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This week: Read the Tea LeavesEdited by: Annette
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Writers have been making assumptions about the future since the dawn of time. Some were right, some were a little right, and some got it all the way wrong.
Let's find out what that means for your writing.
Read the Tea Leaves
The desire to predict the future is a very old pursuit of humankind. People across several cultures tried to get ahead of the game by figuring out what was going to happen before it happens.
We can drink tea with tea leaves inside the cup and then shake the cup. These tea leaves will also say some pretty informative things. As a tool for divination, you can use them to predict the present, past, or the future. The best part about tea leaf reading is that you can keep shaking the cup to get more patterns. The amount of divination coming out of a tea cup is thus endless. By the way, you can do the same thing with coffee grinds if that is more of your cup of tea. Even beer can tell the future, which might be the most fun because you read the foam of the full glass. Once you have the news, you'll have a beer.
If you don't have tea, coffee, or beer in a cup at hand, just use your hand. Almost all of us will be told that we will live a long life based on how the creases on our hands run. We will also be successful in our career. Who measures what a long life is? Who decides what career success ends up looking like? Will the prophecy of a long life protect the hand owner if he takes up rock climbing without ropes and harnesses? Will the hand owner's career end up being a middle management position that they never leave until retirement?
Since nobody has peer reviewed proof of time travel, nobody can truly know what the future holds. That doesn't mean we can't try and have some fun with it. Ancient oracles, daily horoscopes, angel numbers and other signs about the future have one thing in common: they mostly turn out to be true. How do they get it right each time? Ambiguity. You can predict someone's fortune very precisely as long as you leave a few details vague.
Some past authors made good use of their ability to write whatever they thought was entertaining to read and ended up predicting the future. Jules Verne is one such author. He wrote about electric submarines, newscasts, solar sails, lunar modules, skywriting, videoconferencing, tasers, and more. He didn't have those things, be we do now. Even before Jules Verne Leonardo DaVinci invented the parachute, the helicopter, a calculator, and more things that we now use. He didn't fictionalize them like Jules Verne, but both equally advanced technology by taking the time to write about it.
It doesn't matter how far into the future you want to go with your writing. As an author, the world you give the reader is a fact as presented. In the book at least. It's up to engineers and scientists to make it all come true. That part is not your problem. All you have to do is write!
This trinket predicted that we would get a vaccine against the coronavirus that causes COVID-19.
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I received these answers to my last For Authors newsletter "Do As Much As You Can"
Ari Lox wrote: I like the advice in "Do As Much As You Can"; however, I'm the type who always finds my other projects more interesting than the one in front of me.
My mantra has become: Any work done on any of my projects is good work.
I follow my enthusiasm rather than my initial plan. I wish I were more disciplined, but I'm not. I have to work with myself as I am.
As long as you live your best life, anything you do will be just fine!
Jenstrying wrote: Thank you for this. I have printed a copy to put on my office wall.
Wow. That has got to be the best compliment ever for one of my newsletters.
K.HBey wrote: Each new year we build new projects. These latter should respond to our inspirations and financial need. It is natural that someone wants to be rewarded for his work.
I hope that each one realize his dreams . As I wish that my writing becomes lucrative. Big issue indeed!
Yes, having readers is nice. Having readers that are willing to buy books is a high goal to achieve.
brom21 wrote: My plan for the new year is to write for at least three hours a day. I more or less do that already but there are times I flake out. My ultimate goal is to write five hours a day or so. Wish me a happy new year's resolution! Thanks!
Those are some great resolutions. I hope you are still sticking to them.
Mastiff wrote: Know how I know you can write? You wrote this! I think we all have troubles with it, because I'm in a bit of a slump myself. Try what I do sometimes. Use something you experienced in your life, and twist it to make it funny, or scary, or whatever genre you choose. It's easier to tell a tale if the background is real. :)
Newsletter writing is writing. You are correct, but I want to build worlds. I want you to laugh and cry. I want you to have to put the book down/walk away from your reading screen to process my story and have to come back to find out how it keeps going. That's when I will be the writer I want to be.
QPdoll wrote: "although I am here a lot, I don't write enough. I don't think I can even write any longer." I feel the very same way! I haven't been able to write anything worthy in quite a long time.
Let's try together. We did it before we can do it again.
Lilli ☕ wrote: I like your optimism toward 2021! Wishing you a happy, healthy, and productive New Year!
Thank you and same to you. Let's make it happy, healthy, and productive.
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