Inside the soul of a writer

Monthly Archives: January 2013

Learning, thinking, dreaming–these are some of the things I’m doing every day, and I believe they’re helping me to become a better writer. Even when I’m writing fiction, my life and experiences are a part of the world I create, the characters I write about, and the experiences those characters go through. I found two quotes that reflect this much better than I could.

The first is by William Faulkner.

“A writer needs three things: experience, observation, and imagination, any two of which, at times, any one of which, can supply the lack of the others.”

The second quote is by John Jerome.

“Writing, I think, is a kind of debriefing….There’s a great deal more experience in our lives than we ever succeed in knowing. Writing is an attempt to acquire more of it.”

For me, the last quote is especially telling. I have read many authors’ works where the characters and the worlds were so elaborate I thought there would be no possible way for me to create that kind of setting. I realize now they were bringing their experience and knowledge to their world and their characters, and I can do the same with the worlds and the characters I create.

Until next time, be real!


Writing can be a solitary occupation a lot of the time which is why it is important to seek out people to commiserate with, to share things with. I have found that community is the most important thing for me to get through any dark times I might have–in writing or in life in general.  My faith and my community of faith also helps with this. I find it very sad when we can’t trust each other to lift each other up. I think that’s also part of why our society is in such a bad place (in the United States). We are not willing to reach out to other people and help them when they need it. I don’t know if that’s because of an overemphasis on individuality or because we’ve been taken advantage of in the past, but that’s not what I want to be remembered for. I want to be willing to accept help when I need it, and I want to be willing to give help when it’s needed. I would hope all of us would do the same.

Until next time, be real!

It’s time to write. This is feeling more and more natural to me. Every morning after I work out and get ready for the day, I do my warm-up writing by completing an entry for this blog. I like what I read in my writing inspiration book this morning. It was a quote by Joyce Carol Oates.

“Only have faith: the first sentence can’t be written until the last sentence has been written–only then do you know where you’ve been going, and where you’ve been.”

To me, that sounds suspiciously like having faith in yourself which is where I’ve been lacking lately. When I’ve actually been sitting down and doing the work though, the ‘having faith in yourself’ part just seems to come. Time to keep moving forward–one step at a time.


Until next time, be real!

This book is by Erec Stebbins and is the first book I have read from Seventh Street Books. I thought it was quite good. It was fast paced, and I was unable to put it down. The book follows a FBI agent and his team as they investigate a series of attacks on Muslims around the globe. The head FBI agent and his nemesis both lost someone in the 9/11 attacks, and I thought it was an interesting study on how the temptation to go to the darker side of the human psyche was prevalent in both of them even though one ultimately chose good and one ultimately chose evil. While I know the book is fiction, it also seemed that the author was thorough with his research which I also appreciated. I would wholeheartedly recommend this book to anyone who is interested in the thriller genre.

Until next time, be real!

I like this title because even though you might have to do something over and over, each time  you get a little better at it even if the world still considers it a failure. Unfortunately, this is something that is not taught in our society today. People think they have to succeed at something the first time to be considered worthwhile– i. e. the tendency to give every child a trophy even though they haven’t earned it. Last year, my older son played for a rec baseball team. They only won one game, but I consider that one of the most valuable experiences he has ever had, and the men who coached the team treated it the same way.

Here’s a quote on failure by Thomas Edison:

“I didn’t fail one thousand times. The lightbulb was an invention with one thousand steps.”

I think I”m going to print that out and put it up on my wall as a reminder. Anything worth doing right is worth failing at first.

Until next time, be real!

The quote in my writing inspiration book was apropos for me this morning even though the title of the reading isn’t a part of my writing experience since I’m not writing while I’m being drooled upon. First, the quote by M.F.K. Fisher.

“Of course it I were a real writer, predestined, dedicated, I’d work in the face of everything…But as it is now I feel almost hysterical at the thought of concentration on one thing. I am never without interruption.”

This quote was related to the reading which talked about a mom with young children and pets who was trying to write too. I don’t have young children anymore, but sometimes I feel the last part of the quote deep in my bones. With all the roles I have in my life, time to concentrate on just one is always at a premium. I know it’s important to be able to work through interruptions like I’ve talked about before, but that has required focus I haven’t had in the last few weeks. So, since I haven’t had focus, I’ve decided to adopt stubbornness. My writing time is a part of me just like the rest of the parts, and I have to nurture it just like I nurture the other parts.

Until next time, be real!

At the end of last summer, I was inspired, and not in a good way, to start walking every morning before the sun rose. Now, you’re probably asking what inspired me. Well, it was that number on a scale so to speak. It was not where I wanted it to be, and I decided I needed to do something about it. Since then, I have missed very few days of doing this, mainly when it’s been raining or very cold. And I can feel it when I miss it, physically and mentally.

What does that have to do with writing, you ask? My new habit for physical fitness has become relatively automatic for me. My alarm clock goes off. I get up, put on sweat pants, t-shirt, and sweatshirt, stretch out, and go on my walk. The only allowance I give myself is to start this routine thirty minutes later on the weekends. This type of automatic habit is something I am working on transferring to my writing. I’ve done pretty good with this blog so far. My goal on New Year’s Day was to write something in it on every weekday, and I have. What I need to add-on to this is working consistently on my other projects. I do feel some of the same things when I miss writing that are similar to when I miss walking. I just need to amp it up. As my friend who passed away a few weeks ago would say, I guess I need to #crushit.

Until next time, be real!