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SOAR! On a new breeze

23 Oct

It’s Fall!  My favorite season. I love when it’s still warm outside but cool breezes whisper across your skin. And you begin detecting the dusty smell of leaves drying up and falling from their homes in the sky.

Taking inspiration from this eagle in my neighborhood

Taking inspiration from this eagle in my neighborhood

I think I’ve always loved Fall also because it meant the beginning of school. Not that school was utopia for me.  Like for most people, I imagine, it was equal parts joy, terror, and boredom.  But the first day of school was the start of something new. New classes, new notebooks, new pencils, new possibilities.  In many ways I associate Fall with renewal more than I do Spring.

With that in mind, what can I do to SOAR this month?  Two things, I think.

First, to let the momentum I’ve already created in my creative projects (writing a middle grade novel and querying an early chapter book,) carry me along, like those currents in the air upon which birds soar. Second, to take stock of where I am, what I’m spending my energy on, and clear out some of the clutter that may weigh me down.

Can I tell a story people will care about? Can I find an agent who’s interested in my writing?  Time will tell.  For now, I just have to focus on SOARING!

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SOAR! to See More

10 Oct

Do you ever feel like your project is just too big, too difficult for you to handle? I did. Whenever I’d start to work on my novel, or more precisely think about working on it, I’d more often than not culminate in overwhelmed defeat and just give up.

SOAR: Feel free to expand.

SOAR: Feel free to expand.

Then last fall, I received a piece of advice from author Mark Spencer that has changed my perspective: Don’t be afraid to expand. 

This gem came to me while taking an online class through Writer’s Digest University, for which Mark was my amazing instructor. Besides writing the actual submissions each week, which was very motivating, I would whine ventexpress to my Mark how overwhelmed I felt by the whole process of trying to write. He assured me that my despondent, neurotic anxieties were actually ‘normal behavior’ for writers, thereby proving myself to be one.

Still, I complained that I didn’t even know if I could fit my story into one book, which is when he told me to feel free to expand. What a horrifying suggestion, I thought at first, to make it bigger than it already was! In retrospect, my fear was telling me to make the story smaller, simpler, easier. But the story itself was telling me otherwise. Mark told me to listen to the story, and in so doing, to myself.

When you're SOARING, the size of the sky is freeing, not frightening.

When you’re SOARING, the size of the sky is freeing, not frightening.

This fall, I’m taking WDU’s Advanced Novel Writing course. Mark’s helping me through another chunk of my novel, impelling me with insights and encouraging feedback that only an experienced author can give.

It’s still a bit scary to look at it all from up high, seeing how much there is yet to be done.

But with my synopsis providing my birds-eye view, I can soar down to my sharply focused target–crafting one precious scene at a time–without fearing the size of the surrounding sky.

October Power Word: SOAR!

6 Oct

If you’ve ever been at a very high elevation–skydiving, hang gliding, mountain climbing, skiing–you know that feeling of airy quiet where it seems the words you speak, or even your breaths, echo in your head; where the air is so thin that it takes all your stamina just to get enough oxygen (especially if you live as we do in the humid south).

Soaring to new heights requires a lot of energy and focus, and, understandably, it’s sometimes easier just to keep your feet on the ground. But the rewards are at the top, so even though it might be a tough climb, it’s worth it!

Share with us how you’re soaring this month!

skydiving

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