What are you meant to do? If you could sum up your greatest yearning, in one word, what would that word be?
I have pondered and wondered and been completely stumped by this question for a long time. But I have finally boiled it down all my ideas and urges into one word:
Now, that word has some negative connotations, at least for me, in the vein of: Don't be a storyteller! (you know, a liar! lol).
I'm trying to re-vamp that in my head.
I tell stories when writing, when drawing, when doing anything creative. The story I'm telling when working on my home? Cozy. My story when I'm at the computer in my office? That one's harder. Vision, maybe. Or even cohesive. The story changes frequently when I'm in my office because I wear a lot of hats in there! (yep, it's just me and a big honkin' coat-rack in there, trying to get something done!)
My visual, in trying to change my internal connotation of the word "storyteller," is that of a fireside shaman, relating the stories of her tribe. There might be feathers in my hair. I like feathers. But I am magical, creating stories from words and gestures; using pictures to record memories and lessons.
Here's how I think of it: waaaaaay back in the day (which, according to Dane Cook, was a Wednesday), everyone had a job. Hunter. Gatherer. Medicine Man. Chief. Council Member. And later: Seamstress/Tailor. Tanner. Blacksmith. But there's always someone to entertain as well. To record group memories, to help shape the culture going forward based on the lessons and stories of the ancestors.
Shaman. Bard. Poet. Playwright. Painter. Sculptor. Actor. Designer.
Nowadays, "creative" will do. I am constantly telling stories. Daydreaming. Writing. Drawing. Coloring. Inking. Teaching. Relating an anecdote. I cannot stop from doing it--it is as natural and second-nature as breathing! I'm surprised I don't have stories oozing from my pores!
The word "storyteller" immediately put me at ease, made me nod. Yes, that is my word.
I am a storyteller.
So, what are YOU meant to do? What's your word? Tell me!
Wednesday, September 7, 2011
Sunday, May 1, 2011
2. Calendar....OK, which I made with excel. This way if I have a strangely open hour or two and I write feverishly, I can spread out my posts. I also mark the pub dates of all the books I get from freshfiction.com so I know what order to read them in (oldest pub dates first). Really, this can be so helpful to see at a glance which days you've schedule posts. I highly recommend it.
3. Daily schedule. I have an atrocious habit of doing things as they strike me, so scared am I of forgetting to do something. I try to work against it by giving myself certain days for writing to certain blogs. I also designate certain days for cleaning, laundry and grocery shopping. It helps me to focus on the task at hand---I can tell myself "Yes, there's laundry to do, but laundry day is Monday, today is Saturday, so let's finish up this post." Sometimes, things get away from me and I find myself not writing in order to do dishes that have been sitting for a few hours, but really (truly!) I get MORE done by following a schedule. Otherwise, I'm doing dishes, then wiping down counters, then stopping to run something to its rightful place upstairs, then pausing to wipe at that spot on the mirror, etc etc and basically doing everything but BICHOK (butt in chair, hands on keys). In other words, for me, a general routine helps me to write instead of spin my wheels. It also means I can work on posts in the morning and my novel in the afternoon. (which I haven't been doing lately!) Also helpful: I've realized now what is reasonable and what is unreasonable in terms of expectations for my daily time with kids, their nap times and running errands. For example, I will probably not be writing for Technorati anymore, nor will I be copying and pasting my blog posts into Bloggy Moms---there isn't enough time in my week!
All in all, you need to do what works for you, what is easiest and what dovetails with your natural inclinations/habits/lifestyle. But overall, I highly recommend some kind of organizational system, especially if you are a freelancer.
**UPDATED with LINKS:*
Please also see Kim Harrison's character grid (which is excellent!) and Eclectics.com Fiction Writer's Character Chart.
What do you do to keep organized?
Thursday, April 28, 2011
I have added to and rearranged and tweaked all my links lists, so please have a look!
There is a *NEW* list: Genre Writing, where I weeded out a few things from Resources and References, which is a pretty long list. I did add a few things to the R&R list as well. I've added an author or two, completely revamped the Creatives list and added to the Publishing list. I am thinking about creating a links list for Tools & Software---would you find that helpful? I would put the two forms I've recently found for characters on there, for example, as well links to writing software and software for artists.
Also, anyone who has a blog or website themselves (or just one you want to recommend) please do send it along to me and I'll consider it for addition. You can reply here or find me on Twitter. Thanks so much!
Thursday, April 21, 2011
Thursday, April 14, 2011
I received a newsletter from my alma mater, College of Notre Dame of Maryland (soon to be College of Notre Dame University!) and it had some interesting things on the calendar. The one on Catholic writers that I was really interested in was only 4 days away from the day I received the newsletter, so I was a little annoyed at not having enough time to get things together to attend that! However, they are also having an exhibit:
February 28 to April 23,
Loyola/Notre Dame Library
Here's what the newsletter had to say:
"Writer Flannery O'Connor holds a special place in the hearts of the Notre Dame community, as the most important female Catholic writer of the 20th century, and as a treasured correspondent of poet and English professor, Maura Eichner, SSND '41."
Wednesday, March 23, 2011
A few weeks ago, I wrote a post about self-publishing vs. traditional publishing. I’m not counting traditional publishing out by any means, but I dislike all the brouhaha that is going on which seems to express indignation on the part of the publishers in reference to self-publishers. In short, I thought publishers were coming across as desperate, whiny and immature.
But then I read a blog post by author Jody Hedlund on the subject and she made some valid points. She is definitely pro-traditional publishing, saying, “The truth is, self-publishing marketing is NOT equal to the marketing done by traditional publishers. For all the talk about how ALL authors everywhere have to bear ALL the burden of marketing, it’s just NOT true.” I was initially shocked by that definitive statement and immediately felt rebellious! Lol But I continued to read and I’m glad I did!
Tuesday, March 22, 2011
One, I will call E, she writes historical fiction and writes a fabulous blog: professional, thoughtful, intellectual. I wanted to be her. I felt like I was in high school again, striving to be in with the cool kids. She read intellectual fare and I, at first, thought, “Is this what I should be reading? Is this what good writers read?” Shouldn’t I love Faulkner, quote from Yeats, memorize Whitman? (I’ve been reading the poetry issue of O, Magazine!) I’ve never read Austen (although I love “her” movies! Lol), never owned a Sylvia Plath or read Ayn Rand or Tolstoy.....