It’s been two weeks since I’ve posted anything. I think that’s a first! Obviously, I haven’t been the most consistent blogger. I believe myself to have a good reason, though…
To work towards my goal of submitting 3 pieces each to both contests and magazines/journals, I’ve been hard at work constructing stories.
On Tuesday, I attended the Jane Urquhart reading at the library. For those of you who aren’t yet aware, Jane is a very successful writer from Ontario. She has won many, many awards and held many roles in various literary communities. As she was introducing her book, Sanctuary Line, she said something that struck me. She said that when she learns about something (a fact, a story, a person etc.), she lets it sit with her for a while. When it’s still on her mind some time after she hears it, she knows it is something worth writing about.
There are certainly events and musings that I have collected from my life that I keep tucked away in my mind until I have an occasion to bring it out. As I’m writing, pieces of knowledge and experiences that I thought I had forgotten are bubbling back up to the surface. They seem to be effortlessly and beautifully weaving themselves into my stories. I can feel it all fall into place.
I think that research and a well-thought out plan are important in the making of a story. But it seems to me that what makes a piece impactful is what you can bring to it.
Tagged art, creative, creative writing, creativity, emotion, journey, library, life, London, love, passion, success, truth, writers, writing
So, I’m currently working on my Artist’s Statement.
It’s really important for me to lay out what I feel art is and why I do it. Once it’s created, I’m going to treat it as a compass of sorts. Any of the work that I do in the foreseeable future, regardless of the medium (words, marker, paint, sound, etc.) will comply with and satisfy the Statement. This will allow me to have a body of work that is consistent, and, ultimately, one I am proud of and believe in.
I’ve got to say, it’s a lot more challenging than I thought it would be. I was sure I knew what I would include in it, but every time I write a sentence, I review it to make sure it’s exactly how I feel. It’s become an incredibly dainty task that has allowed me to challenge my current beliefs. In the end, I hope to have a stronger vision to play around within and contribute work to.
Do you guys have a clear idea of your body of work’s purpose?
Have you put it down on paper?
Tagged art, artist, artists, business, career, community, creative, creative writing, creativity, emotion, job, life, love, media, medium, passion, success, truth, writers, writing
It’s been a whole year since I started this blog. When I wrote my first post (and for most of the year following), I had no idea what the blog was actually going to be about or what I wanted to do as a career. Now that I’ve figured it out, I’m planning on making this year a goal-oriented one. What better time to start than during your Blogoversary Week?
To begin, I’d like to catch you up…
For personal reasons, I’ve decided to postpone going to school. At first, I looked at it as a struggle that I was going to have to get through. I’ve had a really long journey to get to the point where I can finally go to school. But now that I’ve settled into the decision, I’m looking at this as a positive decision.
This year, I’m going to focus on accomplishing some literary goals:
- Submit at least 3 poems/short stories to contests
- Submit at least 3 poems/short stories to magazines/journals
- Complete planning of first novel and be ready to write
- Illustrate 1 or more stories
- Design and have 3 book covers or more published
- Build portfolio (both online and physically)
- Create website for Illustration clients
- Sell 10 illustrations or more
- Read 10 books or more
- Begin the ‘Art, Craft & Design Certificate Program’ at Fanshawe College
I’m not entirely sure how my list stacks up compared to others. Regardless, I’ve got a lot on my plate and to accomplish these on top of everything else in a year is going to be a lot of work.
Let’s the games begin!
Tagged art, business, career, creative, creative writing, creativity, job, journey, passion, success, truth, writer, writers, writing
Here’s a thought: If you want people to read something, they have to know about it.
If you spend all of your time writing and none talking about your work, is anyone going to read it but yourself and, if you can convince him, your cat? You could be the next Sylvia Plath (without the unhappy ending) or David Foster Wallace (…also without the exit strategy) and nobody would know it.
We have to go out and let the world know that we exist.
I guess the next question to ask is how.
My suggestion is anyway we know how that will create an impact. Preferably, a good impact.
Tagged art, business, career, creative writing, impact, impactful, job, marketing, money, passion, success, survival, talent, truth, writers, writing
Self-publishing vs. being discovered.
It’s a tough one for me. I have a romantic notion that if you work really hard at improving your skills and write your ass off, you will eventually be discovered. But, in a society that is now all about go-getting and taking your destiny (or whatever) into your own hands, is it the best decision to fill the portrait of a solitary character at a keyboard, writing and writing and writing?
The biggest question for me: Does it take away your credibility as a talented writer if you have taken it upon yourself to make your writing official?
To self-publish, nobody has to think you’re talented except yourself. Not even your mother.
On the other hand, the starving artist lifestyle goes stale pretty quickly. I don’t need to be tortured to write a good story. If somebody is going to discover me, now would be ideal.
Thoughts? Opinions? …Thoughts?
