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Keeping Projects a Secret

 I start new projects all the time. Websites, writing projects, flesh and blood groups or clubs, blogs (I have about 9) and the occasional movie. * But I have a strange obsession with secrecy around them. Frequently, I work on a project until someone happens to glance over my shoulder and see it. 

Boom, I'm done. All the energy drains out. Hundreds of trashed projects litter the bumpy roadway of my life, and most of them have gone this way -- the secrecy and privacy leaves and I must stop. 

Does this happen to anyone else?

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*Hoping I'm over this phase. EXPENSIVE.

The C Word

Know what it is? Can. 

People keep using it as if it is the end of all brilliance. "This is what we can do." Period. End of discussion. When really, what have you established there? 

Well, wake up people. The world doesn't change based on what you CAN do. Go ahead and tell me everything you can do. Let's take me. I can run a marathon. I can get my associates degree before I'm of age to graduate from high school. I can write & sell a book on online community management because frankly, I know crucial things about internet communities that nobody's written yet. 

But none of that matters. Why? Because I'm not going to do any of those things. I'm doing other things. 

If you want to change things, if you truly want to alter the circumstances of your life or the lives of people around you, you MUST get out of the "Can" trap. As soon as you ask "What can I do?" "How Can I help?" you have limited yourself to the possible and even to the probable. Changemakers in all areas hamstring themselves again and again and again by asking this one simple question. "What can I do for the world?"

Seems good, right? Until you realize - what you can do is neither here nor there. It has no bearing on the actual world. Just because you can doesn't mean you will, and just because you can't doesn't mean you won't.  

Here's what I say. What you CAN do? What's REALISTIC? What's POSSIBLE? Who cares???

It doesn't matter what's possible. It doesn't matter what's impossible. What you CAN or CANNOT do is a tiny matter compared to what you ARE GOING to do. 

And as soon as you take that step from "Can", you open up a world of possibilities. Not "What can I do for the world?" but "What does the world need me to do for it?". And once you find the answer to that question, it doesn't matter if you can or can't do it. If you believe in it enough to simply choose to do it, you will. 

"Can", be damned. 
It's still Friday! 24 minutes of it left. 

 1. It feels like I've been offline for an age. Half of my friends list is completely gone & I suspect a handful of the others have moved to new journals. Who am I missing? Who's interesting? maggie_writes , who do I know? Suggestions would be great. :)

2. My minister said recently that the Tea Party are "unapologetically self-reliant and self-serving". Which is perfect language. It makes sense to me now & I think it sums up why the Tea Party bothers me so much. It seems to snub its nose to the idea of community & serving others & human kindness. Which as a Christian organization, seems a little odd to me, but... who am I to judge? 

3. Wrote a paper today. Assignment: Persuade Someone to Do NaNoWriMo. Finished paper. Didn't write a thing on my NaNo. Irony does not escape me.

4. The Skittles Mob sends people to Bowling College. 


5. I am really craving Skittles. Effective marketing FTW.
 No, really. 

So let's say you are writerly little me. Who also happens to be 8k behind on her NaNo, but we'll ignore that for now. You decide to go to a coffee shop to write. (what else?) You arrive to find that, huzzah! Holiday drinks (namely peppermint mochas) are back in season. And the next number in your mind is a calorie count. 

Well damn, you think. I guess I better get tea instead. But you really want that mocha. 

Two hours later, it's closer to lunch time and you're getting hungry. You decide that you should reward yourself for your sacrificing the mocha and get a donut. It doesn't last very long, and pretty soon you're hungry again. You head home to make yourself a cup of hot chocolate to try and quash the craving. By mid-afternoon, you've consumed a bag of York Peppermint Patties, half a chocolate coffee cake, your weight in whipped cream, and most of Lower Manhattan. All because you didn't get that mocha. 

And that is why a mocha a day is really the kindest thing you can do for your waistline. This post could also be titles Why Cravings Suck, or  Why Skinny Marketing Directors Really Want to Make You Fat, but... turns out both cravings and marketing directors are effective.

Writing related: I have work up! Published on yes, a site that I own, but still. This is the piece that I was angsting about yesterday that no one seems to like but I love. I have come to the (very wise indeed) conclusion that learning when and where to say "Fuck You" is an art. So, I present to you: 

On Trains and Fishbowls, available here: ArtInspiresArt.com/Reality

Art and Pain

So I started an art website. (ArtInspiresArt.com, if you happen to be interested). We just began getting up the first pieces of art: a song, some visual 2D art, photography. 

