Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Fifty Posts!? The Journey Thus Far

Oh man! Wednesday!? Boy am I late....

I originally had no clue what to write about this past week. Frankly, I barely did anything in regards to writing. But this is my FIFTIETH post! How could I NOT do something awesome!?

I had a "blah" post written, but this milestone was killing me when I realized I didn't really celebrate it.

So after a long-overdue talk with DarkAngel1326 I got re-inspired for this post.

I'm proud to realize how far I've grown recently. So let's use this milestone as a means to look back at some highlights.

I started this blog over on FanFiction. I had recently returned to the Hey Arnold! fandom and was reading all the fanfiction I could. As I looked through the authors' profile pages I noticed a trend of people leaving writing updates for their readers. I thought this was a brilliant idea, so I started doing the same. After a few months I realized my profile was filling up pretty quick even though I wasn't really updating frequently.

That became the birth of The Rogue's Scribe, back on September 30th, 2010. Well, technically I launched my blog January 27th, 2011, but I backlogged my first 5 posts so they appeared here listed as the month I wrote the entry over on FanFiction.

So 2010 - which was really backlogged from 2011 - had only one post per month. 

My first official post to this blog was also the start of my periodic "Plot Bunnies" postings. It was a thought about writing a story where Helga is the antithesis of herself - sweet and charming to everyone most of the time and then really angry and anti-social some of the time, instead of her normal bully-self with lovesick moments.

The rest of the month was spent talking about my first ever Valentine's Day story; starting with this post  - which also made for two plot bunny posts in a row.

February was also the official start of my participation in Script Frenzy. That would lead to a crazy April tradition. I'll get to that in a moment, but first....

March was the advent of my FanFiction Appreciation Circle, and I made sure to also include it here. I just need to remember to go back and update it every once in a while... :P

OK, now back to Script Frenzy. Last April I spent all my writing free time working on my The Jungle Movie script, which meant avoiding my blog. However, April was probably my most writing-heavy month and I wanted to talk about it. That's when I decided to archive Script Frenzy in diary form. I finished up April in a second post. I then just grouped all of April together as one long post this year after going completely off-line for the month.

May and June of 2011 only had one post each, and neither really spoke of much of anything. May gave my usual excuses for not writing or updating anything. June announced me FINALLY posting the next chapter, gave a bit of a ratings recap for my stories, and then had me ramble on about shows I was watching and webcomics I wanted to work on - none of which were ever actually written.

Then wedding planning hit hard core and I took a massive writing hiatus - both with my stories and with my blog. It didn't seem to really matter anyway, no one really read either.

Then, on October 2, 2011 I finally got to marry my best friend after an 8-year long-distance relationship. So don't you DARE let anyone tell you long-distance never works out. It does if you put in the effort!
With the wedding and move behind me I could finally re-concentrate on writing. I also started posting my writing up on DeviantArt in hopes of getting more of a readership. 

However, I didn't really get back in to writing fanfiction until I decided to write a one-shot as a last-minute birthday gift. THAT got my creative juices flowing again. That, plus entrance in to the world of Beta Reading. One person quickly became three, and then four, and then five, and then down to three and I'm currently back up to four! Beta Reading is time consuming, and typically keeps me from my own writing. But it's rewarding work and it's fantastic to work with all these other authors. It's also fun to see what others create and know that I'm helping those stories be told. On top of all that, I've made such great friendships through Beta Reading and having my stuff Beta Read. I love all my Beta Writers! And my Beta Reader! HEARTS TO ALL!

December brought on the typical "Winter Depression" in the form of a massive Writer's Funk where I hated my lack of writing, my lack of discipline, and even my fear that I couldn't write as well as the people I Beta-ed for. I was certainly in a slump and lost faith. Then, right at the end of the year, I get a simple review of my story: "please". Such a simple, sad request for me to continue writing. My story DID matter to someone. Even if it was just ONE person, I couldn't abandon them. I added "Write More Frequently" to my New Years Resolutions and looked forward to 2012.

