Chain Smoking

21762046_10210204500455748_9149997079439913457_nFirst and Foremost I must give credit to the idea of “chain smoking” to Austin Kleon in his book Show Your WorkIn the book he discusses the importance of chain smoking (in relation to writing) and gives examples of writers who practice it. Now that’s out of the way, I’m going to Steal Like an Artist and write like the idea were my own.

Chain smokers go through multiple packs of cigarettes a day. As of 2013, the average adult aged smoker went through almost 22 cigarettes each day. In order to continually be smoking without a break, they often will light one cigarette with the butt of another.

Can we, as writers, identify ourselves as chain smokers? Not in the (albeit unhealthy and honestly gross) habitual way of literally inhaling the smoke of cigarettes, but in how we write. Are we going through multiple pages a day? How many writing hours are we averaging a day? Do you light the beginning of one story with the end of another? I believe we should all strive to be chain smoking writers. I know I do. And In no way am I saying writers have to write 22 pages every day, but continuing forward without a writing hiatus is more beneficial than we may give it credit.  Continue reading

Dark Colors

21462786_10210178347641944_6627037810111179313_nMost vividly, I remember the rain. My hair had been stuck to my forehead and I was shivering from the cold. Running through the trees had winded me and I was struggling to see through the fog and rain. The house was large, hiding in plain sight.

I was scared, lost, and alone. I was also only six years old.

Now, twenty years later, the memories have become distant at best and fictional at worst. Once, I made the mistake of confiding in my girlfriend at the time, telling her all I remember about that night twenty years ago. I told her how the memory of the night feels physical to me, but the evidence of it was never found.  Continue reading

Ari’s Best Friends

14882125_10207637211315124_7188519246657598919_oHer eyes glaze over, her chest shakes with laughter, she falls onto her back and her fingers rake against the glaring white ground.

It was 2008.

No… 2007.

2006?

It was a while ago when Ari first met her best friends.

She was five.

So it would have been 2006, right? Continue reading

Dear Ex

zoeDear ex in my inbox,

The way I see it is there are three types of “inbox exs”.

  • The lonely inbox ex. He probably wants to hookup or even get back together. He realizes he lost something great and now regrets his life. He also can’t get any other girl to smile at him so he’s feeling small and lonely. It’s sad.
  • The angry inbox ex. He’s victimized himself, made you a “b*txh*, and told all his pickup truck friends that HE broke up with YOU. In his message, he makes use of all the curse words he’s learned in his however many years on earth and let all his “feminazi” frustration out on you. It’s also sad.
  • The apologetic inbox ex. He’s moved on, realized though you may have damaged his pride, he may also have hurt you. He has a new girlfriend but his conscience is keeping him up at night. He’s in your inbox to make amends. This one is no longer sad.

Which makes it all the more annoying.

In this letter, I’ll be referring to inbox ex #3.  Continue reading

Halloween in November

15871719_10208170781854054_6750330212750455719_nThe month of November.

Thanksgiving, Christmas shopping, finals studying and jumping in piles of leaves. Also Alicia’s birthday month, but what a lot of writers know November as is something much different, and much more horrifying than anything Halloween brought that year.

NaNoWriMo.

Also known as National November Writing Month.

What is NaNoWriMo? Basically, it’s a non profit organization, a challenge, and a writers wonderful, terrifying party. Continue reading

Rejection, Doubt, and Acceptance.

13765830_10210295914338318_3015040440471482001_o“Don’t worry, keep trying!” “You know Harry Potter was rejected eleven times before it was finally accepted!” “You’re a great writer.”

Rejection is the number one worry, fear and warning when someone desires to be a writer. The process of publication is a torturous, tiring and time consuming one. You’re work must be pristine, void of mistakes, sellable and original. A typo and you’re out. A cliche and NIX. Crappy cover letter? Don’t even bother submitting. Never been published? Sucks to suck!

The more you submit, the better chances of being accepted but also the more rejection letters you receive, and soon they start piling on themselves. Soon, the gracious rejection letter starts to sound like this: Continue reading

Environment is Important

12278639_10208395080578662_3292872301469764662_n“I’m going to work.”

“Where do you work?”

“Oh… I’m a writer.”

“So, where are you going?”

As a writer, you have to create your own working environment. Setting aside the work you do to actually get paid, you still have to make time for your craft. And this work can’t be a second thought, or something you do in bed right before you go to sleep.

Unless that is your perfect environment. Continue reading