One Year Anniversary

Can you believe it?

I’ve been blogging for a year!

Here’s some random thoughts about my experience, in no particular order:

  1. I still hate writing titles.  How can you accurately title a blog about daily life?
  2. I began blogging because I was having a severe case of writer’s block.  I had an idea for a novel, yet I couldn’t get the words on the page.  One year later I an halfway through the second draft.  Yay.
  3. I am still amazed at the amount of wonderful people I have met through blogging.  That’s the greatest benefit to the internet- the ability to bond with like minded people all over the world.
  4. I don’t care about grammar.  I know there are people who will not read my blog because I apply my own rules to how sentences should be punctuated and worded, and all I can say is, life to too short to read things that are displeasing to one’s ear, so please feel free to not read me, but please don’t comment on my lack of grammar etiquette.  I’m sure this sentence is completely wrong, but that’s how I roll.  This is my biggest act of rebellion…I write as I speak….Of course, the people who this applies to are not reading this, so……
  5. I can’t believe that I come up with enough ideas to write a personal experience blog 5 days a week (in health- not so much in sickness)
  6. I still don’t know what a widget is.
  7. I still don’t care about knowing what a widget it.
  8. Lists.  Lists.  More lists.
  9. My new focus is on how the little things in life really reflect who we are.  Expect more posts where I will pose the question “What does this say about me?”
  10. I love the amount of positive energy that I see on blogs.  People really are cheerleaders for one another.  But there are still trolls- so please don’t be a troll.  If your hobby is being mean to others on the internet, please find another hobby.  I can send you a list of alternate things to do.

And of course, I need to say THANK YOU to all my friends!!  Thank you for all the love and support over the past year!!

xoxoxo.

LA

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Oh No: A Blog About Blogging

Sometimes the universe works in weird ways.  I planned to write about my blogging process, and the day is just throwing in some twists and turns to sort of oddly highlight how my blogging process works.  And if his doesn’t make sense, I will tell you that I have a nasty cough and head cold, so my powers of thought are a bit all over the place.

Let’s start at the beginning- the beginning of the day.  I usually write my blog early in the morning.  My daughter usually leaves for school at about 7:05, my husband leaves for work about 7:45.  Around this time, I am thinking about my blog post for the day.  The minute my Husband is out the door, I sit and I blog.  My normal blog takes me about 15-20 minutes to write, assuming my internet doesn’t go out.  Now, I admit my internet service is awesome: my computer is lousy at staying connected.  I love writing at this time in the morning: my mind is fresh, my thoughts are sharp, and it is a great warm up for when I begin to work on my novel.  I also have this compulsion to have my blog post out by 9am.  It’s one of my controlling things…

Now, a few weeks ago, I went to DC.  Before I left, I decided to schedule blogs because I knew that being away and keeping to a blogging schedule was just not going to work.  So, my “plan” was to write a day ahead from the week before I left.  If I included weekends, I would have blogs scheduled for the duration of my vacation.  Good plan.  I would still write in the morning, just not for that days post.

And as all plans go….

Here’s what actually happened.  I would sit down to write, and instead off finishing in my usual 20 minutes, I found myself overthinking my blogs.  In the back of my mind I kept thinking “this isn’t scheduled to go live till tomorrow at 8.  I have until then to work on it.”  This is where the problems began.  I started to tweak and play and rework my posts.  Now, one would think that these posts were outstanding, because I edited and reworked….Well, one would be wrong.  I hated these two weeks worth of posts.  I felt they were stilted and didn’t sound like me.

So what did I find out about myself?  I need to write my post fresh in the morning.  I need to just publish the drivel that I’ve put on the page.  I need to stop overthinking. When I write in the morning it’s fun.  I’m enjoying it.  When I start playing with posts, well, it’s not so fun for me anymore.  I second guess.  This is not a good position for an over thinker.

As I’ve already started talking to you about my blogging process, I might as well give you the rest of the dirty secrets.  You’ve all heard about my obsession with planners…well, as soon as I get a blog idea, I enter it into my planner.  For anyone interested, I know what I’m writing about through May 10.  Yes.  I have that many blog ideas.

Which brings us to: how do I get my blog ideas.  Ok- literally everywhere.  I get inspired by comments others have made on my blogs.  I find interesting things in other blogs I read.  My family.  My activities.  Etc.  Etc.  I get ideas from my life. My plain, old, boring life fills me with ideas.  I guess this is the upside of being an over thinker: every aspect of my life has the ability to become a blog post.  Every blog post has the ability to become a follow-up.  Are they all equally interesting or great? No.  But you never know what will interest people.  Topics I thought were a little boring have gone on to be favorites of the blog community, so here’s another one for what do I know.

