Trusting Our Craft

Hello! I hope that you are all safe and well during this time that we live in. I can say that My family, my boyfriend, and I are all safe, well and healthy. I now it’s been a while, since I have been on here but I’m currently adjusting to what is my new schedule for a while. Where I currently live, we are on ‘stay-at-home’ orders until May 8, which could change or who knows at this point. On that note, I want to get today’s topic.

Let me preface this conversation with this is not my first post that I have made today. My first attempt at a post today went totally into a rant session, which I do not want to do here right now. So I’m kindly switching gears to talk about trusting the craft.

Many of us see writing as a hobby, as a business, as an art form, as an escape from reality. Now matter how you see it, at the core of writing or even telling stories there is a craft. A craft that I will try to describe nicely in saying, that when it is done right, it’s like magic.

The reason why I turned to this topic for right now, is that I recently was watching Netflix’s The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance. This series was both beautiful and for me worth the watch. Well, after I finished the last epsiode, I wanted the making of documentary, The Calling of the Crystal. Now normally, when you watch these specials they do not cover the writing process, for it’s usually over the casting, the special effects and other such elements that go into making a production like The Dark Crystal; however, with this special they did cover the subject of writing.

I’m going to say one big thing here and that as a writer I apprecaited it. You have no idea who much I apprecaited it.

Getting back to the subject, I loved a certain quote that came from special and that was from Simon Pegg, who is not only an actor but who is also a writer. He was a writer on one of the Star Trek films. He said that as writers we need to trust in the process. Granted, while he was speaking about film or television production.

This means that no matter how we tackle our writing, whether it is by means of plotting, or flying by the seat of our pants, traditionally publishing or self-publishing. No matter how we tackle our writing, we as a whole need to trust in our process. Once we trust in our processes, then we are able to focus on our writing.

The other key takeaway from what he said in the special is that, as writers we don’t need to think about designers, or builders, for you write as massive as you want. But in terms of writing books, this means not thinking about editors and book designers, all you have to think about is writing the story that you want to tell.

Focusing on that idea is one of the main reasons, why I love self-publishing. Sure I have an editor, and I have an idea of how I want the cover to look and feel but everything else relies on the craft of story telling. If it was not for that, then there wouldn’t be a book, which is the underlying goal at the end of the project.

Granted, every project in how it is handled is different. But the processes that we keep in mind at the end of the day is what makes us keep coming back to the table to tell/write the story that we want to write.

Now if you want someone to tell you and dictate what and how to write something, then by all means your writing process is controlled. Some like having it controlled while others don’t. I am one that feels that I should be able to tell the story the way that I have always done so. I have a process that works for me.

My process is different from others, and that’s fine. Not everyone has to have the same process when it comes to engaging their craft. It’s fine. But as long as you trust your craft, then your craft will see you through till the end of your project(s).

I hope that you have found this topic helpful. I hope that you stay safe and well! I hope that you have a great writing day!

 

Why do I Write?

In the months, that I have talked about writing, the one topic that I have never touched on is why do I write? The answer for me is that I enjoy writing/telling stories. Seeing where you can take a character physically as well as emotionally. Seeing all the different types of characters that there are to explore. Being able to tell their stories is a true gift, and its an art form. A clear and precise art form that involves crafting something out of nothing.

I write because I enjoy it. That may be a pure answer, but it’s true I do enjoy it. Even when I get the occasional spell of writer’s block or dry spell. But overall I enjoy it. It’s like creating entertainment that I enjoy writing as well as having someone else read it. Sure, not everyone is going to like what I have to write, but for me, if I find that one reader who cares enough or is interested enough in reading what I have to say, then at the end of the day I have done my job, and that is what makes me happy.

Yes, I have aspirations of writing for a living and making money off of it, but who doesn’t at some point in their life. I just chose that time is now, while I’m still young and can learn from my mistakes. But we all have learned from our mistakes and those lessons are not easy but at the end of the day, they are my lessons to learn from.

I enjoy days when I can set at my desk, write for hours and think of nothing that I’m writing at the moment. That is one of the great things that I enjoy about getting lots of snow, for that is the point of when I can’t go anywhere and I can watch the snow fall as I write by a window. This is why I write because I enjoy it. And if there ever comes a time when I don’t enjoy it, then I must be dying or I’m already dead, for I know that my lifetime of writing has been completed.

The Importance of Twilight

Again I was roaming around Facebook and someone brought up how Twilight is a terrible book series. Yes, we know it has vampires that sparkle in the sun, and a love triangle. But at the heart of Twilight Stephanie Meyer’s had a way of adding a historical/background perspective to her vampire characters. Yes, we know part of it was written really bad but when you really analyze the series there were some good parts of the story and some bad parts of the story. The one of which for me was that Jacob was very insecure and acted like a whiney baby, which I was so over throughout most of the third book.

But given how Twilight has been received, there are several books that are looked in the very same way. Granted, not all work of fiction can be perfect but there are some bright shiny things to consider in those that might not be the best. Take the Hunger Games, which I really enjoy, however, one of the biggest criticisms of the series is that author could not come up with an ending. While I disagree with that, I think that in the second book, the ending felt rushed. It was like she had to quickly finish it so that she could work on the third and last book of the series, which was by far the most emotional book in the series.

Every book has its ups and downs but at the same time, we must remember as we are not perfect no book is perfect for books are written by humans. I remember reading Charlotte’s Web, not too long ago and thinking to myself how bad it was to read, but then I remembered at one point in time I enjoyed the book as a child, so what changed? The answer is I grew up and I read other books to come to what I understood what I now do not like about Charlotte’s Web. But if you have read any children’s books lately, the biggest problem that I have with them is that they don’t have a true ending. It likes they go and then all of a sudden they stop and you are sitting there doing this is it. I read this just to go how does it end? When in reality there is no true ending, which is just plain sad.

