When the World Shifts Without You Noticing

11 May

I think I should start a tradition of having Weird Wednesdays here, featuring the oddest searches people have made leading them here.  I don’t know if I’ll get weird stuff every week, but if I do I’ll post it–just for kicks.

So for this week, we have:

  • adèle and the secret of the mummy nude” (which is funny to me because there were no “secrets of the mummy” in that movie they’re referring to, and the way this is phrased makes it sound like they’re looking for nude mummies, not a nude adèle , heh)

    "Nude" Adèle.

…and last week (since I didn’t do one then) it was:

  • 1940’s lesbians

    Maybe some of these ladies from 1936 were lesbians, explaining why they couldn't find husbands?

People are under the impression that they can successfully find information about lesbians here.  Amusing.  (And I’m aware that by even mentioning this I’m probably influencing futue searches, but oh well.)

Okay, now down to business.

I’ve noticed that since beginning this blog I’ve kind of drifted away from writing about writing, per se, and more towards other interests that are/can be related to writing.

There’s a reason for this.

For one, it gets old just writing about writing.  There are thousands of articles out there on the Web dedicated to the how-tos of writing stories and novels, and for the most part whatever I say about writing is mostly going to be a rehash of what’s already out there, rephrased in my own words and filtered through my amateurish experiences–because folks, there’s isn’t much that’s new under the sun.  (Though, I guess even this can be interesting at times.)

I started this blog with the notion that I’d be writing for an audience that had never tried to write a novel before (boy, was that silly) and soon realized that the responders really weren’t that kind of audience.  I’m connecting mostly with aspiring writers who have written the first draft(s) of their (first) novels and are trying, like me, to get published.

What I’m trying to say is that the purpose of this blog might have shifted without me noticing, and so I’m now trying to sort this out and decide what should be reflected here at Seven & a Half First Drafts and how.

“Create. Inspire. Write. Aspire.”

I didn’t have that little tagline on Blogger before migrating over to WordPress; in fact, I had something much longer!  I pretty much made it up on a whim because I had to put something in that space, lol, but I actually think it pretty much states why I’m still blogging here now.  (And look, it even does it succinctly!)

So what does that tagline mean exactly?

Create.

I like to create things, and writers are, by nature, creators.  We’re all currently creating something using the written language, but I (and many others of you, I’m sure) also work on a lot of other things that aren’t necessarily related strictly to literature.  Sometimes I will share this stuff, as I have with maps, languages and songs lyrics I’ve written or whatever else I create, though all of these things are related to my WIP in one way or another.

Sometimes I find this to be more interesting than, say, “How to Outline/Plot/Write a Novel,” and I wonder how many other aspiring writers would agree.

On another note, I realize I haven’t posted any snippets from my novel yet, and that will change in time–but only once I’m done editing.  I don’t believe in putting any part of my manuscript out there before it’s been critiqued (which is hasn’t yet) because once you publish something it’s published.  And if it sucks, you can still take it down later and repost and updated version, yes, but people who read it will remember it.  (Blogs?  Meh.  I don’t expect them to be super amazing when I hit “publish” because for one, no one is going to invest their money in any of this stuff; it’s free.  And two, I think people can generally forgive a few errors here and there in a blog, as compared to a sequence of them throughout a novel.)

If I’m going to put any part of my novel on my website it’s going to be a polished version of it.  I know it’s taking a while to get to that point, but trust me when I say I am working towards this point.  Also, I don’t have any short stories I’ve written that I can share at the moment, either, because I don’t really write “short” stories and I don’t usually read them, either.  I could see myself writing some novellas, though, in the future because I already have some ideas for this.

In any case, that’s just where I am right now.

So that’s my piece on “creating.”

Inspire.

Inspiration plays a major role in informing what a writer writes, so sometimes I’ll post things that inspire me–simply because they inspire me.  (Like recently I’ve been writing a lot about dieselpunk because it’s something relatively new to me and I feel my work could qualify under this aesthetics and perhaps even help to establish it more as an accepted subgenre, like steampunk.)  I typically do my best to tie everything back to writing, and sometimes my attempts may be clumsy, but isn’t that what being a creator (and a writer) is about?  Making mistakes until you get better.

Hopefully no matter what I decide to post I am inspiring someone out there, but this isn’t really something I can predict.  And I’m not the motivational cheerleader-type, either, so those kinds of posts typically aren’t going to come out of me.  I’m very cynical of myself, for the most part, and tend to over-analyze the simplest of things, lol (though this isn’t necessarily how I am with other people).

What I’m getting at is that I intend to “inspire” by (1) sharing inspirational things and (2) giving you all things to think about.  I take what I’m inspired by, chew on it a bit, let it mix in with all the other thoughts in my head, and hope that what I regurgitate to you, the audience, makes some sense.  (If not, I’m sure you’ll either ignore me and think I’m crazy or tell me in your own way, “This doesn’t make any sense.”)  That’s how I think and process much of what I encounter in the world.  Hopefully you can relate.

Write.

