Trying New Things

Is it me, or do a lot of writers introverts (or at least tend towards avoiding social situations)(for whatever reson)?  Of course, not every writer is like this.  I myself am more along the lines of an extrovert (I actually enjoy going to events and places where there are lots of people).

However, trying something new can often put fear in the hearts of introverts and extroverts.  What if we mess up and embarrass ourselves?  What if we fail?  What if we ruin something?  What if we just can't do it?

I personally am a big advocate of doing things that you don't think you can do.  The more new situations you come out of, the more confident you will be doing new things.

So today, I have just a few brief pieces of advice...

Just get up and do it.

It sounds so easy, I know.  But it's not.  It's easier to avoid situations that make you uncomfortable.  It's easier to just turn around and walk the other way.  It's easier to have someone else do it.  It's easier to not change anything.

But we don't grow by doing the same thing all the time.

We grow by doing new things.

After spending the last few years working on doing things I was scared of (talking to people on the phone, riding new horses, ordering food through drive-through's, doing my taxes, and other things I have to do as I become an Adult), I now have a new mentality...

So there's this thing I'm a little nervous about...
My Brain: 

But it's not always easy.  It's often downright scary.  You can't mess things up.  But if you get in the habit of doing them, it eventually won't be as unnerving.

So if you're worried about something, take a deep breath, say a quick prayer, and do it.

Practice and Prepare.

Really, do you want your important story pitch to be the first time you look someone in the eye and tell them about your book?  Do you want your first time to pump gas alone to be when your parents are out of town?  Do you want your first attempt at sewing to be making a momentous ball gown?

No!  You prepare before these things!  You practice pitching your book to willing volunteers (friends and family members and even neighbors and church family - anyone who will listen)!  You practice pumping gas and buying groceries and paying your taxes on your own, while your family is nearby, ready to help if you need it.  You practice sewing with little things first, and eventually work your way up.

We don't always get to prepare before doing something we are afraid of.  The phone randomly rings, and we have to answer it.  Someone stops us and asks the question, "What is your book about?"  But if we have answered these things before (even if it was just practice with a friend), we should be more ready than as if we had never prepared.

Speak Up.

If you are new at something, don't be afraid to openly admit it!!  When I first started working, I was always telling customers, "I'm new"  "I'm still figuring this out"  "I just started."  People will understand.  As long as you remain polite and calm, they will not might you taking a little longer as you figure things out.

A smile, a small laugh, and a "I've never done this before!" can do a lot.  People will understand a few mistakes, and few awkward blunders, if they know you are still learning.

People are always ready to help (sometimes a little too ready, if you know what I mean).  All it takes is for someone to say, "I need help, I don't know how to do this," and people are running to the rescue.

There is no shame in asking for help!  There is no shame in admitting you are afraid of something.  Take a few moments to gather your wits, and then do what you can.

There are things we have to do in life.  We have to leave our house.  We have to talk to strangers.  We have to do things that we would rather not do.  But we can't let our fear be an excuse.  Let's do this, people!

Liebster Award Part 2

So Snaps at Silver Phoenix nominated me for the Liebster Award...however, I have already been nominated and done did that post a while back.
However, I was not aware there are questions to answer???
So, here is part two - where I answer said questions.
1. If given the choice between playing a board game and a video game, which would you choose?
Probably a board game, though I prefer a good match of Ping-Pong, to be completely honest.  If my family plays a game we end up making our own set of rules and eventually turning it into a sing-off or a argument which involves throwing pillows and ripping the rules to shreds (usually figuratively).
2. Does the idea of a coastal beach or a cabin in snowy Montana sound more appealing to you?
A cabin, definitely!  (Did you read my dinner party tag?). I avoid beaches. 
3. Are cats constantly devising a way to eat you?
Yes.  That is all you need to know.
4. Writing or reading?
Writing definitely.
No, wait.
Reading.  Yes, reading.
*repeat into infinity*
5. Would you rather be stuck in an elevator with your villains, or be the villain of your hero?
I'd love to be stuck in an elevator with my villains.  We would have some nice conversations, share a cup of tea, and I would smile and nod knowingly as they complain about how the heroes are messing everything up.  Then I would vanish once we were released from the elevator, and they would shake their heads and say, "Who was that masked writer, anyway?"
6. What would you do if you woke up in your story world?
Stand stock still for a long few minutes.  Then carefully pinch myself a few times.  Take a few steps.  Laugh manically.  Steal Duren's fiddle.  Give Conn a hug.  Try to get Nahale to teach me how to play the harp.  Spend some time with Marywyn.  Hijack Jaran's horse and gallop off to explore the land, where I will most likely get eaten by a tiger and never be seen again.
Basically, I would have a blast!
7. How many times have you looked at a book and put it back on the shelf?
I can't count.  I pull out books at stores and stare at the covers.  I pull books out of my bookshelf when I'm bored and stare at the cover before putting it back.  I just like looking at books (and sniffing them), so what can I say?
8. Library or bookstore?
Bookstore.  I don't have to give the books back.
9. When given the choice between Batman and Spiderman, who would you choose to save your main character?
Eh...I've actually never seen a Batman movie, so I would have to go with Spiderman (though I've only seen CA: Civil War, which has Spidey in it).
10. Star Wars or Lord of the Rings?
I'm a LotR fan, all the way.  But since The Last Jedi came out, I have been in a Star Wars mood recently.  But I'll always stick with Tolkien in the end.
11. What name would you give your blog in an alternate universe?
I dunno.  I toyed with Song of Stones for a while.  But I'm quite happy with the title it has now.  I don't think I would call it anything else.


