Wednesday, November 7, 2018

IWSG: Memories of Writing

Time for another posting with the Insecure Writer’s Support Group, where writers can share their insecurities and encourage one another. IWSG was founded by Alex J. Cavanaugh and we share our posts on the first Wednesday of the month.

The IWSG question for November is: How has your creativity in life evolved since you began writing?
That is a good question! It is fun to take a walk down memory lane through my writing history. This is one of those moments when I wish I still had my first stories I wrote in 6th grade. I cannot remember what they were like, but I know that my imagination ran wild when I was a child. I had a lot of ideas in my head before I started writing, and I still remember some of the worlds I would pretend to be in when I played. I have some of my high school diary entries, which do not include a lot of creative writing, unless you count the number of ways I fantasized about “accidentally” bumping into my crushes. I have a couple cute stories I wrote for my 11th grade English class. They lack details, but I included some interesting ideas.

 In college, most of my writing was for assignments and tests. A couple of my professors applauded my writing skills, but I’m assuming they were referring to my grammar, because most of my chapter reviews or summaries were complete BS. After rereading some of my homework, I never realized I was so talented at making it sound like I actually read the textbook. Beyond required writing, I wrote a lot of emails during those years, since I was away from my friends.

The most consistent writing I have done over time has been keeping a diary or journal. It seems I have matured in how I approach my journaling. I use it to work through my emotions, to write out prayers, or just to get all of my thoughts out of my head. Sometimes journaling inspires me to work on my fiction stories or poetry. It also inspired some of my past blog posts. I started this blog in 2010, and I actually enjoy reading many of my old posts. I used to think that I’ve lost some of my creative ability, but I think my real problem is that I have been more distracted in recent months than I was eight years ago. My focus has been off of writing. I still add ideas to my list, but I have not actually sat down to work on those ideas. My most creative writing pursuits of the last two years have been my WEP entries and a fantasy story I occasionally work on.

I have found other creative pursuits. From time to time I work on craft and sewing projects. My biggest pursuit lately has been photography. I have always enjoyed pictures, and after getting myself addicted to Instagram about a year ago, my picture taking has increased exponentially. I feel that photography is in a similar plane to writing, because it’s another way of expressing oneself. Also, my pictures make me want to write more – to write about the feelings and experiences behind the photos. 

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

IWSG: October 2018

Time for another posting with the Insecure Writer’s Support Group, where writers can share their insecurities and encourage one another. IWSG was founded by Alex J. Cavanaugh and we share our posts on the first Wednesday of the month.

I feel as though my months have been going up and down with writing. One day, I feel motivated and actually write things, and the next day, my creativity seems to be lost. I really do not know what happened to September. It came in quickly and was gone before I even looked up. I guess I had a lot going on my days off. I sincerely apologize to those who I did not visit back last month. I try to do most of my blog visits on my days off, because I’ve been burnt out with my job and do not have the mental/social energy on work days. I had the first Thursday of September off, but I had to take my mom to the doctor and we ended up shopping all day afterwards. By the following week, I felt guilty and it seemed like it was “too late” for IWSG visits. I'll be honest that one of my biggest insecurities is my lack of correspondence skills. Combine that with years of procrastination experience, and I certainly am a well of insecurity, although sometimes I won’t realize it until tomorrow. ;)

The question for October is How do major life events affect your writing? Has writing ever helped you through something?

It depends on the event. If it is something really happy and exciting, my writing will be in short and sweet bursts. I’ll write sentence-long descriptions to remind myself of the moment later. I do not write a lot as those types of events occur, but I do sometimes (not as often as I would like) reflect back on what happened and write afterwards. Exciting events, such as my vacations to London and Florida, inspire most of my creative visuals of worlds and characters. When sad things happen, I tend to write during the events. This relates to the second part of this month’s question, because I write to help work through all the depressed and confused emotions I may be feeling. Most of my nonfictional writing (devotions, prayers, and journaling) and some poetry is written during sad or disappointing times. I have a lot of those nonfictional writings I wish I could utilize, but they require quite of bit of revisions in order to make them presentable. Maybe instead of starting a new journal entry, I should rewrite something during my next disappointing moment.

