Archive for blogging

Kick self-doubt in the balls

Posted in Ramblings, writing with tags , , , , on 21/04/2016 by molliemoogle

Another writing practice from The Write Practice: Out of 7 lies writers tell themselves, take one that bothers you and write about it for 15 minutes.

Lie #4: Even if you try your best, you’ll never write as well as/be successful as [insert author name here].

kick fear

Found this gem on pinterest. So much truth.

Even before I got into the writing game, I was a reader. A voracious reader. Once I get going, I can finish one book and pick up the next and the one after that and five books later, I’ve finished my binge and can return to normal life for a couple of days. Lather, rinse, repeat about 3-4 times per month.

Except, when I started writing, I would look at a sentence and think “this isn’t like [insert name here]; it’s crap”. And I’d do that all the time: “My writing isn’t like Stephen King’s, or Christine Feehan, or Cherise Sinclair. I won’t be the next Neil Gaiman or Terry Pratchett; why do I even bother?”

Self-doubt serves no one. Those authors started out the same as me. Putting one word in front of the other, looking ahead and telling themselves they couldn’t do it. They couldn’t write like William Faulkner or Hemmingway. But, they’ve written some of my favourite books and found their unique author voice.

At some point, we all had to learn how to write.

Some have just been doing it for a lot longer than me and by now, they should be good at it.

I tell my karate students that I started out not knowing a front punch from a reverse punch, or even what an axe kick was, and now I’m the one teaching them what it is. You have to start from white belt to get to black belt.

I know I’ll never write like Cherise Sinclair or Stephen King. I’m not them. I’m me. I will write what I want, how I want, when I want, and with help and guidance, I’ll be a good author, maybe even a ten-years-in-the-making bestselling author.

But, in the meantime, I’ve learned that to kick self-doubt to the curb, I had to have passion for what I did. Passion is having a very strong feeling about a person or a thing, an intense emotion, a compelling enthusiasm or desire for something. I was (maybe still am) lucky to have a fantastic mentor who taught me about passion: have the spirit, find a way, concentrate on what you want, be determined, and form guiding principles to get there. All that will lead to your own path.

Telling yourself that you’ll never be [insert writer here] deflates that passion.

This is probably one of the most destructive lies that writers can tell themselves. And given that I believe I’m a strong, independent person who’s fairly self-aware, I’m rather surprised that this continues to pop into my head. I cannot compare my first draft of anything to someone’s finished product. I’m not a fraud; I’m not an imposter. I’m me. I have my own way that I’ve forged myself. It’s like coming to the end of a road and being told “you can go your own way now”. Once you’ve developed your fundamentals and understand how to apply them, you can make your own path, say things with your own voice, and write just as well as Faulkner or Hemmingway or Cherise Sinclair.

Observations from Waitangi Day

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , on 08/02/2016 by molliemoogle

That time of year has rolled around again: Waitangi Day (well, it was actually 2 days ago).  The national holiday of New Zealand when the Treaty of Waitangi was signed giving the British sovereignty over New Zealand.  There’s been a lot of debate over the treaty in recent years, mainly over who owns what, and the meanings of several words, as they mean totally different things in Maori and in English.

In the simplest terms (in my opinion anyway), it’s like calling a lion a “cat”; kind of, but not really.  There’s a huge difference between a cat and a lion.  “Property” in English is sort of like “taonga” in Maori, but there’s still a big difference in what actually encompasses “property” vs “taonga”.

I’d like to think that Queen Victoria was a bit progressive and, living in the age that she did (one of strict codes of conduct), wanted to do right by the Maori.  Unfortunately, the language barriers and literacy barriers (Maori is an oral language, not a written one) came together to produce a perfect storm of miscommunication (to put it mildly).

How do I feel about the holiday?  I’m in two minds.  Let me explain.

I’m an American by birth, so our national holiday, July 4, is filled to the brim with what can only be described as rabid patriotism.  Large red, white, and blue explosions happen all over the country; patriotic songs about America being the land of the free, the home of the brave, and the cradle of opportunity and dreams.  It’s the bestest ever place in the whole wide world.  Fireworks light up the skies.  Veterans and active service members are practically mobbed in the streets and treated like rock stars.  If the Earth is an oyster, America and her opportunities are the pearl.  BBQs, picnics, free concerts, people shouting “God Bless America!” at every opportunity.  It’s freaky in a good and a weird sense.

America also screwed over a number of Indigenous American tribes before, during, and after the divine mandate of Manifest Destiny.  Trail of Tears and the Indian Removal Act.  Diseases from Europe.  Policies of discrimination.  Removal of culture and land.  The Phips Proclamation in 1775.  American committed cultural genocide.

It’s kind of the same here, except without the rabid patriotism.  Let me say this: it’s awesome being a Kiwi.  We have amazing sports teams (the All Blacks for starters), we’re nuclear-free, there’s a beach within 120km of anywhere, Pineapple Lumps, Jelly-Tips, no crocs or poisonous anything, beautiful scenery, and a can-do No 8 wire mentality.  The Treaty established a British colony in New Zealand which allowed the Kiwi lifestyle to flourish, but at the same time, misinterpretation and miscommunication has caused a number of protests over the years saying that the British/the Crown has screwed over the Maori.

Here’s why I’m in two minds about celebrating any kind of national holiday:

1- I’m proud of my heritage as a Kiwi (I don’t self-identify as an American).

2- But, I can’t forget who and what that heritage is built on.

The Silence Between Words

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , on 06/02/2016 by molliemoogle

silence

This is new for me, so please, be gentle.

I started this blog about 2 years ago, but only recently realised I still had it and I remembered my password (which, in itself, is a bonus).

So… who am I and why am I doing this, and, more importantly, what in the hell am I going to blog about?

To start off with, I’m Mollie, a reformed “transformative fiction” writer- that is, I wrote fanfic.  Oh yes, it’s how we all get started.  Well, some of us anyway.  Now, I write within a few genres, romance being my favourite.  No, I haven’t published anything.  I’m working on it.  I love eating, cats, and baking– please note the use of the Oxford comma (I’m not a monster).  I’m married to +1, the absolute love of my life and my best mate, and I happen to live in the most beautiful place on Earth- New Zealand.

Question 2: Why do this?  Mostly to get my thoughts down, ones that aren’t sitting in the realms of fiction (or, as Kiwis say, “fuction”, because Is sounds like Us and Es sound like Is– the word ‘deck’ has a whole new meaning in New Zealand), but I think this is also a place where I can gather information and condense it into an enjoyable format.  I’d like to put up some of the short stories I write, maybe a few chapters of longer works, and share insights I find interesting.

And thirdly, what will I be blogging about?  Writing, for one.  As a newer and more serious writer than I have been, I want to blog abotu some of the trials and tribulations of writing, things I’ve learned, share what I’ve written, let you know where to find it (because I’m forever hopeful that someone will like what I’ve written), and basically stumble around the realm of fiction writing trying to find treasure.

I might also blog about various things that happen to me in my line of work (there’s plenty of that), post photos (I’m a very amateur [and immature] photographer), and plug authors and books that I happen to think need plugging.

Want to contact me?  I’m a bit shy about people emailing me.  But, comments are welcome.  Critiques are welcome.  Flames will be used to toast some marshmallows, or make homemade Nutella.

Oh good Lord… homemade Nutella is the duck’s nuts.