Major Tom to Ground Control: First Post

Hi!  I’m Cara.  I like roller skates, glam rock, costume jewelry and rodents.  I’m fairly indifferent to long walks on the beach.  I created this blog to share my experiences as a writer.  This is not to say that I’ll be writing about staring at a laptop screen while the next scene in my novel builds itself in my head, or anything to that effect.  Instead, I want to explore the adventures of life that have had an impact on my writing, sometimes in unexpected ways.

Writing is my primary art form.  I started out as a poet, but after completing my M.F.A in Fiction, I discovered that I enjoy writing novels, too.  Fiction and poetry are the two areas of writing that I spend most of my energy on, but branching out into fiction made me consider exploring other forms of writing, too.  In recent years, I have also tried my hand at freelance journalism and playwriting.

Writing aside, I also dabble in a variety of other art forms, including painting, sketching, acting and dancing.  I do many of these things really badly.  However, there’s something really freeing about doing something simply for the sake of doing it.  This isn’t to say that I don’t write for writing’s sake–I do.  The difference is, I don’t care whether I’m a good painter or a good actor.  What I do care about is the quality of my writing, and sometimes sketching a really bad likeness of a hermit crab can do wonders for that.

Of course, non-arts based experiences also play roles in my writing life.  I imagine that this is probably true for most writers.  Sometimes, the situation that’s most inspiring to me is the one that’s the most uncomfortable, even if it has nothing to do with what I’m writing at the time.

Since I have not yet achieved the monumental success of, say, Jodi Picoult or Stephen King, my life as a writer is riddled with peaks and valleys.  After the umpteenth rejection letter in a row, it’s tough to keep churning out material.  On the other hand, those rejection letters usually provide the fuel I need to push past what my friend Lisa calls “analysis paralysis”.  I guess that’s part of the fun.  In the words of Hunter S. Thompson, “Buy the ticket, take the ride.”

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