Books- I’ll show you mine if you show me yours!

I’ve spent a lot of time in the bookstore lately. I find it therapeutic- something about being around rows of books it just makes me feel better. I generally assume that most people feel the same way that I do about books and bookstores, but I guess maybe that isn’t the case? I don’t know really, you’ll have to fill me in!
The problem with spending so much time at the bookstore is that I also end up buying more books. Now, don’t get me wrong, I love books and I love buying books. However, I don’t always have the room and/or money for more books. Not to mention at this point my To Read list is so backed up I’m not sure I’ll ever complete it. I have made a list of the physical books that I own that I haven’t read yet (or most of them) and I am going to try to finish them before the end of the year, but this won’t start until after I’ve finished a few books I have digital that I already planned to read before moving on to anything else.
I won’t stop buying books in physical or digital format any time soon. This is something that I’m very much aware of. You can’t just tell a book addict to stop getting books. That won’t ever happen. Maybe I’ll never read them all, that is fine. They will hopefully be passed on some day to someone who will read them. That is what is important right?
I know this post is quite short, and I’m sorry. I’ve got some fun neck pain going on today and I really just don’t feel like sitting up and writing. I’m hoping that with tomorrow’s new month will come a new me, one that is more motivated to get things done. The most I can do is hope at this point.
I’m working on getting a routine in place for myself between my medication, writing, working out, reading and work I’ve got to figure out how to fit it all in. Would love to get gaming back into my life too, maybe even some Anime binge watching! Oh to dream!
Anyway, as promised, I’ll show you my books, but you better show me yours! (Sorry, not going to try to list all the digital ones)

Camp NaNoWriMo #2

So April is Camp NaNoWriMo. I have been trying to participate, but then the last few weeks my depression has gotten the best of me, so I’m behind. After the first week, I had to drop my word count goal from 50,000 to 30,000. This last week I didn’t drop my goal, but if I don’t catch back up soon I might have to do just that.
This week I’m going to have to do my best to catch up. I have enjoyed the experience of Camp though. It is my first year participating. I’ve been doing NaNoWriMo in November for the past few years, but never Camp. I think I will add this to my yearly goals. If I’m not mistaken there is another Camp in June (or maybe July) and I plan to participate then as well.
For those of you who don’t know, I’ll start with NaNoWriMo and what it is. November is National Novel Writer’s Month and many writers gather and sign up with the goal of writing 50,000 words in the month. You can sign up and participate on their website.  If you love to write then I highly suggest it. You are sorted by region so you can meet locally or participate online doing word sprints and other fun events.
Camp NaNoWriMo  is held in the off months. April and June I believe. And you are sorted into “cabins” if you want to be where you can interact and support others of the same genre or whatever sorting you end up choosing. It is a great way to get the support writers often need to stay motivated and keep writing. The goal is the same, by default 50,000 words in one month, but it can be edited lower/higher, or if you are in an editing phase you can even change it to minutes instead of words.
I find the whole process of both of these events so helpful to my writing. As many of you know I don’t get out of the house much, so being able to participate online with my peers is something I need to keep myself going. Even when I’m depressed and not meeting my goals it is nice to have people there who understand me and what I’m trying to accomplish.
Sometimes this whole thing stresses me out, but it is a good stress I think. I’m pushing myself to do something that is important to me, but also hard for me because I can’t always just sit down and write, even though I so desperately want to do so. I would love to focus my life around my writing and my health, but since I work 9+ hours Monday through Friday that isn’t always easy, but I’m trying to do better at fitting everything in when I can. One of my goals is to get my word count in every day. I’m still about 60/40 for a success rate on it, but that is better than nothing at all right?
I would love to start looking for freelance writing gigs too, but I guess I’ll need to work up a bit of a profile first. My blog isn’t really going to draw anyone into my writing. Does that mean it is a failed blog? Naw, I don’t really use it to promote myself. I use it to be me. Writing is only a part of what I do and who I am. If you know of any freelance opportunities though let me know!

Camp NaNo

I didn’t spend any of this week trying to figure out what I was going to write about today. I’ve actually been a bit busy during my writing time as it is currently Camp NaNo, and that means I’m attempting to write 50,000 words in 30 days. For those of you that need a breakdown that is about 1,667 words per day and that really isn’t an easy feat for me. In fact I struggle and it could take me up to two hours to get that goal achieved, but I am continuing to push because this is a goal that I want to accomplish. I know I can do it as I have done before during NaNoWriMo.
I haven’t talked about my writing in awhile or so it feels to me. I thought maybe now was a good time as any to do it. I call myself a writer though I haven’t had anything published in many years, and when I had been published it was a few poems and a couple of letters to the editor. I was never what one would call successful in my writing career. Maybe one day that will change, and that will be great if it does. If not, I’m happy just writing for myself, just as I always have been.
This months project is an idea I’ve kicked around for a little while and it is in a slightly different genre then I usually write. It is a Paranormal/Supernatural/Horror story and I really hope it turns out well. Right now I’m jut working on getting the words out. Once I’ve done that I can really cut out the parts that aren’t working and shape the story into something fantastic, or so I hope. I actually haven’t read many books in this genre, which is something that is going to change of course, but if any of you reading this have a history with this genre I am always up for tips and/or suggestions. I’m not one to shy away from a brainstorming session!
I have a basic idea where my story is headed, but I’ve always been one to write my way through it. Once the story is out of my mind I can really get in there and work out my characters, settings, and of course plot, but I need to get the basic story out first. I just can not plan it, it has to come out on its own. I’ve tried many times to be a plotter, but it usually ends up with me in varied states of stress and frustration. I’ve given into my Pantser tendencies in the first draft stage and I won’t keep trying to change it now.
I don’t want to talk about the story very much, but just know it is shaping up to be a good one, and hopefully one that will keep you on the edge the whole time you read it. Nothing can beat a good binge read right? That is my goal with this story so fingers crossed I accomplish that goal.

