Questions 3: An Author Would Understand

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I’ve seen a lot of memes and social media comments about how ‘an author would understand’.  This covers writer’s block, talking to yourself, needing that perfect space, and other quirks of the creative.  One thing I don’t really see is any author trying to explain it to those who don’t understand.  I certainly try and fail outside of the computer.  So let’s see if we can share our explanations.

  1. What makes you love being an author?
  2. What about being an author gives you a headache?
  3. What does imagination mean to you?

About Charles Yallowitz

Charles E. Yallowitz was born, raised, and educated in New York. Then he spent a few years in Florida, realized his fear of alligators, and moved back to the Empire State. When he isn't working hard on his epic fantasy stories, Charles can be found cooking or going on whatever adventure his son has planned for the day. 'Legends of Windemere' is his first series, but it certainly won't be his last.
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47 Responses to Questions 3: An Author Would Understand

  1. I love being at the forefront of a publishing revolution that gives everyone a chance. I love writing because you not only get to explore your imagination, your creativity isn’t hampered by someone else dictating what you must do. And I love getting the occasional email from a reader who appreciates your work.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I love hearing from someone who read something I wrote and enjoyed it enough to say so. It could be a book or even a blog post.

    I give myself headaches trying to do too much. I set the table, then panic when it’s too much. I need to set the table in more reasonable amounts.

    I think everyone has an imagination. Creative folks explore it more, and it can become a driving force in our lives. It allows me to consider all sides to issues, even though I might not agree with them.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Feedback certainly makes all the effort worthwhile. 🙂 Trying to think of a way to continue the table analogy. All I have is that even when you set a table with everything, you always have that one spoon or fork that never gets touched.

      I do hope everyone has an imagination. I’ve met people that didn’t seem to and it creeps me out. Like they’re missing something. Pretty sure I come off as an immature loon to them though.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Sue Vincent says:

    Being an author gives me an excuse to play in my imagination and stretch my mind and understanding of the world. The only thing about it that gives me a headache is the hours… you never, ever, get time off from the words 🙂 Yet the very imagination that binds us to a 24/7/365 job is also the ultimate freedom to create and express anything we can dream.

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  4. What makes you love being an author? The idea of losing myself in a story and then stepping back and appreciating what has been produced.
    What about being an author gives you a headache? Trying to raise awareness of my work.
    What does imagination mean to you? My writing is all the output of my imagination so I look upon imagination as the raw ingredient for my words.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Dominika says:

    1. I love being an author… because it’s something I’m decent at and definitely something that over time, I can progress and improve in my own ways. Being an author offers me the space to share worlds, characters, thoughts, and stories onto platforms that others can use to further their own thoughts or enjoy a good story or be inspired to create something else. There’s a certain level of independent control over my stories and almost every decision on the way is something I have to consider. At times, the holistic aspect of being an author feels like a clever game to me – not only do I have to strategize and make defining decisions within my manuscripts, but I also have to do that on a meta-level to progress and finish those manuscripts, as well as spread awareness to potential reader bases.

    2. What about being an author gives you a headache? How fast, yet slow, time passes by. Since I self-publish right now, I set my own deadlines and often have completion times for works that end up taking much longer than I planned for. I mean, I’m still working on my debut under this name and though I wanted to publish at least one of my works last year, I’m still trying to get everything polished and ready and didn’t feel confident enough to go ahead with it. I hope for this year, but the work is the work and it’s a chore to figure out what is necessary development and what is perfectionism getting in the way of a finished/readable product.

    Oh, it is a bit headachey how I can have a wealth of manuscripts and written material, but since none of it is published yet – no one even knows except for the rare few closest to me. Also, when I want to write specifically on a project, I sometimes get frustrated because the words are coming slow or awkward for whatever reason – when this happens, I get unbearably itchy with full-body hives and it makes the frustration worse, forcing me to eventually stop writing and cope like the silly author I am with a healthy amount of tears, herbal smoking (ayy not cigarettes), drinking coffee/tea, then passing/zoning out and trying again the next day or so. The itchiness is the worst part though because it’s so physical and undeniable when it arises.

