Everyone experiences flow differently. And during these years of writing, I’ve learned that flow is different even just when it comes to me. I can’t really say what motivates it, or what type of mood I have to be in. But today it was perfect and felt so right! I wish every writing day could be like this, or similar.
The past month or so have been very slow, I’ve pushed out words when I’ve thought I was in a writing mood or have just blindly stared at my document not getting a single word out. My finish line keeps getting pushed, but I’m also not too stressed about it since I know that anything I force out most likely won’t be as good as when it comes naturally. I also don’t want to dislike writing. That’s why I’m cherishing these days and am extra happy when I get this flow.
Today, my flow looked like this. I didn’t think it would work today, as it hasn’t lately. But once I started, I kept seeing images in my head, just a few paragraphs ahead, which made me poop out words like never before because I wanted to get to that picture, it was so clear. I didn’t know what I wanted to write to get there, the words just showed up on the white background. Unfortunately, I had to stop before I actually got to the visualization of that picture because I had a hot yoga class waiting. But now I believe that it will be very easy to continue to write tomorrow.
This post is meant to shine a small light on the nerdy side in me (I have to start small, there will be more). I’ve always been very organized and structured as a person, which is probably why I am now working as a project manager. I’ve both read and heard about different authors writing processes and they all vary greatly. Some just write without knowing where they are heading. Some have everything figured out from the start and some are in between. I’m the person in between. I know where I’m heading, I have my place for notes and thoughts (that’s another post coming), but I only have eight major milestones and the details in between just come to me. Literally whenever and wherever. I don’t have a say in it, AT ALL!
To the point. I’m nerdy because I love statistics. I write down every workout I do so I can get a pretty pie chart where I can see if I’m heading in the direction that is aligned with my goal. I am doing kind of the same with my book. From day one, I’ve kept track of when I’ve finished writing a chapter and how long they are.
The first summer, 2017, I wrote a lot and had eight chapters written within the first three months. Then I went to the Book Fair and got a professional analysis of my first chapter and got so inspired that I, for the 15 months, rewrote the first five chapters, turned them into six chapters, and tripled the amount of words. The difference in quality was insane! But after that I decided that I would save any rewriting until I was done with the first draft. So, since December 2018 I’ve been on track again and written approximately one chapter per month. I actually wrote 12 chapters in 2019. So far in 2020, I’ve finished two chapters and it’s not even the end of the first month. That’s boding well. My new and realistic goal is to be finished with the first draft on my birthday in April. That’s definitely doable.
Chapter Twenty-Five was finished this morning on the tram, at 6am on my way to the gym. I think I will get a total of thirty chapters when I’m done. As was what I said from the very beginning. I’m pretty impressed by my early estimations, 30 chapters and 100 000 words. I have 79 000 words and 25 chapters right now.
I will most likely summarize everything I can about this book when I’m done. That will be a nerdy post (If I am not too embarassed to post it, haha!)
If you love books and are not yet on Goodreads, what are you waiting for? It’s the best place to just press the button “Want to read” and then keep that long list in check. It also gives you reccomendations according to what you’ve read and those lists that you can create. I’ve been on it since someone in San Diego recommended it to me in 2013. That’s seven years now!
Believe it or not, I did not get paid by Goodreads to write that. But I honestly believe you should join, add me as a friend. I do not send recommendations, but I will any day now change my profile to the one of an author and not just a member. That’s exciting. Apparently anyone can add their books to Goodreads for anyone to press “want to read” and add them to their lists. Any day now!
Ever since 2015, I’ve been a part of Goodreads reading challenge. Some years better than others, that’s for sure. But ever since I started writing, my “read books” list is not growing as much. I know I should be reading a lot, even as an author, but it’s hard to find the time when most of my writing happens on buses and trams when I usually read. So 2019’s challenge went horribly. Only 7 books out of 20. Although, two of them were bricks!
- 2015 – 22/50 (I was still high from my year in California when I read ridiculously much and got overambitious with that goal).
- 2016 – 46/25 (The next year I therefore lowered my goal, just to be up there again with my reading…).
- 2017 – 27/49 (And up again with the goal. Unfortunately, this was the year I decided that I would start writing on my own, so a majority of those 27 books were read in the first 7 months of the year).
- 2018 – 32/20 (I did not write too much that year unfortunately).
- 2019 – 7/20 (Needless to say, I wrote a lot in 2019! 35k words out of the total now of 75k just this year).
This year I will try to balance it out better. My goal is 20 again. I will do it! Good luck!
In three days, we will be going into a new decade, the twenties. It’s already been twenty years of this millenium, how crazy isn’t that? I am very excited for the new year to be honest. I don’t have anything extraordinary planned, a few trips here and there perhaps. It will be my last year in my twenties, 2021 I will be thirty, can you imagine? Nope, me neither. The main reason I think that next year will be interesting is because I believe that I will be reaching a huge milestone in my side career as an author. I strongly believe that in the first half of next year, I will be done with the first draft of my first book. That’s the easy part of writing a book, if I had to guess. Then comes the second draft ,and the third, and fourth and maybe sixth and ninth. No, I don’t think it will take that long, although I really do want to make this a great debut. I know myself well enough to know that I will be working on it. A lot (!) before I am ready to publish. At the same time I’m very eager to get it out there as well.
