Friday, November 20, 2015

Sound Writing Advice from Taylor Swift

This half-hour long video of Taylor Swift meeting with some young kids discussing reading and writing is filled with sound advice for any writer of any genre. Taylor partnered with Scholastic to provide 25,000 new books for NYC schools. Taylor then donated her time to do this webcast with these great kids.

This webcast is worth every minute of it's short 30-minute length and I highly suggest all writers listen to and watch the video

A few of my favorite quotes from the webcast are:

"Journaling is what made me discover that I loved poetry and poetry is so close to song writing in concept."

"Writing your feelings down simplifies them."

"If you make writing something you look forward to, who knows where it will take you?  Who knows if you'll start to think about story lines and you'll decide that you want to write a book someday?"

"There are so many things you can discover about yourself if you write."

If you're a writer now or if you're thinking about writing, you need to watch this video. Pause and repeat. Take notes (I did). 

What amazes me about Taylor Swift is her utter lack of fear. She writes about those who hurt her, turning it into something for her instead of about her. In many ways I've been afraid to write about personal experiences because so many negative, horrible things happened to me in ministry as my husband and I have worked over 32 years for the furtherance of the Gospel.

Maybe other pastor's wives would benefit from knowing they aren't alone in experiencing vicious gossip, slander or people lying to them and about them. Maybe it's time to tell these stories.

Maybe it's high time this little gramma became as fearless as a young song writer who, through comforting herself in her trials, turned it into something amazing that benefits the entire world.

Click here to watch the entire webcast.

Monday, November 16, 2015

What's Your Plan?

Do you have a plan for your writing?
Did you write it down?

One key point I tell my writing students is to have a written plan, much like a business plan, for their writing.

A written plan is so important. In my soon-to-be-published revised edition of my writing book, I go into more detail about this. In a nutshell, this graphic explains why you need a written plan:

There's power in writing something down. Writing it down makes it real and tangible. You can reread it. You can use it to keep you on track. A written goal is more viable. It grows from an idea to a possibility then a reality.

Write often.
Write well.
Just write.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

My First-World Life (Thanks to Veterans)

Today as I sit here and enjoy all my first-world privileges, get frustrated about my first-world problems and live in the lap of luxury in a carpeted house with full temperature controls and bathrooms galore and all kinds of entertainment at my fingertips, plenty of food in the house, things to support my hobbies, wifi as a given and stores all around me where I can buy whatever I want, whenever I want, and a car to drive me there and literally lacking nothing at all.....I will bask in my first-world life because of those who served and the so very many who gave their lives so that I can have such a luxurious, plentiful life. 

Yes, I care about those less fortunate in the world and give to missions that take the Gospel of Christ to them (since He is the only way to improvement of their lives), and also take medical services to them, etc. I give to them since I am unable to go myself. 

But, when someone minimizes an American hardship by calling it a first-world problem, I think, yes, that's right....we have first-world problems because we will not stand for anything less than the best because the best of all of us....our veterans....fought, died and gave up everything so that we could live this way. Basking in our first-world problems is a tribute to them because we are the USA and we will not live in a way that would appear to be less than the best because they gave so much for us to do so. So, buy that $5 cup of coffee, get that extra pair of shoes, go for a drive just for the fun of it, live in and enjoy the luxury our veterans bought for you, never forgetting who gave all this to you.

Freedom is Luxury.
Thank you, Veterans,