Writing Advice

Your Own Pace

You are running in a 5K and you look around and see all these other people going faster than you. You feel like you’re going slower than them just because you’re not trying hard enough, so you speed up. That increase near the beginning affects you near the end, and you lose your breath and are forced to slow down or even stop. You end up getting a lower score than you hoped. This is because you didn’t really go at your own pace. The same goes for writing—and life in general.

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We all go at different writing paces. That’s okay. Don’t overwork yourself.

I’m a pretty busy guy myself, so last month (November), while some people’s writing goals were something-thousand words (mostly because of Nation Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo), mine was only at a 100-200 word average per day. That’s okay. I’ve tried to do 500-something a day, and when I was this busy, it just didn’t work for me. And guess what? I’m still making progress. I’m still reaching those milestones. Maybe it’s slow progress. I don’t care that I’m not the fastest writer in the world. I’m fine with the speed I’m at. I’d love to be faster, and I am getting faster, but I’m not going to beat myself up about not being ‘one of the best’.

Maybe you have all the time in the world. Great, go for it! Write hard and long! Maybe you don’t—maybe you’re super busy. That’s fine. Just do what you can. Do your best!

We all run our own races. It’s impossible to run someone else’s race—that’s not how life works. You go too hard, you burn out.

Here are some suggestions that I do hope will assist and guide you in some way.

#1 Take a break.

Breaks are more important than you may think. If something’s stressing you, there is a good chance that you need a break from it. Try taking a week long break from writing, and see how that feels. Maybe what you need is a whole fresh start. If so, try for one month. One month without writing. If an idea comes into your head, write the basics down somewhere then move on. And pray unceasingly whilst you go about your business.

#2 Rearrange your schedule.

After your break, despite your possibly crazy schedule, hopefully, you have a clearer state of mind! If so, take a look at your schedule. What’s there that’s vital, what’s not? Is there a way you could rearrange things better? I suggest you make another detailed list of things that you do regularly but wouldn’t have put on a list. Some things could include brushing your teeth, lunch, and procrastinating school by scrolling on social media. Estimate how long each takes. Is there something you find yourself doing that is, really, just a waste of time?

#3 Accountability.

If you’re like me, you get distracted a lot, which is an easy way to not make progress. Consider getting an accountability partner or a few, a friend or relative maybe. If you spend a lot of time online when you shouldn’t be, have your accountability partner schedule messages to be sent to you regularly. Maybe you’re scrolling on Gmail and then pops up. . . “HEY, GET BACK TO WORK, SILLY!!!” Possibly that’ll bring you back to reality. 😆

If you get distracted by daydreaming, request that a sibling or parent ‘yell’ at you to get back to work regularly.

Something a lil’ bit funny: when I do math I easily get distracted with daydreaming (hey, I’m a fantasy writer—what can I say?) and so often when my mom comes by, she says something like, “get back to math,” or just, “Danny.” And I reply with the same exclamation bringing me back to reality, “oh-oh, math! Yeah!” 😛

#4 Increase your writing speed.

This is not something you can just. . . do, hehe. It takes skill and lots of practice. Here are two suggestions for ya:

  1. Write fast and don’t care about quality. This is geared toward people writing first drafts. Most commonly, the way to go about writing first drafts is just to write, write, write. Not edit, just write. Then, when come the other drafts, you may edit all you want. But, hear me now if you’re writing a first draft: don’t even look over what you wrote when you’re writing, just focus on what you’re about to write. I don’t care if a character says, “I ned that sord, sir. Coud have it?” Instead of, “I need that sword, sir. Could I have it?” You can edit those. . . later. Just practice writing-writing-writing hard, and you’ll likely get faster at writing-writing-writing hard.
  2. The Most Dangerous Writing App. Yeah yeah, I have mentioned this several times before, but from my understanding and limited experience, a few short sessions/sprints of this will help you get in the write-fast-don’t-care-about-quality attitude and feel. What I think is convenient and kinda ironic is that I don’t even need to download it as an app, not on this laptop anyway. I just search it up and go.

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Dear reader and fellow writer, I pray that this post has been of use to you. Just remember this: you are in your own race! Run it to the best ability, not looking left or right, and let the Author of Life guide you. Do not feel bad about not being as fast as others. Just pay attention to what God says and He will not lead you astray.

With God’s help,

Daniel L. Amador

Blogging Tips & Advice, Writing Advice

Four Awesome Tools for Young Writers

Throughout my journey of blogging and writing seriously, I’ve found a few tools that have been extremely useful! Here they are, if you’re considering!

