Léna is also a Regional Manager for Writopia Lab whose mission is to foster joy, literacy, and critical thinking in kids and teens from all backgrounds through creative writing.

"Well, the question is, what do you want to believe? Do you want to live in a world where things are possible, or in one where they aren't?" Cin, Edges.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

It's An Inside Job

enviro experiment (mojos)Image by clickykbd via Flickr
My fiction mojo is back! it was never really gone, just forgotten. Mojo isn't between writers and their readers - that's something else. For me, fiction mojo is between me and my internal muses, finding truth in story. Yes, it's an inside job.

I am working on yet another layer of character and motivation in my WIP, finally getting down to brass tacks after the whirlwind of launching Edges in December, the holidays, social networking and illness.

For my mojo to stay with me, I need to take a step back from social networking and develop more boundaries around my time. Facebook and Twitter are great for making connections, but it can start to feel a little like high school and bring up insecurities - at least for me. Who is responding to me, who "likes" me? Ah, see? This kind of self-centeredness is not good for anybody. Worrying about how Edges is doing, being disappointed that it was not on any librarian's radar at ALA. (American Library Association's mid-winter conference was in San Diego this weekend.) I'm learning that it takes a while, and patience isn't one of my virtues. It's an inside job.

I need to move forward, and yet I still need to market Edges, retain my connections and make new ones. I need to remind myself that I would be a writer even if I was never published - it's in my bones. And I'm so incredibly lucky to be able to do what I love to do. I need to embrace the "doing" of it.

So I'm back to the reality of the work of writing and loving being immersed in this WIP, reminding myself that I am a fiction writer, and that my job is to find truth in story.

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  1. :D Why is it that often times the things we were born to do, or the things we are really good at, or the traits about ourselves that make us unique are the very things that we are most insecure about? I'm sure musicians (good ones...haha) struggle with how their music will be received even after they've had hits. I think part of it is how incredibly personal your work is and it's rejection or success feels like a rejection of yourself too.

    Just remember that people are reading Edges (me with my copy that came in the mail today! Thank you!) and that small victories count too! Happy writing!

  2. All the best with working that WIP. :)

  3. Thank you so much for this blog post. It registered at the very core of my being. I have recently stepped away from facebook, feeling that all it's been doing lately is pulling up insecurities. I'm trying my darndest to be satisfied with the "doing" of things - and with myself. Thank you!

  4. Thank you for your comments guys! I'm glad you got your "prize" so quickly, Jenae!

    It's important with all of this social media frenzy, to be as authentic on-line as we can be, n'est ce pas? Otherwise, who are we?

    Time to roll up my sleeves . . .

  5. If it helps at all, I talked up your book a bit at ALA. Sho nuff.

  6. I SO needed this post this week, Lena. Thank you! My insecurities have been SOARING! Perhaps I need to take a step back as well.

  7. Lish - you are a Goddess and I am soooooo happy for you!

    And Alison - we'll ride through this wave, right?

    I'm going to give myself set times of day for social media, rather than just willy nilly all day. Like right now, before the kids get home from school!


  8. Just remembered that last February Laurie Halse Anderson hosted a Blog Free February (BFF). She personally challenged me to go the extra step and stay off all social media. I was on Twitter, FB and bloggin about once a week, which equaled complaining about not having enough writing time.

    So I did BFF extreme.

    And it felt GREAT!

    Sure, I didn't know what a friend ate for dinner the day before when I passed her at church. But really, TMI, people! :)

    But I also wasn't wondering if someone would "like" my status or @tweet me back or whatever.

    My closest friends I kept e-mailing, as usual, and my family and long distance friends received their regular monthly online Kodak photo album to see how the kidlets grew.

    The result: I wrote more than DOUBLE my highest monthly page count on my WIP last Feb. (Blogged about it last March.)

    And I now can go days without checking FB, no issues/withdrawls.

    Plus I ended up cancelling my Twitter feed after that, which was humbling because the likes of LHA and Meg Cabot were following ME. Yeah, Meg Cabot the YA diva! Of course, she has over 5000 people, or something crazy like that, she followed, but maybe, just maybe she read one of my tweets...

  9. Wonderful Wonderwegian! I love that! I promise to keep blogging at least three times a week, but to keep all of that other "stuff" in check! It is 8:54AM and for the rest of the morning, I am OFF the net and into my WIP! And I will blog this afternoon, yes I will, before teaching . . .

  10. Lena, I love the idea of set times of day for social media. I need to do that, too. I wrote a blog post about this a while ago if you'd like to read it in one of your "set times". http://joyinthejourneyblog.blogspot.com/2010/11/rambling-post-on-all-things-cyber.html
    And now I set myself up for more insecurity, right? Ha! And I LOVE Blog Free February. I may have to do that next month.

  11. Hi Alison - I loved your post - popped over there to leave a comment!


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