Tag Archives: Pep Talk

Because It’s a Balancing Act?

16 Jan

I get asked a lot how I keep myself in check. How I manage to do all this ‘stuff’ I do, and not pull my hair out and fall apart, or you know, faint. I guess I’m suppose to tell you all how it is that you can balance writing,running a blog, critiquing others manuscripts, being in school, having a social life, playing a sport, playing music, writing music, reading, writing reviews on what you’re reading, doing art, and selling said art. But, honestly I can’t tell YOU how to do all that.

I can only tell you that I do, and it’s not without effort, or struggle, or sometimes collapsing on my bed, and wondering why I even bother because there is no possible way that I can accomplish it all without screaming.

Sometimes I DO scream…

Life in general is a balancing act. everyone has things to balance. Their work, kids, school, training their dog, running marathons. And everyone manages to do it in a different way.

WE ALL BALANCE DIFFERENT THINGS.

WE ARE ALL DIFFERENT.

I for instance am an insane procrastinator, so I know I have to get things done early, shut down my internet, smile, grin and bear it until I’m done. Other people (who are not cursed with procrastination) don’t have to do those things.

The thing is that we all need to prioritize. Realizing what is most important and divvying out your time accordingly. You need to understand that YOU CAN”T DO EVERYTHING. I have a problem with this as you can see from the above list of things I do. But, if you can believe it, I actually have rounded myself in by cutting out DeviantArt, a personal (non-writing) blog,photo a day photography challenge, and peer tutoring. Unfortunately I still have a lot to do.

So being honest with yourself is a big thing. Can you really make time to do all these things? Can you really manage another beta partner right now?Will adding another blog on WordPress really help you reach your goals? Will it make you a better person? Will it change you for the better? Will it change others?

Now, if you are being honest with yourself, and you know all the things you simply can not do without and have accepted that you can’t do it all then it’s time to look at how wisely your spending your time now.

Browsing the net for an hour is fun, sure. But is it helping you do any of those things?

ARE YOU WASTING YOUR TIME?

And I guess that is the whole point of this post. Don’t waste your time. You only have so much of it. In fact it’s the only thing you can’t get more of. EVER. So ask yourself this:

Is your balancing act really a balancing act? Or, are you forcing it to be one? Are you stealing half-hours to catch the end of that re-run of Burn Notice instead of writing/exercising/ playing piano/etc.?

My life isn’t a balancing act.

I make it one.

You make your life one.

Drop what you can, but ask yourself do you have to?

 

UPDATE: On Thin Ice FF Contest Results will be up this Week! KEEP ON THE WATCH

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Novelist? Nah, I’m a “World Traveler”

17 Sep

Every time you sit down at your computer/notepad/brown paper napkin and place your hands on the keys/pen/crayon you are practicing an art. I know a lot of people will argue that writing is a skill, and sure, I can see where they get that. Actual WRITING, the way words are strung together is. It can be learned formulated, and shoved into a lovely little grammar book that any one with a highschool education can comprehend. But, writing, the poetry of description, the way the sentences flow into on another, and form a story. Nay, a reality, something that grabs you by the throat and makes you visualize, and become part of a world created solely by the author. That is an art.

The fact that writing is an art makes it unimaginably difficult. Because, artists never really know what they’re doing. Okay, that didn’t really make sense. What I’m trying to say is that art is a free form of expression. Often times it’s raw and messy. It tends to wind down side paths and under logs, and over brooks until we finally come to realize the point. Or what we had begun in the first place. In other words art is never fully realized until finished. We never understand the path we had to walk down until we look back behind ourselves.

You’d think that after the first time we sojourned down this road we’d get it. We’d have our path all set out for us. So, the next time we wrote or drew or composed we’d know exactly how to do it, and how to accomplish the finished product in the most efficient way, but we don’t.

Every novel, is different. There is no certain way to cover the terrain in a direct route. In a lot of ways its like being a world traveler. Every country is different. You don’t know how to communicate in every language, you don’t know what the hotels/restaurants/people will be like! Every place you go, every novel you write is different. There is no certain way of determining the best places to stay, or the right things to write. You have to revisit the place (draft the novel) over and over again to get a feel for the terrain. Then, when you write a different novel you have to start all over again!

The important thing is that you do go back. The first time you write a novel is tough. You don’t know what you’re doing. You don’t have any idea why the thing is so crappy when your working so hard. Just like going to a new country can be frustrating and confusing, but you still go. Why? Because you love it. You love to travel and see the beauty of exotic places. Just as novelist love to write no matter how greatly it frustrates them.

Don’t give up on your novel when it gets tough. Just like there are rough neighborhoods in every city your novel will have rough patches. Things that make you despise the whole thing, when, in reality the entirety of it has the potential to be good.

In other words keep traveling friends. I’m sure you’ll find you love your city. And your novel.

PS: Sorry this post is late I tried to post yesterday but I was staying out in the country with my grandparents and lo and behold no wifi was to be found!

Why Writing Is Like Zumba Dancing

29 Aug

Hey, all I just got back from my Zumba class (I’m totally bushed, as you can imagine. An hour of nonstop Zumba will do that to you.) As I was Zumbaing away (if that’s a word) I got to thinking that taking a Zumba class is a lot like writing a novel.

The thing about Zumba (or any dance class for that matter), is that it is supposed to be fun. People do it because it is fun. But, Zumba also happens to be a lot of work. Writing is kind of the same. We do it because its fun, but it is also a ton of work! Most people (or me at least) go into Zumba just to take a dance class, and have some! Same with us writers. When we first start to write we’ll do it just because it seems fun 🙂

And then it starts to become work. We realize that it isn’t all fun and games. That we’ll sweat, and tear muscles, and get tired and be generally sick of  it every now and then. They’ll be times when we have to force ourselves to go to class/write, and there will be times when we want to zip on over to our lab tops/studios early.

The important thing is that we realize that what we are doing IS FUN. Yes, IT IS FUN! Or, it should be. If writing/zumbaing isn’t fun (most of the time) for you then you shouldn’t be doing it. Or, at least, be doing it the way you are. A lot of times I think we get stuck in ruts. We force ourselves to write our manuscripts everyday (which occasionally has to be done of course) because we HAVE TO. But, why? Why force yourself when you can look forward to it?

My point: If writing isn’t feeling fun for you right now then switch it up. Work on something new that will be fun! Try doing a warm up flash fiction or do an interview with your MC. Do something that reminds you why you started dancing/writing in the first place! Or maybe just take a week off!

After all, if you don’t love it, why do it?

A Pep Talk

28 May

Que Motivational Music:

I am going to write BTE tonight! I’m going to write the crap out of it and I’m going to finish it this week.

I don’t care that I should go run my mile, or finish that library book, or wash my dog, or put on actually day clothes instead of running around in my PJ’s all week!

BTE is GOING DOWN. Down like a lead balloon! Down like Justin Beibers career when he finally hits puberty (… if that ever happens.)!

I am going to kick my Muse’s butt. My Muse is just a mean ol’ nightmare. A mire figment of my imagination. I am stronger than my muse! I mean I ran a 400 sprint without passing out. A few thousand words is a piece of cake compared to that!

When BTE is done imagine all the things I can do! I can start CARVE! I can throw myself a party gosh darn it! Heck I can take a whole week off and throw glitter in the air and smile at people I don’t know and play my music really loud… and, and FREAK OUT!

But none of this can happen until I go out there and FINISH BTE!

Now go and drive that manuscript into the ground!

BREAK!

Now you go work on your manuscript too! That’s right YOU! I mean it go!
HAHA. Wish me luck, pile driving BTE into the ground!