Now, I also admit that I pre write my Gratitude Saturdays and Week in Review.  I begin \those the day after the old one posts, and I just add to them as the week progresses.  As these is no central idea, I have no problem with this method.  The only problem is that some weekends are WAY busier than others, so I don’t get to add any flourishes to the weekend reports.  That’s just life.  I’m trying to be chill about that.

But now lets talk about today.  I have a nasty cold.  I normally get up at 6 and start prepping for the day.  Today, 6am brought about a hideous coughing fit, and the decision to pull the covers up a little more.  I didn’t get out of bed until 8:30.  I went to boot up my computer, and noticed that a update had been installed.  Good times.  Who knew what time my computer would actually be ready for action.

Finally, install and restart completed.  It was after 9.  The crazy part of my brain was annoyed that I wouldn’t have my post completed before that.  Technically though, it was still morning and it was still going to be a fresh blog post.  And there was some sort of irony in knowing that I had planned a blog about blog process 3 weeks ago, and then today it all went to hell.

So, as I type out the last words, it’s 9:56.  I’m happy with this post.  And I’m going to try not to freak out that it’s “late”.

January Writing Update

I started another writing class this month, Fiction 2 with Gotham Writers Workshop.  This experience is different than the one I had last semester.  Last semester my teacher was a woman, older than me and a novelist/screenwriter.  This session, my teacher is male, younger than me (I believe he’s 12) and a short story writer.  The biggest difference is not the gender or the age:  it is the writing discipline.  Writing a short story versus a novel is the same, yet different.

Many of my classmates favor very ambiguous stories.  They’re OK with limited, or no plot.  They’re OK with vague descriptions.  They’re OK with no dialogue.  These are things the novel people never want to read/see.  The biggest criticism I get when presenting my novel is the lack of description- I am dialogue heavy, and personally, I don’t care if the kitchen is all black and modern, or yellow and countryesque.  But, readers of novels do.  Readers of short stories don’t.

Should I become a short story writer?

No.  I want to write a longer work.

So we have the first conundrum I face when working on my novel: how do I add description to my work?

Seriously. how do I add description to my work?

My problem appears to be in my first chapter.  OK- I have problems in other chapters as well, but lets begin with the section I’m currently playing with.  I need to introduce my setting, which is a kitchen, and my protagonist and her three best friends.  (on a completely different note- I did learn in this current class that the protagonist and main character do not have to be the same- who knew???)  This is a lot of information in the beginning of the book, and I am having difficulty maintaining my light, fun voice with the task of similes, metaphors, adverbs and adjectives.  I like description to appear in little bits and pieces.  People reading my book do not.  They want a laundry list of how the room looks.  How do I reconcile what the reader wants with how I want to present the story?

Is this the first basic problem with writing?  Writing what you want versus writing what people want to read?  Is this just a variation of chicken/egg?

So, I’ve added a prologue.  I am introducing my protagonist separately.  I’m laying out one of the “problems” before I even get to anything else.  I’m establishing the tone and voice.   I think I’m liking this better, but it is my first rewrite, so….

Which leads me to the following:  my first draft is finished.

Yay.

Sort of.

To explain, I have the first half of the novel fleshed out.  The second half is just major arcs.  I have to fill in the filler.  Here’s the thing I realized- I want the filler to actually count, so I need to flesh out the filler better in the first half, so that it is more meaningful in the second half.  What, you say.  I didn’t understand this last sentence, how am I going to understand her novel?  I wish I could explain my thought process a little better, but really, how much do you want to get into my brain?

But, I am pleased with the main points of the novel.  I like my two characters- they are funny and smart and damaged, just like we all are.  I only hope that these things are coming across on the page.  I am enjoying the process though.  I look forward to writing.  That is huge for me, the fact that I look forward to writing.   I even think about plot points and dialogue when I am doing other things- my little pink notebook is never far from my side.

In other writing news.  I blogged at least 5 times a week this month.  Yay.  Had so much amazing feedback from comments and generated lots of new blog ideas.  Thank you all for that- you keep me on my toes and keep me thinking.  You are all an inspiration.  My hope is that every now and then I inspire you.

I formed a writing group with two of the women from my first fiction class.  This is the best thing I did.  We meet every three weeks and really do a line by line critique of each others work.  Even if I don’t like their suggestions, it’s making me look at my novel in a different way.  I’m thinking of the overall theme more, because I see how individual word choice effects the general feel of a work.

My next task is to try to find an agent.  Yeah.  Good times.  I don’t know how to even start this process, but my February goal is to start researching the “how”.  You’ll get the report next month.

So there you have it: a summary of my writing for January.  Tune in next month for the latest tale of my writing highs and lows.

Happy writing!!!