Lies we tell ourselves

Writers like to torture themselves. As a writer I am part of this sick group of individuals that find it fun/funny (I don’t know anymore) to try and write a novel in a month.

I think then we like to move on and torture our characters…

I haven’t watched or read much this month (perfect time to come back to blogging kimchi) because for the first time I’m taking part in NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month). The stars have aligned for my writing since I just finished making my outline in time for November. I could finally take part in NaNoWriMo since I was ready to start writing my rough draft. So lucky right?

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My title may feel a bit off but I wanted to talk about the excuses that writers (you can insert artist, ect ;)) use when they are writing.

I was in the stage for many years where I would just talk about writing… And not write. I never called myself a writer until I finished my first novel.

So dear writer. Stop talking and start writing. What is holding you back? Chances are you are a reader and you already understand what makes a good story. Are you scared that someone will read it? In one of my favorite books on writing Bird by Bird she says, “No one will read your shitty first drafts.” See that?

It is okay for your first draft to be a mess. It is okay that your character’s sword disappeared for five chapters then suddenly appeared in their had when it was left in the trunk of their car (Very specific example 😀 ).

It is okay for it to be a mess. So what is stopping you?

“I don’t have time to write.”

hmm Okay life is busy. I get that. So do you want to be a writer? Is it something that burns in your bones? Do your characters scream at you to come out of your head? Is there this really cool idea that you thought of for years?

Well, I have no easy advice but we make time for what is important to us. We really do. I complained that I didn’t have time for years and yet I had time to marathon a kdrama… So think about where you are spending your time.

I used to guard my “nothing” time.

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What is “nothing” time? Well it was that time where I would rush home so I could do nothing. I guarded that time like a crazy person. It was a bit insane. I thought my nothing time made me happy but in the end it just made my depression worse.

When I started taking my “nothing” time and turn it into time for my goals, things started to get better.

So take a look at your time and how you use it. I’m in no way saying that you should feel bad for watching show, playing games, or just having fun. We need those things just as much. But like I said. If you really want to do something you will find the time to do it.

 

There will always be an excuse to not start something today. Life will never stop or calm down. You just need to sit down and do it. Give it your best.

This was the worse week time wise for my writing. My personal goal was to hit 2k a day for the month of November. Then life decided that it would hit me with everything at once. But you know what… I made the time. One day I finished at 11:59pm.

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But I hit my 2k words eve-ry-day. I will keep on going this month. Even though for NaNoWriMo the goal is 50k I am a crazy person and set my goal for 60k this month.

I know it is possible. This draft isn’t pretty but I sat down and made the time. There will always be an excuse. A problem. A lie that we tell ourselves.

But keep on going. It is possible to hit those goals even with dark days. But let’s save those dark days for editing…

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Happy Watching!

 

The ups and downs: Learning to push through Failure

I remember my excitement when Auri invited me to participate in the Animanga Festival. I vanished again and I wasn’t sure how exactly to come back to my dear blog and my dear blog friends. I thought this would be a great way to see what everyone had been up to and get back to my routine that I had in 2018.

I made plans but I didn’t make the posts. This turned out to be a mistake since I found out I would need surgery and I had no posts ready to go to set up that would publish while I recovered. (RIP gallbladder).

I took this with my usually mood– Disappointed that I wasn’t prepared and put it in the pile of “pushed back deadlines” where my first book ended up a long with other things.

The first lesson on failure:  Failing is temporary.

I have to remind myself that I’m not done. Even though I had plans to publish in February 2020 pushing it back is not a failure. It was something that sucked yes, but I have no plans of giving up. I am still going to publish in 2020 and even though it is later it actually might be a better option for me.

The second lesson on failure:  Sometimes failing is disguised as an opportunity.

When my husband lost his job I had to use my saved editing money to pay the bills. I will be honest. I was mad at him and mad at his company that betrayed him. Then there was this small part of me that was relieved. Honesty time, I’m scared as all get out to put my work out there. I remembered my old mindset that –if I didn’t try I wouldn’t fail… Well, I can tell you now that isn’t true.

So I took this moment as a gift of more time. I decided that my first book was something that did need a lot more work. Then I took a closer look an there were a lot of problems. I decided to put my beloved first book away (for now) and I started something new.

