with the way there’s probably going to be a reboot of BSG at some point in the future, and again, once again, applies.

There is always space for you and your story, and don’t let anyone tell you that you shouldn’t write something. It’s your story, your choice. You can take advice, but if someone says there is no place in this world for the world you’re creating, maybe it’s a good time to not talk to them about your book anymore.

As always, here’s to a productive week of writing. Don’t forget to sign up for the #MondayMotivation Newsletter by clicking HEREThe next edition should land in your inbox tonight.

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-Kathryn, the Fake Redhead

*#MondayMotivation quote found on my Pinterest Board: Inspirational Quotes About Writing**

** Just not this one. Obviously, I found this one on the Twitter.

#MondayMotivation – Nov. 20, 2017

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Never give up, because great things take time

This REALLY applies to writing, because writing takes a LONG time. Even for the most prolific of writers, going from idea to novel takes YEARS. A lot of years. It took me two years to finish the #WhoIsTalyaNightingale manuscript to the point where I decided that it was ready to start looking for an agent to represent it.

And even now, I still know that it needs work. There’s a chance (a very likely one at that), that I’m going to go in and take another hard look at the manuscript soon (after NaNoWriMo, obviously), and even that’s going to take a couple months of working and reworking.

And there will still be MORE reworking after that.

It’s a process, and sometimes there are days when you won’t be interested in writing. For sure, I have days where I’m not interested in writing, but I still know that I have to write SOMETHING. It doesn’t have to be the current manuscript I’m working on, but I always like to be writing or thinking about something that I want to write.

You just have to keep going. There’s no reason to give up, and it’s DEFINITELY never to late to get started.

As always, here’s to a productive week of NaNo-ing or just writing, whatever you’re doing. Don’t forget to sign up for the #MondayMotivation Newsletter by clicking HERETaking a break on the newsletter this week, so look forward to the next edition landing in your inbox in December.

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-Kathryn, the Fake Redhead

*#MondayMotivation quote found on my Pinterest Board: Inspirational Quotes About Writing

#MondayMotivation – Nov. 13, 2017

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I am a great admirer of my own writing.

I’m never going to tell you that you have to love EVERY little thing about EVERY thing you write, but you should want to love what you do. If you don’t, then why are you writing that story?

A lot of advice being thrown around regarding writing, especially during NaNoWriMo, is centered around writing YOUR story, the story that makes you happy. That doesn’t mean it’s going to be easy–see: #GroundhogOne is a story I love, but it’s really difficult to write, y’all. But the sense of pride you feel after accomplishing something or figuring out the trick that makes the story work or realizing what your writing is the ultimate of ultimate plot twists is the GREATEST feeling.

But you don’t get those feelings if you don’t persevere.

You must persevere, you must keep going and writing, or you’re never going to grow as a writer, and you’re probably not going to love what you’re doing as much as you should. A great majority of us are NOT full-time writers. That’s a really difficult goal to reach (not impossible, but difficult), and if you don’t love what you’ve chosen as your hobby (or second job, or whatever it is you want writing to be), then why do it? If it’s just as trying as your day job that you may or may not like, then you’re not giving yourself something to do that lets you express yourself and be free to enjoy your craft.

Enjoyment is massively important, especially in the creative pursuits.

And if you find yourself not enjoying what you’re doing, then you need to take a step back and figure out what went wrong. And that means that you must understand that you must look at your work critically. Only someone who can critique their own works can make their work great, and determine what needs to be cut or changed in order to put the story back on track. It takes time and it’s not easy. And that’s not to say that you have to cut hundreds and thousands of words or scenes or content. Content can ALWAYS be reused and repurposes (NEVER DELETE YOUR WORK PEOPLE). Pick and choose what does and doesn’t work, and go from there. Take your time. You have all the time in the world to make the story what you want it to be.

