Conclusion: So long, farewell

Well, I’ve made my decision.

This is my last update. Maybe not forever. Maybe I’ll come back to it someday. I’m certainly not going to delete it–I’ve put way too many words into this thing. But I’m not going to be updating it regularly.

There were a lot of factors that helped me make this decision. For whatever reason, while I was stressing about how busy I was and everything, I felt inclined to read a post by one of my favorite bloggers that she put up back in early November about overachieving.

Everyone Hates Overachievers | InkOutLoud

So I read it again. I read it again and I proceeded to read some of the comments. (there are over a hundred–the post got freshly pressed, as it deserved to be.) Most of them were just nodding and bemoaning their own overachieving tendencies, but there were two comments that really spoke to me. One was this line from a long comment: “My darling husband – just weeks before our wedding – asked me to please limit my “projects” to just two. TWO. (I am currently at eight-ish, I think)”

The other was something like in five years, that one B you got on a test isn’t really going to matter. At all.

The combination of these two thoughts made me realize that I really just had to sit down with myself and figure out–of all the projects I was doing now which ones I actually enjoyed, and which ones would actually matter in the future. (I’m positive the grammar in this sentence is wrong on so many levels but I can’t figure out how to do it properly. xD)

I first told myself that if I had any projects that fell into neither of those categories I was to drop it immediately. Just because I’d been doing it for so long or because I’d committed to it was not enough. It either needed to matter or I needed to enjoy it, preferably both, and if it was neither there was no point.

I dropped almost everything. I’m still practicing, obviously, and I’m still writing, but there are only a very few other things that made it.

The blog was not one of them.

Once I made all the decisions, I felt better immediately. I’m still behind on my writing and outlining, but suddenly I don’t care. Because I know that’s all I have to worry about. I just have to do that and find time to practice and do my normal school work and that’s it. I don’t have to worry about the other million things I’d been doing.

I feel like suddenly I’m not holding up the world on my shoulders anymore.

It’s a good feeling.

Hopefully I’ll be able to use this as a testament to myself in the future to not take on so many projects at once. Hopefully I’ll be able to remember that I am not, in fact, superhuman and there are not, in fact, unlimited hours in every day. For some reason every time I get a brilliant idea I seem to forget those two very important details.

It will probably happen again. What can I say? I have commitment issues.

But hopefully it won’t be for a very long time, at least.

Anyway. That’s that.

Farewell.

COMMITMENT ISSUES

Let’s get right to the heart of the matter, shall we?

My name is Kessa Montez, and I have commitment issues.

Now, before your minds jump to conclusions, even though I know it’s already too late because people’s brains naturally jump to conclusions, let me explain.

I don’t have trouble committing.

In fact, I have too little trouble committing.

I’m pretty sure I’ve talked about this before, back near the end of NaNoWriMo. If I start a project, I get pretty determined to finish it.

As you all know, if you’ve been following this blog for any reasonable amount of time, you know that I’m currently working on a huge three-part novel and that I’m outlining and writing and doing all sorts of crazy stuff for it all at once and it’s going to take eight months to finish and I started in January and I’m freaking leaving for college in August so if I get even the tiniest bit off schedule the world is going to end because I won’t be able to finish it in time and I’m going to cry because I NEED to finish it in time because I’m pouring my heart and soul into this story even though no one’s ever really going to read it except for maybe one or two people because there’s no way I’m going to publish it because it’s too dark and it’s not the kind of writing I want people to know me by but the point is it’s flipping brilliant and I MUST FINISH IT IN TIME.

Are you getting a feel for my commitment issues yet?

Who reads this, anyway? I feel like no one reads this. I feel like changing the nature of my blog completely. I almost don’t even want to just update about my goals any more and just update about whatever the heck is on my mind at the moment whether it’s my writing or my piano or how I cleaned out my closet on Thursday and if my mom hadn’t been helping me it would have taken me six hours because there was more crap in there than should have been possible.

