Fourth Grade Journey

A Fourth Grade Teacher's Journey Through the World of Books

Wednesday, August 5, 2020

Wonder Wednesday #339 ( Writer Check-In #5)

Wonder Wednesday - My Fifth Week

*It is hard to believe I'm already in my fifth week of creating the next great American novel.  I'm joking!  

*After a week away from the writing, I'm back at it this week with more motivation than ever.  

*We spent the last week out in Breckenridge, Colorado for a family summer vacation.  My son lives in Denver so he join my wife, daughter, and myself.  

*My initial thought was to write while out west, but once I got there I found I didn't have the time I needed to devote to the writing.  

*So, I took the week off and didn't worry about it until I returned to Minnesota.  

*I have continued the routine of writing a chapter a day.  I'm also realizing my chapters are getting longer.  I'm also experimenting with some different writing techniques and having fun with that.  

*Overall, before and during writing I feel a bit stressed, but when I finish for the day, I have a sense of satisfaction.  

*I have not really gone back to reread anything I've written.  There have been a few occasions where I've gone to previous chapters to verify a date, event, or character.  

*Here is a breakdown of what I've worked on the last week...

Wednesday, July 22, 2020:  Chapter 20 (Monday, July 18, 2011)

Thursday,  July 23, 2020:  Chapter 21 (Friday, August 26, 2011)

Friday, July 24, 2020:  Chapter 22 (Fall 1986)

Writing Break (Monday, July 27 - Friday, July 31) - Breckenridge, CO Vacation

Monday, August 3, 2020:  Chapter 23 (Spring 1997)

Tuesday, August 4, 2020:  Chapter 24 (August 2011)

Wednesday, August 5, 2020:  Chapter25 (Friday, September 2
, 2011)

Blog Post from Wednesday, July 22, 2020

*The writing continues.

*The routines are becoming grounded and smooth.

*During the last week of writing, I've spent between one and two hours writing.

*I typically still head out to the front porch, plug in the air pods, hit play on the playlist, and begin typing.  

*The more I've gotten comfortable with just letting the words spill out onto the page, the more I'm able to write.  

*I have not gone back and reread anything I've written.  My goal is to write the entire novel before I go back and see what I have written.  I'm not sure if this is a good idea or not, but the process I'm choosing to use. 

*While getting further into the book, I am forgetting some of the "events" I've created, and I may have taken better notes on what each chapter contains.  For now, I'm going with it and trying not to worry about the details.

*There are times I would like to reach out to author friends to ask questions or get feedback, but for now I'm keeping the writing to myself.  

*I'm learning there is no right or wrong way to construct a novel.  For the first draft, I'm letting go, letting the words spill from my mind, and letting what happens, happen!  
*For the most part, I would say I'm enjoying the writing, but to be honest there are some moments when I dread it and have to force myself to sit down with the laptop.  

*Here is a breakdown of what I've worked on the last week...

Wednesday, July 15, 2020:  Chapter 15 (Summer 1994 - Summer 1996)

Thursday,  July 16, 2020:  Chapter 16 (Friday, July 15, 2011)

Friday, July 17, 2020:  Chapter 17 (Friday, August 19, 2011)

Monday, July 20, 2020:  Chapter 18 (Spring 1986)

Tuesday, July 21, 2020:  Chapter 19 (Winter 1997)

Wednesday, July 22, 2020:  Chapter 20 (Monday, July 18 2011)

Blog Post from Wednesday, July 15, 2020

*Another Wednesday, another "wonder" post, and another week of writing.  

*I was on vacation last week so I didn't get any writing done.

*I was going to bring the laptop and try to continue to write a chapter a week, but decided to give myself a break, and leave the laptop and writing at home.

*My wife and I had a wonderful time on the beach, visiting friends, and reading.  I did find myself thinking about the book, the writing, and where the story was going to go next.  

*After a relaxing week away from home, I was ready to get back to the daily writing and see where that writing was going to take me this week.

*Each day, I find myself getting nervous about sitting down and composing the next chapter.  I'm not sure why this is, if it is a normal reaction, or if I'm putting too much pressure on myself.

*Once I sit down, plug in the air-pods, open the laptop, the words seem to spill out with the ideas coming from somewhere deep inside of me.

*I've often heard writers say, they aren't in control of the story, characters, or events which unfold on the page.  I'm finding that statement to be true.

*Yesterday, while writing on the front porch, I wrote a chapter that became quite difficult for me to compose.  I found myself with tears in my eyes and emotional.  This reaction surprised me and I wasn't ready for the response.

*I have no idea what I'm doing, if I'm doing it right, or where this journey will lead me.  I'm writing, trying not to worry about the details, and not spending too much time thinking whether the story is any good or not.  There will be plenty of time for that later.

*For now, I'm enjoying my summer, the time on my front porch, and the process of composing a story that hopefully will lead me in new directions that I've always dreamed of.

*Here is a breakdown of what I've worked on the last week...