Tagged career, creative writing, discovery, job, journal, publication, publishing, self-publishing, success, survival, truth, waiting, write, writers, writing
This just in: I’m going to school!
I secretly applied because, sure, I was a
little lot nervous that my drawings and paintings weren’t going to be good enough to get me a ticket in. But look at me now, Ma!
This is huge. After high school, I never had the desire to go back to school. Most likely because I had no idea what I wanted to do as a career and did not want to waste time or money. Now, years later, I’ve decided the path I want to take and everything is falling into place.
So, in January, off I will go with my backpack, computer and thirst for knowledge (ha) into my Graphic Design program. It’s a big step in the right direction. (The direction being illustrating books and designing book covers.)
I am thrilled!
P.S. On a side note, check out this blog post. I usually share links on my twitter and Facebook so as to not crowd this blog with all the amazing stuff I find. But, this one is an exception. Enjoy!
Tagged art, business, career, classes, education, emotion, job, journey, life, London, money, passion, school, success, survival, truth, writers, writing
The ‘Books’ section of The Huffington Post is under the umbrella category of ‘Media‘. The only other option I see that it could be under is ‘Entertainment‘.
Yes, books help dictate what is ‘in’ right now. (So ‘Media’ is correct.) Yes, people read them as a pastime. (‘Entertainment’ is too.) But both of these categories, although true, seem to accentuate the parts of the reading experience that are least important to me.
There is so much more to a book.
It’s so carefully crafted. The author has carefully selected each word to weave a story made of pieces of themselves. He has put his time and intelligence into the book. She has put her soul into it – what she truly believes.
I think ‘Books’ should fall into the ‘Arts’ category. It’s like a painting with the smallest brushstrokes imaginable.
Thus far, this blog has been about a few things…
To begin, it was about me trying to find what I was passionate enough about to make a career out of. After realizing that writing about my life on this blog was the most exciting part of my journey, I began to explore the world of literature and everything that surrounded it.
Now, I feel as though I’ve got a good grasp on the field I’m entering into, so I’m actually going to enter it. I know I already have the magazine and that makes me part of the scene. But, I’m ready to take another step towards my life of full-immersion into the literary world.
Here are my ultimate career aspirations:
- To become a book cover designer and illustrator
- To continue my work at Writtle Magazine and grow the business
- To have my writing published (in other publications as well as in the form of a large body of my work)
So, another element has been added to this blog. I am still going to write little article-lettes, if you will, about the literary industry I’m still exploring and getting a feel for. But now, I’m also going to blog about my personal journey into a career.
Stay tuned, friends, it’s bound to be a fun ride!
Tagged business, career, community, creative, creative writing, creativity, emotion, inspiration, job, journal, journey, life, London, passion, poems, poetry, success, survival, truth, writers, writing
“I have a hard time connecting with my characters” I admitted as though I was at an AA meeting.
The writer who sat across from me had just responded to my asking “What do you love about writing?” with “I love being someone I’m not. I love taking on personalities and characters that I wouldn’t otherwise get to experience.”
For the longest time, I’ve had a hard time stepping into the character I’m writing about. There seems to be a broken circuit somewhere between us. The current doesn’t run.
Yesterday, as I was listening to music and relaxing, I had an idea for a story. I broke out my computer, opened up a new document, put the song on repeat and started writing. Within a few minutes, I had tears streaming down my face. As the cursor moved to the second page, I was crying uncontrollably for my character. I was living the story in my mind. I could picture every detail of the scene my fingers were scrambling to type.
It was exhilarating. Upon emerging from the tragic events I wrote about, I lounged for a while, heart-broken for my character. As I walked to my car and began to drive, I felt better about my writing than I ever have before. I felt that I’d gotten it. I was charged up.
Reading over the story, I think it may be the best one I’ve ever written.
Writers, how do you tap into that on demand?
Tagged career, creative, creative writing, creativity, emotion, quote, short story, story, success, truth, writer, writers, writing
A blog post I read yesterday touched, although not meaning to, on the whole issue of credibility in self-publishing. The general opinion I’ve gotten from fellow writers is that self-publishing is what you do when you can’t get a traditional publisher to notice your work. I disagree.
The post spoke about being a self-made writer of sorts. It said that instead of waiting to get hired as a writer or for a publisher to notice you and then tell you how to proceed, you’d be better off to become the one who calls the shots. It’s better to take matters in to your own hands. Another post I read a while ago (although I can’t seem to locate it) said that if your business plan, as a writer, includes being discovered by a publishing powerhouse, your business plan is a plan to fail.
I understand that it’s prestigious and brag-worthy to get noticed by the pros, but unless you’re one in a million, perhaps you should have a Plan B. Or, you can leave it up to chance.
Tagged business, career, creative writing, creativity, emotion, job, responsibility, success, survival, truth, writers, writing