More Word Count: On Adverbs And Words Ending In “ly”

Previously, I talked with you about cutting out the fluff of a long-winded first draft. Lengthy drafts are more boon than bane because there are many ways to economize your word count. As you continue to cut down your first draft by Steven King’s 10 percent rule and, as Sir Arthur Quiller-Couch recommends, murder your darlings, pay attention to language constructs that can weaken your prose.

On adverbs and words ending in “ly”.

I covered the adverb, “really”, in my earlier Word Count post, but we’ll have a closer look at adverbs because the fact is, if the word ends in “ly” it probab(ly) shouldn’t be in your story.

“Adverbs have their place, but often writers can improve their writing by pruning adverbs.”1

Adverbs serve a distinct purpose, particularly in non-fiction. In fiction, however, the adverb becomes a “telling” word.

You’ll notice in the paragraph above I used the word “particularly”. I could have written, “Adverbs serve a distinct purpose in non-fiction.” In this case however, the word “particularly” was used to weaken the declaration. While it is true that adverbs serve a distinct purpose in non-fiction I could not claim that they do not also have a distinct purpose in fiction.

Adverbs can water-down the impact of a sentence. An adverb can reduce the immediacy of active tense. They force a reader to create their own image rather than “seeing” the story as you tell it.

Let’s see it in an example: “The cat cunningly stalked his prey.”

The word “cunningly” is an adverb. In this instance it describes the way the cat is stalking his prey. This adverb is insubstantial as a descriptive word because the reader must consider what he imagines “cunningly” might look like. A sharper picture could be created by replacing the adverb with sensory description.

Such as: “The cat crouched low to the ground as it stalked on soft toes, ears perked and eyes slit, after his prey.”

This second example is longer but it gives a more precise image. You can “see” this cat. You can see the cunning he uses and don’t have to fill in the blanks or create your own sense of what he is doing.

Remember the adage, “show, don’t tell“? Well, good fiction has a careful balance between showing and telling but examine your manuscript and hunt out those adverbs. When you see one decide if it can be cut or if the sentence could be rewritten with descriptive verbs and adjectives instead of an adverb.

When you’re hunting for darlings to murder you can eliminate many words but you will find that rewriting sentences to avoid depending on the tepid description of adverbs can have the reverse affect. As you cut some words from your draft you add others. The final work will be more compelling but it may not be shorter.

What is important is that your final draft holds the reader’s attention with strong, evocative imagery. Allow your readers to see through the words on the page and lose themselves in the story.

Do you agree or disagree? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

Footnotes:
1. Grammar Girl: How to Eliminate Adverbs :: Quick and Dirty Tips

Editing As You Write: The Pros And Cons

Editing as you write your flash fiction, short story, or novel.Do you find yourself editing as you write? Do you prefer to keep the writing and editing processes separate? All writers have an opinion about how and when to edit your work-in-progress. Some storytellers let their writing flow uninterrupted, leaving a trail of spelling errors and typos in their wake. Other writers prefer careful editing of their piece after each writing session (or page, or paragraph, or sentence), examining each scene or chapter carefully and fine tuning it into a work of written art.

I use a mix of both techniques. I can’t stand looking at the red squiggly lines appearing below my errors, so I quickly backspace and fix my glaring errors while writing a scene. I even enter my characters’ names into my dictionary, so I don’t have a messy document. However, larger changes, such as carving up a scene, I save until much later on. That much reworking would knock my writer’s hat off my head, leaving only my editor’s hat.

Pros of Consistently Editing

  1. You’ll finish with a more polished manuscript, which will require less editing after it is completed.
  2. You can keep track of how your plot, subplot, and story arc are progressing, and rely less on your memory.
  3. If you find a major plot hole that requires a complete restructuring of your story, you can fix it immediately and not find yourself at a dead end later.
  4. Your characters will be less likely to wander off on tangents that are unrelated to the story at hand.
  5. The story will have much more continuity, and you won’t have to search to change every instance of an incorrect fact.
  6. Grammatical errors are much easier to spot when reading smaller chunks of a story.

Cons of Constantly Editing

  1. The flow of the story will be harder to maintain when you are stopping and starting repeatedly.
  2. The critical side of you required to edit properly can bring your mood down, draining your motivation.
  3. You may pick apart a scene to pieces, so that it falls apart and is no longer usable in your story.
  4. You may forget your place in the story, and stop writing much sooner than you intended.
  5. Your daily word count may be lower, and your progress will be harder to track.
  6. If you find a problem that requires major work, you may not know how to fix it, which will halt you in your tracks.

