Tuesday, January 17, 2012

A Picture-a-Day Keeps Me Writing Away

When it comes to being a writer, commitment is key. Without it, you won't finish writing a novel. You won't finish reading a book. You won't keep your house clean or get healthy or you name it. To be committed is to make your dreams tangible, to actually do the thing you think and talk about.

I am committed to my dream of becoming an author. But sometimes when life is difficult, making a daily investment to that commitment feels beyond possible. Most days my mind is so muddled from work, stress, depression, and any number of other things that I am mentally incapable of thinking about my story and where it needs to go next. Add in other things that require my time (housework, reading, working out, Captain Italian) and I am lacking both time and mind, two things necessary to reach my dream.

Part of overcoming depression (for me, at least) is knowing that I can't let bad days spiral out of control and become bad weeks, because before I know it, it will be many bad months past before I realize I've not taken any more steps toward my dream. When I have a bad day, I try to do something to counteract it. Working out, sleeping, watching TV, or just relaxing in some way as to force my mind to shift away from the bad to the good. However, these things, like I said above, take up time, sometimes too much and then even if I feel better, I can't write because it is time to do something else.

I have heard, and feel that it is true from my own experience, that working with your hands helps aid in relaxation of the mind. Finger painting is my favorite way of doing this, but even just writing by hand or coloring works the same way.

So to help me save both time and mind, I decided that every day before I write, I will draw a picture. I bought a sketch book and a set of colorful permanent markers for the job. Now, I am not an artist. Not by any stretch of the imagination. The best thing I ever drew was a dinosaur in the first grade and I never got any better at it.

But I wanted to share this new commitment here on the blog to help keep me accountable. I'm hoping that by the end of January, I will be drawing a picture and writing for at least 30 minutes every single day, and I hope to continue this for the rest of the year. The thought is that when I draw the picture (I start with an open box, like this |__|), I will go to writing directly after completing it, thus using one commitment to spur another.

I'm still shaky on this, not quite into the routine I want, but I'm getting better at it. I plan to do update posts which will help keep me accountable as well as allow you to see the colorful fruit of my labors.

I apologize in advance for the train wreck of artistry you will witness this year at my hand. What I draw is solely based on what I'm thinking about at that time, and more than likely, it will not make any sense. I will try to explain them the best I can, if they are, in fact, explainable.

Here are the first two weeks of my Picture-a-Day commitment. You will probably laugh. You're welcome.

01/01/12 - Happy New Year and fireworks!
01/02/12 -I slept a lot that day.
01/03/12 - Sunny with no chance of snow.
01/04/12 - It rained a lot but rain does not equal snow.
01/05/12 - Come to think of it, pluses don't equal minuses.
01/06/12 - Crazy eyes and eyebrows as seen on TVD.
01/07/12 - The real actors on TVD, the eyebrows.
01/08/12 - I call this Zuglorse. Zebra/Ugly Horse.
01/09/12 - Happy does not equal sad.
01/10/12 - Happy birthday to me!
01/11/12 - Stick figures Just Dancing and one is winning.
01/12/12 - It snowed! Hooray!
01/13/12 - I blame you, Templars, for giving 13 a bad rap.
01/14/12 - How I often feel during workouts.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Write Stuff [17]

Write Stuff  is a weekly meme based on the Wannabe Writer meme hosted by Sarah at Confessions of the Un-Published. This meme is what prompted me to start Writer Quirk, so I am thankful to Sarah for creating it and allowing ANYONE (even a quirkster like me) to join up. So go visit her site and the others who participate. Do it.

Where I am in the writing process:  I finished NaNoWriMo and have been snailing along at writing the draft to completion.

My problem(s) today:  My brain hurts. I haven't felt well the last week or so, thus I haven't felt like writing.

What made me happy today: It snowed! I like winter and snow. I do not, however, like ice. To quote that singer named after a food dish...know what? Never mind. Yay snow!

Goal for tomorrow: Write for just 30 minutes. In other words, just make the freaking bed.

Do you have writing resolutions or goals for the new year?

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Giveaway Highlight: Rafflecopter

Win an Apple iPad 2 or an Amazon Kindle Fire from Rafflecopter! Also, if you enter because of my post, pleas tell them Shalena @ Writer Quirk referred you!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Writer Quirk Birthday Giveaway!


Today is my birthday and I want to celebrate by giving away a bunch of books!  

Four lucky quirks will win one of four YA prize packs!

YA Contemporary Pack

Gossip Girl (Gossip Girl #1) by Cecily von Ziegesar
ARC Catching Jordan by Miranda Kenneally
Wherever Nina Lies by Lynn Weingarten
Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher

YA Vampire Pack

Blue Bloods (Blue Bloods #1) by Melissa de la Cruz
Masquerade (Blue Bloods #2) by Melissa de la Cruz
Revelations (Blue Bloods #3) by Melissa de la Cruz

YA Paranormal Pack

Shade (Shade #1) by Jeri Smith-Ready 
Evernight (Evernight #1) by Claudia Gray


YA Fey/Fantasy Pack
Wings (Wings #1) by Aprilynne Pike
Graceling (Seven Kingdoms #1) by Kristin Cashore
Fire (Seven Kingdoms #2) by Kristin Cashore

Just follow the instructions in the Rafflecopter widget to enter.
(1 mandatory entry; 25 extra points available)
This giveaway is US only and all the usual rules apply.
Giveaway ends 11:59pm EST January 31st!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, January 6, 2012

Giveaway Highlight: Book Nerd Reviews

Melissa over at Book Nerd Reviews is giving away one of four January 2012 releases to one lucky winner!
Giveaway is international and ends January 31st!
 Enter HERE!

2012 Reading Challenge



2012 Reading Challenge

2012 Reading Challenge
Writer Quirk has read 0 books toward her goal of 75 books.

After seeing this post the other day, I decided it would be good for me to try something new in regards to reading this year. So, I went and officially signed myself up for my first ever reading challenge. Woot!

Last year, I read about 60 books, which was more than I had expected. My goal for this year is 75 books. I also want to be more intentional with it, not only reading a bunch of books, but challenging myself to review more. I also plan to do (at least) a monthly update of my progress to keep myself accountable.

For my challenge, I am counting both physical books and audio books, mostly YA. Beyond this, I am also challenging myself to read more craft books on writing, but I'm not going to count those toward the overall goal.

I'm going to use the Goodreads widget (seen above and on my sidebar) to keep track.  I don't have a set list of books, but here are some that I am hoping to count toward my goal:

Timepiece by Myra McEntire
Ditched by Robin Mellom
Every Other Day by Jennifer Lynn Barnes
Out of Sight, Out of Time by Ally Carter
Insurgent by Veronica Roth
The Immortal Rules by Julie Kagawa
Les Miserables by Victor Hugo
Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver
Incarnate by Jodi Meadows
Blood Magic by Tessa Gratton
Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi
Until I Die by Amy Plum
Spell Bound by Rachel Hawkins
Terrier by Tamora Pierce
Bloodhound by Tamora Pierce
Mastiff by Tamora Pierce
Raised by Wolves by Jennifer Lynn Barnes
Shadow Falls by Cate Tiernan
Beautiful Chaos by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl
The Revenant by Sonia Gensler
Revived by Cat Patrick
Two Truths and a Lie by Sara Shepard
Supernaturally by Kiersten White
Endlessly by Kiersten White
Brightly Woven by Alexandra Bracken

If I even get half of these, it will be a good year for reading!

Are you participating in a challenge this year? Do you have reading goals?

Happy reading!