Monday, November 24, 2014

The Importance of Taking a Break from Writing

As some of you know, I've been away for the last two weeks. I completely unplugged from the internet and went on a trip to get away from everything. What did I do? I went on a cruise. And wow, what a cruise.

Hubby and I went to the South Pacific Islands and pretty much did nothing the whole time. Having no access to friends and easy information via the net felt strange, but soon we reveled in the joy of sunshine and relaxation.

I had planned to catch up on a mountain of reading and maybe a little writing. Instead I slept. A lot. Sheer bliss. No pressure to think up new stories, fix old ones, achieve, produce, or make and maintain connections. No push. No rush.

Initially that familiar sense of guilt nagged on my thoughts. I should be writing, or in the least, reading! There's ample opportunity. Then I decided to sweep that guilt away. The result? Now that I'm back, I find myself  full of creativity and bursting at the seams with fresh ideas and a renewed passion.

My advice to anyone struggling with a lack-luster creative drive, take that break. Not a partial, semi-break, but a full and proper break where you take away all the pressures and just be wonderful to yourself.

When was the last time you took a proper break? What do you do to be wonderful to yourself?

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Confidence in Creativity #IWSG #GCAP14

As some of you know, because I’ve delved into the game development world, starting up my own indie game studio, I attended a gaming conference in Melbourne last week. Technically it was two conferences, but the one I’m focusing on today is the Game Connect Asia Pacific 2014 (GCAP)  The final keynote speaker was Rami Ismail, game developer ‘and business guy’ from Vlambeer, a Dutch indie game studio. As the final keynote speaker, he gave an awesome talk about confidence in creativity. Because a lot of what he said can be translated for any creative pursuit, writing included, I’m going to share the gist of his talk here for the Insecure Writer’s Support Group.

First he explained what confidence is and isn’t: It’s an internal force. It’s about trusting your choices. It’s not about pushing anything on anyone. It’s not about arrogance, exaggeration, or lying.

While it’s intimidating to talk about our work, it helps to know that normal doesn’t exist. We’re all weird in our own special way and that’s interesting.

Likewise we have to believe in what we create. Find the passion for what we do by asking ourselves why we started the project in the first place. Stopping at, “Because I love it,” is a mistake. Dig deeper and find the fundamental truths about your game/story/creation. Then communicate what you are excited about with your work. This will help you stay motivated to finish the project and it will help you with marketing once it’s out there.

There is no way to improve except to try and possibly fail. Dare to be vulnerable.

As you can imagine, the whole room was buzzed by his talk. I certainly felt newly inspired for my own creativity and I hope to hold onto that motivation for a long while.

What motivates you with your creativity? What conferences have you recently attended that gave you a fresh insight and boost to your motivation?

This post was written for the Insecure Writer's Support Group where we share our encouragement or insecurities on the first Wednesday of the month.

To join the group or find out more, click here.

Photo: Sunset on the first night in Melbourne.

Note: For the next two weeks, starting this weekend, I will be unplugged so you won't see me around the blogsphere, the twitterverse, or the and I won't be able to answer any emails either. Yikes! I'll share what I've been up to on Monday 24th.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Cake and Writing Confidence

Today I'm over at the IWSG website with a post about Finding the Confidence to Write what You Love. I'd love to see you over there.

Today is also Holly Sinclair's Foodie Blog Hop. There's so much I could write about food but managed to narrow it down to wedding cake.
My hubby and I got married in 1999. It was a small wedding with only 50 guests. We did as much as we could ourselves: the invitations, the order of service, the bombonieres. We weren't up for making our own cake, but when we walked into bakeries or patisseries and mentioned we were interested in a wedding cake, eyes lit up. We couldn't believe the prices. All I wanted was chocolate mud cake. How much could a mud cake cost? Put the word wedding in front of it and the price sky-rocketed. So we built one ourselves. Keeping 'wedding' from our vocabulary, we bought one large cake and one smaller one. We then went to the local craft shop and bought some ribbon and gold roses. Ta-da! A wedding cake! I think it cost us $45 total rather than $800. Best tasting wedding cake ever!

