Hello, stranger.


I kinda disappeared. Sorry, about that. I’m currently writing this on an app with my phone – and not at my desk. My carpal tunnel and nerve issues have flared up and are eager for some attention. Between my planner weighing down my new purse, my pillow being slightly too high for my neck, and all the time spent at my not-so-ergonomic-desk writing, it was bound to happen. While I did write a good scene on Friday, I’m attempting to do some not-at-my-desk work. This includes laundry, organizing, reading, and all the mom junk I usually get stuck with.
I’m looking into some ideas for ergonomics with my current chair but it hasn’t been promising. So instead of biting the bullet and buying a new one, I’ve been distracting myself with Netflix series (Stranger Things! Stop reading this, go watch it!), Beatles songs on the guitar, and finding extremely round-a-bout ways of hanging televisions on walls. True story. (Check my instagram feed for details.)

In other news, the kids now have a cave. Cameron’s currently hanging drywall and installing a light fixture and electrical outlet. We knocked the wall down behind the storage closet underneath the stairs and it was love at first sight. The kids are all eager to get in. I’m trying to pretend it won’t just get trashed like all the other rooms they claim. #momlife, right?

I’m off to go procrastinate picking photos of the kids for a few frames I picked up, Google info on ergonomics, and probably read through some old manuscripts from highschool while munching on animal crackers and Nutella. Don’t be jealous.

I’ve been writing a lot.

Well. It feels like a lot. I’ve written a lot but some of that lot is still in my head. I’m struggling with the idea of an outline now. I don’t usually give myself a road map when I write, I just WRITE. A LOT. But this is a big project… I’m trying to keep my options open.

That being said – who misses these squishfaces?

More to come about these photos, trips, events, etc. You know the drill.

Practice?

The blog I’ve been following – though, I’ll admit, I’m behind and on Day 4 when it’s been many more days – is now asking for practice. Essentially, to go out there and put all this positive thinking and practice writing and commitment to show for something. Kind of an odd one to throw in the beginning of a long writing workshop. The suggestions given were:

  1. Pitch a magazine you want to write for.
  2. Ask a friend (or stranger) to guest post on his/her blog.
  3. Publish something on your blog you’ve never shared before.
  4. Submit that book proposal.

And my thoughts…

  1. Pitching to a magazine isn’t too far-fetched at this point. It’s definitely an interesting thought. But to be honest – I’m not really ready to go handing out sample work. I would need to get sample work that I’m proud of first, ha! I’ve written for a long time but never published anything. It’s never really that simple, is it? Maybe this would be something to look into. Get sample content from a magazine somewhere and focus on trying to get an article published? Worth a shot.
  2. I’m not sure I know anyone that has a large following that would be interested in my content to begin with. Not only is it scatterbrained and probably wrong in all of the “right things to do to have a great blog” ways, it’s just very personal. On the other hand, it would be an easy thing to push out. Just write a post that is applicable to those categories and perhaps in the right niche for a blog and just shoot out an emailed proposal. Worst they could do is say no, right? (And crush my hopes and dreams… ha!)
  3. Publishing something on my blog I’ve never shared before isn’t too exciting. I just recently did that, kind of coming out of the writer’s closet. Risking my sanity and my ability to feel COOL on this beast. Insert Sunglasses Smiley Emoticon. Because that’s so happening. Right now. So, yeah, been there done that.
  4. SUBMIT a book proposal?! Dude, it’s DAY FOUR. Not four hundred. A little too fast, if you ask me. Might want to, you know FINISH the book before feeling the need to submit it? I don’t even feel I have enough content to elicit a free look through/opinion from an editor yet. Phfft. Submit, hilarious.

So here’s my practice for today. I might throw up afterward. No laughing.

I’m currently working on a book.

Sweet golden Homer Buddha, that’s a terrifying thought. What if I never finish it? What if it’s terrible? What if everyone hates that one of the characters has an Irish name and is difficult to pronounce? Did everyone get over the fact that were all saying Her-moyn instead of Hermione? (No, I have no idea why my brain switched the o and i and called her Her-moyn. That’s so not the point.)

I want to be good. I think I can be good. I have a long, long, long road ahead of me, but it’s exciting! It’s something that I can look forward to and grow alongside. That seems to be my big push for this year, finding a way I can grow. I’ve been so busy trying to keep my head above water that I’ve moved backwards in many ways. So, here I go! Growing! Yay me and my “practice”.

Now, you can all sit and wait for my novel to hit the shelves! Feel free to send me boxes of doughnuts for energy and freshly sharpened pencils to throw at my ceiling. It’ll make things more entertaining.

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Believe in good habits

Yesterday I didn’t have something to really act on. I’ve been kind of following along with another blog to establish some good writing habits. A kick-start, right? It’s been like this small reminder bell going off in the back corner of my mind. Don’t forget! I don’t feel pressure, I’m not linking to anything, but it’s a nice reminder that if I want to write, I need to MAKE the time to do so. Those of you that know me, know that I’m not great at making time for me.

There’s a certain fear that sets up shop inside of me. It’s not fear in the cartoon sense, but this lighter, yet more consuming, anxious type of fear. It’s there, but I’m getting better at recognizing that it doesn’t have much ground to stand on. Fear of disappointment. Fear of judgment. Fear of failure. Fear of not being seen as a genuine individual. (No, I’m not a millennial or hipster.) It’s difficult wanting to be your own “true” self, and to enjoy things you enjoy, only to hear that you must like those things because “that whole group does.” Pfft – give me oxygen.  I love the Beatles. I am not anywhere NEAR up-to-date with the current pop music scene, I can’t stand rap, and I don’t believe I’m owed anything just because I exist. I MUST BE A BABY BOOMER. Yeah, no. I’m 30. I can’t stand stereotypes. Off topic, we go!

