The Writing Newbie

Writing is an adventure. Enjoy the journey and write the way you love!

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Happy Holidays!

Merry Christmas everybody!! And if you don't celebrate, then Happy Holidays! :) I hope you have a great time!

I'm off to bake some cookies with my mum!

Keep Writing!

Xx Noortje

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Jenny's Letter

Here is a short silly Christmas story I wrote yesterday before bed as a little writing exercise :) Hope you enjoy!

Snow clung to the windows, and the lights, usually so bright from his study, were hardly visible tonight. A warm fire was burning in the hearth and Nicholas had turned his large red velvet chair so that his feet were toasty and his face was pleasantly glowing.
He chuckled and placed another letter on the large pile next to him. A particularly grumpy elf was standing dutifully with a dustpan and a brush to collect any stray letters and to prevent any of them from getting into the fire.
The elves were curious little creatures. Most of them loved working in the workshop, adored the snow but preferred the large, warm halls of Nicholas’ castle and the large hearths. Most of those being so tall, that the elves on cleaning duty had to climb on each other’s shoulders, creating a most precarious tower of ten or eleven elves high, just so that they could dust the top of the enormous construction.
Nobody knew exactly how the elves had ended up on the North Pole, not even the little creatures themselves. The polar bears swore that they had always lived in their snowy land, deep inside the glaciers. One particular bear, G’root Bêr (who everyone except Nicholas called Geebee) claimed that the elves had appeared after it had rained for a whole week straight—which was unheard of at the North Pole which is probably why nobody believed Geebee’s theory—a gigantic rainbow appeared and the elves had simply sled off into the snow. The elves themselves when asked, shrugged and murmured that the North Pole was their home. The arctic hares believed that the elves in fact knew very well where they came from and that they were simply too secretive to share.
Nicholas loved Geebee’s theory best, probably because it helped explain something rather peculiar about the elves: they changed colour according to their mood.
Now this didn’t mean that the little things changed every five minutes or so, just that their overall mood lately was taken into account and it would slowly change the colour of their skin. The sour goblin standing next to Nicholas, picking up another stray letter only a fraction of a second before it would have hit the fire, was a rather dull blue and it had been this colour for as long as anyone could remember.
Elves who are in love turn bright pink—which as caused quite some trouble at times. Elves who are incredibly cheerful and content are red and elves who are playful and happy are green. But what amused Nicholas and his wife the most was when an elf had a very strong emotion. That was the only time they would turn colour in a blink of an eye.
When a elf suddenly felt ashamed they would turn yellow. When an elf would suddenly turn angry they would go entirely orange. When an elf was upset they would turn purple  and when a elf would be so happy they burst out in tears they for some reason turned soft brown. When an elf was cared they turned white. There was one poor little elf who was frightened all the time and stayed a perpetual state of ghost white.
‘Quicky! Open the door man! Quickly! Hurry!’
Nicholas looked up from a particular amusing letter from a little boy in Portsmouth who insisted he had been good all year, even though Nicholas knew for a fact that he had dipped his sister’s long blond curls in ink only the week before.
‘What is it?’ he bellowed good humouredly and the big oaken doors to his study opened. In came a little elf, as white as snow.
‘My good man!’ Nicholas said surprised. He leaped up from his chair and kneeled in front of the shivering elf. ‘What’s wrong?’
‘It’s my sister,’ the elf said shivering and near tears. ‘She was sorting your letters from Germany when suddenly she started to cry and turned so blue and purple that she’s—she’s—she’s nearly black!
The elf who had been attending Nicholas gasped and the little fox that had been sleeping on the pile of unread letters woke up with a start and rolled onto the ground.
‘Where is she now?’
The elf wasted no time but hurried out of the room, leading Nicholas up several stairs and through corridors, down a set of stairs, round a corner, past the dining room and finally to a small door that Nicholas vaguely remembered led to a storage room.
When he opened the door it turned out to be a cupboard and there was the little elf, sobbing and hiding behind a bucket  and several mops.
‘Hello Jenny,’ Nicholas said with a kind smile. Even though there were currently 879 elves living in his castle, Nicholas knew them all by name.
‘S-santa,’ Jenny cried between her tears.
‘What’s wrong?’
‘S-she didn’t—she didn’t write!’ The little elf said and grew an ever darker shade of blue and purple until she was nearly as black as night.
‘It’s that girl from Portsmouth,’ Jenny’s brother quickly said. ‘She didn’t write this year.’
‘I know that we shouldn’t w-w-write them baaaack,’ Jenny sobbed, tears streaming down her little face. ‘But I wrote Jenny Green because we had the same n-name. She was so nice. She said she would write back—why hasn’t she written back. Something is wrong. Something—’ She couldn’t talk anymore, burying her little head in her arms.
‘I remember Jenny Green,’ Nicholas said and chuckled. ‘Delightful girl.’
‘She doesn’t believe in me anymore—in us.’
‘She didn’t write,’ Nicholas corrected her. ‘That doesn’t mean she stopped believing. I always got the impression that Jenny was one who would believe for life.’
‘Then something happened. She would have written.’
 Without a word, Nicholas picked Jenny up and held her warmly in his arms. Jenny hiccupped and already turned a little less black. Her brother sighed with relief. An elf only turned black when they were dying—or dead.
Nicholas made his way up to the tallest tower where he kept a very special telescope. He placed the little elf in front of it and changed several dials and complicated looking levers.
‘This telescope shows only what you most desire to see in the mortal world.’
The elf nodded and put her large blue eye to the lense. First nothing happened. Then the little creature started to shake and shiver more than ever.
Through the lens she could see Jenny, decorating a Christmas tree, singing songs to a small happy baby.  Then she took a picture of the wall and showed it to the child, her lips moving rapidly and a smile spreading on her face. The telescope zoomed in and Jenny could see that it was one of her letters. Framed. The walls were filled with them.
 Jenny smiled and slowly her skin grew soft brown.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Holiday Read Book Review: Holly Claus

