Camp NaNoWriMo

CampNaNoWriMo Day 11

Ah, yes. Here we are on day 11! It doesn’t seem possible we are in this far already. The month is screaming by it seems. The sun came out today and the snow is melting away and forming streams down the driveway and roadways, rivers and lakes are rising, and mud is abundant. Yep. It’s spring alright. Once we get past the dirty part of it spring is quite beautiful with the trees budding and flowers and grass awakening and baby animals being born. I love this time of year. The fresh air ushering in wisps of inspiration.

I can picture me now, out on the back deck with a mug of tea, the dogs running around playing, birds chirping, the new leaves rustling in a gentle warm breeze, the sun beating down warming my skin. Ahhh… The outdoors…nothing like it!

Okay, okay…time to stop daydreaming. It’s not THAT warm yet and there’s still mounds of snow on the deck…but it’s shrinking! Won’t be too long and I’ll be able to take my writing outdoors. Are you more inspired to write outside with nature surrounding you, or do you do better indoors?

It’s time for me to tackle today’s word count. I have about four full chapters to my book now and working on the fifth. My story isn’t going like I really want it but I must hold that inner editor behind bars if I am going to get the framework for the novel down. That is always the challenge. (Don’t worry, Inner Editor, you’ll have your time in the spotlight. It’s just not now!)

The day is winding down but now that the house is quiet my creative juices are ready to flow (and less likely to be interrupted). So I must stop looking up how to structure a memoir and just write my story. Ugh! If it’s not the Inner Editor it is research that gets me. I need to put them both in a box and lock it and throw away the key if I’m going to get anything done.

So….here I go…………..

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Camp NaNoWriMo

CampNaNoWriMo Day 8

Number 8

The sun is shining bright but the temp is still rather cool with a windchill of 25 degrees Fahrenheit. I’ve done a bit of reading this morning in the Bible and in Joyce Meyer’s book Beauty for Ashes. Reading always helps me get in the mode for writing. Do you find reading helps you or do you have another way to get your creative mind going? I also have a writing buddy and we both take five minutes and work on a story together. She will write on it for five minutes and then after I read what she wrote, I pick up the story and continue it for five more minutes. This is also a great way to spark your creativity!

So far I am up to 14,000 words and I have not begun writing today but I am about to. How far have you gotten? No matter if you have 1000 words a day or 10 words, it’s all progress! Don’t be too hard on yourself if you don’t make the word count as you would have liked. All that matters is that you sat down and tried. Any amount of words written is progress and that much closer to finishing your book. Writing is not supposed to be stressful and to me, it’s not supposed to be a competition with other authors. It’s about enjoying the craft and sharing your work with those who were meant to receive it.

I’m not one for competition. I know some people thrive on it. Me? I find it too stressful and it totally kills my creative flow. Stress = 0 Creativity! But that is me.

So as the sun melts the snow outside, and the pellet stove roars behind me, I am off to continue work on Secret Anguish. I just have to try NOT to do any major editing and just write to get it down. I can always make it better later. I already know I have some things to change, but I have made mental note of them and have pressed on.

Off I go to float in the sea of words, fishing for the words to haul in and create a masterpiece.

Have a great day!

Camp NaNoWriMo

CampNanoWriMo Day 7

DCF 1.0

Today is day 7 of CampNaNoWriMo! How are you doing on your novel so far?

I haven’t been making a post every day here like I had planned. The weekend was far busier than expected so no writing of any sort got done on Saturday and Sunday. Trying to do some catch up now.

It’s a little after 4AM and I’m sitting in front of the pellet stove with a raging fire and a my Chihuahua Brie at my feet. KLove is playing through my headphones while my hubby and daughter sleep. I have an hour before the hubby has to be up for work so what better way to spend time than to write when you can’t sleep. Well, I could sleep if wasn’t restless legs kicking in. Just one of the many fibromyalgia symptoms that are annoying. Oh, well. I’ve learned that when symptoms keep me awake it’s best to be productive than wallow in the “Why me?” phase and be upset that I can’t get the sleep I want to. What’s the point? Getting upset will only make me feel worse and can increase my symptoms. Yes, this is a topic for one of my next books after the one I’m currently writing, Secret Anguish: Discovering Celiac Disease.

