Spotlight? No, thanks.

English: American author Stephenie Meyer at th...

English: American author Stephenie Meyer at the Twilight premiere. November 2008. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

What prompted this post was an old vampire movie that I was watching last night.  These days, when I think of vampires, Stephenie Meyer comes to mind, and Dracula of course.  Then, I thought of how her quiet life became a frenzy of writing one book after another, short deadlines, one movie after another, many interviews, galas, tons of huge book signings, all marketable Twilight paraphernalia … and so on.  The more I thought about it, the more I agreed with my inner self that I wouldn’t want to be in those shoes.  Why?  It seems so exhilarating and who doesn’t love the spotlight?

The answer is me, and I am sure that there are some writers who love their quiet lives and privacy, and would not like the type of success that brings all that frenzy with it.  I am not anti-social, I like it quiet, and I love my privacy.  I love to give when no one is looking – that is my overall style.  Where is Stephenie Meyer today?  Probably very busy with new projects and the current ones, as well as dealing with the comet’s tail left behind.  God bless her, as it takes a lot of energy and patience to handle that kind of spotlight.

When I visualize a writing career, I see writing, readers, a strong sincere commitment to the readers, and more writing, and more writing, and more writing.  Somehow, I wouldn’t want to include galas, craziness, and tons of attention into my writing dreams.  Given that what happened to Stephenie Meyer is not the usual way things develop, and at such speed, however, she is a good example of what I wouldn’t want to experience in my future as a writer (and of course, I also want to make a living at doing what I love – the bills have to be paid).

Have you visualized your writing career?  Are you published and experiencing it?  How do you visualize your spotlight?  At the flip of a switch or as a growing light with a dimmer?  Which style suits you better – smashing Boom success a la Meyer or rhythmic success a la Coelho?  Would you write for the love of it and for that one reader who has to read your book, or for fame?  Do you write because you love the craft or with a future dollar sign/spotlight on the back of your mind (meaning becoming famous).

The answer to these questions will help you figure out what you want from your writing career and your internal level of comfort.  Feel free to share your point of view.

Writing – The Dream Approach

Adam Elsheimer - Jacob's Dream - WGA7493

Image via Wikipedia

Much has been written about dreams and their meaning.  There are many sleep clinics, and studies have been conducted on the subject.  Most people remember a dream, and for some, dreaming is as frequent as brushing their teeth.  While some hardly pay attention to their dreams, others, take them seriously, and analyze them, in search of guidance from the subconscious, or the universal mind.

However we happen to approach our dreams, one thing is certain – they are unique to each individual, and they paint a unique portrait.  When we dream, our subconscious is opening, unguarded, and we are honest with ourselves – there’s no hypocrisy in our dreams; they are rooted deeply.  They represent our goals, our fears, our preoccupation with daily events, or what we truly think.  Sometimes, they might appear meaningless or bizarre, or the result of a movie we had seen.  However, when you dig deeper, at your reactions and behavior in a dream, you can always find a piece of truth embedded.

For writers, dreams can be a bountiful source of inspiration.  One segment of a dream can become a best seller novel.  A great example of this is the novel Twilight by Stephenie Meyer.  Writer’s block can be fought with a good dose of dreaming.

So, next time you “hit the sack,” make sure to place a piece of paper and a pen under your pillow.  Your muse will be thank you for it.

Writer’s Wisdom 66

Mind your ideas.

Ideas come from everywhere; from something you heard, saw, remembered, an object, a smell, or from something you read.  Some writers avoid reading the genre in which they are writing their current piece.  The reason, they are weary of borrowing any ideas, without intention.

The other day I read about the lawsuit going on between the estate of  British author Adrian Jacobs and J.K. Rowling.  It alleges plagiarism on Rowling’s part, but of course, not substantiated.  It got me thinking on how many similar ideas float in a writer’s world, and how easy is to be influenced by a similar idea.  I don’t consider this plagiarism, as many people can have the same idea and express it in a completely different way.  This is not a copy.  However, more than ever, we should mind our ideas, since writing has evolved in so many ways due to the internet and the many ways in which you can share your work these days.  Ideas are free, and you are free to write what you want, as long as it does not land you in already claimed territory.

Writer’s Wisdom 21

Writing with Heart

Writing a piece is more than telling a story.  If you are passionate about writing, you write with your heart.  You give something in you, to the story.  Author Harlan Coben expressed in a Borders interview:  “I like to write with heart, otherwise it is not going to work for me.”  I agree with his comment; to make a piece that captures the readers, there has to be passion in it.

Author Wally Lamb expressed:  “Write a book for yourself, and let the readers that have to find it, find it.” 

Another author that follows the same rule is Jamie Lee Curtis.  She told Borders:  “I don’t do it for achievement; it is pure expression for me.”  Another good example of this is best selling author John Grisham.  He writes legal thrillers, mostly, but he says that he writes whatever he wants; he has fun with the genre.  He says he does not know where he is going as far as sticking with a genre.  Some of his books have been made into movies (The Firm, The Appeal).  In his own words to Borders:  “You can’t get too serious, the pages have to turn.”

And perhaps, the best example we have about a best selling author who writes with heart is Stephenie Meyer.  Her first book, Twilight, she wrote for herself – at the kitchen table.  The very successful series followed, and captured the heart of fans all over.

So, next time you pick up your pen (or your mouse), ask yourself this question:  “Am I putting my heart to it?” 

My Take on The Twilight Saga

 

A short review of THE TWILIGHT SAGA: TWILIGHT/NEW MOON/ECLIPSE/ BREAKING DAWN By Stephenie Meyer

Pure entertainment and one of the best fiction books I have read in a long time. A love saga between a human girl, a vampire and a shapeshifter werewolf which includes the drama and predicaments for both sets of families. These “mammoth” books are page turners; you just can’t put them down. Stephenie Meyer makes you become part of the character’s lives and you just can’t help yourself but surrender letting your eyes follow the story page after page to know more. These books are addictive; once you read the first you have to continue with the rest. They become your breakfast, lunch and dinner. They capture your thoughts during the day and your dreams at night. For about 2 weeks or so, all you eat, think, breathe, and dream, is Bella, Edward, Jacob, and the Cullens.  Pure genious!