Author: JamieKate
•5:59 PM
I can tell when I like what I'm reading when it inspires me to write. I'm reading, then I throw the book aside and pick up a notebook and pen. The words are going past my eyes, unfamiliar and strung together with just enough expertise, and then I think, "Wow. This is good. I bet I could be this good if I tried," or "Whoa. That phrase hit me right in the gut. I want to hit someone in the gut with a sentence like that."

Or, on the other side of the spectrum, I'll be reading a gushy romance novel laced with adverbs and a "throbbing member" chaser, and I'll say, "This book blows. Why aren't I published? I could be published in two seconds if this is published."

And then I pick up a notebook and a pen.
Author: JamieKate
•2:45 PM
Uh, so. Yeah. Sorry. Remember when I was doing that blogging thing? Well, I stopped for a little bit. Mostly because, well...life got in the way. And I realized that building an online platform for an unedited, unmarketed novel wouldn't do me any good if I wasn't working on the novel. So I finished the novel. Then I started the new novel which I like a lot better than the other novel. And then I mentally scrapped the other novel and was advised against it by my new boyfriend that I also obtained in my sabbatical.

So now, I'm working on two novels. One's in production and one's in post-production. And one's in pre-production but I'm not even thinking about working on it yet.

I hope you haven't forgotten me entirely. And...I hope you still love me. ...Yes.

Love,
Jamie
Author: JamieKate
•3:34 PM
All right. Yes. I've been terribly remiss in my blog-writing schedule. I mean, look at it. Look at all the days between the "Quick Update" and now. So many. So, if any of you were looking for some wonderful, wise wisdom from the wacky world of Jamie (yay for arbitrary alliteration), I apologize. But I assure you, I had several good reasons for being absent. First and foremost being that I was busy. Incredibly busy. College is a busy place, did you know that? Wow.

Anyway. I'm back. And I'm happy to report that I have experienced a burst of inspiration in my novel, and I am currently speeding through a rather important scene in a way I think is satisfactory. I know. I'm awesome. Well, in some ways. In others, not. I have not in any way been taking my own advice about writing every day. That is to say, I have been writing, but it's been essays and reading/film responses and take-home tests and not anything creative or worthwhile. Ever since the start of the week, however, I have been writing a lot, and I hope to keep it that way until the next storm of homework comes.

Sorry to have been so long and to have my post be so pathetic and short when it finally came, but thank you for following me and being such awesome people. Also, hello new followers! *waves to the computer screen and only feels slightly silly*
Author: JamieKate
•11:13 AM
So, my little bloglings, this weekend I'm participating in "Write Your @ss Off" weekend sponsored by the lovely Moonrat (or Editorial Ass).  Participants devote as much time as they can on any day this weekend to their weekend and report their progress back to her! I'm very excited. Today is my day, as I did all the important dorm maintenance stuff yesterday and now I'm free as a bird.

Let's hope I do well!
Author: JamieKate
•11:41 AM
(Hey, did you notice my blog is pretty now? Look at the trees!)

Revision, I believe, is the hardest part of writing. Well, besides getting started and learning the basics. But there's something irrational, I believe, in having to become objective in regards to something so personal and close to your heart. You put your heart and soul into words, trying to make them fit together into one blossoming, beautiful, evocative being, and then you have to gradually go through and pick at it. Point out its flaws as if you hadn't created them yourself. Strip it of elements you thought made sense at one point. Of course, what comes out after this grueling process is a better being, one stronger and shinier than the one you started out with. But it's such hard work.

Loving something you've written is like loving yourself. You know you have flaws. You may try to improve on them, but they'll never be gone completely. Then others may come around and point out new flaws you never knew existed.

Maybe it's just because I'm in the writhing, hopeless throes of revision without a ready critique partner, but it seems like editing is a rather hopeless task. Nothing can ever be perfect. And no matter what I do to the book, someone won't like it. Lots of someones won't like it. Namely, literary agents and editors.

Life. Please go away while I try to improve my novel and start my literary career. Please?

No?
Author: JamieKate
•8:25 PM
I have come here...well, firstly, actually, to gush to you all my immense gratitude and blushy-ness about just how awesome it is that DL Hammons gave me the Silver Lining award on his blog. Whoa. WHOA. My blog has an award. I have an award! Thank you, DL! I am so happy you are one of my few followers and that you appreciate the blog.