But I don’t know. I’m tired of naming my posts just numbers. I’m tired of only being able to talk about something I did in relation to my goals. My posts have been getting progressively shorter and more boring as time has gone on, if you’ve noticed. I’m sure you have. Everything feels forced and stilted and I don’t know what I’m supposed to do because I don’t want to just stop because I said I’d do this but I’m not really feeling this way of doing it that I’ve set up.

I HAVE COMMITMENT ISSUES.

And I don’t know what to do. I don’t even know what I’m talking about anymore. I think at one point I was going to talk about the craziness that my writing has been for this last week because my intention was to majorly catch up this week but I ended up being busier than I thought I would be because that’s just the way it is sometimes so today I was still left with twenty-four scenes to outline and thirteen scenes to write by the end of March oh and by the way I’m going to be gone almost all day both Friday and Saturday so that leaves me a total of almost NO TIME AT ALL to do all this crap and we might as well just hang practicing because I hardly did it at all this week because I’ve been trying to WRITE instead and this is what happens when you don’t have your early morning religion class–you sleep in and lose time because nothing productive ever happens when you stay up late at night. At least for me.

What’s the point of a blog?

It’s online. It’s for people to see. To enjoy. To be inspired by. And a bunch of other stuff.

That wasn’t really the point of this blog. I created this blog because I wanted to keep track of my goals.

And you know what?

I don’t NEED a blog to do that. I can keep track of my goals just FINE in one of my million journals that I keep.

So what am I doing?

I’ve been doing this thing for a year. Almost a full year, now. I literally started it on March 31st last year.

The most views I’ve ever gotten in one day was that day. I got 52. Since then I’ve gotten a total of 1183 views.

That tells you something right there. It’s been 362 days since then but I’ve only multiplied that first number by about 20. It means ALMOST NOBODY READS A SINGLE THING I SAY.

What is the POINT, I ask you, of keeping a blog if nobody is going to read it? I could do just as well in my journal. I follow a few blogs, and there are a few that went from nothing to the biggest thing in like a week just because they wrote about stuff people actually wanted to read. I feel like if I’m going to have a blog, I want to actually contribute something. Make people laugh or give actual advice. I don’t need an online journal. If you know me, you know that’s really true. I have enough as it is.

I like the idea of having a blog. I do. But I don’t want it to just be about my own personal life anymore. I want to write about something that matters. Something that’s relevant. Something that other people can relate to.

I don’t know what to do. Also because come this fall, I’m going to be making video blogs of my life at college and putting them on YouTube for certain people to be able to see. And I’m pretty sure that the people who actually read this blog on a regular basis are the same people who would be watching those videos so there’s really no point in having both.

Please, leave your thoughts in a comment. That will at least tell me who my readers are.

18.17 In-Progress

Remember last week how I was talking about how I was tired of talking about my writing?

Never mind.

I haven’t edited Masks in a while, and I haven’t written a whole lot of Lena, either–but that’s okay. The editing of Masks can be an ongoing process–it doesn’t need to be finished by a specific time to prevent the destruction of the world or anything like that. I had hoped to finish it by the end of March, but given as I’m not even halfway through yet, that’s not going to happen and that’s okay. I can keep working on it throughout the rest of the school year.

As for Lena–technically I am a bit behind in that, but I’ve been giving myself a little slack because I know that I can probably write the last six scenes in one day because it’s the most exciting part of the story and the part that I know will just be like DSPIFJHUOAIEOFJDHSUOPIOJHGOUEAHRSOU{IEOPHOUI as for the speed that it will come out of my fingers.

Anyway, what I have done this week is outline.

Devon.

See, I’m going to start writing Devon’s backstory in April. And it was March 18th and I had only outlined the prologue and the very first scene. I finally sat myself down and was like okay… I really need to get cracking on this. D was helping me with ideas and stuff, but he’d basically given me all he had, so I was on my own.

I wasn’t looking forward to it, in the beginning. I was scared I wouldn’t be able to figure it out, that I’d need help for every single scene, this, that, everything.

