Blogglings, it is I, back from the dead. Or, more accurately, the land of the constantly sleep-deprived. I’m running on caffeine and pure stubborness at this point, because I average about six hours of sleep a night and school is exhausting, and I hit some point of almost no return last week and I needed to cut a few things out or else I was going to implode from anxiety and lack of time to do anything.
And, y’know, mental health > blogging.
But! I’m back now, and I’ll be up and running as normal within the next week or so. Also, summer break is so close I can taste it, (eight. more. weeks. I can survive eight more weeks.) and I now only have afternoon classes on Tuesdays and Thursdays, so I’ll be getting some time, then. And, also, I missed you guys!
I did, however, get a lot of writing done. I’ve been stuck in this horrible writing rut for the longest time, but I did Camp NaNoWriMo. I set my goal low, at 25k words, but I wrote 45k. FORTY FIVE THOUSAND WORDS. After probably a year and a half of struggling to write more than 200 words every time I sit down.
There may have been some crying involved, because it was like a dam had broken and I HAVEN’T LOST MY SKILL, THANK GOD. I also finally have ideas for blog posts again? I think I was stretching myself out waaaay to thin over the past few months, and now that I’ve finally slowed down and taken a break, it’s such a relief that my brain is actually functioning again.
I rewarded myself with ice cream and a piece of fandom jewelry I had been eyeing.
BUT, that’s not what I’m here to talk about today. Instead, I’m stealing The Writer’s Tag from Paper Fury, because it’s fun and also sort of relates to my past month, because writing.
Aren’t I articulate today. I’m sure that’s why y’all read my blog.
WHAT GENRES, STYLES, AND TOPICS DO YOU WRITE ABOUT?
- I write mostly fantasy. Lately I’m on a bit of an epic fantasy kick, although typically I write mostly urban fantasy because I’m horrible at making up names for fictional countries.
- I do, though, also write a lot of odd not-quite dystopian novels. I call them not-quite dystopians because they’re set in the modern world but with dystopian elements. Although I think I may have to stop writing them soon because honestly, the current world is scary enough already.
- I wrote mostly first person past tense, or close third-person present tense. I have no idea why, those just come the easiest to me.
- Someone once described my writing style as a mix of prose and punchy, crisp writing and that for some reason it works really well? I dunno if that’s true or not, but it’s an easy way to describe it, I guess.
- I’m a very character-driven writer. Characters are what appeal to me, and in my mind, fantastic characters can save a sub-par plot, but the opposite doesn’t work.
- I write a lot of LGBTQA+ characters. Which I know isn’t really a topic, but I’m one of the people yelling about books need more diverse characters even though the books aren’t about being diverse, and I figure I should do the same in my own work.
- Like 99% of my novels have some sort of major scene featuring food. But I’m also in culinary school so that’s to be expected.
- I also have a lot of mental illness rep in my novels, for the same reason as the LGBTQA+ characters. I never really saw myself in novels when I was growing up, (I mean, I have two types of anxiety, I’m asexual, and Native Hawaiian), and I want other people to see themselves in my work.
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN WRITING?
Do you remember when those Warrior Cats books were super popular? Well, I started reading them when I was maybe nine-ish, and I joined the now-deceased fan forums, and wrote awful, awful fan fiction that I often abandoned after like two chapters and when the ‘fic was shorter than, like, 500 words.
But I officially started writing when I was twelve and bought a powder blue typewriter at a garage sale. I loved (and love) that typewriter, and I wrote until it ran out of ink. I switched to the computer, and haven’t stopped since. So, it’s been six years? Ish? Give or take like six months.
WHY DO YOU WRITE?
I’m not the most comfortable person talking in public. I’m super introverted, and combined with both generalized and social anxiety, you’re lucky if you get one or two sentences out of me at a time. Writing gives me a voice, and it makes it easier to express my opinions, because I don’t really tend to voice my opinions when I’m around other people.
I mean, I think them, sometimes violently, but I don’t ever voice them. And my writing gives me a chance to do so.
WHEN IS THE BEST TIME TO WRITE?
I write before I go to school and on the bus: my Evernote app syncs to my computer and I just copy and paste everything I write onto the right Word doc. when I get home. And I’ve also gotten into this stretch of writing after dinner but before I start doing stuff like homework, and I can write this insane amount of words in a very short amount of time, and it’s worked out pretty well.
PARTS OF WRITING THAT YOU LOVE VS. HATE?
- The sheer sense of creativity that comes with it.
- And there’s no better feeling than finishing a draft. It’s like a rush of adrenaline but doesn’t make you feel like puking when you come down.
- I love, love, love the messiness of first drafts. I mean, I complain about drafting, sure, but there’s something so freeing about just spewing words at a page and hoping for the best, but knowing you can change stuff later.
- Naming things. I have a rain goddess in a WIP named Spork because I needed a placeholder name because I couldn’t come up with her actual name, AND NOW I CAN’T STOP CALLING HER SPORK. HELP. (And no, not “Spock”. I mean Spork. Like the combination of spoon and fork.)
- The whole actual process called editing. I can handle rewriting. I despite editing. It’s so nit-picky and exhausting and it takes forever.
- ACTUALLY LETTING OTHER PEOPLE READ IT FOR THE FIRST TIME. Oh my gosh it’s terrifying. Especially if it’s people I know in real life. Like, no, if I had my way you’d PROBABLY NEVER EVEN TOUCH THIS. It’s like baring a part of my soul I’m very, very uncomfortable sharing with people who know me.
HOW DO YOU OVERCOME WRITER’S BLOCK?
You mean besides crying and ranting at the universe? I read things. I watch things. I rewatched all the seasons of New Girl while I was working on Camp NaNoWriMo stuff because I needed to focus on something else other than what I was working on for a while. I reread favorite books. Occasionally I go to school and hit butter with rolling pins.
I used to try and force myself through it, because that’s what every single person on the internet says to do, but that doesn’t really work for me. I don’t think you can force yourself to be truly creative. So I do other things. I surround myself with creative people, I do creative stuff that doesn’t involve writing. I watch and read things made by people who are creative.
And that, for me at least, works way, way better than the just put your head down and plow through it method.
ARE YOU WORKING ON SOMETHING AT THE MOMENT?
I am. Two things, in fact.
Thing Number One: Epic fantasy. A midwife’s apprentice, a selkie, and a minor rain goddess (all hail Spork) smuggle the heir to the dragon throne across a kingdom still overseen by the Old Gods, who all want to murder said dragon. All the fun things that happen when there’s a war between dragons and gods happen; blood rain, unpredictible weather, the occasional farmer possessed by a pissed off and asshole-y god, the usual.
Thing Number Two: This is my project that I’m currently plotting out of sheer spite. It’s my feminist Beauty and the Beast retelling with two girls, set in a Spain-inspired fantasy world, and taking place over about a year.
WRITING GOALS THIS YEAR?
- Write at least 60k more words, preferably over summer break.
- Finish at least one of my WIPS.
- Fully outline at least one thing. ONE THING, AINE. IT’S NOT THAT HARD.
- Don’t tip-toe around touchy subjects.
- Participate in both the July session of Camp NaNoWriMo, and actual NaNoWriMo.
And that’s the tag! Tell me, blogglings, what’ve you been up to since I’ve been gone? Anything interesting? What are you all writing, currently? Did you participate in Camp NaNo? If so, how did it go?