Wednesday, July 1, 2020:  Chapter 10 (Fall 1980)

Thursday,  July 2, 2020:  Chapter 11 (Spring 1994)

Friday, July 3, 2020:  Chapter 12 (Thursday, July 14, 2011)

Summer Vacation (Monday, July 6 - Friday, July 10) = No Writing

Monday, July 13, 2020:  Chapter 13 (Thursday, July 14, 2011)

Tuesday, July 14, 2020:   Chapter 14 (Fall, 1983)

Wednesday, July 15, 2020:  Chapter 15 (Summer 1994 - Summer 1996)

Blog Post from Wednesday, July 1, 2020

*Two Wednesdays ago, I took a BIG leap in my life and decided to try my "hand" at writing.

*The last two weeks have been pretty cool as far as my new writing life goes.  I don't know if I'm doing it right, but I don't think there is a right or wrong way to write.  

*I've continued the structure I set up two weeks ago.  I'm writing Monday through Friday and writing a chapter, or what I think will be a chapter, a day.  

*One of the most frustrating aspects has been trying to get it "perfect" the first time through.  When this happens, I just think back to all the authors I've heard speak, and remember how they have shared that writers write and there will be many, many, many revisions along the way.

*Some days I enjoy the writing process more than others.  On the harder days, I give myself permission to write as badly and quickly as I need to in order to get a chapter written.  I know I don't have to write a chapter each and every day, but for me, this set-up WORKS.

*I'm still using the iPods and playing what I would consider "emotional" music which helps me put myself in a space to write the story; which overall is an emotional and tragic story.  

*Most days I write on the front porch where I can be alone, yet still see the world go by.  Some days when it is too hot and I need to be in the shade, I move to the backyard to the deck.  

*I have tried writing while watching television, but that hasn't worked out real well.  It takes me much longer to compose the story and I know the writing isn't as good.  

*Here is a breakdown of what I've worked on the last week...

Wednesday, June 24, 2020:  Chapter 5 (Friday, July 29, 2011)

Thursday, June 25, 2020:  Chapter 6 (Spring 1976)

Friday, June 26, 2020:  Chapter 7 (Fall/Winter 1993)

Monday, June 29, 2020:  Chapter 8 (Thursday, July 14, 2011)

Tuesday, June 30, 2020:   Chapter 9 (Friday, August 5, 2011)

Wednesday, July 1, 2020 (Today):  Chapter 10 (Fall 1980)

Blog Post from Wednesday, June 24, 2020

*If you read last week's post, which I have included down below, you know I've had the desire and the "idea" for a book for quite some time.  I'm not sure why now seems like the perfect time, but I'm more motivated now to do the writing more than I ever have.  

*This past week, I actually sat down and began writing/typing.  I was scared, nervous, and also excited.  

*After listening to many authors discuss their writing habits and techniques, I decided I needed to create some structure for myself to create a writing space and time that worked for me.

*I decided to write five out of seven days during the week.  At first, I was going to write for an hour a day, but then found myself creating a chapter a day so I'm going to stick with that plan; for now!

*Here is what my writing schedule looked like for the last six days...

Wednesday, June 17, 2020:  I wrote the prologue (I love a great prologue) = the year 2011

Thursday, June 18, 2020:  I wrote chapter 1, which actually became chapter 2 the next day =  the year 1973

Friday, June 19, 2020:  I wrote chapter 2, which turned into chapter 1 = the year 2011

Monday, June 22, 2020:  I wrote chapter 3 = the year 1993

Tuesday, June 23, 2020:   I wrote chapter 4 = the year 2011

Wednesday, June 24, 2020 (Today):  I still need to write the next chapter

*So far, I have been writing on my front porch with my laptop on my lap.  Go figure!

*I also put my iPods into my ears and have been playing around with some "writing music".  

*The music seems to put me in a space where I can create the story I'm trying to write.  I haven't found the perfect playlist yet, but still working on that each time I sit down and write.

*The book idea probably won't go anywhere, but I must say I'm enjoying the process and find myself thinking about the fictional story quite a bit.  

*Thanks for keeping me accountable and I'll check in next week.

*Happy Writing!!!!

 Blog Post from Wednesday, June 17, 2020

*If you follow this blog, you know I'm a READER.

*I pride myself on being an avid reader and sharing that love of books and reading with all those around me, especially my students.

*Over the years, I've had the honor and privilege of meeting and getting to know many authors from many walks of life.  To me, they are ROCK stars.

*During many conversations with students, fellow readers, teachers, and authors I get asked the question; "When are you going to write a book?"

*I started one story years ago and never got back to the writing.  To be honest, I have a couple ideas for both a middle-grade story and a story for adults.  I've just been too scared and intimidated to begin the actual process.

*Part of my problem, is I think I need to start, continue, and finish within a finite amount of time.  I should have known better since all the writers I've talked with have told me how long it took them to create their novel.

*I've decided to take the leap this summer and dip my toe in the waters of writing.  I have a general idea of a story I would like to create, but we shall see where the days take me.

*To start with, I'm going to dedicate an hour a day to the writing.  The structure will help me get started and get into a routine.

*Who knows, I may just stare at the blank screen, but the "ideas" will be swirling around my brain.

*I'm going to use my "Wonder Wednesday" posts to record the progress, or lack of progress.  Tracking my ideas here may keep me more accountable.

*I'm scared.  I'm nervous.  I'm excited.  I'm looking forward to this new "CHAPTER" in my life.

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