Working Forever

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Career

The other day I was complaining about school to my co-workers. Not really “complaining,” but just saying how I would really like to be done soon. I feel as though this current semester has been dragging on since the beginning of time. Then I still have one semester left for my bachelor’s degree. Then I’m still not done and I get to start my Master’s. If everything goes according to plan, I should be officially done with school when I’m 23- or 24-years-old. Not bad, right?

So when I said this, one of the teachers in my classroom laughed and said, “Why, so you can work all the time?”

She was kidding, but she did have a point. Then again, I would rather work full time and save my money rather than work full time and have all my money go down the drain to school… with homework to do to top it off.

When I finish school that means I will have more time to write. I love my job, but just like any other normal person I don’t wish to stay there forever. I love teaching and being with the kids just as much as I love writing, but if I had to choose between the two… I would hands-down pick writing.

I want to write all the time. I want to wake up in the morning, make a cup of coffee, sit at my desk and write. I want to be able to write a couple thousand words or a few good pages, outline and make notes of a new idea, or edit an old one. Then I can go out with friends feeling accomplished and do it all over again the next day. I would certainly be living my definition of a dream.

I don’t want to have to worry about being at work at a certain time. I don’t want to have to worry about getting my homework in on time. The only deadlines I want to worry about are what my agent/publisher tells me. I want my only concern to be “should I kill off this character?”

Of course, when I finish school I’ll still have to work. Writing to pay the bills will not happen overnight, but I hope that it will eventually happen someday. I want to have the ability and the option to write all day, every day.

Whenever this happens, I won’t get the luxury of retiring like everyone else. However, by being able to sit home all day and do what I love it’ll be like I retired at a young age.

Even when I’m old and gray, I’m sure I’ll still be writing.

Anticipating November

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I am patiently waiting for November to arrive because…

–I have a lot of days off from work for various reasons. The first week is a four day week, the second week is a three day week, the third week is a full week (that will most likely drag), and the last week is a two and a half day week. Less work means more writing.

–My Spanish class ends the first week of November. For the rest of November (and the beginning of December) I will only have homework for four classes instead of five. Less homework means more writing.

–Thanksgiving. Who doesn’t love food?

–Vacation. My family and I go away for Thanksgiving weekend each year. It will be nice to have nothing to worry about. Of course, I will have my writing supplies with me.

–NaNoWriMo. Writing, writing, and more writing!

November is going to be a busy month. It will go by quick (and it will be the holidays before we know it!).

I can’t wait!

Short Story Sunday #28

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Start with: If you must know…

            “If you must know, I am the woman in charge of this place. You fellows are pretty lucky that I happened to walk by the security room and saw your faces plastered all over the cameras. Do you know what security does to intruders? Security detains them, call the cops, and then the intruders get arrested. Do you know why that happens? Because I told them to do it that way. Do you realize that by having security bring you to my office, I’m breaking my own rules?”

The three men all had their jaws dropped to the floor. They exchanged looks of puzzlement to one another, but none of them spoke. They didn’t even dare to look me in the eye.

I glared at them. “Well?

“We sort of… got lost, I guess you could say. We didn’t even know you worked here, Rebecca. Alan, Shawn, and I were just roaming around until we came across this building. We didn’t think anyone was around.”

“Well, you thought wrong, Matt.” I sighed and rummaged through the things on my desk. I picked up a stack of binders and handed them to Alan. “Hold this; I need a figure out a place to put them. My shelves are so full that I don’t have any room to put anything anymore.”

“Uh,” Alan held out his arms as I dropped four heavy 5-inch binders in his possession. His knees buckled from the weight, but he managed to stay standing.

“You guys owe me big time, you know that? Sit down.” I continued my lecture as all three of them obeyed sitting down on my leather couch on the opposite side of the room.

“Do you know what people are going to think of me? They’re going to think I choose favorites.” I sighed.

“You’re not choosing favorites, though. It’s not like we work here and you’re taking our side when we were in the wrong.” Shawn shrugged his shoulders.

“I mean intruder-wise.” I scoffed.

“But you know us. We’re your friends. Anyone would want to help out their friends. If we were strangers, then you wouldn’t have given us a second glance.” Shawn explained further.

A knock came at my office door. “Now what?” I growled. “Yes, come in.”

“Is everything alright in here?”

“Yes, everything is fine, Lyle. These three are friends of mine who came to visit. They just didn’t know how to get into the building. It was a mistake. Get back to work.” I dismissed the head of security with a wave of my hand.

He dipped his head backing out of my office and shut the door.

I cleared off one of the shelves in the closet and placed those binders and notebooks in a filing cabinet. I grabbed the binders out of Alan’s hands and fit those onto the shelves.

