Writing Ray – The Difference a Year Makes

So yesterday I happened to be pottering about on my Youtube channel and I saw a video I did last July entitled Why is Writing so dang hard? It was about 8 minutes of me grumbling about my difficulties with writing and how although I had several story ideas and many notebooks half-full with scribblings that none of it ever materialised into actual novel-sized pieces of writing.

In that video I showed two notebooks that had both got some notes on the first five pages or so – those are the notebooks for my current WIP that I have been working on this year. The yellow legal pad is now nearly full with plotting notes and scene snippets that I did in pencil (exclusively in that notepad I don’t know why I just preferred it that way). The other notebook is not quite as full but it still has quite a lot of pages that are crammed with snippets, thoughts on characters and story timelines.

So if you think that a year ago, all I had an idea that was bouncing round my head, some scribbled thoughts and little else. Fast forward to now when I have nearly filled a notebook and have written **Monday Edit** nearly 67,000 words on this idea… that is some pretty awesome progress. Just since the start of 2014 I have written more than twice as much as my longest previous piece of writing.

According to Scrivener my book is currently equivalent to 215 pages in a paperback so when I get to my intended word goal it will be around 285 pages. If I overshoot a bit maybe it will end up as a round 300pgs. It will be a very strange thing indeed to have to print over half a ream of paper that will have my words all over them.

That’s not to say that this year has been a cakewalk getting all this writing done. I’ve had to juggle my full-time job, my Open University studies and my home life while trying to write. My boyfriend has been amazingly supportive of me, even when he’s nagging me to actually get my OU work done when I’ve been neglecting it for too long. But I think without the push from him last year to try and write this idea I might not have got started and I’d still be that grumbling non-writer lamenting the inability to get her thoughts out onto paper/pixels.

No gushy post about my writing progress will be complete without me mentioning, once again, the Amazing Alpha Reader/Slave-driver that is my best twinnie Jess. She has been my touchstone throughout this project. Every time I’ve sent her a scene to read I’ve been sat anxiously wondering “will she like it? What bits will she not like?” and when she sends me her feedback it all gets filed in the “Do not forget” part of my brain and when it comes round to editing this book those emails are getting printed out as the starting point.

So again, THANK YOU WITH SPRINKLES ON TOP Jess for keeping me locked in my Writerly Cage and rewarding me with cashews when I done good ๐Ÿ˜› I’m pretty sure you’re first in line for a dedication if/when this book gets itself into an actual printed format. You’re the best first reader a girl could wish for.

Twinnie Jess on the left ๐Ÿ™‚

A year can change a whole lot, while I’m not 100% confident in my abilities as a writer (heck I don’t like to think what the real percentage might be), I have irrefutable proof that I *can* get my ideas out in a reasonably coherent manner and create a story that at least one person wants to read. Which is a pretty damn good feeling. Who knows where I’ll be next year? Charging ahead with edits on Book 1? Maybe have a first draft of Book 2? Be Plotting Book 3?? All of the above?!

I’m looking forward to finding out. I hope you guys don’t mind me dragging you with me on the adventure.
Later
Ray x

Writing Ray – Forget yesterday, write today

So if you were one of the 6 people who saw the post that was here up until this afternoon or if you saw my rather frantic twitter conversation late last night then you might know that I had a bit of a writerly freak-out yesterday. This sudden spiral into fear and self-doubt came over me after I finished an amazing fantasy novel that had me flailing all over the place when I realised how long I had to wait for the sequel.

Then that stupid little voice came nagging – “*Your* book will never be this good,” it said like the little shit it is. “Why you haven’t written anything for 2 months!” “What’s the point of even carrying on with it? It won’t be half as good as *that* book” Y’know the standard kind of negative shit internet trolls throw at you, except this was coming from my own fucking brain. *anguished wail*

I go through phases like this where a previously optimistic and happy mood just get shattered and dragged down by sudden negative thoughts. Then I find it very hard to feel good about any projects I’m working on and everything I do feels all rather futile and pointless – “It’s all shit so why should I continue with it?” kind of mentality.

So I wigged out on twitter. Several people came to my aid; my ever-awesome bestie/twinnie Jess, the lovely Lily from The Whispering of the Pagesย and another kind twitter user. All had very helpful advice for me to try and motivate me back onto the horse when all I was thinking of was bolting and never looking back at my book again.

This morning, when I woke up at around quarter to nine I picked up the notepad and pencil I had put on my beside table before I went to sleep, stuck in my earphones and started to write. And I wrote. I kept writing even while I was in Wetherspoons getting breakfast with Le Boyf (who has to be credited for his awesomeness in not questioning why this particular Sunday morning I simply *had* to write and bring my notebook with me to breakfast). I finally finished the scene I was writing around 2pm-ish and felt pretty awesome.

12 pages of my yellow legal notepad (because those things are cool) were full of my scribblings. After two months of nothing but angsty thoughts that I should be writing but wasn’t, I had gone and got 12 pages written. Fucking suck on that Negative Ray of Yesterday.

I then spent the next 2 hours typing up all my penciled pages into my Scrivener project – in a separate document since this scene is not necessarily going to end up in the book, I wrote it in 1st person POV rather than the 3rd person POV I’ve been writing the rest of the book in.

It turns out that I managed to write 1,944 words today. Nearly 2K of story that I didn’t have before – regardless of whether it goes into the book or not, it has gotten me to write and think about my book, write from my main character’s POV about a time in her life that was a fulcrum between the old and the new. What I’ve written today has given me a base to jump from to write the scenes between my main character and the person she meets for the first time in this scene.

I have to say a massive thank you to Jess & Lily for being so awesome so late last night – without you guys I may have spent the rest of the night bad-thinking myself to a point where I simply just put my notebooks away so they couldn’t make me feel guilty about abandoning them. And Stupid Negative Ray would have simply said “It’s for the best,” without a second thought.

Thanks to you I didn’t do that, I got up the determination to start writing and damn it I wrote for something like 4 hours! *super-massive squooshy hugs*

Now the only thing I have left to say is – Does anyone want to read what I wrote this morning? Just purely for the hell of it with no context if you don’t want to know the whole spiel about my book. If so then please leave me a comment (heck leave me one even if you don’t, I just don’t get enough comments these days and it makes me a bit sad) and I shall either post it up on here or email it over depending on how chicken I feel.

So yea, let me know.

Sorry for being weird guys,
Ray