According to a BBC article, recent research has confirmed that alone time is good for your concentration, health, and creativity. Is anyone else not remotely surprised? Any introvert can tell you that spending time on your own is a necessity, particularly when it comes to creative pursuits.
As much as I enjoy spending time with friends, I seem to never be able to get any writing done when I do. Even if it’s only for a couple of hours, socializing drains me, leaving no energy to think, let alone create. I’m not advocating for isolation (unless that’s your thing), but the more time I spend being social, the more appealing the hermit lifestyle starts to look.
I’m always a little skeptical of people in creative fields who are extroverts. The extroverts I know are constantly on the run, always social, always busy. When do they find time to create? How do they focus? I’m not saying it’s impossible, but it’s difficult to picture someone coming home from a party and feeling inspired to do anything other than sleep it off.
I’m still trying to find a balance between spending time with the people I care about and getting the necessary solitude I need to create. Sometimes I wish texting counted as socializing, or that I could carry on a conversation while mentally working on a chapter or two. How about you–are you an introvert or extrovert? What helps or hinders your creativity? Share in the comments…
Happy Canada Day to all Canadians, no matter where they find themselves on 1 July!
Did you know that Canada Day is not our independence day? It’s Canada’s birthday (happy 152nd!) July 1st marks the anniversary of Confederation, or the day the first four provinces officially joined to create the Dominion of Canada.
Long weekends are also the perfect time to catch up on your reading (how else are you going to digest all that BBQ?) Take advantage of Smashword’s sale and get Love Lies Bleedingfor half price (and Blood Magic, as always, is free). Support Canadian indie writers and have a good day 🍁
If you want to learn more about Canada, watch this short video by a couple of resident experts:
As we head into the holiday season, it seems like a good time to post something fun. I snagged this from A.M. Molvik’s Ramblings. Feel free to share on your own blog (leave me a comment to let me know if you do). Enjoy…
1.Do you get sick while reading in the car?
Unfortunately, yes. I can’t even look at a text on my phone without feeling queasy. It doesn’t help with reading, but I do recommend ginger for the nausea, if you’re also prone to car sickness.
2.Which author’s writing style is completely unique to you?
James Joyce. I can’t think of another author like him.
3.Harry Potter series or the Twilight Saga? Give 3 points to defend your answer.
This is a bizarre question, like asking someone to choose between ice cream or a painting of Elvis on black velvet. Are the two even related?
I’m going with Harry Potter, but since HP needs no defending, here are 3 reasons why everyone should forget about Twilight already:
1. It was written by someone who doesn’t like vampires and has no interest in them, other than the ones she writes about. Never read a book by someone who has no respect for the subject.
2. It presents stalking and abuse as “romance.”
3. It’s not so much a story, as propaganda for the author’s religious and moral beliefs. Do yourself a favour and read something else.
4.Do you carry a book bag? If so, what is in it (besides books…)?
If I bring a book along, I usually just hold it (unless it’s small enough to fit in my purse). If I do bring a larger bag to accommodate a book, I’ll also usually put my purse in there (easier than picking out just the stuff I need), maybe a bottle of water, my hairbrush, a camera–whatever I think I’ll need while I’m out.
5.Do you smell your books?
Not really; I think I’m immune to book smell.
6.Books with or without little illustrations?
Illustrations are always fun, but not necessary.
7.What book did you love while reading but discovered later it wasn’t quality writing?
A lot of books I read as a kid. I’ve recently re-read some of them and have been disappointed (Gordon Korman, I’m looking at you).
8.Do you have any funny stories involving books from your childhood? Please share!
I’m not sure how funny this is, but growing up, I didn’t have a lot of access to books at home other than the Encyclopedia Britannica (yes, I’m that old), Greek history books, and a few of my older sister’s novels. So one of the books I would read (more than once) was the Donny Osmond Mystery (Donny Disappears!)
The really funny part might be that I still have it.
9.What is the thinnest book on your shelf?
A Dover Edition of Daisy Miller by Henry James (Dover Editions all tend to be slim).
10.What is the thickest book on your shelf?
