Monday, November 28, 2011

Colson Whitehead: How to Write and the Art of Writing

Rachelle Gardner asks "Are you called to write?"

Called to Write
27 Nov 2011

SunlightI was having lunch with a writer friend of mine, and she didn’t seem like she was in the best place emotionally. “I’m starting to question whether this is really my calling,” she said.

“Why?” I asked.

“Because some days… it just isn’t fun.” (She said this with a straight face.)

“Hmm,” I said. “Is your marriage fun everyday?”

“Mostly, but…um, no.”

“Every time it’s not fun, do you question the entire marriage? Do you consider divorce?” I asked.

“Of course not.” She rolled her eyes.

“Well, I think your calling as a writer is similar,” I told her. “Every time it gets hard, you try and figure out if you’re doing something wrong, but you don’t question the whole darn thing. Every time you have an argument, the whole marriage doesn’t fall apart. Every time you have a bad day writing, you don’t have to question your entire calling.”

“But…” she argued, “I thought God is supposed to give us passion for the things He calls us to?”

“Are you passionate about your husband?” I asked.



She laughed. “No, not everyday. I get your point.”

Your calling to be a writer is bigger than a feeling that shifts with the wind. Once you decide that this is what you’re supposed to be doing, you have to avoid using every roadblock as a reason to question it. Instead, look at whether your calling is being confirmed.
What are some ways to know you’re on the right track?

* You’re taking little baby steps toward possible publication.
* You know that your writing’s improving.
* Someone important has given you encouragement.
* Rejection letters are getting nicer and more complimentary.
* Your critique group is saying good things and they know what they’re talking about and you don’t think they’re blowing smoke.
* You’ve published something smaller like a magazine article or a contribution to a book.
* You’ve got an agent interested in your work.

Unless you have a total lack of anything resembling confirmation… stop questioning your calling and get to work!
Have you questioned your calling as a writer? What led to the questioning? How did you resolve it?
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Saturday, November 5, 2011

Create What You Want From a Thought

From Vision to Reality
By LJ Innes
Your Mind-Body Connection: Create What You Want From a Thought

Everything we want and desire begins with a single thought, but did you know that your thoughts are powerful enough to actually manifest those dreams of yours into reality? No, it won’t happen by twitching your nose like Samantha Stevens or coming up with some harebrained scheme like Lucy Ricardo. Using the power of visualization, through the power of your own mind, can really make things happen.


Visualizing something you want, has to first begin with recognizing what you already have or don’t have. It’s a starting point. You want to get to the finish line, therefore it makes sense that you have to start somewhere. By doing this you are aligning your unconscious mind with conscious thought and action, and now they are working together towards a common goal. That is how you form the mind-body connection.

You may want a slimmer belly, for instance (something you want to lose) or you may want to add some muscles and definition to your arms (something you want to gain). Get your courage up and stand naked in front of the mirror. Zero in on that belly or those arms. Don’t be afraid, it’s just you.

Now your mind knows what your eyes see, and now you can start to take action. Through visualization and seeing yourself the way you’d like to be, maybe seeing yourself in those hot leather pants you bought last season, your daily thoughts and actions will work to help you get there. Unconsciously, you will be doing things to get you to your goal, exercising, eating right, etc. while being conscious of your body and visualizing that sexier you racing across the finish line to victory. Your vision soon becomes reality.


Visualization is a practice. Practice means reinforcement, repeating the exercise on a regular basis, constantly strengthening the mind-body connection. It only takes minutes to do, and aren’t you worth it? Make it a ritual, a ritual celebrating the god or goddess within. Say aloud, “I am special, and I deserve this. This is what I want, and I will make it happen.” Don’t get caught up in the words. Say something that has meaning for you, but give your intention a voice. In time, you will come to see, what you envisioned because you have done everything in your power to make it happen; you have mastered the mind-body connection.

“You manifest the thoughts and feelings that you put your attention on the most. When self doubt creeps in ask yourself if it’s possible that what you’re doubting may actually be possible; and if there is the slightest chance that it’s possible change your doubt to feelings of possibility.” – Rivers

Of course, I’m not going to say that if you’re a mousy brunette, you can visualize yourself as a fiery redhead, but that’s something you can always buy in a bottle. But within the physical realm, your body is yours to mold. Not everyone is a supermodel or a Mr. Universe. But what you feel inside, that you’d like to see outside, is attainable. Feeling good and positive on the inside definitely shows on the outside. It’s absolutely possible to go from visualization to realization.

“To manifest things in your life meditate on the feeling of already having it.” – Rivers

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

LKWatts Confessions: Showing Versus Telling

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