My life consists of D&D now

zbsy3rp

I’m in a really odd place in my life right now. I’ve just started playing D&D, a lot. I would say on average I play 3-4 days a week in a mixture of Homebrew and Adventurers League. With my anxiety medication actually working it makes it easier to go out and be semi social, even if I am pretending to be someone else while I’m there.

This is great for me on many levels. A big one being I’m actually getting out of my house, and for those of you who don’t know me, that doesn’t happen often. It is also fuel for my imagination, which is always helpful considering my imagination is what keeps me going most days.

All is not great though. I have noticed, with my new schedule that I’m missing out on a lot of things. Sleep being a big one, but my writing is also suffering. I am still working on figuring out a way to fit it all in, but I’m getting there. I’m forcing myself to get up in the morning, which currently is hit or miss for me as mornings are not my favorite thing, but hey, at least I’m trying right!

I won’t be successfully completing Camp NaNo this month, but that’s okay. What this non-writing time has provided to me is a ton of ideas and an almost endless supply of even more ideas. That to me, is far more important. The words will come eventually, I don’t have to rush them. I don’t have any kind of deadlines anyway. Writing is just what I love, I don’t have to rush for anyone. I write for myself.

That is all for now. Maybe I’ll have something more thought provoking next week.

 

I really have no title for this

So my life has been pretty abnormal lately, even for me, but I’m still trying to push forward and stick to my goals for this month, which primarily consist of completing Camp NaNo, getting my workouts in, and making healthier choices.

I’m slightly behind on Camp NaNo, but not enough that would make it hard to catch back up. I’m actually hoping to get some good time today to get caught up and possibly even surpass my daily goal on top of that. Nothing better than some wiggle room.

I’m working on a project that I really feel will make a great story. Obviously I’m not going to tell you what it is, but I will say it is as if I took a D&D adventure and put it into a book. So if you are into D&D or fantasy adventure in general then it might be something you’d enjoy. If I ever finish it that is. I’m not exactly known for getting past a first draft, but with this project I’m really into it, so who knows.

I, for those of you who don’t know, don’t do much planning before I start writing. I have a general idea of what I’m going to write about, but I don’t have any clue beyond that basic idea. I’ve even tried to make a basic outline that I could try to follow, but that is just too difficult for my chaotic brain to handle. How am I supposed to know what my characters are going to do until I put them in situations and see what happens?

What I can usually do before writing is create a basic backstory for my main characters. In this project I have six main characters and each one of them has their own backstory and reason for being out traveling in the world. Writing those gives me an idea of their personality and their reason for making the decisions that they do, but it doesn’t force the story to go into any specific direction and that is why I can do it without much issue.

I am quite ready for this first draft to be done, that is for sure. I’m looking forward to tweaking it and really making the story come to life. Right now I’m just focused on getting the words onto “paper”. I guess you could say this is how I outline. I write the whole thing is one big ramble and then will refine it later on, if I ever get that far. I usually get lost in the editing and rewriting process of the second draft, if I ever make it that far. I can’t tell you how many half drafts or first chapters I have just waiting to get written. Someday I’ll get to them all. Someday.

 

Writing Courses

I love to learn. It is one of my favorite things to do in my free time (what little I have). I spend that time watching YouTube videos or finding different ways to learn something new. I have stacks of books about writing, it is obviously a subject I enjoy learning as much about as possible.
I haven’t been able to take as many courses on the subject as I’d like, but I have taken one, and it was one I really enjoyed. It has been helpful in creating story ideas when I just wasn’t feeling able to come up with something all on my own. It also made me actually plan out some of the things I would normally just leave to chance or spontaneity. One Page Novel (http://ladywritersleague.com/courses/one-page-novel/) is a really great idea sparking course to take. Once you’ve gone through the videos you can do this process without them, but any time I go back to do it I prefer to use the videos.
Not only is this course wonderful, but with your purchase you unlock any future courses and all the resources the Eva has to offer. Worksheet Wednesday is a favorite of mine. I really have enjoyed everything I’ve gotten out of this course and her resources. I even encountered an issue with my purchase and she responded to me quickly and personally. There is something to be said of someone taking the time out to do tasks like that on their own. I highly suggest One Page Novel to anyone. If you can’t do the course, you can follow Eva on most social media platforms, and I highly suggest that as well. Here is her twitter to start you off : @evadeverell.
That is currently the only real course I’ve taken, but I do have a few I’d love to do if I ever had the money to do them. Gotham Writers (https://www.writingclasses.com/classes/catalogue/fiction) and Writer’s Digest (https://www.writersonlineworkshops.com/) are some of the examples that I have so far, though I’m sure if I went through all my bookmarks I’d find many others. I find the variety of classes and the subjects interesting and I’m drawn to them.
So that is all I have about courses right now. I am sure the lack is disappointing, but that is why I’m writing here. I’m looking for your suggestions. Have you come across some really amazing courses in your time online? Any good books you’ve read that really made you feel like you’ve improved your writing? I’d love to hear what you have found!

