Motivate Me Monday: Confidence

Motivation To Find Your Confidence As A Writer

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The writer must believe that what he is doing is the most important thing in the world. And he must hold to this illusion even when he knows it is not trueJohn Steinbeck

You wouldn’t worry so much about what others think of you if you realized how seldom they do  Eleanor Roosevelt

5 Quick Tips For Finding Confidence In Your Writing

1. You were uniquely created. No one else is exactly like you and no one else can tell your story. Focus on this truth will give you confidence that you are the only one qualified to tell your story. 

2. Trust your journey. Every mile begins with putting one foot forward. So put one foot forward and write one word. Then another. Repeat. You have started your writing journey and it is up to you to keep moving forward. There will be setbacks, delays, and possibly a few monsters in your path but this writing  journey of relies on forward movement.  

3. Pin point your why.  Why are you writing?  Why it is important to you. What is your end goal? Jot this down and refer back to it when you confidence is starting to waver. If you don’t know why you are doing something it is easy to loose confidence in it. 

4. Remember that other peoples opinions – of you – of your work are just THAT their opinions. They don’t speak for everyone. What one person loves another will hate. Never let a negative opinion tear you down. Never let negative feedback stop you from writing.  Value constructive criticism and use it to improve your writing but never let it stop you from writing your story. 

5. Writing confidence comes from the practice of writing consistently. The more you write the more confident you will become in your writing. If you write everyday this week you will be a better writer at the end of the week than you were at the start. Just imagine what you can do in 365 days! 

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My Story:

When my writing confidence begins to waiver I make a withdrawal from my Bank of Encouragement.  This is simply a collection of positive experiences from my writing journey.  This bank includes words of praise, advice that others have passed on to me, and  experiences encouraged me to keep writing.  For example, In Jr. High I wrote a poem for an assignment. I loved writing poetry but the assigned topic was stupid and boring to me. (Hey, I was in jr high- everything was stupid to me!) So, being the sarcastic rebel that I was, I wrote my own twist on it. Mocking the assignment. I was shocked that the he teacher was impressed. Not only did I get an A but she  published it in the school newspaper. At the time I was so embarrassed to have something I whipped out in rebellion put out for everyone to see. However, it was also a confidence builder. An encouragement that fed my desire to write and be heard. This memory is a deposit I made in my encouragement bank.  If you are like me it is easy to catalog your failures.I have so many to choose from. On the flip side it can be a struggle to pull up the good feedback when you are not feeling motivated.  That is why it is important to take time to catalog the  positive encouraging moments so that you can refer back to them when you are struggling to find motivation. 

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Writing Challenge

Writing Challenge:   Start your own Encouragement Bank.  Grab your journal or create a file on your computer to keep track of positive experiences. Go ahead and title it ENCOURAGEMENT BANK if you want. Start by listing 10 positive experience related to your writing.  Here are few idea to get you started if you are struggling.

  1. Think of one teacher who complemented your work. Write about that experience and how it made you feel at the time.
  2. Write about the first moment you knew you wanted to be a writer.
  3. Make a list of 3 writers or books that inspired you to read or write.
  4. Write about the first time you were brave enough to share your work with another. Even if the experience had negative moments, focus on the fact that you were brave enough to share your work.
  5. Name 5 people who have encouraged you to write. What did they say? How did that make you feel.
  6. Write down a quote that encourages or inspire you to write.
  7. Make a list of writing resources that inspire you to write. It could be books, blogs, youtube videos, or whatever inspires you.

 

BONUS ASSIGNMENT:

Comment here or find me on social media and share with me a deposit you made into your encouragement bank. I would love to hear your positive writing experiences. #encouragementbank

Book Review: The Young World

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I just finished reading The Young World by Chris Weitz and wanted to give you my take on it. Here goes:

The Gist of It:

This young adult fiction novel begins in the aftermath of a mysterious sickness that took out all of the adults and small children, leaving only young survivors between the ages of 12-18.  Jefferson is the leader of his tribe. They have settled into a new way of living and are surviving. He and a few members of his tribe set out to find a cure for the sickness. Their road trip has many roadblocks. They have gunfights with enemy tribes, battle wild animals, and escape cults.

The book is written in 1st person and alternates between Jefferson’s point of view and Donna’s. Jefferson is in love with Donna but she is clueless about that.

What I Liked:

  • I enjoyed the most of characters. Donna & Jefferson felt very real to me. Donna had a lot of conflicting emotions and a distinct way of looking at things. The chapters from her point of view were distinctly different from Jeffersons. Dialog  presented from Donna’s point of view was written in what I would describe as screen play format. This made it clear who was saying what but I am still on the fence as to if  I like this type of format. If the whole book had been written this way it would have been a negative for me, but I did feel like it made Donna’s chapters stand out. Jefferson and Peter, and Kath was also well developed characters.
  • I enjoyed the characters use of  modern pop culture, text talk, nicknames, and references to the technology that they had once been emerged in but was no longer relevant to their lifestyle. The language did a good job grounding the characters as survivors in a new world as characters who “came” from a normal modern life before.
  • There was a lot of action in this book. It kept the pages turning for me. At times it was bit predictable.
  • I enjoyed seeing all of ways that each tribe came up with for living and surviving. The writer did a great job building and revealing the lifestyles of the groups that Jefferson’s tribe encountered.
  • Fast paced plot and lots of action.