But I had to get over it. It was the only way I was going to get anything done. So I just sat down and brainstormed last Monday for a good few hours and figured out the entire first quarter of his part. Then over the next few days I wrote the detailed outlines, and a few days later I started planning the next section.

It went twenty-seven times better than I thought it was going to.

I just opened my mind up to this other character I didn’t really know and just started pondering and thinking and it was just like one big rush of everything. Like he was just waiting and waiting to get into my head–and I just had to let him. I had to accept him as mine. And once I did that, everything started making sense. I was planning out some scenes and I really empathized with these horrible things that were happening to him. I suddenly understood why he would make certain choices after meeting Lena. Everything just started making sense. Everything that I had to get D to explain to me five times before I really got it was working itself out in my own head.

It was amazing.

And it made me excited for the story all over again.

For probably the twelfth time since I’ve started writing it.

But that’s okay–the longer I stay excited about it, the more efficiently I’ll be able to write.

And efficiency is the key.

See you all next week.

5k In-Progress

I’m not going to lie, I’m getting tired of talking about my writing.

Partially because it’s not my main focus right now.

Don’t get me wrong, I still love writing, I’ve just got a whole freaking lot of other stuff going on right now.

And by a whole freaking lot of other stuff I mean I really just want to sleep for a full day and then practice the piano until we have rehearsal for our next show again. For whatever reason, writing doesn’t sound as appealing as it probably should.

Last night, I performed in a talent show. I played one of the pieces I was working on–Moszkowski’s etude in F major.

It didn’t go as well as I had hoped.

Now, it definitely didn’t go as badly as it could have. The entire song is basically one continual run composed of triplet sixteenth notes, so there was a whole lot of potential for badness. There were just a few spots that I was like arrrrgghhh whyyyyyyyyy like when my hands started shaking and didn’t want to play the right notes. And the song is supposed to end with both hands playing a four-octave chromatic scale in perfect unison, then playing a few chords to end the song. I got there and my right hand was perfect, but my left hand kind of derped out and the thing with a run is that you really can’t fix it. If you screw up a run you’re screwed. You can’t really jump back in. If you’re playing with just one hand, then you can start over if you really have to, but if you’re playing with two and one hand is still going fine then there’s not much you can do but just hit the last note at the right time. So that’s what I did, and then I played the chords and it was fine and everyone thought it was wonderful. I’m pretty sure my mom was the only one besides me that could tell there were even problems.

And here’s the other thing.

I’ve played this song perfectly in practice before. Utterly flawlessly. But once I got up on stage, there were just those few spots where my hands just derped.

I realize now what the problem was.

Because in contrast to these couple sections I messed up, there was one whole page that was perfect. The entire section is where the left hand takes over the run, and if you know anything about piano it’s that left hand runs are freakishly hard. I knew that when I started learning the song, so I worked that section endlessly. Even after I knew it, I would practice it with rhythm techniques and exercises to just make it as smooth as it could possibly be.

I practiced it so much there was no way I could get it wrong.

And I didn’t.

In fact, it was the strongest part of the entire piece. Once I got to that section I could relax because my fingers knew it so well that I didn’t have to be so focused on hitting the right notes, and I could focus on actual expression and other things.

The problem, overall, was that I did not practice every section with that same amount of next-to-obsession. It was the hardest part of the song so I practiced it more than the other parts, and when I actually performed it it ended up being the easiest.

That’s a good thing. It really is. That’s what piano teachers are just waiting for you to learn. Practice the hard parts more than the easy parts because the hard parts are hard and the easy parts are easy.

The problem was that there was really no part of this song that could be classified as “easy.” Like I said, the entire thing is pretty much one perpetual run. That is not easy. So I should have practiced every part with that same degree of focus.

And I didn’t.

But now I know, and I’ll make sure that song is better by the time I do it for my actual recital.

I’ll see you all next week.

14.2 In-Progress

It’s been another pretty good week.

I didn’t do a whole lot of actual writing this week–not a whole lot of progress was made in the writing of Lena. However, I did make quite a bit of progress on planning Devon’s backstory, which got me excited for the whole project all over again.

