Following Your Passion

September 10th, 2011

Welcome to Toolbox Saturday where you’ll find tools for various things from writing to whatever.

I just finished another scene of Apprentice Cat. Wahoo!! Each day I get just a little closer to finishing the entire book. That makes me feel great.

There are days when I wondered if I was doing what I’m supposed to be doing in my life. Have I chosen the right career for me? Those are the days when the words just don’t come or the days when it seems the Universe itself is trying to keep me from working. I was pondering that very thought a while back when I read an article by Jenna Avery titled What Are You Doing Instead of Living Your Purpose?

I’m a little embarrassed to admit that, until finishing this last scene, I wasn’t sure I was living my purpose — at least in part. As I prepared to sit down to work today, it hit me as it hasn’t in a very long time. I was not just happy. I was excited. I couldn’t wait to get started on the next scene. Writing is my purpose — to entertain and perhaps to teach just a little about life.

Being passionate about my work tells me that it is indeed what I’m meant to do. It hasn’t always been easy. (I have entire notebooks with crossed out passages!) I’m sure it’s not going to be all candy and roses now that I know I’m doing what I’m supposed to be doing. Yet, it’s enough to know I’m on the right track.

How do you follow your passion?

***

If you’re looking for ideas and examples on simple ways to pray in my book Simply Prayer, available in print, for KindleNook and audio book.

***

A Mash-up of passion posts:

It Doesn’t Matter Why We Write by Tiffany A.
White — As Brenda Ueland said, try to write the worst thing imaginable and you’ll still come up with something good. The point, as Tiffany shows, is that we write.

Do you Want to be Rich or do You Want to be Happy? By Andrew E. Kaufman — Andrew asks us to dig into why we chose to write: is it for the money or because it’s who we are?

Are You Passionate About Your Stories? by Carolyn Kaufman — Carolyn suggests we follow our passion rather than try to see into the future of the market.

Write What You Love by Kate Lord Brown — Forget “write what you know,” says Kate. She encourages writers to find something that makes them want to run to their WIP instead of lazing about when everyone else is asleep.

Get the Write Focus by Vanessa W. Snyder — Vanessa gives writers tips on how to get focused on writing.

How To Capture Ideas When They Come

August 27th, 2011

Welcome to Toolbox Saturday where you’ll find tools for various things from writing to whatever.

files photoThere are times in every writer’s life when ideas will come flooding in — but not for the story you’re working on.  You don’t want to forget those little gems because they would be great in another story, yet they’re useless for what you’re doing right now.  So what do you do?

Here’s a few ways how to capture ideas when they come:

Something I learned a long time ago was to keep an idea file.  Ideas come in many forms from quotes we’ve read to pictures we’ve seen to that fabulous new movie we just saw (if you have the time ;)).  Whatever the form, it’s best to capture the idea as soon as possible.

For certain items, such as magazine articles, it’s easy enough to rip them out and file them away in a file cabinet.  For others we have to get a bit more creative.  An example would be a wonderful painting from a museum.  It’s considered a crime to grab the painting and run (and I’m pretty sure trying to explain it away as “needing it for my idea file” wouldn’t get you very far).  Thus we must get creative.  You may be able to photograph it or, barring that, perhaps sketch it.  If you’re art skills don’t go beyond stick men, then maybe you could write a description of it.

One nifty little tool I’ve discovered is Evernote. If you’ve got a smart phone, this application can be very useful. Snap a picture of whatever sparked your story idea, then share it to your Evernote with notes, tags, whatever. Your ideas are readily available to you via the web on any smartphone (with the downloaded app) or computer. You can even do this with magazine articles instead of ripping them out of the magazine. Simply take a picture and file it away.

Regardless of how you get the inspirational item into your idea file, remember to write down the idea that was inspired and attach it.  Sticky notes work great for hard copies (though the sticky does eventually wear off so be aware that your ideas may go wandering in your file).

Writing takes ideas.  Being an Independent Author means being creative in every area of your career.  And so, that’s why it’s important to collect the little gems that inspire you along.

What other creative solutions have you found to capturing story ideas?

Photo by mcfarlandmo