Monday, January 14, 2013

Awaiting Creativity

Going into the second week of my annual challenge and I've come to discover that my muse isn't working the way that I want her to.  I thought for sure that the best story idea in the world would come up and get me right away, but of course that didn't happen.

I found it odd that the "golden idea" didn't just fall into my lap as I was sipping coffee at my laptop in the morning, while my daughter is crying because she doesn't want to get out of bed, my dogs are grumping because they wanted to go outside, and my husband....well, you get the picture.  :)  Finding that opportune moment to let my muse wander freely is an interesting struggle every day; so how do I find something to write about?

The lesson I learned after the first week of sticking to a daily word count is that I can write about anything.  It doesn't have to all be dedicated to that one work in progress, I can just let myself wander through all of my thoughts and just see what comes out of that.  

I feel like my writing is already improving because I work with it everyday and it isn't just a passing thought.  So, for the first week, I'm going to give myself a star.  Yay!

Week 1:
Word Count:  3,142
Submissions:  0 

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Five hundred and FIVE

There are all kinds of New Year's challenges out there and I had a really good friend go through one for 2012 that has totally inspired me.  I know it might be hard to believe (how many people can say that they have heard all kinds of crazy resolutions that never worked), but I really believe that if there are people out there that can do can I.

So, I searched and thought, and then thought some more.  It was a little tough to figure out a challenge that would work for my craft and help me accomplish the goals that I've set for myself this year.  I finally thought that a daily word count would be the best, but I also wanted to include a kind of goal that forced me to actually submit my work for publication.

With that thought in mind, I adjusted my challenge to 500 words a day and 5 submissions by the end of the year; coming to the "Five Hundred and FIVE" challenge for 2013.  :)

Everyday, I will write five hundred words and this year I will find either five contests or submit my completed manuscripts to at least five publishers.  At the end of every week, I will let you know the total number of words that I have written for that week in this blog.  When I get ready to submit, I might even ask for some helpful beta readers.

I can't wait to start this journey.  I'm hoping that at the end of the year I can look back and be really happy and proud with this chapter I'm starting.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Reflections: Writing and pictures

I gave a lot of consideration to the year 2012 and all the issues that came with it for my family the other night.  I have a good friend who is known for saying, "life is about choices," and I thought long and hard about the choices that I made all through last year.  When it came down to it, I really wasn't happy.  This got me thinking about what choices I could make this year to help turn some things around.  I hope to share some of these decisions with you, over the coming year.

When I started this blog, it was with the intention of sharing brief bits of any story that I happened to be working on, but the problem with this narrow focus (I felt) was that it didn't really convey to my readers who I am as a person.  I'm still a struggling writer, but there is so much more to me and my journey than that.  So this year I thought that I might share a little bit of that journey with you.  It's my hope that  it will make you laugh and smile.  Or, if you are in that horrid place I was just a few months ago, show that a little bit of positive thinking will help turn things around.

To start this year (and story) off right, I wanted to tell you about the best birthday gift I got this year.  With my birthday being on New Year's Day, I often got one gift for Christmas and my birthday growing up; something that I have come to expect.  This year, however, my wonderful husband blew me away when he presented me with my gift.   What I didn't expect, was that he had framed a picture that I took on our recent family vacation to St. Thomas.

Balcony view from hotel in St. Thomas

I took this picture with a really nice camera that he had got for me years ago, because I enjoy taking pictures as a hobby.  When we were in St. Thomas on vacation, I got up early one morning and waited over an hour to get this one shot of the sunrise, never really giving any consideration to doing anything else with the picture except uploading it to Facebook.  

With this in mind, imagine my surprise when I tore the paper and saw this picture blown up and professionally framed.  I was speechless at first.  The frame might have been simple black, but the feeling I got from holding something that I made was too much for me to put into words.  He gave me back a little of the confidence that I had lost in myself this past year by showing me what I can accomplish when I put my mind to it.

So this week's focus for me is about setting some goals for 2013.  I prefer to think of them like that instead of resolutions, because I never keep resolutions.  With that in mind, goal number one this year is to finish a story that I have written.  Stuffed in drawers around my house are short stories, long stories, and even some poetry; mostly incomplete.  I had this knack of giving up pretty easily with everything that I have written - so the goal now is to find one and finish it.  I will do this by dedicating serious time everyday to my craft.

Goal number two this year is to take more pictures!  Look what I can accomplish when I sit some quiet time aside to look at my surroundings with a trained eye.  In fact, I would like to open this to my readers:  What is something that you missed when you weren't looking for it?  Has there been something this past year that you feel could have been "focused" on?  I look forward to hearing from you.