Dreams Worth Fighting For

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Photo by Richard Lee on Unsplash

Dreams are what separate the hopeful from the hopeless. They are our last bastion against despair in an unkind and unfeeling world. It is my dream to one day become a published author and it’s this dream that keeps me going even when everything around me is telling me I’d be better off quitting. But lately, believing in my dream has been a struggle; it’s felt like an impossible dream, like it’s at the top of a very deep well and I’m at the very bottom of it.

If anyone else is feeling this way, I thought I’d pass along some of my favorite quotes about dreams and the importance of dreaming, quotes that always convince me that it’s worthwhile to keep looking up to those dreams and to keep trying to reach them, no matter how far away they might seem.

  1. Pope John XXIII

“Consult not your fears but your hopes and your dreams. Think not about your frustrations, but about your unfulfilled potential. Concern yourself not with what you tried and failed in, but with what it is still possible for you to do.”

  1. Paulo Coelho

“Remember your dreams and fight for them. You must know what you want from life. There is just one thing that makes your dream become impossible: the fear of failure.”

  1. Langston Hughes

“Hold fast to dreams, for if dreams die, life is a broken-winged bird that cannot fly.”

 

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Photo by Richard Lee on Unsplash

  1. E. Lawrence

“All men dream, but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds, wake in the day to find that it was vanity: but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act on their dreams with open eyes, to make them possible.”

  1. James Allen

“The greatest achievement was at first and for a time a dream. The oak sleeps in the acorn, the bird waits in the egg, and in the highest vision of the soul a waking angel stirs. Dreams are the seedlings of realities.”

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Photo by kazuend on Unsplash

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“Murder is my favorite crime.”

An excellent examination of one of my favorite films. One day I hope to write something like it!

Meg'N Progress

Some films are like coming home; this home sits at the end of a dark, dank alley.

We know the characters so well, they become family; this family is host to a killer.

And the script is imprinted upon our memory until the dialogue drips from our lips without thought, for indeed, they have become our own thoughts.

One of these films for me is Laura (1944). Like the eponymous heroine, this elegantly crafted Film Noir leaves an indelible impression with every viewing. As summarized on its IMDb page: “A police detective falls in love with the woman whose murder he is investigating.”

Directed by one of the “Old Hollywood” greats, Otto Preminger, Laura is a classic ‘whodunit’? A beautiful dame has been killed, a gumshoe-with-gumption starts asking questions, skeletons rattle in their proverbial closets, and then the first act ends, and nothing is what it seemed.

Remember, spoilers…

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Taking a Break

Many of you noticed that last week I didn’t publish my customary Wednesday post. There’s a couple reasons for that. The main one was that Wednesday was July 4th, Independence Day for the United States of America (where I live), and a national holiday. I decided to honor that holiday by taking the time off, not just off my day job, but off from my writing work as well. I spent the time with family and thoroughly enjoyed stepping away from the keyboard for a spell.

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Photo by Ilham Rahmansyah on Unsplash

However, I also just thought it was time for a break. That’s right, I take breaks from writing and I highly encourage you all to do so as well. I’m not saying that you have carte blanche to stop writing every time it gets hard, but I am saying that I think it’s important to stop writing every once and awhile and take some time for yourself. Why? I’ll tell you.

  1. You need to live a life worth writing about.

If all you’re doing is writing twenty-four hours a day, you’re going to run out of things to say. Your imagination might be endless, but imagination needs reality to feed off of and reality can be hard to see from behind a blank page. It’s important to try, every once and awhile, to get outside of the writing and live a life worth writing about. Go out and meet some interesting people, see some amazing sights, do something you’ve never done before – then you can come back and write about it all.

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Photo by cellier S on Unsplash

  1. You need to let the words breathe.

Words are like fine wine. Many times they need to be decanted and left to breathe before they achieve true greatness. If you’ve just finished writing something, walk away. Don’t jump right into another project, don’t try to sit down and edit what you’ve just written, just walk away. Try engaging in some other activity for a while or simply relax and bask in the glory of a hard task well done – you’ve gotten words on paper, and that is no mean feat. There will be time for editing later, but for now, let the words be.

  1. You need to make time for reading.

If you’re writing all the time, you’re missing an important step in the creative writing process – reading. All the authors I’ve come across agree that if you want to become a great writer the first and most important step is to become a great, prolific, and lifelong reader. Reading widens your vocabulary, increases your brainpower and fuels that ever so important component, your imagination. Don’t neglect it!

