Thursday, April 17, 2014

Fini!

Can you hear the choir of angels in the background? I can!

Heroes and Villains Book 3 is done and the final draft before editor is with my betas! It works. It has an ending. There are no brackets reading [insert fight scene here] anywhere in the Word document! I'm so happy I could dance barefoot on the lawn if it weren't freezing cold outside.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

It's a Choice

One of the things I love about yoga (but often forget to do) is set an intention. To have a focus on something that's important. Over the weekend this came up because I realized I'm doing so many things with the wrong intention.

I'm running to lose weight rather than running (okay speed walking) because I enjoy it. I do enjoy it. I love playing Runner 5 on the Zombie Run Game. But my intention was set on weight loss rather than enjoying the exercise. The same is true for weight lifting. Weird as it sounds, I honestly enjoy pumping iron. But not when I do it only with the intent to lose weight.

I love food, but not when I analyze every bite wondering if this will wreck some imaginary health kick.

I love writing, but not when I agonize over every word wondering if I'm wasting my time and worrying about whether writing will make it possible to send four kids to college (the answer is NO by the way - writing is not a career with wealth attached).

With the wrong intentions even something you love will go wrong. If you focus on the wrong aspect of something you love, it taints it, destroys it, bleeds the joy out of something that should make you happy.

So, mid-New Year's resolution here, I'm trying to reset my intentions. I'm writing because I love telling stories, and it's so much easier to tell the stories out of a place of love and joy and a desire to share the wonder. I'm trying to look at food as something to enjoy. I've blogged about my struggles with this before, so feel free to gently remind me if it seems like my intentions are off.

I'm trying to find joy in the spring - there are flowers! - and see the good in each moment. I'm living intentionally one day at a time.


Wednesday, April 9, 2014

The Importance Of Having A Partner

What makes a great literary writer? Is it their inner fire? Their great mind? The depth of their passion for the written word?

Actually, no, it turns out that what really makes a great literary writer is a wonderful spouse or partner. The saying, "Behind every great man is a great woman," is very true. It's proved by Vera Nabokov, who not only did all the classic House Wifey things for her literary husband, she also edited his work and handled all the tedious mundanities we would call Office Work.

Things like earning a steady paycheck, paying the bills, cleaning, cooking, raising the children, sending letter to fans, arranging appointments with editors, and more. Atlantic journalist Koa Beck has an interesting article about this, the praise and envy of Vera. 

For those out there still in the literary trenches, what can you you take away from this?

Get a partner. They don't need to be a spouse, or family, or even your best friend - although undoubtedly they will become a good friend indeed - but get a partner. Find someone who will help you, who will support your writing, who will support you.

Vera Nabokov did something even more important than cooking dinner every night, she was there when Vladimir's faith in himself failed. And that, more than anything, is what a writer needs. Hot meals, clean laundry, and a steady income will not make you an author. Many people have these luxuries and never write a single book, never create one piece of art, never leave their comfort zone because they don't have someone urging them to grow.

Conversely, far too many great artists quit before they finish because they are mired down in an negative environment. Self-doubt is part of the creation process, it's inescapable. During those moments of doubt a writer needs to have someone who still believes in them. If an artists walks away from a project out of fear of failure and finds themself surrounded by doubters and naysayers, they won't go back. At some point, they will begin to internalize the negativity pouring in and quit.

That doesn't mean you should divorce your spouse, abandon your friends, or cut out your family if they express doubt in your chosen passion. It means you sit down with them and say, "This is part of me. It's something I love. This keeps me sane, and healthy, and happy. Please, support me."

Hopefully, they'll understand and will be willing to support something, even if it's only 30 minutes a day, or two hours on the weekend. Find what works, and in turn support the ones you love in their pursuits that feed their creative passions. Creating good things is a sure fire way to improve your life.

- Liana

P.S. You might also want to pull out this article if someone wants to claim males are better literary writers because they write more. They don't. Males just have a better support system in the form of a society that insists women are in charge of the housework. If husbands and society were equally supportive of creative women, we'd have more women in literature.