Friday, January 18, 2008


I've been tagged by Katie at Finding Boddie. No, we haven't been running through teh intraweb like chickens with our heads cut off. She's passed along another meme called Roar for Powerful Words. This one's about writing and it comes with an award. I get an award!

I'm supposed to:
1. Link back to the person who tagged me (see above)
2. List three things I believe are necessary to make writing good and powerful (see below)
3. Tag five other people via comment (this could be tricky)

Katie doesn't seem to realize that I've been hoping to keep this "writing" blog afloat without getting into the nitty-gritty of writing. Oh well, I'm sure I've learned a thing or two in the past six months.

1. Honesty This is especially important for me since I'm writing my memoir, but I think this translates across all genres. If you try to fake your writing and don't truly understand what it is you want to say, the reader will know. Lucky for you not many readers will know because you most likely won't get your work past the gatekeepers. Keeping true to your story, yourself, your whatever, will add depth and passion to your work. Half-hearted descriptions will come across as flat and as boring to your reader as they are to you.

I sometimes think my memoir is rambling or that I'm digging too deep in the hopes to appear profound, but I've had good responses to those passages. I've been told people will feel connected to me because of how honest I am. Go figure.

2. Awareness This is a rather general term but I mean it in the sense that you can't write about the world if you don't pay it any attention. I'd love to use this as a defense for the hours I waste on gossip blogs, but being aware of trends - be they political, economical, or social - will help your writing. If you stay locked in your room and only read 18th century fiction your writing will suffer.

I worked in advertising for the better part of the past decade and I could not do my job as a designer if I didn't pay attention to the world around me. People watching, eavesdropping (no!), and pointed observations help me understand what things change, and which seem to stay the same.

3. Optimism Some might call this faith, others confidence, but whatever word you prefer, you won't succeed as a writer if you think you suck. Everyone struggles with mental blocks, I've certainly had my share of days when I can't believe I think my words will entertain anyone, but giving up will not help you improve.

I happily follow the advice to let myself write crap because I know something good will come of it. When I was knee-deep in my manuscript I discovered that when I had a day where I hated everything I wrote, the next day was generally better. I rarely had two awful days in a row. That realization alone kept me going on the bad days because I knew if I could just force myself to write my 1000 words I'd get the crap out of my system and tomorrow there'd be gold. Or at least some tarnished copper.

Phew, that wasn't as hard as I expected. Now for step three. Katie has already taken a few of the people I know so I apologize if I pick you and you don't want to play. Jenna and Janna should know they're on my list. Next is Soccer Mom and Turkey. Last, but never least, is Ms. Mullis.

Thanks for playing! Here's my award.

Roar Award


Mary B said...

You sneaky tagger! Now I have to find an appropriate kitteh to go with meme.


Kate Boddie said...

See, that wasn't so hard, was it? But we both tagged Amy!

Melanie Avila said...

Yeah, I realized that after I posted it. Obviously I paid close attention to yours. ;)

I told her she could do it once and consider it done.