It's the Christmas season!! and with my exams finally being over I find myself capable of really enjoying everything I love about this time a year. :) 

Something I've wanted to do for quite a while now but never really found the time to do is book reviews.

And what better way to start then with my favourite holiday read? 

The Legend Of Holly Claus is a book that just screams Christmas and it never fails to bring me in the holiday spirit. I bought it a couple of years back and this year is my third time re-reading it. 

In this wonderful book by Brittney Ryan, Santa Claus is actually the king of Forever, which is the land of the Immortals. Every soul who changed the world in their own way, who selflessly and full of love helped those around them, becomes Immortal and ends up in Nicholas' kingdom. 

One Winter day Nicholas is reading letters from children all over the world and he gets one from a small boy who asks something nobody had ever asked him before: What Santa would like himself for Christmas. A miracle occurs and Nicholas and his wife Viviana are blessed with a child: Holly. 

But the beautiful day of her birth is ruined when an evil being named Herrikhan, who is trapped by the universe because of all the horrible things he has done, hears of Holly and her perfect, loving, selfless heart and puts a curse on her--turning her heart to snow so that it will belong to him alone when she is older. Once he possesses her heart, he will be set free...

The Legend of Holly Claus must by far be the most adorable book I have ever read. It really makes you remember what Christmas used to feel like as a child and reminds you of the wonders if every day things. Holly is a happy innocent and curious child, despite the fact that she has to stay locked up in the castle for most of the year, in her enchanted room where it always snows, so that her cold heart won't melt. 

I would recommend this book to anyone who wishes to curl up with a cup of tea on the couch, snow lazily drifting outside, book in your hands. To anyone who wishes to laugh and cry with joy (yes this book nearly made me cry many times), marvel at the breathtaking illustrations and just escape for a few hours in the wonderful and beautiful world of Holly Claus. 

Do you have a favourite holiday read? A book you simply have to read every year to get a complete Christmas? Please share in the comments!

Also let me know if you think I could improve this review and those to come. I have never really done anything like this before :) 

Now it is time for myself to curl up with Holly and later on write some pages of my own :) 

Keep Writing!

