September 17, 2017

Perfectly Imperfect: loving your imperfect writing


     As a writer there is one major thing I need to stop doing: comparing myself.

    If you're a writer, I'm sure you've struggled with this too. But today I am not going to tell you how to stop comparing, if you want to read an awesome blog post about comparison, check out Melissa's amazing post that she did a while back, The Comparison Trap

      Writers compared themselves way to much. We also tear ourselves down a lot.

I'm a bad writer.
I'll never write like them.
The haters are right.
I'm just not good enough.

          STOP. Listen, life isn't easy. No exceptions. Which means even the things you love in life with a fervent passion won't be easy.

        If you think writing is going to be perfectly easy always, well, you can forget it. Nothing, nothing, nothing, is ever effortless.

        Please get that fantasy out of your head now, we'll all be better off.

       Also, there will ALWAYS be someone better than you.

       Stop tearing yourself down over that. It doesn't matter if your writer friend can reach 50k with no sweat, while you can barely finish a novella. It doesn't matter if your writer friends can write “better” than you. There are always different levels of experience. Example of this: There are two writer friends, one is better at writing plot twists and dialogue, and the other is better at writing characters and settings.

       Does this make either of them bad writers? No. Does this make either of them better than the other? No. It just means that they have different things to work on, and different areas to grow in.


       Stop tearing yourself down, and stop letting others tear you down.

       Last week I got a couple of hate comments on my post on RW, they both targeted my writing. I had two choices that morning when I read those comments,

1. Believe them and feel bad.

2. Use them to fuel my writing and grow stronger because of them.

        I am glad to say that I chose number two. There will always be haters, guys. People who want to tear you down, because they're jealous, or they don't like your ideas. Sometimes people are just plain mean, for no reason at all. You can't let that get to you.

       There will always be haters, but there will also always be people who love you and support you.

        As for the voices of doubt in your head, don't listen. Just don't.


       My writing will never be perfect.
       Your writing will never be perfect.

       But you know what they will be?

        Perfectly imperfect, and that is a beautiful thing.

Happy Writing,

September 6, 2017

Too Young? On Age and Writing

     

   Am I too young? That thought hasn't haunted me in a long time. In recent years, I have become less self-conscious about a lot of things, my age was one of them. I realized that age was just a number, and that it didn't define me.

   Sure, I know there are some things that rely on my age.

I can't drive until I'm sixteen.
It will always be hard to find work until I'm sixteen or seventeen.
I can't marry until eighteen, unless my parents sign papers or something, (not that I plan on being a teen bride or anything, goodness, no!)
I can't legally move out until I'm eighteen.
I can't drink until I'm twenty-one.

The list obviously goes on.

   But I don't let my age define me as a person in general. I do what I like, and I like what I do.

   However, even though I haven't let my age determine the stuff I am passionate about in a long time, this week a doubt crept into my mind; what if I'm not old enough?

    The book I'm currently working on has some darker themes, I won't lie. It deals with many topics and issues. It's been pretty amazing to write and plot, because I am really stepping out of my comfort zone, and I feel like this book is going to be a big step towards my hopefully future career as a full-time authoress.

     The problem is that my topics are what some people would consider more “grownup”. Stuff that a fourteen year old girl shouldn't worry about, fight against, or even know about in some cases.

     My mom is 100% behind me, I haven't talked about my book that much with my dad, but I know that they'll stand by me.

     Now, I'm not the girl who's afraid of being judged.
     But every once in a while, the fear comes creeping in when I write, and I know I'm not the only young writer that worries about it.

What if people don't listen to the message in my book because of my age?
What if people don't respect my story because of my age?
What if people judge me for writing more heavily themed stuff?

And even more anxious thoughts…

What if I shouldn't write this because of my age?
What if this holds me back from respect in the future?
What if I offend someone for writing this at my age?

What if? What if? What if?

