31 Days of Blogging – Day 6, Knowledge pt. 2

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Hi, everyone, I’m Tad.

Josh is sick, so he can’t be here today, but he made a list of things he wanted to say and asked if I’d write the post instead.

Here’s what he says,

  • Write what you know can be limiting in fiction.
  • This creates an excuse to learn more.
  • Imagining ourselves as other people/in other places can be just as valid as our own experience.

Okay, now that I’ve got that out of the way, we can move on to what I want to say.

Continue reading “31 Days of Blogging – Day 6, Knowledge pt. 2”

Business Thursday – The Ghosts of Projects Past

Over the past two weeks I’ve been talking about my goals for 2017 and how I intend to reach them. Among those goals, I’ve mentioned starting a new series without really specifying what that would be.

The reason for that is twofold.

First, I don’t want to get ahead of myself. It’s going to be best for me if I focus on the immediate tasks and projects. I’m working on the sequel to INTO THE SILENCE right now, so that’s my top priority as far as fiction is concerned. Then, because apparently that isn’t enough for me, I started up this 31 day blogging challenge, and that’s requiring a fair amount of concentration to maintain.

Adding the mental load of planning a new series isn’t in the cards just yet.

But it will be. I’ve got time set aside later in the year for that.

The second reason, however, is that I simply haven’t decided yet. I’ve got too many to choose from.

Continue reading “Business Thursday – The Ghosts of Projects Past”

31 Days of Blogging – Day 5, Knowledge

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The problem with clichés is that we don’t take the time to unpack the nugget of wisdom that led to these phrases becoming clichéd in the first place. We just rattle them off as if everyone knows what we’re trying to say.

Write What You Know is another one of those that’s been tossed around without consideration for what it means. But the wisdom inherent to it remains evergreen even now.

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31 Days of Blogging – Day 4, Flow

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Whenever I restart my writing habit, the words come haltingly. Sparingly. In fits and starts.

Reaching 500 words on my first blog in this series took an effort of will and concentration brought about only because I had made a commitment to do this challenge.

When I start writing fiction again after a break, my brain feels cobwebby. I find my characters to be redundant and repetitive, my prose dull.

(Later, I can’t often tell what parts I wrote when I was tired/bored/cobwebby vs when I felt fully engaged with the text. But in the moment of writing, all of my resistance comes to bear on those early days.)

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31 Days of Blogging – Day 3, Mornings

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I’m no stranger to the power of mornings, even though I’m more often a stranger of mornings themselves than not.

My family tends more toward the night-owl nature.

Whether they would completely agree with me on that, I can’t say, but it is my observation that we all struggle to get up in the mornings and happily chat our way to midnight or later.

(For you true insomniacs and night-owls, realize that midnight really is quite late for those who have to be up at six or seven in the morning. Sometimes even earlier.)

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31 Days of Blogging – Day 2, Why

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It’s the most important question you can ask whenever you set out to do a thing.

Why?

Why do it?

Why go to the trouble?

From an unmotivated perspective — one I myself had not too long ago — it can sound like a discouragement.

Why would you even think of doing the thing you are about to do?

What’s the point?

And in that mindset, you want to keep the question as far from your mind as possible.

When trapped in lethargy, motion of any kind is a positive act.

But once you get the ball rolling, and action is automatic (or near enough to), then you need to start asking the most important question.

Why?

If you don’t have a satisfactory answer to this question, you’ll never be able to sustain your efforts. You might survive for a week or more on sheer willpower, but that’s an easily-exhausted resource that you’ll run out of eventually.

Trust me. I know from experience.

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Meditation Monday – Stillness

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“Never be in a hurry; do everything quietly and in a calm spirit. Do not lose your inner peace for anything whatsoever, even if your whole world seems upset.”
-Saint Francis de Sales

It’s easy to feel at peace and confident at the start of the year. For many of us, this is the time to start new projects, set new goals, and shoot for the stars.

And that’s good.

But soon after that optimistic surge, the rest of the world decides to intrude, reminding us of all the pain and sorrow in the world, filling our time with obligations we have that are outside of our control.

We all talk about how much busier we are now than we were one, five, ten, or twenty years ago. How the world is speeding up.

All that may be true. But we were complaining about it a hundred years ago, so this feeling of relative acceleration isn’t new. And it’s not going away.

“Never be in a hurry.”

Just because the world around you demands that you move faster doesn’t mean that you have to listen. You can refuse this beast of busy-ness (never satisfied no matter how much you feed it) by simply finding a quiet moment in the day.

During days that seem intent on eating up our time by the hour, setting aside ten minutes to be still feels like a day at the beach.

And we could all use a day at the beach in January.