Wednesday, December 30, 2015

The Write Side of Life Greatest Hits: 2015 Edition

Well, here we are. December 30. About ready to close the book on 2015, and along with this ending comes an inevitable flood of “best of 2015” articles, lists, and yes, blog posts. So who am I to eschew a trend! With all the tradition of the end of the year, I bring you the top 5 most-read posts from The Write Side of Life this year:

In which I talk about my Process. I'm pleased to see one of my videos crack this list. I may not have the best production capabilities, but I do have fun with the videos, and it is nice to know that at least a few people are watching them!

In which I write about the decision to shelve a manuscript. It's a painful one, especially for novel 7, which I still think is a fantastic piece of fiction. Hard to revisit this one, knowing that I am probably approaching this moment in the next couple months for novel 6.

In which I write about the frustration of people trying to be helpful and instead making me feel worse. This is one of my favorite posts (it's something I think about a LOT), and I am glad to see that it resonated with some others too.

In which I share one of the pieces of (free!) software that I use for writing and worldbuilding. I am actually getting ready to put a novel 8 file together, I am still finding WikidPad useful!

In which I participate in a blog hop. I almost did not include this on the list, despite it being my most-viewed post. My argument was that it wasn't a "real" post, but that was mostly bullshit. It was because I am ashamed, because I never completed my part of the blog hop. I was supposed to critique 10 other entries, and I think I only did 2. Yep, I suck. I am really sorry to everyone who did not get my feedback!

Overall, I had 19 total posts this year. I hope to improve that number next year, but I won’t sweat it too much. I have a lot going on in my life, and this blog is a bonus for me. Hopefully you, my dear readers, enjoy it and stick around for the next arbitrary revolution around the sun!

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Anatomy of a Writer's Desk

Let's pull back the curtain for a moment. I'd love to pretend that I'm a sort of romantic writer, penning stories at the fireside in my garret bedroom (I may have read the Emily of New Moon series too many times). The truth is, I do most of my writing on a laptop or my tablet. I sit at an IKEA desk surrounded by piles of items I mean to attend to, next to the dumbbells I use for working out. So I thought I would share with you just how my writing desk looks. This is entirely candid—I snapped this photo the other day without doing any cleaning or organizing beforehand. And here it is!

1. Super fancy printer that can push out manuscript pages with ease—and I can print to it from my couch or desk or toilet or wherever! This was a birthday gift from my boyfriend, who really Gets It when it comes to my passion for writing.

2. Printed out rejection letters that have not been filed into the rejection binder yet. Probably printed from the couch, which is way too far to get up and actually get things off the printer.

3. Writing notebook, buried under random papers (including the user manual for the fancy printer), that may occasionally be brought out to have snippets of dialogue, character descriptions, or story ideas added to it or to be mined for a current project.

4. Minnie Mouse ears from Disneyland. Of course.

5. Wall art from Target, appropriately themed for a writer.

6. A whiteboard built into the desk, perfect for the jotting down of quick notes! And actually used for once, two years ago, writing down my employee ID, and never erased.

7. A detailed schedule and checklist of everything that I plan to accomplish on a weekend day. Planned items could range from laundry and dishes to writing and editing to reading and watching Doctor Who.

8. Hand-drawn (okay, more like hand-scribbled) map for a now-defunct project. I think this one was NaNo 2014. Er, 2013. Yikes.

9. A handful of books related to writing and an autograph book for authors (so far with only N.K. Jemisin’s signature).

10. Proudly holding up the end is the dictionary I got for my 16th birthday. Not that I ever use it—it’s called the Internet!—but doesn’t it just feel writerly to have it there?

11. A pile of old cards and letters that I really, really mean to reply to. Someday.

12. This book was assigned to me by my therapist, before I dumped him for being unhelpful. It is a good book, though! I even have a highlighter and a pen hooked to the cover for notes.

13. A writing book that I swear I am going to read any day now.

14. This folder was used to hold some printed out rejections that need to be filed in the rejection binder. Those are really piling up…

So there you have it! A quick breakdown of where I do a lot of my writing, editing, and bemoaning. What does your space look like??