Are you a lurker?
I have been a lurker in the past. I lurked around the Voyager Online comments board for about six months before I started joining in the conversations. I spent about two months lurking around the Writing Race before I joined in. These days, I tend to jump right in, because I wasted so much time in the past.
I remember well why I was a lurker. I didn’t want to be seen as a newbie or ignorant. Now days, I don’t have the time to linger. I jump in – and sometimes I jump right back out. Most of the time, I find new friends and amazing writing resources.
So, I’ve crawled out of the shadows and into the light. However, I do not sit in judgement of anyone else who preferes to be a lurker. It’s a risk to step out where people can see you and make you into a target. If you feel safer lurking, lurk away!
I tend to write with my eyes. What this means is that – when I started out – I tended to see my characters and see the action. I didn’t hear their voices, or smell the air and feel the textures. It took years of training to learn to ‘hear’ and ‘touch’, smell and ‘taste’. Other beginner writers have problems visualizing a scene, but can write dynamite dialogue.
This sensuous writing might seem like a basic tool in the writing kit, but it is surprising how many people forget that writing – like all skills – is a mixture of training, talent, and practice. Lots and lots of practice. Teaching yourself to notice details. Trying to think of unique ways to describe an experience. Getting out and having experiences so you can describe them!
So, next time your a reading a descriptive passage, don’t dismiss as ‘purple prose’. Some hard-working person has put some thought and effort into that paragraph!
The Courier Mail article
Well, our book launch attracted the attention of our local newspaper. The single photo makes me look insane, but in a nice way.
I’ve not been doing much writing over the last month. Normally, if I’m not writing, I am on edge. Itchy. Like a small child who is overtired, I tend to forget things; things like appointments, the right words, and I leave cups of coffee to go cold. I’ve been a bit like this, but sadder and out of sorts. Melancholy. I still cry when I remember my brave-hearted mother is dead.
This week, I made the decision to cimb back into the saddle. I won’t be galloping just yet, but I’m going to try a gentle trot, and get back into my writing rhythm. I’m using riding metaphors because I am doing some writing about the Duke of Wellington. He rode his steed, Copenhagen, for seventeen hours during the Battle of Waterloo, and when he dismounted the animal tried to kick him in the head. Let’s hope my muse doesn’t do the same!
I have lived my life with assumptions. Not about science or politics, but just general assumptions that I gained by growing up with my parents. I assumed that if I worked hard and lived right, by now I would be financially secure – nope. I assumed that I would have relatively painless childbirth because my mother had painless childbirth – wrong again. And I had assumed that my parents – being such young parents – would be around for longer.
As a small child, I had assumed I would be rich and famous by now. That one I managed to understand was unrealistic quite early on. I’m still hopeful, but also not stressed by the prospect of smaller expectations. People are reading my stories and that is a great satisfaction to me. Since I’m always working towards improving my writing, there is still the chance I might make it bigtime.
I guess we all think we are the exception to the rules of life. I though I was a golden child, one of the chosen ones, because I could write. I thought my parents were special, and would live forever. I didn’t think bad things could happen to us. Not us!
How could my brilliant and charismatic mother die so young?
In some ways, I have been very lucky. I have the world’s best husband, gorgeous and clever children, and the loveliest family and friends. I knew my mother for decades. I can write, and I have a room of my own, and my hubby supports my endeavours. I can still pretend I am shiny.
I am going to stop making assumptions and be grateful for the good things in my life.