♀♂♀♀♂♀ Gender Specifics ♀♂♀♀♂♀

There is a ‘grammar’ check that comes up from time to time when I write. When I have dialogue such as this:  “Hey guy’s, check this out.”  Guy’s is underlined in blue and I get the ‘Gender Specific Dialogue message’.

The same goes for actress or stewardess or any other gender specific word. In the narrative, it is better to omit these classifying words that would by today’s standards be sexist or insulting, such as chick or guy or dude. Since people still talk this way they are acceptable in dialogue(IMO) as long as it’s character driven and not author driven. By that, I mean a single character’s way of speaking and not every character’s way of speaking.

So I did some digging and reading and found out that there is a lot to it. Being a gender specific species we naturally gravitated toward gender-specific activities, likes, interests, and behaviors etc. Thus as jobs, careers, roles, and positions within society were created unequally; they were predominantly occupied by men. It is these traditional male roles that were divided by gender titles when women entered the workforce.

These clear dividers were created to keep the gender identity of the person within the job clear. This is where feminism and women’s rights came into play.

As roles of women changed in society to become less gender-linear, the terminology used for women’s positions in society started changing. They are either reverting back to the male title or getting a new neutral one all of their own.

With the modern world, such differentiations are less and less acceptable.  So when a divide was created in, for example, a job title, are reverted back to the male referent once feminism came into play. Some titles stayed the same across the gender as well

Titles with clear gender specific language
Male  Female Gender neutral
Actor Actress Actor
Steward Stewardess Flight Attendant
Waiter Waitress Server
Hero Heroine Hero
Policeman Policewoman Police officer
Barman Barmaid Bartender
Headmaster Headmistress Headteacher
Manager Managress Manager
Mailman Mailwoman Mailperson
Salesman Saleswoman Clerk/ salesperson
Fireman Firewoman Firefighter
Barber Hairdresser Hairdresser/hair stylist

A lot fo the gender specific’s are noted by the ‘man’ or ‘woman’ at the end.

Titles that are gender neutral
Male  Female Gender neutral
Pilot Pilot Pilot
Author Author Author
Lawyer Laywer Lawyer
Teacher Teacher Teacher
Doctor Doctor Doctor
Chef Chef Chef
Titles that were typically female but now gender neutral
Male  Female Gender neutral
  Nurse Nurse
Stay at home wife Homemaker
Nanny Nanny/childcare provider
Secretary Secretary or Receptionist

In order to illustrate how a gender non-specific noun is used, I’ll give some examples using gender-neutral nouns and gender specific pronouns:

When I approached the police officer she smiled a friendly greeting.

I dropped my son off at the daycare, he is so good with the kids.

The sales clerk took my order; he gave me a discount I wasn’t expecting.

My doctor said she is pleased with my progress.

The manager said she wouldn’t meddle in my business, she lied. 

See? They all sound just fine without the gender-specific job title.

This can be a touchy subject because as humans, we all have different ideas, opinions, beliefs, standards, and codes of ethics.  Regardless of the opinion or views on the subject when writing (IMO and general rules I found) it is suggested that using gender specific language in narrative might be viewed as insensitive or unprofessional.

I’ve caught myself making gender specific references because I grew up with them. I do however know better and try to find them and when I do, I find that what I wrote sounds better and more professional. Does that mean I take it out of the dialogue of an old man who doesn’t know better? No. I leave it in when it’s important to the character and their personality/upbringing/beliefs. I’ll have a sexist pig drop comments, names, and job titles on the sly to solidify who they are as a person. (FYI women can be sexist pigs too)

My advice about gender specific language in the narrative.
It might be a good idea to write a better sentence. If we all make this effort it will be a great stride forward for mankind humankind everyone. 

-Sheryl

Other posts

The “What ifs” Of Imagination

“Who’s Talking?”

Copyright © 2017 All rights reserved’

Meddle

That’s just the way it works

Writing is different for everyone. What is written, how and why. There is no wrong or ultimate right way. Sometimes the words flow easily other times the creativity bed is dry and parched. The pace at which I write can depend on a great number of things.