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Photo by Christin Hume on Unsplash

  1. You need to avoid burnout.

All the above are different ways to say the same thing – you want to avoid burning out. It’s not the end of the world to step away from the writing desk if you feel yourself wearing thin; it’s called self-care. Know your limits and when you feel yourself approaching them, don’t push harder: go out and live your life, let the words breathe, take some time for reading, just do whatever it is you have to do to relax and avoid burnout. Recharge and come back to the writing later; it’ll still be there.

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Photo by Val Vesa on Unsplash

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When You Have to Write

On this blog I’ve spent a lot of time extolling the virtues of what I like to think of as ‘writing when you’re ready’. Not torturing yourself over the keyboard to get down word after word if they just aren’t coming, while not completely abandoning the project or idea of writing either. All that being said, there are times when one simply has to write – a deadline looms, a finished project is expected, and there can be no walking away from the keyboard or paper this time.

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Photo by Kevin on Unsplash

So, what is one to do when one must write but finds themselves with no appetite for it? How can you make this laborious and often painful undertaking any easier? Below are a few of my personal tips and tricks that I’ve used when I’ve found myself in just such a situation; they’ve helped me, maybe they can help you.

  1. Easily achievable goals

The first step is to make sure you set up a series of easily achievable goals for yourself. If the only goal you set up is ‘to be finished’, that’s going to feel nigh impossible almost from the get go. Instead set up goals like, ‘I will write fifty words’, then ‘I will write one hundred words’, and so on and so on until you’ve reached a finishing point. These smaller goals will seem much more within your grasp and not nearly so daunting, like levels in a video game.

  1. The carrot or carrots

Participation awards aren’t just for little children – they’re for everyone. Set up rewards for yourself when you finish each of your goals. Have the self-discipline to set limits on your goals and make sure the size of the reward matches the size of the goal accomplished (i.e. it does you no good to be on a deadline and write only fifty words then watch two hours of tv, does it?) but also make sure they are things that legitimately make you feel good.

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Photo by Estée Janssens on Unsplash

  1. The stick or sticks

This goes hand in hand with step two above; you also have to have the self-discipline to deny yourself things you might want until the goals have been accomplished. Haven’t written the next hundred words? No Facebook for you. Hold yourself to the promises you make and you’ll be amazed at what you’re motivated to accomplish.

  1. Banish negative talk from the room

There may very well be a time and a place to be self-critical (perhaps a blog post on that later), but now is certainly not it. You’re going to need all your concentration and all your self-confidence to complete the hard task placed before you and that leaves no room for doubt or self-recriminations. If you feel yourself starting to chastise, for whatever reason, stop what you’re doing and refocus on the positive.

  1. Write with a friend

Don’t quite trust yourself? No shame in that, sometimes we all need someone to hold us accountable! Write with a friend, someone who also has a project pending, and feed off of each other’s hard work and motivation. Set your goals together and take your rewards together. If one of you starts to flag, encourage the other. You’re in this together!

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Hulk Keyboard Smash – Avoiding Writing Frustration

Have you ever wanted to pick up your keyboard and smash it over your own head because you were just so irritated with the whole concept of writing? Ever stared with loathing at your laptop and seriously considered chucking the thing across the room and into a wall because the words weren’t coming out the way you wanted them to? Ever scribbled out, torn up, crumpled up, or otherwise destroyed your written work out of sheer frustration?

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Photo by JESHOOTS.COM on Unsplash

We’ve all been there. Even the best writers hit the occasional wall or stumbling block (we’ve talked about writer’s block on this site before) and it can be hard to know what to do when sitting down to write fills you with anger rather than joy. The important thing to remember is that the majority of feelings are temporary, not permanent. The thing that is bringing you frustration now isn’t always going to elicit that response from you. If you enjoyed writing in the past, the overwhelming likelihood is that you’re going to enjoy writing again. Sometimes it just takes a little work, a little time, and some perspective.

 

If writing is turning you into the Hulk, try the tips below to regain some much-needed calm.

  1. Walk away from the keyboard.

You’re not doing yourself or anyone a favor by sitting there fuming. Get up, yes, physically get up from where you are sitting down to write, and walk. away. Go to an entirely different space in your house, in your neighborhood, in your town. Take a stroll through a nearby park or go for a quick walk around the block – just put some physical distance between yourself and the act of trying to write. You’ll be amazed how much better you’ll feel and you’ll know when you’re ready to come back and give it another try.

