Struggling, Writers?

Well, yes, I have been struggling as a writer lately. I have this manuscript I’ve been writing and editing since November 2012–and this manuscript (though it has great potential) has needed some work–such as a new beginning. Not really a big deal, right?

Wrong.

And I have been struggling. And thinking. And pondering. And writing. And editing. And thinking some more.

I could have chosen at any moment to let it all go, to quit, to give in to the voices that tell me the process is too difficult, that I don’t have whatever-it-is that is needed to publish, that I really can’t be successful in a sea of so many voices.

But I did not. And I do not.

Actually, working through these moments, I have realized how much writing means to me.

Yesterday, I was in the midst of supporting a lovely community I found recently on twitter. As I was reading posts to retweet and favorite on #MondayBlogs, I connected with a fellow wordpress blogger who posted this lovely piece of amazingness. As I read about her journey, I was able to envision another moment in my first chapter–another beginning–one which I know is a step in the right direction (even if it might not be the final beginning). And the energy and life-giving writing is beginning to flow once more.

And I am grateful–grateful for community among writers, for support, and for the shutting down the negativity inside myself and feeding the positive!

Sending much love to all of you this year! xoxoxox

Will You WriMo?

Well, November is here!!!!!

Do you hear the mad rush of fingers tap-tap-tapping on keyboards across the country?

Do you feel the flow of creativity spinning around your neighborhood?

Do you see groups of people around libraries, coffee shops, and cafes huddled around laptops, brainstorming and supporting one another?

Do you WriMo?

🙂

Last year, I began on a whim…November 1, 2102…with no ideas other than a blank word doc, a new computer keyboard, and a desire. I’m happy to say that through the support and prayers of my family, friends, and fellow writers, I completed my 50,000 word goal (and have been editing off and on since!)!!!!! The experience was exhilarating! I would do it again in a heartbeat…just maybe not this year. I think that this year, I will sit on the sidelines and support YOU. Yes, you. I’m talking to you. So, stop reading and get to it, NaNoWriMo friends. You have keyboards to wear out, chocolate to consume, and stories to tell!!!! GO!!!!!

Your readers will thank you for it.

And maybe…yes, maybe…I just might join you, after all! 🙂

NaNoWriMo

Catching up…

So, I’ve been a bit of a hermit lately in the blogosphere. Sorry! I have been working to edit my novel I wrote for NaNoWriMo 2012…it’s the deal I made with myself that I couldn’t do NaNoWriMo 2013 if I didn’t have my 2012 project in the next phase of pre-publishing–at least somewhat. I’m happy to say that it is getting close, and I am trying to figure out what friends love me enough to tell me the truth about if what I wrote last year is worth anything–yes, I want to hear the good, the bad, and the ugly about it–honestly–so I can re-work what is necessary to get it into a publishable state. 🙂

I’m grateful for the time of reflection during the editing process…and I’m grateful for the patience of the manuscript. It quietly waits for me through screaming children, dinner prep, and even my own thoughts wandering, pondering, and praying through some recent sad experiences of loved ones.

I have cried with my character’s losses again, as I did while writing it (which has been healing to my soul as I’ve allowed myself to shed tears for what is going on in my present life as well). And, I wonder if the power of the story will speak to others as it does to me. I am hopeful.

So, please pardon my absence. I am juggling life right now, continuing to celebrate gratitude, eating lots and lots of Skittles, and editing…so I can do it all over again!

And, mostly, I am happy! 🙂

Prayers that you are, too…and sending love and light your way…!

Writing a Scholarship Essay
photo credit

Waiting for 10 o’clock

I have this rule. We call it the “10 o’clock rule” around our house.

Clock 10:00

photo credit

And, I am watching the clock, even as I type, for the numbers to fly onward toward this blessed time.

You see, we don’t have sugar–like hard-core, solid, sugar–until after 10 a.m.

Don’t ask me when the rule began.  I have no idea.  Somehow, I do recall that I read something to the effect of “if you eat chocolate when you crave it between 10 am-4 pm, you will be healthier.”  The 10 o’clock rule was then born for chocolate, and eventually defined to cover Skittles, Starbursts, soda, ice cream, and other varied sugary items.

Doughnuts, cinnamon rolls, banana bread, and other such items are not included in the 10 o’clock rule.

And, I do have some banana bread on the counter.  I could get up, slice some, heat it in the microwave for a few seconds, slather it with butter and enjoy.

But the Skittles in my backpack that sit atop my computer desk area are so much closer…(29 more minutes)…and my body is probably still full from the delicious bowl of oatmeal with fresh blueberries and cream I had for breakfast.

(Too bad breakfast was several hours ago….)

Twenty-eight minutes.  Maybe I’ll work on my love songs playlist for our anniversary.  I’ve been enjoying that.

And I could start editing the novel I wrote last November.  I’ve got hours of work on that project.  But, of course, I would need some Skittles to even open the document.

And, it’s still twenty-seven minutes until 10 o’clock.

Maybe I should change time zones.

🙂

Relief and Writing

As many of you may well know, I completed my goal to write 50,000 words of a novel in thirty days for NaNoWriMo last November.  And, up until this week, I had edited about 20 pages of my (so far) 198 page manuscript.  I have been devoting more time to working on it as of late…and I am continually reminded of what I learned last November 30.

I DON’T KNOW HOW TO END A NOVEL.

Thank goodness I have plenty of editing to do before I get to revisit that ending endeavor I performed toward the end of last year.  As NaNoWriMo is a purely creative effort, I have found that minor characters have different names throughout the text as I reread it, and I’ve found some continuity issues with which I am dealing…and some character development…and so on…and so forth.  🙂  But, as I work on it, I am reminded of the energy I feel when I am writing as well as the happiness I feel when I am typing away at my screen, figuratively painting words onto a page…sillouhettes of lives and stories.

Also, I would like to say HUZZAH as I think I have made it through the enormous stress bubbles which have been clouding my vision and invading my ability to see clearly (and I am BEYOND THANKFUL).  I want to give each of you a shout-out for all your support and help through these past couple months (which have been anything but easy for me).  After some events and visitors this past weekend, I came home from errands Monday morning, cuddled with my preschooler on the couch, and we slept for a glorious two hours.  Upon waking, my head was clear, my vision was focused, and my energy was tangible.  As I have continued through this week, I am still feeling happy (mostly) and satisfied.  My perspective has enlarged, and I am moving forward (after a quite stagnant several weeks).  I am feeling relief!  And I am writing!  And…guess what?  I am oh-so-happy!!!!

🙂

No, I won’t be afraid

So, I put my lovely iPod on Shuffle yesterday, skipped through several songs in hopes of feeling some sort of motivation, and heard the warm voice of Ben E. King and the lovely percussion of a song so familiar to many of us.


When he sang the words, “No, I won’t be afraid,” I knew I had some work to do.

His inspiring words drifted back into my mind at around 2:30 this morning as I lay in bed between a kiddo and a husband, searching for the solace of sleep.

Why do I fear, anyway? What do I fear? Sometimes I make a mental list…but even with that mental list, my mind discounts many of them. But they seem so real sometimes…almost tangible.

So, what do you fear? And does it paralyze you? Or can you let go of the fear and use newfound energy to propel you to action? I am working on the latter…and I know I need to get back to my book. At 2:30 this morning, editing sounded like a good idea…but when daylight returns, so does the fear, apparently.

Like I said, I’ve got some work to do. The yoga I did this morning helped clear my head a little, thankfully.

Maybe I will pick up my book again. What can I possibly be afraid of, with the calmness of Ben E. King’s voice over my computer speakers, and all of you standing (figuratively, of course) by me?

🙂