Category Archives: writing

Biography Writing Can Get Hairy

Type Writer

This must be the tenth time I’ve written my about me. In the past, I’ve religiously read posts and articles on how to write a short/long bio. But when it came down to it, I’d always feel stumped. I’d turn on my laptop, enter chrome and log onto WordPress. Then the blank page of infinite possibilities would stare at me like some terrifying creature.

I believe that’s a writer’s worse nightmare. A blank page. It has countless opportunities. A billion things it could be. But when one single letter is typed, its infinite universe becomes grounded. It is now chained to that single letter or word and is slowly molded into a thought.

The difficult part is the thought. There are two types of thoughts. One, a concept that explodes into the human consciousness and orders to be written down. Two, the idea that grows slowly yet surely like a vine with no general direction.

When I started working on my bio, I knew I wanted it to be good. The best. Something that’d make readers’ attention pop. But how the hell do I go about it? As Nike repeatedly says, Just Do It. So I just did it. I started typing. I grounded the page with a single letter. The letter transformed into a word and then a phrase. My beautiful bio was like young tree sprouting. But then I hit a brick wall. I became stuck. I found it profoundly hard to write about who I was. I toyed with the question of my identity repeatedly.

After many brick walls and attempts, I finally discovered the secret to writing. Be true. Be honest. Be yourself. I know it sounds like some cheap advice taken from some self-help guide book. “Just be yourself,” says Disney. Yes, Disney. I promise I’ll try.

Stay true to who you are. You’re not here to impress some date. You’re here to share yourself with your audience. Readers can tell real quick when a writer is trying too hard to please them or make himself shine. Have you ever read one of those bullshit bios? The ones where the author introduces themselves but says absolutely nothing about themselves? Yeah, that was me a few bios ago.

I admit, I was timid to write a single sentence about myself. So I settled for the “hi, I love to write and here’s not why.” It was a mistake and I bet some readers left my site thinking.. “That’s bs.” Remember, don’t be afraid to be you. If somebody doesn’t like your bio, then they can just leave your site and not come back. The internet is full of personalities and weirdos. Even if you write something really crazy or out there, I bet you, you won’t be the first.

A Final Decision

PiperArrow

I’ve been quiet on here as of late. It’s been hectic in the life of me. Recently, I took some time to pause and reflect on my life. On the things I’d love to be doing and how to get to the point where I can do them.

My book as for now is on standby. I’m burnt out on it. I need some time to step back and take a deep breath. I’ve been pressuring myself to get it done. A few months ago, I approached a couple of editors who loved the idea of my book. They handed me their business cards and said to shoot them an email. I did. And I have waited. No reply yet. Which is typical considering they’re editors. I was told by one that I probably wouldn’t hear from them until November. Since I last spoke to them, I’ve been working my butt off trying to finish my book by November. I’ve come to realize how that is totally not going to happen. Apart from writers block, stressful stuff happening and other things, I’m burnt.

I won’t stop blogging or writing though. I’ve decided to fulfill one of my old dreams: to fly. I’d like to take off up into the blue atmosphere and buzz around the sun and clouds. I don’t usually mention my personal life on here but I happen to work at an airport. My boss just so happens to be giving me a crazy, once in a lifetime deal. He said he’d like to help me pursue my dream of flying. So pursue I will.

I’ve started another blog called Just A Plane Girl where I blog about my aviator adventures. I will still write on here about my misadventures as a writer and the progress on my book. I’m not, by all means, giving up on my book. I will still continue to write and work on it until it’s finished. I’ve been saying for the past year it feels like that my book is almost done or that the skeleton is there and it just needs filling in. There’s research that needs to be done. Details that need filling in. Dots needing to be connected. It’s coming along but very slowly. Hopefully one day… Scratch that. One day I will be sharing it with all of you. 🙂

Broken Bicycle

Bicycle

Have you ever tried taking a bicycle apart? Or a car or plane or something that would be a huge project to put back together?

