The Art of Becoming Great

Listen and I will tell you how to become greater than the world.

First, become small. As small as you can without disappearing altogether. Tighten your arms around your knees and shut your eyes tight and think “smaller smaller smaller.” Don’t get excited as you begin to shrink–only remember that you will never be tiny enough.

Second, eat a balanced breakfast. Balanced does not mean, in this particular case, you should eat a collection of nutritious, physician-approved food items. It means eat something you enjoy. Eat tuna salad and egg rolls and grilled cheese. Eat cold cereal or raspberry jelly or pie. If you’d rather, eat nothing at all. Drown yourself in coffee or peanut butter milkshakes if that pleases you. Keep in mind that by “eat,” really I mean eat, drink, laugh, shower, run, kiss, cry, sleep, do. And by “breakfast,” I mean lunch, dinner, midnight snacks and all the times in between.

Third–and this isn’t so important, but could hasten your becoming great by a good deal–don’t have too much fun. Beware of turning up the music, of dancing with closed eyes and blissful abandon. Beware of singing too loud in the shower and reading good books for long periods of time. Don’t work so hard that you get many things done and don’t laugh so hard that laughter is the only thing you can hear. Because then, you will miss armfuls of things. You will miss the people who choose to dance beside you and they will get tired and give up and eventually find another partner. You won’t notice the harmonies trying their hardest to join in with your song and when their throats are hoarse and their voices thoroughly ignored they will close their mouths and forget how to sing in the first place. And in the end, you will only have things that have gotten done and there will be nothing good left to do.

Fourth and finally, ignore this. Ignore me. Ignore my advice. Because–and this is key–if you spend effort–even the littlest bit–trying to become greater than this world, trying to become greater than a few, trying to become great at all, then you are wasting your time. And no one can teach you how to get that back. It can’t be done.

 So stop trying, and be. Stop learning, and do. Stop listening, and live. There is no becoming great. So stop becoming, and be.

 

Newest, Coolest Writing Contest!

Welcome to my contest all fiction, non-fiction, and poetry writers!

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Consider this as a chance to stretch your creativity, have fun, and win a little prize money ($10 for first place winners)! Winners and honorable mentions may even get their work displayed on my blog for all to see.

Remember, you can interpret the prompt as exactly or as creatively as you’d like, but it must be clear that you’ve followed it. PLEASE keep in mind that pieces with too many grammatical errors can’t be considered for first place.

(And of course, please make me happy and check out my very amazing novel, Core, before you leave.)

PROMPT:

Write a piece that tells of a world within a world.

 

Fiction, non-fiction, and poetry guidelines:

  • ONE piece per contestant
  • Must be pg-13 rated or less
  • Must be less than 7,000 words (fiction and non-fiction)
  • Must be titled
  • Must answer prompt

Submission guidelines:

The Plight of the Anticipators

Here are my thoughts on anticipation:

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For some, living is a drone of a thing. The monotony, the blandness of the present weighs on them, compels them to drag their feet along, dreading the toil of now. They rise and sleep without thought and without effort. If, one day, they did not rise at all, they would not mind. This is how they think to themselves. “The world would not know if I slept forever.”

For others, the lure of the past has them fixed backwards. Their feet are planted. They hold tight to the trunk of their tree as the tidal wave of the present tears at them, pushing them to a future they believe could never be bright enough. They think backwards is forward, that they are who they used to be. “It was better then,” they say. “was better then.”

But there are those of us who live for dreams. We balance on our toes. We do not–cannot–go down with the sun. We cannot turn back. We cannot close our eyes to ourselves. We live in every present moment. We fill our lungs with it. We push up on the tips of our feet and we stretch our arms up and up and always up. We know that any day, any second, any moment we will leave the ground behind altogether.

Rest if you’d like, you weary.  Return to your past, you unbecoming.  Do what you’d like, but don’t worry for us. Don’t worry. Don’t clamp us down. Don’t rebuke our ambition. Don’t fetter our minds and tether us to you. And if you must do something, if you feel you simply must, then brace yourselves for a most incredible sight.

For we dreamers will find our wings. “We will. We will.” We dreamers will find our wings. 

Watch us fly.

Interview with Jennifer Snyder

This week I had the pleasure of interviewing the very kind Jennifer Snyder, NA/YA author of such works as Catalyst and the Marked Duology series.To learn more about her or how you can preview and purchase her work, visit her website! (Also, if you’re interested, please check out my debut novel, “Core!“).

Here goes my conversation with Jennifer:

1.      Why do you think you became a writer? How did you know?

Writing was just one of those things I’d always had a passion for. When I was little it was silly poems and short stories. As I grew older the stories became longer. I pulled away from it for a few years or so (think teenage years), but then dove right back in head first in my early twenties. At this point in my life, I can’t imagine myself not writing. It’s a part of who I am.

2.      Of all those you’ve created, who is your favorite character, and why? Can you describe that character’s birth story (how you thought them up)?

 This is a tough question! I really have to go with Seth from my debut novel Shattered Soul. He was the very first character to literally enter my mind via a talking voice in my head. Sounds nuts, but oh so true. I was folding laundry one day and this male voice popped in my head. It was a pivotal scene from near the end of the novel. His first word to me was ‘NO!’ and then the scene continued to unfold in my mind. It ended with him saying this to me “The girl I loved was becoming a stranger, and I knew this moment, the moment her soul first began to shatter, would haunt me forever.” From there I just had to know more about him and this girl he was so desperate to hold on to. This girl who was slipping through his fingers.

3.      Have you ever had an “I’m-A-Failure” moment in regards to your writing or your writing career? If yes, how did you cope? If no, how did you manage to stockpile that kind of self-esteem and where can we get some?

 With every novel one (sometimes more than one) occur  I think every author who has those moments are the ones who care most about their stories as well as their readers. As for coping, that’s where family and friends come into play. It also helps to have other author friends who ‘get it’ and can give you that extra pick me up to help dig you out of that funk.

4.      On your blog, you mention that chocolate may be a possible cure for writer’s block. What kind, quantity, and dosage of this antidote do you recommend?

 Ha,ha! Yes, chocolate. Some days it’s a handful those little Dove dark chocolates. Sometimes it’s Halloween chocolates from last year. And others it’s a warm mug of coco. Either way, I’ve come to learn chocolate in any form and any quantity is a necessity while writing.   

5.      In just two years, you’ve released six novels, two novellas, and a short story, quite an impressive feat. Can you offer a bit of advice to hopefuls? 

Thank you! Write what you want to write. I’ve been doing this for long enough to know that if a story isn’t coming…don’t push it. Set it aside and work on something else. Whether you’re just jotting down ideas for another novel or actually writing out scenes, nine times out of ten, the story you were stuck on will begin to flow again. Especially if you add in chocolate. 😉 Also, carve out time to write at least something everyday. Even if it’s only 100 words…at least it was something. 

Thank you for offering to have me on your blog! Best of luck with your novel (and future novels) as well as your author journey!

Thank you, Jennifer, for taking the time to answer my questions!

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