Monday, January 13, 2014

THIS should have been the insecure post...

So after the Sam's Club run and unload the car from the Sam's Club run and making my kick-ass, no bake, granola bars, I finally sat my butt down to get caught up on all my blogs I follow.

I got through 3 when I got inspired.

I got through 3 more when it left.

I got through another 3 when I got depressed and had to pull Adam away from our mini-bathroom renovation for a hug.

Much of my mood swings are self-inflicted in a way.  In this case, almost all of the blogs I follow are blogs of people who have been writing for quite some time.  They've published a few of their own stories in some way (traditional, indie, self, something).  They have a wealth of knowledge and experiences to share.  That's why I follow them and read them.

Why did I get to that oh-so-familiar Anxiety Girl today?  Something inside me, probably Anxiety Girl, said, "Wow, there is so much you can do!  And you know you'll have to get back to your WIP.  But when will you have the time to do all these things?  Read the books you want, get your foot into freelance somehow?  Remember, 10 hours every day is spent at and commuting to and from your job that doesn't allow you to do anything writing related."

It was around then my eyes welled up in some tears and I pulled Adam away from putty-ing the bathroom walls.

I want this.  I want it so bad that it pisses me off I can't dedicate the time I want to towards it.  Literally, it pisses me off.  After I was done crying I spewed a flurry of "shits" and "fucks" because I'm so angry I can't do what I really want to.


I'm aware there's "yet."  And you'll have to forgive the next part of my rant, as I often get like this around this time of the year, being a few weeks before my birthday.

I start over-analyzing myself and comparing myself to other people.  I'm soon-to-be 32 years old.  I should have this and this and have that be accomplished this and the other thing.  No, it's not a healthy thing to do.  I try so damn hard to not do that and I do it any way.  I catch myself doing it with Adam, too.  He knows I don't mean it harshly but I'll go off the deep end, "We have to get married this year.  We want kids and I don't want to be 70-years-old when they graduate high school."  Okay, exaggeration, but you know what I mean.

I have so much in my control as far as writing goes, yet I feel like I have none due to having a full-time job.  Which I do need to have as I pay half of most of the bills and without that we'd be back living with Adam's parents.

I need a beer.

Question for today's post:
Are you in a similar boat as I am and have a blog that needs following?  I would LOVE to add to my blog feeds other fellow writers struggling to get going!

Saturday, January 11, 2014

First world problems: WTF to blog about?

I figured out why I can't decide what to blog about, which is why this is a post that I typed and posted immediately and didn't schedule ahead of time.

I don't know what the hell to blog about.  I want to blog.  For what I want to do, I need to blog.  But for the past 20 minutes I stared at my Blogger screen.  Even now I'm hopping around tabs in Chrome reading other things and putting this off.

I could easily blog about the kick-ass breakfast Adam made this morning, or share with you stories of morons who put their phone number out on the interwebz and wonder why I called them (what could possibly go wrong OH MY GOD MY PHONE WON'T STOP RINGING!), but I do want to have this blog stay in the realm of writing.  Not Dara's Shenanigans.

Could be a fun side blog, though.

I'm also already noticing that keeping a blog updated requires the same practice as getting my writing done.  Duh, it's writing.  I can only imagine the other things possible with my blog/online/social media presence as that grows.  Though ideally, by then, I'd be doing the writing thing full-time and not need a 40-hours a week gig.

So let's have a fun conversation in the comments below.

How do you decide on and/or come up with your blog post topics?

Right now, mine just sort of come to me.... which I don't want to rely on anymore.  Nor do I always want to be sharing what is mostly my "struggles" with getting started in writing.  Go Team Variety!

And Team Venture.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

IWSG January 2014

The Insecure Writer's Support Group is the sexy creation of Alex J Cavanaugh.   Its glorious purpose is to share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!  Visit the website and/or join the Facebook Group.

I wouldn't say I'm suffering the post-NaNoWriMo blues.  I'm still riding high.  This conversation happens every other day in my home:
"Hey Adam."
"Hey Dara."
"Know what I did?"
"What'd you do?"
*high fives and sha-na-na-nas here*

December is often the recovery month, and if not then, January is the revision month.  So says the NaNoWriMo community.  Here's my dilemma.

My novel isn't done.
At all.
I'm barely halfway through the story.  My last update about how my MC is randomly in Spain and I left her there?  That happened.  She, her BFF/lover and random new Spanish guy trying to help her are sitting at a random diner in Spain (if such a thing exists) eating muffins (do they do muffins in Spain?) and the conversation stopped because their almighty, godlike creator Dara started running around the house once she hit 50,018 and hasn't looked back.  Literally.

So I see these posts and blogs and articles floating around now.  5 quick ways to start revising your novel!  Proofreading: Should you have a friend do it or a professional?  How to edit and revise in under a month!

I'm even already seeing How to decide between indie or traditional publishing and How to find and choose an agent.

Holy hell, my girl's in a foreign country and I don't know how to yet get her back home and I'm supposed to start thinking about publishing?  I'm supposed to print out these 90-something pages on our piece of shit HP printer and read it all over with a red pen?!  OH GOD, I STILL HAVE A CHARACTER NAMED "ASS-HAT BOARD MEMBER," I'M NOT READY!!!!

