Monday, August 18, 2014

An Addictive Personality

Hey guys! I published a book! That's right, I am now officially - even in my own eyes - an author.

An Addictive Personality - By: Alexandria Hathaway

When I was 12 years old I set the goal for myself to write a book. I had a lot of different ideas and wrote many of them down... later to be forgotten about and then lost. I would write things down, set it in a pile of papers, and say "I'll get to this later." Sadly, the pile mysteriously vanished before 'later' came.

The older I got, the more intricate my ideas became. I began to have projects at school that exercised my writing skills. I wrote poetry, short story pieces, beginnings to chapter books... I began posting some of my work on to a site known as "deviantart." There, people began to give me feedback: They liked what I wrote.

I kept writing bits and pieces for deviantart and still do today.

Come the time I became 18 I started a new ritual the night before my birthday. I would lay down on my bed, stare up at the bunk on top of mine, and go "I'm not ready to be __ years old. I haven't done anything yet."

Of course, when I started this ritual I was still in high school, but for some reason I thought I should already be world famous or something. Actually, I thought that I would be moved out of my parents house or planning to anyways. Maybe going off to a college dorm. That wasn't the case.

It would be 2 more years before I moved out.

The night I turned 20 I had an even bigger "haven't done anything" breakdown than I had the last two years. I was stressed, scared, and anxious. I began texting a friend about how absolutely... frightened and not ready I was to be 20. He told me I was already technically 20... minus one day.

The problem this year was that I had tried things already... and failed. Not just work related things, but projects too. Nothing seemed to work out quite right. I had even gone so far as to create a professional page on facebook for myself as an entrepreneur. At least, that's what it started out as.

In the back of my mind (and sometimes even the forefront) I remembered the love of writing, the drive to create a beautiful piece with words... I wanted it, needed it... And so I put "aspiring author" on all of my social media.

Back to the night of February 16th... I'm in the kitchen now, wallowing over tea and texting my best friend. I mention to him that I haven't written a book yet and how that one day did matter. This is what he responded with:

"If you can write a book in one day, be my guest."

Believe it or not, that was the most inspiring thing I'd heard in a long time. While the conversation drifted to things like "do you get enough sleep?" my mind was drifting towards writing.

I decided then and there that I was done with everything else, that I would write a book and become an author.

I'm not going to lie, it was a couple months before I picked up steam in that regards. In fact, the real change didn't happen until I moved. I moved in with my boyfriend in an apartment in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. It was beautiful up here, trails all around, a college nearby with an open library... I loved it.

I started going after my writing, slowly but surely. Then one day I remembered I had a piece on my computer that I hadn't worked on in awhile. It was about 3,000 words, had no title, and was based off something of friend of mine from high school told me.

I worked on it. And worked on it. And worked on it. When I thought I was done I sent it off to some of my friends to proofread. And then I worked on it some more. Then came the cover art finding and the learning how to self publish. Let me tell you, Amazon makes it easy. I'll be going through other platforms soon enough though.

So what did this piece turn in to? It turned into "An Addictive Personality." Now found on Amazon with the name "Alexandria Hathaway" right next to, in parentheses, right under the title: The word 'Author.'

-Alexandria Hathaway
An Addictive Personality:
Twitter: @AlexandriaMWolf

Saturday, August 16, 2014

You are a Person - and so are They

First off, my sincerest apologies to any offended androids out there. I mean person in the most respectful sense, quite literally meaning "being that is unique and deserves respect." That fact that most are human is just totally coincidental.

Let's get to the point. Tuesday, in an awesome group I'm a part of on Facebook called the 10 Minute Novelists, I saw quite an interesting post from a member named Stephanie.

It was as follows:

"The thing that scares me most about moving forward as a professional writer offering services to businesses in my area is the worry that I've put something on my website that shouldn't be there...
Sometimes blogging gets more personal than it should."

I feel like a lot of us are so often frightened by the idea of a client seeing something personal and deciding not to hire due to that thing. This is a problematic outlook for our future, future clients, and even other future contractors.

