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Prophecy Six Blog

Sharing My Unedited Writing Experiences & Life Experiences.

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opinions about writing

Procrastination & Distractions

I sit on this kitchen chair at my makeshift desk that seconds as my kitchen table in front of the second hand computer that is more powerful than any other piece of technology I’ve ever owned. My feet are falling asleep inclined on another chair as my headset is sitting on my head. Part of me wonders why I have my headset on my head… I’m not listening to anything but I guess it is more out of habit than anything else.

I take a deep breath, stare at this large screen and glance apathetically up on the three tabs open on my internet bar. One is this post. The other two open to files that are being edited by my editor. There is a sinking feeling in my stomach… one I get when I know I should be doing something productive but instead everything inside me is telling me to do the opposite.

Facebook could have an update. Your friends could be talking about Pokemon Go and you could be missing out. Come on, that one major part of your childhood – the first thing that taught you how to be a fan. I contemplate for a moment knowing all too well I have little self restraint and open another tab to my Facebook a moment later.

Hitting refresh three times in a row, doesn’t cause any major changes. I have friends who got the game and are somehow gym leaders now, while others are cursing their cellphones for not having enough space with all their selfies and food pics. I just sigh, close the tab and go back to staring at this blog.

Maybe some music would help? It has been a while since I used YouTube for music and not to watch idiots film themselves setting themselves on fire or complain about how hard life is as they drink their 10 dollar coffee while typing away on their 600 dollar phones. Yes, life is hard but we could be working in the fields fighting to survive like our ancestors. Sometimes I think like would be better that way. It would force responsibility. It would force purpose instead of wasting all hours of a day staring at a screen that we plug in next to us while we sleep and play games while we use the loo.

No, I’m not British. Yes, I use a lot of weird slang and for those who don’t know slang is short for Short Language. Mind blowing isn’t it. It blew my mind at least.

Anyways, while I continue to procrastinate the thought of having to do something productive hasn’t disappeared. The tabs at the top of the pages flicker like boats in the night drawing my eye to them every couple of minutes. They are starting to become annoying like Navi from the Legend of Zelda.

“Hey, listen!”

But I digress… if I continue to ignore them I will continue to be distracted and it will be a never ending circle. I should do some editing. That is the right thing to do but my phone just buzzed telling me a friend replied to a comment I made on one of their pictures and my drive is lost.

Maybe I’ll edit after I reply back…

Nightmares of Editing

It has to be done but I’m dreading it.General Atmosphere - 2014 SXSW Music, Film + Interactive Festival

Editing.

Ugh… editing.

No, matter how much I love writing there are parts of it that irk me. I’ve done the easy part of writing the damn thing but now I have to go back to make necessary changes. This could be sentence structure, story flow, grammar, punctuation… and if you read my blog posts – which I tell you right now I don’t really edit – I need help in all of those listed.

Sometimes it’s funny when I re-read a section of my book and know exactly how my mood was.

“Ah, yes… chapter 5 and 6 must have been the days I got a proper amount of sleep. 7 to 10… was I writing drunk… I really need to stop that…”

So… yeah… necessary changes are necessary for my final written product.

Editing I understand is important. I was the kid in school told to edit my work all the time and didn’t… which could have meant a grade upgrade from a B average to a A average… but I know kids don’t listen to their teachers. I’ve been a teacher and you can go blue in the face trying to get a kid to listen to you but if they choose not to… well good luck. I would like to call that Karma by the way.

Now, with my focus at the moment on creative writing and self-publishing my work I have to pay attention to the process I dreaded all my life. Editing could change an okay book into a best-seller. Editing shows you’ve put time and effort into making sure your book reads well and flows well for your readers.

It took me 10 years but I appreciate editing even though I still hate it.

I honestly can’t believe this will be the second book I’ve written in less than a year that has entered this process. I actually can’t believe I’m willing to put myself through this torment for a second time…

Editing is pain people. It will all pay off in the end. When I am holding book two in my hands I will forget all the re-writing and re-reading that needed to be done to hold the final product. I’m also excited to think what you all think of the second book…

In truth – and I may be bias – I think the second book is better written and has more action. The characters are developed better and I think there is more suspense compared to book one… actually I know there is more suspense than book one. Liora is going to kick butt this book and gain new friends along her adventure.

Anywho, I have to go back to the dungeon of editing before I can send it off to be reviewed by my editor. Yes, I pre-edit my stuff… if I’m comfortable to send it to him that means it is close to being comfortable enough to get published.

That’s all for now.

Toodles. 🙂

 

5 People I Discovered at a Writers’ Conferences

Last weekend I spent my time in Ajax, Ontario at the last OWC (Ontario Writers Conference). It was my first conference and won’t be my last. I met a lot of people, and it was wonderful getting to talk with those equally passionate about the written word as I am. I took workshops and networked. I even won something – which I will talk about in a later post.

What I wanted to share with all of you is what I learned from this short two day conference and how it has changed the way I approach my blogging/ writing.