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Photo by Zack Minor on Unsplash

  1. Talk over your frustrations with friends/family.

Find someone you can trust and unburden yourself to them. Get angry and rant if you need to. Curse. Just let it all out. Get someone else’s perspective on your current or recent work if you’re experiencing frustration over a particular passage or section of your writing. Ask for constructive feedback, but don’t discount the massive good that a little simple commiseration can do for you. Sometimes it’s just nice to know that your feelings are valid, heard, and appreciated by someone else. Once again, you’ll be amazed how much better you’ll feel and you’ll know when you’ve said enough and when you’re ready to come back to the writing and give it another try.

 

  1. Read over old work.

Now this tip can be a little dangerous. If you’re in a particularly self-critical mood, or you’re feeling frustrated because it feels like none of the stuff you’re writing is good enough, you might want to give this one a miss. You risk opening up a whole editing can of worms where you rip apart your old stuff as well as your new stuff and end up twice as disheartened as when you started. But, if you’re simply feeling frustrated because you feel like you can’t write, or you’re looking for some validation that you can write well, it might be a good idea to look over some of your older, completed works and remind yourself that yes, you can do this and yes, you can do it well.

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Photo by Kinga Cichewicz on Unsplash

  1. Try writing something different.

So your current work in progress leaves you feeling like you want to kick puppies into the sun. First, try tip number one and walk away for a little while until you feel calmer. Then, when you do feel ready to come back, try working on something different. Let your WIPs marinate and move on to other things, if you have that option. It’s important to try to prove to yourself that not all writing is rage inducing, just some of it is, temporarily.

 

  1. Don’t beat yourself up.

You may notice that I include this tip on a lot of lists. I’ve noticed that writers fall into two main categories: the self-congratulatory or the self-flagellatory. Far more of us fall into the second category than the first, in my experience. I’d like to change that if I can. Life is short and writers are amazing chroniclers of its fleeting beauty. We also have one of the hardest jobs in the world. Writing is HARD. It’s hard to do at all, let alone to do it well, and being hard on oneself isn’t going to make it any easier. So if you are finding yourself getting irked at your work, don’t take it upon yourself as sign of some inner failing or proof that you were never meant to be a real writer or any nonsense like that. It’s just a sign that hey, this writing stuff is hard. But that doesn’t mean you can’t do it.

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Photo by Robert Baker on Unsplash

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Publisher’s Circle: Sky Island Journal

It is a great privilege to present to you my flash fiction piece Bittersweet, published in Issue #5 of Sky Island Journal.

Please, read it (and the other fantastic pieces I am lucky enough to be published alongside) and let me know what you think! Click on the cover below to visit the journal.

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If you liked what you read, please consider following Sky Island Journal on the following platforms:

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/skyislandjournal/

Instagram:  https://www.instagram.com/skyislandjournal/

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/Sky1sland

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Learning from Vincent

According to the National Institute of Mental Health, in a given year 18.3% of U.S. adults suffer from mental illness of some kind. I personally have been struggling with depression and anxiety for over ten years now. There was a time in my youth that I thought dealing with mental health issues like these made me more of a real artist; that being unwell in one aspect of my life was the price I paid for being able to create beautiful things. It’s taken me a long time to unlearn this very dangerous myth about creativity and mental health and I want to say it once for anyone who may need to hear it: being mentally ill does not make you a better artist! Nor does being mentally well keep you from being a good artist! Vincent Van Gogh produced his best work while he was a self-admitted patient at the Saint-Paul asylum, not when he was battling his demons on his own. The only painting he sold in his lifetime was painted during his period of convalescence at Saint-Paul, as was The Starry Night.

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The Starry Night by Vincent Van Gogh

It’s easier to create when you’re well, it’s that simple. But getting well and staying well is anything but simple. So what is one to do? How do you write when your own brain is plotting against you? Below are five steps that I take whenever my mental health is less than stellar but I still want to try and write:

  1. Put yourself first

Some days, the words are not going to come. A symptom of depression is a loss of interest in hobbies or things that usually bring you joy and if you’re a writer that means putting pen to paper is going to seem impossible from time to time. You know what isn’t going to help? Beating yourself up about it. Putting yourself down about not being able to write when your depressed isn’t going to make the block (in this case, your depression) magically disappear – if anything, it’s going to make it worse. This is one of those moments when you need to practice self-care and put yourself first – not your work, yourself. Walk away from the desk or the computer or the notebook. Do something that makes you feel good. Then try again. Repeat as necessary.

