5 Random Updates

rambly updates header.png
I should make all my headers like this…it took me about three minutes. Then again, it’s rather uncreative. But it works in a pinch when you’re tired and want to go to bed.

Well, some of them are random, anyway. They’re less random and more rambly. I should’ve called it 5 Rambly Updates. So, I don’t know what to post about but I decided I should probably post before I leave on hiatus for a little bit.

So randomness/ramblyness (rambliness?) ensues.

#1: Update on Blogging & Hiatus

Okay, this isn’t random, really. But I’m going to be gone next week. *nods* And maybe longer than that because I don’t know what to blog about if I’m not writing regularly. And I haven’t been writing regularly. *hides in shame*

Also, I now have over 100 followers! Thank you, everyone, for reading. It means a lot that you read and (hopefully?) enjoy my blog!

#2: Update on Life

I’ve been thinking a lot about college and stuff and whyyy does it cost so much? Some days it seems so far away and I’m like, “Oh, I’ll just not worry about it,” and other days I’m so overwhelmed and I feel like I’ll never be ready. (I spend a lot of time between two conflicting emotions like that.)

I also don’t want to think about school, so I haven’t started my summer homework. And I have been procrastinating a lot recently. It’s a problem.

I read around 20 books in June…some have yet to see the light of a goodreads review, though. But I’m working on that. Actually, I’m reading rather than writing reviews. Probably not a good thing, but I’ll get around to them sometime.

#3: Update on Self Growth

Hm. Hopefully I’m not getting any taller, but I think I am getting better as a person. More or less. I don’t really know. I’ve been praying to have more charity, and it’s helped, but then I also have days where I get frustrated and take it out on everyone around me.

And I complain way too much. Any ideas? Say two things positive after every complaint?

#4: Update on Musicality

After all, this blog is called The Music of Words. So, what musicking have I been up to? Not much. I’ve been taking voice lessons but I haven’t practiced much since my last one…eep. So I know my voice is probably getting worse as I sit here, not singing.

But I’ve been playing the piano recently, not practicing, but at least playing. Mostly as a form of escapism from the world. I can’t escape through singing…it’s too much of me, I think. I know people hear it and they hear me. But when I play the piano, they hear the music and I hear the music, and I don’t have to worry about improving my voice or how I breathe or that I miss a few notes. I just play.

#5: Update on Writing

*sigh*

Yep, that’s a pretty good description on it’s own. Lots of sighing. Lots of glaring at myself in the mirror (and at my characters if I feel like it). Basically, I haven’t been writing much even though I’ve had time to, and that just makes me feel all guilty inside. Grrrrr.

Plus, Camp NaNo? Ha! Especially since I’m going on hiatus. I’m going to lose again. And it’s because I’m too lazy to write.

But I have made some progress on Battle Song! I’m at a grand total of 8,570 words so far and I’m having a lot of fun exploring the world and some of the magic of the world. (The mers can do magical stuff through singing, which is so fun to play around with. And traumatize Amrya with.)

I want to talk to you about it! Though I’m not entirely sure what to talk about…what do you want to hear about? Characters? Plot? Setting? A Spotlight with an excerpt or snippets? What I’m struggling with? I don’t know, you tell me what you want to hear. I’ll try to oblige, unless inspiration suddenly strikes…


Alrighty, there’s my updates & basically my tired, late night version of a monthly wrap-up post. (What happened to the Dares? I don’t know. I would still like to do them, but the posts took a long time to write, and I never seemed to accomplish much.)

Anyway, how have you been? Any updates you want to share with me? Tell me how your writing is going or what thoughts have been on your mind lately during life. Do you play an instrument or sing? How do you feel about music?

Advertisements

Rewriting + An Actual Schedule?

This is basically an update-y post because I have stuff to tell y’all! Last week, I decided that I would start the rewrite of Enhanced, the novel I’ve been talking about for the past long while because I was so tired of just preparing and not actually writing anything.

