DL Fowler's Blog

Be Practical … not

Posted in Emotions, Inside a Writer's Head, My Books, Writing by DLFowler on February 19, 2011

Be practical. Okay, but being impractical is often the most practical thing we can do. 

Let me explain.  I love to write. I love to talk about my writing. I love to hear other people talk about my writing. But writing for a living is impractical.

For thirty years I did the practical thing – or so I thought. Everything I did seemed hard. I procrastinated a lot. I was easily disappointed and discouraged when things didn’t go well. I’m hard pressed to point to anything I did in my non-writing career that I’d do over again. I always tried to do my best, though often I didn’t do things as well as I probably could have done them. What was I doing? Mostly business and finance type stuff. Always in demand. Pretty much recession-proof. However for me, it was the impractical thing.

Here’s what’s practical – and never let anyone snow you into thinking otherwise.  Do what makes your blood flow hotter than lava.

Doing what you love is practical.  Why? You’ll become better at it than anything else you try to do. You’ll do it without hesitation. You won’t want to go to bed at night, because you can’t have fun while you’re sleeping. And you’ll bounce out of bed before the world’s ready for you, because you’ve waited long enough already. You’ll never realize you’re working. People will love being around you, even if they do have to listen to you go on and on about whatever it is you’re doing.

And best of all you won’t worry about money, because however much or little you make will be just fine, thank you. Money doesn’t make you happy. Doing what you love makes you happy.  Here’s the proof – money stresses you out, but doing what you enjoy makes a smile break out across your face. If you’re doing what you love, the money thing works itself out, one way or another.

Oh, what’s the best way to do that thing you do? The way you do it.

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Reading is Why Writers Write.

Posted in Characters, Plots, Reading, Settings by DLFowler on January 7, 2011

Reading. Sometimes it’s being grabbed by the throat and dragged into someone else’s drama. Or crawling into someone else’s skin to experience life in ways we can only dream about.  Other times we get mesmerized by places we never imagined existed.

 Personally, I like stowing away in a character’s head.  I imagine myself parked in the place where all the nerves converge on the brain.  There I can taste salty tears backing up and dripping into a parched, achy throat. Tears of joy, tears of sadness – it doesn’t matter what kind. They taste salty just the same.  Or maybe, the tingle of fine hairs standing up under my collar. How about the weight of my heart dropping onto my diaphragm? Breath stalling in my chest.  Thoughts spinning like a turbine in my head. Squeezing my eyes half-shut as if that would help me read sense into senselessness.

 Hey, I could do this all night long.

Betrayal is like curdled milk in my stomach and a dead friend slung over my back. Good news makes my breath jump out of me and laughs as my body to chases it. Fear seizes up my heart and lungs. My legs won’t move. Joy comes like a wave and sweeps away, but I don’t ask where I’m carried to.

 Okay, you get the point. I love to get into my characters’ heads and feel their skin or any other place that has nerve endings. I’ll also describe a setting, but mainly where it reflects what a character feels. As for drama, I’ll get you there. But, not until my characters romance you a little. Because when you fall in love them (or despise them when appropriate) the drama has more impact.

Why do you read?

Posted in Inside a Writer's Head, Reading by DLFowler on August 18, 2010

Some of us read for entertainment, others want to learn something. I like to live vicariously through a book’s characters. I read slow and try to let characters get deep inside my head. I want them to play with my emotions.

How about you? Why do you read?

A lawyer who writes about justice?

Posted in Favorite Writers, Robert Dugoni, Themes by DLFowler on April 26, 2010

Of course that’s not me.  I didn’t even know lawyers have anything to do with justice.

But Robert Dugoni, NYT BestSelling author, captures the concept with the skill of an artist.  Not that justice is the theme I’m focused on – but you get the idea – expect to stand along side my characters as they face of life or death struggles fighting, or maybe convincing themselves to keep on fighting, for ideals or relationships they hold dear.

The stakes are always higher when they’re personal … so that’s what we’ll do – get personal.