Today, I woke up to find someone knocking on my blog's door--a guest! Sure enough, she didn't come empty handed. Author L.G Keltner has plopped down onto my not so new couch and is offering a few words of writer wisdom. I was going to offer some brownies, but can you believe I forgot to bake them last night? So I guess virtual chocolate chip cookies are going to have to do. In any case. . .
Handling Setbacks in a Positive Way
Being a writer isn’t easy. I’ve heard more than one person say that being a writer seems like an easy career choice, but guess what. None of those people were writers. Perhaps people get that idea because a well-written, polished story doesn’t leave any hints of the turmoil that went into creating it.
Life can throw up all kinds of roadblocks that writers must overcome. Work must be done, and family emergencies may pop up at unexpected times. There’s no way to avoid that. However, the way you react to such setbacks will help determine how successful you are as a writer.
First of all, try not to be too hard on yourself when life forces you to take a break. This happens to everyone, and beating yourself up over it may only make it harder for you to get back to your story when life settles down again. You don’t cease to be a writer simply because you need to temporarily focus your energies elsewhere. The break away from your work may even end up leaving you feeling refreshed at the end of the day, and life experience can be a great source of inspiration.
What happens if you’re working on a story and it doesn’t seem to be going anywhere? Set it aside if you need to, and don’t let yourself feel bad about it. This happens to all of us. Simply put the story away somewhere safe. You may never return to it, and that’s okay. However, inspiration may strike. I’ve pulled old stories out, dusted them off, and turned them into something good, and you can too.
When setbacks happen, try to stay as positive as you can. This is easier said than done, of course, but it will do you a lot of good in the long run. Don’t forget that you’re a writer, and as long as you don’t give up on it entirely, your writing will always be there waiting for you when those setbacks are resolved.
Self-Help 101 or: How to Select a Costume to Help You Deal With People
by L.G. Keltner
Length: 29,000 words
Cover Art: L.G. Keltner and Jamon Walker
Released on: September 27, 2016
Book 3 in the Self-Help 101 series.
Dani Finklemeier is adjusting to life in college and the realities of living away from home for the first time. She’s also learning to deal with the criticism that stems from sharing her writing with the world. Some of the online criticism is even spelled correctly, which somehow makes it worse.
Fortunately, she has a Halloween party, a group of friends, and a supportive boyfriend to distract her from the things that are bothering her. Of course, a holiday celebration wouldn’t be complete without something going wrong. Between an unpleasant confrontation with an infuriating classmate, some shocking costume choices, and a bizarre fraternity stunt, the evening will be anything but dull.
Dani’s detractors may not like it, but she’ll definitely have enough material for another book.
“Are you going to the party tonight?” Daniel asked as he dropped into the seat next to mine. His floppy brown hair was actually well-groomed that morning. This frequently wasn’t the case.
“Yup.” I pulled my notebook from my backpack.
The party in question was supposed to be huge. The Student Activities Council threw a big Halloween party every year, and I’d heard stories regarding the blowouts of previous years.
“Cool. I’m going too.” Daniel smiled. “I considered finding a way to dress up as a gun so I could say I was Chekhov’s gun, but school frowns on that sort of thing. I’d probably get expelled if I tried it.”
Ah, good old Chekhov’s gun. This is the idea that if you have a dramatic element in a story, such as the reveal of a gun, it must play a role later on. Throwing it in and not using it would mess with people’s heads, though I can’t see why messing with people is automatically bad.
“Does that mean you can’t dress up as a pen either?” I asked. “Remember that proverb? ‘The pen is mightier than the sword.’”
“To be fair, you can stab someone with a pen.”
“You can also write something that hurts someone’s feelings. That might get you into more trouble than the stabbing,” I said.
And here she is. . .
Her non-writing hobbies include astronomy and playing Trivial Pursuit.
Add it on Goodreads.