Writing Wednesday: Being vulnerable with our creations

Writing Wednesday: Being vulnerable with our creativity

When was the last time you allowed yourself to be vulnerable with your writing, art, or other creations?

Does the thought of that make you want to curl up in a ball and hide under the covers? I admit it makes me want to. But as authors and creators we have to open ourselves up and be vulnerable.

Vulnerability is defined as “capable of or susceptible to being wounded or hurt, as by a weapon, open to moral attack, criticism, temptation, etc.” (dictionary.com).

So sharing our work with others is the most vulnerable creatives can be. Whether it is sharing with a critique partner or beta reader, querying, publishing, or asking people to read and review your work. There is always the chance that something can go horribly wrong, that you will recieve harsh feedback or criticism of your art.

But there is also the chance that something amazing can happen.

That is what I want you to remember.

I’ve been sitting on a finished manuscript since last summer. It’s done, edited, and the best I can possibly make it on my own. Yet, I’ve done absolutely nothing with this since last September, with the intent to query but that never happened. Why? Because I am afraid of allowing myself to be vulnerable. Like I mentioned at the beginning of this post, vulnerability makes me want to curl up in a ball and hide. My writing, while not autobiographical in the least, is where I am most vulnerable. So much of me went into this book. The thought of people reading it is terrifying to me. The thought of sending a query letter and the first chapter to agents makes me anxious as hell. It’s not the rejection that scares me as much as putting my work (and myself) out there.

Last week, I confronted my issues with vulnerability.

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Writing Wednesday: Preptober

Writing Wednesday: Preptober

Happy  Preptober!

What’s Preptober, you ask? Well it’s the best month in the whole year (October) and NaNoWriMo Prep time. Hence, Preptober!

It’s the time of year when those of us participating in NaNoWriMo start to brainstorm, to develop our ideas, to come up with Pinterest boards for inspiration (here’s mine).  If you’re a pantser, this might be all that you do, just come up with a vague idea for a story, the characters, etc.

If, like me, you like to plan a little bit more, Preptober is your best friend!

I love knowing my story’s premise before I start writing. Brainstorming is probably my favorite part of the planning process. I love how bits and pieces of things start to come together as I find connections.

Do you use a notebook, Word (Scrivener or Google Doc), or your phone to help you keep track of your growing ideas?

As you plan this October, you’re going to need a place to record your ideas (you don’t want to lose those. That’s the worst). So make sure you have a notebook or computer document of some sort where you can add to your story idea as you come up with more information. This is also helpful when you have many ideas and are trying to figure out which one you like the best (often that is the idea you have brainstormed the most about). Continue reading

Writing Wednesday: Starting a New Project

Writing Wednesday: Starting a New Project

So you finished your last writing project. What do you do now?

Starting a new project can be scary, especially when you’ve spent so long writing, revising, and editing a manuscript already.

How do you know when it’s time to let one project go, and put it out into the universe, and start another one? That’s a tricky question, and there is no “right” answer. You just know. Maybe you’ve decided that your current manuscript isn’t the one that you want to query with, maybe you’ve been in the query trenches for what feels like forever, maybe you have published already but are just waiting around to be struck by some sort of inspiration.

But if we want to have careers as writers, we need to write more than one thing. And there is no better time than the present to start a new project.

Even if you write just for the fun of it, the only way that you can grow and get better is to keep writing. As you look at a new, fresh (and very very blank) Word document, doubt and fear may rise up. Don’t let it.

Instead, allow this new project to take you on an adventure you’ve never been on before.

Allow this new project to fill your imagination with new characters, settings, conflicts, and stories. Imagine yourself as a character in your story and see where that takes you.

Let yourself play.

You’re in the beginning stages, the brainstorming stages of your project at the moment. It’s okay if you throw your main character into the most ridiculous place right off the bat. See what happens and embrace it!

Most importantly, have fun!

Whether you are a pantser, a planner, or some combination of the two, it’s important that you have fun and that you love your story. You won’t love it all the time, but try to enjoy your new story and your new world. Add elements that you love. Make it exciting for yourself.

Starting a new project is a fun and exciting time for a writer. Time to take that shiny new idea and run with it!

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