Saturday, November 27, 2010

Over at Castles & Guns today!

Come on over- today I'm blogging about the end of a very interesting year on non-submitting.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Why can’t I get focused?

Ok, so obviously I’ve been slacking on here- Nov 10th was a wee bit longer than a week ago.

I have no excuse but pure slacker-dom! Granted it is the holiday season, and there are many things out there to tempt us easily distracted folks.

But this is more than just holidays- this is a problem.

I love to write, I even in a sick way, love to edit (more of the storyline edits than nuts and bolts grammar). But why does it sometimes seem like I lose track? I’ll be chugging along, then I finish my project of the moment and just wander off mentally. A break is good, but too long and the routine is lost.

I’d been thinking about this very subject when a wonderful author posted a link to another author discussing the same thing.
Why writers procrastinate. Logically it doesn’t make sense, we love what we do, it gives us pleasure- yet we put off doing it. Akin to loving candy but deciding reaching for that box is too much work ;).

This great blog I spoke of mentions a big part of it is that it’s far easier and safer NOT to write- to just chug along in our little cocoon and maybe think about writing. But she also mentioned how to get around it and a part that struck me was ritual.

Humans used to have lots of rituals, they helped us understand our place in life, moved us from different life stages, help us deal with grief, happiness, and just about everything. As our society changed, we lost the ritual aspect and I think that’s a sad thing.

But why not have rituals for writing? Things that we do every day when we prepare to work on our stories that help us focus and tell the mind, “This is what we’ll be doing now” without having to fight our way into it. (Or worse, don’t do it unless our muse speaks to us.)

At a conference I went to last fall Lisa Gardner mentioned she uses scent- she has a favorite candle that she lights when she writes to get focused and let the mind know this is what’s going on.

I think I need to develop some sort of rituals of my own, ones that will be both general (writing now or editing now) as well as project specific since I plan on doing more than one novel/project a year.

I’m good with the candle idea, and I will get my workspace a little more user friendly. But I need more. Do any of you have great “rituals” to get your butt in the chair and the project moving? Since I’m entering a major editing stage right now any ones specific for that will be really appreciated!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Passion and Commitment- lessons from a TV show

I just got back from the annual gathering of the Scapers- aka fans of the lamentingly cancelled tv show- Farscape.

Now before you pooh pooh the idea of learning something of lasting value from a tv show, let me explain.

First- if you like SF, SFR, or just love great storytelling- YOU need to go see this show. Rent the DVD’s, borrow them from friends- buy them-whatever, but see it. This show was quite possibly the most inventive and original SF show ever made. It also has a great romance line (a few actually) running through it.

Now I am a certifiable geek girl- no question- but this show impacted my life far more than anything else. For one, I have some wonderful amazing folks in my life whom I never would have known without this show and the annual conventions. Two- the wild storytelling and unique characters influenced my writing in subtle ways. It also influenced how I see the creative world and how much us creative folks have to fight for our dreams.

When asked how Farscape did what it did in terms of creating an amazing and ground breaking show, the answer was passion and commitment.

This passion and commitment came from the top creators and ran down to the stunt people. They wanted to do something amazing. Something unique, special, and unfortunately expensive (the death of the show was due to the high costs). They could have compromised their vision. The show got turned down by Fox- a death kneel for any tv pilot. But they stuck with how they saw it, they fought long and hard to get it made their way. And they created so much passion and commitment from their fans (aka Scapers ;)) that the fans fought long and hard to get it back when it was cancelled prematurely. This fight by the fans lead the a miniseries which allowed the show to reach its envisioned ending.

As writers we need to have that type of passion and commitment to our work. NOTHING can stand in our way. We need to be willing to fight long and hard to get our visions, our worlds to the reading public. If I affect just one person the way Farscape affected the fans, I would count myself successful indeed.

It’s too easy in our field to blame the industry for our lack of success. But the fact is, there are many far more brutal industries about-I look at the folks behind Farscape as an example of a group of people who fought such an industry and for quite a while won the battle.

Never forget publishing is a tough field- but with passion and commitment towards our visions- we will make it.

Have any tv shows influenced your writing?

And you folks who haven’t seen this show- DO SO! Especially if you like SFR- you have no excuse for not seeing this.