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Monday, 18 November 2013

Blog Post 100: Am I a writer?

Recently a friend did a very good blog on comparison. He talked about comparing our creative output with others can kill our creativity. He made an example of National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) and the possible down side of the event. I’d never heard of NaNoWriMo (which, according to another blog I read, means I’m not a serious writer) before I saw another friend blogging about her participation. But, watching her progress, I can see how it could be bad for some people’s self-esteem.

I do, quite often, take part in a Wednesday night Writing Race on Facebook. There, I’m just happy to get a solid hour of writing in, and everyone there is encouraging. So the people who have written more than 2,000 words (even more than 3,000) tell me it’s wonderful that I’ve written 450, and it is. 

The other week, one of the writers posted that they had only written 750 words and commented that they were really slow. Everyone, including me, instantly replied that it wasn’t slow (I’ve never written that many words in an hour, probably never will.) and that it wasn’t the number that counted. But, it was clear, to me, that this writer had felt the pressure of the much larger word counts being posted.

However, word count is not the only way to feel insecure about your writing. Here are some of the things that have left me asking: Am I a writer?

I don’t like writing: Some writers talk about their love of writing, their joy of putting pen to page or finger to keyboard. They may have times when it’s hard to write, even painful, when the words just will not flow and the blanks page or screen becomes the enemy. However, it seems to me that, most writers like the physical process of writing. I just don’t. I love to create stories, build worlds, develop unique characters and see how it all comes out, but, only when I’m doing in my head. When it comes to writing it down, it is always painful. I do have times when the words flow and I can look at what’s on the screen and be genuinely pleased with the result. But, I still find even that painful.

I’m not compelled to write: This is closely related to the above. Again, some writers talk about being compelled to write, if they don’t write they’ll die. That is just not me. I have to compel myself to write. The stories come to my head easy, I couldn’t stop them if I tried, but I I find it very easy stop writing at any time.

I don’t love words: Many writers seem to just be in love with words. I read what they have to say and feel like telling them to get a room! Their gushes of appreciation for words border on the erotic. I like words, but I don’t love them. I love the stories that they create. It’s all about the story for, the words are just tools. This does not mean I don’t enjoy a good use of words, a well done turn of phrase, I do. It’s just that, in the end, it’s the story that really matters to me.

Sometimes I wonder if I’m not a writer, but a story teller. That writing is just one means of being a story teller. But I want to be a writer, have done since I was a child. Now, some 40+ years later, I’ve realised that I don’t have to want to be a writer; I can just be a writer.

Being a writer is a choice, and an action. I don’t have to be like any other writer, and they don’t have to be like me. I’m a writer because I say I’m a writer, and I write stuff.

I have stories in my heart and, somehow, I’m going to write them. This makes me a writer.

What makes you a writer is up to you.

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Thursday, 14 November 2013

Thursday Theology


One thing that matters to me which has not had much space on this blog is my faith and beliefs as a follower of Jesus Christ. To address this I'm going to devote and Thursday blogs I do the my faith and theology. Hence the name, Thursday Theology. I'll always make it clear in the title, so you can skip it if you wish.

I'm starting off with a brief introduction of the "Five Solas".

When I'm asked what I believe, what I really want to say is, 'The Bible', but we live in a world where can be understood in far to many different ways. So, over the years, I've looked at many different creeds and statements of faith, and not been fully happy with any of them. However, I really like the Five Solas (or Five Solae).

They are the only thing that I've found that match up what I believe.

I'm not going to go into any detail about them in this post, the pic outlines what they are. However, over the coming Thursdays I intend to post about each one in some detail. I explain what I think they mean and why I think they are important.

I understand that this may only be of interest to me, but hopefully there will be something of interest others who read this.

I'm happy for friendly debates about this, but please don't waste your time flaming me you won't enjoy it.

Next Thursday: Sola Scripture.

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Monday, 11 November 2013

Really Lazy Blog

I need to read more.

My story did not get past the first round of the Story Quest Contest.

I got a very nice rejection from the anthology I submitted a short story to.

The YA short story I am writing is not looking like a YA short story. I'm going to finish it anyway.

I'd like to finish my first novel, just so I've finished my first novel.

I have a children's story I should submit somewhere.

I have a short, short story about first contact and chess, that I'm going to submit somewhere.

I feel sad for people who don't read.

This is a very lazy blog, I need to do better.

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Saturday, 9 November 2013

Book Review: Aurora: Darwin

I first encountered Amanda Bridgeman at the new authors show case at Conflux 8 back in April. This got me interested enough to buy her newly published book, Aurora: Darwin. It took be a while to read it, but I’m glad I did.

Aurora: Darwin is a good book.

As it is clearly the first book in a series it spends a fair chunk of the book establishing the characters and setting the scene. This was done very well, I almost never got bored or tempted to skip a bit. I wanted to know about them. There was just one thing I found odd. This was the incredible tension causes by the women being introduced to the military space ship. I did not ring true to me that there would still be such incredible prejudice against women in the military in the future. Perhaps I’m just a bit to idealistic.

Things really ramp up when the story reaches the Darwin space station; lots of great tension and plenty of well written action scenes. There were just a few times when I had to pause in an action sense, and reread a bit, to get a clear picture of what was happening.

Over all, Aurora: Darwin is a great read, well worth consideration by every Scifi reader.

Book two in the series, Aurora: Pegasus, is coming out on the 1st of December and really looking forward to reading it.

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Wednesday, 6 November 2013

Radar Love Journal Entry 6

Way back in April I started on the journey to Write Radar Love. A Steam Punk Romance short story.

I mapped out a plan for how I was going to write it. You can see the plane here. I came no where close to following it. I did, however, mange to submit the story in time.

It's now the wait to hear if my story gets accepted. I submitted the story here.

My main worry is whether I did enough. The final rewrite was rushed, because of my procrastination, and I didn't have anyone look a the final product. I don't think the story is the best it could be and I'm sad about that. However, I believe in the story and I hope they will see what I see.

Others being able to see your vision is what writing is all about.

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Saturday, 2 November 2013

Back on the Story train

Time flies when you're changing your life.

In July, my family and I moved to Woy Woy and I changed jobs. My new Job required me to drive to Sydney each day leading to twelve hour days. This gave me just enough excuse to stop bogging, almost stop writing and spend much less time online (the last may be a good thing).

However, I am now determined to get back on the 'horse', or 'train', or something like that. Before I go into my 'plans' for the future, I'm going to outline the little I have done.

  • I have two short stories our there in submission land right now. One in the IFWG Story Quest Contest, my first story, Bounty, which has not found a home. The other for an anthology called, 'Kisses By Clockwork', with Ticonderoga Publications. I wrote this story, 'Radar Love', in a burst of inspiration back in May. It then mostly sat and stewed until I submitted it at the last minute on the 14th of October. I'm hopping I've done enough.
  • I've written about a 1,000 words of my novel, 'Lonely Susan'. 1,000 words in 3 months, I write like lighting!
  • I've written a short short story (500 words) about chess and First Contact called 'Earth's Grand Master'. I actually wrote the whole story in one hour during at Writing Race on Facebook.
So that's what I've done; here is what I'm hoping to do.
  • Write every day.
  • Blog at least three time a week.
  • Do a better job of connecting with others in writing and SpecFic community.
Right now I have started on a story idea for the Twelfth Planet Press Anthology Kaleidoscope called 'Ved'. It's about an Indian boy who cannot help but describe everything in detail. 

I'm looking for other themed anthologies as I seem to find inspiration for story by reading their guidelines. That is where both Radar Love and Ved came from.

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