Tag: my thoughts

My Favorite Music

My Favorite Music

“Autumn,” you say, “This is a writing blog. What are you doing talking about music?”

I know, I know. But I also love music, so you’ll just have to put up with me talking about it for a post or two. This post is about some of my favorite songs and artists and why they’re my favorite.

The topic of this post came about from the sermon before an all-nighter I went to Friday night. They were talking about teens being dangerous to the Devil and how music and movies these days are geared at teens and can be very worldly. Later on the radio in the bowling alley and the trampoline place we went to, I heard a couple of songs that had really fun music and atrocious lyrics. The most memorable was “Shape of You,” by Ed Sheeran. Songs like those, bad songs wrapped in a package of great music, are dangerous. Which is not to say that all secular music is bad, and there is still secular music that I listen to, but you have to be careful. Anyway, that got me thinking about what music I listen to, and thus this post came about.

MercyMe

I have nearly all of MercyMe’s albums saved on Spotify, and there are very few songs of theirs that I don’t like. They do a great job of getting to biblical truths in their songs, and it’s all really eye-opening and deep-reaching.

Even If

This is definitely my favorite of my songs, though all of them are great. I first heard it on the radio when a lot of stuff in my life felt really shaky, and it affected me quite a lot. I don’t think I’m legally allowed to quote it, but the chorus is just a great reminder that things aren’t in our control and God’s plan isn’t necessarily our plan.

Rich Mullins

Rich Mullins is an excellent songwriter, and as with MercyMe, he has very few songs I don’t like. They’re all really deep, and he does a good job of mixing that with fun music.

My current favorite of his songs (because there’s no choosing one favorite Rich Mullins song) is “What Trouble Are Giants.” It seems rather fitting, because the sermon before the all-nighter used David and Goliath as a focal point.

Casting Crowns

Casting Crowns is another one that’s really good at writing eye-opening music. They have several songs on the the lack of alertness and love in the church. One of my favorites is “If We Are the Body,” but it’s hard to pick just one favorite, as tends to happen with my favorite artists, obviously.

tobyMac

tobyMac is an example of really fun music with a good message. A couple of my favorites are “Beyond Me,” “Speak Life,” and “Like a Match.” The latter two are about showing our faith through our actions, and the first is about God being far greater than we are.

Britt Nicole

Another example of fun music and good messages. Her music is especially geared toward teen girls, but it’s great for anyone to listen to. My favorite is probably “Set the World On Fire.” It’s an invitation for God to use you.

for King & Country

A friend of mine termed for King & Country as having “a song for everything.” I listen to them when I want to hear something uplifting. I especially like “Matter” and “Fix My Eyes.”

Hallelujahs by Chris Rice

This song is gorgeous, both musically and lyrically. It paints a beautiful picture of how everything in creation points to God and it’s just gorgeous. ^-^

Thank God for Something by Hawk Nelson

This song is a great reminder of how there’s always something to be thankful for, no matter how small. As someone who tends to overlook little mercies and complains too much, it’s good to hear. Plus it’s wrapped up in upbeat (if musically boring) music that’s fun to listen to.

 

What are some of your favorite songs and why? What is some secular music that’s still good and encouraging?

Music and Writing

Music and Writing

To me, music and writing go hand-in-hand. I’m a very musical person, having grown up in a musical family and been part of choir for nine years now (going into my tenth), so I love listening to and making music. You could say a random word and it would probably start me singing some song I haven’t heard in years.

I don’t remember exactly when I started listening to music while I write. I think I read an article about it online and decided “Ooh. Writing. Music. Perfect!” and tried it out, but I’m not entirely certain, lol. This post will go over what music I do and don’t listen to while I write and the affect it has on my writing, or my brain while I’m writing.

Sometimes what I enjoy listening to most and what I can write while listening to don’t overlap. I love listening to Christian music, and lately I’m usually in the mood for something upbeat like tobyMac, Britt Nicole, etc. Unfortunately, I can’t write to those. Why? Because I’ll sing along and throw my brain off  and my fingers won’t write what they’re supposed to. It’s quite unfortunate. I generally can’t write to anything with words, unless possibly it’s something I don’t know very well or that’s slower and I’m less likely to have trouble stopping myself from singing along to.

What I do write to is instrumental music, usually some epic music like LotR, The Hobbit, EragonGoT, HTTYD, etc. soundtracks and artists like Two Steps from Hell (not a fan of their name, but their music is good), Peter Crowley, and BrunuhVille. I also throw in some Lindsey Stirling now and then, because she’s awesome. I sometimes hum along to Lindsey Stirling and bemoan the fact that my voice doesn’t have the range of a violin. Thankfully, since there are no words involved, it doesn’t throw me off.

