9 Ways to Put Off Writing Your Novel

1. One word: Tumblr

2. Actually, make that another word: Pinterest

3. Consider new ways of complimenting someone

The Surrealist Compliment Generator, man. It says the strangest, loveliest things. Go on, try it. Here are some of my favourites: 

If you were a camel your humps would be esoterically bald from overuse. 

Your soul contains all that is found in insects, pigs and vermin.

Your nasal linings will last as long as the skin of rocks, thrust enigmatically upon a distant shorline of mating beetles. 

I find your eye sockets to be a wondrous amusement park of neo-plastic pleasures and oncogenic delights.

Seven donkeys and a concubine cannot compare with the tarnished sheen left in your path of combustion. 

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Can you tell I’ve refreshed it many times. Ha!

4. Fangirl over other people’s writing

from Stay, by Deb Caletti
from The Night Circus, by Erin Morgenstern

5. Clean your room

Because I’m a neat freak that way. Not because I’m trying to procrastinate. Definitely not.

6. Look for new music on Spotify and 8tracks

What? I’m making a playlist. FOR THE NOVEL, OF COURSE.

7. Read terrifying reviews on Goodreads

I go in there to look for book recommendations, only to end up reading snarky reviews that are equal parts mean (imagine if you were the writer!) and hilarious.

It’s enough to make you swear off putting your work out there ever again.

8. Write a blog post on how to procrastinate

9. And hello, Boxing Day sales!

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Really, who can resist? At the very least, it helps to take my mind off the fact that another year has come and gone and I still haven’t achieved shit.

Happy holidays, everyone!


9 awkward moments with that office eye candy

1. Weird eye contact

When he walks past your table and you’re secretly like

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But then he suddenly looks your way and you’re like

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Wait … is that a smile? Should I smile back?

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Too late.

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2. The water cooler walk

Is he heading for the water cooler now? Damn, I’m thirsty too.

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3. Facebook stalking

Nothing?! Why is he so mysterious?

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4. Lunch break

He’s lunching at his table alone again! Should you ask him out for lunch?

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… Yeah, just a thought.

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5. At the cafeteria

Oh, shit. He’s there getting lunch. Turn back or say hi?

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6. When you’re lunching in

Do I have food down my shirt? Oh crap, please don’t let him turn around when I’m wolfing down this chicken.

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7. At office parties

Some cake for you? Not you. You.

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8. Lift encounters

You’re in the same lift as him! Enclosed space! BUT. He’s with a friend and they’re talking about some trip he just came back from. Should you join in or hope for this unending lift ride to end?

9. Klutz alert!

When you think you’re all

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That’s the moment you end up like this

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Crushes are much more effort than they’re worth sometimes.

mid-week sniffles and insomnia

December is upon us! That can only mean one too many “Best of 2013” lists coming up, so brace yourselves, my good people.

Meanwhile, here’s a quote I came across recently, and it’s just too pretty not to share.

What’s the impulse behind art? It’s saying in whatever language is the language of your work, “If I could move you as much as it moved me … if I can move anyone a tenth as much as that moved me, if I can spark the same sense of mystery and awe and surprise as that sparked in me, well that’s why I do what I do.”

~ Greil Marcus

Ain’t that the truth. Straight to the heart, Greil Marcus. How many times have I read a story that blew me away and gone, “I need to write something like this. I need to blow someone else away with my own pretty words and my own epic observations of the world.” Sadly, there’s a great divide between wanting and having.

Still, we’ll start small. Baby steps, Joyce. Let Laini’s nuggets of wisdom see you through.

“There’s no getting around the fact that first drafts suck much of the time. And writing suck is un-fun. Your spirits sorely dwindle. You can quite easily become convinced you’ve lost any iota of talent you may once have possessed.”

I believe the word here is “mope”. And “wallow.” Like Eeyore does so well.

Did someone ask for Master Wallower?

“Humans hate to suck, and human writers must learn to suffer through suck. That is what enables us to finish first drafts. If you never learn to endure it, you may never finish a first draft. You might do what I used to do, which was write some awesome first chapters, revised to perfection, that lead nowhere. So far, working on my fourth book (if you don’t count the thing I wrote in November, and I don’t), the suck has not gotten easier to endure with time. It helps to know from three books of experience that good times lie ahead, but on a daily basis, the suffering does not diminish. The only way through is through.”

The only way through is through! That shall be my mantra from now on, as I plow through NEVERLAND. Also, uh, keep sucking. And, with any luck, you’ll find yourself on the other side soon, in the land of Literary Awesomeness. 

That is, if you don’t get sucked into the Bermuda Triangle of YouTube, Facebook and Pinterest.

“There are no shortcuts and no secrets. It’s like losing weight, or like finding your way out of a jungle you’ve been dropped into from a helicopter. You can’t FLY out. You’re just a sad, wingless human so get used to it, heft your machete, and keep on thwacking!”

Yes, she tells it like it is, doesn’t she? As much as I dream of flying – and write about it – I am incorrigibly earthbound. Guess I’ll just have to keep plowing through.

In related news, the weather’s finally gotten to me. I’ve been waking up in the middle of the night for the past few nights with a blocked nose that can’t be coaxed into submission. (Hold on, I’m getting to the part where the relation to plowing through a story makes sense.) So after waking up around 3 or 4 a.m., I lay around in bed and try to get back to sleep. Only I don’t. 

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So I end up brainstorming about my story. (See, I told you there was a link.)

And hoo boy, they don’t call it the witching hour for nothing. It’s magical, the way the scenes and ideas for NEVERLAND come to me then. By the time I’ve officially drained my brain juice and can finally go back to sleep, I’ve filled up six or more pages of dialogue and scene plans.

For the sake of churning out the first draft, maybe I should make this a regular thing? 

Nah. You know what they say about the best-laid plans. Pretty soon, I will look like this:

So I guess I should trust Emma Stone when she says:

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By the way, if I’m sounding a little woohoo right now, it’s likely due to:

a) the cold weather, or
b) the meds I’m on.

Oh Regina, you so mean.

Happy mid-week, everyone!