Tag Archive: inspiration

shock by Meredith Farmer

Watch out, I’m opening with a shocker…

I don’t want to write Christian fiction.

Yep, you heard me right. The ambition of my life is not to write a gazillion books about Character #1 who is either unsaved or [falls for/becomes friends with/talks to] someone who is unsaved and how they get saved by Character #2 or lead Character #2 to Christ. That’s not me. That’s not the kind of writing I want to do. (Yeah, those of you who read Christian fiction know exactly what I’m talking about.)

Now hold on, before you get all huffy, let me continue to explain.

I don’t want to write Christian fiction, I want to be a Christian who writes fiction. See the difference? Yes? No? It is a subtle difference, I’ll give you that. Almost a nuance. But, for me, it’s more than just changing around the order of the words.

I have spent the last year reading as much as I could cram into my schedule (which, honestly, was still not enough). I’ve been eating up YA fiction like asphalt eats at my tire treads and I have been doing my best to keep up a regular Bible study. And here’s the thing…this stuff that I’ve been reading? It’s breath-taking. It’s amazing. It’s brought up more questions about myself and caused me to look at more things through my world-view than many of the Christian books I’ve read. Now, I’m not saying that I dislike Christian fiction. It’s what I grew up on and some of my favorite authors write solely Christian fiction.  But I think that in the Christian genre there is a tendency to fall into a rut. A bad habit of focus solely on the message you want to get across (or beat into the reader’s head) and forget you are telling a story. That you’re trying to glorify God with what you’re writing and how you’re writing it. I’ve read a lot of good Christian fiction, but I as I look back, not much of it has been breath-taking fiction. Not much of it has challenged how I think (there are some very, very good exceptions, like Ted Dekker and Frank Peretti come to mind) or look at life or even my faith (that usually comes from my Bible).

I don’t want to write a good book. I want to write a great book. I want to write a book that is going to make people sit up and take notice because it is different, because the characters are different, because I am different. Because in the end I could write a book that preaches the salvation message perfectly. That has every biblical ‘i’ dotted and ‘t’ crossed. But what happens when the reader looks at my life. What happens when they follow my Twitter feed and like my Facebook page and see how I live and think and act? If my life isn’t in line with what I believe, then that book I just wrote is worthless. Because I am a hypocrite. Because I am saying this is what is right (and it is), but you don’t have to live that way. To me it is a more powerful witness is to have them take note of your life and see that there is something there that they don’t have. To read what you write and realize that you are different. And then to go find God for themselves.

I don’t believe that a book has to lay out the salvation message or mention God/Jesus’ name every third page in order to glorify Him. I believe that if we could look at Jesus’ bookshelf (oh, boy, that’s just a wonderful thought right there, Jesus’ bookshelf) we would be surprised by what we see. I think we ‘d find things like Pride and Predjudice and The Princess Bride and the Percy Jackson series on his bookshelf. Because they are a part of this world and sometimes God brings something beautiful and bright and true out of the sludge that gunks up our lives. Sometimes He uses the least likely source to create something pure (That is in no way a comment on those authors faiths, I honestly have no idea what they believe).

Does this impact how I write? Drastically.

You see I believe that Jesus Christ is the way, the truth, and the life. And that He came and took our sins upon Himself so that we might have life and have it more abundantly. You can disagree with me if you like. And I’ll withhold the right to disagree with you. It won’t keep me from reading what you write. But it will most definitely influence what and how I write (and what I read/recommend).

You see my characters may not spout Bible verses like a Junior Bible Quizzer and they may not be actively involved in leading others to Christ. In fact, in my current WIP, they are a little busy fighting for their lives. Not many opportunities for them to talk to others about Jesus. But just as my faith influences my life and how I live and act and speak, my characters’ faith is going to influence their lives. What they do, how they handle relationships (both romantic and platonic), whether or not they fight the urge to cuss–that is how my faith is reflected through theirs. And yes, they will probably (okay, they will definitely) drop the name of Jesus in casual conversation. They may (will) debate or discuss their faith.