The Book Fair this year helped me a lot and I am no longer afraid of finishing the first draft, but it will be a completely different journey. I have as of today written 75k words. My goal is 100k. Not sure I will reach it because I only have one more place to visit (out of four in the whole book) and I am not sure that I can write 25k words about that place. Or maybe I will, hard to tell yet. But I am really excited to write the plot twist that I have planned for the very last chapter of this book.
I know that I have been really bad when it comes to blogging lately. My intentions were to write about my progress and my thoughts about this whole writing-a-book-thing. I am therefore going to be as stupid as to make it a new year’s resolution to update my blog more frequently about what it’s like to be an aspiring author with a full time job and time-consuming hobbies. Also to reach out to people and future readers. I don’t know if I will self publish or find a publisher, but either way, I need to spread the word. If you don’t already, you can also follow my Facebook page. I’ve been more active there than on this blog up until now.
Let’s start now though. I don’t think I have ever posted anything about the title of this book that’s about 75% done now. The series is called Legend of Enunta and will consist of a duology and a stand-alone prequel. The first title is Across the Divide and will be concluded in Toward the Divide. The prequel does not yet have a name.
Happy New Year’s and may you all stay true to your resolutions!
(this very, very much include me!)
Oh my goodness. What a weekend! I’ve learned so much stuff that I can’t really think straight right now. I’ve talked to publishers, editors and authors and learned exacty what I needed to learn. The planning of a book and the writing itself, I have under total control, but what happens after? Who are all the different people helping with the script? If I get a publisher, all works out with the help of the publisher. But if I do this whole thing by myself, I now know who to contact about what parts I need help with. And that is such a reassurance and relief and a huge motivator. I want to be done with the script so I can start exploring that part of writing a book as well.
Yesterday I did some calculations, and if I write 500 words per day, I will reach my 100k goal by New Year’s. Wouldn’t that be awesome? To have the first draft done in three months? It would be unreal.
The Book Fair is not about just writing, it’s also about reading and I bought some books. Six to be exact. And four of them are signed, that’s not too bad! I had Dmitry Gluchovsky sign Metro 2033 and 2034. 2035 had sold out. But I already had that one at home, but in hard cover. My square brain likes order and having two paperbacks and one hardcover just wont feel right. I might buy the last one in paperback and sell the hardcover so it looks unified in my bookshelf.
The other two signed books are Hjärnstark and Skärmhjärna by Anders Hansen. He is a psychologist and I’ve heard a lot about the first book and I couldn’t say no to a signed copy after listening to him talk to a moderator at the fair. I’m not super interested in celebrities, but authors who have accomplished something (that I now can relate to) is different. I get really starstruck when meeting authors and talking to them. I talked a little with Dmitry yesterday, but I had no idea what to say so I just babbled and probably sounded like an idiot. But he is a really fun guy! I heard him talk today at a seminar with Un-Su Kim, a korean author. They discussed how the written word is affected by other media today. Very very interesting seminar. And funny!
The last two books I bought was Fire & Blood by George R. R. Martin and a cookbook with mug cakes. I’ve been meaning to get it for a while now and it was there, so why not. Recipes for mug cakes can be nice. Quick dinners or snacks. I was looking at a cookbok with Korean BBQ recipes. But I didn’t get it. Maybe I should have?
It was a very fun weekend. I am so full of energy right now. So much motivation and inspiration! This was exactly what I needed right now when the dark fall is just around the corner. Dmitry Gluchovsky signing books.
Un-Su Kim and Dmitry Gluchovsky discussing the impact of visual media on the written word.
The annual Book Fair in Gothenburg starts today and goes on until Sunday. I didn’t go at all last year. No idea why but I guess that’s why I want to get as much as possible out of it this year. Two years ago, I was there and got a first chapter analysis of my book. It was the starting point of a full year of rewriting half of everything I had so far. I got inspired and understood things that I didn’t before but felt somehow was not good enough. I added more suspense, more mystery, more questions to later answer. Four chapters and 7 000 words resulted in five chapters and almost 17 000 words.
Since then I have told myself that I will write the story, get the words down, before rewriting anything again. And it’s going forward, slowly, but in the right direction.
Since so much have happened in the past two years, I wanted to get this first chapter analysis again, but this year no one of the literary consultants wanted to read English. But that’s not gonna slow me down, I have so many programs I want to listen to that I almost feel overwhelmed. I added all the things I wanted to listen to in my calendar and I think I have to print out a map of the exhibition area and hope I will find all the places. Most of the lectures are about writing and I hope some things will help me reach my goal which is to have the first draft done by next summer.
