Dramaquill's All Things Writing

June 29, 2008

Hello, is anybody out there?

The writing life is a solitary one, isn’t it?

Endless hours spent in front of the computer monitor writing, revising and researching. 

A single coffee cup, a notebook and a favorite pen pass the time as I people watch, listening for that one excellent snippet of conversation or finding that one unique character for my latest project.

The reference section of the local library, where I find it so easy to get distracted into researching several projects at once.

Whiling away the afternoon at my favorite bookstore, not caring that I’m sitting in the childrens’ section, reading the latest MG adventure novel.

Oh the luxury to find the time to read purely for pleasure!  Is that even possible now that I’ve embarked on my writing journey?

Writing can, for the most part, be a very lonely and isolating activity.  But thanks to the internet, that isn’t the case anymore.

With all the online writing groups, forums, listserves, critique groups and blogs, I no longer worry that I don’t live in a major metropolis, a stone’s throw from agents and publishers.

I really enjoy listserves.  I get the messages in digest form, downloaded into my Outlook Express, so I can read them offline.  Currently, Yahoo Groups has over 100,000 writing-related groups with listserves.  Some of my favorites are:

Childrens-Writers (for those who write PBs, MGs, YAs, articles etc.)
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/childrens-writers/?yguid=162578819

Fiction that Sells(Genre fiction markets and tips)
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/FictionThatSells/?yguid=162578819

Musical Makers(for musical theatre bookwriters/composers/etc)
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/musicalmakers/?yguid=162578819

There are also tons of online resources for critique groups, workshops, conferences, writing sites and more.  Check out this page for a whole host of links to get your started:

http://www.thewriterssite.com/direct_pages/writing_feedback.html

So remember, no matter you live, you can connect with other writers online in a great number of different ways.

 

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March 27, 2008

The Power of Chocolate

With Easter just behind us and several chocolate eggs still sitting on my counter, I am reminded of the many comments I’ve read over the years on writers’ forums and listserves.

A writer posts the sad news of yet another rejection.  His/her fellow writers chime in with supportive comments and one common suggestion:   Eat some chocolate.

Another writer posts the jubilant news of an acceptance or even better, a payment from a publication.  His/her fellow writers chime in with congratulatory comments and one common suggestion:  Eat some chocolate.

As I stare at a small pile of brightly wrapped chocolate eggs, I begin to wonder why chocolate seems to be the treat of choice, whether it’s to console the rejected writer or help the published writer celebrate a success. 

What exactly is the power of chocolate?

One site online suggests that chocolate effects the same parts of the human brain as marijuana, however, it would likely take 25 lbs. of the yummy confection to create the same buzz as smoking one joint.

Another website tells of a study where the results suggested eating chocolate might actually enhance cognitive performance, including verbal and visual memory.

And I’m sure we’ve all heard that dark chocolate, in small doses (like the equivalent of 2 Hershey kisses/day) is actually good for our hearts.

There are even studies debating the positive and negative effects of chocolate on our moods. 

But as writers, does any of this apply to our reasons for eating chocolate as we are subjected to the ups and downs of the writing biz?
I don’t think so!

The power of chocolate is that it makes us feel good – at least temporarily. 

Now put down that chocolate easter egg and get back to the business of writing.

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