And that is going to glorify God.

Because to me, it’s far more important that I have my act together (or that I trust God to help me keep my act together). It’s more important that when my readers are browsing Barnes and Noble and they pick up my book and they look deeper into my life, that they see something different. Will I write a book that deals with the salvation message? Heck yes. In fact, I already have a series shelved that covers just that, I’m just waiting for my writing skill to catch up with my vision for that book (I’ve already written about six drafts of it…or was it seven?). And I won’t be offended if you decide not to read it. I mean, it’ll still be as awesome as my other books will be, and you may be missing out…but just as it is my prerogative to skip chapter or even put a book down if it conflicts with what I want to put in my mind, it is your right to skip over my book because you don’t want that in your mind.

Because in the end, I believe that how we live our lives and how we act out our faith through our lives is a greater and more powerful witness. And if the sum of my life ends up being what I have written (which I would be just fine with) I want to be able to stand next to Jesus at his bookshelf and have him point to the ones I have written and say “Well done.”

That is enough for me.

Just Another Summer Day by Dia

Writing is like breathing for me, it’s necessary and a part of what makes me the way I am.

Indulge me in a little  bunny-trailing. I’m an avid lover of Twitter. And I might follow some sort of famous people. And some of those famous people might have a Formspring account. Okay, just take out the “mights”, and you’ve got the picture.

Anyways, no names, but someone posted on this person’s Formspring (Margaret’s paraphrase) “After you finish with your current series will you write other things?” I looked at this question and knowing the (very) little I know about this person from their blog and Twitter, I had this reaction:

“There is such a thing as a stupid question.”

Now, I’m sure there are those out there that wrote their one grand opus and then they were done. But the writers I know wouldn’t be able to stop writing without the aid of a lobotomy.

You see, writing is like a disease.

A happy disease, without the coughing, puking or doctors visits involving large needles. You don’t want a cure.

It starts with something small, like a love of reading or make-believe. And then it spreads and the next thing you know your hurriedly scribbling notes onto a Chick-Fil-A napkin while trying to hear some soccer mom’s order over her screaming kids.

Looking back, I should have seen it coming. This writing thing. It just followed the natural progression of things. I was always grades beyond where I should have been reading. I never went anywhere without a book. And then there were the games my brother and I played. We’d pretend to be Transformers (anyone remember the show Beast Wars?) or Digi-destined and we’d come up with whole storylines. Of course they were never very complex, but we didn’t care. Eventually, just for the fun of it,  I joined a creative writing class at my co-op (once a week gathering of homeschoolers where we learned things our parents didn’t want to or couldn’t teach us, i.e. math). See what I mean about natural flow?

I believe it really started with Star Wars. My brother and I were obsessed (well, really, I was obsessed with Padme and her wardrobe, but whatever). We came home from, maybe our third viewing of Episode I and we decided to make it so Qui-Gon didn’t die. Cause that was just sad. And from there, off I went. I’d always had a vivid imagination, plus I was good at entertaining myself. So I started entertaining myself in pretend worlds. Basically, I wrote Mary-Sue fics in my head. I believe I wrote about my character, Danae Naberry, somewhere else in this blog. And as I grew and learned more about writing, my Mary Sue became a little like a real character. Of course, by then, I had expanded to other world’s. Like J.R.R. Tolkein’s. Oh that was bad…I lived slept and breathed Lord of the Rings for three whole years. And that’s about the time I started taking my fanfiction and writing it down. What I got was very bad rewrite of the first half of Fellowship. I think still have that sucker tucked away in some dark corner, because I actually came up with some vaguely usable dialogue and stuff, just not as fanfiction.