Camp NaNo- July Edition

July 1st starts the next round of Camp NaNo. I didn’t complete it successfully in April, but I’m hoping to be able to reach my goal list go round. I’ve been prepping on and off this month instead of writing every day. I want to get what little preparation that I do ahead of writing done so that once July 1st hits I can just write write write.

Realistically I know this is unlikely to happen. I’m going to get exhausted from work, I’m going to procrastinate, I’m going to binge watch Anime or some other thing I’ve been wanting to watch, or play video games, or whatever other thing I use to keep myself in denial about my procrastination problem.

Sure, I’ll start the month with nothing but great intentions. I always do don’t I? I guess I have to make up my mind now if I’m going to stick with the goals I set for myself next month, hell even for the remainder of this month, or if I’m going to let myself drop off again. I’d love to say that I’m going to stick with it, I really would. And I’m going to try my hardest to do that, but if my track record has anything to say about it, it is unlikely to occur.

Even when I don’t succeed with events like this, I still like to try. I participate in Camp NaNo, and in NaNoWriMo on a yearly basis. I keep trying every time and I *have* completed one NaNoWriMo, but I probably cheated (using words I’d written already).

So in the next few weeks I hope to finish up my preprations and get myself ready to try and succeed this time. I don’t like to do much planning, but having an idea of what my story is I guess is helpful. I do enjoy having enough room to play though, you never know where a story will take you if you let it. So I refuse to plan that much, and love to figure out my characters on the fly.

Are you participating in July? What is your project about? What are your goals for the month?

Inspiration

I’ve been trying to watch videos when I have free time, mostly to help inspire my writing, but also sometimes to just inspire my life, my health, or whatever it is I feel like I’m struggling with right then, which let’s be honest, could be any random thing. I’m not always a motivated person and inspiration is almost always helpful.
I’ve read, watched, and listened to many things that I use to inspire myself when I’m feeling less than motivated. I keep play lists, videos and articles, or books where I can go back to them when I need it. And you can trust me when I say- I go back to these things quite often. I know that motivation isn’t something that I as a person should be waiting for, no matter if it is the motivation to write or the motivation to go to the gym. Instead of waiting to be motivated, I just have to do it, but some days with my Depression or whatever else is going on in my head, a little bit of motivation helps.
I want to provide you with some of the things I use to motivate myself, or at least give me that little bit of pick up I need to get myself out of bed on the bad days.

Books:
On Writing by Stephen King
The Writer’s Devotional by Amy Peters
The Write Brain by Bonnie Neubauer
The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron
If You Want to Write by Barbara Ueland

Videos:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l8TkQvdJVbc&list=PLi6dCXUBadV-aqXGQzDTXw1hkLkol3LqW&index=1
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ewUy64JfpDg&list=PLi6dCXUBadV-aqXGQzDTXw1hkLkol3LqW&index=11
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0snNB1yS3IE&list=WL&index=3
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MzMQOan-tcc&list=WL&index=1
(Sense8 Spoilers!) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FeGq48uNrLc&list=WL&index=6

Music:
Belle & Sebastian
Neutral Milk Hotel
Connor Oberst/ Bright Eyes
Poe
Fiona Apple
Joss Stone
Billy Bragg
Elvis Costello
Florence + the Machine
They Might Be Giants
Norah Jones
Elliot Smith

Activities:
Walking (if I am able to get out of bed)
Reading
Writing Prompts
Journaling
Cuddling with Idris (my dog)
Talking with my Husband

I’m sure there is so much more than this to list, and maybe I’ll add to it as I figure it all out, but I was just going off the top of my head about what things I could think of. I find the things that motivate me are often more inspiring than anything. I can’t stand motivational speakers, but I do love a good clip on a writing giving advice, or even just talking about writing. I love a good poem, that is a good way to get me up and running, if it is spoken word- even better.
Show me passion for whatever it is you are doing and I will feel it and want to be a part of it. I can’t help myself. I feed of passion I guess and sometimes I have difficulty making my own so I borrow others through their words (written or spoken) and their music. At least I know it doesn’t drain them when I borrow their passion, though I’m quite sure that while they are creating they are drained enough, I know I get that way.
I would love to know more about what others use to inspire or motivate themselves when they really need a little push. So please comment and links are always appreciated!

