My Olympic Writing Goals

I just read this article on “Measuring Your Achievement by the Olympics” by Joanna Penn…a fellow writer whose blog I am subscribed to (I’ll be sure to post a list of great writer sites later :).

In the article Joanna talks about how we can use the Olympics to set our goals.  If you think about it right now there is some athlete (many I’m sure) who after watching the London 2012 Olympics have been inspired to train harder.  For all we know that person could become the next Gabby Douglas or Michael Phelps.  And if that person, no matter how far along they might be, can train so can we.

I’m a writer.  I used to play sports but I I’m not interested in training to reach Olympic level athleticism, however I am interested in becoming a better writer.

Four years ago: I was fifteen (wow, what a difference). I did not have a blog, was not writing regularly, I know I was thinking about colleges (I have always had a very future orientated mindset but I definitely did not know what I do now).

Four years later: I have a blog, and I do write regularly.  I have also completed a goal I’ve had since I was little, I finished writing a book manuscript.  Deep down or maybe not so deep, I am still the same person however I have different goals and a slightly different way of looking at the world.

Four years from now: Well first I want to be in Rio, yes I’m already saving.  But as for my writing goals, I would love to be published.  I know it’s a short time span but I do love to set unrealistic goals :)  As for this blog, I could care less how many followers I have, actually that’s not true, but what’s really important is the connection I have with those followers.  So I want to have stronger connections with my followers, whether it is through commenting on each other’s blogs or social media connections so simply reblogging each other’s posts from time to time.  I also plan on being a MFA student in Creative Writing somewhere.

And in 2020: I want to be a New York Time’s Bestselling Author…THE END.

I think  it will be neat to come back to the post and see how everything has ended up.

So what are your Olympic goals…writing or non, let’s hear them :)

Whimsically Yours,

PnC

Patrice:

This is hilarious…make sure you go to bottledworder’s blog to check out parts 2 & 3.

Whimsically Yours,

PnC

Originally posted on bottledworder:

In my wanderings through various cities and university towns, I encountered a strange creature called the writer (and its close cousin, the critic). I was told that it is an endangered species. The world does not need it much any more having advanced to higher levels of the human condition thanks to the blessings of technological advancement.

Now  that the governments of the world are  only nurturing  STEM’s– Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics–to pave the way to the future, no one quite knows what to do with these writers–these fruits of  civilization.

Peeled, whole, and longitudinal section

Peeled, whole, and longitudinal section (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

View original 992 more words

“Just Do It”

When I first became interested in being a professional writer, I heard this title or categorization being thrown around.  At first I didn’t understand it then I was like, “okay”, so I started using this title as well.

Until I realized how silly I sounded.

Some of you might have already guessed what I’m talking about but for those of you who have not the words are: Aspiring Writer.

Can someone please define what an aspiring writer is?  I’m not trying to make people feel bad, or maybe I am, remember I used to use those words to describe myself; I’m just as guilty.

I guess I wouldn’t mind the “phrase” so much if it didn’t seem like almost everyone calls themself an aspiring writer has written something before.  And I don’t just mean a text message, even though that could count, just pretend I’m putting on my partial literary snob nose for a second.

Most aspiring writers are bloggers or they are working on some sort of “writing project”; they might even be an MFA student.  Then there are others who just talk about how badly they want to write something.

So to channel my inner Nike (the goddess and the brand) and to keep this short and sweet:

For more body moving words of wisdom check out ‘My Inspirations‘ Pinterest board.

Whimsically Yours,

PnC

Set Unrealistic Goals

Set Unrealistic Goals is one of my three mottos listed on my writer site patricecaldwell.com.

I’ve always thought it very interesting that when we are younger we are told to “dream big” or “be whoever we want to be” but as we get older it turns into “be realistic.”

Yet the funny thing is those who we considere successful, were anything but realistic.  If they were realistic they would have never dropped out of college and started what became a Fortune 500 company, for example.  Instead I prefer to tell myself and others to set unrealistic goals.

Why? Take writing for example. When I begin writing something, I don’y know where I’m going.  Even if I have outlined or know the ending, as I usually do, that still only tells me so much.  But if I tell myself, for example: get through the Underworld today (a scene in one of my manuscripts) even if I am five scenes away it gives me a place to go.

If I tell myself get to the beginning of the spa scene (only about a scene away), then I have limited myself.  When you know you can do more than write a few hundred to a thousand words a day, why be realistic and tell yourself to write only that?  As the quote at the top of this post says: aim for the moon for even if you fail, you will land among the stars.

I’m not saying you have to be an overachiever.  This is just what works for me.  I know that if I only shoot for the stars I might settle and not accomplish my goal, but if I shoot for the moon I might fall short but at least I will land among the stars and be content, not living a life of regret.  (**Of course there are always exceptions, sometimes settling is not such a bad thing**)

Set unrealistic goals in your life, take chances that others tell you not to (it’s might be just their fear talking anyway), and put all of your eggs in the basket.  Who cares if you fail, as Albert Einstein said (paraphrased), your failures are just lessons in how not do do something, at least you can say that you got up off your butt and tried.