Xx Noortje 

Friday, November 30, 2012

Day 30 - Shooting Stormtroopers

Today is November 30th, which you all know marks the last day of NaNoWriMo. It isn't that surprising (to me at least) that I did not win this year. University is tougher than I realized and although last year I managed to hang on by my finger tips and reached the 50.000 mark just in time, this year it just wasn't meant to be.

Aside from my normal studies which are tough enough I also have a monstrous subject at the moment which requires us to do as much homework for each lesson than most subjects ask for a whole week. Plus we had a performance this month.

Not to make excuses, just so that you know what was going on with my life.

I'm not ashamed to say that this month has been really tough on me both mentally and physically. I have never in my life felt this tired for such a long stretch of time. Because of stress I couldn't sleep, think or function properly. I felt like a thousand voices were talking to me at once while someone was shouting questions at you in a language you didn't know and demanding an answer anyway, all the while you were so tense that you felt you wanted to scream. No wonder it was hard to write (or do anything really).

I am much better now. Once I realized what was happening to me I started to create a list of things that calm me down and started to do this every time I felt anxious again. Normally I would include writing but... the voices...
The list include:

- Shooting stormtroopers (aka play Battlefront and shoot, don't think)
- Painting
- Ink drawings (something about drawing lines really calms me down. Resulting in a lot of trees over the last couple of weeks)
- listening to music (anything from calming to really hyper music which strangely clamed me down as well)
- Singing LOUDLY and without shame
- Taking a walk
- Reading

All this to try and keep my thoughts away from school and everything that was waiting for me. Including the Shakespeare performance we had to do yesterday and prepared for, for nearly two months (a blog post on that later).

I think taking these little moments and simply doing something for ourselves, just drinking a cup of tea and thinking of nothing, listening to the Lord of the Rings music and imagining yourself to be in the Shire (very relaxing) is extremely important to keep calm and keep sane. I was so focused on everything I had to do that I forgot about the things I could and wanted to do. I forgot about the little things.

All that being said, I am happy to announced that I just spent two hours writing and managed to at least get half the words!

Final NaNo count: 25.114

That is probably about 24.000 words more than I would have writen this month otherwise. Which goes to show, NaNoWriMo is never a waste!

If you participated how did your NaNo go? And remember we're all winners! :)
If you have any more great relaxation idea's please feel free to post them in the comments!

Keep Writing!

xx Noortje


Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Day 20: Need Motivation

OK so today I need some motivation. It is day #20 of NaNoWriMo and my word count is PITYFUL. I don't think I have ever had this low a word count this far in the month.

I can list a ton of excuses, some valid other's ... not so much. Mostly though I just haven't been sleeping well and a random weekday is spend in pretty much the following manner: 

- Wake up at an ungodly hour 
- Start reading a Shakespeare play that you should have finished for today in the train journey to Amsterdam (Really hope my teacher won't read this)
- Have a pretty good time at school, learning stuff, drinking coffee, hanging with friends, wishing for sleep.

- Fight to stay awake on the ride home.
- Wallow in self pity about how tired you are and how much homework is left to do.

- Actually get started on homework
- Eat
- Homework

- Complain you had nothing fun to do and can't think and have a headache and are dead tired but watch 3 episodes in a row of Castle anyway (I'm seriously addicted)
-Go to bed far too late.

Aaaaaaand repeat. 

As you can see, not much time left for writing. Of course there IS always time, you just have to want to make it and lately I haven't had the energy to make time. Which isn't an excuse; it's just something that happened. 

But I'm not going to give up! I still have an impossible amount of writing to do and nearly no time to do it (thanks to a 10 min play we will be staging next Thursday!!) I WILL NOT GIVE UP! 

The words are there hiding somewhere in my mind and I intent to write them. I just have to make time, keep writing, don't give up and maybe forget about sleep this weekend!

How about you? How is your NaNo/writing going? If you have any tips on how I can defeat this monster, this fire breathing dragon, this word shortage of doom, let me know in the comments!

As always: Keep Writing!

