New Freelance Writer Blog

I have added a new blog to my repertoire today… Being a freelance writer as well as a fiction writer, I decided to add my freelance writer blog under my real name and not my nom de plume. After all, the two genres are separate and I am certainly not the first to write under more than one name.

I plan to post today, so please visit me at http://kauaidaze.wordpress.com. I look forward to see you there as well as here.

-AH

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Thursday Thoughts

Sometimes I think I will never have another idea for another novel or story or poem once I finish this project.  I understand this is a common thought among new writers. But a lack of ideas is not possible for writers or any creative artist, unless you wallow in your doubts and fears.

Have you ever noticed that when you are writing your mind begins to explore and more ideas follow?  Creativity is like you body, it needs exercise.  Unfortunately, I can go for long periods of time without writing anything, so I really notice that when I do get back on track, the ideas just begin to flow, and I write more and more.  For me, the trick is creating time to write.  I get so caught up in other life stuff that I don’t get to it every day.  I need to stop allowing that and make a promise to myself to carve out writing time, no matter what.  I know writers who work on their projects late at night or early in the morning (I do that on occasion) and they are prolific writers.  Then I see tweets from other writers who worry about the same thing as I do — will they ever have another idea?

Well, I think the amount of ideas you have is directly related to the amount of writing you do.  These prolific writers never seem to run out of ideas.  Creativity need exercise.  Case in point — this blog post.  I started with a kernel of an idea about 8 minutes ago, thinking I would finish this by tomorrow (Friday)  and now I am up to 272 words. I wrote almost 1200 words yesterday in a couple of hours. So, exercise pays off.

Now I do have to keep up with household and life things, but the lessons of creating time to create are well-learned.  In addition to the creative muscle getting stronger and more prolific, those endorphins kick in too and create happiness within.  Just like physical exercise. Hmmm. Could be on to something here?

More writing equals more creativity.  Let creativity overflow!

-AH

Note: This post also appears on my other blog site: https://andreahunter313.wordpress.com

Uncharted Territory

I have submitted my query letter to a major national publication for an article I wrote about a small group here on Kaua‛i that helps physically- and mentally-challenged people experience surfing. Wow…I can’t believe I’m actually doing this. It’s time, I suppose to  dip my toes into the deep waters of a national publication and see what happens.  One day, I hope to be published regularly in national publications, so I have to start somewhere, right?  Of course, I am looking into other publications as well, but I wanted to.  May as well take the leap.  The worst they can do is reject my submission.

This is part of the dream I am living: working at home with my husband and writing my novel along with some poetry, articles, and essays from time to time.  I am a writer!  Excitement and dread filled my whole being as I clicked on the send button for that query.  Yes, it was that deep for me.  Aspiring to meet my goals, though, so satisfying!

After I have submitted queries (or whatever) to the other magazines I have in mind, I will go back to outlining the middle of my novel.  That’s a different issue…I seem to be stuck at the beginning of the middle. I need to get my characters through the maze in a convincing, realistic manner.  I feel like the stuff I am thinking about is too contrived, so I keep scrapping and starting new. Well, I suppose that is normal, right? It’s difficult to be satisfied with your own work.  At least it is for me, it’s part of my writing life.

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This post is also published on my other blog https://andreahunter313.wordpress.com.  One of these days I will stick to one or the other. 🙂

Happy New Year

Aloha and Hau’oli Makahiki Hou (Happy New Year)!  We all know this is the time of year when we make our resolutions to improve ourselves over the next year. I am no exception to this custom.  We all want a fresh start. What better time than the beginning of a new year? It brings about feelings of excitement, hope, and resolve.

With the promise of the new year comes some major changes for me.  I am focused on writing more (gee, aren’t we all), but this year I am doing something about it.  I am already setting up the necessary research for my next article and I am making a major change in my daily life — more on that later.

Writing took a whole new turn for me in 2013.  I had an article published in Kauai Traveler magazine, I started a new project in poetry, and  I learned a lot about my characters and the direction my story wanted to take. The latter  created some consternation, though, as I realized I needed to create an outline for the meat of the book — I have the beginning and the end, but not the middle! Well, I suppose I should have created the outline in the beginning!  Who knew that the outline would also help me with the synopsis? Hahaha. Every writer! Well, I can certainly say that I ‘m learning as I go! Frustrating and exhilarating at the same time.

