Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Patchwork Thoughts - Fighting Your Inner Grumpy Cat

Yesterday morning I was in a good mood.  I sat down to write an overdo blog and the oddest thing happened - everything I wrote was grumpy.  " webcam sucks!  I need a camera!  Cameras are expensive!"  I brooded.  "RAWR!  I'm so nervous about NaNoWriMo starting Sunday!  Bahhh!"  I sneered.  It was only two paragraphs long and I was still planning to publish it.  My mouse hung over the "Publish" button and I couldn't bring myself to click it.  I thought it was just a wave of laziness washing over me because I was up too late last night.  I closed my computer, certain I would publish it by lunchtime.

And then I started doing some internet surfing.  The usual volley of bad world stuff started crashing in.  Bacon is going to kill you.  Conversion discussion for and against harassment were cancelled due to threats.  SAD THINGS!  BAD THINGS!  MAD THINGS!

....and then I decided to make a new article.

Today is a great day!  I know that sounds sappy but it's true.  I'm honestly tired of being grumpy and anxiety ridden.  Granted, anxiety isn't something merely banished by the clapping of hands but it sure as hell gets easier to deal with when you look at the positives.
Let's look at the positives!  

I think that's the advice I'm going to shoehorn into NaNo inspiration right now, you need to look at the positives.  We are probably going to be feeling very grumpy in a few weeks and we need to learn to be happy right now!  We don't have to master happiness, we just need to surrond ourselves with good thoughts to help us push through.  I have a half day at work.  I'm going to get my house clean.  My puppy is snoring next to me right now.  My husband shaved!  Now take those happy little things and store them like a big ball of light in your chest.  Keep them glowing slightly throughout the day to keep you in a nice lull of happy.  Something go wrong?  Bust open that little ball and let the light fill you completely.  Do this every day for the month of November.  Every morning wake up, make a mental or physical list of little good things in your life and save them for when you get really grump about your story.  Know that times are going to suck, but at the end of the month you are going to have a really, really happy thought to use: YOU WROTE A FREAKING BOOK!



What positives are you going to store up for November?

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Patchwork Thoughts: #NaNoWriMo Nerves

It's getting close.  There are only two weeks and some change left until NaNoWriMo officially starts.  From there, I don't know what will happen.  Will I write 50,000 words?  Will I get 30 pages into my story and realize it's a complete snooze fest?  Will I write the next great American novel?  I have been running these questions frequently through my head, as if mulling it over one more time will give me a clear view of the future.  I've been known to over think, well...everything in my life and this is no exception.  So for the sake of piece of mind lets talk about some writing fears and what we can do as a team to combat it!

1. I don't think I'm going to reach my word goal!

The point of NaNoWriMo is to get to 50,000 words by the end of November, but I've been encouraging my friends to just make a goal and not worry about the 50,000 if it seems to daunting.  I on the other hand, have made it my actual goal to write 50,000 words in 30 days.  I'm hoping that have a very strict time frame will force me to just sit down, get over my anxieties and just write the damn thing.  I think that is the key to dealing with your goal achieving worries, just write.  You have a much better chance of getting there if you just write.  Also, I'm finding the energy of other contagious.  When I'm feeling discouraged I watch a youtube video about NaNo or go on twitter and follow people who are participating.  This community makes me feel a whole lot better and as if I can achieve anything.

2.  What if my story sucks?

I have made a really detailed outline for my story, but do you know what?  It still has a lot of wiggle room in it.  I did that so that I can add more action if the pace seems dull and also, it supplies me with escape routes if I get dissatisfied with what I've done. If you feel like you story is weak, take an escape route and try a new direction.  Just because you veer off the path doesn't mean you won't make it to your end goal, you will just be taking a different route!

3. Is this going to be good enough to publish?

When I was in third grade I decided I wanted to be an author when I grew up.  I proceeded to complete only 2 stories in my young adulthood but started and stopped about 50 stories.  Why?  I constantly asked myself (yes even as an elementary school student) is this good enough to publish?  I put a tremendous amount of pressure on myself to be perfect and to only write things that could someday be published.  The result?  Nothing was ever good enough and I have yet to publish anything.  You need to write for the sake of practicing sometimes and not everything needs to be publishing quality.  Deep down the point of writing should be that you have something to say and you need to get it out.  Of course having readers for your work is fantastic, but you need to write for yourself.  You need to write because it makes you happy, not because it will a hit.  First find happiness and then you can worry about success.  It's what I'm still striving for everyday.

What are you worried about for NaNoWriMo?  Or what are you worried about in general?


Thursday, October 8, 2015

Patchwork Thoughts - Adulting


Bills to pay, ovens to fix, light bulbs burning out, laundry needing folding, interviews, resumes....I've been adulting pretty hard the last few weeks. I keep finding myself paniked, wondering how on earth I am going to keep up with NaNoWriMo when I have a day job and responsibilities at home.  My husband is a first year teacher and it's taking so much out of him but he's loving every moment.  To make his life easier, I've been trying to pick up the slack but I'm just getting out of the busy season of my work and I am FINALLY not having to do 6 day work weeks anymore.  There is just so much time and so little to do!  Wait...ugh I'm too tired, just keep that last sentence.

And I know I could be doing dishes instead of carving my Halloween pumpkin and watching Scream Queens last night.  I just need a break.  I think I'm going to need to get in the habit of regularily waking up at 5:00 a.m. to write my story for NaNoWriMo or else I will risk being too tired everyday when I get home from work.  I'm thinking about announcing to my friends right before November my intentions for the month, but will they really understand what I'm doing and the commitment I'm making?  Luckily I have a few members of my writers group joining me on this crazy November adventure.  I'm getting pumped.  Listening to others excitement about NaNoWriMo is getting me excited!

OH!  And you should totally join me and be my writing buddy!  Go to, create an account, and search for me under Alexandra VanHorn.

I promise some normal, nerdy articles are coming.  It's just that talking about this goal has been so important in making me fully commit to it.  My worst fear is that November will come, I will write 500 words, throw my hands up and go, "Nope!  Too much going on!"  I need this to work.  I need to do this.

My pup is snoring.  Lol!