Thursday, September 19, 2013

You want to write? Let me introduce you to your new pals: Frustration and Patience

First off the new definitions of "frustration" are frustrating. The immediate definitions I read online all contain the words "frustrate" and/or "frustrated." When did dictionaries start using the word their defining in the word's definition?

This is the same as any style manual you may pick. One year it's proper to use commas this way, the next it's wrong. Put an apostrophe in this usage...nope, sorry no longer acceptable. One space, two spaces, no spaces...yup, I just sounded like a favourite childhood author.

We also have characters who won't do what we want them to do. Scenes that go off in directions that require more explanation and mess up the entire story already written. And the brilliant dialogue scene you slaved three weeks over, seven hours a day...the readers hate it.

Except for one who loved it because they suggested it was needed. And maybe the neighbour you meet at the bus stop every other month because the new un-needed character shares their name.

Now, after wading through the confusion of your beta readers' opinions and inputs, you've emailed/mailed your precious written baby to the eagerly awaiting editors who are dying to read your masterpiece.

Meet your new friend, patience.

Oh joy, first definition found says this means the act of being patient.

Glad we cleared that up.

And you wait. Wait. Wait. And, yes, wait some more. And, you got it...wait.

Now you start to worry. Maybe it wasn't received. Maybe they actually didn't like it. Naw, the Internet (mail) is just slow today.

And this is all within the first two hours of sending your creative genius.

DING!

An email message from the publisher.

WHAT?! What do they mean they'll only read _____ font at _____ size? And only in _____ format?

Oh for crying out loud!

You send again. And...yup...wait.

Let's fast forward a couple of weeks...DING!  New email.

Blah. Blah. Blah. Blah NO!!!!!!!!!!! Blah. Blah. Blah. Blah. Blah.

Those blasted ogre-editors have no clue. They have no idea what they're talking about. They want to butcher my "baby."

(Ahhh, your friend Frustration has stopped by again)

Patience: No, that's not what the editors are saying...
Frustration: Oh shut the _____ up. They're idiots.
Patience: It's all constructive and....
Frustration: I said SHUT THE _____ UP. Can't you see I'm having an artistic meltdown.
Patience: I'll come back when ....
Frustration: GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO NOW!

You still want to write?

YES?

Welcome to the club.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Does it fit?

 


Every writer needs a space which is theirs and theirs alone. A place which contains the tools of their trade. Mine happen to include two monitors; one standalone and one on the laptop. I'm lost without my two screens. However, I don't normally type on the laptop...I dislike that keyboard. So I have a wireless keyboard which fits me. Plus there's the all important printer/scanner and behind everything is my backup machine...always, always backup.

However, you can also see I have much more going on at my area. I'm very much a visual person. The photos are ones I took outside the window to my right. The black and white is a print we picked up a few years back. I see skeleton faces in it every so often and wonder what little folks and creatures live within.

I'm also a texture person. I have a wide-mouth cup with wood samples...my favourite is the Hickory, don't really know why but I also carry one with me. The clay bowl under my monitor has crystals and different polished stones. When it works the mini stand up piano plays Edelweiss, a song favourite of my dad and mine.

The important aspect of this space is it fits me. I have the electronics I need and they're easily found, uploaded, and charged. The phone is handy as is music. And I have my silly toys which help steady my hands when I'm trying to figure out what I mean to type.

Whether you write or work at anything else, your space needs to fit you. It doesn't matter if you have papers all over the place or if you need everything cleared from the desk top. Or if you simply need the couch and tablet to write.

If it fits; it's perfect.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

What the writer in your family needs

1...sanity
2...to be ignored when talking to self
3...to be listened to when not talking to self
4...for you to know the difference between 2 and 3
5...sanity
6...quiet, silence, no noise, silence - except when talking to self
7...food and drink - booze or not, healthy or not, preferably left at the door or on the table not being used...not that table the other table but not on the papers, never on the papers.
8...sleep, well that's a maybe
9...sanity
10...no questions, opinions, thoughts, or suggestions
11...being asked about their work, positive opinions on their work, helpful thoughts on their work, suggestions that are repeated suggestions from your writer only
12...you got it...for you to know the difference between 10 and 11
13...also, to know what questions to ask about the work, what are positive and helpful and what suggestions you should have never voiced.
14...have I mentioned sanity
15...for you not to ask how much money they make/made
16...for you not to ask how much longer they're going to be playing on the computer
17...dust bunnies and piles of laundry as these are vital writing tools and images for the creative mind
18...minions
19...forget the sanity
20...their understanding family and friends