Why it’s important for writers to read + prompt

Why is it important for writers to read? We hear it time and time again that it’s important, and that reading different styles and genres will help with our own writing. I also felt like those arguments were always a little vague, and I started wondering why I had to read and why couldn’t I just watch a t.v. show? I mean, those are focused on story telling as well. Isn’t that the same thing?

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500 February- Day 11 &12

Day 11: The quick overview of the writing session
WC: 120
Total WC: 4,149
Time: ~10 minutes
Music: I kept switching between playlists to find something I liked. I didn’t like any of it.

Thoughts about the writing session:
This was the first time this month where I had sat down to write and wasn’t about to write the full 500 words. Part of that was a time constraint. On Thursdays and Tuesdays I have a 10:00 class instead of an 11:30 or a 2:30, so I generally have a few hours to write in the morning. Yesterday I had a test and a bunch of things to for my 10:00 class (and the lab following it), so I didn’t have my normal 30 minutes to write. I also didn’t write after getting back home, because I was incredibly tired. (I watched Bob’s burgers and ate chocolate for a few hours). So I really just didn’t create the time in my day to do the full 500 words, and I am a little disappointed about that.

 

Day 12: The quick overview of the writing session
WC: 1,635
Total WC: 5,784
Time: ~ 1.5 hrs.
Music: “Morning Commute” playlist on Spotify (not sure if I’d recommend it)

Thoughts about the writing session:
I feel like it’s safe to say that I wrote a little bit more today than I did yesterday. I actually wrote three times the 500 word goal (plus a bit). The reason? I wanted to finish the novel. I knew that I was really close to tying up the end of the novel and I just wanted to do it today. The session got off to a rough start with me checking every 100 words until about 400 to see if I’d hit the writing requirement for the day. After a bit thought, I forced myself to stop checking until I felt like I had finished writing. Often times, I get distracted by word count goals and want to just write until I’ve finished the amount. The word goal, though, doesn’t always line up with me finishing a scene or a section. So today I wrote until I finished the section. Since it’s my 2:30 class day, I felt fine spending that much time writing. I’m also really happy with the ending. I’m sure that in a month or two I’ll be thinking “This is crap!” and edit all of it to make is 1000 times better (as I do with nearly everything). For now, though, I’m incredibly pleased and excited about where I’m at in my writing process. Tomorrow will probably be an organizational day (I tend to write scenes non-linearly, so I have a document that I use to put everything in order), so I might just work on a short story instead of my novel. Overall, though, I am incredibly happy about how my writing session went today.

 

Additional Thoughts:

  • The fire alarm went off while I was writing up this post.
  • My fingers, as usual, are very cold right now.
  • I need to back up my novel on an external hard drive tonight.
  • I have a meeting in 15 minutes that I don’t really want to go to, even though I’m super excited about the subject of the meeting.
  • I’m literally so happy about writing the ending of my book. I still have other work to do, BUT I WROTE THE ENDING! I know what happens at the end!!
  • I’m continuing to play around with plotist.com, and it’s continuing to be interesting.
  • I found out about two free websites (one of them is called zotero and I forgot the other one) that organize pdfs and you can tag them and add notes to them. So that would probably be helpful for anyone who works with a lot of research.
  • I’m going to be designing a new D and D character tomorrow, and I’m pretty stoked.
  • I need to find better playlists on Spotify, and I’d love suggestions if anyone wants to comment them.

That’s it for today! Happy writing everyone!!

How to set yourself (and your resolutions) up for success

Resolutions are a sore topic for some people. They find resolutions pointless, because everyone drops them within the first few weeks of Janurary. I can tell you why that happens: people set themselve up for failure by making resolutions that are vague or unreasonable.

I constructed my resolutions this year as very specific, short-tem goals that can be adjusted throughout the year. These short-tem goals will add up to over-achering resolutions by the end of the year. I’ll go through how I created my resolutions and goals, and I plan to keep them up through January and beyond.

I started my resolutions as the normal, vague statements that they normally are. Those
are “be healthier,” “complete NQ novel,” “gain 500 followers for L.Z. Pell,” “strengthen
sense of self,” “do well in school,” and “be organized and clean.”

I then broke these vagities into more specific categories and goals. You want to make them easy to hit during Janurary to create a foundation of success instead of discouragement.  Like so:

 

I then created a legend in my bullet journal that corresponds to different goals on my resolutions page.

legend

These icons in the legends section of my bullet journal are then written down on my daily to-do lists.

daily example

After I’ve completed the task, I shade in the box.

Of course, you could always write out each task in full instead of using the icon, but I think that it’s quicker to use icons. It makes my to-do lists look shorter and less intimidating.

Then, to keep track of how I’m doing finishing my tasks per month, I created a habit tracker chart in my bullet journal.

habit tracker

I’ll shade in a box every time I complete one of the tasks. It’s the same idea as a sticker chart, but without the stickers. (You could use a sticker chart, though, if you think that will work better!)

I also created a reward chart to motivate myself to continue these short-term goals throughout the month. Each task is given a certain number of days that I have to complete it to get the reward. Eating a serving of vegetables everyday is set to everyday and has a reward of $5. To contrast that showering (at least) every other day has a $3 reward, because I think it will be easier to achieve that goal. The dollar amounts add up, and once I have enough I can buy something off the wishlist I made, which include things like “The Emotion Thesaurus,” make-up products, and the Hamilton soundtrack.

reward

And that’s pretty much it. As January goes on I’ll evelaute how easily I’m hittin my goals. If I am hitting them easily, then I’ll raise the bar for February. If not, I’ll either keep them the same of lower them a little bit.

Good luck and happy New Year!

Hello!

I’ve found that one of the best ways to learn is to teach the material to someone else. I just finished my first year as an English Creative Writing major at school, and I don’t feel like I’m getting enough advice on how to write. I realize that it’s an individual art form. Some people feel like it can be taught and others don’t. Mostly I think that it does need to be taught in part. How to make an interesting plot, how to avoid cliché, and how to use language in the most effective way. On this blog I plan to explore multiple genres of writing in an attempt to become a better writer. I hope you enjoy!