Uta Hagen--

"We must overcome the notion that we must be regular...it robs you of the chance to be extraordinary and leads you to the mediocre."

Monday, January 28, 2013


I want to talk about dreams today. 

Not your dreams that Freud would tell you mean you like your mom or whatever - those are your own business.

I don't even want to talk about my dreams today, folks!

My original photo 
I want to talk about the dreams of this guitar player whose picture is shown above (^).  First I would just like to say that you should most definitely click that widget up there and go add your name to the list of supporters on the right hand side of the page.  It's free and all you have to enter is your name and email address.  You don't even have to put your full name.  If you don't know about the Scotty Bratcher Band, you should listen to the four tracks listed.  Two of them are brand new and the album they'll be on hasn't even been released yet - the other two are from his previous album.  But if those four tracks don't convince you that the Scotty Bratcher Band deserves to win this thing...You should go have your ears checked.  If you decide to become a fan (which is advisable...be a hipster, like them before they're BIG!), you can share the link with your Facebook friends and Twitter followers.  The more times you do these things, the more times Scotty's Buzz Rating goes up and the more chances he has of being in the top 100 (right now he's at about the 110 mark, as I'm writing this) bands selected by review by judges, who will then pick one group to play at Madison Square Garden with Eric Clapton!  So go check it out! 

Now, this relates to dreams of writers, and just people in general.  Or I'm going to make it relate.  You know, I think that when we are young we have these huge dreams of becoming famous or being an astronaut or winning the presidency.  We set our sights on such big feats and don't care that the likelihood of us accomplishing them is very slim.  Most of us outgrow these dreams, realizing that they might not be so realistic.  But the people that don't let go of their dreams?  They see how hard it's going to be to get there.  They realize the amount of work it's going to take.  They realize they're probably not going to just have it handed to them on a silver platter along with the keys to a Ferrari and a mansion.  But mostly they realize that they want it - and that the work that it requires, the strength and determination it requires, is worth it.  And these people?  These are the people that make it.

You know, I've read plenty of books and heard plenty of bands that don't get the recognition they deserve.  I've known authors who write beautiful pieces and novels and they get swept under the rug by the cliche love/horror/insert-genre-here stories that our society is comfortable with.  I've heard songs written by artists (locally and globally) who are not supported enough to make it to radio, mega-tours, and the likes because they do not fit the mold of the pop-culture, boy-band, break-up songs that we, as a society, have adopted as our 'standards,' so to speak.  And that saddens me because there are people out there that are so much more talented than Nicki Minaj or Justin Beiber.  There are better writers out there than Nicolas Sparks.  I mean, I respect each artist because it does take a LOT of courage to put yourself out there for the world, but I think we also need to appreciate the artists that are around us.  Because the artists that are not recognized, well-known, or over-played on the radio - those are the artists we should be supporting.  Because they're REAL.  And more often than not, their music/writing/paintings/etc portray a more relatable side to life than the celebrity-crazed-life-style you'll hear on the radio.

I think there are people you stumble across in the course of your life that inspire you.  I'd like to say that it'd be great to find them all at once so that you'd never lose faith in yourself or your dreams, but part of me says that's not true.  I think that each person you find that inspires you is planted at a very specific point in your life and it's not until you lose faith in yourself, and water that seed with your tears of helplessness that that person arises to show you what you can do.  Whether they've been there your whole life or if you meet them for the first time right when you needed someone else to give you a push, these people are placed throughout our lives to keep us going.  I have been so blessed to have these types of people in my life - and I know that if I had met all of them at once, I wouldn't be where I am.  I have evolved so much since I first started writing.  And if I had met some of them at the beginning of my writing journey, I don't think I would have seen what I was supposed to see as inspiration in them.  Whether they know it or not, I draw strength and drive from them all the time, even ones no longer in my life.  Because they once inspired me, they always will.  It's funny that I depend on these people so much - we, more often than not, depend on the most unstable things in life: relationships, people, feelings, and love.  But without people like this in my life, I know that I would have given up on my dreams long ago.  And it is because of these people that I know this will never happen.  

I don't really know that this post has come full circle, necessarily  but I'm hoping it at least made sense.  I think it will to some of you.  But my main point is we could do something amazing here: we could help an amazing group of guys reach their dreams.  And that?  That's a something that's not guaranteed to everyone.  So please go give the tracks a listen and if you like them, add your name to the supporters list, share the site on Facebook and on Twitter - or wherever you so please!  

Scotty didn't pay me to do this or anything, I should mention that.  He and his music have done so much for me and my family, I felt like it was the very least I could do.  I am not at all kidding when I tell you that there is no one on the face of this earth that deserves this recognition more than the Scotty Bratcher Band.  

So with that, I'll step off of my platform and you can do what you want with this information - those few of you who actually read these things. : ) Hiiiii people.  You're my friends. 

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Non, je ne regrette rien

Je ne vais pas ecrire en francais. (I'm not going to write in French - minus some accents.)