Which brings me to my next lesson. And confession. My confession is this: I have not written all weekend. Defamation, shock, alarm. If you gasped and tsk-tsked me right now, you'd have a right. I'd like to say other things got in the way and that life is too busy, but they didn't, and it wasn't. I just...didn't write. I thought about it. I thought about my ideas for scenes. I thought about my own advice and how crucial it is to always write to keep up momentum. Buuuttt....I apparently thought catching up on American Idol was more important.

But that was only the confession. Are you ready for the lesson? Okay. Here it comes.

I forgive myself. Oh, wait, that's a lie. Hold on....yep. Okay. Now I forgive myself. Because people need breaks, too. You should write a lot. You should think about writing a lot (at least if you want to take writing seriously and aren't just doing it for a hobby). But if you don't - and, for that matter, if you don't do anything you were 'supposed' to do - the best and most productive thing to do is forgive yourself. 

I didn't write this weekend. Under normal circumstances, I might beat myself up: Oh, Jamie. You didn't write again. You want to be published, don't you? You want to be a success and outrun/outwrite all those people who ever had a fleeting thought that you weren't good/serious enough, don't you? You're going to fail if you don't write. What a failure. What a loser. 

Normally. For days. Until finally I'd muster up the courage to put the pen to paper (or the fingers to the keys)...but by then, I'd have beaten myself up so much that it wouldn't even feel like an accomplishment. It's just what I should have been doing all along, right? 

Well. Maybe. But perhaps I just needed a break. Perhaps this is me storing up all the potential energy so that, when I finally write, all the kinetic energy will burst and flow across the page into a masterpiece of prose and imagery and symbolism and...awesomeness. It could be an excuse, but I don't think so.

Just as no fumble or slip is too large, no accomplishment is too small. My blog got an award. Holy moley. It's not a big huge one, of course (Sorry, DL, but you aren't Nobel, you're just an awesome guy with an awesome blog), but I can still check it off my Metaphorical List of Accomplishments. 

What did you accomplish today? Did you write 1000 words? What about 500? 50? Okay! Good for you! Holy crap, you did something! Sometimes it's hard to even eke out those few words, so, if it was, treasure them. Don't belittle them. They might even need work (no one does anything perfectly immediately, after all), but you still wrote them. You got them down, and they'll be there forever, barring any massive fire or hard drive failure (which would suck. I'm sorry if that happens. Please check your smoke detectors and virus protection). 

Any small accomplishment is worth holding up and examining. You can even take out your accomplishments and polish them once in a while to make sure they shine. "Oh yeah, I did write that whole novel. Some people don't ever get to do that, and I did. Wow. I'm cool." or even "I wrote that scene just how I would have liked. I should be proud of myself."

Writing is tough stuff. So sometimes, you have to treasure the little stuff. Like blog awards. 
Author: JamieKate
•3:36 PM
You're all going to cheer and shout from the rooftops. I may have some doubts about the writing, but I have done it. Not only did I finish that stupid problem scene, but I powered through the very important scene following! I may not think it's the best writing in the universe, but I did it, and so I'm forcing myself to be proud (even as my inner editor is yelling at me to find newer and better ways to structure my sentences).

Lesson? Write. Even if you don't want to. Even if you think it sucks afterwards. Because you know what? It's better than the opposite (not writing, in case you didn't get that). At least you have a product if you write. At least you're working towards your goal. Even if you have to delete every last word of what you wrote (which, unless the writing is gibberish, I don't suggest), you still did something. You moved forward instead of standing still. You plunged into the frigid water instead of frowning and shivering along the shore. Even if you only dipped in your toes, it's okay.

Writing is really hard. Even as I create a new character and wonder if I'm painting a certain part of him accurately and have no one to ask, I have to soldier on. Things can be changed and rewritten. Things can't appear on the page through brain osmosis. Though that would be super cool. But we aren't quite there yet, technologically. So we have to scribble and type our way to success. You and me. Together. Let's go. Motivation. You're awesome and talented. No one could write your ideas like you could. We're gonna sell our novels by the thousand (or even the dozen, that'd be okay too) and worm our way into the biz.

But first, before any of that, we have to write.