Sunday, January 27, 2019

Why I Don't Write Anymore

I'm staring at a blinking cursor, with the purpose of writing about not writing anymore. It doesn't make sense to even write it.

The last novel I finished writing was in... November of 2017. And it was terrible. Trust me, I've reread it and it's terrible.

My lifetime writing word count on the Nano website says that I've written 460,057 words. (Which isn't counting the two books I wrote during Camp Nano. Or the stories I've written over the years.)

I've written over 500,000 words. Half a million words and I'm no closer to my dream of becoming a published author. Please, don't tell me the stats of people writing for twenty years. I've written for ten and am not getting any closer. And please don't bring up Stephen King's "On Writing" about how the first million words you write are "practice". Don't. Not a fan. At all.

It's not that I don't love to write. I did. I do. But I don't at the same time.

I was writing to become a published author. And that stole my dream from me. I spent two years on revisions for an agent. Two years of rewriting and waiting for a response. I worked on other stuff, but that was my main focus. I was so close. I could feel it. And then I got a form rejection. After two years of changing my novel, making it what this agent was looking for and improving it. Yes, it needed those improvements, but then I was told the voice suddenly wasn't what they were looking for. Two days after I sent it and the reply came from an intern, not the agent I was emailing initially. I guess I hoped that the agent would read my hard work after they requested it. Nope.

I didn't understand. I was hurt. Very hurt.

I didn't respond to the email, just labeled it "rejected" and moved it to the appropriate folder.

I tried not to think about it. I cried over it. I tried to write on that book again. But I couldn't. It was... tainted in a way for me. I tried to reread it, but I couldn't see what was wrong. I tried having someone else "see" what I couldn't. She was great and very helpful. I tried to rewrite with some of her suggestions.

And that's when I stopped writing.

Not actively. There were a few opening pages of books I wrote. But I never made it any further.

I didn't. I don't feel it anymore. I don't feel that dream.

Recently, I've moved to a new state and I'm working on new things. I've started my own Etsy shop and I'm enjoying making baby blankets. It gives me joy! Knowing that a little baby is going to love my blanket and snuggle it, it's very nice for me! I'm looking into other ways of giving back. There's an idea I'm tossing around, but I haven't worked out the logistics yet. I'm still working on it. I'm still reading. I'm trying to read more and more. Hopefully, this might encourage/inspire me to want to write again. I'll continue working on my Star Trek fanfiction.

For now, I don't have any stories to tell. No stories to share. I've un-published my novella and I wish I could remove it from Goodreads, but sadly no. No one can read it now and that's okay. I never even made back what I put into it. (Not that writing is about the money, but about being read and that didn't happen either.)

And it's NOT that I'm not strong enough to be a writer. I'm damn strong enough. I would wallpaper an entire house in the hundreds of rejection letters. I just don't care about it. I'm not passionate about it. My chances of being a writer are like someone going to Hollywood. Except my rejections are all online.

I am happy. I'm happy with most of the things in my life right now. I enjoy my job and the new city is wonderful! All of the new adventures. But for now, I'm not a writer.

It does feel like I failed in a big way. I'm 30 years old, unmarried and I haven't become an author. The dream I had since I was eleven. There are others dreams in my life I haven't achieved either and it's discouraging.

This post is bittersweet. A part of me still wants to be a writer, but I can't right now. And I don't know about the future of my writing. For now, I don't write books. I could keep rambling, but I won't. There's no real conclusion of this, but I'm not a writer. I can't.

Sunday, January 7, 2018

To the New Year - 2018 Goals!

I'm a little late in posting this, but I'm finally getting around to sharing my 2018 goals. I admit that I've lacked motivation in writing and in life. Depression and anxiety suck. Some days can be great but other days I stare out the window, just existing, but not feeling anything. The loneliness is the worst, feeling as if I don't have anyone and that no one cares. I know that isn't true, but it can be hard to see that.