I took 2 weeks off and here is what I learned….

I didn’t write anything for the last two weeks, aside from my daily journal entry. After my brother’s death I’ve had a hard time adjusting to my life and figuring out where I’m supposed to go from here. Everyone has said that it will take time to find the new “normal” for my life. I’m not there yet, probably not even close, but my mind has started to settle down most days, and nights long enough for me to get through.

One of the ways I tried to help myself get through this time was take breaks from the things that seemed to be pushing me too hard. Writing and blogging was top of that list. Every time I sat down to write one of two things happened: First my mind would go completely blank, even more blank then when I’m fighting a case of writer’s block. I would basically lose the knowledge that I had of the written word. Poof, gone. The second thing that could happen would I would be able to think of nothing but my brother. I wanted to do nothing but write about him, base characters off of him, and just pour my heart out. Which would have been fine, probably, but the minute I would start to try I would lose either all motivation, or like the first scenario all knowledge I had of how to put words together to form sentences.

It has been a horrible three months since his death, taking two weeks off from writing won’t “fix” me in any way. I’m not really broken, I’m just no longer whole. The reason I took the time off in the first place was because trying to push myself to get everything done every day was killing me. I started medication for the first time in 15 years and it made me so fatigued I could hardly keep myself awake for a couple hours at a time. So after an exhausting 9 hours or more at work I couldn’t make myself write, workout, eat, study, read and everything else adults have to do. Something had to give, something had to be put to the side to see if it was still what I needed in my life now that my life is no longer the same.

So, at the title to this post states, I want to talk about what I learned from this break. I learned that I miss blogging, even though I don’t have much of a following, but I realized that maybe I would really like to grow this thing in the future. Not just as my “I’m a writer look at me” kind of thing, but just in general. I can’t be the only person in the world who goes through what I go through. Being a part of #TheBloggessTribe has shown me that beyond a doubt. Maybe something I write here might help someone else out some day? I also learned that writing in general is still my life and my therapy. Without it I am not a person that I want to be. I may never be a famous writer, I may never even be known as a writer, but that is okay because it makes me happy and in the end, that is all that matters to me. I need, now more than ever, to be happy. Or as close to happy as I can get anyway.

That might not be as much as you expected. I won’t apologize for it, but the reason behind that is the possible subject of another post for another day maybe. I would really be interested in hearing your thoughts, either in comments, on twitter, tumblr, google+– whatever format you prefer. And you can find me on all of those platforms if you want to stay in touch with me. I’m sure the links are on my site somewhere.

I hope to everyone out there that is struggling with one thing or another that you all know you are not alone. Please, if you ever need someone to talk to reach out to me. I am here. #NeverAlone

On Writing

As usual I had other ideas about what I was going to write about today, but when I sat down to write none of those ideas spoke to me. So here I am, writing off the cuff as one might say. I wasn’t sure what I was going to write, until I just started to do it just now.

I’ve been struggling with my writing lately. I’ve been struggling with a lot of things. I know it is a part of the process and I’m trying to be okay with that. I don’t want to stop grieving for my Brother, because that is how I feel. I am sad. I am beyond sad and nothing is going to change that. At the same time, I hate when my sadness makes me unable to achieve my goals, and that is what is happening. So now I’m just getting mad at myself for being sad, but being sad is what I want to be. It is a fun cycle I have going on in my mind.

I’ve tried to break the cycle, at least with my writing. I’ve tried starting a new project since the current one held no draw for me. That didn’t work. I thought about past projects that maybe I could take a look at and breathe new life into. That didn’t work either. So I’ve gone back to the original project that I was working on and have started to edit the first 52 pages that I have written. It is sort of working. I get about a page done every day, not because I can’t do more, or because it takes me that long. Nope, it is because I can’t stand to look at my writing for more than 20 minutes.

I had the thought, briefly, that maybe I just wasn’t supposed to write any more, but I quickly was able to pull out my ‘Depression Lies’ list in my Bullet Journal to remind myself that isn’t true. I’m just depressed. So I will keep editing, maybe by the time I’m done I’ll feel like writing, maybe not. Maybe when I finish I’ll have to edit another project. I don’t know. What I do know is as long as I keep sitting down to try to write, edit, or whatever it is I do when I open up the document, then I am working towards my goal. Slowly, sure, but I’m still working towards it. I can’t do much more than that can I?

I think I might start reading On Writing again, it is one of my favorite books to inspire me to write, and re-motivate myself in general. I’m thinking that would be a step in the right direction to get myself back on track. And if that doesn’t work, that is fine. I’ve got plenty of projects that need to be edited. Even if that is all I do all year, at least I haven’t given up.

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