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Think and Wonder, Wonder and Think: Inspirational Articles



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Fri Apr 17, 2015 4:09 pm
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LadySpark says...



Think and Wonder, Wonder and Think Weekend
April 24th-26th



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Dr. Seuss Inspirational Articles



Written By:
@Lauren2010
@Firestarter
@LadySpark
@ArcticMonkey
@TriSARAHtops
@Tenyo


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hush, my sweet
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Fri Apr 24, 2015 6:53 pm
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Lauren2010 says...



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"You're in pretty good shape for the shape you are in."
Dr. Seuss Inspirational Article
By: @Lauren2010

Think and Wonder, Wonder and Think Weekend
April 24th-26th 2015



One of the hardest parts about being a writer, I think, is maintaining objectivity. Especially in places like YWS where there are writers of all kinds of ages, backgrounds, and experience levels are putting their work up in the same place for everyone to look at. It’s so easy to see someone else’s work and think why am I not as good as them or to hear about someone else’s successes and think why haven’t I done that yet. For some reason it sounds like the achievements of other people matter, when it honestly doesn’t at all.

In the last year, I’ve become a graduate student working toward my masters in fiction writing. I’m not sure that this is a truth for all graduate programs, but with my program we have a pretty solid spread of talent. Some of my colleagues are really excellent writers who know what kind of stories they want to write and how they’re going to go about writing them. Others are…less so. Because one of the things about getting your masters in writing is you don’t necessarily have to have an undergraduate degree in writing to get into a program. You have to be talented, but measuring talent is incredibly nebulous. So we’ve got several writers in my program who have only recently begun to write seriously. And, well, sometimes it shows.

It shows because things that I know about writing I learned by writing, reading, and both giving and receiving critique. I’ve written (read: finished drafts of) three novels. I’m closing in on 23 and I’ve been giving/receiving critique since I was 15. I’ve always been reading, and reading widely. When you put in the work, you get in shape. (And all of you here reading this: just by being in a place like YWS you’re doing so much good work just look at the shape you’re in already.) It’s hard to remember that not all of my adult colleagues have put in the same work as me so of course they are in a different shape that I’m in. And that’s a totally valid thing to be.

And if it’s hard for me to remember that other people are doing fine just where they are, that they’ll get there once they’ve put the work in, imagine how hard it is to remember that about myself. Writing is like any other thing. It takes work. And when you do the work, you get better. But that doesn’t ever mean that where you are now is bad. This is an exciting place to be and you only get to be there once! You will never make the kind of art you’re making right now again. Will you make better art down the road? Probably, yeah. But there’s something special about these stepping stones. Maybe it’s something you don’t realize until later on, when you look back on that old art and see yourself coming through in a way you never could have seen back then. Because, honestly, you’re in pretty good shape for the shape you are in.
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Sat Apr 25, 2015 11:40 pm
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TriSARAHtops says...



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"No one alive is you-er than you"
Dr. Seuss Inspirational Article
By: @TriSARAHtops

Think and Wonder, Wonder and Think Weekend
April 24th-26th 2015



We’ve all hit that point with our writing where we start to question whether our writing is original enough. You’re low on creative juices, and you look at the plot and all you see is something that has been done a million times before. It’s not a fun feeling, but as part of YWS’ Writing Positivity event, I’ll be talking about ways to find the creativity in your writing once again, and recapturing the feeling of inspiration that made you start in the first place.

It’s important to remember that you will always have your influences. Your favourite books and films will affect what you produce, and show in your writing. It’s important to remember that this is not a bad thing. Everybody who has ever put some kind of art form out into the world will have been influenced by those they admire. Sometimes it’s obvious, other times it’s probably only noticeable to the writer themselves.

The thing is, even your influences are unique to you. Everything you’ve been exposed to over your life will add up in a way that becomes inherently you. Even if the plot of your story is feeling a little bit too similar to that of your favourite novel, it’s still your own interpretation of the idea. Having a few plot points that are similar to something else doesn’t mean that your writing is less important or valid - it can still be original and new if you present them in a way that is yours.

Last year, I studied an anthology of short stories called The Boat, written by Nam Le. In the first story of the collection, the main character of which is an author, I found the following quote:

“The thing is not to write what no one else has written but to write what only you could have written.”


When you’re considering your writing, this is something worth keeping in mind. Everyday of our lives, particularly if you’re a student, you have to live with comparisons. For me, this has been the case this year more so than ever before. At the end of this year, I’ll leave high school not with a score but a ranking of how my results compare to those of the rest of the country’s year twelves. It’s a slightly strange situation to be in, because it kind of feels like all the effort I put in this year, all the stress and how I feel about school. is being made relative to others, rather than being personal to me. But when it comes to your writing, you can opt out of comparing yourself to others.

