December 9 2017

Only (Five Minute Friday)

Today’s Five Minute Friday word is only.

I only need to write for five minutes. I only have a million things to do. Not that I will do them because I am only writing. I was making the graphic to go with this post. I really enjoy doing that and seeing how different I can make them while keeping them looking similar in style. I’m only a novice at it but seeing them makes me proud because instead of paying only $1 for some of the photo backgrounds that Canva offers, I take my own. Whenever I am out and about and see an interesting texture, I snap a photo with my always-present cell phone. I zoom in so the texture is all you see filling the screen and sometimes I zoom in even more. In case you are wondering, today’s graphic is only denim, I thought the orange would go nicely since it reminded me of the thread color on many faded pairs of jeans I have worn over the years. Often, I only have one pair of shoes to my name, only a couple of pairs of jeans. Who wants to have two weeks worth of laundry piled up? If you only use what you have until it wears out, only have the bare minimum of things, you can never have too much to wash when everything is dirty, right? I only have a couple of loads a week most of the time.

I have learned a lot by being a blogger. I only need to know what I need to know today, tomorrow’s problems will present themselves soon enough. I teach myself how to do only what I need to know how to do at the moment. I used to use PicMonkey to create my graphics because it was free. I got pretty good at it, but then it suddenly wasn’t free anymore and since this blog has yet to earn anything for me, I try to get things free when I can. So I used Canva instead because again, it was free. I was frustrated because using Canva wasn’t the same as PicMonkey and it was new and different. There are still things about it I don’t understand, but I only had the need to try it when PicMonkey got greedy and decided I couldn’t save my graphics unless I paid. Thanks for the opportunity to learn something new. PicMonkey pushed me out of my comfort zone and I only learned more because of it. I still think of myself as only a newbie blogger, but then I find someone who is way newer to the whole thing than I am and I can help them so much by sharing the mistakes I have learned along the way. Maybe I am no longer only a novice. By continually stretching myself beyond my comfort zone, I continually amaze myself with the new things I am learning each week. Many weeks I feel I am only writing for myself and the spammers who seem to be the only ones to leave comments. I get enough of those that sometimes I don’t trust the honest to goodness real comments when they do happen. I am only me, so why do all these spamming people from so many other countries want to spam my blog? Do they read it and decide it is worthy or does some bot find my little old piece of the web and deem it worthy of posting a spammy comment to? Only God and the spammer really know.

I only do what I do and try to share some of the lessons I have learned the hard way in my half-century inhabiting this planet. Remember, it isn’t always that deep, sometimes it is only denim!

I forgot to set the timer and once again when I get to writing the words just keep spilling out onto the page. So you, dear reader, get an extra long ramble to read.  Remember I post new content every Thursday and whenever I get the Five Minute Friday prompt written, ideally on Friday. Until next week, I am only your humble rambling writer. Have a great week and subscribe so you can be the first to see what I post next Thursday.

This post is part of the weekly Five Minute Friday link-up!
The prompt this week is: Only
The assignment: Write for five minutes on the word of the week. This is meant to be a free write, which means: no editing, no over-thinking, no worrying about perfect grammar or punctuation. Just write.

December 1 2017

Near (Five Minute Friday)

As the end of this year draws near, I find myself thinking about the goals I set and whether or not I will be able to accomplish all of them. I think about the word of the year I chose for 2017, FEARLESS, and all the things I dared to try because I was determined to live up to my chosen word. I have been thinking about my new word of the year to guide me through 2018 and am having trouble deciding which word to choose. No rush, I still have an entire month left to think it over while working on trying to finish up projects that are nearly finished or I am nearly out of time to finish. No, I won’t tell you about them yet, that is what my end of the year goals wrap up will be for.
I know in December I won’t be writing anywhere near the 55,000 words I wrote in November. But I will still be writing, at least every Thursday night. If you haven’t already entered your email to sign up to be notified when I post something new to this blog, I really wish you would. There is a sign-up box near the top right of the page, and it takes nowhere near a minute to do it from start to finish.

Are you thinking about the goals you will work on in the new year? Me too! I feel like focusing on goals this year has helped me to get so much done. I am actually having trouble figuring out what I can do next year to top this year.

