Monthly Archives: May 2014

Investing in Yourself

A few months ago my computer died a quiet death. I tried everything my I.T savvy brother told me to try before taking her into Future Shop. There I was told she was un-fixable. They were able to remove all the files off the hard drive (I back up my writing on a USB so it wasn’t a huge concern) and then she was off to the recycling plant.

I told myself I didn’t need a new computer. I would write on paper in public and use my husband’s laptop at home. Why pay for an expensive new computer when I didn’t have to? Unfortunately not all has gone to plan. Paper is great for brainstorming, but I need a keyboard to write. My husband’s laptop is too heavy to carry around and it’s battery life is unreliable. I try to write at home, but after the commute, dinner and chores there’s not much time left. So why don’t I just suck it up and buy a new computer? Because, like a lot of writers, I find it hard to invest in myself. We fail to invest because we’re worried we will never see a return. You know who doesn’t worry about this? Actors. They pay for head-shots, acting classes, they are competing with thousands of other people but still they invest. Why? Because they’ll never make it to the stage or the big screen otherwise. Because they believe that their initial investment will pay off. Because they think their dreams are worth it.

I’m going to buy a laptop. Oh, I’ll look for a sale, don’t get me wrong – but whatever the cost ends up being, I will happily pay it.

What books have you put off buying? What class do you really want to take? Invest in yourself. You and your work are worth it.

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Great Artists Steal

“Good artists borrow; great artists steal.”

I’m not talking about plagiarism or copyright. I’m talking about being inspired by the work of other artists… and everything around you for that matter. Your environment, history, and your personal experience.

Professional artists encourage this (they really do!) but it has never been easy for me. I don’t think something is “original” or “creative” unless it (seemingly) pops out from my head. I also compartmentalize a little too well. I work during this time. My personal life goes here. And my writing time is here. If it’s not my writing time I don’t think about what I’m working on. I’d like to change that, so I’ve decided to set myself a new 30 day challenge. To steal something every day. Here’s what I’ve stolen recently.

SOURCE: Newspaper article
SUBJECT: Nepalese sisters running a school for female mountain climbing instructors
IDEA: An instructor is climbing on her own and witnesses something supernatural in the mountains. (Short Story)

SOURCE: Library book
SUBJECT: Ring making
IDEA: A man learns how to weave spells into rings (Short Story)

SOURCE: Newspaper article
SUBJECT: Prison program for mothers that allows them to keep their baby with them
IDEA: What happens when a father requests to keep his newborn baby in his cell? (Novel?)

What will you steal? Where will it lead?

For more on creative stealing, check out The Creative Thinking Hub.

“Good artists borrow; great artists steal.” For an interested look at the background of this quote click here.

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Writing Prompt: Headline

This week’s writing prompt is to write a story related to the following headline pulled from the Toronto Star.

Heed this sartorial advice from someone older and wiser

Is this person male? Female? How old? What makes them wise? Who wants your character to heed their advice?

Now in case you’re wondering (and I was…)

adjective: sartorial
1. of or relating to tailoring, clothes, or style of dress.

Have fun!

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Writing Prompt: What’s in Your Shed?

82 - Writing Prompt
Is it…

A monster?

A porthole?

A prisoner?

Are you trying to…

Hide it?

Keep it safe?

Lock it away?

What’s in your shed?

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