  1. The Young Writer’s Workshop. My goodness, without this online program, I don’t know where I’d be. I ‘d probably have given up. It’s so amazing, but I’ll let the actual creators explain it. 😉 Click on the link earlier to find all the information you need. Let me just tell you, from Alaska to New Zealand (west to east, not east to west 😆) , this community has been so helpful. There’s aid in all areas, blogging, characters, graphic design, alpha and beta readers, you name it! I’ll stop ranting—my words don’t give it enough justice. You get the idea. 🙂
  2. Reedsy. I was introduced to Reedsy by a published friend of mine, and I love it! Reedsy is a website focused on the creation, improvement, and publication of books. One section has a book writing format, organized by chapters and parts, and it also provides stats 🤩 which analyze your progress in words, paragraphs, etc. You can also make writing goals, and it tracks how close you are to reaching them! Friends, it’s incredible. And that’s just the book writing part. It also offers reviews to agents, editors, cover designers, etc. And it’s free! I have a free account. For the first weeks Reedsy also offers free and not-free courses to help you! Check it out, please. 😉
  3. Canva. With this online tool you can make all sorts of images and such for all sorts of things. You can make logos, flyers, book covers, posters, and much more. With a free account (which is what I have) you have access to plenty of images. With a paying account, though, you have access to all the images they offer, and other convenient things, I believe. This is what I use to make my blog graphics. 😄
  4. The Most Dangerous Writing App. Now, I’ve only tried it a few times—I’m planning to use it more often—but I can definitely see how it could really help someone get faster at writing! Here, just try it out a few times (no risks, completely free), and you’ll see what I mean.

And there you go! I hope you’ll consider and that they’ll prove useful. Next week I hope to provide you with some good writing advice. Have a good rest of the day!

With God’s help,

Daniel L. Amador

Writing Advice

The Four Fundamental Reasons for Writing a Book

        Grab your atlas, running shoes, (Spanish to English translator,) and a good book! You ready? Let’s go, fam!

From all my experience as a writer, I have witnessed four reasons for writing a book. I believe that these are the four largest and most common, if not the only motives.

        Laid out plain, here they are:

  1. As a source of income
  2. For yourself
  3. For friends and family
  4. For people in general

Now let me get a bit more in depth by what I mean for each point.

  1. As a source of income

Or, in other words, as a way to make money. This one seems pretty self explanatory. One writes a book, gets it edited and such, then publishes it, and then sold! (cha-ching!)

Eso es kind of the gist of it.

The goal is to make money off of the book, for whatever reason. Maybe it’s the main or only source of income, maybe it’s to buy gifts for friends and family, or maybe it’s to buy the latest Nintendo thing (don’t judge me, I know hardly anything about video games). It doesn’t really matter, as long as it rakes in that cash. (cha-ching!)

Eso es posiblemente el most obvious of the four.

  1. For yourself

        Ah, the old “for yourself” trick, eh? Alright, I can handle that.

        Like it says in bold print, one of the motives for writing a book is for yourself.  Perhaps you have a bunch of random thoughts flowing through your head that you just have to write down; perhaps you are writing it for your own pleasure, because you just enjoy writing; perhaps you are writing it for your future self.

        For example…

        As I said in my first post, Me, Myself, and My Blog, I started writing my first serious book in April. I don’t entirely recall the reason I started writing that book in the first place, probably for money, but recently I have rethought why I want to write my book: for myself. It was simply getting too complicated, so making it for money had to be pushed aside, for now, at least.

Here’s the short story (uh oh): It was (and is) just so fun to write it, and so many ideas for it were (and are) flowing through my head. As I reached my 15,000 word word-count for it, I realized that it was just getting too complicated, and would take years before it would be finished; I have a way of often overcomplicating things. So I just decided to continue to write it for my own pleasure and just let those ideas flow, however long it would take.

Now, enough with my boring examples!

  1. For Friends and Family

        When you open a book, one of the first pages has a sentence that goes something like, “To Annie; You are the brightest star in my life.

        That’s called a dedication, because you are, um, dedicating the book to whoever. Maybe “Annie”. Who knows.

        Basically, you are writing a book for a friend, or family. Take, for example, The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. In one of the first pages, one can see a note Clive Staples Lewis (yes, that is his full name) wrote to Lucy, his Goddaughter (it’s actually kind of amusing, the letter, so I  suggest reading it. And then maybe the actual book), hence, writing the book for her.

        And not just writing it for family or a friend, but also possibly writing it with one.

        Take, for another example, the book I am writing with my coauthor, a friend I met on the Young Writers Workshop. Our goal isn’t necessarily getting it published, but just writing a fun book with a friend.

        (I am not the best at explanations, so if you have a question, feel free to ask in the comments. 🙂 )

  1. For people in general

By this I don’t mean physically in a general store, but I guess they’re included too… just let me explain.

Autobiographies. Biographies. Historical fiction. Religious books. Those all teach about something. One of the main reasons many people write a book is to educate people. A large audience of people, if not everyone. An example of this would be one of my great grandfather’s books. It was a biology textbook (I’m not necessarily a fan of biology, but, you know, he’s my great grandfather) which actually became well known in the country he lived in.

        Even if it is for school, it is still a book (*cough* *cough* textbook).

        What I mean by, “for people in general”, is just what it says. For people. To inform or teach people about something.

        (Again, if further explanation is needed, the comment section is always there.)

        And those are the four reasons.

        You might be thinking, “Hey, Danny-boy, this is interesting and all, but how exactly does this help me in the long run?”

        I have three words for you: outlines and expectations.

        Knowing why you are writing a book can really help you in outlining a book. Also, understanding your expectations and such.

With God’s help,

Daniel L. Amador

CREDIT TO A RELATIVE OF DANIEL L. AMADOR FOR PHOTO.