The thing that everyone needs to realize is that, simply put, people are people. People will do people things. They'll make mistakes, talk about chocolate cake, decide that they don't like baked beans, marry someone, and have kids. Everything is just a part of the package.

While a client expects a certain level of professionalism from their contractors (and their contractors expect the same in return, mind you) there is a level of a certain quality that makes or breaks the work relationship: Personality.

You are more likely to be hired if you are personable. Why is this? Because clients don't want to hire someone that is unapproachable, cold, and hard to discuss things with. If they see the little things on your blog that seem "a little to personal" for a work relationship, they should then identify it with the fact that you are a living, breathing person.

Here's something even more important though: Would you really want to work with someone who decided not to work with you because they looked at your blog and saw you got a new lizard last Sunday?

Keeping your personal life out on your blog enables you to draw in the clientele you'd like to work with. Ought you to use better grammar and spend more time on the business aspect? Maybe. But don't change anything else about it.

-Alexandria Hathaway
Twitter: @AlexandriaMWolf

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Monday, August 11, 2014

10k Writathon! (One Week to Your 10k Day Writing Marathon Series)

Welcome to the official 10K Writathon for August 11th, 2014!

Today is the day! We will be writing our 10,000 words! Try not to rush at all before you start, you want to go into this completely Stress Free!

Here is my progress for the day!

9am - 10am

921 / 909 words. 101% done!

10am - 11am

2083 / 1818 words. 115% done!

11am - 12pm

2948 / 2727 words. 108% done!

12pm - 1pm

3595 / 3636 words. 99% done!

2pm - 3pm

4004 / 4500 words. 89% done!

3pm - 4pm

4670 / 5400 words. 86% done!

4pm - 5pm

5562 / 6363 words. 87% done!

5pm  - 6pm

6430 / 7272 words. 88% done!

6pm - 7pm

7295 / 8181 words. 89% done!

7pm - 8pm

8112 / 9090 words. 89% done!

Alright, here is the clincher. I want to try to be done before 9:30 and so will start marathoning the next portion of my writing. Can I do it? Let's hope so!

 Total Words

10024 / 10000 words. 100% done!

I totally finished this within minutes of 10:00pm.
I feel accomplished and tired. Those of you that want to find my writing for this piece can find it here:

Sunday, August 10, 2014

One Week to Your 10k Day Writing Marathon Day Six!

It is the sixth day of our preparations for the 10k Marathon!
We start writing out 10,000 words tomorrow!

To recap, for the fifth day we reassessed where we were in regards to the words per hour, our breaks, and just in general our plans for this challenge. We also practiced again, which helps in getting us ready for non-stop word sprints!

My plans seemed to work out for me, meaning that we are all still on for the 10k writathon tomorrow! I am beyond excited. I may change what story I'm working on, however. You'll all know for sure tomorrow~!

Preparing for the Challenge - Day Six

Today is day six of the week-long preparation for our 10k day!

Now that we know we are good to get moving and going, it's time to get those last preparations in place!

Pre-Writathon "Day-Before" Preparations!

Alright! Who's ready for this now?

Today we do the actual preparations for our challenge. By actual preparations I'm talking food, scheduling, organizing, getting all the things ready! 

As a side note, we will not be doing our sprinting practice today.

Alright, so first on the list is food! Remember that little menu you made? It's time to set things up as much as humanely possible! Section things out, get dishes cleaned and set out, pre-cook your meats, fridge or freeze what you need! 

My meals are fairly simple, I just need to section a few things out and brown my chicken for the quesadilla!

Next on the list: Paper Preparation. What does this mean? This means you should have the synopsis or outline on a physical sheet of paper. This enables you to have it to look at without having to switch programs on your computer. Besides, it's always nice to have a physical copy.

This is also good for tracking your progress through the story as you can check off the parts of the storyline you've already completed.

The next step for paper preparation is to have a sheet of paper with the hours listed down the side that you will be sprinting. It will also include these other pieces:

It will be very helpful when you have something to track your progress. At the top you may want to label it with the date and story title + the words "Word Sprint" or "10k Writathon."

