Tuesday, March 27, 2018

"you can't edit a blank page"

Those of you who know me personally know that the past year and a half of my life has been devoted to missionary work, and as a result I haven't made much progress in my writing. Of course, signing up for an eighteen-month mission I knew that I was giving that up temporarily, but it's been more difficult to jump back into the writer's chair than I anticipated.

Why is that? There are of course a million reasons, but each one is just another excuse to take the place of the last one that wasn't credible. In the end, it's because I haven't started.

Once you start typing, you're going to write something.

Sometimes I find myself so intimidated to start, pushing myself to get everything perfect the first time, and forgetting that that's entirely impossible. Luckily, this week I was reminded of that fact when listening to the most recent episode of the podcast, The Writer Files, where they quoted Jodi Picoult in saying, "You can't edit a blank page."

Personal takeaway? Just WRITE, and make a plan for WHEN. That doesn't mean it has to be every day - the plan can be to give yourself a writing weekend once or twice a month. But if you don't take the time to write, you can't possibly grow as a writer.

So from now on - I'm setting aside every other weekend as a writing weekend!

What's your plan?


Tuesday, November 11, 2014

when you read a really good book...

Read my Afterglow review!

There are some books that you just can't put down. Some books that inspire you so much you feel like brilliance will just shoot out of your fingertips the next time you start to write.

...If only that really happened...

But regardless, Steelheart by Brandon Sanderson was one of those books for me. It took me by surprise - the blurbs I've found online for it do not do the story justice.

The story isn't anything like my own - I'm writing an epic fantasy, and Steelheart is in the realm of a dystopian - but I was still incredibly inspired as I read it. It sparked my imagination, and caused me to think about my own books in a different way.

I can't even fully describe it. I'm just glowing.

The more we read, the better we will write. It's just a fact.

And I am itching to get my hands on book two.

Read any good books lately?


PS - The best part is that I got to read it under the guise of doing homework for my graduate level "Literature and the Adolescent Experience" class. I love my program.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

just write!

Saw this pic on twitter today:


Sometimes we feel (or at least I do) that we're not going to do a scene justice. That if we try to force ourselves to write, the only thing that's going to come out is garbage.

Okay, so we may get garbage. We may, in the future, end up highlighting a huge section of our manuscript and hitting "delete," as I talked about earlier this week

But sometimes, as unlikely as it seems, going through that garbage is what leads us to the uncovered jewels in our novels.

And if you're always convinced you're going to write garbage, you may miss the moments when you write something truly spectacular.

Has sifting through the garbage ever helped your writing?


Monday, November 3, 2014

learning to let go

If you're anything like me, it can be hard to press the "delete" key. Sometimes, you know that a phrase or scene does not fit in your book, but you love the way it was written so much you can't bring yourself to get rid of it.

Here's my advice: the purpose of each and every word in your book is to further your story. If that word or phrase is not doing its job, you need to fire it! Get it out of there, because it's bringing the whole book down!

Now, what if it's not underperforming so much that you need to just flat out get rid of it? In that case, bench it. Copy and paste it into a separate document, and then delete it from your WIP. Later, you can see if it fits back in, but by that point you likely will have realized you don't actually need it anymore :)

The gist of it? Don't let yourself get attracted to phrases or scenes that aren't moving your story along. Cut them out like the poison they are, and replace them with new, beautiful words you'll fall in love with!

Have you ever had to delete a phrase or scene you'd grown attached to?


Sunday, January 5, 2014

sometimes, you just need a break

If you've been following this blog for a while, you know that I've written many, many times about overcoming writer's block (like this pep talkthis post about motivationthis funny flow chart, and this rant) and each time I've talked about pushing through it, forcing yourself to write, finding that motivation again. Well, sometimes you just need a break.

Life can get so crazy, can't it? I mean, what with school (if you're my age), kids, jobs, church, volunteer work - sometimes there just aren't enough hours in the day. And when you reach that point, something's got to give. Well, this time, the thing that gave out was my writing.

When I fall into slumps or have to put writing on the back burner for a bit, it doesn't change how passionate I am about the story and the characters. I think about them all the time - a song will come on that perfectly describes a situation from my book, or I'll see someone walking on the street and feel like I've just seen my character in real life. The passion doesn't go away, but sometimes other things have to take precedence.

At the moment, that thing is my last semester of college. Yup, I'm graduating in April! It's surreal to be reaching this stage of life, and kind of terrifying, but I'm just doing all I can to prepare myself to enter the real world. Thus, the fictional world in my head has to wait.

The nice thing about times like this is you really get the chance to reflect on what you've written. Once I get the chance to start writing regularly again, I have a lot of changes in mind for my novel, right down to the way the two main characters meet. But for now, those changes will have to stay in my head and off the page.

But I know that when I do start writing again, it will be a long time before I have another slump!

Do you ever have times when you just need to take a break from writing? Is it easy or hard to get back into it?


Tuesday, September 10, 2013

i caved

I just joined tumblr! Help me find good blogs to follow!


Wednesday, July 31, 2013

birthday celebrations!

Happy birthday to two of my favorite people!

I'm sure I've mentioned before just how much Harry Potter has influenced my life, but I don't think I'll ever be able to adequately express how grateful I am to Ms. Rowling for inspiring me. The Harry Potter series has affected each and every aspect of my life, as odd as that may sound, and I owe its creator more than I could ever possibly repay.

That being said, happy birthday to JK and her boy wonder, Harry!

(And you don't have to remind me he's a fictional character, I know *sigh*)

What books inspired you? Who are some of your writing idols?

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