Wednesday, October 2, 2013

October IWSG 2013 Getting a Better Perspective

I'm afraid I double booked today. If you are looking for Cami Checketts' Blog This post, you can find it HERE.

Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!

Posting: The first Wednesday of every month is officially Insecure Writer’s Support Group day. Post your thoughts on your own blog. Talk about your doubts and the fears you have conquered. Discuss your struggles and triumphs. Offer a word of encouragement for others who are struggling. Visit others in the group and connect with your fellow writer - aim for a dozen new people each time. I'm currently #165.

WARNING: This might be a long post. :)

And because of that, I'll post my October post schedule first.

Topics to rehash from LDStorymakers Convention:
  1. Pros and cons of writing in 1st person
  2. How to weave romantic elements through any genre
  3. Suspense!
  4. Working with series, sequels and spin-offs
  5. Research for your novel, and just in time for NANOWRIMO...
  6. Plotting!
Personal topics:
  1. My first school visit
  2. Blogfest Time
  3. Some excerpts from Fade Into Me and Search For Knowledge (yep, it's back on!)
Book Reviews:
  1. Deep Cover by Traci Hunter Abramson
  2. Bloodborne by Gregg Luke
Now to recap one of the BEST keynote speaker addresses I've ever heard. Seriously, I wish I had it on video so you could just watch it. What I like best is that you can apply this thought process to every aspect of your life. 

It all started with one question. 

Am I good?

And ended with a different question.

Does it matter?

Regina Sirois (2012 Winner of ABNA for YA for her book On Little Wings), told us about 3 men who climbed Mount Everest. I won't go into all of that, but the point was this--we all have our summits (goals) and that's great. However, we cheat, and that's where we get into trouble.

For instance, my Mt. Everest summit was to see my name on a book in the library. That was the one thing I wanted, and I thought it would make me happy. This goal translated to "get a book published" then you will be happy.

I did that. But I wasn't happy. I reached my summit and saw another peak in the distance and thought, "What did I know? That peak over there is what I really wanted. This one isn't enough. I want to have 1000 positive reviews, make tons of money and write 20 more books that everyone will be waiting anxiously for."

And then I'll be happy.

Unless I can get a movie deal. THAT would really make me happy.

Are you starting to see the problem? We fall into traps that take away our air--I have to sell these books, I have to make people proud, etc.

When people climb Everest they are told that if they summit they should take a moment to savor the view. Take a picture and then get the heck down! You can't set up camp at the summit because you will DIE!

Our writing summits are the same. If you reach your goal, enjoy it, then come back down. Remember who you are and find your inner peace again. Don't give the goal/summit the power to make you happy or sad. Instead, learn to enjoy writing for the sake of writing. Regardless of who will read it and what they'll think.

Do you stop loving your stories if they don't become NY bestsellers?

Well, look at it this way. If our books are our children...
"I had kids. They aren't rich and famous. No one has ever heard of them. What a waste of time!"

You'd never say that about your flesh and blood children, so don't allow doubt to make you say it about your words. At one time you loved them enough to put them on screen/paper/napkin and it didn't matter what anyone else thought of them.

So ask yourself...
Am I good?
Does it matter?

From Goodreads:
This is a story of the countless ways we get love wrong. And why, despite every disappointment, we keep fighting to get it right.

Jennifer must do the impossible – bring her mother home. When a family is torn apart by death, two sisters take violently divergent paths and the story of their family appears to end terribly and abruptly. Two decades later Jennifer never dreams that the photo she finds stuck between the pages of a neglected book will tear open a gaping wound to her mother’s secret past. Abandoning her comfortable life with her parents and best friend in the wheat fields of Nebraska, Jennifer’s quest for a hidden aunt leads her to the untamed coast of Maine where she struggles to understand why her mother lied to her for sixteen years.

Across the grey, rocky cove she meets Nathan Moore, the young, reluctant genius surrounded by women who need him to be brother, father, friend, provider, protector and now, first love. The stories, varied, hilarious, and heartbreaking, unfold to paint a striking mural of the shattered past. As Jennifer seeks to piece together her mother’s story, she inadvertently writes one for herself.

