No More Guilt — January 16, 2013

No More Guilt

From here on I resolve to feel less guilt about things.

I will not feel guilty for taking time to go to the movies or dinner with my mom.

I will not feel guilty for taking time to watch television. I’m a visual learner. I can learn the craft of writing better through television than through books on the craft.

I will not feel guilty for taking time to play video games. Again, I can learn about the craft of plotting through this heavily visual medium. (May write on that someday soon.)

I will not feel guilty for indulging in pleasure reading without thought of studying how the author plied their craft. (Seriously, I have tried to read a book to analyze how an author did something and got to the end before remembering I was supposed to be paying attention to the craft.)

I will not feel guilty for taking time away from writing to teach myself to sew.

I will not feel guilty for pursuing other hobbies and indulgences to recharge my batteries.

I will not feel guilty for having a life outside of writing.

What do you resolve not to feel guilt over?

If you have a question you’re dying to ask me, something you want me to address either here on my site or over at the Dojo, send it to info(at)stephanie-mcgee(dot)com

Comments and other fun stuff can be sent to stephanie(at)stephanie-mcgee(dot)com

Balance — June 8, 2010

Balance

Balance.  So much weight in just that one word.

Life is a delicate balance between breaths.  Moment to moment the fulcrum may be foreshortened and the balance upset.  I float between these moments, seeking forces which will stabilize the balance.

But the harsh truth is that each breath is held in for as long as may be possible.  Breaths that allow words to flow out are cherished and greedily inhaled.  Meanwhile, breaths that allow for other opportunities or for words to flow in are carefully kept out.

Is this out of fear?  Or something else?

One breath that I seem to be guarding against is that of reading published works.

I have a very long TBR list that I have made no dent in.  At all.  But part of the problem is that I just have been unable to find a book that I care about enough, be it story or characters, to finish.

There are six books sitting on my bookshelf right now that I’ve begun but haven’t finished.  One of them I was well over halfway finished with and haven’t touched it in two and a half months.  (Or something like that.)

Is it me?  Or is it the books?

Soon enough I’ll have almost no time for anything outside work and school.  When this happens, I know I will be out of balance again, carefully guarding against other breaths.

Are you balancing between breaths or relishing everything that comes into your life?

My blog — September 29, 2009

My blog

I’m worried I’m going away from what I intended on this blog.  I’m not an expert at the craft of writing and yet I persist in writing about the craft.  My information bar at the top states that my blog is “My place to explore my personal voice, update on my works-in-progress, and generally converse” yada yada yada.  (You can read the whole thing if you want.)  I’ve got the second one covered with my WiP Wednesdays posts.

But the first one?  I’m not so sure on.  After this week, I may be taking a break from my regular Tuesday and Thursday posts to think hard about what I want this blog to really be.  It’s titled “Chronicles of a Novice Writer” but I don’t feel I’m really chronicling anything.  You’ll still get WiP Wednesdays and Fiction Fridays.  For a time, anyways.

But I need to take some time away to think about what I truly want this blog to be about.  I worry I’m not being true to who I am to try to be the fount of advice on all things writerly.  Because I’m certainly not an endless fount of wisdom.  I don’t think I have any wisdom to part with on this blog, really.  But maybe that’s the best wisdom- find what you like and stick with it.

I don’t know.  But I just wanted to let you all know about the break so you don’t think I fell into the toilet or something.  (Though I do sometimes wonder if I’d really end up in Australia or China if that happened.)

Networking and Platforming Tools — August 27, 2009

Networking and Platforming Tools

OK, so ages ago I blogged about platforming. I asked the question “When is it all too much?” regarding whether a platform should stay really general if an author is writing in multiple genres or multiple forms or if said author needs to create multiple platforms for each aspect. This is especially apropos to me as I am a poet and a novelist.

But if you do the latter, platforming will take over and there will be no time to write.

Rachelle Gardner recently blogged about social networking in 15 minutes a day. It’s a great article so you really should go check it out. She discusses a plethora of tools to use to cut down on the networking side and get the butt in the chair. These are particularly of use for the debut novelist as the writing is more important at this stage than the platform. (Really only if you’re in fiction. Non-fiction is a whole ‘nother can of worms.)

I’d like to add one more:

iGoogle

The September issue of Writer’s Digest had an article devoted to how to use iGoogle to help cut down on the wasted time and allow you to get the butt in the chair so you are writing.

I only read this article on Monday. iGoogle is my official web browser homepage. And it remembers my google name and password so I don’t have to log in to start using it in the morning.

There are literally thousands of gadgets to put on there.

My page has google reader, gmail, literary quote of the day, the date and time, and little eyeballs that follow my mouse cursor everywhere it goes on the page.

But you can put Yahoo! mail or Hotmail on there. Facebook and Twitter have gadgets for iGoogle.

It’s an amazing little tool to put everything all together in one place. You can see instantly what needs your attention.

So try it out. Get the latest issue of Writer’s Digest for more.

And don’t forget to read Rachelle’s post.

Striking a balance — August 18, 2009

Striking a balance

Achieving my daily word count is becoming a burden. It’s taking over my life, leaving no time to do anything else.

I’m chained to my writing pen.

How is this about finding balance, you ask?

It’s about balance because I am going to talk about it that way, that’s why.

So, balance. A definition: Well, there are several. But here’s the one that really matters. (It’s #9 in the noun definition of balance.)

Mental and emotional steadiness.

Oxymoronic in relation to writing a novel, right? I mean, a novel is all about tugging at those heartstrings and pulling your readers through a bit of an emotional roller coaster. Or maybe it’s more like switching from the roller coaster the carousel to the bumper cars and back again.

Anyways. I need to find balance.

Balance can be achieved in many ways. One of them is not a 2,000 words per day minimum pace in writing. Because that takes too many hours in the day.

I’m trying to keep this from sounding like I’m complaining. But I think it’s going to come out a little bit that I’m whining.

Writing that many words a day takes time. Sometimes several hours. Usually I type up what I wrote that day and go to bed because it’s taken me that long.

Blogging and platforming are taking another chunk of time. But none of it is balanced. Eventually I’m not going to have all the time in the world to write and blog. There will be other things I have to do, like go to work. (Fingers crossed.) Balance will be key in maintaining my sanity in the long process and throughout the remainder of my life.

My first two steps toward achieving balance are these:

1- I am no longer holding myself to a minimum word count or rigid schedule. Remember those authorial goals and the fial pictures? (I know it’s misspelled. That’s the whole point.) Yeah, no more of those. Rigid goals and deadlines are out the window.

2- Saturday goals updates (corollary to #1) are going away. As are Sunday’s Author’s Bookshelf posts. They both put too much pressure on me in the week and I thus don’t work toward balance or enjoy the processes I’m going through.

Blogging will now be as follows: Tuesday and Thursday will be my usual thought-provoking posts that I began this blog with. Once per month Tuesday will be replaced by Tantalus Tuesday. WiP Wednesday will be there as a motivator for me to actually write during the week and make progress. Fiction Friday will likely be implemented beginning this Friday. Those posts at least for a time I can write up and have scheduled far in advance. But do keep in mind that this is subject to change at any time and for any random reason.

My hope is that in limiting myself to four days of blogging and eliminating the rigid goals and deadlines I can begin to balance my life and find enjoyment in writing and blogging again.

But if I disappear for a while, either from blogging, responding to comments, or commenting on y’all’s blogs, it’s because I’m losing my sanity and am perhaps locked away in the looney bin.

Semi-related in the blogosphere:
Ultimate irony @ Cake Wrecks
Balance @ my cozy book nook