Tag Archives: friendship

Attitude

Create a life

“Re-tune your thoughts to reflect the environment you want.” ~ LkH, 2013

My ‘Evil Day Job’ now has a finite period remaining in it. Yes, finally, after nearly nine fabulous years of working in the NZ Treaty Sector, I have worked myself into redundancy.

Now, with a huge environmental change like this, a lot of people would probably find this sort of thing incredibly hard to deal with. Funnily enough though, I’m happy. I know that I have put my heart and soul into my Evil Day Job, and I have worked my ass off.

I have seen huge successes, and I have seen tragedies. There has been lots laughter, shenanigans, arguments, hilarity, tears, anger, good times, and more often than not – bonds as strong as family. But I am ready to go. I have been mentally preparing myself for this for a long time.

So what will I do?

Well, you can bet your ass that I’ll keep writing. You can even bet your ass that I’ll publish some of my larger works. But in terms of the Evil Day Job? Who knows. I’m looking forward to working out the next step in my life.

In the mean time, I’ll keep up my positive attitude, as cast the nets far and wide out to my contacts. The universe always has a way of providing when you ask for it.

Inspirational luck

Everyone has good days and bad days. Some of us get a whole lot of bad days in a row… and that in itself isn’t too inspiring. I’m not saying I have had ‘bad’ days – In fact – they have all been great! I’m just saying that I have been so damn busy with my daughter that I haven’t had much of a chance to even look at my writing, let alone attending to my emails, blog, etc.

I thought that I was back on the band wagon with my writing… but it hasn’t happened. That’s okay though, because as my husband said to me when I was complaining to him about it – “You have a much more important job to do at the moment, so stop beating yourself up about it.” And he’s dead right. Every day Abby makes me laugh and smile a million times. Every day she pushes my boundaries. Every day she inspires me to be a better person. Every day I couldn’t imagine life without her.

I was talking to a good friend of mine last night, and was throwing some ideas around with her about writing a series of standalone thrillers using my main key characters from Tijuana Nights, and she said that she thought I could pull it off. I did talk about doing this many moons ago when I was originally planning this book, but I never went any further with the idea. But now… I think I might look into it.

I’m going to call it my ‘Night Series’ and set the locations of each book in a different spot. For example, the next book could potentially be called Parisian Nights or something along those lines. I know that it’s going to mean a crap load of planning and different character development/arcs etc… but just perhaps I might actually have what it takes to do this.

Now I just need to find the time, energy, and motivation to actually do it.

The Importance of Support

I am very lucky to have some amazing people around me in my world. I’m not just talking about my writing world, but I am also talking about the friendships that I have developed over the years.

There is something rather reassuring to know that you can bounce ideas off the people around you, and know that you are going to get an honest opinion. Whether that opinion is aligned to what you think is irrelevant. It’s the honesty behind it that encourages you to think from an outside perspective.

There is just something so damn refreshing about having that there, whenever you need it. But these are not just ‘take, take’ relationships. They are ‘give, take’ relationships. The reciprocal action is what makes it work. There are days when I need specific sets of advice from certain people who I know have more experience than I do… and it’s awesome to have those special people there to help me clarify ideas.

This works particularly well with my amazing critique partners. Seriously – these women are something special. Each of them all have very different experiences in the writing and publishing world… much like I do within my literary world as well. The very cool thing about this little team that I have surrounding me, is that each of those critters all write in different genres to me, and therefore with one book that I give to them to read and seek opinion on, I can get a great reader and writer perspective from them. The honesty is in the feedback.

Some days I get feedback that I really don’t want. And I think that every single writer in the world gets feedback like that. The book you write is never the book that is read. Seriously. Everyone’s perspective of your book is their own, and it is up to you as the writer to decipher what feedback will work for you and what wont.

The thing I like the most about having critique partners is the thanks that I get for supporting them. I have a good friend/critique partner who has just released her debut novel, and I am just so damn proud of her. She has worked so very hard – and I can’t believe that I’m going to be able to walk into a bookshop shortly, and see it sitting there on the shelf. I will stand there proudly gazing upon its gorgeous cover, and know that I have contributed to the development of that book by reading, critiquing, and supporting that author to get through this arduous process. Then I’ll end up buying it for my special collection.

I have another friend/critique partner who has just released her trilogy, and soon it will be in paperback. And I seriously can’t wait to see those books sitting proudly upon my bookshelf in my home library. These are the moments in time when I will look at these massive achievements from women I know, and know that as a critique partner, and as a good friend, I have done my duty. I have given feedback and support to these authors, and they have chosen what they can use, and what they can’t, and they have created from that.

Just over a year ago, when the Christchurch earthquake struck on 22nd Feb, I developed an amazing friendship with someone who was calling out for writers to come together for a charity anthology. Usually I would never have responded. Seriously. I am not that sort of person. But because this was for such a worthy cause that was so close to my heart, I felt I had to respond. And all I was offering at the time was to help her round up writers and support her with the development of this massive project. Throughout that time, the friendship that I developed with her was amazing. I class this woman as one of my closest friends, and we talk every single day. I’m not kidding. I know everything about her, and her family. She knows everything about me and mine. And it’s amazing that we have only known each other for just over a year. Without Mother Nature enforcing her power over Christchurch that day, we never would have met.

Friendships are built on the foundations of trust, honesty, and communication. Usually there is a bit of commonality thrown in there as well for good measure… Friendships provide you with support, and a supportive relationship with people is the only way to live.

Dreamers dream… Writers write.

