"If you are lucky enough to have lived in Paris ... then wherever you go for the rest of your life, it stays with you, for Paris is a moveable feast." Ernest Hemingway

Wednesday, 10 April 2013

A to Z Challenge : Moving and Writing

My Max Brenner Hug-a-Mug of hot chocolate. 

I've done it for 3 years and loved it, but this year too much is happening. We all know of the time drain that is the A - Z -- writing the posts is the easy part, but there is a lot of visiting/commenting to do.

What I'm doing in April -- firstly, I'm moving house. You all know what a joy that is. I'm moving from our inner-city Brisbane apartment across the river to a townhouse Heritage style, in West End, a very trendy avante garde suburb, full of great restaurants, book shops, organic food stores and overall a great vibe. I'll have my own office for writing and teaching. So the move, although exhausting, will be worthwhile.

I've also set myself the challenge of completing edits on my novel, Fijian Princess, and have it ready for submission by the end of April. Luckily it's school holidays for the first two weeks of April in Australia, so a little less drain on my time.

I am writing my short stories for writing competitions. My Writing Group encourages writing for competitions. I usually choose one and focus on that, otherwise I end up entering none! I'm currently happy with my story idea for a 'homelessness' theme, due end of April.

I will also be posting occasionally -- I'll be back for the Insecure Writers Support Group tomorrow and may post once a week.

So this year I'm not in with all the excitement of the A - Z, but I'm clapping in the background.

  • If you'd like me to come visit you (I want to visit my friends once a week to catch up on their posts), please leave a comment. Makes it easier to comment on my phone when I'm in transit--which is where I do most of my blog commenting. 

All the best A - Zers!

Wednesday, 3 April 2013

Insecure Writers Support Group Post - Are we open and transparent in our writing? Or does fear rule us?

Hi my friends! 

Do you struggle to be open and transparent in your writing, or do you keep a firm lid on your emotions?

Are you scared of putting too much of yourself 'out there' in your writing?

Are you scared of making yourself vulnerable? 

If we shield our most private ideas, insights and feelings we run the risk of our work coming out bland.  If vulnerability and fear rule us, we are not present in our own writing to the fullest extent. The reader will tell.

I'm in the third edit of my Harlequin-esque novel. I'm at the stage where I'm examining the story to see if I've gone deeply enough, been true to myself, true to my characters. Have I thought outside the square? Have I been too comfortable, too blase in my words?

At this stage of editing, I've been reading a few 'how-to' books, especially  Donald Maas' new tome - 21st Century Writing. Maas always has great advice and is always about digging deep, then digging deeper, upping those stakes. He wants us to make our characters cry - make them suffer - make them vulnerable.

Am I too afraid to do this? There's a fine line between authenticity and vulnerability, but that is where the best writing happens, according to Maas.

But sometimes we're just too afraid. Fear of others' judgment stymies us.  
We can let too much of other's opinions influence our work--not discriminating between what's right and true for our book and what's coming from fear of displeasing another (we seem to think everyone knows better than we do) --will avoid writing about certain touchy subjects, diluting their chapters until nothing substantial remains.  

As hard as it is, we must allow ourselves to be vulnerable.

The more vulnerability we bring to the page, the more joy and authenticity it will have for us and our readers.  If we embrace this vulnerability, 
we will believe in ourselves more...eventually.  

I'll leave you with a quote from  David Bayles and Ted Orland's excellent little book, Art & Fear. 

"Fears about art-making fall into two families:  fears about yourself, and fears about your reception by others.  In a general way, fears about yourself prevent you from doing your best work, while fears about your reception by others prevent you from doing your own work." 

Click on the badge to read more posts from IWSG.

Take time to be joyful to me today, as today is the day my husband and I move house. 

My Max Brenner Hug-a-Mug of hot chocolate. 
  • If you'd like me to come visit you during the A-Z (I want to visit my friends once a week to catch up on their posts), please leave a comment. Makes it easier to comment on my phone when I'm in transit--which is where I do most of my blog commenting. 

All the best A - Zers!