December is always a tough month for me. November is the month I really focus all my free time and effort on writing and winning NaNoWriMo, this leaves me in a bit of a funk because I am usually exhausted, and missing the excitement and extra write-ins with my writing people. I miss the community all focused on the common goal. It takes a while to get over that and begin to focus on holiday preparations which always seem rushed because we didn’t start until December to consider what we would do.

So, as we near the end of this year, what are you planning for 2018? How can you make it your most successful year yet? Nope, I don’t know either, but I’m at least thinking about it.

Check back soon. I usually post twice a week on Thursday and Friday-ish. I get super inspired, sometimes I will post something extra over the weekend. Don’t forget to sign up for emailed notifications so you won’t miss any posts!

This post is part of the weekly Five Minute Friday link-up!
The prompt this week is: Near
The assignment: Write for five minutes on the word of the week. This is meant to be a free write, which means: no editing, no over-thinking, no worrying about perfect grammar or punctuation. Just write.

November 25 2017

Familiar (Five Minute Friday)

By now, you are familiar with the fact that on Fridays, or soon thereafter, I participate in this thing called FiveMinuteFriday.com. Each week,  provides a one-word prompt to write about for 5 little minutes. Sometimes they just flow out of me without much thought. Other times, like tonight, nothing comes to mind and I just don’t know what to write. As a writer, this happens sometimes. Some would call it writer’s block. I’m not sure I believe in writer’s block. In my case, when I can’t think what to write, it is really a case of idea block. Once I get an idea, I can write about it. Sometimes I can’t find much to write, but other times one little spark ignites an entire bonfire of other ideas and I am off and writing.

Writing my novel this month as part of the NaNoWriMo challenge is getting tougher because I am running out of the scenes I had planned to write. I have been adding scenes in along the way as I think of them or find a hole in the plot that needs to be filled. I don’t want to just write stuff for the sake of word count, so no, I will not be adding a dragon to my novel or an unexplained dead body just to boost the word count only to have to cut it all later when future me gets around to editing this novel. I am familiar with the difficulties of editing and future has begged current and past me never to do that to her.

I was on par one day this month, the 12th, I think. I am familiar with the perils of falling behind in my word count, of starting late or slowly, of getting to the 25,000 words stage and questioning everything I have written so far and thinking there is no point in continuing as it is all terrible and no one will ever want to read it. Despite all of these typical doubts and fears, there are only six days left in the month and I still need to write about 11,000 words. I am trying to keep in mind this year that my story needs to be finished which means it needs a beginning, middle, and end. My characters need to grow and change over the course of the novel. I need to get back to writing the novel, but instead, here I am writing this blog post. Really any excuse will do. I don’t feel too bad because I did write 3,000 words today in my novel and these words don’t count toward my monthly NaNo goal. I am familiar with this thing I am doing right now. It is called PROCRASTINATION. Sometimes it comes in the way of writing blog posts like tonight, or doing laundry and loading the dishwasher like yesterday. I know all about it because it used to happen back in college when there was homework to be done. Hubby would catch me cleaning the house and he knew, he was familiar with my tactics. He would ask me what school work I was avoiding by doing housework. Pretty smart that man of mine. Ok, enough of this procrastinating, let’s end this post so I can get back to the novel I should be writing. Stay tuned next week when November ends and see how I did.

This post is part of the weekly Five Minute Friday link-up!
The prompt this week is: Familiar
The assignment: Write for five minutes on the word of the week. This is meant to be a free write, which means: no editing, no over-thinking, no worrying about perfect grammar or punctuation. Just write.

November 17 2017

Excuse (Five Minute Friday)

Happy Friday! I know you are all plenty sick and tired of me talking about NaNoWriMo, but it is November and if you know anything about me, you will know this is my 5th year straight writing for the 50,000 word challenge in 30 days, it is what I do and that is my excuse. Hey, it is fun. Really, it is a blast! It is probably the hardest thing I do all year, but the most satisfying too. If you read my most recent blog post, you know all about how I was sick at the beginning of the month and how it took me until day 12 to catch up to where I was supposed to be. You also know I fell behind again right away. I am still behind. I could use any of those things as an excuse to quit. I could also use the fact that I’m not sure if I really have a clue how to plot or plan a fiction novel much less write one as an excuse and it would be a valid one. I could say it is too hard, I don’t know what to write, my story has taken itself in a different direction than I planned, my characters are not behaving themselves, they keep doing things I don’t understand and didn’t expect. Again, all true and all valid excuses. But I am not a quitter. I signed up for the challenge and I will win it. I have started lots of novels but never finished one. This is supposed to be the year I not only “win” the challenge, but also finish the novel during the month of November (I say that every year). I may not get that far, but somehow I WILL manage to write the 50,000 (or more) words before the month ends.