I’m off to go write, I have this oddly unrealistic goal of finishing all my revisions today :)

**This post is a part of my “how to write a book” post series however its advice can be taken outside of the writing world.**

Whimsically Yours,

PnC

Repost: Kids Can’t Write

To all my kid writers out there, keep on writing.  The younger you start; the more experience you’ll get. :)

*This is a repost of the post “Kids Can’t Write” published on August 2, 2012, enjoy!*

What’s next?” said Novelist Tom Robbins “Kiddie architects, juvenile dentists, 11-year-old rocket scientists? Any parent who thinks that the crafting of engrossing, meaningful, publishable fiction requires less talent and experience than designing a house, extracting a wisdom tooth, or supervising a lunar probe is, frankly, delusional.”       

“There are no prodigies in literature,” Mr. Robbins said. “Literature requires experience, in a way that mathematics and music do not.”

This is a quote from the NY Times article “Young Writers Dazzle Publisher (Mom and Dad)” that was published on March 31, 2012.

Why, I ask, can there not be prodigies in literature?  Why is it that so many people cannot stand the fact that there are children out there doing things some adults never have?

My first instinct would be to say that it is merely concern, concern that these “child authors” are not taking the “lit world” seriously.  That is a statement I do understand.  There are numerous children who have their parents pay for them to self-publish a book.  Those children write their stories and then they expect their parents to shovel over hundreds or maybe even a thousand dollars to get their book published.  That is so silly.  Why would a parent ever want to spend money like that on something their child has worked hard at when there is a very high possibility that the only profits will come from friends and family members.  How ridiculous…right?

Wrong.

Reading this article only made me wish that I had been as dedicated a writer and that self-publishing had been as prevalent when I was younger.  Had I and had it, instead of having my parents spend money on the various activities that I (and most kids) tried out, I could be a published author.

Having just finished writing my first book, Blood of Isis, and now on to starting my next one, I can already tell that my writing has improved.  When I noticed that I was shocked!  I write all of the time, for school publications, on my blog, in my diary but somehow just by finishing writing one book I have seen more improvements in my writing than I have with all of those other areas combined.

There is just something about sitting down and writing a book that can really improve not only your writing but your character as well; writing builds character!  I did theater for years, all throughout middle and high school, now in college I have only done makeup for one show.  When I tell this to people they often think that I wasted my time but what they do not realize is that just because you do not go on to become a world-renown actor (or author) does not mean you have wasted your time.  By doing theater I learned to always be fully present, how to carry myself, how to speak, how to lie, and how to imitate accents…the list goes on.

By writing and publishing a book these young prodigies, yes Mr. Robbins they are prodigies, learn so many more things than those that are shown by their profits made.

It is just like what Mr. Heckmann said about his son Ben’s self-published books, “He can play basketball at home, or he can join a team; here he kind of joined a team,” Mr. Heckmann said. “This is Ben’s basketball.”

It is time that we as a nation or at the very least as bookworms, aspiring writers, and authors realize that these children have talents they bring to the writing world.  For too long have the literary elites held they keys to the publishing world.  In my honest opinion, why I really think so many adults in the literary world object: FEAR.

They are afraid that some kid is going to gain more notoriety than they have.  However I want you to know there is nothing to fear.  These kids are not going to gain more notoriety than you have…why???  Because, they already have.  By publishing at an early age, not just writing (I am sure many authors will say they have been writing since they were little), while these kids might not reach “success” they are learning about the world of publishing.  This means that by the time they “come of age” they will be very advanced writers.

As for the comment about child architects, etc… while we may not have met one yet who is to say it cannot happen.  If a person has the will, the drive, they can achieve what some consider to be impossible.

I understand that literature requires experience but it is not as if these children are writing about adults, I am sure they could care less about the kind of “quality writing” that could earn its place in the literary canon.  Rather they are writing about people their age, who have experiences the things they have experienced.  I get that there is something powerful about being an adult who has “been there done that” and looking back and being able to write about those experiences.  However that does not mean we should discredit those who attempt to or do write about the things they are going through.

I have read books about children or teenagers written by adults that while good feel sort of aloof and too removed from the situation, and I have read books by children and teenagers about children and teenagers that, while not necessarily having the “literary genius or language” that a book by Dickens has, do have an insight into the adolescent mind that few adults can capture.

These kids are not trying to reinvent the wheel all they want is the chance to have their voices heard.  Unfortunately most agents and publishers will not give them a chance, no matter how good their book is.  Like I have said before I have not and probably will never see what the first draft of To Kill a Mockingbird or The Mortal Instruments series looked like, for all we know we might have consider it to be sub par.  However someone gave those books a chance, a chance that many young authors today never receive.  So the next time you say that kids can’t write take a look in the mirror because once you were a kid, you had dreams, you had goals and you believed that anything was possible.

Don’t you dare belittle what a child has accomplished just because it was something you never managed to do.

(Dear Readers,

I would love to hear what you have to say about this topic :)

Whimsically Yours,

PnC