Wednesday, February 22, 2012

"Write Like You're the Only Person in the Room." Also, links to blog tour stop #2 and a giveaway.

Aside from the release of Rising Book 1, this week has been full of awesome stuff. First, I was hired as a freelance editor for Whiskey Creek Press, which I'm super excited about. I get the opportunity to combine three things I love: editing, reading fiction, and helping other writers with their books. I'm really looking forward to working with this publishing company and being a part of the process of helping authors get their books ready for publication.

Second, my son (who is turning nine in a few weeks) passed his most recent belt test in Taekwondo. He's a green belt now, so he starts advanced classes, and I have to get him sparring gear. My husband and I passed our tests as well and got our yellow belts. The helpful thing about having a son who's more advanced than us is that when we get stuck on a new pattern, we can be like, "Um, help, please?"

I did a post before on how Taekwondo is like writing. I've learned another thing about writing from Taekwondo, which ties in a lot with the Darth Vader/Comfort Zone stuff I was talking about recently. I've never done well when I have to perform in front of people. When I took gymnastics years ago, I was always super self-conscious about the fact that even mothers were watching. Well, when my son and I went to take our belt tests the week before last, there were like three hundred people there. About a third of them were testing, and about two thirds were watching, and there I was, a beginner student, expected to get up in front of judges and the whole room and show what I'd learned. Granted, they did have us test in groups of three or four, but I was so nervous when we walked into that room. I was self-conscious about even practicing in front of all those people. I leaned toward my son and told him, "I am so nervous. I'm going to forget my patterns or something. There are all these people watching!"

My son looked at me very earnestly and said, "Mommy, you just have to imagine you're the only person in the room."

My husband (who couldn't make it to that testing) told me pretty much the same thing when I frantically texted him before testing started.

So I took a deep breath and did just that. And I did fine. Then I used the same analogy recently in discussions with a fellow writer, because it's completely relatable to writing. Those scenes that make me nervous, I will remind myself to write as if I'm the only person there. I mean, I'm the only person looking at these scenes as I type, but I write them knowing that soon they'll be going to family and friends, and eventually, they'll be released into the world.

Those invisible eyes can be daunting. If you find yourself questioning what you're writing or worrying what other people are going to think, my advice to you is this: Write like you're the only person in the room.




Do the invisible eyes get to you or do you already write like you're the only person in the room?

--------

And finally, today's Rising Book 1: Resistance links and information:

1. Yesterday there were people who participated in the release event for the book. I had been going to give away several e-copies of the books and announce the winners today, so here it is: everyone who participated in the Rising Release Event will receive an e-copy of the book. If you signed up and participated in that yesterday (or had told me you'd be doing it Monday or today), you should have received an email from me; if I somehow missed you, please email me at the address under "contact" at the top of my blog and let me know. Thank you all so much for your help in spreading the news!

2. Rachel Morgan is hosting today's blog tour. She's an incredibly generous and wonderful person and I'm thrilled to be featured on her blog. If you're not already following her, you totally should be. To check out my interview on her blog, go here: Blog Tour Stop #2

3. Laura, whom I met through Twitter some months ago, is giving away a paperback copy of Rising Book 1. She did this entirely on her own—she asked me about signing a copy of the book, but she put the whole thing together because she loved the book and wanted to share it. (Thank you, Laura!!) Her giveaway runs through this Sunday, the 26th, and you can check out the contest and enter it here on her blog: Rising Paperback Giveaway.

20 comments:

  1. Yeah... the eyes can get even the best of us. Lucky for me, I feed off audience energy when I'm on stage. ;-P

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, you are lucky! I know a lot of people like that--I was just never one of them.

      Delete
  2. They get to me sometimes. Usually, it's when I'm working on the first draft (which is funny, because that's the draft least likely to be seen by anyone) so I just have to remind myself (sometimes over and over again like a mantra) that the eyes aren't really there! If I write something terrible, I can always revise it or delete it and no one will ever know (unless they can read my mind... that's another thing I'm paranoid about. Those mind-readers have nothing better to do than sit and listen to my early drafts of stories for entertainment :P).

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I totally get that on the first draft, too! It's like my brain thinks it has to be just right, and that's ridiculous, because there's no way I'm getting it just right on the first draft. I've got the same mantra.

      Oooh, mind-readers! Didn't think of that. ;)

      Delete
  3. Congrats on your book. I took karate with my kids six years ago. The group was all kids but open to adults. At my first belt test, I was really nervous because my ex and his wife were in the audience with a camera (my kids were testing too). I was worried, but the sweetest seven-year-old little girl testing with me assured me I did a good job. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ooh, I remember you saying you had taken karate. That is sooo precious that the little girl told you that you did a good job!!

      Delete
  4. You are one busy girl! Phew! Sooooo exciting about your book--just came back from your interview on Rachel Morgan's blog. So fun! And great post... some very valuable lessons here. ;)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. :D Thank you, Morgan! I'm super excited that this book is finally out there.

      Delete
  5. Hi Laura!

    Thanks so much for visiting my blog the other day :D I'm very glad to meet you and I'm your newest follower! Hooray! Congrats on the belt test AND the new book coming out. How exciting.

    I like the idea of imagining I'm the only person in the room when I write.
    What's funny is that physically, I AM! But those imaginary eyes, those inner critic eyes are so judging. The illustration you provided is a wonderful visual. Thanks for the encouragement and I'm happy to have found your blog!

    Cheers!
    Jen

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank hyou so much, Jen!!

      Oh, I know! I mean, I'm not always the only person in the room when I write, but I don't have eyes peering over my shoulder. A lot of writers tend to be their own worst critics--I know I am.

      Delete
  6. Congratulations on passing the test and on the editor job!
    Glad your launch day was such a big success.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you! And thanks so much for your support in it, too!

      Delete
  7. I took Taekwondo in high school and it taught me so much discipline and focus that can be carried over to all parts of our lives. It was great!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's awesome! Can I ask what made you decide to stop? (I'm just curious.)

      Delete
  8. I am my worst critic, so even without the imagined eyes, it's hard to write! Congrats to you little one for his green belt. You must be so proud!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, me, too!

      Thank you! I am very proud of him. :D

      Delete
  9. Once again, a nice little picture to illustrate your thoughts ;-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sometimes I think I should just post pictures, but alas. I talk too much. ;)

      Delete
  10. Congrats to your son and to you on your book! Also, you've won my Learn Your Craft giveaway. More congratulations! :) I've sent you an email already. I can't write with other people around. I truly have to be the only person in the room!

    ReplyDelete
  11. I write my first drafts just for me, but then something changes. Maybe that's why I haven't been able to finish a revision yet ;-)

    ReplyDelete

Thanks for sharing your thoughts!