Tag Archives: writing

Morning Pages Entry – July 21, 2014

Writing for love, is the only way to go. I woke up this morning later then I had wanted to, because I stayed up too late last night surfing around stupid internet sites, that had nothing to do with the goals I wanted to achieve today, so as a result I’m off to a late start, and in a bit of a negative mood. Not a good way to start off the day … at least until I remind myself, that it’s all about the love. Your writing, because writing a novel, and neck deep surrounded by words and characters and a world you created is one of the best places I can ever want to be. It’s a surpressed dream, you’ve put on a back shelf, and one of the few reliable things in your life, that you know will never go away. I don’t know where exactly my desire to create imaginary places and people comes from, but I have a few theories. I think, the most likely has to stem from my unhappiness with the current world I live in (or perhaps the life I’ve chosen for myself in this world). And what was that life driven by? It’s not that I was any happier before the life I have now. Like, before I went to college, and before I got married and stuff. I think, that as a kid, I still had these intense feelings of wanting to be somewhere else all the time. Even back in elememtary school. Perhaps, because I never fit in all that well socially, it wasn’t a particularly happy place for me. I mean, it wasn’t really horrible or anything, probably no worse then it was for the majority of the population and kids I grew up in. Life can be hard after all. And, learning to deal with life and actually executing what you learn is a complicated task. So, why not escape into a fantasy world of your own creation. I remember reading a book when I was young, about being the last man standing, and thinking it was so cool. I can’t remember the name of it, but there was some sort of devestation, that wiped out pretty much everyone on the planet, and this guy was wandering around, doing whatever he wanted. I think, that’s where my fascination with dystopian stuff started. It’s about the opportunity to be able to do whatever you want, with no one telling you what to do, and without having to fit into someone else’s predefined social order. That’s really the attraction. And, perhaps the attraction of writing a dystopian novel as well. I get to define what is acceptable, I get to define the rules, I get to be in control. Control could be a part of it as well. I certainly like to be in control, but I don’t like to be controlled by others. And I definitely have an aversion to controlling those around me. It’s a bit of a condunrum to be in, but he, that’s just another one of those aspects of life that are hard to live with, and you just have to get good at it. So, here we go, back to thinking about writing … and my original topic, which is writing for love. Which, I believe is the only way to go. Sure, the novel may have zombies in it, but your writing, because you want to create a better world for your self to inhabit. Both while writing the novel, and in your real life world, because of the benefits from writing the novel. You want it in both places. But, I don’t think you can think about both worlds while your writing. Maybe while your living in the real world, you can think about the novel world, but not vice versa. Too many distracting little realities creep in and shatter the illusion. I like the way this morning journal is going write now. It’s sort of fun writing. This is the sort of stuff I need to put more of into the novel. The whole contemplating life stuff. But, I need to do it in an interesting way. Not a brain dump in pure narrative, but more interactively between my characters, or the events that are taking place. That would truly be fun writing, and perhaps that’s what they mean by finding my voice. Finding what it is that’s interesting for me in the story, and telling it in the most passionate way possible. A series of little contemplations on life as seen through the eyes of zombies and flawed heroes.

TIGERBLOOD: yep DAILYMOOD: good LOCATION: bayfield boat WORDSWRITTEN: none PUSHUPS: none TODO: write TV: vampire diaries BOOK: none GAME: none EXERCISE: paddle board 1 hour WEIGHT: 170 BREAKFAST: bacon & eggs LUNCH: big ass salad DINNER: none SNACKS: orange, grapes, apple, lara bar ALCOHOL: none BEDTIME: 2:00 AWAKE: 8:30

 