This Book Fair I will also talk to publishing companies. I have no expectations really, but it would be nice to find out how the process of becoming a published author works. Although, I’m writing in English, why settle for a Swedish publisher? I’m thinking grand. Like Bloomsbury! Haha! Aim for the stars, reach the moon, right?!
Light blues are my priorities.
I recently read on Writers Write that a debut fantasy within the fantasy category should land on approximately 100 000 words. Yesterday I hit the 50k mark and am therefore halfway done with my debut novel!
I am currently writing on the 16th chapter and as soon as that one is written, I will also have reached milestone 2 out of a total of 8 for this story. Initially, I thought that this would only result in one book, but the more I thought about the story and everything I wanted to have in it, I realized that it would be way too much for one book. At least as the debut. And now, done with 2 milestones, having the perfect cliffhanger for the first half of this duology after milestone 4, I am one hundred percent sure that it will be two books. And probably a third one later on.
I am so excited and thrilled when I see everything unfold inside my head right before I write it down.
I am proud of myself to actually have managed this. I am actually writing a book that might be finished in the not too distant future. And I really like the plot and believe in it. I think I would have stopped writing a long time ago if I didn’t.
Luften var laddad. Någon röt till och allt svartnade för en sekund. När synen återkom hade jag flygit flera meter bakåt och framför mig hade jag ett par. Helt tysta, endast stirrande in i varandras ögon. Nej, inget par. Ingen respekt var synlig i deras blickar. Det var hat men igenkänning. Vilka var det där? Oavsett så tycktes det inte finnas någon trevlig utväg på situationen framför mig.
Den lite äldre mannen lyfte långsamt handen för att sen överraskat snärta till den mot kvinnans ansikte. Hennes reflexer var bättre. Som om att hon hade sett hans handling redan innan den hänt. Hon grep tag i hans hand, böjde den åt fel håll och luften fylldes än en gång med ett ryt. Den här gången av smärta istället för ilska.
Men det stoppade honom inte från att höja andra handen och slå kvinnan i magen med knuten knytnäve.
Jag slog mig för magen och skrek samtidigt som kvinnan framför mig. Andan gick ur oss båda.
När kvinnan böjde sig dubbelt sträckte hon ut ena benet och fällde mannen och var på honom med händerna runt halsen innan han förstod vad som hänt. Hon klämde till.
Slagsmålet försvann framför mina ögon och ersattes av en svarthet jag aldrig upplevt innan. Jag tvingade upp ögonen och stirrade rätt in i mannens.
“Du har blivit bättre sen vi sist sågs,” sa han till mig medan han kämpade efter luft.
“Min tränare i unga dar var inget vidare,” svarade jag med glimten i ögat och släppte taget om min gamla mästares hals.
”Kom hit då, lilla bubben! Kom då! Ja, kom hit!” Svansen viftade med den uppenbara känslan som strömmade genom hela hans väsen. Bollen var nästan platt i hans mun när han kom springandes. Stolthet över att ha lyckats med uppdraget att hämta den flygande leksaken var också tydlig i hans ansikte. Med snabba men klumpiga skutt var han snart vid min sida.
Luften försvann ur mig när det stora fluffet hoppade upp på mitt bröst och släppte bollen rätt i ansiktet på mig. Slafsigt och blött. Men känslan spred sig till mig som det snabbaste viruset och jag skrattade högt samtidigt som jag höll om min lilla älskling och kastade iväg bollen på nytt.
My writing depends on many things. It should be the other way around, shouldn’t it?
I have 26 000 words in 10 months. That’s not good. I need motivation. I think the inspiration is there. I pretty much know what to write, or at least where I want to go with each new chapter. But so many things come in between.
I think the most important thing (besides people who want to continue to read what I have yet to write), is routine. At least that’s what Stephen King says in his book “On Writing” as well as Litterära Konsulter (who gave me feedback at the Book Fair last September).
So I have accepted a challenge. Workout challenges are fun. Reading challenges are fun. But I have never felt the urge to follow them through. A writing challenge however. Yes, that could be my thing! Not just fun, but with a purpose as well. Writing a little every day to get a routine while at the same time learning to “show, don’t tell” as I have learned it is called in English. To give something form and meaning by showing it rather than telling it. If that makes any sense.
The challenge is provided by Litterära Konsulter through Instagram. We are given 30 words to write something about without writing the actual word or synonyms. Just to describe it, show it. And then let the readers guess the word.
I am actually writing this in Swedish, could be good exercise too. And here comes my first entry in this challenge:
Favorittröjan så här i kalla vintertider låg på golvet i badrummet efter gårdagens långa och uppvärmande dusch. Inför dagens promenad längs sjön i det molnfria och friska senvintervädret var den vinröda stickade det givna valet.
Hon drog den över huvudet. Något var inte som det brukade. Nåt fränt trängde sig in i näsan. Surt. Inbillade hon sig? Nä, usch! När skulle hon lära sig att katterna alltid passade på att kräkas i klädhögar på golvet?