From there, I wrote The Ring of Aluthya. Yes, it is exactly what it sounds like. It was my first attempt at original fiction. Over the few years that I worked on it and rewrote it and rewrote it, it went from LOTR knock-off to a story with actual potential. This one too, I have filed for later. Mainly because I just don’t have the skill yet to take it to the level I want to. My second novel, a Cinderella spin-off inspired by my time reading twisted fairy-tales has been shelved until I’m finished with Mind Games, simply because my mind-set is currently in the MG world with David and Annette. They are the ones who keep walking in my head and chatting, even if they do it haphazardly and I often have to ask them to back up and tell the story in an orderly fashion (they like to skip around between books, today’s it’s book one, but yesterday it was book three and some of book two).

And that is my writing life as of yet. It’s crazy to think that I have been writing for over half my life now (that’s only 12 years, before you start feeling impressed). I’ve gone off and on. But even during the days or months or years that I haven’t been working on a book, I’m always writing. It just doesn’t get onto the paper sometimes. At work, I’ll be playing around with the scene I was working on. Thinking up ways to make David a little less perfect or make Annette a little more real. When I watch movies or TV shows, my mind starts analyzing scenes and coming up with what’s going on inside the character’s heads. When I finish a book like The Lost Hero or Wither or Uncommon Criminals (all three of which had less than complete endings) my mind takes those characters and tries to figure out what will happen next, it comes up with scenes and conversations and possible plot paths and tries to figure out [Insert Author Here] will handle *spoiler spoiler spoiler*. And some days, when I’m really bored or life is just a bit too much, I pretend I’m someone else. I turn to my favorite movies or comics or books and I make my own character and do some internal fanfic-ing. Which is actually the start of a lot of my fanfiction now that I think about it…

I am always writing.

It actually gets kind of ridiculous.

To the point that I lie awake in bed, with plot ideas and characters backstory and dialogue spinning in my brain. And it won’t stop.

But I wouldn’t trade it for the world. I am so thankful, that God has given me this gift and that he has given me the passion to pursue it. That no matter where life takes me, or who or what is in my life, writing is constant. Kinda like He is. It’s always there in the back of my mind and if I get nothing out of it but a little amusement and some good stories for my friends, then it is enough.

Not that I don’t also spend time imagining how it would feel to walk into a Borders or a Barnes and Noble and see my book on the shelves…

Book Review: Wither

The Chemical Garden Trilogy #1: Wither by Lauren DeStefano

Ages 16 and up

Rhine Ellery is used to living with a death-sentence hanging over her head. She’s sixteen, which means that she has four years before the virus that now claims every female at 20 and every male at 25 comes to claim her. She and her twin brother, Rowan, have spent most of their lives surviving day by day. Until the Gatherers find Rhine. Suddenly, she finds herself a teenage bride in a polygamous marriage. She’s heard of this happening, part of a desperate effort to keep the human race from dying out completely, but she always thought that she and her brother were careful enough to keep it from happening to her. Despite the fact that she finds herself in the lap of luxury and is quickly becoming her new husband’s favorite wife, all Rhine can think about is getting out of her gilded cage and back to her brother. So she can spend whatever years she has left in freedom. But her husband’s father is a man bent on finding a cure and saving his son and Rhine starts to feel that she has perhaps been chosen for a darker purpose than being his son’s wife. A purpose that she’s not sure she likes.

This book was on my list. I was going to read it eventually, because a very reliable source told me it was good. And then I got to have a brief conversation with the author over Twitter (emphasis on brief). So if you were hoping my next review would be on Uncommon Criminals, blame it on the mouse. (And the fact that Borders forgot to call me when my book finally came in. Good thing I’m proactive.) Anyways, it got a well-deserved bump up to the A.S.A.P. part of my list, so here it is.

