A new blogging home.

Well, this post has certainly been a long time coming… I have moved yet again. And I have been moved for… Oh, a few months now – give or take.

Here’s the new URL @ growingpainswriting.tumblr.com

All of my posting will be done there from now on. I’ll also be taking posts from this blog, revamping them, and reposting them there. I’ll likely delete the old posts from here (unless they have comments on them because I often look back on those).

I also have a new posting schedule and new ideas for the blog that’s going to be much different than what went on here.

I hope you drop by and take a look~

Advertisements

New URL on March 5th!

Again, this is a warning in advance: I will be changing my URL on Saturday, March 5th.

The new URL is: growingpainsadvice.wordpress.com

I’ve yet to register it but that’s what this blog’s URL will be on Saturday.

This URL may sound a little odd now but I’ll be explaining everything after the URL has been changed and everything’s been put into motion. For now, the URL change is the best I can leave you all with.

Blog revamping!

My month hiatus is almost up. It’s the end of the month and I’ll be back in May with new content – and a new look! I’m currently working on improving my blog. The old stuff will be in its own category and I’m working on how to make my content, posts, and advice better. I’ll be updating my schedule, rewriting my bio, and choosing a new layout for this blog. There’s also going to be a new name and a new URL.

Let make make that clear: I MAY BE CHANGING THE URL FOR THIS BLOG.

So if you have this blog bookmarked then you may want to follow it instead so you’ll know the URL change. I’d link the new URL here but I’m not exactly sure what it will be just yet so, please, bear with me on that.

And that’s that. Just a short update on what’s going to be happening over this last week of April and what’s going to be in store for May.

Hiatus!

So I’ve been considering this for a long time – almost three months now. But finally today is the day that I actually do it. I’m putting my blog on hiatus. Only for a month at the most. This blog will be live on May 1st – and hopefully with some new and fresh content. The purpose of this hiatus is mostly to generate some new ideas for this blog, establishing a voice that is seemingly inconsistent currently. I also notice that I’m offering generic advice that can be found on an average writing blog. But I don’t want to be average. I want to offer semi-unconventional advice (saying semi because no advice can be completely fresh and original). I have a few ideas tumbling around inside my head and the snark you can find in my posts right now will probably be amplified by ten in the future. That’s my voice. My true voice. This is how I write. This is how I present my ideas. Instead of sugar-coating it and writing the way I think a blogger should write, I should write it the way I feel is natural. Not staying true to my own voice is something I’ve noticed I haven’t been doing a whole lot lately – including in my fiction writing – so I’m going to start with this blog and then move on to incorporate it into other aspects of my writing.

It’s all a work in progress and it’ll take a lot longer than a month to get the ball rolling on it, but I don’t feel comfortable putting my blog on hiatus for longer than a month. I’m struggling enough as it is with the idea of no fresh posts or traffic for a whole thirty days – never mind anything longer than that. But it is what it is and I have to do what has to be done.

So, farewell until May.

And no. This isn’t some sad attempt at an April Fool’s joke – the people who bother “celebrating” and pranking are fools themselves (in my honest opinion).

How I Schedule Posts

It’s the last day of the month which means I’m probably writing and editing like a madwoman. Why? Because I have posts to schedule.

I remember when I first started blogging regularly (which was before I started this blog, actually) I always wrote the post two days before I was meant to post it. That didn’t work. At all. For whatever reason – I didn’t bother looking into it too much. I just knew that I had to find a solution. So right around October I started writing all my posts for the following month in the last week of the month before the posts were to be scheduled.

That’s confusing so I’ll provide an example.

This is the last week of March. Currently I’m writing and editing posts for the coming month of April. I’m spending this last week writing and editing a whole month’s worth of posts to schedule in April. This is how I get my blog posts posted.

It seems overwhelming but it’s really not. It’s actually really effective. Depending on how long your posts are (mine usually never exceed one thousand – only by a little and a lot on the very, very rare occasion). Plus, if you get it all done and out of the way, you have three weeks to focus on more important things – like things that will earn you money, for example. Things like submissions for literary magazines or writing your novel or whatever. This blog writing/editing/schedule thing is an effective method, in my honest opinion – you know, seeing as how I miserably failed writing the posts as they were to be scheduled. I ended up missing the deadlines and got too lazy to do shit.

So this is what I do instead.

This is how I go about my blog writing process.

The ironic thing about the general process is that you’re reading this post on one of the last days of March but I wrote this on February 29th.

Inception.

On the Subject of Focus

To be a good writer you need focus – duh. But sometimes a shift of focus happens. Whether it’s intentional or not, it doesn’t matter. What does matter is that when you have to shift your intense focus from one thing to another thing, it only creates problems in your thought process and it’s a real pain to focus on what needs your attention most.