I also have a playlist for the Wonderland story I’m writing with Allegra (mentioned in this post) that always sets me into that mood, because it’s what I always put on to write that story. Habit is a powerful thing. I also just enjoy listening to that playlist when I’m not writing, because it’s a different style from most of my music and it’s fun to listen to.

Another favorite playlist of mine is that belonging to the character Livi Brooklyn (from Friendship Bracelets & Seashells) that, like the Wonderland playlist, is a very different style than I usually listen to. Her playlist has basically the same effect on me that her Pinterest board has. I love scrolling through Livi’s board because it’s so colorful and peppy, and her playlist is much the same.

I also have a Spotify playlist (all of my music is on Spotify) called “Writing Inspiration,” which has songs on it that had lines that caught my attention and started the gears turning in my head.

Here are the Spotify links to my favorite writing playlists, if you’d like to have a listen:

Epic

Favorite Writing Music

Instrumental

 

Related Post: Music In Writing

If I Had a Fandom…

If I Had a Fandom…

When I asked a friend of mine what I should write about on my blog, she suggested talking about what my response would be to a big fandom. This isn’t something I’m super interested in having, just a few dedicated fans would be fine, but it’s fun to think about and I think it’ll be fun to write about, too, so here goes. :)

The biggest thing that comes to mind with a big fandom, to me, is fanart. I love fanart. I love seeing it on Pinterest and stuff. And for that fanart to be focused on my books and characters, bringing to life visually things that I can’t because I don’t draw well? That would just be fabulous. I would love that. It would make me grin so wide… The only problem would be if they got the characters all wrong, like giving a black-haired character red hair. *cough cough* Eragon *cough cough* That would irk me, but other than that… *huge grin*

The next thing that comes to mind is fanfiction. This is one I’m more hesitant to see, mostly because of the bad stuff that tend to come with fanfictions. Gay pairings that were never a thing, adult romance, etc. *gag* I don’t think I’d mind the altered storylines (dude, I’ve written AUs for my own stories. I love messing with timelines. But only when I know they can be repaired. *cough cough* Barry Allen *cough cough*) or even the ones where the main character is basically the author getting to fall in love with one of the characters in my story. If I’ve created characters likeable enough to warrant fanfics like that then I’ll be happy (as long as the romance stays appropriate.) In short, I would welcome good fanfiction, but bad fanfiction would almost make me mad.

If you have a fandom, you’ll probably get letters, emails, messages, etc. from fans. If you have a big fandom, you’ll probably get… more letters, emails, messages, etc. And then there are probably those really dedicated fans who send numerous messages and you either get really annoyed with or become friends with through the correspondence. (Not that I should know, since I have a fandom consisting of about fifty people, all of whom I know fairly well. I’m going from imagination here. Hey, what did you expect? I’m a writer. It’s what I do.) I think fanmail would be cool because it shows that people are enjoying what I’ve written, which makes me very, very happy. The only problem would be if there was too much fanmail and it was hard to respond to it all. That would disappoint me only because I would want to respond to all of it and I couldn’t. And it would be cool to make friends with those two or three or ten who write regularly. :)

If I inspired people to write with my books my life would be made, okay? That would just be spectacular. If someone wrote me asking for writing advice I would have to think about it for a while before getting back to them, but I would be more than willing to help out. Writers are awesome. I’d love to be able to encourage someone to finish their book and publish it for people to enjoy. *cough cough* My dad *cough cough* So bring on the requests for writing tips. I will do my very best to answer well.

Book signings. I have zero experience with these whatsoever. I’ve never been to one (though believe me, I would love to get a book signed by Wayne Thomas Batson. Or maybe seven books, you know…), so all of this is imagination and a few pictures of famous authors signing books at bookstores. Is it weird that I have actually practiced writing my pen name like a signature? Because I have. I am prepared. Other than signing books I don’t know how book signings work. Do readers ask questions? Do readers and the author chat? (Honestly, that would be cool. I’d love to hear specific things they liked about the book. Favorite characters, favorite scenes, etc. I love hearing what people enjoyed or didn’t in my books. ^-^) Anyway, since I have limited experience (as in, none) I can’t really make much of a commentary on this one, but whatever.

In general, I think it would be cool to have a fandom, but not necessarily one like J.K. Rowling’s or George R.R. Martin’s or Rick Riordan’s. I’m happy with just a couple hundred fans, I don’t need a couple thousand.