Time of day
Available time
Distractions
Mental Health
Physical Health
Emotional State
Stress/Anxiety
Energy level
The writing space itself
Anything that takes you away from the train of thought/creation.

The inspiration for writing can come from anywhere. Whether it’s a blogging daily prompt, a movie recently watched, a trip taken or a bug hitting the windshield. It can come at any time in any place in every and any possible form. The factors above can easily affect the ability to recognize inspiration just as much as it can throw a wrench in the actual writing process.

There are days when I actually can’t keep up with what I need to write. Then there are others where I take multiple pauses to imagine out the different scenario possibilities. Then there are the times when nothing happens.

I think of my writing phases like this

Drought – There is just nothing there. Noooothiiiing.
Foggy lake – The ideas are already there just below the surface useless beneath the fog. 
A spring rain – The ideas are on the way, gathering and about to bloom beautifully.
A storm – The ideas are raging and pouring down. I need to write them down so I don’t lose track Too much too fast, but still manageable.
A flowing River – It’s all good, I’m in a groove and loving every word of it.
A Vast Ocean – too much going on to bring it in line. No direction, currents of thought taking me in too many directions at once.

On drought days I walk away. I do something different and don’t worry about the lack of writing. Taking time to live life and gather moments that lend experience to inspiration, are just as important as writing. It’s how the spring rains come or the fog lifts from the lake.

Things that can get the creative river flowing

Movies
Books
Poetry
Music (I can’t count the number of times a song has inspired a chapter or character story arc. Sometimes it’s as simple as the emotion it evokes)
A party
A Play
Exercise
A comedy that induces laughs and chuckles (Or just laughing)
A visit to the park/amusement park/carnival/pier/zoo/pool etc. 
Basically anywhere where people/animals are to do interesting things.

I’m not talking plagiarism or stealing ideas, I’m talking about being inspired. Everything was written was inspired by an outside influence. That’s just the way it works. Some idiot mouths off in a coffee shop. Voila, new minor villain enters my creation factory. I tweak, twist and give them something plot related to say and Bam! Jack the sweaty asscrack guy with a racist comment enters the story to stir up trouble. That fly that hit the windshield? Toss that into the factory and instead of one its a swarm that actually paints the car in a crunchy gooey sticky mess… But why? And welcome a disgusting plot twist.

I’ve talked about creativity drought before (Post link is below) and it will likely come up again. Why? Because it happens. I see it every day with fellow writers and even myself from time to time. The frustration it can cause is real and can quickly become a cycle of frustration, doubt, depression, frustration and back around and around and around.

The trick I think is to recognize your writing phases (however you like to imagine them) Whether you see them as rivers, cogs turning, wheels, or even seasons. Be able to recognize when you’re in them and what you can do to move to a more desirable one if need be.

My advice about how to write.
Do it your way, that is the only way that will work for you. Never shy away from advice but don’t take it as gospel. And always, always take time for you.

-Sheryl

Some Posts that touch on creativity:

Doubt clouds out creativity

Query letter “creativity drought”.

(Insert description here)

Desperately procrastinating

Copyright © 2017 All rights reserved

Chuckle

Foggy

Six words inspired by a challenge

I’ve been participating off and on in Sometimes Stellar Storyteller’s 6 word story challenge . If you haven’t visited this page, you should. The challenge is simple. Every Saturday she posts a one word prompt to inspire your 6 word challenge. All you have to do is post your 6 word story in the comment(you only get one) and like at least two other posts.

It’s a fun way to exercise your writing muscles, grab some inspiration and see how others think. Sometimes great minds will think a like and as I’m composing my story someone else composes one very similar… It’s all in fun.

Last weeks prompt was rage and I won third place with my entry. As reward I get to post this lovely prize on my page.

6 word challenge 3rd.png

How fun. Thanks Nicola for hosting a fun contest. This week is Entrance, go visit and have some fun. I like to see what everyone else comes up with it’s very interesting.

My advice about trying something new.
Why not? You have nothing to lose. It is fun.

