https://www.facebook.com/groups/1921200231485411/ The Left-Handed Typist: July 2019

Saturday, July 27, 2019

The Future of This Blog

My very first posts on this blog almost three and a half years ago were about blogging. That's funny to me because I don't think I've blogged much about blogging since! But today I'm here to discuss this blog in particular because changes are ahead!


As some of you may know, my family is moving soon. We do know where, but we don't know when. Year's end, perhaps?

Between the move, my editing business, all my other jobs, and publishing Martin Legacy this fall ... I've had a hard time blogging lately. All the changes are taking up a lot of mental space. I think I've posted late for this entire month. Oops ...

So as strongly as I feel about the importance of consistency and as much as I love blogging ... now is not a good time for me.

I don't intend to kiss blogging goodbye for forever, but I'm not sure what will happen next. I'm going to aim to continue posting once a month on a Saturday instead of every Saturday.

I have lots of projects and fun things in mind that I'd love to see come to fruition some day. Getting back to vlogging, making a self-editing course/series, publishing little e-books on writing ... But now is not a good time for those, either.

So even though I'll be scaling this back a little, I'll still be around! To make sure you never miss a post, subscribe in my sidebar (underneath the followers). You can find me on social media @abitheauthor.

Blogging was my first connection to the writing world, and you all mean so much to me.  Thanks for your continued support as I step back for a season. I'll have an August post up before you know it!

~~~~~

What's something you've had to set aside for a time? Can I count on you to stick around?? :D

Saturday, July 20, 2019

Why I Won't Use Language in My Writing

I think language in books is a common enough occurrence. What I don't think is common enough is a discussion, especially among Christian authors, about where to draw the line. Ultimately, I think it comes down to personal conviction. (Which means you don't have to agree with anything I say in this post!)


With every story I've worked on, I knew going into it that I wasn't going to put any language in it. However, I had no idea whether or not I'd put language in a future book. Here's a quick look at the route I'm taking.

Prayer

For me, whether or not you use language is not the actual deal-breaker. Light language is not enough to keep me from reading a book, and I've read a few with more than I'd brave again. What does become the deal-breaker for me is whether or not you, as a Christian author, prayerfully considered if God was okay with you including language before doing so.

Everyone has differing opinions on this matter, which I completely respect. But ultimately, it should only be God's opinion that directs how you choose to go about this matter. 

For or Against

I hear good arguments for and against using language.

For:
  • it makes certain characters more realistic
  • it helps a book fit the secular market more
  • why wouldn't you??
  • it's only fiction
  • authors don't agree with everything their characters do anyway
  • language can taper off if the character him/herself becomes convicted
  • a little can go a long way
Against:
  • Christians shouldn't use language even in fiction
  • even reading language can desensitize you to it
  • God told us we'll give an account for our idle words
  • you can be realistic and not use language
  • if you can't be realistic without language, maybe you shouldn't write this
  • passive swearing works well enough (he swore)
  • language doesn't fit my target audience
  • my mom would kill me when she reads it
Again, I kind of fall between camps. Even though I've decided not to use it doesn't mean I won't read it. I do think it depends on the author and the story and their convictions.

However, I know that language tends to take away from a story for me when I read it. Because I've hardly ever read a book that used only one or two words in dire circumstances. If there's any, there are usually uses that I find 100% unnecessary.

Again, it's a matter of personal conviction for me. Besides, my current audience would be more likely to dislike language than complain that it's not there (is that even a thing?). So I think I can continue to build on my current platform without crossing that line in my own writing.

Disclaimer

I do want to give a bit of a language disclaimer, though. Because even though I say I don't use language in my books and won't in the future ... people have different standards on what constitutes language. There are some words I could feel pretty guilt-free about using, but that's not the conclusion I came to when I prayed.

So while I can see myself using words like "bloody" and "crap" in the future, that'd be about it for me! Who knows, maybe I'll write fantasy one day and invent a curse word. Until then, I'll stick to passive swearing. "He swore" might not be the most thrilling sentence, but it's one I can live with.

~~~~~

I'd love to hear your thoughts on this topic!! Would/have you ever use language in your writing? Why or why not?

Saturday, July 13, 2019

Write the Random Stories

I think we all know by now that I don't have much of niche as a writer. At least not yet. Things I've experimented with (and even published) are all over the map. So today I want to encourage you to write the random stories.


I enjoy writing the random stories. And by random, I don't mean the storyline itself is random. I mean that the genre or idea or reason for you writing the story is random: outside of your norm.

For the next while, I think everything I publish will be in the contemporary genre. Which means that in all my published works, there will be one exception to that genre: Andora's Folly. 


My lil' medieval Pandora's Box retelling story. (Confused yet?) I wanted to write a novella so that I could finish the first draft during my first Camp NaNo three years ago. I decided to do a retelling because it sounded fun and might simply plotting. I chose to retell a Greek myth because I happen to adore them and fairytales are overused.

I didn't know if the story would come together or not. But I liked the idea and was only dedicating a month to it, so why not? It was random. And it was a fun little experiment among friends.

A year later, I published it.

You never know where the random stories will take you. I like flash fiction and Camp NaNoWriMo and the like because they encourage experimentation in my writing without huge, long-term investments.

I'd say that writing the random stories has been a huge part of finding my niche (even though that itself is still a WIP). Fiddling. Having fun. And being willing to close the doc or notebook and move on if it didn't work out. Because who knows? Maybe it will work out.

~~~~~

How do you like to experiment with your writing?

Andora's Folly is on sale for the rest of today (Saturday the 13th)!!! Grab a copy HERE.

Saturday, July 6, 2019

What Free Speech is Not

Since Independence Day was this week, it seems like an appropriate time to tackle a few thoughts I have on the very American topic of free speech .. and what it is not.


It's interesting to me that people have such different views on what free speech is. I think it often gets abused due to people not actually reading the First Amendment, so here you are:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

Free speech does not mean there are no consequences to what you say.  There are times when certain topics of conversation or manners of speech are a straight-up bad idea. If you get irate or verbally abusive, it doesn't matter what you're saying ... Wrong is still wrong and should be punished.

Along these same lines, free speech does not mean rules are unconstitutional. As an employee, I've been told not to say certain things (like company passwords). That's a rule to protect the company, but it doesn't infringe upon my right to free speech as long as there is no Congressional law prohibiting me.

Free speech does not mean self-control should disappear. People use it as a get-out-of-jail-free card so that they can say whatever they want. While technically you can say whatever you want ... that's not unique to America. Exercising common sense and self-control as well as free speech is a good idea.

I think something else everyone forgets is that free speech does not mean words cannot be harmful. We act like because we have it in writing that the federal government cannot cover our mouths, we're going to be belligerent loudmouths. Words themselves have natural consequences. There are SO many Bible verses about this that I don't even know where to start ...

Free speech does not apply to only those you agree with. Talk about something that drives me crazy ... You'd think it'd be common sense that if I get to talk, so do you. Part of free speech is leaving room for differing opinions. We don't have to agree. But we do have to let them speak if they choose.

In the end, God gave us the freedom to do anything when He created us. Free choice includes free speech. But I'd like to encourage you to keep in mind that it's easy to misuse privileges like this just like Adam and Eve did in Eden.

So while freedom of speech and the press allow me to write articles such as this one and publish books ... I have to be careful not to abuse that right. Because freedoms are abused just as often as they are taken for granted.

~~~~~

You do realize the irony in me asking for your thoughts on free speech, right?? I'd love to hear all politely expressed opinions on this topic!