Turns out that starting a novel is a lot harder than it seems, especially when you keep telling yourself that it has to be good since it’s no longer a first draft. I know, I know, it doesn’t have to be perfect, but I think some inner part of me still believes it should be.

So I really haven’t written all that much. I think part of the reason I’ve felt so stuck about writing it is because I had no idea what was happening in the first scene that I started writing. In an entire week, I hadn’t even written a thousand words.

Yesterday, then, I decided that I would ignore the first part of the scene and write the second part, where I actually knew what was happening. I still haven’t written much, since I didn’t have much time, but I wrote a decent amount in the 20 minutes that I had and I’m at a place where I can continue working.

Normally, I’m not the type of author to skip around chronologically (mainly because I know if I do, I’m never going to actually edit and fill the gap with something else) but this time I decided I would have to, and it actually worked.

So, I shall give you more updates as things move along and hopefully some fun Spotlights as well!

Now, onto the second part of my post–a schedule. I’ve said many a time that I’m never going to have a schedule for my blog, but I think that I just might end up having one now. You see, I’ve been procrastinating a lot. And when I start procrastinating, I really get nothing done. And with school and marching band and homework, having nothing done is a really bad thing.

So I decided to limit my time on procrastinatable online activities, such as browsing the NaNoWriMo Young Writers Program or flopping around the Internet, which led to me making a little schedule of which online thing I could do each day.

If I can keep to my schedule, I will be blogging on Tuesdays and Saturdays only. (Unless there’s something really important.) This doesn’t mean I’ll still post every Tuesday and Saturday, but I should be on for some amount of time to respond to comments and make posts on Tuesdays and Saturdays. I will also update my Goodreads on Thursdays and hopefully I will also get a link to that in my sidebar soon.

If I do blogging related stuff on days other than those, I’d actually really appreciate it if you could remind me that it’s not part of my schedule, because that likely means I am procrastinating again and no longer following my schedule.

And one more update-y thing: I should have said something about this earlier, but I now have 54 followers on this blog! We passed the fifty mark! So I just want to thank you all for visiting my blog and reading my posts, and for all the amazing 780 comments on this blog! I love having conversations with you and I’m so thankful that you’ve thought The Music of Words worth a little bit of time. You all are amazing. ❤

A RaNDoM PoSt

I felt as if I should post something today. However, I couldn’t think of anything to write about (still can’t, actually). Therefore, I have a for you A RaNDoM PoSt. (Note funky capital letters.) Today, I shall gift you with 25 bits of random information glorious wisdom.

  1. I am eating potato salad.
  2. My Zel novel isn’t even at 40,000 words yet.
  3. April is 9 days away.
  4. If you combine bits of wisdom #3 and #4, you get a disastrous result of procrastination and novel-abandonment.
  5. April Fool’s is also 9 days away.
  6. According to my calculations, I’ve written over half a million words in novels and stories since 2013. (Around 650,000.)
  7. Approximately 57% of those words were written during various NaNoWriMos.
  8. I forgot to wear green on St. Patrick’s Day.
  9. I’ll probably reformat the design of The Music of Words soon.
  10. The last book I read was The Emporer’s Soul by Brandon Sanderson. It was great.
  11. I have a new idea for a old/current (ish) series that I’ll tell you about soon.
  12. I like to wear hoodies and jackets everywhere. They’re comfy.
  13. It snowed today.
  14. I haven’t written anything for 3+ days.
  15. I also haven’t written anything today.
  16. I want to write a story where I roll dice when characters try to do stuff to see if they succeed or not. Like…a one-person RPG. I think it’d be fun, actually.
  17. I’ve procrastinated more than 17 times today.
  18. I’ve procrastinated more than 18 times today.
  19. I’ve procrastinated more than 19 times today.
  20. I’ve procrastinated less today than I did yesterday, though.
  21. I’m running out of random bits of glorious wisdom to put here.
  22. I have a cat. And some chickens.
  23. 23 is my favorite number.
  24. I like to use mechanical pencils more than regular ones, and the only kind of pens I truly like for writing are black gel pens.
  25. There are 277 days until Christmas, in case you were wondering.