There you have it, folks!  To those I previously are welcome to answer the following questions if you wish.  No pressure.

What is your favorite scene from any story of all time?
What character would you like as a next-door neighbor?
If you could achieve one goal with your blog (like publish 100 posts) what would it be?
What was the general reaction of your friends and family when you started blogging?
What's your favorite aspect of the blogging world?
What do you mostly listen to while writing/blogging?
If you could visit one real)location, where would it be?
If you could visit one literary location, where would it be?
If you could have a pet (or another pet, if you already have at least one), what would it be?
If you could master one instrument perfectly, what would it be?

It's Time - Julian's 4-Part Special!

Alright, everyone.
It's here!!!!!!
Remember that 4-Part Special I had a few months ago?
The next one is taking place in March.  Which means, in February, all the participants get to help decide on the questions!  (Which is half the fun, really.)
So just drop a comment below, or contact me via the form on the sidebar, and I'll get you set up to help work on the questions.
Curious as to how this works?  Keep reading!
Step One
Throughout the month of February, everyone taking part will work together to create four sets of ten questions.  These questions are usually geared towards everyone's current WIP, but can also be changed if everyone wants to do something different this time around.
Step Two
Decide on a day that everyone can publish on.  Last year we published every Wednesday for four weeks, and that seemed to work well.
Step Three
Publish your answers on your blog, and link to the other posts as they become available.
Check out my Shared WIP Tag page to see the links from the last one!

(Also, please forgive any errors in posts, or delays in responding to emails and such...I'm suddenly crazy busy, blogger isn't working well for me, and I haven't had a lot of internet access...)

The Literary Dinner Party Tag

Okay, so I kinda stole this from Faith.  But I couldn't help it.  It looked like such a fun tag!!!  Because dinner + characters = epicness.  Since I stole this tag, I'll leave it open for anyone else to steal.  XD

1. Invite a character who can/likes to cook.

Bilbo from The Hobbit. 

Because, really...who else???  I want to explore his pantry and have a big feast with him, and then sit in the garden and nibble on some pastries (and fill up the corners, as they call it).

2. Invite a character who has money and can host this party.

Prince Steren from The Secret of the Swamp King.

He's a Prince...of course he's got money.  And then we'd get to have the party at Tambluff Castle in the great feasting hall!  (And maybe take a trip to the Feechiefen while we're at it...)

3. Invite a character that might cause a scene.

Prince Cor from The Horse and His Boy.

Fistfights....childish arrogance....really, he would be quite interesting to have at a party!

4. Invite a character who is funny/amusing.

He's great.  Just great.  Plus, I need an excuse just to give him a hug and say "Everything is alright, mate."  Because he needs that.

5. Invite a character who is super social/popular.

Lina from The City of Ember.

She's so nice and helpful, and I wouldn't cry if she brought her little sister Poppy with her.  (If anyone doesn't know this, I love little kids...)

6. One villain.

FĂ«anor from The Silmarillion.

I don't know why, but I really like him.  I think it's partly because his name is cool and also because he has this thing for burning ships down and after spending every summer following my father up and down every marina in existence I too want to burn all the ships down.

7. Invite one couple--doesn't have to be romantic.

Jace and Kyrin from Exiles.  In a heartbeat.

8. Invite one Hero/Heroine.

Rin from Forest Born.

I love Rin.  Rin is precious.  She's just this little forest born girl who gets caught up in all these adventures and just wants to get home alive and keep her friends and family alive and Razo isn't helping...

9. Invite one under-appreciated character.

Zeke from 100 Cupboards.

You're just having a normal day, minding your own business, when next thing you know, you're hitting some crazy lady in the head with a baseball bat.  And you're pretty chill in the ensuing panic in the house.  Give that guy a medal!

10. Invite one character of your choice.

Emeth, from The Rise of Aredor.

Twin swords?  Scottish accent?  Sense of humor?  Say no more - he's invited!

So what do you think?  Would you want to come to my party and mingle with these characters??

**please excuse any typos or formatting error for this was typed up and published via my tiny iPhone which makes for a very angry Julian**