Day 6 – Great Artists (and Writers) Steal

I used this quote on my first ever post for this blog, and I’m going to use it today because of the Day 6 challenge from Jeff Goins.

“If you don’t make mistakes, you’re doing it wrong. If you don’t correct those mistakes, you’re doing it really wrong. If you can’t accept that you’re mistaken, you’re not doing it at all.”  (credited to I fucking love science’s photo that was posted on May 26, 2012)

This quote reflects the newfound confidence in myself that I have found this year through everything that has happened me to me and my family since the fall of 2010. I used to be scared of putting myself out there because I was afraid—afraid of being rejected, afraid of not being able to stand up for myself. Not that I had any illusions of being perfect, not by a long shot. But I was afraid of opening up and letting people see the deepest parts of me–the parts that hurt and my dreams for the future. I didn’t understand that even if those things were diminished by someone else, it didn’t make them any less real to me. I don’t feel that way anymore though. I am a writer, and what I want more than anything else is to affect the world with my writing—the writing of a person who is not perfect, who makes mistakes, who I would say is perfectly normal. 🙂

 

Until next time, be real!!!!!!

Day 5 – How Great Writers Prepare for Big Projects

How Great Writers Prepare for Big Projects—that is the title of Jeff Goins’ Day 5 challenge entry today. He talks about four things we should be doing to get our project out to where people can look at it. These things are: 1) Ship something. (what that means is to put something out there no matter how bad it is) 2) Get Feedback. 3) Make it better. 4) Repeat untiI project is ready to launch. I

I’ve done some of these things. My local writing group has critiqued a few pages, and they helped me to fix some military related things which I wasn’t aware of. I also have had a writing buddy read the complete first chapter, and he has given me some helpful feedback. What I’m curious about is whether putting it out there while I’m still working on it is helpful, or would it be better to do that when the first draft is done? I just went back and read the entry, and he says to put out a portion of it. Guess I have a decision to make. Thinking…..thinking….thinking—-okay here’s the link to chapter 1.  https://docs.google.com/document/d/11RDTwbKHbfWNJW_MsFGA0tY1-J8qQcGtWI7daRBUtOs/edit

Let me know if you can see the link and what you think if you’re so inclined. Thanks.

Until next time, be real!!!!!

Day 4 – Practice in Public and Reflections

I’m doing a lot reflecting today. My boys and I have finished homeschooling for the 2011-12 school year, and our family’s lives have changed tremendously since September. When we started, we had just come to our new town because my husband had been offered a job after being unemployed for almost a year. Since we had only been given a week’s notice to drive across the country, we moved into a corporate apartment and started school while trying to get used to a brand-new town where we knew no one except for one homeschooling friend who I had met over the Internet. Some of our early adventures included: going to the library and applying for library cards, going to homeschool events, throwing the baseball on the large grassy field which was next to where the mailboxes were, and walking to the mall which we were living right behind. We were happy for the new adventure, but sad times came the following month when I miscarried before even knowing that I was pregnant. I detailed the happenings of that day in my first post for this blog, but needless to say, we were all thrown into a talespin. I knew though that I had to keep going for my boys. We were finally able to move into our current apartment in December, and that was a wonderful birthday and Christmas present. It is very peaceful here, and I know that helped a lot with the healing. The other thing that helped me was beginning to participate in our local writing club. Finding people that were just as interested in writing as I was was a great motivator as the days passed, and I felt myself growing stronger and healing.

This naturally segues into the fourth day of Jeff Goins’ challenge. He challenged us to practice our writing in public, and one of the things he suggested was to share something we’ve never shared before. That is what I’m going to do now. One of the things I’ve always struggled with is not standing up to or being direct with certain people in my life. Because of this struggle, I made the decision not to say anything about my miscarriage to those people because I didn’t feel strong enough to hear comments such as, “It was for the best.” or “You really shouldn’t have another child.” I also didn’t feel strong enough to be direct and shut down the comments when I felt they were inappropriate so I just didn’t do anything. Now though, I feel differently. I am stronger for what I’ve been through. I know I’ve changed because of things I’ve done in the past few weeks that I would have never done before which include going to a sci-fi/fantasy/comic book festival and being an active participant in the wrtiers’ panels. I have come out of my shell in a major way, and my sense of self-confidence has grown to an amazing level. I look forward to the future now—as a writer, a wife, a mother, and a homeschool teacher.

 

Until next time, be real!!!!!

Day 3 – A Great Writer Takes Initiative

Yes, that was the title of Jeff Goins’ post this morning–the morning of the third day of the challenge. Yesterday, he challenged us to get up two hours earlier this morning and just write with no other distractions. I didn’t make two hours, but I did manage to get up over an hour earlier and get a solid hour of writing in, finishing a chapter of the book I’m working on. It was wonderful!! The quietness of the morning really helped me to focus on what I was trying to do. After I finished writing, I exercised and ate breakfast and was done with all of that before my children got up. I don’t know if I’ll get up that early every morning to write, but I know that if I want to accomplish my goals for this summer and get a good schedule in place before the new school year begins, I will need to get up earlier. The discpline of getting up earlier will not only help me with my writing, but should spill over to the other areas of my life. I’m very excited about this new focus and can’t wait to see where it takes me. Day 4, here I come.