 

  1. Don’t self-critique

You’ll have enough voices in your head telling you how lousy you are without adding to them right now. Don’t edit when you’re depressed, you WILL end up throwing out the baby with the bathwater. If you can write at all, focus on putting one word down after the next, not on how they sound.

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Photo by Gift Habeshaw on Unsplash

  1. Share your writing with others

The instinct when you’re in a depressive episode is to isolate – fight against that. Since you’re not the best judge of your writing right now, share it with others, people you love and trust. Don’t necessarily put the work out for critique, but put it out there for a select few people to congratulate you on. Soak up the good vibes that come your way and gain some perspective on what you’ve created.

 

  1. Celebrate the little victories

Doing anything when you’re depressed is hard. Sometimes even getting out of bed is a feat of herculean strength. So if you’re trying to write when you’re depressed, give yourself a big pat on the back for even making the attempt. Every word you write is a big middle finger in the face of mental illness and that’s awesome. Celebrate those little victories; finishing a sentence, writing out a plot outline, having an idea for something in the first place, it’s all worth a round of applause.

 

  1. Turn writing into a ritual of self-care

This one takes some time and a lot of practice, but with a little bit of perseverance you can get there. Step 1 in this post was to put yourself first by making sure you’re doing something that makes you feel good. Make sure that writing is one of those things and you’re set for life. Turn it into a ritual. For me, sitting down to write means that I’m going to a comfortable place in my house, a place that I’ve decorated with posters and art that makes me feel good and smile, and doing something that makes my mind feel better. It means sitting down with a cup of freshly brewed tea. It means turning on some of my favorite music and just sitting for a little while, listening to it. All of these things, plus the writing, make me feel amazing. I’ve turned writing into a ritual of self-care and it’s always there for me when things inside my mind get a little dark and scary.

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Flash in Five

Flash fiction is just what its name implies: fiction that happens in a flash. Usually clocking in at several hundred words or less, Flash Fiction (sometimes called microfiction or sudden fiction) is a special kind of short story writing practiced by those who truly believe that brevity is the soul of wit. I discovered Flash Fiction when I was an undergraduate at the University of Washington. One of my creative writing colleagues brought in a piece to share with us as a writing prompt at our weekly Writer’s Circle meeting. I was immediately enthralled. I had never thought that an author could write something so succinct and yet so moving. I’d also always assumed that short stories had to be a certain length to be considered ‘real fiction’ – it never occurred to me that a story could be complete and be less than a page long at the same time.

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Photo by John Noonan on Unsplash

After trying my own hand at writing these ‘slice of life’ shorts, I’ve never looked back. I’ve written countless pieces of flash fiction for this very site and find the format intellectually challenging and personally fulfilling.

Interested in trying it for yourself but not sure where to start? Here are a handful of things to keep in mind as you’re diving into the shallow end of the word pool.

5 Flash Fiction Freebies

  1. When writing Flash, pick a moment and start in the middle of it

Your reader doesn’t need to know about everything leading up to the car accident, or the entire conversation before the words “I want a divorce” were spoken. Those details are less important than the main action itself. Remember that the moment you start in should be something interesting and vital.

 

  1. When writing Flash, keep your cast of characters small

A flash story should have one or two characters tops. Any more than that and you’re not going to be able to do anyone justice and your story is going to (by necessity alone) stretch way beyond the perimeters of flash. If the story doesn’t stretch, things are going to start to get messy.

  1. When writing Flash, be prepared to edit

You will write long. Everybody does. Even if your first draft is only a few hundred words, you’ll find upon editing that there were words you could cut and sentences you could rework to shorter and greater effect. You should be prepared to edit no matter what style of writing you’re doing, but when writing flash, you should be especially prepared to cut. Kill your darlings was said for flash fiction writers, I’m sure of it.

 

  1. When writing Flash, take time with your title

You only have so much space to get the message of your story across. The title of your piece can do some of that work for you without taking up valuable word count. Put some real thought into why you will call your piece what you will call it. Choose wisely.

 

  1. When writing Flash, have a good time

Make sure you’re writing something you would want to read! If you’re not having a good time writing, take a break and come back to the story later. Writing is work, sometimes it’s hard work, but the end goal should always be to have a good time.

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10 Tricks to Try – Writer’s Block

Over the last six months, I’ve been dealing with the worst writer’s block I’ve ever experienced. At times it’s gotten so bad that I’ve considered quitting writing all together. I’ve thought that maybe the universe was trying to tell me something, that it was time to give up on old dreams and find some new ones. But it’s just no good – no matter how many times I try to walk away from writing, I always come back to it. I think writing and I are stuck with each other, even if we’re not on the best of terms at the moment.