We as writers need to look at other writers and their works and look at the good and the bad of them. But at the same time, we can take what they did so well or not so well and improve upon those items in our own writing. This is the beauty of studying the craft of writing is that we can take something and work on it or improve on it.

 

What exactly is our Job as writers?

We already into the fifth day of December before you know it Christmas will be here and then it will be the end of the year. However, before we get to Christmas the next film in the Star Wars franchise will be coming out in ten days! I could for the next ten days talk about Star Wars and how it is a great study for writer’s, but I won’t do that, for there are other topics to talk about in terms of writing.

I don’t think that I have actually, talked about what is your job as writers. The reason or how this topic came up, was that on Facebook yesterday someone posted the question, how do I create my world through writing? You might be looking at this question and thinking that is a stupid question for a writer to be putting up on social media? Or what kind of writer would ask this question? Or the even better doesn’t this writer know that is our job as writers? Yes, I thought the same thing and I couldn’t even bother to put up an answer to the question without sounding rude. But it got me to thinking that maybe this writer, and there may be others out there that do not understand what is the job of being a writer. Granted, when we are children and told to write stories, we are not told that when we write we are creating a story world, even if the story is factual or not.

Here is my thinking on the job as a writer: As writers, we must craft worlds with words, we create art with the written word, and we create characters and we put them into the world and we mess with their lives. Furthermore, we tell stories, we play God with the story and how the characters react to a given situation. We also entertain readers and give them something to think about. That is basically what I think is our job as writers.

Given the above, how does one handle the given job of being a writer? The answer is to write, come up with a story, get influenced by something that will help with our writing. In a way, we are designers, crafters, and above all artists by the way that we use our craft and the knowledge that we have to tell a given story. Furthermore, we should set out each day to learn something new about our craft, our business, and above all the world of writing. If you write fiction, learn about fiction or the genre that you have a desire to write about.

The key is that we want to be experts in our art, in our stories and we should know about things such as metafiction (Fiction about Fiction). We should know fully what our story is about, even if we are in the beginning stages of writing the book to talk about it or when we are trying to get advice. Furthermore, when I talk about advice, I’m not saying go find someone to write the book for you, but how you go about certain things. If you are having someone else write your book, you should be looking in your mirror and going why do I want to be a writer? Yes, there are ghost writers but other writers should be man or woman enough to write their stories and take the credit for the work that they have accomplished.

You should always be proud of the work that you have completed, even if that means that you have a thousand rejection letters coming from agents and publishers. You finished your manuscript, it may just need work, but if you work on it hard enough, you will get the attention of an agent or a publisher, or you could get tired of it and take to self-publishing, which isn’t bad either. We should be proud of the paths that we take with our writing, for not everyone has the courage to self-publish or to even write a novel. They may not even have the courage to go on the yellow-brick road and face the wicked witch of the west. But if remember why you wanted to be a writer in the first place, then completing the job at the end of the day, will make it easier to look in the mirror and say “I created something today!” Or “I worked on my craft today, and I’m closer to reaching my goal!”

If you can remember everytime you pick up the pen or the keyboard, then your writing will come to you and you will be proud to say that I’m working on being a writer, and a writer I shall be.

I hope that this has been helpful to you, and that you have a fantastic writing day!

Anxiety as Writers

Yesterday, I was on Facebook and on my wall came up a post from one of the many writing groups that I am a member of and someone posted up that when she writes it goes well then all of a sudden she gets anxiety and has to take an anti-depressant. She wanted advice on how to deal with anxiety, and I stated that maybe that she need to just let the writing flow naturally and not think about it.

Granted, I have never run across this problem before, but at the same time I have really started thinking about how anxiety could be a problem for writers. I have thought have a couple of different situations such as that need for perfection, the doubt that our writing is not good enough, or that we are not worthy to write, let alone create stories. Any of these could be the reason for facing anxiety. But is there also the worry that every thing has to be perfect?

Yes, there is that need to be perfect. If you really think about it as children we are ingrained with the need to get perfect grades in school, that our work has to be perfect or that we will be judge. Therefore, as artists we seek to have perfection. But art is not perfect, which leads us to the age-old question of what makes art? Is art something that we make? Is art something that others call art? Or is it art because it is art? Each one of these questions will have a yes and no answer. But then that leads us down other paths of as to why is it this way.

Furthermore, when we really think about the struggle with writing, we are always told that authors, and artists a like suffer, that they are depressed and that become drug addicts or alcoholics. However, I would disagree in that not every artist suffers or becomes a drug addict, for there are some that really don’t find the struggle or that they become depressed. But all writers, depressed or not, seek perfection, and we seek approval in what we do with our craft. But when you really start to think about it thinking about getting that much-needed approval down the road could lead to anxiety.

Yes, it is nice to think about the future, but at the same time if your craft is giving you anxiety maybe it is time to think about why that is. It might be hard, but at the same time that anxiety will affect writing and the ability to create, which is what we do not want. We want to create without having the world impacting our craft. I will state that I did deal for years anxiety over tests, and part of that was that I was a bad test taker. I had anxiety some days before I went to work, for there were days that I did not want to go to work. But once I was there, I did not let the anxiety affect my work, for other things did that, but I did the best that I could.

Dealing with anxiety sucks, and anyone that has felt anxiety knows what I am saying is true. There are other things that we can have anxiety over but writing or creating art should not be one of them. However, if you are having anxiety over your craft then it’s time to face the mirror and ask yourself why are you having anxiety over your craft, and what do you need to help you cope with the anxiety. Hint: Chocolate can be very helpful or some treat that makes everything melt away.

I hope that you have a great writing day without anxiety!