Also, never delete your work. I accidentally deleted the first draft of the #WhoIsTalyaNightingale novel, and the realization was DEVASTATING. And it was still devastating, even though I already decided that the way I was writing the story was going to change, and change drastically. But that doesn’t mean there weren’t pieces from that original incarnation that I could take and put into what became the #WhoIsTalyaNightingale novel. No one likes to start a project from scratch (which is why I’m struggling a bit through NaNoWriMo at the moment, but we’ll talk about that on Thursday during What I Wrote This Week), and there were probably scenes and pieces of dialogue that I missed from my accidental press of the Delete button. Obviously, I got through it and make it work (two years and 94,000 words later), but that doesn’t mean that that night wasn’t one of the WORST.

As always, here’s to a productive week of NaNo-ing or just writing, whatever you’re doing. Don’t forget to sign up for the #MondayMotivation Newsletter by clicking HEREThe next newsletter is slated to land in your inbox next week, featuring even more bits of my NaNoWriMo project that I neither can’t nor want to shut up about, #GroundhogOne.

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-Kathryn, the Fake Redhead

*#MondayMotivation quote found on my Pinterest Board: Inspirational Quotes About Writing

#MondayMotivation – Nov. 6, 2017

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The hard part about writing a novel is finishing it. – Ernest Hemmingway

Happy Monday Wrimos!

Six days into the challenge, how’s the writing going for you? I’ve got about 7,200 words down so far, which sounds like a lot, but is also a little bit behind what I wanted to accomplish, especially after this weekend, but things happen. Life happens. Naps happen.

And if you don’t think naps are necessary for writerly success, take a read at my Writing Tips post, 4 Reasons Why Breaks Are Good For Your ProductivitySo, I only wrote around 1,200 words this weekend (most of which were on Saturday night), but I’m not stressed, because I know I’ll make it back up and get back to what NaNoWriMo calls “to par”, eventually. Especially if I keep word-vomiting like I do.

And on the subject of word vomit: this draft is not pretty, and that’s the point.

For an event like NaNoWriMo, especially if you’re writing a novel completely from scratch like I am (a handful of story/character notes and some dialogue puts me firmly in the Pantser category), then it’s really more about getting a framework to go back to and make pretty later. I even tweeted the other night about writing a line that foreshadows the CRAP out of the book I’m planning to write to follow up on #GroundhogOne, but dude, for the life of me, I can’t remember what that line was. I scanned through the document to see if I could find it, but I can’t. I know it’s there, and when I read closer, I’m sure I’ll find it.

And let’s talk about why I’m not reading closer right now: because I can’t stop myself from editing the things I read.

I just can’t. It’s that decade I spent working in PR, which gives me very little self-control when it comes to editing (also eating, which is why I don’t keep sweets in the house, because I KNOW I will eat it all in one sitting, but that’s another story). So, I’m not reading closely what I’m writing of #GroundhogOne because I know I’ll get myself stuck and start editing, and when you’re doing something like trying to write 50,000 words in 30 days, nobody has time for that. Especially not me. So, sure the grammar’s atrocious and the sentences are formatted weird and I don’t even know what I’m saying half the time, but there’s time to go back into it and fix it later.

And back to what Hemingway’s talking about, you can’t finish a book you never write. So, I’m committed to focusing on writing the story, and once I’m done, I’ll go back and make it pretty.

So, here’s to a productive week of NaNo-ing or just writing, whatever you’re doing. Don’t forget to sign up for the #MondayMotivation Newsletter by clicking HEREThe next newsletter is slated to land in your inbox tonight, and while I just rambled on about how I’m not going to go back and read what I’ve written for #GroundhogOne, there’s a VERY HIGH chance I’ll share some bits I’m working on. So, don’t forget to SIGN UP.