I’m still struggling, but things have gotten better during the past few weeks. The road to recovery has been long and painful, and I’m far from done treading it, but I thought I would share a few of the things that have helped me out along the way.

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Photo by Steve Johnson on Unsplash

10 Tricks to Try – Writer’s Block

  1. When you don’t feel like writing, be kind to yourself.

Don’t beat yourself up for having writer’s block. It’s not some personal failing, it’s not some punishment from God, it’s just something crappy that’s happening to you right now. Do you beat yourself up every time something bad happens to you? If you’re me, the answer is yes, and you need to knock that off right now.

If you’re not me, the answer should be NO. When something bad happens to you, you should try and be kind to yourself. Do something for you that makes you feel good. Whether it’s watching your favorite flick, playing with your dog, indulging in a bubble bath, talking with a friend, doing some meditation, whatever – just take care of yourself first before becoming obsessed with the problem. Because you’re the most important tool you have in your quest to becoming a good writer – don’t run yourself ragged.

 

  1. When you don’t feel like writing, write anyway.

In his book On Writing, Stephen King dishes a lot of great advice about being an author and about being a human being. One thing he expounds upon is the importance of a daily writing routine. “Don’t wait for the muse,” King writes. “As I’ve said, he’s a hard headed guy…Your job is to make sure the muse knows where you’re going to be every day from nine ‘til noon. Or seven ‘til three.”

Now, this act of writing daily is something that I’m still struggling to master. I think it must be like exercising daily. When you first start out it’s the hardest thing to do in the world. You’re going to ‘fail’ a lot – miss a lot of days, start over a bunch, etc. Right now, I’m not focusing so much on sitting down and writing from a set time to a set time or even writing a certain amount of words; I’m focusing on every day, whether I feel like it or not, sitting down and writing something. Anything. It can be a sentence. It can be a sentence of absolute, unconnected to anything, weirdness. Just as long as another day doesn’t pass with me having written nothing, I consider that a win.

 

  1. When you don’t feel like writing, go for a walk.

I hate exercise. With a fiery passion. But even I know that my body needs it. And if my body isn’t in a good place, my brain certainly won’t be. If you’re suffering from writer’s block, your body might need some re-calibrating. Take it for a walk around the block – get your blood pumping, some sweat flowing, breath in some fresh air and remember that you are a beautiful mind inside a beautiful body. Regain some perspective.

 

  1. When you don’t feel like writing, read.

This can be painful. Like looking through a candy shop window while you’re on a diet. I’d recommend not going to your go to favorite books, the ones that made you want to be a writer in the first place – put those to one side. Chances are you’ve already read them a hundred times anyway and reading them again isn’t going to help. Pick-up something new. Pick-up something weird. Pick-up something you’re pretty sure you’re not even going to like. Give it a read. Like #2 above, I’m trying to make sure I read at least one new thing a day. It doesn’t have to be a whole book, or a full hour of reading, it can just be a page or a quote from something, as long as it’s never entered my brain before. Read widely and weirdly.

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Photo by Clem Onojeghuo on Unsplash

  1. When you don’t feel like writing, don’t isolate yourself – seek others out.

A lot of these tricks are hard for me, but this one might just take the cake. As an introvert, my instinct is to retreat into a personal bubble when I’m having a hard time. But with writer’s block, you’ll want to do the opposite. Getting outside of yourself is a difficult process and it’s almost impossible to do alone. You’re going to need help from others if you want to get out of this hole that you’ve found yourself in.

 

  1. When you don’t feel like writing, critique others work.

You know that old adage, “Those who can’t do, teach”? Well I like to think that “Those who can’t write, critique”. If you’re finding putting pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard) particularly difficult at the moment, take the pressure off yourself by reading someone else’s work and offering feedback. Just because you can’t currently write doesn’t mean you’ve forgotten what makes good writing and doesn’t mean you can’t help someone else hit their writing peak. You’ll feel productive and be reading some interesting new work, both of which will help start to shake the cobwebs out of your head.

 

  1. When you don’t feel like writing, talk about what you would be writing.

This gave me a lot of relief in my darkest moments of writers block. My husband would sit at one end of the couch as I was stewing, waiting for me to quite literally toss the computer away and tell him, “I can’t write anything.”

