When I want to stop…

There’s a new label in my Gmail inbox these days.  It’s bright blue and reads “when I want to stop.”  Thanks to some fabulous people who’s paths God has ordained to converge at this exact time in my life, this label is finding it’s way on more and more emails. 

image

The most recent was from Tynisha Leon (of Dasheen Magazine).  She forwarded a recent post from Danielle LaPorte’s blog Whitehot Truth that contained a stab to the heart that this girl needed to hear today.  Danielle wrote about the difference between motivation and inspiration, and though I know I’ve been lacking in the motivation department, one of her examples of inspiration summed me up in one sentence.

INSPIRATION
I have something to say that needs to be heard.

When I write I feel bigger, freer, like God is using me well.

I have to write.  It’s what pulls me.  To ignore that fact is just disobedience.  I don’t write to make money.  I don’t write to please people.  I don’t write because it’s cool or because I have delusions of being a Bronte.  I write because it’s in me.  It IS me. 

Novel Writing (Day 3)

 

Imagine this post with a great big blue label that will catch my eye the next time I want to stop…

logo copy

It’s NaNoWriMo… you are NOT ready.

and neither am I.

As I mentioned in a past post, November is National Novel Writing Month-a.k.a. NaNoWriMo. The mission, if you choose to accept it, is to write 50,000 words during the month of November and upload to NaNoWriMo.org by midnight, November 30th.

It’s crazy, it’s challenging, it’s down-right exhausting… and it’s amazing. There won’t be too much blogging going on… actually, there will probably be zero blogging so, send up some positive thoughts to tide me over.

You can keep up with my progress below! See you in December!


“Tue” Do: Planning Out the Ole Blog

I’m a bit of a planner. 

Okay, that’s a huge understatement.  I’m a compulsive planner.  In fact, I’m paralyzed from action until an inordinate amount of scheming and mapping has been completed.

And that’s just to get out of bed in the morning.
my write out loud moment
It’s because of this that I find my blogging thus far a complete anomaly.  I post about random topics at a completely sporadic rate and I’ve actually been pretty much okay with that… until now. 

7:365
November 1 marks the beginning of National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo ( to those in the know), or just NaNo (to those who have taken the novel-in-30-days challenge before and learned to love short nonsense words that could be thrown in just to increase word count for the day).  In preparation for this month completely devoted to novel-writing, I’ve been finishing up craft projects, doing Fall cleaning (the Florida version of Spring cleaning-we just go from “Fall” to “Hot”), trying to increase my daily time spent writing, and planning for this here blog.

During NaNo, I’ll be writing, as a goal, 1,800 to 2,000 words a day… that’s after a full day’s work.  Life is pretty much work, eat, write, sleep for 30 days so there won’t be much time for blogging and it’s difficult to switch from “candid random blog” brain to “living in the mind of characters who are growing increasingly impatient that you haven’t wrapped up this phase of their story yet” brain.   So, in order to limit the mind-splitting psychosis, I’ve decided to amass a month’s worth of blog posts before the end of October. 

In the dark...
Can it be done?  Not sure, but this idea triggered the internal list maker and thus a One Thread That Winds post schedule was born unto a spreadsheet.  (I speak spreadsheet… don’t judge me).

I like the idea of giving a bit of a theme to each day of the week and I’ve set a high goal of writing a post for everyday from Monday through Friday.  I’m a sucker for alliteration so here are my ideas:

  • Music Monday: Album and artist review, playlists, etc.
  • “Tue” Do & How “Tue”: Things I want to do and tutorials of how to do things I’ve already done
  • Wanted Wednesday: Erm, sort of self-explanatory
  • The Thursday Thread: Threads of thought and literal threads (knitting, sewing and other textile projects)
  • Friday Finishline: Project before and afters, accomplished goals, etc.

The spaces on my spreadsheet for October and November topics are almost full and I’m formulating ideas for a holiday bonanza in December.  I’m not sure if the look on my friends’ faces upon seen my “schedule” is awe or pity… I’m just going to go with them being impressed for my own motivation’s sake.  Here’s to hoping that the planning pays off, increasing my writing and giving the site a sense of structure that it’s been seriously lacking.



What’s it all about?

in a fog

Dear Reader,

What’s it all about?

And by all, I mean me and this blog

If you’ve been reading my blog at all, dear Reader, you’ve figured out that I am pretty much all randomness, all the time. The fact that my “About” page has been under constructions since, well, blog construction began is another clue that I haven’t quite got it all together let alone come up with a cohesive theme for this here blog.

