Archive for November, 2012


While I’ve always been a fan of music, I love it even more when there’s a message in the lyrics that apply to my life. A group of London DJs and producers called Bugz in the Attic have a song titled “Consequences.” The song is basically about keeping up with your current progress, not lagging behind or going too slow lest you pay the consequences.

I feel like this is something that especially applies to writers. We all know what it feels like when you spend several days in a row churning out pages and pages of material. Creativity is flowing and you feel better knowing you’re making progress and start to feel more like a professional writer and less like someone who only thinks or talks about writing. Then something happens and you go a few days without writing anything. Before you know it, it’s been a week since you’ve even opened the file on your WIP, and that feeling of accomplishment you once had fizzles down to nothing.

Trust me, I know how life gets in the way, but if you were once able to work on your novel, short story or screenplay for several days in a row, you can do it again. Even if your schedule becomes hectic, there’s surely a way you can cram in ten minutes here and ten minutes there. While every second counts, you have to make an effort to make it count. If you don’t keep up with your new writing level, you may pay the consequences. Consequences such as that feeling of emptiness you get when you haven’t written or done anything productive in a while, that feeling of taking three steps forward and stumbling three and a half back. You also run the risk of ruining a serious writing streak. You get your brain used to pumping out several words or pages every day or every other day and then you suddenly stop, slamming you mind into a brick wall. I’ve been working on my novel for the past few days, and I’ve been in nothing but a good mood.

Keep up with the writing spirit and let it have its way. You don’t have to write every day, but try to at least think of ideas and scenes for your story. Always keep a notepad and pen nearby to jot down ideas or use a phone app to keep notes. You’ll find that simply thinking about your story will get you excited. Think of writing like exercise. At first it’s grueling and your muscles protest, but if you keep up with it your body will eventually grow accustomed to it and you’ll be able to do more repetitions, go longer without taking a break and you might even start to look forward to exercising. If you suddenly stop, you run the risk of seeing all of that progress disappear every time you look in the mirror or go up a flight of stairs.

Don’t be afraid of doing more, of being more. And don’t be afraid that your writing streak is just a fluke that will wear off in a few days. Even when you don’t feel productive or creative, you can still study the craft of writing. That way, when another writing streak comes back around you won’t be struggling with scene, dialogue, tone or character arcs.

To end this post, I’ll leave you with “Consequences” by Bugz in the Attic.

Take care out there.

What are some ways that you try to keep a writing streak constant? 



I sometimes wonder who I would be and where I would be had a I not made the decision to become a writer. I still want to do more with my life besides writing, but right now that’s become my main focus…one of them at least. If it weren’t for the fact that it’s possible to make a career out of creating worlds, characters, magic systems, circumstances and stories, where would George R.R. Martin be? Richard K. Morgan? Garth Nix? Duane Swierczynski? Would the world still be the same if it weren’t for all of the writers great and small?

The only thing that I love more than writing is singing. I like to think that I’m pretty good at it to, and I’m glad that other people feel the same way. If I weren’t a writer, I’d probably consider a singing career. I don’t know if I’d go for the tip of the top and try to become the next Adele, Janelle Monae, Jill Scott or Erykah Badu (as you can see, I mainly listen to female vocalists). I do enjoy the intimacy of lounge singing. There’s just something that appeals to me about connecting with a small crowd and having people swirl around on the dance floor while I sing and the band plays. One of my favorite artists is Tweet, and I really love her singing style and sound. If I were to become a singer, it would be her type of music that I’d create. Honest, raw, melodic and a bit melancholy.

Becoming a therapist is another profession I’ve thought about. I connect well with people one-on-one, like listening more than I speak, can read people rather well and feel that I give good advice. I’ve been interested in psychology for quite a while, and I’ve always wondered why people do the things that they do and live the way that they do. I also like helping people figure things out and get their lives back on track. It’s a shame that so many feel that they have no where to go and no one to talk to, at least no one that will listen. I’d probably do some work in the school system as well. With so many teenagers committing suicide because they’re being bullied, it’s painfully obvious that they need someone to open up to and connect with.

Becoming a detective or some kind of federal agent is another professional I’ve considered, but not strongly. I know those jobs are very little like what I see on TV and in movies, but I think it would be an interesting life. I like mysteries and intrigue and the idea of making the world a better place by locking up criminals . The only thing about being a detective is that I’ve heard so much about police corruption and officers having to fill a quota for arrests each month in order to keep their jobs. While I’d rather become a detective without first becoming a cop, I’m afraid it’s a necessary step. And there’s just something exciting about the idea of being a federal agent, traveling the nation and investigating crimes. I don’t know if I’d ever seriously consider either of these professions, but they are suits that I wouldn’t mind trying on for a while.

Before I discovered how much I loved writing, I thought I wanted to be a photojournalist (see my “Origin Story” post for the details). I think my main reason for that is that when you’re a teenager and you find out that you’re good at something and like it, you start thinking of it as a career. I still have a vague interest in photography even though I haven’t taken a picture in years that I didn’t intend to post on Facebook.  It’s blogs like “Canadian Hiking Photography” that pull me back. Thankfully I’ll be getting a new phone soon and can start taking pictures again without buying an expensive camera. I guess in a way I always knew that I wanted to tell stories, only I first wanted to tell them with pictures rather than words.

So I guess somewhere out there in a few dozen alternate universes I’m a photojournalist, detective, lounge singer, therapist and who knows what else. And maybe in one of those alternate universes I’m wondering what my life would be like had I decided to become a writer. Hmm, maybe someday I’ll get the chance to explore at least some of those lives in one of my stories. Can’t wait to meet me.

Take care out there.

What would you do if for some reason you couldn’t be a writer?

P.S. I’ll leave you with one of my favorite songs from Tweet, “C 4 EVA.” Enjoy.