Stepping away from the noise: Easy or hard

Do you ever take a few minutes, if not more, to step away from the noise? It is all around us. You have the TV, radio and the Internet buzzing faster than I can understand some days. If that isn’t bad enough you have the man-made noise of trucks, cars, airplanes, construction and if you live in a military town the war games and the convoy of trucks when they are doing maneuvers.

You can’t seem to avoid it. You hear a car coming down your street before you even see it. Noise. It surrounds us to where at times it is a part of us and we can’t block it out due to being so accustom to hearing it.But through all this chaos do you take time to get away from the noise? Can you stay away from social media, our phones or perhaps the TV?

This is something I been trying to do to focus on not being focus on anything or as they say blank one’s mind. It’s not easy. Thoughts, things to do or noise can fill our brain preventing us from having a moment’s peace. Some days I been successful and others a defeat. But I do it to try to center myself.

Noise can be pleasant like hearing kids having fun at a playground,or hearing some good music at a festival even having a flock of birds in your back yard singing you awake. It’s not all bad. But lately it seems the noise I hear is more blocking our way then anything else.

But I will keep trying for those moments of peace is worth the effort.

Writing competition

 

Do you compete in writing competitions? There are so many out there for writers. They can vary from genre, age group to paid or free. You can find them from organizations like the ones I am part of such as the SCWBI and NCWN and also in magazines such as Writer’s Digest.

It is a great way to showcase your skill to the judges. There are usually thousands of people who compete and whether you win or not it’s a good way to get you to write. I have done quite a few competitions, still looking for my first placing, and each time I am hopeful that this is the time that I will win. There are times the winners are published for all to read and I am blown away and understand why this writer won.

But before you say, “Wait just a minute Sharon. I can’t afford the entry fee” I am of the frugal sort. I will do the competitions that are free which are out there you just have to look. It could be as simple as a competition from the local paper, one that your Art Council promotes or even as easy as writing a jingle for a product off the radio. There is no harm in starting small. Bottom line it is getting you to think and getting words down.

A few of my competition pieces have been extended into fuller stories to which gets a life of its own which has been a plus.

I will keep trying who knows maybe one day I can post here that I won.

Reading your manuscripts

 

 

Do you ever read your stories out loud? Or as some people have suggested do you read them backward? The purpose of these exercises is to catch any errors or inconsistencies that you might have not noticed when you read it with your eyes. Granted I did scoff when I first learned of these tips.

It is easy to read our own work and miss some small and big items that need to be addressed. Yet when we read other works from writers we seem to be able to pick an error as small as a pin in a haystack.

We get so use to our stories, working on it, revising, editing and adding to it that it becomes like a second skin to us and errors just blend into the background. We can’t always spot the mistakes as readily if at all.

Hence why it is suggested we read our works out loud or backwards to find what we first missed. If one is not used to doing these methods it can be a bit awkward but you soon get over that. It’s a good way to proof your stuff and not look like a total goof when people get their turn at beta reading your manuscripts.