Even though the money thing sucked (it always does) and I have to start over saving for an editor, I found that this time gave me a chance to step  back and make something that could be my best work yet.

The third lesson in failure:  You are not alone.

It is easy to think that we are the only ones out there “sucking it up” (did I have a word quota on the word suck today?) but we really aren’t. When we are in a world where people only post the best of themselves it feels like we are falling behind. Remind yourself that everyone struggles. Maybe not in the same way but they have their own failures that they deal with. They also have to struggle and push through. Social media can be a good reminder to us that we only see the surface. I like to post both… My failures and my successes. I never know who it will encourage. One is to let them know that they are not alone and the other is that you can get past the struggle.

The fourth lesson in failure:  Somethings are out of your control, but you can make your own luck.

My friend once told me that if it wasn’t for bad luck I’d have no luck at all! haha. I have to agree a bit. I’ve had a contractor make a roof that leaked but  he didn’t fix it so I had to pay for repairs. The front of my house started to sink. I got in a car accident. My dog had to get surgery and I was out of sorts for a month worrying about him. I then had to get surgery and I was scared. Then my husband got fired twice.

Let me tell you it has been a roller coaster.

There were days that I spent in bed. The days I let my depression win. Then there were the days were I got up and told myself that this wasn’t the end. I still had fight left within me.

I stood up for myself more and more. I was able to get the raise that I wanted and I was able to pitch an agent that wasn’t available to me. This took a lot out of me. I had to be a bit confrontational… And I’m not… at all.

But I realized there are somethings in life that I can prevent. I can stick up for. Somethings require money I don’t have (like a lawyer for the contractor on my roof) but I can’t let that negativity fill me anymore. I have to try and find ways to “make my own luck” because I know there are not going to be any handouts for me. ha!

 

Those are just a few things that are on my mind especially these last few months where I am starting a new series. I haven’t had the brain space to be very creative. As I start writing my fourth book I need to remember to just keep pushing forward.

This theme for the festival these next few days is about expressing ourselves. It has always been my goal to encourage you. I’m going to be going on a crazy journey in these next few months and I hope I’ll get to see you there next October when I publish my first book!

For now I’ll leave you with a bit of a teaser of my bookcover. (Sorry for the low quality screen shot of the cover…)

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This world is awesome and these characters are about to go forth and make a mess… Like all good characters should!

So in the end, go forth and fail!

Then get up and try again!

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Life is expensive for Otaku

So how many streaming services do you subscribe to? How much manga is stacked around your room? Figures? Posters? Subscription boxes?

Sometimes I look around at my room seeing the stacks on manga, see all my streaming apps on my iPad, and then I do the math in my head. Yeah, it is expensive sometimes to be an otaku.

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Sometimes I like to joke about “going illegal” as I subscribe to yet another streaming service that has an anime that I want to watch… (I think I regret getting HIDIVE for Devil’s Line lol) or movies that I want to see RIGHT NOW… I’ve learn patience while nursing my addiction and waiting for DVDs to come out.

Now that I have received a very very generous give of a psvita….

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I’m scraping together my extra money to buy games that I’ve been wanting to play for a long time… (Code:  Realize was worth all the hype).

I really don’t know where I’m going with this post, but looking at my wonderful stacks of manga I’m happy that I can support other artists in some way.

Yes, there may be somethings that I don’t get to see or read right away. Some manga that I follow and buy the volumes as they come out online. But the money… The money…

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Sometimes I have to reevaluate and look at what subscriptions I really need. I think Crunchy will probably be around for a long time. Then I have to cancel others until, you know, that next cool looking anime comes out.

In the end, I know that I want to be a writer. If I can do my part to support anime, mangakas, authors, and other artist then maybe other creatives will get more support. If that means that more anime comes to the states then that will be money well spent. More manga gets translated and published? Heck yeah!

So my hobby can be an expensive one, but it also gives so much back. Inspiration, laughter, and an awesome community that is also passionate about these things. Also there could be worse things to spend money on. Like food… jk…

I want to thank you all for supporting creatives. It can be tough sometimes when our wallets get lighter, but it is all worth it.

Happy Watching!

Only 50 in blog posts- not in years…

These last two weeks in blogger land I’ve had to play a bit of catch up with reading posts and I hope I didn’t miss any. The wordpress reader tends to be fickle like that. I am still living off the conference high and this last weekend was amazing! Not only were all the writers super friendly I met some amazing people and I can’t wait to see what they do in the future.

