Monthly Archives: January 2011

The Mood to Write, and other mythical ideas

So I’ve been struggling lately to get back into a writing routine. I took a bit of time off after I burned myself out with a technically-victorious but personally unsatisfying National Novel Writing Month in November (or NaNoWriMo if yo’ nasty), and spent the darkest days of winter laying some stronger foundations for the year ahead. Then The Holidays happened, and us kids found out we had a long-lost half-brother (no, I’m not joking), and I was severely distracted for a while. Anyway, the point is I’m trying to get back into writing again and it is HARD.

I didn’t expect it to be easy. I’ve been writing like the wind for years now, and I know that it takes huge effort to discipline yourself into writing. But I’m re-training myself to have that kind of discipline again, even though it’s still dark and cold outside, and I’m still sleepy and wanting to hibernate. And it got me thinking, as I was cracking down on myself this morning, telling myself “damn it you’re going to write those 3 pages today, tomorrow, and the next…” about all the times I have decided not to write because I wasn’t “in the mood.” Or all the millions of times I’ve heard people say “I can only write when I’m inspired.”

Well, that’s bullshit.

Writing is not something that happens because a Muse comes down from Olympus and blows us full of ideas. Yes, we can be inspired to write, and have moments, days, even weeks when we’re thrilled to sit down at the page every day and cry a little when we have to put away the word processor or pen. But in most cases, while we might think about writing all day, and daydream about our characters and stories, and we “can’t wait to write today,” when the time comes we have to drag ourselves away from every single tiny distraction that we can possibly use to keep us away from the page. We struggle to plunk ourselves down and force ourselves to write. And an amazing thing happens then. If we can force ourselves to focus, to not check Facebook or answer the phone or start making grocery lists, at about 500 words (small potatoes!) the inspiration comes to us. We find ourselves nudged forward by a playful gust of creativity, ready to sweep us up in the fire.

And inspiration- it is fire, a fire that burns brightly when we give it fuel. The fuel itself is action- is writing. For another artist, it might be practicing instruments, sketching, singing, but for writers, if we want to find inspiration we need to show the Muse that we’re responsible parents, that we’ll take care of our brain children, that ideas are safe with us.

So next time you (or I) find yourself avoiding the sometimes-not-so-easy joy of writing because your mood isn’t right, or the gods of literature just aren’t on your side that day? Sit down, turn off your phone, disconnect the internet, and write.

As one of my favorite novels (Dune, by Frank Herbert) says: “Mood is a thing for cattle and women- mood is not for fighting.” Well word warriors? Just DO IT!

Professional Editing Services

Now open to new clients

If you’re interested in having a professional take a look at your writing, make sure you know what kind of editing you’re in the market for before you invest. The types of editing I offer are listed below and are standard for the publishing industry. They are listed in the order they are (usually) done:

  • Substantive editing – structure, setting, character development, theme, etc.–“Big Picture” editing ($8/approximate page)
  • Line editing – stylistic editing, grammar, puntuation, diction, making sure words flow at the proper pace and impact for your work. ($8/approximate page)
  • Copyediting – improving the formatting, style, and accuracy of text ($5/approximate page)
  • Proofreading – detecting and correcting production-errors ($2.50/page)
  • Formatting for eBook – for INDEPENDENT AUTHORS – preparing a document from your source file that is fully formatted and ready for conversion for Kindle Direct Publishing, PubIt!, Smashwords.com, and other eBook publishing sites (depending on the source file, this can be a smooth or grueling process, so I have to go with an hourly rate for this service, $25/hour)

 

Every service I offer includes a 10 to 30 minute gmail chat/AIM chat session after the client has had a chance to look over my notes. I do charge the lower end of the industry’s standard prices, mainly because I love writers :) You can see the standard hourly rates here.

Because some of these services can overlap, I also offer package services and add-ons at a discount instead of charging for two separate services:

  • Heavy Copyediting – combination of Line and Copyediting ($10/approximate page)
  • Proofreading add-on – add Proofreading to any other editing service for 50% off
  • Formatting for eBook – add Formatting to any other editing service for 50% off

 

Custom packages are also available.

For more information about pricing and services, feel free to contact me using the “Contact” page, the tab to the left, or leave a comment here :)

 Why hire this lady?

Aside from my advanced placement in English classes since I was ten years old (*ahem*), I have been writing and editing creative, academic, and professional text for over ten years, beginning with gratis work for secondary school and university literary magazines, and advertisement copy for several local businesses. I have worked with and edited the following kinds of writing for exchange:

  • Creative writing (novels, short stories, essays)
  • Academic writing
  • Screenplays
  • Articles
  • Ad copy
  • Blog content
  • News letters
  • CVs/Resumes

  

I’ve also had the opportunity to coordinate a local writing group for nearly five years, wherein we explored and honed our abilities as constructive critics, which means I know how to tell you what works and what doesn’t without making it feel like I’m punching you in the gut. Also important is my ability to critique your work from an unbiased place, without turning it into my own writing or into something that better suits my own tastes. 

In addition to my real-world experience, I hold a BA in Media Study from the University at Buffalo. During my time at school I was able to work with students and professors to expand my understanding and experience working with multiple forms of communication, all of which involved effective writing and editing. I also had the opportunity to study publishing and writing in Oxford, England.

Please feel free to contact me with any questions, or for more information.