Tag Archives: Blogging

I’m Back!

Well, hello there Epic Dreamers. I’ve missed you all. I’ve missed this blog and writing posts.

I didn’t really mean to take a break from blogging. It just sort of happened after so many times of sitting down to write a post and realizing I had nothing to say. Eventually, I stopped thinking about it and the next thing I know, it has been months since I’ve been on here.

I’ve enjoyed the break after seven years (how has it already been that long?!) of blogging, but lately I’ve been thinking how I miss the writing community here and feeling an internal nudge to start writing again.

I’m here now to announce that I am officially back from my unofficial sabbatical. 🙂

I’m planning on keeping the content the same: a mix of writing tips and short stories. So it’s back to the good ol’ Invisible World you know and love! I’ll be giving you different ways to outline your novel next week in honor of preptober (prepping your novel for November’s NaNoWriMo) and I also have a short story coming up after that (I’ve missed writing short stories).

Hopefully Indivisible World hasn’t been shoved down WordPress’s algorithm tunnels so far that all my readers are washed away. 😀

Let me know if you’re still here with a comment, if you would be so kind. And if anyone has any suggestions for future posts, I would be glad to hear them.

I look forward to chatting with you all again!

 

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Growing as a Writer: Blogging

Hey Epic Dreamers! Welcome to the second post in our Grow as a Writer series. The last Thursday of every month we’ll be discussing ways to grow as writers. It’s all about how we can stretch ourselves and strengthen our writing skills.

Today we’ll be discussion how blogging can make you a better author.

Most of you Epic Dreamers already have a blog of your own…that’s how you came across Invisible World in the first place. So you’re probably thinking, “I already blog. Tell me something I don’t do. This isn’t the big writing secret that will give me a writing superpower.”

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It may seem a bit anticlimactic since it’s something you’re already doing, but knowing why we are doing something keeps us motivated to continue doing it even when it gets repetitious or we run out of ideas.

It’s pretty obvious why writing a blog post would improve your writing skills.

1. You get use to putting your thoughts and ideas on paper.

2. You get better at wording things and making your sentences flow.

But that’s the boring stuff (well maybe not that boring…we writers are a bit nerdy). What we’re really looking for is how to be better authors. We want the skills that will make us better storytellers. If all we cared about was the technical side of writing, than we would spend our time creating a textbook on grammar. What about all that stuff that will help us pursue our dream, whether that’s finding an agent, self publishing, or gathering a following on Wattpad?

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Posting on a blog may not have all the bells and whistles of story writing, but it will still strengthen the skills needed to be a writer.

There are two main reason why I’m glad that I started blogging before I started writing my book. And as I’m sure you guessed, I’m going to share them with you. 🙂

 

Discipline and Commitment

If you start a blog, you have to be committed to it. It can’t just be something you start one weekend because you’re bored and you’ve already read your copy of Me Before You five times and are tired of sobbing when you get to the end.

Starting a blog means committing to a certain number of posts each month. It means disciplining yourself to write even when you don’t feel like it.

Making yourself sit down to write regularly and building your skills at committing to a long-term project are exactly what you need to be an author, no matter the platform.

If you don’t have the discipline to write a 500-word post, how will you write a 100,000-page novel? If you aren’t committed enough to post regularly, will you have the dedication to put out new chapters for your Wattpad audience?

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A blog gives you a place to practice discipline and commitment on a small scale so when you decide you want to give that 100,000-word novel a try, you already have the skills needed.

 

Gets you used to others reading your work

It’s a bit daunting for new writers to share their work. Writing isn’t like completing a math equation. You’ve put your heart and soul into it. You’ve created something that wasn’t there before. From somewhere deep inside, you’ve pulled out a whole new universe. You’re basically a magician.

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But in spite of this incredible gift you have and all the effort you’ve put into your story, there’s still fear rising in the pit of your stomach at the thought of anyone actually reading it. What if they don’t like it? What if they think it’s boring? And what if they have *gasp* critiques?

This is your precious, perfect little baby and if anyone says anything negative about it, that would stab a knife through your heart.

That might seem a bit dramatic to any non-writers reading this, but anyone who’s written a story knows exactly what I’m talking about. You’re not just sharing a story. You’re sharing a piece of yourself that no one has seen. And that’s scary.

Instead of waiting until you have a whole novel before you let someone see that piece of you, try sharing snippets at a time.

A blog is a perfect platform for you to share short stories or scenes from longer works before throwing your 100,000-word baby at someone and hoping they don’t tear it to pieces.