I don't want 2018 to be that way.

I'm not going to use the phrase "new year new me" because that's not accurate. I'm the same me. I just want to be happier and to change the things that cause me unnecessary stress. I'm one year away from 30 and there's still so much to be done in my life.

I hope to make some big changes this year.

Goals for 2018

Writing Goals –

* Revise first draft, by end of February
* Send to critique partners
* Revise again
* Send to critique partners/beta readers
* Professionally edit/self-publish

“Perfectly Imperfect”
* Revise with suggestions from Lara, by May
* Send to critique partners
* Do additional revisions
* Query

“Summer of Lies”
* Revise first draft
* Send to critique partners
* Revise again

NaNoWriMo – November
* Write a new novel

Personal –

* Read at least 50 books
* Find a literary agent
* Get a tattoo
* Move to a new place
* Finish fantasy alphabet cross-stitch quilt

I'd never call these resolutions. Because resolutions mean that something has to end or not, but I'm looking for growth and change. I'm looking for an adventure. Life has to be more than the meaningless feeling of work and sleep and going back to work. It should be a journey.

Did you make any goals for yourself this year?

Saturday, December 30, 2017

Wrapping Up 2017

Another year is almost over, which is weird and quick. It can't believe it's almost 2018. Some good things happened this year, but some bad too. I don't want to go into the details, but there were some hard things I'm still coming to terms with and I'm working on making some changes. Even if I haven't figured out what the changes are yet.

It's time to wrap up my goals from 2017!


Goals for 2017

Writing Goals –

* Revise first draft
* Send to critique partners
* Revise again
* Send to critique partners/beta readers
* Professionally edit/self-publish

*Finish first draft by May

“Summer of Lies”
* Revise first draft
* Send to critique partners
* Revise again

NaNoWriMo – November
* Write a new novel

Personal –

* Read at least 52 books
* Find a literary agent
* Make decision about becoming a foster/adopt parent
* Go on vacation somewhere!
* Finish cross-stitch farm blanket :)

I meant to rewrite the first draft of this novel, which I wrote during NaNo in 2016. But I never got around to rewriting more than the first 14 pages. My goal is to rewrite this novel next year and really put some good work into it, but I'll wait to share that with my new goals.

I started this novel in the summer, but I had a hard time writing it. (see below)

"Summer of Lies"
I really didn't do much writing this year. I had a few ides for the novel, but I didn't get a chance to implement them.

NaNoWriMo novel - "Nixie"
I started writing this novel during the summer, but it was a hard summer and I stopped writing it. I didn't have any motivation to continue writing it. I started writing another novel, but Nixie's story came back to me and I finally got a chance to finish writing her story. I'll hopefully get a chance to revise it next year.

I met Nichelle Nichols in May!
I didn't finish all of my goals, but I did accomplish some. I read 52 books, barely making it in the end! But I did it. I met Nichelle Nichols, who played Uhura in original Star Trek, which was wonderful! I wrote my 14th novel, which is fantastic. I'm getting much closer to being published!

Here's a picture of the farm blanket I finished:

I hope your 2017 goals went well! I'll be sharing my goals for 2018 tomorrow.

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Because I'm a Nano Rebel

I started out yesterday with a rough plan of writing a new novel tentatively called "Seriously, Forbidden" about two teenagers with cystic fibrosis who fall for each other, but it's not allowed. Their love could kill each other. I sat down... after procrastinating by doing the laundry, looking at Christmas gifts to order, watching one episode of Grey's Anatomy, and saying that I would take down the Halloween decorations, but I didn't.

And I wrote... nothing.

I put on one of my favorite movies "Star Trek: Beyond" and put the laundry in the dryer.

And this time I managed to write 2,026 words. Not bad. It's a good start for day one.

But I don't like it. The first chapter is like the beginning of a Gilmore Girl's episode with a twist. But it isn't good. Not at all. I can already tell.


