It feels really good to be back to blogging again, although I have to admit I enjoyed the break. When I was thinking about what I wanted to say in this post, I came up with a very fitting title, but it was so long it wouldn’t fit in the header. Before I edited it down, the title of this entry was, “My Summer Hiatus: What I learned from binge-watching Veronica Mars, being nudged from the circle, and dropping out of social media.” A mouthful, I know. But really, this title encompasses everything I experienced this summer and what I want to share today.
Topic 1: Veronica Mars
Three weeks. Three seasons. One movie. No joke.
My love for Veronica Mars knows no bounds.
From a writing perspective Veronica Mars is a case study in how to hit amazing storytelling marks. The character development was beyond incredible (P.S. – Keith Mars is the bomb!!) The thread of the mystery in each season was meticulous. But most important of all, even though the main storyline ended at the conclusion of Season 1, I was still dying to follow Veronica through her adventures and into the next season. This is a great feat in itself. How many first seasons have you binge-watched and then decided Season 2 wasn’t worth the time? For me, this has happened a lot.
For those writing a trilogy, VM is a great example of how to build interest in a story while still developing character. It taught me how to grow the personalities I’ve built, while still feeding off backstory. How to incorporate pacing and dialogue to draw in an audience. Oh, and how to create a smoking hot relationship. Hello, LOVE (Logan and Veronica!)
If you enjoy mystery, fast-paced storytelling, and are looking for a show with an incredible cast of characters, I highly recommend you watch Veronica Mars as soon as you can. As a writer, you will find it invaluable.
Topic 2: Being Nudged From the Circle (Why it’ll be okay)
Over the years I’ve made incredible friendships in the writing community. Like many friendships though they change over time. Some get stronger. Others fade away. When they fade away, it’s hard not to take it personally. You still want to be in that circle. To add value. Be asked for your opinion.
But sometimes people grow faster than you. Experience change. They find others who are on the same rocket ship toward success. It’s hard to admit you no longer belong. That your path may be slower. Realizing this may be the hardest thing to accept, but if you’re going to succeed you need to acknowledge that your friendship/skill set may no longer fit into what other people want or need. Accepting this is the key to moving on and finding others who are in the same place as you.
No matter what happens, it’s important to keep writing and reaching out to the community to make those all important connections.
Topic 3: The Highs and Lows of Social Media
As a blogger, social media has helped me build my reader base. Without Twitter, Facebook, and Tumblr my posts would receive a lot less exposure. I’d be behind on industry changes, and clueless about new trends in writing. In many ways social media is important to a writer, but if left unchecked, it can also be harmful. Harmful? Yes, harmful and here’s why: social media exposes you to other writers’ experiences. And while many times this is a good thing, it can also create a sort of repressed anxiety and anger.
If you’ve been on sub as long as Writer A and they sell their book, you can’t help but wonder what you’re doing wrong. When Writer B just entered the query trenches, then quickly lands an agent, and you’ve been working at it for years, it’s easy to get down.
I know I’m always the one saying follow your own path. Don’t compare yourself. Everyone has a different journey. I still believe that, but I’m human, and doubt can creep in and be a seriously hurtful thing. Sometimes stepping completely away from the blitz of news and announcements can be a good thing, not only for your writing career, but also your mental well-being.
(My happy place – The Hotel Del Coronado)
As you can tell, even with a break, I never stopped thinking about writing. What my time away proved was that at my deepest core I am a writer. Stories will continue to churn in my head no matter how hard I try to repress them. My hiatus taught me that my love of creating will always be there, but I need to give my mind a bit of breathing room in order to let it flourish!
I hope you all had a fantastic summer. Can’t wait to see what fall brings!
(My new favorite saying and life motto!)