I never experienced the deer-in-the-head-lights panic that so many authors talk about when I first shared my book with people, and I attribute that to this blog. I was so used to people reading what I wrote that it was like, “Yeah, that’s why I wrote this…so people can read it.”

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Besides teaching you discipline and getting you used to sharing your work, it also gives you a place to experiment with what styles or genres work for you and gives you a place to meet other writers.

I highly recommend blogging to anyone even remotely interested in writing stories, even if you aren’t sure writing fiction is for you. Once you’ve blogged a few months, you’ll know. I started this blog as an experiment and now, four years later, I’m still doing it. And if that isn’t a writing superpower, I don’t know what is. 😉

So if you haven’t started a blog by now, what are you waiting for?!

 

 

 

The Theme for 2019

So, I Cheated on NaNoWriMo

Hey there Epic Dreamers! 
It’s been a while since I’ve said that. I think since early November. It feels good to be back after two months of auto posting. I hope I didn’t forget how to write a post. 😛

The month of November was NaNoWriMo, so I spent the month attempting to get 50000 words down. I’ve done this a few times before, but this time I made it harder on myself and tried to get those words out of a detailed outline and not a first draft, which is the best way to utilize NaNo. I didn’t do this on purpose (who would torture themselves like that?). I had just finished my fourth draft of The Hashna Stone the day before NaNo (Bad timing right? All those words going uncounted). But I couldn’t waste the opportunity to use the motivation NaNo gives to push myself, not to mention I really an addicted to NaNo and the thought of interrupting my winning streak was too much for me to bear. For every year won, a little flame decorates the year of participation. My OCDness wouldn’t let year  5 go without the flame.

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So I decided to use November to work on a detailed outline of book two of The Hashna Stone

The problem was that outlining starts with brainstorm, and while sometimes that includes sitting at the computer and word vomiting, it also includes a bunch of walking in circles while muttering to yourself. In the brainstorming process, there is a lot of time spent away from the computer. Needless to say, this didn’t help my word count. I did write a more detailed outline than what I did for The Hashna Stone (which I think will make the actual writing of the book easier, and it allowed my to do a bunch of cool things that would be a mess if I tried to figure it out in the first draft). I also did some world building and character development that added some words to my floundering word count, but in the end I was still about 10,000 words short.

So what did I do? I cheated of course. 

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I took the words from the last three chapters I rewrote in The Hashna Stone and added it to my word count. 

This seemed fair because I did think about waiting for NaNo to write those chapters since it was only a week and a half away, but I couldn’t stand to hold myself back from writing. Life does that enough without me doing it to myself. So I went ahead and wrote them, naively thinking that I would still have enough words to write. 

I may not have the words, but I still put the time in. I could have blabbed on for 10,000 words about nothing, but I would have rather used that time to come up with terrible situations to put my characters in. When you spend two hours going over possibilities in your head and come away with two sentences, it’s unfair to measure success by a word count. In one month, I went from having no clue what would happen in the second book to figuring out everything from beginning to end.

So yes, I borrowed 10,000 words from the week before November and didn’t actually write all the words in November. But I did reach my goal for the month: to have a detailed outline. Moving forward with the story matters more than a certain number of words. Isn’t that why we do NaNo in the first place?

I guess you’re going to call the NaNo police on me and I’ll be put in a room with no laptop, no pen and paper, and ordered to refinance from writing while serving my time. 
But I still think it was worth it, just to have those little fires all in a row.

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Book Update: Can I Throw it in the Trash?

Hey there Epic Dreamers!

It’s been a while since I’ve done a “Just Chatting” post and it’s been even longer since I’ve shared any news about the book I’m working on. So I thought today would be a good day to spend some time chatting about my book.

For those of you who are around here, I’ll give you a quick history of how this book got started. About two years ago, I posted chapters of a story I called The Hashna Stone that ended with a decision to be made and a poll so readers could vote on what would happen next.

By the time we reached the end of this little story, I realized that this could be more than a choose your own adventure. With a little sprucing up, it could be a book.

So, I spent a year writing and rewriting and rewriting some more to turn this little story into a novel-sized story.

At the beginning of this year, I announced that the manuscript was finished and I was ready to send it off to agents.

Woohoo! All my hard work has finally paid off and I’m going to be rich and famous from the product of my labor!

Okay, that’s not exactly what I thought. At that point, I’d read tons about how difficult it was to get an agent and have a book published. I knew it would be tough, but I was hopeful. I knew it wouldn’t be easy, but it could still happen right?

