26 Words Every Writer Needs: Z #atozchallenge

Hooray! We did it! Scheduling sometimes required a double-dip a few times, but we made it all the way to Z, and that’s worth popping a cork and sitting back in the glow.

Writing that resonates, those stories that are truly memorable for the feelings they evoke, usually share something in common. As far as I’m concerned, they are:

1. of or pertaining to life

I think as writers, something we are all trying to do is connect with a reader. Whether you want to scare the bajeezus out of them, take them on a fantastic journey, teach a lesson, or share a truth… your writing will likely be able to resonate most memorably because it is zoetic–because it struck a chord with your reader.

When I think back to the books that landed on my favorites list, I see stories of revenge, epic fantasies about good versus evil, justice, hilarious comedies, and lots and lots of thrills. These stories are part of my personal reader-heart because they moved me in a way that I could relate to. Because they had something inside them that I had inside me at that time… some universal something that rang true. To me, they are zoetic.

Bonus Z words for writers: zeal, zest, zzzzz

Do you agree that zoetic writing is the stuff that stays with us?

Thank you for joining me for this month of posts for the 2014 A-to-Z Challenge!

26 Words Every Writer Needs: Y #atozchallenge

Almost home, people. As we get to the seldom-used letters at the end of the alphabet, I find myself unwilling to pick the low-hanging dictionary fruit. And despite the little list I’ve gathered of unique Y words, I can’t help but stick with my first choice. A plain and small, and hopeful word:

1. up until the present or a specified or implied time; by now or then.

I just got back from a trip to Massachusetts where I was able to attend the Newburyport Literary Festival and meet many authors. Over the course of the various talks and interviews, I was struck how often these writers shared how long it took.

How long it took to write their book, how long it took to publish, how long it took to achieve whatever it was they were talking about. And this left me feeling rather hopeful.

I don’t know about you, but for me, there seems to be this constant sense of urgency related to getting my books out there and published and read. There is a sense that I started late, or that I have missed some window of opportunity on this journey related to my own timing of it all. Crazypants? I don’t know.

But a part of me feels differently about that today. The impatience will always be there, I think. I’ve had this dream for so long. But the overwhelming pressure I’ve put on myself seems to have drifted away for now after hearing so many times that it is a universal thing, the waiting. And it seems that while timing is everything, you can’t manufacture perfect timing with intention. It’s a fabulous change.

And so… I am feeling rather good about that tiny word. I’ll get there. I just haven’t gotten there yet.

Bonus Y words for writers: yes, yummy (for the snacks!)

Do you struggle with this sense of urgency around your writing goals?

26 Words Every Writer Needs: X #atozchallenge

26 Words Every Writer Needs: X #atozchallenge
No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted. 

This one took some digging, but I finally found an X word that feels right for this year’s theme of words that writers need.  In this case, it is something that writers need to be. And that is:

1. something – such as a person, place or software application — that is friendly to strangers.

This one, like many other words I have focused on this month, seem to come back to the theme I have built over this month of writers being good citizens of the world. Whether you intend to take your work public with the goal of commercial success or prefer to keep your work to share in your small circle, I believe it can only serve you to be xenodochial.

I believe this applies equally well to writers in critique groups, anyone writing book reviews, or those who spend time on social media. This isn’t to say that you should bend and do whatever it takes to agree with everyone and never ruffle feathers… that isn’t realistic. But I do believe that it is possible to be true to yourself, and be authentic in the world, and still be kind.

I’ve been traveling and so I am behind on responding to comments and visiting your blogs. I’ll be there soon. :)


Bonus words for writers: yeah… I’m stumped on X

26 Words Every Writer Needs: W #atozchallenge

26 Words Every Writer Needs: W #atozchallenge

Oh friends, we’re almost to the end! And today’s all about W and one of the best words there is:

1. noun: a feeling of surprise mingled with admiration, caused by something beautiful, unexpected, unfamiliar, or inexplicable
2. verb: desire or be curious to know something.
3. verb: feel admiration and amazement; marvel

Ah…. wonder. There are so many funny memes out there which talk about writers and how we are not like other people. While many of them ring true, I find that most of the truisms that apply to writers can be applied equally to most anyone who spends their time in a creative pursuit.

Writing requires a mindset of openness and receptiveness, and to get there you need to wonder. Go on wonder-walks to reconnect with nature and settle down, or untie story knots with your steps. Wonder-wading is also rather special… what is it about water and its ability to kick-start the creative process? Both of these things are especially useful while you’re wonder-waiting for responses to submissions.

Many people think that the state of wonder if something that only a child can achieve. But I say that it just might be that creative people have found a way to maintain that wonder as they grew up. Maybe that’s what makes “us” different?

Another WONDER that every writer needs:

Seriously… omg the FEELS! 

Are you tapping into your wonder? I find my pinterest a great place to harness images that help me wonder…

26 Words Every Writer Needs: V #atozchallenge

It’s V day! And that means it’s time to talk about something near and dear to my heart:

1. to engage in passive relaxation

source: google

This is kind of like my Q post from the other day, except this is resting for the sake of resting. Not ulterior motive here. Sometimes napping just won’t cut it. You know when you’re feeling like your brain has turned to jelly but you only have a little while until the next thing has to happen and taking a nap will make you into a brain-dead zombified version of yourself?  This is when you need to just veg out.

It’s a very scientific term. And a truly complicated exercise. Here’s the steps:

1. stop moving.

There you go. You could add 2. get prone or 3. put feet up or do what I do and 4. turn on the electric blanket. But these are unnecessary to the main objective of totally relaxing. Breathe in, breathe out… let the mind shut off a bit. This is another one that’s hard for me because if I sit still I will fall asleep almost always. So, if you’re like me, set your timer just in case!

Bonus V words for writers: venturesome, verify, vernacular

Do you make resting a part of your writerly duties?