Ok, so I’m channeling my girl from around the way persona. Lately I’ve felt the overwhelming urge to do things my own way, with little regard to what other people have to say about it. My alter ego encourages me by giving a Kanye shrug and affirming, “Do you, Boo.”
This mantra has translated into my choices about who I date (or to be more precise who I DON’T date), what I eat, how I work out and the list could go on. To be honest, the more I “do me” the more I’m feeling myself. My confidence is sky rocketing as I become accustomed to the satisfaction that comes with being true to myself in big and small decisions.
Of course, I’ve taken this attitude to task with my writing as well. Over the last year I’ve dedicated myself to learning more about the craft of writing. Which is a good thing, and a habit I plan to continue for the rest of my writing career. The issue is that there are a whole lot of rules when it comes to writing. I mean a lot. And I’m not just talking about grammar and sentence structure. Plenty of writing experts swear by outlines, writing prompts, methods and routines.
What I’ve discovered is that rules are indeed made to be broken. Now, I’m not encouraging a total disregard for acknowledging and following the advice of experts. All I’m saying is that sometimes it’s necessary to chuck the status quo and follow your creative genius.
7 Writing Benefits of “Doing You”
- More enjoyment and less stress about writing the “right” way.
- You’ll be more likely to let your creative genius flow.
- Through trial and error, you’ll learn what does and does not work for you. These lessons will stick with you longer than reading it in a book.
- You can sing Frank Sinatra’s “My Way” with heartfelt passion.
- You’ll be less likely to unconciously mimick another author’s style or structure.
- Your confidence will soar.
- You get to sound all street and say things like, “I’m doing me, son.”
If your writing practices are working for you (i.e. you’re content with where your writing is and have met your personal writing goals), why change them? Don’t let the plethora of well-meaning advice from experts cause you to become stagnant. Don’t compare your work with the work of other authors. Don’t scratch an idea for a book that you’re passionate about because some marketing expert says it won’t sell. Don’t spend days agonizing over a novel outline if you hate outlines and they don’t help you write any better. Do what works for you. In other words, do you Boo!
What’s your personal mantra these days?
Photo credit: 黒忍者 / Foter / Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC 2.0)
This past weekend I attended a natural hair, health and wellness expo. I got to sit in on a workshop and gain encouragement for fitness from Ernestine Shepherd! If you don’t know who she is, allow me to ‘introduce’ you to her. She is the oldest competing body builder in the world! At 78 years young, she’s in better shape than the most people half her age. I looked on in awe as this woman old enough to be my grandmother whipped off her jacket and proudly displayed a six-pack! I thought to myself, “Girl, you have no excuse.”
Me and Bodybuilder Ernestine Shepherd!
I’ve been patty caking with taking charge of my fitness for months now. I’ve made small changes, but didn’t really take the steps to go all in. Well, after meeting Ms. Ernestine, I got the kick in the pants I needed to make the necessary changes to transform my body and health. I would love to be just like her when I grow up!
Inspiration is everywhere. When you’re deciding whether or not to do something, it’s amazing how many signs will begin to pop up letting you know you’re on the right track. I can’t log on to Facebook without seeing several stories about fitness and healthy eating. Somehow, I’ve signed up for a 5k in September and I can’t even run a mile without stopping yet. And I got to meet a 78-year-old body builder who told me to email her any time for advice or encouragement. I mean people, the stars are all aligned. I have no choice but to get it in, and get it together.
What have you been putting off that you know you need to do? Don’t leave me hanging out here by myself…tell me about it below!
Check out Ernestine Shepherd’s website here.
So the other day I walked into my living room and the T.V. was on with the sound off. There was a movie on. I think it might have been a new version of The Hulk or something. My sister has a fetish for what I call man movies. Give me a chick flick any day. But I digress. Just as I was about to turn the volume up and change the channel, I began to notice that observing the actors without sound was pretty interesting. I’ve mentioned before how important it is as a writer to be aware of the world around you. After a couple of seconds of watching, I was fascinated by how much the actors conveyed with their body language, facial expressions and the use of props.
Then it hit me: watching the movie without sound was a great way to help improve my descriptive writing skills! I love words. Duh, that’s a given for any writer. However, my love for words causes me to pay more attention to dialogue than action while watching T.V. This also manifests in my fictional writing. I can be really heavy with the dialogue and character introspection. This leaves a lot to be desired when it comes to describing setting and character action.
As I sat there watching my own version of a silent film, I noticed the way the actors broke eye contact when under pressure. That they shifted their bodies away from whomever was speaking when they were angry. Their skin flushed, lips trembled, fists clenched. They would dishevel their hair, flail their arms, sit on the edge of their seat. They reclined in satisfaction or pushed their shoulders back in determination.
And omg, the settings! From over cluttered messy shoebox apartments to the closed interior of a truck cab, the places where the actors had the conversations said as much about what was happening as what the actors actually said. The setting did much to ‘set’ the mood for the scene.
Now, I know for some of you this may be Writing 101 material. But for me, I was ecstatic to find an exercise for helping to make my descriptive writing better. Sometimes a wordsmith just needs to ignore words for a while in order to become a better wordsmith!
What are some of your favorite tips or exercises to help improve your writing?
Want to check out more of my writing tips? Click here!
Photo credit: Just Ard / Foter / Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)
Because it’s Monday and if yours are anything like mine, you’re short on time, and could use a little inspiration.
Courtesy of Dumpaday.com
Courtesy of Thumbpress.com
Courtesy of Dougleschan.com
And finally just because it’s so true…
Courtesy of Stylopics.com
Have a fabulous week!!!!