How would you respond to a big fandom? Let me know in the comments. :)

Life of a Teenage Homeschool Writer

Life of a Teenage Homeschool Writer

I’m a teenage home-schooled writer, and I know at least some of those who might be inclined to read my blog are as well, so I thought I’d share what joys and struggles I’ve found this brings, and then if you’d like you can share your own joys and struggles in the comments.

First off we have teenager. I’m in my mid-teens, which is annoying because I’m old enough to want to go places and not quite old enough to be able to get myself to those places, and since my mom is chronically ill and I have younger siblings it’s not a viable option to get her to take me to things. I’ll be very excited when I can get my license. Some of the things I’d like to be able to drive myself to are choir events, writing group meetings, bookstores, and coffee shop writing sessions, among other things. I always see advice for writer’s block suggesting going and writing at a coffee shop or someplace like that and I hate it just because I can’t do that and I would love to be able to. I hate having to inconvenience people anytime I need to go to something because I can’t drive myself. One more year… Being a younger-middle teenager also means that I have no income currently other than allowance (yes, I still get allowance), so I can’t take writing courses or save up my own money for an editor for my book very easily. However, teen years tend to be the cutoff for a lot of things, and you can only join them once you’re a teenager (e.g. camp, my writing group,

I’m also homeschooled, which is great because it means if I can get my schoolwork done quickly I have more time to do things like write or chat with friends (those are basically the only things I do because… I can’t get to anything. And I have very few friends. And I’m not good at much/don’t like much.) Anyway, the point is, I have more free time if I can get my schoolwork done. I’m not stuck in a classroom for eight hours, sometimes already done with my assignment and just waiting around for others to be finished and class to end (I’m not being proud here. I went to a school-ish thing and was ahead of everyone in one section and just had to wait for the next step because people were still working on the last step. It was boring waiting and I wished I’d taken a book.) It also means that my writing can sometimes count as schoolwork.

As a writer, I do a lot of wri… never mind. I do a lot of procrastinating and pretend I’m writing, and wish I was writing, and continuously tell myself I should be writing while continuing to do whatever it is I’m doing to procrastinate. One downside to my current writing process is that when I’m stuck on both of my current projects I feel like I don’t have anything else to work on (except short stories, which I’m doing a lot of lately because of my Short Story Sunday blog series), so it’s hard to find something to write. *glances at huge “pending” folder* Oh come on, don’t look at me like that. *cough* Yeah, so that’s tricky currently. I’m waiting for outside feedback on The Dark War and I’m just going through writer’s block on The Heart of the Baenor. *wishes she could write in a coffee shop and see if it helped* I guess now it’s time to work on the short story for next Sunday that I’ve written about… five paragraphs for.

What are some things you struggle with or like about being a writer/homeschooled/teenager?

Writer’s Block: How to Deal With It

Writer’s Block: How to Deal With It

Writer’s block is something that I think almost every writer struggles with, so I thought I’d write up several ways to handle it.

1. Change of Scenery

Sometimes just moving somewhere you don’t usually write can help. I went outside one evening and wrote in the tower of the playhouse in my backyard; I ended up writing a short story about the Half-Elves and getting the characters to actually cooperate for the first time in years.

2. Leave the House

This one ties in with the one before. It’s often suggested to go to a coffee shop or someplace to write. I hate this advice, but not because it’s bad advice. I only hate this advice because I’m unable to follow it. I would love to be able to take my notebook and my favorite pen and go sit in a coffee shop or bookstore and watch people and write. Unfortunately, I can’t drive yet, so I can’t actually do that. But for those of you who can, enjoy what I cannot. I think it’ll be helpful.

3. Write Through It

Sometimes what you need is to just keep writing. Sometimes it’ll work, sometimes it won’t. Sometimes you’ll end up writing garbage and sometimes you’ll end up writing an excellent piece. It depends on the writer and the situation.

4. Do Something Else Writing Related

Read. Fill out a Pinterest storyboard. Sketch a character. Read a book of writing advice. Read up on world-building or description or character development. Do something that’s not writing but is still productive. Even watching a movie could sometimes fit in here.

5. Explore Another Story

You have to be a bit cautious with this one, but sometimes you can just work on a different story a while. Maybe it’s that plot bunny you just thought up at midnight last night, maybe it’s a story you’ve been writing for years and still haven’t finished, maybe it’s a short story you want to write. Just be careful not to get too sucked in and abandon your main writing project.

 

Hopefully some of that advice was helpful. What helps you get through writer’s block?