All in all, while my novel has not moved forward in word count over the latter part of the year, it has in structure and plot planning.  And, with the publication of an article under my belt, I think 2013 was a successful writing year. This year I am making my writing life more important, riding on the new by-line to the next project and changing some things that need to be addressed in order to free me up for more writing.

I have also discovered that the more I write, the more ideas flow. It’s a known fact that when you exercise your body, it’s functions improve. Apparently the same goes for the brain and the creative process.  You know that little fear monster that tells us once we finish this project, we won’t have any more ideas for new projects? I once feared that, if I ever finished this novel, I would never have an idea for a new one. Well, I don’t think that’s true, anymore.  I have index cards with ideas and short descriptions written on them to prove it!

Time to get ready for the day job.  I have been on vacation for the past week and I am reluctant t go back — some of that reluctance comes from not knowing what to expect when I return.  Who did or didn’t do what that I will have to deal with this morning.  But that’s normal.  The first week or so after you return from vacation, you spend all your time catching up on all the work you missed.

As for the major change I referred to earlier in my post — more on that in a future post. Soon, friends, soon.

-AH

Friday Focus

I have been trying for the last hour to get to the point where I could write my blog post this morning before work! It seems whenever I want to get something done, a computer update or other distraction interferes.  This morning it was an update to Windows 8.1 and a cat that decided to lay on my lap with my laptop!  Now I have about 13 minutes to write this post.

For most struggling writers, I will venture a guess and say that we want to be writing full-time. That is the end game, at least for me. We feel stifled if we are not writing.  After spending too much time with other projects, I have decided that my new year’s resolution will be to learn to say no.  No to new projects.  No to anything that does not help further my goal to be a full-time writer.

I feel that I have made a big step toward that end when my article was published this year in KAUAI TRAVELER magazine (http://www.travelerdigital.com/kauai/fall2013_main?pg=49&search_term=Andrea#pg49).  I don’t want to be a “one-hit wonder” and leave that one article as my foray into published works.  I am spurred on to continue that path. So, these side projects that I do just prevent me from writing. NO MORE!  Sorry. But I have to focus on the writing and move forward.

Time to go. Day job is calling. Gee, I hope this update finishes before I have to leave!

Aloha Friday!!
-AH

Tuesday Morning Tea

As I sit enjoying my tea this morning I am pondering my intentions to write and how they always seem to get interrupted by other necessary chores and such.  I am reminded that a writer’s life is not always about the actual act of writing. It includes all sorts of activities. Really, even when writing fantasy, not everything comes strictly from your imagination. Being a writer includes noticing and filing away bits of experiences from everything around you as you go about the mundane day-to-day tasks.

I’m thinking about this because, while I intended to spend some time writing this past week-end, I spent more time doing other things. But those other things feed the writing in ways that I didn’t notice before. For example, I was at the Home Depot yesterday returning a screen door and buying a different one. I noticed as I headed to the Returns desk with my large parcel, that a man walking up from the other side, saw me and quickened his pace to get in front of me. Aside from the fact that I am a middle-aged woman dragging along a huge screen door, the first thing I thought was that chivalry was, in fact, gone. There was a time in my lifetime that a gentleman would have offered to help me rather than rush to get in front of me. Ah, there’s character fodder for my files.

Later, while attempting to install the new screen door, my husband became ever more frustrated with each step. Nothing ever works out the way the directions say when installing the seemingly innocuous screen door! But my husband reacts with a monologue of the ridiculous, making me laugh while he stands straight-faced looking at the door as if he were about to crush it with a sledge-hammer. More character fodder, please.

As I head into this work week, I am also reminded that the jobs I have done are more fiction fodder. Characters need jobs, right? Maybe all those job descriptions I wrote over the years could be used for a greater good: my novel! We are so entrenched in our surroundings that they become familiar and insignificant. But taking a few moments to notice that person over there, or the birds gathered in the tree over here, could help you set up a scene or write a poem.

These experiences are just a couple of examples of the fuel that can be used for your fictional file. It seems I used to know this, but had “forgotten” it for a while. I think paying more attention to my surroundings while I am not writing may better inform my writing, Remembering the old adage, “write what you know,” takes on more meaning when you pay attention to the familiar and learn to use it in your writing world.

Finishing my tea and off to get ready for work. Have a great week!

-AH