I'm torn between sitting back down and planning out the second half of the story, immediately picking up where I left off, and reading the massive influx of information on the stages post story completion.  There's that thing inside me that assumes all this awesome revision and publishing and other phase information is going to disappear into the voids of the interwebz forever and I'll never find them whenever I finish my novel.

The other part of me is torn to read all the articles!!!!  Then it's 11 o'clock at night and I got nothing else done and I still have another 17 dozen to read.  And crap, poor Maisie is still waiting for me to somehow make Spain work for her even though she doesn't know a word of Spanish.

And lastly, I still have that portion of me that wants to just flip over my laptop in a rage and go back to spending every second of my spare time on WoW since that's sometimes the only thing I can fully accomplish something in (SCORE!  I got the insanely-rare-vanity-pet-you-get-by-grinding-the-crap-by-fishing-in-the-sewers!  LIFE OBJECTIVE COMPLETE!)

So what about the rest of you?  Any of my fellow NaNos in the same predicament?  Or even my fellow new-to-writing homies, do you ever start to feel overwhelmed with all the info that's out there and feel like you're going to miss something?

Friday, January 3, 2014

So.... how 'bout those Bears? And where else I've been

Jay Cutler got signed for a 7-year contract.
Can you hear that?  That's the sound of me banging my head against the wall.
Moving on.....

For someone who completed NaNoWriMo, I committed the sin of not touching my novel since.  Sure, a couple days or a week off is allowed.

Yeah, haven't looked at it since November 28th when I reached those sexy 50,018 words.  Shame on me.  Really, I am bummed with myself.  And the cool part is that the couple close friends I shared a few snippets of my novel with are also annoyed.  One of them, a former marine, and threatened me with his utility knife to get back to it so he can read more.  In a loving way, of course.  His fiance, my BFF, has threatened to make me babysit her 4-year-old.  Adam hasn't threatened (yet), but he's certainly making his point.

"I see you're playing Age of Empires II again."
"I am."
"I see you're playing as the Spanish again."
"I am."
"You know where the Spanish are from?"
"... Spain?"
"Yes, and you know what else is in Spain?"
".... what."

This isn't an exact conversation, but it's close, and happens often.

I have dozens of excuses.  Took a week off and then had to prepare the house and plan for our Christmas Party.  Then we had to plan Christmas Eve dinner that we host.  Then I got the surprise of my life when my awesome Mama flew up from Florida to surprise me Christmas Eve day and stayed here a couple days (THAT is a totally valid excuse, I don't see my Mama often so even if I had been writing, I still wouldn't have done a damn thing and still spent every waking moment with her, so suck it).  Then the last excuse was, "Hell with it, it's the 28th, may as well wait until the New Year and get a fresh start."

Happy January 4th, still haven't touched it.

BUT!  BUT BUT BUT!  I did download the magic that is Scrivener.  After updating my so-called blog I will be screwing around with it and begin to incorporate Life and Body Organs into it.  Oh, I never mentioned the title?  Well, there it is.  Not sure if that's official yet, but there you go.

My current plan for the blog is to post twice, maybe three times per week.  To help me stay on top of that is creating and scheduling posts in advance.  Yes, that means for the past.... *counts on fingers*... seven months I have been typing and posting immediately.  Which is why my post frequency has gone a bit downhill.  Between work, writing, and life, I feel two per week is feasible.  Three would be a bonus.

Also on my task list for the month is my participation in the Start The Year Off Write challenge.  There's another way to fill one of my goals (keep reading for more on that).  Those of you who write, whether you got it down and live it every second of the day, or you're like me and you love it but suck at trying to make the time because of other obligations to keep the utilities on at home, should definitely check this out.  Starts Sunday.

In the world of full disclosure, other goals, trends, and habits for me in 2014 are:
  • Organize this blog more, regarding layout, tags/labels, and other things most bloggers use and I just haven't felt the need to use.
  • Increase my social media presence by more use of Twitter and Google+.... which, by the way, you can follow me on those and Tumblr to the right.
  • Both Adam and I are taking part in the Nerd Fitness Academy because it's not a New Year unless you've made some sort of fitness plan... only we won't give up on it in the first month.  I love the philosophy, definitely check it out for yourself.
  • Write daily.  Between my WIP (do you have any idea how long it took me to realize WIP stands for work-in-progress?  Derp!), journaling, and here, I don't have a lack of sources.
  • Read daily.  Specifically, beyond blogs.  I have several books I want to get through, numerous about writing, I'm working on George R.R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire, Mama gave me three awesome books for Christmas, and I have an ever growing list beyond that.
Lastly, one thing I have learned to connect with and build a blog audience is to ask questions and engage any readers I may still have lurking about.  Why do I want an audience?  Because I'm fucking awesome and hilarious and I need to share this glory that is Dara WITH THE WORLD!

Did you hear my ego grow?  Because it needs to.  It barely exists.

SO!  New Year "resolutions" aside, this question(s) for today's post mostly pertains to my followers who have a blog of their own.  And if you don't, answer anyway and pretend you have one.

How do you set your blogging schedule?  Do you sit, type, and post immediately, or do you plan ahead and schedule weeks in advance?  How do you determine the number of posts/updates you share in a week?  How do you determine the topics of your posts (personal vs. professional/writing)?