I was sick for the past week. I took work off. I did nothing but lay in bed. I hated every minute of it. I had a nasty cold – the worst cold I’ve had in a long time. I didn’t think about my book for a week. I put it out of my thoughts entirely. I still have the cold, but I’m getting over it slowly.

Today, I started to work on it. But then stopped. I feel lost all of a sudden. As if, I’d taken apart a bicycle and couldn’t figure out how to put it back together. All the pieces lay surrounding me. I just don’t know what to do exactly.

The entire book, everything… It’s finished and it’s isn’t. I know what I want to have happen. I have the characters pretty much figured out. I have a ton of parts already written. It’s just figuring out the finer details and how to connect the dots.

Oh boy… It feels like it’s going to be the long haul.

Of Stale Baguettes and Black Lagoons

Stale Baguette

There are parts of my book I’m totally satisfied with. These parts are the fresh tidbits I’ve been adding. The scenes I’m very dissatisfied with are the ones I’ve written long ago. They feel very stale to me like an ancient baguette and probably because I’ve read them over a million times. I come to write these scenes and edit them… And I find myself eternally stuck. I absolutely hate it.

What will I ever do?

I’ll probably end up printing them off and try different ways of rewriting the parts. I just don’t know how to go about doing it. I mean to say, I don’t know what I should change or keep. It feels like I’m slowly beginning to sink into a black lagoon. I need to quickly find my way out of this swampy No Man’s Land.

The Fascination of Drying Paint

Staring Out A Window

I’m stuck on a scene… Or rather I should say I’m stuck on several scenes and probably the rest of my book.

The problem isn’t that I don’t where to take the scene. The problem is that I feel as if my engine has been used up. As though there is no gas left in the tank. This is a horrible, awful, terrible feeling if you happen to be on a deadline and constantly trying to push yourself to write more.

My book is due to be published… Well, the editors should be getting back to me by November-ish. At which time I have to send them my entire book in its completed state. It’s current state is about eight chapters out of thirty. I’ve a lot of material written from previous drafts. Some of it I’ve been using and it’s helped.

My favorite feeling in the world is that sense of fire you get from inspiration. The flame that burns and burns and propels you to write a really, really good piece. It’s as if the words themselves are coming from some celestial place in the universe. A place of divine inspiration. A place that happens… Not as often as we’d like.

The worst feeling is the moment you start writing and it’s like watching paint dry. Each sentence, description, everything sounds absolutely stark. Forced. I’ve tried everything to bring my words to life this morning. I was completely productive and cleaned. I showered. I did chores. I went for a jog. I came home feeling refreshed and ready to fight the world. But then, I get on here and start typing. The words won’t obey me. My creativity is kaput.

Sometimes, when I feel like this I’ll stick a really good soundtrack on that’s full of energy. A few times it has worked and vitalized my writing. This time however… I’m still watching paint dry.

Writing Something Of An Addiction

the_ghost12

Writing can be an addiction. Or is that just me?

Lately, I’ve discovered that I turn into Grumpy Cat if I don’t get at least some writing done on any given day. I’ll get cranky like I do when I don’t get my coffee. There’s nothing more exciting than a blank page. It has an infinite number of possibilities. As each letter is written on the blank space, that billion of possibilities narrows down to millions and soon to thousands. It becomes grounded and turns into a thought or idea.

One of the most thrilling parts of writing is playing God. I can create a life and I can take a life. All without consequence. I can be like I’ll make this a really awesome character. Everyone will love him. Then, I’ll kill him. And everyone will mourn him. I believe Joss Whedon is the best at creating beloved characters and then wrenching our very hearts out as we see that character’s demise. Other fun parts of writing is throwing those nasty twists in. Jodie seems to be just like every other girl. Or…is she?