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

IWSG: A Better Month

Time for another posting with the Insecure Writer’s Support Group, where writers can share their insecurities and encourage one another. IWSG was founded by Alex J. Cavanaugh and we share our posts the first Wednesday of the month.

Thank you all for the encouragement last month! I was really down and discouraged when I wrote that post, plus I had procrastinated and wrote it late the night before post day. I was tired and frustrated, and the blogging community swooped in and made me feel better. Thank you! August was a better month overall. I participated in the WEP, which helped get me back in a better writing flow. I started working on an idea for the IWSG Anthology Contest, although I’m not yet sure if I can pull it together into a decent story. It is nice to feel inspired to write again, but I’m still working on balancing my energy to make time for it.

This month, the optional question is: What publishing path are you considering/did you take, and why? That is a question I ask myself quite often. I realize that I do not have anything ready to be published, but that it still something to consider now, so I can be ready once I get to that part of the writing journey. I have heard pros and cons of both self-publishing and using a publisher. I think that starting off, I would be better off with a publisher to help get my name out there. I would still consider self-publishing. It depends on what I end up writing first, it could be a novel, a collection of poems or short stories, or a book of devotionals. I do hope to get at least one of those unfinished ideas published someday. 

Happy September, everyone!

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

WEP: Change of Heart

            For the August challenge, the WEP (Write...Edit...Publish) is collaborating with the Insecure Writer's Support Group. I decided to take a different approach and wrote a monologue. I should give credit to my brother for suggesting this idea, because I probably would not have participated otherwise. My monologue is short, but I like how it fits with the Change of Heart theme. It was another interesting writing experience, and I hope you enjoy.

The Dilemma

In or out?

Why must I always be faced with such a decision?

This opportunity does not present itself very often,

And I feel so pressured to make a choice.

I could enjoy the pleasures of staying in,

But then I’ll constantly wonder what’s going on out there.

In here, I feel safe and warm,

I know exactly the best area to make myself comfortable,

And I have all the accommodations I could hope for.

On the other hand, out there I can find excitement and adventure;

There’s so much to explore, and so much to do and see.

If only my demands could be met immediately,

And I can get out when I need to.

But I am forced to decide my fate based on the whims and fancies of others.

Who do they think they are, anyway?

They go out whenever they please,

Sometimes without even asking me what I want to do.

I tell you I am sick and tired of it all!

Oh no! The door is about to close!

This opportunity is about to pass me by.

I must go out! Now!

Hello, world outside the door!

The door…

The door has been closed behind me.

No, wait! I wasn’t ready!

I had a change of heart,

I don’t want to be out here anymore.

Please let me back in,

This was a mistake!

Come back, my human!

Word count: 232, FCA

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

IWSG: Maximum Insecurity

Time for another posting with the Insecure Writer’s Support Group, where writers can share their insecurities and encourage one another. IWSG was founded by Alex J. Cavanaugh and we share our posts the first Wednesday of the month.

The main insecurity that I dealt with in July applies to my current job situation, and though other factors come into play, this definitely affects my writing, or lack thereof. I feel as though my job is this enormous obstacle that stands in the way of most of the things I want to do. I’m especially reminded of this during the summer months when there are so many activities going on with my church and among my friends, and I only get to participate in a fraction because of work. I have hinted before that I would like to quit my job and write full time, but that idea somewhat frightens me. It seems a bit irresponsible, especially in the eyes of some people in my life. Though, my hesitancy mainly is caused by a fear of failure. What if my writing isn’t accepted anywhere? What if I’m overcome by writer’s block all the time? What if I can’t find a new job if this doesn’t work out? So many what ifs and I am not the greatest decision maker. I constantly pick stability over leaping into the unknown, and I wonder how much longer my creativity can withstand being pushed aside.

