So I ran a small poll on Instagram the other day, asking whether I should write about the Zine I created vs. my favorite writing places. It was a close fight between the two, really, with this post edging the other by a hair. But a win’s a win, so here is the promised blog post!
It is no secret by now that my kind of writing sessions had always been long and torturing. Since I have to juggle with my day job and other side projects, I can only focus 100% on writing if I were to write non-stop. And that often translates into 5-7 hours of writing non-stop in front of my laptop, spare for that several times I go to the restroom or to refill my water bottle.
If you are a writer, you might have heard of the term “writing rituals”.
A writing rituals, as the name suggest, is a set of activities that writers perform before actually doing some writing sessions, in hopes that it will get them into this so-called “writing mode”.
There are a lot of theories discussing on how this would work. The general idea is that we can actually program our brain to get to a certain mood by always doing a set of activities until it sticks as a habit.
Think of it like how your body instinctively pick up spoon & fork before you eat. You didn’t even command your hands to pick them up, but because you have been doing the same thing over and over again every day, it comes naturally that you should pick up your eating utensils before you actually eat. Continue reading
One of the most popular—if not THE most popular—writing advice out there is write every day.
The idea behind this advice is simple: writing is tough, so the best way to counter that is to make it a habit by writing every day. It doesn’t matter if you only write a sentence or a whole chapter of your novel project; the fact remains that writing every day helps keeping you in the momentum.
I talked in my previous blog post about how keeping in the momentum would help you tremendously in finishing your manuscript faster. So as you might have expected, I agree to this legendary advice—to some extent.
But, as is the case with almost anything else, there is a catch. Continue reading
It is an extremely common case for writers to face this semi-mythical thing called ‘writer’s block’. Some believe that it exists while some think that it is a myth.
For readers or people who do not write, it is probably difficult for you to imagine how it feels like to have writer’s block. to put it in a simple way, ‘I know what will happen but I cannot put it into words’, Get it? Continue reading
It is no secret that my productivity comes in waves, and an irregular one at that. Sometimes, it even bothered me enough that I had to organize a writing retreat in order to get back to writing.
However, I have to say that my experience in writing Unspoken Words was quite peculiar.
If you have been following me on Twitter, you would know that I completed the first draft of the book in just 9 days.
Yes, you did not read that wrong. Even I still find it difficult to believe at times. Sure, I completed my debut novel, 3 (Tiga), in 14 days. But never in my wildest dreams did I hope to accomplish the same feat in the near future.
Yet, in reality, I kinda… did.
And it wasn’t until months after completing the manuscript, revising the draft like crazy, and witnessing the book being displayed in bookstores, did I start taking notes of what could possibly be going on when I wrote the book.
Of how a writer with a very demanding day job could finish writing a book in just 9 days.
I hate to break this upfront, but the key to accomplishing that is discipline.
Some requested for information regarding the characters, some about my outlining process, and the rest were an equal mix between my writing process and publication date. The response, of course, took me by (a pleasant) surprise.
To be honest, I had been mulling over the idea of sharing more about Unspoken Words. And there is a good reason why I haven’t been as active as I wanted to be in sharing information about the book:
I didn’t know how to talk about the book without spoiling everything about it.
Let’s just say, this novel is the most personal one I have penned so far, and writing it had been an emotional roller-coaster to me. Just like when I once wrote my debut novel, 3 (Tiga), finishing the manuscript for Unspoken Words actually left me in a state somewhat similar to being hungover. Continue reading
Disclaimer: this post will feature a lot of pictures, just so you know.
I have mentioned in one of my previous blog posts that I wanted to go on a creative writing retreat. Not the fancy residency kind, of course. What I’m talking about is but a short escape somewhere. It should be far enough from my usual daily routine, but it also should be within my budget—so it shouldn’t be too far, either.
Last October, I was offered a cheap flight ticket to spend the weekend in Singapore.
I took it without hesitation.
After my bold statement last month on how I was going to participate in NaNoWriMo, you must have been wandering, where have I gone this whole month?
(Or maybe you haven’t, but let’s assume that you have.)
I am going to answer that question by letting you know where I am right now, as I believe it describes what had been happening in November for me:
With the end of October only a few days away, I really have to work on my NaNoWriMo project outline on my writer’s notebook, which I have rather abandoned last week because I went on a vacation. Problem is—plotting or outlining has never been my strong point.
This is especially a big problem when I have so little time left to prepare, despite all the bragging and announcements I made at the start of Preptober. I really need a crash course on plotting, and I need it quick. But at the same time, I have to make up somehow for not posting anything last week on this website.
I obviously couldn’t focus on both. So imagine how glad I was when my good author friend, Yarii, who writes amazing historical fiction herself, agreed to write a guest blog post on my website to talk about plotting.
With her contribution, I thought, I could post something new on my website, plus I could learn a thing or two from her. It’s like hitting two birds with one stone.
And boy, was I right.
In any case, I’m planning to start posting regularly on my blog after I finished my outline, so please feel free to follow the blog or any of my social media (Twitter, Instagram) if you’re interested in my struggles during the upcoming NaNoWriMo, or even if you just want to know what I did during my short getaway several days ago.
Okay, I’ll stop with my ramblings and get into Yarii’s guest post about plotting below. If you find the article below helpful, please check out her works. She just independently published her book, Botan, and it is now widely available for purchase through this link. If you like historical fiction, or if you like Japanese culture, you definitely have to get the book!