Along with a new year, 2012 also brought a new outlook on everything I did writing wise. Including a blog make-over, as well as the official start of my Sunday Blog Update Days. Although I did fail at first, it was a new weekly deadline that kept me focused and had me write SOMETHING weekly, even if it wasn't fiction. I was starting to really get in to the writing rhythm, my confidence was getting reboosted, I was openingly posting my blog updates on Facebook and DeviantArt - whereas I didn't previously advertise my updates - and my blog posts and stories were actually being read and faved again!

February of this year found me again writing. I worked diligently on a massively long Valentine's Day Story that I wrote as a combo Late Christmas/Thanks-For-Being-a-Sounding-Board-For-My-Chapter gift for ChibiSunnie. At the time it was the longest thing I ever wrote: 11,000 words long. It would soon be surpassed by my latest chapter, but I'll get to that. The task of writing for two background characters was difficult, but my husband supported me, Chibi helped with some ideas, and I got a glance in to the brain of a 9-yr-old boy via advice from Solace of Songs. The story didn't get the greatest response, but seeing how happy it made Chibi was grand enough.

Also, February was when my beta reading progressed to also include original works. In order to do so I set up an as-of-yet-unused account with FanFiction's sister site FictionPress

I also battled with another bout of Writer's Funk. This time my concern was with my inability to write ANYTHING SHORT. I had JUST posted an 11,000 word story, and then read drabbles people wrote. Drabbles are stories that are between 100 and 1000 words, and the authors can say as much in them - if not more - as I say in my epicly long stories. Will a publisher/editor ever take on something I wrote if it is so long-winded?

In March I discovered Aliventures and everything seemed fine again. I mainly use the blog to give advice to the people I Beta Read for, but I'd be lying if I didn't admit that Ali Luke's advice and inspirational posts don't help me as well. Everything she talks about just seems to validate my own writing, and the fact that she's ninja-quick when responding to blog comments really helps with that validation. She is amazing and I have dubbed her my writing mentor - whether she likes it or not! ^_^

Her amazing, awesomeness only increased when I got a personal email from her a couple of weeks back! For someone I'm seriously starting to admire to take notice of me like that just makes me smile! I mean, she had already validated my fanfiction writing and now this!

Let me take a moment to clarify... While in one of my Writer's Funks I felt like I didn't compare to "actual writers" because I "cheated" with fanfiction. I wasn't creating the characters or the setting. I was just parroting someone else's creative. Then Ali commented back that fanfiction is really hard to do well. It's difficult to write in someone else's style, create new situations for the characters, and have it all be in-character and convincing. Since I've had multiple reviewers comment at how amazingly well I've done with keeping everyone in-character, and having my stories feel like real episodes... well, I guess I'm doing a good job after all.

Anyway, Ali really picked me up and made me feel like I was a "Real" writer, and then she validated me even more with the personal email. Writer's Funk turned to Writer's High!

So, yeah, Ali is AMAZING and has a a fantabulous blog and is also a writing coach. So I STRONGLY encourage EVERYONE to read her blog. Even if you're not a writer, some of her advice can still apply.

Well, back to MY blogging.
After reading some of Ali's posts, and some of her guest posts on other blogs, I ended up spending nearly an entire weekend just reading other blogs. That's when I truly discovered something. 

Now, I knew when blogs first came out they were online journals/diaries much like how this one. I also knew that over the years people were making money off of their blogs - I just thought from advertising revenue and book deals for popular bloggers. 

What I failed to realize is that most blogs are now INFORMATIVE. They're like online magazines. I was very outdated with my blogging and that was probably the main reason I don't have much of a following. 

I don't care though. This blog just wouldn't work if it wasn't a journal. Plus, I'm not really an expert on ANYTHING, so I have no clue what I would do an "informative" blog about - perhaps wedding planning after the craziness I went through for mine, but I feel like it would be a short-lived blog. Plus, I already attempted the wedding blog, but more on that at the end.

