Thursday, August 30, 2012

Visited by a Muse

Isn’t a muse a fickle thing? Today, while sitting at work, my muse snuck up behind me and whispered a thought between my ears.

She lit a fuse is what she did.

It was a good idea – the kind that knocks you back in your chair for a minute and you’re left gasping because you’ve suddenly forgotten to breath. It was the idea. One of the things I’d been missing to bring about a proper conclusion to my story.

It was one of those things that your subconscious had been working on while you didn’t even notice. Then you feel taken aback that your brain could have come up with something like that without you being present.

When this type of thing happens to you, a range of emotions may run through you. You may feel exuberant that this missing puzzle piece has – FINALLY! – showed up and fits perfectly into place. And after a while, you may be disappointed when you realize that you have no idea how your brain came to that conclusion, thus, being unable to replicate the process anytime soon.

So there I was, at work, clicking away, Muse shows up, whispers in my ear and suddenly – BAM! The idea exploded in my head.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Challenging Times

Authors note: This was meant to post Sunday night, but for some reason Blogger’s automatic scheduler didn’t post right…unless I did something wrong, which, you know, never happens... ;-)

Here’s a bonus post for you all this week! I actually meant to do this yesterday, but didn’t quite get that done. You see, yesterday was the first day of a challenge.

A challenge to myself that is.

I shared last week that I had signed up for Camp NaNoWriMo and hadn’t really gotten anywhere. All I want to do is finally finish the Work in Progress that I started during June.

Then I came across this article the other day where author Charles Sheehan-Miles challenged himself to write a novel in 14 days. I had read about a similar self-challenge from an author who wrote a novel in a week, but that always seemed unobtainable. However, Sheehan-Miles took a more relaxed approach. What really caught my attention is that he said he still worked his full time job while doing this self-challenge.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Interrupting the Program Because My Brain is Fried

For those of you who are expecting the sixth and final installment of the ‘Lesson’s from the Newsroom’ series, I apologize. I felt the need interrupt the regular programming to bring you this special blogging report.
Art by Amanda Fanger - "The Burned Out Writer"
I wanted to take the liberty of a few hundred words and update you guys on my goings on in life on this side of the keyboard.

Since my awesome word count in the month of June, my life has gotten pretty crazy and I’ve done relatively little writing... or reading... or any creative endeavor.

I know, I know! I’m a failed writer!

Honestly, I have no idea where July went to. I just know that life got busy after July 1st.

Today Author Jody Hedlund helped me diagnose one of my problems on her blog. This ailment is one of the biggest enemies a writer can face, she says. It’s called burnout.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

How Journalism Can Make You a Better Novelist – Be Professional

'A Lessons from the Newsroom’ Series: Part 5
(You can read the rest of the series here)

“You’re a writer, huh? So I guess that means you come up with stuff and write it down and… stuff."

Really, it’s no wonder that this is the way some people view writers. There are too many who are claiming the title of writer but aren’t living up to the hard-earned reputation of their predecessors. They’re not being professionals.

When I started working at a newspaper I had, literally, come straight off the farm. I had just graduated homeschool high school and had no college education or schooling in journalism. 

So when my editor decided to take a chance on me and give me the job, I did the one thing that I’ve always been really good at – I faked it.

Yup, I totally faked the fact that I didn’t have a clue what I was doing.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

How Journalism Can Make You a Better Novelist – Deadlines

‘A Lessons From the Newsroom’ Series: Part 4

Welcome to part four of my series of lessons from the newsroom. You can see the other posts by clicking here.

Today, we’ll be talking about the dreaded d-word; that’s right – deadlines.

There are some lessons all writers could learn about deadlines from journalists.

In a newspaper office, you’ve got to write fast and you have to make your best effort to write it right the first time. Because, if you’re late turning in an article, proof department is going to be late; and if the proof department is late, the page lay-out department is going to be late; and if the page lay-out department is late, then the printer is going to be late.

And then everybody’s mad at you.

So basically, if you ever get the chance to work at a newspaper, my biggest tip is this: Don’t ignore the importance of a deadline.

But that’s just one of the results of pushing the deadline in the newspaper industry; the other is far scarier.