I am trying to decide if I should post some of my writing on my blog. I know that a lot of other writers do. But I am currently in the middle of a huge writing project and don’t know if I’ll have time to work on anything to post here. For those writers out there, what are your reasons for posting or not posting your work?
Tag Archives: Writing
Trying to Write
Writing has become difficult as of late. I have tried to write as much as possible since I finished my book in February, but it has been difficult. My school semester is wrapping up now, so I am finding myself busy with papers and finals. I also spent a good portion of March feeling ill. As such, I have not been writing daily. It has been hard because I want to finish my second book in May so that I can make a second attempt at a writing contest (my first try failed miserably, but now I can fix up that book and hopefully still get it published).
I have been struggling a bit with my emotions lately. I find myself unable to care about school. I just want to write. I am considering taking a year off of school, but I am really close to graduating. It is hard to determine what is the best choice for me. However, I do have fairly big plans for my writing. I want to finish my second book in May and then write a third book (for another contest) for July. Then I intend to write a series of short stories for September (for a third contest). Hopefully I can do well in, or, better yet, win, one of the contests and get published. But if not, then I will fix up the three novels and all the short stories and try to get published in a more traditional fashion. My goal right now is to be published by 26, so I have a little over a year to accomplish this.
My plans for the future are unclear right now. I don’t know what I want to do other than get published. I used to have a plan. I intended to graduate, get married, travel for a year, move somewhere to settle down for my career, get financially stable, and start a family. It was my “by the time I’m 30” plan. Now I want to write. I want to get published. But few of my other plans still matter to me. I hope that I can get my motivation back soon.
My writing lately has been quite experimental. I have been testing the waters and trying to decide what I like best. I really like reading fantasy, and I enjoy writing it too. But I am also interested in different genres. My first novel has been completed and is currently entered in a contest. I doubt that I’ll get very far as this is the first contest that I have entered, but I thought it worth a try. It will take a while before I know how I fared. That novel was a fantasy novel. Now I am working on two short stories that I also intend to submit into a couple of contests. They are both fairly philosophical. One is about falling out of ones faith and one is about gender non-conformity.
One thing that I have learned through my writing is that I like writing gender non-conforming characters. I like characters who do not fit into societal norms in general, but gender non-conformity is my favorite so far. I know that this could limit my target audience, but I am fine with that. I don’t think that there are nearly enough fictional characters out their that are outside of the norm. People like the average Joe because they can relate to that character. But what about the people who can’t relate to the average Joe? I would like to offer characters that those people can relate to. And if I ever become a well-known author I would like to help create a society where those who don’t fit within societal conventions can feel safe and aren’t at greater risk for depression and suicide.
This, however, isn’t just something I want to do for gender non-conforming people. While I think that they tend to be the most likely to be discriminated against, they are not the only group that is not represented in today’s media. I am hoping to write another short story where the main character has autism spectrum disorder. I am intending to write most of my stories with main characters that fit outside of societal norms. It is important to me to work towards a society where finding oneself outside of the societal norm doesn’t make one the ‘other’.
The Words We Use
Words are used as though they are the most simple thing ever. We assume that the things that we say mean the same things for everybody. But words are far more complex than that. Two people can grow up in the same city, go to the same school, take the same courses in University, and belong to the same religion but they will interpret the same words differently. This week has been filled with examples of this for me. Today I was discussing “faith” with a group of people in an interfaith environment. We are all apart of the same group, we were discussing the same book, but we didn’t all agree on what “faith” means or its value as a word. As an atheist, “faith” has a vastly different meaning for me then it did for those that I was with. This has lead me to question what the phrase “I have faith” actually means to the person who says it. What are they trying to convey? What message do they want to send me? How does that differ from the message that I receive?
Earlier this week I was dealing with even more problematic words. On Tuesday I was discussing “sex” and “gender”. What do we mean when we say “I am a woman” as opposed to “I am female,” or “I am male” as opposed to “I am a man”? What message are we trying to convey? How do those phrases have different meanings. For me, they are vastly different. When I am discussing my sex, I simply mean the label that I was given by the doctor when I was born. There is no deeper meaning and it holds no significance. When I am discussing my gender I am discussing how I feel about myself. How I label myself, and how I want others to label me. But many people use sex and gender interchangeably.
So what problems are caused as a result of different people interpreting the same word differently? What does this say about how we communicate? What should we do to eliminate miscommunication? All these questions keep rushing through my mind and I am curious to know how others feel about these issues.
Writing a Book
I have been writing a book for the last few months. It is almost done and it is already being edited. I would like to discuss the aspects of writing a book that happen after the book has been written. Once I have finished writing the book and it has been edited for the first time, I will need to fix what ever needs fixing. I will then need to hire a copy editor. The purpose of a copy editors is to ensure that the grammar, word choice, punctuation, and spelling of the book has been done well and will not take the reader out of the story. Copy editors also ensure that style guidelines are met.
Once my book is completely edited, I will begin looking into getting it published. I have two choices. First, I could self-publish. Second, I could find somebody to publish me. This, for me, is the hard part. Self-publishing gives me more control. It allows me to get the book out to the public and allows me to create my own cover. Being published, however, saves me some work where marketing is concerned and allows me to get the book out to a wider audience. It will also cost me more initially, but may well make me more in the long run. These decisions are tough and I will have to think about what to do thoroughly before I make my final decision.