I’m still a bit blurry eyed since I drove through the night to get home. Paying for hotels for these conferences can be a killer so I tried to save a bit of money lol.

Once again thank you all for your supportive comments and reading your posts helped me get a bit of a break since networking can be super weird for an introvert.

The first conference, I didn’t get asked to send any pages. At that moment those editors and agents weren’t looking for a story like mine. There is a bit of luck throw in to trying to get published traditionally and if your genre isn’t being bought then it can be even harder.

However, this last conference I got a request for 50 pages to be sent. That was a nice feeling and I’m excited to send off my little pages and see if anything happens. I guess I’m better at verbal pitching which is a bit funny to me. Since sometimes it can go a bit like this…

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If any of you are familiar with the publishing word most agencies only take on about 2% new clients requests every year. So even if you get pages requested it is still a bit of a long shot. And like I said before… Most publishers aren’t buying urban fantasy right now so most agents will not want to take me on at the moment.

In the end, I feel this lovely feeling of hope inside of me. I know it is a long hard road to get published, but I’m so excited about writing and my book that I just can’t help but feeling happy. For each form rejection letter I get and add to the pile I just feel even more motivated. It is weird… Last year a rejection would have crushed me. But I’ve come to realize that writing is what I love and as long as I am writing the other thing tend to fall to the side. Giving up isn’t an option. Not writing isn’t an option. Just have to keep going.

Now that my conference trips are done for now, I’ll be back to the regular world of blogging and watching anime. This was kind of a weird 50th blog post…

But!

But!

But!

I will share something special with you all! I went on deviant art and found an artist to draw my main character in my book! Jéssica Pegoraro took on my commission and did a beautiful job! If any of you want her email for commissions just shoot me a message and I will send it your way!

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I know it may sound a bit silly, but I wanted to get my main character drawn… She had been living in my head for so long it is really fun to see her. I may commission the rest of my main characters as well.

So I will get back to writing and anime watching and I hope you all have been well!

Happy Watching!

The beating heart of a creative

It has been hard to think of a anime to write about this past month. I haven’t had a chance to finish anything that excited or angered me enough to write a post about. However, I did attend a writing conference the first week of February that has left my heart full. It came at the right time in my life. The encouragement of other creatives. They know the struggle and there is nothing more powerful than not feeling alone.

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I have had to shoulder a lot of responsibilities in this last month.

It is up to me to make the choices to keep going. On that day in December of 2016 I made the choice to live and since then it has never been easy, but I never looked back to the moment that I wanted to end my life again.

Writing has become a stronghold in my life and rejections aren’t what they used to be for me. I get rejected and I move on, yes it would be nice to be published but it isn’t the end anymore because I’m creating. I’m living.

I have something that brings me joy and purpose. I hope that that there is something in your life that gives you that joy. I hope that you don’t sell yourself short and try to downplay your awesomeness because you have doubt. Don’t believe the lies that tell you that you aren’t good enough. At the writing conference I got to listen to Brandon Sanderson speak. He likes to say he is an “overnight success ten years in the making” the one thing that really stood out to me is that he came to the point where nothing was getting published, but he was okay with it. If he died with 90 manuscripts in his closet he would be happy because he was doing what he loved.

That is a powerful thought to have when you are creating something but you aren’t making money from it. Who is it for? Yes, we would all love to get paid for the things we create and sometimes the process is long, hard, and lonely. In the end, are you happy that you get a chance to create? Can you wait to be that “overnight success”?

I’m in the process of trying to get published. Maybe this book won’t be the first one that gets published. Maybe I get published and only sell 10 copies to my family. I’m not afraid anymore. I’m not afraid to get rejected or fail. Because ten years of not trying felt worse than the form rejection emails. Writing is now a part of my life. I’m not just talking about the book idea I have… I have a finished book! I’m not just sitting around trying to sell this book… I’m writing the next one! Because who knows if I will ever get books signings, convention panels, or movie deals. I may just have 90 unpublished manuscripts in my closet when I die, but you know what? I’ll take it.

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I hope you quiet that voice in your head that tells you that you aren’t good enough or that compares you to another creative. The only one who that can write your story is you. Keep creating, keep living, and keep your joy alive.