Clicketh The Writer

Time for some writing-related links for my fellow writers!

15 Things Mentally Strong Writers Don’t Care For
Don’t particularly agree with #14: “They don’t care for inspiration.” I don’t depend on inspiration hitting me as if I cannot come up with something to write without it, but I sure as hell invite it to join me when it makes its presence known. And, perhaps, that highlights the way my life operates: I am rarely without inspiration of some sort.

Some Reasons Why I Might Kill You…In A Book
This one is purely for fun…but every writer I know can easily add half a dozen more ‘reasons’ to this list. Actually…I may have underestimated that number.

6 Desk Tweaks To Change The Way You Work And Maximize Your Creativity
Obviously, this one is mostly focused towards the office environment. But, when considering that our favorite place to write is potentially equivalent to what non-writers would consider an office, and when you consider that writing really is a job (to quote the Cypress Hill song “Rock Superstar”: ”It’s a fun job, but it’s still a job…”), some of these tweaks will make perfect sense to you.

Now, a message for all my fellow writers…stop clicking on links and get back to writing something that other people can click on some day!

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Shareathah

The following passage is an excerpt (not including an edit or two or three) from a post I made to someone who is undergoing some of the same weight loss and fitness challenges I’ve been subjected to (and stillsubjecting myself to) since late December of last year. What I wasn’t expecting is that we would end up discussing whether or not it was worth sharing one’s trials and tribulations with others.

I discovered long ago that sharing a discrete selection of Life’s challenges, while admittedly opening myself up to ill-intended accusations of playing the “O, woe is me” card for attention, offers up my plight to someone who is going through the same challenges as I am. There are benefits to knowing you’re not along in your exploits. Success can come from one person solving a problem or striving towards a goal in solitude; the success that comes from two or more people who feed off each other’s encouragement and insight, while offering up their own, almost always manifests in geometric proportions.

Admitting one is not powerful enough to go it alone is seen by way too many in the culture we find ourselves in as a sign of weakness (generally by those who are lightning fast to belittle others with the aforementioned “O, woe is me” accusation); I believe that I would be foolish not to take advantage of the vast support and strength the Universe provides as a function of its very existence (aka the people who exist alongside me within the Universe’s confines).

I don’t share all my issues on every social media group I participate in (who would really be interested in my marital or family issues, anyway?), but such pursuits like weight loss, improved fitness, and improved eating habits, are positive in nature, so I have no problem offering up my challenges and my support to someone in my same situation. Those who accuse me of excessive drama can go stuff their faces with the extra large order of fried food I’m abstaining from. \m/

Knowing that sharing this made a difference with even one person would make me happy.

Incidentally…although I’ve dropped about fifty pounds since last December, I am finding myself backsliding a bit. So, if anyone would like to toss some positive realm words and thoughts my way, I would greatly appreciate it.

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I Am Going To Be A Writer

My thoughts exactly.

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NaNoWriMo: Un-Winner

Here is a question I would ask my fellow NaNoWriMo participants, especially those who have been at it for a few years: is it against NaNoWriMo doctrine and/or standard operating procedure to feel as if it is not important that everyone else knows you’ve “won” because you hit the 50,000 word mark?

Don’t misinterpret…I will reach the 50-grrrr word goal. But, here’s why others might not find out:

I will be writing my NaNoWriMo novel by hand in a ‘marble’ notebook.

I write all my personal journal entries in ‘marble’ notebooks. It is this first-draft rawness that makes some of these personal passages turn out as such inspirational reflections of my soul, and why those passages find their way into some of my ‘for public consumption’ stories.

I want to capture some of that same impromptu magick during NaNoWriMo, which is why I will be writing the entire novel by hand.

Shortly after making that decision, though, I read that verification for NaNoWriMo “winner” status is done electronically.

Transferring my hand-written text to the verification-required digital format requires typing.

Typing what I already wrote leads to the temptation of revising and editing.

The functions of revising and editing are not the point of NaNoWriMo.

Ergo, I will probably abstain from performing that task.

Which means my ‘official’ word count, as it appears on the NaNoWriMo website, will remain at zero the entire month.

Which means I will not be considered a NaNoWriMo “winner.”

So be it.

Instead…if I complete this novel by the end of November, I will have accomplished the goal that means the most to me: I will have completed a novel using a writing methodology I’ve never used before…writing the first draft in its entirety before performing a single edit or rewrite.

I’ve never written a story that way before.

But, that’s why I’m doing this.