With Secret Anguish I am currently working on chapter two and I believe I am almost finished with it. It’s exciting to see progress and that makes me want to keep on writing. I will be working on chapter three soon, perhaps today!

What about you? How are you doing with your novel? Are things flowing easily, or are you struggling with writer’s block? Do you listen to music when you’re writing? If so, what do you listen to? I’d love to hear from you! Feel free to leave comments.

Have a great day and Happy CampNaNo Day 7! 🙂 Good luck on today’s word count!

Camp NaNoWriMo

Camp NaNoWriMo: Day 2

Number 2

Here it is just a few hours shy of Camp Nano Day #2! I didn’t make much progress yesterday. I had typed up a few paragraphs but I just didn’t like how it was turning out. It was one of those instances that you have to correct because you struggle to move on with your book. So, I revamped what I did and now I am loving the way my story is going so far.

Here are the opening lines to my novel:

Food…it is essential to our lives. Our bellies demand it, or it rumbles incessantly. Who doesn’t love the smell of freshly baked bread or cookies, or a meatloaf cooking in the oven. My mouth waters thinking of those foods, especially desserts. But what if the food you’re eating, more specifically gluten containing foods, are harming your body and you didn’t know it? Such was my case for many years before I was diagnosed with Celiac Disease in 2007 at twenty-four.

I have over 5,000 words so far. So grateful to God for helping me out today. I am really trying to keep with this. You know how Self Doubt likes to butt in and try to ruin things. When I feel that way I stop and pray for as long as I need and take some deep breaths, do some positive self talk and when I feel pumped up again I hit those keys, or write long hand, whichever is working best that day.

What do you do when you experience self doubt and are tempted to just stop writing and throw it all out the window? I’m curious to hear what you have done that has helped.

So far so good on my end. How are you doing?

Feel free to leave a comment or send me an email at jisoucie@hotmail.com.

Camp NaNoWriMo

Camp NanoWriMo day #1! It’s here!

Number 1

Yes it is that time of year again! Camp Nano Wri Mo is here! Are you participating this month? If so, what are you writing about?

Today I begin writing on my book Secret Anguish… Well, okay so I did start writing a little on it already, so I can’t count those words toward this month’s word goal, but I can start writing new content today that will count. I’m feeling confident about this book though I know fears always rise like “Is this good enough?” “Is this in the right order?” “Am I REALLY sure about this?” “Did I do enough research?” ect. Do you have these kinds of thoughts? If you do, what do you do to get past them and to writing?

I find I have to do a bit of positive self-talk to get through those questions and then put those thoughts behind me and move forward. Fear and doubt can so often stop us from doing what we are meant to do, writing included! I have not published a new book in years but it is because fear, doubt and having lost sight of the value and significance writing can have. But today I make a new commitment and that is to focus on my writing and break through all fear and doubts. If I don’t do this now, I never will. With God’s guidance and strength I can do this and I will. I will not give up!

So without further ado I’m off to start up Scrivener and get writing!

I would love to hear your thoughts. Please feel free to comment or send an email to jisoucie@hotmail.com. Have a great day!

Camp NaNoWriMo, General Updates

Creativity In Full Swing!

I am just buzzing with creative energy lately and so many ideas. Oh, I can hardly keep my mind focused and my fingers taping on one project at a time! But I love feeling so creative.

About a month ago I joined Hope Alive Ministry’s team as the Program Manager and we are putting together a documentary about what “hope” means to people. I plan on recording my bit today.

Then I am inspired to create my outreach program under Voice 4 Society, Inc. Hope Alive Ministry is also an outreach under Voice 4 Society. I am still writing out my ideas and deciding what idea I’d like to start with. I’ve never done this kind of thing before but I am excited and energized about it.

Then, Camp NaNo is coming up and I have a book ready to go and have a book cover created for it. The title of the book is Secret Anguish: Uncovering Celiac Disease. Here is the book cover I have right now. What do you think? I’d love to hear your thoughts.

I have my profile and book info updated on CampNaNoWriMo.org. Just waiting for cabin assignments and then writing starts in eight days!!! Ahh! I really need to get some research done before that time. I have set a 50,000 word goal this time. I’m really going to try for it. It will give me practice for November. 🙂

Are you participating in CampNano this year? If so, what kind of genre are you writing in? What is your word count goal? Feel free to leave a comment. I’d love to hear from you.

