Thursday, February 16, 2017

Just Write!

Why it is Prevalent Advice

After years of reading blogs and books or listening to podcasts to help my authors there is one common bit of wisdom that writers seem to avoid. It's been in bold, italics, set by itself or so many other ways which are not subtle. Yet, there are writers still following blogs and podcasts or buying books and magazines on "How to Write a Book!"
Let's distill what all of these authorities keep saying, repeatedly:

Just Write

Honestly, it's not easier said than done. It's something you do, without talking about it, thinking about it, planning it, arranging around it or even worrying about it. As a matter of fact, you are not writing a book at this point you are just telling a story. So the mantra is: Write the story. Write the story. Write the story.

Just Write

It's going to be ugly, even monstrous. Your rough draft should be horrible, warty and slimy. It should have so many typos and grammatical errors that your word nerd friends would cringe. It should have plenty of sections which don't make sense or are just plain wrong. You heard me, it should be wrong. Inaccurate descriptions, incorrect information and completely wrong words. 

Just Write

Who cares if you have the right tech? Use the voice memo function of your smart phone to get your ideas out then transcribe the ideas into notepad or word. If you'd like to use software, that's great. Yet don't get stuck on all the functions that you can do with the software, just use it to put something together. Don't get lost outlining, or creating your character sketches, or... , or...

Just Write

Not one published author wrote the perfect book on the first try. They wrote a terrible draft that no one got to see, revised it as best they could - possibly twice, sent it to beta readers, revised it again after getting the betas' feedback, sent it to the content editor, revised with those notes, sent it to the line editor, revised with those notes and finally sent it to the copy editor to format. Mind you some of them even send it to a proofreader before sending a manuscript to their copy editor. Phew!

So why try to do the work ahead of time to write the perfect book when you're going to have to make changes and revisions later on?

Just Write

Let the rest of us worry about making it pretty and ready for public consumption. We just want you to focus on getting a story out. Write the story that's buzzing insistently to get out, write the story which distracts you throughout the day as it flutters back and forth, write the story you need to tell. I want to read it, but I can't if you don't

Just Write

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Catching the wave!

Holy Moly!

The last couple of weeks have been filled with one wave of projects after another. And catching each wave at the right time as well as staying on it has been a great challenge. I have learned a lot. About me, about my colleagues and even about my husband. We are definitely moving upward and riding those waves a lot better with every set.

Being part of a team where I get to play with content a bit brings me a little bit of joy. Figuring out how to work through challenges in mindsets and organizing how we communicate on paper or digitally makes me happy as it grows my skills. I am truly grateful for having a place where I have support as I learn different styles of communication.

With that being said, I am missing having words to fuss with. Editing and Formatting for publishing make me happy. So now I need to find at least one more author to keep me busy at home. I am feeling a yearning to write a summary, to play with vocabulary, and to help make a story engaging.

I am ready to catch these waves!

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Knocked for a Loop

A good chunk of people come from dysfunctional families. Some of us break out of the cycle and some of us just follow the same path because it is familiar.

I hope that I am one of the ones who have broken out of the cycle of emotional constipation and the cruelty which is born from it.

I've mostly dealt with my childhood traumas and losses, and when I get sucked back into that darkness it doesn't take me long to pull the memory out in its fullness, thank it for the scars and put it back away. (I have found that moving on is a continual process not a one time accomplishment.) But going back to my hometown for my uncle's funeral hit way too many buttons and I am having a harder time thanking anything. Plus there are a few new memories to add to the box.

My plan was to come back, write about meeting the adults I used to babysit or at least change the diapers of, however, I haven't gotten to that part of my coming back home process. 

If you don't know this by now, my mind is always trying to put the puzzle together, no matter what form that puzzle is in. Sometimes I amuse myself because I get distracted by a section which reminds me of something and that rabbit hole leads to a tea party. Sometimes, like this time, the rabbit hole lead to both the Jabberwocky and Bandersnatch.

My "jabberwocky" is thoughtless selfishness. My "bandersnatch" is pride.

When I say thoughtless selfishness I mean when someone doesn't think about a situation other than what they want. For example, I was told several times, (attempted guilt trips), that I don't visit enough or that I disappeared. My response of course was that I haven't had anyone visit me at all and they are always welcome. Here is how this is both thoughtless and selfish. I am expected to make the effort to reach out regardless of my situation. No one thought about or remembers the fact that my family was almost homeless, that we were destitute for quite some time, or that when we were in town they were busy. (BTW I am VERY grateful and humbled that my support system came in the form of good friends who became family. They were my life boat and I hope I can repay that.) I could jab at this Jabberwocky with hurt and resentment, throwing  all the trials and tribulations at the snapping jaws of this beast. This would only lead to both of us continuing to battle in a bloody war. Or I can forge a vorpal sword of forgiveness as well as gentle darts of reminders that my door is always open and my phone is always available. The forging of this magical weapon is tough and laborious, yet the undertaking is worth the sweat and tears. I am working on it still.

Pride is tricky. Of course we all want to be proud of our accomplishments. We want to hold our heads high and acknowledge that we are worth... something. Most of the time with families it goes a bit too far. This leads us as individuals unable to ask for help or share our struggles. This bandersnatch led to a big ugly pile of resentment when it came to my uncle's death. His wife & children didn't want to use the D word when talking to the rest of the family about his illness, (thus the true nature & severity was lost on people who don't do subtle.) My father's pride kept the rest of our family from knowing that he is struggling financially and that my husband and I were struggling in the past. My pride keeps me from correcting assumptions and accusations. My mom's pride keeps her from admitting that her memory has holes. And the list goes on. I don't know how to deal with my part in this as I also don't want to alienate people further. But I am much MUCH better at keeping it from happening in the future by asking for help now and letting people know when things are less than ideal. Of course we can only be responsible for ourselves, so the beast continues to claw, scratch and bite. This makes it a much more difficult beast to overcome. You cannot defeat it, you can only subdue it. So I must find a way to charm it. Hopefully then it will wander off to sleep for a bit.

The point where a night of drinking and dancing with friends to get my equilibrium back is drawing closer. First maybe a rowdy and silly D&D game will get me laughing enough to put these monsters into perspective. Then I can talk about the adults I still picture in diapers.

Hmm... Maybe I just need a new novel to edit.