With Christmas fast approaching, it seems like a good time to look back at the year as it wraps up. It’s no coincidence that I would think of gifts at this time; not because there are some under the tree, but because the year has been full of them. I used to be foolish enough to believe that tripe about giving being better than receiving, until one of my heroes pointed out what lopsided thinking that was. Harv Eker taught me that the math doesn’t work that way, since the giving and the receiving need to be equal if both are to exist. People that don’t know how to receive are as incomplete as people that don’t know how to give, and all of the gifts life tries to give them are received begrudgingly or not at all. Continue reading “Why I Love To Write #034 – A Special Gift”
I was more than a little surprised when I heard how many authors view fan fiction in a negative light. Although I’m not suggesting that anyone might be thinking of writing something based in one of the worlds I have built, I am certainly completely on board if they do. It was during one of the many regular conversations we have about books and publishing that Dawn brought up some of the points she has heard authors bring up, when they cast that light on fan fiction. I found a lot of it weird, and wondered if maybe I was the one being weird. Again.
Let me tell you what I think, and you can feel free to let me know why you think my thinking is wrong on this. Or, if you are a writer that’s considering writing a story in one of my worlds…well, read on with delight. Continue reading “Why I Love To Write #033 – Fan Fiction”
One of the most valuable tools I employ in continually finding myself is the regular practice of asking questions. I get answers from books and wise friends, but the most valuable answers always seem to be hidden within me. Books can tell me that happiness is found in pursuing our dreams, and my intuition can confirm it; but who can tell me what that dream is, other than me? And how do I follow it? I wrestled with those questions for a few agonizing years before I realized the answer had been staring me in the face the whole time. It was by asking other questions, that I found those answers. Want to hear my favorite, or at least one of them?
If you could do anything with your life, what would it be? Continue reading “Why I Love To Write #032 – If You Could Do Anything”
If you crammed a bunch of authors into a room together, it might be hard to see the similarities. We range from shy and quiet to loud and boisterous, from young to old, and from ridiculously simple-minded to brilliantly complex. There are more possible differences between individual authors than there might be in any other field, which is exactly what literature needs. But we’re not here to talk about our differences; we’re here to talk about an author’s life, and how it is similar to other authors’ lives. Without certain lifestyle choices, it is not possible to be an author. Continue reading “Why I Love To Write #031 – An Author’s Life”
If you read last week’s post, ‘An Author’s Friends’, then you know that I don’t always see things the same way other people do. I examine them, and find how they work for me. Friendships aren’t for talking about the weather and passing the time, for me; and family is not about blood. There is a term I ran across a long time ago that I have used freely ever since. I would wager that I found it in a Richard Bach book first, and be happy to give him both gratitude and credit for the term.
It’s one of those phrases that make sense right away, as soon as a couple of words come together. The phrase is ‘intellectual family’, and it has never meant more to me than it does now. These are the folks that have had those thoughts that we find ourselves wondering if anyone else has ever had. In keeping them to ourselves, to protect ourselves, we keep our own intellectual family away. Authors have bridged that gap for me before, as I pointed out a book on someone’s bookshelf and asked what the reader thought of the author’s thoughts. Continue reading “Why I Love To Write #030 – An Author’s Family”
Some folks may think that I have some odd ideas around concepts like friendship and family. That’s okay; I probably feel the same about their ideas. It would be difficult to find an avid reader who did not feel a certain kind of connection with at least one author. Many of us feel that we owe a debt to several authors that could not possibly be repaid; I know I do. I joked about most of my best friends being dead, back when I was reading more philosophy than most folks thought was good for me. I didn’t really consider them friends, though; and they weren’t all dead. I held both the living and the dead in equal awe, if they were authors that had touched or changed me; and they were more distant god-like figures than buddies in actuality to me.
As an author, I have had to reassess this. When I first got into this, I knew I would have to dedicate serious time to writing and publishing my books. Any book on any business is going to address the fact that business owners often give up a lot in the beginning. It’s the same for the artist. One of the most common things that get put aside are old friendships. That hour or two or three that an employee can spend a couple times a week hanging out and shooting the breeze with a buddy often falls off the business owner’s much tighter schedule. Anyone looking to follow any dream has to assess the value of every hour spent, and whether their friendships are helping or hurting their dream. Continue reading “Why I Love To Write #029 – An Author’s Friends”
For me, it’s very important to have people to look up to. I usually refer to it as ‘hero worship’, because that’s how I think of it. Now, looking at the term, I realize it may be a bit misleading for some folks. I don’t admire Captain America or Iron Man; that’s not what I think of as heroes. I admire Stan Lee, for making these fictional characters a reality for so many people; I admire Robert Downey Jr for taking it to the next level in bringing his character to life in movies. I don’t think fictional characters are a good thing to look up to, when there are real people behind them. I look to the real people for my heroes.
I also don’t literally worship them. These folks are people; I know that. I’m not looking for any one person to hold all of the answers to life for me, or even for themselves. There’s always somewhere higher to reach for, and this is evidenced in the fact that my heroes have heroes as well. If they didn’t have anything left to work on, they would be bored silly. I don’t expect them to live exactly as I think they should, or even remotely; only fictional heroes can personify perfection, which is one of the reasons I don’t look up to them. Any complete person has shortcomings as part of their completeness. The shortcoming doesn’t matter to me; only the accomplishments do, and the dedication to the path of improvement. Continue reading “Why I Love To Write Bonus Post- The Importance of Hero Worship”
One of the best reasons for writing this blog has been addressing the hard questions. They can be hard to find, hard to formulate, and hard to answer. I do my best with all three, and am pleased to know that this would have helped me tremendously had I read it one or two or three years ago. Finding and formulating and answering those hard questions got us from where we were yesterday to where we are today, and continuing to do so will make sure we are somewhere even better tomorrow. It’s rewarding, like nearly any hard thing.
Even if you don’t like my answers, you’ve got to admit these questions need asking. Find your own answers, and message me to let me know how much smarter than me you are…or tell me when I’m asking the wrong question, and help me get us all on a better track. Like I keep saying, I am just getting started here. Continue reading “Why I Love To Write #028 – Where Do You Come Up With These Ideas?”
Faith is a word whose meaning has changed over the years for me. Not too long ago, it took on a whole new meaning. We are not talking about the kind of thing most folks are talking about when they talk about faith here. This is a blog for authors, and writers who want to become authors; and we writers have to have our own brand of faith. It has only been a little while now that I have had what I would call an author’s faith. In it’s own way, it has come to mean as much to me as the other kind.
I won’t go into the details that delight some and bore others, and talk about the other kind; at least, not here. You can check out my first book, ‘Stumbling Backasswards Into The Light’, if you want that from me. Or, wait for the sequel. It’s coming, finally, in 2017. Mid to late, I’d say. But enough about that. Continue reading “Why I Love To Write Bonus Post – An Author’s Faith”
Making it a point to think deeply on what I will be writing before I sit down to write each day is important to me. It helps me to be able to sit down and type without the fetter of constant over-thinking. (Not that I don’t overthink: I just over-think it first, so I can let things flow later.) Everything I write gets edited to some degree, by me a couple times and then by my editor and proofreader; but there are some things she never sees, because every once in a while I’m just not happy with a piece. Sometimes it’s a scene or a chapter in a book, and other times it’s a blog post or newsletter message. Continue reading “Why I Love To Write Bonus Post – ‘Original Introduction’, or ‘#000 version 1.0’”