November 2 2017

Why Do I Write?

I write to express myself.

I write to be heard in a world where getting someone to listen, really listen, is increasingly difficult.

I write to remember, the past, the details, to preserve them for myself and my descendants.

I write because, with words, I can paint a picture my hands could never draw because my skills as a traditional artist are rudimentary at best.

I write because mastering the written word to make it tell the story I want to tell gives me power. Only I can write that story, because, only I, am me.

I write because sometimes I don’t know what I think until I write it.

I write because it helps me feel as though all the years I spent inside of classrooms, (first in kindergarten and all the way through high school graduation and then through all the years it took me to get through college to the point of earning a degree), were worth something.

I write because it gives me the chance to express how I feel without being interrupted as I might be if I was speaking to someone. I can get my thoughts down without anyone negating them. I can tell a story once and have it read hundreds of times. That is the power of the written word. The spoken word is only as good as the attention of the person you are speaking to, even with their full attention, what you say may soon be forgotten. Not so with writing. It can be read and reread as often as needed until it is remembered or understood.

I write to discover myself, to learn the wonders of my mind and how it thinks.

I write because I can. I have that ability, that freedom, that choice and that is how I choose to spend my time.

I write to fulfill the expectations of God who has been nudging me to write for many years.

I write to improve my writing, as a musician must practice his instrument of choice in order to learn how to play it and then to play it better and finally to master it.

The idea for this exercise comes from the book, Writing Down the Bones, by Natalie Goldberg. This is an affiliate link. If you choose to purchase this book using the link, I might earn a few pennies, but it won’t cost you any more. I am currently listening to the author read the book and comment about how she wrote it as a 36-year-old and is now reading it as a 50-year-old. Her perspective while she reads it and her comments are fascinating, making me ever so glad I decided to take the easy way out and listen to it instead of reading it because I would never have had the chance to hear what she had learned in those 14 years of further experience. I am really enjoying listening to this audiobook. I speed them up to 1.6 or 1.8 speed and they are still perfectly easy to understand and I get more “read” in less time. Sometimes when my daughter hears me listening like this she teases that it sounds like the book is being read by the chipmunks, but then when I slow it down to regular speed I get bored listening and my mind wanders and I miss some things. So, I speed it back up and listen to it my way.

September 21 2017

Writing Ritual Tag

Author Kim Chance had this tag on her YouTube channel.

When do you write? (time of day, day of week)
Mostly on Thursday nights during my writing group.

How do you seclude yourself from the outside world?
I don’t think I seclude myself. If anything, I hang out with other writers more than I ever used to hang out before finding my writer friends.

How do you review what you wrote the previous day?
I don’t.

What song is your go-to when you’re feeling uninspired?
I don’t have one.

What do you always do (i.e. listen to music, read, watch YouTube, etc.) when you find yourself struggling with writer’s block?
Search the web for something to inspire me.

What tools do you use when you’re writing?
My computer, of course, and my writing notebook.

What’s the one thing you can’t live without during a writing session?
My computer.

How do you fuel yourself during your writing session?
Unsweet iced tea, or ice water.

How do you know when you’re done writing?
When my blog post is written or I am falling asleep on my computer.

If you are a writer and you are reading this, consider yourself tagged.

Watch Kim Chance’s video: https://t.co/b0734bqUvh (Published on Aug 11, 2017)

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April 5 2017

Writing with Others

Writing with Others

Do you find yourself having trouble staying on task when you are supposed to be writing? Do you write better in a group where everyone is focused on getting words down during a writing sprint?

Sometimes during NaNoWriMo or Camp NaNoWriMo, I am able to go to in-person writing events with some of our local writers. These are so helpful and tons of fun. At other times, I find myself unable to attend a local event for one reason or another and missing the chance to do writing sprints with other writers. My solution for that is to go to YouTube and find a Virtual Write-In to watch. I found out about Virtual Write-Ins through NaNoWriMo, so I wanted to share some of their events that are on YouTube and available anytime you want to feel less alone in your writing. Here is the National Novel Writing Month YouTube Channel. They have a playlist of 86 different write-ins that you can watch and write along with. Most of these are about an hour-long, but they have several word sprints in each one so you can always jump ahead to find a longer one. Another perk to using these is that many of them include prompts that might help you get your creative juices flowing.



One of my favorite channels on YouTube to watch year-round is the YA Word Nerds. They do live shows every Sunday evening and have done many write-ins especially during the months of April, July, and November when there are NaNo events going on. You can find their live show playlist below and can scroll through looking for their Virtual Write-Ins. Sometimes they have guests with them like the video shown below with guest Kyra and past WordNerd Calyn.

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March 31 2017

Fear of Finishing

I have only recently figured out that a good part of the reason I have yet to finish one of my novels is because if I finish the first draft, I will actually have to figure out how to edit the thing. Now one would think that knowing this is an issue would be a big part of overcoming the fear and doing something to fix the problem. Yes, I am willing and able to admit it IS a problem.

I felt marginally better after hearing the keynote speaker at a recent writer’s conference acknowledge that it is a common problem among writers. He said it was kind of like while you are writing the book, writing is your job, so when you finish it is like losing your job or being fired. Once you finish the book, you have to tackle a new job, that of being an editor. Hopefully, an editor who will finish revising the first draft into something worth reading. It is a huge commitment. Continue reading