I hope you enjoyed this random post and my pieces of glorious wisdom. Have a fantabulous day!

Zel Update: Dedication Revelation

You’ve seen those people. Maybe you even are one of those people. The ones who have a passion and work toward bringing that passion to other people, often sharing their progress through blogs or social media or other things that you stalk, watching as it just seems so easy for them to get so much done.

I’ve always wanted to be one of those people–the people that are so dedicated to what they do. But it seems like I never reach that point with my writing, or, really, with anything else. In fact, most of the time, I don’t even want to open up my novel, let alone write in it.

Well, on Monday I had a little revelation on how they do it. You see, lately I’ve been having troubles writing in my Zel novel. I hardly write in it, and when I do, I’m forcing myself through until I can say, “I’ve written x amount of words, now I can be done.”

And on Monday, it just came to me: the reason behind why those people can be so dedicated, and why I didn’t want to write in my novel. I started writing when I had this thought, and here is what I wrote about it.

The key to being productive is not in words or time or amounts or how well something is written.

It’s in how well you enjoy it. It’s in those silly scenes that have no purpose but make you laugh, and those deep, emotional scenes where you touch a part of your characters’ hearts that you’ve never seen before. It’s in that love that makes you come back to the story again and again and again.

So don’t box yourselves in with rules and thoughts that your writing has to be good. It doesn’t! It has to be you, and if it’s pure you, it will be good, because you are good. It will be unique, because you are unique. And it’ll be just the slightest bit weird, because aren’t we all a little bit weird?

But that weirdness, that quirkiness, that’s what draws us in and makes us relate. That’s where our love of the story comes in, our love of the characters and the plot and all the aspects of the book — from an original love of writing it.

So love it. Don’t say it has to be good, say it has to be you, because you are the best thing that could ever happen to your novel. You’re the only one who can write it your way.

Throw away anything you don’t like. If it doesn’t make you excited, or make you itch to write the story, throw it out! Make something new up and replace it with excitement and happiness.

Yes, your novel will be a tangled mess of plot strings and holes and half-finished characters, but it’ll be a tangled mess that you will love.

And that is the most important thing.

That’s the secret–love! So simple, so pure, and yet…somehow not so easy. I’ve been losing sight of loving my novel, instead worrying about needing to write enough words every day, or making sure my characters are portrayed right, or making sure it’s actually good.

I’ve stopped focusing on love, and so instead of growing to love this novel, I think I’ve grown away from loving it. Loving someone, or something, is a choice more than a reaction. You don’t just love someone automatically, you have to spend a lot of time trying to get to know them and befriend them before love can be cultivated. I’m sorry to break it to you, all you Disney fans, but love at first sight desn’t actually exist.

Because of my lack of effort on trying to love my Zel novel, right now I honestly don’t love it. For some reason, even though I’ve written things that when I look back on them are really good, I didn’t end up loving them. I still don’t really love Zel and Cren very much. I don’t love the setting or the plot or the characters. It’s all just me trying to remember why I loved writing so much.

Bu the great thing is that it’s not to late for me to learn how to love this novel. I only have 30,000 words written, so there’s at least 50,000 words to go. I have time to become so infatuated with this novel that I can’t help but tell everyone about it.

On Monday, after I realized this, I went to my Zel novel and wrote a scene. A really silly, short scene, with a conversation between Zel and Cren that really amused me. One of the lines nearly made me giggle out loud (and I would’ve, if there weren’t other people in the room), and I don’t think I’ve ever laughed while writing. Maybe a snicker once or twice to myself, but never this urge to giggle because I thought something was actually funny.

I may not use it later on, but it’s the embodiment of the point I’m trying to get across. It was my writing and my really bad humor, and I enjoyed it so much. Because of that, I now truly love that scene.

So now it’s time for me to stop worrying about all the things my Zel novel needs to be, and just write it for what it isand for it wants to become. I think the final result will be well worth my effort.

