Good morning! Flexibility needed to meet writing goal. I still struggle with this daily – mainly because I am in constant conflict with my perfectionism. My grandmother meant the world to me – and her words of wisdom have always proven to work positively for me. She warned me that when I have such a difficult habit to break, as perfectionism, I will always have to revisit my method to keep managing it. Once again, she was correct! Because, you see — I still yearn for that p-e-r-f-e-c-t environment. However, I refuse to revert back to the non-productive days due to my perfectionism. How do I resolve this? I present my grandmother’s favorite question – “What is the silver lining in this challenge?” The silver lining is to search for the benefits in my perfectionism. My first step in this resolve was to challenge myself to list the pros and cons of my perfectionism. My second step was to isolate the cons – while I utilize all the pros to my benefit. My conclusion was fantastic for my writing – I identified three major benefits of my perfectionism to utilize in my favor – Benefit #1 – My perfectionism gives me the drive to meet my daily goal without any interruptions – this increases my productivity. – Benefit #2 – My perfectionism has taught me to be selective in my word choices – this strengthens my point of view. – Benefit #3 – My perfectionism gives me the ability to write extensive, very detailed, character bios – this increases my creativity to know the depth of my character. After applying my grandmother’s wisdom – I realize that flexibility and perfectionism are not enemies after all. Focusing on these three key benefits as I write – allow me to defeat the cons of my perfectionism.
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Good evening! Writing skills are transferable into life skills. When storyboarding, we compartmentalize each scene – or set of facts that we have researched – into a designated chapter. Life is very similar – we compartmentalize areas of our life, many times without intentionally doing so – that is unless you, too, are a perfectionist like me. If I do not break the details of my life into compartments, I would feel confused. Just for the record – I do not like confusion – I prefer clarity! Clarity is my friend! Clarity keeps me sane! Imagine how a story would flow without utilizing this skill – we would be rewriting scene after scene because we would be confused as to which character belongs to a particular scene or which fact fits timely to a particular scene – the end may accidentally fall in the middle or the middle may land too close to the beginning — all examples that could damage the aesthetics of your story. The benefit gained from utilizing this skill will be the exact opposite – your story will have a steady rhythm. Your point of view will be clear. Does that not sound satisfying to have the same results in your daily life? Try to compartmentalize your life for just one week to measure the results and determine if your very own personal life will benefit from a necessary writing skill.
Good evening! I am curious – what is your thought process before you begin a writing episode? I have learned that the answer to this question has a huge impact on word count results. When my thought process is an inspirational observation or memory – I produce a higher word count than when my thought process goes something like this – “I must write s-o-m-e-t-h-i-n-g today!” I use to have many days like that – they mostly resulted in low word count! After I began allowing observations to inspire my writing – I benefited with increased word count! I do not deny that I still have rare days that I default back to the above thought process – thankfully, very rare! This thought process can change many times throughout the day – have you ever reviewed a few pages and thought, “What was I thinking when I wrote that?” When I get sleepy and I, unwisely, finish a piece in progress – I get the pleasure of humoring myself with the results – because the words that drift onto my pages during a sleepy phase is subconscious thoughts – producing similar results as those that attempt to read my thoughts when I write with my smartphone or word processing program on auto-type mode — I giggle and think, “That is not what I meant to say!” Lol. Of course, I spend more time editing those pieces than I do when I write clear pages from my inspirational observations.
