… I start to list all my projects and explain why they’re exciting. With a varied, ever shifting workload, there’s always an update on ongoing projects or a few new ones to catch them up on. Soon their eyes glaze over. My work isn’t exactly a predictable 9-5. Every day is vastly different than the next, so I have much more to talk about than they expected. After a while they grasp onto the one thing they know I’ve got going on: “Are you still working on the same novel?”
Unless you’re the type to pop one out every year or to toss your draft when something better comes along, novels are long term commitments. So yes, I’m working on the same novel.
Writing is my life. It’s strange to start answering someone’s question and then immediately realize that the person really has no idea what I’m talking about. I’m sure that people in a lot of fields feel that. I really have no idea what my Dad is talking about when he gets into technical jargon–sometimes far before the jargon even starts coming out. (Sorry Dad!) So how do we talk about our lives and our work in a way that helps others understand?
For me, I feel like I ought to condense my explanation. Maybe give the broad scope: I write for print and online magazines, I’m working on two books, and I freelance edit on the side. (Even that sounds like a mouthful, but believe me, that’s the short version.) And then I should focus on whatever they seem most interested in.
Do you come across this problem? How do you explain your work?
Art can be a lonely endeavor. Your muse spills onto a canvas, a page, a screen—and that intense focus often requires solitude. Your mind delves into invisible worlds, trying to pull slivers of imagination into reality. It takes a lot of work to communicate your original vision but, no matter what, it will be a shadowy simulacra of the original thought. Though solitude can be a helpful meditation to invoke your muse, community remains an essential component both the creative process and your survival in the ever-competitive professional realm.
Networking is a hive of potentiality, but before I explain, let’s do away with any negative connotations that may buzz around your brain…(Read more at StoryForge and see illustrations from some fantastic artists who were kind enough to collaborate with me!)
Sometimes I critique books as I read. Though some prose surprises me with its artistry and rhetoric, other styles snag. My mind has been trained to edit and critique, so nit-picking has become involuntary and even burdensome. When I pick the book up again, I rebel against my education and force my brain to shut down. The gears slow; I can finally enjoy the story.
I’m not the only one with this problem, I know. Recently a friend’s child announced that she wanted to be a chocolate taster when she grew up. One wise adult quickly discouraged her… Read More at StoryForge Productions…
Ripped mercilessly off their shelves, books congregate by color. Homesickness sets in as they wait for their turn with the camera.
Last week when the hubby came home from work, a mess of books sprawled across the dining table. He asked; I explained:
When I quit my semi-traditional salaried job last month, I decided to dive headfirst into freelancing. I bought a domain. I shot pictures for the website’s headers–discovering that that green books have too many tones to match well, but blue and red are nicely uniform. Superfluities aside, Continue reading →
It’s the weekend. Technically it’s time to be done with work. But what am I doing? Writing an article on storytelling and character growth in Spirited Away! Why? Because I love stories, Miyazaki, and StoryForge.
The article is already over 2,000 words, so it’s time to pull back and start chopping to the heart of the issue. That movie is so complex and wonderful; it’s hard to stop adding to the analysis!
For writers, it’s easy to get stuck in a rut by labeling ourselves as ‘novelists’ or ’poets’ and failing to look into the uncharted regions of commercial writing. Sometimes we…
Here’s my latest article for StoryForge! (Connect with them on Facebook for updates on articles, inspiration, and their fantastic webcomic.)
Over the past year and a half, I have written articles for a group of interior decor magazines and picked up other gigs along the way. And I love it, partially because am paid to write, and partially because I learn so much in the process!
After a whole year of writing articles about pretty houses, I finally took some of my own medicine and actually DID one of the tips that I tell people to do: I spray painted two grungy brass lamps for a clean, … Continue reading →