On NaNoWriMo and Getting My Butt into Gear

Nov 01

Hoooo boy. It’s been a long, long time since I’ve written here. I wish I could say it’s because I’ve been too busy writing UNDERGROUND, but I think we all know that isn’t true. No, completing book 2 has admittedly not been a huge priority over the past few months, as I’ve taken on a new (day)job that takes up pretty much all my time, as well as a multitude of other excuses that I’m sure you just aren’t interested in. Just, you know, try not to be too mad, kay?

But the wonderful Jenna from Jenna Does Books reminded me through a post on Facebook that tomorrow marks the start of NaNoWriMo — National Novel Writing Month — and so I figure it would be only appropriate for me to get my butt into gear and freaking finish UNDERGROUND. The NaNoWriMo challenge is to write 50,000 words in one month, and since I’ve already got more than a decent headstart on book 2 (it’s not like I haven’t been writing at ALL, just not, um, a lot), I think that as long as I’m dedicated to setting time aside for writing, I should be able to knock this out.

As long as I keep myself on track, that is. Which I absolutely plan to. I think this may just be that extra motivating factor to help get me back on track — since, admittedly, I do work better with deadlines. Even when they’re self-imposed! And since my editor is a magic worker and I’m pretty much the most impatient person ever, the post-production stuff shouldn’t take too, too long. (Which, of course, harkens back to all the wonderful reasons that self-publishing actually rocks.)

So, all this to say that yes, I’ve been a bit lackadaisical in my writing, but that’s all about to change. BRING IT, November! I’m coming for you.

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Happy birthday to me!

Apr 11

young reader gretchen

So maybe it’s a reflection on just how very vain I really am, but I have always loved (like, LOVE LOVE LOVED) my birthday. So today, the day of my 25th birthday, is no different! Well, I guess it’s a little different, because this is my first birthday spent as a published author. Not toooooo shabby of an accomplishment for the first quarter of my life, eh?

Laura @ Colorimetry is hosting a li’l virtual birthday party for yours truly as part of Terra’s book tour! So head on over to see a super fun rapid fire interview I did, as well as to net yourself an extra entry for the giveaway!

Thanks for helping make the past year so great, friends. 24 was a pretty stellar year — a lot of good things went down. I can’t wait to see what awesome things 25 has in store… aside from the sa-weet Hunger Games-themed birthday party I’m having on Saturday! 😉

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On motivation (or a lack thereof)

Apr 08

I won’t lie to you guys. Book 2 progress is going slower–much slower–than I had hoped it would. This is mostly my fault for having what I’m sure are unrealistic expectations of how quickly the writing process would go (having romanticized how “quickly” it went the first time around). But also I’m just really struggling with finding the motivation to sit down and write. This is me, every time I think I should go write:

I’m caught in this space where I KNOW I should be writing, but then I get stressed out because I’m NOT writing, which doesn’t exactly motivate me to write more.

I know, I’m a headcase.

But I also know that what I have written already feels pretty solid, and that whenever my motivation does finally come back to me (or when I finally strongarm it back into my life, haha) my hope is that the words will flow fairly easily. I keep trying to remind myself that writing Terra was pretty much exactly like this. A lot of nothing for a few months, and then BAM! Motivation and inspiration up the wazoo, and a first draft completed in 8 weeks.

In the meantime, I’ll just keep searching for that catalyst to help inspire me forward in my writing. I can think of two particular things that will be key here:

1. I need to STOP STALKING MY REVIEWS ONLINE.

I need to quit. Like, cold turkey. It’s bad, guys, really bad. Reading reviews of my own book seriously do nothing but hinder my productivity–even if it’s a good review. You read a good review, and suddenly you’re all like, “Wow, I’m an amazing writer. I don’t need to actually sit down and make myself write, it’ll just happen because I’m so amazing I must have magical writing powers that will take care of everything!” And if it’s a bad review… well, I hardly think I need to give an example of the thoughts that occur after reading through one (or some) of those.

2. I need to read some bad books.

I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned this before, but one of the big things that pushed me into overdrive when writing Terra was actually reading Fifty Shades of Grey. I know, I’m still kind of ashamed. But! Reading such terribly written prose really gave me the nudge needed to put a book that is at least SLIGHTLY better written out in the world. So maybe I just need to surf Amazon for some truly heinous books, instead of reading all the excellent novels I have been (many of which are by my self-publishing cohorts!). Any recommendations?

I’m almost afraid to say this, but I’m not sure how realistic my (admittedly ambitious to begin with) publishing Summer 2013 release date for Underground is at this point. We’ll just have to see, as I’ve found things can progress very quickly and without warning, but I just want to throw that out there. Thanks for (hopefully) sticking around for the sequel anyway! I can promise that whenever it does come out, you’re in for quite a ride. 🙂

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