“The real joy of writing is you get to be your story’s first reader.” ~Neil Gaiman
This quote completely changed my view of writing. It brought peace to my writing process, and that’s made me a much more productive writer. Sometimes people will talk about writing as a painful grind. This quote helped me see what an absolute gift it is to write and tell stories. Yes, it can be challenging. Certainly, it’s time-consuming. But it can and should be joyful.
I love nothing better than to be told a story so with this lens from Neil Gaiman, I realized writing could be a complete joy, even on days when it’s difficult.
I have plenty of days when the writing doesn’t flow. When I feel stuck and uninspired. When the words won’t come as easily as I’d like them to, I just close my eyes, watch, and listen. And then I get it all down as honestly and bravely as I can.
I hit a big milestone today with my latest novel and I hope it inspires all of you who are writers.
My first novel, Emerson Page and Where the Light Enters, was published two years ago after an eight year journey. For the past two years, I’ve been working bit bit on my manuscript for my second novel while working full-time and doing extra freelance work. At the end of July after a very difficult set of circumstances, I decided to strike out on my own and open up my own company with one of the main goals being to work on my some creative projects that I haven’t had the time to complete. Finishing the manuscript for my second book was my top priority, and I set what felt like an impossible goal – to finish it in the month of August.
Today I was able to hit “compile” on my manuscript writing software. (I use Scrivener if anyone is looking for a recommendation of software.) That means I feel confident enough about all the scenes and the order of them that I can now edit the entire manuscript as a single, cohesive document. I still have a lot of work to do over the next few days, but finishing it this month actually feels possible.
So here’s to setting wildly ambitious goals and then working to make them a reality! Are you writing a book? If so, I’d love to hear about it!
Two years ago today my Emerson Page book went on pre-sale on Amazon. What a wild two years it’s been since as I finish the manuscript of the second book in the series this week. The journey to publication was long (8 years), but worth it. Keep writing.
Every day I wake up with the mantra, “Something magical is going to happen today.” This causes me to seek it out – a moment of fascination, wonder, joy. We find what we seek. Except what you’ll accept – it’s a life-changing mindset. Have a magical Monday.
Today my family is feeling a tragic, unexpected loss of a friend. We aren’t unique in our grief. I know there are many people suffering loss. These words from Stephen Colbert and Anderson Cooper helped me. If you’re hurting now, I hope they help you, too.
Here’s to two solid weeks of heads down writing to finish my second novel by 8/31. This weekend I completely revamped the plot line. Tough work and worth it. Don’t be afraid to do this. If what you’ve written isn’t working, toss it onto the slush pile and try again. Don’t let the good keep you from the great.
What is it about biomimicry that has me so fired up to make it the center of my business career? It’s articles like this piece on NPR about how mussels can clean oil and heavy metals from water. Nature holds the key to so many problems we have. It already knows what to do; it already has the solutions we are so desperate to find. (And given the state of our planet, our desperation is justified!) Our job now is to listen, to watch, to observe, and then replicate what works. We can do this. (Big thanks to my dear friend, Edith Gonzalez, who helped me find a new way forward when I was at first unsure, and to Brian McCormack, who sent me this article and constantly helps me find the light amidst so much darkness.
I found summer camp for science nerds – but even better because it’s during the Fall, my favorite season. And I’m going!
Yesterday I was listening to Ologies podcast and Alie Ward mentioned Sci Comm Camp, a gathering that takes place over a long weekend in November outside of LA. There are workshops, fun presentations, and plenty of downtime to connect with people who love science and are passionate about sharing science with others.
Given my graduate studies in biomimicry at Biomimicry 3.8 and Arizona State University, my desire to spread this practice as far and wide as possible, and my love for collaborating and learning from others, this seems like the perfect event for me. Plus, I’m hoping to sneak in a trip to see some L.A. pals while I’m there. Already looking forward to November!
“I’m restless. Things are calling me away. My hair is being pulled by the stars again.” ~ Anaïs Nin
August is by all accounts a slow month. People go on vacation, business slows down, and we all take a collective breath before Fall. I believe in the power of radical focus so I’ll be in a very hefty period of heads down writing for the rest of the month. I know this time is an invaluable gift and I feel so fortunate. I have to put this time to the best possible use. My goal is to finish my second novel by August 31st. A story calls and I must write it.
Today’s filmmaking lesson: the quality of the camera only gets you so far. What matters more is the filmmaker’s taste and ability to tell a story. A film with a lower grade camera and an A+ filmmaker will create a far better film than a high-end camera and a mediocre filmmaker. A class can teach you about techniques and the technology. It cannot give you taste. It cannot give you the story. That is up to you. Yes, a camera will give you the settings you need, the resolution, etc. But what matters most is what you put in the frame and how that frame drives the audience to keep asking, “And then what happened?” Without that emotional need-to-know, the greatest camera in the world will do nothing for a filmmaker.