You may imagine that writers are similar to any other person when it comes to dating. You probably believe that we’re just artsy people who like to read a lot. Well that is true but that is not all that we are. Remember… don’t judge a book by it’s cover.
We zone out a lot
We’re daydreamers. Where do you suppose our stories come from? Our heads are filled with many different worlds where we can escape to, as we then to often do.
We’re possessive of our stationary
Do not move our pens! We have favourite pens and notebooks. Don’t write in our notebook… or read it unless we show you
Give us space
Many writers tend to be introverted. This doesn’t mean we don’t want to spend time with you but it means you need to let us have a bit of alone time so that we can wind down. Especially if we are tired from socializing.
Read our books… once we’re happy with them
We want you to read our work. Our writing is a way of expressing ourselves and we want to share that with you. We want to be able to chat about our stories and have you understand what we’re jabbering about.
Don’t say, “I’m not going to read it because I don’t read”
If you don’t read you won’t be a writer’s partner for long.
When we are excited about an idea, don’t put it down or criticize it.
We’re likely to try bouncing ideas around with you and occasionally there will be an idea we are really excited about. We’re going to tell you about these ideas and talk about how we will work it into our story. Our minds are made up about it. So don’t you trample our dreams with your criticism.
Only ‘help’ us when we ask for it. Don’t assume that we’ll take all of your advice though.
If we trust you as a partner we also respect your opinion on our work. However, this doesn’t mean that you’re suddenly our god of good literature. We’ll listen to your feedback and make the changes we believe will be of benefit. Don’t feel like we don’t care what you think when we don’t follow your advice.
We love to hear a good story
We love to spend time with people who like to talk about their lives. Even if it is just one small, interesting thing that has happened to you or around you. We expect you to listen when we tell you our stories too.
We’re insane… isn’t that right Freddy?
If you’re partner suddenly starts muttering to themselves or make strange faces, don’t be alarmed. They’re likely imagining a scene from one of their stories and getting overly involved. Not saying that some of us aren’t actually crazy.
We’re pretty public with our lives… Google me
Most people in the 1st world can discover a fair bit about us. If you’re wondering about what’s significant in our lives at the moment (and aren’t going to ask for some reason) then just check our blog. You can also read our biographies on our websites. Just use Google and you’ll find a lot of info on us!
Expect characters in our writings who seem suspiciously similar to you
We don’t necessarily go out of our way to base our characters on people we know. However, our writing can reflect our own lives and interests. If you’re an interest to us (which you would hope you were) then one of our characters might just find themselves with similar physical or psychological traits to you.
We reeeeally like pyjamas… don’t expect us to change unless we’re leaving the house.
Seriously, why should we change if we don’t have to? They’re comfier than any other clothing.
When we say we have “Writer’s Block” it is a serious problem
Don’t shrug us off when we’re having a mini break down, saying, “Calm down, you’ll be fine.” To a writer, not being able to write even though we want to, is like an athlete breaking their legs. The best way to help us would be to help us find inspiration. Running us a bath is a good start.
Make us hot beverages
We love hot drinks, whether it’s coffee, tea, or chocolate. We’ll think it’s super sweet if you place a cuppa next to us while were writing. It’s a good way to show you care about us.
Don’t piss us off
Make us angry and you might be killed off in our next book. We’ll be pretty imaginative with it as well!
Hope you guys enjoyed this post! If you have any other tid-bits about dating a writer that you would like to share please comment below :D
Scarlett Van Dijk
Hi everyone, long time no write. The last three weeks have been some of the most hectic, overwhelming, incredible, fun, tough, and exciting of my life. On the 5th of January I became “one of those employed people”. I am a fully-fledged radiographer, taking x-rays and being all professional and stuff.
Unfortunately I have already let one of my New Year’s Resolutions slide. I haven’t really written, well, anything. I promise I will get back on track! Hence, I am here again.
Before I began work I was worried about such silly things as: Will I be good enough? Will they like me? Will I fit in? What if I make mistakes and I don’t meet their expectations? What are their expectations anyway?!
Now I see how silly I was being. When I began working all these worries went out the window as the first week saw me so incredibly busy that the only worry I had was whether I was getting behind in my work flow! My colleagues are kind and willing to teach me the ropes. I am also realizing that it is okay to make mistakes occasionally since I am new, as long as I learn from them. Not to mention that this mythical thing called “Pay” is amazing! (I now have a new handbag)
The scary part is that I feel like I have officially started life. Yet, it’s exciting to think of what is to come. I am independent and I know that for the next however-many decades this is what I’ll do. Yes, it’s terrifying. As a kid you dream of being a working adult, earning money, doing adult things… then you become one and you think, “Can’t I just stay a kid forever?”.
