taleanea: Talea's default user icon. (star)
I think I'm figuring my niche out. Niche, yes: Who I've become, what I love to talk about on a blog, what I am good with.

I find myself wanting to talk about things that can be found in motivational texts.

I am aiming for a constantly positive attitude even in the face of difficulties and hardship. I have those, too, but letting my shoulders drop for days on end has never even once solved my problems.
The problems got solved once I took heart, started breathing again, and found ways to brainstorm possible solutions, to ask for help, to find counsel, and to start hoping again despite all odds and despite whatever came against me.

In German (my native language), and face to face, I actually am great at motivating other people. It seems to be a gift of mine; I just never knew it. Maybe I've also never really calmed down enough before to be able to notice and grow that talent.
Now I do. Now I find the words. Now I learn to listen, and in listening I find ideas, memories, concepts and advice that I can offer, and that after a while even begins to make a difference.

It is amazing to me to really see people go from hopelessness to lightness and joy within the span of an hour or two. I experienced it again just this week. Not every week, but once in a while, sometimes often, sometimes not at all.

But I see that this gift doesn't translate well to blogging and to online life yet, and I think this is because the face-to-face real-time contact is missing, and because social life works a lot differently online.

Here, online, I write a long text, and can't see the reactions, the misunderstandings between us, and might not catch where I misphrase things and explain something badly. (And, when I'm entirely wrong no one stops me in time, either.)
Real Life is more forgiving when that happens. Not if - but when that happens, because we all still are human. I've never claimed to be perfect.

So, I guess I have to learn to translate the gift I am now successfully using in my Real Life; to translate it into the virtual world. It works differently here, and I don't yet know how.

My niche, then, is motivational speaking. I need to learn how to change it into motivational writing to use it on this blog, too, which I had tried to do already without really becoming aware of that.

Sure, I could open other blogs, have a clean start somewhere. But what would I then be writing here? This is who I am now, and it has been who I were since a long time even when I did not understand it.
(Why was I for years going so public in trying to learn and teach how to write well? Because I love to help, and to motivate.)

That recent quarrel at my blog was pretty painful for me, and very unexpected, because I am used to my gift, that talent, working well. I didn't realise yet the differences in the mediums (verbal, interactive, instantly vs. written down).

But I hadn't taken enough time to edit and figure out all the places where I hadn't said things well enough, where my writing hadn't been clear enough. (The headline. I never meant to say that no one actually has depression; I meant to say that what these feelings suggest is a lie: No one is worthless, no one must fail, no one should ever give up.
Rather, absolutely, the opposite: You are worthy, you have so much potential, you can do anything you put your mind towards, you will succeed; please don't ever give up hope!
When put into perspective any current problems will start to look smaller, sometimes much smaller. - What perspective? How little I am actually suffering compared to starving children in Somalia? - No. But in regards to who you really are and how many ways to survive well and to succeed are still open. — Yes, even to you!)

To underline that I'd like to offer a link, too: The Badass Project.
This might not be for the faint of heart, but it definetely is a wake up call, and intended as such by the creators of that site.
You don't have to use such strong examples of prevailing and conquering despite strong obstacles. (Hey, being blind and training yourself to see through echolocation? Wow! I saw that in a movie once. Maybe it was actually based on that guy?)
There are enough other, less hardcore examples and encouraging information out there. But no matter what, there always is a way to fulfill one's dreams and become happy. (Yes, really!)

I think a lot depends on the mood you allow, and on the mood someone else can share with you.
Mood is created by ideas you share, by voice, by facial expressions and by body language, and then you could go metaphysical - buildings seem to have different atmospheres, cities seem to have different feels to them, people feel different to me … but how much of that is just my interpretation of outside facts and how much is actual intuitive/empathic perception I do not know.

So, about my niche? I want to write about anything and everything that fascinates me, but what fascinates me most is what I could call 'my niche', or my gift: Being encouraging, bringing actual help (just sounding hopeful without concrete facts is … not worth much because it lacks the ground, so to speak, something real to stand on), bringing excitement and fun and weirdness — yes, that's me.
And that's what I look for online. That's what I look for when I am reading new blogs, new websites: People that I can learn from to then pass on what I've learned from them to help, encourage, motivate and share with, others. (Who ever would need it.)

