RSS Feed

Category Archives: Writing

19 And Writing

Happy-Birthday-King2

Well guys and gals, it’s my birthday. Now that I’m 19, I wondered if I should choose to change the title of my blog, I mean, I’m not 18 anymore, I’m 19, and letting people know I’m a little older, a little wiser, a little more lost, and a bit more found should be important.

But no. I have decided to leave my blog title just the way it is. This post is important to me, but so is my title. It’s an indication to people far and wide, be they old, young, middle aged, or whatever, that it doesn’t matter what your age is. You can still create, do, make whatever you want if you have the drive, the motivation, the perseverance. I seem to like lists today, sorry.

So, though I’m no longer 18, I think that serves a purpose, not to confuse people, but to be a sort of shining beacon. I mean, if I can do this, anyone can. I’m juggling school grades, 5 classes, a job, a boyfriend, moving, having a life, writing, and trying to keep my scholarships, and somehow I’m making it happen, even if it is a little slow. Being a writer isn’t about having hours to sit down in a day and just write. I mean, sure, that’d be nice, but I’ve met people far and wide who might have thirty minutes here or there, whose kids are always interrupting, who have classwork to juggle on the side, who all in all you would think wouldn’t have the time to produce anything, yet they are some of the best writers I know.

On this wonderful birthday, cupcakes scarfed down last night, a sticky note left on my door from one of my apartment-mates wishing me a happy birthday, and a Facebook wall full of birthday wishes, I find myself in a very happy mood, and I thought I could share that a bit with you, typing up my thoughts before my day really gets underway with work and homework and whatnot.

Playing Trash Ball

Paper-Ball

I know what you’re thinking. What on Earth does trash ball have to do with the price of tea in China?

Well, I’m sitting here writing. Yes. Actually putting pen to paper instead of typing everything out because typing hasn’t gotten me much of anywhere here lately. So, anyway, here I am, writing some new- probably fleeting- idea out, and I seem to keep getting frustrated, tearing the pages out, balling them up, and throwing them at the trash can.

I’ve decided that this is actually a very large part of writing, and an even larger part of why I haven’t been able to get anything decent out recently. There is a major flaw with technology these days in the field of writing, and it is this:

There is something supremely cathartic in the ability to rip your words out- the words you have brought to life in a story- ball them up, throw them, tear them further, stomp on them, and generally cause them the pain that they, in not flowing freely or correctly like you want them to, have ultimately caused you.

Unfortunately… you can’t do that with a Word document. No, no matter how many times you delete those words, whether you do it letter by letter, sentence by sentence, line by line, page by page, chapter by chapter, or an entire book at once, you will never feel as good as you do when you rip that page out and all but tell it that it is trash that no one loves. And yes, despite the fact that I sound not only vindictive but also insane at the moment does not go unnoticed.

I know my words are not people, they are not alive. That being said, though, they are in some way something… not inanimate. It’s because they live inside of me. I know the story they should put together, the story I want to put out to the masses, and the story that they are fighting against becoming. So, though I know there is nothing real about them, I also know that, if put together correctly, they have the potential to create a living picture in someone else’s mind as well, and that is beautiful.

Therefore, if Word really wants to impress me as a writer, it should give me the ability to somehow electronically and satisfactorily destroy my words like they sometimes do me.

So, if you’re having trouble with a piece, don’t keep trying on your laptop or desktop. Don’t scratch out lines. Write them, rip them out, and play a little trash ball. You might find it was exactly what you needed, just as I have.

Growing Into My Skin

Stuff

That’s right. As I sit here, wiggling my new mustache mouse, clicking my keys, and thinking all the way back to the last August I completed, I can’t believe that I could already be so different. In 14 days, I’ll officially be 19- well, the 30th. I don’t know what day it is where you are. So I’m just shy of another year of my life being over, and I can barely fathom it.

This time last year, my soul was woggly (yes, woggly, it’s hard to explain) and cowering, terrified of what exactly college was going to hold for me. Was I going to hate my roommate who I didn’t know at all? Were the classes going to kill me? Would I lose my scholarships? Would I make friends? Would I give up writing? What would happen to me? Would I become involved in the wrong crowd, disappoint my mother and stepfather and ruin myself? Would I lose the tenuous hold on my boyfriend who was, at that point, only a friend with benefits?