The next thing you need to do is completely clear your writing space. This is the organization part. You need to remove all wrappers, unneeded papers, etc from the spot you will be creating your story. This should be a place of no distractions! It's important that you do this, as it makes it easier to write those words.

Then you need to put things on your writing space. I'm talking things that will help you. Have a clean waterbottle, scratch paper, your synopsis or outline, character pictures if you have them, writing utensils, snacks, and a fidget nearby. 

Speaking of that waterbottle, tonight you'll want to fill it with water and throw it in the fridge, because tomorrow we will be putting it on our desk, along with our morning coffee or tea!

Be sure that your writing space is well-lit. If you have any personal things that help you focus such as candles, a dolphin knick knack, a picture of your family, etc. be sure to have them there! Only you know what truly helps you.

Be Ready! Be confident!

-Alexandria Hathaway
Twitter: @AlexandriaMWolf

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Saturday, August 9, 2014

One Week to Your 10k Day Writing Marathon Day FIVE!

It is the fifth day of our preparations for the 10k Marathon!
Are you excited? I am! The 11th is just around the corner!

To recap, yesterday we did some extra special preparations for our marathon. We created our meal plans and even planned parts of our break!

My meal plan looks like this:
Breakfast: Cereal
Lunch: Bowl of Salad and Half a Peanut Butter Sandwich
Dinner: Quesadilla

My breaks are good to go as well. I jog before I even start the marathon, so I don't have my first outside movement planned until the noon break. From there I go outside on the 3pm break and the 6pm break. My exercises include stretching, pushups, curlups, running in place, and light wandering around. It will keep me energized and focused!

Preparing for the Challenge - Day Five

Today is day five of the week-long preparation for our 10k day!

Now that we have our meals and breaks planned out, it's time for the next part of our journey!


So if you've been following along, we've seen how long it takes us to reach our goal every day so far. It's time to average it out. Do today's practice first before going in for the math.

Add the minutes of each day up and divide it by the amount of days you remembered to complete the activity. This number is your magic average! Now we figure out if our proposed hours to get to 10k is enough (or even too much!)

If you need more time, now's the time to make that change to your schedule. You can do it!

Go over everything you have thus far and make sure everything is up to par. That is your simple task for the day. :)

-Alexandria Hathaway
Twitter: @AlexandriaMWolf

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Friday, August 8, 2014

One Week to Your 10k Day Writing Marathon Day Four!

It is the FOURTH day of the One Week to your 10K Writathon series!

To recap, yesterday we worked on the habit of not editing our work as we go. We also learned about spreading the word. Both are very important tools for this series. We also did our practice goals again, making it easier for our 10k day.

Preparing for the Challenge - Day Four

Today is day FOUR of the 10k writing marathon week-long preparation.

Now that we know about being careful not to edit and have successfully alerted others to our event, it is time for the next step!


So this next step is a lot more important than people realize. The writing challenge takes up a good chunk of your day. At least one meal, usually two, and perhaps three would normally be going on during your scheduled writing time. Oftentimes, meals take more than 20 minutes to cook and eat. That's why today is going to involve planning out your meals.

So there are a couple things to pay attention to when planning your meals:
1. Time it Takes to Prepare
2. Nutritional Value
3. Ease of Eating

We want to narrow the prep time down to about 5 minutes, if possible. Now, normally this leaves us with either expensive or nutritionally deficient food. If we prepare ahead, we should be able to curb those problems.

In regards to the nutritional value, we want to make sure it doesn't just feed us, but that it energizes us! Vegetables are great for this, as is peanut butter. I would personally suggest shying from the starches and meats because at least for me it makes me feel a little bogged down, and that is the LAST thing I need when trying to complete a writing marathon.

The third thing to look at is ease of eating. This is important in case you're not done by the time you start writing. It is a good idea to have something you can grab easily without messing up a keyboard.


One great idea is to pre-prepare some of your food the day before. For example, making pasta or chili and freezing it or setting up a quesadilla and arranging (putting it on a plate in the fridge.)

This preparation enables you to cut down the amount of minutes you spend making the food, therefore leading you into a state of cooking bliss.