Xx Noortje

NaNo count: 17655   --> gonna hide in a corner to cry now. 

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Day 10 - Procrastination

This is me right now:

NaNo count: 10.137

How is your writing going? I''ll try to up my nano count this weekend!

Keep Writing!
Xx Noortje

Monday, November 5, 2012

Day 5 -- Freaking Out!

NaNo Tip # 1 : Always carry around a notebook. These might safe your life. 

It's already day five of NaNoWriMo! For those of you who still do not know what it is, check out some of my older blog posts! :) 

So far my word count is alright. Not as good as it should have been (5240 words at the time of writing this) but I believe I have had worse years.

To be honest I did not enter this year with the idea of actually finishing on time and getting those 50,000 words. Realistically speaking I just need too much time for school related activities. And as much as I hate to say it: school comes first. I've also recenlty starting tutoring as a temp job.

But then again--they are all excuses in the end. Even now with loads of homework and a horror-movie-marathon sleepover that lasted nearly two whole days I still found time to write. 

And that is what I love about NaNoWriMo. It makes us realize that if you really want to write, you can. There is ALWAYS time. Five minutes before you go to bed. On the train or bus to school/work. While eating lunch. Wake up 30 minutes early (which I won't be doing tomorrow. Have to wake up at 5:45 as it is haha). 

Still I have already had my fair share of a small panic attack. I am writing this blog post as a break in a crazy homework frenzy to get everything finished before I need to leave for archery practice (What better time to write a blog post?). And honestly, just the simple act of writing right now is calming me down, making me feel productive. 

My plans for tomorrow are to spend my free periods doing homework (need to figure out which lines to include in our upcoming awesome short production of Macbeth) and in the train back writing the entire way! 

How did your first NaNo week go? :) I'm also really curious about the funniest or weirdest places/times you have written. If you have anything to share, leave it in the comments!

I'm not quite sure about mine, but I have written loads during class (oops) and in coffee shops and on the bus the past two years. This year it will probably mostly be on the train and before I go to bed.

Please follow me on twitter as well for random updates, nano stuff and the occational helpful writing site/retweet :) @lordkiwii

Happy writing everyone!

Xx Noortje 

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Day one!

Say sleep, work and your social life goodbye---It's November!

The first day of NaNoWriMo is here and I am super excited! I wasn't planning on participating at first, until I remembered that NaNoWriMo isn't about winning. It isn't about writing as fast as you can. 

NaNoWriMo is about routine, learning to write as much as you can. Learning to sacrifice other things for time to write. In a way it's a kind of test-ride for becoming a writer.

Personally I find having this commitment together with thousands of strangers and a handful of friends very stimulating and I always get way more done in November than I would have otherwise. 

Even just 10.000 words or less is probably more than I would have gotten around to otherwise. 

So grab your notebooks, legal pads, smart phones, tablets, scraps of paper, napkins and anything you can write with -- and write every free moment!

Everyone, good luck and most of all: Have Fun! :)

Keep Writing
Xx Noortje 

Monday, October 15, 2012

Brace Yourselves! NaNoWriMo is Coming!

NaNoWriMo is coming soon! 

I'm almost too busy with school to even properly think about whether or not I'm going to participate this year. Am torn between three things:

- My love for NaNoWriMo
- The story that I should be EDITING
- My desire to pass this semester

Sadly I'm more concerned about the top two. 

What about you guys? Any of you participating in NaNoWriMo? Any ideas / battle strategies   writing parties planned so far? 

I'll let you know whether or not I'll join, but either way I'll be writing some (ok let's face it, if lucky ONE) posts about NaNo! :-)

If you leave me your NaNo name below I'll add you as a friend! 

Keep Writing!

Xx Noortje 

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Creative Writing, Style and Sherlock

As you can probably tell from the lack of posts around here, I've decided that a post a day just isn't for me--besides that would probably get boring really fast for you guys as well.

University has yet again managed to make my life super busy, even though I have a semi-creative writing course at the moment that I absolutely love. For my midterm we have to write two short stories in two different styles (one of them Charles Dickens). Which is fun and educational. 