Okay, so we come back to the reason any of us are here: because we write.  We write blogs, we write stories, and sometimes we even write poems, or music.

It doesn’t matter what you write; so long as you’re writing regularly, you’re a writer.

Published fantasy author?  Well, that’s something very specific, and I haven’t got there yet.  Though, you’ll be amongst the first to know when I do.

If and when I do write about writing, I don’t think I can assume a “how-to” tone any more.  It doesn’t feel right.  All I can share is how I’ve done things in the past and how that’s worked out for me so far.  Maybe it’ll work for you; maybe not.  In any case, I think the goal is to generate discussions on different methods writers can use to help them get from “blank slate” to “published story.”  Encourage people to share their opinions and thoughts–and, of course, write.

Right?  (Sorry, couldn’t help myself.)

Aspire.

Never settling for the status quo.  Always pushing one’s boundaries.  Staying curious.  Constantly picking up those rocks that have obviously been here forever, looking under them, cracking them open and asking questions (then looking for the answers).  Making discoveries and then integrating them into storytelling in novel and entertaining ways.  And finally, sharing this with the world.

As a writer, that is what “aspire” means to me.

So that’s the direction this blog is/has been heading, it looks like.

Things aren’t necessarily going to change that much around here.  The only thing that’s changed is the limits of the blog.  I guess they’ve broadened over time to include more than just “writing.”  (So maybe my about page will change.  Not sure, I’ll have to read it over again.)

Later, for example, I plan to write about a pet project of mine: hydroponic gardening (because I know Mr. Cabit would like it, heh).  Naturally, that has nothing to do with writing, but somehow I’m going to find a way to link the two (no matter how lame the attempt).

I assure you.

So, what do you think?

Am I going off into the deep end here, or is this pretty much what you’ve observed happening around these parts?  Better yet, as a reader is this something you want to see happening?  Do you care that I’ve been writing less about writing?

Maybe a poll will help.  (Other responses welcome, as well.)

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6 Responses to “When the World Shifts Without You Noticing”

  1. Mark Andrew Edwards May 11, 2011 at 2:55 PM #

    “whatever I say about writing is mostly going to be a rehash of what’s already out there, rephrased in my own words and filtered through my amateurish experiences”

    –actually, this is what I like most about your blog. I know what I’m going through with my work. I like hearing other people’s takes, what they’ve learned, what they’re struggling with. Everyone’s story is different. If you give a writing prompt and 10 people write a story to that, you’ll get 10 different stories. Because each story and each voice is different.

    So, don’t think that part of your writing is boring. But, as always, write what you feel.

    Like

    • Tiyana May 11, 2011 at 10:24 PM #

      Thanks, Mark! Glad to know I’m not boring people to death, lol.

      Like

  2. T. S. Bazelli May 11, 2011 at 3:18 PM #

    I’ve also been shifting away from the writing posts. Most of the visitors on my blog are fellow writers, and at varying stages in their projects, not beginners. There are few topics I feel like I’d contribute to in terms of writing craft. I think focusing on the experience of writing is always good to hear/commiserate about. I’m still trying to figure this out.

    I enjoy your interests posts! The variety is fun 🙂

    Like

    • Tiyana May 11, 2011 at 10:29 PM #

      It is weird, trying to find that balance. Good to know I’m not the only one still trying to figure that out, heh. Thanks for the feedback!

      Like

  3. Stephen A. Watkins May 12, 2011 at 5:33 AM #

    That’s similar to how I’ve approached my own blog. From the very beginning I knew I wasn’t going to write strictly about “writing” or give advice on the craft, per se. Or rather that it wouldn’t be the dominant theme of my blog, and for much the same reasons (a. that there’s so much advice out there already and b. as a [then] unpublished author nothing I said could really be all that useful since I hadn’t yet done anything noteworthy). So mostly… I just share about things that interest me, and when I get the itch to write about writing, I do, but I don’t make a habit of it.

    For me, the most interesting posts to read on your blog (and the blogs of other fellow writers) are when they share stories about things that interest/inspire them.

    Like

    • Tiyana May 12, 2011 at 9:54 AM #

      Thanks for the comments, Stephen.

      I don’t necessarily think that when aspiring authors start blogging specifically about writing it won’t be useful. It’s just that that kind of advice-blogging is more easily received (and probably more appreciated) when it comes from an established author than from a fledgling writer. I guess it’s just an authority thing, and since I don’t feel like an “authority” on writing it just feels odd to write too much about it—something I’m sure you all can relate to.

      Also, some blogs have very specific goals and/or themes that the authors stick to quite rigorously, which is something I’m only recently realizing I would prefer not to do, heh. I like the freedom of writing about my various interests yet still giving them purpose by somehow tying them back to writing.

      I hadn’t realized it before, but I guess a lot of the people whose blogs I follow (you all!) do this, as well (and the ones that don’t I tend not to follow regularly). Like you say, it’s just more interesting, and varied. You don’t know what to expect! Yet at the same time, every blog has its own purpose that is shaped by the unique perspectives of their authors. 🙂

      Like

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