“Listen, I wish I could tell you it gets better, but it doesn’t get better. You get better.”— JOAN RIVERS
A lot of articles that will stimulate your thinking this week. And some pretty stuff.
- Wonderful woodworking projects.
- I’ve never gone to a county fair. Have you?
- I never knew sea grass was so interesting.
- Dreams may be the key to your creativity.
- Feedback hurts. How to accept it in stride, and how to give it constructively.
- Habitat for Humanity in Phoenix is trying out 3D printed homes.
- Extraordinary photos of ocean waves.
- Just the thought of tattoos makes me cringe, but these are amazing.
- James Rey Sanchez discusses his process and how he broke into illustrating children’s books.
- A painter discusses Paul Cézanne’s still lifes. More about Cézanne.
- Halloween is less than two months away. There is no better time for writing horror. Here are thirteen tips.
- Whatever the art, you’ve got to put in the time. Every day.
Because writing is such a solitary pursuit, unless we writers have someone to vent to, we can lose our perspective and objectivity, especially where our own writing is concerned. And while we know that everyone’s path is unique, sometimes we compare ourselves to others and find ourselves lacking.
When that happens, the voices in our heads pontificate, and we believe them.
Here’s what the voices are telling me right now:
- What I’m writing is not very good.
- I’ll never get a book into print.
- If I haven’t broken through yet, it’ll never happen—I’m too old.
In my darkest moments, I believe it. I’m ready to quit. I’m ready to pivot. I’ll be a reader, or a quilter, instead. I’ll spend my time practicing piano. I’ll throw myself into Zentangle, or drawing, or painting. There are so many better ways I could spend my life, so many things I’d rather be doing.
I love all those things. I squeeze them in. In between my writing.
I’m addicted to writing. I hate it. I love it. I can’t not write.
So I remind myself:
- I’m a better writer now than I was a few years ago. I keep growing.
- Writing is a challenging career. The most important ingredient of success is perseverance.
- Some people take a longer time than others to reach their goals.
So, why am I writing this? To vent? A little. But also because I know someone out there is hearing those same discouraging pronouncements from the voices in her head. I want to say, I’ve been there. I know what you’re going through. Don’t give up. Write for yourself. Write for that one person who needs to read what you’re writing. Trust that someday, some way, your words will get into that person’s hands.
Don’t believe the lies.
A lot of interesting articles this week.
- Cats in stores.
- I never really understood how vital the bison had been to the ecology of the prairies. Read how Native Americans are spearheading the effort to reintroduce bison to the wild.
- Don’t you just hate it when you’re writing a scene in your novel and you get stuck? Here’s three ways to get unstuck.
- Are you tempted to throw in the towel? Here’s why you should persevere.
- Children’s book authors: when you submit a picture book manuscript, do you show where the page breaks are? It’s a controversy, but I like this approach.
- A stroll through Jersey City, including a couple of awesome murals (be sure to scroll to the end).
- Crap. I think I may be the friend that all my friends lovingly tolerate. I recognize myself in this poem.
- The search for authenticity.
- Oooo. More artistic people to follow on Instagram.
- Yellow Submarine means different things to different people.
- Connecting our Natural Worlds is an art quilt exhibition. In addition to photographs of the quilts, the website has links to videos of the artists talking about their creations.
- How to write fiction about drug abuse when you have no clue.
Go ahead: waste 21 minutes. I promised you won’t regret it.