Thursday, November 6, 2014

Get your head in the game.

As part of the revision process, I'm trying to get my head back in the game.

For me, writing's a very mental thing. If one little thing is off, I'm off as a writer. A pattern I'm trying to break, for sure, but at the same time I'm also trying to provide myself the absolute best environment for success. So what does that mean?

* Making smart music choices. I have to keep playing the stuff that stokes the writing fire. Muse and Interpol help a lot.

* Having a routine. And a game plan for that routine. (For example: Get up at 6 AM, go shower. Then have 30 minutes of allowable internet fuckery. After that, get dressed/hair done/makeup on, and have ass in seat at 8:05 to do 40 minutes of writing work before heading to the day job.) And of course, the discipline to stick to that routine.

* Reading helpful things. Like writing-related books, specifically those dealing with revision. Also re-read On Writing, because that's always brilliant.

* Reading good things. Now's the time to re-read every Gillian Flynn book to remind myself what good, twisted writing looks like.

* Keeping myself healthy. This means sticking to my eating plan, getting enough rest, and staying warm. (Can't write when I'm cold, so I likely can't revise when I'm cold, either.)

* Keeping a notebook with me at all times. Essential for recording those little details that pop into my head when the characters decide to start talking up a storm.

* Warding off distractions. I need to start coming home from work and heading straight for my books/notebook as opposed to Pinterest. Unless I'm working on Emerson's Pinterest, and then that's all okay.

* Making these 2 books--and their characters--come first. I need to treat them like the dying grandmother whose side you don't want to leave, the lover you're obsessed with, and the child you watchfully provide loving, careful care for. Similarly, these characters always need to be top of mind. They need to be a priority. They need to be as real as me--with needs and wants and flaws and fears--and I need to treat them as such.

And with that, now it's off to make some notes...

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Melancholy creep.

Today was Halloween--my favorite day of the year, giving way to my least favorite time of year. From November to March, I tend to be miserable. I don't like cold, I don't like snow, and I don't like shorter days. So Halloween is always bittersweet for me because I know what's coming when it ends.

Today I got to dress as one of my favorite television characters, Vanessa Ives from Penny Dreadful. I love the show and I love her character--her mystique, enviable clothing, and wild (albeit somewhat possessed) side. Oh, and she has brilliant taste in men (hello, Dorian Gray). I had tons of fun with my costume, brought candy to share at work, took home some leftover gluten-free pizza, and am trying very hard to escape the melancholy that's already creeping in.

I know there's so much to look forward to in the next few months. The holidays, friends, and family. An upcoming vacation. Revising 2 books, writing 3 short stories, and generating more ideas every day. Handmade Christmas cards and ornaments to make, new craft techniques to learn. And in the very short-term, reading some of the new books I've just bought, scouring post-Halloween sales tomorrow, and new, scrumptious-smelling BPAL scents to try.

I'm trying to focus on the things that keep me going--of which there are many. But I have a feeling this winter will be uniquely difficult for me, and I am rarely wrong.