Plain and simple guidance from Nora Roberts. She doesn't mince words and I love it! This is going up on the wall in my home office space. Writers know this is true advice, but I think it's important to have it in full view at all times.
"Someone asked me once, in a Q&A what three pieces of advice I had for other writers. Here they are:
Stop making excuses and write.
Stop whining and write.
Stop fucking around and write."
In my dream last night I was a Japanese female who was in love with a Japanese male. We were both involved in an all-encompassing virtual world where you could do or be anything you wanted. Except in that world, he fell in love with an avatar, fell out of love with me, and began to ignore me. That part was sad!
On one hand, my heart was broken. On the other hand, the virtual world we lived in was AMAZING and it was the first time I had ever been somebody else so different (and so interesting) from my real-life self in a dream.
Though the dream was sad, it was also pretty damned amazing overall. I'd love to go back into that dream and live that life again, even though I'd have to dump my old boyfriend and find a new one (which, given how pretty I was in the dream, probably wouldn't be an issue).
I feel sorry for people who never remember their dreams. What incredible journeys I've taken while asleep! If only they were real...
Funny the things you remember for no apparent reason. In 5th grade, I lived in Radcliff, Kentucky. My ex-stepfather (also known as the devil) was stationed at Fort Knox. I attended an elementary school in Radcliff. Because I was a military brat,
we moved a lot and I ended up changing schools frequently. As a result, I met countless interesting and/or weird people.
One day I was on the playground with a bunch of other girls. None of them were friends, but instead, they were classmates hanging out and talking about silly stuff, as kids that age often do.
There was one girl who had shoulder-length, white blonde hair. All natural. She was what my mom called a 'towhead.' She had pale skin, too. I think her name was Kim, but I knew so many girls named Kim back in those days that it may not have been her name.
We were gathered in a circle, talking about spooky stuff – ghosts and the like – and she told us that, every now and then, she zoned out and entered into a trace, staring at nothing and not speaking or anything.
Of course, on some level, you figure it's a load of bullshit and she's likely making it up to scare us. But when you're sharing stories about weird and scary stuff, who cares? The goal is to terrify the piss out of everyone, including yourself.
We're all out there as a group of awkward elementary school girls, telling stories, laughing, and whatever else for a while. Then, out of the blue, Kim freezes. Her eyes stare forward. She's transfixed on something, though there wasn't anything interesting in front her. Nothing but a worn blacktop playground/basketball court and a bleak landscape, punctuated by the echoes of kids laughing and playing in the background. We tried to talk to her, but she was planted firmly to the ground, her skinny legs stalk straight and unmoving. She rarely blinked. She continued to stare at nothing.
A few minutes passed before she emerged from her alleged trance. Then, all of a sudden, she was back in the midst of the conversation, acting like she didn't know what we meant when we told her she'd zoned out. A couple girls shook her and asked, "Are you okay?" I didn't touch her, though.
Now, chances are it was fake and nothing but an act designed to creep us out. Kids do silly shit and play mind games like that. But still, with her near-white hair, pale skin, and staring icy-blue eyes, she was fucking creepy as hell. Bullshitting or not, she had the act down pat.
Not sure what happened to Kim (or whatever her name was), but maybe she grew up to be an actor and starred in horror movies or something. If she didn't, that girl missed her calling. Even today, decades later, I recall the blank, spooky expression on her face while her rigid body stood there, frozen, as she peered out into another world we obviously couldn't see. I still get chills over it.
Wonder where she is today?
Does she still live in Kentucky?
Is she still alive?
Does she remember that day on the playground?
Was she pulling our legs, or was it real?
My imagination wants to believe the latter, but my mind knows better.
Last night, as I battled another rough bout of insomnia and my mind wandered, I remembered that odd moment on the playground. And I shivered.
It's nearly May. As of next month, I will mark 21 years as a professional writer and editorial service provider. It's my life's work and always will be.
These days, I'm focusing on my own writing after spending a great number of years editing mostly other people's writing. I enjoy working with other scribes; however, I made a promise to myself the end of last year that, in 2018, I would devote most of my energy to writing for myself – not just for pay, but for personal gratification as well. It's a gift to myself, and I damn well deserve it.
I've always found solace in words. They're an unending source of comfort, they're my truest love, and they're an unquestionable rock of stability providing strength throughout my life, regardless of the trials or tribulations I've slogged through. From a young age, words were always there for me. They've never abandoned me, and they never will.
Wherever I go, words are with me. Inside of me. Living, breathing, and blooming from my heart and soul. If you read my words, you will know who I am, just as you will know any other writer/author from his or her words.
To delve into the psychology of any writer, read their poems, stories, articles, or books. Doesn't matter if the work is fiction or nonfiction. They all leave clues about their creator if you investigate deep enough.
My adopted father, Leo C. Walton, Sr., taught me the love of words and books from the time I was a wee girl. I had a beloved Dandelion Library, and he read to me every night. This is why I use Bev Walton-Porter as my primary author name. I made the decision to honor my father because, had he not taught me to be an avid reader, I'm not sure I would've had the curiosity or courage to become a professional author, freelance writer, and editorial service provider.
Many of the friends I have today started out as editing clients or students in my online courses many years ago. My life has been enriched by every single one of them. Turns out, I've learned more from them than they ever learned from me!
Why am I posting this? I'm not sure. Except that I feel gratitude toward the many people who've supported and encouraged me throughout the past 21 years. Even if it's in a seemingly insignificant way.
Nothing is insignificant when it comes to people and relationships, even if the connection is as slight and delicate as a gossamer thread spun by a random arachnid. For good or ill, every interaction leaves an imprint on your life and affects you in some way, whether you choose to acknowledge it or not.
So, as much as I claim to be a misanthrope, without people – and especially loved ones – there would be no Bev Walton-Porter. Or books, or writing, or publishing, or creation of anything.
For whatever it's worth, THANK YOU ALL for being my family, being my friends, being my enemies, being supporters/encouragers, being readers, being PRESENT in my life at some point, however peripheral it may seem.
Finally, thanks to all of those who DIDN'T believe in me way back in May 1997 when I took the first steps toward becoming a professional writer, author, and editorial service provider. Your cynicism and doubt helped motivate me, acting as powerful fuel over the past 21 years. I like to give credit where credit is due, after all. 😉