Well, I guess that is where fiction writing comes in…
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Have you ever been reading a piece of fiction and felt such a deep connection that you feel exactly how the character does? You don't even need to be able to relate with that character. They could be the complete opposite to you, be in a situation you would never find yourself in, and yet you still understand them deeply. Ever had to stop yourself from laughing at a character while reading on the bus because people may look at you strangely? Ever found yourself with tears running down your face because you feel sympathy for a character? Well, as a writer, I try to learn from the authors who can make me feel for their characters.
The reason I bring this up is because I am currently reading a novel which has made me feel such a connection. I am reading the Mistborn series by Brandon Sanderson and I can say he is an amazing author. The protagonist of his story, a young girl named Vin, started out as a street urchin eventually discovering her powers as an Mistborn allomancer. In book one, she joins a thieving crew filled with other allomancers, pretends to be a noble girl attending balls, and ends up killing an (almost) god. I can't exactly relate to any of those experiences. However, something in the way Brandon depicts Vin was able to touch me. I have grinned giddily during the happy moments and cried during the sad. I even cried when Vin's crush, Elend, was ignoring her! I have wanted her to be able to trust others and wanted her to succeed. Brandon was able to create a character and give her such depth that I could understand her thoughts and emotions. I feel her internal conflicts as my own. This level of connection is what I wish to be able to accomplish with my own characters.
Reading books such as this was the cause for why I now plan my characters carefully before I begin a story. I write out a plan for my character's personality traits, their history, their strong and weak points, and their appearance. From doing this, I feel that my characters have more depth and that writing about feels more natural. This is because I already know my own characters quite thoroughly instead of learning about them as I write.
As you know I am now in my final year of my Medical Imaging degree. At university recently, we have been broaching the topic of job applications. Yes, I am scared. I didn't expect to start thinking about this for another couple of months yet! Now I have to begin compiling a resume and cover letter while hoping that I can source enough referees by the time I apply for my first radiography position.
When I looked back on my experiences I wonder how I can sell myself to an employer. I haven't worked more than one casual job and my personal desktop publishing business was more of a pocket money maker. I started to fret. Then I took a deep breath and thought, "I haven't wasted my life, there has to be something of use in there." Oh wait…. I'm an author!
What does it take to be an author? I am motivated. Without self-motivation, there is no way I could have completed two manuscripts and be close to publishing my first. Writing a novel takes years of hard work and dedication. You must be a creative individual, able to think outside of the square box, then place those thoughts down on paper. You have to be proactive. No one is going to write, edit, and publish a book for you. No one is going to do the initial marketing of the book in your stead. I have the ability to work independently to complete a difficult task but also be able to take criticism and use it to better myself and improve my skills. I have proven my ability to communicate with others over the internet to bring in guest bloggers and to write effectively so that my meaning is clear. I show time management skills, being able to juggle my writing, marketing, university degree and other commitments. Being an author proves that I have a number of attributes that can be useful in any number of career paths. Hence, this will be included in my resume as proof of my worthiness.
Soon I will begin job hunting and I am ready to show potential employers that I am just what they need. I have the skills they require and will be a valuable member of the team. Come on world!
Scarlett Van Dijk
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I don't know if printed books are going out of fashion, and I don't know if they will one day be completely replaced by e-readers, however, I sincerely hope that printed books stay with us. The feeling of paper pages flipping beneath your fingers cannot be replaced by an e-reader. Nor the smell of a new or old book, the weight of the book, the colour of the pages and the beauty of a well-designed cover in glossy print.
E-readers have their good points. They are compact and can be carried in your bag without fear of dog-earing or ripping pages. You can store many different books just in one small device. They are a great idea for those people that have long bus trips and need something to occupy them. E-readers are a wonderful way of allowing more people to read more often. Another good point is that they allow even self-published books to find their way to readers.
Buying printed books can be more expensive than an e-reader in the long run, however, this doesn't deter me from expanding my collection. Printed pages don't give off the glare that a screen does which means I can read for longer; I find that screens fatigue my eyes. I also get the satisfaction of holding a weighty book, seeing my progression as I flip pages or slide in a page marker before closing a book. I find printed books much more enjoyable to read, besides, if I can't afford to buy them then I can still go to the library.
So, in my opinion there is no way that the printed book will disappear. Perhaps, e-readers will take over to an extent but I believe the printed book takes the cake!
Scarlett Van Dijk
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This year is going to be a good one! Not only is this my final year of university and I expect to begin my career by the end of the year, but this is the year Sky Stone will be published. I'm out to please, showing what I can do to my radiographer supervisors while I am on placement. It is exciting to that in only a year I will be a qualified radiographer, published author, and thinking about actually living my life.