I've always been a big believer in the (unspoken) rule that every aspiring writer should read. In fact I have recently delivered a speech about exactly that subject. Reading passages and analysing them with others is a great way to learn about another author's style and I have certainly learned a few things from them. 

I might never use it of course, but the knowledge is there and now I can actively decide whether or not to use it in my writing. 

On other news, I have started editing again. My goal is to have it "finished" around Christmas, so that I can let some close friends and family read it. After one more edit it--and after reading it aloud!--it should be ready to be send out! Exciting! 

And last but not least: Have any of you watched the new Sherlock Holmes series, Elementry? Any thoughts? I loved the series, as much as I can't help feeling that it's kinda a rip-off from BBC's Sherlock. Even though it's similar in setting, the show is completely different. I love how they always manage to make Sherlock...well Sherlock. Any opinions about Watson being a woman? I think this is going to be a very interesting show... 

I will try and write another post about writing somewhere this week. Thank you guys for still following my blog and as always:

Keep Writing!
Xx Noortje 

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Writer's Fatigue

Right now I am suffering from two different kinds of fatigue. 

The first kind is fatigue in the normal sense, the overall tiredness resulting from sleepless nights, late hours, ungodly hours and probably just poor health. It's the kind of tired where you just want to lie on a couch all day, watching bad shows, reading books and taking the frequent, long, long nap. 

The second fatigue, is writers fatigue. The kind where I just can't tell anymore if I'm doing the right thing with my story, the kind where I dread just working on it, the kind where I get distracted a lot and just don't see it happening anymore.

I strongly suspect that the two are connected in some vicious circle of not sleeping because I have doubts and worries about my writing, and my lack of sleep causes me to be more grumpy and tired and crappy during the day--which then again affects my writing, which will probably result in sleeping poorly. 

.... Sucks right? 

I know I'm not the only one with writer's fatigue. Probably every writer comes across this during either her writing (when it's probably called writers block) or during her editing (like in my case). 

The thing is, my story probably isn't that bad. It might even be good. Maybe every painful edit I make, actually improves the story. Maybe it's going in the best direction possible, and I just need to hurry up and get it done.
I--and most writers--am probably just making things very hard for myself. 

Here are some solutions I'm going to try out (from the top of my head... and it's very early so forgive me if they don't make sense):

- set a quota. Either x pages a day or x pages a week. 
- reward yourself at the end of the week, if you make it. A nice cup of tea, a good movie etc.
- alternate editing with writing on a new story, the next instalment if it's a series, or just short random stories.
- Set an end goal when you want to be finished, try to think of it as an official goal that your editors set you (if you have editors, remind yourself how lucky you are)
- from time to time pat yourself on the shoulder for having accomplished something amazing already: you finished a novel! You have a first draft, or second, or maybe you're still writing it--but the fact that you started and continued is already awe inspiring for some people!
-Talk to people about your book (real or imaginary). Get excited again. You love this story, you're probably just too close to it :)

I have to go get ready for school now (this post is officially last night's, but I didn't have time then T.T there goes my record haha) 

I'm really hoping these ideas will help me and maybe any of you who have the same problem. Any other tips or tricks are welcome! Leave a comment! :)

Keep Writing!

Xx Noortje 

Monday, September 10, 2012

Rhetoric, Speeches, Things That Annoy Me and Tumblr

As promised another blog post! It's already late, so I nearly broke it on day one! (ooops). 
I'm diligently working at the moment on my rhetoric homework. 

I have to write a speech for tomorrow and I'm utterly stuck, which is one of the reasons why I'm here writing this post.

Some of you might know the show Firefly and those of you who don't--stop reading and go watch it. I'm serious. Go. Now. 

Watched it? 

Awesome right? Anyway there's this one quote of Book when he says to Mal: " If you take sexual advantage of her, you're going to burn in a very special level of hell. A level they reserve for child molesters and people who talk at the theatre. " 

Which got me thinking about people talking in study sections of libraries and silent parts of the train. Where people sit on purpose. To study. To read. To think. To not have to listen to horrible chatter for just a few glorious minutes. And then this couple shows up (loudly) and you feel this fear in your stomach, your heart beats faster and you look at them pointedly, waiting for them to move along or notice the sign.

