Tag Archives: FWIS

FWIS: Inspiration… or You’ve Already Got the Ruby Slippers

7 Mar

FWIS (From Where I Stand) is a monthly piece I’m doing with Abby Mumford & Jessica Corra… all three of us are YA writers in different places in our journeys. Check out their links for this months FWIS from their point of view! ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

It’s something people look for everywhere. In music, movies, books, nature, other people…everywhere.  Whenever you own up to writing, one of the first questions people ask is, “Where do you get your inspiration?”

I’m going to say something sacrilegious: I don’t believe inspiration is the real question. I believe the question is, when, for that split second a beautiful thought flits through your mind, what do you do with it?

All around us are little stories waiting to take shape – or flight. We’re all constantly retelling situations, rehashing old arguments, replaying love stories gone wrong, pondering what would have happenes, upgrading our own lives through our imaginations.

There, there is where the inspiration is. Not in finding those things, but in grabbing them.

I’d challenge anyone who claims to never be inspired.

Do you dwell in your thoughts? Do you let yourself live in those flit moments to see where they’ll go? Marinate them?

Are you prepared for them when they come? Do you keep a notebook or other way to record those ideas on hand?

Do you go back to them? Not every idea flies the first time, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t busy growing its wings.

Do you understand that every idea may not be the beginning or ending of a story? Maybe not even a turning point or the black moment. Sometimes it’s those beautiful, peaceful things we have to blink away that open us into a new world.

Do you take the time to play with ideas that can’t… or won’t… work? Sometimes the things we end up throwing away are the things we learn the most from. No writing is a waste. Every word written is a deeper skill built.

So, stop looking at the clouds and the stars and the moon and the sea and the flowers and wherever else it is that you look for your inspiration. Just like Dorothy found out, it was in you all along. Grab your gentle-mental butterfly net and grasp them as they flit by.


FWIS: 2012 The Year We Kick-Butt

4 Jan

FWIS (From Where I Stand) is a monthly piece I’m doing with Abby Mumford & Jessica Corra… all three of us are YA writers in different places in our journeys. Check out their links for this months FWIS from their point of view!


So, here we go! Goals from the in-between writer 🙂

I’ve had throw-downs with other trainers (yup, if you don’t follow me, part of my job and certifications is around time/space/life management and coaching) about “goals that are our of our hands” OR “things we have no control over” — so I’d like to start there and build.

We often say things like, Well, I have no control over if an agent or editor wants to rep/buy my book.

I’m going to challenge that (you knew I would, right? *grin*)

You may have “no control” (challenge in a few….) over getting a deal, but you completely have control over  NOT getting a deal. Buy not writing, polishing, editing, revising, querying, submitting, etc… you will definitely NOT get a deal.

So, here’s the challenge… you may not be able to control the TIMING of your deal, but what can you control to get there.

  • Honing your craft by writing, writing, writing
  • Honing your craft by reading, reading, reading,
  • Honing your craft by seeing projects through to the bitter end (you won’t get better at every step unless you’re DOING every step)
  • Having products to send out by writing, writing, writing – More than one. Do not (and this is just my opinion, but I feel pretty strongly about it) live for one book.
  • Raising the level of your wips by learning, studying, writing and reading

If you’re doing those, over and over again, will you get someone to eventually want you? I’m thinking that’s a pretty big probably.

See that fourth one? My agent contract came from a book I was working on the side to keep moving forward, keep learning, have something in the slot and try another genre. YES I love my first book (I’m still playing with it WHEN I HAVE TIME) but, knowing that I wasn’t growing (or having anything to sell myself with) kept me moving forward.

Every time someone asked me for my one piece of advice (and they asked a lot when I finalled in the GH (maybe that one piece of advice should be, have one piece of advice to give.)) I always said, Write like you’re going to have a deal tomorrow.

Meaning: have something else to offer, give yourself buffer space by having a “backlist”, learn your writing styles and strengths and weaknesses, be ready to step into that crazy world…and that means writing a lot.

So, with all that, will you get an agent – Yes. I honestly believe that. If you’re not just talking the talk, but working and putting everything into the time you can find (and working to find that time) I believe that you’ll improve your writing, storytelling and crafting to the point that you’ll get an agent — unless you write something that’s super niche and no one can sell you (which is, of course, also a choice…so, yes, you make that NOT decision with that as well).

With all that said, on to my goals 🙂

  1. I will revise the 3 books I’m working for the Laird
  2. I will rewrite & polish the 2 books I have in Disaster Drafts for the Laird
  3. I will discuss with said Laird the 2 books and game plan first to make sure I’m doing what’s best for Team Publish Bria
  4. I will Disaster Draft at least one more book
  5. I will get that darn website up (check back 12/31/12 probably…you know, if the world doesn’t end)
  6. I will continue work on the Secret Project you guys hear so much about…and yet hear nothing about *evil laughter*
  7. I will force Abby to plan the YA Retreat 🙂 (Ok, I’ll help, but yeah… *sucks her in*)
  8. I will go to a class/museum/historic site for fun and to learn something new once a quarter #nerdygirl
  9. I will continue to workout at least three times a week so I don’t get Writer’s Bottom
  10. SELL!

I also have some fun or personal things on my 2012 list.

  1. Get a great new apartment
  2. Get a Full-time permanent job (ditch the contract/consult lifestyle)
  3. Take sign-language lessons (I’ve only been wanting to do this since high school)
  4. Stay on track with my savings and 401k
  5. Be soda free except for “special occasions” 😉
  6. Find a new church

I know. It looks like a lot when you write it out like that — and, Yes, if I get that deal everything gets tossed and we reevaluate what needs to be done in what order. That’s so vital. Being able to reprioritize.

But, as the writer in-between, I believe that these are the things I need to do to get it done this year.

Feel free to point and laugh, judge or cheer me on as we go *hopes for the cheering*

May we all have a 2012 filled with blessings, love, hope, peace, and inspiration.