In case you hadn’t noticed, I’ve been on a dystopian kick recently. I am far from being an expert, but I find that I love it. I knew Wither  was categorized in that section, so I came to the book with a few preconceived notions about what I could expect. And with the big stuff I was correct. But one of my favorite nuances was how proactive Rhine felt. What I have found to be the case much of the time (and this goes for genres, I just think it’s more with this one) is that you have Protagonist. Protagonist is surviving in a less than perfect society, following the rules and acting like a good little sheep. And then something happens. Protagonist’s best friend runs away, or their sister’s name gets drawn from the cup of death. Protagonist reacts and the story begins. But through out the whole story, survival is goal (it’s a very good goal, I will give you that). The main character will do what has to be done for them to survive, but they don’t act out of the box unless they have to. They don’t try to break the mold without outside influence (be it from friends of enemies).

Rhine isn’t like that. She wants to live. She wants to be free. From almost the moment she wakes up in Linden’s house, Rhine is figuring out how she can get out. Rhine has suddenly found herself in the lap of luxury, with a guy who adores her more every day. Her needs are more than met, she could just sit back and accept that she is going to spend the rest of her life here. She could be like her sister wife, Jenna, and think that this is a better a place than most to die. But surviving isn’t good enough for her. Rhine wants freedom. Another thing that I like about Rhine is that she isn’t overly cynical. She could be. She is witty and real in her observations, but not unpleasant to a fault (actions are sometimes a different story).

This book has some of the best examples of using significant detail in a story that I have ever seen. There are some books where you can guarantee that the author is going to describe every dress or every building. Books where facial features will be stressed or actions. But in Wither, DeStefano uses her details to enhance what is happening in that moment, which means that the details with significance change constantly. One moment, she’s describing the wedding attire of Rhine and her two sister wives, giving you a glimpse into each girl’s personality. Two pages later, you see Rhine focusing on just one wall of her new home, impressing on you just how big the Ashby house is. She even manages to uses something as mundane and everyday as make-up to lead into background for a minor character. It’s brilliant. Absolutely brilliant.

And speaking of background. This is one book where I was as happy to be reading backstory as frontstory (is that the technical term?). You get dropped right in the middle of the action. You don’t have to go through Rhine’s typical day and then she gets kidnapped. She already is kidnapped. DeStefano uses innuendo and slight of hand to deftly make you as interested in Rhine’s past as you are in her present and future. You want to know about her brother and about how her parents died. The balance between backstory and current plot is such a hard balance to strike. Too much and the reader gets bored. Too little and the reader gets lost. DeStefano does a very good job of walking that line between the two.

Of course, it’s not a perfect book. There were a few times when Rhine or the plot would make a jump and I’d be dragged out of the story to say, “Wait, what? How did you come up with that?” I’m someone who is constantly jumping in and out of the story. When it gets too intense, I’ll out the book down for about thirty seconds. Or when I’m struck by an author’s brilliance.  Or when I’m just laughing to hard to hold the book still…or breathe. Rarely do I actually have to stop because something doesn’t make sense or because I actually have to back track to figure out what the blazes is happening.  I can think of only two times that this happened and I don’t even remember where they were (not that I would tell you if I did, that would be a spoiler and I don’t give those). And I’m still not sure that I wasn’t supposed to have to stop and think at those points.

With Wither, you are in the hands of someone who knows exactly what they are doing. And they won’t tell you! I’m sure that the clues are all there. I’m sure that when I get to the end of book three (however, many years down the road that is) I’ll be able to reread the series and go, “How did I not see that?” and everything will make perfect sense. But right now, my powers of prediction are sadly baffled. And that is frustrating! (If the author is reading this, I bet she’s doing a little victory dance or at least grinning evilly.) One of my favorite parts about reading a book is to take the pieces and see where the plot is going and figure out what is going to happen before it happens.  It’s an uncanny skill that I have. And it is being pushed to the max right now. Normally, I find it painfully easy. Not this time. My brain is still turning possibilities and lines of story development and the interaction between characters and coming up with likely directions the story will take. But I can’t settle on any one thing that I know is going to happen (okay, actually there are a couple of things that I think I might know are going to happen, we’ll see). This is not a familiar feeling for me. It’s weird and foreign and…actually, kind of fun. It won’t stop me from trying of course, but I like that I wasn’t able to figure all the big stuff out in one reading. No, I don’t like it…I love it. And it’s part of why I can’t wait for Fever to come out in February (*cries* It’s SO far). Because the more pieces of the puzzle I can get, closer to seeing the whole picture I will be.