So what’s the verdict? Each writer has their own writing and editing style. What works for me won’t necessarily work for you. As long as it is actually working, then keep it up! If not, go over the pros and cons, and decide for yourself.

Weigh in on the editing debate! Which method do you find yourself doing most often? Do you have more pros or cons to add to the list? Share your editing experiences here.

Photo Credit: Nic McPhee

Unearth Your Archive Of Fiction Stories

Fiction stories and novels buried in an archive.Most writers have fiction stories from years ago that have since been abandoned to the dark recesses of a desk drawer archive. Some stories never made it past the opening lines, others were just a few chapters away from their dramatic conclusion. While some stories are best left hidden away, others can be revived and fashioned into more exciting plots.

If your current ideas aren’t inspiring you, go digging through your old files to find treasures you may have forgotten that you have! After years have passed, you can read over your partial first drafts with a fresh eye, as if they were written by someone else. Once you find a story that still has potential, read it over and look for areas that can be crafted into a new short story or novel.

Mine the Introduction

Most writers have the peak of their enthusiasm within the first chapter or scene of their story. Introductions bring the first characters and plot points into main focus. It is possible that your characters are incompatible for the story you put them in. A confident, powerful businesswoman may not belong in a sleepy Midwestern town when she’d shine in a bustling city. (Then again, she just might, providing a marked contrast. Your story may vary.) When you can extract characters from a weak plot, you can transfer them to a more exciting storyline.

On the other hand, your plot may shine, but your characters just aren’t interested in seeing the story through. They may be flat and lifeless, and not yield any additional information when you try character building techniques. It may be time to send those characters on their way, and give the story to more enthusiastic protagonists who will care about what’s happening in the world around them.

Dig into the Heart of the Story

For lengthier abandoned manuscripts, it can be harder to pinpoint exactly what went wrong. Characters seem to get minds of their own, going off in unexpected directions and wandering away from the story. Plots can weaken and meander, to the point where even you don’t know what is going to happen next.

While many writers prefer the excitement of an unplanned route, others need a solid plot outline to bring their story and characters back on track. Write out an outline of the plot so far, and see where the story is actually heading. If it is workable, then you can revive that story and get back to writing. If not, see what needs to be cut, rearranged, or expanded into new avenues. If you’re at a loss, use a mind map to free associate possibilities for your plot.

Carve Into Your Words

An abandoned story will need a lot of work, and you will need to put on your editor’s hat for awhile before getting back to the writing. Ruthlessly cut into your story, removing anything that is not serving the plot. You can literally do this with a pair of scissors and a lot of tape, or you can cut and paste within your word processing program. If you don’t want to toss out perfectly good writing that just doesn’t fit, put those unneeded phrases into an idea file that you can go over later.

Have you revived an aging story? What ideas do you use when called to rework an unfinished or finished manuscript?

Photo Credit: Orcmid

Reflections of a Writer’s Garden: Inspiration, the Muse’s Reward.

Reflections of a Writer's Garden: Inspiration, the Muse's Reward.

“Take thy plastic spade,

It is thy pencil;

Take thy seeds, thy plants,

They are thy colors.”

~William Mason, The English Garden



Spring is here and where I live, that means time spent in the garden. My family lives as eco-friendly as possible and are striving for self-sustainability – a lot of hard work in all areas, as you can imagine. This includes raising our own food: tilling, planting, weeding, tilling some more, and carrying countless buckets of water from the Amish-built windmill.

What does this have to do with writing? Everything, in my opinion.

Yesterday evening, as I got cozy on the weathered bench that’s nestled snuggly in the corner of our 100 x 100 garden area, I began to visualize zucchini, strawberries, watermelon, snap peas, peppers, onions, and all the other delicious sustenance the rich soil will produce.

As I daydreamed about smoothie and juice concoctions, salads and raw pasta, it came to me – gardening is very similar to writing!

How?

The inspiration is clear:

Seeds = Words

Each word we put on paper is like a seed sewn in our garden – our writer’s garden. Much like planting seeds in a vegetable or flower garden, our words grow, change, and become a part of something far bigger than our original thought.

Seeds (like words!) may never grow; they might be bad seeds. In that case, we simply start fresh!

