Writing: Live to Write

Are you like me? I struggle with two inner voices. Well, I have more than two. But, this post is about the battle I fight for creative writing time.

One voice urges me to sit; take some time in my writer’s chair. Write a blog post, rework a scene from that 50k I wrote a couple of years back during NaNoWriMo, or read. It tells me, I won’t write unless I make the time. True.

A second — often louder — voice says other tasks have priority. There is much to do; and the clock only gives me 24 hours. Parenting, family, professional pursuits, volunteer commitments, errands, socializing, exercise, household responsibilities and style hunting all pull rank. Something has to change.

I try to quiet the two voices. Compromise is necessary. Balance is in order. I must live in order to have content. Life calls. Experiences give writing authenticity and encourage connections with readers. Therefore, I must not feel too badly when my writer’s chair remains empty for stretches of time. The voice that compels me to create will be victorious… eventually.

My Listening Months

Happy 2013! I hope you enjoyed the holiday season and end-of-year celebrations. My crew is back to the structures of normalcy; or our family’s definition of normal. That normalcy is back to work, school, home work, and waiting for spring.

Another normalcy calling for some attention is blogging. While my brain and fingers collaborated to author a few posts here-and-there, I have strayed from blogging. During my free hours I have opted to read fictional stories from others rather writing. I call this hiatus from writing, my listening months. These months away compare to pauses I take while in the midst of live conversations with family or friends. Instead of talking, I seal my lips and listen.

The pause from writing enabled me to be a better study of writing and storytelling styles. I now have a better foundation for selecting authors and genres to spend free hours with. Further, I believe the authors who encourage me to miss sleep to read their stories also help me in the development of my own writing style.

 

Why I Blog: Seven Reasons

There are a gazillion reasons why I blog. Here are seven.

1. Therapy. Like exercise, writing is an outlet for stress, negative energy and toxic thoughts. The act of writing enables me to think more objectively about parenting, marital conflict, peer relationships and other domestic issues; and often opens my mind to considering viewpoints beyond my own. This encourages a positive spin to my posts and sometimes allows me to solve problems fueling me with  stress, negativity and toxins.

2. Practice. Just like anything else, writing successfully requires replication. It takes a certain practiced finesse to string words together in a fashion that makes sense and that encourages readers to feel, think, comment, or share. This finesse just doesn’t happen magically; at least not for me.

3. Develop my craft. I suppose this is similar to practicing. But, I see it as a separate purpose. One reason is development of my craft requires more than just writing. It also requires reading fiction, non-fiction, short stories, essays, magazine/journal features, news articles, blogs, poetry, etc., etc. The more I expose myself to writers who have already achieved success as authors, journalists, screenwriters, bloggers, etc., the more inspiration I have for making my own writing better. There are so many willing to share tips on how they achieved their success. Why not tap into that expertise?

4. Build an audience. When I began my blog, I knew finding readers would require studying successful blogs and traditional media that have achieved a significant number of followers. The techniques used to building an audience is similar those used to find new business opportunities for my previous employers. I still have yet to leverage all of these tools to their fullest potential.

5. Building my brand. Since there are so many fabulous writers out there as well as other forms of media begging for attention 24/7, establishing an identity that connects with readers is a key objective. Since I have not published anything with a byline since college, I figured a blog would put me on the right path in meeting this goal.

6. Good company. I am a social creature. Sitting quietly in my chair all day at my desktop or laptop is not what gets me off. The network of writers I circulate with through my blog and other social media platforms is a motivator to write as often as possible. Some are accomplished, published writers while others have other professions and interests they love to share. This gives me a broader view of who I share this planet with. I love chatting with people, learning about others’ interests, and reading what others have to write about their life experiences. My blog enables me to connect with people I wouldn’t have a way of getting to know otherwise.

7. My children. While both of my children are in the early elementary phase of their academic journey, there is considerable emphasis on literacy and language development. If the two witness my commitment to reading and writing daily, I am hopeful they will  follow my lead. My daughter loves books and does apply a great imagination to creative writing tasks at school.

So, why do you blog? I would love to read about your reasons.

Related posts at my blog …

Schedule It

So Much to Write

Words Are Mighty

Also, here are some fave blogs with recent posts about writing …

Linda Cassidy Lewis

Sarah Smiles Awhile

Limebird Writers

The Tattered Thread

 

 

Schedule It

This week I found myself lingering at blogs with tips and advice for success. Some are specifically for writers while others seek a broader audience.

