Her words struck a chord with me. As writers, we use our experiences to inform our characters' emotions—even when their experiences are different. It's just like method acting, I thought. After all, how many times have I been in a bad mood after a writing a particularly difficult moment in a character's journey? My writing bleeds into my daily life. In a sense, I become these characters—I take on their emotions. Is that not the same as method acting?
A quick search of the term "method writing" shows that I am not the first to consider this.
This post is a bit of an update and a bit of a reminder about something that I talk about all the time: priorities.
If you scroll back through my blog, you'll notice that the last post was March of this year. Ideally, I like to post once a week, at the bare minimum, so over two months without a post is definitely not what I'm shooting for.
I believe that we make things happen through the actions we take. Sometimes those actions are big—huge risks that either pay off or don't—but sometimes it's the smallest actions that have the biggest impact. We choose our paths through the seemingly insignificant decisions we make every day. Do we choose to spend an hour writing or working out, or do we spend that hour watching television? Do we get enough sleep at night? Or do we down a couple cups of coffee and hope that's enough?
All these small choices will eventually determine our futures. But today, I want to talk about just one choice:
Writers have to be extremely persistent, ridiculously stubborn, and just a little bit stupid. Writers experience more rejection than most people do—or could handle. Writers either develop thick skin, stop submitting, or take up drinking.
I believe that the toughness it takes to keep putting yourself out there, and being rejected, over and over is a learned skill. We're not born with emotional armor, but we develop it because the writing is more important. We make a conscious decision to prioritize our aspirations above our emotional comfort.
A large number of writers who approach me about professional editing don't know what type of editing they need. There's nothing wrong with that, and I am always happy to discuss options and help clients understand which editing service will benefit their manuscript the most.
That said, having an idea of where to begin makes the process simpler when you do contact an editor. If you're considering professional editing, go through the choices below to find out whether you're ready to get the most out of the editing process and what type of editing will be best for your manuscript.
Before we get started, here are a few basic terms.
High-Level Editing. This type of editing address elements including plot, structure, character development, setting, etc. During high-level editing, we deal with pages and paragraphs and address the manuscript from a broad perspective.
Low-Level Editing. This type of editing deals with style, readability, grammar, punctuation, etc. This is editing of the prose—words and sentences.
Beta Reader. This is someone who reads the manuscript after self-editing but before professional editing. The ideal beta reads often in the genre and is able to offer constructive feedback.
Ready? Answer the questions below to determine which editing service is the best fit for you!
If you follow me on Twitter or are part of the Community of Readers & Writers, you may have noticed some crickets as of late. It's been a busy time. Of course, the holidays are always hectic, but I've also been taking care of this little monster, the world's greatest chewer, digger, and stick collector.
I promise I won't bite your sweatshirt this time. Really.
If you have a writer friend in your life, you've bought them so many books, pens, and notebooks that the Barnes & Noble employees know to watch for you around the holidays. Maybe you've even braved Black Friday crowds to find your writerly loved one the perfect gift. (If so, hats off to you.)
This year, let's make things easier. As much as writers love the perfect pen/paper combination, there's one thing they want way more: to be published. This year, help your writer friend take an important step toward publication with professional editing.
I've put together a few editing gift packages. Simply prepay for the editing, and your friend will be ready to take their writing to the next level. When you purchase a package, I'll send you a customized PDF gift card. You can email the PDF to your writerly loved one, or you can print it out and wrap it up nice and pretty. (If you want to be that person, nest it inside three—or twelve—wrapped boxes.)
These prepaid gifts have no expiration date. Your friend can redeem them anytime! And if you know your writer would want something different than the packages listed below, shoot me an email and we'll create a customized package just for them.
Scroll to the bottom of the page to claim your gift package!
If you've ever lifted weights or been in a room with someone who does, you know there is one thing that everyone loves to do and talk about. Whether we're talking about Olympic weightlifters or powerlifters, they all love max days and hitting PRs (personal records). They love pulling heavy deadlifts and massive snatches. In other words, lifting heavy shit. It feels great, and there's nothing like that adrenaline rush. But guess what? PRs don't happen overnight or by accident. They happen because of hard work and hours spent doing the stuff no one really wants to do. In other words, PRs happen because of rep days.
How This Applies to Writing
But we're not talking about weightlifting. We're talking about writing. I've compared writing to working out many times, and I hold that there are tons of similarities. In both disciplines, hard work = awesome gains. Whether the goal is to lift heavier or write captivating words, the only way to achieve goals is to put in the work.
Today, I'm brushing the cobwebs off this blog. I didn't intend to take a break from blogging, but it's been a very stressful few months, both good and bad. The CliffsNotes version...
I brought home an amazing little husky puppy who's been growing like crazy and destroying everything he can find.
I've been spending a ton of time hiking and backpacking in the mountains, which keeps me sane.
I bought a new car, which I love. The day after I took off the drive-out tags, it was vandalized—and I don't mean keyed. They put in some serious effort.
And I'm in the process of buying a house.
When things get hectic, sacrifices have to be made. And sometimes it comes down to remembering to breathe and put one foot in front of the other. My clients always come first, and I'm sorry to say that this blog, my YouTube channel, and my own writing have been a few of the casualties.
I'd like to say that's all changing, but I've got a while to go before life begins to level out.
This July, I'm participating in Camp NaNoWriMo. But unlike most, I didn't set a word count goal.
If you're not familiar with Camp NaNoWriMo, it's just like November's National Novel Writing Month, except instead of setting their sights on 50,000 words over the course of the month, participants set their own goals. They may want to write 20k words—or 80k. It's all up to the writer.
This July, my novel is not my main focus, for a few reasons. I'm spending a lot of time building my business. I'm in the early stages of house hunting. I'm spending more time in the woods, hiking and backpacking (which has been a huge contribution toward my continued sanity). I'm also querying a previous work. And I'm taking care of a new puppy and spending as much time as possible with him.
Oh, you haven't seen pictures? You must not follow me on Twitter.