So now I finally know a bit better why I continue hanging onto this blog, and why my posts go into that one specific direction.
I just read from Signal vs. Noise an observation that Amazon founder Jeff Bezos had shared with them:
"[…] the smartest people are constantly revising their understanding, reconsidering a problem they thought they’d already solved. They’re open to new points of view, new information, new ideas, contradictions, and challenges to their own way of thinking.
This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have a well formed point of view, but it means you should consider your point of view as temporary."

I have been wondering why in this time of learning and trying to find my place online again - why I was and am constantly adapting and changing my perceptions and opinions.
I'm glad that Jeff Bezos kind of says this is good thing. I was starting to become ashamed of it. But in fact in a world that changes so much no one can afford rigid opinions. One has to stay open for new facts, for dialog, for the chance to learn and understand more.

The cutting edge is constantly shifting and changing. Every day brings new life, new ideas. The conversation continues, we make new discoveries and develop new technologies. No one can afford to stand still, because the world doesn't.

To not get intimidated by these changes but instead be able to start seeing the opportunities and chances and concrete possibiblities that we could take, explore and run with, that is what motivational speaking, writing and filming … often is about:

Seeing the glass half full or half empty (an example that never managed to properly impress me), seeing (and focusing on) the opportunities and the wonderful new beginnings instead of what dies and falls away and is becoming outdated, that difference is created by such a small shift in attitude it seems, but it is increadibly life changing. It also is a learnable habit.

I might have never really learned it before now, but I also never really lost that hopeful outlook on life itself, and on my life, and that really helped me to get through some rough times.

I do not know whether I'll ever be able to translate my offline talents into the complementary online talents. I wish for it, but whatever I am doing here can just be an experiment for now.

Yet this is what I am doing, online and offline, and I can't help myself.

I will not get everything right to my own or to your satisfaction, but I will try to stay open and learn and adapt. I do this because this is me and this is what I've always been about; and I do what I do out of love for people, any people, and out of love for life itself.

This can be a wonderful world. Really! I want to experience what I can already imagine in my mind, I want to see this whole world realise its potential. Wouldn't that be great? But how could that happen?

Well, it all starts with a first step of courage and of hope, every day anew.
taleanea: Talea's default user icon. (Default)
I am so exhausted! The last two days I was so exhausted I couldn't even do the two challenges for [livejournal.com profile] writerverse (5 comments to other's stories, and QuickFic#1: two stories of drabble-length or more inspired by 5 prompts; for bonus points one stories needed to be in my favourite genre (SF)).

I should have written the stories and comments at the beginning of the week when I still had strength left! But I also still had so much time…

I need daily challenges. I might not do them daily due to life events and health, but only deadlines really get me writing. (And I mean daily challenges that are fun, not just these one word prompts! I always need more than one word to prompt me anyway.)
I want to write daily - and I do stuff for my writing daily, but having a deadline helps me to get serious and to get going. So this week I tried to design how a challenge community should look like that supports my needs and wishes best.

To my native English speaking friends: Do these community names sound good to you or somehow wrong?
- [livejournal.com profile] textward
- [livejournal.com profile] artistsguild

Textward is a word creation so I'm the most unsure about this name. It is supposed to mean something like - 'towards (the) text' or 'forward to the text' - and it is translated from my German community [livejournal.com profile] textwaerts which also is a word creation and means 'into the direction of text (words)'.
(At Textwärts we offered all kinds of activities: weekly check-ins, tutorials, some few challenges, linklists to the best writing resources we could find at that time, etc, and we revived that community two or three times but it has now lain vacant since a while again.)

Artists' Guild is a translation from my German community [livejournal.com profile] kuenstlergilde meaning "Guild of/for/by Artists". I guess that name is ok, but maybe I'm overlooking something, if so please tell me.

