on reading about writing.

dog in fenceI’ve walked past this hole in the fence for five years. This is the first time I actually saw the dog’s head poking through. And this has nothing to do with this post, I just think it’s a funny photo. (He was a very nice dog, I patted his nose when I walked past.)

I have a problem.

I don’t read any of the writing blogs I subscribe to.

Here’s the thing: My RSS reader has 20 different writing-specific blogs. I haven’t read most of them in more than three months. I’m not really sure why.

When I do start reading them, it’s always helpful, thought-provoking or inspirational content. I like the writing blogs I subscribe to. Flipping through the list, however, I just don’t often stop and read. I should, since it does help whatever I’m currently working on.

Theory 1: There aren’t enough photos. Apparently I’m a four-year-old, and like photos in my blog posts. Sometimes even on photo-heavy posts, I scroll through the images and don’t actually read anything. Maybe if I could get the blogs as a bound book …

Theory 2: It makes me feel guilty. If I’m reading about writing, it’s just serving to remind me that I’m avoiding writing. And I’m excellent at avoiding my current WIP. Of course, maybe a third of the things you find on a writing blog are tips for having success as a writer. Tip one? Develop a writing habit, and show up every day. Thanks, blog that I’m using to avoid writing for reminding me of said fact.

Theory 3: Blogs written by writers are usually rather well-written–which, depending on my mood, can either be encouraging or is completely deflating.

I’m undecided which theory is the most likely. Truthfully, it probably depends on the day. So I’m sorry to all the lovely people whose blogs I subscribe to but don’t read often enough. It’s not you, it’s me.

— (Any favorite writing-related blogs I should check out?) —

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the middle.

pair of applesWe’re only two, so there’s no middle. He programs, I write.

Sometimes, I don’t mind being in the middle.

• In a freezing car, give me the middle seat and squash me in there. It’s warmer.
• At a dinner party, put me in the middle of the table so I can hear all the conversations.
• I’ll run in the middle of the pack—let someone faster push me, but not get discouraged because I’m bringing up the rear.

But at the moment, I’m in the middle of my current WIP, and I kind of want to scream. I hate writing the middle of novels. My characters feel like they’re floundering. They’re doing whatever they’re doing, but all I can think about is what they should’ve done three chapters previous. At the moment, I’m writing scenes that I know are going to be cut, but I’m trying to power through to the end. Write it first, edit it later, no matter how painful, right?   The funny thing is that while I had the middle planned out—loosely, but planned—I have no idea how the end is going to turn out. I can’t wait to write the end.

Anyone else hate this particular middle?

vacation.

Is it a vacation if my intention is to finally get some writing done this month? I guess since I won’t be at my regular 9-5 (uh, 8-4) it counts. Although I wouldn’t consider writing relaxing. Maybe if I write on the beach …

The problem I’ve had the first two weeks of this month is boredom. I’m bored with the story I’m working on and I’m bored with the ideas that are currently popping into my head. Not good. Man, if I’m bored, everyone else will give up by the second page. So my story needs some work, then. I just need to push past the boredom and figure out how to make my character and her life a bit more interesting.

Someone needs to die or develop a drug habit. Either will work. Maybe new surroundings during my trip will help, too. Getting out of the humdrum of life might help me get out of the humdrum that is this story.

I’ll keep you posted.

resolutions.

I’m not sure I like the word resolution, but find myself creating one or two every new year anyway. As tomorrow is the last day of 2010, I’ve started thinking about my goals for 2011.

There is always eat healthier, exercise more, stay organized … but as this is a writing blog, my writing resolution, 2011: develop a habit! I’d like to think I’ve honestly tried to develop a writing habit but the truth is I haven’t. There are just so many available excuses, from being exhausted from work to not having a place to stick my laptop because the table is covered in various unorganized things. The ultimate goal of being published in fiction isn’t ever going to happen if I don’t keep writing. So there. Now the writing goal is in writing. I’m going to develop my writing habit during 2011.

Now back to the organization problem …

What’s your writing resolution for the new year?

pacing problems.

Today’s goal was 10,000. I hit 10,000–woot! But I’ve encountered another problem and discovered something about myself: I’m terrible at pacing.

At about 20,000, I started to worry that there was no way I was going to finish my story in 50,000 words. While I don’t believe I need to limit a novel to 50,000 words, I do believe that I need to finish my Nanowrimo story by the end of November or it will never get finished, and since I work hard to stay on track for 50,000 words, that means I need to finish the story in 50,000 words. The idea is to get it out and I can go back and do a heavy rewrite later.

But at 20,000 words it didn’t look like I would be able to finish. So today, with my 10,000 word goal (which put me up to 39,466) I wanted to finally advance the story.

And now, sitting right around 40,000 words, I’m not sure what I’m going to do for the last 10,000.

I’m terrible at pacing.

At least this is only a very, very rough draft, right?

hitting traffic.

Halfway (and a few days) through November, halfway (and a few thousand words) through my Nanowrimo story. And I’m losing steam. I blame Harry Potter. Really, must we release really big movies that I can’t wait to see in November? Must we? Especially when it’s something like Harry Potter, and I need to read all seven books before the seventh movie comes out. I’ve spent more time on reading those than on writing!

So poor Sarah isn’t getting her due time, though I’m really not too far behind. I do have some catch up to do this weekend, however. Only about 5,000 words, that isn’t too terrible. Harry Potter comes out at midnight, and I’ll be there, and then it’ll be over and I can concentrate on Nano again.

I blame Voldemort.