Have an awesome day!

Janis

jisoucie@hotmail.com

General Updates

Changing Tides?

Have you ever started down a path in writing and believed that was the path you should be on…or rather felt you HAD to be on because it had some meaning or purpose? Like an event from your life took you from one writing in one direction and caused you to do a 180 in another direction.

Lately, I have been in deep thought about that one event that changed my writing path from fiction to nonfiction, even though part of my still tried to squeeze out fiction, but it just didn’t feel the same as before. So I’d jump back to nonfiction. The experiences in my life I wanted to write about…or rather I “thought” I wanted to write about stemmed from a family member’s death. I felt that if I had known now about her situation I could have been able to help her and I felt that by writing my life experiences in a few areas, I might be able to enlighten and encourage others with my knowledge. I had the right motivation: to want to help others. But there was a question that popped up after I recognized why I switched to writing nonfiction after I once told myself I would NEVER read it let alone write it. The question was: Do I WANT to write about these stories, or do I feel like I HAVE to? Clearly, if it was just wanting to write the stories I would be done by now, but I think the reason it has been so hard to write them was because I felt I HAD to in order to spare someone else…from what? Pain, grief, hardship… I don’t know. I can know that my experiences would do anything, but I can’t believe they would do absolutely nothing for someone else.

I realized that trying to write these experiences was simply too hard from an emotional standpoint as well as the factor of feeling like I HAD to write about them, like I owed the world or something. Maybe at some point down the road I’ll write about these things, but for right now, I need to think on them. I’m sure others have already written their stories on Celiac disease, Fibromyalgia, and losing a parent in their teens. Would my stories really matter? Only God knows that answer and I’m waiting for the right time and the right way to tell my stories. Sometimes I wonder if the emotional aspects of the stories are more draining on me and more stressful than say fiction writing would be. With fibromyalgia I have to be mindful of what zaps my energy and how quickly. I need to reconstitute and focus my energy on things I enjoy and that matter such as responsibilities.

My true passion has always been in fiction. But it has been so many years since I have focused on writing purely fiction and used my imagination for this reason. I feel like I have to learn to ride a bike again, to feel things out. I wonder if I even remember my old system for planning out novels… I have to admit I’m a little nervous getting back into this, but at the same time I feel a sense of relief and excitement…a sense of freedom if that makes any sense. But maybe there is also a sense of loss, like I feel a pathway has been shut…a pathway that was familiar. And now I face and the pathway of fiction that was once familiar but now seems so strange, so uncertain. Forgive me if I’m a bit hesitant to step on this pathway and begin my walk down this old, yet seemingly new pathway. Yet, I know that the only way to get the feel for things again is to jump in and do it. How does one get past the hesitancy and get started? For me, being a Christian, my first step would be to pray. Do I NOT share my life experiences, or do I? Am I afraid to share? Oh why the conflict? Why can’t I just write for the pure joy of writing? How has it lost its vigor so?

Have any of you run into a similar situation in your writing, that at one stage in your life you were so involved in one genre only later you realize you’re not comfortable there anymore (for whatever reason) and decide to try something new? What were your feelings and how did you manage to work through the fear of stepping into unfamiliar ground? Have you lost the enjoyment to write, and how did you get it back?

I look forward to your thoughts.

Facade, General Updates

Sunny, Cold, and Thinking…

Have you ever had a dream to sit down every day and write a little on your novel, short story, or poem until it was finished? Then when that book is edited and published to start that process over again? I certainly have and I have been striving to meet that goal for some time now.

I’ve had compliments on my writing in the past so it’s lack of confidence standing in my way. I can write…anyone really can, but some of us have more natural talent that is enhanced with continued learning and practice.

Yet, it seems God may either have “other” plans for me, or plans in addition to my own writing. I have gained a new position as Program Manager for Hope Alive Ministry whose outreach is to children with life-threatening and rare diseases. This is definitely a learning and growing experience for me.