I have no problem to delete these comms again and create better sounding ones, so don't hesitate to critic them bluntly!

My wishes for these communities is to offer a weekly tutorial for writing & drawing skills because I want to do both - write a lot, and also start drawing and painting again.
Especially for the latter I myself need to be taught — so the tutorials will serve me in the first place. :) The hope is that they could serve others as well.
I would then use the topic of that week's tutorial as basis for the challenges so that anyone wanting to learn these skills taught in the tutorial could then practice them in different ways.

I want to offer daily challenges with a 7 day deadline during weekdays (minimum word count for the daily challenges will be 100 words, except for Haikus/Peotry, so don't panik), and bi-weekly/monthly challenges on weekends with deadlines of 14 or 30 days. - That means while the challenges do run for at least a week there will be a deadline coming up every day.

So there is time to do everything in the beginning, or to cram at the end; to do all open challenges all at once (that sounds like me), or to do a bit every day, or to only participate once in a blue moon. - I don't intend to kick anyone out; it's not a land community after all.

I wonder if I could put the challenges and tutorials and whatever activities I (or you?) might come up with into ONE community.
I mean: What if I don't split drawing/painting stuff and writing stuff into two communities in two different places, but put the daily challenges together into one post for writing and drawing (as done here), and post the weekly tutorals either on sunday (writing) AND wednesday (drawing) or bi-weekly (1st sunday writing, 2nd sunday drawing/painting).

I personally think it would be easier for me to combine them, and on my search over LJ I would have loved to find a community that allows for original works that offers challenges for both arts (writing, drawing) — but I don't know if other people would like that, too.

Also, I really strongly dislike that all the land comms are flocked so that you can only find out what's in it once you've been accepted. Usually there are no descriptions and explanations anywhere, even on the profile or FAQ pages - which is why I now feel stupid after having been admitted into [livejournal.com profile] landofart only to find out that it's not about creating art at all, it's just about googling and manipulating some photos to gain points! — How do I leave that place now without hurting anyone?

So, my communities will be mostly public. Creative works can be posted on people's own LJs or in a specific members-locked side-community (has anyone ideas for a name?).

For my German friends: I do intend to mirror these communities, their challenges, tutorials and other activities in German, too, in the respective German communities. (If it's not way too much work. But well, the good intentions are there.)

What do you think? Let's have a vote! And please tell me additional thoughts, complaints, worries and ideas in the comments!

[Poll #1865161]

Thank you so much for your input!

Talea <3
taleanea: Talea's default user icon. ((b&w&c) auge1:feuer)
.1[livejournal.com profile] writerverse is going well for me by now. I'm writing drabbles. I don't much care for drabbles but they are EASY. And I then have the choice of using the idea of these drabbles to write longer fiction.
A drabble is like a quick drawing, a nice sketch to figure out what story I want to tell with it, and afterwards I redo it but this time properly: as a huge painting. Or a small but nice & coloured painting. Whatever.
So that consideration makes it easier for me to write the drabbles that I usually really don't need to have in my life — and writing drabbles enables me to fill the challenges and earn points for my team (that seems to be loosing with or without me anyway, hmpf).

.2 — I'm learning what [livejournal.com profile] therealljidol is about.
I will try to take part in it next season — which should start soon, probably next month?
I definitely don't expect to last very long at all with me being a non-native english writer, not knowing grammer and punctuation well enough, not having a beta … but still. It will be fun.

.3 — I love summer. Never want it to leave! (Maybe some of the days were very hot over here. But still. Summer!)

.4ROW80: No idea. The goal was to write/do a lot for Defence, my current novel. But now I seem to have to rework the outline again to fit the setting into our world. Or might not. — My process is just plain crazy, I tell you. Hopefully the end result will be worth all that stress.

.5 — I LOVE sushi. Now I only need to find out where to buy the ingredients, learn to make sushi on my own, and then figure out how to make it whole grain rice instead of normal sticky white rice.
Then there will be sushi everyday in the house of Nea!
taleanea: Talea's default user icon. (Default)
Ok, I'm feeling better. I just had the most awfullest two days and I don't know yet how good I'll be today - but I'm feeling better. That's a start, I guess.

