So then, the question is, what can zombies teach us about writing? I personally think they can teach us a lot! Let's start with my top three things!
1. Zombies don't care what anyone else thinks. They look gross and they smell disgusting and they're out to bite your earhole, but does that stop them trying to bite your earhole? NO WAY! I'm not saying we, as writers, or whatever we are, shouldn't care what people think. But in the end, we could show our work to 10 different people, and they could give us 10 different responses, from love to hate to indifference. Which one would be right?
Which one should we believe?
And if someone hates it, does that mean it's a bad story? NO WAY! This reminds me of a quote that changed my life with regard to my writing. It's from the master, Bruce Lee. He said, "I don't know what I will be writing, but just simply writing whatever wants to be written. If the writing communicates and stirs something within someone, that's beautiful. If not, well, it can't be helped."
This is BRILLIANT!!!! Bruce Lee got zombies, and he got writing. Not everyone is going to like what we write, so we just have to write, let it out, and if it connects with someone, that's awesome. if not, it can't be helped. We can't control how people will react to what we write, we can only write honestly and to the best of our ability.
2. Zombies do it their way. Some shuffle, some run, some crawl, but they're all going after one thing. A juicy brain! Everyone writes differently. Some people plan, some don't. Some people edit as they write, others let it pour out and edit later or not at all! Some write late at night with a bottle of scotch, some write early in the morning and never drink. It doesn't matter. What matters is that you do it the way that suits you. Follow your instinct. Just because a famous writer plans every step of a story before they even start, it doesn't mean that will work for you. Try different methods, for sure, but in the end you have to write in the way that works best for you. That's the only correct way to do it.
3. Zombies love what they do. This is so important to us as writers! We have to love what we write! If I'm writing a horror and I don't think it's scary, or if it's a comedy I don't think is funny, what's the point? But if I'm laughing at my own work, or crying, or feeling tense, that is AWESOME! That energy is going to come through to the reader, and that's what we want in our words.
So don't feel embarrassed if you love what you write. It isn't boasting, it's INCREDIBLE! It's the absolute end goal. It means the magic is happening, and the magic will burst off the page and into your reader's mind.
And that is as beautiful as a zombie leaping off a building to get the brain 50 stories below.
Beautiful. Just beautiful.
So follow the zombie example with your writing. Don't be disheartened by critics, write in the way that suits you, and get your writing to a point where you honestly love it. Then go and eat some brains. Whatever you want. You deserve it.
That's it from me. Have a SPECTACULAR week!
See the videos below to hear Sarah talk about taking action, and why it's important for humans as well as zombies.
Sarah also informs us she would not EVER kiss a zombie, and backs that up with some solid reasoning in the Zombie Inspiration Fast Question Challenge.
Enjoy the videos, and go and say hi to Sarah at markets like The Finders Keepers Market, Red Hill Craft Market and others!
Jen also joined us to discuss the awesome benefits of eating what's good for us, just like zombies do ... I mean, what's good for them is our brains, so don't eat your own brain, but you know what I mean!
Jen, and her friend Bumi, also take on the Zombie Inspiration Fast Question Challenge, and are sooooooo funny and awesome I almost can't breathe,
Check out the videos below, and check out Jen's BOOKS and check out THE LOVE PROJECT.
It might just change your life.
So what does this mean ... aside from the fact that someone biting your face off and/or eating your brains is a bad thing,
Well, to me, it isn't just zombies who can suck the life out of you. It's totally normal un-brain-dead people, too. Not that they're going to bite your face off or anything, although with some I'm not so sure, but they can really bring you down. Who am I talking about? The Negative Nellies. The know-it-alls. The you'll-never-make-its. The brain-drains. The life-suckers.
Let's look at it in more detail. Say, for example, you decide you want to be a writer. The life-suckers will be all over that.
'Oh really? You want to be a writer? Don't you know that most great writers began when they were at school, and had to work at their craft for years and years before they became any good? And you can't make money being a writer, not in Australia at least, that only happens to the best of the best, so, you know ... besides, it's way too hard to break into the book market. There's so much competition, although I look at the children's books out there and wonder how some of them ever get made. I could write better than most of these so-called authors. The thing is that you just have to know the formula. It's like with movies as well. I could totally write a blockbuster movie, because it's all just a formula. Once you know that, you can do anything. I've written a novel, you know. Yeah. It's good, but I need to work on it more before I send it out. It's totally got bestseller all over it. I remember your stuff though. It was pretty good. The thing is, if you aren't that great a writer, just turn it into a children's book. They're super easy to write, they're so short.'
So they not only tell you that you will never make it and that it's a stupid idea to go for your dream, but that even though you couldn't and shouldn't do it, they totally could ... despite the fact they haven't and actually never will! The thing about most of these life-suckers is that not only are their arguments uneducated and wrong most of the time (I have heard and could counter each point made above), but they look at everything from a negative angle, and they usually want to bring you down because they have unfulfilled dreams themselves. So they don't want you getting out there and doing amazing things, because that will make them look at their own sad lives and the missed opportunities they've been too scared to go for.
Sometimes they might talk about how they have your best interests at heart, but how can that be true when they're stopping you doing something you are aching to do?
So avoid these people like the plague. Surround yourself with people who lift you up, who make you feel amazing, who support and encourage you to go for your dreams, who will be there cheering you on, letting you know that even if you don't make it, going for it is the key! At least then you have a chance. At least then you won't die wondering. At least then, you'll experience and learn and grow and every step you take towards a dream, even if you don't make it, will build up your skills and resilience and belief, so that when you go after a new dream, you are already ahead of the curve.
So don't be a life-sucker. And don't hang around life-suckers, or if you have to, and sometimes they're hard to avoid, just don't let them know about the amazing things happening in your life. Don't give them the pleasure of dragging you down to their level.
Rise above them. Be more than them. Be amazing!
PS After you've surrounded yourself with awesome people and rid yourself of the life-suckers, remember to sign up for Braaaaaiiiiinnnnn Food, a weekly newsletter filled with tips and tricks on how to live an awesome zombie life, as well as links to cool zombie or inspirational stuff from around the web. Also remember that if you really wanna live ... you gotta be undead!
Articles. Videos. Interviews. Superstars.