Monday Motivation & Humor

Oh Good Monday Morning everyone!

I hope that everyone had a fantastic weekend and are up and ready for the week ahead, bright eyed and roaring to go.

I don’t have a lot to say this morning, so I will just right in with our funny and sometimes motivational reading and writing memes.

This Writers Life:You know you’re a writer when…

20121101091032-you-know-you-re-a-writer-whenYou know you’re a writer when… You are sitting in a waiting room because your teenager needs a sports physical before school starts and you’re people watching for facial expressions and mannerisms to use for your characters.

You know you’re a writer when… You’re back to school shopping and you’re mentally mapping out the store as a place in your fictional world you’re working on.

You know you’re a writer when… Your teen rolls her eyes at you and storms off and you take note of how her hair moves, the sound she makes as she moves away, the expressions of others around you, all so you can use it in a scene.

Around here we are gearing up for back to school. Which means running around, shopping, and exhaustion. It means going to about fifty different stores because you have four kids to buy for and you take them all separately. It means, people watching and using everything you see, hear, smell, touch as inspiration and research for your current work in progress.

That has been me this week. This will also be me next week, and the week after, until school starts.

What really drove this post though was the waiting in the doctors office. I caught myself looking around, mentally taking notes of everyone around us. How they were sitting, what their body language was saying about them, their facial expressions, and even how they spoke to each other and the ladies behind the front desk. All of it.

It was kind of surreal. I mean, I have never actually caught myself doing it, it was always something I just, did. But this time, I caught myself because I was focused on my daughter and she looked up at me, gave me a face and asked “WHAT?” That’s when I realized what I was doing.

I just kind of smirked and shook my head at her and looked away. Not really ready to explain what I was just doing. Knowing it would make her feel uncomfortable as she was the focus of the moment. Though, since I know she does read this blog, I’m going to say “Sorry!”

It’s in those moments, when you catch yourself doing something as habit, something you never have really thought about or taken notice of, when you realize “Hey, I’m a… (in my case) Writer. So this is not weird.” To the writer at least.

It’s those moments that make me smile. That make my heart soar. That make me feel giddy. Those moments where something that once felt like I would never remember to do this thing, is suddenly a habit that you don’t even realize you’re doing it. It comes naturally all of a sudden.

And, You know you’re a writer when… You finally, after years, say I am a writer.

This Writers Life: Grateful for the little things.

what-are-you-grateful-forSo, last weekend I purchased a new laptop, and I love it. In fact, I am writing this blog post on said laptop from the comfort of my bed. Not that this will be a common occurrence, but that it’s a possibility, I’m grateful.

You see, I work from home. For my day job. The thing that pays the bills and keeps a roof over my head. I have my own in home office and have it all set up for that job. I wake up, go into that office, and work until late into the evening.

That job is not exactly great for creativity. When I am working in there I have found that it is hard for me to switch my brain over from day job, to creative it’s time to write mode. This was becoming a problem. To the point that I didn’t even want to write in there anymore. While in that office, all I thought about was day job work, stress, day job emails, etc. Not the best place to focus on my writing.

So buying this laptop, while a little thing, opens up so many possibilities for me. It will allow me to physically leave the office, and still work on my writing. It will allow me to have one central location for my research, drafts, images, etc. Without it being bunched in with work stuff. It will also allow for an automatic brain shift. You see, this laptop will only be used for writing, either for the blog or my current work in progress. So when I open it up and turn it on, my focus is solely on writing and nothing else.

This excites me. I have felt so hampered and distracted in the office as I always found myself drifting back to work stuff, even after I was done for the day. On Sunday I turned on the laptop and set everything up. Switched everything that related to writing from the office computer to this laptop. I immediately felt freer. I am now free to work on nothing but work stuff while in the office, without thinking about writing, and free to work on nothing but writing and writing related things without thinking about work stuff.

It’s a little thing, but it’s those little things I am grateful for. Just this small, seemingly inconsequential thing, has opened up so much for me. It’s amazing what a small item can do to shift the way you think about things and how you work.

So how about you? What are you grateful for today?

This Writers Life: A week in review

A week in reviewSo much has happened in just a week since my last life post.

First, the new bedroom set we had ordered was delivered. I’m in love. Seriously, I never find myself wanting to get out of bed or leave my new room. It’s gorgeous. But, as is life, I have to. But I love ending my day laying in that new bed with a great book.

Second, while last week we said good-bye to the kids for the month and I was sad, thinking I’d be alone in this house for a month, we found ourselves with additional house guests.

A couple friends of ours will be staying with us for the rest of the month. Which means this house won’t be so quiet and I won’t lose my mind, having people to talk to. Which, to me, is a good thing.

