According to some people I like weird and unusual music. This is true, I like a lot of non-mainstream music. I listen to steampunk, dark music, symphonic metal, celtic folk, indie rock, musicals, Japanese, instrumental and any other sound which catches my fancy.
I was thinking about why I love many of these genres today and decided the root of it is because they makes me think. For me good music teaches me something or gets my mind working. I’ve learned new words from steampunk songs, history and folk lore from celtic folk, and delved into the depths of human emotion and motivation with indie rock and alternative music. I love instrumental because it offers no restrictions except for the mood of the sound and allows your imagination to take off. But the common thread is it gets me thinking and challenges me.
What’s some of the unusual music that you guys like? I’m always on the lookout for new music (;
~~Lady of the Pen~~
I found this quote awhile ago. “Find three hobbies you love: one to make you money, one to keep you in shape, and one to be creative.” That quote has stuck with me ever since. I can see the importance of having variety in my passions. My hobby to be creative (hopefully one day my career) is writing. But if I only focus on writing than I’ll be sitting in front of a computer screen all day and that’s not healthy. That’s where my hobby for keeping me in shape comes in. I’ve been practicing martial arts since I was 13. I took a 2 year break and have recently gotten back into it, but it’s made a huge difference in my life. I’d decided that I’d just focus on my writing and sure I might miss martial arts, but I don’t really have time or money for it. Well some doors recently opened up, by the grace of God, and I’m back into it and I’m a lot happier for it. It’s important to exercise both the body and the mind. As for a hobby for money…well I’m still working on that one. I hope that writing will one day be my hobby of creativity and money, but I’ve also played with the idea of photography or making jewelry as a side gig to bring in a little extra cash.
Whatever your hobbies may be, it’s important to have duality and balance in our lives, it makes us healthier more rounded people.
~~Lady of the Pen~~
Writing regularly is a challenge. People who are serious about writing have to treat it like a job, a fun, amazing job which lets you create worlds and people, but a job nonetheless. When you have a job, even if it’s one you love, there will always be days when you don’t want to go in, days you’d rather watch Tv or hang out with friends. With most jobs you shrug off these feelings, because you have a boss and it’s not acceptable to just not show up because you didn’t feel like it.
In writing, or many of the arts, we don’t have the luxury of someone standing over us cracking the whip. At least not when we’re first starting out. Later on we might have agents and publishers breathing down our necks to meet a deadline. But starting out all we have is our self discipline and our dreams to keep us going. So many days, even though we want to create, it’s easier to get caught up in the immediate. But the problem is that if you’re a writer and want to get published you have to put the time in and that’s not easy. Somedays it’s the last thing you want to do. But the question becomes do you want to look back in ten, twenty years and say you watched a lot of tv and wasted time? Or do you want to look back and see a trail of books–or art–that you created through the years?
I, for one, have so many ideas running through my head that I know I’m going to have to writing more and faster if I’m ever going to keep up with them. I have ups and downs with my writing, as do we all, but rarely am I writing as much as I know I should. I know that I need to start treating my writing as a priority if I’m ever going to capture all those delightful–sometimes dark, sometimes beautiful, perhaps a little twisted–ideas running rampant in my head.
I hope that all of us, in the coming year, can say no more often to the distractions and yes to The Work.
~~Lady of the Pen~~
In today’s fast pace society we rarely have time to be bored. There’s always something going on, something to do, something to watch or listen to. We avoid boredom and silence like the plague. But we forget that boredom can be a gift, it forces us to get creative. Forces us to think outside the box. When I was a child boredom fueled my imagination. There are few things as horrible as being bored when you’re a kid, so you make things up, you build things, and you imagine new worlds, anything to keep boredom at bay.
I’ve found that a little boredom is good for my creative life. It can be hard to take time to sit down and thinking about my writing, but a few hours of repetitive cleaning at work can really stir up my creative juices. A long walk gives my brain the silence it needs to work problems out, and come up with new ideas, long drives usually send my mind wandering in interesting directions too.
We need to allow ourselves the chance to slow down, to be bored and let our brain do its thing without a lot of over stimulation.
~Lady of the Pen~
This November I’m planning on re-writing last year’s NaNoWriMo novel. I am amazed and terrified to see how many things have changed for this story over the course of a year. I know this is a good thing, because first drafts usually are full of cliches and bad ideas, with a few hidden gems. But it’s hard not to second guess the decision to make these changes.
I used to write a first draft and consider the story almost done. I cringe to remember how proud I was of some of those first drafts. But they were important stepping stones and there were some great ideas, but I now see that all those stories would need serious reworking before they saw the light of day. I’ve learned that editing is more than proofreading and re-writing a scene here and there. You have to be willing to rework characters, plot arcs, and concepts which seemed essential in the first draft. The truth is that nothing is sacred in a first draft. Everything is subject to change.
Hopefully these changes will strengthen my novel and move me closer to publishing.
I wish all the NaNoWriMo participants the best of luck. I’ll see you at the finish line!
Now it’s time to stop procrastinating and get back to planning for November.
~~Lady of the Pen~~
Well it’s October, AKA Panic-And-Outline-Your-Novel-Month. November is just around the corner and while the rest of the world may associate November with Thanksgiving and pumpkins and the early start of the Christmas season, we writers associate it with NaNoWrioMo (The National Novel Writing Month) where we lock ourselves away, ignore the world, and stress over our respective novel projects for a month.
I’m not too panicked this year, I’m planning on re-writing the novel I wrote last year. So I at least know what I’m going to write. Still it will be a challenge trying to figure out how to fix the numerous problems in this novel. I am excited to get back to the novel, though. I really want to get it polished.
So who else is doing NaNo this year and what are you planning to write? If anyone would like to add me as a NaNoWriMo buddy my username is Lady_Of_The _Pen it’s always fun to meet new people and encourage each other during NaNo.
Best of luck to all!
~~Lady of the Pen~~
I’ve never been very good with plot structure, I’m a discovery writer, and so I usually only have vague ideas of where my story is going. But I’m learning that even if I don’t use a lot of structure in my first draft, I need to implement it in my editing. A few days ago one of my friends suggested this Youtube series on the Seven Point Plot Structure, it’s very detailed and super helpful. Dan Wells uses a lot of good examples so it’s easy to understand. I recommend it to anyone who’s interested in learning more about plot structure.