I don’t plan to stop writing. Not by any means. I have continued to so working a little on Facade and reading books on plot and story engineering to help me gage the events in my book better. There is still something not quite working but I do have an idea…which if you excuse I’d better right down before I forget! brb

Okay…there. Got that down. Now as long as I don’t lose that paper I’ll be good. lol

In between getting ideas for Facade and working on the characters a little, I have been working on a personal experience story. I don’t know that it will ever be published but it will keep in the writing practice.

Have you ever had a story you wanted…no felt you NEEDED to tell but decided against it, even if it could help people, because in the process of helping others you could risk hurting those close to you? Yeah, it’s one of those. So even though I’ll be working on it, you won’t find details about it.

Now the question goes to you: What do you do when you are trying to come up with ideas to a story you have already started writing but it hits a roadblock? Do you work on something else and go back to the other book occasionally? What process do you use?

Writing Updates

Crisp Cold & Hiding Away

Many of you may be asking: “Where have YOU been?”

Ah yes, where have I been? Good question.

I am still here. Looking back I can’t believe my last post was in November. Yikes! My plan was to post a LOT more often. Life has given us a few hiccups which are stressful and my part time job as an editor has kept me away from my own blogging and my own writing. Between all that has been going on I haven’t been able to keep up with my work, hence, the amount of posts I’d like to make have diminished.

Christmas is almost here. I have Christmas music playing and I may wrap a few presents today. But then I have to get back to my editing job. I’m almost finished going through the book so my job is almost done. (sigh) That’s the way of it though. You have a project and can make a steady income for several months and then when the project is complete, it’s back to relying on one income, which, let’s face it, this day in age, is very hard to live on. But, looking at the bright side, I’ll be able to get back into my own writing. I’ve had ideas spinning in my head for months for like three different books. Question is: which one will I work on after this job is finished? Isn’t that always a stumbling block for us writers? Do you ever struggle with which project to work on? I’d be surprised if you didn’t. I swear if it’s not deciding which project to work on, it’s having chosen a book and once you’re into it, getting strong ideas for another book! Ugh! lol A writer’s mind is never quiet, always thinking, dreaming, scheming.

The three books I’m thinking of have to deal with the following topics: 1) discovery of having celiac disease (how it affected me, what had to change, and how I’m doing now), 2) discovery of having fibromyalgia (how it’s affected my life, my family, and how my faith has helped me deal with setbacks) 3) losing my mother at the age of 17 (how I was her caretaker, the effects it’s had, and how my faith helped me as a teen to get through that difficult time and I wish to inspire other teens who have lost parents.)

Okay, so there is a fourth about having PTSD, but, even if I wrote that one, I’m not sure about publishing it. So that one I’ll probably write for myself, at least for now.

I just have so many ideas and insights for those four topics and I feel being brave and sharing my experiences will encourage others.

That is my update for right now. I don’t have much to say about my writing because of the editing job, but I will keep you posted as this job winds down.

Have a great day!

november nano

Going Slow with NaNoWriMo

I hate to say it. I haven’t been NaNoing as much as I’d like. It’s strange how fired up one can be at the beginning of such adventures and then find themselves struggling to meet the word count each day.

At the beginning it’s as if all you can think about is NaNo and you’re so in love with the idea of writing and at the end of the month having perhaps a rough draft of your novel. The longing and excitement of this can cloud your judgment and take over the other part of your brain that is aware of all your other responsibilities including your job.

Even if I can’t make the word count each day (some days I may reach it or exceed), at least I am writing each day and getting into that habit so that, yes, there will be a finished novel in my future, just maybe not at the end of November.

Okay, so I didn’t always see it like that. I had a friend help me through my frustration and feeling down that I am already so far behind I fear it would be too late to catch up. I would be down and contemplate giving up, feel like everyone else is doing so much better than I am. Well…darn it! Pity party over! I’m tired of feeling that way, so the positive way is how I chose to view NaNo. If I don’t meet the 50,000 words at the end of the month, it’s OKAY! NaNo is not really a win/lose kind of thing. It’s a tool to be used to motivate you to get writing… STOP procrastinating (I am guilty here) and get writing! No more excuses!

I may be behind but I’m not out of the race. I still have some time to try for that word count. First I need to see how many words I need to make up and then go from there.

So here goes! NaNo Day #7, maybe you’ll be my lucky day!

Best of luck to my other NaNoWriMos! 🙂