Tag Archives: writers

You Might Be A Writer If…

  1. You love to go to the mall, not to shop, but to watch people.
  2. You love to hang out in bookstores and wish you could buy every book there.
  3. You love to go to coffee places, not necessarily for the coffee—although you’ll enjoy some of that, too— but because other writers tend to hang there, and even though you don’t know any of them, you gain inspiration from their proximity.IMG_0573
  4. You love to take walks by yourself so you can rehearse scenes out loud. (You also get very good at talking without moving your lips so no one can tell you’re talking to yourself!)
  5. You keep a notebook so you can write down favorite phrases or sentences from a great writer. “It was the best of times; it was the worse of times.”
  6. Anything around you could become a potential novel. Including your chair.
  7. You lose track of time when you’re working at your computer on a scene in your WIP.
  8. You do weird and potentially incriminating searches on your computer for strange viruses, untraceable poisons, exotic places, foreign languages, interesting names, personality disorders, how to elude a stalker, etc.
  9. The sound of rain, the scent of the sea, the touch of a leather-bound book, and the mist tumbling down over the hills all make your imagination kick into high gear.
  10. You wish fervently that you could interview the couple  at the next table in the restaurant.
  11. You’d rather write than do just about anything else.
  12. Rejection stings, and you want to give up. But you can’t. You just can’t.

So there are my twelve “you might be a writer if.” I’m sure, if I interviewed ten authors that they’d each give me twelve of their own.

How about you? Care to share some of your own “you might be a writer if…”?

Writers and Squirrels

Whether we’re talking about tree squirrels, or ground squirrels, or chipmunks, or golden-mantled squirrels, we’re taking about hard workers.

Squirrels climb and excavate, investigate and forage.

I love to watch them scamper about the property. They form communities and help keep watch for predators.

They gather food, carry it back to their nests. Or stash the food some safe place. Spring 2010 050Some of the food is for now, some for leaner times.

Sometimes a squirrel appears to be lazing in the sun, its little paws slung over a tree branch, its eyes closed in blissful slumber. But even then the squirrel is working at storing energy for the next big burst of food gathering.

Yep, the squirrel is a hard worker. He knows his survival depends on continuously seeking food, storing it, providing for his babies, looking out for cats and coyotes, hawks and ravens.

Writers are like that, too. We know that, to sit back and stop growing, to stop writing toward a goal, to stop editing, to stop learning, to stop seeking other writing avenues… means that we cease to exist as writers.

The world will pass us by if we only half-heartedly pursue the life of the writer.

Stay busy, writers. Whether it’s critiquing and being critiqued, meeting other writers, studying the craft, finishing your first draft—or 12th draft—or just spending a few days on brain-neutral as you explore ideas for your next writing project: stay busy as a squirrel!

“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart…” (Col.3:23 NIV Bible)

 

Writers Are Woodpeckers!

A couple of years ago, our house was attacked. 

Not by  alien invasion.

Not by bad people.

Or even  by termites.

Nope.

The attacker was a woodpecker.

Have you seen what those critters can do to trees? Now imagine holes all over the outside walls of your house. Awful!

Each time the woodpecker did his thing on my house, I ran outside, and shouted, and waved my arms.

The bird flew off.

But not five minutes later, he returned and immediately started drilling again.

That darn bird wouldn’t give up. Over and over, he tried to hunt for bugs within the cedar walls of my house.

Woodpeckers are persistent.

We could learn some lessons from the woodpecker.

The bird’s persistence means that it will get eventually be rewarded by some bugalicious nourishment.

Writers too often give up before netting an agent, or a publishing contract, or whatever else they seek in the world of writers.

Let’s take a lesson from the woodpecker, who always gets his bug!

Is Good Still Good?

I love fairy stories. You, too?

My mother used to read all the well-known stories to us at bedtime: Beauty and the Beast, Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Snow White…

and some of the lesser known, but equally good: Hansel and Gretel, Rapunzel, The Snow Queen.

Each of these stories contains common themes:

  • evil exists
  • evil is distinct from good
  • good must fight evil
  • good eventually triumphs over evil

I’m not so sure that modern stories contain the same themes.

Take the movie, Maleficent. Here, the very name indicates the woman’s character. Maleficent is magnificently malevolent.

But the new movie paints her as misunderstood. Emotionally and physically wounded. No wonder she strikes out and hates. Ah, poor thing. Evil is just misunderstood. If we’d all be kinder, then evil wouldn’t be evil. Evil is just a result of unkindness and injustice!

How naive.

My Bible concordance contains about 100 references to “evil.” The first mention of evil is in Genesis, where God instructs Adam and Eve not to eat from the tree of knowledge of good and evil. They were to remain morally pure.

What unkindness and injustice did Adam and Eve encounter in the garden of Eden to sway them toward evil?

And after Adam and Eve chose to disobey God and to operate independently of God, “…sin entered the world through one man…” (Romans 5:12 NIV Bible)

My old-time fairy stories show the hero or heroine making conscious choices to do the right thing, and thus is evil vanquished.

But today, we see many so-called heroes, using the same methods as the bad characters. But, because we’ve invested in the main character’s vulnerabilities, we still root for him/her.  In the end, the not-so-good main character wins. But I don’t usually end up walking out of the theater feeling that good has been necessarily vindicated.

It’s a dubious victory for “our” side. As in Maleficent, when the writers of the movie put us into her viewpoint, we look at the other side—the supposedly good people—as not so good. It’s all the way you look at evil. Maybe evil is simply another world-view. Not necessarily worse, just sitting on another hill across the valley from good.

This is a dangerous switch in our previous Judeo-Christian world view. It’s more like Yin and Yang.  Opposite sides of a coin. As if evil balances good. As if evil is equal to good.

If we Christians cannot articulate why good is better than evil—or even if there is a difference between the two—then we’re in serious trouble.

I hope we watch these new movies, read these new books with a critical mind. Ask ourselves, “How does the theme of this book, or the main characters’ world view square with the truth of God’s word?”

We should not buy into any world view, or be influenced by it if it teaches:

  • Wrong (evil) is okay as a means to an end
  • Indeed, who has the right to tell me what I do is wrong (evil)?
  • The God of the Bible isn’t real; God is an antiquated belief-system
  • The God of the Bible is only one path; there are many ways
  • Evil isn’t real; it’s just an antiquated viewpoint
  • You are the ultimate master

Let’s encourage and support writers and film makers who create works that reflect truth.