Monday, September 22, 2014

Validation


Validation. It's a personal thing. Much like your fingerprint: everyone's is different.

I grew up constantly seeking validation, approval, if you will. My parents are wonderful people and I love them very much, but I never felt like this happened. Then, I went away to college. I don't remember much of what I learned, except that at some point in my Psychology class I came to the realization that there is one and only one validation I need. That validation comes from God. This changed my life. No, I'm not going to go all religious in this post. But I will say that my life is so much better when I feel in tune with God. He knows my greatest potential. He cheers for me every second, minute, hour of my day. He makes up the difference when I fall short. His gift allows me to write. 

Perhaps, subconsciously, I chose to self-publish because I didn't want to face the rejection of the people who don't think it's good enough. Perhaps, which is my story and I'm sticking to it, I'm lazy and didn't want to go to all the work of creating a query, seeking agents, creating a synopsis (really?), etc. I just want to write stories. The best I can. I'm sure at some point I will look back and laugh at my amateur attempt, but guess what? I wrote a book. I will write another one. And I pray that my stories will lift and encourage others, that they will be what God wants them to be. Really, what else is there?

Monday, September 15, 2014

What's Your Favorite?

We all have favorites: favorite colors, favorite animals, favorite books, movies, food, and the list could go on for many pages.

How about a favorite phrase? Or word? Sometimes in our writing we overuse phrases or words. The difficulty comes in identifying those phrases or words (perhaps because we love them, we overlook how often we use them). When I did one of my final editing runs for The Archer's Hollow, I used a list of commonly overused words (that, just, etc.) and discovered not only did I overused them, but there were some phrases I really liked. You can't find these phrases with a read-through. Holy cannoli, by the time I did that edit, I think I'd read that manuscript a hundred times. OK, so that is a bit of an exaggeration, but it felt like it. When you go through and find specific words, you are able to see the manuscript from a different perspective. It's a good thing, I promise.

After your first and maybe second drafts (or even your fifth or sixth), go through searching for those common words and see if you can find your own Pet Phrases. In the meantime, Write On my friends!