'Oh look it's the silence part!' the girl says, anything but silent. The boy nods but they sit down anyway. It's the middle of the day. Not much traffic. Lots of empty spaces. 

'So what did you think about --- blah blah blah blah"

"Well - blah blah blah - we should probably be silent.'

"yeah," the girl answers and with a sigh stares out of the window. During all this time I have not read a single word of my homework and gave them plenty of stares. I took this seat to avoid trouble, to take it easy and relax and just make my homework. I don't want to confront them.

'So,' the guy says in a fake whisper, louder than I talk. Louder than normal people should talk. 'Jake called to tell this horribly personal and embarrassing thing that people in the train sitting here, trying to study or focus should not and don't want to hear about. So let me tell it all to you in great and gory detail so that you can laugh and scream hysterically."
"And then let's get off at the same station that girl there, trying to study, is getting off."

.... thank you. So much.

I cannot stress how many times this has happened to me. Often now I just sit in the regular departments. Somehow they don't annoy me so much when they are allowed to talk.

Anyway back to my speech writing. I think I have some material now. 

What is something that annoys you guys to no end?

Keep Writing! 

Xx Noortje 

ps. I now have a tumblr! Yaaaay! (

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Busy Life, Plans and Meeting Carlos Ruiz Zafón

I've been wanting to write this blog post for more than a week now. To sum everything up: I've been busy as hell.

As undoubtedly all of you know, school has started again and for me this means starting my second year of university. There is a lot of things about uni that I love: the people, the location (heart of Amsterdam), the discussions, the freedom (although less than I had expected) and knowing you have truly learned something at the end of each day.

And then of course there's the hard work, the inevitable boring class, speeches, presentations, essays, essays, essays, midterms, more essays, Shakespeare reading lists that you get two days before the semester starts and the three hours of travelling it takes me every day. 

There's a lot of other things going on as well which I'm going to blog about later. I've also had this idea literally five minutes ago, that I'm going to write a post every day, until the end of the year. It's going to be crazy and I might get a lot of one sentence blog posts but I feel like I need this structure, writing wise. And I hope that writing one small post a day will also help me keep up with my actual homework next to the busy schedule that is my life right now. (The only exceptions for this one post a day, is either a power shortage or when I have absolutely no access to the internet because I'm in the rainforest or something like that). 

Moving on, here is what I've been meaning to write about: 

On Saturday, September 1st Carlos Ruiz Zafón came to our bookstore for a signing. 

You don't get how amazing and strange this is. My home town only has two bookstores and one of them only has three bookcases (mostly magazines etc.). My hometown is an hour away by train and pretty small. And of all the places he could have gone (besides Amsterdam) he chose this place.

I have to be honest. I wasn't a big time fan. I hadn't read all his books (still haven't)  in fact I've had Shadow of The Wind lying on my bookcase, collecting dust for several years. I bought it (and later the sequel) because they were just begging me to be bought. I can't really explain it nor can I fathom why, then, I never read them.

Well sufficient to say I read both of them the week before Mr. Zafón  showed up at our bookstore, and I loved them! I loved the mystery, the supernatural, the incredible humour and the language but most of all the way he talks about book and writing. I mean come on--a cemetery of forgotten books! That's the whole reason I bought the book in the first place.

I am proud to say that I even managed to say something, managed to choke out that I loved his books, that it was nice meeting him besides the usual "hello" and "thank you". I always get nervous around authors the second it's my turn. I mean sweating, squeaky voice, shaking knees, trembling arms, exhilarated heart rate, the works. I didn't even feel that way when I met the lead singer of a band I really like (Destine—I even took a picture with him in which he looks really, really, REALLy creepy). But there you have it... anybody else ever feel this way? 
In the end I just love meeting authors, seeing what they look like and hearing them pronounce my name (they always ask how to pronounce "Noortje" when I have to write it down, or try to repeat it when I say it. Which is awesome--hearing favourite authors say your name!) and having them sign my books. 

