Monday Musings with Rachelle
He who is devoid of the power to forgive is devoid of the power to love.
–Martin Luther King Jr.
Today I’m giving you a writing quote from Dave Farland. I signed up to receive his “Daily Kick in the Pants” email newsletter almost two years ago and he is an amazing writer and teacher.
In speaking about the complexity of getting your novel the right length so that it is appealing to your publisher, booksellers, AND your audience, Dave said:
“What is an author to do?
There may be a compromise. Instead of writing massive tomes, working on endless descriptions, what if you instead wrote more “deeply”? What if you spent time considering how your setting would affect your characters, changing the way that they acted, felt, thought, and spoke? Could you immerse your reader into your fictive universe more deeply by making it a goal to do so in every paragraph, every sentence?
Think of your story as a chocolate cake. One way to sate the appetite of a fan might be to make a HUGE cake. But instead of making your cake larger, could you make it richer and more delicious?
Think about that today, as you work on your latest work, whatever it may be.”
Visit Rachelle’s For Writers Page to find more resources HERE
We’re all different with varied interests, but no matter what our job or our interests, we use social skills every day. I hope some of these tips will help you to enjoy life even more, because nearly everything we do in life has some aspect of social abilities intertwined.
Here’s 10 tips for being a successful socialite.
1. Be a great conversationalist. Don’t just talk about yourself, ask questions about others too. When you’re bursting to share a story or news, remember not to interrupt. Americans interrupt a lot with people we’re comfortable with and generally when we’re excited about our conversation, the volume gets louder and louder. In fact, when I traveled to England for a study abroad, the teachers reminded us not to talk too loud.
2. Be an attentive listener. This means really listening to what the person is saying instead of thinking about what you are going to say next. Remember to be polite and take time to acknowledge and digest what the person has said.
3. Find common ground to discuss. Once in a while, we all have to spend a little time talking with someone who we may think we have nothing in common with or maybe the person always talks about the same thing (which might be something we have absolutely no interest in). We can either begrudge this opportunity or we can find something to discuss. I love to read and what I’ve noticed is that even if someone is not an avid reader, they can still take part in a discussion on a favorite book they have read or how a work of literature has impacted them. Try it sometime, you might be surprised and this technique can also spare you from discussing unpleasant subjects.
4. Enjoy the variety of life. Realize there is so much more to life than what you personally have experienced. Maybe I don’t know anything about golf, but I can still share a conversation with someone who is passionate about it. This is one of the ways we learn, by listening to others.
5. Have an opinion but don’t be opinionated. You’ve met people like this before, right? They might be okay to talk to, but they are so overbearing when it comes to their opinions, you’d rather steer clear of them. It’s okay to have an opinion or different point of view, but it’s not okay to force-feed your views on others.
6. Laugh. Don’t take yourself too seriously, or others for that matter. Most of the nerves that people feel which make them slip up and say silly things are because they are taking the situation too seriously. Lighten up and remember, we’re all human.
7. Let go of negative self-fulfilling prophecies. So your social experiences don’t always go as planned? Don’t talk down to yourself, saying things like: “I’m shy.” “I’m too nervous to talk to her.” “My words always get jumbled up and I sound like an idiot.” Your brain hears these statements and believes them and your sub-conscious works to make sure they’re true.
Instead, give yourself a positive dose of self-talk. “I’m confident and can carry on a conversation with ease.” “I can talk to anyone and feel comfortable.” Really believe that today is the day to change yourself and your expectations for yourself. *This works for any life situation, not just social aspects.
8. Learn more about something that someone else loves. My husband loves football and I really don’t, but I know enough about the game and the players in the NFL that I was able to attend a Green Bay Packers game with him and have an awesome time! It really was a great experience and if I’d had a different attitude or hadn’t made an effort to learn about something he loved, I would’ve missed out. It really doesn’t take that much effort to learn enough about something to carry on a conversation with someone you care about (unless it’s my rocket-scientist brother—that takes a little more studying).
9. Be Positive. What are the attributes of that person that everyone always wants to talk to? Do you want to be around someone who is always negative and constantly complains? Me neither—so make sure you’re not that person. Think of the personality traits you admire in others and develop them in yourself.
10. Smile. Every social interaction can benefit from the light of a smile.
Today is an exciting day for me. I just launched my Patreon page: https://www.patreon.com/rachellechristensen! To celebrate, I’m giving away a $20 gift card, so be sure to stop by at the bottom of this post to enter for your chance to win.
If you aren’t familiar with Patreon, it’s an easy way for those interested in my work to see new exclusive content and updates before anyone else. It’s a way for creators, like me, to be paid through memberships. With your donations, you can get exclusive content, free e-books in advance, signed copies of books, and more! By contributing as little as $1 per month, patrons will enable me to dedicate more of my time to creating by helping cover the many costs incurred from my writing. I plan on using the money to offset the costs of writing production, marketing and advertising. But first, I’d like to purchase a new computer that will allow me to use a formatting program so that I can create more books in several formats, including large print.
I wanted to share the news with you–my fans. I would absolutely love if you were interested in becoming some of my first patrons and helping me lay the foundation for what I hope to be a great ongoing project. If you’re not in the position right now to become my patron, no worries at all! Your continued support means the world to me and I’d be so happy to hear any feedback (good or bad) you could share in regards to my page.
Thanks so much for your support!
Enter to win a $20 gift card!
At the Christensen home, we’re huge fans of Brandon Mull and his Fablehaven series. I’m currently reading the Fablehaven series to my eight-year-old son and this will mark the third time I’ve read it. I read the entire series once myself, then part of it to my daughters, and now to the next kid in line. He absolutely loves the books and is so excited to be able to take AR tests at school on the “big books” we’re reading.
Dragons were a very exciting part of Fablehaven so when we discovered that Mull was writing a sequel to the Fablehaven series featuring Dragons, there was all kinds of excitement!
Mull’s writing style is excellent because his characters are well-developed and the descriptions of the many different creatures, including dragons, in the book create a picture in the mind like a movie. Mull also uses tons of vocabulary or BIG words that challenge the readers to expand their word lists. I’ve enjoyed reading to my kids because they’ll often ask what a word means and then we can explain it. Other times, I know that they’ve learned a new word just from the context of the sentence.
The storyline is often intense and the kids never want me to stop reading.
If you’re looking for a great book and an excellent series to dive into with your family or just for your own reading pleasure, you won’t want to miss Dragonwatch and the entire Fablehaven series by Brandon Mull.
Here’s more about the book:
How will the epic dragon showdown end? Will dragons overthrow humans and change the world as we know it?
Other books you may enjoy:
Visit Rachelle’s Book Review Page to see all reviews HERE.
A bird doesn’t sing because it has an answer, it sings because it has a song.
Beautiful! I hope you like this sentiment. It reminds me that I write because I have a story to tell and I live because I love life even though it’s hard.