Anyway.

This fear, and it’s buddy Guilt, has always kept me from doing much. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve done a lot. I have four kids. I run a (mostly) successful household. I cook almost every meal from scratch. Our recycling bin is four times the size of our garbage can. I say “no” to my kids and deliver good and bad consequences for their behavior. I teach them to follow through with their responsibilities. I volunteer in my community and at church. So, I digress, I do a lot.

But what do I do for me? In the minutes between my many responsibilities what do I do for me? It doesn’t all have to be meaningful and there are some days where I couldn’t do something meaningful if my life depended on it. I’m just too tired or worn too thin. And that’s okay. But lately I’ve been feeling this pull. This need to do something to grow. So I am. I’m giving myself the ability to make choices regarding my off time. Teaching myself to say no a little more than I usually do.

A little over a year ago, a friend challenged me. He said, every day think of something you could do that would be fun. Something that would be nice or thoughtful, just a good thing you could do. Something for your kids, something for another person, something for you, something for your dog, it doesn’t matter. Think of something you could do. And then – decide if you want to do it. Give yourself permission to NOT do that thing. You can decide that yes, I want to do this. Or you can decide no, I don’t want to do this. And that’s okay. You’re allowed to say no. You’re allowed to NOT do things. Just because you think of something that you could do, it doesn’t mean you NEED to do it.

Seems simple right? Not for me at that point in my life! It was hard. It still is some days. Taking time to sit and think of something specific that I could do and then allowing myself to say no? Of course, sometimes I said yes. But saying no was hard. And that was the point. I needed to learn that it was okay to say no. I didn’t always have to say yes.

Writing is something I think about. A lot. It’s something, as I’ve stated before, that I want to do. There are hundreds, thousands of things I could list of that I could be doing – anything from a few stray dishes to letting the chickens stay out an extra five minutes during their yard time. Nothing life changing. But in my mind it’s an important step. Realizing that it’s okay to shoo the chickens back into the coop, check on what everyone is up to, and settle into my chair in the office and write. It helps me to be a better mom, a better wife – allows me to fill my cup so that I can help my family fill theirs.

So, lately? I take the time. I sit for a moment and think of something. And if it’s something I can do for me, I try to say yes.

 

I am a writer.

That sentence causes me discomfort – almost literal and physical – to type. It comes with lots of strings attached. Baggage, that idea is. I’m so so good at overthinking. When I type that sentence “outloud” I think of all these questions that I’m sure everyone’s going to ask.

You’re a writer?

Why?

What have you written?

Since when?

What are you working on?

Are you published?

That’s not a writer.

Oh, like just on Amazon? That’s not really being published.

Well you just do it on a blog?

Are you any good?

Do you make money?

Why are you a writer and not an author?

What do you like to write?

Like, for real?

Do people actually read what you write?

The worlds wants you to legitimize everything. To name, qualify, quantify, and justify. Everything has to have a reason and it better be a good one or it just doesn’t count – it won’t be enough. And there are many answers to all of those questions. Some of my answers are legitimate. And some of them are just plainly expressing the fact that I don’t know. What I do know is that I’ve always loved to write.

From a young age I would concoct stories and loved typing them out on our (ancient!) word processor. For a short while I even had a typewriter that my Dad had picked up for me. A garage sale I think? I covered it in puff paint and LOVED typing on it.

When I got older it transformed into poetry and deeper longer thought out pieces. I started book after book and fell in love with the characters I wrote about. Names are fun to think about. I was on a Kids in the Hall stint for quite sometime and you could tell. Whether romantic boyfriends, platonic friends, or mysterious love interests – there was always a Dave, Scott, Kevin, etc. thrown in. (The Kids in the Hall, for those sad souls who don’t know, was a comedic troupe from Canada that had a show on Comedy Central for a long while. There were five main comedians: Dave Foley, Kevin McDonald, Scott Thompson, Mark McKinney, and Bruce McCulloch. And yes, I might have recited that from memory 16 years after the fact… I used to set the timer on the VCR at my mom’s place when I was a Freshman and watch the day’s reruns on VHS after school. So cool, man, so cool.)

In highschool it came out a lot in my English work. My 9th grade english teacher was a bear. I didn’t like him. But part of the reason I didn’t like him was that he pushed me. He pushed me to be a better reader and writer – just excelling at both (because I did!) and liking it wasn’t enough. We would go through college-level literature and take a full page of notes on a 4-line poem. I ate it up. That was one of the only things I liked about the class. Well, that’s not entirely true. I liked other things too.

Aside from the school work writing, I did a lot of writing in music form during my high school years. Melody, accompaniment, and lyrics. I wrote song after song after song. I really enjoyed it. Or enjoyed sitting in my vocalized dysthymia. Regardless – whether I was that generalized version of “happy” or “sad” I wrote to channel and focus and concentrate it.

When I was pregnant with Olivia I still dabbled in it, but it wasn’t the same. The music felt juvenile. I was older now, after all! I wrote… A LOT… on my LiveJournal “blog” after Olivia was born and that kept me satiated for a while. Later on I started again on blogs but in different places. It all kind of led to this – this hodge podge place where I come, not as often as I should, and brain dump every once in a while.

But I’ve come to learn that it’s something I need. And need more frequently than I allow myself. Something that’s not just a want but an actual need. Whether it’s here. Whether it’s privately. Whether it’s fiction or non-fiction. For me, life needs to be written. It craves to be written. And that? It made me realize that I am something.

I am a writer.