My favorite twist in writing is when you discover that so-and-so wasn’t your best friend after all. When the narrator becomes the villain in the end. However, the problem with this type of plot is its difficulty. When done right, it creates for a stunning novel. When done wrong, it’s so terrible that it instantly becomes a classic joke. One novel I recently read which attempted to fool its audience by pretending the narrator to be good is Moriarty by an author whose name eludes me. At the end, I didn’t believe the narrator could be the evil one. It just felt as if the author had decided it on a whim. On the positive side, one of the best books I’ve read where this plot twist is done great is Gone Girl. I won’t spoil any of the particulars because that happens to be a fabulous book.

Writing, you see… Is something marvelous. Another beautiful part to creating a good story is seeing the characters come alive. At times, it almost feels as if they’re saying the words, not you. It’s as if they’re making the story and you’re only there to narrate. Storytelling, the fact that you get to be god… It’s something of an addiction.

Fake It Til You Make It

keenu

Recently, I went to a Writers Conference and pitched my book to 2 editors and 2 publishers. 3 of them liked my pitch so well they invited me to send them an email. That was two weeks ago and I still haven’t sent them a single email. You can look at me in shock and wonder why I haven’t jumped furiously at such an amazing opportunity. I mean, I have 3 people interested in publishing my book!

The reason for my procrastination is simple. My book isn’t done.

I’ve been telling people that, yes, my book is indeed finished. The editors didn’t ask if my book was finished. They’d just assumed. For if they’d asked, I would have looked them in the eye and said No. For months, I’ve been saying, “Yes, my book is done. I just need to retweak some things.” Well, I’ve been retweaking a lot. And recently I’ve made some startling discoveries.

I discovered my main character is really my secondary character and my second character is really my main. I’m redoing my book. Not rewriting the entire thing completely from scratch. HAHA. No. That’d be insane. But I’m pretty nearly doing that. I’m rewriting a shit load of it. I’d say 70%.

I know, this time, my book is perfect. The idea and plot are solid. I’ve pitched my book to many friends, people I don’t know, and colleagues and have gotten great feedback. Everyone likes the idea. I discovered my audience can better connect with my secondary character than my originally main character. I discovered a whole new world with my secondary character who is now my main.

But… I still need to send my stuff to the editors. I won’t finish my book in a week. That’s a ludicrous hope. The editors wanted the first three chapters of my book. Done. To perfection, I might add. They wanted a synopsis as well. Not done. To imperfection. Terrible. The Synopsis.

I have the main idea and bare bones of my book down. I know exactly what it’s about, who all the main playing characters, the in’s-and-out’s of the plot, and how it’s going to end. The part I don’t have are the holes in between. There some spots I’m still trying to sort through and figure out. Which makes writing a synopsis a little difficult. I can’t tell any editor about my book if I don’t know Everything about it.

I’ve sat down and plotted out main ideas and what I want to happen. But I know that I won’t figure everything out until I sit down and actually start writing. Because that’s how I figure things out. I usually outline my book very simply then fill in and connect the dots as I write. This time, though, I’m trying to write a synopsis before I even start writing. I have the damn synopsis started but then it reaches a certain point and stops. It’s as if I’ve come to a cliff. I can see just beyond the cliff to the other side but I can’t see how to cross the cliff.

Since I know I won’t be able to figure everything out in a week, I’ve decided to bullshit it. I’m going to write a synopsis and try to keep it somewhat close to what I want my book to be about. The rest… I’ll make up. The editors won’t see my stuff until three months later because they’re extremely busy. Meanwhile during that time, I’ll be writing and figuring out my book. When they finally do get back to me, I’ll hopefully have a concise and clear understanding of my story. I’ll write a new synopsis and send them it with a note saying I’ve changed my story a bit.

I’m sure others have been in the same predicament I’m currently in. I’ve been told countless times not to approach a publisher/editor unless my book is finished. But I did it anyways. Sometimes you’ve got to fake it until you make it. I’m going to cross my fingers and hope all goes well.