So how do I answer “What’s it all about?” In the words of the great Tynisha Leon of Dasheen Magazine, “I am what I am and I is what I is…and I be makin’ it do what it do.” Okay, so I don’t know if this is really a direct quote but as she’s sitting across the table at the mo’ and I told her what I was having her say, I think it’s alright.

This journey started with the words of another great:

Continue reading “What’s it all about?”

Morning Pages

 

So I’ve given several whacks at directing this blog into some sort of focus but I think it’s time to give all that organization and direction garbage the heave-ho. I mean, it’s my blog, and frankly, no one reads it … or do they? Hmmm… Are you out there, Reader? Do you care that I have no tidy theme? I don’t think you care. And that, dear Reader, is why I like you so much! That and you are an awesome listener.

I’m working through the book, The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron. It is self-described as “A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity.” Julia is a patient teacher. She is slowly coaxing me along a path that I used to think was extremely treacherous but it turns out, it’s not so bad.

One of her main ideas is that we have a logic brain and an artist brain. Logic brain is our everyday, survival instinct, keep it all in nice tidy boxes brain. Artist brain is the inner child, the irrational one, the one that still thinks crayons are rad and fashions twisty ties into stick people. Logic keeps Artist locked in the subconscious as much as possible. I mean, Artist just isn’t practical, she makes too much noise. Lock that girl up!

The most essential exercise, says Julia, is the Morning Pages; three handwritten, stream of consciousness pages of brain dump every morning. This practice is supposed to help us get past the nay saying of Logic and let Artist out to play. Have you ever sat there, before the caffeine has kicked in, and try to write three pages? I know, three pages don’t sound too bad but at the end of page one, your hand begins to cramp up. In the middle of page two your handwriting goes completely. Mine starts to look like wavy lines and the last letter of most words don’t even take shape. Oh well, these pages aren’t to be reread, they aren’t meant to be good writing, they just are to be.

I don’t know about your logic brain, but mine screams for order, for a schedule and routine. Yes, “Morning Pages” is now a recurring event on my Google Calendar. Artist is going to have to build up some serious muscles if she’s going to survive.

Through the process, I keep meeting with little snags that I now recognize as my logic brain chiming in. I decided to rip out each page from my notebook as a write it and Logic freaked out. “How will we keep the days together?!” Artist consented to date the pages and list 1 of 3, 2 of 3 etc. I selected a typical mailing envelope to store my pages. I yearned to see that envelope big and fat… I envision a spot on a future bookshelf (it was white, I don’t have white book shelves) that held stacks of fat overflowing obnoxious orangey yellow mailing envelopes. Artist squealed with delight!

I got this envelope and Logic was practically tapping her foot with anxiety… “You ARE going to label it aren’t you? Print a label; it’ll look nicer. Perfect and centered. You can even include little blanks for the date range of the pages within. Better yet, create a template so that every envelope you ever use will have the same label. It’ll look tidier on the shelf.”

I forced Artist brain to embolden herself… Artist wanted to write directly on the envelope in scrolling cursive and in French “the envelope for the morning pages.” With a little help from Google Translate and a Sharpie, it was done.

 

l’eveloppe pour les pages du matin

French? I don’t know why. It is what it is. I decided that I’d also include in this envelope things like this. Spur of the moment rants etc. Things I wrote as workshop assignments. I want those envelopes fat and stacked!

I’ve even given myself permission to fold this envelope so that it fits into my notebook easily. Artist leaps and chants that the envelope should be:

 used and abused…

beat up and taped up…

doodled on and noodles on…

It should be showing its stripes by the time it reaches that shelf!

Logic is freaking out about that a little. She wants to keep it pristinely flat, organizing the pages within sequentially and perfectly aligned. Just because Logic said that, Artist says, “NO! Stuff them in folded or however they end up. Heck, don’t even be careful when you tear them off the notepad so they end up with raggedy edges! You can pull them out and unfold and stack them neatly later. We’ll let Logic indulge later when we decide it’s time to read some early pages or when there’s no more room to shove in more untidy pages.”

So I tuck the slight wad of folded pages I’ve already written into the envelope then fold the envelope itself, finally tucking it into the inner pocket of my notebook. It belongs there and I smile.

And there it is, my newest challenge, finding a bit of balance between Logic and Artist. I’ve decided that although I feel this method is unblocking my creative spring, it may also be revealing that I suffer from multiple personality disorder.

Swell.

*Read all about Julie Cameron and The Artist’s Way on the official website http://www.theartistsway.com/