Good evening! A friend once said to me, “How is anyone going to read your story if you do not share it?” Of course this was a rhetorical question to motivate me to identify a method that I am comfortable sharing. As writers, we know that we want to share our work s-o-m-e-d-a-y! Granted, there are some pages that we write with the intent to keep private – such as our daily journal entries. Writing is a vulnerable industry; each time we click that little blue “PUBLISH” button – we are taking a risk! We have no clue if our audience will embrace our words – or reject them….yet, we, confidently, continue to write because we know that we have something valuable to say, as a writer, it is just an unspoken rule that someday another set of eyes will review the pages we created – the fact that we are writing these posts show that we do believe in our ability to produce valuable words. My theory is this — I like to compare writers to candles, there are many uses for candles: a source of light in dark spaces to help you find direction; a source of heat when you feel cold; a feeling of calm when you feel stressed. I feel that our work, as writers, provide the same benefit to our readers. When I click the “PUBLISH” button – I am always hopeful that at least one reader feels a sense of calm from a stressful day – or that my words remind them of something pleasant that provide a sense of warmth in their heart – or that my words provide some insight to guide them through a decision they are making. If my words have touched just one reader in a positive manner – that warms my heart!
Good evening! A common saying in the writing field is, “Write what you know!” Does this method work for you? I tried it – It felt comfortable to “write what I know” — I will always incorporate this theory into my writing. However, if I had stuck with this message ‘alone’ – I would NOT have given myself permission to take the NANOWRIMO challenge – what a mistake that would have been! Fortunately, I enjoy challenging myself in all areas of my life, writing included. Frankly, it scares me to stay in my comfort zone too long. Pushing myself beyond my comfort zone to tread in uncharted waters (fiction) – added many benefits to my writing; the depth of my content increased, and my productivity skyrocketed. Surprisingly, I felt more empowered writing what I ‘did not’ know — my mind was stretched – I grew in every area with my writing. Growth is important to keep my writing current. Such restrictions keep us (writers) from achieving our full writing potential, as this process revealed dormant skills ready to surface and create amazing stories. What writing challenge are you currently pursuing?
Good evening! Let’s complete an exercise together for inspiration today – what do these exhibits all have in common: Art Museum, Science Museum, Library, Music Festival, Bridal Show, Travel Show, and Auto Show? Do you give up? All of these are ways to gain “EXPOSURE”! Yes, you could sit at home and “Google” your way to all of these places and take a virtual tour — that is NOT the type of EXPOSURE that I am describing today – I am speaking of ‘live – physical exposure’ that requires you to exert yourself by gaining transportation to these places, leisurely observing the environment by engaging in conversation with the volunteers stationed at the exhibits or with the vendors stationed at the booths or with the librarians, musicians, or visitors. What will you gain by completing this EXPOSURE exercise? You will awaken your sense of DISCOVERY! Being face-to-face with art, talent, and people — combined with the act of allowing yourself to engage – you are, in essence, granting permission to your senses to discover something new — new ideas — new points-of-view — new methods — new cultures — new friends. The most rewarding benefit, as a writer, by exposing yourself to all of these different environments, is that you will gain inspiration to write about what you discover. Such exposures have the possibility to be the breeding grounds for many amazing stories.
Good evening! Do you know how inspirational the ‘blank page’ can be? I view the ‘blank page’ as an open invitation to release my creativity. When I see a blank page — my internal creative antenna goes on alert and kicks into high gear. I see space that allows me to release ideas, and character profiles. I see a home for factual data that I have gleaned from extensive research. I see fonts dancing so graciously to form beautiful words. I see sentences engaging in conversation, having intellectually stimulating conversations while forming great stories to be read – and re-read — through the years. Surely, as a writer, you have experienced many days when you have ideas dancing around in your head, just waiting to leap out onto a blank page. You spend the day rubbing your temples because you know that if you do not find a blank page, you are going to “s-c-r-e-a-m” because all of your characters and facts are yelling – “Let me outta here!” The moment you arrive at the blank page, your fingers are tingling with excitement the closer they get to the keyboard. When your body is sending these messages, you know, as a writer, it is going to be an excellent writing day – you smile and “let your fingers do the typing” rapidly across the pages — as you free the words that have been demanding to be released from your mind all day — and you reap the benefit with a high word count for the day which, no doubt, edges closer to the end of another fascinating story. When I cannot get access to my writer’s notebook or laptop, I use sticky notes as ‘blank pages’…tell me what ‘blank pages’ inspire you?