She Who Writes with the Most Toys

Anne C. Miles > Writing > She Who Writes with the Most Toys

I’m actually quite sad to see 2017 go. This is the year I wrote my first draft. I shall always remember it fondly.  How did I do it? I used tools and toys. I have mixed feelings about them. Paying for these things kind of feels like buying exercise equipment. I have good intentions and they can help whip me into shape. But then they can just sit there, too. Unused. Shaming me.

I haven’t let that happen. And it’s a darn good thing I didn’t.

I first started writing on WattPad, writing a chapter at a time, about one chapter a week. Wattpad is to me the ultimate writer toy. It gamifies writing. I loved WP while I was there because of the people I met in NBR (book club). They taught me so much.

Then I did CampNanoWrimo three times to push me over the hump to actually finish the book. I think the Camp Nanos were really helpful because they pushed me to develop a routine and write when I didn’t feel like it. From those I also learned what my comfortable word count is per day.

I write about a chapter a day. My chapters are around 2500-3k words. I used to have 5k word chapters but those are too darn long. I can steadily churn out 3k words a day without feeling strained. Much past that I get really tired.

I got off of WattPad for good and began to  do writer Twitter around July, at the same time I started this blog. I’ve done a few crit groups since. But mostly I’m aware now that they’re just an excuse to do something besides write. I don’t need those excuses at all. I need to write. I was stressed out and spending all my time reviewing and critting when I needed to be writing. Can’t do that.

Now? wow, resistance (see War of Art book by Steven Pressfield) has hit me. It’s eating me for lunch. I’m writing book 2, Heartfire, because LSE® says I need to get the whole story out.  I did Nano, was merrily rolling along and pow. My laptop died.

I had everything backed up six ways from Sunday but when I went to restore my files, all of my backups have something stupid wrong with them. And. my backup hard drive died.

So yeah, there’s that. Major, major setback.

I’m pulling everything out of a doc file that I made. (thank God I have it)

It’s all SO discouraging, losing that stuff.

Editing Sorrowfish feels like it will never really happen. Never be finished. Ever. I know that isn’t true. But it feels that way. I think I’m in a slough of despair. But I’m determined to keep going. What’s really holding me together right now when I’m tempted to just give up?

My toys.

Toward that end, I just got Scrivener 3.  I’m making myself a Trello for Heartfire to keep me on track. I had everything in Scriv before and lost too much. From now on it goes in Trello. And I’m just going to reimport what I have into Scrivener and keep going.  There’s some overlap between Trello and One Stop for Writers, but to me thats a bonus.

Trello is something I use in my day job with my clients and it makes life better. It is accessible from all my devices, is free and enables me to collaborate with the LSE® (Long-Suffering Editrix®) Here’s an article on how to use it to keep you on track. 

You can also use it to outline and keep notes etc. This is how I’m gonna use it for now. It’s gonna be my new Story Bible. That way I can access it from anywhere and use it. I never know where I’ll end up writing.

I got The Positive Trait Thesaurus, The Emotion Thesaurus and The Negative Trait Thesaurus by Angela Ackerman and Becca Puglisi for Christmas. My favorite gift.  I’m using onestopforwriters.com and love it. The featured pic for this post is a story map from my dashboard there. See how it has helped save me? Even though I haven’t fully fleshed everything out?

I’m also taking the Self Publishing Formula course by Mark Dawson. I don’t know if I will self-publish. But I think knowing the ins and outs of the marketing process won’t hurt me either way, and his course is the absolute best out there.  But the best bit is his Facebook group. Just reading in there is motivating.  Here’s a link to his podcast. It’s excellent. 

Last but not least. I think my favorite toy is ProWriting Aid. Super duper helpful. I use it constantly. It’s my robot editor.

I don’t know if She Who Writes with the Most Toys wins, but they’re my lifeline right now. I’m so thankful for them. If you think of it, say a prayer that I can recover my files from my laptop. I appreciate it.

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