The Literary Black Hole, A Writer’s Worst Nightmare #ShortPost

So apparently when you don’t save… things get deleted.

Lemme start with the bad news: the ADAS chapter I had half completed? Yeah, it got eaten. The good news? Well, it’s just more bad news now, cause how can anyone find good news in this catastrophe?

I. Did. Not. Press. Save.

What is wrong with me? All those years of school with teachers drilling us to, “Make sure you save your work,” and here I am staring at a gaping 4,000-word hole in my manuscript. The world has ended. I give up.

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Woe is me. This stinks.

Well, in all honesty… I guess the chapter stunk. Like, in my heart, I guess I should be relieved that the writing deities intervened and wiped my word vomit off the face of the earth.

So you heard it here kids. Save your work!

Oh, and…

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*All comments within this blog are merely the suggestions, mad ravings, and opinions of the author. They should be taken with a grain of salt and understanding that she may just be a well-worded lunatic and not a literary expert. *

The Occasional Zero

I need to gloat.

See, the past 2 months have been incredible! I reached 1k followers, 60k reads and 5k votes on The Sentinel. At one point, I was number four out of a thousand on the Hot Adventure chart.

Then Wattpad (the site I post stories on) began glitching. Like it was on drugs. In a crack house.

Rankings went out of control. Chapters were scrambled. It was chaos. Most noticeably, though, my notifications hit zero. I usually get anywhere from 65-100 notifications every day from people writing me, and people reading and commenting on my books.

Zero was new. Zero was scary. Zero reminded me way too much of my beginning.

I remembered when I first started writing on Wattpad. I stayed up an entire night and “wrote” out three chapters on my phone, a hideous story called Death’s Wings. That story is, thankfully, no longer in existence, and I have since figured out how to write on a computer. Shocker, I know, who would have thought it possible?

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Some other things have changed in the past year and a half too.

In the beginning, no one read anything I had put up. I didn’t know any better then, but this basically meant that my story was so sad and poorly written and the premise so cliche that no one wanted to read it. Not to mention… grammar was a really big issue. I remember my mother reading my 200-word opening, and then asking me if I knew the difference between ‘it’s’ and ‘its.’ My answer then was, “Yes.” Embarrassingly enough, that was a downright, bald-faced lie. Either way though, that issue of grammar was quickly rectified. Now I’m just the Ophrah of commas.

When nothing happened with Death’s Wings, I quit writing long stories for a year or so. Instead, I read. I wrote essays for college. I pieced together a few short stories here and there, and the occasional fanfiction to fix the faults of the original authors. Somehow, my writing improved.

Somewhere along the way, I had a daydream that sparked my first real story, the one I have stuck with the longest. The Sentinel. People liked it. I like it. Today I got my first, “Can I steal your work to make a game out of it?” To which I said unequivocally, “No.”

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There are moments when I don’t think I will ever finish The Sentinel and moments where I am so excited to write I shoot out 3 chapters all in one day. The latter moments are much rarer.

But if there’s one thing I’ve learned it’s that writing on a social platform is an emotional roller coaster. I, like so many other young writers, am in this constant battle of, “Am I good enough?” and “Is this worth it?” vs. the “Dang! I can’t believe I wrote this!,”  or the, “Yes, I am awesome!”

There are days where I have 50-100 people praising me, and then there is the occasional zero, and I am happy to say that those quiet days are becoming fewer and fewer. And maybe it’s my self-centered writer side talking…

But I think that’s a good sign.

Subscribe to get tuned into more of Hannah’s Alaska Fantasy stories! See you in the next post!

*All comments on this blog are merely the suggestions, mad ravings, and opinions of the author. They should be taken with a grain of salt and understanding that she may just be a well-worded lunatic and not a literary/life expert.*

Why Won’t You Let Me Write?

I have the worst case of writer’s block. It’s so bad I sometimes consider myself under quarantine.

Three weeks, one day, and 15 hours of staring at a computer screen that I swear is beginning to laugh at me.

I can’t socialize. I struggle to sleep. The need and urge to write is still there. I want to write. I want to get my story out there, but something is stopping me and I haven’t figured out what it is. 

Yet.

I’ve tried everything. I’ve tried writing with a fifty word goal in mind which leaves me exhausted, it’s like squeezing my head through a sieve. I’ve tried marathon writing, which leaves me exhausted and less than halfway through a chapter after multiple attempts. I’ve even attempted to write whilst laying down. You’ve probably sensed a theme, and yes, this final solution has left me, yet again, exhausted and disheartened.

Standing desks, blaring music, forced writing— everything I’ve done before to get out of a slump no longer works.

“Why won’t you let me write?” I ask the omniscient purveyor of writer’s block, again and again. No one answers, though, I suspect that if they could it would come in the form of writers’ screams and ink blots.

Google is no help either. For those that have never researched, “How to get over writer’s block,” results almost always include a list of things to do.

“Take a walk.” I’ve done that.

“Read.” Check.

“Plan.” Boo-yah, a whole page synopsis written in triplicate for a single chapter— done.

Oh, but what’s this at the bottom of the list?

“Just write.”

Wow. That’s insightful. I can’t write so I should write? Now, they’re just taunting me. For me, this falls under forced writing. Push through, get those words on the page like you’re fighting your way to the smallest room in the highest tower. Basically, this is the “Just do it,” Shia Labeouf phrase of the writing world.

This “Just write it,” attitude is everywhere, under different guises, constantly pushing me to keep going. But it’s not working anymore. Can I not write anymore? Am I burnt out? Maybe.

Then again, maybe not.

What you’ve just read is my first exercise of writing something different, something out of my comfort zone. I’m not writing from behind someone else’s point of view, I’m not writing dialogue with Irish accents. I’m not planning and sneaking in plot twists or romantic trysts.

I’m writing for me, as me. Which is something I haven’t done in awhile. This blog is my writing process, my learning curve. The ultimate hope behind this blog is that throughout the year I will be able to document and share my writing story.

So, in closing, I’m Hannah Ward. Welcome to an Alaskan fantasy writer’s attempt to write something other than fantasy.

Next update: June 29th, 2017

*All comments within this blog are merely the suggestions, mad ravings, and opinions of the author. They should be taken with a grain of salt and understanding that she may just be a well-worded lunatic and not a literary expert. *