Wednesday, September 24, 2014

So You Wanna Be a Writer?

Then WRITE dammit!

I've always enjoyed writing. I wrote lyrics, poems, jokes, rewrote commercials to fit my ideas, and my own kiddy stories. All before I was twelve. Of the lot, only poems were shared because I knew I nailed the rhyming—my poor mother had to endure those. The rest? Well, come on, they "weren't good enough to share yet", but it didn't stop me from trying. Heck, I got in trouble in 4th and 5th grade for not doing homework . . . several times. Who had time for that? I was busy practicing for my "make-stuff-upper" future. Priorities and all. "Oh no TV time?" Well darn it . . . I guess I'll stay in my room . . . and write or read. Ha! Joke's on you my dear parents. The joke is ON you.

Here's the thing: I did it all in Spanish and that was cool and easy 'cause it's my first language. And then English happened when I moved here. Like seriously? WTF. It totally messed with my brain. Don't get me wrong, I loved learning it. But suddenly I thought: well there it goes, I can no longer write. Like there was some kind of law stopping me from pursuing a passion just because of language change. Stupidest thought I've ever had (cut me a break, though, I was only fourteen). Still, it took years for me to try again. Sure I did some original writing in high school and college but I *just knew* I could never be good enough because of language barrier. Again: WTF. I don't know about you, but sometimes I blow my own mind with my ridiculous thoughts. It's almost like I have a special gift for stopping myself from being brave or something.

Guess what? 
I still fancied myself a writer. But I didn't write. Therefore I wasn't. 

I can aspire to be a writer all I want. I can dream about it. I can make doodles on blank pages, but if I don't write at least a line or two, then I'm only fooling myself. And that's the worst: letting ourselves down. I didn't want to allow language insecurities getting to me and stopping me. So I wrote in Spanish and translated it to English. Then I tried in English as a big leap of faith . . . you'd think being creative in English was impossible the way I was going about it, but alas. The point is, I did it. I tried, then slowly and surely it became okay to call myself a writer. I realized it didn't matter if I shared my words or not, I just had to write. No excuses. 

What does that have to do with me now? Well, sometimes I still let the dream or fear take over and think I'm a fraud. But if I'm writing, I'm not. Right? (Just go with it) I have to keep going and remember the first step is to get butt in chair and write in whatever language/creative way the words speak to me.

I'm a writer. I will do the thing. 

How about you? 
Any silly excuse ever stop you from pursuing writing?

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Like OMG I’m Back in High School!

Okay, so back in high school I was a total nerd. I say "was" because I can fake it better now . . . thank goodness. I mean, just imagine what the popular kids would say . . . err, not the aspect I want to focus on (though, being a nerd—and the fact that I grew boobs—help a little bit with my "author's life" in general . . . don't ask).

As an author, in this day an age, we're expected to be in constant learning mode. Every time I think I have something figured out, there's something new to learn—exactly like a teenager learning about life, fake friends, and algebra. We have to market ourselves so the popular kids, a.k.a. readers, accept us and not make fun of us. We have to watch our backs from the bullies, and we have to stand up for those in our clique. Not to mention sweat bullets when the midterm exam comes around, because we were busy shopping at the mall instead of studying. In our case, wait until the last possible minute to meet our deadlines. 'Cause come on, so what if ARCs are supposed to go out in two days? Imma crank my CD player up, revise, chew bubble gum, edit, format, text mah girls, stalk the cute boy online, AND send the ARCs out right on time. Because BOOM! That's how teenagers roll yo.

But seriously, how am I supposed to call myself a writer in this century? Half the time I'm off researching and/or learning new things, the other half I'm out "selling" myself. Where is the actual writing? Sure, I suppose way back when it wasn't easy either, but I'm here now. And the writing world now demands we learn entrepreneurial madness if we dare call ourselves authors. Like ermahgerd!

Nothing I can do about it though. Marketing is part of deal and just like in high school, I have to have a "look" and make my brand proud by not being sloppy. Well, unless sloppy is your brand, then by all means rock it out. You leave me better chances with my crush (readers), after all. And that is a good thing 'cause apparently readers are all the rage. All the popular kids have them, and I'm working real hard to sit at that table. Well, actually I'm trying to set up my own cool table, wanna join? 

Social media is the center of it all, as soon as I learn one another one pops up. Sad thing is high school students actually know to work them better than us adults . . . which sometimes makes me want to really go back. But nah, I'm good. For now I'll just continue faking I know the new "trends" and wing it while trying to survive, just like I did in high school.

How bout you? 
How is high school treating you?

PS. You can find a guest post on my take of giving writerly advice over at The Writer Diaries. Hint: I fear doing that thing.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Failure to Plan is Planning to Fail — IWSG (14)

I'm a failure.

Like seriously. I suck. And hey, sucking is not always a bad thing, ahem, it means I'm being an overachiever in other aspects of my life—like being an awesome mom (Hollah!). This year has been nothing but me failing at reaching my writing goals. I keep saying I'm okay with it because . . . well the reasons: no rushing a product for the sake of rushing, family time, summer, CP-ing, must drink coffee, etc, etc. Recently however, it hit me that at some point my reasons—good or not—have become excuses.

The problem? I've failed to really plan. Mind you, I have really young toddler twins and my free time belong to them. They're the bosses, but they do sleep at night, and I happen to usually be an insomniac. I say usually because those little vampires have been sucking out my energy, and I'm brain dead as soon as their heads hit their pillow. That being said, I have been feeding my mind with my own outlets and working on several books, but, BUT, but, did I mention I've failed to plan?

I think that me being a pantser is coming back to bite me in the behind. I'm not sure I can really handle being a full-out outliner, but I have to at least plan better. My plots, my time, my naps, and my snaps. That last one maybe not so much, but it rhymed. Anyway, I realized that by not planning ahead I'm just making myself fail on purpose. That's just unacceptable. I'm working on a plan, which will include sub-plans, and a schedule. Of course since the kids started school today it becomes easier. I get two free hours a day for it, so there's that. I refuse to keep failing because of my own ridiculous doing. I can and will do better.

What about you? How have you been doing with your writing plans this year?

This post is part of the Insecure Writer's Support Group hop.
Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!  Posting is first Wednesday of every month. Click here for more info.