Anyway, that’s not my main topic. My main topic is the editing of Masks.

To my surprise, it is actually going quite well. It’s not just that first chapter or whatever that I did. So far I’ve gotten through about 1/4 of the story and I like it. I’m not mortified by what I’m reading, or finding stuff that I’m unsure about at every turn. I’m reading it and gradually feeling more and more okay about letting other people read it.

At one point during the week, while I was feeling this way, I messaged a fellow NaNoite and asked her if she’d be interested in taking a look at my book. I wanted another pair of eyes to see it and go over it before I showed it to the people whose opinions I was most nervous and excited about–D’s, for example–and I didn’t know her well enough to be as freaked out about what she would think. We exchanged a few messages and I ended up sending her my first chapter.

She had a very positive response to it. My beginning was great and pulled her in–I have a very interesting way to start the book, and I did that to intentionally freak people out, which is what she said it did–and overall it was an excellent first chapter. And she did catch a couple things that really could only be seen from a separate pair of eyes–like how it wasn’t really clear what his job was. knew, because I’ve been writing him and working with him for months now, so I didn’t realize it wasn’t clear. I was able to fix that thanks to her, as well as a couple other little things.

I’m feeling good about it. I really am.

Now I’m going to finish going through it on my own, adding stuff in as I need to and stuff, and when I’ve finished that I’ll send the entire thing to her.

She will be the first person to see it as a whole aside from myself.

It’s all very exciting. It really is.

See you all next week.

Starting 14

(sorry about the late update–I had a concert yesterday and was gone almost all day.)

Anyway, DO YOU KNOW WHAT NUMBER 14 IS?!

You probably don’t. You probably can’t even remember what any of the numbers are. I know I barely can. I have to check almost every single time, even when it’s something like my writing 30 novels. What is that, 18? I think so–but I have to check anyway to see what number of post it is.

So, since you don’t know what number 14 is without going and looking, which you probably won’t do because you’re perfectly fine sitting here and reading this post, I’ll tell you.

14: Write a novel for NaNoWriMo and actually look at it and edit it later.

Do you know what this means?

Not the number–I just told you what it was and it’s not that hard to understand–but what it means that I’m using it as my title.

That’s not that hard to understand either.

I’ve started editing Masks.

And boy, was I terrified. Before I began, I had no idea what to expect and I was afraid I was just going to look at it and be like “oh, man–what was I thinking?!”

Here was the thing. I knew I planned on editing it in March, so in the last few days of February I pulled out my notebook from a few months ago to find my list of all the stuff I planned on editing eventually and recopied it into my current notebook with updates and more details so I knew what I really wanted to do.

Here it was.

—-

Stuff to do/look for/fix/something:

1. Final product must be at least 60k words. (it was currently at 55,555. not too far off.)

2. Move everything to be set in California. Get rid of all location-specific things because I’m too OCD and I just need to let it go. (there’s a whole story behind this, how I was just getting a little too crazy about making it accurate to where it was set because I had set it in a real place and I was going as far as finding the name of the street this random person lives on and it was just getting to be too much so I decided to move it to somewhere that I hadn’t actually been to so I could get over it–Los Angeles.)

3. Fix character stuff (mostly with Noelle) to make it more believable. 

4. Fix stupid plot stuff that’s stupid so it’s more believable and realistic. (there were a few moments where I’d just say stupid stuff that wasn’t too important but was just stupid because I needed to move on with the story and I didn’t have time to think of something real, so I just put something ridiculous and knew I’d come back to it later.)