Instituting the Mini NaNo

First off, my apologies for not posting earlier. I’ve been kind of busy, but I’m back now! Secondly, for those who tagged me for the Infinity Dreams post, I will get to that soon, I just wanted to post this first. And now, onto the post.

Along with not writing blog posts, I also really haven’t been doing well at writing in my Zel novel. Yeah, woohoo, 14,000 words in 4-5 weeks. Yayyyy. I know I can pound out 50,000 words or more in that amount of time, so I haven’t really been satisfied.

So I decided to do a Mini NaNo.

First, you should know what NaNo is. It’s short for National Novel Writing Month, where you…write a novel/50,000 words in a month, usually November. It’s pretty much a challenge against yourself to get your first draft done as quickly as you can, and then go back and revise it later. (Not that I’ve ever really done the revising thing before, but I will. Soon.) You can learn more about it here, or here if you’re under 18.

I’ve done NaNoWriMo for three years now, as well as Camp NaNoWriMo which takes place in April and July. It is fantastic for getting your first draft done and I love it, but usually after the first week, I get a little tired of my story.

So I decided, why not challenge myself to a shorter NaNo where I wouldn’t get tired of my story–it being only a week long? And thus came to be the Mini NaNo.

Originally, I planned on calling it “7 Days of NaNo”, and I even made a little picture thingy for it.

7 Days of NaNo

But Mini NaNo was easier to say, so I just went with that.

So what are the terms of Mini NaNo? Well, the default is 7 days, 10,000 words in one novel. Of course, depending on writing speed/rate of story boredom/other factors, the WCG (word count goal) and the length can change.

Anyway, it’s a fun little way to get a lot of writing done in a short amount of time, and I’ve done it a few times already, so I decided to do it for my Zel novel. I started yesterday, and as you can see on the sidebar of the blog, I’ve already written over 3,000 words! *pats self on back*

The best part was that while I was writing yesterday, some really exciting stuff happened, and it was a super fun chapter to write. I’m really glad this Mini NaNo is off to a great start, and I’m looking forward to lots more words in my Zel novel to come.

Also, if any of y’all would want to do a Mini NaNo this week as well, I’d love some company… *hinthint*

Chasing Plot Bunnies

I think the story gods are out to stop me from writing Zel or something, because they’ve been sending way too many plot bunnies my way this past week. And strangely, half of them are about fractured fairy tales. So. I need to work on my Zel novel, so I figured I’d throw the essence of each plot bunny down here so that I can have it later. And so I can, you know, let the bunnies go. For now.

Plot Bunny #1: I’m still not sure what the definition of “suspension” means in Chemistry, but the word, along with a cool picture of a helicopter blowing dust into the air, gave me an idea. It’s a sci-fi screenplay called Suspension, even though I’ve never written a screenplay before, and my sci-fi isn’t very scientific. Pretty much, it’s about this people who have figured out how to suspend time in a certain area. And…that’s about all I know. I tried writing the first scene, and heh. I’m really bad at screenwriting. But it was fun anyway.

Plot Bunny #2: I was thinking about coming up with an RP (roleplay) for the YWP NaNoWriMo site, because…it sounds fun. Anyhow, a plot bunny came to me and named it Bloodstone, and it’s a semi-typical fantasy thing with a party of adventurers and such. After all, it is a roleplay.

Anyway, the premise of the story is that there was once this legendary tale of demon made of fire with soulless black eyes who terrorized the land of Eriilaen, and the best warriors of the time fought it and, along with some magic, managed to trap the demon inside a crimson stone–the bloodstone. Since the demon was still able to speak to people through the stone, it was given to the elves for safekeeping, as they were less likely to become corrupted through it.

But then the bloodstone disappears from the elves’ safekeeping, and the characters are called to go find it. (There’s other stuff too that I won’t put here–I’ve been spending way too much time on this plot bunny, but that might be okay if I actually decide to do the roleplay.)