Tending Our Garden

As the words are planted, they come together one-by-one, row after row. It takes time to get the plants just so-so. If you’re a perfectionist, you may even put a stake at each end and run string to guarantee a straight shot all the way.

A gardener nurtures their plants, waters them, even fertilizes and makes special bug-repelling tonics and potions to ensure they’re healthy and thrive.

As writers we do the same, making sure sentences aren’t too long, words are spelled correctly, and our grammar is top-notch.

Editing = Weeding

Sometimes there are too many words – or not enough. And much like we may dig up a plant that’s too close to another and replant it elsewhere – or fill in a scant area – we copy, cut and paste our words, sentences, or paragraphs to make our work flow better.

And then we proofread, weeding our writer’s garden, plucking away each word that doesn’t belong.

Sun + Rain = Polished Perfection

Those last few, special touches we put on our article, story, or book, is like a garden being kissed by the sun or rain – they make all our efforts flourish and shine, blossom and burst forth breathtaking beauty. Once withering plants who have cried out for vitamins and nutrients absorb sunshine and rain, they take on a whole new look. They shoot up and out, running wild and free – as they should.

It’s the last moment tidbits of inspiration our muse whispers ever so softly and sprinkles into our thoughts, that finishes everything beautifully and makes it truly flourish.

Harvesting = Plentiful Rewards

There’s no greater joy than taking a step back and smiling when all the time, effort, and labor – plus sweat, tears, and frustrating moments -pay off in the end.

Whether it’s your writing or a produce- or flower-filled garden, when your harvest is ready; it’s a great feeling, a learning experience you can cherish always.

Don’t forget to stop and smell the roses – you may even want to plant your own!

What is your Writer’s garden filled with? Does it need weeding? Have you planted enough seeds? Do you tend your garden lovingly – or has it withered from lack of attention? What does your harvest look like? Do tell!

Photo Credit: Simon Howden

Trashed By Traditionally-Published Authors?

Trashing other writers, publishers, traditional publishing, and self-publishing.Last year, I went to a Literary Festival. There were lots of books and authors, of course, but there was also something else: attitude.

I’m the type of person who naturally finds great joy in encouraging others and being genuinely happy for them when they succeed or accomplish something that is important to them. Writing is no different. When fellow writers, bloggers, and/or authors get published in a new venue, I’m ecstatic – even if it is a publication I’d love to see my work in some day.

So, I wasn’t too thrilled when I attended a session at the festival where the speaker openly trashed authors who self-publish, and discouraged us from even considering it. This author was published by a pretty well-known publishing house (as you may have guessed already) and may have lost sight of writer’s passion?

I don’t know.

But it’s one thing to be published by a big publishing house; it’s another thing to demean other writers, burst their bubble, and make them just feel like all their hopes and dreams are forever shattered.

What’s the point in that?

I tried to focus on all the positive aspects of that festival. I met some kind and sincere authors there, including a 13-year-old young man who has already authored a book!

But the negative vibes from that speaker just rubbed me the wrong way. Why trash authors who self-publish? Why not be proud of your own success, and let other writers maintain a little dignity and hold on to some hope?

Yes, there are vanity publishers – that isn’t the way to go. But there are ways for authors to self-publish and be successful. Just because you self-publish, doesn’t mean you have to ignore grammar, plot, or end up with some sad, horrible book!

Unless things change, I plan on self-publishing several books in the future. Here are a few things I plan on doing to ensure my book(s) are high quality and do as well as possible.

  1. Hire an editor. No matter how well we write errors may exist in our writing that we become blind to after spending extended periods with our own work. We need fresh eyes, a new perspective. An editor will have our back, and help make sure our book is the best it can be.
  2. Write with passion. Just because we’re self-publishing, doesn’t mean we have to be boring or let our passion for polished work fade. It’s important to write compelling content that will inspire and interest readers no matter what form of publication it may take.
  3. Promote and market. This is one aspect of self-publishing that the author at Missouri Literary Festival looked down on. Self-published authors market their own books. Um, don’t traditionally-published authors do that, too? There was an older gentleman at this meeting and he spoke up and said he worked with a big publishing house in New York for decades. In years past, they did most of the marketing. More recently, they asked him how HE planned on marketing his latest book. So, see? Times have changed and both traditionally- and self-published authors need to get the word out about their books.
  4. Consider the cover. I won’t want the cover to be too busy – or too boring. It would take some thought, and I may even seek the services of a designer to really make it pop. Just because I have to select the cover design for myself doesn’t mean it can’t be well conceived.
  5. Be true to myself. I learned this as a kid. One of my favorite people in the whole world taught it to me. If I’m not true to myself, how will I share my book with the world? If I don’t maintain a genuine, kind heart, how will I present my work to the world? How will I warm the hearts of my readership? My fellow writers? This is important!

