Tag Archives: Wisdom Wednesday

In the Words of Gail Carson Levine

Once again I find words of inspiration and wisdom from this lovely YA author.

“You will sometimes write paragraphs of staggering loveliness. You will! Probably you already have. You’ll want to have those paragraphs tattooed on your forehead where everyone will see them. Then you’ll discover that they don’t help you tell your story. Do not do not DO NOT DO NOT DO NOT bend your story to accommodate your brilliant words.”

– Gail Carson Levine, Writing Magic

When writing or creating art in any form, it is never helpful to try and retroactively force a work to fit a new piece. Instead, save that piece of beauty. Put it away for later. Finish what you’ve started and use that brilliant bit for the next project or the one after that.

I came up with a frame of a story once but I had no filling for it. So I put it aside. I came up with a filling once, but no idea how to connect it. So I put it aside. I later realized they could fit together. Although I have not begun work on their joint project, they found they could work together. What crummy work would I have produced if I had tried to force these pieces into an unwilling union with whatever ideas I’d been scribbling out at the time of their conception?

Do not hurt yourself to produce art.

That is the most important thing I can think of to sum this all up. Do not become a detriment to yourself in favor of one small paragraph of brilliance. You will hurt your art, and you will forever be upset at yourself for the outcome. Instead of forcing it, save that piece for later. Or, if you must, discard that piece forever. You may hate yourself for a time, but it wasn’t meant to be and you will eventually understand that your work was better for it.

Ciao tutti,

RM

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In the Words of Chris Colfer

“In what grade do we stop believing in ourselves? What grade do we stop believing, period? Someone has to be a Nobel prize winner. Someone has to be a ballerina. Why not us?” – Carson Phillips, Struck by Lightning (written by Chris Colfer)

It’s a valid point made in the small indie film ‘Struck by Lightning.’ Carson spends the entire film trying to make people care about creativity. While he seems to be looking out only for himself and his own future, it’s also true that he spends his life being the only spark of light in a town that has given up. Without him, the school would be filled with nothing but stereotypes with nothing to do.

At what stage in life do children stop wanting to be the president, a fireman, a superhero, a pirate? When do we let their urge for adventure die out? How do we let that desire for greatness get snuffed?

Never let your light grow dim. Never let the fire inside you turn to smoke.

We are stalling, our engines aren’t rolling over, and we can’t move down the road as we are. Call the mechanic! We can all still be great. We all need to strive for our dreams, even the ones we think others will make fun of us for. Ignore the society trying to put out the flames and remember what it was like to be a child. Remember the dreams you had and the fever you had for them. It’s depressing that so many of us have given up hope before we’ve even reached high school.

Keep believing!

Ciao tutti,

RM

In the Words of John Steinbeck

Ever feel like no one appreciates your work? You’re friends and family praise you and one random stranger, but two other strangers rip into your work and so none of the others feel like the truth?

Take this note from famous author, John Steinbeck:

“Unless a reviewer has the courage to give you unqualified praise, I say ignore the bastard.”

If you enjoy writing, if someone you know enjoys it too, if you’re insanely popular – no matter what your critics say, just remember that you aren’t writing for them. You’re writing for you.

And that’s all I have to say about it.

Ciao Tutti

RM

In the Words of John Lennon

The quote has circulated the internet since people started circulating quotes. Before that, it was said in an interview. Since the day he said it, John Lennon’s words have been famous, and they have explained life perfectly.

“When I was 5 years old, my mother always told me that happiness was the key to life. When I went to school, they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wrote down ‘happy’. They told me I didn’t understand the assignment, and I told them they didn’t understand life.”

What you have to understand about life is that no matter how high you climb in the social ladder, how many books your get published, how many paintings you sell, how many stocks you sell, how powerful you become on Wall Street you can still be miserable.

Happiness is key in life, just as John Lennon’s mother told him. If you aren’t having fun, aren’t enjoying what you do… you won’t be happy even if you become successful doing it.

My motto in life is to always have fun no matter what you do – which is why I always tell people to “Have fun” when they head out for school or work or a meeting. “I’m heading to work. See you later.” “Have fun.”