This is a book that I would recommend to people all across the board. It’s up there with The Hunger Games, I think that all my friend’s that enjoy a good book will enjoy this. Whether you are into the dystopian scene or not. Make this your introduction. At the same time, anyone who wants to write, especially if you want to write YA, this book should be on your list. I had as much fun reading how it was written as I did reading what was written. It’s one of those books you walk away from and say, “Wow…Let’s do that again!” (Kind of like you do with a good roller coaster). Parents, if you’re looking for a good, thought-provoking book for your teens to read, have at it. I would keep this one away from the younger teens. Rhine knows first hand the reality of her situation, she sees glimpses of it, and she’s honest. She doesn’t shy away from the realities of her world. Some of what she sees, or knows is happening just might be bit much for kids that are younger than fifteen or sixteen. I didn’t even come close to needing to self-censor the book while I read. It is very clean (I can’t vouch for the second and third books as they haven’t been written yet), but it is also very deep and kind of dark.

This is a good example of:

  • Significant detail
  • Character reveal
  • Backstory integration
  • A good love triangle
  • First person narrative
This book is one my recommended reading list.

Writer's Block (8) by Jonno Witts

Far be it from me to offer you advice and then just leave you hanging. In Chugging Right Along, I talked about how writers write–rain or shine, inspired or not. But sometimes that can just be hard. Sometimes you get stuck and just can’t think of anything and you end up taking three hours to write one sentence. Been there, done that.

Writing well and consistently is all about practice and persistence. You can’t sit down and expect you first book to be the next great American novel, it’s going to take a lot of trial and error. You have to learn what your good at and what you just suck at. And that can only happen if you write–a LOT. But what do you do when it takes you that long to put together a sentence? When you are fresh out of ideas or you are just not at your best, how do you find something to write about?

We’ve all experienced it: writer’s block (And if you haven’t yet, you will. Trust me). It’s a common disease that affects anyone who has ever picked up a pen and tried to tell a story. You start the story and you’re going full steam, the words are pouring from your brain onto your paper and they’re pretty darn good. It’s exciting, it’s exhilarating, it’s a high unlike any other. And then, KABLAM! You run full force into a brick wall.  You reel, you stagger, you fall flat on your butt in the dust. But that doesn’t stop you. You’re a writer, so you pick yourself up. You dust off the seat of your pants and you try to get past the wall. But you can’t. You couldn’t figure out how to get past that wall if your life depended on it.

I know, I’ve been there. My notebooks have doodles in the margins from where I’ve hit that brick wall–and if the doodles weren’t enough proof I’ve taken up the habit of writing “Writer’s Block” in the margins every time I hit it. Sometimes it is because I’m not really sure where I’m going (hence the reason I’ve started outlining my books). Other times it’s because, dagnabit, I just don’t want to work on the silly book anymore. That’s when I know it is time to take a break. Believe it or not, you can get tired of your story. Or just burnt out. So close the notebook or save the document and do something else. Write a short story. Work on a different scene (often this is more than enough to get me past whatever I couldn’t get past). Clean something. I’ve found cleaning the bathroom and/or the kitchen can be very inspiring. Especially if there is music involved (Pandora is my best friend). Or watch a movie that’s set int he same world/time/situation as your story. The LOTR movies and Princess Bride have gotten me through many bouts of writer’s block. Come back in an hour or a day and try to write again.