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-Kathryn, the Fake Redhead

*#MondayMotivation quote found on my Pinterest Board: Inspirational Quotes About Writing

#MondayMotivation – Two Days To @NaNoWriMo

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Writing Tips

The secret of getting ahead is getting started. – Mark Twain

So, this #MondayMotivation quote (which I will get to unpacking following a bit of ramble, as I do), did not actually come from my Inspirational Quotes About Writing board on Pinterest. A friend, who actually took over my position at my old job picked it out for a #MondayMotivation graphic he’s using for this week, and I thought it was fitting in the days leading up to NaNoWriMo. Welcome to:

Part Four: Pre-@NaNoWriMo #MondayMotivation

And the rest of the series

Part One: 4 Reasons Why You Should Participate In @NaNoWriMo

Part Two: 6 Tips For A Successful @NaNoWriMo

Part Three: 5 Ways To Focus During @NaNoWriMo

Part Five: 3 Reasons Why It’s Not About Winning @NaNoWriMo

Part Six: Get Writing Prompts By TFR Volume 1 For Only 99 Cents!

Let’s talk about getting started.

Blank pages are incredibly intimidating. Like, so incredibly intimidating it’s not even funny. How are you supposed to just…start? Especially if you’ve already written a novel before, it’s easy to forget how you got from blank page to thousands of words in a document you’ve backed up 82 times and saved to 45 different places (seriously, save your work religiously, you guys. I’ve been burned before and it is NOOOOOOOOOOOT fun).

But here’s a little trick I like to use to get around that apprehension you may feel about starting something as intimidating as your first of 50,000 words in 30 days:

Don’t start with a blank document.

What do I mean? Well, I’m the type of person who is constantly writing (or thinking about it) and prepping and noting down plot ideas and little pieces of dialogue for the stories I’m going to write (I wouldn’t say it’s an outline, but it’s a general idea of what events are going to be included. I’m much more a Pantser than I am a Planner). So, I already have a little bit of content that I can work off of when November 1 rolls around and I get serious about getting the words out for #GroundhogOne. It’s not much, it’s not even 1,000 words, and they’re not remotely in order, but it’s something I take take to get started, and that’s the point of NaNoWriMo. It’s starting something that, if you work at it and persevere through moments of writer’s block or distraction, will eventually become a complete story that, if you get lucky, will become an actual novel.

The very first novel I wrote (the one I mentioned in Part Three about finding a writing space and using the study room in my dorm my freshman year of college), started with me imagining an argument between two people. I didn’t have names, I didn’t have details about what they were arguing about, other than one person being really angry with the other. But I turned that into a novel that had about seven planned sequels, and a prequel, and even almost a decade later, I know basically everything that’s going to happen with that story. I haven’t touched that story in years, it’s not great, and one day I may go back to it and do something with it, but it started with dreaming up an argument and ended with a story.

But it became a story with seven planned sequels and a prequel because I started writing book one.

And I dabbled in storyline after storyline in the years after finishing that story, and eventually stumbled on the idea for the #WhoIsTalyaNightingale novel, which was inspired by my annoyance at how queer characters are treated in the media (if I see one more incident of burying your gays, I’m going to be pissed), the lack of female superheroes who don’t need rescuing by a Strong!Male!Hero!, and an episode of CS!: New York. Among other things. But it works, and somehow I went from Point A, in which Talya Nightingale wasn’t even called Talya Nightingale, and she was hiding out on a farm in Montana with a PR guru I created for another story, to Point B, where Talya Nightingale is Talya Nightingale, has no idea why she’s Talya Nightingale or what she did to be stranded on Earth without her memories, and buys a house in a weird town that has a giant lake shaped like a bird.

So, if starting with a blank word document is too intimidating for you, don’t. Start writing somewhere else, like a note on your phone or a couple pages of notebook paper by hand, and THEN start.

But you have start before you can finish. So, come Wednesday, join me in starting whatever project you’ve been waiting for the so-called perfect moment to start. There never going to be a perfectly perfect moment to start, so you must take advantage of ANY moment, and write.

All NaNoWriMo Long, Get Writing Prompts By TFR Volume 1 For Only 99 Cents!

Like what you read? Want to see more?

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-Kathryn, the Fake Redhead