July 9, 2012

Grammar Nazis and What They are For?

I hate to use the word Nazi lightly because I have written Holacaust memoirs. So know that when I use this word, I am not joking.

Grammar Nazis are horrifying to me because they crush a lot of writerly spirits before they have the chance to fly. When I used to tell people I was a writer, about half of people I told would get very stiff and worry that I was going to correct their speech or critique their spelling in an email.

I dislike grammar nazis for this reason. True, I have my own pet peeves, (like 'lol' and lots of exclamation points), but they don't bother me enough to write hateful emails to people. I get several emails per year from just such people. As I read I get the feeling that a blood vessel is about to burst in the writer and I am sorry that I caused them so much pain. But not really.

The truth is, I sometimes inadvertantly, and sometimes on purpose, add grammatical errors in my Memoirs Ink messaging--just to weed out those people. God forbid one of them take a class and be mixed in with some fledgling writer who is just getting over her 3rd grade teacher or her college sentence diagramming professor.

And did you notice the title of this post? It makes no sense grammatically. That was to attract the audience I am hoping to sway. To all of you out there who have your hands on your hips defensively, I invite you to take a deep breath. If you feel passionately about good grammar, know that I understand the pain it causes you when you see or hear things out of place. But we are here to promote writing and the genre of memoir. Sure, people aren't going to win a writing contest with lots of exclamation points all over the place, but they may very well change lives by writing down that story that was inside them for so long. And they may very well be great writers who just need a good editor.

I have one very good example of this in a student to who took my Writer's Mind class last year. She had no writing experience, yet blew us all out of the water with her excellence and her ability to be vulnerable (I have to take some credit for creating the environment that allowed this). She was a much better writer than the MFAs who often submit to our writing contest--who do not all have perfect grammar either.

July 5, 2012

Make This Your Summer of Writing Bliss

Did you know that July is National Anti-Boredom Month? Is boredom even an issue any more? I see overload as the true issue in 2012 and I declare that July is now officially the month to put everything else aside and put yourself back on your to-do list.

I find that when I write first--even if it is just 15 minutes--the rest of day is golden. And why not have a summer of golden days? Below are some suggestions and tools and deadlines to help you have a blissful writing summer.
woman reclining in hammock writing

I love this quote by Douglas Adams: "For a moment, nothing happened.Then, after a second or so, nothing continued to happen."
Deadlines give writers something to work towards. If you can't artificially impose them, then get a real deadline. Memoirs Ink has a writing contest twice a year that gives many writers something to work towards. This year the deadline is August 1, 2012 and there is a late deadline of August 15th.

Group Energy Doubles the Bliss
Just like cow tipping and toilet papering is more fun with companions, so is writing bliss. If you don't have a writing friend or a whole group of them, join a class or a writing group or just finding an accountability buddy to check up on your progress every day. Lots of people take classes together and sometimes whole writing groups enter the same contest. It's amazing how the synergistic energy gets everyone happily writing. Writing classes/workshops also provide deadlines and social commitment and accountability more so than an informal group.

Mind Games
Do you believe you can achieve anything with the power of your mind?  You can. If you can only tap into the 88% of it that you can't normally access. We will be using many unconscious mind tools that can transform your writing life in The Writer's Mind, a unique writing workshop that will get you happily writing and keep you there. The Writer's Mind starts the week of July 16 and runs for 7 weeks. So if you are serious about a summer of writing bliss, visit our website and learn how to register. And if you like videos, you can watch this link to learn more about The Writer's Mind. 

Space is very limited, so please email memoirsink at gmail today to talk about whether this class is a good fit for you.

Many blessings and writing bliss,

Felice Austin