Climbing the Next Mountain | Guest Post

 I'm so happy to have Emily from A Thousand Words doing a guest post! She's SO cool, people. Check out her blog HERE. Not only is she a phenomenal writer, she's incredibly sweet. Oh, and she makes Veggie Tale references. Now sit back, relax with a cup of coffee, notebook and pen (you might want to take notes) and enjoy!

Emily is a homeschool student living in the southeastern United States, who has fierce patriotism for her country and a heart hidden in the loving arms of her Lord.  Her imaginative mind is constantly on the go, and she lives out the imagination through reading, writing, and a dabble of photography.  Her loves include Narnia, old-fashioned things, family and friends, being happy, her characters, and finding kindred spirits.  You can read more about her and her work-in-progress over at her blog, A Thousand Words, which is located in a wee little valley amidst Writerly Hill.

Hello all! I am so excited to speak to you today on Emily's blog. She is such an amazing girl, and there are so many similarities and differences between us. One of our biggest similarities is the fact that we both love to write, and it was, in fact, what originally brought us together. She was constantly intriguing me by mentioning briefly some of her work-in-progresses and I suppose she grew attached to my blog somehow or other, for she was, from the start, one of my most faithful and friendly followers.

A few weeks ago I asked her to guest post on my blog (you may pop over to my blog and read it, if you wish—it is very fascinating!), and she, in turn, asked me to guest post on her blog concerning writing, which is why I am here today.

Writing is such a tremendous aspect of my life, and I really don't believe many people realize how important it is to me. My mind circles around it almost continually and my characters are never further than calling distance (though sometimes they act spiteful and ignore my persistent beckoning). 

I must say, writing was not always so dear to me, nor did I know nearly as much as I do today, of which came from studying other writing blogs and learning as I stumbled along the rocky path of Writerly Lane. This is, actually, why I am coming to you now: to speak on ways I have grown in writing and why it is important to persevere the things you are passionate about.
Because I love lists (I find they make it easier to organize one's thoughts), I shall naturally arrange the most important things I have learned through writing thus far in that fashion.

(via Pinterest)

  • Description is the heart of writing. Well, that is only half-true. My mother was caterpillar and my daddy was a worm, but I'm okay with tha—oh, goodness, sorry; got a bit carried away there (brownie points to whoever was cool enough to recognize that quote). As I said, that is only half-true, but when it does come down the deep heart of writing, description plays a very important role, for not only does it describe the character's surroundings, it describes the character's feelings and emotions. How are we to become enthralled and terrified in the dramatic chapters if we are not to feel the character's intense fear or crushing grief? How are we to fall in love with the hero if we do not understand the impact of his clever reactions? How are we to become fiercely angry if we do not fully recognize the impertinence of the tall bully? Description supplies the icing to the cake, the sweet coating to the plot. Your plot may be beautifully developed—which is a very good and wholesome thing!—but we cannot drown in the essence of such a plot if the river is not raging with description. In speaking of plot, however . . .

  • Purpose is essential. Every small sub-plot in the book that weaved its way in must tie together with the major plot. Every single scene must play some role in the plot, whether it explains something important going on at the moment or portrays the deep friendship of the two main characters or is something that the main character looks back on when the plot becomes thicker. You cannot throw in a sporadic swim at the beach when you are stuck, for in the end, you are either going to have to bring a significance to the scene or else tear it out afterward. But don't worry! Such things happen in the first draft of writing, which brings me to the next thing I will mention . . .

  • Perfection should be beaten with a stick. That is, the first time 'round. It has been one of the biggest struggles of mine to accept the fact that I cannot make the story perfect in the first draft, no matter how hard I try. I perhaps will not be able to make it perfect the second time around even, or the third, but it does not mean I should not put in my full effort. Of course, you could take that Put It To My Full Effort in the other extreme and stress and pull yourself to pieces until your inspiration has crashed, for becoming panicky when you think you cannot get it Just Right and you think you may not be giving your full effort can wear you down until even your writing is cranky. But looking at this, it rather runs in a circle, doesn't it? You think, “I must get this perfect now,” then realize you cannot, then resolve to give it your best effort, then wonder if your best effort isn't enough, which brings you back to the beginning (gracious, I do hope that made sense!).

Essentially, these are the most major things I have learned throughout my road of writing. They are, however, only things I have discovered and have their own exceptions at times, but I thought I would share these thoughts with you. Perhaps they have helped you in the least, perhaps it hasn't, for writing may not be your field of talent. You may love photography, be a fantastic singer, enjoy baking delicious dishes, sew like there's no one wearing, or draw to your heart's content. But when it comes down to it, whatever you love to do—and are passionate about following its leading—is going to have its bumps. My advice is tackle those bumps

Round the next sharp curve, climb the next rocky cliff, sail over the next harsh wave. It is going to be rough—it really is! But when it comes down to it, if it is something you love to do, don't let it drop to the ground. Pick it up, dust it off gently, polish it up with a smooth cloth, and carry it with you as you travel the road of life. It may bring upon a heavier load at times, but other times it will dance on your shoulders and cause your feet to step a little higher. Follow your dream, leap over the bumps along the way, and take your talent to new heights. Because your talents and passions weren't merely placed on your shoulders by accident. It was a gift from the Most High, the King of all the universe, and He gave it to you to learn from and love with a joyful passion.


Isn't she cool?! Go say hey on her blog!

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