     I really hate to quote one of the past Gray's works right now, buuuuttttttt… “We could play the 'what if' game all day.” -Enemy of the Dawn
     Hey! Twelve year old Gray, your novella had at least one good part!! The whole rest of that scene was horribly mushy though… lol. DON'T WRITE ROMANCE, WHEN YOUR ONLY LOVE STORY IS THE FEELING YOU GET WHEN YOU SEE PIZZA OR A BOWL OF ICECREAM OR A BOOK, BUT EITHER WAY! XD

*Ahem* Back to the actual topic of this post…

    I have decided to ignore those voices and questions in my head. It isn't going to hold me down, and it isn't going to keep me from having a voice or a passion.

    Listen, if you're a young writer, don't let a simple number hold you back. You have so much fire in you-it's the beauty of being young. I look around and see teens with fire in their hearts and souls, but so few use it.

    But you. YOU have the incredible gift of words. Words are powerful. Way more powerful than we can ever comprehend.

    Don't hide your gift. It doesn't matter if they say you're “too young” to worry and fight against things. The voices of doubt inside your head only spew lies.

    And if someone has ever dashed your hopes or dreams by saying your age matters, they're probably just jealous, because you are getting a head start.

    Don't let a number keep you from using your gift. You have the amazing ability to create and destroy with the simple movement of a pen or the pressing of a key.

     We are so much more than our ages. Don't let fear hold you back from writing that story.

September 3, 2017

A Quick Question

       

     As you may have noticed from the title, this isn't a monthly wrap-up post. I've never done a monthly wrap-up post, because the sad fact is that I have little to no life, and the stuff I would write about is sad and painful and I don't want to write a “leave me sympathy comments” post, and liquid nitrogen really hurts, *cough* because I am a rebel, deal with it. XD

     In fact, I don't even have a post for today! *ducks to avoid the rotten tomatoes*
     Don't worry! I'm actually working on a post right now, it should be posted by Wednesday. Instead, today I have a question to ask.
    If you haven't noticed the Writing is Life family is steadily growing, along with the blog's personality as I become more at home with this whole “blogger” thing. I have been thinking about this for a while and I don't really know what to do, so I've decided to ask y'all…

     Should I change this blog's name?

    When I first started blogging I didn't really consider my blog name that much, I really just punched it in and rolled with it! But as time goes on I keep realizing how common my blog name is and how it might be harder to find my blog through Google and stuff like that with just the name.

    What do y'all think? Should I change my name? And if so, do y'all have any ideas??
     Either way I'm pretty happy with how it is, but it might be nice to do more of a blog makeover!

      Also, Libby May over at Geoturtle is interviewing me this week, so go follow her so you don't miss anything!


Happy Writing,


August 30, 2017

Weird Things My Non-Writer Friends Have Said/Done

    
     I was looking for a post to do and then I thought, why not talk about my weird non-writer friends? And then I saw that Jem Jones uploaded something similar to my idea, and it was HILARIOUS, read it HERE.
     So I decided that I'm going to go through with my post idea! Here are some weird things my non-writer peeps have said…



----


Friend: *Is in an argument with a random stranger, while I stand to the side, rolling my eyes* I don't care what you think, I'm right, and my friend would agree with me, and she's a writer, so she's super smart!

----

Me: Guess what! I self-published my book!
Friend: DUDE, that is so cool!! Let me advertise for you!
Me: Ummm, what?
Friend: HERE I GO. *Dashes out of the classroom and into a hallway full of people, while shouting* BUY GRAY'S BOOK, GUYS. IT'S LIT!!!!!! *The sound of him running into a trashcan rings through the halls*
Me: *Still standing frozen in the room* ….
Friend: I'M OKAY, HOMIES!

----

Friend: I read your book, you need to get it on audible.
Me: That would be cool, but I don't know how and besides, it's not that good-
Friend: I can voice it!

----

Friend: If one of your works becomes famous, will you let me star as your main character?

----

Friend: I have an awesome story idea! How about I tell it to you, you write it, and we'll split the money!!
Me: Hahahaha! Oh, wait… you aren't joking… ummm, well, no?

