Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Upping the Ante

My general philosophy is that if you put things out into the universe, the universe replies in kind. I don't mean that I get back everything that I want, because I'm not omniscient (or wise enough to know what I should be wanting). But if I don't risk, then I don't gain. We're all connected, and the world works most effectively when we act that way.

The story of how my blog came to be supports my vision of connectedness--of getting what you need when you need it from the universe. (Note that I only provide examples of proof of this belief--I don't illustrate the many instances of things that just don't add up--I'm human that way.)

I started following some blogs--of an author, some industry people, some fellow writers--and decided to start my own blog privately, to journal about writing and to track my goals. It's always best for me to write things down. Things stick better when they're in black and white.

My writing partner started reading blogs, so I opened up my blog for one day, to let him take a peek. On that one day, the author whose blog I was following commented on my blog. Now I had a conundrum. It seemed too rude to close my blog again, especially when Erica Orloff (the author) was such a gracious hostess to me when I was at her blog. So, not so gracefully, I went public with my blog.

It's always great when someone ups the ante for you.

I needed a push at that moment. A push is what I got. Would I have asked for that particular push? No way. And yet the universe delivered.

But that is what writing is all about--continually upping the ante. It's what good critique partners should do. It's what every revision should be. It's what every new project is about. Upping the ante. Writing better. Taking risks. And when you can't do it yourself, I'll send Erica your way.

How are you upping the ante with your writing?


  1. Funny how that universe works.

    You know, one day when I needed a boost, I popped over and you had your post on L'Engle. I loved the quote. Loved the post. It was just what I needed that day.


  2. Of course, this post is perfectly timed for me because I've just upped the ante with my NaNo project by taking on dual POVs. I feel a little out of my element but I'm trying to keep pushing myself through it to see what happens. Isn't it fun/terrifying to try new things, especially with writing?

  3. Erica-- I find such wisdom in L'Engle all the time. I'm glad that quote spoke to you as well.

    The internet feels a little like a physical manifestation of how the universe connects us all.

    I'm so glad you popped in to my blog that day, even though it caused some stress at the time. ;-)

  4. Anna--I like dual POVs. My Star novel is told from two (3rd person) points of view. My NaNo is singular POV, 1st person, and I am having so much fun living in my character's head...

    I'm glad you are upping the ante--and NaNo is a great kick in the butt to keep pressing on, even when doubts set in!

  5. I upped the ante when I resigned from my teaching job two years ago to write full-time--I made writing my job. And now, recently, with my blog, I'm putting my ideas out there for the world to see. Somehow your blog was one of the first I found that I felt compelled to comment on. Now, it's like a good friend, pushing and challenging, but supportive.
    And just yesterday, my critique partner upped the ante for me with a powerful critique of my newest WIP--she gave me lots to consider,lots to work on.

  6. How awesomely brave of you to quit your job to write!

    Thanks for the warm comments about the blog--remembering that there are actually people who read my musings ups the ante every time I post.

    I love that your critique partner gave you so much to think about. It sounds like you have a fantastic give-and-take with her.

  7. I wanted to thank you for your blog and you are definitely "passing it on"- somehow reading your blog this morning, you have inpsired me to not only use my blog- Moonflower Musing, to document the journey of my art, but my writing as well- so am going to try and record my journey of writing as well- so today I included you in my blog!

  8. Julia--thanks for the kind words on your blog--I love your post. Your research is fascinating. Keep it coming!