Last Look Back Stats

Last Look Back Stats

book cover mockups1

*drum roll please*

Today, for your reading pleasure, I will be giving you every stat and fact you ever needed to know about Last Look Back.

Let’s begin:

  1. I started writing Last Look Back on November 4, 2013.
  2. It began as a Nanowrimo project and the story came from a collection of personal experiences at college and an idea I had when I was younger. (Of course you already knew that.)
  3. I finished Last Look Back officially on October 2, 2014. It’s been almost a year. I worked on it off and on over the year and I was finishing my degree, so I could’ve probably finished it in less time if I focused.
  4. Last Look Back is over 300 pages long…
  5. It has 41 chapters and an epilogue…
  6. and it is over 90, 000 words long!
  7. Last Look Back is the longest book I have written in my life.
  8. I can’t really categorize the genre because there is a little bit of everything in this book. The easiest way to explain the genre is to call it Fiction or Adventure/Romance. That still doesn’t quite cover it. Maybe I should come up with an entirely new genre.
  9. I would classify Last Look Back as a Young Adult/New Adult book. I think ages 18 to 24 would identify most with the book, but the experiences throughout the plot are universal so I think people of all ages will find something that they enjoy about this book.
  10. I wish November 14th was here already so we could have the Launch Party and I could finally share Last Look back with you all . I’ll just have to be patient. The day will get here soon enough. 32 more days 🙂

From the #1 Rule-Breaker,

My

Writing update of the New Year

Writing update of the New Year

On November 4, 2013, I made the decision to start my novel. It was in conjunction with Nanowrimo. Though I did not reach the 50,000 word limit in November as the guidelines dictate, I am happy to say that as of today I have reached that goal and my novel is 50,137 words. Woah! I never knew just how many words that actually was until I tried to write them. As I said in my Nanowrimo post, I underestimated just how much 50,000 words was and it makes me proud that I have stuck to the goal despite its difficulty. I plan to keep pushing through until I finish the story and then I will be trudging through the rewrites and all the glamorous things involved in book writing that they tell you about in movies.

This journey has been so much fun. I could spend hours staring at a screen creating a world that has not been discovered before. I  have had to tear myself away from the screen many times to go eat. I love getting trapped in my own mind and just wandering around wherever my words take me. I often think I’m crazy to like being by myself so much just writing. I’m pretty sure that’s the introvert in me or possibly the writer in me as well.  There are many quotes that say to be a writer is to be insane. That struggle against silence is not for the weak or lighthearted. During this time, I’ve learned that writing is an uphill slope. It’s a daily battle and a struggle against silence. It’s a question of perseverance. The real writer, the true writer writes every day breaking new ground and achieving a goal. I don’t know if that makes me a real or a true writer. I just appreciate having something that I want to protect and that I’m willing to work for. I look forward to learning even more lessons as I finish my first ever novel.

What is that one thing that you all love? That one thing that you’d work for and you love more than anything? I’d love to read about it in the comments below. 

From the #1 rule-breaker,

My

The Pursuit of Inspiration

The Pursuit of Inspiration

As we have learned, we can’t just sit around and wait for inspiration to decide to knock on our doors. Most of the time, we need to take it upon ourselves to pursue inspiration. That’t the name of the game today. So, how does one pursue inspiration? If you have been stuck sitting at a computer for hours on end like I’ve been, you will know that inspiration can be effortlessly elusive. How does one catch up to it? Simple. You find inspiration by not looking for it.

What?!?!

Now hear me out. Have you ever approached a deer and as soon as you came closer it sprinted away? The same concept applies to inspiration. You can’t go after inspiration with guns blazing. You’ll scare it off. Pursuing inspiration takes tact, it takes planning and above all else, it take silence.

So, you have a deadline and you have no idea what else you can write. You’re frustrated and you’re questioning your skills as a writer. Here’s what you do:

1. Calm down. The more frustrated you are, the harder it will be for the ideas to flow. Take a breather if you need to. Go for a walk and most importantly, don’t panic.

