Category Archives: Writer

My Lost Manuscript Part 2

2012-08-11 15.56.34

As I expressed my mood online to fellow writers, a mountainous of advice and tips came across as authors tried to help me out with suggestions that might work or had worked for them. Along came with sympathy and understanding that only writers can understand and heart-felt sorrow at what had happened to me. To be honest who else would truly understand what I was feeling now?  They listened to me rant and rave as I vented about what was happening to me. For that I am thankful. I was not alone even if it meant my book was gone and I would have to reconstruct it.

I told myself that I would put it to the side and give myself a chance to breathe. I would come back to this book later in the year. The thought of trying to do it now well I did not have it in me.  That evening I had a meeting with some fellow writers one that I almost canceled for my mood would have been foul.

Prior to going I decided to check out the current file and see what portion I had still. It contained 41 pages which was half my book. It was not completely gone.  Opening up the file I did a word count to see how far off from 20K I was. The counter gave me the same number I had from that early morning.  Something has to be wrong right? I checked again and sure enough it gave me the same number.

What the hell? OK don’t get to excited Sharon don’t hope to much I told myself. This could be another trick from the evil machine. So page by page I went down reading it in its entirety. My book was in tact. The computer had compressed my book eliminating the double spaces that I had included. I did not ask the machine to do this. I had saved it and moved on to working with my external hard drives the rest of the day. Why did it do so? I don’t know and neither does my husband. This man is the Bill Nye of the computer world. Trust me on this.  But my book was here but it had been shrunk. When I had opened this files I did not give them much thought for I had 82 pages that very morning. I had no reason to believe this was my book. Why would I?

Needless to say my heart is singing a song of joy and praise being very grateful for finding my novel. I don’t understand what happened but I don’t care. Well I don’t care for now. Hubby will be checking out my computer to get it in a better state of affairs so my mental state does not tank to this degree. It was not a virus, I do not use Windows. So we know that much and that is about all we do know.

So today I sit and write about my computer’s plot to take over my world. It won temporarily. But there is something to be said for being obsessive with our writings and saving it in as many places as we can. If I had not done that who knows what might have occurred.

I have added many words since that day as I press forward. The great scare of Jan 2013 is behind me.

Guest Post:Michael D Fowler

Learning to Write: 10 Things I Now Know

This year is my first attempt at NaNoWriMo and while I have written many things before I have found that even in these early stages I have learnt a lot about myself and writing. Today I am going to share these with you as well as my first thoughts about NaNo.

  1. Writing is hard work. This one I knew already. I have written things before, albeit not on this scale and not in such a small time scale but every time it was work. That’s not to say I have not been enjoying it. I love writing but sometimes the mental, effort used to put something onto paper (or screen) is intense. NaNo has reinforced this.
  2. A deadline only increases the work. This one may only apply to me because I was born with an incredible and limitless ability to be lazy, even with things that I really want to do. Adding a deadline to something on some level makes me want to put off doing it. It moves from being a hobby to work, and that is something I always want to avoid.
  3. Planning is invaluable. I planned my novel thoroughly before November. In real life I like to know exactly where I need to be and exactly when I need to be there. This has spilled over to NaNo. The idea of not knowing beforehand irked me, so for thirty days before the start I planned everything thoroughly. I actually did this in no time at all and went on to plan another project as well. I know some people say this kills the creative juices but for me it is essential to have peace of mind.
  4. It is impossible to stick to plan, no matter how much you want to. The basic outline of my structure remains mostly intact, but when you are writing new ideas fly at you in their dozens. The story changes and evolves and eventually a character you designed is unrecognisable anymore. Only a handful of days in and my story, while mostly the same, has also changed considerably.
  5. I have the discipline. I have already mentioned that I am chronically lazy. It is nice to have learnt that when I really apply myself to something I can do it. Hopefully I can use this in other areas of my life too.
  6. It is very difficult to turn my inner editor off. For smaller projects this is not so much of a problem but when attempting something larger like NaNo my inner editor is pulling it’s hair out at the idea of leaving a sentence imperfect
  7. Write for yourself and nobody else. Sometimes I look at my work and I think, will anyone other than me enjoy this story? And then I think who cares as long as I enjoy it? I know for many people the ultimate goal is to become published but the moment when you start writing for an agent or editor you are well into the realms of seeing it as a job rather than something you want to do. Chances are you’ll find that other people will enjoy it, and that if it is written well you will be able to create an audience, so in the mean time don’t worry about it. An editor will tell you if he thinks any major changes are required.
  8. This links back to the previous point. Don’t worry about not reaching your goal. Nobody is going to reprimand you if you don’t reach it and I certainly won’t think any less about you. It’s important that you enjoy what you do, even if it means going at your own pace. Whether it takes you a month, two or more it’s your project and while NaNo is great for motivation don’t let it become an obsession. Writing is incredibly addicting, and like and addiction it can be detrimental.
  9. Putting your life on hold is not a good idea. Sometimes the desire to reach the set word count leaves me thinking I need to ditch my friends, leave homework unfinished (I attend an adult language school every day) and basically kill my social life. Don’t there is no point and it is not healthy. You will find you have plenty of time so reward yourself for your effort ever while and then.
  10. Nothing written is written badly. Ok not exactly true your first draft is going to be awful but it’s not bad in the sense that it will ultimately improve your skill. Everything you write is practice and like all forms of art it needs to be practiced for you to improve.

Overall my current experience with NaNo is a positive one. I have learnt that I am capable of doing this and I have a new found respect for Authors that publish books on a regular basis. I’ve learnt a bit about what it takes and about myself and I can only learn more.

This guest post was written by Michael D Fowler. Michael Fowler is a university graduate from Cornwall in England who is now living in Berlin. Having finished his degree he experience a sudden panic and for the time being at least, has walked away form his degree in Biomedical Science and opted for a life as an Au Pair in Berlin. You can learn more about his life as an Au Pair and a bit about his attempt at becoming a better writer at themikebehere.wordpress.com.

One Lovely Blog Award

Thanks to Tracey James Jones at http://tracyjamesjones.wordpress.com for passing this onto me. This is my first time receiving it so those who know me means I am giddy. I have not met Tracey irl but have had the good fortune to know her through our author blogs. She is a peach.

The Rules:

If you are one of the nominees for the One Lovely Blog Award you must do the following:

  • Thank the person who nominated you and link to them in your post.
  • Share seven unknown things about yourself.
  • Nominate other bloggers and blogs you like or admire… 15 or so if possible
  • Contact the bloggers you nominate to let them know and to link them back to your post.
  • This rules are not set in stone. If you nominate less that is fine. I tend to do one blog nominee per fact about me.

Seven unknown things about me.

I am left-handed.

I can drive a stick-shift.

I love horror movies.

I hate to cook unless I really want to.

I am a very nice person unless provoked to be otherwise.

I am an Aries.

I love to draw, even if it is not very well.

My nominees for the One Lovely Blog Award. 

http://grineldamarkowitz.wordpress.com

http://kendarville.wordpress.com

http://cherylmoore.wordpress.com

http://lifewithchocolateandcoffee.wordpress.com

http://katepolicani.wordpress.com

http://sarahballance.wordpress.com

http://traceybaptiste.wordpress.com