In your first draft, at the very least, it’s more important to be focusing on whether or not you are writing something that you feel is you, rather than worrying about whether it has been done before. Focus on telling the story that you want to tell, and making it the best thing that you can produce. Maybe it will be shockingly similar to something else that’s out there, maybe your influences stand out like sore thumbs, but if you keep at it, you’ll have a finished product. And that is a valuable thing in itself.

Something worth keeping in mind is that the more you write the better you’ll get. After a while you’ll start to find your voice, and you’ll get better at refining your ideas, and presenting them in ways that feels new and refreshed.

In the meantime, if your writing does feel clichéd, it’s okay. Most of the time, it’s impossible to be objective about our own writing, so chances are it’s not half as worn-out as you suppose it is. As you’re writing, try to forget what has been done previously, and remember that on so many levels, this is a story that only you, with all your experiences, thoughts, influences and tastes could have produced, because…

No one alive is you-er than you!

if we wait until we're ready
we'll be waiting
for the rest of our lives
  





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Sun Apr 26, 2015 1:24 pm
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LadySpark says...



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"Kid, You'll Move Mountains!
Your mountain is waiting, so get on your way!"
Dr. Seuss Inspirational Article
By: @LadySpark

Think and Wonder, Wonder and Think Weekend
April 24th-26th 2015




When you're spending all your time trying to get better at something that's really super hard, like writing is, it's really difficult to remember what made you start liking writing in the first place.
What was it about writing that made you enjoy it so much, that you just couldn't stop?
We also start to forget the feeling writing gave us in the beginning. I think the majority of us, were slightly cocky when it came to our writing ability. In the beginning, I at least, thought that I was the next J.K. Rowling. Eventually reality set in, and I realized I wasn't very good (in fact, I was godawful,) and that feeling went away.

But I think we need to get that feeling back!
We need to remember that every single one of us, is a force to be reckoned with, and has the potential to make history. With a little bit of sweat, and a little bit of focus, (and let's face it, a few shed tears,) we can make our writing great.

Heck, we can even move mountains!

We need to stop picking ourselves apart and just let ourselves be. We're a work in progress, and always will be. Our writing, whether it be poetry or prose, is a work in progress, and always will be. The second we accept that fact, the freedom we will experience will be untested by anything we've ever felt before. Acceptance is the first step to becoming great.
So accept yourself, accept your writing and take the step to becoming the best freaking writer you can be. It feels awesome to realize, not only is my mountain waiting, but I'm already half way up! Every time you write, you take a step right on up that mountain!
Whether your mountain is big or small, you'll climb it one day. And once you do, you get to sled down the other side, and who doesn't want that?

So just remember, you're a work in progress, and you're gonna move some mighty big mountains before you're through.



Kid, you'll move mountains!

Your mountain is waiting, so get on your way!

hush, my sweet
these tornadoes are for you


-Richard Siken


Formerly SparkToFlame
  





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Mon Apr 27, 2015 9:01 pm
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ArcticMonkey says...



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"Why Fit In When You Were Born to Stand Out?"
Dr. Seuss Inspirational Article
By: @ArcticMonkey

Think and Wonder, Wonder and Think Weekend
April 24th-26th 2015



One of the best things about writing is the freedom to write about anything you want to. As a writer I always felt a great sense of pride amongst my non-writer friends because I felt different, in a good way. Writing is quite possibly one of the greatest creative outlets that a person can express; and if it is something you enjoy then you should just go for it and dare to be different. Write about things you love, things you hate, things that you’re too afraid to talk about- anything you like!

So, why fit in when you were born to stand out? We’re all born as individuals and as we grow up we find ourselves swaying towards certain crowds and following trends. This isn’t really a good or bad thing, just something that seems to naturally happen. You may have been writing since you could hold a pen, since about five years ago, maybe even just the other day, but something possessed you to pick up a pen and let out your creativity. Being a writer requires an incredible amount of perseverance, determination, grit, but you’re ready to face anything. Sometimes people discourage you, sometimes you discourage yourself, but life is all about taking risks and pursuing the things you take interest. So if writing is one of them, do it! You don’t have to make it your life, but you can if you want to.

We all go through phases when writing seems like the most difficult thing to do, and anything you try to write just isn’t ‘good enough’, the dreaded writer’s block. It can be hard to get through these times, but what always got me through these moments is the thought of the joy that writing has brought to me in the past. It’s perfectly natural to have moments of feeling like you’re not good enough, but in those moments you should remember why you started in the first place, and that’s usually a good starting point.

But we’re going on a bit of a tangent here. Just remember, if you’re ever feeling down about your writing, it’s something that makes you different. Of course this is not say that people should write in order to be different; however if it’s something you like you should be proud to carry it out. There is so much flexibility to writing. Why fit in when you were born to stand out?
Someone told me there's a girl out there, with love in her eyes and flowers, in her hair.
  








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