Timers Give You Wings

Life has its own hidden forces which you can only discover by living

-Soren Kierkegaard

Somewhere over the last few months I started doing 90 minute ‘Power Jams.’

During November, I discovered the thrill of the 10 minute sprint.

Timers create magic.

Magic create words.

It’s unbelievable how much you get done.

Try it.

 

Love and light,

Anushka xx

 

NaNoWriMo

If you work at it hard enough, you can grind an iron rod into a needle

– Chinese Proverb

Image

Day 1: NaNoWriMo

 

It’s DAY TWO of NaNoWriMo in Australia. The sun is shining, the air feels  like spring and I am aware that many of you have easy access to spice pumpkin lattes going into fall – and I don’t.

I will be documenting my writing space in photographs on instagram everyday. At the moment the desk isn’t too cluttered,  but I  already spy accumulating cups of tea from the corner of my eye. Once I pull out my Dancing Peregrine edits, there is no saving this space!  If anyone else would like to join me in documenting the process in pictures, let me know, and I’ll have a sneak peak during the obligatory procrastination session.

So what did I do in preparation for NaNoWriMo?

*insert guilty panster silence here*

That said, I did have a beautiful spark for an idea which has captured my sweet black heart involving cyborgs, assassins and pirates. I am quite curious and excited to see where this NaNo adventure takes me since it is very different from my current WIP which is about all things haunted, ballerinas and dark magic. Love.

I have found Pinterest to be a great inspiration tool in my outlining  ‘pretend plotting’ stage. Before every session I open up the boards, drink in the visual essence and seeds of inspiration  and dive straight in. I know the plotters out there are cringing a little bit, but I know the magic happens in the revision stages for me.

For those of you doing NaNo, my username is findingmycreature. Would love to connect with you there too  – always exciting to see everyone’s progress – especially since it’s easy to forget real people actually exist outside of your head.

What did you do to prepare for NaNo?

Love and light,

Anushka xx

Spring Reflections & Writing Goals


The best time to set up a new discipline is when the idea is strong

– Jim Rohn

In Australia, the first glimmer of spring has arrived.  The warm breeze, the feeble rays of sunshine and the appearance of flowers waiting to bloom are signs winter is leaving us behind. It feels like only yesterday I was reminiscing about what I love about the cold, and I can’t help but feel a tiny bit sad about this change.

I’m not going to lie, I am a little bit jealous of the pumpkin spice happiness most of you will be experiencing to celebrate all things fall. Okay, very jealous. It wasn’t until I lived in Vancouver did I understand this phenomenon. When Starbucks was going pumpkin spice crazy, I was a complete snob and utterly bewildered by this craze. Who on earth would want such a horrifying combination? But during a moment of homesickness and missing my mother, I purchased my first one and fell in love. I knew if she was in Vancouver with me she’d be ordering them like crazy, because pumpkin and all things spice, are probably her two most favourite things right there – her children a close third, fourth and fifth.  Reading in the rain amongst the hustle and bustle of Starbucks with a pumpkin spiced latte in hand helped me feel closer to home and those I love.

With the change of seasons I tend to reflect on the past and remember beautiful memories I didn’t realise I missed. I  also evaluate my goals and I thought it would be fun to share them here.

1.    Complete my 2nd revision and edits for Dancing Peregrine by the end of October 2014. This will mark one year since I finished my first rewrite. I can’t believe I left a big gap between revisiting it, but life had other plans and countries to explore and I wouldn’t change any of it. It has been an amazing journey of growth and dramatic changes and I have finally learned to respect the journey instead of fighting it.

2.    Write query letter and begin researching suitable agents. I have been putting this off for too long.  I’m sure I am not alone in this.

3.    Submit Dancing Peregrine by the end of the year. That said, it needs to feel ready and not rushed. I’m also going to constantly remind myself to enjoy the process.

4.    Enter NaNoWriMo! Words cannot begin to explain how badly I want to do this. The thrill of experiencing first draft mania has not been experienced in a long time (2.5 years?). Regardless of whether Dancing Peregrine is completed or not, I will be doing this. I need a new story and a new world. Another creative spark needs to be ignited.