Still, I wanted input on my blog, and so I asked what you guys thought. On March 4th, 2012 I got my very first blog comment. It was about the font and format of the blog, as well as how difficult it was to read. It kept me a little bit to really listen to the critique, and when a second comment the following week stated roughly the same thing I knew it was time for a change. The rest of March was spent tweaking the layout and finding the "perfect font" - one that was readable, but still looked like it was hand-written. One of the people who commented on the poor readability came back about a month later - after about four font change-ups - and let me know that this font was the winner.

So thank you "It's Like We're Related" for your input and your help in making this blog easier for everyone to enjoy.

I also received my first piece of fanart! I knew it was coming for a couple of months, and I saw the rough sketches, but to see Chibi's finished product was awesome! It was a drawing of a scene that *I* wrote!

And it won't be the only one! She already has at least one piece of artwork planned out for each chapter, as well as some ideas based on the story I wrote her for Valentine's Day. She is awesome sauce!

And speaking of Chibi's Awesome-sauce-ness, March finished off with one of the best things to happen to my writing. After months of being a Beta for other people, I ended up getting Chibi to be *MY* beta reader! She was awesome. She really worked hard on helping me finally post my latest chapter. Even with her crazy-busy schedule of finishing up her master's program at college, she managed to take time outs to help me through my writing. She helped me condense, and work through plot holes, and talk through scenes and dialogue to make them feel more "real". She was amazingly encouraging and made me smile at how much she enjoyed reading what I wrote.

The best part was that she kept me motivated. Knowing how busy she was, I didn't want to waste her time. I also got motivated with each positive feedback I got from her. I found myself cranking out scenes almost daily. I was excited to write again. Plus, the one key element Ali typically talks about was finally there: a deadline. I gave myself deadlines countless times: "I'll have it done by Thanksgiving", "I'll have it done by the end of the month", "I'll have it done by her birthday", "I'll have it done by the end of the year", "I'll have it done by Valentine's Day"... Rarely did I ever keep to my self-appointed deadlines. And when I did keep to them, it was after a mad-dash, last-minute, self-isolation writing frenzy about 24hours before my self-appointed due date.

Telling Chibi when I'll get something to her; telling Ali when I want to finish my chapter; posting a temporary "This Chapter Will Be Up Soon" author's note on FanFiction; it all motivated me to keep to my word. I was now accountable, and I think that's what I needed.

Case and point: I had the event-appointed deadline of a 100page script by April 30th in order to "win" Script Frenzy, and yet I focused on my chapter instead - there by only writing 40pages for Script Frenzy this year.

So April was a good writing month in the fact that after nearly a year-long hiatus, I FINALLY updated my story on FanFiction. A new record with a little less than 16,000 words! The chapter was so long that it didn't fit as one post on DeviantArt. The chapter hasn't had much of a response, but that's to be expected after being away for a year. The few people that DID read it were impressed, plus I actually have the beast done. I count that a success.

April was a crappy writing month in regards to Script Frenzy. I failed. I failed so hard core. I didn't even get to the half-way point in 30 days. I was informed by friends that I didn't "fail" because I at least attempted. Still... let's face it... I failed hard core! I at least learned what I did wrong and hopefully I can do better next year. I will "win" Script Frenzy in 2013!

Finally, April was a good month for blogging. I wrote my first "informative" blog post, thanks to inspiration from the Aliventures Newsletter. I also managed to snag a second follower after she read said post. My first follower - Hebo - was originally following me via my Facebook posts, so I'm not entirely sure how long she has been a reader. She's from some Spanish-speaking country, so the fact that she reads such long-winded posts in English impressed the heck out of me! Love you, Hebo!!!!

However, the second follower is a lovely woman named Kasie. According to her blog comment, she started following on April 19th. It was only two weeks later did she gift me with The Liebster Award! See the pretty picture on the right hand side? Right at the top of the blog? Yup, that's from her. Starting May off right!