I didn't get any fiction writing done, so my goal for these holidays is quite impossible and therefore moot. That's ok, I'll then just do as much as I can, as soon as I can.

But I also got accepted yesterday to [livejournal.com profile] writerverse into [livejournal.com profile] team_prose, which does sounds kinda fun. Since it's very members-locked I couldn't really check it out before I applied. Now that I could look around for a day I have to say it looks nice. Smallish, but quite nice.

It's a writing-land community (for both fiction and fanfiction), with two competing teams - apparently they had a third team but not enough people, I guess. There are about 40 people per team right now and …
I just wish there were more polls.

Did you notice that now ALL USERS can post POLLS? (I tried it with a sock puppet that has a basic account.) This is sooo great, yet nearly nobody uses it. Maybe no one's got the memo yet. (Like the FAQs; they haven't heard from it either.) How can you not use polls as soon as you get them?

Then again I have no idea what to use them for, either. I just like to click them. :) Click! )

Yesterday I also had to fill out a HI, HERE I AM meme for Team Prose but I doubt anybody will read it since it is hidden in the comments of some lost thread that apparently nobody tracks.

But now I'd love to fill out some memes, I just don't know any anymore. Where do I find them? I'm too stupid to write them myself! (Writing POLLs on the other hand is easy! *g*)
taleanea: Talea's default user icon. (malen [01])
Recently I decided that I needed more practice in plotting before trying it with my current novel, so I took a movie of which I had disliked several main plot points and developed a new story that would correct everthing I had hated about the original one.

I went scene by scene to have a good length for it, and changed each one of them into scenes that I would enjoy, that went how the story should IMTHO have gone:

I built about 8 plot archs (one of them the main plot) with the Hollywood Formula and the 7 Point System, and put all the key plot points of the entire story into these formula points, and interlinked them to make them emotionally stronger.

Then I applied all of these ~8x7 important plot points to the 60+ scenes the original movie has, overlaid my new plot points with the original scenes and merged them nicely.
(If you could look closely you'd still recognise which movie I chose to rewrite replot, so if I were to write and publish my version I'd probably still have to change a few things like, you know, instead of it taking place in a desert I could instead let it play out underwater, instead of having computer obsessed geek friends my hero'd have horse obsessed, secretly dragon riding friends — unimportant stuff like that might make all the difference in copying other people's stuff.)

Once that was done and I had learned plotting I completely lost interest in that movie, or my newly created up-graded story. I wasn't a fan of that movie and so I'm not impressed with my own story outlines for it either.
Why would I? I cared about learning to plot and about finding out where the movie had failed for me: how it actually should have gone. - Mission accomplished, and now I have a completed novel outline laying around, doing absolutely nothing. (Maybe one day…)

Anyway. That was quite a while ago. By now I've forgotten how it worked, how I plotted that story, how I interlinked all the different story arcs, how I implemented the different plot points into the story — so of course now I'm doing it again with the story that I had actually wanted to write. Waste of time, much? … No. It did teach me stuff, and relearning is faster than learning something for the first time. Also, it had been fun.

So, I've been plotting.
2 plot arcs down, and - so far - 5 more to go. But I do know the whole story already; this is for zooming in, finding details, and for creating a stable, working structure for the story.

Next up: Plotting the scenes in such a way that I don't fall asleep when I think of them.

I get bored too easily because writing is so slooooow-motiony.
That's why my stories often read like roller-coster rides, because when I wrote them in slow motion I needed them to be as exciting as talealy possible to not get bored myself. Boredom makes me furios with the souce of it and then I refuse to touch that boring stuff ever again.

Except, of course, when the Muse kisses me, hmmmm, then I can write as boring as I want to and love the process & the resulting stories anyway.

Weird, I know. But, you know — kisses!

PS: Others' Check-Ins: Linky Links
PPS: On plotting: [1] [2]


taleanea: Talea's default user icon. (Default)
Talea Nea

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