Mais - I mean, but, I do have some important stuff to say.  I feel like I've already reflected on HOW I came to writing in January of 2008, but I can't find that post, so remind me some other time and I'll write a more detailed and insightful recounting of why I started writing, other than I wanted to.


Yesterday - January 14th - was my 5th anniversary of the day I started writing.  5 years!  That is kind of weird to think about.

In some ways, it is hard for me to remember a time when I didn't enjoy writing, when reading was something I was required to do, not something I loved to do.  But 5 years...it just makes me wonder how quickly time can go and honestly, it scares me.  I feel like the first 3 of those 3 years passed somewhat slowly, but when I got to high school the last few have really sped things up.

I look back upon little (okay, I'm still the same height I was then) 11 year old me and wonder how she could have thought that writing would be "easy."  I look back and envy the innocence she had in her thoughts and views on the world and the simplicity with which she could perceive things.  But despite this, I am grateful that she had the courage to sit down at her computer one night and start to type having no idea what she was going to write about, but just letting the story find her on its own.  If I were to attempt that now?  I have a feeling the document would not be opened a second time.  But that 11 year old me thought the same thing that night; that she would never come back to that word document.  Her curiosity which bred love brought her back.  

And it's exactly that that continues to bring me back.  No matter where I go in life, no matter how many times I get pulled away because of life, something always brings me back to writing.

I don't think that I could heal without writing.  And maybe heal isn't the right word - I don't think I could cope without writing.  When I'm angry or sad or heartbroken, the first thing I want to do (okay, after I stop crying) is write.  When I'm happy or giddy or content, the first thing I want to do is write.  Somehow all of my emotions find their way to the page, whether they are seen by others or not.  A verse here, a line of dialogue there...one day it'll all come together.

Through the 5 years of writing, I have learned a lot about my craft, my style, my beliefs, and myself.  I have gone through two computers (I only killed one of them....), a few different versions of Microsoft Word (oh, and Works...that was interesting).  I have improved, I have switched genres (a few times), I have broadened my spectrum of things I write in terms of form, and most of all, the love I hold for writing has only grown.

Sometimes in day-to-day life, hobbies get pushed aside, as writing often does.  But the important part is that you come back to it.

And I will always come back to it - until I no longer have to leave it.

Parce que, je ne regrette rien.

Because I regret nothing. 

I do not regret falling in love with something so difficult, because I know it's WORTH IT.  I do not regret sitting down at a computer in my spare time and creating a world (I have yet to write a story in a completely different 'world' ~ out of state is about as far-out as I breach) from my head and spending time with characters I have imagined that no one else may know about - yet - because, I know it's WORTH IT.  

And that?  That's what I come back to.

Happy 5 year anniversary to the 'novel' that started it all in me.  Forever on my shelf, you shall rest.  Until I have other people living with me.  Then you will be hidden away.  But I still love you.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

First Post of 2013 (I took New Year's Day off)

This post has nothing to do with Mr. Darcy, but Tuesdays suck and sometimes?  Sometimes you just need a Daily Dose of Darcy. (OMG that's alliteration!)

First post of 2013 - and it's actually on time!  (Don't become too used to that, it probably won't last long.)

I'm writing this post a little bit in advance, though, because I'm thinking I'm going to be busy on Tuesday.  Also, I am doing everything I can to procrastinate and not do the reading I was supposed to do over break.  I'm sure I'll get it done. . . eventually.  Before Monday.  Maybe.  It'd just be so much easier if Hawthorne would just spit out what he wanted to say.  

That could actually, somewhat, seg-way into my talking point today.  Which, believe it or not, is actually writing related for the first time in a long time.

Over this break, I've had a lot of inspiration to write.  From movies I've watched or books - actually, only one book - I've read, I've found myself really wanting to write.  But as soon as I pull up the word document, I feel like I have no idea what I'm doing.  I know where the story is going, but the words are trapped inside my finger tips.  It's frustrating.

And it's not even just my big project.  It's poems, too.  I have so many little verses on sheets of paper that have no accompanying verses.  Things that pop into my head are written down and then when I re-visit them to make something out of some of them, I get stuck.

I don't like being stuck.

I really don't like not knowing how to get un-stuck.

I've talked to writers who'll write over 5k words a day.  Me?  I'm lucky if I write one sentence.  Most days?  Unfortunately, most days I don't get to write at all.  I try to utilize breaks from school to accomplish things, but with family time and homework and everything else that needs done, I feel like it's not getting anywhere.

And I'm not writing this to sound ungrateful.  I'm am so grateful that I love writing, that it is my dream and what I want.  And I am willing to work for it, don't get me wrong there, either.  

Maybe it's because I haven't found the right story yet, or maybe it's because I'm at the beginning of the story I'm trying to write.  The two most terrible parts of a story to write are the beginning and the ending.  It's either setting everything up or taking everything down, and making sure all ends tie together into a nice and pretty red bow.

And even though it's a first draft and I'm only like 13 pages into it?  I kind of get all panic-y and I don't know why.  

So writers - writers of any kind - do you struggle with this?  What do you do to break through writer's block?  And what keeps you motivated when writing?