The response I usually get is “yeah right” or “Suuure”, which brings to light how many people don’t have fun doing what they do everyday. I makes society a sad and annoyed place. You should try to have fun so that you can stay happy so that the world is a brighter place for you and for the people around you. Always look on the bright side of things and you will begin to see your world view change accordingly.

The goal in life is to be happy, not to be successful. Remember that and you will never go wrong.

Ciao Tutti!

RM

In the Words of W. Somerset Maugham

After updating my blog, there was this quote sitting in the sidebar, smiling at me. I don’t know how it got there, or why it was that particular quote. It crawled out of a hole in time, space, and literary secrets to present itself to me. It made me smile, so I thought I’d share it with the rest of you.

There are three rules for writing a novel. Unfortunately, no one knows what they are.— W. Somerset Maugham

And there it is. Unfortunately, I don’t have much to offer to aid the quote, as I’m sure everyone can understand the meaning of it rather easily. But just in case you’re worried your idea might be wrong, let me put your mind at ease.

What Maugham is saying is that this is no set way or rule to writing a novel. Yes, somewhere in the universe of secrets there are three exact rules for writing that will get you instantly famous and everyone will love you more than baby kittens who sneeze and fall over into more kittens, but the fact you have to understand is that no one in the history of the world knows what these key rules are.

There is no way to know for certain what your writing will be liked by anyone but your best friend since second grade or your ever-loving mother figure. There’s no way to guarantee your story, poetry, or play will be made into a movie, gain more than a few thousand fans, create a new entry into the dictionary, inspire a theme park, change lives, or last 1,000 years into the future so The Doctor can tell his companions that you’re the best-selling novelist of all time. There is just no possible formula known to man, woman, or publisher to figure out how or why any fandom becomes as popular as it does. It’s 60% skill, determination, and knowing the right people… and the other 40% is simply luck.

So enjoy yourself while you’re writing. Write at your pace and about the things you care about. Be yourself and hope for the best. Maybe you aren’t lucky now, but maybe one day the right person will see your book on the shelf and your luck with explode.

Good luck in luck, fellow writers.

Ciao tutti!

RM

In the Words of LOLCats

Warning: What follows may make your brain implode.

Double Warning: It will be eye-opening but not necessarily in a good way.

Remember LOLCats?

 

This! These cute, adorable, tiny things? I used to show this kind of cuteness to all my friends! LOLCats were cute or funny cats with cute or funny messages. Sometimes, like with MallowCat, they were written sort of how a baby would talk. It was cute! You laughed and you wanted to hug them – most of the time.

What has happened to LOLCats?

Words are spelled however your can manage it. They are, hopefully, how they’re pronounced… most of the time. Spelling is stretched to the thinnest degree often – ‘haus’ for ‘house’? ‘Gurdenzed’ for ‘gardened’?

I’m going to admit it. This post is a bit of a rant. I’m just shocked at how far this innocent thing has fallen. Baby speak had devolved into keyboard smashes. I understood ‘oh noes’ and ‘hai’ but after a while, it’s just going too far. I’m worried about people, not just children, reading these pictures (and the string of comments left on them). The English language has already slipped so far, with many people unable to spell basic words or use basic grammar even into the high school and college level. When things like this new wave of LOLCats become super popular, I fear the made up spellings and speech forms are going to seep into the rest of society.

I’m going to be a literature professor and an author. I like lingo and slang well enough, but when I see friends of mine and students writing these types of words on actual academic papers or in blogs or stories, I just feel sad. I’m confused. Do people honestly think this is how you spell things now?

The cute baby speech, the ‘typo’ word or two – it was all fun and games. It’s just devolved too far. I don’t know how it’s going to be fixed, but something needs to happen. No word is safe in the path of LOLCats.

What do you think? What is your opinion on the style of language in LOLCats or just some common mistakes you see out in the real world? Let me know in the comments!

Ciao tutti!

RM

In the Words of Steve Jobs – as read by Me

I was once told that no one sits down, crams out a story, rereads it, and with minimal edits decides it’s done. The professor who said this told me that the only people who can do that are people who are so fluent in the art that it takes very little to make something good. No offense to that teacher, but I call shenanigans.