What about you? What are your thoughts on self-publishing, or even e-publishing, versus the big publishing houses? Does it matter as long as you pour your heart and soul – and talent!! – into the pages between the cover? If you were to ever make it big and land a huge book deal with a big publishing company, would you feel like you were on a mountain top and not be able to see your old writing friends for the dust you’d left in their faces? Would you be the same person you are today? If you are already a published author? Which route did you go?

Photo Credit: Harry Keely

Rescue your Darlings by Kenji Crosland

This post is part of the Guest Post Giveaway at the blog Unready and Willing. If you think articles about writing or personal development (or personal development for writers) sounds like a good fit for your blog, please take a look at the Guest Post Giveaway page and see if any of the articles spark your interest.

You may be familiar with the phrase “Murder your Darlings.” This is the mantra repeated over and over again by teachers of the revision process. For many writers this is a painful ordeal that seems to take the life from a piece. Painful as it is, cutting out the parts that seem most precious to you is essential in polishing your work. Oftentimes when an editor will suggest that you cut a passage out of your story or novel, it’ll be one of your favorite sections–this is probably because you felt very good writing it. You were in the flow, and everything that fell onto the page just “felt right” to you. And now this editor wants you to cut it? To trash it as though it never existed? How could they be so cruel?

Is this the part of the writing process that you hate the most? Do hate the feeling that the passages that you had had so much pleasure writing will not see the light of day? I certainly did when I started out writing, but there are good reasons for cutting the fat. Although certain passages are beautifully written, they may do nothing to contribute to a story’s plot or give any insight to the characters. Exchanges of dialogue, though clever, may not really be important at all. The character that you snuck into chapter three was forced into the story just because you thought he or she was interesting. Lost in the flow of your writing, you might have spent two paragraphs describing a horse-carriage and not even know it. These passages simply don’t belong.

Instead of getting out your ax and murdering your darlings right then and there, however, why not consider dropping them off at the orphanage so that another story might be able to pick them up? Essentially you can create a database of written material that just didn’t make the cut for your other stories. Not only does this take some of the pain out of revision, but it also can give you a place to access characters, descriptions, and clever turns of phrases that simply didn’t fit in your other work. Whenever you feel writer’s block coming on, you can infuse some of the good stuff you didn’t use from your previous work into your new one.

To establish this orphanage, create a folder on your computer for your rescued darlings and then make sub-folders with names like “characters,” “descriptions,” “dialogues,” “settings,” and so on. Every time you cut a substantial part from your story, copy it and paste into a new document. Title the document in a way that you’ll be able to recognize it easily when you come back to it. Your “settings” folder would have documents titled “Roadside Cafe,” “African Village” and so on. The “Characters” folder could have documents with the character names, or just a short description like: “Nerdy Mobster” or, “Obsessive-Compulsive Stockbroker.”

Personally I find that I tend not to use too many of my rescued darlings in my new work. It’s comforting, however, to know that they’ll always be there waiting should you ever need them.

Kenji Crosland is a creative writing major who, scared of becoming a starving artist, became a corporate headhunter in Tokyo. Since then he’s regained his sanity, quit his job, and now blogs about creating an ideal career at unreadyandwilling.com. He is also developing a web application that just might change the internet. Follow him on Twitter: @KenjiCrosland.

Have you ever cut a part of your story that you really wished you’d kept? What do you do with the darlings you cut? Have you used a character or scene that didn’t make the cut in one story for another? What kinds of safety nets do you use when editing and revising your work?

Greetings, Salutations and Wedding Invitation Etiquette

I feel quite honored being able to pop in and share a bit about myself and writing with each of you here.  As the new bird on the block, an introduction seems necessary.

I am Mysti Guymon.  I am a mother to two boys, both high needs.  My time is limited throughout the day and most often I can be found writing the old-school way, early in the morning or far too late at night.  I tend to capitalize “my time” when I should be sleeping.  Maintaining early mornings and late nights can make for some pretty exhausting days, but in the end I’m still able to maintain my passion for writing.