----

Friend: Don't worry, if Twilight became a bestseller, you'll be a superseller one day!
Me: *nearly dies laughing*

----

Friend: This story of yours has a girl with curly hair… is she you?
Me: Nope!
Friend: This character has freckles, is she yo-
Me: NOPE.

----

Friend: So you're going to be the next J.K. Rowling, right?
Me: Hahaha, no pressure there.

----

Friend: You are such a talented writer, you have such a way with words, and-
Me: Have you read anything I've written?
Friend: One time you wrote on the dry-erase board for youth group, does that count?
Me: No…?
Friend: Well, I hate reading. If I didn't I would totally read everything you wrote.
Me: Okay, but then how can you say I'm a good writer?
Friend: *Pats my head* You have the big eyes of an author.
Me: …..

----

        To sum this all up, I have some weird friends. But I love them. XD

Has one of your non-writer friends ever made a strange comment without realizing it?
What was it??

Happy Writing,


August 26, 2017

How to Make Your Villain Unforgettable

     
     On Friday I watched Unbreakable by M. Night Shyamalan, and I was totally blown away by the whole film.
      I am a huge fan of M. Night Shyamalan, I love how he creates such gripping plot-lines, and his plot twists are always astonishing and well thought out. I have never been able to correctly guess one of his plot twists, they always completely catch me by surprise.
    BUT, Unbreakable made me speechless.
     The character development was exceptional.
     The storyline was awesome.
     And the plot twist, I can't even begin to describe how brilliant it was.
      But what struck me most was the main villain. I loved the villain, so much that this one will be unforgettable for me.
     And that made me start to think, What makes a villain unforgettable?



     1. An authentic backstory. Where does your villain come from? What emotion will their story stir inside of the people who hear or read about it? Fear? Anger? Hate? Sympathy? You don't have to put the entire backstory into your book, but knowing it will help you as the writer to put hints of your villain's past here and there, making them more genuine, and in some cases, terrifying.

     2. A goal. Too often I read about villains in YA who are evil just to be evil. But making your villain have a goal will make the reader feel more than one emotion about them, it will literally tear them to shreds on the inside, and since writers are cruel creatures, that is your goal. In Unbreakable, the villain reveals their goal at the very end, making your heart go out to them, “The scariest thing in life is not knowing why you're here.” In this case the villain's goal was finding their identity.

      3. A personality. Once again, back to the cliché of villains simply being evil. Everyone is passionate about something, some people are just better about hiding it than others. Honestly, one of these days I want to read a book based off of one of the villains in Rapunzel that liked baking cupcakes! I can see it now, “AHA! I have caught you, hero, prepare to die!!!”
The faint sound of an alarm going off in the distance rings through the air, the villain shifts, hanging the struggling hero by his shirt to a tree limb. “Right after I get my cupcakes out of the oven, excuse me.”
      I would totally buy that book. XD

       4. Make them cunning. Back to Unbreakable, in the movie there is another amazing quote that relates to villains, “The villains that fight using only brute force aren't the hero's real enemy, the hero's real rival is the smart one, the one with the brains.” So true. Who doesn't love a good cat and mouse game?

       5. Make them stand out. What makes your bad guy different than the hum-drum thugs, villains with corny capes, and scoundrels with booming laughs? Is it something they wear? Maybe they have their own little catch-phrase? Pick something that makes them different from the normal “evil one” mold, it doesn't have to be big, it can be as small. Just give them something that is their own.  
       Example: President Snow from the Hunger Games stands out with the fact that he loves white roses, and the reason why is revealed later in the plot.