-Sheryl

A couple wordy posts of my own

Getting a little touchy feely

That is disgusting

I’m ‘that’ kind of writer

Copyright © 2017 All rights reserved

The limitation of imitation

Imitation is flattery, or so they say. Technically almost everyone everywhere are copycats in one way or another.  From tattoos, hairstyles, speech mannerisms to personal style we copy what we see to learn. We copied our teachers to learn math, science, English and more. We copy our parents and learn from them how to be adults etc.

In the world of writing, it can be more apparent. While some take inspiration and utilize a style, theme or subject matter others outright thief and pose the work as their own. Tisk-tisk, it’s obvious you know.  This is why copyright laws exist. I talked about this in copyright copyleft a while ago.

How can this behavior apply to writing stories? Well if people do, then the characters should to. What better way is there to endear someone to the protagonist than have someone look up to him or her and mirror them? On the flip-side what better way to toss a little friction in and have someone flat out copycat the protagonist and stir up some trouble? As with everything it can go any possible way, you want. For me I look to see what’s missing, if there’s a lot of drama, maybe a flattery break is needed. If not enough drama then lay anchor matey, the pirates are a coming.

It was too much to deal with. Sasha got up and turned her laptop on. Sleep was not her friend tonight. She couldn’t stop playing the so-called date over and over in her head. The tiny voice suggesting she is being unfair to Scott, then the other voice of reason reminding her he was behaving too pushy and aggressive. Both are traits she wouldn’t have applied to Scott normally. Something was up with him and it struck her as false. Deciding to work for a while, she checked her inbox.
“Huh.” She clicked open a message from Valery titled, Amber rising star.  Sasha left her personal feelings out of her conversations with Valery at work. Outside work they didn’t talk shop often and never gossiped. She read the blurb about Amber’s submission for the candle company. This would not help her sleep. The attached images opened and Sasha stared in disbelief. They were her designs, modified just enough to be passable as Ambers work.
“That sneaky little copy-cat.”  If it had been anyone else, she might have passed it off as flattery, but not Amber. She did this to Tony two months ago and snaked his position and he wound up leaving the company.  Sasha furiously examined each advert and sat back satisfied. She opened a reply box, dropped her image files into it and asked Valery to verify the time dates on Ambers. She didn’t have them, but Sasha did. The only reason Amber would chance copying her work was because lately, since Baylor attacked her, her work has shifted to a more edgier, sharper approach. It was working and getting her some great client feedback.
“We’ll see if you can keep up that level of work on your own missy.” Sasha yawned and closed her laptop after sending her email. She kept is short, sweet and matter of fact. Tomorrow would be an interesting day. The idea of going into the office to face Amber and Scott made her tired enough to finally fall asleep.

While cheating and copying is not the best way to get ahead, some people get away with it and it is infuriating. It is fun to let the antagonist get away with some clearly unjust actions for a while. It builds tension and allows the reader to grow a hatred for one while developing empathy for the other. Someone that can’t get by on their own work are limited to what and who they copy from.

My advice about copycats.
They are a fantastic way to bring some serious frustration into a story. They can also be a great way to bond characters and create lasting relationships. A mentor type situation is a great way to induce friendship.

-Sheryl

Related post  Copyright © Copyleft

Copyright © 2016 All rights reserved
Copycat

The jerk-face warrior

Jerks are people that aren’t necessarily the bad person. I think of jerks that are just contrary or mean without true malice. A self-serving person that is borderline if not a bully. I’ve read books where the protagonist complains about a jerk, but the jerk is either not a jerk or the writer doesn’t show it for it to be believable. Honestly if I want to believe someone is a jerk I want proof, I want the example and I want to agree fully with the protagonist. If I don’t then they lose credibility in my eyes. Show me an ass and I’ll dislike them as I was meant to.

Being mean doesn’t mean the person is bad. A good person or even the hero of the story can be a jerk on a good day. But hey that can lead to some interesting confrontation or dialogue.  If it’s really out of character then maybe it will lead to the revelation moment, when the past or truth is revealed.

 A jerk is condescending to someone undeserving.

Dale rolled his eyes at the barista. “This would be perfect if you’d made it correctly.”
Tittering behind her hand Amber nodded. “It’s too much to ask of the minimum waged.” She whispered loudly.

