Let your characters choose between right and wrong. See how they react in a situation. Sometimes they surprise you and they respect themselves far more than you think. Same in life, you have to let people choose to make the wrong decision. If you take away the chance for someone to choose between right and wrong one, they will never know if they were capable of making the right decision, and neither will you. Your mind will always wonder how bad they would have fucked up if you didn’t step in. You gotta let them be themselves. It gives them room to grow and trust themselves. Making mistakes is the most important part of growth.
So let’s just say we step back as writers after we place our character(s) into some fishy ass situation. Now we think from their past experience, do they know how to step away from something that will destroy their life? Have they learned yet to say no to self destructive behaviors? Are they constantly sneaking around and making bad choices? Why would this time be different? If you step in without thinking and don’t allow your characters to be honest with themselves, the future is going to become murky. The rest of the book will be built on this need for control that you have as a writer and you are going to have to delete the rest of the book and return to this point where you stepped in for your character. Which in turn doesn’t allow your character to be themselves but forces them to be what you want them to be.
Letting go doesn’t mean that you don’t care about someone anymore. It’s just realizing that the only person you really have control over is yourself.”— Deborah Reber
We want to be surrounded by people and characters who choose who they want to be because that allows them to be honest with us. When we surround ourselves with honesty it’s much easier to be honest with ourselves and grow into the person we were truly meant to be.
This means that your characters are going to do things that make you really upset. This means that you are going to have to forgive your characters. This means you’re going to have to have a healthy attachment to your characters. If they don’t piss you off, are you connected to your writing? If they piss you off to the point that you can no longer write their story in an honest way, is there something you’re hanging on to that’s hindering your inability to finish? These are questions we need to ask ourselves as writers within and outside of our stories.
Let people show you who they are. Let them write their own story. Let them destroy themselves. Let them become the hero of their own story. They might surprise you. They might disappoint you and do exactly what you thought. But either way they are going to grow from the experience. You are going to grow from watching them. They’ll show you who you don’t want to be or they’ll show you they are someone who you can truly admire.
If you allow it too much to fall into your bucket of things worth fighting for you’re going to get off track from your true calling. It’s easy to end up fighting battles that aren’t yours to fight. For me, there are only three things I think are worth fighting for, relationships as in my family and friends, my dreams, and being honest about my truths. Anything outside of that, is a distraction or entertainment.
I want my family and friends to have a life where they grow up knowing their worth, their voice, and what they bring to the table. I want to bring those things into their lives. In the past I did drop the ball on those things but I have rebuilt myself so many times that the only thing I want to bring into their presence from here on out is encouragement, empowerment, support and what ever else goes with loving them unconditionally.
My dreams have been my only reason to get out of bed. I lean on them. My hope is that my dreams will outlive me. What else is better to have in our darkest times than hope in our dreams?
I was a quiet girl. Sometimes I was a coward to keep the peace. Sometimes I blew up because I kept my mouth shut too long. I’ve made a lot of mistakes by not being honest about my feelings and about who I am as a person. Sometimes I even say things I don’t mean when someone treats me as if I’m worthless. And for those inappropriate things I’ve said, I’m sorry. I reacted and I shouldn’t have. I understand some things I have said can’t be taken back, but I will show you with my actions that I didn’t mean them. Please know, everyday I push myself to be honest about how I really feel. Everyday I try to explain why I’m angry, sad, or quiet. I’m not out here trying to be malicious with my honesty. I’m not using my honesty to prove to you that I can say things that are going to upset you. I’m honest because I know it’s my best option.
Those are my priorities. Those are the things I want to focus on. What are your top three priorities in life. I’d love to hear them.
“Without pain, without sacrifice, we would have nothing.” -Fight Club
Life is full of pain. I’m not here to sell you sunshine and roses. We are going to suffer.
We’ll face times when our entire body aches from head to toe. It might be hard to breathe. To do the things we’ve always done without much thought.
Then it hits us. We’re falling apart. We wasted so much time worrying about gaining aches and pains that we missed out on opportunities. We missed out on people and places and things.
But here’s the thing, if you’re reading this, it’s not too late gain new opportunities. It’s not too late to be honest. To go back to the things you loved and loved doing.
You embrace the pain.
You sit and feel every ounce of pain and you stare it in the face until you’re too tired to do it any more. Then you wake up and do it again. It’s not going to be easy but just keep going. It’s going to take time but it’s worth it. You’ll get through it, then all those monsters you tucked deep inside you, become your tools. They become your reminders of how far you’ve come and how you’re strong enough to keep going.
The more you show up to face your monsters, the more you can learn to use them as tools for your growth and advancement in life. The more that you use them as tools, the smaller they shrink. Eventually the fear of facing them becomes a memory and you have moved on to bigger and better things. The monsters are still there, but now they don’t hold you back from the things you love. Tamed monsters make way for you to love the things you love in a healthy wholesome way.
Out of suffering have emerged the strongest souls; the most massive characters are seared with scars. Kahlil Gibran
Being able to love those closest to you in a healthy and wholesome makes room for so many other opportunities.
I like the way that line sounds. “Hmm… Let’s think about this.”