Morning Pages Entry – July 19, 2014

So, starting yesterday, I decided to make my morning pages public, by publishing them on my authors blog normanchristof.com. That’s an interesting idea I think, and one that could be helpful I suppose. I’m hoping, that it will generate a bit more traffic to my site, and as a result start to sell more books. By virtue of having more content on the site, it gives the search engines a reason to send visitors to my site, and when they’re there, it gives readers an opportunity to learn more about me, as a person. People want to know about the authors they read, especially, if they enjoy their work a little. It gives them a tiny bit of a connection to another person. And, ultimately, we are all about the connections that we form with one another. Or conversely, about the connections we fail to make or lose along the way. It’s what good writing is about as well. It’s all really I suppose all ultimately about searching for, making, maintaining, losing, and regaining those connections. Unless of course, your writing about a hermit like character, which I guess is still about connections, but about avoiding connections at all cost. Anyways, I suppose, we’ll see how that goes. I’m always a bit down, after a great family vacation when everyone leaves. Breaking of connections so to speak. I don’t think it hurts quite as much now that I’m older, but I do still feel it. I used to feel it a lot after Christmas when Ray and Joyce and the kids left. Now I still do, but I think, that emotions get a bit blunted with age, and maybe that’s why it’s not so bad. As I’m writing these pages, I’m finding my internal editor kicking in somewhat, with the thoughts that “hey your going to publish these later, so think about what your writing”. That’s a thought I definitely need to avoid. The whole premise of these pages, is to write unfiltered thoughts about whatever it is that comes into your head at the moment, without any fear of reprisal. You don’t want to lose that. It’s wht makes these things sane. There will be some pages I won’t publish because they are just too personal, but if the process of writing becomes too guarded, then I will stop publishing them altogether. This is a therapy session so to speak, between me, myself, and the written words. I don’t want to lose that. It is going to be interesting though, to also reread the pages I’ve written from almost nine months ago. I’ve never really gone back and read the pages, except maybe for the first one. And, now I’m going back and rereading each one before publishing them. That’s sort of a curious endeavour. A good one though I think. It sort of reminds me of feelings and experiences I went through along the way. Which, I do suppose have the potential to help me today. They were all honest and valid struggles and victories … many of which were never really resolved, they were just put out there. Sometimes, I think putting ideas, thoughts, or concerns to paper, is enough to deal with them. They may not be truly resolved or finished, but at least I seem at peace with them. And, going back and reviewing them now, gives me a chance to see how far I’ve come related to each issue … if I’ve moved at all. Who knows, maybe, I’ll be able to resolve those issues now. I’m always more optimistic about this stuff, as I start the day writing these pages. I need to find a way to carry that feeling throughout the day. A way to not get trodden down, by all the little niggly details that fill my head, and either distract me, or fill me with doubt about the things I really want to happen. Maybe I need a mantra or action to reinforce in my head the good feeling that I’m feeling now. There was a thing in the Tony Robbins tapes I did a while back, about doing some small physical action when you were in a good place. Something you could then do again, when you wanted those good feelings again. Like, reaching around, and patting yourself on the shoulder. Which I just did with my right hand to my left shoulder. I should institute that action again. Then, you can use it a various times during the day. Something to work on.

TIGERBLOOD: maybe DAILYMOOD: bit down LOCATION: bayfield marina WORDSWRITTEN: none PUSHUPS: none TODO: write, pump dinghy TV: none BOOK: none GAME: none EXERCISE: none WEIGHT: 170 BREAKFAST: bacon & eggs LUNCH: left over chinese food DINNER: none SNACKS: orange, grapes, cherries, almonds, olives, 3 lara bars ALCOHOL: none BEDTIME: 12:30 AWAKE: 8:45

 

Morning Pages entry July 20, 2014

Time to make a decision about what to do with these journal pages, in terms of using them on the blog. It would be nice to have some content on there, and see what kind of traffic it attracts. And leveraging content you’ve already setup would make perfect sense. But, there is a lot of rambling that goes on with these pages as well, and I’m not sure of what kind of value they offer to the casual visitor. I would like it, if they drew in some traffic, which could be funneled to my books on amazon, and then result in purchases of those books, but I’m not sure how connected those two ideas really are. That’s part of the problem, I think here. Another problem going on here, is not just the rambling of these pages, but the indecision of where to go with things sometimes. When I’m not writing much, like I haven’t been during the last week of the families visit, then I feel like I don’t have as much to share in these pages. Like I’m missing a part of my life that has things going on it it. Writing as much of a struggle as it is, is still a big part of who I am. And even if I don’t get as much writing in as I would like to, then I think, that writing about the struggle of getting words down on the page is as much a part of the process as anything. And, I must admit, that it is still a struggle for me to get things on the page for the novel. These words, this morning are not as difficult, but again, I’ve talked about this several different times, and they are just a different mindset. They mean something different, as they’re not really designed for public consumption. I would very much like to have the ease of writing the novel, the way I it’s so easy to write these pages. I think, that I am moving in that direction, and that I will eventually get there, but it will take a little more time and effort. To be able to just sit, in a relaxed manner and know what I want to write, and who I want to write about, and how those characters feel about the different situtaions as they evolve is the ultimate goal. To be able to just sit, and throw yourself into the moment and create a story that flows along with some sort of interest is the end game. Somewhere between a pantser and a plotter. I am still a little unsure as to where the needle lies between those two extremes, but I am learning where that is. Just keep believing and you’ll find it’s resting place. Although, it will probably never stay in the same place indefinitely. Today, Mark, Veronica, and Una head back to Ireland. That’s kind of a bummer, will be a little upsetting for sure, but it’s part of the way back to a regular routine. A regular routine, which is not all that exciting, but one that needs improvement. Improvement, that can only come from becoming a better writer. Which you will get to, if you keep showing up, and putting your butt down and writing writing writing. Steve, Patty & Tristan are leaving tomorrow, which will be a bit of a bummer as well. Gonna miss having those guys around. It’s been a great week of visiting everyone, and even though it’s been distubtive to my regular writing routine, it’s been a lot of fun. Even though, the weather at the boat wasn’t the best we’ve ever had, it was very nice having them there with us during it all. We did get to go out for a bit of a sail, and that was cool. We got to meet Helens new friend Richard and his mother. Got to see the tall ships, and all the people that came and visited them. It was a good week that’s for sure. I will miss having everyone around, and the excitement of seeing them every day. I really need to be more successful with the writing, so that we can do this more often. There’s no reason, why you can’t go to Ireland, the UAE, Columbia, and Edmonton every year for a visit, when you start being more successful with your writing career. Once you get good at this, and the money starts coming in, that is going to definitely become the next big priority. Take the feelings your going to have when everyone leaves, and use those, to really start putting your work out there. On all your platforms. The books, and the blog.

