It is a difficult time to be a human in the world right now.
Not insurmountable, but there are challenges. Aside from a sweeping global pandemic virus that currently has no cure, there is the social distancing and isolation, abrupt changes to schedules and lifestyles, fear for health and financial futures, worry about family and friends … the list goes on and on and could really be an entire piece in and of itself.
But you know the circumstances of your current existence, and probably don’t need me rehashing them for your mind to start spinning on.
Instead, we’re going to talk a bit about the reality of writing and creating in times of uncertainty and chaos, why it is important, how entirely impossible it can seem, and how you can overcome that.Continue reading
I was one of those kids who had to stay inside to practice the piano, who got to take time off from school for competitions, and took music theory exams on my own time.
Was I always thrilled to be doing this? Nope! But am I glad I did? Absolutely.
It wasn’t until my love-hate relationship with playing instruments settled firmly on “love” that I realized that having studied music for years taught me some valuable life lessons, including ones that can be applied to my writing.
This is what I learned about writing from studying music.Continue reading
It can be difficult enough to find ample time to write between work, chores, exercise, and a million other little things that take up my day. Studying a second language on top of all these things only makes it more difficult.
For a little background, I moved from the U.K. to Finland in 2014 so my husband could study for a master’s degree in his home country. Since then, I have been studying the Finnish language on a near-daily basis in hopes of eventually gaining citizenship.
My only previous experience with foreign languages is obligatory French classes in school over 10 years ago, so it has been a real challenge to take on one of the more difficult European languages. I once heard somebody describe Finnish as “drunken elvish,” which is an accurate description. For instance, the Finnish phrase for “goodnight” is “hyvää yö,” which is pronounced as “hoover ooh-oh,” and difficult for me to get out.
Being a professional writer has only made it harder, since the English language is such an important part of my job. It can be incredibly jarring to go from writing in English to learning how an entirely different language works.
Although my studies have reduced the amount of time I would ideally like to spend writing each day, and it is a challenge to try and perfect two entirely different languages at the same time, in some ways it has been a surprising benefit to my writing. I’ve also noticed that many of the rules of language learning can also be applied to writing.
Review. Criticism. Feedback. Three words that scare many writers. It’s arguably human nature to feel alarmed when someone points out mistakes and shortcomings. Most of us learn to cope with criticism.
But how many authors realize that writing a review can actually help their own writing?
I have worked with countless reviews as a writer-reader—the two are a bit like the concept of space-time; two facets of the same underlying reality. In other words, I have written reviews for others, and I have read reviews written by other authors.
As a result, I have realized that writing reviews can be an enlightening experience.