Firstly, there are four types of people who you will run into at this sort of conference. You will have the fledgling, the braggers, the supporters, the downers, and the chosen.

The fledgling is the very young writer who is likely in high school. They are bright eyed and bushy tailed with little to no knowledge about what the writing world is like. They have fantasized on becoming the next J.K Rowling and have written in their journals about what they are going to do when they become famous. They are the quiet conference goers that hang out by the wall or nervously bring up how they are in high school when people ask what they do for a living.

Everyone as one time – no matter who you are in this list – has been a fledgling. You’re passion is driven by something inside you that makes you want to improve. You want to learn all you can from people more experienced or skilled that you are. You want to become better and be better from learning what you can from the conference you saved up for from your min wage job and birthday cash.

This conference is where you realize there are others like you and that you aren’t alone in your drive or desire to share your ideas/ world/ writing with anyone who will listen.

They – of course- aren’t to be confused with the braggers.

The braggers are those that will not shut up about their book/ writing project. They are the ones that aren’t asked about what they are writing but choose to talk about it anyway. They are either recently published and excited to share what they have accomplished or they are just wanting to tell you how great they are.

I admit – there were a couple of times I caught myself being a bragger. The difference though, I didn’t bring up my book. People asked what I wrote and if I’ve published anything, which opened the flood gates for me and I have a hard time stopping myself. I can’t help it… I want the whole world to know about P6. I’m sorry if you were one of my victims… and most of those were the people who supported me that weekend.

The supporters are those that will listen and support you. The majority of the people at the OWC were supporters. They would share their contacts and direct you to useful information regarding certain subjects. There were graphic designers and literary agents. There were other writers looking for other writers to compare notes with.

These are the people you want to surround yourself with and with luck I did. I met many people of all ages that were supportive in all sorts of ways. I’ve made contacts that will help improve my writing and networking too.

I hope I was a supporter throughout the OWC. I know I shared my self-publishing experience with people and gave them tips on how to approach different online formats. I also helped them understand the uses of blogging and how it could help their brand. I’m even sharing my notes I took through my classes in hopes of spreading more helpful knowledge to my writing group. The last thing I want to be is a downer after all…

The downers… ugh… as much as I don’t want to say these people exist – they do.

Now I don’t want to talk about these people much but they were there and it sucked when I ran into them. They are the types that will treat you like you aren’t worthy of their time. They will judge you by age, gender, genre, and consider what you’re working on not worthy of the written word.

I ran into one woman that didn’t consider YA fantasy a real form of writing. She believed that anyone could write YA fantasy because ‘it is just made up’. I’m sure she isn’t wrong but it is one of the more popular genres for a reason… so we YA writers must be doing something right.

Her choice was non-fiction and I’ll admit she is skilled but she had no right in pulling others down. The writing business is already cut throat, we writers shouldn’t be attacking one another or bring each other down.

Downers are those that consider your accomplishments worthless and your style juvenile. They will say nice things to your face and when your back is turned talk about how terrible they think your writing/ project ideas are.

I found this more to be aligned with age rather than anything else. I was the minority at the OWC. Most who were there were older or retired individuals while I am – well – not. Many older individuals changed quickly from supporters to downers when they discovered I had published something. They changed their tune from speaking to me to speaking down at me, which made me focus my attention to those supporters that still treated me as an equal.

Now, the chosen – these are the people we want to be. They are the best-sellers or world renowned authors that grace the event with their guru knowledge. They are talented and their words are like honey when we listen to them read pieces from their latest work.

Yes, these chosen are people just like us, but they are our celebrities. They are those that made it and those we want to become. They are the people we work to be and want to learn from. They are the names whispered in the hallway or the classes stuffed to the brim to learn their secrets.

There are only a few of them at each event but their presence makes a big impact.

 

 

Listen to Your Intuition

When people ask how I can come up with my ideas or how can I write what I write, I tell them ‘I don’t know’. Most of the time I don’t remember what I’ve written when I’m done a chapter. When I start to write it feels like pulling teeth, trying to pull each word out as I slam my fingers firmly down on the keyboard. It’s after a couple of minutes my fingers pick up speed and my brain shuts off where I find that I can’t stop myself.

Mr. Canuck has experienced times where I’m sitting typing away, he asks me a question, and I’m talking to him like I’m not even typing while I’m typing away. “My hands are possessed”, he says in a joking manner… but I don’t think he’s wrong.

I get to the point in my writing that I don’t let getouttathewayme brain write any more. My brain will come back for the editing process when it’s more useful but in the time of writing drafts something else takes over and I think that’s my intuition.

Before I get into writing any of my stories I have a plan laid out. I know what I want for my characters and how the book ends but getting to those points are a complete mystery to me. I’ve been known to go back and re-read my chapters dozen of times by the time the first draft is over because I didn’t know what I wrote. In a sense that helps me get into the mind of my readers. If it doesn’t make sense to me, it won’t for them. If I’m not feeling any emotional connection, neither will my readers.

In the end, intuition is what guides us on this busy path called life. Is it any surprise that it would help you guide your characters lives as well?

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