Until next time, be real!!!!!

Day 2

I can see it’s going to get more challenging as the days go on. Jeff wants us to get up two hours earlier tomorrow and just write. No checking email or getting distracted by anything else on the Internet. That’s a challenge for me because when I get stuck on my writing, I tend to do just that. I told my husband last night that I was going to have to plan my schedule out for the summer so I get everything accomplished that I want to accomplish. That includes time with the kids, taking care of the house, my physical fitness time, planning time for our next homeschool year, reading good books (That’s important for us writers, you know), and MY WRITING TIME. I think, for me, having a specific writing time will help me to accomplish my goals. I don’t know if early morning is the time I will write continuously, but I will get up earlier tomorrow to get started with my day and see if early morning works for me to write.

Until next time, be real!!!!!

Day 1

I am a writer. Wow, that felt good. I’ve actually been writing short stories for the last two and a half years, and I’ve won the NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) challenge two years in a row (2010 and 2011). But, I’ve never really declared those words until now. They’ve been in my thoughts a lot though as I am starting to think of the next phase of my life after homeschooling (I homeschool my 12 year old and my 15 year old.) Those ages will tell you that I don’t have a lot of time left in that job. Instead of saying I will write when I am done homeschooling, I choose to say that I am a writer now. The joy of putting words together increases for me every day, and I believe I have something valuable to say. Whether that involves being published or not, I do not know. No one knows the future. It is the process of creating that nutures my soul though, and it is what I want to share with the world. Like I said in my first post, I want to be real with this blog, and the first step with that is to state my passion. I am a writer. Let’s make this journey together.

Until next time,

let’s be real!!

15 Habits of Great Writers

I am going to be joining the 15 Habits of Great Writers Challenge at goinswriter.com for the next few weeks. Can’t wait to see what happens and how much I grow as a writer.

Great Writers Challenge

 

Inside a Writer’s Soul

Words….words on a page with no feelings or emotions behind them.  Is that what catches your eye when you read something? Or is it the words that have feeling, that have emotion that catch your eye? I have been writing stories for the last two and a half years and have been told that the best way to reach a person through words is to write what you know.  This is my plan for this blog. Why are we afraid to tell people what we really feel? To let them see inside our hearts? I think it’s because we’re afraid–afraid of rejection, afraid that what we’re writing isn’t popular, afraid of being real. For my first post for this blog, I want to share an experience that was very real to me and one that still resonates deep within my soul.

Almost eight months ago, my family and I had lived in our new town for just about a month. Unemployment had been our watchword for almost a year, but we were now beginning to get back on our feet with my husband’s new job. What I had not told anyone though was the extreme pain I had been in. We had held off on getting health insurance because of the expense, and I was hoping against hope that what I was experiencing was just normal monthly woman’s pain. It was not to be. By the middle of the day, I was bleeding heavily and barely able to get out of the bed because of the pain. My husband was worried and looked up my symptoms on the Internet, and we determined that it was highly probable I was having a miscarriage. It was on the side though of being something a doctor couldn’t do anything about, and we decided it would be better for me to just stay at home and wait things out. Thirty minutes later, I had a strong urge to push and barely made it to the bathroom before something came out. It was very, very small, but was still recognizable as a baby. A baby….I had lost a baby. Tears began pouring down my face.  I managed to get to the bed, and at that point, began my physical recovery.

The mental recovery though is something I would not wish on anyone.  My husband and children were amazing. I can’t tell you the number of laundry loads and meals that were taken care of without my having to worry about it over the next few weeks. The people that we had met were pretty good too. I was especially grateful for the homeschool mom who took my kids for the afternoon a few days later so I could rest, for the manager who let my husband work from home the afternoon I had the miscarriage and for my four special girlfriends who I have a Facebook group with. But, the one thing that was hard was feeling like I couldn’t talk about it—feeling like I couldn’t talk about my pain and anguish— that people just expected me to move on.  There are health issues that are talked about; dare I say that are ‘fashionable’ to talk about.  I’m thinking of such things as breast cancer, heart disease, and diabetes. When a woman says she has lost a baby though, people don’t know what to say or they say something that wounds her further.  Why? Why is this loss not talked about? Wait, I can’t say it’s not talked about. There are people who are doing wonderful work with miscarriage, stillbirth, and infant loss support–on the Internet and in real life. It’s hard though, not being able to talk about a loss especially a loss that was early like mine was because people don’t consider it to be real. But it was real to me.

It might be a mistake to be real, but I won’t know unless I try. I’m reminded of a quote I saw on Facebook on a photo. “If you don’t make mistakes, you’re doing it wrong. If you don’t correct those mistakes, you’re doing it really wrong. If you can’t accept that you’re mistaken, you’re not doing it at all.”  (credited to I fucking love science’s photo that was posted on May 26, 2012)

Until next time, be real!