Wednesday, January 30, 2013

How to Make Boring Editing Fun

Admit it.  99.99999% of writers hate editing our work.  But its necessary 100% of the time.

If you follow my Twitter, I recently bemoaned the fact that I realized I needed to change my entire novel to first person POV. 

I was dreading the work.  It was enough brain-numbing work to sit down and just edit my old chapters for consistency, plot, character, big picture questions, etc. etc.  Now I would have to go through and recheck/change every single pronoun and verb TOO?! 

Needless to say, I was doing my writer whining.  I tried the "Find and Replace" feature (word to the wise, it doesn't work).  I tried just skimming and changing each pronoun and verb.  That didn't work either.  I would miss ones and some sentences would just not sound right.

So, I printed out my old draft and began retyping into a new Word document.  I would see the sentence, "She ran through the castle," and type, "I ran through the castle."  It seems the long-way to do it, but it was much better.  Here are the reasons why:

Friday, January 25, 2013

To Party Or Not To Party (Part 2)

A few days ago, I wrote a post on stepping outside of one's comfort zones in social situations and the importance of spending time with people.  You can check that out here!

Now, there is a caveat to my advice:

Remember to rest.

Its seems the older we get, the busier we get, and the busier we get, the less rest we get.  Sometimes I get caught up in all of the attempts to be socially active, and I get burnt out.  I'm just tired.  My brain doesn't work, I'm forgetful, I say stupid things, I'm short-tempered.  So, its important to set aside time for yourself to recuperate from life.

Rest comes in many different forms:

Sometimes, that's being alone and doing things you love.

Sometimes, that means spending time with people who are easy to hang out with.  Let's be honest.  Its relaxing to hang out with some people; its NOT relaxing to hang out with others, no matter what you do together!

Sometimes, it means taking yourself out of society for awhile.  Turn off your phone.  Go to someplace that brings you peace and just sit.

Whatever it may be for you, schedule time to rest.  If you don't schedule it, life won't give you an opportunity.  You have to be proactive. 

Soli Deo Gloria. 

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

To Party Or Not To Party (Part 1)

From one "I'd rather be at home than out in with large group of people" person to another, I have one thing to say to you:

Your company is valuable. 

I write this to all of those people who would much rather spend an intimate evening with a small group of friends or one-on-one with someone rather than be in a huge group.  I'm like you.  I'd much rather spend my evening home with my husband than out at a bar.  Claustrophobia, anyone? 

However, I've had to come to grips with the fact that being out in the world socially is important.  God's given each person unique and wonderful personality traits that are meant to be USED for others.  If we selfishly stay at home all the time because its more comfortable for us, we're not exploring the many ways that God can use our gifts to bless others.

I struggled with this over the holidays when there are a myriad of Christmas parties to go to.  As a result, I'd go to social events cranky because I kept concentrating on where I'd rather be than where I was.

I'm not saying every person needs to make themselves into a social butterfly; all I'm saying is I need to make more of an effort to touch other people's lives.  And that often requires you to be in uncomfortable social situations. Will you join me?

There is always that awkward person in the crowd.  Hang out with them.  Find that wallflower and go talk to them.  Spend a little bit of time talking to people you don't know.  Stay away from the cliques.  Notice the group that's always ostracized and be there.  Ostracize yourself for the sake of others.

You never know how valuable your company might be to someone else's day...or even their life. And guess what? You might just get something out of it too.

Soli Deo Gloria. 

Monday, January 7, 2013

Top Posts of 2012

Dear Blog Readers,

The magnitude of this little thing called an online blog sometimes escapes me.  I post my own two cents on this website, and the whole world can read it.  Wow.  Does that strike you as a little scary and super exciting?

I was looking at my blog stats today a noticed a common theme among my most read-posts of 2012.  Not only did these blog posts receive the most "hits", but they received three to four times more reads than my average hit count per post. 

Top Blog Posts of 2012

It was interesting to see what really resonated with people, and I found a common theme: authentic relationships.  It gives me some hope knowing that my Internet audience, whoever that may be, thinks authenticity, bravery, and relationships important. 

Thanks for taking the time to read my little thoughts.  I appreciate it, and I'd love to interact with you.  Feel free to comment! 


Wednesday, January 2, 2013

The Transition from My to Our

My writing professor in college, Ron Carlson, told me not to go toward my MFA right away; he told me to get some life experience first.  Now, two years after graduation, I understand a little more about what he wanted me to learn.

I guess that is what my blog is about: my experiences, things I've learned, things I'm thinking about and digesting.  To me, portraying life is what writing is all about.

With that being said, recently I've been making the transition in my life from "my" to "our".  After you get married, you are expected for "two to become one flesh".  It's a concept that I hadn't truly began to understand until recently.  In no other time in my life have I really been asked to share truly everything that I have.

Any decision I make is now our decision.  Any purchase my husband makes is now our purchase.  Any choice that my husband makes is now my choice too.  Our house.  Our car.  Our clothes.  Our laundry.  Our dirty dishes.  Our family.  Our life.

I was writing thank you notes today for Christmas gifts.  I had to remind myself to say, "We are so excited about this gift," instead of "I loved your gift!".

Coming at life with this understanding that everything is shared changes everything.  Your life is not the only one on the line; both parties will suffer whatever consequences you make.

What can sound ominous and scary actually brings comfort too.  Our burdens.  Our problems.  They are no longer something that I need to handle on my own.  We're in this together.

My understanding of marriage as a symbol of God's relationship with Him deepens and grows every day.  This transition, though difficult at times, is yet another blessing God has given me, given us.

Soli Deo Gloria.