Writing

Writing Despite Setbacks: Redirecting Personal Challenges Into Our Stories

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In an ideal world, only positive things happen to us. We have all the time to write and are in the best psychological mindset. We’re free of stress, always in a zen-like state, can jump into our WIP, and immediately get into a flow. We never let anything get us down, have never experienced writer’s block, and are always in a perpetually creative mood.

The truth is most of us have bad days. We have days where we don’t feel like writing. We have days where if writer’s block doesn’t impede our creative process, circumstances outside our control land on our front doorstep. Some weeks we might be on top of the world, and then all it takes is an unexpected traumatic event to tear it down. We saw the unexpected with the pandemic and how it changed the world. There is a whole list of stressors that experts rank as being the hardest to overcome. Some of us have dealt with illness, career change, moving, the untimely death of loved ones, and more. What they all have in common is that life goes on despite hardships. Relying on good times or our feelings is as reliable as driving a 1970s Ford Pinto. The gas tank could rupture during collisions, not only a scary thing but a potentially fatal one.

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How Almost Losing My Son In 2022 Helped Me To Define 2023 Goals

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September 18, 2022, was like any other late summer Southern California day. The weather was nice, and my family and I were excited to use our Disneyland annual passes. As we prepared to leave, we noticed our then 15-month-old son was extra clingy and kept wanting to be held, which wasn’t unusual. But soon, clingy behavior turned into favoring one leg, and then he wasn’t willing to walk.

At first, we thought he strained his right leg trying to climb out of his crib. He was normally our little Tasmanian Devil, climbing up on furniture and running around. So, the fact that he suddenly wasn’t willing to walk was worrisome. We almost went along with our plans to go to Disneyland, figuring he would spend most of the day in his stroller, anyway. But we followed our parental instincts and took him into the emergency room. We had no idea what was in store for us. My husband and I expected to be in and out of the hospital, possibly with a prescription for pain meds. We hoped it would be nothing more than our son being needy. While my daughter was advanced and an early speaker, our son was born premature by 6 weeks. He was trying to communicate with Mommy and Daddy as best as he could. He was telling us something was very wrong, even as he couldn’t speak.

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Breaking Writing Rules: Why It’s OKAY To Revise As You Write!

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There’s an old writing rule that seems to supersede all rules, even Stephen King’s infamous quote on why he feels, “The road to hell is paved with adverbs.” Yes, despite King’s aversion to adverbs, the biggest writing rule every writer constantly gets lectured about is that we should never be concerned about revising while we’re writing.

We’ve been made to feel that if we don’t write, write, write it blindly down and let it out that somehow the spur of creative vision would leave us. We’d never be able to snatch it back or not capitalize on our creative juices while the flow is iron-hot. After all, that’s what NaNoWriMo is all about, isn’t it? A reported 427,653 writers were documented to have participated in NaNoWriMo in 2021. There are pros and cons to powering through your first draft without looking back.

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#AAPIHeritageMonth: Why We Should Stop Asking #POC Where They’re From

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All my life, I’ve been asked ethnically probing questions, and often times people aren’t even correct in how they pose them. They’ll often ask things like, “Where are you from?” I often ask my own question for clarity sake. You mean, which state was I born in? You mean, how long have I lived in California? Or do you really mean, since I’m a Person of Color, what ethnic origin made me a brown person?

May is Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month. It’s a month where I reflect on my own experience as a multi-ethnic Person of Color that doesn’t call herself a “Latinx” or an “Asian.” Where are you from?—is a question I’ve been asked at least a million times. What the real question is: What is your ethnicity? Ethnicity is different than nationality. People can be ethnically from a different country than their nationality. My nationality is American. My ethnicity and the ethnicity of other People of Color are no one else’s business. Our ethnicity isn’t relevant to our qualifications for being the right job candidate, and it shouldn’t be a subject of casual conversation. So, why is our ethnicity constantly asked on every single job application? On many applications, they ask if you’re Hispanic or not. I am forced to answer this question with a “No” because I identify with more than one ethnicity. Once I answer “No” on many forms, I’m prompted to pick from other groups of ethnicities. I’ve often seen this option: “Two or More ethnicities (not Hispanic.) See the screenshot below from an actual LinkedIn application.

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Why Writers Should Consider Revising Slower To Improve Manuscript Quality

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There are plenty of fast writers out there that can rival Stephen King’s ability to complete any manuscript length in three months. Many aspiring authors, debut novelists, and those trying to land book deals get inspired by King and other fast writers. The one thing we all forget is that the man’s been writing since 1967!

Fifty-five years is longer than some of us have been alive. I mention King because he’s one of my all-time favorite authors. His writing advice is a favorite in the #writingcommunity. Many writers turn to King’s well-known memoir “On Writing” and dogmatically attempt to practice his advice on how much time a first draft should take.

“The first draft of a book—even a long one—should take no more than three months, the length of a season,” King has famously advised.

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