Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Your Past Has Been Edited - Create Your Future Instead

I had a bit of an epiphany today. As a writer one of the things I hear a lot is to keep the editing of your work to a minimum until the writing is complete, at which point you can go back and fix things. Then, you definitely edit but watch yourself so you don't get stuck in editing. If you do you'll end up in a vicious circle where you write, edit, write, edit, write, edit, write, edit, and your book never gets published. The point here is to be okay if the writing isn't perfect. Somebody will always find flaws anyway, regardless of how perfect you make it. So do the best you can and get your work published, don't get stuck in the mire of perfection!

Now the reason I wanted to share this was because I realized that this piece of advice translates quite well if you put it in the perspective of life. How often do we sit and dwell on the past, wishing we had done this differently or that differently, or said this and not said that. Or we look back fondly on the life we once had and look with misery on the life we have now.

I realized that when we do this, what we are doing is simply editing and editing and editing. We're editing our entire lives in some strange effort to change the outcome. We know we can't change it but we keep looking back wishing we could. So maybe we should stop editing and start writing the new chapter of our lives. We live in the present and we can create the future with our dreams, words, visions, whatever you want to call them.

Now is the time to live in the present and create the future - it's time to stop editing the past.

Monday, February 10, 2014

The Power of the Written Word

I am a many things, I won't deny this, but ultimately I am a writer. I have a flame burning inside me that I can not stifle. It's a powerful desire propelling me forward, hopefully to the fulfillment of my dreams. Those dreams encompass far more than publishing books - books are simply the avenue I have chosen to take.

Words are some of the most powerful tools on earth. Through this medium of art we highlight the beauty that makes us human, we share our struggles and our achievements, we celebrate our strengths and weaknesses - with words we awaken parts of ourselves that we may have denied or forgotten were there. We see our own pain and loss, dreams and achievement - we see love, hate, passion, desire, strength, and every emotion in between that makes us inherently human. And through all of this - seeing this humanity within us - we see the greatness that dwells in humanity as well. But it isn't only in humanity, it is in each of us. This is why I write. Because someday, my words may bring light to another soul. Maybe, through the medium I've chosen, somebody will find the key that helps them awaken the incredible person inside. To write is to open up a part of your soul and share it with the world. My hope is that by sharing my soul, I will be able to touch the souls of thousands.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

The Magic of the Mind

If you ask almost any writer out there how you start your novel, the answer they will give will be this... "Just start!"

You may then be thinking, "Sure, that's helpful." This thought would be dripping with sarcasm. But in all honest
y, that is the best advice a writer could give you. How do you think any writer ever got his novel finished? He just started.

I'll go into it a little more for you though. Writing is a highly creative process. Every creative process has to be born somewhere. It has to start. You can't plant a bulb and expect a flower the next day and you can't decide to write a novel and see the finished product the next day. It just won't happen.

However, once that bulb is planted the plant starts to grow. You don't see it at first. You have no idea what's going on underneath the soil, but it is growing. Eventually the first little shoot breaks through the surface. Soon, it's three inches tall. Before long, it's a tulip. Funny thing about tulips is they multiply. You plant one the first year and you get three bulbs the next year. Eventually you'll have a field full of tulips.

This is how your creative mind works. You plant the seed that you're going to write a novel and then you sit down and you start to write. Your first words may be terrible, but if they are that's okay. Keep going! Like the tulip bulb those words will multiply and become beautiful. Creativity creates creativity. The more you write the more you'll find ideas and inspiration coming at you everywhere you turn. If you get writer's block, keep going! You can always cut what you don't like, and you never know what seeds of inspiration might come from those portions you cut. So those writers should tell you this. "Just start... and don't stop! Keep going, keep going, keep going!"

Another piece of advice I think is worth sharing is that writing is an act of the heart and soul. When you write, feel what you write, experience the world through the eyes of the character, and let them tell their stories through you. Don't think, feel. Remember, you can always go back later and adjust what you've written, but a good story comes from the heart. It's a small piece of the writer's soul that she has laid bare for all to see. These are the stories that leave an impact. These are the books that leave the reader in wonder when the last word finally falls from the page. So don't think, feel, and never stop. I'll leave you with this quote from Ray Bradbury.