I recently signed up for a 30 day blog challenge. I must be out of my mind. How am I going to accomplish this and work full time and fulfill mommy duties and spend time with the husband and keep the house in some semblance of order?
The answer in all truth is “I don’t know.” And “I might fail.” But you never know unless you try so this is me, challenging myself.
Trying to keep up with a schedule can be tricky. Making sure posts get written and posted isn’t always easy. These are a few tips and tricks I do use to help keep the inspiration flowing and the words writing.
The Draft Folder
I write lots of drafts. One of the cool features of most blog publishers is that you have a drafts folder. This folder is essential to my writing. When I’m on the omputer this is where I go to dump ideas. I may write a whole piece, part of a piece or just a few sentences to get me started. Within these drafts where most of the creating flows from my mind through my fingers into tangible and readable pieces.
I have a confession to make. I am not in love with my computer. I don’t much like trying to pull it out when I am out the house unless I am working or writing. The babe has an insatiable curiosity about the computer which makes getting anything accomplished on it while he is awake darn near impossible. This is where my phone notes take over. I am constantly typing little tidbits to myself in my notes and then emailing them to myself to be cut and paste into my drafts folder. It is an essential part of the way I write because since I almost always have my phone nearby it’s easy to whip out and type a few words, sentences or even a whole piece to be used for blog inspiration.
Pen and Paper
Even in this day and age of technology I still like to scribble down ideas with pen and paper. I love the sounds of a pen scratching words on paper. I keep a little notepad in my purse to scribble down ideas on the run and when at home or at my desk at work there are plenty of sticky noted laying around with a few words and phrase or sometimes whole poems written in teeny tiny letters to be transformed into working pieces when the time suits me.
The one other feature I love about most blog publishers is they have a calendar to allow scheduling. I do not always have a chance to write every day and some days ideas flow more freely than others. On those days I may write to or three pieces ready to roll, but I will hold onto them and use them when it suits me. The calendar allows me to schedule when I want these pieces to be published so I don’t necessarily have to check into my blog every single day. Life happens, work gets super busy, house projects take over your life and kiddos get sick. The calendar helps ensure that I can still get posts posted without having to drive myself crazy checking into it every single day.
I love writing and I am challenging myself to do something I love every day for a month to see where it takes me. When is the last time you challenged yourself? Is it time to take a challenge? I think it is. Make 2016 your year and challenge yourself to push your limits by doing something you’ve always wanted to do. . . I dare you!
When you are a writer you usually write because you harbor a love for writing. I love pulling out a pen and paper and listening to the scratch as the words tumble from my mind through my hand and appear onto paper. The clicking of the keyboard is also gently relaxing as I watch the words in my head magically appear onto the screen in front of me.
It would be a dream to get paid to write in a way I could make a living, but since I cannot currently commit to this dream full time (as alas bills still have to get paid) I write when I can as much as time allows as a hobby. Despite what a lot of people may think although I try to write as much fresh content as possible for this blog, as of yet it does not actually earn me any money. So I submit my writing to other places here and there. This past week I earned a slot of acceptance from one of my submittals, which brought me great joy. This was almost immediately followed up with yet another “Thanks for your submissions and interest in our site! Great posts, but not a great fit for us right now. Sorry about that!” Rejection. It stings a little, not as much as the first ever, but I don’t allow it to stop me.
I will keep writing and I will find the right fit, eventually.
Perseverance is a must. When you do something you love you somehow become whole again, and I like being whole. . .so the words will continue to tumble until I find them a permanent home.
This morning I had a perfectly brilliant idea of what I was going to blog about next. . . and then somewhere between sending the babe off with Grammy for the day, forgetting my phone in the house and having to run back inside for it, accidentally smacking myself in the lip, somehow getting spider-webs in my hair, (and running late in general) my brilliant idea flew out the window never to be seen or heard from again.
It’s so incredibly frustrating. The dialogue was right there playing in my head just a short while ago and now the words have evaporated, poof, LOST and to make matters even worse I’m having trouble thinking of anything to write about at all!
Usually to combat this problem I scribble down thoughts or ideas on sticky notes, scratch paper, receipts, anything paper-like that’s handy or I type in the notes on my phone or sometimes in a pinch I ask Siri to write a note for me (although you never know how she’s going to interpret things so the thought you ask Siri to write down for you might not be exactly what came out of your head when you get a chance to read it at a later time.) But all these methods help tremendously in helping thoughts remain in your head to come rushing back out at a later time, as opposed to losing them because you didn’t take the time to capture them at the time of conception.
So, note to self:
Make a Note to Self.
Cheers and Happy Friday!
On my 30th birthday one of my oldest and dearest friends gave me a leather journal and said something along the lines of “For your writing if you still are and if you’re not, you should be.” It never ceases to amaze me what sticks with you over time. This friends voice and these words have come back to haunt me numerous times since this event took place, until I finally really listened to the words, and followed her advice.
I used to write incessantly. I wrote letters to this friend when she moved away in seventh grade, until she returned to the states our sophomore year of high school. I had an uncanny ability to befriend people in some strange way, exchange addresses and then would write to them from across states and continents. I scribbled poetry in the margins of my notebooks in high school and college and on order taking tickets when I worked in restaurants. In college I could whip out a ten page paper the night before it was due (and still get an A.) Sometimes in my “real jobs” I would still find myself scribbling poetry in the margins of my work notes. . .
I don’t know where it all went wrong and I put down the pen and paper but somewhere along the lines I got caught up in other “stuff” and took a long hiatus from my writing (too long). During this hiatus I wasn’t as happy as I had been in the past. I didn’t feel quite whole and I found myself questioning too often who the person in the mirror was.
I think all too often we get caught up with what we think we should be in life and lose sight of who we truly are. I still don’t know what I want to be when I grow up, but I do know that I function better when I write so I need to somehow incorporate writing into that equations. I have been so much happier since I’ve been back to putting my thoughts to paper (er, um, computer screen). So, my challenge to all of you out there is: to not lose sight of your dreams, however large or small. Dreams should not be filed away for later, dreams should be pulled out constantly even if you are only able to chip away at them a tiny bit at a time. Don’t lose who you are for who you think you should be or even worse who other people think you should be.
I’ll end with a quote by Dave Buchanan “ I don’t need to be rich or have a fancy home. I just want to go to sleep at night knowing my labor had heart, I’ve loved fiercely and lived close enough to the edge that I can see the waves kiss the rocks.” Live your life for you and your loved ones. Not everyone else. Incorporate your dreams into your life, find a way to do what you love (even if it’s only as a hobby)!
Cheers and Namaste!
It took great courage for me to open myself up to unleash my writings onto the world. The day I decided to do so I found confirmation by opening the current book I was reading. The day I started to write my blog on learning simple I opened my book to this page. . . People always say to look for the signs. . . I took this as a sign to go for it! The book is 10 Habits of Happy Mothers by Meg Meeker ( I highly recommend it!)