Yeah, nobody will know I was a NaNoWriMo “winner,” but I can guarantee you my confidence and satisfaction levels will go through the roof.

I’m actually looking forward to seeing how the sales of this eventual novel will be when I advertise it as a NaNoWriMo “Un-Winner.”

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COMPLETED!…And It Is Now Time To Celebrate!

I just put the final touches on a science fiction short story that has been driving me up a wall with its illusiveness for months.

Actually…it wasn’t truly the story’s fault. For the last few months, I’ve been traversing some rather dark and unfortunate places that made connecting to my Writer Self a next-to-impossible task.

Next-to-impossible.

Obviously, I found my way back.

And, as of today, this story is ready for the first round of critiques.

The last few sessions of working on this story were curiously adrenaline charged. In fact, just moments before completing the last two pages, I was literally squirming in my chair with anticipation of finally completing this story!…and I even had to take a break to share this good news on Facebook.

I’d like to share with you the story’s title, but I plan on entering it in a contest that requires anonymity. Soon enough, I’m expecting.

As to how I will celebrate my accomplishment?

A huge caffeinated drink and a chunk of chocolate would be perfectly fine with me.

Just in time to add to my case of the overexcited squirminess.

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Complimencomplication

I do not like to compare myself to other writers. It still happens inadvertently. But I still don’t like doing it. At this stage of my evolution, I feel it is simply not a good practice; my concern is that matching my abilities against those not as skilled will lead to complacency and a bit of an undeserved ego rush (both debilitating in their own ways), and acknowledging how far behind I am against the more advanced writers could very easily conjure up impatience and frustration towards my own development (also debilitating). Don’t misinterpret…I’ll always glean ideas and advice about how to up my writing game from those whose works I enjoy, but I stop short at the comparison game for the simple reason that the very act is too close to self-praise for my tastes. I would rather have somebody else sing those songs on my behalf.

Not too long ago, one of my beta readers insisted that my science fiction world building skills were worthy of mention in the same sentence as Vernor Vinge. Having read Vinge, I don’t agree with the claim at all, but the compliment let me know that I (at least in the eyes of one person) was on the right track towards strengthening an extremely important story telling skill…which, of course, put a smile on my face.

Admittedly, though, this practice of basking in the praise of others opens me up to a potential problem. In the words of the late great Jimi Hendrix:


”…and I don’t like compliments…they distract me.”

I enjoy hearing someone tell me my (pick a part of my writing game) is on par with (pick an established writer). My concern here is that, if I’m not careful, I will start interpreting today’s compliments as a validation that I have already succeeded in my writing goals…which could lead to me pausing (or outright ceasing) any improvement efforts I would have made tomorrow…which will no doubt lead to me becoming stagnant, and, consequently, ending up sitting in a puddle of apathy while watching my writing skills and output shrivel and die.

That’s the trap I believe Mr. Hendrix was referring to.

But I brought my own circumnavigation to the game. My goal is to be a better writer tomorrow than I am today. More towards the topic of validity, I want to keep hearing compliments for as long as I write. So, before I become too lethargic from excessive basking, I use that compliment’s jolt of adrenaline as motivation to make myself even better tomorrow than what a single reader thinks I am now. Here’s how I put that philosophy into play: later during the same day I was treated to that generous world building compliment, I grabbed a copy of Vinge’s “A Fire Upon the Deep” to find out why someone thinks I’m at that level, then used my observations and my interpretations of his having created a world and species that were so radically different than anything I’d seen before as my motivation to create worlds and species that would give others a reason to offer me equivalent praises. Essentially, I drew motivation from someone’s ability to accomplish something impressive, not his/her actual accomplishments.

Ultimately, I’m striving to hear people tell me that the stories I create today are better than those I created the last time they read something of mine.

I will gladly allow myself a moment of distraction for something like that.

Then, I’ll get right back to work on the skills and the stories that will allow me to hear that same kind of compliment sometime in the future.

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NaNoWriMo 2014: Yep, I’m Participating!

After several years of sidestepping, I’ve finally decided to dive head-first into NaNoWriMo!


For the uninitiated, NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) is an event where writers of any skill level (even people who don’t really don’t consider themselves writers) will create a novel of at least 50K words during the month of November. Editing isn’t important. Polishing and getting it ready for submission isn’t important. That stuff comes later. For the purposes of NaNoWriMo, it’s all about getting that first draft COMPLETED!

During the course of the next month and a half, I’ll post my thoughts and experiences…and maybe even an untampered excerpt or two (with the exception of correcting the inevitable misspellings).

Stay tuned!

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