Plot Bunny #3: I actually had this idea a while ago, but the plot bunny came back to me with a vengeance, and told me to write the story of The Little Mermaid. Only, in this version, the mermaid is given a choice to either keep her voice, or her beauty, and she chooses to keep her voice and give her beauty to the sea witch. I also want to follow the original fairy tale in that she has to marry the guy instead of just kissing him. (However, it will probably still have a happy ending, because I like happy endings.)

I haven’t decided yet, but I’ve been thinking that the mermaid might not really want to fall in love/have already fallen in love, she might just want to explore the human world and see what it’s like. She didn’t want to have to do the whole love thing, but since love is one of the strongest magics in the world, that was the only way she was going to stay human. I don’t know about that though.

This idea interests me a lot, because I want her to fall in love, and someone to fall in love with her, without her having to be pretty. I understand that looks are important sometimes, but when people say things like you have to be attracted physically to one another to fall in love, it kind of bothers me. What happened to stories like Beauty and the Beast? And what is that sort of statement telling to girls nowadays who think they aren’t beautiful (though they likely are)? So, I do want to tell this story at some point. I don’t know when that will be, but sometime, hopefully.

Plot Bunny #4: This one actually came today, while I was doodling in the notebooks. It came originally from an idea I had for the world building of Zel–a rainbird. (Which is not the most creative name and I might come up with something later, but for now I’m just calling it that.) It’s this half bird, half fish/amphibian/something that lives in the water. I haven’t decided if they live underwater, or they just have the ability to go underwater.

Anyway, I’ve had a lot of ideas on the rainbird. It only flies in the rain. Why? I don’t know, but they’re called rainbirds for that reason. They have really long wing and tail feathers, and when they fly, they look like ribbons. And then something about the rain makes them colorful and rainbow-y, whether that’s just magic or something to do with water and rainbows and stuff like that.

I really liked the idea of the rainbirds, and since I haven’t actually included them in my Zel novel yet, and since I probably won’t because there’s a slight drought going on at the moment, I thought I could create another fractured fairy tale with them. Maybe The Swan Princess, or the one where the girl’s seven brothers get turned into birds. Or some other fairy tale that involves the rainbirds much more than my Zel novel would’ve.

Plot Bunny #5: Lastly, one day I just thought of some random words and wrote them down. I don’t really know if that counts as a full plot bunny because the idea is so random that it has nothing to do with plot, so maybe it’s like…a lucky plot bunny rabbit foot? Actually, that sounds weird. Never mind. Here’s the words:

You must complete the circles…eternity spinning together….everything and nothingness all at once.


 

Have the plot bunnies been trying to infest any of your lives as well? I’m telling you, they can get to be a real problem…

Zel Update: Entering the Unknown

Lately I’ve been procrastinating from my Zel novel, which is a problem. While I’ve written just over 7,000 words already, and I’m really proud of those three chapters, over the past few days, I just haven’t been able to get myself to start writing Chapter Four.

It’s in part because I have no idea what’s going to happen next. But that’s never stopped me before. I’ve written plenty of words and chapters and scenes that are absolutely meaningless because I didn’t have a single idea about what to do next.

The other part of my problem is that my first three chapters turned out great. I planned them, and they actually turned out well. And that’s set a precedent for the rest of my chapters, when that’s not what I should be worried about.

What I really should be worried about is just writing down some “first draft bilge”, as my dad calls it.

Yes, it’s good to have high goals. But it’s not good to have goals that are so high you can’t ever achieve them, or that you’ll feel like a complete and utter failure if you don’t reach them.

It’s like my grades at school. I’m a straight A student, and that’s what’s expected from me. Not just from other people, but most of all from myself. I’ve told myself over and over again that I’m an A student, and the sad thing is that I would probably go way overboard with emotional stuff if I got a B in a class.

But it goes beyond just the grades. I can’t turn an assignment in late–I just can’t. So even on projects when I have absolutely no time to get anything done because of this and that going on, as well as my procrastination, and so on and so forth, I have to finish them the night before. So I stay up late and work as hard as I can just so that I can know it’s in on time, even in classes where late work is accepted.

