Admiration and Imitation

When I was a teenager, I wrote tons of fan fic. I wrote a Star Trek novel, a Perry Mason novel, a Sherlock Holmes story. This was excellent practice. No one told me that I couldn’t write those things, that they wouldn’t be published because of copyright issues. I wrote when I wanted to read.

There was a point in my 20s when I realized that I still hadn’t figured out what my “voice” was. People talked all the time about how important voice was, and I believed it was true. I could see voice in the writers I read and reread. I could hear it in my head when I put the books down. Those characters were alive beyond the words on the page.

But how to do that myself? I couldn’t figure it out. I wanted to have a voice like that, which of course, you can never do. You can’t borrow another person’s voice. Occasionally, I’d hear people say that you can’t write until you’re older, because you don’t have “important” things to say about life until then, which I thought was typical adult crap, devaluing the things that young people do.

Maybe there is some truth to the reality that you get older and you find voice isn’t such a struggle anymore. But if so, it’s because you stop caring what other people think. It’s not that you stop trying to do what other people do, or that what you have to say is suddenly more important, though.

Some tips to finding your voice:

1. If you’re angry, write while you’re angry.

2. If you’re sad, write in that moment, with tears dripping down your face.

3. Write up your most embarrassing moments. Every detail.

4. Make fun of writers and writing you think is ridiculous.

5. Write about food. Or about running. Or about your children. Write about what makes you passionate. Write about things no one else cares about.

6. Write endings to stories that finished wrong. Write better versions of things that you wanted to love.

7. Write dangerous things.

8. Write about the things you don’t want anyone to know about yourself.

9. Write about people no one else sees.

10. Write mashups that no one likes but you.

"You might not write well every day, but you can always edit a bad page. You can’t edit a blank page."

— Jodi Picoult  (via deservingporcupine)

(Source: the-disaster-she-is, via deservingporcupine)

maggie-stiefvater:

On Twitter today — and everyday — there was some chatter and scuffle about Some Authors’ Careers and Some Authors’ Fame and whether they had deserved it. Some folks invariably said the chatter and scuffle was jealousy. Some others invariably said not everything is…

cassandraclare:

Inspired of course by by Joanna Russ. And not set off by anything in particular, just an aggregate of comments and a good friend being treated terribly for posting some of her fiction for free online.image

She tweets and tumblrs so she must not be working.
She never tweets…

Another quote from WIP:
“Ignorance was not, in my mind, a proper attribute of a lady. A lady did not listen when a husband told her not to worry about money for the future. She could make sums on her own, and she demanded to see the books. She did not accept that others would “do well” for her. She did well for herself, and she did that by facing the truth. If it was bad, it was not made better by being ignored. And if it was good, well, it had better be good for her, as well.”

Quote from WIP where pov character is—well—difficult:

"Those who think that happiness matters more than money should spend time with an aching stomach and see how much they sing then or write poetry about the joys of privation. Happiness cannot exist without money, which I well knew. Love does not survive the first touch of the day’s reminder that the body must be fed, clothed, sheltered, and offered hope for the future."

scusemydust:

Author series by Ryan Sheffield. 1. Women authors

For sale on his Etsy Shop.

(Source: bookporn, via gwendabond)

"Wherever perfectionism is driving, shame is riding shotgun. Perfectionism is not about healthy striving, which you see all the time in successful leaders, it’s not about trying to set goals and being the best we can be, perfectionism is basically a cognitive behavioral process that says if I look perfect, work perfect, and do everything perfectly, I can avoid shame, ridicule, and criticism. It’s a defense mechanism."

"Why Doing Awesome Work Means Making Yourself Vulnerable"

(Source: kelsium, via deservingporcupine)

"…the older I get, the more I see how women are described as having gone mad, when what they’ve actually become is knowledgeable and powerful and fucking furious."

Sophie Heawood  (via brosetta-stone)

(Source: featherfall, via seananmcguire)

"

Children should remain silent, and they are ‘good’ when they’re quiet, but ‘bad’ when they are not, because they are disturbing the adults and causing trouble. This attitude runs through the way people interact with children on every level, and yet, they seem surprised when it turns out that children have been struggling with serious medical problems, or they’ve been assaulted or abused.

The most common response is ‘well why didn’t the child say something?’ or ‘why didn’t the child talk to an adult?’ Adults constantly assure themselves that children know to go to a grownup when they are in trouble, and they even repeat that sentiment to children; you can always come to us, adults tell children, when you need help. Find a trusted adult, a teacher or a doctor or a police officer or a firefighter, and tell that adult what’s going on, and you’ll be helped, and everything will be all right.

The thing is that children do that, and the adults don’t listen. Every time a child tells an adult about something and nothing happens, that child learns that adults are liars, and that they don’t provide the promised help. Children hold up their end of the deal by reporting, sometimes at great personal risk, and they get no concrete action in return. Sometimes, the very adult people tell a child to ‘trust’ is the least reliable person; the teacher is friends with the priest who is molesting a student, the firefighter plays pool with the father who is beating a child, they don’t want to cause a scene.

Or children are accused of lying for attention because they accused the wrong person. They’re told they must be mistaken about what happened, unclear on the specifics, because there’s no way what they’re saying could be true, so and so isn’t that kind of person. A mother would never do that. He’s a respected member of the community! In their haste to close their ears to the child’s voice, adults make sure the child’s experience is utterly denied and debunked. Couldn’t be, can’t be, won’t be. The child knows not to say such things in the future, because no one is listening, because people will actively tell the child to be quiet.

Children are also told that they aren’t experiencing what they’re actually experiencing, or they’re being fussy about nothing. A child reports a pain in her leg after gym class, and she’s told to quit whining. Four months later, everyone is shocked when her metastatic bone cancer becomes unavoidably apparent. Had someone listened to her in the first place when she reported the original bone pain and said it felt different that usual, she would have been evaluated sooner. A child tells a teacher he has trouble seeing the blackboard, and the teacher dismisses it, so the child is never referred for glasses; the child struggles with math until high school, when someone finally acknowledges there’s a problem.

This attitude, that children shouldn’t be believed, puts the burden of proof on children, rather than assuming that there might be something to their statements. Some people seem to think that actually listening to children would result in a generation of hopelessly spoiled brats who know they can say anything for attention, but would that actually be the case? That assumption is rooted in the idea that children are not trustworthy, and cannot be respected. I’m having trouble understanding why adults should be viewed as inherently trustworthy and respectable, especially in light of the way we treat children.

"

Children Talk But No One Listens – this ain’t livin’ (via unsungtale)

(via seananmcguire)