Monday, November 11, 2013

Killin' It, YALLfest, and ALL THE FEELS

First I need to say I'M BACK, I'M BACK, I'M BACK! And I don't mean back to blogging, because I knew this would be sporadic.

I mean I'm back to writing!


I finally got my butt into gear on finishing this novel, and now it's looking like my goal of doing it by the end of the year is actually possible. And I owe it all to my wonderful VCFA classmates for giving me the kickstart I needed.

I wrote/revised 45 pages in one week. Then I wrote 10 pages in one day this weekend (on vacation!). And I just got home and I've written a few pages today.

I. Am. Back. And it feels really, really good to just be writing again. I remembered that I love this novel and that I need to finish it so that other people can love it too.

The one downside about my serious writing streak is that it's expensive. Because I still get too distracted when I write at home. So the cheapest option has been to go to a coffee shop to write. But usually I'm in the mood to do my writing late at night. As a result, I've become a regular at Denny's, showing up with my laptop, and sitting for a couple hours with French fries and a Coke. I'm really enjoying the routine, but if I don't finish this novel soon, I'll be poor.

In other news, I went to Charleston, South Carolina for YALLfest, a young adult book festival, this weekend. I met up with a few friends from school, which was ultra fabulous. Even though one friend got sick, which changed a lot of my plans.

I still had a great time, though. I think the highlight was getting to meet one of my writer heroes, David Levithan, and also hear him speak on a bunch of panels. And of course, I cried, because that's what I do. Hearing these authors talk about what they do and why they do it, and how hard they worked to get there always gets to me. I'm a sucker for an inspirational speech.

One thing I did realize though, was that I wasn't fangirling all these authors like their teenage readers were. Now it's not because I'm too mature for that. (I'm certainly not above fangirling!) I think it's because I can see them as actual people. People who are doing exactly what I want to do with my life. I won't go so far as to say I saw them as colleagues, but I could imagine that someday maybe I would.

And that's the overall feeling I left the festival with. I can do what they do. I will.

Finally, I want to share a bit about my writing habits. I almost always listen to music when I write. It's not always to put me into the mood of the story. Sometimes I use it in a more practical way, to block out the noise of the rest of the world. Usually I play pretty mellow music so that it doesn't actually distract me from my writing. But other times I do try to find music that matches the mood of whatever part of my story I'm working on. I always make an iTunes playlist for each novel, but that doesn't always fit a certain scene or emotion I'm trying to capture.

Tonight I found an awesome website that other writers might want to check out if you like to play music while you write. Actually, I've come across the website quite a few times before, and somehow I always forget about it. But I loved using it tonight.


Basically, it's a site where users can make playlists and share them. I'm sure it's not the only site like this, but I think it's great. What I really like is that you can search a tag and find lists people have made with that tag. You can search for a genre of music, an artist, or my absolute favorite--a mood.

This works FANTASTIC for writing. Tonight I searched for "confused" and found some great stuff. And I think the bonus of listening to other people's playlists is that I most likely won't know a lot of the music. And that means I can't get distracted by wanting to sing the songs. I can just feel them.

So to sum up the point of tonight's post: I am on a roll with writing!

Yay for me. Now I just have to keep it up.