Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Looking Back

I know I made a post earlier about looking back on things that I wrote years ago and wincing, but let me take a moment to talk about the bright side of taking another look at your work.

So, story time. (There's always a story, isn't there?)

Right now, we're living in my parent's guest room. It's a little bit cramped and a lot not-at-all-private, but it's nice being with my family and having no rent to pay so that we can afford to buy our condo in just three weeks.

*sidenote: Three weeks. Oh gosh.

Anyway, point is, this means I have access to the desktop that has literally lived in our house since I was in middle school.

This is where teenage me wrote fanfiction and made music videos.

Needless to say, it is a treasure trove of awful awesomeness.

But it was interesting, because rewatching all of the music videos that I'd made was nostalgic. It was fun. I could go through and point out parts where I could say, "Oh, look, here I was experimenting with faster clips." Or "Here I was experimenting with transitions."

It was documentation of my learning process.

And then I realized: Why don't I do that with my writing?

Why don't I look back on my writing from years ago and say things like, "Oh, look, here I am discovering dialogue tags" or "Here I am discovering pacing" or "Here I am discovering how not to overload my readers with emotions" or "Here I am in my super-fast-paced phase"?

I'm going to make a conscious effort from now on to view my writing that way. Not as an embarrassment but a measure of how much I've grown . . . and what I learned on the journey. 

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Fresh Eyes

It's so, so, so important to get someone else to read your stuff.

I don't think I have enough "so"s there. 

I'm absolutely serious, though. You need someone to read your stuff. 

You need someone to buoy you up when you think your writing has gone off the deep end and it's so awful and I can't believe how dramatic my internal monologing sounds.

You need someone to sit you down and tell you that your writing isn't as great as you think it is and by the way your main character isn't nearly as interesting as your minor characters, so you should fix that.

Sometimes, the same person can do both of those things.

Other times, it's you that has to be the voice of reason and draw your improvements from sideways comments. Y'know, like noticing that all the compliments are for one character and not the other.

Point being, Michael's about to get a huge upgrade. He apparently needs more . . . pizzazz.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Being a Home Owner

It's really, really weird to go from being a college kid to being the wife of a student to being a home owner (AKA an adult).

Yeah, totally not ready to be an adult. Nuh-uh.

But when you start looking at the housing prices in Georgia, and you realize that, hey, if we can get enough money for a down payment, we could pay less per month and own rather than rent . . . yeah, that's when you start doing crazy things like getting a realtor and talking to a banker and oh my gosh make it stop I want to be five, not fifty!

Anyway, Matt and I started out looking for places to rent when I casually mentioned the idea of buying to my mother.And I swear, this woman has a friend for every occasion, because as soon as I brought it up, she had a realtor friend of hers on the phone, and the next thing I know, I'm talking over my finances with a guy whose last name, I kid you not, is Stark.

Yes, Mister Stark did my finanaces. And if you don't think I made a hundred Tony Stark and His Money references, then you do not know me well enough.

Next thing I know, we're approved for a loan, and I'm looking at places to live. No houses (at least none in the area we wanted to live), but we found some nice condos and townhouses. And literally, the very first one that we went to, we fell in love with. 

We went back the next day to show Matt (we being, in this case, me and my mom), he loved it, we sent out an offer, and now I'm sitting on my bed with a million manilla folders sorting financial data and all kinds of crazy bank balancing stuff because we're getting a mortgage.

On the one hand, I'm super excited, because this means I can paint all over the place and fix everything up just the way I want it to be.

On the other hand: Who let me adult??