Blogging

Some Reasons Why I Love Blogging

  • I love creating. It’s my favourite. I like making stuff. It’s fun to start with nothing and turn it into something.
  • I love the community. Honestly, I never expected it to be so supportive and encouraging. Other creators inspire me.
  • I love control. I get to do what I want, when I want, how I want.
  • I love the old editor. More than the new one anyway.
  • I love seeing my progress. Sometimes I get so caught up with life that I don’t realize how far I’ve come. So it’s nice to look back and see where I was five years ago compared to where I am now.
  • I love receiving feedback. Positive or constructive. Both let me know what works and what I can work on.
  • I love growth. Blogging has helped me grow in so many ways. I’m grateful for this journey. I hope it never ends. I’ve not only grown as a blogger, but I’ve also grown as a human being.
  • I love learning. I’ve learned a little about a lot of things through trial and error. I know there’s still a lot for me to learn.
  • I love being challenged. When I started, I didn’t know what I was getting myself into. Blogging is hard. If it was easy, everyone could be a blogger.
  • I love connecting. I’m terrible at interacting with people in real life, but I really appreciate every online interaction. Thank you.
Editing

How To Silence Your Inner Editor

There are times you need to write, which means you somehow have to silence your inner editor. Unfortunately, that’s a lot easier said than done.

Below is all my bad advice on how to silence him or her.

Tell your editor to shut up. Put your foot down.

Ask nicely. If being mean doesn’t work, try being polite?

Don’t do anything. Sometimes not forcing the issue is the best thing you can do.

Embrace the obnoxious editor. Befriend him or her.

Ignore. Hopefully they can take a hint. Or at least learn to.

Blast music. Turn the volume up. Careful you don’t shatter your ear drums in the process.

Listen. Maybe your head is trying to tell you something. After you hear yourself out, maybe your inner editor will finally stop bothering you. One can hope.

Lock them in a cage and throw the key away. Or just imagine doing so.

Practice. Just keep writing.

Never write another word in your life. Non-writers don’t have to deal with annoying inner editors, right? It doesn’t seem like such a bad life.

Blogging

A 2018 Blogging Q&A

What do you love about blogging?

I love being in complete control. Creating original content. Interacting with people I wouldn’t get to otherwise. Learning about my goals, values, etc. I don’t know what I’d do if I couldn’t blog. After all, sleeping is underrated and socializing is overrated.

What do you hate about blogging?

I don’t like the new editor. That’s why I use the old one. I’m not a fan of changing what isn’t broken. But I wouldn’t still be blogging if I hated the process. I hate getting ideas at the worst time. This explains my disdain towards driving.

What was blogging like in 2017?

I had a consistent year, more consistent than years past at least. I’ve done my best to keep up in spite of other more urgent and important deadlines in life. That being said, I started reviewing books. About time. It took me nearly twenty years to get my life together.

What are your plans for your blog in 2018?

I want to blog for myself. That’s why I started. I suspect if I ever stop blogging, it’ll be because I’m not doing so for my own enjoyment anymore. I don’t plan to quit anytime soon. I hope you’re not sick of me yet.

I can’t predict the future, but I have a feeling 2018 will be better than 2017. I plan to change for the better. If I don’t, you have permission to scream at me.

What else is on your mind?

I want to thank you all for supporting me. It means so much. I’ll try to read and comment as much as possible in 2018. Keep blogging. I’m sure your blog will take you to incredible places you never imagined you’d go.

Editing

Why Editing Is Hard Work

Even though I love writing, I don’t know if I love editing.

It’s messy. It’s hard work. And that’s why I’m a hardcore procrastinator anytime I have to make my first drafts better.

I tend to leave comments telling other bloggers their poem or post is well-written. Maybe what I really ought to say is they’re well-edited. After all, first drafts are ugly. How do you make them beautiful? You clean them. Fix the mistakes, the errors.

How time-consuming, huh? I’d argue that sometimes it takes more time to edit than it does to write. At least in my experience.

I don’t know if I’d call myself a perfectionist, but I am quite particular with words. I’m constantly looking for a better one.

With writing, I try not to worry about being perfect. I focus as much as I can on getting my thoughts or ideas down. Dump the contents on my mind onto the page.

I’ve gotten better at separating writing from editing. They’re two separate processes. They’re tough enough to do on their own. So imagine trying to write and edit at the same time.

I procrastinate editing for obvious reasons. It’s a lot of work, especially if I know I wrote an exceptionally terrible first draft.

I think editing requires more energy than writing. Maybe energy isn’t the right word. Editing asks more, demands more. You need to be alert and attentive rather than divide your attention or try to multi-task.

I like writing later in the day when I’m tired. In the mornings, I feel more awake, less exhausted, so I’ll edit. Besides, I catch mistakes better when my eyes aren’t threatening to close on me.

Just like writing, editing in my opinion is toughest at the start, usually right before you begin. But the more you edit, the better your piece will be. And the closer you’ll get to being done with editing and moving back into the magical phase of writing.

Do you find editing hard? If so, why?

Reading

Plan Your Perfect Author Panel

Not long ago, I watched an author panel about genre blending. It got me thinking how awesome it’d be if I could gather all my favourite authors in the same room and listen to them talk about writing.

Here’s how I imagine my perfect panel:

Who would be there?