When I go about beginning to write, I sit down and open a document. I write down the general idea of what I’m writing, sometimes as a summary. I then list anything I want to put into that story or poem or whatever. I then open a separate document and begin to write, and from there I just continue to write until I’m either stopped by the world or I run out of ideas to go on. I’ll leave, go live life, and when I come back I’ve either had a new idea or I power write through the uncertainty. Eventually I get momentum back up, and before I know it, I’m done.

My sister is my first source editor. She reads anything and everything I write and lets me know if she doesn’t understand something. She usually doesn’t have much to say. Then she praises me, and I smile. Then I’ll either post it online or save it away somewhere for when I might be able to use it later.

Now I’m not trying to brag. I’m not perfect or anything. I’m just trying to say that with practice, and not necessarily a lot of it, good things can come out of nowhere and get written down with very little wrong with them. Everyone is going to need an editor – for that time when your brain was moving too fast for your computer and you skipped a word, used the wrong ‘its’, or accidentally said ‘mouth’ instead of ‘mother’ for no discernible reason. But when you’re writing what you know and what you love, writing well isn’t as difficult as my teachers keep telling me it is.

In the words of the late Steve Jobs,

Creativity is just connecting things. When you ask creative people how they did something, they feel a little guilty because they didn’t really do it, they just saw something. It seemed obvious to them after a while.

When you’re truly inspired, no teacher comment on how it will need to be fixed later will stop you. It’s going to happen and it’s going to happen right the first time, because sometimes there is no next time. So do what inspires you and listen to Steve Jobs.

Ciao tutti!

RM

In the Words of Dan Goodwin

This one from the mouth of a man behind a camera.

It’s only by becoming obsessed that we can narrow our focus with enough razor precision to block out the noise and the chaos and the distraction, reach in deep, and finally create the work we’re here for.

If we wait in hope for our lens to automatically adjust, find the inspiration and do the work for us, it will be a vain hope.

We must be brave, seek, aim and strike with confidence and conviction, committing to every shot as if it’s the last shot we’ll ever take.

So, where’s your aim been pointed lately?

 

Truer words have no been spoken… well, at least not in this way. Let’s not be too grand about this. We’ve all heard something similar to this – possibly even in just the Wisdom Wednesdays I’ve put up.  I like Goodwin’s blurb about this subject a lot, though. Why?

When people try to describe creating art from words and hard work, we usually all say something about imagination and fighting and flowery language that undoubtedly inspires as much as it tells the truth of the matter. The image of a camera and being a photographer greatly simplifies the life of any artist. We need to block out everything, close out the world and the wonder and just look through the camera. Focus your attention, adjust the lens, make sure it’s clean of dirt, angle the view and snap the photo.

You can apply this idea to any field of study or art. Any person in the entire world who has a passion for any sport, art, business, or interest can understand the amazing anecdote of Goodwin’s. We all just need to be photographers in our own designated fields. Just cover up the world with the body of the camera, look through the lens at your target, and don’t take your eyes off it until the job is done.

The only thing I can think now is…. Photographers have it the easiest – they’re already photographers in their fields. Sneaky shortcut.

Ciao tutti,

RM

In the Words of Karen Witemeyer

Before I begin, let me be clear: This is not just for writers. The subject may be books, but that is obviously what I’d find as an author. Still, the topic is the same even if you alter the subject. No matter your craft, this is good advice for when you start to hit the public scene. I found this through my Twitter contacts, specifically through the amazing Rachelle Gardner.

“Good reviews can send your spirit soaring, and bad reviews can send you plummeting into a pool of doubt and insecurity. You must learn to find balance. Some wise authors I know choose not to read reviews at all. I have to admit that I can’t seem to resist the lure. I check my reviews on Amazon every day and eagerly await news from my publisher about trade reviews. Publisher’s Weekly tends to give me great write-ups, yet the ones from Romantic Times are usually a bit lackluster. The inconsistency can be frustrating, but I constantly remind myself that reviews are subjective. That fact became very evident when my publisher decided to offer my debut novel as a free e-book download in May. I was pleasantly surprised by all the new 4 and 5 star reviews, but then there were the 1 star reviews that came with them. Ick.

