The Most Important Thing To Learn (in Writing and in Life)

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When I was younger, I was a big planner. This has both helped and hurt my writing career, and here’s why… Continue reading

On The Power Of Saying No

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Lesson of the week: say no.

You may think you’re doing the right thing by saying yes when people ask you to meet their new baby/catch up over happy hour/attend a writing critique session, but when you go three nights in a row not getting home until after ten and subsequently not getting enough sleep, it leads to grumpiness and tiredness and you not at your best self, which doesn’t do anybody any favors.

You can sleep when you’re dead, right? But yeah, you also kind of need to sleep while you’re still alive in order to make your waking hours bearable.

I have trouble saying no (à la Monica from Friends: “I just have this uncontrollable need to please people!”) But sleep and downtime are good for me, and things that are good for me are good for the people around me, which is a lesson I am slooooowly learning. But slowly learning something is better than not learning it all, so there’s that.

I’m not going to be sharing links on Fridays anymore, except the occasional really amazing one. I think instead I’ll use the best day of the work week to do what I do best, which is write and share thoughts and hopefully spark something inside of you that encourages you to write and share thoughts as well.

I will still be sharing these, however:

Reading: I finally finished (and reviewed) this, and just started The Rest of Us Just Live Here. As are all things Patrick Ness, it’s brilliant and funny and incisive and my only complaint so far is that there aren’t enough pages left. Although the premise (a story told from the POV of the inconsequential background people in a Chosen One story–think Harry Potter as told by an unnamed extra, but focusing on their own problems instead of the larger plot) is an idea I had years ago and didn’t have time to execute yet, so thanks for stealing my idea, Patrick!

Writing: Last weekend I followed a burst of inspiration and reopened my first-ever manuscript, aka the YA mystery, aka the Chateau story. You know how you’ll always remember your first love? This novel is kind of like that for me. It has so many problems, which I still have trouble fixing because I spent so much time on it I still don’t have enough objectivity, but I don’t think I’ll be able to rest until I finally fix them and make this a publishable novel. Time shall tell. Do you have a manuscript like this, that you just can’t let go? What are you doing about it?

Listening to: Alabama Shakes. Totally different from what I usually listen to, and totally amazing.

Watching: Bleh I need something new. Recommendations welcome.

Cooking: Pure deliciousness.

Amazing image found here

 

Friday Things

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Friday Finally” is trending on Twitter, and for once I am in total agreement with the masses. This week has been brutal–the kind of week that has me asking all these questions again. No answers yet, but I’ll be sure to let you know when I figure out the enigma that is life.

Here are three things that made me happy this week:

1. We don’t all start on third base.  Powerful and true.

2. Books to read when you need a laughI haven’t actually read any of these. Let me know if they’re good!

3. Life advice from a 95-year-oldThe ones that really resonated with me are “When in doubt, just take the next small step” and “It’s never too late to be happy.  But it’s all up to you and no one else.”

Reading: I just finished this book–it was super cute and sweet, but was entirely lacking in tension. I enjoyed it while reading it, but page-turner it was not. 6/10. I just started this book, after loving Stiefvater’s other series, and I have to say, I’m disappointed so far. We’ll see if it gets better.

Watching: I finally got around to watching the movie adaptation of a book I loved. The movie for The Duff was … bad. They changed around the plot, the characters, the scenes–it wasn’t nearly as cute and sweet and REAL as the book was. I’m disappointed.

Listening To: The same thing as I was last week. I think I’ll be listening to it for the rest of fall.

Lovely image found here