April 6, 2013

Early Bird Writer

Filed under: Uncategorized — nascentnovelist @ 11:33 am
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I’ve started a new experiment. Every day I go to a cafe and write for an hour before work. And now, after a whole week, I’m ready to share my initial findings.

1. My daily word count is up.
It’s impressive how much more I jot down while my brain is fresh. My goal is 350 words per day, but so far, I’ve been averaging at about 800.

2. My inner editor is off.
I struggle with my inner editor. There’s a voice inside me that tells me to polish and polish individual sentences, keeping me from producing more text to slave over. But whether it be the already mentioned fresh brain, or the semi-desperation of caffeine deprivation and half-sleep, when I sit down at 7:45AM, I write without second-guessing.

3. The quality of my writing is improving.
I think the early morning flow is something for me. A quiet cafe. A quality cup of coffee. An hour to myself. It’s a great way to start my day, and it shows in my writing.

But there’s a back to this coin. The extra hour at work makes me grumpy, unfocused and dead tired. After training, my evening consists of lying on the couch, watching television or reading. Then again, I used to spend those hours writing, but I didn’t produce more than I’m doing now. Perhaps exhaustion is a fair price to pay for better quality text?

What do you think? Have you tried writing before work? What are your habits like, and what works for you?


March 21, 2013

Find the Thing You’re Most Passionate About

Filed under: Uncategorized — nascentnovelist @ 3:19 am
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…Then Do It On Nights And Weekends For The Rest Of Your Life
By David Ferguson

I have always been a big proponent of following your heart and doing exactly what you want to do. It sounds so simple, right? But there are people who spend years—decades, even—trying to find a true sense of purpose for themselves. My advice? Just find the thing you enjoy doing more than anything else, your one true passion, and do it for the rest of your life on nights and weekends when you’re exhausted and cranky and just want to go to bed.

It could be anything—music, writing, drawing, acting, teaching—it really doesn’t matter. All that matters is that once you know what you want to do, you dive in a full 10 percent and spend the other 90 torturing yourself because you know damn well that it’s far too late to make a drastic career change, and that you’re stuck on this mind-numbing path for the rest of your life.

Is there any other way to live?

Read the rest of the article over at The Onion.

Anyone else out there who want to quit their jobs and dive in 100 percent after reading this? I sure do.

March 14, 2013

The Lure of Social Media Marketing

I’m a big fan of twitter. Not gonna lie, it might be my favourite social media. That’s why I’ve been bitching and moaning about all the indie authors out there who’re using it mainly as a tool to spew out ads for their latest novel. Why on earth would they do it, I asked myself. Don’t they know that it’s dull? That people skim past the noise to look for actual tweets? That they might be sorted out or unfollowed?

And then I entered a contest. And I wanted people to vote for me.

pick me!

Suddenly, I wanted to yell the loudest. I wanted to tweet every hour. I wanted to hold up a virtual sign over my head saying “Make my dream come true!” and jump up and down until everyone realized my book was the best and voted. I got it.

But even though I get why people want to tweet five (or ten, or twenty) times a day about how great their book is, it doesn’t change the truth: it’s bad marketing. I follow people on twitter because they’re funny, interesting or quirky. Not because they blast me with tweet after tweet about their five-star reviews.

There’re two days left of voting in the contest. My book, number 56: Fire and Blood, is currently at ninth place and I’m hoping and praying for more votes. But I won’t tweet about it. At least not more than once a day.

December 20, 2012

Last Day on Earth

Filed under: Uncategorized — nascentnovelist @ 1:33 pm
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I’m going to give it to you straight, like a pear cider made from 100% pear. I don’t buy it. We’ve been told the world will end so many times that what little faith I might have had in our impending doom has utterly dissipated.
Apocalypse Now

That doesn’t mean the idea of the apocalypse can’t be useful, however. Say that the world was ending tomorrow, what would you wish you had done? What little bits of life would you like to explore? How do you want to spend your last day on Earth?

Inquiring minds want to know.

(I would tell you to try and accomplish your goals as well, but since I’ll be spending the last day on Earth convincing strangers to join me in a taste test of coffee, I can’t really advice anyone on anything. If you can spend your day accomplishing something wonderful, I salute you!)

December 16, 2012

Victories: Great and Small

Filed under: Uncategorized — nascentnovelist @ 8:18 am
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I’ve written about the reasons why writers need to challenge themselves and make themselves mighty, and I still believe that’s true. Measurable results is the key to keeping your spirits up.

