Saturday, December 24, 2011

10 days of determination: day 10 - love.

for the last day, it can be summed up in one word.


love what you do. if writing is becoming that much of a headache,
your boredom and apathy will be reflected in the words that follow.
love yourself. and that love will move your readers and possibly
inspire them on their own journey. it's not sappy. people like to
talk about what's 'real' and shout 'real talk' all the time. you
live with love, and write with love. and you won't need to tell
anyone it's real. they'll see it for themselves.

that concludes the 10 Days of Determination. i hope that you will
be able to take something from this series, and i had a good time
writing it and sharing it. hope you had just as much of a good time
reading it! until the next time!

Friday, December 23, 2011

10 days of determination: day 9 - surround yourself with the best.

i thought you might get a chuckle out of Dr.Doom.

but what that illustrates, for any writer - anyone for that
matter - is the need to have a group of people around you
who support you not only with words of encouragement but the
shining example of their minds and deeds. there are very few
people who have done anything by themselves. it pays to have
a solid support system.

i've found that my writing has only been strengthened over the
year because i've been able to observe how other creators and
artists approach their work and life. it's not a question of
mimicry; i'm not one to buy into the old cliche' that 'imitation
is the sincerest form of flattery.' what it boils down to is,
allowing yourself to become a sponge and let their knowledge
inform your spirit and subsequently, your writing. you should
never write with an aim to totally block outside influences. i
have been blessed to have many influences in friends and family
and even strangers to inform my spirit on how it should voice
itself in my work. and i hope to never lose that. make sure that's
a concrete part of your approach.

the last post will be tomorrow...stay tuned!!

10 days of determination: Day 8 - above the clouds.

one of the absolute wonders of flight is the ability to soar
farther than the eye can see. and you get that feeling every
time you go up in an airplane. if you're not afraid of flying
and heights that is. i find myself entering a state of utter
calm on flights once we break through the bank of clouds and
travel above them. it's an escape from whatever worries seem
to tether you to the ground...

for writing, you've got to embody this airy feeling. it's good
in two ways. first, you train yourself to enter a state that's
not totally about relaxation, but about getting into a frame of
mind that will allow you to effectively compose your paragraphs
and further illustrate the nuances of your characters. the second
reason is that you can also take up the task of being observant
about your work from an outsiders' clinical position. being a
bit detached helps because you wind up getting an opportunity
to imagine realistically how someone would view what you've
written. it gives you a decided advantage.

that's it for now...until the next time!!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

10 days of determination: Day 7 - Focus.

this is simple enough...nothing can be obtained, nothing can
be begun or completed without a definitive focus. we take it
for granted as writers. some of us always think it'll be there
without delay. others fall into the trap of thinking they can
switch it on and off like their bedroom illumination. (i admit
i fall prey to this bad habit at times.)possessing a great sense
of focus is important. it can mean the difference between a
great written work and something slapped together like a bacon
and eggs greasy spoon breakfast. if you find that you have issues
concentrating, work on creating a routine(which i'll touch on in
the next posting)that will help you build up your attention span
and fortify any drop-offs in concentration.

until the next time!!

10 days of determination: day 6 - create a beacon of light

today's the first day of winter and it means many days ahead
where you won't be seeing the sun burn bright. if you notice
that your spirits drop a bit, you're not alone; medical research
has found that there is such a condition known as 'seasonal
depression' that exists. it can affect everything you do. so
how does this pertain to writers and writing?

some say that writers are a particularly sensitive breed of
people. i'm inclined to agree, only because that is part of
our toolkit to create powerful stories. we need to be sensitive
to everything around us and within us so that we can also get
those voices in our heads out onto the page. but we also risk
getting too wrapped up in our surroundings. especially now. so
i suggest that if things get too dark for you where it not
only affects your writing but other aspects of your life, try
to create a beacon of light to cut through it. one thing i like
to do is to get outdoors and walk around, no matter how cold
and overcast it is. you need light in some form or fashion.
another thing to do is to get candles and/or tealights set
up around your space. you'd be surprised how soothing that
kind of lighting is as opposed to fluorescent lighting. also,
if you find yourself down, borrow a practice from Deepak Chopra.
sit and imagine a brilliant sun beginning to form in your belly.
envision the glare, imagine its heat. let it become so big that
you feel it step outside of your body. the Taoists also use
this practice in channeling chi.

that's it for now, until the next time!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

10 days of determination: day 5 - stay grounded.

the image up top is from the hit movie, 'Inception'. the
spinning top. it was used as a totem by Leonardo DiCaprio's
character as a way to stay attached to reality while being
heavily ensconced in the dream state.

this applies to writing as well, in my experience. you should
always make it a point to stay grounded within the work. try
not to put yourself in a position where you'll be disappointed
if you don't reach your writing goals. that's happened to me
so many times i've lost count. another aspect of that is, allow
for the work to accept changes and that will make it better.
i always think about the one character in Albert Camus' 'The
Plague' who wanted to write the perfect novel but never got past
the first page. you have to be realistic enough to let the story
flow from your spirit as it should and then make changes when you
need to. and lastly, have pride in your writing but not so much
that you belittle others' work needlessly or out of envy at their

until the next time, enjoy!

Monday, December 19, 2011

10 days of determination: day 4 - leaping

what's the first thing you do on a Monday?

besides hitting the snooze button.

you may grumble about Monday being here, having to go
work amidst people who are doing the same lemon-faced
bit you're doing. and it sticks with you throughout
the day. and it's a routine that you go through almost
every Monday. but, what if you approached it differently?
what if you treated Monday with some excitement? what
if you greeted it with vigor instead of making it such
a dreaded part of your life? what i'm proposing here is,
leap into it with enough energy to get through it and
not be worn out by negative energy.

taking the initiative to leap into something is something
every writer needs. there's moments when you'll get stuck
on a line, or a passage. you do the wise thing, which is
to step away and come back to it later. but then something
happens. you start looking at it as if it's a chore instead
of carrying it through with the same ardor you had at the
beginning of the work. for some who write, that moment can
ruin their progress. it's killed careers. personally, there's
some days i wake up and think of what has to be done and let
out an sigh(after giving thanks for waking up that is). and
THEN i get to work. because making your spirit take that leap
means you get over any obstacles in your way and in the way
of the work. more often than not, a writer's biggest enemy
can be their own lethargy. so take a leap past lethargy the
next time you face a rough patch with your writing after being
away from it for a while. you'll appreciate how far that
jump can take you.