A jerk is often found giving backhanded compliments. 

Amber smiled sweetly. “The new company promo is out Sasha have you seen it?” “No, not yet.” Sasha smiled and looked at the printout Amber held.
Scott peered over her shoulder. “It’s a good picture of you Sasha, you look slimmer in it.”

A jerk insults someone close, like spouse or family member to/ in front of others.

Sasha took a deep breath and went back to the table. Her father and mother had invited friends, whom she’d never met. Mr. and Mrs. Welsh and they were already three glasses of wine in. The regret to come to this dinner was setting in just fine.
“Sasha darling you do take forever, your food is getting cold.” Her mother smiled and refolded her napkin on her lap.
“Sorry.” Sasha sat and listened to the idle pompous conversation of the wealthy as they ate. She should fit in, she was their daughter, but it wasn’t her cup of tea to boast and brag.
“What is it you do again Sasha?” Mrs. Welsh asked as she lifted her wine to her perfectly painted lips.
“I’m a senior graphic designer at Clifton-” The kick from her mother stopped her from continuing.
Her father smiled and cleared his throat. “Sasha hasn’t found her true calling as of yet. We are hoping she considers law or architecture. Something more respectful.”

A jerk takes food without permission.

Sasha sat at her desk and took out her pumpkin spice muffin. Amber strolled in without knocking and dumped a file on her desk.
“Ooh pumpkin. Yum.” Amber leaned over and pulled a piece off, popped it in her mouth and left.

A jerk brags or boasts.

Scott walked briskly out of Morrison’s office a deep frown on his face.
“What did he want?” Sasha asked as Amber stopped filing and stood beside Sasha. He stopped and pouted prettily then grinned broadly “Guess who got the promotion?” He raised his arms, closed his fists and pointed his thumbs at himself. “This guy, that’s who. Yup. I totally deserved it.”
Sasha plastered a small smile on her face and glanced at Tory, he deserved the promotion hands-down, not Scott.

A jerk leaves a mess behind.

Cal went to the lunchroom as Detective Poulson finished making his coffee.
“Morning Cal, how’s that Crowen case going?” Poulson spilled sugar then set the dirty spoon on the counter beside it.
“I’m heading over to the latest victims house in half an hour.” He held up a box of bagels. “I was just brining these in before I go.”
Poulson picked up his coffee and headed toward the door. “Let me know if you need any help, that prick needs to be locked up once and for all.”
“Will do, thanks.” Cal frowned at the counter as he set the box down and pursed his lips at the wet coffee ring, spilled sugar and dirty spoon. The cloth was less than a foot from the mess, as was the sink.

A jerk in inconsiderate.

Sasha indicated to take the parking space that was just becoming available. Before the car fully drove away another swerved around her and eased into the now vacant spot.
“Hey! I was here first.” She yelled at the driver as he hurriedly got out of his car.
“I’m in a hurry, sorry.” He waved at her absently and kept walking.

A jerk says inappropriate things.

Sasha and Valery leaned over the table looking at the proofs. “That is quite the view.” Scott leered at their backsides as he entered the room.

Amber closed the panel on the projector. “There. All fixed.”
Dale leaned back in his chair. “Not bad for a girl.”

Jerks do a lot more than what I described. Jerks or jerk moments happen, they can be ignored, addressed or confronted. They can be a minor or major part in the transformation of the protagonist or even the antagonist. Whether they start rumors, complain for no good reason, decline donations or contributing to a group gift or are undeservedly bossy, Jerks are necessary for creating conflict or tension, small or large. My husband calls people like this Jerk-face warriors.

My advice about jerks.
If and when someone pisses you off, think about why and what they did. Will that work in your story? I don’t recommend making it over the top in your face without provocation. Jerks are just simple small people that make life less pleasant and the work day just a wee bit longer.

-Sheryl

Other fun posts

Did you smell that?

