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”
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”
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”
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?”
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’”
There has not been a lot of advice about balance on this blog, and there’s good reason for that: I have very little experience with balance. My idea of balancing is much more reminiscent of juggling, and my greatest talent is my ability to move pretty quickly. It helps with many important things, juggling being one of the most important.
Don’t get me wrong; time management is one of my specialties, and one of the reasons I can move so swiftly in so many different directions. But time management and schedule management are two very different things, and I have only managed to fail so miserably at one for so long because I really am quite good at the other.
It’s time for that to change. Continue reading “Why I Love To Write #026 – Putting It All Together”
The best way to start this post out is with a disclaimer. I might seem a little harsh when I’m telling writers and authors how much responsibility they have towards their books and their legacy. I don’t mean it to sound that way, except towards myself. I got in touch with my inner drill sergeant a long time ago, and much of who I am and what I have came from letting the guy be a little brutal with me from time to time. In the end that’s what this blog is, one long letter to Yesterday Jay. If it sounds like I’m being a bit forceful about my more than occasional kick in the pants rant, don’t take it personally.
He’s my drill sergeant; that’s my job. Continue reading “Why I Love To Write Bonus Post – If I Just Reach One Person”
It’s pretty rare for a month to go by where I don’t make some kind of comment about the way all of our collective problems seem rooted in excessive propagation of our species by less than ideal propagators. There is one thing that explosive population growth is good for, though. On any given day, there are more people on this planet than there were the day before. On any given day, more children become adults than ever before. (The first should give hope to the YA author; the second gives hope to those of us writing for our worldly readers.)
We may be using up more oil every day than ever before, and more water and even precious air; there are all kinds of things that we only have so much of that are threatened by there being so many of us. There is one thing that some of us can’t get enough of, though; and the more people that make more people, the better our odds of finding them. They’re the Blessed Reader, of course; and it’s nice to remember that they are one natural resource that is very far from being endangered or extinct. Every generation seems to worry that the next generation won’t read, and that literature will die as they take control of the world.
That is so not going to happen. Continue reading “Why I Love To Write #025 – A Million Friends”
If there is one thing that has always been important to me, it’s reading. When I did it for escape, it saved me from the reality that was trying to shape me into something other than I longed to be. Books show us that there isn’t just a whole other world out there; there are endless other worlds out there! Reading can give sweet escape to the overwhelmed, a fresh perspective to an old and tired viewpoint, and a whole new start to what may have otherwise been a dead end life. I should know; it did all those things for me. Continue reading “Why I Love To Write #024 – The Blessed Reader”
One of the best things about life is all the characters you get to meet along the way. It’s also a great reason to write books. As many authors will attest, characters in stories are not creations; they are people, with minds of their own. The fact that they don’t have bodies in our world is not relevant at all; some of my favorite people don’t have bodies in our world. What they do have is personality, and a startling amount of free will. They don’t always agree with how the story is going in your outline or in your head, and failing to listen to them can result in the most dire of consequences. They can turn from your best hope of a champion to your most clear antagonist with a swift act or comment. A good character will almost always take the author by surprise at some point.
You know, like people do. Continue reading “Why I Love To Write #020 – The Characters”