    3. What does imagination mean to you? Imagination has a very literal meaning to me. It’s the meta-term for a person’s ability to imagine… anything. It’s an exercise of the mind and probably can be developed with an effort to be more rich and vivid over time, similar to lucid dreaming (which could be a form of imagination). It involves both analytical and creative portions of the brain, as the imagination can encompass abstract thought, but it can also include a scientific mode of how to think about this or that.

    Nice thoughtful post and questions~ Also, sometimes my browser does have 2,857 tabs when I’m researching 😛 Least it feels that way.

    Liked by 1 person

    • 1. Never really thought about the meta-level aspect. Would you be able to explain that a bit more? Think I’m not 100% certain what you mean by holistic.

      2. Wow. I only get irritable and depressed when I have trouble writing something. Though I know what you mean about things taking longer than you expect. The bizarre delays are what get to me. Like having the perfect plan to write a chapter today and the power went out last night and didn’t come back until 15 minutes ago. Just shows how fragile an author’s mood and focus can be.

      3. I write fantasy, so I have 4-10 Word files open as well as a pile of notebooks with me when I write. I like your definition of imagination. Makes it sound like a muscle that needs to be worked out or it atrophies, which is something I’ve believed for a while.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Dominika says:

        1. Sure thing, I can try. So when I said holistic, I meant wholly – entirely, fully, in every respect – everything that goes into being an author; the writing, the editing, the plotting, the draft work, the contemplation, the decision making, the business choices, community interaction, the entire summary of /being/ an author. What that means for me, specifically, is that I perceive it as a clever game. But that’s kind of what I meant by holistic – does that make more sense?

        2. Lol, “only”. Irritability and depression due to difficulty writing is such a headache. Yeah, I often create perfect plans, but only about 20% of the time do I ever follow that plan – something usually happens that routes it elsewhere. Lately, I’ve been trying to think of those times in the terms of Steven Pressfield’s Resistance though and idk if it’s helping, but it offers a slight difference in awareness.

        That’s an interesting discussion; the fragility of an author’s mood and focus. I would suggest however that while an author can be fragile, at the same time (on the flipside), authors can be extraordinarily resilient. Because while that can happen and in the moment (to us authors) can feel immensely fragile of us, most of us get back to it within a few days – if not the next day. We try and try and try again, despite the headaches and the irritability and the depression. Like the Phoenix, eh? We burn out, only to rise from the ashes yet again.

        3. Yeah, I write in different genres – but fantasy is definitely the one genre that when I’m actively working on it, I have notebooks and papers and journals just everywhere. The next closest would probably be sci-fi or speculative fantasy. It can be kind of fun, doing all that creative chaos/order and working out that Imagination muscle. ^_^ Ditto.

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      • 1. I get it. Holistic made me think of herbs and incense, so I didn’t know if that was an atmospheric concept. I do know authors who only write when they have incense burning. Not recommended in a college campus.

        2. True, but I’ll admit that it taking days to recover sounds like a nightmare to me. I’ve had weeks where every day has an unexpected distraction or errand, which makes me unfit for human interaction on the weekend. I’m talking about working on a story and somebody just walks up to start talking as if you looked bored. Those are the incidents that really irk me.

        3. Reminds me that I need to double check old notes before writing today. One thing I realized is that I’ll change stuff when I get to the actual writing. Causes some trouble at times, especially with a spontaneous minor character that comes back for a scene or even a paragraph. I’m in the final stretch of first drafts for my series, so returns are becoming more common. Can be a headache because I fear getting a hair or eye color wrong.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Dominika says:

        1. Ah right, well I do like herbs and incense too! Just not all the time. :3
        2. Lol, I tend to write in complete privacy if I can get away with it. I don’t usually go into public places to write and try to find a spot that has a door to close myself off. It’d probably be a lot harder if I had children though! I’m fairly lucky in that I’m mostly independent and my house remains closed off from random visitors. Still, I’d prefer to have an actual cottage or studio to be able to go and work in. Perhaps in the future… I have to be pretty ruthless in social regards to maintain privacy for writing though and that can be tough sometimes.
        3. Consistency is such a trick and chore! I try to make excels to consolidate my notes, but I always give up on the project and just hope I’m doing alright instead xD But definitely making an Excel Chart with the Cast of Characters and trait details like eye color, hair color, height, age, etc. can be very helpful.

