S2 Episode 2: Resources

On our most recent episode of borrowed solace: the podcast, Nicole sat down to talk to her coworker and arts and entertainment writer Diana Nollen. Diana has had an amazing career in journalism and shared about her experience in the first episode of our Creative Careers series.

To find out more about Diana and read some of her work, check out her writer page at The Cedar Rapids Gazette.

You can also follow Diana on Twitter.

And now, pretend that we are off to see one of the performances Diana recently wrote about. On our way to the venue we are chatting about creative careers and this episode of the podcast. What questions do you have? What are your thoughts on creative careers? Share with us in the comments below!

S2 Episode 2: Creative Careers with Diana Nollen

This week on the podcast, join Nicole as she chats with one of her coworkers and entertainment writer at The Cedar Rapids Gazette, Diana Nollen. This is the first episode in a new series we are kicking off called Creative Careers.

S2 Episode 1: Resources

In season two episode one of borrowed solace: the podcast, the editors discussed how to begin a story. While there’s no consensus on what is a strictly good or strictly bad way to start a story (rules are meant to be broken after all, right?) there’s lots of good advice on ways to experiment with a beginning.

Below are links to some of the information Nicole mentioned in the podcast:

10 Ways to Start Your Story Better

10 Good Ways to Start a Story

What ways have you started a story? Pretend we are reverting back to our kindergarten ways and making homemade valentines to pass out to our friends. As we get our craft on, we’re chatting about this week’s episode. Let us know your thoughts by commenting below!

S2 Episode 1: In the Beginning…

It’s the beginning of a new year and the beginning of season two, so we thought it would be fitting to discuss how to begin a story. Join Addey, Amber, and Nicole as they discuss beginnings. There may not be a fool-proof way to begin a story, but we’ll try to figure out what comes close!

Comparison: The Death of Creativity

Something I have been ruminating on lately, especially now that we are in a new year and I am coming up with new goals and new ideas, is comparison.  Comparison is an easy trap to fall into in life—she’s much more successful in her career than me, he’s much more motivated than me, I haven’t even thought about buying a house yet and they bought one straight out of college, they’re using their degree and I’m not—there’s a million different things that I think everyone is constantly comparing themselves to, even if subconsciously.

What I’ve been thinking about lately, though, is comparison with writing.  I am constantly falling into the trap of comparison when it comes to both my actual writing, and my writing life.  It’s hard not to feel discouraged when you see authors being published left and right and all you are getting is rejection, and when you hear about some of your writing friends who are halfway through a new novel and you are struggling to get through the first few chapters of your own idea.  Writing is hard, and comparison makes it even harder.

As with comparison in all facets of life, though, I am coming to learn that it’s the complete opposite of helpful.  Unhelpful isn’t even a strong enough word for how unhelpful it is (but hopefully you get the picture). 

Comparison can steal your joy—joy about where you are in your career right now (maybe it’s not so bad if you’re not focusing on where everyone else is), joy about your little apartment that isn’t a house, but is all yours, and joy about the writing progress you are making, even if it is slow going.

Most importantly, comparison can slowly kill off your own creative energy.  We all only have twenty-four hours in a day, so try figuring out how you can divvy up yours to include more time for writing, or reflection, or whatever it is that might help you move forward.  If you are spending too much time contemplating what you don’t have and others do, you are not going to have time to accomplish your own goals.

Constantly comparing yourself to other writers and other creatives is undoubtedly helpful.  It’s why we study the craft of writing in classes and celebrate literary giants who write so eloquently their words make you want to cry, but there’s also something to be said for what you have that they don’t.

It’s okay to be a little different.  It’s okay to search for years and years for somewhere to publish your favorite story and not be accepted by the more mainstream publishers.  It’s okay to never publish and just write for yourself—for the joy of writing. It’s okay to do your thing and find your niche and it won’t (and shouldn’t) look like anyone else’s, so stop comparing!

This is something I am constantly trying to remember myself, and it’s not easy, but its so important!  Don’t let yourself give up, and I won’t either. We are in this together and can’t compare our own journey’s.  Don’t kill your own chances at success—whatever that may look like for you.

Season Two

Welcome to 2020! borrowed solace has many great things coming at you this year, and one of them is season two of borrowed solace: the podcast. We’ll be back in just a few short weeks in February and will return to our bi-monthly podcasting schedule. So keep your eyes (and ears) out for season two, episode 1, coming your way soon!

Reflecting on Writing

At this time of year I always find myself reflecting. As the year comes to a close, I remember what happened this year–the changes that have occurred, the growth I’ve seen, and just what, exactly, happened.

I know for many people 2019 was a tough year. I get that–I wouldn’t say 2019 was an overall tough year for me but it had a lot of tough moments. Some might say that 2019 was an amazing year full of exciting changes and joyful new experiences.

Whichever way your 2019 falls, I’m sure you at least wrote in 2019!

I wanted to take this post to encourage you to remember all the amazing work you put into writing and developing your craft this year. Maybe you were published in borrowed solace this year–congratulations! Maybe you finished a draft of that novel along with Nicole in NaNoWriMo this year–great job! Maybe you remembered to actually write something creative this year other than emails–good for you!

Whatever your writing wins were this year, celebrate them! As we take stock of what 2019 was for each and every one of us, don’t forget writing in your end of year review, too.

I know one of things I feel most accomplished about this year is my writing. I feel like I’ve finally figured out what my voice is when it comes to poetry, and I’m so glad for that! I published several pieces this year–poetry, nonfiction, and more. Even though right now I’m writing while I’m not writing (more about that here), I know that progress was made this year, however small.

So even if 2019 was a terrible year for you, take stock of the writing accomplishments you made this year–little and large. I’m sure you are better off than you know…

The End of the Season

As fall comes to a close and winter is almost upon us, season one of borrowed solace: the podcast is coming to an end. We are excited to come back in the new year with more guests, more fun topics, and more of what we are all about—community. Thank you so much for listening and being apart of our venture into the realm of podcasting. See you next year!

Episode 10: Resources

Episode ten of borrowed solace: the podcast features story time with Eowyn Randall. Eowyn Randall has an MFA in creative writing from the University of Pittsburgh, a city she discovered she loved while spending a year traveling North America by bus and reading the stories of other journeys. She still lives, writes, and reads there. Particularly interested in genres, she’s constantly looking for new ways to blur the boundaries between them. Her work has appeared in A Lonely Riot & borrowed solace.

As always, we want to hear from you! It’s almost Thanksgiving, so imagine we are gathered for a borrowed solace friendsgiving, and share what you think about this episode in the comments below!

Episode 10: A Block of Lard

This episode of the podcast I am joined by Amber and a special guest who was published in borrowed solace issue 1.2. Tune in to hear Eowyn Randall read her story, “A Block of Lard,” on this episode of the podcast!