Of course, stories don’t pop out of thin air. If you don’t feel like coming up with your own idea, then writing prompts are a great way to go. These are great to get you started writing something, anything. And it doesn’t have to be good. You just start writing and let the idea take you where it takes you. You are allowed to let these ramble a bit. You can use them to develop a specific skill, like description or dialogue. And if you really like the story you can go through and edit it, tighten it up, cut out the rambling and turn it into something you could send in to a contest or have a friend read. Or you could file it away (try to always save your writing, you never know what you might be able to use down the road) and never look at it again. Prompts aren’t hard to find. I currently have a free eBook full of them sitting on my nook (there also is a longer version available for $.99). You can also search for them on Google. Here are a few that I liked:

Now if you are focused or you don’t want to separate yourself completely from the story, this is a good time to work on a character story. For example, in one story the main character has this beautiful bow made by Elves out of the wood of a very special kind of tree (yes, I know, my LOTR obsession is showing). Now how and why she got the bow isn’t really important to my story,  but just for the fun of it, I did write the scene where she received the bow. All that that mattered to the main plot is that the Elves gave it to her, thereby signaling their approval of her. However, suppose instead that the bow had been given to her by her father. The relationship between the main character and her dad is very important to the story, which would have made it possible to include the scene in the book. But for the most part, scenes like this are for your eyes only. They can enrich your writing secondhand (I didn’t even realize how important it was for her to gain the Elves approval until after I wrote this little vignette), but they bog the writing down when they aren’t pivotal to the plot.
If you’re really brave, you can try combining the two ideas above. Take a writing prompt and adapt it to your world with your characters. It’s a great way to play with your characters and see how they would react in situations that they wouldn’t encounter in the course of your story. It can be enlightening.
And for when you’re feeling really lazy, there is always fan fiction. Can I just say that I love writing the stuff? Well, I love writing the stuff (and not just because I’ve been an incurable shipper wince the age of four). I have characters, I have a setting, and I have a story that shows me how they react. And I am free to take all those things and use them to craft a story. This is an awesome way to practice your writing. It can show you how flexible you are as a writer. When I write fanfics, I try to blend my voice with the original author’s voice as much as I possibly can. I’m always proud of myself when someone says, “It’s just as if So&so wrote this story”. It makes me feel like a super-secret writer spy. Of course there is a lot of bad fan fiction out there. And of course you can’t actually publish any of the material you write…or can you? I know for a fact that I have used conversations and other things that I’ve discovered through writing a fan fiction (heck, my first complete story started out as a fan fiction). But even if it is only to entertain yourself, fan fiction is a good way to practice your writing. You’re free to come up with your own story (I find myself doing this when I’m not happy with the way a book/movie ended) or you can take a scene and rewrite it. I do this frequently with manga. Since manga is a visual medium, you don’t always get the inner thoughts of the characters and there is a lot of room for interpretation. I like to flesh out the little details about what is going on in a character’s head. All in all, if you do it well, this can be a valuable opportunity. Do you want to write in first person? Learn to do it well but imitating an author that writes killer first person novels. Need to work on your dialogue? Find a book with dialogue sections that you like and try to create a conversation between two of its characters. Before you know it, your fingers will be itching to open your notebook back up and return to your own characters.
These are just someways to keep yourself writing through rain and shine. I know there are many, many others. If you have any of your own tips/tricks please share them. I’m always looking for more ideas.

PB15 on timber trestle bridge by Leonard John Matthews

If you’ve been reading my blog from the beginning you’ll be familiar with my post: Stop Waiting for You Muse–She’s Not Coming…. If not, you might want to take a look at it, since this is sort of a follow-up

Anyways, as I have stated before: Writers write. Whether you feel like it or not. Whether you’re inspired or not. You need to make time to sit down and write. The more often you make your brain think creatively, the easier it will become. The human mind gets used to routines. I try to set aside definite, fixed times to write. Granted at this point I’ve got just two or three hours to work with on a predictable basis, but the important part is this: At least twice a week I spend an hour and a half working on my book. No, it’s not much, but it’s better than nothing.