Fast forward to eight months later (now) and I’m about ready to chuck the thing in the garbage and finally accept that I’m only good at writing short stories for my blog. (Okay, not exactly… I could never destroy something that I worked on for that long  😛 )

I did set it aside after finishing the third draft, which is what I sent agents. The break was good for me though. It allowed me to look at the story more objectively and see some problem areas.

I haven’t sent a query letter to an agent in months, partly because I got burned out after so many rejection letters and partly because I realized that the story could be better, but didn’t know how to fix it.

At the moment, I have some ideas about the new direction I should take the story in, and I’m slowly (VERY slowly) making the changes needed in yet another draft. I’m going to finish making all these changes before I start sending to agents again. I don’t want one to ask for a manuscript that isn’t finished.

I’ll give you a little more detail in another post, but for now I just wanted to do a quick update so you wouldn’t think I’d forgotten about it or threw it in a river somewhere. 😛

Until next time Epic Dreamers!

 

 

Happy 4th Birthday Invisible World!

It’s been four years since I’ve started Invisible World, and while in some ways it seems like I’ve always been blogging, I can’t believe that I’ve been at it for that many years. It seems like it wasn’t that long ago when I hit “publish” on that first post and eagerly awaited my first like. I still remember the excitement when a small group of friends seemed to sprout out of no where. With their kind words and dedicated support of those first few short stories I posted, they not only planted the seeds for a successful blog, but they gave me the encouragement I needed to take writing seriously.

I might have some small talent, but I knew I had a lot to learn, and I owed it to my readers (however few they might be) to hone my craft and present them with better material. I read books, found articles on Pinterest, and listening to podcasts. I realized that storytelling wasn’t just something I was trying out, but it was something I LOVED to do.

As the years went by, the blog evolved. The short stories I posted get better (I hope ;)) and I even did a thirty-something chapter story with you all (which is now a book in its fourth draft!). If you would have told me four years ago that I would write a book, I would have rolled my eyes and asked what kind of drugs you were on. 😛

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But all of your support has encouraged me every step of the way.

So, instead of listing Invisible World’s stats or featuring my favorite post of the year, I’d like to say thank you to a few wonderful people who have made Invisible World a better place. More than that, they have made me a better writer.

A special thanks to…

Christopher from clcouch123 for your encouraging and insightful comments. You never fail to have something thoughtful to say to add to the discussion. There seems to always be some interesting tidbit you share (like the “characternym” 😉 ). And you are always super encouraging and make me feel way smarter than I actually am. Not to mention, you don’t mind my jokes about the dark side and cookies and my terrible Yoda-phrased sentences. 😀

 

Mayur from itsmayurremember for your enthusiasm for my stories. Your comments never fail to make me feel like a real writer and not just a girl with a big imagination scribbling down a bunch of stuff and hoping that it turns into a cohesive story. You remind me to never give up.

 

K. A. Parker for your friendship. We’ve been around the blogging community for a bit and it’s nice to have someone to share the ups and downs with (and to tag me in twitter #AboutMyWork games that I take forever to do 😉 ).

 

Joy Pixley from Tales from Eneana for your support both inside and outside the blogging realm. Not only are you a constant support for my blog, but you and I have been through quite a few NaNos and Camp NaNos together. It was so wonderful to be able to talk with someone who understood what it was like to feel overwhelmed at the amount of words we needed to write, or what it was like to sneak off  on Thanksgiving Day to cram in a few extra words. And it was great to have someone to celebrate with at the end of it all, because only a fellow NaNoWriMo participant can ever truly understand what that’s like. I always looked forward to seeing your name in my inbox. 🙂

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Jeyna Grace for being the very first commenter on my blog. Though I’m sure you don’t remember, I always will. It was so exciting to find that someone actually read my stuff and took the time to comment in those early days. 😀

 

booksandbark for being one of my first blogging friends. I remember thinking how adorable your blog was and hoping one day mine would look as cute (though I don’t think I ever reached that goal :D).

 

Nandini Bharadwaj from Unputdownable Books for being my twin from across the world. You’ve been an amazing friend from the moment you offered to proofread the chapters of The Hashna Stone that I posted (Can you believe that was two years ago?) to the moment we found out that we both loved LOTR GIFs and were obsessed with Myers Briggs personality tests. As much as we’re alike, you are sooo much better at proofreading than I am. 😀 You’re super smart, and I can only hope that your intelligence will rub off on me. 😉

 

Jessica from Jes2G  for sticking with me for so long. You’ve been around for awhile, but somehow you aren’t tired of me yet. You’re either just as crazy as I am, or you have no other friends. 😛 (Just kidding everyone…her blog is super popular and she probably has more readers than I do :D) I’m so glad I stumbled across your blog…was it two or three years ago? *shrug* We became instant friends, and now I’ll always have someone to talk with about the woes of the creative process and our crazy characters.