It's time to be a NaNo rebel. I'm pulling out a novel that I started earlier this year, but with everything going on in my life, I didn't get a chance to write. I did some planning out for it in this adorable planning notebook. And my little sister read it. She left me a sticky note on the cover.

I want to write this book. I want Aly to be able to read it and I want her to be happy and proud of her big sister. So, I'm dropping in the 11,903 words that I already had written and I'm going to write about Nixie and her struggle to love herself and to be free from the pain of her past. It's gonna be awesome. :)

Have you ever switched projects in the middle of NaNo? :) How's your word count coming along on day two? Keep writing! Don't be afraid to break a few rules!


NaNoWriMo Novel 2017

Summer to Forget

Nixie is on the run from her past, desperate to escape her abusive stepfather. She believes the only way to protect herself is to retreat far into her own thoughts, not even letting words escape. She didn't plan on being brought into Annie's family and being accepted for who she is. Nixie also didn't plan on finding friendship in Alec, the visually impaired boy who works at the water park with her. She begins to discover her own worth as tragedy strikes her family.

Themes: Physical abuse, foster family, adoption, depression

Word count (day 2): 11,903

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

November Goals

It's been a long time. I've been dealing with a lot the past few months. And I admit that I haven't been myself. I wasn't making jokes and laughing at funny puns. Stress. Too much stress. It's harmful and it's made me feel like I'm not me. But I'm trying. It's getting a little better, though I do still find myself staring out the window and thinking of nothing.

I want to be me.

I want to get back to things that I love. So, I'm making myself goals for this month. Even though I haven't made goals in months.

Goals for November
* Write to 50,000 words on "Summer to Forget" for NaNoWriMo

* Enjoy my short vacation trip to Wisconsin to visit my friend Amy :)

* Spend time with family for Thanksgiving

Only three goals. I'm trying to make it easy for me to accomplish. I haven't written in so long, so I'm hoping that this will go well. I have been really behind on my reading goal, but I managed to catch up last month. I read quite a bit! :) I'm actually one book ahead of my goal at the moment and I'm happy with that progress. Here's the books that I read last month. (The purple ones are rereads.)

Among the Enemy (Shadow Children #6) by Margaret Peterson Haddix
Among the Brave (Shadow Children #5) by Margaret Peterson Haddix
Among the Barons (Shadow Children #4) by Margaret Peterson Haddix
Alex and Eliza by Melissa de la Cruz
Among the Betrayed (Shadow Children #3) by Margaret Peterson Haddix
Among the Imposters (Shadow Children #2) by Margaret Peterson Haddix
What Price Honor? (Star Trek Enterprise #4) by David Stern
Shockwave (Star Trek Enterprise #3) by Paul Ruditis
Broken Bow (Star Trek Enterprise #1) by Diane Carey
Among the Hidden (Shadow Children #1) by Margaret Peterson Haddix
Star Trek by Alan Dean Foster
Desperate Hours by David Mack

Not bad at all! :) I'm happy with my reading last month. I'm hoping I can keep up this month. I picked a few shorter books, but I remembered how much I love reading. I have a new pile to read too! :)

How have your goals been lately? Are you doing NaNoWriMo? :) If so, good luck! Write like the wind!

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

A Choice

Imagine there are two doors.

And not the fancy doors with the blinking numbers, rainbow sparkly colors or silver tassels being blown by a fan on a game show with money or new cars behind them! Not those doors.

Two doors, which seem to be exactly the same. Same color and same pale shade of yellow, trapped in the same molded doorway with the same door handle, dull and uninviting. They look the same.

But they aren't the same.

Behind Door One:  It's the safe doorway. It leads to the same daily activities, washing the same high chairs, having the same conversations, snuggling the same baby and feeling their affection. Hearing the same little giggles and getting to be silly with puppets or ordering two dozen doughnuts on the pretend phones. It also has the same second job; with the sometimes stressful work environment, but the fact that the people are great to work with and we share laughter. At home, there's the same cross-stitching projects, saying that it's time to write, but never getting more than a few words. Laundry hangs in doorways, dishes sit on the table unwashed, and books are spread along the open spaces, along with random Star Trek decorations on the walls. It's the same. It isn't always what's wanted, but it's safe.