5. Develop Grace’s story better. Make her a character sheet and figure her out better and have foreshadowing for what she’s going to do. Go into detail when I’ve skimmed. Write scenes for things I’ve condensed to nothing. Get to know this character. It will also help with word count. (funny story, Grace. When I first planned out Masks in summer/fall, she didn’t exist. At all. And when she first did pop up in chapter one I didn’t think too much of it–she was just a coworker. A random coworker that didn’t like Simon very much. And that was fine. I knew there would be coworkers that didn’t like Simon very much. That was planned. However, she kept appearing–in almost every chapter, actually–and she ended up having a previous relationship with Stan–not planned–and because of that she ended up knowing things she should not have known as just a random coworker–definitely not planned–and it all just escalated more and more until she was the instigator of one of the major plot points. A major plot point that I hadn’t originally been 100% sure how it was going to work–but with Grace it just worked out perfectly. Like I had planned it from the beginning. It was crazy how it all just fit together. So now that I’ve accepted her presence in this story, I’m working it out so I really did plan her and fixing up her character and stuff.) 

6. Isaac. Figure him out better too. Not as much as Grace, but I need to actually figure out his personality and what his story even is a tiny bit. I know Grace is a very bitter and mean person and had her relationship with Stan. With Isaac I don’t even know what he is other than polite. So figure him out and have more scenes with him as well. 

7. Anna. Have more memories with her. Figure her out more. Maybe actually go into the scene where she introduces her boyfriend–Connor. Maybe go into some scenes where she’s talking about Robert Gray. Figure out her personality, too–make it sad that she’s dead. 

8. Stan doesn’t really need more character development–he’s perfect the way he is–but have a little more with his and Grace’s relationship. More than just a couple passing comments. 

9. (withheld because it’s a plot twist spoiler.) 🙂

10. (also withheld because it’s another half-spoiler.) 

11. After all that has been dealt with, just do the general editing and maybe any logistical library stuff I missed, and then figure out how to reconfigure it all into chapters that don’t vary so crazily in length unless it still somehow works. 

So that’s that. 

Boom. 

Anyway, there’s all that.

So on Friday, with all of this in mind, I opened up my first chapter, terrified.

And to my surprise, it wasn’t half-bad.

I hope this is actually true and I’m not just biased because it’s my own work. But I just changed a couple words here and there and added a couple things and changed a mention of a city in Westchester County to western LA.

Other than that I was actually pretty excited about it. It was awesome reading scenes with Stan again. The first quarter of the book is actually pretty funny with Stan.

Of course, I haven’t gotten to much of any of the stuff I really mentioned in my editing list yet–but so far, so good.

It makes me hopeful. Hopeful that maybe this won’t be as painful as I feared it would be.

And maybe all that self-editing as I wrote was worth it after all.

See you all next week!

STARTING 61

Number 61.

Graduate from college.

I have three words for you.

I.

Got.

In.

YEEEEEEEEESSSSSSSSSS.

I got in to BYU Provo.

I’m going to college.

I’m moving to Utah.

Holy crap. Holy crap. HOLY CRAP.

Here’s what basically happened this week. Day to day, I’ll give you the rundown.

Monday: Was just waiting. Day started out not too great, kind of sluggish–nothing really exciting happened until the evening when my writing went really super well. I did endurance writing with some NaNoers that actually write in other months besides November like me and I wrote a total of 2000 words that day. It was awesome. But no word from BYU at all.

Tuesday: More waiting. I didn’t expect anything that day, and the day was basically the same as the day before. Kind of sluggish, but awesome in the evening because I went to a thing in preparation for another thing that I’m not going to talk about because people I know read this blog and it’s sort of a surprise. 🙂

Wednesday: I went insane. I was fully convinced I’d hear word that day, so I was obsessively checking my email every you don’t even want to know how often. I was just going crazy and more crazy and even more crazy and by the time the day was over I was like ADGOUAJEHFGSOUPAREGSFOUR because there was nothing.

Thursday: Here’s where things started getting interesting.

I heard from the School of Music on Thursday.

Not the university itself, but the school of music.

I didn’t get in. At least, not right away. I was put on the waiting list.

My dad, of course, immediately made three phone calls to figure out what was going on. Basically there are only a certain number of slots and they can only accept a certain number of people, but I’m literally one or two on the waiting list so it’s almost guaranteed I’ll still get in because people always change their minds. And it was funny because evidently one of the piano faculty took one look at my application and was like “whoa!! That’s Dan Montez’s daughter!!” because my dad went to BYU in the music department with this guy.