Well, guys, I’d like to think that I did not do any of those things. I hated some of my classes, yes, but that’s to be expected and was partially due to the major I had and didn’t need to have. I didn’t hate my roommate; in fact, she was the best roommate and friend I could hope for. I still have my scholarship, though I had a moment of up all night, crying my eyes out worrying that I might at one point. The crowd I got involved in really encourage and push me to the dreams both I and my parents have for my future. My boyfriend and I got closer and finally decided on a relationship.

And, thank goodness, probably the most important to my well-being… I did NOT give up my writing. In fact, being at college, being with this new boyfriend, having these new friends, has not only boosted my knowledge of life and thus enhanced my writing, but has also really pushed me into the ability to be more confident in my writing and what I want to do.

So, I got lucky, but in a terrifying sort of way. I look at the world around me, and though most of it has stayed the same, I view it differently. Maybe this is growing up, or maybe this is me finally growing into the skin I was born with. I am not certain, but with a job I feel secure in leaving me, a new year of college beginning, the less lovey and more serious stage of a relationship starting, and me sitting here with a blog in front of me once again, I have to say I’m not scared or woggly or nervous. I am anticipating what very well might be yet another year I’ll never want to forget.

Be prepared, my fellow bloggers, readers, writers, and friends. What comes from me next might blow your minds, not only because it’s some of my best work, but because it might be something you never expected from me.

So, be watching, you might well be surprised.

With Confidence,

Megan

Wake Up and Stretch Your Brain

Stretch_290x156-fi

Now Megan! What are you doing back here? You’ve been quiet for so long!

I know, I know. I’ve not been posting like I should. Once out of college, into work nearly 40 hours a week, and college class on the side for these summer months, I took to not writing to all of you like I should. I’m not even sure if all of you are even still there. If you are, you’ll be happy to know that, though I have not been writing here nearly as often, I have still been writing.

In fact, I happen to be 19 pages in on something brand new that I’m really excited about. No. I’m not going to tell you anything about it. Why would I? I have let you down before, I could let you down again. No, I’m just going to allude to it here and in future posts. Because there will definitely be future posts. No longer how long I leave you, I will always be back. I like you all too much.

So, with my laptop and my new mustache bearing wireless mouse, I am typing away. I’ve woken up and I’m stretching my brain to its limits. I’m powering through some writing here and even more on my new piece. I’ve beaten a personal best- I’ve surpassed my longest chapter (9 pages) and hit 11 and a half. I understand if it doesn’t sound that amazing to you, but to me it means I’ve wrangled my fear of being too wordy at least a bit.

So, this post may not be the longest I’ve ever written, and it may not be the most thought out, but it’s here and it means I’m back. I hope you’re still here to listen.

Stay Wonderful,

Megan

Tiptoeing through New Territory

stop-tiptoeing-tulips-tell-like-is

Ah, the joys of being a writer. It opens up new worlds and ideas, stories and plot, characters and dialogue with each day.

But what happens when you, as a writer, veer from the worlds you’ve been exploring and space-jump or even just perspective jump to another world or genre entirely?

Well, if you’re me, you worry constantly. You tiptoe through this new idea, terrified of where it will lead you. What if you step on that stone? Do you have to make the main character feel that? What if she says this? Oh my God, what if she’s not even a she? What if you want her to be a he instead? What then? How on earth does a guy react to stepping on a stone?

You think I’m joking. I promise you I’m not.

New territory is always terrifying for me because it’s not what I know I can do. Perhaps sometimes that’s a good thing, but for the most part, it’s terrifying. So, I tiptoe, which is horrible because it causes my “me” as a writer to be left out, and trust me, if you lose a writer’s “me,” you’ve lost your story. Then it’s the bare bones, something someone’s read a million times before and can fill out like the answers to a test, and reading through it is a test for the reader, a test of their patience, endurance, and stamina.

What I say when it comes to new territory? Well, excuse my phrase, but you better go balls out because your reader is experiencing this for the first time too. Sure, I worry, but I also have to force myself into the story. Make it happen. Tell it how it is. It’s difficult, don’t get me wrong. There will be some tiptoeing you can’t avoid, some exploration you’re scared of getting into, but sometimes that’s when you force yourself to go for it.

Maybe this is me rambling on, but maybe some of you feel this way too. So, come on, let’s go traipsing through a new world together and see where we come out.

Sing a Song of Stories

Welcome back. Welcome for the first time. Just so you feel welcome, that’s what matters.

Guess it’s that time for me to pick my brain for the words that explain what I’ve been thinking. As the title suggests, I happen to be thinking of music.

