Faris Makes It Happen


Perspective. It really is all in the way you look at it. You can wake up one morning and find the planet Jupiter on your chin and think it’s going to be a bad day. Then you flip on the television and you see that many of the Eastern U.S. states are in danger of flood waters and damaging wind. Millions without power, others trapped and some will never see their loved ones again.

Maybe, your day isn’t so bad after all.

Perspective applies to writing, as well. It’s so easy for a writer to make up excuses as to why he or she doesn’t have time to write. In fact, we can be incredibly clever about it. Then someone can put all of that in perspective for you. It happened to me a few weeks ago. I make my deadlines and get my work done. But I’d lost my writing mojo in a big, big way. Some of that had to do with illness, but there was a general burn out going on.
Then I met Faris. He’s a student in my writing workshop I’m teaching at University of Texas at Arlington. A brilliant, creative mind, he has a great passion for writing. He’s beginning his first book with one of the best concepts I’ve ever heard. Ever. As in, crap, I wish I thought of that. But this is a fictional re-telling of something that happened to Faris and is from his unique perspective.

Did I mention he’s autistic, and can only communicate through a computer. He has an assistant who speaks for him in class, but he types everything out one letter at a time. He’s an incredible audio learner. He can listen  and then go home and type two hours of lectures up without missing a beat. But my favorite part of that, is he really learns. He takes the information I give him and applies it to his work.

Faris has done another favor for me. He reminded me how much I love to teach. His positive attitude and willingness to share, have made me want to find more Faris’ out there. Though, he’s a pretty unique guy, so they wouldn’t be exactly like him.

If you’re finding excuses why you can’t write, think about Faris. He’s somewhere in the world being productive and taking on life’s challenges one word at a time.

There are two excuses for no words on the page – death and coma. And I like to say, even if you’re in a coma you could be working on your story.

My work is done.


About Candace Havens

Bestselling author Candace Havens has written six novels for Berkley including, Charmed & Dangerous, Charmed & Ready, Charmed & Deadly, Like A Charm, The Demon King and I and Dragons Prefer Blondes. Her new venture is writing for the Blaze line of Harlequin. Those books include Take Me If You Dare, She Who Dares, Wins, Truth and Dare, and The Model Marine. She is also in the anthology Spirited, and the proceeds go to help literacy. Her books have received nominations for the RITA's, Holt Medallion and Write Touch Reader Awards. She is the author of the biography Joss Whedon: The Genius Behind Buffy and a contributor to several anthologies. She is also one of the nation's leading entertainment journalists and has interviewed countless celebrities including Tom Hanks, Nicolas Cage, Tom Cruise, George Clooney and many more. Her entertainment columns can be read in more than 600 newspapers across the country. Candace also runs a free online writing workshop for more than 1800 writers, and teaches comprehensive writing class. She does film reviews with the Dorsey Gang on New Country 96.3, and is the President of the Television Critics Association.

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