"But I've already planned my break!" You say. No, you've planned the times you'll have a break.

What we're going to do today is to actually take those breaks and assign them certain qualities or activitites. Don't overplan your breaks, however, it is important to know what breaks you're planning for meals, which ones you'll go outside for, etc.

Start off with assigning meal times.
Next, give each break a movement activity of some kind. Try to have at least stretching and walking around for each one. What else you add is up to you.
Then, take at least three breaks to have as time you actively walk outside. This makes sure you get some fresh air.

The other step for the day, as has been for the last couple, do that writing activity! We'll be using the data from the past couple activities to reassess tomorrow.

-Alexandria Hathaway
Twitter: @AlexandriaMWolf


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Thursday, August 7, 2014

One Week to Your 10k Day Writing Marathon Day THREE

It is the THIRD day of the One Week to Your 10k Day Writing Marathon!

To recap, yesterday was day two, where we did the math for how long it would take us to do the 10K challenge and calculated our breaks. I decided I would have an 11 hour day with a goal of 909 words per hour. Upon further examination I learned that it takes me only about 30 minutes of straight typing to reach my goal. This is great because it means I'll be able to have longer breaks.

Preparing for the Challenge - Day THREE:

Today is day THREE of the 10k writing marathon week-long preparation!

Now that we know how long we will take, how our breaks will work and what we'll be writing, it's time to move on to the next step! 

We're going to work on learning how NOT to edit our work as we go and spend some time telling others about our marathon for support and to get them to join in on the fun!

Don't Edit as You Go!!

I cannot stress this enough for people undertaking this challenge. The purpose of this challenge is to get out 10,000 words on to paper. It's great for getting the story out there. It isn't supposed to look pretty right away. Not at all. In fact, parts of it will be very ugly. Editing comes another day, however.

Editing will cut into your typing time, making it ever harder to reach your goal. Remind yourself as you go on that you will get to the edit later. Does leaving it there bug you? You may not be as drawn in to your story as you think. Try to focus on the importance of getting your story out on to the screen rather than changing it around. Imagine that if you don't type it RIGHT NOW your characters and their lives will disappear, a story left untold!

Don't spend your breaks editing, either. The most you should allow yourself to do is take a breather by right-clicking on those red-lined words in order to give them the correct spelling. ONLY do this if the idea of red lined words is driving you crazy. Remember, the faster you get to 10,000 words, the sooner you can edit.


This may seem like a "duh" kind of thing but goals are always easier to accomplish when you tell others about them. They hold you accountable. They offer their support and ideas. Heck, they might even join in! What's better than racing some good friends for a 10k?

You'll want to announce it on facebook, firstly. Any professional or personal page, just let everyone know when and where and why.

Same goes for Twitter! Feel free to use hashtags like #10kWritathon #wordsprint #1k1hr and #amwriting! Let everyone know what's going on.

Tell your friends via text or when you're hanging out.

Put out blog posts explaining why you'll be participating!

One thing I'm going to do, I'm going to throw out a link so that everyone who wants to see what I'm writing can just head right on over and take a looksee. 

It's also a good idea, when hosting a 10K Writathon, to have individual word sprints for others who want to join in but don't want to make the full commitment to 10,000 words! I'll be doing individual word sprints at 9am, 12pm, 3pm, and 6pm Eastern Time.

Also Today we're going to do the practice again to see how quick we get to our goal.

See You at The Finish Line!

-Alexandria Hathaway
Twitter: @AlexandriaMWolf

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Wednesday, August 6, 2014

One Week to Your 10k Day Writing Marathon Day Two

It is the SECOND day of the One Week to Your 10k Day Writing Marathon!

To recap, yesterday was day one, where we chose what our story would be and we outlined it. Hopefully everybody got that accomplished. My choice? A fantasy piece about a young girl who wakes up each day to something growing out of her shoulder blades. Hint: They turn out to be wings ;)

Preparing for the Challenge - Day Two:

Today is day two of the 10k writing marathon!

Now that we have our idea and outline, it's time to get into some nitty gritty details! We're going to figure out the time scale, hourly requirement, and take a guess at how our breaks will work.

