Monday, March 18, 2013

Trying Not to Empty the Well of My Writing

A few months ago I mentioned that I was working on a super in detail crazy outline. Well, the update is that I've finished that outline (25,000 words!) and I've now started working on complete draft number three.

My outline is crazy detailed, and really I've given myself EVERYTHING that I need to pretty much just write this draft until I'm done (if I could go without sleep for about a week...). Yet I'm STILL "getting stuck."

Where do I get stuck? Well, before I begin. There are so many times when I cannot bring myself to start writing because my thoughts are along the lines of but I don't know where it's going... I don't know what should happen...

If you saw my outline, you would realize that those are really lame excuses. I know what is going to happen!! I just have to write it!!

A few days ago I figured out my problem. I'm one of those people that likes to get things done, so naturally I like writing to the end of the scene because I feel like I've accomplished something. If I leave a scene half written, I feel like that's one thing I can't cross off my to do list.

However, starting with a new scene every time is hard! Awhile ago I read some writing advice that said you should stop when you're on a roll - even in the middle of a sentence. Heck, ESPECIALLY in the middle of a sentence.

I'm writing this post right after I wrote a bit, and I probably only had a few sentences left before I would've completed the scene I was writing. Instead of finishing it, I stopped mid-thought. I know exactly what I want to happen next, I just have to write it. So I don't have to start completely fresh next time, I just have to pick up the thread where I left off.

When do you stop writing? Mid-thought? The end of a scene/chapter?

“I learned never to empty the well of my writing, but always to stop when there was still something there in the deep part of the well, and let it refill at night from the springs that fed it.” ~ Ernest Hemingway

Monday, March 11, 2013

On Taking A Gap Year

Today I want to talk about the "gap year" phenomena. A "gap year" for those who don't know, is a term for taking a year off between high school and university or any other post-secondary education. For most people in North America, the progression of life is:  graduate from high school, go to university.

There is a lot of controversy over the issue of the "gap year", and numerous articles stating the pros and cons.

Right now I'm in the midst of my gap year. My experience with my gap year so far has been amazing. I'm working at a school in the Philippines. I've met so many people, learned so much, and come to appreciate the world in an entirely new way. I've also come to a much greater understanding of things than I did before.

I'm also so psyched to go back to school. At the end of last year, the last thing I wanted to do was more school. I miss it so much though! I miss studying, I miss learning. I learned how to convert cassettes to mp3s the other day and that 5 minutes of learning was the best part of my day just because I love it so much.

So obviously I'm in support of the gap year. But like anything, you have to find what works for you. I read a lot of writing blogs that always give that advice - yeah, look at all this writing advice out there, but you don't have to follow all of it. Do what works for you.

Same goes for gap years. You don't have to take a gap year if that's not what works for you. You don't have to go and volunteer somewhere for a year (although I think traveling is a great way to open your mind, especially to developing countries), you don't have to work and earn money for a year, but you can. And you can go to university right away too. It depends on you, and what works best for you and your needs.

So, this advice might not apply to you specifically, but maybe it will help someone in the long run. :)

Monday, March 4, 2013

The Struggles of Loving Books

OK, THIS is why I hate making a promise to blog every week. Because you get to these days where you know you don't have anything to say but nothing, and you have to post anyway.

I was going to write a book review, because those are faily straightforward but the only book I've read lately is Half the Sky - which is a good book, and I do recommend it, but non-fiction book reviews are something I'd rather stay away from (at least in public). Especially when the book is on a topic as complex as what Half the Sky was on (international development and women, in case you were wondering).

Then I thought I could talk about the latest thing I'm interested in (like I did when I talked about the Lizzie Bennet Diaries two weeks ago), but the only thing I could think of was that I watched Newsies on Saturday night with some friends and fell in love with it again. But really the most I can say about that is that it's awesome, and that every song and dance is absolutely amaziinggg.

Or I could talk about how today for some reason I was thinking of how I went to see The Hunger Games in theatres with my best friend a total of three times, which when you say out loud to people sounds really weird and then you kind of feel embarassed. Especially since you're working in a Christian school and a lot of people with a Christian background struggle with seeing past the violence in that book to see the big picture (lots of people have problems with this kind of not-seeing-the-big-picture thing, by the way, not just Christians).

But I love The Hunger Games anyway. However, because of all the different opinions and views and the popularity of THG, I find myself quite often wishing that I was the only one who knew about it and could love it in secrecy and peace, as opposed to having to feel like I have to defend my love for it all the time, or explain that I am not just reading them for the so-called love triangle that everyone else seems to be hooked on.

Books can go the other way, too. For example, I adore the book Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta. So often I wish more people I knew had read this book and fallen in love with it. Unfortunately most people have different tastes, and there is almost nothing more heartbreaking than wanting someone to fall in love with a book so you can love it together, and have them come back just to have them shrug their shoulders at you.

Well. Obviously I have nothing to say today. ;)

So, what books have you fallen in love with that you want to share with the world? What popular books do you wish you could keep all to yourself?


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