Copyright © Copyleft

It’s funny you said that…

Copyright © 2016 All rights reserved
Transformation

That escalated quickly

Arguments are fun to write, but need a little TLC. It’s easy to argue your my point of view but when writing it’s important to write with both sides in mind (or more if there are more opinions involved.) This daily prompt is similar to one on Sept 28th when I talked about disagree:  Make it blue.” –  “No. it stays green.” 

When I think argument, I don’t always think fight. Arguments are IMO a verbal banter of opposing opinions or desired results. Generally when I write an argument it’s either resolved or it is not and the subject will definitely come up again. Today I’m going to talk about the escalated argument. The one that does lead to a fight.

Arguing early in a story is tricky because the reader doesn’t know the characters yet and don’t have a loyalty to any particular side. I will use an early argument to establish personality, strengths or flaws in a character. An argument later in the story is fun because I can pull on emotions and the characters personalities in the conversation.

When I start an argument, I treat it like a mini story itself. It has these components.

Beginningthe opening to the argument, the discovery of the conflicting opinion/ideas Middleboth sides argue their points intelligently. This is not the time for the writer to prove a point.
End or Fight – Conclusion, either one side concedes or the subject is dropped and neither are satisfied. This is where a physical or emotional fight happens. This can lead to fantastic friction and drama.

Pen smirked at Cal as he came back from the bar, rejected and shrugging.
“She wasn’t interested.” Cal set his new drink down.
“Cal you just need to be more aggressive if you want to get laid. You’re too considerate of their feelings.”

“Pen, it’s not always about getting laid.” Cal set his drink down on the tall table he was leaning on.
“Suit yourself Convent Cal. I bet I can talk that little hot blonde into a restroom quickie.”
Cal lowered his tone. “Leave her alone. She’s not your type.”
Pen glanced at Cal’s clenched fists then sneered. “You don’t know her. What do you care if I bang a chick that turned you down?”
“Pick on someone more your speed. Her friend is amiable.”
“Amiable?” Pen laughed then leaned closer to Cal. “No I think I’ll take your blonde and show you how it’s done.”
Cal grabbed Pen’s arm. “Leave her alone.”
Pen jerked his arm free. “Or what? You’ll hit me? You’d risk our friendship over a useless piece of-”
“Leave her alone.” Cal warned lowering his chin. “She deserves better than your prowling, in fact no woman deserves how you treat them. You make me sick.”
Pen swung his fist barely clipping Cal’s chin. Cal’s counter punch connected with Pen’s jaw in a thick thud knocking him to the dirty sticky floor.
“Bastard.” Pen rubbed his jaw as he stood. He swung again at Cal and missed. His face went red from the laughter around him. “What’s your problem?”
“You treat women like trash Pen. You treat your friends like crap and I’ve had enough.”
“Fine have her, oh wait, you can’t because she snubbed your pathetic do-gooder ass. I’m outta here. Don’t call.” Pen staggered away and out of the bar, it was busy enough not too many people noticed the altercation.

That escalated quickly. If I have arguments they usually have a bigger purpose, I try to avoid controversy or topics that can alienate a reader unless I know that I can argue both sides and not start preaching my point of view.

My advice about Arguments.
Play around with them and use them to create tension or showcase your characters strengths and weaknesses.  I’ve written conflict and removed it if it throws off the story flow. Usually it helps.

-Sheryl

These posts are very related to arguments: 

“Make it blue.” “No. It stays green.”

Bam! Pow! Kaboom!

Copyright © 2016 All rights reserved
Argument
Controversy

KISS your writing

Keep It Simple Stupid.

AKA don’t be pretentious, if I had to look up the meaning of the word Honorificabilitudinitatibus to put it in my story, chances are most everyone else will too. If I litter my story with words to sound super smart I’ll sound like a jackass.(That’s my opinion.)  I’ve set more than one book down for this reason, not because I didn’t know what the word meant, but because, seriously? Big fun words have their place, I use them wisely or the reader won’t think I’m so wise. That’s not to say they don’t belong, but if it’s overrun it can be frustrating to read and borderline insulting.

For example:

Sasha stood before the group holding up the two layouts. “This is deleterious to our reputation. Neither are erroneous however, neither are optimal either. Both are nugatory to the client. We must commence by consolidating these two non-ostentatious layouts into one agreeable layout. We will have to ameliorate everything expeditiously, leveraging our proficiencies to implement the client’s prescribed parameters.” (55)

 Uh… yeah, what she said… and… close book. 

