Do the Dang Thing

Last week I started plotting my new middle grade novel. The one that has been nagging at my brain for months.

I’m an office-supply-loving dork, so naturally I took to plotting techniques that allowed for colorful Post-its and spiral-bound notebooks. I must admit, I was having childlike fun laying everything out. On stickies, I wrote story milestones and increases in tension, then moved them around on my bulletin board. It was an awesome visual exercise.

The notebook was super useful as well. I carried it in my purse and anytime an idea, sentence, or relevant story thought popped into my head, I captured it in my trusty journal.

Yay for being a planner, right? Until you realize you’re waiting for the plan to fully realize itself in front of your eyes before you even start writing. Until you’re able to admit to yourself that you’re creating your own form of writer’s block by expecting to have all the details figured out first.

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Transfiguring My Novel

Finishing my first novel was surreal. It had been a dream of mine for a long time and I finally mustered up the guts to do it. Thanks to the NaNoWriMo community, I pushed through and finished a 50,000-word middle grade novel on November 30th. Cue the celebratory Wildfire Whiz-bangs.

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The feeling of accomplishment lasted for a solid three months. I focused back on writing and revising my picture books, yipping and yahooing myself for starting and completing a longer work. A few weeks ago, after I submitted my best PB yet to various agents, I thought, onto the next middle grade book.

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Ringing in My 2016 Writing Goals

Just like that it’s a new year. Every year I’m flabbergasted at how quickly 365 days fly by. The holidays are officially over and now I look forward to at least two months of writing 2015 instead of 2016, a pesky problem I’ve faced since grade school.

Now is the time to make and stick to New Year’s resolutions. In my eyes, New Year’s resolutions are highly similar to New Year’s Eve plans—overly hyped up with only meh results. I tend to commit to a resolution for a few weeks before it slowly fades from my mind.

That’s not to say I have commitment issues. I’m a very committed person. But usually my resolutions tend to be less meaningful because of their obligatory nature. So I’ve instead set myself some writing goals for the next 12 months.

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I’m a #NaNoWriMo and #PiBoIdMo Winner!

Universe: Shae, you’ve just won NaNoWriMo and PiBoIdMo. What are you going to do next?
Me: I’m going to Disneyland!

Well, maybe. But I am definitely going to write drafts of my best PB ideas, continue submitting, and revise my novel after it marinates for a few months.

Did I mention that I just finished writing MY FIRST NOVEL in one month? And that I came up with 30 picture book ideas in one month? One month, as in 30 days. Commence the confetti-throwing and popper-popping!

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#AmWriting: Participating in #NaNoWriMo and #PiBoIdMo

I don’t know how I found time to write this post. I’m participating in National Novel Writing Month AND Picture Book Idea Month in November. At the same time. That means any extra minute I’m not working, walking my dog, or spending time with my boyfriend and family, I’m click-clacking on my laptop. I may or may not have dictated this blog post to my phone while doing my nightly neck stretches. Multitasking is necessary right now.

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