Elisabeth’s Random Thought of the Day

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Have you ever met an older person who shares your passion for something and you two have so much in common? And they start encouraging you to keep doing what you love and trying to help you along best they can? You can tell they see themselves when they look at you, the younger version, and they hope you make better choices. In you they find all the potential they once had and try to push you, sometimes roughly, to make the most of that potential.

Sometimes I wonder who those people see when they look at me. What do they imagine in my future? Where do they see my passion taking me? Do they see the power to overcome the things that make me doubt myself? Do they see a second chance, someone who could do what they wish they had?

And sometimes I wonder if one day I’ll be looking at the kid I used to be. I wonder if I’ll be the one telling them not to make the mistakes I did, that they shouldn’t settle for safe. That they should follow their passion and never settle for anything less than their dreams.

Fun amidst the Funk: What we can learn about “someday” from books

When “someday” rolls around, we will have time to read all the books and volunteer at all the places while it will be easy to cope with jerks in the checkout line and our dogs won’t leave us presents in random places around the house. Our spiritual lives will be neatly sorted and perfect. We’ll work out enough that we can subsist off chocolate while having killer abs and be able to quit the daily grind, so on and so forth.

Some people expect “someday” to be at graduation, when they land the dream job, start a family, move, retire, or any other milestone. But it doesn’t work like that.https://elisabethwheatley.files.wordpress.com/2015/09/a72de-beautifulbutterfly2.gif?w=660

If you stand around waiting for “someday,” you’ll miss all the stuff that could happen right now. The truth is, things are never going to be perfect. No matter how good your life gets, there will always be snags and complications and inconveniences, but it’s okay.

Because I am me, I can’t help but think literature offers the best example of this concept. Harry was being hunted by Voldemort for literally his entire time at Hogwarts, but that didn’t stop him from having the time of his life. The Pevensie siblings were thrust into a civil war involving a psychotic witch with a penchant for geomancy, but they had an adventure like no other. Éowyn was literally trying to commit suicide after Aragorn rejected her, but she ended up meeting the love of her life. Eragon was fighting an all-powerful despot and lost everything, but during that time, he also gained a host of dear friends.

The point is, you don’t need to wait for “someday.” There are going to be bumps and potholes along the road, but it’s possible to enjoy life in the here and now. In short, work hard for the future, but remember that you can only live in the present.

Treatments for Writer’s Block

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I find that I oft need help overcoming writer’s block and, to be honest, who doesn’t? But I have found these tricks to help get the creative cogs cranking. Let me know if you have any more to add!

1. Revisiting my end goals

If I’m hitting a dead end around the halfway or three-quarters mark (which is where it usually happens for me), it helps to ask “where does (insert main character’s name here) need to end up in the end?” Usually, I know exactly how the book will wrap up as the conclusion is one of the first, if not the first, thing I sort out. Reverse-engineering the plot can be extremely useful and, to be honest, I should use it more than I do. A nod to Intisar Khanani for suggesting this one.

2. Keep a Pinterest inspiration board

I recently discovered Pinterest and it has fast become one of my favorite means of supplying the writerly fuels. Not only is it another great place to connect with readers and people who share your interests, but a veritable gold mine of ideas. I have boards for all of my stories, including the works in progress, so that I can go and browse through the images I have collated for inspiration whenever I need them or just when I feel like it.

3. Take a walk

I often break through the writer’s block barrier while running or walking my dogs. This is particularly useful when I am mulling over action and fight scenes. Getting up and moving around helps blow off the extra energy and make me focus.

4. Go back to the source

Where did the story’s original idea come from? For me, I tend to have books, movies, and songs that are clearly associated with my particular stories, no matter how random the connections might seem. Returning to my core inspiration often helps renew that “special something” when writing.

5. Have a playlist

While I don’t listen to music while writing (I have the attention span of a gerbil and am easily distracted), I do like to listen to certain songs to “get in the mood.” Again, I usually associate certain songs with certain stories and listening to songs I associate with a story before working on it can be extremely helpful. For example, I have one WIP that takes place in an Ancient World setting and was greatly inspired by the movie Gladiator. Now whenever I listen to the movie soundtrack, I immediately think of that story.

Despite all these tricks, I find that writing itself is the only true cure for writer’s block. There are plenty of days when I have to force myself to write and will probably have to end up deleting or drastically revising what I have written, but the point is I have written. So if you’re facing writer’s block, go ahead and try these tricks, but if inspiration won’t come to you, you may just have to chase it down with a club and beat it into submission.

Never stop.

Impressions of Brevia

Right now I am working on the fourth book in the Argetallam Saga. I can’t tell you much, other than that it is titled The Temple of Tarkoth and it takes us to a part of Janir’s world we have never visited before. Anyway, I came across these very inspirational photos that make me think of Janir and Brevia. (The first one is my favorite!) I thought I’d share them with you all. Enjoy!

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