Tuesday, 15 October 2019

On Change and Writing by Wendy H. Jones


There is always one thing you can guarantee in life, that being, change will inevitably come. The world is changing at a rapid rate. Technology is changing at a rapid rate. Life moves ever faster and often it feels that the changes are propelling us. The reason I am thinking so deeply about change at the  moment is because I own apple everything. iPhone, iPad, MacBook, iMac - there's an apple on the back of every piece of technology I own. 

This forced me into a lot of change recently due to the fact apple has updated all its operating systems - IOS, the new iPad OS and OSX Cantana. If this sounds like double dutch to you and you're an apple owner, you'll soon find out what it means. How, I hear you ask, does this affect me as a writer. The first impact of this universal upgrade is the time it takes. I had a small window of opportunity, whilst I had a cup of tea, to upgrade my iMac. Or so I thought. I duly clicked download and, before my very eyes, a message popped up. This is an 8 megabyte download and will take three hours. What? that's a heck of a lot of cups of tea. I should have known better as my iPad had also taken, what seemed like, forever to make the changes. It won't be as long as that thought I. How wrong can one writer be. It did take three hours and then a further 20 minutes after that. By this point I was grumpy.

“Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes. Don't resist them; that only creates sorrow. Let reality be reality. Let things flow naturally forward in whatever way they like.” 

Lao Tzu

I'll let you into a secret. The quote above is absolutely right. After I'd moaned (the poor souls I was staying with is all I can say), mumped and waited the requisite 3 hours and 20 minutes, I discovered I liked these changes. Yes, funnily enough, these were for the better. All the issues I moaned about before have now miraculously been resolved. I am blown away by the new photos app, making it much easier for me to find photos for my social media posts. Everything is newer, shinier and works more quickly. I can now see the advantages of the upgrades - isn't hindsight a good thing. I wasted three hours of my life complaining and fretting instead of using the opportunity to read a good book or plot a new book. Embracing change would have saved me a lot of angst and worry and mean the enforced break from writing was productive. 

I also feel that change is good when it comes to writing. I am now writing multiple series for both adults and children. I believe this keeps my writing fresh and stops me getting bored. If I am bored, the reader is bored. I have deliberately made all the series different, so my writing style is different. The DI Shona McKenzie Mysteries are gritty crime. Cass Claymore investigates is comic crime. The Fergus and Flora Mysteries are a cross between The Hardy Boys and Scooby Doo. The Bertie the Buffalo books are rhyming picture books. Then there's the series for writers. This stretches me as a writer and allows me to use my full creative palette, something which is important to me as a writer. I am also working on a new series - yes, I do like a challenge. 

So, let's think about embracing change and harnessing it to make out writing even better. Grasp it by the horns and let it take us where it will. It is so much more productive than butting heads with it, and a lot less exhausting.



About the Author

Wendy H Jones is the Amazon Number 1 best-selling author of the award winning DI Shona McKenzie Mysteries. Her Young Adult Mystery, The Dagger’s Curse was a finalist in the Woman Alive Readers Choice Award. She is also The President of the Scottish Association of Writers, the Webmaster for the Association of Christian Writers, an international public speaker, and runs conferences and workshops on writing, motivation and marketing. Wendy is the founder of Crime at the Castle, Scotland’s newest Crime Festival. She is the editor of a Lent Book, published by the Association of Christian Writers as well as the editor of Christmas Anthology form the same publisher. Her first children's book, Bertie the Buffalo, was released in December 2018. Motivation Matters: Revolutionise Your Writing One Creative Step at a Time, was released in May 2019.

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4 comments:

Umberto Tosi said...

Wise words. Thank you. As for computer upgrades, however, I've never opted for one that improved my system's functioning in any observable way, and a few that detoured me into a maze of hassles. Still, I keep pressing that okay button, being as the alternative means risking an out-of-date system that doesn't work at all. I never thought of such tests of my patience as a teaching moment, but now I will. Thanks again!

julia jones said...

well said Wendy

Unknown said...

Ha! Someone who can make upgrades into stuff to be thankful for! Nice writing style diff to your ACW blog style in some subtle way. Enjoyed this.

Wendy H. Jones said...

Thank you everyone. Sometimes change is necessary in order to allow us to move forward. It can jet us out of a rut and take us in directions we never could have imagined.