A year of mostly placement and barely any lectures sounds like hard work. However, I love it! I couldn't be any happier knowing that this line of work is the right one for me. That is something the majority of people in the world will never have the opportunity to find. Soon I will be able to plan for my future, moving away from home, holidaying, exploring different hobbies, and eventually starting a family. I may be getting ahead of myself, I'm not even 21 yet, but my vision of the future is a goal worth dedicating myself to. I can't wait!
Unfortunately, there have been delays with the editing of Sky Stone. However, I plan on seeing it edited and up for reading as soon as possible. This is something I have been striving for since I realized I had a completed manuscript on my flash drive a number of years ago. Sky Stone has been a struggle and a learning experience and I am extremely proud to have created it. Publishing it will feel truly like my first step into authorship, my chance to call myself a published author. It's sequel, Guardian Core, I hope to begin polishing for publication as soon as Sky Stone is available to all.
These are only a couple of the things that will make this year amazing. My martial arts life is also taking off, along with my friendships and amazing relationship. I love life!!!
Scarlett Van Dijk
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The end of 2013 looms over us and with it comes the beginning of a new year. 2013 has been a year of life changing decisions and events for me. I made the decision to work towards self-publishing Sky Stone and began my online platform with social media and my blog. I also created my own freelance desktop publishing business. I have received my black belt in Taekwondo and moved forward to begin training in Ninjutsu. Best of all, I met the man I love more than anything in the world.
In this post I am going to highlight four of my resolutions for the new year, 2014.
1. Write more often
With my many commitments I have been slack when it comes to actually putting words down on paper. It is frustrating, not writing as often as I wish, and in the new year I hope to put some time aside purely for writing. In the new year I hope to publish Sky Stone, finish the first draft of the sequel, Guardian Core, and start on the manuscript for a new urban fantasy I have outlined.
2. Go for more walks
Such an easy thing to do but also easy to overlook. I have been finding myself becoming lethargic and unmotivated from sitting at home on my computer or in front of the TV for hours. I know that even a small amount of exercise each day can stimulate the mind and make me feel more energetic. This will help a lot with productivity in my everyday and writing life.
3. Train more often
This is referring to Ninjutsu training. I am loving learning skills in this ancient Japanese martial art. Currently I have only trained twice a week but I hope to start seeing major improvements in my skills and plan to upgrade this to three times a week. With my new practice weapons gained from Christmas I shall also start practicing my skills at home.
4. See friends more often
As I enter my final year of university and less classes to attend I will need to make extra effort to see and keep in contact with friends. These friends are very special to me as they accept me for the person I am. I hope to start organising get-togethers so that we can keep in touch. This will also help get me out of the house and away from the TV occasionally during the holidays (haha).
I hope everyone had a lovely Christmas and will have a wonderful New Years. What resolutions have you set?
Scarlett Van Dijk
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This post is probably going to sound like a commentary from an episode of 'Grumpy Old Ladies' but it is true I don't like Christmas. Even as a kid it was only a time of the year when we got presents. I wasn't like other children who woke up at one minute past midnight to see what Santa had left under the tree or stayed up listening for reindeer hooves on the roof. I figured it was another night, I got to sleep-in in the morning, and when I woke up said presents would still be there. You might think this a bit sad but to me there isn't much point.
Firstly, the issue of presents. So you go out, spend all your cash (of which I don't have much) on bits and pieces for relatives and other significant people in your life, most of which they probably don't want. There is the stress of wondering whether the present you give them will not reach the same standard as the present you receive in return or whether the person will not appreciate the gift. Also, how to respond with false excitement when you receive 'another' soap set that you had continually hinted at being allergic to? At the end of the day, this gift giving is merely a customary act. Isn't Christmas time supposed to be about generosity not just because 'we have to do it since we always have'. Instead of giving each other tokens that will end up in a cupboard somewhere, how about truly being generous and giving to a charity. Adopt a World Vision Child or give to the Cancer Foundation or a wildlife reserve for endangered pandas or tigers. Isn't that a better way to spend our money, money that we can apparently squander on expensive gifts which may not go far in actually helping anybody.
Secondly, Christmas Carols. I don't know what it is about Christmas Carols but whenever I hear one I want to destroy the source. I suggest you keep any carolling children away from my doorstep. Joking! But seriously, why are we forced to listen to those terrible tunes every time we walk through a supermarket or turn on the radio? Is it some kind of brain-washing mechanism? I'm not sure why I detest carols as much as I do. Perhaps it is due to being forced to sing them every darn year at school. Or maybe it's because I nearly burnt my hair off at Carols by Candlelight? Whatever it is those carols eat away at my normally very calm centre.