Sometimes big words have their place, we’re not in kindergarten. I Write for the audience, the readers. A fourteen year old may know what Commensurate means but is the word necessary? Can’t I just say equal?

Sasha stood before the group holding up the two layouts. “This is the kind of work that will destroy our reputation. Neither are wrong however, neither are optimal either. Both are of no value to the client. We must start by consolidating these two unimpressive layouts. We will have to improve everything expeditiously, using our skills to carry out the client’s request.”  (62)

 Better, but she’s still sounding a wee bit pretentious. Now if word count is an issue (and it always is for me) and I wanted to simplify this further I would do this.

Sasha held up the two useless layouts to the group. “This level of work will destroy our reputation. Neither is optimal, so we need to consolidate them. We’ll need to work quickly and actually meet the client’s requests this time.” (40)

I would have never written it like the first attempt. I did that to illustrate that the insertion of overly pretentious words can alienate a reader.

My advice about keeping it simple.
The thesaurus is great and useful, but remember to write for your audience not to “impress” or make them feel stupid.

-Sheryl

Related posts

Hey! Its’ Interjection

Accommodate and contain perplexed

Copyright © 2016 All rights reserved

Border
Simple

Are you inging too?

I was editing away and I realized that there are three sticky little letters that often find their way into my writing. So I thought it might be an issue, after some research and revision I fount that it is. adding ING to the end of words indicates that I’ve switched tense and can set the wrong tone or voice even.

When ing is in use, it is likely that the sentence is in past tense when I probably mean it to be present.

For example:

Sasha was walking to work.
Sasha walked to work.

I try to replace –ing with –ed. Walking becomes Walked. Not rocket science. This is not to say all –ing words are bad or unnecessary, if I mean to be talking in past tense, then I’ll leave them be unless I am writing too much in the past tense. I do try to avoid that.

Let’s see –ing in a bigger example or two: 

Sasha was walking to work when a man stepping in front of her stuck his foot out. Tripping she fell down scraping her knee and wrist. (26)

Eeep. I may have actually wrote that that way. Blech. Okay, tidy up time.

As Sasha walked to work, a man stepped in front of her. She tripped on his foot, scraping her knee and wrist. (22)

Well how about Cal? Let’s see what he’s up to with his –ings.

Cal was holding his breath and reaching for his gun. Popping the thumb brake and he started pulling the gun out from the holster. He had raised his gun up and was aiming it at the man in the shadows. (40)

Oooh repetition and ing all in one go. Do you think he has a gun? The reader isn’t dumb and ick to the ing’s. That was gross to read, way too choppy.

Cal held his breath as he reached for his gun. He popped the thumb break, pulled it out of the holster and aimed at the man in the shadows. (29)

 My advice about ing.
Take a good look at them and determine if they are they necessary? Probably not. Is it creating choppy reading or the wrong tense? Then get rid of them.

 -Sheryl

Other posts

Shut your cake hole

Copyright © Copyleft

Copyright © 2016 All rights reserved
Realize

It’s not always the obvious choice

We all know that one person who is daring, you know, the brave and adventurous ones. I’m not one of them. Or am I? I may not be the first to jump up for skydiving or leaning over the edge of the CN tower, but if I take a close look, I’m more daring than I think. With no experience, I wrote a book, an entire novel. I dared to dream, believe and put my work out into the world. I dared to take the leap and contact literary agents. I bet if everyone thought about it there is something in their life that makes them daring.

This is why daring is a personality trait I like to give my characters. Whether small by standing up to a bully or grand by running into a room full of hostiles to take them on unarmed, or fun by being the first to bungee from a hot air balloon.

Daring people like to be challenged, it adds to the thrill of it all. So a high octane character will be whooping it up and the first in most things. First to laugh, cheer and take chances. While on the opposite end I would have someone quiet and recluse, that struggles with fitting in.