It gives proper attention to the situation.
We have to say those words more often to allow ourselves to the space to step back and reevaluate what’s going on. In today’s world where instant gratification is the best option, there’s not much time to think things through. We don’t always get moments to step back and think, but we should.
“When you delay instant gratification, you will experience long-term satisfaction.” Anonymous
When you create moments that allow everyone to think it helps to lower tension. It allows you to breathe. It helps create a space where priorities can be weighed and measured which, then helps to establish the next best course of action.
“We live in a world of instant gratification, the world of the quick fix.” Rachel Taylor
So next time you’re pressured to make a hasty decision, try using these words to create a space for yourself to think. Even if that means you have to practice in the mirror.
“As we get past our superficial material wants and instant gratification we connect to a deeper part of ourselves, as well as to others, and the universe.” Judith Wright
I write for my family. When I first started writing a few years ago, I was an anxious mess. After writing and learning to accept the many different aspects of myself in order to build honest characters, it made it much easier for me to understand those around me. I can listen with more intention. I can see when there is a miscommunication or when someone needs to define their terms.
The world becomes a weird place when you take the time to understand what makes us human. Well, at first it does. After a while the weird stuff becomes normal and you forget it’s weird stuff until someone looks at you funny for talking about the weird stuff. So when I noticed these things, I wanted to make sure my daughters were handed the weird place too. I hope they find some guidance in their weird place from mine.
There’s a lot of great reasons to write for your family. These are just a couple of mine but they keep me going
Being an honest writer is about leading to the truth or at times, allowing yourself to be lead to the truth. Being an honest writer isn’t telling all the dirt about your character right off the bat or at all for that matter. It’s a guidance. It’s knowing what truths to tell. It’s knowing what truths you keep to yourself to gift others that marvelous feeling of expansion. It’s our duty as writers to allow uncertainty in some moments. Let them have that space where maybe just maybe, it might work out in the best or worst way possible.
I think we can apply this to our own lives too. There are times when calling people out in an innocent moment can be an act of pride rather than an act of love. Sometimes we jump the gun and spill all the ugly stuff without even getting to the stuff that leads them to the truth on their own. We have to let them stagger around a bit to figure out how some things in this world operate. The same goes for writing.
When we look at honesty this way, it becomes more of a tool. We can wield it around at times of distress or times of victory. We can use it as a reward or even as a punishment. There’s so many ways to use honesty as a tool of guidance. It can bludgeon. It can destroy, so use it wisely and when you do decide to use it, use it with confidence.
When you focus too much on tomorrow it takes away from today. If you took your time and slowly carved away at your words, that is true craftsmanship. You can’t rush art. You know what you have in mind. Put it together. Try it out. If that doesn’t work, it’s ok try another way.
The first draft of anything is shit.”— Ernest Hemingway
Writing doesn’t come out perfect on the first draft, if it did everyone would be a writer. (Well, I think everyone is a writer but that’s for another day.) A huge part of being a writer is editing your work. That is the art of writing. So if you know what you want to change and edit, you are already on the right path.
I would advise any beginning writer to write the first drafts as if no one else will ever read them — without a thought about publication -and only in the last draft to consider how the work will look from the outside. — Anne Tyler
I love how you poured everything into these new ideas. It shows courage. It shows you’re in this for the long term. You’re no quitter when you let everything hang loose in your first draft. Now it’s time to let it all unfold in flames and into your story.
I think the trouble starts when you sit down to write and imagine that you will achieve something magical and magnificent — and when you don’t, panic sets in. The solution is never to sit down and imagine that you will achieve something magical and magnificent. — Malcolm Gladwell
Don’t give up now. If you’re feeling like quitting, accept the thought but don’t dance with it. Think of negative small talk as background noise rather than allowing it to become a suggestion. You created something that came straight from inside your head and placed it on paper. You’re exactly where you need to be right now. Just keep going. Keep taking it one day at a time. You can do this.
“Every first draft is perfect because all the first draft has to do is exist. It’s perfect in its existence. The only way it could be imperfect would be to NOT exist.” ― Jane Smiley
Well, that contradicts the first quote but I agree. The first draft it is not meant to live up to impossible expectations. It’s meant to come alive and that is just the beginning of it all.
Strength does not come from winning. Your struggles develop your strengths. When you go through hardships and decide not to surrender, that is strength.– Arnold Schwarzenegger
Strength comes from perseverance. It comes from facing the fears we never thought we could handle. Strength comes from so many things but the one place it truly comes from is in the mind.
Strength is an inside job. It’s facing yourself with authenticity. It’s about learning to accept the parts of you that you hate so you can accept those parts in others.
I love the man that can smile in trouble, that can gather strength from distress, and grow brave by reflection. ’Tis the business of little minds to shrink, but he whose heart is firm, and whose conscience approves his conduct, will pursue his principles unto death.”– Thomas Paine
Strength is about showing up for yourself when you don’t want to. It’s about advocating for yourself. It’s learning to change and heal so you can trust yourself. Because you are trustworthy, and worthy, and valuable. You deserve someone who knows and understands you to speak up for you and who better to do that than yourself?