This is all for today! I will try and have a good start with my posting-plan tomorrow! Now it's time for some more editing!

Keep Writing!

xx Noortje 

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Guilt Post

The last week of Summer holiday is about to start and as I do almost every year: I am freaking out about how little I've done. 

Well not freaking out, per se, more like agonizing: 

Why didn't I write/edit more?
Why didn't I exercise more?
Why didn't I work and earn more money (instead of spending it all)?
Why didn't I read more? 
Etc. Etc.
Therefore I decided to dedicate today to editing and reading The Shadow of the Wind because Carlos Ruiz Zafón is coming to our local bookstore.

Here's what I've done today:

-Watch the entire movie UP even though I already know it
- Watch ALL the extras
-Read a bit of Shadow of the Wind (+ points) 
- Lunch
- Edit like ... 2 pages (+?) 
- Watch episode of Two and a Half Men S.9 with my mom
- and another
- and another
- Try and start some writing but spend time on the internet/blogging instead.

Actually this blog post is sort of a guilt post trying to get myself to edit. Have I mentioned I'm not such a big fan of that? 

I love my story and I love how editing makes it better and I even love the idea of editing when I'm not doing it ... but I can never bring myself to edit for a longer period of time without finding distractions. Does anyone else have this problem? Any solutions out there except for amazing discipline (Which I don't have).

For now the guilt is working and I am very happy about where this story is going. But before I go back to my writing here's a picture I found while wasting time online: 


And a picture of my holiday which was awesome! This was taken in the actual Great Hall of Harry Potter! Best day of my entire summer!

Keep Writing!

Xx Noortje 

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Writing Wall

So the big heavy movie poster I always kept on my door fell down about 300 times the past month, causing me to trip over it, wake up in the middle of the night because it fell down (makes a surprising amount of noise) and having to re-stick it on there about ... 300 times. 

Then I found this picture and realised I knew a better purpose for my door. I'm going to make an inspirational 'poster' myself by making a Writing Wall ... on my door.
And this is the first one :) I simply love all the "keep calm and move along" posters!

I'll post some pictures when it starts filling up :)

So what inspires you? Anything I should  put on my door?

Keep Writing

Xx Noortj e

Monday, June 11, 2012

All the Feelings

Technically I wrote this on Sunday very early but didn't have time to post it yet.
**WARNING: May contain dramatic emotions due to the concert I had just left**

As I am writing this my head is filled with countless thoughts that I'm trying to make sense of. I'm sitting in the car writing by the light of scarce lampposts and passing cars (it was a joy to figure out my handwriting). 

It is passed midnight and I am in the car coming from Lord of the Rings live. For those of you that don't know, it's basically the movie (Two Towers in this case) played on a big screen with the music taken out....the music is played live by a gigantic orchestra. Incidentally, these three movies are my favourite and the most inspirational movies I have ever seen. Plus probably the best book adaptation that's out there. 

The music of the amazingly talented orchestra is bouncing around in my head, reminding me that art can take many shapes. And of the power of music, which nearly brought the entire audience to tears at some point (for me it was the end). 

I was reminded once again why I love story telling so much and why I want so bad to be a (published) writer. 

The feeling.

Feelings of joy and sadness and hope. The courage I felt as Aragorn rode into battle. The pride and hope at Sam's wise words. The sadness when Frodo really seemed lost. 

It was a large theatre, filled with hundreds of people who had been brought together by their shared love for a story.

I think a good story is one you enjoy, that stays with you even after you read the last page.

A great story has the power to bring people together.

I'm not saying we'll be the next Tolkien, Lewis or JK. I'm just hoping that the stories we all tell might give this feeling to others and bring people together like movies and books usually have brought me and my friends together. And that's what I love about writing :) 

Keep Writing!


Wednesday, June 6, 2012


Yesterday, After a gruesome semester and a horrible week filled with finals, I was meeting up with some friends for some well deserved pizza & drinks.  