TIGERBLOOD: sure DAILYMOOD: good LOCATION: living room WORDSWRITTEN: none PUSHUPS: none TODO: say goodbyes, read, write TV: none BOOK: none GAME: none EXERCISE: none WEIGHT: 170 BREAKFAST: bacon & eggs LUNCH: avacado, almonds, olives, chicken DINNER: ribs, green beans SNACKS: orange, apple, grapes ALCOHOL: mojito BEDTIME: 11:00 AWAKE: 7:30

 

Morning Pages Entry – july 16, 2014

I need a trigger. I’m sitting here thinking about how I often feel in the morning, like I have this multitude of words sitting inside of me, waiting to explode and not quite sure of how to put them onto paper, or the screen, and then by sometime afternoon or late in the morning the feeling dissipates. Other thoughts and worries about the world fill my head, and I can’t be focused enough to put things onto paper that I should. I’m pushing close to 365 days (and almost 200K words) with my morning journals, which I have no problem sitting down to write, and wondering what’s the difference. The difference, is that I know, no one will ever read these words … or at least, it’s very unlikely that anyone will ever read these words. So, I suppose that the biggest thing holding me back from having 200K words written for my novels, is that I worry too much about what others will think of my writing … will it be good enough? And, the fact is, that it will never be good enough. There will always be something that needs improvement. The thing is, (and you’ve heard this a hundred times), is that everytime you write something, you get a little bit better at it. Although, I’m not sure, that writing my morning journals, makes me a better novel writer … although indirectly it does. It is definitely a different sort of writing. Novel writing follows a different form, and you are trying to get to a specific place. With the morning journals, you have a rather non descript place to be. You just want to write something mildly interesting, that occurs in your head at that given point in time. Nothing more, nothing less. I do have to figure out this morning, what to do with my dinghy while I’m gone. It seems to be holding air, slightly better then it was before, so that’s a good thing. I do need also to return that glue that I bought from Rons marine shop. It’s not really what I need. See, there I go, diverting my brain into a bunch of stuff, that really has nothing to do with writing, when I should be focusing on the writing and how to do more of it, and to make it better. I do really feel, like I have a ton of words inside of me that need to get out, but then ironically at the same time, I feel at a loss of the right words to put those feelings onto the page. How, do I get to that place. That place, where I feel totally free to just put onto paper, whatever I want to put, and be done with it. I think, perhaps, that making these journal pages (with some editing) public on my blog would be a good place to start. That might be an interesting exercise, in seeing what sort of traffic they generate as well. Your blog is setup, to promote your books, so it could be interesting to see what kind of traffic you generate to your blog with all these notes. I mean, I am pretty much up to almost 200K words, and like 225 or more entries. Those could make for some interesting blog enteries. I should, just put them all out there. It would be a good exercise. Sort of a “Writers Journey” to getting their first book published. Who knows what in there people might find interesting. You could, even end up with some interesting dialogues in the comment sections of your blogs about stuff rattling around in your head. It would probably, even be interesting for you to go back to your earlier entries, and reread while your editing them to see what was going on in your head at the time. Ahhh … just do it … it would be a cool thing to do. You should. You really should do it. What’s the worst thing that could come of it. Your going to edit out any really nasty stuff as you go along anyways. So, why not. Being an artist, is about exposing your emotions, and feelings to the world isn’t it? Or at the very least being expressive. So what the hell. You only go around once, and you may even get a bit of a following for the words you throw out there. Maybe, your the real story in all of this. The honest journey of an author.