 

A blog is more than just one person putting out a post every week. It’s a community where people can come together to discuss things that they are passionate about. A group of friends supporting each other and encouraging each other to follow their dreams.

I’m so thankful for all of you that have been with me, whether it’s been a few years or a few weeks. I appreciate all of your comments and words of encouragement. Invisible World wouldn’t be the same without all of you. And neither would I.

Thank you Epic Dreamers!

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Announcing Some Fun Changes

Hey there Epic Dreamers! It’s been some time since I’ve done a post under “Just Chatting.” I’ve done a few short stories and quite a lot of writing tips, so I’ll drop the dramatic voice of a storyteller and the sage voice of a teacher and just, well, chat.

I’ve been thinking over the last month or so that I should change things up on this blog. I’ve always wrote whatever I felt like for a post, never sticking to a schedule or planning ahead (unless I did a series). As Thursday would get closer I’d think, “Hmm, I think I’ll write about query letters,” or “I feel inspired. I’m going to write a short story.”

I enjoy being able to chose from a variety of options when it comes to post so I don’t get so locked in to a ridged plan that I kill the creativity. But while I do enjoy the flexibility this gives me, not having any sort of schedule does have its down sides.

Because I’m just going with what I feel like doing, I can go for months writing the same type of posts. (For example, I haven’t posted anything but writing tips since March.) This might get a bit tedious for those of you who followed mainly for the short stories, especially if you have no desire to write stories yourself. And even if you are enjoying my sage writing advice (which of course you are…why wouldn’t you be?), you might appreciate some variety in the posts instead of a barrage of writing tips followed by two months solid of short stories, followed by three weeks without anything.

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Which brings me to my next downside to not having a schedule…

Leaving blog posts to my whims means sometimes they don’t get done. If I don’t feel inspired and can’t think of an idea after a few minutes of staring at a blank screen, then I decide it wasn’t meant to be and I’ll try again next week. And sometimes this happens a few weeks in a row.

Okay, so I just looked through my post schedule and it isn’t that bad. I posted constantly every month this year. Except for April, when I only posted once. *winces* And I did skip the last two weeks before this post, so maybe that’s where the guilt is coming from.

Maybe my lack of posts is a sign that I’m a bit burned out and in need of a change.

So here it is! Introducing my brilliant and totally revolutionary new idea, The Blog Schedule! (Which other blogs already implemented successfully long ago…but shh…let me feel like this is my brilliant idea.)

 

The schedule will look like this.

First Thursday: Poem/Short Story

Second Thursday: Writing Tips

Third Thursday: a book review

Fourth Thursday: Writing Tips

*Random times: Just Chatting

It’s pretty self explanatory. I’ll post a poem or short story on the first Thursday of the month, Writing Tips posts on the second and fourth Thursday, and I’ll throw in a Just Chatting whenever I have some news to share. And if there is a fifth Thursday in a month, I’ll use it to take a break. 😛

You may have noticed that I didn’t mention the third Thursday of the month. You may also have noticed that there was something new on the list of posts.

Which brings me to my second announcement of this post…I’ll be starting a new segment on my blog: book reviews!

I’ve never written book reviews before, so don’t expect anything professional. It will just be my opinion on books I’ve read. Nothing in depth and complicated. I’ll tell you why I liked it, why I didn’t, and try not to give any spoilers. 😛

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So, we have a new schedule and a new post subject. I’m excited to get started! I hope you’re just as excited as I am. This new schedule is going to give Invisible World some much needed structure and keep the many different post types I do on here rotating. Let me know what you think about the changes and if you have any other ideas for me to implement. 

See you next week!

 

*Oh and the new schedule starts immediately, so you’ll be seeing a poem or short story in you inbox/feed next week (although, it will be on a Wednesday because it’s specific to the 4th of July). Also, this is a tentative schedule. I’m going to see how it goes and make any changes that I need to if it needs improvement.

 

Four Ways to Start Writing (For New Writers)

Time for another YouTube video! My last post was on query letters, but I haven’t forgotten all you new writers out there. If query letters and sending your story to agents is the last thing on your mind–because, well, you don’t even HAVE a story yet–then this post…er huh video…is for you.

If you’re new to writing and don’t know where to start, or maybe you’ve taken a break from writing and need some ideas for how to get back to it, you’ve come to the right place, my friend.

Enjoy!

 

***Part two of Query Letter: How in the World do I Write one of Those? will be posted on Tuesday. Just so you didn’t think I forgot. 😉
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