Due to circumstances I had to wait for more than half an hour at "het Leidseplein" in Amsterdam. I had been there many times before (our favourite pizza restaurant is there as are all the best places to go to concerts) but only passed through the square to wherever I was going at the moment.

While I waited I saw this:

Street musicians. 

I was there long enough to witness two sets of bands. First two men who sang beautiful songs with just two guitars. Then a whole band of guys with their instruments (see the pic).

People stopped. They stopped their busy lives and stood there listening to the music, watching the men perform. Some of them even sat down to enjoy the show. At the end of every song there was applause and CD"s were bought. 

And I couldn't help but wonder how they could be so brave and notice the similarities with writing--sending it to a publisher in particular.

You see writing is like learning how to play an instrument. It takes time, it will most likely suck at the beginning and only slightly resemble some of your favourite books.

Then, if you are serious about writing, after lots of practice, there comes a point where you must make a decision. Am I going to show this to people? 
And then comes the inevitable fear: Is it good enough? Will anyone ever like this? Can I make it as a writer? What was I thinking!?!?!?!?!

When the second band came on they seemed nervous, unsure. They were awkwardly tuning or trying out their instrument, looking no one in the eye and people got up and left. Until one of the musicians of the first band urged them on. 

It is the same fear. People could walk away. You could be playing for no one. They could even laugh at you or make fun of you.

Just like you might get a nasty rejection letter. Or someone you showed it to might ask if you're serious, you call this a novel? 
But it was good. You could tell that they were enjoying themselves so we stopped and listened. 

It's the same with writing. Believe in yourself, be passionate, have fun. Love your story and chances are others will love it too. Just play that first note, get over your fear. Start playing! 

And as always:

Keep Writing!

Xx Noortje 

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Update & Lots of Writers

Midterms are finally over!!

I was a bit worried this time but I've managed to pass all my exams so far ^^
Sorry I haven't been able to post much in a while! I have been doing a lot of fun things that I probably could have blogged about but I never seem to find the time ^.^"
This morning I felt pretty sick so I decided to take it slow for a day and do absolutely nothing except for reading, writing and watching movies that I've already watched about 20 times before. 

So a few weeks ago THE John Green came to Amsterdam for a quick visit. I've been a Nerdfighter for a long time (for anyone who doesn't know the vlogbrother's go to YouTube now! :D) and I absolutely adored John's new novel The Fault in Our Stars. I really recommend it to you guys :)

So I immediately signed up to meet him and had an amazing time sitting in some sort of cellar like room (which apparently was some sort of club) that was located UNDER a bridge. Like... it was basically inside the bridge somehow... I think? It was very strange and directly behind my university building. Imagine that. Just when you think you start to know your little area of Amsterdam you find yourself talking to your idol under a bridge. 

Anyway, it was insightful, funny and brilliant and I gladly spend about an hour cramped up on the horribly uncomfortable cold floor, squeezed in between other teens while I slowly lost all feeling in my legs. After that he signed my copy of his book and was so nice! :3

I've also gone to see the Hunger Games movie (twice so far) of course and have to say that I loved it. It has been about a year since I devoured all three books within a week, so some of the details of the book were a bit hazy, but I still have to say that it was a great movie adaptation.

What else is new... oh right I also started art journaling! I'm not sure if you guys know what that is (I'm not even sure) but as I understand it you just create "art" in any for you want in a note book. My mom started it by using paints and rubber stamps (she sells those) and I decided to do the same but with drawings and paints. So far I'm loving it. To me drawing is a lot like writing. You get to focus on something for a while, creating something whilst completely losing yourself in another world :) 

I might post some pages here someday when I have a few more and if it's not too embarrassing haha (So this picture isn't my journal. Mine is no where near this pretty)

I have more fun things planned next week! I'll be going to the Elf Fantasy Fair--dressed up all steampunky--and will hopefully get to meet Robin Hobb and Christopher Paolini who will both be there! I'm so excited! 

That was my update for now! :) What have you guys been up to?

Keep Writing! 
Xx Noortje