Speaking of which, I saw a writing tips meme on scribblemoose's journal which was very interesting.
A lot of people started off by saying they weren't that good, not professional... Well, ditto! Do I really need to say that too?
Anyway, here are my tips.
1. I find it so difficult to actually produce the words. It sounds beautiful in my head, but I can't get it out and I end up playing two hours of solitaire. I deal with this by setting up a spreadsheet for my word count. Every time I feel the mouse straying upwards to close the window and open up solitaire, I enter my current word count instead. It keeps me focused on the story and only takes a couple of seconds. If I also add a comment saying why I wrote so much on a particular day (or not), I can track trends and find out the days when I write more. For example, I now know that getting a seat on the train to and from work makes a huge difference. Being miserable has the biggest negative impact of all, it turns out. So much for the myth of the depressed artist.
2. I always thought I needed a computer to write at all times, but that isn't really true. I just needed Livejournal. And Wikipedia. Now I take a notebook with me and write whenever I can. I make sure to write every day and have a minimum word count of four hundred. Writing it up on the computer has the effect of a second layer of editing, though and is still really important. Just not the MOST important.
3. Colored gel pens. I can't emphasise this point enough.
4. Plan your music, if you listen to it at the same time. Sometimes certain songs will really resonate with certain characters, so avoid the temptation to overplay them. I think I'm now utterly sick of "(Don't Fear) The Reaper". It's got to the stage where it's boring rather than inspiring.
5. Maybe it's just me, but I hate using lots of sentences that have the same structure and begin with the same name. Yeah, that's the only actual writing advice I'm giving here.
6. Some of these tips might inspire you, but not all of them will work for everyone. You might have noticed that I'm more results-driven than your usual creative type. Not kidding about the gel pens, though.
Also interesting and kind of related: Weiss Kreuz kink meme.
It's almost Halloween! Japan's version of Halloween seems to be more balanced than their attempt at Christmas. There are lots of other companies competing with Disney and so the world isn't completely saturated with Mickey Mouse pumpkins. Although they're there in abundance, too.
As I must have mentioned before, there is a branch of Baskin Robbins opposite my apartment and they have a ton of Halloween flavours. I had Ghost World and Tiramisu icecream tonight to celebrate and won a ballpen in their prize draw!
I have lots of Halloween events to go to this year. I'm going to a fancy dress street live of a friend of a friend on the 31st, the Dr Sketchy's Halloween Special and the Halloween party at the King George in Ikebukuro. A friend of mine also wants to go to the party on the Yamanote line and has expressed interest in 'dressing me up like a woman'. Well, it IS Halloween!
I also have a ticket for the Shounen Onmyouji stage show in just over a week. Final performance, floor one, row 22. The fact that I got that from the machine about a week after the sale date doesn't speak positively about the popularity of the show. Still, it'll be either Tenimyu-awesome or Narutomyu-awesome and that's fine by me!
Although it's a bit early to say (I don't want to jinx myself), the troubled times MAY be over.