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      • The kid is a challenge, but the other adults in the house tend to be worse. My son usually wants to play and will sit quietly while I finish a paragraph. The others keep on pushing and it’s always for something tedious like cleaning, bad news, or mentioning that nobody planned dinner. Funny thing about the cottage thing. My wife was told about author cabins and thought it would be a good idea to surprise me with a week in a hotel room by myself. Since I had no idea it was going to happen, I felt like I’d just been kicked out of the house. Just finished a project too, so I was at a week long rest that made the whole thing feel like a waste. She’s been told to never do that again.

        I use character bios and try my best to memorize everything. Age, height, and weight aren’t too bad because I’m rarely exact with those. I’ve had a lot of bad luck switching eye colors though. Especially with blonde characters that don’t have blue eyes.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. twixie13 says:

    1) I think my favorite aspect of being an author is that it gives me an excuse for sort of living in my own world and such. When I was younger, some of my teachers tended to accuse me of doing so. Turns out, though, I’m NOT off in “La-La Land”, as she’d put it. No, 1st grade teacher, it’s called Hell Bent, thank you very much.
    2) Self-promotion, definitely. When I DO try it, it feels like I’m coming across as desperate and whatnot. Which I guess I sort of am, but you never want it to feel that way.
    3) Imagination is pretty much what makes getting up in the morning worth it. Helps get a lot of stuff done and keeps me going through the day.

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    • 1. I had that at too. A lot of daydreaming and doodling that caught the wrong type of attention. You dreamed up Hell Bent in 1st grade? Impressive.

      2. Totally agree. Always reminded of ‘The Critic’ episode where Jay Sherman is trying to sell his book. He has a cardboard cutout of himself that repeatedly says ‘Buy My Book! Buy My Book!’

      3. Very well said. 🙂

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      • twixie13 says:

        Actually, Hell Bent came about in the past few years. I’m not sure where my mind was in 1st grade, to be honest. But I’m still totally using it as an excuse if I encounter her again. And yeah…I think of that episode whenever I think of marketing, oddly enough.

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      • I was always near the window, so I’d be staring outside. Usually clouds or passing cars. Hope you get a chance to use that excuse. 🙂

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  7. L. Marie says:

    My responses:
    1. What makes you love being an author?
    Taking off on an adventure (fiction or nonfiction) as I go from just an idea to a finished product. I can only hope to connect to a reader’s heart.

    The other day, the mom of a teen sent me a message to say how much her daughter (who is really shy and wouldn’t connect on her own) enjoyed a nonfiction book I’d written for teens a couple of years ago. That really made my day!

    2. What about being an author gives you a headache?
    Coping with rejection and misunderstanding. Being ignored is another way of being rejected. Often people ask me, “What are you up to?” without once asking, “How is your book going?” They assume that because I’m at home, I’m not doing anything. Or, if I mention I’m working on a fantasy book, that person might say, “Oh, I’m not into fantasy.” Guess they won’t read my book. One of the most annoying questions I’ve been asked, after I stated that I’ve had books published, is, “Have I heard of you?” That’s really a question only that person can answer! Usually if they have to ask my name, the answer is no!

    3. What does imagination mean to you?
    Imagination is like a blank wall with a door in the middle of it. You never know where the door will lead. But you step through it and find a colorful landscape that extends beyond the horizon. I usually imagine a large forest. But the landscape could be nightmarish. It really depends on the person. But having an imagination helps me stay entertained. However, I can frighten myself sometimes with some images!

