Here, Syd is A Day Late

I can explain.
WARNING: this is going to sound like an excuse.
Last Thursday, I was at my brother’s All-Star baseball game. It was one of his last.
Yesterday, I was raising money for Alabama tornado relief. (We got $1400!) And, since I have been art-ing and working my head off since late May to get ready for this thing, I crashed last night. Plus I was not feeling well.
MARIELLA EXCUSED ME. Please don’t be mad.
Here are pictures to prove my stories are true:
Brother at his baseball game ^
My Thursdays look pretty uneventful from here on out, with no auctions/all star games.
Last week I challenged y’all to pick a genre you normally would not read/write and compose 500 words. Just to get your brain working.
(Mariella and I are developing a contest for the 500-word non-native-genre contest, based on last week’s challenge. Be recruiting people – this depends on you! How long does it take to email someone the link to Escapism, or post on their wall, or tweet them, or dial their number?)
This week, I need y’all to help me brainstorm WHY we have boundaries in writing. WHY are we in the box? WHY are we scared to do something bold and out of the ordinary?
Please note, when I say ‘scared,’ I don’t mean fear. I mean, why are we anxious about doing something we would not do under any normal circumstances.
Personally, I think most of it boils down to us being worried about what others will think of what we write. After all, that is a big reason I don’t let people read my work. I am worried they will think my ideas are stupid, or that their imaginations won’t be as wild as mine and they won’t get any of what I write, or that they just won’t like it. I want EVERYONE to absolutely adore my writing. And that is a completely impossible and illogical desire.
As I told one of my friends one time, everyone will think something about you your whole life. You cannot please everyone, whether it be in your everyday life or in your writing or photography or whatever you will.
Right? Here, you say ‘yes, Syd.’
So let’s just DO something OUT OF THE BOX. Do something BOLD. Do something UNIQUE and NEW and CREATIVE. BLOW PEOPLE’S MINDS. Make them gasp at the page and say, ‘WHOA!’

It takes a LOT to make someone do that, so it is quite the accomplishment!
I think the reason we also are anxious to do these things is because we are trying to avoid failure of ideas. We’ve all had that time we were so pumped up about an idea and when you actually did it, it was awful and did not work worth a flip and then you were no longer pumped up.
With me, I am scared of failure, most definitely. I love writing so much that it CRUSHES me when I do something that doesn’t work.
With my first novel, Reflection, I did so many things that never worked, and I didn’t catch them till I started editing it. A lot of them were subconscious, and I was so embarrassed that I let my PARENTS (of all people) read it!
However, now, since I am older and have learned how to better judge what will and will not work in books, that does not happen as much.
But such a release comes from trying something different. I want none of my books to be the same, so since in every one of my writings I include (1) nature and (2) hints of Medieval/Antebellum culture, I have to come up with a lot to make each of my plots very distinguishable from the others.
So what will it be that you do?
Listen to this, then I will be done. Around 2007, one of my friends who was a writer was stuck in a rut and had the most horrible case of the Block she had ever experienced. I sent her an email every day, giving her something to put into her writings, or if she did not work on a book then she had to write a few lines about whatever it was. Some examples were things like…
Sea monster.
Wicker chair.
Oak tree.
Screaming girl.
Where is the monster? Is there a leprechaun? Winter rain or summer rain? Who is in the chair? How old is the tree? Why is the girl screaming?
Notice each of those questions start with a different word. Where, Is, Which, Who, How, and Why.

What will it be that you do?

2 thoughts on “Here, Syd is A Day Late

  1. I think I'm challenging myself a lot by writing a book that has no magic or anything in it. It makes things more complicated. I'll manage, though. Also, I'm trying a part of the world that I've never done before (Alabama :P) and then New York (Does anyone live in New York? I need your adviiice) and I'm handling subjects that I would never have considered before.I think I'm worried to step out of the box because I think that if I wander into new territory I'll mess things up, or if I handle deeper subjects then people will get a mistaken idea of how I actually am in real life–after all, I'm the one who wrote it. But I'm forcing myself to get over that now. In fact, I think I'll blog about that. Because it's Friday. :D

  2. I think in general, with both writing and other areas of art, the main fear in stepping out of your comfort zone is that you will fail. But failure is always a risk you take in art, so I really appreciate you urging people to try taking risks.My comfort zone consists of fantasy and scifi genres. I'm not used to going out of those, mainly because I'm lazy. If I write a book about someone living in a modern town, I'll have to research that town, or if I write historical fiction, I'll have to do lots of research. But I should really get off my butt and do the work.

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