Writing takes many different forms in our lives.  Most recently, I’ve had the grand experience of creating invitations.  Grammar, word selection and placement are important faucets when creating invitations.  Most events in our lives are quite casual.  This event, my wedding, took a much more formal stance.

The basic etiquette of wedding invitations:

  • Utilize the full name of bride and groom.  If space is an issue, omitting the middle name is acceptable.
  • British spelling of favor (favour) and honor (honour) is recommended.
  • Spell out all words including the hour, date and year.  Saint (St.) and Mount (Mt.) are the only two abbreviations accepted.
  • In names containing numerals (third) utilize roman numerals (III).
  • For ceremonies taking place in a house of worship, you will “request the honour of your presence” whereas a garden wedding you will “request the pleasure of your company.”

If you are looking at creating your own invitations for a wedding down the road, a few key points to keep in mind:

  • Are you issuing the invitations as a couple?
  • Are you the parent of the bride issuing invitations?
  • Are you the parent of the groom issuing invitations?
  • Is the wedding of the garden variety?
  • Would the couple be wed in a church?

Each question brings with it a different choice of invitation styles.  The first and increasingly popular scenario, is couples issuing wedding invitations themselves.  In this situation, the Bride and Groom’s full names will print at the top.  All pertinent information will follow in sequence of date, time, place.  The address of the location will always print at the bottom of the invitation.

Should the bride’s parents issue the invitation, it would read:

Mr. and Mrs. (Brides Father’s Name)

Request the honour of your presence

at the marriage of their daughter (Bride’s full name)

and (Groom’s full name)

on (Month, Date, Year)

at (full time)

Location Name

Location Address

Should the groom’s parents issue the invitation, it would read:

(Bride’s full name)

and (Groom’s full name)

request the honour of your presence

at their marriage

on (Month, Date, Year)

at (full time)

Location Name

Location Address

There are many more issues that could arise when creating invitations.  Some circumstances to consider are a widowed parent, divorced and remarried parents, divorced and one remarried parent issuing the invitations.  As we didn’t have to contend with those situations, you might want to check Emily Post’s Wedding Etiquette for suggestions.

As always, writing can be fun, invigorating and inspiring.  Somewhere midst the grandeur comes grammar.  Invitations are no different, even for a writer!

Pep Talk No. 16 – Welcoming Your Demons

Recently on Writer’s Round-About I talked about inner demons. Those nasty creatures that sit on our shoulder snarling negative propaganda about us and our writing. Well, they certainly sit on my shoulder but I’m sure there is a little demon with varied degree of power for each of us. Who is your little demon? Do you have just one or many?

Welcome Your Demons: Inner and OuterGeorge Singleton has a fantastic little pep-talk, number 16, in his book, Pep Talks, Warnings & Screeds:

If it is true that the audience members applaud as a maestro takes the stage, or when an actor emerges from the wings, because they wish to rid the venue from spirits and demons, then please make sure that you never enter your writing space while clapping. In fiction writing, it may be best to have as many specters and demons perched in the rafters as possible.

What do you think George meant?



How Can Our Demons Help Us?

Demons, inner or otherwise, gain power through fear and intimidation. Their ability to scare creates emotional and sometimes physical reactions. Sometimes, fear hinders us, freezing us in place, but fear is also a natural and positive response.

Fear can cause an adrenaline release. Adrenaline lets us move faster, think faster, act faster. It speeds our responses, heightens our senses, and energizes our endorphins. By embracing the fear these demons create we can bring emotion onto the page and we are more likely to feel the emotion coming off the page as we write. It helps us develop the right tone and depth and gives us a positive boost in motivation and momentum.

Our demons also force us to be cautious. To examine options, evaluate choices. While this may be more hindrance than help in the first stages of writing, welcoming our demons in the editing stage is a must. It is their voice that helps us meticulously comb our manuscript for errors and inconsistencies.

Other Demons To Consider

Our inner demons are not the only ones who play a role in our writing. These demons are a creation of the mind. They are our brains way of compartmentalizing our fears and insecurities. Our ability to create inner demons is a sign of fertile imagination and creativity. These demons are not the only ones who accompany us during the writing process.

Your protagonists must have demons of their own. They can be real or imagined, inner demons, or physical demons. Readers tend to associate best with well-rounded, balanced, characters. Characters need to have flaws and weaknesses. They need to have room to grow. It is normal for characters to face fears of their own.

