Alea asked me to write about my writing rituals, and so I will confess, that I don’t actually have any writing rituals! I know some writers go to coffee shops or listen to playlists, or. . . I guess have actual things they must do and have in order to write. But for me, I need quiet. That’s it, just quiet and my computer. I like coffee, and if I’m writing in the morning and I have a cup, that’s nice, but not necessary. (There are plenty of times I write without coffee, too.)
Though quiet might not sound like a lot, at my house, it is. I have two little boys, both under the age of five, who I spend the majority of the day playing with, feeding, driving places, cleaning up after, etc. Quiet (and time on my own) is rare. And so I write in the afternoons for an hour or two when they’re napping. I write after they go to bed at night. Sometimes I write on weekend mornings when my husband is home to entertain them.
But I am usually trying to squeeze my writing into quick, fleeting pockets of time. The in-between spaces of life. There is no time for rituals or preparing myself to write. I just have to do it when I can, in those few rare hours a day where quiet prevails.
Maybe that’s the interesting thing about my “rituals” or my process, if you will. That I must be able to do it, on demand, when I can fit it in. My writing mantra over the past few years has simply been to set a daily goal for myself, whether it be a number of words or pages to write or a number of chapters to revise. I write these goals down, on scraps of paper, or sometimes, if I’m really feeling organized, on a calendar. And then I stick to them. I make myself stick to them. Even if I’m tired. Even if there’s a good show I’d rather be watching on TV. Even if I don’t feel like it.
Oddly enough, I’ve found I get a lot more done than I used to before I was so busy, back in those days before I had kids, when I actually had time and leisure to have some writing rituals. I think I get a lot more done because time feels a lot more valuable to me now, and so I’ve come to an understanding with myself on how not to waste it.
I’m curious, though, other writers – what rituals do you have? Are there things you need to have and do before you sit down to write, or like me, do you just have to squeeze it in when you can?
Thanks Jillian! Onto my review!
Before he died, Melissa's father told her about stars. He told her that the brightest stars weren't always the most beautiful—that if people took the time to look at the smaller stars, if they looked with a telescope at the true essence of the star, they would find real beauty. But even though Melissa knows that beauty isn't only skin deep, the people around her don't seem to feel that way. There's her gorgeous sister, Ashley, who will barely acknowledge Melissa at school; there's her best friend, Ryan, who may be falling in love with the sophisticated Courtney; and there's Melissa's mother, who's dating someone new, someone Melissa knows will never be able to replace her father.
To make sure she doesn't lose her father completely, Melissa spends her time trying to piece together the last of his secrets and finishing a journal he began—one about love and relationships and the remarkable ways people find one another. But when tragedy strikes, Melissa has to start living and loving in the present as she realizes that being beautiful on the outside doesn't mean you can't be beautiful on the inside.
This is a lyrical tale of love, loss, and self-discovery from the author of The September Sisters.
The Life of Glass is one of those books, one of those books that encompasses the whole high school/growing up experience and in my opinion the author does it beautifully.
At first glance I thought the book was going to be mostly about Melissa dealing with her dad's death and all the other things being sort of secondary plots but turns out her father's death was sort of the map that she experienced everything else on and it came together so perfectly. Melissa reads from her father's journal when she needs to feel close to him or just needs something, and one of my favorite parts of the book is inside that journal. Her father (and also Melissa) write these wonderful little stories of how couples met and got together (her parents, her parent's parents etc) and they were just so touching.
So as I mentioned the focus of the book is not just on Melissa and dealing with her grief but it's also about her family and how they move on, her friends (new and old in school) and finding love for the first time. I hated the way that Melissa's sister Ashley treated her and even her mother sometimes, they were sort of off in their own little world but what was really impressive was that Melissa didn't really care that she was not like them and did her own thing. Yes she grows and changes and finds more in common with them but she still remains her own person and I think that's one of the most important messages in the book.
And probably my favorite plot involved Melissa and her friend Ryan, they have been friends forever never thinking about anything more than hanging out and riding the wash and then new girl Courtney jumps in the middle of their friendship and turns everything upside down.
The Life of Glass is a wonderful book that covers so much and I definitely will be checking out Jillian's previous release and any other books she has to come!
The Life of Glass was released on February 9th 2010
Genre: Young Adult
ARC provided for blog tour
And one more exciting thing!