So, with that in mind, I finally joined a powerlifting club. Luckily, they had an open competition six weeks after I started training with them, so I could jump right in. I came last, but that’s not the point: I exceeded my own expectations, and pushed myself. I also set a new PR for both bench and deadlift. Now, that is just what a woman needs to get back into writing a new novel.

Here are a few of my lifts:

90kg squats:

62.5kg bench:

120kg deadlift:

December 12, 2012

Serial Novels

Filed under: Uncategorized — nascentnovelist @ 2:28 pm
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The most profitable section of the Norwegian book industry is what they call “entertainment.” This is comprised of commercial fiction, and includes fantasy, sci-fi, crime and serial novels.

Serial novels are book series that are made to keep the readers coming back for more. Unlike traditional book series, they rarely work as stand alone reads. The novels are designed to be read right after one another with each book ending on a cliffhanger, and the next book starting where the last one left off. Often with the last page of the previous book attached before the first chapter of the new one. They remind me of TV shows rather than novels, and they read like popcorn.

Most of my writing falls into the commercial fiction category, and since I’ve been back, I’ve started toying with the idea of writing one of these serials. I enjoy gobbling down TV shows more than your average viewer, and I love to write action packed fiction that is part of a larger plot. (And there’s good money in it.)

What do you guys think? Does it sound like fun, or like using up my good words on a low-status (but well-paid) form of entertainment? Would you try your hand at a serial?

October 25, 2012

Make or Break Your Routine

Filed under: Uncategorized — nascentnovelist @ 4:28 pm
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In a writing rut: break your routine.

This is the advice I’ve gotten lately. Go on vacation, take a walk, write at different times of the day. But as someone who’s suddenly without a home or a conventional job, I have to admit that the lack of routine is what gets me. Sure, I have no trouble finishing my freelance gigs on time, outside pressure is a perfect motivator, but my own projects? Forget about it. I’ve written 1500 words in 2 weeks.

I’m sure it will be different once I settle down in a new country and the vacation feeling passes. I’m sure it will help once I get a few more freelance gigs so the paycheck thing will be taken care of. And I’m sure renting office space with other freelancers will help me mimic a traditional work day. But I don’t want my creativity to be shackled to an apartment and a set space.

So what is a poor girl to do? I need your advice here. How do you keep up productivity without set routines? Or how do you create routines when everything else is fluctuating?

October 14, 2012

The Right Place to Write

Filed under: Uncategorized — nascentnovelist @ 7:59 pm
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What constitutes “right” when it comes to a place to write is elusive and according to taste. Do you need silence? Noise? Music? People around you? Privacy? I can’t answer these questions for you, but I can give you an example of the perfect place to write for me.

Ninth Street Espresso in LES – New York.

Music: soft electronica, mild country or Leonard Cohen.
Drip Coffee: round, dark, with just a hint of bitterness.
Lattes: damn near perfect, in a range of sizes, all deliciously blended.
Charging possibilities: plentiful.
Wifi: free.
Clientele: a good mix ranging from seniors to hipsters to families.
Sound level: low, with a buzz of conversation. Haven’t broken out the headphones yet.

In my opinion, Ninth Street has it all. Plenty of seats at 1-2 man tables with just enough space to put a coffee cup and a computer. Good chairs. Great coffee (yes, I’m a bit of a coffee snob, so this has become one of my main criteria for a place to write). Friendly staff that do not mind long bouts of writing interspersed with few purchases of coffee. This is a place where people come to work, and it shows. If I could bring this coffee shop with me wherever I went, I’m pretty sure I’d be more productive.

What’s the perfect writing place for you? Inquiring minds want to know.

September 30, 2012

What to Do When You Have Too Much to Do?

Filed under: Uncategorized — nascentnovelist @ 10:00 am
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My freelance writing career has taken off, and I’m enjoying it immensely. I get paid to write. How cool is that? And to use a trite saying: once it rains, it pours. So in the next couple of days I need to pitch two books and write what amounts to a complete magazine. It might not sound impossible, but I also have to pack up my apartment, clean it and move out.

So I pose the question to you: What to do when you have too much to do?

How do you manage your time when work is pouring in?

June 4, 2012

Neil Gaiman Gives Great Advice

Filed under: Uncategorized — nascentnovelist @ 12:00 am
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Most of you probably already knew that, of course. Still, I find it useful to re-watch this when I’m feeling down: Neil Gaiman Addresses the University of the Arts Class 2012

Question is: are you moving towards the mountain?

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