Writer Resources 7: Jason Stephenson & #Meditation

As writers we often times have several story ideas floating around in our heads. In addition, we carry all those little character and world building thoughts, leading to a pretty cramped space. As people we can sometimes feel stressed, whether its a product of our writing, our day jobs, or something else entirely.

For the past couple of months, I often times found myself carrying around extra weight mentally. It stemmed from my frustration with my writing and my day job. As a result, I found it hard to press through the revisions I was in the middle of doing (and they were quite extensive). No matter how much I worked out physically (often my go to form of stress relief) or tried to relax that mental wall remained.

And then, a couple of days ago, I had a thought: why not try meditation? I know several people who do it and they have nothing but good things to say about it. It’s something that’s always interested me, but up until this point I never had the courage to actually give it ago. So I did, and it was enlightening and profound. When I finished my first meditation I felt more at peace with myself mentally than I had in years; I was able to see things from an entirely new perspective. It allowed me to clear the hurdles that were preventing me from simply writing as well as go about my day with a more positive outlook.

Another reason why I love meditation (I’ve elected to do it on a daily basis) is the vivid imagery that it evokes through music and spoken word. I follow Jason Stephenson’s YouTube channel. This was the first video of his that I watched:

peace

Meditation is not for everyone, writer or otherwise. But nonetheless I encourage you to give it a try, especially if you find yourself stressed and in need of a breather from the daily chaos of life.

A Moment of Panic

Brace yourselves for several paragraphs of disorganized but kind of organized thoughts.

In moments of clarity, I sometimes think that stress and deadlines go hand-in-hand, especially with my writing. In moments of clarity, I sometimes also think my stress is illogical, as was the case a couple of weeks ago. As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, I’m well into some heavy revisions for The Forger and more or less have a solid idea of what those revisions will look like upon completion. What I had not anticipated, though, was the three or four-day span of stress and irritability that would accompany these revisions. Continue reading “A Moment of Panic”

Compelling Antagonists

Compelling characters make a story go. For a while now, I’ve written about and referenced Ursula Le Guin and “The War Against,” highlighting my desire to tell stories that focus on the evolution and make up of my characters as opposed to some war they have been fighting for ages. In my novel The Forger, my protagonist, Theailys An, is tasked with stopping a creature called the Darkener from releasing the Origin and ending the world.  Continue reading “Compelling Antagonists”

Writing and Paying it Forward

Paying it forward is something I believe in as a writer. As a writer, I think we are obligated to provide a helping hand to those who are starting out, or maybe someone who is looking for advice. I am by no means a professional writer, but I have worked hard to hone my craft. I have taken creative writing classes, read books on the art, and listened to seasoned professionals talk about their approach to writing, whether it’s character creation, world building, or even how they break their story up. Continue reading “Writing and Paying it Forward”

When Story Rejection is Awesome

Yesterday I sent my novella THE WALKER AND THE DOE to Fantasy & Science Fiction Magazine. Today I received this, a rejection:

“Thank you for giving me a chance to read “The Walker and the Doe.” I liked the way this started by putting us right in the present moment of the narrative, and I thought there was an interesting story with good worldbuilding and details in here, but it also had structural and pacing problems for me, and overall it didn’t win me over. I’m going to pass on this one for F&SF, but I wish you best of luck finding the right market for it and hope that you’ll try us again in the future.”

As a writer, this is the type of rejection I look forward to. The editor told me what they liked about the story as well as what wasn’t working, which allowed me to go through and polish the story where necessary. I’ve put a lot of work into this novella and it’s probably my favorite story out of everything I’ve written. The fact that the editor of one of the oldest and most revered speculative fiction magazines took the time to provide me with such great feedback only increases my confidence in this story.

Writer Resources 6: Writing Groups

Welcome to Writer Resources 6, my long overdue post about writing groups and their importance. For many years, when I was first starting out, I harbored a great aversion to writing groups. My mom would always suggest that I go to one in Los Angeles, as that was the closest one to me at the time, and I remember very clearly saying, verbatim, “I prefer to write by myself.” Continue reading “Writer Resources 6: Writing Groups”

What Music Stokes Your Creative Fire?

I’m writing this in lieu of the Writer Resources post I’m now three weeks late on (I promise it’s coming!). Music is a valuable tool for writers, I think; for artists in general. I listen to it when I draw and I listen when I write, or when I’m simply looking for inspiration for a story or I need that bit of motivation or encouragement. It’s a constant in my life, whether I’m walking or driving somewhere, and I wanted to share my personal favorites. Continue reading “What Music Stokes Your Creative Fire?”