Friday, May 26, 2017

Flashback Friday: Breaking the Silence

           **It's the last Friday of the month, so it's time for Flashback Friday! Participants repost an old post that needed more attention, that you're very proud of, that you think is still relevant, etc. It was hosted by Michael G D'Agostino, but he has opted out. You can still find a list of previous and current participants on his blog. The month of May sort of just vanished for me, and it seems my priorities have been shuffled around more often than not the last few months. I thought this post was an appropriate reminder for me. When I posted this, I had just come back after not posting for a year and a half. The blogging challenge I mentioned was the 2015 A to Z Challenge. I had no idea what I was getting into when I wrote this post, haha, but I'm glad that I got involved with the blogging community. Reading this again reminds me how much I enjoy writing (and learning) and I'm sorry for my blogging negligence lately. I know that I don't want to repeat a long term blogging absence, so I'm working on budgeting my time a little better. And now, the flashback post...**

Breaking the Silence (originally posted February 19, 2015)

           It has been quite a long time since I last posted anything.  I feel as though time has been against me, but I haven’t really been busy, at least not busier than normal.  I guess I’ve been sort of stumped for writing ideas and I really haven’t felt like writing a lot lately.  I have not even been journaling as much as I used to.  My creative side does not want to allow this to keep happening, so I am beginning again.  It is about time I dust off this old “pen” and take it up again.  With a new year already well underway, almost 2 months in, to be precise, I have felt inspired to make my own resolutions.  There have been many inspirations over the last couple months prodding me back to writing.  I recently finished a Bible study in Colossians which helped renew my prayer journal.  I came across a Great Courses catalog last month and ended up ordering some courses, including a couple on writing.  I’ve watched 2 lectures from one course about the way we structure sentences, and it has been enjoyable so far.  I’ve felt inspired in other areas as well.  I have always been excited about learning new things, so getting these courses has been encouraging.  I have also been studying Mandarin Chinese with Rosetta Stone, which has been tough but interesting.  I have been reading fiction on a more regular basis again.  All of this has helped me to feel renewed, inspired, and ready for some positive new beginnings/changes in my life.

This may not sound interesting to you.  Maybe reading, writing, learning, and Chinese sound too boring or too difficult.  My point is this: do whatever it is that inspires you.  Seek out ways to renew your interest in life.  Seek God above all else, because He is the ultimate source of inspiration and redemption.  God doesn’t want us to mope about in a pity parties about the state of our lives, our economy, or our country.  We need to go out and make the most of the time that’s been given to us. 

I hope to write more often.  In fact, I’m thinking about participating in a blog challenge and I will provide more details if I do decide to take part. I also hope to make a few changes and updates to this blog and those will come as time allows.  Until then, it has been nice to come back and I hope those of you who read this will enjoy whatever comes next :)

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

IWSG: Useful Distraction?

            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.
            My focus has been so far off lately. That is why I can’t seem to get anything done. Lack of time is not the problem. It’s complete lack of motivation, discipline, and focus. My mind is constantly going in ten different directions and I never know which lead to follow. Sometimes it’s with writing: should I write a blog post? Should I be working on a short story? A novel? A children’s book? I have all of that floating in my head that needs to get out on the page before it all dies. But, this goes far beyond writing decisions. Getting myself to sit down and write is a chore in and of itself. Ever a distracted procrastinator, I find everything else to do and I start random crafts or projects. I actually did finish a couple long term projects this last month, which was nice. I suppose I need to find motivation in those moments of accomplishment, even if it’s not with writing. If I could get more of the organizational projects out of the way, I may be able to focus more on my writing (or so I tell myself). One of my finished projects involved creating a significant amount of storage space in my room, which allows me to FINALLY clear off the random books, crafts and sewing supplies on my desk. That is my next project, to sort and move that stuff so my computer can have its old home back. My current set up in the living room is too full of distractions like the TV, large window, and cats. I have read that it’s helpful to find a place to get away from distractions, so I am working on creating that space.
My current "writing" spot
In the midst of the storage wars, I did manage little bits of writing here and there. One day, when I intentionally sat down for ten minutes to write, I wrote 350 words. Now that may not sound like a lot, but I did the math :) If I only wrote 300 words per day, every day, I would have 109,500 words by the end of the year! I know more experienced writers probably manage a lot more than that, and then there’s the editing and revising stages and beyond, but that still looks like a good number to start with for a beginning novelist like me, especially in only ten minutes a day. Feeling motivated yet?
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