Archive for January, 2012

I’ve spoken to a number of writer friends on this subject; with varying responses.

Some do their best character building or plotting in the shower, others find a long drive spurs inspiration.

For me, inspiration strikes when and where it may; running, driving, the shower, in the middle of the night.

I was at a writers guild meeting a few days back, when someone said something  triggering a story idea. It was an ‘aha’ moment, an intro for a story I’d been struggling with for a while, so I made a quick note in my folio, intending to follow-up later. By the time I drove home it was late. Tired, I went to bed.

At three in the morning my eyes popped open, the scene running through my head. Until five I laid in bed, working out the details, including all the dialogue; my mind not willing to quit until the scene was complete. A fell back to sleep for a few hours before rising, caffeinating, and typing it up.

When does inspiration strike you?

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Set goals for 2012

Eschewing the usual New Year’s resolutions, I decided to christen this the year of serious writing. Knowing to aim for the stars while hoping for a moon landing, I set some fairly lofty goals.

1. Write one-thousand words a day (this has morphed into write something every day, while still striving for the thousand)
2. Start a website/blog
3. Finish my novel, at least the rough draft
4. Write a minimum of three short stories for submission-gulp-and actual submit them; somewhere, anywhere.
5. Most importantly, start each day new. Don’t get hung up on the previous day’s successes or failures. Persevere, always moving forward.

What are your goals? Have you made any?

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Sift the ashes

A storm came through last night.

It was an equal opportunity event, beginning with snow, followed by rain, culminating in wind.

The net effect being multiple downed trees across our property; currently for sale. With that in mind, we braved the elements to clean up the mess. It was not a pleasant experience. The wind still blew, the rain fell, so by the time we came back indoors we were drenched, cold and grumpy.

This morning I arose, body aching, to stand before my kitchen window coffee in hand. Do you know what I saw? A completely new view, given to me by the storm.

It immediately struck me how something so violent, painful and destructive, could also create something so incredibly beautiful.

So it is with that thought, I turn to my rewrite. Chopping down the trees to create an infinitely expanding view.

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With trepidation, I joined my first critique group a few months back.

I remember that first submission; uploading it for email to the group, finger wavering over the send button, stomach in knots. Somehow I managed to send it, immediately wishing I could take it back, knowing with a certainty it was lacking, a mass of uninspired drivel.

Too late, they had it, it was theirs to dismantle.

I woodenly went through the motions of critiquing the rest of the groups’ submissions, fear an ever-present shadow in the back of my mind. Far too soon, it was time for the meeting.

I didn’t sleep the night before.

I sat at the table, feeling as if I waited before the headman’s axe, lump in my throat, hoping for a pardon.

It was not what I expected. Oh it wasn’t completely painless, far from it. I discovered however, that it was not just about my own writing and insecurities, but about the journey we all must undertake on this grand adventure to publication. A group endeavoring to grow together, helping each other while each growing in the process.

Join a critique group. Do it now.

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The Journey

I believe we all reach a point in our life, where the necessity for retrospection reaches an impasse with the desire for progress.

This is where growth truly occurs, in that fear inducing moment where we realize we are no longer beholden to the sum of our experiences. That we can truly become anything, regardless of others’ hopes, dreams, or aspirations for our lives.

The width and depth of our growth will only be limited by our willingness to embrace the process, to shed the shackles binding us and embrace the uncertainty of what lies beyond the horizon.

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