“Well,” he’d say to me, “what are you trying to write?”

And I’d tell him. It’s amazing how good it feels to talk out your ideas to somebody you trust; to give your thoughts life, even if it’s not on paper, but at least in words. If you don’t know where to go next, talking through the last thing you wrote can help generate ideas, and asking somebody else for help is never weakness, only a strength. Often times, others will think of some avenue you’ve yet to explore, or pose a question you hadn’t thought to ask that takes the story in a new direction.

 

  1. When you don’t feel like writing, do everything up until writing.

We all have our writing routines. Me, I make myself a cup of tea, put on some KT Tunstall, get cozy on the couch and then get to it. Try doing everything you’d usually do up until the moment you’d write. Sometimes just going through the motions of the routine can help shake something loose. Sometimes not. If it doesn’t work, but only frustrates you, try varying a part of the routine; make yourself a cup of tea but put on some totally different music, or work in silence; choose a different location to write in; etc.

 

  1. When you don’t feel like writing, create something new.

Lately, when I haven’t felt like writing, I’ve turned to adult coloring books for a creative outlet. I still get to exercise certain artistic decision making skills, but without using the same ‘muscles’ that I do when I write. I end up with something unique, something that only I could’ve made. Often times, the meditative state of coloring is a great place for ideas to pop up as well!

 

  1. When you don’t feel like writing, WRITE ANYWAY.

That’s right, I’m putting this one on the list twice. It’s one of the first things you should do when you have writer’s block and the last thing you should do when you have writer’s block. It’ll hurt like hell. You’ll want to curse. You’ll want to throw things. You’ll wish you could quit and never do this again. After you write a little, maybe you’ll tell yourself you have quit. But this is the job. It’s every day and it sucks. But if you’re like me, you’re writing because you have no other choice – to not write would be to be someone else, someone who you don’t know and don’t want to know. So if you’re going to write, damn it, be serious about it and write every day. Even when you don’t feel like it. Slowly, very slowly sometimes, it’ll get easier.

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Photo by Angelina Litvin on Unsplash

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Getting Back in the Game with Scribophile

Did you think I was gone for good? Never. Some exciting things have been going on in my life since the last time I posted on this site:

  • I moved to a new state (Oregon)
  • Started a new job
  • Got married
  • Won my first writing contest
  • Got a puppy
  • Got paid for my writing for the first time
  • Moved back to Washington
  • Started another new job
  • Stayed married
  • Got accepted to a journal for publication for the first time

And now, here I am again! I’m hoping to revamp this site, change things around a bit. Starting now, every Wednesday I’ll be posting about my writing process. These will be my personal thoughts on the act of creating the written word, my struggles, my successes, tips and tricks that have worked for me and hopefully others can use. I’m hoping this kind of disciplined writing schedule will help keep me on track in my other projects as well as give y’all a little insight into what it’s like to write the kind of stuff I do while being me.

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Me at Emerald City Comicon 2018, Living My Best Life

A big part of my new writing process has been joining this site called Scribophile. For those of you who don’t know, Scribophile is an online, members-only critique site. I like to think of it as a virtual writers circle. When I was an undergrad at UW, I had a weekly writers circle that I was a member of that helped my writing immensely. After I graduated, I stayed in touch with a lot of those people during my grad school time and continued to workshop pieces with them. But then the big move out of state happened and I lost my writing support structure. For awhile I thought I was fine. I knew enough about writing at this point, right? I could edit my own stuff.

WRONG.

I felt lost. I still had friends and family who would read and give me feedback on my work, but it wasn’t the same. I missed reading others work, missed the chance to learn from others’ successes as much as their mistakes. I missed the sense of community, of working towards a common goal. My own writing floundered and stalled. I felt stuck, like I had gone as far as I could go.

And then I found Scribophile.

I’ve only been a member for a few weeks now, but in those few weeks I’ve workshopped three pieces and had one of them accepted for publication. The community I’ve found there has been supportive, fun, and just my speed. You can get as involved as you like (which for an introvert like me is key) and the way the system of critique is set up, you are guaranteed to get feedback. So far I’ve yet to have a bad experience on the site.

I promise that Scribophile isn’t paying me to say all this stuff either. Just a really big fan of it right now. Seriously, if you’re feeling stuck and alone in your writing world like I was I’d highly recommend giving Scribophile a shot. In fact, I’m going to go right now and do some more critiques. It’s kind of addictive.

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Photo by Joanna Kosinska on Unsplash

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