Monday, June 16, 2014

Does Writing Make You a Better Person?

As writers and as people, we constantly work to better ourselves. We develop our craft. We try to be nicer. Usually, these are two different goals that must be achieved separately. However, sometimes we can improve both areas of our lives at once.

Learning patience is essential to staying a "sane" writer. Everything about the book business is slow. You have to wait to hear back from beta readers, critique partners, agents, editors, publishers, reviewers. It takes months for a book to be published even after it's been sold.

But patience is a good thing to have for non-writing related interactions as well. It makes you a better business negotiator and customer service representative. Your own personal relationships will benefit from better communication and less frustration.

The ability to listen also helps in the examples above. Writers learn to listen in an attempt to garner experiences for their writing. Many writers have mastered the art of eavesdropping. In this way, they study realistic dialogue and displays of emotion.

Beyond outward people skills, writers foster a better general understanding of people. It's easy for us to put ourselves in someone else's shoes. If it wasn't, it'd be impossible for us to write our stories. Writers know that everyone thinks and reacts differently. That everyone has a reason for doing what they do. It's a small switch from utilizing this way of thinking in their work to exercising it in their day-to-day confrontations.

Writers also know that no one is perfect. Everyone has flaws. And writers have learned to see the beauty in those flaws. A perfect character is boring. It's one of the first things a writer learns. It's a rule that applies to real people just as well. Our blemishes shape us into who we are. A writer recognizes that.

I'm in no way saying that writers are superior human beings who trail rainbows in their wake. I myself can be rather moody and I'm not always the most fun to be around. But I'm still growing, still "trying to be nicer," as we all are, and I think writing urges that along.

What about you? Does writing make you a better person?

Thursday, June 12, 2014

I'm Taking a Trip!

I'm going to be on vacation, visiting my family, until the second week of July. I'm not telling you this because I'm going to be gone. Quite the opposite, I hope to have a lot to report to you in the coming weeks.

This trip means lots of free time. My parents work during the day and sleep at night, meaning I only get to spend time with them from five to ten. I figured that I should probably use the rest of my day (errr, night) to get some much needed writing done.

So I've set myself three tasks:
  1. Make significant progress on THINKING OF YOU revisions.
  2. Add a big chunk of words to OBJECTION during the first week of July/Camp NaNoWriMo.
  3. Read through and edit the NaPoWriMo 2014 poems.
As you can see, I've decided to use Camp NaNoWriMo's July session to finish OBJECTION. I want to fulfill my original April 18k goal, meaning I'm aiming for 11,193 words for July. If I pass that, and I'm not finished with the draft, I plan to continue with OBJECTION. If I finish the draft, I plan to move on to the untitled lucky genes story draft.

I'll have more up about my plans for THINKING OF YOU soon. Keep your eyes open for something big. ;)

Tuesday, June 03, 2014

Time to Read < Books to Read

I own too many books that I haven't read. 183. 30.6% of my book collection. Right now, I'm working toward 30% or 179 unread books. I'm not allowing myself to buy any new books until I achieve that goal. Based on my recent reading pace, this will be in about a month. And I can't wait.

As I've been working toward 30%, I've also been compiling a list of books I want. This list hasn't been a major focus, but I've definitely thought about it when reading book blogs and the like. One day, however, instead of happy future-book-buying thoughts, browsing a book blog sent me into a panic. Looking at tons of books that sounded great, I realized I was never going to have time to read them all.

If it takes me about a month to read four books, it'll take me forty-six months just to read the books I already own. That's almost four years! O.O Then there are all the books I want, but don't own yet. An immeasurable amount. After that, there's all the books that will be written and published in my lifetime that I'll want to read. I can't even fathom how many that will be.

I am literally going to die before I can read them all. And that is one depressing fact I will never be able to change. So I guess I'll just read as often as I can and enjoy the stories I do have time for.

Unless you have a better idea? I'd love to hear it.