Friday, May 15, 2015

How To Only Share Your Written Gems, Not The Rough by Elizabeth Van Tassel




How To Only Share Your 
Written Gems, Not The Rough

by Elizabeth Van Tassel

How do you let your heart show through in your writing without being overly vulnerable? Here are four tips for your next writing adventure.

Tip#1 Write in the Zone
Whether you’re a morning or evening person, your best writing will develop during that time of day. I’m a morning person, so I rise with the sun to begin my creative efforts. If you work with your natural rhythm, your writing will improve and your messages will have more impact.

Tip #2 Stay on Brand
To write from a place of abundance, and not feel drained, stay true to your message. Your branding should be central to what you are called to write, and as an expert, you have a lot to say about it. When you get dragged off track, it can be tiring and your message will be less effective than if you remain on target.

Tip #3 Leave the Baggage Behind
When being vulnerable, write about events that you can share something emotionally constructive. People need your insights, so be careful about baggage. I’m able to write about losing all my possessions and about emergencies our family has been through, including my husband’s stroke, the child we lost to miscarriage, and my other son being in the hospital and almost dying because years have passed and I’ve been able to see God’s faithfulness in that timeline.

Once you’ve encountered God’s faithfulness, you may better reflect moments that are painful and life changing. You can bring that essence forward for your audience with authenticity. You can’t have lasting impact unless you’re already personally transformed, like a gem.

Tip #4 Don’t Touch If It’s Hot
If a recent experience hurts too much, consider writing for yourself at first. For example, in my fiction, I want kids to avoid traps I’ve experienced. A character in my fantasy is a double agent. I developed her after I dealt with someone who I trusted very much but turned out to be a bit poisonous, so that is part of this character. I was careful to process what had happened before inserting the lessons. Like colors on a canvas, the pain of that experience has informed my double-agent’s vibrancy, believability, intrigue, and texture.

Share Only the Gems
In the jewelry world, we use an example of an unpolished gem vs. a polished gem. An unpolished gem has great potential but might only look like a rock. Whereas when you see a polished gem, all the beauty shines through. The facets are there, it’s reflecting light, and you can see the color or colorlessness depending on the gem. The same is true for your writing. If you aren’t quite ready to offer it to the world, that’s okay. Put it in a file, save it. But don’t give anyone an unpolished gem. Give them your very best and it will reflect well on you.

Have you ever written when life’s been a bit too raw? Have you successfully incorporated difficult life-lessons into your work? What was the result?



About the Author:
Elizabeth Van Tassel

As a graduate gemologist, Elizabeth Van Tassel has the expertise to bring gem mysteries to life in kids’ imaginations. Her experience as a wildfire survivor and her perseverance through her family’s medical trials lends depth to her characters’ similar challenges. As a coach and youth enthusiast, she teaches real-life lessons to help tweens, teens, and their parents build a treasure box of tools to face the hardest parts of life. Her background selling jewelry, corporate writing experience, and love for history bring a special flair to her speaking, classes, and fiction and nonfiction writing. And she just finished the first of a fantasy series for tweens featuring an ancient Viking gem mystery with a modern twist.

You can connect with Elizabeth at www.ElizabethVanTassel.com and learn how to Live A Resilient Life!™ Sign up for weekly blogs with tips about being resilient there, and updates about her future website for kids and novels. Find her on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest, and LinkedIn.







  

16 comments:

  1. Dawn thank you for the opportunity to be here today on Seriously Write! Hope everyone is fortified today.

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    1. Thank YOU for spending the day with us and sharing your gems of wisdom!

      Like you, I've shared some of the "tough times" in my writing, and I've seen some good come out of my willingness to be vulnerable. But I've also seen some writers share while still in the midst of pain, and it has at times exposed their hurt and bitterness, which is not helpful to readers. I agree that writing from experience can make a large impact on readers, but it's so important to wait until healing has taken place.

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    2. I agree, Dawn. Thank you for being willing and open in your writing, too!

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  2. "You can’t have lasting impact unless you’re already personally transformed, like a gem." So true! And like you, I crank out my words in the morning. By late afternoon, the creative well is dry! Appreciate you sharing, Elizabeth.

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    1. Thank you Dora. I'm the same way. I do know others that get creative when the sun sets, though. It's sort of like buying a shoe: don't try to fit in something that's not the best or it'll rub you the wrong way, but the perfect fit (i.e. the best time of day) brings out the velvet touch with your writing.

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  3. I'm a night owl. My moly problem is I can't stay up that late and then make my day job. Another reason I love weekends, I can stay up later.

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    1. Yes, sometimes it's fun to work in "spurts" too, or concentrated sessions. It's draining but also very rewarding to see the progress on chapters in a book or article research. My husband is a night owl (and one son, too) so I understand.

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  4. This is so spot on, Elizabeth. Every single point. Thanks for sharing.

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    1. Thanks Tina! Appreciate your thoughts here. And your excellent writing, too.

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  5. Hi, Elizabeth! There's so much truth in your post--thank you! I especially agree with this point: "If you aren’t quite ready to offer it to the world, that’s okay. Put it in a file, save it. But don’t give anyone an unpolished gem. Give them your very best and it will reflect well on you."

    To often writers are so anxious to get their work in front of an editor or agent that they don't give themselves enough time to revise and polish.

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    1. Hi Myra, It's like making great bread—let the dough rise and watch the product improve. Just after lunch here, can you tell? But it's alright to let it sit and continue to learn for a season of life. Then the "gems" can flow unhindered and from a deeper well of experience. Thanks for your point Myra!

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  6. Elizabeth, you said: " Tip#1 Write in the Zone
    Whether you’re a morning or evening person, your best writing will develop during that time of day. I’m a morning person, so I rise with the sun to begin my creative efforts. If you work with your natural rhythm, your writing will improve and your messages will have more impact."

    You want to hear something reallly weird?? I have been writing since 2003, pubbed since 2008, and I just THIS year figured out that early morning is best for me too!!

    Your blog above (especially point #1) made me really think about why it's taken so long to figure that out and although I am a bit of a ditz, I think the real reason is because I'm an anal ditz, who has to have everything done (i.e. Bible reading, prayers, devo, email, home tasks) before I feel comfortable enough to write.

    The problem with that is, I don't get around to writing till after 1:00 PM in the afternoon, and then it takes me a while to get in the zone, and by the time I'm there, it's time to make dinner!!

    But lately I have noticed that if I tackle the writing first when I get up first thing in the morning, I triple my word count for the day and feel so much better about what I've written. Unfortunately, I've put this writing procedure (writing 1st thing in the morning) off for years because I feel badly about not putting God first, you know? Like I should tithe the first 10 percent of my time to Him, not to writing.

    Definitely a dilemma for me, but this blog has helped to reconsider timing with my writing, so thank you!!

    Excellent blog!

    Hugs,
    Julie

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    1. Thank you for sharing, Julie. I was at a conference years ago and tried to be incognito in the back row. Instead, the seating was switched and I was dead front and center. The speaker looked me right in the eye and asked if I (and the audience) knew our rhythm, and to listen to it. I thought I'd better listen and it really helps me with results and better product. Plus, no squiggling in the front row! Bless you in your writing!

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    2. Julie, that touched my heart. You know, our writing weaves God in and out ... so, it's so much like a devotional, in my opinion. I don't think God would mind it coming first when it's all about Him. :)

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  7. Great tips. I love how you compared it to jewels. And so interesting to be a gemologist!

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