 

What I Disliked:

  • I felt like the “new information” that led to the quest fell out of nowhere. It was all like…This is our life , this is what happened ,we are living, and then BAM  “lets go find a cure.” It didn’t ruin the story for me but it was a bit of a stumbling block.
  • I had to go back and reread the text to figure out that Brainbox was a character. I thought Brainbox was an object.
  • The language. Yes, the same modern culture, text talk, and tech references that I found thought provoking got on my nerves after a while.  I felt like it slowed the pace of the book at times, but may have been the intention because there is a lot of action.
  • That the tribes and groups were divided by race. I can see how this could likely happen in a post-apocalyptic culture but that doesn’t mean I have to like it.  I do feel like the writer did a good job dealing with the race division but I wish I was not an issue in real life or this book.
  • The romance between Donna and Jefferson felt a little off to me but I was still pulling for them to be together.
  • SPOILER* I would like to see deeper emotion from the characters. I want to care more about the characters. But, for all the action and death in this book, I was not deeply invested in the characters. Jefferson just lost his brother but I didn’t see or feel his grief as deeply as I would have liked. SeeThrough’s death was a disappointment.  I liked the girl. The characters liked the girl . Brainbox may have loved her. Guess what? Her death did not make me sad as a reader. Yes. I admit it. I should have been sad but I was not. I think her death would have had a more powerful effect if she had been a more developed character and the other characters cared more about her. Jefferson was affected, but it came across more as guilt than sorrow.  The other side of this coin is that these kids have seen a lot of death. It could have been the writers goal to show that death affects them differently because they have seen so much of it. However, I, as the reader  want a little more emotion.
  • The ending. It came out of nowhere.

Final Thoughts: (*Spoiler)

I enjoyed the book. It is not one I would read again. If I come across the sequel to it I would read it to find out what happens next. The book ends with the group being picked up by the NAVY who just happen to be adults.  Wait?  What? I though all the Adults were dead?

I would rate this a 3 out 5.

 

PROS:

Enjoyable, good pacing, thought provoking, some good characters

CONS:

Race separation, death without emotional impact, and clunky pop- culture language.

 

 

My Adventures In World Building

I dug a little deeper in my imagination today to flesh out more details for the fictional world of my book.  World building is exciting and overwhelming for me. My world started out as a rather vague  concept. The deeper I plunge into my writing, the more aware I become of how important building the right world for my novel is.

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I wanted to share the process I used today in my world building exercise. Feel free to borrow what is helpful to you and ignore the rest.

  • Panic. What if this world doesn’t make sense to the reader? Why did I chose to write a book that required a fictional world? Why didn’t I spend more time planning this out before I started writing? Panic session complete. Now,  get over it and dig in.
  • Think out loud. Otherwise known as walking around the house talking to myself out-loud about my book, my characters, and their world. Sounds crazy? Yes. Looks crazy? Yes. It works wonders for me. Sometimes, I even record myself so that I can refer back to some of the fabulous ideas that pop up during my talking time.
  • Paper Brainstorm:  I drew 12 circles on a blank sheet of paper.  I filled in the circles with information about my world. I drew lines to connect the information circles that were related. I made notes that will never make sense to anyone but me.  The panic has subsided, excitement brews and my fab world is taking shape.
  • Write an Overview:  Time to put those ideas into the computer. I started out by typing  my answers to these simple questions. They served as great starting points for my overview. This is where my world building started to take shape. The overview also serves as a great reference point while writing the novel.
  1. Where did this world come from?
  2. Who created this world?
  3. Why was this world created?
  4. When was this world created?
  5. How was this world created?
  6. What type of government does this world have?
  7. What is the purpose of this world?
  8. Who lives in this world?
  9. Why do they live in this world?
  10.  What does it look like?
  11. What does it feel like?
  • Research.  While writing my  world overview I discovered I needed more information about certain topics. I made a list of the areas I needed to research before plunging into the internet. This helps me stay focused when I go online. I am less likely to end up on Pinterest pinning recipes that have nothing to do with my research.
  • Revise Overview: Using my new research I tweaked a few things in my world overview  to reflect the changes needed .
  • Write a Scene: Next, I grabbed two of my characters and plunged them into the world. This scene may not make it into my book but it helped me grasp how my world looks in the context of my story. Some new issues my world popped into focus from writing this scene. I then added a few new details to my world overview. All the bits and pieces are falling into place. My vauge idea is becoming a world.

Whew. World building work over for today! I made some great progress on my world and I had fun doing it. What helps you during your own world building process?