A Suitable Boy by Vikram Seth.
11.Do you write as well as read? Do you see yourself in the future as being an author?
I’m currently published. Find out more about my dark fantasy novel, Love Lies Bleeding, and my free ebook, Blood Magic,here.
12.When did you get into reading?
I’ve loved reading and books longer than I can remember. When I started kindergarten, my first question to the teacher was when were we going to the library. The kindergartners normally didn’t use the school library, but I was so excited to see the books that they ended up making special arrangements for my class.
13. What is your favorite classic book?
Crime and Punishment by Dostoevsky.
14. In school what was your best subject?
English. I basically took every English class my high school offered, and then majored in English Lit in Uni.
15.If you were given a book as a present that you had read before and hated…what would you do?
I might try reading it again, but if I really hated it I’d probably just keep it on my shelf as a reminder of the person who gave it to me.
16.What is a lesser known series that you know of that is similar to Harry Potter or The Hunger Games?
I think it’s great when people branch out and read new things instead of different variations on a favourite theme. That being said, I do recommend the (non-YA) Kate Daniels series by Ilona Andrews. It has magic, a dystopian future, shifters, witches, vampires, and a kick-ass female main character.
17.What is your favourite word?
Meander. I love both the rhythm of it and the meaning. Susurrate is also a good one.
18.Are you a nerd, dork, or dweeb? Or all of the above?
Who doesn’t love applying labels to themselves? Just call me a neo-maxi-zoom-dweebie.
19.Vampires or Fairies? Why?
Vampires, always. I like fairies, but fangs beat wings.
20. Shapeshifters or Angels? Why?
Shapeshifters interest me more. Angels can be okay if done right.
21.Spirits or Werewolves? Why?
Werewolves. Spirits are fine as minor characters, but as a main they’d be unsatisfying to read about and impossible to relate to.
22.Love Triangle or Forbidden Love?
Forbidden love, I guess. Love triangles always make me question why they don’t just try a poly relationship.
23.AND FINALLY: Full on romance books or action-packed with a few love scenes mixed in?
Action packed, tyvm. I probably shouldn’t admit this publicly, but I find Jane Austen-style romances tedious. Maybe it’s the lack of Osmond brothers 😉
I recently read an article about 11 weird habits that all writers can relate to, and I’ve got to say they weren’t wrong. Dramatically staring into space while thinking about what my characters will do next? Check. Ending up on security watch lists thanks to my online research? Check. Losing track of time, dates, and reality itself thanks to working from home immersed in a fantasy world of my own creation? Check check.
Reading the list got me thinking about my own odd habits, which I’ve decided to share. After all, as the article pointed out, writers spend a lot of time alone–why not take a moment to bond over our mutual strangeness?
My Weird Habits as a Writer:
Seeking Out Mindless Activities so I Can Think: When my hands are busy but my mind is free to wander, that’s when I come up with some of my best ideas, solve problems with my stories, or mentally write entire passages (my phone is handy–and more likely to be nearby than pen and paper–for getting it all down before I inevitably forget). Mindless activities I recommend: weeding the garden, easy crafts, cleaning the house, ironing…
Telling Myself Stories to Help Me Fall Asleep: I’ve had trouble sleeping my entire life–the one thing that’s almost guaranteed to get me to sleep is telling myself a story in bed. It’s been the same story for a while now, with minor variations. Strangely enough this repetitive storytime actually does help with my writing. Every so often I’ll get an idea for a new character, or notice themes I should explore.
Watching (a lot of) TV: Sometimes it’s background noise that works a lot like any other mindless activity (see above). Sometimes it’s inspiring, giving me ideas to consider. Sometimes it’s instructive, helping me with pacing, or seeing aspects to storytelling that do or don’t work. Sometimes it’s just entertaining, which is also important.
I’ll leave it there, although there are more (so many more). What weird habits do you have as a writer (or in general)? Share your weirdness…
Just a reminder: time is running out to enter my giveaway. Want a chance to win a free copy of my dark fantasy novel, Love Lies Bleeding? Take a moment and enter.