Even though I don’t get to experience pumpkin spiced lattes, maybe I’m feeling a little bit excited by what the rest of the year has in store for me creatively.

What are your goals for the changing of the season?

Love and light,

Anushka xx

2013 Writing Goals: Designing Life With Words

People with goals succeed, because they know where they’re going

-Earl Nightingale

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Twenty12  easily was the most productive writing year I have  ever had, with most of that hard earned magic happened during the second half of the year (first half was all about surviving the incredible experience that is acting school). I have a good feeling  Twenty13 will be just as productive, if not more! Imagine what one can accomplish when they use the entire year from the start?

I am a big believer in goal setting, I’m not going to lie…more often that not my goals are really ambitious and don’t take into account the other things I to do in life. When I’m on a roll creatively I also have the tendency to throw the whole healthy concept of Balance out the window. Something I hope to avoid this year.

So this year I’m tweaking the way I set goals for the year. I have separated them into compartments such as writing, travel and health and gone a step further and broken those big goals down into mini goals month-by-month. Some months are flexible and not set in stone ( hello, I’m a panster! I can barely plot the first 5 scenes of a book let alone goal set for 12 months!). It’s refreshing and comforting to see how my year will be made up, especially in regards to my writing pursuits, without feeling the need to cram everything into a month and have everything done now, now, now.

Below, I have shared my overall writing goals and my month target for January.

2013   writing goals

–         Complete edits of current WIP Dancing Peregrine

–         Outline Peregrine Series (Quartet)

–         3 First Drafts

i)      Peregrine_Book2

ii)     Project_Circus

iii)     Untitled – something fresh, new and exciting!

–         2 Revised Novels (not including current WIP)

i)      Peregrine_Book2

ii)    Project_Circus

–         Complete Editing & Proofreading  Course (via correspondence)

–         Read 24 Novels 

JANUARY GOALS

1. Proofreading and Editing Book 1 and assignment

2. Part 1 & Part 2 Edits: Dancing Peregrine

***

Part of me is excited and slightly mortified that I will be putting myself through TWO revisions this year (not including the one I’m currently on). But as my writing improves with every draft, I live in the hopes that editing will become a skill (not a chore) I improve with over time and practice. I’m actually groaning right now, but hey, positive thinking never hurts anyone right?

I love hearing about what motivates everyone so feel free to share what Twenty13 has in store for you. You are also welcome to share a link back to your blog in the comments if you have done so already 🙂

Love and light,

Anushka xx

Scene #10 Done!

If there’s a book you really want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it. 
–  Toni Morrison

witch

Scene #10 inspiration 

It feels like I reached a mini milestone – double digits!  I was meaning to post this soon after my last post but got caught up in my other scenes. I normally just work on one at a time then polish it, blog a quick update and never look at the scene again. But this time I just kept on writing and writing. These scenes are written completely from scratch so maybe that’s why. There are no where near up to standard though but it feels nice to have the bones of the scene there ready to work with.

1904 words.

Love and light,

Anushka xx

ps- I just want to take this moment to say that I have been enjoying reading about everyone else’s updates and that you all inspire me with your progress 🙂

Scene #9 Done!

Little by little one walks far.
– Peruvian proverb

lanterns.

Scene #9 Inspiration

Just a quick update because I want to get some headway into scene #10 before bed. Like all new rewrites this scene took me completely by surprise. It was fun to write once I let myself just write and not think too hard about it. I have found that handwriting a scene really helps my process. If I’m not feeling inspired by the pen I will type it out then print it before transforming it completely…with a pen. It’s hard to describe, but if writing longhand is not something you do normally you should definitely shake things up a bit and try it. You might surprise yourself. 

This scene was longer than anticipated but I feel like it is the perfect length it needs to be.

2656 words revised.

How are your words?

Love and light,

Anushka xx

Scene #8 Done!