Ironically, I’ve been struggling this week to complete my writing in a timely fashion. This obstacle delayed completion of other action items; and now I’m looking at the calendar thinking, “Oh, sh*t! It’s already Thursday! WTF did I do this week?”

Perhaps these WTF encounters prompted my visits with others who experience the same; and who have successful coping strategies.

So, one of the tips I’m going to try is a writing/blog post schedule. To date, I just sit and write whenever my mood or time permits. Going forward, here’s the schedule I sketched in my idea book at lunch yesterday.

Instead of trying to post everyday, my goal is to publish 3x/week: Tuesday mornings, Thursday afternoons and Sunday. My intention is to make myself more accountable to you — my readers.

Blog posts about parenting, family matters and other domestic issues will appear on Tuesday mornings. Thursday posts will be dedicated to writing, professional ambitions and other random adult conversations. Finally, Sunday posts will be about experiences I have when I’m not writing.

I am hopeful this change will keep me moving forward. Thanks for reading and have a spectacular day!

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Versatile Monday Morning Buzz

It began like any other weekday morning. Monday arrived with an alarming blare. The coffee buzz I sought had yet to kick in. But, as I  scanned my unread e-mails, I noticed a message from a new, WordPress, blogging buddy, Leonie Lucas.

Leonie, honored me with my second Versatile Blogger Award. The buzz from receiving such an honor turned my ho-hum morning into one I’ll remember forever. So, I truly thank Leonie for reading and recognizing my blog. Her blog — Writing, One Page at A Time — touched me the other day because while enjoying time with her six-month-old, Leonie began submitting her work for publication and to writing contests. Those are both goals of mine as well.

Upon accepting the Versatile Blogger Award, there are three rules.

Rule 1: Reveal seven things you probably don’t know about me

  1. The New York Giants are my favorite for Superbowl Sunday.
  2. I need to eat tacos at least once a week. Crunchy shells rule.
  3. When I get pissed off I clean my house.
  4. Nutella should be promoted as the next super food. Just kidding.
  5. When I can’t sleep I read online tabloid comments.
  6. Cheech and Chong movies still make me laugh so hard I cry.
  7. I read Lucky Magazine every month and go sticker crazy.

Rule 2: Select and award 15 bloggers with the Versatile Blogger Award. The following list links you with blogs I have not plugged in previous award posts.

1. Kelly at Dances With Chaos. She is the writer I want to be when I grow up. Her posts are always superb and touch so many at various levels on such a broad stroke of topics. Always a great read.

2. The next six are blogs that push and inspire me to become a better, more consistent, dedicated writer.

Limebird Writers

Victoria-writes

Talinorfali

Kate Policani

My Name is Not Bob

Six Sentences

3. There are blogs I am becoming better acquainted with that make me pause and stay awhile. They all weave the right combination of words and/or pictures to make each visit memorable.

Indulge — Travel, Adventure, & New Experiences

Thypolar’s Life Uncensored

Cosy Travels of the Viking and his Kitten

The Better Man Project

Aspire.Motivate.Succeed

VeehCirra

MoonLightened Way

AJ Poetry, Poetry with purpose

Rule 3: Notify honorees.

NaNoWriMo: Week 1 – Setting the Stage

This first week of NaNoWriMo has been all about setting the stage for my characters as well as for myself. Since this is my first 50k, I have put five contingencies in place to ensure a strong finish. What tips do you NaNoWriMo veterans have for us newbies?

1. Working Outline translates to flexible. Previously, I was just going to write until I reached 50k. But, I scraped that plan. Today, I stopped typing to think about the story coming to life on my pages. Are the characters engaging enough? Am I spending too much time on certain scenes?

2. Playlist of tunes to keep me in the moment with my characters. Fellow blogger and NaNoWriMo, MB, shared her playlist this weekend. Tonight, my list included:

3. Running Goal of making one mile in five minutes on my elliptical. This is a 50k, right? So, while I attempt this first with my writing, I might as well train for that Freeze Your Fanny 5k on January 29 at Stony Creek Metro Park.

4. Escape Plan to the living and the real. One can only revel for so long in the fantastical storytelling world. Now, I know why there is a suggested daily quota.

5. Interventions to divert focus from writing to my husband, children, dog, friends, house, neighborhood, etc. Today’s successful diversions were taking my daughter to the salon for a haircut, voting, a trip to the Rochester Cider Mill for a blueberry, maple-glazed doughnut, cooking dinner, helping with homework, and blogging.

Related Posts…

My First 50k