2. Be quiet. I’m sure by this point you may think your work is trash, but that doesn’t mean you have to say it aloud. You’ll psych yourself out the more you hear yourself saying how awful you are. Just breath. You are not awful! Also, I’m not sure if anyone is like me, but the more silent a room, the more my brain starts racing. When you’re looking for something to write about, those thoughts are your best friend, but the only way you can expect to hear them is if you’re quiet. Trust me.

3. Stop caring so much. Now, I’m sure you’ll think I’m crazy with this one, but think about it, how many times have you been so worried about the word count or the deadline or the subject matter that you completely blocked yourself and now you have little to no words to show for it. Believe me, I can be as anxious as the next person when it comes to my writing because I want it to be perfect. The thing is, perfection is a fool’s pursuit. I can only write the best that is within me and I have done my best work when I stopped caring and just started writing. All I would do is just type and let my fingers connect to the idea center in my brain and just get out of my own way. It works, I promise and I’m a better writer because of it.

4. Respect the Art form. I do believe we need to stop caring when it comes to the trivial things revolving writing, but I also believe that a level of respect and reverence is necessary in the pursuit of that amazing idea. As you approach inspiration, do so respectfully. Don’t think that just because you’ve won so many awards that you’re suddenly the best writer on the planet. There are times when we think we’re so awesome that we take our minds and inspiration for granted.When we find ourselves on top of the world, it appears that nothing  and no one will be able to bring us down, but that isn’t true. There’s always going to be a way down. Without respect for words and writing, inspiration will not be kind and the critics will be much worse.

5. Open your mind. Even if  something doesn’t look like much, it could be the key to your next novel if you think hard enough. You can’t be inspired with a closed mind, that just isn’t how this works. Sometimes, you need to pause and take a look around. Maybe your inspiration was hiding right in front of your face. Nearly anything can be inspiration, if you open your mind and your eyes to the possibilities.

With these ideas in tow, you may be able to pursue inspiration. The best of luck to you.

From the #1 rule-breaker,

My

The topic for today is…

The topic for today is…

…I have no idea.
I don’t have any thought-provoking topic planned for today, buddies. I hope you’re not disappointed. It’s a Saturday and I’m a bit sleepy. I really love these lazy winter days. Since, I’ve been home, I haven’t had to do anything and I am in love with not doing anything. I’m not a person that needs to go with a lot of people or be in the middle of the action all of the time. Frankly, that tires me out and I prefer to just sit down, write or read a book (or all three depending on my mood.)
I guess the best thing I can do is update you on what I’ve been up to. I had a wonderful conversation with my best friend on skype yesterday. I like being able to chat with someone that understands the sort of changes I am trying to make in my life and is just as crazy as I am. I believe I talked about having a friend network before and how important it is to have people that lift you up. This friend is definitely in that network. It’s wonderful to have people that care about you and that will work with you. It’s no fun trying to live life alone, so hug a friend today or maybe a random stranger. (I’m just kidding, please don’t go hugging random people. It’s a strange world out there, folks.)
Alright, hmmm, what’s next? Oh yeah! There’s only 4 days until Christmas! And pretty soon it will be new year’s. This year went by so fast and I am thankful that I am able to spend another year with my family. In recent years, my family has pulled back on exchanging gifts and have focused more on just being together as a family. We  hang out all day on Christmas, pig out on a whole lot of food that is bad for us and watch lots of movies all day. Because of my family, this is my favorite time of year. I can’t wait for Christmas to come.
And now for the pièce de résistance (that’s french for piece de resistance, lol, I had to do it. Couldn’t resist.)
I just thought I’d give you an update on how I’m coming along on my book. I can’t give any of the details just yet, but the book is currently 105 pages long and 34, 360 words. I’m just about half way there of reaching my goal which is around 70,000 to 75,000 words. I’m extremely proud of the progress I have made and this is by far, the longest thing that I have ever written and dare I say it, this just may be the best. I have had so much fun writing so far and I’m enjoying going on this journey with my characters. You can expect another update when I hit 50,000 words and I may even give you a sneak peek at the story or share some details. I’m not sure which, I haven’t decided. I think that’s about all I really have going on. This is slightly longer than I intended, but hey, what can I say, I like to write. That’s all from me. Bye 🙂