Pierce Brown, Stephen King, Sarah J. Maas, and Jodi Picoult. They’re my favourite storytellers as of right now.

Why these authors in particular?

In general, I love all of their work.

I enjoyed Brown’s Red Rising series, even though it shattered my already broken heart. So now I’m eagerly awaiting Iron Gold. In fact, IG is the first book I ever preordered. Also, Brown was in the genre blending panel, and his comments were spot on. The video is on YouTube for anyone interested.

King is king. I’ve said it before. I’ll say it again. This won’t be the last time, my friends. For some reason, I have this irrational fear I won’t like one of his novels. He still continues to surpass any and all expectations of mine. Carrie has a special place in my heart. The film adaption was not as good as the book but it wasn’t bad either.

I didn’t think I would like Throne of Glass by Maas as much as I did. The hype surrounding the books almost made me pass on it. I’m glad I didn’t.

Fortunately, I found and fell in love with House Rules. Then I proceeded to read all the Picoult novels I could get my hands on. Nineteen Minutes and The Pact stand out in my memory still to this day.

What will the panel be about?

To start, I’d want them to talk about their writing journey.

I even have questions prepared. When did you start writing? What made you become a writer? Why do you write? What’s a typical day in your life like? Where do you work? How do you write? What’s the easiest thing about your job? What is the hardest?

I’m a curious writer myself, so I like listening to other writers share their life stories.

Of course, if I could only ask one question, I’d have them answer this: what’s one piece of advice you’d give to aspiring writers?

Where would the panel take place? 

I wish more book events and conferences were held in the wonderful country of Canada. As much as I love the United States and hope to visit the United Kingdom one day, I can’t book a plane ticket without losing an arm or a leg. Probably both.

So, for obvious reasons, I’d want the panel to be held at a location near me. That way I could actually attend and keep all my limbs. In my dreams, I want to go to a Canadian book conference. Preferably downtown Toronto in a large building with awesome views of the skyline. Bonus points if it’s close to a hotel for those flying in from other countries with their two arms and legs.

When would the panel take place?

A weekend in the summer would be ideal. Or during autumn when the temperature is cool but not chilly. Then again, the panel will be inside an air conditioned room. But I’m all for having fun events take place outdoors. Beggars can’t be choosers, but planners can be picky, right?

Who should moderate?

I’m not sure. Perhaps another writer. Maybe an agent or an editor. I don’t have anyone specific in mind.

I want to hear all about your dream author panel. Let me know in a comment down below or create your own blog post and get carried away like me. I won’t judge.

Thanks to Eventbrite for inspiring this post. They are a self-service ticketing platform that helps people find and plan events like book conferences or author panels.

This post contains affiliate links. If you purchase through them, I earn a small commission at no extra cost to you.

Editing

The Do’s And Don’ts Of Editing

  • Do save every two minutes.
  • Don’t lose your messed up mind.  
  • Do take short breaks that turn into long vacations. 
  • Don’t edit for ten hours straight in the middle of the night. 
  • Do adjust and adapt accordingly to curveballs and fastballs and all the balls thrown your way. 
  • Don’t lose your non-existent patience. 
  • Do surround yourself with support or be your own cheerleader because you dont have any friends. 
  • Don’t give up on your baby.
  • Do set small goals to build your low confidence up until you’re a mean, cocky editing machine. 
  • Don’t be too hard on yourself or too easy. 
  • Do learn as much as you can about the pain that is editing. 
  • Don’t compare yourself to other artists.
Editing

How To Edit A Novel

How do you edit a novel? You sit down and edit it.

How helpful am I? 

I try.

  • Have a plan. What’s your short-term and long-term goal?  Edit a chapter tonight? Have your entire novel edited by next year? When will you edit? The morning, afternoon, night? How long each time? 20 minutes or 2 hours? What’s your focus? Dialogue, character development, spelling and grammar? At the very least, don’t plan to fail by failing to plan.
  • Have a back-up plan. How often do original plans work out? Or back-up plans for that matter? What if another story seizes you and won’t let you go? Will you write a new story and edit your novel at the same time? What if you lose steam half-way through? Can you steam-roll trough or do you plan to take a break? What if a zombie apocalypse happened today? What if an army of aliens landed tomorrow? You have to prepare for these scenarios.
  • Execute. Plans don’t work unless you do. Novels don’t edit themselves. What other common saying can I twist to my liking?
  • Adjust and adapt. If something isn’t working for you, what do you do? You change it. Fix whatever is broken. Even if nothing is broken but you know your routine could be improved, improve it.

If only I followed my own advice. 

    Editing

    My Editing (Other People’s Work) Process

    1. I see someone asking me to edit something.
    2. I give a sigh.
    3. I agree.
    4. I tell the person to send over whatever it is that needs to be edited.
    5. I ask when I need to edit the piece by. 
    6. I start reading.
    7. I narrow my eyebrows.
    8. I frown.
    9. I cock my head to the side.
    10. I cringe.
    11. I mentally correct some grammatical mistakes.
    12. I blink several times.
    13. I take a deep breath.
    14. I finish reading.
    15. I realize I need a break.
    16. I read it again to catch mistakes I missed the first time through.
    17. I begin to come up with suggestions.
    18. I try to think of something nice to say about the writing.
    19. I give my “brutally honest” opinion.
    20. I smile when I’m done.