Updates sporadically.

Friday, March 28, 2014

The Heavy Lifting

Willpower, the ability to grit your teeth and make it through the tough stuff, is something that comes in handy in life. They say willpower is limited, a finite resource that you need to allocate appropriately. Once you've used up your willpower reserves, don't expect to sit down and crank out your taxes. Try again tomorrow. Your willpower tank has been tapped dry. This all might be true, but here's what I don't see them* saying: willpower is also a skill that you can develop, a muscle that you can train. Best yet, it's a transferable skill. The strength of will developed in the heat of the fire can be used for any number of things: getting through a hard work day, crunching through the editing process or powering through that final set of deadlifts.

Here's something you may not know about me: I am a fitness fanatic.

No, not like a green smoothie drinking, gluten free, yoga-going vegan type.** I mean, I love kale as much as the next girl***, but I'm just too tomboy for all that. I'm never going have my feet standing on my own head while I execute a perfect scorpion pose. I'm a boxing, powerlifting, macro-dieter. I get my 100+grams of protein every day, drink water by the bucketful, and try to be the most badass version of myself that I can manage.

I will admit, though, that occasionally my fitness routine includes something like this:

Notice that my legs can't even hit 90 degrees.
As I said, I'm not so good at the yoga stuff.

Friday, March 21, 2014

But is it worth it?

I read somewhere that some stories need to be written but don't need be read. They burn inside the author, wanting to be put to paper -- but are not meant to move on. They aren't meant to be published or consumed.

The idea irritated me. It may have been the context in which I read this pronouncement -- an agent reviewing a query declared that the main character was unsympathetic and appalling, and therefore not read-worthy -- but it got stuck in my brain, itching and making me uncomfortable until I had time to sit down and pick at it.* It's similar to feedback I've seen stating that some authors choose the wrong protagonist.** It makes me wonder -- what makes a story worth writing? How can we judge if a story is worth the effort, or if we're just coming at a story from an entirely wrong angle?

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

It's not all about writing

"Just write." The easy, obvious, and highly unsympathetic advice that is often distributed blindly amongst writers. It is the wisdom of the published to the unpublished, the layman to the writer, the writer to the layman. The advice flows and all directions, despite the fact that it is a radical oversimplification.

Sure, almost anyone can sit down and "just write". But any author who is being honest with you will tell you: it's not all about writing.

Friday, March 14, 2014

But am I allowed to write that?

As writers, we have power over who is represented in literature. Not enough leading women? Not enough healthy relationships? Not enough diversity?* As a writer, you have the chance to change that and to create the representations that you want to see in literature.

But then there's the other question: not can you, but should you?

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Oopsie! Why being wrong is a good thing.

If there's one thing that people everywhere can agree on, it's that we don't like making mistakes and we don't like being wrong.

Of course, there are those who say that being wrong is a good thing. It points in the direction of what may be right, it teaches us more than being right can, blahblah. That's all well and good, but I'm not talking about having a scientific hypothesis shot down and some other mathy/sciencey what-have-you wrongness. I'm talking about being wrong in a very personal way. In a way that shakes us, embarrasses us, exposes us. Wrongness that makes other people want to look away.

Friday, March 7, 2014

The Schmantastic List of Fantasy: Fantastic-Schmantastic Writing Prompts!

It's March! That means it's practically almost springtime and we can kiss this winter goodbye. I'm a weirdo that loves the winter, but this one's even grating on my nerves. I'm ready to send the snow away to the southern hemisphere and start the warm season. I'm feeling so emboldened and refreshed by the very thought! All this creative energy! There's only one thing to do for it -- March's Fantastic-Schmantastic list will be: 

The Schmantastic List of 10 Writing Prompts Inspired by Short Fiction

This list will contain 20 awesome writing prompts that are based on a piece of fiction that I love. Take a stab at the prompts, and then check out what inspired it!

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Making the Time

"I'm writing a novel," you say in a totally-not-bragging way to a friend. After all, they asked.

Said friend stares at you a little blankly before replying, "I would love to write a novel, I just don't have the time!"

Time. Despite the full 24-hours available on the clock, there never seems to be enough of it. And writing a well-crafted piece of fiction demands a lot of it.

But having the time to write a novel isn't about clearing your schedule or being super-human. The secret to having enough time to write a novel is making the time.