15 August 2017

Guest post: Writing From Your Subconscious Mind by Michael Sussman

A little over a year ago, I read a partial manuscript that burrowed deep into my brain and set my mind on fire. For days I thought and dreamed about it, and every time I told someone about the book, this fire re-ignited, fueling my speech and gestures and turning me into a version of myself that my closest friends and relatives hardly recognized - I was that excited. This book resonated deeply with me and felt important. It contained a narrative whose underlying message was near and dear to my heart, presented with lit geeky humor and a transparent prose style that I love. I believe a large part of why the book resonated so deeply with me was because the author set out to let his subconscious guide the writing process. And when the manuscript found its way to me, our work consisted largely of naming what had come out of that process and identifying where the gaps in the narrative were. A reverse outline, if you will. That book was Incognolio by Michael Sussman, which I am THRILLED to say is now available on Amazon. I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys funny surrealist literature or lit geekery, and/or who is on a path to reunite the pieces of themselves. You'll find info on where to find the book at the end of this post. And now, I am most pleased to welcome Michael to the blog to talk about his method of writing from the subconscious mind.

Writing From Your Subconscious Mind
by Michael Sussman

One way to approach writing fiction is to let your subconscious mind lead the way.

This is not to denigrate the conscious mind. It is a critical component of the writing process, especially once you’ve completed a first draft and must begin reworking and polishing your manuscript.

11 June 2017

ShoreIndie Editing Specials

As a thank-you to all the authors in the ShoreIndie community for your enthusiasm and support of this contest in its first year,  I'm offering the following editing specials to those who book before June 30, 2017 (actual editing dates may fall later).

For the entire ShoreIndie community

If you submitted to contest or are participating in the #ShoreIndie conversations on Twitter you are eligible to take advantage of these offers.

ShoreIndie Full MS + Query Critique - 10% off
Designed for those who are ready to take their novel (40K+ words) to the next level, this package includes developmental feedback on your full ms at a discounted rate of $0.008 USD per word. Feedback will be tailored to your project's needs and may include a focus on hook, audience, word count, world building, character development, point(s) of view, internal & external conflict, narrative arc, theme(s), and/or overall structure. Includes:
  • Edit letter summarizing the developmental feedback (min. 5 pages)
  • 60-minute voice or video chat to discuss the feedback
  • 1-pass blurb critique

23 April 2017

Interview with D Gilman Wakeli

Happy book birthday to How to NOT Write a Book, a nonfiction book about the myriad ways we create obstacles between our creative imaginations and the page! I'm thrilled to welcome the author, D Gilman Wakeli, back to the blog today for an interview about the book and her writing process.

Congratulations on publishing your first book! Tell us about that intriguing title: Why a book about *not* writing? 
I’d studied a lot—an entire universe full of a lot—about *how to* write. But *not* writing was the truth of my writing experience. Not writing wasn’t the defining fact about me, thank goodness, or I wouldn’t be here. But I had unknowingly created a cluster of mis-perceptions about myself and writing that lived inside me as unappeasable ghosts, and left me struggling and over-thinking and not writing. I was tired of trying to figure out how to write. Tired of mentally struggling to make words up then pressure them onto a page only to later destroy them or leave them abandoned. I had lost the ability to write simply, with purpose and intent. When I determined to write again, I had a growing sense of how those internal perceptions operated inside me and manipulated me into not writing. But no matter how distorted my perceptions were, my experience of not writing was honest. It came as a wonderful surprise, a paradox really, that when I started exploring everything I was doing to not write, words came, and in a purposeful way, a way they hadn’t come before, and I wrote those words down. I took those purposeful words as a sign that this was it. Ether write this idea about not writing all the way to the end, or STFU already.

19 April 2017

Guest post: On Worms and Butterflies by D Gilman Wakeli

Today I'm ecstatic to welcome my friend and fellow author D Gilman Wakeli to the blog to talk about one of the barriers to creative work that she explores in her first book, the forthcoming How to NOT Write a Book, in which she explores the deep-seated reasons we don't begin - and don't finish - writing.

On Worms and Butterflies 
by D Gilman Wakeli

Why do we refuse to finish our work? Why do we refuse transformation?

During the many times I left work unfinished, I thought of many logical, rational sounding reasons, many things to blame. But I could never find that one right reason that, if I could fix, would solve the problem. I never found a logical reason because I don’t believe the answer is logical or reasonable.

16 January 2017

Lessons in Vulnerability

In preparing for a reading I'm giving next weekend, I came across a piece I wrote in 2012 for a creative nonfiction class. It's probably the most honest thing I've ever written, and therefore the most frightening thing I've ever written. I'm choosing to share it here because I think some of you will be able to relate.

Lessons in Vulnerability

I’ve been looking forward to this class for months. Looking forward to the opportunity to be safe, to be vulnerable, to establish a regular writing practice, to have a reason to write. But on the first day I close up, wall myself off. I’m not even aware of it until a classmate tries to start a conversation with me during break. She is only showing interest in me as a person, asking questions about my life and background. But I watch myself as I sit back in my chair with my arms crossed tightly over my chest and give short, unrevealing answers. I watch myself play defensive guardian of my heart and can do nothing to stop it. Don’t know how to stop it.

And it is too late anyway; I already love them all. In the way that bell hooks defines love: as an act, as a commitment to mutual physical, spiritual and emotional well-being. I already love them all. My fear is that they won’t love me back.