From the #1 rule-breaker.
My

Word Counts are distacting

Word Counts are distacting

Have you ever busy typing away on your next big writing project and then in mid-sentence, you innocently try to take a quick glance at your word count. You’re just trying to see how far you’ve gotten. But, your word count doesn’t give you any good news and you’re farther behind on your word count than you thought. So, you stop in mid-sentence and started stressing about how you’re never going to meet your deadline and that the world is definitely out to get you and your book. You start to gripe about the unfairness of the world and this by the way takes an even bigger chunk from your word count than before. I’m sure every writer has been through this, but I never realized how easy it was to get distracted from my writing. I thought word counts were in my favor, but they quickly take my mind from my overall goal. It dawned on me that I should just get rid of my word counter, or at least that part that I can quickly glance at. I can still check the word count periodically when I need to, but it doesn’t distract when I can’t clearly see it. I’m allowed to just focus on the words which should be the overall goal in the first place. I’m glad I have learned another tip that will help me in my writing journey and I hope it helps you as well.

From the #1 rule-breaker,

My

Nanowrimo, Thank you

Nanowrimo, Thank you

For the month of November, writers all over the world tried their hand at writing a novel in a month for National Novel Writing Month, Nanowrimo for short.

The rules: 50,000 words in 30 days.

I myself was even crazy enough to take on the challenge. I saw the notice for Nanowrimo and was intrigued. I mean I’ve always wanted to a write a novel, so why not write one in a month. I quickly realized how daunting of a task it was going to be and how long 50,000 words really was. Seriously, I never knew just how much I was going to have to write until I was on day 7 with only 1,407 words and over 48,000 words to go. It was harder than I expected, but I am happy to say that I am pressed on nevertheless.

I wrote as much as I could, but with other papers to turn in and time obligations to organizations, my novel didn’t stand a chance. So, here we are on Day 30 and me with 24,031 words. I’m a fond believer in miracles, but I honestly don’t think I will be able to knock out 25, 969 in the 7 hrs until the deadline tonight at midnight.

Suffice to say, I’m going to “lose” Nanowrimo and strange thing is I couldn’t be happier. I’m not a good loser, so that’s weird coming from me. I learned so much in this Nanowrimo journey that winning isn’t an issue. For the first time in a long time, I found joy in my writing. I was writing just for the sake of writing. With a word count and deadline to consider, I could’t nitpick  on every word. I admit my inner editor was a little hard to silence in the early days and there were moments when I just had to look back at what I wrote, but those moments were thankfully few and far between. It was all such a freeing experience to just write and not care about was going into my computer. To write uninhibited by that little voice in the back of your head is amazing. I can edit later. I can make it sound pretty and fantastic whenever, but for now, what’s important is just getting the words out. In this respect, I can do whatever and I did. I could write whatever I wanted. After a while, I just had to peek back out of curiosity. I needed to read what I had and I couldn’t believe how good it sounded! It showed me just how good I was when I got out of my head and just let the words flow.

During this month, I learned so much about myself as a writer and this profession that I eventually want to go into. I learned how important writing is to me and how much I really do love it. I felt such a rush as I was writing and was actually excited to see where the story would go. It’s been a while since I’ve been excited about something. For that, I thank you Nanowrimo. Thank you Nanowrimo for allowing me this opportunity to just write. Thank you for giving me the drive to keep on writing even when I don’t feel like. I’m not even kidding, those pep talks from writers are what got me through.

Honestly, I don’t care that I didn’t win because it’s not whether you win or lose, it’s how you play the game. As long as I’m satisfied with what I’ve done, I’m all good. I have more than what I had 30 days ago and for that I am thankful.

From the #1 Rule-Breaker,

My

P.S. And just so you know, just because the month is over, doesn’t mean I’m going to stop writing. I’m going to finish this novel. I will finish what I started. I’m going to invest more in my writing and will take more time to just more write. I’m excited for the upcoming months and where my writing will take me.