    Liked by 1 person

    • 1. That’s an awesome level of feedback. Great to know when a book touches a reader, especially like that.

      2. I’ve heard all of those and they are frustrating. Though another favorite is when one of them is said and then I’m told to ‘thicken my skin’. I think that only goes so far because eventually you feel like your identity as an author is being insulted. Kind of like ranting at a doctor for his penmanship or ugly stitch work.

      3. I like the blank wall idea. Though mine is usually warped and has some doodles already on there. The doodles are moving and have sharp teeth.

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  8. noelleg44 says:

    What makes you love being an author?
    Bringing enjoyment to people who like my stories.
    What about being an author gives you a headache? Marketing and endless editing
    What does imagination mean to you? It gives me an amazing feeling to see what comes out of my little gray cells without trying.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. adeleulnais says:

    I love being an author because I love stories, telling them or writing them.
    What annoys me about being an author. There are only so many hours in the day.
    What does imagination mean to me. Freedom. Escape. Protectiveness. Friends. Stories. As a kid, I was always told by my teacher that my imagination would be better used by writing down stories. Okay, that was after I run the school fire bell because we were being invaded, by imaginary foes of course.

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    • That hours in the day thing is such a hassle. Why did ancient humans have to only give us 24 hours? Though we’d probably waste the extra with more work time.

      Sounds like your teacher was both supportive and running out of aspirin. 😀 I’ve noticed that we all have that memorable teacher. Sometimes it’s one that supported us and we have a keepsake phrase or something from them. Other times it’s a teacher who was determined to keep us on the ground. Both seem to be rather powerful.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. What makes you love being an author?

    Being able to create whatever I want from nothing and watch it develop. It also provides an escape from my 50-60 hour per week day job.

    What about being an author gives you a headache?

    Everything but the writing; promotion, author events, editing, promotion, book covers, newsletters, promotion…did I mention promotion?

    What does imagination mean to you?

    The ability to construct something in your mind that would normally be experienced by the five senses; How something looks, tastes, smells, sounds, feels, without physically experiencing it.
    This is probably why I like very few movies adapted from books. How dare the director interpret my imagination.

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    • 1. Love the creating something from nothing aspect. Leads to a great escape, especially after that kind of week.

      2. I agree. The writing, artistic side is always a blast. Some days it’s really hard to gather the same excitement for the business side of things. All we can do is try and make it fun though.

      3. I’ve always been on the fence about book adaptations. When I was younger, I’d have to read the book before my parents took me to the movie. So I had both in my head at the same time. This may have led to me seeing them as the same story with different interpretations that go along with a third of my own creation. Like a mental balancing act.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Helen Jones says:

    Hi Charles 🙂
    1. I love being an author because I can express myself. I love telling stories, the joy that comes with a new idea as it unfolds onto the page. I love to write.
    2. Promotion gives me a headache, as does submitting to agents, editing, formatting… Ha, but I do it all – a necessary part of the process!
    3. Imagination means boundless freedom – there are no limits.

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  12. M T McGuire says:

    1. I love telling stories and I love it even more when other people enjoy them.
    2. Formatting, trying to sell … well … any books at all.
    3. Everything.

    Cheers

    MTM

    Like

    • Formatting can be a real pain. I’ve actually made it a little easier by formatting as I write the first draft. At least the tabs, spacing, and how to divide chapters.

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      • M T McGuire says:

        I do the first draft in Wordperfect because it’s the only one that can spell the way I do 😉

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      • Never knew it had that. Guessing you mean the British spellings of words like ‘colour/color’. Surprised Word doesn’t allow you to change the dictionary.

        Liked by 1 person

      • M T McGuire says:

        It does, in theory, but it’s incredibly difficult. I managed it a couple of computers ago but haven’t since. You have to change a whole raft of settings if you want it to be British by default, otherwise it just goes back to American every time you open a new document. It is a royal pain in the arse! 😉

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