Behind Door Two: It's different. It leads to new opportunities. Graduate school for a Master's degree in Creative Writing. Or a new job with different responsibilities. There would still be the same Star Trek decorations, a love of Halloween and Hocus Pocus. Cross-stitch projects would sit on the arms of the couch, half done, but worked on and loved. Laundry will still probably hang in doorways. There will probably be homework and not enough time for a second job, but that job might not be needed with a new job.

The big thing is... I don't want to live with regret.

I don't want to regret not doing something I love. Maybe a Master's degree in Creative Writing won't affect my normal job, but I'd love to do free-lance critiquing on the side. To help other writers improve and give them the confidence to follow their dreams. I'd love to help others with their writing! If anything, I'd love to learn more about creative writing and grow in my own writing.

The whole thing kinda terrifies me. I don't know if I want to make this choice, but I'm also not sure how to keep going with the way things are going.

I don't want to regret not doing something for myself. But I have no idea if this choice is right.

I kinda want to change, but I don't know if I can.

Sunday, August 20, 2017

I am NOT my Name Tag

I am NOT my name tag.

I have to keep reminding myself that. I work in a retail store, in customer service, dealing with returns and general sales. It's not bad. Not bad all the time. I can have some really great customers, who just want to make a simple return due to sizing or wrong color. I've had some great conversations with people. I do like people. But I also have some customers who will yell at me because something went wrong with their item or order. I get it. You need someone to yell at because you are upset it went wrong. But you need to know something.

It's NOT my fault.

Just because I work for the company, it doesn't mean that I send every order and deal with every little thing that goes wrong. I don't make the policies, but I'm told to follow them. And I will try to do that in a way that will still help you. But I can only do that if you listen and work with me.

Fine. You can yell.

I'd like to tell you that it doesn't affect me. But it does. Your words hurt. Your words hurt quite a bit. For every ten customers, maybe one will be a bit harder to help. But the words that stick with me are the negative ones. And it chips a little way at who I am. It hurts me. It pains me to say that it chips away at who I am and I can't help it. I try to not take it personally, but I do. I'm a human with feelings.

It makes me bitter.

And I hate that, because I don't want to be a bitter person. I work two jobs and my other job is caring for children, which I love. I love to make them laugh and to snuggle with them. I'm kind and I'm smart. It's hard to me to admit that because I don't have a lot of self-confidence, but I do believe I'm sweet and funny. I am a good person. I try to make my coworkers laugh to help them through their shifts. I'm invested in their lives, asking about their families and school. I want to show them kindness and respect.

People don't see me; they see a name tag.

I'm tired of being hurt and I don't like the person that I've become when I put on the name tag because I know people don't see me. When I go to a store, I'm always, ALWAYS nice to the person helping me. Even if they seem to be having a bad day, I'm still going to be nice to them because that's how I want someone to treat me. With kindness and respect. It doesn't matter if something got messed up, I'm still going to ask for help in kindness because I don't want to hurt the person working in the store. Going to work has become painful. Because I know that I won't be treated with respect by the customers. I've cried more times at work than I care to admit because people walk on my feelings. I cry because they don't care that they hurt me. I cry because I'm disappointed in myself for my life.

And I have to find a way to fix it.

I don't want to see myself as nothing. But I do. If I didn't need two jobs to support myself, then I wouldn't have to deal with it. But the sad fact is that I do. In this economy, just because a person works 40 hours a week, it doesn't mean that they have a livable wage. In my opinion, that's wrong. So I have to continue working 55 hours a week to barely make it. But somehow I'm gonna make it.


Until then, please don't see me as just a name tag. I'm more than that. I'm me.