The Writing Newbie

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

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