More literally they also have the demonic aspects of their mirror, the antagonist. The antagonist has demons also, and can be the dark element of the story, a demon in his own right.

Can you see the demons and specters that haunt the rafters of your writing place? What influence do they have on your work? How do they help you? Answer these questions in the comments!

Career and the Direction of Life

Choose your future, choose your life!I was recently re-reading a guest post, “Learn it, Live it, Write it!“, written by Jenny Greenleaf about this time last year. In the post, Jenny talks about this mantra and how learning to live it and write it helped her career grow. In 2008 she continued to do amazing things as she learned, lived, and wrote. As I read over her post again, I started to really think about the questions she asked last year.

What Are MY Future Goals?

What are YOUR future goals? Have you thought about the direction your blog, career, or writing will take in the coming months? I have!

The fact is, I want MORE! In 2008 I made some significant leaps forward. I had some wonderful commissions, committed to a few long term projects, and began to step away from freelance writing to encompass my love of editing and web technology. I grew as a freelancer, and it was wonderful, but what I have today is not enough to sate my appetite for the work I do.

In 2009, I am dedicated to maximizing my potential. I am putting a great deal more of my every day energy into my current projects and spending several hours a week actively seeking new job leads, marketing my services, and socializing through the community.

What turn can you take to re-awaken your snoozing career?

I will develop strong, balanced, and giving friendships. Freelancers often lead rather solitary lives. I’ve found that embracing others enlivens me. I need to be able to turn to a friend when I’m struggling with fear or to share my joys.

I’ve never truly felt comfortable reaching out to others. As such, making friends is a constant struggle. This year I want to learn more about making and sustaining enriching relationships. I want to embrace friendship with people who share my passion for freelancing, web technology, writing, and more. Do you want to be a part of that with me?

What can you do to propel your career in the direction it wants to go?

I am committed to finishing my current novel. I will be in New York from the 26th of May to the 2nd of June, 2009 and will pitch my book at the pitch slam following Writer’s Digest’s Writer’s Conference. A great deal of work remains to be done. I really need to knuckle down and GET IT FINISHED!

This project has been hindered a great deal by fear. I fight against an anxiety attack every time I come to the screen with the intention of writing another scene. I don’t understand what causes this fear. There are a thousand reasons and yet none of them compare to the prospect of NOT finishing. To propel my career forward I must finish this book and fear is no longer permitted to stand in my way.

Are you working on projects that have become stale?

My plurk friend, Shelley Heath, recently said, “Maybe your heart is not really into it as a topic anymore. Maybe you need to spread the wings further and catch something of interest“. Honestly, I don’t believe it the case on that occasion but there are elements I’ve become disheartened with. As freelancers, we must be involved in the sales aspect of our business. It is vital to be able to sell yourself and your services. This is an aspect of the business I’ve always struggled with.

Part of what I do in cooperative effort with Miss Michele and Serenity Bly of Future-Tarot.com is write copy for their weblog. SALES copy. There are fantastic readings available but the copy on the page needs to ‘call to action’ those who visit, it needs to entice them to buy, it needs to SELL itself. I know I can write sales copy but for some reason the prospect has been leaving me stale.

The project itself is one I LOVE, either I need to find a way to get beyond my sales copy blockage, or hire a writer to write the sales copy for me. I would much rather focus on the web technology and maintenance aspects. That is one fact that leads me to Jenny’s final question:

Do you need to find a new niche?

Focus On Direction, Find Your PathI have spent a great deal of time focused on the idea of myself as a freelance writer. I write very well and I can admit that, but my heart isn’t really in putting words to a page. Writing non-fiction is something I feel dispassionate about. I NEED to create, and web copy, sales copy, non-fiction articles, magazine articles and etc. just doesn’t spark my fire of creativity.

I need to focus on those elements where I can FEEL my creativity thrive. The design and programming I do as a Web Technician, for example, creates something real and visually tangible. It also caters to my need for instant gratification because every time I write a new program or edit a design element I can SEE it in action immediately. THAT is where I want to put my focus. That is the niche I feel most comfortable within.

Ask Yourself These Questions

How are you feeling about your career and the direction of your life going into the coming months? Can you answer Jenny’s questions, make changes, and buoy your hope that this year will be one for fantastic change and growth?