“What is all of this, anyway?” Matt questioned as his eyes scanned the room. Alan shook out his arms now that he didn’t have the weight anymore.

“It’s my office, I told you that.” I sat back down at my desk, turned on my laptop, and opened my planner to the next month. I flipped through the pages, while jotting down some notes in that and on my iPad.

“What do you do here? We didn’t realize you had a… job.” Matt cleared his throat.

I chuckled. “Writing is my job, you know that. I volunteer here.”

“So you don’t get paid to be here, even though you seem to be obnoxiously busy and are in charge in everything.” Shawn raised an eyebrow skeptically.

“I created this place for writers. It’s a big writer’s group for people of all ages. We have security because of the high technology we use here.” I explained. “Plus, there are a lot of writers here who have made big bucks on their novels.”

“How come you’ve never told us about this place before?” Alan wondered. He was now wandering around the room looking at all the notebooks, binders, and books on the shelves.

“I have never told anyone about this place before. Other than these people, I don’t have anyone to discuss writing with. What do you think my friends and family would say if I told them I ran a large community for writers?” I looked up from my laptop as the printer turned on itself and started to spit out documents and articles.

“We would have understood.” Matt nodded his head looking to Shawn and Alan, who agreed with him.

I grabbed a few empty file folders from a cabinet and brought them back over to my desk. “You guys thought this was my job because you didn’t know I had one; even though I am a published author that pays my bills and more.” I took some papers out of the printer and sorted through them, stapling them together and storing them into the folders.

Alan, Matt, and Shawn stared at each other in silence. They hung their heads and didn’t say another word.

I smirked at them, but didn’t dare to explain any further. If I didn’t have any friends or family to support me and my writing, then I needed to find supporters myself and that was through creating a writers group.

Of course, seeing the guilty expressions on their faces, I was sure that they were going to be asking about my writing more often. Maybe they would even read one of my books.

Words: 910

Modified from “The Write-Brain Workbook” by Bonnie Neubauer

Getting Back My Groove

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NaNo

Kris and I had our weekly writing date at Barnes and Noble this morning and guess what? We actually got stuff done! Normally we end up distracting each other whether we’re poking each other, trying to type on the other’s computer, or just talking about anything else that’s not writing. Today though we ended up writing until our laptops yelled at us that their batteries were running low. We each wrote over 2,000 words in the two and half hours we were there.

As I stated in another post–I can’t remember which one–I spent today writing upcoming Short Story Sunday posts. I was in the middle of writing the fifth one when my laptop was about to die. I plan on finishing that today and writing another one so I’ll be good for tomorrow and all through November.

With that being said, I’ll be able to focus strictly on NaNo next month. Even though my posts aren’t lengthy short stories like most, it’s still good practice for NaNo and in general. I have to figure out the maximum words/pages I want my short stories to be for NaNo. Or maybe just write them and see how long they turn out. I read somewhere that short stories are typically/can be up to 10,000 words long. I guess the characters will have to decide if they want to make it that far or not.

Also, I guess my writer’s block (or whatever you want to call it) is gone. Since I haven’t really written in so long, I thought today was going to be tough, but it wasn’t. I should be good to go for November.

I just have to get a head start on some of my projects for school so I’ll have more time to write.

NaNo is one week away, people… get ready!

NaNoWriMo Profile: Fiery_Sapphire

I Want To Write

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Now that I’ve officially decided what I want to write for NaNo, I’m more excited than ever to get started. Of course, NaNo is still eight days away. It seems so far away, but it’s actually right around the corner. November will arrive before we know it, but I feel as though next week is going to drag at the same time.

Now that I have a new idea, I think I’ve got my muse back and I just want to write all the time and actually have the motivation to do so. It’s a good thing I finished my homework for this week so I can come home from work today and just write.

Tomorrow is Saturday so Kris and I will be going to Barnes and Noble. I’m going to bring Lucy and bang out a few Short Story Sundays. That way I don’t have to worry about trying to write those and my NaNo at the same time next month. Plus, I’m hoping that will get my creative flow going to prepare for NaNo’s short stories to come.

I already came up with two ideas, but I don’t know how they’re going to unfold. I’m just going to let the characters figure it out themselves. I just know how each story is going to begin and that’s it for now. It will sure be interesting.

Again, NaNo is eight days away… eight more days….

New Idea

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By the title of this post alone you’re probably groaning saying, “she changed her mind again…?” Yes, I did change my mind again!

Kris and I were discussing writing last night as she filled up a notebook and I… haven’t written anything in a while. So, we were discussing the upcoming NaNo session, writing in general, publishing, etc. This is what I explained to Kris:

I decided to write a novel that was a brand new idea about two college students and writing. I’ve realized whenever I get stuck on my writing I end up writing about writing. Yet if it beats the writer’s block, then why not? The thing is, I’m not really all that into the idea anymore. I still like the idea and will keep it in mind in case I ever want to try it again.

