Thursday, August 11, 2011

What an inspiration...

Ha!  Did you think I was going to post another picture of Hugh Jackman sans shirt?  While that is always a distinct possibility, I actually wanted to talk about something other than the male form today.

I know, what's with that?

Anna Hackett, author of a number of awesome Nocturne Bites and one-third of our sensational critiquing trio is blogging over at LoveCats at the moment about Finding Inspiration.  Anna is not someone to pass over a picture of Hugh's pecs either (just one of the reasons I adore her), but this time she's talking about her quotes about courage.  I know for sure that she collects them, because every now and then she'll shoot a few to Rach and me when we're feeling morbid, or stupid or like writers better suited to asking, "Would you like fries with that?" than "How's the GMC for this character?".  It's awesome.  I've even found a use for a few lately.

I've just recently had a CP-encouraged epiphany about my writing.  While I still looove paranormal and fantasy, I just don't think I'm a great one to write it.  A few months ago, I had two rejections--bang, bang--and, while one was quite positive, I struggled to get my head back in it's right place.  It happens to everyone.

God knows I've done enough crap in my life to grow a few flowers. 
Dustin Hoffman

Now, Anna and Rach had been telling--you know, hinting to--me for quite some time that perhaps I wasn't quite being true to my writerly voice.  We're talking glass-half-full, !!!, joke-cracking emails and conversations, versus the dark, angst-ridden, emotion-heavy paranormal pieces I was writing.  For a long time, I kept on writing it because I just plain wanted to.

Which is fine.  I learned a lot.

Any man who keeps working is not a failure. He may not be a great writer, but if he applies the old-fashioned virtues of hard, constant labor, he'll eventually make some kind of career for himself as writer. 
Ray Bradbury

Really, at least I was writing.  

Eighty percent of success is showing up.
                                                                                                             Woody Allen

In that time, I clocked up five rejections (I know, compared to some peoples' experience, this is weeny.  I know).  It was a bit of a PITA.  I toyed with stopping.  You know.  NOT WRITING.  

Couldn't do it.   

Our greatest glory is not in never failing, but in rising up every time we fail.

When I stopped teaching full-time, I thought, "Woohoo!  No more homework!"  And here I was, banging away at a computer at night again.  Felt like I'd come full-circle.

I love being a writer. What I can't stand is the paperwork.

Peter de Vries

I was confused, uncertain about the craft, quite certain about my suckiness and, frankly, a little bit bonkers about it all.  

Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep.
                                                                                                              Scott Adams

But, I was certain I was starting from pretty much the same place as most writers--Ground Zero.  I mean, we're all just the same basic creatures, with two arms and two legs (for the most part), right?  If X could write something that spoke to the populace at some level, why the hell couldn't I?  I had to face it--it was my authorial voice.  Paranormal was not working for me.  Boohoo.

It took me fifteen years to discover I had no talent for writing, but I couldn't give it up because by that time I was too famous.

Robert Benchley

To that rather exciting end, I've switched lanes!  I've started a Aussie-based romcom and I'm LOVING it.  It's kinda squeeful.  As gut-churningly scary as it is to veer from what you know, I've done the right thing.  I think.  

Never throw up on an editor.
                                                                                                              Ellen Datlow

I'm so glad I took the advice of my marvellous, wondrous CP's.  They are, with or without quotes, truly inspirational.

If you're needing inspiration, jump online and google some quotes, head over to LoveCats to share with Anna.  It's amazing how much of that wisdom you can apply to your own writerly life.  
Never laugh at live dragons.
JRR Tolkein

Finally, because you've been completely marvellous to read right to the end of this gargantuan post, here's a small thank you from moi.  Yes, it's a wet HUGH!  Hehe.  


  1. Hi Em... I had such an epiphany too.. but not enough to veer me away from the paranormal path.. but that I had 2 voices.. one was new - comparatively lighter one and the other - my usual - dark, angst ridden..

    What I did / rather do, is have 2 WIP's going - one for each voice. Of course, I have only one novella in the new voice (first POV)..but I am sure I wouldn't submit it to Noc cravings... But the other stories - are still there..and waiting a home.. (yeah, I collected a couple of nice R's too to show for it)... and frankly, both are me :) (which was the realization I had)..

    Hope you find your voice / story line and fingers crossed to hear of a sale soon :) Wishing you the best!

  2. Hiya Ju,

    Thanks for coming over! You know, what you say is really interesting. I think the reason I stopped writing funny stuff, (my first wip was a funny sweet romance), was that I struggled to be humorous all the time. In turn, the inability to churn out the laughs was making me cranky . Some days, the funny just ain't there. I had a sick baby, an energetic toddler and I was quietly losing my mind. My funny had dried up.

    That was when I started reading more dark PR. I'd always read fantasy, but discovered books like Anna's Noc Bites and was drawn down that path. I kept at it, looking for continuity, even after my funny had moved back in. :)

    One thing I do know, however, is that it's one wip at a time for me. I just can't stretch my poor brain that far. The way you're doing it is cool, one in first person.

    Best of luck with everything, Ju, and I hope one of those R's we keep collecting soon turns into a 'Yes, please" for you, too!

    Em x



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