We write who we are

As I was finishing my teaching credential, the program director gave me a book entitled Let Your Life Speak by Parker J Palmer. My director was fond of quoting him. She credited him with the line “We teach who we are.” It may be a bit of a erudite thing to say but I took it to mean that who we are is reflected in our teaching. I believe the same is true in writing. We write who we are. 

As I reflected on my latest released piece, “Goblins” I realized that I clearly have a pattern or a theme in my writing. I obviously love to write adventure stories. I also have strong themes of companionship in my writing. Whether it is Durbar and Maklar, or Durbar and Rothan in my Sureshot series, or the Goblin Brothers Nyx and Zyx in that series or the Dwarf Brothers Biggs and Smalls, I clearly prefer that no one go it alone for very long. This is obviously a reflection of my own heart. 

In doing “market research” I looked to see what fantasy novels were doing well and I was a little disappointed. The top selling books in the genre I prefer are mostly featuring female leads, fantastic creatures like vampires and werewolves and of course, young romance. I sat around wondering whether I could write in the same way and use the same themes in order to try to tap into the rich goldmine that is YA female fantasy and I just don’t have it in me. I like what I like and I am who I am. 

So, I will continue to write with my heart and craft stories that I enjoy. There will be adventure. There will be camaraderie. There will be conflict and there will be foes to defeat. It’s who I am and it’s what I write. So if you’re into that type of thing then I’m your guy! I will of course write some female characters. I have a few and maybe I’ll write a couple more to balance out my library. Women can be just as savage as men and I look forward to seeing them in action in my stories. 

Cheers everyone! Enjoy the adventure! 

Back at it

Perhaps you noticed but I’ve been busy writing lately. It feels great. I’m on my way back up to around 5000 words a day which represents my most productive level. It’s my goal. At that level of writing I can crank out all sorts of pieces. I have plenty of projects to work on and I am feeling better than ever about writing. What changed?

To begin with a pattern and a habit is key. I was laying in bed too late, being too lazy and lacking all motivation to do what I know I need to do. Now, I get up, have coffee outside with my girlfriend, listen to a ten minute motivational compilation and then get to writing. I hit the keyboard ready to go and I’ve been very productive.

Another thing I began doing recently, and this is huge, is avoiding social media and news in the morning. The world is on fire and there are a ton of things to be upset about but I am trying to ignore them because they cloud my thoughts and bring down my mood. I try to stay away from my phone in the mornings until I can get some work done. It has helped a ton.

I also decided to move my work space to our spare bedroom. I have many literal children and I love them more than anything but they also love to talk to me and ask my questions or show me the progress on their games or whatever it is they are doing and they distract me constantly. Now they have to come upstairs to distract me while I’m writing and this has proved an obstacle to their goals. I’m getting far more done.

A couple more minor things to add and I’ll be the best writer I can be. I am adding exercise because I firmly believe that a healthy body contributes to a productive mind. I am also getting back to tracking my daily productivity. If I have to be real with myself about how much I got done in a day then I can hold myself accountable. It isn’t necessarily fun to see that I was lazy and didn’t get much done in a day, but it is important.

All together this is a recipe for success and I’ve been very successful lately. If you are looking to improve in an area perhaps some of these things will help you as well. Cheers to being the best we can be!

Sonnet Flowers

Morning dawns and dew covers the grass

Light pours through the window above our bed

Gentle, warm rays of sun, rain down on us

Eyes crack open to softly kiss your head

Begin to wonder how I can show you

All the love I possess for my baby

What gestures prove my love for you is true?

Chocolates, poems or jewelry maybe?

Flowers represent how strongly I feel

Beautiful and fragrant in a glass vase

Delicate, precious and so very real

They brighten and liven up every place

So from my heart I gift you these flowers

And pray others have a love bright as ours