However, I had to read the first half of The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers by J.R.R. Tolkien for school this week. I read it in two days and now I’m back on a fantasy high. So I thought of writing Saving Time. There are two things wrong with that. One, it’s the kind of story that needs to be outlined. I have many ideas for it and there are a lot of characters and places in the story. It’s not something I can free write or else editing will be a pain and I’ll most likely lose the main idea. Two, I started it in a notebook and I would like to finish it in my notebook. If for whatever reason I can’t get to a computer, I can still work on a novel. I know some people hand write for NaNo and I love that; kudos to all of you, but I don’t have the time to hand write 50,000 words and then type those 50,000 words to validate it. I might as well sit at my computer and bang out 100,000 words if I can. So, Saving Time is out.

The first draft of my story chapter is due next week for my Fiction class. I’m going to submit the first chapter of Detective Florence. Of course, we all know I decided to take a break from that series and now that I have to focus on the one chapter I’m beginning to realize that I miss writing that series. I still have the third novel to write, but like Saving Time, it needs to be outlined. If I don’t outline it, I’ll be stuck and the series will lose its main idea. So that’s out.

You guys are probably thinking that I’m coming up with too many excuses, but trust me; I’m not good at pantsing. I free write every once in a while, but I need that outline for the most part; especially since I recently discovered a great way to outline that works for me.

So, what am I going to write? Kris and I were discussing my Short Story Sunday and then…

Eureka

I realized what I should write for NaNo. I should write short stories. That way I can write about anything I want, any genre I want. Plus, I think the variety of stories will help me get over my writer’s block. I haven’t been able to write in so long that it’s gotten to the point that my brain isn’t used to it anymore and I’m indecisive about it all.

Plus, it will certainly be interesting to see how well I do within a certain amount of pages/words. We all know I tend to babble on, so if an idea sparks it just might end up turning into a novella… but I think it would be cool to have a collection of short stories at the end of the month. It’s something different. It’ll be a nice change of pace for myself.

I’m excited about it whereas I wasn’t too thrilled with my old idea. So I think I have a better chance at winning now that my enthusiasm has come back.

NaNo Reward

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This semester I’m taking a psychology course called “Learning and Behavior.” It’s all about how we learn, how we behave, why we behave the way we do, etc. It discusses ways to reinforce positive behavior and ways to get rid of negative behavior. My professor wants us to focus on our own behavior, but the textbook focuses on children in a classroom setting; which is fine with me because I’m able to use what I learn from the textbook and use it at work.

But I’m supposed to be focusing on myself. We have a behavior reinforcement project to do. In other words, I have to put myself on a behavior plan.

The first assignment was to come up with a behavior I wanted to increase or decrease. I had to admit, this was a tough decision. I have myself on a pretty tight schedule when it comes to balancing work and school. Then I realized… it’s pretty difficult for me to fit writing into that schedule because I work full time and always seem to have so much homework. So I thought, why not? I decided to put myself on a behavior plan that will get me to write more.

Write It

Of course I always want to write, but there are things that take bigger priority. My homework has a deadline, I have to be at work at a certain time each day, my writing… well, it has no deadline as I have nothing being published and I don’t have a certain time to write every day. I tried doing that and I didn’t get very far with it. The main problem is that I don’t write when I don’t have time and I still don’t write when I do have time because I’m usually exhausted from work and school.

After I decided on this topic and submitted it to my professor I thought, how am I going to do this? This isn’t an ordinary project where I sit down at my computer and type an essay or do research on Google. No, this is something I will be working on every day without even realizing it.

Yesterday, Kris and I were discussing NaNo and rewards. During July’s Camp NaNo session, Kris and I bought Mario Kart 8 for the Wii U. We didn’t open it and left it leaning it against the TV. We were only allowed to open and play the game if both of us hit our word goals–50,000 for me and 25,000 for Kris. Due to the game staring us down, we both won and spent many hours playing the game when the month was over.

We decided to do something similar like that this year and reward ourselves for winning.

I told Kris that I was going to give myself a dollar for every 1,000 words I write. In other words, when I hit 50,000 I’ll have 50 dollars. If I only get to 34,659 I’ll have 35 dollars (remember: always round up!). Then I can use that money for whatever I want at the end of the month… it will most likely be for a new video game.

This idea has been in my head for a bit and I just realized about an hour ago that this is my project. My reinforcement for writing will be money. So I guess that solves that problem. I bet my professor is going to just love my project! The thing is I wouldn’t need a reinforcement system for my writing if it weren’t for homework tying me down all the time. Ironic, huh?

Is anyone else giving themselves any kind of reward; whether it’s a daily word count reward or an overall reward for winning?

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