A novel is a rare place you can simultaneously find yourself and lose yourself – Stephen Parolini 

fallen ballerina

Scene #8 Inspiration

This scene officially gave me biopolar.

In the first draft this scene was rather clean and one that I loved. So I went into it – rather stupidly – thinking that revising this scene will be a breeze! RUBBISH! I had put so much pressure on myself to make this scene dazzle and sparkle. Since this scene was already pretty much in tact, I didn’t have much to do which then made me paranoid. Maybe I was cutting a corner and not giving it justice? Or maybe I was just missing something important hence the fact it did not take me that long? Maybe the WHOLE DAMN THING WAS JUST STUPID TO BEGIN WITH.

I should obviously delete it and burn all remaining evidence.

I should feed it to the cat.

I should get a cat so I could feed it to the cat.

Amazing what a goodnights sleep and distance can do 🙂

I printed the scene out and read it like a ‘reader’ would. And I surprisingly enjoyed it. It wasn’t even as bad as my head made it seem.

This revision is turning me into a crazy woman.

But I can happily say 1756 words revised.

Ever had any of these scenes that make you question your mental sanity?

Love and light,

Anushka xx

Scene #7 Done!

We must risk going too far to discover just how far we can go

– Jim Rohn

ghosts

I really loved writing this scene. In the first draft the character introduced in this scene was a HE…but round two finds him officially a SHE. Same name and far less stupid. I love how this gender swap has added a richness to this character. I also cleared up the murky back story I had for her which was an unexpected delight and something I hope to sprinkle in later scenes. 

It took me two sessions to overhaul this scene and 3.75 hours all up. Again, it felt like I was revising it for much longer.

1753 words.

A quick coffee break (overdosed a little too much on the green tea yesterday) and onto scene #8!

Then…I shall enter the world we call real life.

I hope today is an inspiring day for you all 🙂

Love and light,

Anushka

xx

Scene #6 Done!

The older I grow, the less important the comma becomes. Let the reader catch his own breath

 – Elizabeth Clarkson Zwart

What lurks outside

Scene #6 Inspiration

 

Technically it was done two days ago but I wanted to let it sit for a while before tweaking it a little bit. I took a day off from revising yesterday which was very difficult for me. But as I became more connected to the real world I enjoyed giving my brain a break. I make it a point to stop my rewrites when something exciting happens so my next session isn’t as daunting. So having that day off actually made me more excited to get back into things! 

Tomorrow marks one week since I began this phase of my revision and I did not expect it to fly by so fast. Unfortunately I did not make the 50 hours I was aiming for since I did not take into consideration that my love had just undergone knee surgery and that I would want to be there to take care of him – of course he comes first in my life! Despite that, I still managed 24 hours, 6.5 scenes and 11,820 new revised words. I learned a few good lessons with this.

  1. I cannot revise for a whole entire day
  2. I revise well in two session, one in the morning and one before I go to bed.
  3. 50 revision hours in a week might kill my brain because time works weirdly when I revise

It is nice to know what works well for me during this stage. When i’m typing away at my first draft if is all day everyday full steam ahead. Not quite the case with rewrites. 

So Scene #6 – 1076 words.

Thank you everyone for your encouraging support and your WIP updates. It feels so great to be connected with people living in the same writer’s cave I do 🙂

Love and light,

Anusha xx 

Scene #5 Done!

A writer never has a vacation. For a writer is either writing or thinking about writing

– Eugène Ionesco

Scene #5 Inspiration

 Scene #5 was a rewrite of an existing scene that was really, really bad in the first draft. Really bad. Probably because I wasn’t sure what was meant to happen in the scene either which made my heroine come across dramatic and stupid.   Took me a few tries to get this right and there were moments when I wondered if I could even write this the way I wanted it to be written.

All done now.

1904 words.

I couldn’t find a specific image that inspired this scene so I found one that captured it since it felt weird not posting a picture up with these scene update posts!

Let me know how your WIP is going, always interested to know.

Love and light,

Anushka xx