TIGERBLOOD: maybe DAILYMOOD: good … cold LOCATION: bayfield boat WORDSWRITTEN: none PUSHUPS: none TODO: go home, store dinghy, read, write TV: none BOOK: none GAME: none EXERCISE: walk beach with mom WEIGHT: 170 BREAKFAST: bacon & eggs LUNCH: nuts DINNER: fish, ham, salad SNACKS: lara bar, 2 naked bars ALCOHOL: 2 gin and tonics BEDTIME: 1:000 AWAKE: 8:00

 

Morning Pages Entry – July 15, 2014

So, yesterday, we got everybody out for a bit of a sail. Nothing too dramatic, but we were sailing none the less at about a knot or perhaps a little more. It was actually an ok sail for having 10 people on the boat. The kids were mostly well behaved. It’s certainly a different experience with them, but one I wouldn’t trade for anything. It’s neat having the kids around. We even got to anchor for a while which was kind of nice. I went around with my snorkeling gear, and cleaned up the bottom of the boat a bit, which wasn’t a bad idea, considering how much crap was on the bottom of the boat when it came out last year. A bigger boat would be nice now, as sleeping arrangements are getting a bit tight. Sam was giving me a hard time, about me making her share the v-berth with Jessica, while I had the whole aft cabin to myself. I just like having all the space to me. So, the book is kind of just strolling along these days, at 30+ free downloads per day, which is ok, and the occassional sale from the second book in the series. I’m pretty pumped to get the third book out in the series, so I can start doing some promotions. Either free, or through facebook ads. There are a few fiverr gigs that look pretty good as well, which is a nice, because the cost is so low. Gonna have to try that one as well. I found a few new threads on kboards that should work pretty good for that. I’m getting a bit tired of hanging out at the cottage colony every night these days. Although, it does have more space for everyone, I’m starting to feel like I’m living in a trailer park boys episode. Especially with all the dogs up there, and some of those incredibly obese people wandering around the place. Yesterday, was a pretty fun day overall though, and today looks pretty good as well. It rained again last night, but seems to have stopped now for the rest of the day. It’s sunny, and cloudy, and a bit breezy. It would be pretty good for sailing actually. But, I have a feeling that’s not likely to happen today. I’m going to inflate the dinghy again, and hope, that maybe I have the last leak plugged, but I’m not overly optimistic. We’ll see how it goes. I did put two more patches on the thing, so here’s to hoping that it’s working. The bailer seems to be leaking as well though. I’ll have to probably replace that thing at some point. Can probably order a new bailer online or something. I didn’t get to paddleboard this morning, and I need to get up on that thing a little more often. I need to do more of that, if I’m going to get my fitness back up to where I want it. It’s my best shot at fitness here this summer I think. The weather hasn’t been really encouraging in that regards though. Still, should learn to work around it. I need to come up with some ideas for the blog, to write about I think. Something, that would be of interest to readers and maybe other writers? Hmmm. Not too sure about that. I do suppose, that identifying my target audience is the first step to go with before writing. Maybe, I could even put up a few writing examples to see what happens. The blog really is, a way to interact with my readers. Maybe a publishing schedule would be a good thing. That’s something to work on. It could be a way for more readers to commit to the series, if they know that there are more books coming. Building a little anticipation and all. Maybe, take a look at other writers sites, and see what you see there. Some seem to cater to other writers, and some just to readers. What do you want yours to be?

TIGERBLOOD: ok DAILYMOOD: sailing good LOCATION: boat bayfield WORDSWRITTEN: none PUSHUPS: none TODO: patch dinghy TV: none BOOK: none GAME: none EXERCISE: none WEIGHT: 170 BREAKFAST: bacon & eggs LUNCH: nuts DINNER: leftovers – ham, burgers, sausages, salad SNACKS: orange, cherries, strawberries, blueberries ALCOHOL: 4 beers, baileys irish cream BEDTIME: 1:00 AWAKE: 9:00