“Hello, is this the author speaking?”

tumblr_n17kd4yjxo1rfe77so1_500Many people think that being a writer means not being very interactive by default. You sit there alone in your room, typing words into your computer or drawing character charts on your note pad. It’s just you and the story, no one else needed.

Well, partly those people are right, but partly they couldn’t be more wrong. As a writer, your chosen profession is to tell stories. And even though you always start off telling them only to yourself, you already dream about making them public one day, to share them with the world, with an audience. This is the moment when you start to realise that writing a story is not a lonely or self-centred project at all. It’s more like trying to start some sort of conversation. You are not just an author, not just a writer, you are also a story teller and a sender of messages. You are communicating.

robert-frost-quoteAnd that’s exactly where things start to get difficult. Continue reading

A new year? Already?

Funny-fat-cat-happy-new-year-comicsLooks like 2015 literally flew by… and here we go again, New Year’s Eve.

And as always, it’s a very retrospective time. Don’t worry, I won’t keep you for long. I’m sure you have things to prepare, friends or family to meet and fireworks to watch.

So, what kind of year was 2015?

Well, that’s hard to pin down exactly.

For the world as a whole, it certainly wasn’t a good year. Terrorist attacks, wars, refugees, nationalist/fascist movements growing stronger and so many natural desasters – every evening I turned on the TV expecting yet another tragic or terrifying announcement. My heart sank and broke so many times that I totally lost count. My faith in humanity was at a constant low – so thanks for everyone who managed to (at least partially or temporally) restore it.

For me personally though, it was surprisingly okay year. 2015 brought some lows, but also a lot of small successes: I finished my teacher’s degree. I moved into a new (nicer and bigger) appartment. My cat Cookie – who is suffering from two chronic problems – has been doing well all year. I didn’t lose any friends or family members. And the list goes on –  it’s all (more or less) small favours, but I’m very thankful for each of them.

229656_10153210702212371_8439471006348626115_nA year ago, on New Year’s Eve 2014, I made three resolutions. Only three, and very simple ones at that, since I have a history of looking back the next year and realising I failed at least partly at everything I wanted to achieve. (Which is a common thing when it comes to resolutions, I believe ;) )

The most important resolution last year was the third one: Write, write, WRITE!

Given that I hadn’t done any serious writing in ages, I was sort of worried. But in February, I managed to get my first short story published, and soon started working on a few more (some results on whether they will be published are still pending). I joined an authors’ network where I was able to establish new contacts and make new (writing) friends. And finally, my personal highlight in November: I participated in NaNoWriMo for the first time, and ended up winning.

Currently, I’m working on another short story (crime fiction) and trying to decide whether I should do a second draft of my NaNo project (“Blood and Rain”) or return to “Solving Puzzles” in order to finally complete the first German draft. Decisions, decisions… but I bet the new year will bring a few more of those.

So my resolutions for the next year will once again be very simple. The most important one, obviously: to write even more. I hope this year will see the finished draft of a novel, and I’m doing my best to fight that nagging little voice in my head that insists it’s going to be mediocre at best.

tumblr_nzyidjnOjW1rmz12oo1_500Instead, I’d rather listen to the voice that tells me: Keep on fighting. Be grateful for the small things. Don’t let perfectionism get the best of you. And write, write, WRITE.

Everyone out there, have a great start into a happy, healthy, successful, inspiring, creative and downright amazing 2016! Let this be YOUR year.

Thanks for sticking with me in 2015. You made my year, all of you.

 

Status: Still writing

il_570xN.448123416_94bbWhat a week this has been… there was a Friday the 13th, which is a day I love (I never had any bad luck on that supposedly unlucky day), and a meeting with fellow WriMos at Starbuck’s in Winterthur (if you are reading this, hi to everyone! It was an absolute pleasure to meet you).

It was also the second week of NaNoWriMo.

And surprise, here I am, still writing and still going strong.

That does of course not mean I didn’t have any of those doubts and setbacks that week two is famous for. In fact, I’m scared I’ll have more of those coming up in week three. But so far, I managed to fight through it, and yesterday, I breached the important halfway-line.

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Perfectly summing up my week… (from “No Plot, Not Problem” by Chris Baty)

25 000 words. Wow. Never even thought I’d get that far…

That calls for another massive THANK YOU to the amazing NaNo Community in general, and to my absolutely awesome Writing Buddies in particular.

And now, onto the next half!

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Thoughts for Paris

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Amazing drawing by Dany Lizeth Art (on Facebook)

This last week, this last Friday, something terrible happened. Of course you all know that, it has been all over the news ever since.

I feel like I can’t move on and write my NaNoWriMo Update Post unless I posted something on this matter first. But what can I even say?

Everything has already been said, by people who expressed their thoughts much better than I ever could. For me, it’s one of the rare times in life where I’m actually lost for words. And it’s not even just Paris. It’s also Beirut (which received next to no media coverage) and so many other places. As I have seen it put on several websites: “It’s not just Paris we should pray for, it is the world.”

And it makes me sad. No, sad is the wrong word. It makes me feel hollow and fragile and incredibly vulnerable. My heart is bleeding for all the victims, those dead, those injured, and those who live to face prejudism and judgement yet again. Sometimes the world is a really scary place.

I’m rightly tired of the pain I hear and feel, boss.  (…) I’m tired of people bein ugly to each other. It feels like pieces of glass in my head. I’m tired of all the times I’ve wanted to help and couldn’t. I’m tired of bein in the dark. Mostly it’s the pain. There’s too much. If I could end it, I would. But I can’t.
― John Coffey in Stephen King’s The Green Mile”