Learning and Growing

For my birthday back in November, I received two new non-ficiton books. I have been steadily working my way through them, not wanting to rush through the treasure trove of information. Thinking back, taking my time and pacing myself in learning is something that I’ve always done.

Gail Carson Levine was my favorite author growing up, and a huge inspiration for me even to this day. Her two non-fiction books on writing, Writing Magic and Writer to Writer, are well-used and worn on my bookshelf from my days as a young writer. Each chapter ends with writing exercises, so it forces you to stop reading and do some writing. I usually didn’t go back and zoom through the book right away because after doing the little writing exercise, I just wanted to write more! The next day or later than week, I would go back and read some more, which would grow me and spur me on towards more writing.

Fast-forward to last year, when I found Brandon Sanderson’s 318R class lectures. After the first video, I was hooked. My desire to learn and grow as a writer had been revived. I probably could have watch all of them in one day if I hadn’t restrained myself. Instead, I watched one class a day, pausing to take meticulous notes, and often going over my notes a few times that day and trying to apply it to my story ideas. Rather than rushing through it in a couple days, it took me a couple weeks, but the time to soak in each lesson really helped his methods and tips to stick with me.

After the class ended, I began to seek out more materials on fiction writing. I knew I had a lot of room to grow as an author, and I knew the #1 way to grow was by writing and finishing novels, but I had been neglating the learning side of things. My hunger to learn had been realized. Sanderson mentions Orson Scott Card a lot in the class, and, Card being one of my favorite authors, that gave me some direction on where to start.Read More »

Tool Box: Android Apps

There are two apps that I have found to be very useful, if not essentiel to my writing process, and both of them are free! (But unfortunately only available for Android phones. If you know of similar apps for ios, please share them in the comments!)

The first is one I have mentioned before on my blog, and the fact that I’m bringing it up will hopefully show how much I love it. The Writeometer. This app allows you to not only track your word count, but it keeps record of it by sessions, organized by day, so you can always look back and see all of the details of each writing session.

It will also help you set a daily word count goal, depending on how many words you want the finished project to be, combined with when you want to be finished by. You can also set alarms to remind you to write!

Not only that, but it comes with a timer, which locks down your phone until the session is complete, at which time you can enter how many words you wrote to update your word count. One of my favorite things about this time, is if you try to exit it (which you can in an emergency), it will give you a little inspirational (or guilt-trip) quote to encourage you to not give up!

The final amazing part of Writeometer is the reward system! For every session that you complete, you earn guava fruit, which you can spend on rewards, which you also set. Some of my rewards (or “Treats” as they are called) include:Read More »