Tuesday, July 29, 2014

S.B.I.C. - Now!

If you've been to writing conferences, or network with other writers, you know what this means:


There are other variations:


There might be others that I haven't heard, but these come to mind. Frequently. Like every day.

Sit Butt In Chair
Get Butt In Chair
Butt in Chair

They all mean the same thing:

Sit down and write.

Don't move from there until you've written something. Anything. Even if it's crap and you're positive you're going to delete it. (Chances are you probably will.) That's okay, because if you hone that idea, create that perfect scene, develop that character even just a bit, you've had success.

Writers write. For a real writer, there is no "Someday I'm going to write..." Those words are for dreamers and wannabees. As Yoda might say, "Dream not, do."

Writer Warriors, get ready for battle!

And when you win and have written more than a grocery list, reward yourself. I highly recommend a cookie.


Monday, July 21, 2014

Common Scents

One thing some aspiring and many established authors forget to do is


And "smell the roses:" to live life, to garner new experiences, to step outside the box, etc.

In other words, leave the writing alone for awhile--it'll keep; life won't.

I've been catching up on yard/housework, taking care of family business, attending my cousin's wedding, listening to concerts in the park. I needed to do these activities, but more importantly, my Superior temporal gyrus (the section of the right brain where creativity is thought to spark) demanded a break.

I take a 'brain break' by working in my meditation garden, and this has been the result:

And this:

And this:

Other flowers will bloom after these are finished, so I will always have something of beauty to gaze upon, appreciate--and take care of. Just like my writing, there are times you simply have to enjoy something but turn your attention elsewhere. My garden doesn't need me now, but my writing does.

Need a fresh angle? Stuck on dialogue?

Don't write.

For now.

While you're mulling over the writing obstacle you're facing, do something else and let the solution come to you. (It will!).

I'm headed back to the writing cave, but I know this afternoon, I'll take a break and after some laundry, I'll be here:

Go enjoy a mini mind vacation.


Tuesday, July 15, 2014

You're So Puny!

I've been frantic lately with both family and professional events, so I'm going to cheat and treat today.

Fancy yourself a writer? Better educated than most?

Here's some advice from one of my fave people, Weird Al Yankovic:

Word Crimes

(Click on the video for Word Crimes. You can look at the other funny videos after.)

LISTEN to this god of pun, sarcasm, satire and humor. And then appreciate.


Wednesday, July 9, 2014

There's A Place For You...

A time and space for you... to paraphrase an old show tune from West Side Story. A time and space for you to write. Or draw. Or meditate. Whatever passion you follow. People who know me have seen my office:

(Keep in mind this is post-annual writers conference and middle of 3 projects mess.) Unfortunately when the kids are home or someone rings the doorbell or I want a cup of tea, it's 3 flights of stairs down. Good exercise, but by the time I get down the stairs and then back up, my muse gets lost on the way.

Sometimes though, I have to get out of there, or I'm simply not in the mood to sit at a desk, so I chill here:

But that darn TV is a temptation/distraction. (And that's my cat, lounging on the couch, trying to hide her face. She insists on laying on my lap while I try to type on my laptop.)

This past weekend it was a lovely day and I chose one of my favorite spots to work in- my meditation garden.

It was cool under the trees, and I had a comfy chair. Various flowers were blooming and I'd weeded it recently so there was no guilt. Plus, it was far enough away my family didn't notice me or were too lazy to come all the way in the backyard to get me to ask stupid questions like, "Where are my sneakers?"

Paradise. Perfection.

Persistent gnats.

Chewing the hell out of me.

I left.

Not being one to plaster myself with chemicals, I chose a different spot. Another of my faves is here, looking out over the pool. It's close enough to bathroom and refrigerator.

And the kids.

And the husband asking me what's for lunch at 10:30 a.m. (One of the hazards of living with a crazy person who likes to get up at 5 a.m. even on holiday weekends. I hadn't even had breakfast yet.)

And the neighbor's weedwhacking.

And the stereo from the other neighbors (either Frank Sinatra over and over and over, et al, or the kid's techno shout-your-tonsils-out horrors. And the speakers are pointed towards us because they think the whole freaking world wants to listen.)


There is no all-the-time perfect place. Conditions change. Your moods change. Your needs change.

So scout out a few places where you can work. Maybe the coffee shop? (too noisy for me). How about the library? (Can't bring my tea in with me.) Then there's the park (unless it rains or is too hot or is taken over by the loudest 9-year-olds you've ever heard).

Just remember that there is always a place for you. Figure out what you require for that span of writing time and get it.

Everyone deserves a space of their own.

Keep writing and keep happy.