Wednesday, May 09, 2012

Writers' Wednesday: Soldiering Through the Negativity

The other day, a co-worker  at school asked me how I dealt with the negativity of others. I thought she was talking about either fellow teachers or students, but she said she actually meant friends who were questioning her desire to write a screenplay. She said, "I mean, I thought they were friends, but now I'm not so sure anymore."

Isn't it too bad that some people in your life can't encourage you when you have a dream, or even the inkling of doing something different? I'm not sure why others discourage pipe dreams...maybe it's jealousy? Maybe they think they're being "realists?" Anyway, my advice to her was the same advice I give to any new/aspiring writers. If you want to write (or ____ fill in the blank with any dream you have) then do it - just develop persistence and a thick skin. Know that the journey might be tough, but if it's something you love, it's always worth it.

At the end of our conversation, she said, "I figured I'd ask you because you always seem like such a positive person" and considering I don't always FEEL particularly positive, either at work or at points in my writing career, I thought that was pretty cool.

Oh, and if you're a new/aspiring writer looking for some support, try the forums over at AbsoluteWrite. Theyr'e terrific, full of info and frequented by people in all publishing genres and at all different stages of the writing journey.

Soldier on, fellow writers and dreamers!

Monday, May 07, 2012

Monday Mentionables: Mud Runs & Spartan Races

OK, has anyone heard of (or done) one of these "Mud Runs" or "Spartan Races" or whatever they're called? This seems to be the latest trend in fitness: a running race that's combined with crazy obstacles like mud, water, barbed wire, fire, hay, huge walls to climb, huge slides to descend...yes, and I'm sure the list goes on. My brother-in-law has done one (I'm pretty sure he ended up bleeding at the end of it), and I have a couple of friends who are planning them for this summer, and I'm just curious as to whether anyone out there has experienced and would recommend one. I don't know that it's my 'thing' - I mean, I do road races and I like working out and everything....I just don't know about subjecting myself to possible (probable) minor injury along the way.

Or maybe I'm just a baby.

I'm also thinking there must be a story in there somewhere (isn't there always?). Two contestants who meet at a Mud Run, maybe fierce competitors, who end up together at the end despite missing a limb or an eye or something...

It's fascinating to me where stories lie, because all you have to do is look around you, or read the news, for inspiration. Life is crazy! Actually, one recent news article has stuck with me, and I'm thinking I need to use it in an upcoming story. Apparently there is a dating website that weeds out its participants based on looks. That is, if you aren't attractive enough, you can't join. I guess "beautiful" people only want to date similarly-described " beautiful" people. This site also apparently ran some kind of "check" on its current members and decided some no longer made the cut, so they were booted from the site even though they'd originally belonged. Wow - seriously?!

Oh, yes, there has to be a story in there...

What about you? What crazy stories have you read in the news and thought, yup, there's a book just waiting to be written?