"A cat has absolute emotional honesty: human beings, for one reason or another, may hide their feelings but a cat does not." -Ernest Hemingway

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

The Blog That Time Did Not Forget: Three tips from a writer's blogcation

I liken living in the 21st century to a young child born in the 19th century who saw an incandescent lamp light their room for the first time and who lived long enough into the 20th century to watch on a black and white television an astronaut take one small step for man kind.
The only difference is now we don’t have to live to a ripe old age to watch the advancement of technology for it changes overnight, literally.  
For many of my devoted followers, thank you by the way, you may have noticed I have not posted many blogs articles over the past three months.  If you are reading this today, I would again like to thank you for your loyalty, but please be assured it was not due to slacking off.  I would like to think of my absence as more of conducting an experiment in time travel.  
Let’s explore:
My last two articles posted were devoted to time and space in fictional writing.  If you missed them or would like to discover them for the first time, (click here for Part I and click here for Part II).   
In them, we explored techniques that can be used to help transport your readers through time.  Afterall, writing is one of the unique forms of art in which all five senses can be used to achieve this!  
During that time, I began to have flashbacks to when I first started writing.  A time when I unequivocally knew that one day I was going to become a published author!  So, I decided to take a blogcation.  
What did I discover during my time off?  That I did become a published author and if I ever had high hopes of doing it again then some things needed to change.   
Listed below are the top three major tips I discovered during my blogcation that I hope will help you too if you are at a point in your writing career where you may be wondering, “What am I doing wrong?”
By taking time to sit, in silence, and free write reasons why you ever wanted to become a writer helps to awaken dreams that have long ago been tucked away deep within your inner thoughts.
For example, here are four of the numerous phrases that seemed to magically appear on my notepad, but once I saw them, I remembered.
To make a difference   
To bring wonder to a child!
To inspire...
Life long...dream
So go ahead, grab a notepad and pen and find a cozy quite spot to sit and ponder and then be ready to rediscover the writer inside you that’s still full of dreams and imagination just waiting to come alive!  (Oh, and one important note, if you have a furry pawed ghostwriter like Efi Loo, don’t forget to include them too!)
Prior to becoming a writer, I owned and operated my own interior design business where I not only helped my clients create the home of their dreams through design and color, but also through the art of feng shui.  
What is feng shui?  Feng shui, (pronounced fung shway; fung, meaning wind, and shway, meaning water), is an ancient art and science developed over 3,000 years ago in China where the principle of five elements in shapes; water, wood, fire, metal and earth are used to bring harmony to a space through the use of color and the placement of objects.
What does this all have to do with being a writer?  Everything!  Taking a blogcation helped me realize I could use the help of an interior designer to come in and help revitalize my work space.  Then it hit me, I am a trained interior designer and I wasn’t living up to the advice people once paid me for!  
Clutter is one of the biggest no-no’s in feng shui, because it prevents positive energy, (chi), from flowing freely through a room.  But wait you say, all writers know that clutter is our best friend because having all that paper strewn about our desk is a sign of progress, right?   
Wrong, think again.  Clutter is nothing more than a sign of a bogged down mind which can prevent you from moving forward in a positive way.  
If you have been feeling heavy minded lately and can’t seem to get your creative juices flowing, look around at your work space with feng shui eyes and you just might be surprised at the amount of “progress” you have piling up in front of you!  
Take time to clear your workspace by creating folders for unfinished manuscripts and scribbled story ideas on crumpled up napkins and coffee stained work in progress’ you’ve been editing for months.  

Then while you’re still motivated by the uplifting feeling, organize a closet or clean out a junk drawer and then get ready, because your inner writer will have come alive and nothing will stop it from wanting to write!
As with any structure, the foundation is its strength and the stronger its foundation the taller it can rise.  
One of the main lessons any coach can teach their players when they fall into a slump is to go back to the basics.  The same lesson can be applied to any writer.  
Often times, we find ourselves so caught up in our own works of art that we tend to forget we had a starting point.  Then when our flame begins to flicker and burn low we feel lost and confused and don’t know how to start over again.  
Whether you started fresh out of college or spent many years pursuing your dreams of one day becoming a published author, you had a beginning, and it’s important as time speeds by into the unknown future that you take time to revisit your past and those lessons learned that helped to build your foundation as a writer.  It can renew and revitalize old forgotten lessons that once propelled you forward.  
To quote Albert Einstein, “‘Time is relative,’” and as I stated in the beginning, now we don’t have to live to a ripe old age to watch the advancement of technology for it changes overnight, literally.  
I should know, for as the cliche goes, proof is in the pudding.  During my three month blogcation, Facebook came out with a new look, as did Blogger and Twitter, and once again I had to learn new skills to catch up to the 21st century.  
Only this time I realized there was one thing that remained solid over time, my foundation, and I’m glad I took time to revisit my past and add another brick from my memory as to why I wanted to become a published author.
How about you, do you remember why you became a writer?
Until next time,

Keep on thriving, keep on striving and keep on writing!

T.K. Millin