        So that's all I have! Go watch Unbreakable, it's really a good film for writers to watch, especially if you're writing a villain. I wouldn't recommend it for family night, since it does have some more grownup themes, because the hero is fighting against modern day evil (sex traffickers, murders, etc.) And more intense fight scenes.
         But it's actually one of M. Night Shyamalan's cleanest works. The others have a lot of language and more suggestive scenes, but I ignore that because the of the amazing storylines and plot twists.
         I didn't notice any language in this one, but it's not like I was listening for it.
         Speaking of language and swear words, I will be doing a post on Rebellious Writing on September 16th, explaining why I don't like it in YA, so go follow us HERE or go to www.rebelliouswriting.com, so you don't miss that... *cough* PLUG *cough, cough*

       So, yeah. You should watch it and take notes on the character development. And then you need to come back here and contact me, so we can talk about it! XD



Have you seen Unbreakable by M. Night Shyamalan?
Do you have any tips for creating unforgettable villains??


Happy Writing, 





August 24, 2017

The New Schedule//Braces



      Well, guys, another school year is upon us. I wish everyone luck with middle school, highschool, or college!

       With the return of school I am going to have to bring back my schedule from the dead. I started blogging at the end of the school year, and at the time I would post only on Sundays and Wednesdays. But when summer started I stopped doing that, and now I'm afraid I have to again!

         I will try to post on either Saturdays or Sundays, I'm not sure if I'll post during the week, because of school *cough* Chemistry *cough*

         Anyways, I just wanted to tell y'all that, so when my posts get less regular, y'all don't wonder what's going on. 

          Also, does anyone have any post suggestions? With the school year I won't have as much time to plan posts, so it would be nice to have a few ideas under my belt. Email me using the contact form on the sidebar, or comment below!

         Sooo, I also wanted to say a quick thank you, to you guys for encouraging me about my braces. Thanks for the tips, the prayers, and the kind words! It helped a lot. <3




Happy Writing,




August 20, 2017

Dear followers,

      

       I just want to take a moment to thank my followers... Without them I wouldn't be a blogger, and that would be very sad.
       
        So THANK YOU,

Sarah Hargett
Trey Scholfield
Atlee Barrow
Elena
Hunter
Nikki Bender
Jessica Kay
Arnica
Jane Maree
Elaine Platt
Mary Ann Reinstedt
Lilly Shyree
Michaih Saldana
Anne A.
Florid Sword
Alek
Jem Jones
Ariana Wilson
Flowersinmybasket
Gideon Aigner
Farm Lassie
Jason Sellers
Mary Katherine
Kat N Lia
Lora Sung
Andrea
Karyssa Norton
Quinley
Evan White
Jazzy
Greg and Shauna Cox
Melissa Gravitis
Sandra V.
Ivie Brooks
Thomas!
Movie Critic
Abby M.
Ry
Audrey Caylin
I can't believe it's not butter!
Anna C.S.
Emily Mundell
Anna Holmberg
Marrok Maclntyre
Jolly
Jo Day
Lila Red
Nabila
Keturah Lamb
El's Book Reviews
Sarah Rodecker
Hannah Gordon
Andrea Mendez
Mykaela McDonwell
Abbie
Livie Rose
Hannah Deno
Juls
Yeipyen Kwa
Emily Rose
Mira Wibel
Lisa//Inkwell
Celine Pawlack
LHE
GJE
Fellow Rebel
Kenny Guate
Tanish Asrivatsa
Leticia
Danni Mcquill
Hudson
Zane Jones
Breinstedt
Laci Chapman
Patrick Stahl

    Whew! Going through my feedburner isn't as easy as I thought!!! I have around 71 followers if you combine the people who only follow by email to the people who only follow by blogger. And that just totally blows my mind! XD
       I still have no idea how I even have more than one follower, but around 71?!?! WHAT IN THE WORLD??

      Also from this list, I have discovered that a lot more people that I know in real life follow my blog than I was aware of, including some of my mom's friends.

       HELLO. I didn't know y'all were with me... *awkwardly waves*

       But seriously, a big THANK YOU, TO ALLLL OF YOU. Y'all are amazing!

        Thank you for following, subscribing, reading, and commenting. Thank you for the encouraging emails, those totally made my day.

          Just thank you for being here. That alone means so much to me!

           Today I just wanted to say how grateful I am. <3

            Seriously.

That's all I can really say. <333




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