Tests, oral reports, quizzes, whatever it is, I worry and stress over it way more than is needed. Yeah, grades are important, school is good, but it shouldn’t completely take over my life.

My writing of this novel is starting to go in that direction. I’m starting to feel like this chapter has to be good, and that thought has stopped me from writing it. I don’t want to mess up what I’ve already done and make the story terrible.

But what good is a story that isn’t told?

Everyone makes mistakes, in every aspect of life. It’s not something we can stop or change, and it extends even to writing.

I’m going to write Chapter Four, even if I have absolutely no idea what to write it about, because I don’t want to get stuck in this thought process that it all has to be good. Maybe it’ll turn out bland, but that’s okay. I’m supposed to enjoy and love this experience of writing, and I want to tell this story.

So I will.

Ready or Not, Here I Come!

I think I’ve finished the prep for my Zel novel. Over 50 pages of handwritten notes, plus 20 typed, as well as many rambles written to my friends on the YWP site. Worldbuilding, characterization, a few preliminary scenes here and there, and a very basic plot.

Okay, so maybe the plot could still use some more work, but I don’t want to wait while claiming “I’m not ready” if I’ll never be ready. I’ve already found things that need more development, and I haven’t even started yet. I could take ages working on the prep for this novel, with meticulous world building and fully developed characters, and still never get to a point where I felt ready to begin.

Of course, most of us do need to prep, to a point. I’ve written plenty of novels where I haven’t done any prep at all, and to be honest, they didn’t turn out as well as they could have, if I had just planned a little bit more.

But, at the same time, we can’t stay prepping forever. I’ve heard that there’s a fine line between editing your novel and just procrastinating doing anything with it, and I think this applies well to novel prep as well. Once you’ve reached a certain point, you just have to dive in instead of testing the waters with your toe.

I’m not sure where that fine line is for me. Maybe I could continue prepping a little longer and then begin, but I’d rather err on the side of having a little bit more revision to do than on the side of procrastination.

So I’m going to start writing the first draft. And if this one doesn’t turn out as well as I’d hoped, there’ll be room for a second draft, and a third, and a fourth, and as many drafts as are needed to fix it up and make it right.

I’ve decided I’m finished counting down. So, ready or not, here I come!

But You’ve Just Got to Do It

I’ve always had a problem with getting myself to write in my novels. Starting was easy, as can be shown by the many paragraphs and unfinished first chapters I’ve saved. Going a little farther wasn’t hard either–NaNoWriMo forced me to write, rapidly, a large portion of the rough draft.

But finishing…I’ve never been good with that. It just always seemed so hard to go back to that novel, the old one that seemed so boring now, especially when a shiny new story awaited me, taunting me with enticing new ideas that I could unfold in my mind.

Usually when I write, or am about to start writing, I find myself distracted so easily by other things, as I’m sure you’ve also experienced. Everything just seems so much more interesting than what I’m doing–and wait, do I even know what I’m doing? It would probably just be easier to go do something else. It’s not like I was going to get anything done anyway, right?

Of course, whenever I think that way, I do end up with nothing done. So what’s my problem? I think this quote by Jim Rohn sums it up nicely:

If you really want to do something, you’ll find a way. If you don’t, you’ll find an excuse.

I didn’t try. I didn’t want to try, so I found a reason not to. How do we, then, write in things we don’t want to write in?

I don’t think this quote is saying that we need to want to write. We just need to want to try to write. It’s hard, but you’ve just got to do it. Sometimes, there’s no other way to write than to just decide you’re going to do it. You have to make the choice to not look at those distracting things, and instead turn to your writing.

I’ve made a goal to write (or revise, or plan writing) every day, just for 500 words or 15 minutes. It’s going to be tough at times, but I believe I, and anyone else who’s willing to try, have the capability to achieve this goal by exercising willpower and simply doing what I need to do.

Choose to write, and you’ll find a way. It’s as simple as that: just write.