Good evening! How easy is it for you to relinquish “control” in your life? Have you attempted? Was it easy? Difficult? Writing a novel is one of the best exercises to help you master this healthy step. For all you fellow perfectionists out there – I understand how difficult this step can be. As perfectionist, we have this theory that the only way something will meet our expectations is if we are always in the driver’s seat of every task we approach in our life — and I do mean e-v-e-r-y!! — I found that one essential step to resolving the “control” syndrome – is to allow yourself to release “control”. The process of writing a novel requires sharing control with our characters – which result in a story that last the length of a novel that has the ability to sustain our readers interest. Mastering this technique in writing takes effort, perseverance, physical and mental endurance, and patience – just to name a few skills. Ironically, it takes these very same skills to convince yourself that it is healthy to not always be in “control” mode. Think of many benefits we can gain by not needing to be in “control” of everything – gain time; build strong characters who perform well; gain compassion because we allow people to feel appreciated; learn to be humble because we realize that we do not have all the answers; learn acceptance because we let people be who they want to be rather than conforming to our demands of who we want them to be (important for our characters too); and gain insight because we learn that the only actions we can control are our own. Try to surrender control in just one small area of your life today and share the outcome with someone you trust.
Monthly Archives: March 2015
Good evening! What makes you happy? Spending quality time with my family and spending hours writing are two actions that make me happy. Why does writing make me happy….because it is when I choose to share a part of my heart – that I pour into my pages! How many times did you finish your pages and ask yourself such questions as…”Where did that come from?- or – “Did I really write that?” – or – “I did not know that I had that in me!” Do you watch your reader’s reaction to your pages when you ask them to preview before you send the final draft to the printer? Do you re-read your own stories after the final editions – after the printer – after it arrives on the shelves of bookstores? I have found the most rewarding part of writing to observe the non-verbal reactions of someone reading my pages and learning that their response is exactly the way I anticipated while writing and editing – – I treasure those moments because they bring me much joy! I feel it is important to identify both – the tangible and intangible – things that make us happy in life and spend as much time with the intangible things that we possibly can – because there are great stories to be written when the foundation is happiness. I have a fondness for happy stories with happy endings!
Good evening! Recently I took along a book, that I thought I would read, while visiting the airport – I never opened the book! I am not sure if any writer can ignore such an opportunity to be surrounded with ideas for stories in the continuous activity that abounds at the airport. The airport is a great place to build character profiles also. There are many people from multiple generations – children young enough to be strapped to their parents – to little toddlers – to elementary, middle school, high school, and college students – to brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, cousins, mothers, fathers, and grandparents. Some flying solo and some flying in groups. I drifted back to memories of a time when airports were a fun place to visit. I have fond memories of spending quality time with my grandfather at our local airport many Sundays – sharing a meal in the restaurant and then standing close enough to the runway to watch the planes lift and land. If geography is an area that has you stuck in your story – why not try visiting an airport near your home – find a spot near the schedule board to open your writer’s book and spend a few hours observing the different locations appearing on the board. Notate any other observations that interest you. There is no doubt in my mind that you will leave with your geographic details resolved – along with a few other ideas to add to your story as your creativity gets stirred. When was the last time you visited your local airport with your writer’s book open?
Good evening! My favorite movie is “A Civil Action” because I really enjoy the journey that the writer sends the attorney through — the attorney’s perspective of this particular case from the onset – to his amazing internal transformation throughout – especially at the end. I encourage you to watch this movie and pay close attention to the very last line, spoken by the judge, at the close of this story – what an amazing ending! Do you know how your story will end before you begin writing? I remember when I wrote my first novel, during NANOWRIMO, I had no clue how the story would end. I had committed myself to let go of my perfectionism and allow my creativity to breath. In other words, I stepped out of my comfort zone by allowing my ‘creativity‘ to get in the driver’s seat and take me along on the journey. It felt good to be the passenger. I learned that I like getting out of my own way because I discovered how much more potential I have when I tame my perfectionism. In fact, I enjoyed it so much that I decided that I never want to know the ending before I begin the pages of any of my stories – I want to keep being surprised when I reach “THE END”. I love that feeling of having a smile as a result of completeness from ‘work well done’! What is your favorite movie and why is it your favorite as a writer?
Good evening! Spring is my favorite season because it is during these months that I witness the most change. Changes — from humans – to animals – to nature. Birds are singing harmonious sounds to fill us with joy; flowers are peeking up from the ground – sprouting to be shared with people to brighten their day; naked trees are ready to produce beautiful leaves to bring us shade during the coming hot months; human behavior is more positive because people have escaped the indoors and filling their neighborhoods, local parks, and walking through bustling downtowns – engaging each other in conversations about the comfortable weather – and how pleased they are to be outside enjoying nature in all it’s beauty. The one word that describes Spring to me is ‘transition‘. What one word defines Spring to you?
Good evening! Do you enjoy writing pages that read like a sprint? – Or writing pages that read like a marathon? For the purpose of this post, we will refer to a writing sprint as a story that can be read from page 1 to “The End” in less than one day – while a writing marathon is a story that takes a minimum of three days to read from page 1 to “The End“. Keep in mind that there is no right or wrong answer – I am just sending this question out into the void. My preference is writing pages that read like a marathon because I enjoy the slower pace – I like to take my readers on a long journey that feels like a scenic leisure drive on a lazy Saturday or Sunday in the beginning of Spring or Fall. I have not been successful in my attempts to write pages that read like a sprint – because it feels like I am telling the reader too much – thus denying them the joy in taking the short journey. However, I will keep practicing because I do enjoy reading such pages from the experts who can deliver this method well – for they teach me a lot each time I read their pages. Which is your preference?
Good evening! Dialogue is very important to writers…we enjoy engaging our characters…in fact, we would have no story without dialogue. With that said, we know that dialogue is a huge benefit to writers. Unfortunately, everyone does not use dialogue with good intentions in real-life. How do you feel when someone is attempting to ‘script‘ you? We are very familiar with the type of script that a screenplay writer intends their cast to follow to bring a story to life on stage. Are you aware of the type of people, who usually have the opposite intention, when ‘scripting‘ you. This is what it looks like – a person will ask you a question that they already know the answer to – their intent is to prompt some type of verbal response from you – typically, these are questions that generate a negative response which will serve as their justification to engage you in a debate. I share this technique to alert you to be on guard against people who practice this cruel method of communication. Be observant of a person’s intent during conversations. If you sense that someone is ‘scripting’ you – refuse to engage! It is unhealthy communication! Yes, a script works well on the pages for writers – but not so well off the pages with people who have cruel intentions. Beware of being scripted!