Sunday, November 8, 2009

Trying to become... what?

I haven't posted here in... a very long time.


Because I'm afraid of turning this into a huge-ass rant, maybe. Because I don't know where I'm going with my life, maybe.

Then again, I'm going places fairly fast, lately.

I've gone to California, alone. I've finished my book, and am now sending query letters to agents. And now...

Now I have a chance to go on a school trip to Ireland for a month. I'll be learning about their culture and the way that their psychiatric care works, as well as about their judicial and government systems. I've never left the United States before except for brief trips to Canada, and it's always been my dream to go to Ireland.

The problem? Cash.

I can pay for it with student loans - if I take out $5,000 more, which is halfway to unfeasible. That doesn't cover the plane ticket to the departure location, personal food expenses, and any other expenses I may have (phone cards, for instance). Therefore...

My shameless Paypal button.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009


It might sound odd to some, but you need to read books to write books--and not just to check out the competition. When I first became serious about this, deciding that I could indeed get published (I haven't yet, but I'm hoping!), I did as much research as I could. Research, to me, is the best way to arm yourself against the unknown.

One of the single most helpful books that I've found is the Writer's Market. It's basically a step-by-step guide that teaches you what not to do, how to avoid pissing off agents and publishers, and it has a nice, fat section devoted entirely to which publishers publish what types of books and how to go about finding out more.

I think I love that book a little. And it smells good.

Having that book makes me feel a bit more like I'm in control of my destiny. I know what to do now. The journey to get there is going to be interesting, but I have the manual. What makes you feel armed and ready for battle?

Saturday, January 31, 2009


Sometimes it feels like I'm the only one on this journey, that I'm walking it alone. It feels like there's a tightrope under me and if I sway too much in either direction, I'll be lost. I don't know what I'm doing, or if it can even be done, yet there's something inside me that urges me on.

I can't help but walk the line, hoping I don't fall, knowing that a lifetime of wondering would kill me quicker than falling ever would.

My best dreams and worst nightmares all rolled into one. It's an ambiguous post, I know, but it's hard to put into words what I'm feeling right now. I don't know a soul who reads this blog, but it's cathartic to put it out here. I need to write, and my words need to be read. Even if they're awful, they need to be put out there.

I only hope that some day I'll know where the road is taking me, and that it'll be a good place when I get there.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Stories that won't let you go.

It's hard to explain to someone who doesn't write that sometimes, the story you're writing simply won't go away. It's always in the back of your mind, waiting for you to pick up the thread and start weaving the tapestry of words once more. There is very little way that you can ignore it for long without succumbing to insanity (at least, that's what I start feeling when I don't write for awhile!). It's hard for me to articulate that even when I can't write, or my mind isn't letting the words flow as easily as they usually do, there's still a part of me that craves the feeling of setting the images in my mind free to wander across the page.

Maybe I'm being too poetic about this, but when I write, it feels like everything inside of me that needs to be written down flows out in one huge lump, faster than I can type. The images in my head dance and swirl as I write, and it almost seems as if I'm not focusing on what's coming out of my fingers because I'm just a conduit.

That's all writing is, sometimes - when a story takes hold of you and won't let go, pouring out of your body and onto the page in ways that you can't understand, can't explain, and wouldn't change for the world.

Monday, January 26, 2009


Sometimes I think that there's a lot of fear associated with just the act of writing. It's a freeing release, yet there are so many variables, so many things to think about in the back of your mind: Will someone enjoy this? Is this good enough? Am I able to sustain this enough to finish this story? It's a terrifying realization that once you decide to write, truly write, it's more than just for fun. It's for a potential audience, and it's easy to get bogged down in the "what-if's" and the fears of inadequacy.

It's difficult to overcome these fears, and easy to succumb to them. It's easy to lose focus on the fact that we began writing in the first place because we enjoy it; there is a story deep inside of us that we want to tell, and we believe it's worthy of being put onto paper. We write in defense of this story, for no one else will give it life if we do not.

How do you remind yourself that writing is supposed to be fun?

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Writing support.

One of the most important things that I've found that helps me as a writer is to have someone that supports me in what I'm doing. I never before understood the meaning of ACTUAL constructive criticism until recently. Before, criticism always felt like a beat-down, with much more criticism and much less on the constructive side of things. I've noticed that most writers have fairly fragile egos about this type of thing.

After all, it's very hard to get past the demons in your head that scream "You aren't good enough to get published! Who are you kidding? Do you think your name is J.R.R. Tolkien?" The side seems to argue with another side that snidely comments, "Even if you do get published, do you really think anybody's going to read it? It's going to end up at the $0.50 bin at the back of a bookstore and nobody will ever see what you put your work into. You'll get a $0.01 royalty check and your career as a writer will be over."

With friends like that, who needs enemies? The reason that most writers have such issues with criticism is because they're generating enough of that on their own. Criticism isn't nearly as important as being constructive and supportive to yourself and to your writer! My boyfriend recently begun reading what I'm working on, and every time he does so, he exclaims over what he loves, and only then will he say something like "You know, I'm really wondering what this person feels at this moment," or "It would be pretty cool if you went back and added ____ to this particular scene." In no way does he make me feel bad for what I've done or what I haven't done - he simply gives me his input on what could be better.

I think that's what constructive criticism and supporting your writer is all about. Who supports you in your writing endeavors?

Friday, January 23, 2009


I've been trying to find my niche in writing for a long time; something that would inspire me, that would keep me going through the tough times when the words just aren't coming. It's difficult to push myself through those periods where I just don't want to write, even though I know that I need to.

There's an intrinsic difference there, between want and need. Sometimes I want to write; it makes me joyful, content and excited. There are other times, however, where I know that if I don't, I'll be miserable. I might not want to do it, but I have to. It is a part of me that refuses to be denied, and it rears its ugly head if I try.

It took awhile, but finally, and embarrassingly, the Twilight soundtrack has given me the writing music that I need. It's the perfect balance of upbeat and depressing, sweet and sad, anxious and elated. I love every song on that soundtrack and it fits every mood; with a few of my own personal favorites thrown in, iTunes now has my "Writing Music" on it, and it keeps me going.

What do you do to keep yourself writing?