I’m kind of going through one of those painful times where my focus needs to shift.

This month there’s been a lot of talk on my blog of KATT and Legacy. It all started with the post I made on the first of March. Since then you’d be able to find hints of KATT and Legacy sprinkled throughout my posts. This is going to be another post with KATT and Legacy in it – but the focus (no pun intended) is going to be all about those two titles rather than merely mentioning them.

For me to write effectively, I can only be focused on one novel. This is because when I’m working on my novel, everything in my head is just all about the characters and plot I’m working with. There’s not much room for anything else (except for maybe the occasional sexually attractive Korean idol because I’m a girl and, well, you know how we are with men – famous ones, especially). And I think that’s okay. I mean, with focus like this then that means even when I’m not writing I’m still thinking of how the plot’s going to go, ideas for the next scene, character development, etc. I’m perfectly okay with my possibly unhealthy obsession with my current novel WIP. I work best when I’m thinking about my WIP and my WIP only.

But sometimes my focus needs to shift. And this is one of those times. I’ve been all about my KATT draft for three months and it only occurred to me a week ago that, hey, I can’t focus on this anymore. I have to turn my attention elsewhere. I have to turn my attention elsewhere – no exceptions. This must be done. I need to turn my attention away from what I wanted to do to what I’m required to do.

It sucked, to say the very least.

So now, here I am, trying to somehow reprogram my brain into not only thinking about a different idea entirely, but also how to combine that idea with my old idea. My poor brain has a clue what’s going on and it quite literally doesn’t know what to think anymore – it’s opting in to not thinking at all which stresses me out. Total brain shut down. It’s driving me crazy and instead of having my focus on one thing, I don’t have my focus on anything at all as a result of the forced shift.

It’s a struggle to shift focus on and, to be quite honest, I don’t know how to do it effectively enough so that it’s less painful. I wish I did. Maybe you, my readers, have had to face this shift of focus before and have a story to tell about how you did that. If you do then, by all means, share. Let’s get a campfire story circle going (or whatever they’re called – I’ve only been to camp once and most of the time was spent looking for my sweater).

Know + Don’t Know Lists

Don’t know: if any of my readers are familiar with the concept of know/don’t know lists (or don’t/know lists).

Know: that I can explain it to them through this post if they don’t.

There’s your introduction to your course in Don’t/Know Lists 101. I’m your professor and your next test is in the next ten seconds. Pop quizzes! I love them!

Only not really. There’s no pop quiz and I don’t love them and I’m not your professor (because of the whole those who don’t know teach type deal). However, this is your 101 course in don’t/know lists.

If you don’t know what these kinds of lists are then I’ll explain it to you now – using an awesome example that I know everyone can relate to.

Let’s say you’re working on a new concept or novel or blog post or whatever literary endeavor you’re taking on and you don’t know where to start.

Don’t know: where to start.

But you do know what you’re doing, right? You know what you’re starting? Sure you do. Otherwise you wouldn’t be trying to start it.

Know: what you’re starting.

That’s the basic idea of how you use the don’t/know lists. It doesn’t get any easier than that. You take a paper or a document, separate it into two halves – one for the things you know and one for the things you don’t know. From there, you ask yourself two questions:

  • What do I know?
  • What don’t I know?

If you remember something like this from grade school reflections and science experiments, you’ll probably recall there being a third section: what would I like to know? But, when you’re writing and working on a project, everything you don’t know is shit you’d like to know – so it’s best to just cut out a third section altogether.

These are important lists to use when you’re starting something new but they’re especially effective when you get stuck on something you’re already working on. It’s good to reflect.

Here’s the main idea behind these lists:

  • Turn the things you don’t know into things you do know and
  • Use the things you do know to help solve the things you don’t know.

Really, the lists are pretty self-explanatory. Though, as obvious as these lists are, I’m not sure many writers use them – which is odd considering there are a lot of us out there who are outlining whores. This is an outline of sorts. But instead of outlining what’s in your novel, you’re outlining how to write your novel. Along with where you should start in your novel, what parts of your novel needs work, how to fix those parts, and it keeps in the front of your mind the things you don’t know – like those plot holes and new characters that you don’t quite know what to do with just yet but know they’ll be important later (see what I did there? It’s an example of how to use what you do know to figure out the things you don’t).

I like don’t/know lists. They’re really helpful when you run into walls and are a great way to get unstuck from your problems. If you haven’t tried using a don’t/know list method when working on your novel or blog post or short story (or whatever) then you should definitely consider it. They’re more helpful than you could (initially) imagine (upon using this method you’ll later realize that wow! This is good shit!).