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Blogoff: A cat’s guide to writing

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1. So you think you want to write? This is a long and stress inducing process. You have all these creative ideas about magick and wonder and adventure. You think of the saying “the pen is mightier than the sword”. You pick up your pen (or in most cases type on the keyboard) and you write all the pretty little words to bring the story to life. You get into the thrill of the chase, the suspense of who done it, and the emotional baggage that comes with challenging a protagonist in the throws of heartache. You feel the excitement of a battle, the adrenaline rush of a figuring out how to make the chorography of a fight scene work, and the total devastation when you kill a character off. You can only blame yourself.

2. Snoozefest. You finally finish the last chapter and you rejoice. You blog, tweet, and post all about how you conquered the demons and slayed the dragons (or in rare cases had tea with the demons and helped the dragon hoard the treasure). But while you rejoice your cat is fast asleep. You think to yourself “is this how other people will feel”, “will the action be as heart racing for others like it is for me”, “will people cry when the couple breaks up or the protagonist is forced to kill her love interest”. If your cat is asleep, how will others find the joy and adventure in the words you’ve written?

3. The Critical Eye. The only way to save a story is to edit. The only way to save your sanity is to suffer through the insanity that is editing. With every word you have to think what does it do? Does it make sense? Will people understand the meaning? You have to change sentences, take out paragraphs, rewrite chapters, and sometimes even flip chapters around like a puzzle done backwards. You have to treat your work like it belongs to someone else. Pull no punches and use the sword rather than the pen. Then it helps to have a pack. People who write, who read, who can give you feedback about whether your work is ready or not, whether it’s a work of art or still needs work. Editing is a long process. You try to remember why you fell in love with words at all. You’ve worked until your fingers hurt and yet you’re still an author. Little a. A newbie. Someone no one has heard of. Sometimes you want to quit. Sometimes you want to cry. Sometimes you wonder why you even started writing at all if it only leads you here. But as you get to the last round of editing you find yourself quite pleased.

4. Pleased. Cats have a way of looking pleased over the slightest thing. Catching a moth. Watching a bird. Seeing the curtain move. But pleased over writing is a lot harder to accomplish. You’re your own worst critic but at the end of it all if you can be pleased with what you’ve done there will be no greater feeling in the literary world. You’ve accomplished so much and when you finally get to publishing you can call yourself an Author.


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