Wednesday, April 5, 2017

IWSG: A Quote for the Overwhelmed

It's IWSG day, a monthly event author Alex Cavanaugh started to get writers sharing about insecurities and other stuff going on in their lives. I hope that those of you who are participating in the Blogging from A to Z Challenge are having a good time so far. I did A to Z last year, but this year I decided to pass.

Today I don’t have much to share except that I have a lot on my plate right now with an endless to-do list. I’m feeling a little overwhelmed. Sometimes it just feels like a 24-hour day isn’t enough to do what I need to do. Is anyone else feeling overwhelmed too? If so, here’s a quote for you and me:

“The greatest weapon against stress is our ability to choose one thought over another.” –Williams James

What quotes or thoughts do you find comforting when you are overwhelmed? How are you feeling today?

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

IWSG: Skiing Down Bunny Slopes

It's  IWSG day, a monthly event author Alex Cavanaugh started to get writers sharing about insecurities and other stuff going on in their lives. Today's IWSG question is: Have you ever pulled out a really old story and reworked it? Did it work out? There is a novel I began working on shortly after I graduated from college that I didn't finish. In recent years, I've considered rewriting the story from the beginning. Sometimes when I'm watering all the story seeds I nurture in my head, I still think about all the places I could go with this particular story. 

I don't have an insecurity to share today. I just want to share some travel reflections. Last weekend, my family and I went to Tahoe to go skiing with some friends. This is the first time I've skied in a really long time.Once I got onto the snow, I remembered stuff I learned eons ago about skiing, like keeping my knees slightly bent while going downhill and making a pizza with my skis when I wanted to break or slow down. Surprisingly, I did okay, much better than I'd expected. Being on easy hills helped. While I was making my way down, I eyed snowboarders defying gravity on other slopes that were super steep. They glided through the snow effortlessly, as if they had wings. I can't snowboard. And even if I could snowboard, it would undoubtedly take me endless hours of practice to get to that level of expertise. Still, I enjoyed what I was doing where I was on my short beginner skis on the bunny slopes. Here, I could safely pace myself.  

I can enjoy doing something even if I'm a beginner at it.

Bringing this analogy into my writing life, sometimes I need a reminder that even though I'm new to novel writing (I'm still an unpublished author, after all), I can still take moments to enjoy the process of doing what I'm doing. I'm not ready for the steep slopes of the author's journey right now but maybe someday I'll get there. 

What do you enjoy the most about doing something that's new to you? What are some steep slopes of the author's journey you have survived?

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

IWSG: Viewing My Work Objectively

Today is IWSG day, a monthly event author Alex Cavanaugh started to get writers sharing about insecurities and other stuff going on in their lives. It's 10ish PM here on the West Coast...still Wednesday! Today's IWSG question is: How has being a writer changed your experience as a reader? I find that being a writer has helped me approach books with more attentiveness to character and plot development and how the author works (or doesn't work, at times) these elements into their writing.

Recently, as I was reflecting on my novel, it occurred to me I should switch out one of the supporting characters for another kind of character. So far, I am pleased with my choice. Awhile back, I decided to remove another character altogether, another decision I was glad to have made. I find that some distance from my work-in-progress helps me to view my story in a more objective light when I return to it so I can more easily identify areas that need attention. That's one benefit of having a work-in-progress that I've been working on for so long because my ideas and intentions for it have changed over time. Still, sometimes I still feel frustrated that I have not yet written THE END on my project yet. And that's what I sometimes feel insecure about.

What major editing choices have you made in your work after you've taken a break from it?

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

IWSG: Information Dumping & Clearing Out Office Space

Happy New Year! Today is IWSG day, a monthly event author Alex Cavanaugh started to get writers sharing about insecurities and other stuff going on in their lives. Today's IWSG question is: What writing rule do you wish you'd never heard?  One writing rule I don't care much for is the one that warns writers not to information dump. I find that information dumping in earlier drafts of a story can help me better flesh out a story in my head. Besides, excess details can always be trimmed in future drafts. I also find that an author can get away with some level of information dumping in a novel AS LONG AS they can still hold my attention. Lately, I've been reading some YA fiction by an author who information dumps quite a lot and it doesn't bother me at all because she's such an excellent storyteller. 

Now for my insecurity...at the dawn of 2017, what I really want to do is to continue on with a long-term project I’ve been working on (besides my novel) and that is to clear out some space in my office. This has been a challenge for me and I wonder if I'll ever have a truly neat desk or office. Stuff that take up a lot of space in my office are my books, articles, and research materials. On my shelves, I keep many books I’ve read, books I haven’t read yet, and books I’ve received as gifts. (It's no secret among those who know me well that I love books!)  I also hold onto a number of articles and clippings that inspire me in some way whenever I look at them. And on top of that, I keep folders full of stuff related to research and "homework" for my various projects. It's hard for me to decide what to let go of! 

How do you minimize the clutter among the items in your reading and writing life? 

What are your thoughts about information dumping in writing?