Sunday, August 20, 2017

Learning to Write Fearlessly

This is how I'm feeling this afternoon! I would love a nap.

Instead, I'm editing, blogging and cleaning.  Well, I'm attempting to blog. I'm finding it difficult to start a post. And I think I know why, and so that will be what I'll talk about. I did look for funny photos, but they were not all that funny.

The book I mentioned a couple of weeks ago, Fearless Writing, has been very enlightening. I've read the beginning chapters, and then chapters on procrastination and accuracy, among others. Through the little bit I've rad, I understand that, today, I'm finding it hard to start because I'm afraid of being boring. I don't want to waste your time.

In order to write this post today, I'm acknowledging that maybe this isn't the most exciting or interesting post, but first, it's my blog and I can write whatever I want--even if it is boring. Secondly, while I may feel this post has the potential to be boring, it also may be helpful to someone. The point I need to remember is I don't know! I can't control anything once I write it and hit that publish button. I have to honor myself and my creation, explain what I feel or believe through essay or fiction, and then be satisfied with my efforts. Once I publish whatever it is I've written, it is up to you, the reader, to decide how to receive it (favorably or not.)

At least, that is what I've gotten from the book so far.

The interesting thing is that there's a correlation between writing a blog or writing fiction. I find it difficult to start writing fiction because of the same reasons. The ugly "what-if's" begin in my head and it isn't comfortable or fun to write. Writing becomes a chore, and so I stop.

The only place where I don't have that self-doubt when I start writing is when I write poetry. I know my poetry is for me only--at least when I write it--to express myself, and I will decide after the fact if I want to share it. It's the perfect freedom to create and is a perfect example of the book's validity. Not thinking about what happens after you publish and having writing be fun do seem to improve the likelihood of starting and continuing writing.

And learning these things did seem to help today. I started multiple times and looked at the screen for about an hour trying to figure out how to start the post and what to write about. Finally, when I realized exactly what I was afraid of, and when I decided to just write a post, I finally was able to write something.

Who knows, this may be the start of something great!

Have a great week! I'm excited for the eclipse tomorrow. We have one of the longest totalities in Nebraska. It's going to be great, as long as the clouds don't move in!

Friday, July 28, 2017

Silly Saturday Photos: Pretty Crocodiles

Happy Weekend!

I hope the week has gone well and you can look forward to a calm and relaxing few days off. Or, perhaps you want a wild and exciting fun time. Whatever your wishes, I hope the weekend meets your expectations!

Following a very busy week, I am definitely ready for some time off. I have been reading Fearless Writing and am identifying with Kenower's observations. I haven't had time to edit during the week, but last weekend I edited several chapters. I've also been completing the exercises at the end of the chapters in Kenower's book and brainstorming on new stories. I'm starting to think about writing without dreading it or experiencing the self-loathing I've attached to my lack of production and amazingly maintain my motivation to create. That's progress.

This week I actually found some funny pictures worthy of sharing. I hope you enjoy them!

Doing home visits in a neighboring county this week I ran into swarms of butterflies, which I believe are part of this years Monarch Butterfly migration. Sadly, I can't count how many I killed with the car. And the birds were picking them off, too. It's a wonder any actually make it to their destination. In my defense, I did try to avoid them, once I realized they weren't grasshoppers.  I won't actively try to kill anything, but I don't feel too bad if I accidentally run over a few grasshoppers.

Speaking of grasshoppers...

Said no squirrel ever!

Such cute puns!

Did any of the photos tickle your funny bone? Or at least give you a chuckle? I'm partial to the patient squirrel. I have a love/hat relationship with squirrels. They're awfully cute, but frustrate me to no end. Almost as much as the local bunnies. The chameleon is a close second.

Have a great weekend!

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Time to Grow Up?

I was talking to a friend on Twitter today about writing goals and aspirations. He is working diligently on a screen play and obviously is very invested time-wise with his writing career. The subject of my second book came up and he very innocently asked if I had started it.

If Twitter had sound effects, a derisive snort would have accompanied my response that I not only had started it, but that it was done...and, truth be told, it's partially edited. Making this admission to him had an interesting effect on me. The first is that I realized that I have written two books. I've always dismissed the second book as not counting because I haven't yet published it. But, saying to my friend that the book is done and really not far away from being published... Well, I totally see myself in a different light. 

I think I may well be a writer.

Maybe not well-paid. Maybe not well-sold. But I did write two books. That's got to count for something.

And I've written short stories that have been published in minor publications, as well as written all the other short stories and poetry that I never tried to publish. Maybe I'm not like all the other "I've written novels since I was two and would die if I didn't write" people. But, maybe--just maybe--I really am a writer.

The second effect was that I thought, "What the hell is wrong with me that I'm not just finishing and publishing the damn thing!" It's been five years--Five years!!--since I started writing the thing and I just keep dragging my feet and ignoring the pleas coming from my laptop to finish the little darling and set it free.

I know I've mentioned this curious procrastination here before. This reluctance (inability?) to get unstuck truly boggles my mind. I have a sneaky suspicion that anxiety is involved somehow. I'll go to write or to edit--I'll WANT to write or edit--and then the What-If's creep in (what if it sucks, what if I suck, etc...) and I just don't.

Yesterday my family and I went to Lincoln for one of the concerts of the Meadowlark Music Festival (Saxophonist Marco Albonetti with percussionist Dane Richeson). Before the concert we went to Barnes and Noble and I went back to the Writing section--a little reluctantly, believe it or not. 
Sitting on the shelf was a book called Fearless Writing by William Kenower. I'm not saying this book is going to be the savior of my procrastinating self. Last night, though, I read through the introduction and feel better because if someone wrote a book about "how to create boldly and write with confidence" then it's not just me with this problem.

Do I feel silly? Yes. Part of me is rolling my eyes at the part that is reading a writer's self-help book. But, I want to write. I want to finish my story, I want to figure this out.

Have you heard of the book Fearless Writing? Does fearless writing come naturally to you? 


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