A to Z Challenge 2013 – E is for…

~ EMPOWERMENT ~

Some strong language and themes present, but a must see. Just lower the volume if the kiddies are about. Viewer discretion advised.

This post is not meant to be a feminist rant. I believe Katie Makkai showed, with commanding eloquence, the need to break free from the stereotypes that have become the norm in society. We are not and should not be defined by anyone but ourselves. Every person, regardless of age, race, social standing, sexual orientation, or religion has a right to empowerment.

As writers, it is our duty to use our words wisely. Words have power. We have a unique platform and wide-reaching audience. Rather than try to fit into a worn and outdated mold, we have the ability to break it. We can see to it that our message, as writers, reaches every person to remind them who they are in this world.

What are your thoughts on the video? What does empowerment mean to you as a writer and as a person?

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Today’s theme is brought to you by the letter

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A to Z Challenge 2013 – D is for…

~ DEADLINE ~

clock   Deadline

 (via shawn_the_juggalo & jblaze66)

Writers often work long hours to meet a deadline. *cough* NaNoWriMo *ahem* Camp NaNoWriMo. Perhaps, it’s a self-imposed deadline or one set by your boss, editor, publisher, or others. Regardless of the type of deadline, do you feel that it helps your writing or hinders it?

Sometimes, we tend to lose ourselves in the writing process. We churn out the words like a

typing

(via jobugjeepers)

When that happens, I take a step back from the project and reassess the situation.

1) What do I hope to gain with the completion of this project?

2) What’s more important, quality or quantity?

3) Does this piece have the right voice?

4) If I were a reader, what would it take to hook me?

5) Could I approach this from a different perspective?

These are just a handful of questions I’d ask myself to make sure I’m not hammering out senseless drivel. As with any story, every word counts. Every chapter, scene, and moment has their purpose to drive the story forward, to compel the reader to turn the page. When we keep that in mind, it makes us reconsider how much pressure we put on ourselves to come up with the final product.

No one I know likes the pressure of a deadline. However, I find it a necessary tool to keep me on my toes and to ensure that I’m mindful of the message I’m trying to convey. A perfect example of this are my recent writing Sprints over in the Savvy Authors Chat room and on Twitter. A group of writers come together and write for an hour, posting our word counts in the end. While it’s not the same as a project deadline, the motivation is the same. I want to get as much out before time’s up. While I’m typing away, I’m also asking myself questions to make sure that what I’m writing has direction. The sense of accomplishment at the end of the hour does wonders for the writing process, as a whole. Sometimes the pressure, if we work with it and not against it, is a good thing.

I try not to think about the looming deadline ahead. Rather, I do my best to stay motivated and imagine typing those final words, and in doing so, find myself more confident, focused, and eager to begin

novel-writing-once-upon-a-time-typewriter

(via MichelleGregg61)

How about you? Do deadlines pressure or motivate you and your writing process?

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Today’s theme is brought to you by the letter

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A to Z Challenge 2013 – C is for…

BETCHA THOUGHT I’D SAY COOKIE, HUH?

Alas, cookie lovers around the world (along with a certain blue monster) must join me and

~ CARPE DIEM ~

For those who haven’t seen this glorious movie, I urge you to do so. P.S. I got all misty eyed just watching clips of it on YouTube. *le sigh*

SEIZE THE DAY.

We’re fortunate to live in an era where we can communicate our message on a global scale. It’s a great time to be a writer. The fact that I can branch out and ‘meet’ new people on a daily basis from all around the world through a blog amazes me. What better reason to challenge myself into writing two stories in April, to blog about various topics throughout the month, to push my creative envelope. There’s so much we can accomplish in a day and there are so many opportunities out there. What’s stopping us from reaching our goals?

CARPE DIEM TAKE THE PLUNGE murphy

(via senorgif)

Sometimes, we’ve just got to seize the day–and take the plunge.

It’s the thought of finality that drives me to create. I want to leave this world knowing I made some sort of artistic impression. I want to contribute to the constantly evolving methods of creative communication. That’s why I’m a writer. That’s why I love the artform. What motivates you to shout, CARPE DIEM?

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Today’s theme is brought to you by the letter

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A to Z Challenge 2013 – B is for…

~ (WRITING) BUG-OUT BAG ~

If I wait until the end of the month to talk about my Writing Toolkit or Survival Essentials, well, the writing trek would pretty much be over. So in the spirit of the great outdoors, today I’ll share with you some contents in my Writing “Bug-out Bag.”

photo

1) MacBook Pro 13″. I’d prefer a Macbook Air 11” for true portability. Feel free to donate to the cause. 😉

2) iPad and iPhone. Quick on-the-run type of notes or a bit longer with the iPad and a bluetooth keyboard.

3) Storage. Back that *beep* up! Dropbox or any cloud-type storage. Folders on your laptop, computer, wherever. SD Cards. I have a case that holds up to 10 cards. It’s slim and I can use the cards for the laptop and my cameras. Thumb drives, external hard drives. You get the idea. Copy your WIPs to various folders in different locations and devices so your back ups have back ups of the back ups. You feel me?! Trust me, people, many a tear has been shed, many a hair has been pulled. Don’t let this happen to you. You’ll be left a saline-deprived, dehydrated, tear duct shriveling bald-spotted hot mess.

4) Software. Among the many I must highlight two that have served me well: a) Scrivener. I wrote my last three projects on it: two novels and a short story. Love the index card feature and the ability to move scenes around; and b ) Dragon Dictate. Back and wrist injuries make prolonged sitting painful. This way I can continue with the story while standing, lying down, exercising. (Don’t let your muscles atrophy, people. Writing might turn us to stone! haha)

5) Reference. Anything to do with craft and research in the form of physical books, ebooks, mp3s, podcasts, vlogs, and the like.

6) Music. I like classical music or OSTs from film and television. The track varies, depending on the scene I’m working on. I also have a playlist that serves a purpose similar to those used for running, driving, or an 80’s movie training montage. You know, anything to get you into the writing ‘zone’.

7) Believe it or not, mirrored closet doors. My apartment came with them. I figure, instant dry erase surface for mind mapping, checklists, etc.

8) Low-tech: Paper and writing implements. You do not have an excuse. Get those words out. When the tech dies–EGADS–you can and must keep going. Has JJ Abrams taught us nothing?

9) Sustenance. Is it sad that I put food so low on the list?

10) Sleep. Yes, I know that sleep and floor-to-ceiling mirrors don’t fit inside a Bug-out Bag. But in this case, the bag is a metaphor, much like the camp, itself. I’m not trying to be deep–too soon for that–but I should probably break it to ya. Camp NaNo is neither a camp nor a nano. Discuss.

This list is by no means exhaustive. What are your must-haves to get through writing challenges?

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Today’s theme is brought to you by the letter

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