Stepping into the forest of my mind

Stepping into the forest of my mind
Just as every journey begins with a first step, every story begins with the first word.

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Let 2019 Be the Year You Believe in Yourself #AuthorToolboxBlogHop

            Happy New Year, fellow writers and bloggers! Believing in yourself is what life’s all about, isn’t it? Whether you are a college student struggling with classes or a writer struggling with a manuscript, you need to believe you can do it. You need to take the chance and at least try.  Otherwise, you’ve already failed.

            Is it easy to truly believe in yourself? No. At least it’s not for me. I can’t seem to get out of my own head. Insidious thoughts keep voicing their ugly opinions. In other words, it’s easier for me to help my children think positively and help fellow writers find the point of their manuscripts than it is for me to commit to a point for my college memoir and move forward with the manuscript. You see, I’m not trapped inside other people’s heads, only my own. I can hammer away at their negative thoughts from the outside, offering positivity, focusing on the good rather than the bad. I don’t have to live in their thoughts.

            This college memoir is my first attempt at a book-length manuscript. I have a first draft that is more a summary of what happened during my college experience rather than a memoir story with a “because of this, the next thing happens” trajectory.

Even though this is a book-length manuscript, I’m trying to break down the writing process as I do in my short story writing. Do you break down a difficult project into smaller pieces to be able to move forward?

Let me answer a few questions for the memoir project. Please offer any insight you may have as this truly helps me to move forward.

The main goal of the protagonist in the college memoir story is to help her special needs daughter, her oldest. Victoria needs to find the courage to believe in herself and her abilities enough to complete a college degree as a nontraditional student, a mother of 5, because this is the only way she thinks she can truly assist her daughter, and by extension her other children.

The main conflict: Abandoning her own derogatory thoughts about her abilities, built through her backstory, and finding the foundation and time needed to be able to reach her goal of an undergrad degree, thereby demonstrating to her children how to succeed.

The premise of the story [I hope] is that determination will overcome all obstacles.
Why does it matter that this story is told?
People need to see that it’s never too late to embark on a dream, to commit to attempting something that scares you to death, to finally learn to believe in yourself. I hope to inspire others.

I need to take baby steps and begin telling the journey again. I wish you all a healthy and successful 2019. Thanks for reading!

And thank you for visiting Adventures in Writing. Please follow my blog if you haven’t already and connect with me online. Leave your blog link in the comment so I can be sure to do the same for you. To continue hopping through more amazing blogs or to join our Author Toolbox blog hop, click here

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

Insecure Writers Want to Know: What are your favorite and least favorite questions people ask about your writing?

I like how IWSG phrased the question with “favorite” coming first. I think everyone wants others to be interested in their work—especially writers. To show true interest in what someone else is doing, though, a person needs to ask specific questions about the project. Sometimes I think this can help a writer move forward in her story when she’s stuck because a specific question may trigger a path the writer hadn’t thought of before.

As for a favorite question to ask me generally, it’s all in the word choice. My children always ask me what fine adventure I was on today. So did my mother. I think it’s the best way to approach my story writing. As any writer knows, word choice is important, especially when handling a neurotic story teller. Unfortunately, my name’s at the top of the neurotic list!

But about those specific questions I like to be asked about my YA adventure stories, I need people to ask: what are the internal and external problems in this story? Where is it taking place? What are the family dynamics? I need to be able to answer these questions in order to move forward with the story. Of course the person needs to know me and how I write to be able to ask these specifics.

My least favorite question of all time that people ask about my writing is: “Did you ever finish your memoir?”
Instead of actually saying: Yes. Two different versions. I just answer: Nope!

It’s not that easy. I’m not just recounting what happened to me. That’s not memoir. Memoir is a story about a certain time in someone’s life and the life lessons that person learned from the experience. And—man! Is it difficult to do well.

            Asking a writer if they’ve finished a book they’ve been working on is like asking “So what did you publish today?”

            Writing book-length manuscripts take time—lots of time. This is why it’s a celebration when the story is complete even though there is much more work to accomplish in revision before sending it out for representation or self-publishing it. Then there’s marketing the work. I think when people ask a writer about their writing life, they’re only thinking of the story, and many times they’re only asking generally. Non writers might not understand there is much more to the writing life than just creating stories.
So how do you handle when other people—especially non-writers—ask about your writing endeavors? Please share any thoughts or tips here at Adventures in Writing.

Thanks for visiting! Please follow Adventures in Writing if you haven’t already and connect with me online. Leave your blog link in your comment so I can be sure to do the same for you.

This post was written for the Insecure Writer’s SupportGroup. We post on the first Wednesday of every month.  To join us, or learn more about the group, click HERE.