While I make excuses for so many things every day, there is no excuse for me not winning. Yes, I work full-time outside the home at a job during which I cannot write my novel. This month I have been working much longer days than usual and battled being sick for several days. Those excuses won’t cut it. I will spend every free, waking minute writing if I have to, but I will not make excuses for why I failed to get the writing done.

I am here to tell you that if I can win this challenge and write 50,000 words in 30 days while working full time and all those other valid excuses, then YOU can do things you probably don’t really think you can do too. In November 2013, when I “won” my first NaNoWriMo just before Thanksgiving, I felt like a million bucks. I was so proud of myself. I had so much confidence. I felt like I could do anything. I had just written more than I had probably written in my whole life combined. I had put my introverted self out there and gone to strange places I had never been before to write with strange people I had never met before. I found out that other people in my state, my city, my neighborhood are writers, I was not the only one who wanted to write a novel, but I am to only one who can write the novel I am currently writing. I am a winner. I AM a writer. I am not afraid of so many things I used to be afraid of because if I set my mind to it, I CAN DO ANYTHING! Mom always said it, but I never really believed her until November 2013.

So if you can’t find me and it is November, I am somewhere writing like my life depends on it, because the feeling I am supposed to write a book just won’t go away. God put it on my heart for a reason and it is my job to do everything within my power to figure out how to do it, learn everything I can and keep trying until the feeling goes away, I get it done, or I die trying. No excuses!

What could you accomplish if you stopped making excuse and got busy trying to get it done? I believe YOU can do anything if you set your mind to it. If you want to bad enough. If you quit making excuses.

This post is part of the weekly Five Minute Friday link-up!
The prompt this week is: Excuse
The assignment: Write for five minutes on the word of the week. This is meant to be a free write, which means: no editing, no over-thinking, no worrying about perfect grammar or punctuation. Just write.

November 10 2017

Silence (Five Minute Friday)

Silence is not a word most would use to describe me. I tend to talk to perfect strangers while waiting in line, make comments out loud to nobody in particular or share my unsolicited opinion on things. I can’t help it, it just happens. I just realized it sounds like I am describing a person with serious mental health issues. Hmmm, not sure how I feel about that.

Inside my head, there is not much silence either. I seem to hear negative feedback on my life in general, my writing, etc from what we will call my “inner editor” because “the voices in my head” sounds so much scarier. When I write, my inner editor gets diarrhea of the mouth and just won’t shut up. The constant barrage of negative comments I hear could stifle even the most creative person. Enter NaNoWriMo. If you want/need to write like I do, silencing the inner editor at least for short periods of time is crucial. Writing a fast draft of a novel in November helps me to stay focused on the task at hand while silencing the inner editor who would otherwise try to derail my efforts.

In order to meet the goal of writing 50,000 words in the 30 days of November while working full-time and trying to keep food in the house and laundry done, I must stay focused on keeping my butt in the chair and writing until my goal is met for the day. If I listened to my inner editor, I would constantly be revising the first sentence or paragraph instead of moving on to the next. I would end up with a very polished paragraph, sentence or even first page. That just won’t do! The whole idea is to get the words down so you will have something to edit later, like in December or January.
So, this short break from writing my NaNoWriMo novel for this month was brought to you by the word silence. Did you hear that inner editor? No? Then good, the silence has done its job. Now back to my regularly scheduled November writing plans. Until next time!

This post is part of the weekly Five Minute Friday link-up!
The prompt this week is: Silence
The assignment: Write for five minutes on the word of the week. This is meant to be a free write, which means: no editing, no over-thinking, no worrying about perfect grammar or punctuation. Just write.