23 comments:

  1. Basically if you're not happy with yourself and happy during the journey, you won't be happy when you reach the summit anyway.
    I would like a movie deal though. Just not with the SyFy Channel.

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    Replies
    1. LOL, I'm hearing you loud and clear. Byron's story would make an excellent set of movies too.

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  2. I honestly don't know why we even have achievements. I'd be happy in a world where no one had achievements and everyone had the same things as long as they were 1) someone to love them 2) goals that all of humanity shared for the better (like space exploration) 3) where everyone was beautiful 4) where everyone had access to great healthcare and where all people always had enough to eat and a place to sleep 5) where there were no wars and people didn't hurt other people.

    I could totally live in that world and be happy even if I never achieved anything as an individual.

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    Replies
    1. It sounds great...until you read Uglies. :) Yeah, that's what all those ideal things made me think of. I do wish we could all agree on what's important (like space exploration) and having someone to love them for themselves.

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  3. If you love what you pursue then it was worth the journey. Love your analogy of climbing Mt. Everest. Having climbed a few 14ers before, I know that the hike is really the experience, the view is just the reward.

    Julie Luek
    A Thought Grows
    Co-host IWSG October

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    1. The journey really is the best part. Wish I could claim the Everest analogy, but that was all Regina.

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  4. I'm simple I want to publish my first book then go onto the next one. Progress makes me happy in my writing life.

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    1. That's a great goal! And if we keep it simple we will get to stay happy, right?

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  5. That is AMAZINGLY PROFOUND advice. When you hit that peak, don't just sit there because the air is THIN. Get back down and gear up for the next summit that is around the corner. Excellent!!!!!!!!

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    1. See, Regina really needs to post a video of herself giving this talk. It would be a huge hit with the author crowd!

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  6. This is the best advice, ever! Especially the part about our kids.

    There's no point aiming for the bestseller list, especially with your first book. If it gets there great. Of course then there will be huge expectations for the next one. :)

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    1. And the truth is most of us will never make the NY Bestseller list. Especially if we are with smaller publishers. I love my publisher, but being as unknown to NY as me, we don't have a chance. And you know what? That's okay.

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  7. I love the comparison of books to your children.
    Am I good?
    Does it matter?
    Great stuff!

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    Replies
    1. Thanks for coming by! Good luck and happy writing!

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  8. I think the real question should be: Am I happy? If not, then why not? And, of course, happiness shouldn't be achievement-based.

    Sounds like it was an interesting talk.

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    Replies
    1. It was great! And happiness shouldn't e achievement based ever. But we silly humans seem to need a measuring stick for everything.

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  9. Great words, Charity. They really made me stop and think.

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    1. Thanks Amanda. Regina really said it better than me. So wish you could have heard it.

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  10. Ugh; I need to learn how to write romance into my genre. Guess I need to figure out my genre first, lol.

    Thought provoking post.

    .......dhole

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    1. LOL, good luck finding your genre. The coolest part of the lecture was seeing how tension in any relationship (even non-romantic) could create more tension in the novel.

      I'll get busy transcribing my notes so we can start next week!

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  11. Oh, Charity, I'm so with you on this today!

    I've been super stressed out and micro-focused on my book, to the exclusion of many things, and finally stepped back because I wasn't finding joy in the journey anymore.

    My MIL finally said, 'Katie, remember, you're supposed to enjoy this?' and I realized I'd forgotten one of the fundamentals of writing- we have to love it. Right?

    Anyway, getting my book published by Christmas will not make me happy. Learning and enjoying the journey will.

    I guess we all need perspective :)

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    Replies
    1. We all get tunnel vision with our writing sometimes. It's normal. Good for you for taking the moment to step back now. After getting published there is extra pressure (at least for me) to put something else out quickly. And that can really take the joy out of writing.

      Practicing now, remembering now why you write, will help when you are published. Good luck and can't wait to see your book.

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  12. Hi Charity,
    Nice to be here,
    Your WARNING made me laugh! This might be a long Post!! Indeed a long one with lot of trouble in reading. The white fonts in black background will really give strain to eyes, so half way i stopped reading, hope young readers can still settle, but i doubt people like me Oh! NO!
    Anyways
    good to be here
    Keep Inform
    Best
    Philip Ariel

    ReplyDelete

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