Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Be Who You Want to Be

Be Who you Want to Be*

"Be Who You Want to Be" is good advice, I think.  It's too hard trying to be someone you're not, and life is much too short to force yourself into someone else's mold of what they expect you to be.  The trick in following the advice is to first determine who it is you want to be, and then actually take the steps necessary to become that person.

OK.  Here's (one of) mine: I want to be a writer.

It seems like it only takes one step:  I need to write. 

Sounds simple enough, doesn't it? Yes... But there's a little bit more to it.  For one thing, there are varying degrees of "writer" -- I could fill boxes and boxes with random gibberish scratched on notebook pages and store them in my basement, and technically I'd be a "writer."

But that's really not what I want.  So I need to be a little more specific:  I want to be a writer whose work is read and appreciated by others.

Now it gets a little more complicated.  I not only have to write, but I have to write things that readers will enjoy and appreciate AND I have to find a way to attract readers and get my work to them.

Well, the good news is that I'm writing.  And I think I'm writing things that (given enough editing) might be enjoyed and appreciated.  However, that last thing is really the tricky part -- attracting readers and getting my work to them.  This is basically the whole publishing world in a nutshell.

Plus, I realize -- "attracting readers" is also one of the main reasons I fisrt started blogging. Having an online presence is needed to help readers discover your work, and to interact with them once they have.

So writing alone is not enough, and while I am definitely going to keep that going, I also think I need to return to a much more active presence my neglected blog. Heck -- even posting on a consistent once-a-week basis would be an improvement.  So, beginning today I'm going to shoot for that.

And to start it out, I'll offer a quick bit of writing and a musical piece that completely fits this post.


In the interest of brevity, how about some of my recent off-the-cuff submissions to the fun writing prompt site

Because I'm working on so many other things, I'm not spending a lot of time on the TypeTrigger site -- it's just a fun way to stoke the creative juices before moving on to other things.

I've discovered I like the 5-7-5-ish syllable Haiku-esque approach, and it's kind of surprising to see what comes out of my subconscious when I go off of a given prompt.  Sometimes it's humorous, and sometimes it's a little darker, and it's often-times not something I expected.

You can visit My Page on the TypeTrigger site to read all of my stuff, but here are a couple of ones I did recently that I particularly liked (the titles are the site-generated prompt words):

"actions speak"

Although actions speak,
Newton's Third Law tells us that
reactions speak too.

"tile floor"

Your Scrabble tantrum
subsides -- but our shag carpet 

is now a tile floor.

Be Who You Want to Be is also the name of a jam I uploaded to back in March.  Click on the link under the title or on the picture to the left to check it out.

It's an older piece, but one that I really like. It was built on an awesome track with drums by "MrAdamOnDrums," very cool bass from wikiloops founder "Dick", and vocals by the wonderful "Shi". I added a funky rhythm guitar and several multi-tracked lead guitars to it. 

I love the way this jam came together -- Shi's great singing gives it a very cohesive structure, and the "da-dat-dah" vocal breakdowns over Dick's bass line adds for a lot of interest.  I wanted to do what I could to have my guitar parts add to the song instead of overwhelming everything. I tried hard to stay out of the way of Shi's voice, and worked to double (and harmonize) the breakdown line rather than riff all over it.  The leads are a little looser, but even then, I tried to give them a structure that hopefully embellished the jam instead of just flailing away on "hey, lookit me!" solos.

Thank you for reading and listening! I hope you enjoyed my writing and music -- feel free to comment, even if you didn't.

*Image from


  1. I love your haiku-esque stories, because they really are stories. And it's so hard to make one in so few words, but you did great! ("Charity" is my fave.) Worrying about writing what will sell is driving me batty. But I put a time limit on it so I won't ruin all my retirement years with frustration. Good luck! :)

    1. Thank you, Lexa!

      I purposely didn't add "sells" to my want-to-be goal of, "whose work is read and appreciated by others." True, I certainly wouldn't turn down a little jinggle in my pocket from my writing, but my real goal is just to have people say, "I enjoyed that."

  2. The second haiku is funny.
    Once a week is a good schedule. Not too much pressure, but it keeps you consistent.
    Don't worry about what sells. Just write what you enjoy. If you enjoy it, so will others.

    1. Thanks, Alex!

      And like I just replied to Lexa -- I'm trying NOT to worry about "what sells" -- that just leads to trend-chasing and frustration. I'm definitely going on the hope that if I enjoy it, others might also.

  3. I agree with Lexa. I like "Charity" best, too. (But they're ALL good!)

    Be who I wanta be, huh? Suppose who I wanta be is twenty-five years younger? Oh well. I reckon I'll just have to be happy being who I AM.

    1. Thank you, Susan! I appreciate that. I'm not sure I'd want to be twenty-five years younger again. I was pretty stupid back then, lol!

  4. Best writing prompt ever. I'm loving it.

    I'm on the weekly schedule too. I've tried everything from 6 days a week to once a month, and this is the sweet spot. Here's to weekly bloggers!

    1. Thanks, Crystal! Even though I've been blogging for quite a while, off-and-on, I'm still trying to find the right balance. It's tough because so many other things compete for my time, and they seem to be in constant flux.

      But I'm hoping to be a blogger who can do it weekly -- I've been doing it weakly long enough... ;)

  5. I have found blogging itself to be a great impetus for better writing. It got pretty hard during the last couple months of this school year -- my last school year. Now that I'm officially retired and looking at writing as a career full in the face, we'll see what happens. Will it get easier? To blog, to write? Or did I need the stress of the teaching career to be productive?

    Whatever the case, I know blogging has always been there for me ... as have the bloggers.

    1. For me, "blogging" can be a distraction from my writing. Although I love interacting and learning from all the great writing bloggers out there like yourself, Dianne, it's very easy for me to get too wrapped up in it when I should be writing instead. There's ALWAYS just one more blog to visit, just one more cool thing to read, just one more comment to add -- before I know it, my writing time's evaporated.

  6. #1 and #3 look like the opening lines of really interesting stories

    1. Thank you Jenifer! It might be kind of fun to start a story with a Haiku!

  7. I'm intrigued by your haiku. I love haiku; such a disciplined form of writing.

    You're so right that writing alone is not enough. We writers need feedback and encouragement and occasional appreciation. Magazine sales are nice, but don't happen nearly often enough!

    Weekly blogging generally works for me (both posting and visiting others' blogs), but I'm always taking blogging breaks for vacations or to push through a revision on a novel. And any form of social media distracts me when I should be writing, so I try to avoid spending hours on Twitter or Facebook.

    1. Thanks, Joanne! There are SO MANY things that distract me from writing, unfortunately, ranging from the trivial like social media and blogging, to life and family commitments that absolutely take precedent. I'd love to have another 24 hours in each day, lol.


Don't be shy -- feel free to comment. I really appreciate your thoughts.