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How to Gut Your Audience (with music and stories)

Two of my immediate family members are pursuing a career in the music industry. One of my favorite things to do is hear them work on a new composition or practice a difficult vocal run.

So my last year in college, I was inspired to finally fulfill one of my dreams—get over my embarrassment and take a @#$% voice lesson.

Couldn’t keep a pitch to save my mother’s life, but I absolutely loved it.

In the last year, I decided to take voice lessons again when I’m not behind a keyboard or paintbrush. I also braved new piano lessons to improve my improv skills. And, surprise, surprise—just like painting, music has so many similarities to writing.

I’ll get into one of them today 🙂5712010773_593c1a7f7b_zPicture this—you’re sitting in traffic. Spotify/Radio/whatever hooked up. And then a song plays. And it guts you.

One minute you’re fine. The next you’re raining tears harder than a monsoon season. Images of your childhood and past regrets and dead former pets play on repeat through your thoughts.

The song gets you. The song is you.

How can the artist/musician/actor portray the song so perfectly?

It’s more than just emotion.

It’s characterization.

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Another Writing Tip from Artist Susan Blackwood

Two weeks ago I attended a watercolor workshop taught by nationally known Susan Blackwood. I was astounded by how much the content related perfectly to writing (I wrote another post on it, here). By the end of the four days, my poor Evernote app barely functioned–I wore the sucker out. (Don’t worry, it’s happy again.)

I found myself ruminating over something she said:

the_scariest_part_of_paintingAnd guess what I thought. Surprise: this is so my writing life.

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A Writing Tip from Susan Blackwood, an Artist

I spent this weekend hunched over watercolor paper, surrounded by fellow artists and mounds of paint. I participated in a four-day Susan Blackwood workshop, where the theme of the weekend was Finding Your Voice through practical painting concepts.

As I jotted down notes, I was startled by how similar the concepts were to writing. 

Take this mini painting. Yes, that’s a cow butt 🙂 (I focused more on nailing the concept than getting it perfect, so no judgments.)
Cow_butt_Watercolor

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5 Ways to Keep Writing When Your Migraines Get in the Way

5_ways_to_keep_writing_when_migrainesIf you’ve been following my blog for a while, you’d know one of the biggest obstacles in my life is my health. Like any good writer, I have daily (or weekly!) goals I aim for to make sure the novel in my head ends up as a fatty word document in my hand.

But how can you continue making progress on a novel and grow as a writer when migraines keep you clinging to ice packs and pain killers like a koala to a tree?

Here are 5 ways to keep writing and growing despite those migraines:

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