Still, sometimes it can take a while to get the creative juices flowing. And then there are the days or times that I just don’t feel like it. Here are a few things I use to get myself in the mood. Sometimes, all you need is a little inspiration.

  • Magazines: My two-year subscription to Writer’s Digest was probably the best use of $36 I have ever spent. Now I’m not saying that it has to be WD. There are many good publications for writers. There are even a few that are free online. This is useful to me because there’s so much to work with. I find I always walk away with something, be it a new lesson about writing or an inspirational thought from one of the interviews. It also takes me a while to read an issue, because while reading I constantly find that I’m wanting to put it down and start working on my own stuff.
  • Other Writer’s Blogs: If you are lucky enough to have a friend who writes and blogs about it, I’m sure you are already subscribed to their RSS feed (if not, you probably should be). If not, look around the internet, Google a few of your favorite authors. Almost all of the big names now at least have a website. Most have a blog and a Twitter feed.  Not only do you get to learn new stuff for free (I’m all about the learning…especially if it’s free. Yes, I was homeschooled) but you also get a lovely little reminder on a (hopefully) regular basis. Seeing posts from my friend Dot’s blog excites me not just because she happens to write good stuff, but it also feels like she’s dropping in to say “So, how’s the book going?”. Or guilts me into picking up my pen and notebook on the days that I’ve been bad.
  • Good Books: Writer’s write, but writers also read. Why have I been reading books like the Hunger Games trilogy, the Uglies series and Incarceron? Besides the fact that they are awesome, of course. I read them because something about them has struck me as similar to the book that I want to write. If you’re writing Science Ficiton novels, chances are you read a LOT of SciFi. If you want to write for YA, then you should read YA. It keeps you in touch with what the readers are expecting and with the trends in the market.
  • Instructional Books: Another favorite of mine. My librarian can testify to the stacks of books on writing that I have lugged out of my library.  If you’re a writer, you are constantly learning, constantly seeking more knowledge. Don’t forget to take some time to hone your craft.
  • Take a class: Kind of self-explanatory. But it’s always good to have a safe place where you can play with ideas.
  • Start or join a writer’s group: Again, the safe place and the feedback are the key factors here. Also, it’s nice to have support and someone who won’t mind if you indulge in gushing over your book every now and then.
  • Music: I find that with me, the music I write to depends on my mood that day. I actually make a playlist or chose a CD for specific projects. Do I need something that’s going to keep me high energy? Then it’s POTC. Am I having to figure out how to move the relationship of my two protagonists along? Then $10 says that I’m playing Taylor Swift.
  • Indulge your quirks: So much of writing is finding what works for you. I like to write long hand, because there’s just something about a college-ruled notebook, just something about the physical act of writing that is exciting to me. Now, I love my computer and I’ll often use if for smaller projects, but my big ones get written down first. Also, I got through phases when it comes to my writing apparatus of choice. Right now, it’s the Sharpie Pen (because they are awesome). But I’ll have weeks that all I want to use is a pencil. Or a ballpoint pen. It kind of runs in phases (although the Sharpie has kind of started taking over). Indulge them (as long as they’rehealthy…and legal), use them instead of them using you.
  • Find your spot: I can write anywhere. As long as there is light and somewhere for me to sit, I can write. Too noisy? That’s what my iPod is for. But I have found that the place I get the most work done (and yes, I admit this is weird) is Chick-Fil-A. Even in the middle of lunch rush or a Spirit Night. There is something about that place that just makes focusing on writing easier. My friends think it’s because I work there and therefore, my mind is more focused as a default when I’m there. Which is a possibility. I think it’s because I’m removed from my normal distractions…my messy room isn’t screaming at me, my dog isn’t begging for attention, my brother isn’t coming in an sitting on me just for the fun of it. At CFA I am free (sort of).

So what about you? Do you have any suggestions that you use to inspire yourself to write, even when you don’t feel like it? Do you have any funny quirks that you feel make it easier to write? Go ahead, speak up. I’d love to hear from you. =D

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