Thank you to everyone for the prayers and hugs last week. I'm still going through medical issues. It's a waiting game now, so continued prayer would be awesome.

Don't forget it's the Insecure Writer's Support Group day on Wednesday. Yikes it's November already! If you'd like to be a part of an awesome, supportive group and haven't signed up yet, click here.

And don't forget to visit me over at the IWSG website.

What's your dream wedding cake? What's the best cake you've ever tasted? 

Monday, October 20, 2014

Books, Books, Glorious Books

It's time to celebrate many book releases and cover reveals, but first, an update for The Insecure Writer's Support Group Guide to Publishing and Beyond:

The IWSG Guide to Publishing and Beyond
As some of you know, this book has been a lot of hard work editing, proof-reading, collating, formatting. We are super thrilled about it. As a team, we even conquered the synopsis. It's coming together in an exciting way. The articles from over 100 writers across the globe are brilliant, informative, inspiring. There's still a lot yet to be done, but we're on track for the December release!

We even have a snazzy trailer for the book, created by HJ Blenkinsop. 

A Lizard's Tail by Bish Denham
When a feral cat threatens the lives of all who live at Stone Wall, Marvin knows his destiny has finally arrived. But how can a young, vain lizard get rid of such a dangerous enemy?

Paperback, Kindle

Vitamins and Death by Medeia Sharif
YA Contemporary, Prizm Books
Release Date December 10, 2014

Find Medeia:
Blog | Instagram | Twitter

Gears of Brass, a Steampunk Anthology
Release Date: November 10, 2014

Congrats to SA Larsen for her story 'Time Spun Souls' which is included in this anthology.

Soulless by Crystal Collier
New Release
Book 2 of the Maiden of Time series.

Kindle, Paperback

For the last three weeks I've been going through some personal/medical stuff that has been super draining so I haven't been around much. My apologies. It's not over. Unfortunately. Sigh. While it's not life-threatening, it is still something that requires unfun tests and waiting and if I'm unlucky, then surgery. Joy. On a high note, I'll be going to a gaming conference next week. A timely distraction. So I won't be posting again until November 3rd. Prayers and virtual hugs are welcome.

Are you excited about these books? What other books are you excited about? What have you been reading recently?

Monday, September 29, 2014

That Semicolon is Killing Me #IWSG

A sign at the local coffee shop had me giggling and wincing at the same time. It read:

Dear Customers;
EFTPOS is temporarily unavailable.
Sorry for the convenience

The owners of the shop may have heard my guffaw because, not a minute later, the sign was taken down and a new one put up. Convenience was changed to inconvenience. But the semicolon remained. It made me squirm as if I had a tick in my eye.

Do you have trouble ignoring the bad grammar or punctuation around you? Do you correct presenters on TV shows, rewrite sentences while reading published books, chuckle at dodgy sentence structure on goods? Have you influenced your non-writing family member enough that he or she also corrects the bad grammar?

If you’ve said yes to any of these questions, then I have bad news for you: You are cursed. Yes, cursed. There’s no going back to being blissfully unaware of typos, comma splices, or dangling modifiers. You are doomed to annoy your friends (or bite your tongue a lot), fated to spend hours nit-picking over your work, ruined for the rest of your literary life.

The good news is, you’ve also been blessed. Why? Because you are a writer, and being a writer is the best thing in the world. Go on, you can admit it. It’s safe here.

What are some of the funniest mistakes you’ve made or seen? How do you survive the errors everywhere?

This post was written for the IWSG Group. We post on the first Wednesday of the month. Sign up is HERE.

I’m posting early because I wanted to remind everyone about the impending deadline for The Insecure Writer’s Support Group Guide to Publishing and Beyond. It’s chugging toward us at a rapid pace. Not the book, but the deadline for submissions, which is October 2nd. We’re looking for articles on writing, publishing and marketing. For the guidelines, click HERE.

While we prefer email submissions, TheIWSG[at]gmail[dot]com, if you are submitting via your blog, then make sure to use the book sign up sheet so we don't miss your awesome work.