Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Why Hipster Glasses Saved My Writing


Sometimes, being a writer means not having all the answers. Most of the time, this is okay. Not having the answers means we have to search for them. Create them as part of the stories we write. And that’s something we’re all generally good at, or at least enjoy. But sometimes, when the doubt keeps coming, not having the answers is terrifying. Questions turn to doubt. And, if you’re like me, you find yourself spiraling from question to question and soon forget what your original question was. 

“Why can’t I figure out this story!?”
“Can I do this?” 
 “I suck!” 
"Why am I so hungry?” 
"Should I Google this more?"
"Is this - IT IS! This is insta-love! NOooo!"
“These words are horrible.” 
“I am even good?” 

As writers, I’ve found that many of us find doubts quickly. This, of course, is not valid. As writers, we create worlds and love and stories. We create people. Of course we’ll have concerns, but doubting our abilities to do the very thing we love? No. The key is to find ways to help, to stop the doubt and change it into something positive. 

 Enter hipster glasses. 

For me, I have certain things I go to that help with my creative process. I’ve found that doubting myself stemmed from not having a plan, not being able to create. So, if I find ways (even if they are silly) that help me create and focus on tasks at hand, that doubt comes around less and less. 

 1) I have hipster glasses that make me feel smart. Okay, I know they don’t make me smart. But I like them. And, if we’re being serious, I like the way they block the room so I HAVE to focus on the screen. Plus, they make me feel kind of like a writer, and that's half the battle.

 2) I have candy. Specifically, jelly beans and Sour Patch Kids. Sugar helps, don’t let anyone tell you differently. 

 3) I have friends. One of the best pieces of writing advice I got was this: LIVE LIFE. As writers, we often find ourselves sitting by a computer. Often alone. But if we go outside for even an hour, it helps get those creative juices flowing. I don’t know about you, but I always find myself inspired when I’m NOT at home. 

 4) I have writer friends who GET IT. Sometimes, there is nothing better than talking to someone who gets exactly what you’re trying to say before you even say it. 

 5) I have goals. While I don’t write from outlines, I do set goals for myself. And if I fail to meet those deadlines I can’t do things. I’ll tell myself that if I don’t meet my August deadline, I can’t buy a book. And, you guys, I want that book. 

 6) I hate odd numbers. * 

 So, hipster glasses for the win. And if hipster glasses aren’t your style, find something else that makes you think. Even if it’s silly. Even if it means walking away from your writing for a little while. Sometimes, instead of letting our writer doubts take over, we need to find ways to continue to be creative. The life of a writer is by no means stress free, but it is a good life. A great one, if you let it be. And I really wouldn’t trade this life for anything. 

 *I really do. So I had to make this even. Nerd. Alert.

David James writes books about stars and kisses and curses. He is the author of the YA novel, LIGHT OF THE MOON, the first book in the Legend of the Dreamer duet, as well as the companion novellas, THE WITCH'S CURSE and THE WARRIOR’S CODE. A Legend of the Dreamer anthology, SHADES OF THE STARS, will be released NEXT WEEK. Check out his FACEBOOK for exclusive teasers and giveaways.


Ren Reidy said...

I'm all about the hipster glasses! Although I did not know what a hipster was when I bought them but they make me look like the nerd I am :-) You're writing quirks are definitely awesome. I have what I like to call my blogger essentials. Gummy sharks!

David James said...

Gummy sharks are awesome!!!!

Jordan Dane said...

The hipster glasses make you look uber-genius. You MUST be a good writer.

Man, self-doubt is a constant battle for us, isn't it? I never had the full-on insecurity in my old day job, when I worked in the energy industry as a commodities trader, but damn. Writing makes me feel like I SUCK sometimes.

But now I know the cure. Thanks.

David James said...

Thanks, JD! Now you know that hipster glasses cure everything - along with gummy things and wine and books and friends and naps. ;)

Starr K said...

You know, I've been told pretty much all of my life that I need a plan in case writing doesn't work out for me. Despite the fact that teachers, workshop leaders and random readers saw being a successful writer in my future. I look back at my patterns of behavior-one of living safely and creating that safety net, without delving too far into writing. I have never given myself the opportunity to fail at writing before creating the cushion. As if failure was inevitable and such. Well, I have decided that maybe I should. Now I must get some hipster glasses of my own.

Jordan Dane said...

Write for yourself, Starr. I was like you. People always praised my ability to write, but I never thought I could make money doing it. I set off with a different career and that added to my life experiences and financial nest egg, but I never forgot my passion for writing. Now I do it full time and it's added to my quality of life in a big way, but there are no safety nets in writing if you dare to let others read your work. It's a risk all the way, but the personal rewards far exceed that risk. Try writing. Do it for YOU.

Hipster glasses highly recommended.

David James said...

I agree. Do it for you. Writing is HARD but rewarding if you let it be.