Anyway, there was that and then the person who’d listened to my recording had some criticism–the Bach prelude was good, because it was mechanical and it was kind of supposed to be that way. The fugue was a mess because it was mechanical and not sensitive enough, which made them think I wasn’t sensitive, but then they heard the Schubert and they knew I was and they actually commended me for even daring to play that because it was so hard. So that was good because that was what I was most terrified about. But the Ravel was a mess, too. And that had actually been the thing that I was like ehhhhh we should re-record that but we didn’t because we were tired of recording and we guessed it would be fine. Oops.

But it was a very nervewracking time. Because then I was all like oh, but now what if I don’t get into the school and all this stuff and my parents came up with like four backup plans for if each previous one fails so I knew something was going to happen I just didn’t know what yet.

Friday: Here’s what happened. I was worried out of my mind all of the day and it was getting to the point where I barely even wanted to hear from them because I was so afraid it would be bad news. So in the evening I drove to karate with my sister because that’s what happens on Friday nights. It’s literally a minute before class starts, and I check my phone one last time. The BYU admissions Facebook page. They themselves have said nothing like “we’re sending stuff out!” like they’ve done in previous years but OTHER people posted on the page saying “check the website! I got in!” and stuff so I freaked out and called my mom.

She said DO NOT check until I got home so all of karate I was nearly exploding with anxiety and once it was over I practically flew out the door. I was already putting my shoes on before anyone else was even out of the dojo. Then I tried not to drive home like a maniac. I’m not entirely sure I succeeded. So I got home and my mom was like AAHHH and we were both like poasdfghoipuahsjgfiuphjg and she said “I think I should look. I’ll look” and I said NO I CAN LOOK so I looked in a couple other places first to mentally prepare myself–see if they’d posted anything or who had gotten anything or what–nothing was going on except people on the facebook page were saying they got accepted so I went to the website. I had to log in.

It was very hard to press the enter button. I was scared. I was scared they’d say no but I finally just did it and the page looked almost exactly the same, saying all the materials they’d received and the dates they’d received them and that I’d met the priority deadline–

But.

Before– Application status: Complete

After– Application status: Admitted

I almost cried.

I screamed, a lot, and then I almost cried. I was on the edge of it. I was hugging my mom and jumping up and down and almost in hysterics.

After I calmed down a tiny bit, I closed my computer, took my craplot of stuff upstairs, changed into my relaxing clothes, then came back downstairs. Messaged Susan and D. They didn’t respond, so I texted them telling them to check the messages. D responded first and he was like !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 😀 😀 😀 😀 😀 and Susan was being all like “oh, did something happen? Hmm?” and D gave me a virtual hug and Susan was laughing and it was eaogsopireghpuei[rthgpietwghflawtpejghtwp and then I posted it as a status and told another friend who was also eagerly waiting to check the website and she got in too and so did a few other people I know and it was all so flipping awesome I thought I was going to explode. And then I was reading the welcome to BYU thing and it was just a whole bunch of stuff and later I was also looking at the MyMap thing that they wouldn’t let me look at until I was officially affiliated with the university and it showed my requirements of GE and it all said “not complete” except ONE SAID COMPLETE AND IT WAS MY MATH CLASS THAT GOT WAIVED BECAUSE OF MY TEST SCORES SO THAT WAS EVEN AWESOMER and it also said I was in the music premajor program because I had applied but hadn’t gotten accepted yet but they knew that’s what I wanted as my major so I’m still going to be waiting on that but I won’t find out about it until like the end of April and that’s when I tell them I’m officially coming as well so until then I’m just basically waiting but I’m pretty sure I’m getting in to that so I can start making those class schedules and all sorts of fun stuff and also be able to figure out where I’m living and working and everything’s going to be awesome.

The end.

Except it’s only the beginning–that’s why I’m starting 61. Because getting accepted to college is the first step towards graduation.

So yes.

So.

Excited.

See you all next week!!!!