So let's show her the love she showed me and check out her blog

And now we're finally back to the very merry month of May.

I finally got back in to Beta Reading after my April hiatus. I started off with such a mad flurry of writing that I thought I might get my latest chapter done before the end of the month. With work, the nice weather, cleaning, video/computer games, and Beta Reading... well... the writing got pushed over to "type while on lunch break at work". I'm still progressing, but at a much slower pace. Not sure when the chapter will be up now.

I'm a little upset that I didn't manage to do a monthly writing update like I have planned to do all year, but I am getting better as I progress.

Life is getting better, and hopefully so have I.

It's been a fun ride over the past two years and I'm looking forward to hitting that 100-posts mark in less than a year! I'm excited to see how much more I grow and change.

I've come up with a lot of plot bunnies over the course of this blog.

Want to read them over? Here they are:
How about all of my Author's Notes posts?
The Current Top Ten Posts?
  1. Using Blogs and Birthdays to Procrastinate
  2. The Plot Bunnies Post!
  3. Cleaning and Brainstorming and Championship Games; Oh My!
  4. Castle Fanfiction Devoured More of My Life
  5. Script Frenzy Fail Diary
  6. Epic Author's Notes are Epic
  7. Another Crazy-long Author's Note
  8. New Years Resolutions: Take Two
  9. Well.... that took longer than expected....
  10. Helpful Writing Hints and Script Frenzy Prepping
Finally, before closing out this momentous post, I want to give a shout out to all the great people I met since I started blogging:
  • PinkLotus27 - originally BrokenRose24. She was one of the first in the Hey Arnold! fandom to welcome me as a friend.
  • ChibiSunnie - a great friend I met while working on my freshmen year of Script Frenzy. We were co-authors and I'm so excited that she's now my Beta Reader. She inspires me and I have no clue how I'd be able to write anything else without her consultation. Plus, she is one of my biggest fans! I can't wait for more fanart!
  • Delaroux - the first person I started Beta Reading for, back on November 12, 2011. She got me in to this wonderful "profession" and became another great friend. It pains me that the time difference has kept us from really talking anymore. I MISS YOU, GIRLY!
  • DarkAngel1326 - She is one of the main people I still Beta for. We have become such amazing friends and really keep each other going. She is another one of my big-time fans. When I posted on Facebook how excited I was to receive an autographed novel from Ali she responded with:
    DarkAngel1326: "Yay! You get an autographed book from your writing mentor!!! I'm just waiting for you to make one so I can have a book from MY writing mentor!"
  • *whimper* DARKANGEL!!!! <3
  • devious.editor - One of the people I Beta for. We haven't gotten as close as I have with the above girls, but we are starting up some dialogues and she still seems like a sweetheart.
  • CartoonLover16 - Another one of the people I Beta. Again, I haven't really had much interaction with him and so we're not as close, but he seems like a cool guy.
  • Rachel Cabbit - I'm not terribly close to her, but she is an amazing fanfiction writer. She's one of those people that can say so much with just 100 words - amazing! I was so excited when she reviewed one of *MY* stories!
  • Kasie Whitener - The wonderful blogger who gifted me the Liebster Award. Thank you, Sweetie!
  • Ali Luke - Okay, you HAVE to know who she is by NOW! My writing mentor - whether she wants to be or not! Muahahahaha!
This blog has been such a blessing, and I'm so happy I kept it going - as opposed to my previous failed attempts:
  • Obsession Anthology - my first-ever blog. I did moderately alright with it...
  • The World Building Project - My second attempt. Didn't get very far with it. It was an attempt to learn world building for Dungeons & Dragons... as well as novels...
  • Highland Gamer Wedding - My attempt to journal about my wedding planning; in part to keep as a memoir, in part to help others on their journey. Yeeeeeah... THAT didn't happen...
I love you all so much, I apologize for the super lateness and I probably should have saved all of this for my 100th post... but still. ^_^ I hope this trek down Memory Lane was as fun for you as it was for me. Here's to another 50 posts together!