Why I Write

When I was young, say 3 or so, my Grandmother gave me the best gift that anyone has. In my 34 years on this Earth no gift has been greater or more important to me. My Grandmother taught me to read, and in turn write. She instilled in me a love of both. To this day I couldn’t be more thankful to her for that. It was from her that I learned my purpose in life. I knew that no matter what I did with my life, I would also be a writer. I may never be famous. I may never be able to buy her everything she ever wanted as a thanks, but I could still write and share with her my work when I was comfortable enough to share it with anyone. She was my first fan, and my first teacher. I will forever be in her debt for showing me the wonderful world of words.
There have been many people who have influenced my love of writing and reading since that time. School teachers who took interest in my love of books and would assign me extra reading or writing assignments to push me further. Sometimes they would just encourage me to submit my work for publication. As my family knows all too well, it didn’t always end up with the best outcome. (Think letter to the editor from 7th/8th grade.) No matter the outcome though, if it weren’t for these teachers encouraging me, I might have never made it through school with my love of books and writing still in tact. School can be hard for any child, but sometimes I wonder, from my experience, if it isn’t that much more difficult for creative children. The ones who love to read, write, draw, paint, build. They can really struggle through sitting down all day and being told they have to do one thing and one thing only. If you know a creative child, teen, or adult you must know how hard that is for them to do. So to these teachers, I am forever grateful for your guidance, kind words of encouragement, and tough love when it was required. I learned so much between extra assignments in middle school, to creative writing class, writing conferences, and just one on one critiques. You all helped me survive what was more than a difficult time for me. I am unsure if I would have ever graduated High School without you.
My Parents, though maybe not understanding what I wrote, still supported me no matter what. Did I need to be dropped off at school early on a Saturday to attend a conference? Sure, they did that. Writing was almost like playing a sport sometimes. I guess they just got lucky that it was only once or twice a year, instead of several days a week for months at a time over four years. (You’re welcome!)They also encouraged me to write, to read. They supported my addiction to paper. I guess as the Parents of a rebellious teen I’d support an addiction to books too, it could have been much worse. We fought, a lot, like most Parents and their Children, but no matter how much we did or didn’t fight with each other, they still supported this dream of mine. And that support was instrumental in me not giving up, even when things looked their darkest.
My Best Friends have been my rocks most of my life. The first when I was 13 or so and the second coming along around 17. I am lucky to have found the two of them. They were creative types like me, but not always in the same way. I could feed off their creativity and them off mine. They were support but in an unconventional way. I didn’t always need them to push me harder, instead I needed them to pull me out of my own darkness so I could focus. And that they did. My life would never have been the same without either of them being a part of it.
I’m sure there are so many others who supported me throughout the way, but these are the ones who are most important to me, and have always been at the back of my mind when I sit to write. I want to make sure when I write, that I’m doing something that would make them proud. I feel like these people helped me throughout my life to make sure that I’ve never given up on the dream of being a writer. Sure I’ve had periods of doubt, and even periods of years where I didn’t write at all. They were some of the worst years of my life and I’m glad they are over.
These people aren’t the reason I write, they are, however, the reasons I never gave up writing when I didn’t achieve my first goals (to be the youngest published novelist in the world), or when I didn’t achieve me second goals, third, fourth, and so on. They are the people who stood by me in my failures and told me how to use them to make my work better, to make my life better, and how to move forward with my dreams even when they didn’t go as planned. So no, they might not be the reason I write, but they are the reasons I’ve continued to write. That might be an even better thing to be.
The reason I write?
I don’t know if I could breathe if I were unable to write. I would be trapped in my mind with so many words to get out but no place to give them life. A life without writing, a life without reading, that is not a life I want to lead. I would be miserable and I’m already miserable enough (thanks Depression!). I write because I feel like if I don’t my fingers might fall off and my brain would turn to much out of not being used. My life couldn’t be my own without writing. Sure I can read and escape a bit, but without having my own writing in the mix I still have too much that needs to come out and be said.
Writing is what I’ve built my life around. I will probably continue to do it until the day I die. Published or not. Famous or not. I will keep going because that is who I am. It is who I want to be, and who I have always wanted to be.

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)