Monday, November 2, 2009

Left Meets Right- Positive Thought and Action

As you may recall from my last entry, The Ant and the Elephant by Vincent Poscente played a large role in my research for my novella. Brio, the wise old owl, taught Adir, the ant, may lessons on being a leader. One of these lessons was as soon as you attach a specific, emotionally-charged thought to a gold dot, you will be sending clear, strong signals to your teammate (page 71)

Four years ago while writing Left Meets Right, I tried to create this principle of teamwork into my story in the form of character traits. On March 5, 2005, I wrote the following in my journal:

I am intrigued with the concept of imagining a gold dot, attaching positive thoughts to it, then sending it to my teammate(s)…does this imply that I am trying to manipulate my teammate into doing things the way I want them done, or does it mean that I am simply bringing my own positive light to the work situation? I guess that would depend upon what my true motivation is for sending a gold dot to anyone. I know that I will be working these antidotes into my story and create my protagonist with an attitude consisting of the above qualities (not all, but most, she can’t be perfect or else the reader will get bored; or, in the case of my presentation, the audience will get bored.)

I find that the gold dot principle is important in all aspects of my writing life as well. Teamwork includes participating in writing groups/clubs, creating conferences, volunteering and bringing my most positive self to the writer’s club meetings. I also see the gold dot as my creative project, whether it be fiction or nonfiction. When I put my own emotion, dedication, creativity, and hard work into my writing, I send the clear message to editors, publishers and readers that I am serious about my craft. I make sure my product is complete and polished before it makes it into the hands of the first reader, publisher or editor.

For anyone who has not read Poscente’s book, I highly recommend it. Along with On Writing by Stephen King and Zen in the Art of Writing by Ray Bradbury. And do not forget to attach positive messages to your creative process. Keep writing!

6 comments:

Jai Joshi said...

Be positive. That's always a great message. Whenever I read your blog I feel motivated to do something positive.

Jai

Susan Littlefield said...

Hi Jai, thank you for your nice words!

wow_jwalters said...

Hi Susan. Thank you for sharing your words of wisdom with us. Great blog--very informative. I would like to ask you a question:

I love to write, but I have no idea which way to go. Do I pursue fiction or nonfiction? Do I write articles, short stories or essays? I have this fear of just writing and hiding my works, which could be hidden for generations. I have various writings (on diskettes, notebooks and folders tucked away) that go far back as 16 years ago. I'd like to continue writing new things and refining my old materials; submit these works; overcome the rejections; improve my writing and eventually publish. Any advice on determining a clear pathway--subject to detours and various turns--will be graciously appreciated.

Thank you Susan for reaching out and inspiring us.

Janet

PS. I work full time in the "real world" too. I'm also reading the books you recommended, On Writing by Stephen King and Zen in the Art of Writing by Ray Bradbury--very powerful reading so far.

Susan Littlefield said...

Hi Janet,

Thank you for visiting my blog! What kinds of things do you like to write? What have you written? What kind of books do you like to read? I can only advise to read, read, read and write what you like to read. Some people write fiction, others nonfiction, some both! I think you just have to find your niche, which comes from experimenting with writing.

I am glad you are reading the two books I recommended. Both King and Bradbury are brilliant and wonderful writers. Their advice is solid.

I know all about have a day job and writing when I'm not working. You know, King was a teacher for many years while writing at night. It can be done, it just takes a lot of perseverance.

Another thing I would recommend is checking your area for Writers Clubs. I joined one about two years ago. Redwood Writers (a branch of the California Writers club) has meetings once a month with speakers who are well established in the writing and publishing business. You also meet other writers and establish some great relationships.

Finally, I would suggest taking that 16 years of writing, work on your pieces until they are the best that you can make them, study the markets and submit. Submit until they are either sold or you have nowhere to submit. Unfortunately, rejection is a part of the writing life. It's just the way it is.

Hang in there and happy writing!

wow_jwalters said...

Great advice. I'm almost done with the Zen book and I'm reading Stephen King's book. His childhood experiences are hilarious!

I will definitely keep reading and writing. Now I feel the need to find a writing group that's a good fit for me. I'd love to take a writers digest class. I've taken them before, but they do require a good chunk of money and I am no longer using credit cards so I need to find something that is more humbly priced if I take the class route. Again any advice on classes and groups are appreciated. I will begin my search via the internet in the meanwhile. Have a great and productive day.

Janet

Susan Littlefield said...

Janet,

I would advise a Live writers club, one that is in your community. I would also suggest www.writersdigest.com and www.editorunleashed.com/forum as starting places. Both are great writing websites.

Good luck!

Hello, Everyone! I am throwing out a reminder to followers of this blog that I have launched a new website which I am now maintaining at w...