Time Scale

First we need to decide how many hours it will take us to reach our 10,000 word goal. I think I'll spend anywhere from 10-12 hours working on this. That means that if I start at 9am (SPOILER: I will) I would go until 7pm-9pm. Because I want to make sure I have a specific goal in mind, I'm going to go with 11 hours. You can take anywhere from 6 (if you're a typing champ!) to 16 (If you really want to spend literally the entire day working on this.)

Hourly Requirement

From there we move on to the hourly requirement. Figuring this out is fairly simple. We take the number of hours and divide our 10,000 words into them. So my 11 hour day will bring me to require about 909 words per hour. That's certainly a lot but it's not impossible, otherwise nobody would be doing it.


Our next step is to calculate our breaks. Yes, there will be breaks. No matter what, breaks are important. There are a couple ways to do this method. The first is to just arbitrarily schedule a break here and there. While that might work well for putting in meal times, it's not so good on a larger scale.

The Break Calculation

The best way to calculate breaks is to figure out how long it will take you to reach your hourly requirement, on average. You want to get it to where you spend at most 45 minutes writing. The other 15 minutes will be used for your break. You can (and should) get up and stretch, grab a snack, and pretty much do anything but stare at your computer screen.

Do this today, write until you reach your hourly goal and figure out how much time you've given yourself for an hourly break. Adjust your total hours until it makes sense.

We'll be doing this every day until the challenge date!
-Alexandria Hathaway
Twitter: @AlexandriaMWolf

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Tuesday, August 5, 2014

One Week to your 10k Day Writing Marathon

First I'd like to start off with an update and say YES I will forget about my blog on a semi frequent basis. It's a part of who I am.

For those that don't know, I moved in with my boyfriend in Michigan. Am I going to school here? No. Do I have a traditional job? No. Do I plan on getting one? No. What do I do all day? Write, clean, cook, freelance.


Now that that's over, we can move on to the important stuff, that's right, today is the beginning of my blog post series "One week to your 10k marathon!" (Which will, obviously, last about a week.)

I will be running a 10k marathon on the 11th of this month. Why the 11th? It's about a week from today and I have almost nothing else planned for that entire day. Plus, it's a Monday, so I'll be up half an hour earlier.

What is a 10k Marathon and Why do it?

Excellent question! A 10k marathon is a writing marathon done in a single day. 10,000 words. 
It's a pretty hefty number but is great for a variety of reasons:
1. Catching up on NaNoWriMo.
2. Starting off a book with a big jump.
3. Needing to powerhouse through the end of your book.
4. To get your ghostwriting job done on time (oops!)
5. For the fun of it (and the challenge!)
6. To create interest in your book/series.
7. To learn how to write without editing each sentence after writing it.

My reason for doing it entails the challenge, to start a new book, and to garner interest in myself as an author. My first book will be coming out on Amazon for Kindle as soon as I get the cover art!

Preparing for the Challenge - Day One:

So you want to take this challenge? Awesome! Come and join me on the 11th of this August 2014.

There are a couple things that will help make your event stress free. Each day of the week I'll be posting little things that you can do to prepare for your challenge so you don't just dive in headfirst and hate yourself. (I was REALLY tempted to do that!)

TODAY our goal is to choose the story we will be writing. For some people this will be terribly easy, you knew what you wanted to do when you got into this. For other people it will take you pretty much all day to choose. 

Do you want to work on that fiction book that's been gathering dust? Or what about that new sci-fi idea that's been drifting in your mind for the last month? But of course, then there's the nonfiction book you always told your friends you were going to write...

ANOTHER thing I'm going to have you do today, once you choose your story, is IF you are a planning kind of person, create a mini outline for your story. It doesn't have to be too fancy, unless you have the time and want it to be. Know where you are going to go.

For the people who are NOT the planning kind, write a brief synopsis. It should be at least 100 words describing what kind of book you are planning. This will be your writing prompt.

You can do both or either or, the choice is yours! Happy planning!
-Alexandria Hathaway
Twitter: @AlexandriaMWolf

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