Earlier today I was visiting a friend, and she was saying about how one day she wanted to be a writer just like me. She seems to think that now that I am on maternity leave, all I am doing is writing my life away until Bump is born. (I wish!) But I’m flattered that I have inspired her dream of writing… and as this post is titled – dreamers dream. My friend is a ‘dreamer’ until she picks up that pen and puts her creativity to paper. Then she will be a writer. Right now – she just aspires to write one day. (I’m actually quite surprised, considering she lived with me for years and saw how ratty I can get if I can’t get my words out on paper!)

I think that first and foremost – I am a dreamer. Then I am a writer. I say this because of the way that I process and dream up new story ideas, plots, twists, and characters. I often dream about my work, literally! ;-) Often I am day dreaming, and often I am asleep and dreaming. There are times that I wake and everything is so vivid that I have to write it down into my notebook, so that I can develop it later.

I dream of writing too. I dream of writerly success… of writing thrillers that some movie director will one day pick up and turn into a block buster movie. This is where I am being a complete dreamer, because until I get my backside into gear and get my bigger work actually published, that dream is what it is. A dream. But it’s nice dream to dream.

Then I have the other side of me who is trying to write thrillers that will appeal to a wide range of people out there, so that I am not limiting my marketability.

So there you have it. I dream of one day selling my work for someone to make a movie out of it. I think that this is a dream that many writers share. We all know that once your work is made into a movie and is reaching a much much wider audience, the rest of your books usually snowball out of control with sales. We all want that. We all want the money. Some even want the publicity. (Strangely – I’m not too keen on the publicity stuff… perhaps that is my inner recluse showing itself!) But this is why we have PR people out there in the world. I’m pretty sure JK Rowling wasn’t too keen on it at the start either!

In the meantime though, I’ll just keep writing. Because that is what I am – a writer – and writers write.

Quitting the Evil Day Job

One of my good friends who is also one of my critique partners, is leaving her Evil Day Job this week to write full time. I have three critique partners, and they are all now full time writers. (One has three children, so she’s also a full time Mum.) I personally think that this is totally wonderful, and it means that these inspiring women can tap into some serious creative potential to achieve their dreams. They even have the time to achieve their dreams.

But for my friend who is leaving her job this week, this is where the story unravels a bit. Apart from her husband and children, she is lacking support with the real humans in her life (not the writers). Her friends and real family are criticizing her for her decision to leave work, refusing to even talk to her about her creative endeavours, and this is right royally starting to piss me off. The audacity of these people. They call themselves her friends and family? But where is the support? Or the love? Or the shoulder? No where. They appear to be more worried about how she will make money, or the recession, or things like that. Personally – it is absolutely none of their business to what arrangement she has with her money situation. What business is it of theirs? If she has some sort of way to pay the bills and live, then that is her business and hers alone.

This decision that she has made is primarily about her happiness, and her goals in life. Life is what we make of it, and if you are happy sitting around working a 40 hour week in a job that you don’t like, and getting paid sweet F.A. to do so – then fine. That’s your life. Be happy with what baskets you put your f*!king eggs in. But if you see someone taking a risk with their own life to make their dreams come true? Well – that’s just inspirational. Be inspired by this. Do not be jealous, or worry about their potential money problems!

I can’t wait till my friend has more time on her plate to create her worlds. It’s very exciting for her, and I am more than willing to give her as much support as she needs to make her dreams come true. What goes around, comes around.

So, let this be a warning to those who are not creative or to those to have no idea what being creative means. If someone is quitting their day job to pursue their dreams, then support them in achieving that. Be their shoulder to cry on, and be there to talk to them. That’s what friends and family do for each other. It is not about how much money you earn, or what you spend it on that shows your quality of life. It’s how you feel within yourself.

Gossip and Banter. Not the same thing.

Oh boy, here I go again. It’s one of those sessions, where I am thoroughly pissed off.

Right now, as I am sitting at my desk in my office on the seventh floor of a big building in Wellington, there are people sitting on the other side of my desk divider gossiping and moaning about other people sitting on the same floor, who are probably not that far away, trying to get an honest day’s work done.

DEFINITION:  gos·sip //  (gsp)  n.

  1. Rumor or talk of a personal, sensational, or intimate nature.
  2. A person who habitually spreads intimate or private rumors or facts.
intr.v. gos·siped, gos·sip·ing, gos·sips To engage in or spread gossip.

 

Why am I pissed off? Because this is destructive and unwanted behaviour from people who really should know better. The stories that they are ‘telling’ and ‘discussing’ with each other, is not positive. It is not even remotely helpful. It is what I would call “petty idle gossip.” And what happens to gossip? It turns into Chinese Whispers.

Truths are distorted and repeated… and whatever these two ladies are talking about right now, will be retold a multitude of times in a totally different context – not too far down the line.

Gossip is another form of story-telling. It is not fair on the subject, or fair on the people who really just don’t give a hoot, and because our office is open plan – they have to listen to it. 

Now banter, on the other hand, is a lot more pleasant to listen and engage in.

DEFINITION:  ban·ter //  (bntr)

  • n. Good-humored, playful conversation.

v. ban·tered, ban·ter·ing, ban·ters

  • v.tr. To speak to in a playful or teasing way.
  • v.intr. To exchange mildly teasing remarks.

As long as you don’t hurt anyone’s feelings in the midst of it, then I think that banter is fine. Banter is another form of rapport building. Something that you can definitely play with when developing character relationships with one another.  It also provides a bit of humour and light relief to the dialogue in your writing.

What’s the moral of this story? Don’t gossip, banter instead. It’s a lot more fun, and you don’t bring people down. Instead, you start building the bonds that hold everyone together.

Once again, I have gone from being extremely annoyed, to pleasantly positive. Thank you, little blog.