  • Not everyone will love your book, so gird your loins in advance.
  • Enjoy the pleasure of positive reviews, but don’t let them puff you up with pride. ‘When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom. ~Proverbs 11:2′
  • Learn what you can from a harsh review. Look for ways to improve your craft for future projects. However, don’t dwell on the sour words. They will destroy your confidence and steal your passion. Glean what you can, then walk away.”
To read the entirety of this article, follow this link to Surviving My First Year As A Published Author. Karen isn’t saying anything new when it comes to handling the criticism, but sometimes people word the advice in ways that break through for others. I felt the personal experience addition to this piece really gave it some credibility over the other people who just tell you to buff up against it all. In her article, which is undoubtedly aimed at only writers and authors (sorry everyone else), Karen also addresses how to handle the publishing and agent company editors when you’re only used to your own critique groups and your own deadlines.
Overall, I highly recommend taking the five minutes out of your day this will take to read. If you read a lot of articles on the subject, you may feel like you’re reading the same thing over again, but the way Karen words it may be just different enough to give you the new perspective. And if you haven’t read a lot of articles about handling editors, I hope you take it as well as I did. I’m storing this information away for eternal future use.
Ciao tutti,
RM

In the Words of Jeremy Jahns

The last two Witty Wednesdays were inspirational words from two well known literary figures in the modern world: Neil Gaiman, known for his wide variety of stories and his original writing style, and Gail Carson Levine, known for her fairytale remakes and writing help books.

This time, however, I’m switching it up. This week I’m focusing on Youtube Movie and Game  Reviewer – Jeremy Jahns. I like Jeremy because he tells it how it is. If he straight up hated a movie, you’re going to know. If he thought a movie was amazing, you’ll definitely know. Jeremy also tends to like and love a lot of the movies that I enjoy watching that a lot of big wig critics didn’t. In this way, Jeremy is a real life, regular viewer who can recognize a movie for what makes a movie good. On that same note, however, he also knows what makes a movie good for ‘turning off your brain and just watching it for the mindless explosions.’

Jeremy is a witty source of reliable knowledge. He’s believable, trustworthy, and fun to listen to. If a new movie is coming out that you’re not entirely sure about, don’t see it opening weekend. Wait a day or so and see if Jeremy reviews it. Odds are that his review will give you a well rounded idea of whether the movie is worth the money or not.

And the best part? Jeremy hates spoilers, so he does his best to avoid them at all costs. This is part of why his reviews are so well done. He’s focusing on the aspects of the movie, not on the spoilers. He can tell you if a movie is good without needing to ruin it for you. Jeremy is officially one of my favorite people in the world of movies.

Jeremy’s movie reviews got a rating scale. From worst to best:

Dogshit

So BAD it might be FUN…. if you’re drunk.

You’d like it if you knew your friends would never find out.

It’s okay… but you’re not gonna remember it in T-Minus 13 hours.

Worth watching – no alcohol required.

I’d even buy this on Blu-ray.

Awesometacular

A lot of movies Jeremy reviews get the ‘no alcohol required’ or ‘even on blu-ray’ rating. A couple get Awesometacular or Dogshit. And a few dot the other three.

And one of the best things about Jeremy is that even if you disagree with him, he’s still entertaining and witty. He’s fun to watch, he’s logical, and he’s credible. Jeremy writes articles about movies and the entertainment world when he’s not reviewing. He also guest spots on Schmoesknow.com to do cross reviews of movies.  If youtube isn’t really your thing, so you don’t have an account and really can’t follow Jeremy there, I have possibly good news! You can also follow him on Twitter. I’m sure he keeps his fans updated there as well.

So this Witty Wednesday is dedicated to a man I hope continues to review movies for a long time. And if he ever starts getting paid for it, I hope he stays true to his style and his beliefs and never lies to us – the viewers. He’s awesometacular the way he is. Check him out. ❤

Ciao tutti,

RM