Road Trip Wednesday: Season Changes

Road Trip Wednesday is a ‘Blog Carnival,’ where YA Highway’s contributors post a weekly writing- or reading-related question that begs to be answered.

This Week’s Topic

October!! It is SO fall! How does your writing (place, time, inspiration, etc) change with the seasons?

My Answer

Although I’ve been writing since 2009, it’s only been since May of this year that I’ve been writing seriously and consistently with the intent to publish.  The major change in my writing due to seasons was simply that over the summer, my son was home from school. It meant more time traveling to activities during the day, more time playing referee between him and his sister, more time spent away from home on vacations… In short, less time to write.

Over the summer I took Candace Haven’s Comprehensive Writing class, hoping it would help me get Brotherly Love finished.  I did a lot of thinking about my story. Perhaps too much. I’m still lost in deciding which way the ending should go, and that’s freezing me up from revising any part of it as well.  *sigh*

Now that I think about it, the fall has changed my writing thought process, because NaNoWriMo is coming up. October will be about planning for NaNo…if I can get the Brotherly Love boys out of my head!

Just a Hobby?

Several months back, my husband and I agreed that one night each week  I should go out and do something for me. As in, without the kids.

Now, I’m pretty sure what my husband had in mind was that I’d go out with some friends.  Maybe even make more friends.  Instead, I got all wide-eyed and said, “I can go to the library and write!”

Hey, it’s my time. I can do what I want with it.

Tonight on my way out the door, my husband said, “Have fun!”

In my head I thought, “Fun. Yeah. Revisions are so not fun!”

And that’s when it hit me. I’m not going out for a night of fun every week.  I’m not getting some relaxing time away from the kids. A night out with the girls.

No. What I’m really doing is working a second job.

I’m okay with that. It’s what I want.

My husband refers to my writing as “a hobby” which I suppose, technically, it is since I’ve yet to make any money from it.  Somehow I can’t quite place it in the same category as sewing or scrapbooking or pumpkin carving, though. I don’t ever intend to make money from those things.

I’d like to think that maybe someday I’ll make a little money from my writing. Enough to make a decent hourly wage after all the blood and sweat and tears poured into each story? No, but money isn’t the main reason I write.

On the other hand, I don’t get paid to take care of our children or clean the house or make the meals, but those things certainly aren’t “hobbies.” They’re the primary tasks of my first job.

When I was writing fan fiction, that was a hobby.  Now I’m writing with my own original characters and building my own plots and working with the intention to publish. I don’t think the word “hobby” fits anymore.

Nope. I can now consider myself working two jobs. Except that, of course, being a stay-at-home-mom is never considered a job. (But that’s a rant for another time.)


What about you? Is your writing (or something else you like to do) a hobby or a job? When did it change, or was it always a job?


New School Year Resolutions

Resolutions and goals

Source: creepyed


I tend to make resolutions three times a year at transitions in my life: the New Year, the start of summer, and the start of the school year.  They usually revolve around home management with the occasional weight loss goal thrown in if I’m really feeling ambitious.

Today is the first day of school for my son, so I reviewed my list of goals for the summer to see how many I actually accomplished.

On my Things To Do: Around The House list, I completed 1.5 items out of 10. ( The half item was “sell old cloth diapers” — we made the effort to sell them but haven’t sold them all yet.)

My Things To Do: Writing list fared only slightly better: 3 out of 13 items.  Two of those items related to getting this blog started up.

So what are my new goals now that the School Year has started? 

Well, a few weeks ago I did start a new task schedule/management/tracking system that seems to working for me.  It’s all about working on those basic routines.

So my first goal is to continue using this system.

I’m also going to make it a point to take baby steps.  Obviously I still have these Summer Lists to complete. But instead of looking at them as one big list, I’m going to focus on one thing at a time.

My current goals over the next couple weeks:

  • Home: do one item from the Things To Do: Home list each week.
  • Blog: Maintain a regular blogging schedule, at least 3 posts a week
  • Writing: Write out character profiles for the major characters in Brotherly Love

It’s going to be haaard sticking to those goals and not doing more and burning out by the end of September.

Especially the writing one. But it needs to be done. I need to pull my characters out of my head and onto paper so I can  restructure the plot so I can get writing again so I can finish the 2nd draft! YAY!  I’m really itching to jump back into the writing, but I know it will just create more mess to clean up later if I don’t make my plan now.

Am I the only one who makes these kind of goals multiple times a year?


My crappy first draft

Yes, I did just shout that.

A couple weeks ago, I mentioned Candace Haven’s Fast Draft class.  Well, I did sign up for it, figuring at worst case it’d be a $20 donation to the instructor.  That’s so cheap for a writing class; it was worth the risk.

I’m so glad I did.

Because… (can I shout again?)


I now have a 40,500-word first draft of my young adult novel that did not exist prior to May 14.  I’m taking a couple days off before starting in on the revisions (of which there will be tons, but that’s okay!).

What I really love is that I was able to do it without too much of a disruption to my family.  Okay, my daughter watched more TV in the last two weeks than she should have, and I only did the basics around the house, but I didn’t have to hide myself away, exist on 2 hours of sleep a night, or anything crazy like that.

I was amazed at how fast the words flowed once I got into the right mind set.  I hit 800+ words in 30 minutes several times, and even over 1000 words in 30 minutes a few times!  That is unheard of for me.

If you are a writer who struggles with the ol’ internal editor (that nagging voice that makes you re-write every sentence three times before you move on), give Fast Draft a try.  I didn’t think it’d work for me, but it did!  Candace says she does them several times a year.  Her next one is already scheduled to start July 7.  For only $20, what have you got to lose, considering you could have a complete first draft done at the end of 14 days?