And Third, but certainly not least, I have an idea for another story. A Fantasy. One that has grabbed hold of me and is refusing to let go.

A few weeks back I lost everything I had been working on. I wrote a post about it. You can read it here. I was beyond consolable. But, I had determined to write both WIPs all over again. Telling myself what came out would be better than what had been there before.

Well, that may have been true, but I wasn’t in love with it. The story wasn’t ringing true, and I found myself more and more hitting walls and snags in the story. Perhaps it had been a sign. That I wasn’t meant to finish them right now. They weren’t the right one’s to be working on right then.

Then, along came this new story idea. One where the Protagonist wandered into my head and started screaming, demanding to be heard. I saw the whole thing like a movie in my head as the story unfolded.

I felt butterflies and excitement fly through my stomach, my heart soared, and I grabbed my notebook and pencil. Writing as fast as my fingers would let me. Trying to get it all down. Everything she said.

I have never been as excited about a story as I am about this one. I have never seen a story as clearly as I see this one. I have never written an outline and background for a story as fast as I wrote this one.

To me, that is a sign.

So, for now, I am moving on to this story. There is this feeling, this urge, this desperate need to tell this story. I still have the other two, and I can return to them. Maybe with fresher eyes when the pain of what happened has lessened.

How about you? Have you ever had a story grab hold of you and refuse to let go until it’s told?

The Solitary or not so Solitary Life

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So if you were like me growing up, you thought that writers hid themselves away, toiling over their work. Agonizing over every word, sentence, and punctuation. They locked themselves away from all forms of life to finish the next great novel.

Well, part of that is true, I have found.

The parts where you drive yourself crazy over a word choice. Pull your hair out over sentence structure. Work for hours on end when the muse has you in her clutches.

What I found not to be true? The hiding away part. At least, for me.

I need that interaction. That contact.

I need to see facial expressions, hear voices (that are actually talking to me and not just my characters in my head), converse, laugh, have fun. Without it, I don’t seem to have any inspiration.

I had always believed when I was younger that the life of an author was a solitary one. While I do spend many hours on my own, in my office, writing away, I am not actually alone.

There is always someone in my house. Whether it’s my kids, or my husband. Someone is talking, someone is laughing, someone is running through the house.

They say that to be a good writer, you should write what you know. Well, how are you supposed to write great dialogue if you don’t hear it? How are you supposed to describe body language if you don’t see it? How are you… well, you get the idea.

For me, hiding in my office for days at a time has hindered my inspiration. I find myself struggling with scenes, characters, their interactions. I have to get out. Go into the world. If it’s to people watch at the Arts Market, or just go swimming with my kids. I need that to keep writing.

So don’t think that in order to write you have to lock yourself away and hide from the world. Go out. Gain experiences. Live life. And then, come back and write about it.

The writers office hours

The author is in

 

This is entirely an individualized aspect for every writer. Not everyone sits down at a certain time and works until a certain time. Some do.

So what I’m going to do is go over how my day typically goes.

A day in the life of a Writer:

5:30am: Alarm goes off, and I hit the sleep button.

6:30am: Finally drag myself out of bed and stumble to the coffee pot

7:00am: Shower and dress (most of the time. Sometimes I get right back into pj’s.)

8:00am: I am in my home office, another cup of coffee in hand, and booting up my computer.

9:00am: Having reviewed any and all emails received I get to work on my WIP. Either work on a new chapter or scene, or maybe make some edits.

11:00am: Ok, time for some day job work to get done. You know, the thing that pays the bills. Yep, get to work on that, AG.

2:00pm: Day job break. Eat some lunch. Work on another chapter or scene.

3:00pm: Sigh back to day job work until 6:00pm.

6:00pm: Wander to the kitchen and wonder what I will be making for dinner. Cook whatever I find, eat, and converse with real human people living in the house. I call them husband, daughter, and son.

8:00pm: Settle onto the couch with a book and let my brain unwind, losing myself into the story.

10:00pm: Put everyone to bed and go back into the office. Write until my eyes droop.

11:30-12:00pm: Finally make my way to bed and get ready to do it all over again tomorrow.

 

You see, luckily for me, my kids are old enough to get themselves up in the morning, make their breakfast, and get dressed. I no longer have the worry of toddlers, but a whole new series of issues. TEENAGERS. But, this frees up a lot of my time so I can devote more time to my writing.

Again, every writer is different. And what works for me may not work for you. But this is what I have found to work the best for me. I do better with a schedule and a routine, so I needed to create and stick to it.

I have been following this schedule for about a year now, and so far, I love it.

How about you? What are your typical days like?