If You Want to Write: Wrap Up

We’ve reached the end of the If You Want to Write series. For a small book, there’s a lot to discuss and learn, and hopefully, we’ll become better writers from it. Not better in terms of quality, but better in the sense that we are more true to ourselves.

In the final chapter, Ueland lists 12 things we should keep in mind while writing. I picked my favorite five:

1. Know you are talented, original, and have something important to say.
Many of us struggle with this. We doubt ourselves and our abilities, but if we work hard and stick with it, there’s no limit to what we can do.

2. Work is good.
People tell me I’m crazy because I enjoy working. I’m not a workaholic; I know when to take a break, but I do enjoy working. It always pays off one way or another, and it beats watching TV all the time. Also, we should love what we do, and if not, we need to change something. We spend too much time working to hate it.

3. Don’t be afraid of writing bad stories.
I love this advice. Ueland says in order to know what’s wrong with a story, write two or three more and go back to the first. “Good” writers learn from their mistakes and work to fix them. And it doesn’t matter if people like it – write for you.

4. Don’t be afraid of yourself.
We all have demons, baggage, hang-ups, whatever. We all get in our own heads and may be afraid of what we’ll find if we open up. People may judge us. None of it matters. Be whoever you want to be, and let those emotions pour out. At the very least, you’ll feel better.

5. Don’t compare yourself to others.
Ueland says because we are all unique, we are incomparable. We should not criticize because they do not write like we do. We should not question ourselves because someone is better. We should stay true to ourselves and our art.

If You Want to Write: A Book About Art, Independence, and Spirit digs deep into the emotion it takes to write passionately. Ueland encourages us to write with honesty and love ourselves. With that, here is a poem I dug up. Can you guess what it’s about? :)

My eyes burn, heavy lids
eyelashes itch, dry skin peels.
Muscles ache, hunched
wrinkled hands, cracked.
Jaws clinched, I bite
my lower lip.
The day is done,
what do I do?
Complain about the day’s past.
A line appears across my forehead,
but what’s the point?
Another day gone by,
another eight hours done.
What is the point?

If you haven’t bought the book, check it out, and I look forward to hearing your thoughts. May it inspire all artists!

Lindsey Stirling in Nashville: The Follow Up

Lindsey Stirling played Music City on June 28, and I had the pleasure of seeing for the second time. The first show was great, but she has definitely grown and learned from her strengths and experiences.

Seeing the evolution in her performance from year to year is one of the coolest things I’ve ever witnessed. In 2013, she played the small Cannery Ballroom, which fits about 500 people standing. This year, she played the historic Ryman Theater, which seats more than 2,300.

Show highlights:

1. Set list. She recently released her second album, so she has plenty to pick from. At the first show, she played nearly her whole album. This year, she played for 2.5 hours and had a great mix of new, fan favs, and new songs.

2. Higher attendance. Last year, my RevPub partner and I went. This year, I had to buy six tickets! They were more expensive too. It’s a great example of an up-and-coming artist really making a name for herself. It was my oldest brother’s first concert too, and he’s 26 years old. In another year, she will sell out an even larger venue.

3. Lights and screens. I was impressed with the light show. Every song was different and complemented her playing well. My favorite was the little 8-bit Link that ran along the screen during Zelda Medley.

4. Dancers. Lindsey has a great pair of back-up dancers, but last year there was no room for them. The Ryman’s stage allowed them to dance, play, and have a dance-off during her breaks. They tossed her around and picked her up, all while she never missed a note on the violin.

5. The band. She has a live keyboardist and drummer on stage at all times. This improves sound quality beyond the normal noise that dubstep can sometimes project. I could tell the group really cares for one another, and it was very much like a family. You don’t see that closeness often, especially in bands, because of ego and entitlement issues.

6. A personal view. At one point, Lindsey played a photo slideshow of her growing up. Not only can you hear her emotions and experience in her playing, but you could see that at an early age she loved to play and dance. A lot of performers fill in break time with random messages or images, but Lindsey wants you to know her. I’ve never seen an artist open up on stage the way she did.

If you never seen her, you should. I’ll let this video speak for itself :)

Video by pixiegirl2426

Whoever vs. Whomever

GrammarTips

Whoever vs. whomever isn’t commonly used, but every now and then it comes up. Just this past week I had a lovely coworker ask me this rule. It takes a little thinking, but if you can remember him and he, you can remember which one to use.

Common Terms Used in This Post:
Pronoun: A word that takes the place of a noun. Eg: He, she, it, I, me

You’ll need to think about the sentence and replace the pronoun with either him or he:

Whoever: him + he

Pick [whoever/whomever] volunteers first.
Pick him. He volunteered first.

Whomever: him + him

We will visit [whoever/whomever] you recommend.
We will visit him. You recommend him.

I know it feels a little weird, but never fear! There’s a great quiz, so you can practice as much as you like. Of course, you can always cheat and just reword the sentence – which I also suggested to my coworker.

The Cheat

Please let me know [whoever/whomever] is the correct source to contact for the article.
To avoid usage: Please give me the most appropriate contact for the article. Who should I contact for the story?

No matter what you choose and as long as its correct, your readers will appreciate the accuracy. And if you’re ever in doubt, look it up or ask someone. It only takes a minute. Happy writing, everyone!

Source: The Blue Book of Grammar and Punctuation, my brain