  1. Thanks for the shoutout! Sorry that I haven't been in contact with you that much. I don't mean to be much of a annoyance.

  2. HEY! Welcome! I'm so glad you found - and read - my blog! No problem for the shout-out. I actually mentioned you a few times now - if you haven't noticed.

    Don't fret, m'dear. You're not an annoyance. I wouldn't continue reading if I minded. Plus I'm excited to see the story progress. Can't wait to see all of ch2 done.

  3. I'm glad you can write. I sure can't x_x. Tracy is a good writer, though she hasn't written in quite a while. Well, I think she's a good writer. In any case, hopefully writer's funk stays away so you can keep pumping out stories! Melissa Frain is a publisher should you need some sort of "connection" into being published. I know her ... could at least get her official contact information to submit any story you may want to consider for publication.

    1. Thanks for the kind words and for actually reading my beast of a blog post. I'm about as long winded in writing as our grandfather was in telling stories. LOL.

      Thank you for the possible connection. I just need to write something that isn't fanfiction first. Or, at least CURRENT fanfiction (50 Shades of Grey anyone?). I might take you up on that offer someday, but I'm not quite ready yet.

  4. You have no idea how much you made me smile! I'm very touched to be your mentor ... and I'm really thrilled that my blogging's been helping you. And you've inspired me to write something about fanfiction soon (I've got quite a few other readers who I know are fanfic writers too...)

    You probably don't know this, but, Aliventures is my ... probably fifth ... blog. It took me a LONG time to figure out how to build a readership, and how to say meaningful things in a blog-friendly way. (I actually deleted my 18-year-old-self's blog from the internet, it was that awful.) Keep writing, keep blogging; success isn't overnight, but it'll come!

    Also, my husband and I were good friends before getting to the dating stage, and we made it work long-distance (well, long-distance for the UK ;-)) for several years at the start of our relationship ... glad it worked out well like that for you and your husband too. :-) :-)

    Hope you enjoy Lycopolis!

    1. Wow! It is mind boggling right now that you actually read this! And that you're following ME on twitter. I'm dumbfounded, actually.

      I'm so excited to see whatever post you write about fanfiction. And thank you for the kind words. Perhaps someday I'll think of something I'm "knowledgeable" enough to blog about. I know this blog won't be a money-maker, but it's enjoyable and I'm just excited to see a readership build at all.

      One day my ship will come in, and I would definitely prefer sooner than later, but I'm still quite content where I am. ^_^

      That's great that you two also prove that long-distance can work. It was a 4hr drive between me and my husband - so not terribly far. We met in college, which is ACTUALLY where the Lyco comes from... Lycoming College. But I DO love wolves, so it works. ^_^

      I find our similarities amusing (born in 1984 FYI) and it's stuff like that, and how Rick Riordan and I seem to have similar stylings, that truly proves to me that published writers aren't much more different than I am. That I can actually become published as well.

      Speaking of which, I'm excited to find a time to crack open Lycopolis!

    2. Ah, and that's something else I want to post about at some point ... the fact that however distant the "real" writers seem, there's honestly not such a difference.

      You're a great writer; that's obvious from your blogging alone (and I haven't read your fanfiction but I'm guessing by your dedication to it and what you've said about the comments you've received that you're great at that too). Heck, with a blog and fanfic out there online, you *are* published, technically speaking... :-)

    3. I don't think I can express how humbling it is to hear (well... read...) someone I admire tell ME that I'm a great writer. The fact that my ramblings here makes that "obvious" just.... wow... :D

      And I guess you are indeed technically correct in saying that I AM published. There is a large community that has the opportunity to read my works. So I guess I need to reword to "professional writer" instead of "published writer".

      The age of 27 has been good to me so far, I'm hoping to improve upon it for age 28. ^_^ Watch out, World!