Which is great.

Except that I really, really want to put some of my writing up. I created this website because I wanted a community where I could share my art. But I'm not doing this website alone (theoretically), and every time I suggets putting up my work my partner has politely but rather firmly suggested I not.

I’ve asked a couple of other people if they thought any of my stuff would “work” for the site, hoping to at least find someone who thought I should give it a shot. But to a person, they all said no. 

And frankly, it hurts like hell.

So I wanted to talk about art and pain.

Why do you think we are so fragile and vulnerable around our art? What are your "hooks"?

For example, I can take harsh crit without a blink. I prefer it, actually. But when I've polished a piece to a point where I am happy with it, and other people don't think it's "fit" for something - that hooks me. You don't like it? Fine. You don't think other people will like it? That hurts. 

Tags:

NaNoWriMo: Day...8?

Words: 11681

I caught up yesterday! Still have my writing to do for today, but we're going to ignore that for the time being. Okay? Good. 

I realized yesterday that my NaNo was spiraling into the dark land of Pointless Angst, as most of my longer works tend to do. When in doubt, I make things angstier. (More angsty?) I spent my 1667 words yesterday trying to pull my character out of a spiraling nosedive into suicide a couple pages later. Difficult to get to 50k when your protag dies 10k in. 

I gave it to a few people to let me know if my Puppies And Love And Orange Donuts injection worked. No word yet. 

Other: My new project for the last couple months has been Art Bridge, or ArtInspiresArt.com. It's not quite ready to launch yet, but folks from our Beta group are on board and we have our first Vibe posted! Check it out: artinspiresart.com/light. 

We also have a Twitter! You can follow our fledgling account @artinspiresart.

NaNoWriMo: Day 5

 Which was yesterday. I believe this may be a day behind for the rest of the month.

Words When I Slept: 8100

Anyone know what my goal is supposed to be, by day 6? I lost my calculator. 

In more important corners, I found... I'm not sure how to describe what I found. Art that makes me feel like I have a home on planet earth. The last time I found something that did that, it was a red covered ARC with the words "Wicked Lovely" on the front. 


These people, the writer and the photographer both, see the world the way I see it. Every time I speak that truth though, I get weird looks and backing up. But this... you should read it. They're great. 

http://www.asofterworld.com/

NaNoWriMo: Day 3

 Words so far: 5068

In years past, I've finished a week or even two weeks ahead of schedule. Only problem is, spellcheck quit on me and I skipped things like basic paragraph breaks. The result was several dozen pages of gibberish. 

This year, my goal is to finish NaNo on time but with 50,000 decent if not splendid words. So far, so good. I decided that instead of trying to make the words decent as they come out, which is a sure recipe for writer's block, I'm going to commit NaNo sacrilege and edit my words. I've found that rather than getting in my way, this has actually allowed me to write quickly without a care for the quality, and still remain satisfied with my work. 

Because for all the talk about how much NaNos suck, there's just nothing satisfying about looking back on a month of work and having only a ratted, tangled ball of word-yarn to show for it. 

I humbly suggest it to other perfectionists-in-denial. 

Music You All Need To Hear

By Dessa Darling of Doomtree, aka one of the most brilliant, witty & fascinating women on the planet. This technically has a genre, but I consider it poetry set to music:


 

Give it a shot. And then go listen to the rest of the songs on the album. :)
I started a new project a couple weeks ago & it's evolved into historical fiction.  This means research. Lots of it. I'm not sure I  like this so much. I DO love the way things just fall into place, though. When you have a history to base everything on, it's so much easier. It seems almost like cheating. One moment, huge plot hole, the next - the perfect character with a life and back story already formed is dropped into your lap. It hardly seems fair. And then I remember all the research it took to get to that point & well, suddenly I don't worry so much.

I went to the bookstore today to pick up some SAT practice tests, b/c this year is that time... did you know that comprehensive is on the list for SAT vocab? And legitimate. And many other words like them. Honestly. I was using those words in fifth grade. Really?

On the bright side, that means I have basically no studying to do for Lit. I'll need all that extra time to make up for math though; I don't even understand most of the questions, the inevitable result of, umm, not doing math for the last two years.

The bookstore trip also yielded Destined for and Early Grave by Jeaniene Frost and My Soul to Take by Rachel Vincent. Trouble is, I can't decide which one to read first. Helpfully, it's keeping me from reading either of them...