I wish I could say that I have something figured out, because this issue has been plaguing me for quite some time. At least I can say that I have done some writing the past few months, mostly journaling and prayers. I try to remind myself to squeeze it in during less stressful and less distracting moments. To end on a more positive note, I found a few encouraging quotes:

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

IWSG: Clearing Clutter, Changing Goals, and D&D

Time for another posting with the Insecure Writer’s Support Group, where writers can share their insecurities and encourage one another. IWSG was founded by Alex J. Cavanaugh. We usually share our posts the first Wednesday of the month, but since the U.S. Fourth of July holiday is on Wednesday this year, we are posting on Tuesday. July’s optional question is: What are your ultimate writing goals, and how have they changed over time (if at all)?

June went a little better than May for me, but I still have a lot of catching up to do in nearly every area of my life. It seems as though I will not be able to fully concentrate on my writing until I start clearing away the clutter around me. Not just concrete things like clothes and desk supplies (although those are on the list), but also digital clutter with emails and organizing files, and clearing my head of distractions and negativity. It has been a long, difficult process, and I feel as though circumstances keep trying to pull me backwards, but I must keep moving forward.

As for my goals, they have adjusted themselves over time. I still would like to write my non-fiction “quiet book” someday, but organizing those thoughts and ideas into meaningful words has proved harder than I thought it would be. I feel like I would have to change to a better, less stressful day job in order to give that project the attention it requires. I have recently grown fond of writing short stories and even a little flash fiction. I hope to get a short story published within the next few years. I have been tweaking and adding to my fantasy story entry from the 2016 IWSG anthology contest. My friend and her husband inadvertently helped me with it a couple weeks ago. ~ Warning: The next sentence will reveal just how much of a nerd I truly am. ~ They started a sort of Dungeons and Dragons role-playing story and invited me to join, so I decided to use one of my fantasy story characters. We are not following the typical D&D rules, but I think this will be an entertaining verbal storytelling experience. I highly recommend it for fantasy writers!

I guess I distracted myself from the initial question. My ultimate goal, under my current circumstances, is to publish at least one book. If I ever manage to obtain my dream job of being a stay-at-home wife and mother, I may be able to publish more (maybe). Under better day job circumstances, another goal of mine would be to write weekly devotional blog posts similar to the ones I used to write when I started this blog. So, to better my writing, I need to broaden my search to find a better job, or get married (lol 😄).

To my United States followers: Happy Independence Day!

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

IWSG: Place Generic Title Here

Time for another posting with the Insecure Writer’s Support Group, where writers can share their insecurities and encourage one another. IWSG was founded by Alex J. Cavanaugh and we share our posts the first Wednesday of the month.

May was a rough month for me. My dad had surgery to remove cancer from his prostate on May 4, and then ended up in the hospital for an extra week due to various issues. So, for eight out of the ten days he was there, I was driving back and forth with my mom, who can’t drive herself, to the hospital (70 miles away from home). By the grace of God and the prayers of many friends from church, we survived that ordeal. It was a relief to finally get settled back at home, but half the month was gone and I was exhausted. Going back to work after all that was very difficult for me, especially since there have been some changes with staff and scheduling the last few weeks. Needless to say, writing was not on the agenda last month. Although, I did write a rather lengthy letter to a friend, but I have not sent it yet because I felt like it needed some editing. So, it’s good to know my writer's brain is still working.☺

Sorry that I don’t have much to say related to writing; I’ve been too tired to be insecure. I do have some thoughts on the optional question this month, which is: What's harder for you to come up with, book titles or character names?

Without a doubt, titles are my weakness. I usually struggle with finding titles for my blog posts and short stories. I don’t even like the title of this blog, but after all these years, I can’t seem to come up with anything to change it to! That’s why I just use my name for my Facebook page and Twitter. I probably overthink it. I feel like the title needs to be something all-encompassing, witty, and meaningful, all in a handful of words. Most of the time, when I spend too long thinking about it, I end up giving up and picking something that feels generic. There are only a few titles I’ve used that I thought were clever, and the rest were rather lame. Character names are a bit easier. I sometimes have trouble initially, but I usually find a name that works. I feel like most of my characters embody their names very well. 
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