The only things I seem to enjoy about Christmas are being with family and friends and Christmas lights. But honestly, if you want to see family and friends go see them. If you like fairy lights put them up. *shrug*.
Scarlett Van Dijk
Ps. This is only my personal opinion and I hope this post doesn't offend anyone. I still have a lot of fun around Christmas time seeing family and friends it's just the whole tradition that bothers me.
I have been in quite the pickle lately. I have been so incredibly busy that I haven't had time (or energy) to write. I have just finished a block of clinical placement for my medical imaging program at university, which is basically me working full-time without pay (in fact I pay for the privilege). Then I have my martial arts commitments which I try to attend twice a week. Along with assignments and study for uni exams which begin in a few weeks, completing my paid work, and trying to sleep, I find I have very little time to myself. In the little time I do have, I find myself too exhausted to even think half the time (the other half I nap, trying to catch some of my lost sleep). Hence, why my blog posts have lately been few and far between (sorry by the way). Therefore, I am writing this post now to attempt to nut out my life and find time to write!
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Unfortunately, university takes preference. Unlike many writers out there, writing is not going to be my full-time job, radiography will be. Therefore, my focus needs to be on completing university and then finding a job. Luckily, my placement has now ended and I can starting focusing a little more on other aspects of my life. But, next year will be filled with clinical placement… back to square one.
Secondly, I need money. Therefore, my paid job takes the next spot in the preference list. I currently freelance as a desktop publisher come marketer and what I earn is proportional to how much time I put in. It isn't the type of job I can rock up at and get paid for sitting at a desk (pretending to work). However, I don't have time for a job where my hours are locked in. Damn, so that's several hours of my week taken.
My next commitment is martial arts. I'm sad to say I was forced to leave taekwondo behind since I could no longer afford to do both that and my new love, ninjutsu. Martial arts takes a fair amount of work, and compulsory attendance, in order to see a good, steady improvement. Attending classes twice a week is really the minimum I should be doing. Other than that, I need to go to the gym more often. But that is another thing that is being left behind for the moment.
Then there is writing. Writing is my hobby and my release, however it does take a certain amount of mental dexterity. When your mind feels like it is filled with goo and your body is trying to shut down on you without permission, writing is practically impossible. Here is my issue. The time I do have to write, I am too exhausted to use and usually turns in to a nap or watching anime.
Now then, I think I found somewhat of an answer. Obviously, I won't be able to write as much as I would like, such as the 1000 words a day which I have previously written about. However, after mentally searching through my activities I found hidden pockets of time. For instance, my lunch breaks at clinical placement can be used for assignment writing or story writing. My weekends manage to appear busy but in reality, between the few hours used for work and assignments, there is quite a bit of time. Until now, I had mostly written at night, feeling more inclined to do so at this time. But now I realize that those 'me-time' pockets that are usually filled with reading or watching anime, can be split with writing. What I have also managed to forget is that these blog posts, my drawing, my random note taking, and my online marketing, are also part of what a writer does. I haven't been doing as little as I thought.
I think what I am going to have to do is formulate a timetable. There is so much happening at the moment that it is difficult to decide what I can or should do at any particular time. So, I am going to dedicate certain hours to university work, paid work, and writing around my other commitments. I probably won't stick to the plan too soundly but it will at least give me a good idea of what time I have.
If you have any time management tips I'd love you to leave a comment. Thanks for reading.
Scarlett Van Dijk
This week my father suffered a heart attack. I was terrified. My dad is a fit man, always outside being active, and yet such a thing still happened to him. He is home now and well with a new collection of pills to be taken each day. However, I'm suddenly very aware of him in my life.
The first thing that ran through my head as my mother pulled me out of clinical placement early, was not that something might have happened to somebody close to me, but that perhaps I had done something wrong. Let's say I would have preferred the guilt or humiliation of that than the fear I felt at hearing the news that my father was in hospital.
This event made me think about how close I could have been to losing him and also that I have been taking his presence for granted. There are many people in my life that I care about but have never considered the possibility of never seeing one of them again. So, I ask you now, to think about the people close to you. Have you been taking them for granted too?
Another thing this event has reminded me of is to not waste your life trying to impress people who are set on not caring for you in return. Life is limited so it's best to surround yourself with those you love and who love you back. Life's too short to feel miserable when there is so much to enjoy out there. If those people don't have time for me, then I don't have time for them either.
Scarlett Van Dijk
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A Writer's Tale
Scarlett Van Dijk
Writer of young adult, fantasy series, the Sky Stone series, poetry and short stories.
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