Because I happen to have a new musical obsession in Ed Sheeran- not only a singer with a brilliant talent, but an inspiring story that makes me smile to listen to him. Homeless to star- a beautiful and often written fairytale come to life in the reality of a talented young man. Though, I’m not sure I can call him a young man. He’s certainly older than me.

That’s not the point of today, though.

Because I’ve had some of the more serious or love-y of his songs as background for the duration of the night, I’m having trouble writing anything but love stories about people who have rough lives. Maybe that’s not so far from my usual writing. It got me thinking, though, when I went to start this blog, that music we listen to often does shape the way what we write comes out.

There I go clumping writers together again.

It shapes my writing because it shapes me. When I hear a particular song, I put it into a category of when I should listen to it. Some songs are white noise for me. The music fades out to become something of a barrier for my bubble but isn’t a nuisance and leaves me alone to do the writing that wants to be written. I can hear my characters telling me their story, shaping their world and what’s in it better with that music in the background. Ed surely is not white noise.

His songs resonate. They take a hand, smack me across the face, and say, “Listen. I am important.” And they are. So, because I have to listen, if I listen while I’m writing, my writing can take on that tone even if I wanted previously to write something flippant and fun. So I have to say, in some ways maybe they influence my characters. Those little humans floating around in my brain maybe get smacked across the face with his music, too, and so they tell their story to me differently than they would have before.

All I know is that what I listen to matters. If there was ever a song I loved about writing stories, I wonder how my writing would be influenced then.

Do you have a playlist when you write? I’d love to know if songs change you the same way they do me. I clump writers together often on accident, so I would love to- if you are a writer of any sort or just a person who occasionally pens something, whoever you are and whatever you do- know how you feel about what I have to say.

Anyway, this is me off for tonight. I shall go re-immerse myself in Ed Sheeran’s musical talent.

18 and Writing

It appears it’s that time again.

As you know- or have guessed most likely from the name of my blog- I’m 18, and though perhaps it doesn’t govern everything about my life as an author, it kind of is an important part of where I am. When someone grabs my book having no idea who I am or how old I am, they don’t go into it with any preconceived notions about the writing. It is, for all intents and purposes, just another book they’ve decided to read.

Then there are the people who know me, have met me, or even who have just seen this blog at a glance.

Let me explain. I, on one side of my family, come from a long line of writers. We’ve written our entire lineage down to me, and now here I am, self-published and realizing a dream that many in the Stephenson family have never been able to realize. So, when the members of that side of the family pick up the book to read, they go in expecting a certain level of writing. If it’s wonderful, they’re not shocked. A few of them have told me they love it.

On the other side of my family, they’re great at telling family stories, laughing, and making jokes, but none of them are really writers. They struggle with the common block most easily summarized by, “If only I could write down the ideas I have or the stories of my family; then I’d make millions.” So, though they know I write, they just pass it off. That resulted in a call most specifically from my uncle who was on base in Germany when he got a chance to read my book. What I most remember about that call was a line I’ve come to hear a lot recently from family and friends.

“I knew you could write, but I didn’t know you could write that well! I wasn’t expecting that.”

I took it as a compliment of course, because he was telling me that he really liked my book, but I realized then that maybe people who knew a little about me didn’t really know how devoted my passion is. And then I started hearing that last part everywhere. It’s like I plopped my book down and caused some eye-opening experience.

As an employee- well, when I was as employee at Pizza Hut, many of my coworkers bought my book, and it was like they’d buy it just because. Then they’d come back to me- some the very next night, some a few nights later- and they were just completely baffled about how much they liked my book.

In a recent- and also my first- review on Amazon (thank you SO much Ionia), I saw it again. There, in the review, she even states that she wasn’t prepared for the intensity or intelligence of the book or the level of editing I had managed.

Now, I don’t take these as bad things- not in the least. I love opening people’s eyes to the fact that young authors and self-published authors can far surpass expectations, but I also find it intriguing how a couple things that I think so minor because I’m doing something I love and have never really stopped to think about them, can give people a certain view of a book before they even open the first page.

I’m 18, I’m writing, and I’m living a dream that keeps growing with every day I open my eyes. To those of you who are following my story, thank you. For those of you who have bought and read my book, thank you. For those of you who support me in thoughts or prayers or just in a simple, “Go you!” Thank you. You are the reason that all of this is even possible.

So, don’t underestimate. Don’t judge a book by its author. You might be surprised if you do. And go live a dream because if I can do it… SO CAN YOU!