Keeping up

I suck at keeping up with social things, but most of you have already noticed. Exams, the death of a loved one, a friendship that died, responsibilities and time I’m not getting back. I’ve been writing a lot lately, both my novels at the same time (which isn’t really a problem, as they’re the same storyline), I just have no energy for social networks. In fact, I quit both Instagram and Facebook and it’s so refreshing not having to deal with that flow of who just did what, whether it matters or not.

When you lose someone, it makes all other problems insignificant. It makes me question where I spend my time and how I should save it for who really matters.

I’ll be back to report progress soon.

Hope all is well.

 

Marti

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NaNoWriMo 2017

After Web Summit and putting my thesis on hold, I’ve been writing full-time. Since I wasn’t able to write every day since the beginning of the month, I had to increase my daily goal, which was around 1600 words at first and is now 2500. At this stage, from what I’ve been reading from other writers, you’re supposed to just write and not pay as much attention to quality, so you are able to write faster since you can edit everything after NaNoWriMo is over. Plus I’m aiming to finish the first draft only.  The difference I noticed from before was that, when I try to edit as I write, I get very impatient and frustrated, as I’m not as fast sketching the scene and take too much time, rather than just explain the scene first. Structure (as in, steps and main points) is something I have in my mind, but I have a hard time trying to put on paper. I did a general outline, started writing the first thing that popped up in my mind and only a few sessions later did a more chapter-driven outline. I found in my previous stories that characters develop as you write, not as much as you plan them and mine diverged a bit from what I planned initially. In a good way, I think. Once again, I used another character to tell the main character’s story and this time I had no problem connecting with her. I’m close to hitting 10K words with just a couple days of true dedication. It’s sweet that feeling of doing what you love and, to be honest, I haven’t felt like this for a while.

Good Luck and stay creative, fellow writers! 🙂

 

Marti

 

PS: Here are some giant books to keep us all inspired!

 

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Quick Venting

I’m failing my NaNoWriMo challenge big time. Exams, talks, volunteering at Web Summit (and trying to keep up with the event itself), have been eating up my time, to the point where I’m brain-dead most of the time and we’re already on the 7th and I barely hit the 3000 words. It’s for a good reason, though.

In the meantime, I’ve decided to postpone my thesis in order to focus exclusively on my novel. It was a difficult decision, but I have to channel all my energy into my novel(s) now, otherwise, I’ll never finish it (them). I’m going to have to catch up with the prequel next weekend. Yes, Hibiscii is getting a prequel! My need to do things in a certain order tells me to finish Hibiscii first and then move to the prequel, but I feel like I should write the latter first in order to strengthen the whole story.

Volunteering at Web Summit feels a lot like those summer exchanges I used to go to as a teenager, where I’d meet groups of people from different backgrounds from all over the world. Most of them I never saw again, but I still remember some and they inspired a lot of my characters. That sweet and painful feeling when you go to a new place, suddenly it feels familiar and you get used to the routine and then it’s over.

It’s the third time I try writing this post; I started it, but at some point, my thoughts greatly outrun my typing and I feel like I’m writing crap. Talking about crap, I deleted my Instagram account. It’s like trying to be a sensor and realising I don’t like exposition or social media duties of having to update my life, participating in challenges and having to see the world through a screen. Social media is exhausting and I feel like I played a game, got a good score (like in the 90’s video games) and now am ready to go back offline. Mostly. There is still Twitter, but there are apps doing most of the work for me (yes, I use Crowdfire).

And here’s a random photo of Einstein the robot mildly insulting Sofia. Cheers!

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Insecurities

I have been enjoying my last vacation days and not writing as much as I should. In fact, I have been totally avoiding it. I afraid that my story isn’t strong enough, that I’m not able to tell it properly, that sometimes my creative outbursts are much faster than my hands can type. I had originally set a different character as the protagonist (let’s call him A) but changed to an outsider’s point of view (let’s call her B). The problem is that I don’t like this new main character. I tried a lot of exercises, rewriting, giving her new backstories and I’m simply not happy with B. A is someone I created and know as if it’s a friend. I immediately know what he likes and dislikes, his sense of humour, how he would react and I’m proud of the parts I wrote focusing him. But B doesn’t have her own voice. It’s as if I’m talking to myself and waiting for an answer from someone else. Problem: I’ve finished my first draft. It makes it harder to keep writing when I’m not happy with it and I don’t want to discard years of work. I’m more excited about planning the next NaNoWriMo then my current novel.

I’m very excited about planning the next NaNoWriMo (it’s the first time I’m participating!), much more than working on my current novel. I think I need to let it rest for a time and then get back to it with a new perspective and decide. I’m just disappointed that I wasn’t able to finish it before school, as I’ll be swamped and my dedication to it will be limited.

Capturar

 

Planner

One of my summer goals was to build a life planner from scratch. It’s mostly done and I’ve never been so productive. Some bits are printables I found on Pinterest, others I made myself. It has been quite a journey trying to figure out what works for me in terms of organising things. Weekly? Daily? Should I include this? That?
I started by grabbing an old a5 binder and giving it life by making a new cover and adding pockets everywhere. Then, created sections: weekly agenda, finances, bullet journal and trackers. Initially I created another section for my writings and novels, but decided later to make another binder for that, after all it was only a5, not infinite!
A life planner allows you to carefully plan your days in a weekly view (or whatever view works for you) and track your progress (and also it’s absence). I may post more pictures when it’s prettier 😂tumblr_ouvpcfVPMR1vtizy9o1_1280

The Right Target

I have always written random things, short stories, opinion articles, just for the sake of it, without caring too much about structure. I even started co-writing a story with a friend, but life happened for both of us and the ideas and drafts we made are mostly memories now. I’m currently writing my first novel, a SciFi novel. I’ve never been into SciFi until recently and it’s surprisingly fun to write. Stuff I never had to think about before, like giving characters more depth, Back stories, research. I had the idea for this novel eight years ago only two years ago I started taking the words from inside my head into this world and only a year ago I started putting a lot of effort into writing, although, as a masters student, I’m not able to focus on my novel as much as I wish. At the same time I’ve been doing a lot of research for the story, reading every book I find about story and plot. I even took a Screenwriting course, which was the most exciting course I took in years, I wouldn’t stop thinking about the new information I learned and how I could apply to my story, how I could create new stories. 

In this journey the point I’ve struggled with the most was finding and setting the right targets and goals for me. I tried counting progress with time, words, planning monthly, weekly. Surprise, there is no right way, but the way that best worked for me was setting a weekly target of 2000 words, in which I have an idea of the distribuition of parts, but I don’t follow it religiously. Progress and quality are the most important goals here and sometimes words or time spent can’t translate into any of them. Once  school ended in july, I immediately set this goal of writing at least 1000words a day. In the beginning it worked fine and I wrote A LOT, but two weeks later I could barely hit 300. I admit it, I was so immersed in my story (and obsessed with it) that it was making me sick. I had to take a break from it for a few days to heal my creativity and lines of thought and set smaller and more realistic targets.

I joined a few writing groups on facebook, twitter, and although I did get some support, I didn’t get the answers I needed, as some people take more pleasure in sparring rather than helping. 

That’s all for today, I’ll be back with more posts 🙂

Marti

Welcome, children

Hello! I have been wanting to create a serious blog-thing in which I could report my progress as a writer, masters student, INFJ and unicorn hunter, or maybe just share things I find pretty, tips and tricks. I wandered throughout other platforms and hope to call this one now a home. It’s merely a place when I can have my voice heard (read?), even when I only feel like whispering. So, welcome all, take a sit. The journey is about to begin….