Why is it that the best advice often comes from the stranger who is standing behind you, pair of scissors in hand, chopping away at your hair? That's right, I got some really great advice from a hair stylist yesterday...
It was late and we were both tired.
I sat in the chair, not saying much, but wondering whether my new haircut would make me look more like Hallie Berry or Harry Potter.
The stylist, clearly tired, decided to make small talk.
She asked me what I did for work, what I planned on doing this weekend, etc...you know, the usual questions.
And that's when I asked her if she always knew she wanted to be a stylist.
I was surprised when she immediately replied, "Yes!"
The way she said it, with such emphasis made me say,
"Wow, must be nice to have always known what you wanted to do."
She nodded and proceeded to explain that even though she'd always known what she really wanted to do, she went to college and majored in what other people expected her to major in, but all the while, what she really loved (hair) was sitting in the back of her mind, nudging at her.
Finally, with encouragement from several friends, she decided to stop pursuing her MBA and do what she felt she was made to do- become a stylist.
She said that it involved a lot of sacrifice and that of course not everyone was supportive of her decision, but it made her happy.
I sat there, kind of stunned as I listened to her.
I was stunned because, for a while now, I've been tossing around the idea of pursuing the things I'm really interested in, namely writing and film making.
From the way she spoke to me, you would have thought that she knew exactly what I'd been struggling with and thinking about for the past couple of months!
So, I left her shop with my new Hallie Berry-ish hair cut thinking that life involves risk.
Sometimes, at the risk of causing the people we're closest to slight dissatisfaction, we pursue what we love.
This is a sacrifice, but when an artist does what they were created to do, the world is a better place for it.
Twitter is ingenious.
Undoubtedly, loads of creative people who find nifty ways of compressing their thoughts and feelings into 140 characters or less readily agree with the statement above.
There have been days when I've felt pretty self-loathing and I've turned to Twitter for a nice, old-fashioned ( or maybe I should say "new"-fashioned??) rant. Fifteen minutes later, I've been surprised to find that several kind people who I've never had the privilege of meeting have responded with sympathetic tweets that show they can relate.
It's nice to see that no matter what corner of the world we live in, we can all share similar perspectives on life.
So, I love that Twitter has the power to connect one little person to an entire world.
Even so, a long time ago, a writer once said,
"To the making of many books there is no end, and much devotion [to them] is wearisome to the flesh."
I think about this as I begin to follow Literary Agents on Twitter.
Don't get me wrong, Literary Agents are great
One day I even hope to befriend one : )
But, the advice...
The constant, unceasing stream of blog advice on "THE DO's AND DON'T'S OF WRITING" and "HOW NOT TO WRITE" and "MISTAKES WRITERS OFTEN MAKE" ...I click on these posts and I read them because I don't want to make mistakes and I don't want to be that writer who is forever querying and forever rejected.
But, after a few hours of reading these blogs, I realize that what I really
need to do is stop gorging myself on advice and simply...write.
Of course, there are fabulous blogs on writing (such as Love YA
) that I keep listed as "Favorites" and subscribe to.
But, there comes a time when I see the need to set Twitter down, shut off the stream of advice, close my eyes, take a deep breath, and write.
What do you think about Twitter? Do you have any fav blogs by Literary Agents?
Thanks for stopping by : )
Fear, like pain, is often unpleasant and sometimes necessary.
Fear of pain prevents me from punching a wall when I'm upset (well...usually) and fear of hurting someone I love stops me from saying words that could possibly hurt their feelings.
But, too much fear, I'm beginning to realize, is not a good thing.
For example, it takes a certain amount of courage to give a project your best shot.
Giving a goal my best is not something that I often do.
To clarify, I'm not a slacker.
I often think I'm giving something my best, when really what I'm doing is shrugging and smiling as I, seemingly careless, skip down the path towards my goal and chant in a sing-song voice, " I have no idea what I'm doing, look at me...tra la la! This is so much fun!!"