Gavin stood at the edge of the cliff. He looked down and grinned as his heart raced. “This is gonna be a blast.” He checked his jumpsuit and with a glance over his shoulder, he saluted Sasha and jumped. “Woohoooooo.”
Sasha’s hand went to her throat. No amount of preparation had prepared her for this. She edged closer to see him freefall, the bile rose to her mouth. “He’s going to die.” The weak words barely made it out. He opened his parachute and swayed in the wind as the resistance on the parachute slowed his decent.
Valerie’s hand on her shoulder made Sasha jump. “You’re next chicky.”
“No. No I’m really not. I don’t know why I thought I could do this.”
“Ah come on, it’s fun.”
“My idea of fun and yours are not always the same. I’m not daring enough. I’ll just drive down with John and meet you at the bottom.”
“Suit yourself.” Valery shrugged, ran and jumped off the edge with a howl of excitement. Sasha’s knees wobbled and she nearly fell back.

Not jumping from the cliff doesn’t make Sasha a coward in everything. She can face a boardroom of angry clients and sooth the situation and loves scuba diving, snorkeling and skiing. Creating variable depth to what a person will or will not do, can create great foreshadow for something they might have to face in the future. Perhaps I’ll have Sasha forced to decide, jump from the plane or die?

Being daring is not always the obvious choice, like when you play “Truth or dare?” People often choose dare because the truth can be scary, which makes me wonder if it’s actually more daring then to choose truth?

My advice about writing daring people.
Some people are and some aren’t. It’s not black and white, even a seasoned military person might balk a the idea of walking across hot coals or touching a tarantula.  Have fun with it.

-Sheryl

A related post

It’s a love hate sort of thing

Copyright © 2016 All rights reserved
Daring

Labor of love

Labor of Love

Every writer and artist dreams that they’re going to write the next <a href="http://Breakthrough“>breakthrough masterpiece. Then doubt comes along and the words “What if it’s not good enough?” comes along and dashes the confidence.

But what if it is? This is the question that needs to follow any doubt that rears it’s ugly head. I came to the realization that if I think it’s good someone else is bound to like it. If I think, it’s great however people will be excited to like it. It’s all about aiming high. If you want a six-figure contract, believe you’ll get it. Then do what you need to do to make it happen.

Success comes at a cost, not the Hollywood sell your soul to the devil cost, I’m talking effort, sweat and tears. I’d say blood but only if paper cuts are involved. 😉 It is hard work to be published traditionally. There are rules and procedures and it’s anything but easy. World famous authors know this struggle, sure once they get famous nobody sees what they went through just that they’re there now. JK Rowling herself says persistence pays off. If someone says no, try someone else. She was turned down multiple times before someone eventually saw the value in her writing. Imagine being those publishers that said no… See?  So, when I sent out a bunch of queries I rode the excitement/doubt rollercoaster, I’m still on it.  One minute I’m excited and I know someone will love what they see, then I check my inbox and nothing. Down I go. I remind myself it’s only been a week, BiaAtlas is good and I know it, so back up I go.

This whole experience thus far has taught me so much. How to be patient. How to write, edit and revise. I learned how to hone my research and fact check. I’ve learned how to determine good advice from self-serving jealously driven criticism. I have learned not to compare myself to others directly, not to look at them and say I could never be as great as they are. Why not? Who says so? Me? Did I say I couldn’t? Well shame on me then, because then I‘m the one holding me back.  

There will always be the naysayers the ones that will say or suggest you or your work isn’t good enough. To that I say look at the source.

No matter how hard or difficult this process has been, I’ve never been happier. The thing is I wrote a book, I did and it’s amazing that I did.  I had no idea what I was doing and I learned it doesn’t matter. You can fix the technical stuff later, but when you write from your heart and soul you have a masterpiece. When someone uses the term ‘labor of love’ I now fully understand what that means and both myself and my book deserve all the effort I can give it.

My advice about sticking to it.
People can tear you down, but only you can determine how far.  So dust off that old manuscript, sharpen your pencils and flex your fingers. Be tenacious, be bold and above all else be confident and create or revisit your breakthrough masterpiece then get ready to run with it.

-Sheryl

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