I put on the careless air of "that completely inept but nice girl" because I'm afraid that if people see just how serious and passionate I am about what I'm doing, they'll expect too much from me and in the end my results will fall flat and give them nothing but disappointment.
But, failing to give an important goal the attention and effort that it deserves is tantamount to depriving oneself of happiness.
Happiness comes from many places, and one of those places is the happy little part of our brain that lights up, when we look, with pride, at the end result of a project we've given our best shot.
From now on, I'm going to work from my heart.
I will not allow unnecessary fear to block me from strolling the endless path called "Personal Growth".
For a while now, I think I've been at a stand still, looking over my shoulder and worrying that I haven't walked as far as I should have by now.
But, the path we walk is an endless journey. So, it really doesn't matter that we might be a little slower than others, or that we may be a bit clumsy and fall down a lot. What really matters, is that we keep moving and enjoy the scenery as we go.
Is it a good idea to label certain YA books as written “for girls” and others as written “for boys”?
In today’s society we appropriately view prejudice and discrimination with distaste.
However, instead of simply saying that prejudice is wrong we ought to analyze and pinpoint which of our actions result in its continued existence.
Unnecessary labeling often results in prejudice and in eventual discrimination between the “groups” that have been separated by these labels.
I am not, of course, referring to the labeling of jars of jam or the labeling of clothing that needs to be separated by size and brand. Those types of labels are perfectly acceptable : )
To be specific, I’m referring to the labeling of certain books as being written specifically for boys and others as just for girls.
In the past, I labeled my own work as “Chick Lit” and now, the more I think about it, the more inaccurate “Chick Lit” sounds.
When we label certain genres of music, art, literature, and even clothing styles as specifically for one group of individuals who share a single trait in common, we unnecessarily separate part of the population into a group.
Groups of people, when separated, struggle to cover the uncomfortable feeling of being “different” by doing their best to identify with the group with which they have been categorized. Identifying with the group they’ve been placed with may, to some individuals, involve making the group that has been labeled as their polar opposite a target.
This is where severe prejudice and discrimination turn into a real problem, even a threat!
We become so busy separating ourselves into groups and focusing on what makes each group different that we forget the overwhelming amount of things we ALL have in common.
In a way, we forget what makes us, at our core, human.
Take, for example, men and women.
Obviously, men and women are physically different.
Does that mean men are from Mars and women are from Venus?
Nah, I’m pretty sure we’re all from Earth.
But, let’s just pretend that men and women are two different types of creatures from different planets.
Would it be a bad idea for me, as a woman, to make an effort to learn more about this alien race known as “man” for the purpose of empathizing with them, and understanding their perspective on life?
No, that wouldn't be a bad idea, it would be a great one!
Understanding and empathy usually lead to greater knowledge and greater peace between two, seemingly different, people.
I’ve always said I wish every guy had to be a woman for at least a month (and vice versa).
I don’t mean "be a woman" by dressing in drag for a month, but I mean I wish every guy could really, physically become a woman for at least a month only for the purpose of helping him to understand two very important things:
(1) men and women are not as different as society claims we are and
(2) Cramping is soooo NOT FUN!
When we take the opportunity to see the world through another person's eyes, we realize how much we have in common and in realizing that we’re cut from the same cloth (or part of the same “group”) we can’t help but treat them with more respect.
This is why I no longer want to use the term “Chick Lit”.
Is it really so necessary to create labels that point men towards certain books and women towards others?
If knowledge is for everyone, then books should be for everyone.
A man should be able to pick up a novel that is written by a female author, all about a female character without worrying that something is wrong with him for wanting to read it.
There’s nothing wrong with being curious about another human being’s perspective.
In fact, this type of curiosity, coupled with the ability to show empathy is part of what makes being human such a beautiful experience.
So, if I came across a big surly guy sitting in the park reading “The Diary of Bridge Jones” by Helen Fielding or “Behaving Like Adults” by (the awesome!) Anna Maxted, that would make me so happy!
In conclusion, from now on I’m not going to call my crazy little stories “Chick Lit”, I think I’ll just call them “Human Lit” : )
What do you think?