100th Blog Post

sparklers-923527_1920This post marks the 100th time I’ve published something on my blog. When I created this site, I thought 100 posts was an impossible achievement. Turns out, it just takes time.

I’ve learned many lessons over the past months, almost too many to talk about here. That is probably a future post.

As I write this 100th post, my mind is on the stories I’ve been working on and the challenge I’ve set for myself.

In the next month, I may or may not be available. November is NaNoWriMo, or National Novel Writing Month to the uninitiated, and I have signed up again. Come November 1st I will be sitting at my computer pounding out 1667 words a day toward my goal of 50,000 words. that is the minimum of what it takes to complete the challenge.

My own personal goal is to write about 2000 words each day. It’s a doable number and, yet, still gives me room to have days where the words aren’t flowing as well.

That being said, I still have a blog. This isn’t something I am willing to set aside for a month while I am working on my novel. I’ve been wracking my brain to come up with a plan to accomplish both.

One way is to do what I’ve been doing with my normal weekly posts. That has been working for the most part, but November is different. I have a lot more going on and that may be difficult.

Late last month, I had a flash of inspiration. An idea came to me to write a short story and post it as a serial story on my blog throughout the month. I’ve been working on something but I’m not sure it will be complete in time. I’m not giving up on this idea, but we’ll see what happens.

For now, continue to expect 2-3 posts each week. I plan to update everyone on my progress at the very least.

November will be an interesting month.

I am excited about this year’s NaNo project. I have worked on a plan that is nearly complete though there are a few things left to do. Things like creating a scene list (yes I am going there) and research. I still have lots and lots of research to do.

As this is my 100th post, I am no longer considered a newbie writer. My brain is still trying to catch up to this idea. Pushing the publish button is easier now but I am often still anxious. I wonder if that will ever leave.

So here is to the next 100 posts. May they be interesting and full of beautiful words. At the very least, let them not be dull, or worse, breaking grammar rules.

Thank you for being part of this journey.

Friday Five: Journaling for Growth

book-758384_1280When I began this blog, I had visions of a blog about all things journaling. I’ve been a journaler since I purchased my first journal when I was about 13 years old. I still remember that book. It was blue satin and had birds on it. There was a slightly Asian theme. I don’t have that book anymore, but I still remember the joy I had of writing down my thoughts and memories.

I haven’t been a faithful journaler though I have always had a journal somewhere in my possession. There were months, even years where I didn’t write a single word. I never gave up on it.

A couple of years ago, I began to write in my journal daily. I have been dedicated to this practice as I have seen change and growth in my life. I’ve blogged about some of those changes. Journaling is one way to make and document changes in life.

I am not the only one who believes this. Julia Cameron, The Artist Way, also believes in journaling. She as a practice called ‘morning pages’ in which she encourages freewriting first thing in the morning. Her recommendation is about three pages of unedited, free flowing words. While this isn’t always easy, it is a great practice.

Sometimes getting started on journaling is difficult. The blank page can be intimidating and beginning is so hard. One way to get past this, until you develop a habit, is to use prompts. I believe I used prompts for the first couple of months. Now, I simply begin with those thoughts I wake up with, or are just on my mind a lot, and go from there.

Today’s Friday Five is dedicated to prompts. I would encourage anyone interested in journaling to use one or more of these. These prompts can be repeated. In fact, one journaling technique I’ve read about and used is to write to the same prompt each day for a week. That is the great thing about journaling. There is no wrong way to fill a notebook.

On to the prompts:

1. What’s great about your life?

2. I remember…

3. My favorite day…

4. Find a photo of yourself as a child. Think back to when you were that age. What did you dream about or hope for?

5. What I am really afraid of is …

My journal isn’t fancy, not for my morning pages. I use ordinary school composition books. They are large enough and lay flat to make the writing easier. Use whatever you prefer. Journals are one of those things that I get excited about when I see though I tend to prefer simple ones now.

For the people I work with I encourage them to begin with a 5-minute timer. You can go longer if things are going well, but 5 minutes isn’t a lot of time out of your day to complete some self-care. Journaling is most definitely about taking care of yourself.

And, it’s important to take care of yourself – after all – if you don’t take care of yourself, who will?

Gearing Up for NaNoWriMo

InsecureWritersSupportGroup2It’s the first Wednesday of the month, which means it is time for the Insecure Writer’s Support Group post.

This month will be less about the insecurities that go with being a writer and more about the balance of writing and regular life.

I’ve been thinking about balance all year. This is not a surprise since balance was my “One Little Word” for the year. I am finding that all things in my life are about balance. I am also finding that I am not very good at staying in balance in my life.

October is the official or unofficial planning month for November’s NaNoWriMo, depending on how you look at it. For me, that means that the next couple of months will be quite busy. And all by choice.

I’ve discovered that whether by choice or simply by life it is so easy to get out of balance. Most of the things that will be crowding my life for the next couple of months will be by my choice. That doesn’t mean that I won’t get overwhelmed or want to give up. But I won’t.

I choose to participate in NaNoWriMo which means that it is my goal to write 50,000 words by November 30th. This is a crazy goal but completely doable.

I choose to write every day. My day is not complete until I’ve written. No matter how tired or much I just want to curl up in front of the tv, I will write. This may not seem like balance, but it truly is. Writing is in my blood and must be heeded.

I believe I will struggle in the attempt to balance my writing with my regular life. This isn’t unlike anyone else. If you have kids, a job, house and/or a partner, attempting to balance all of this is incredibly difficult.

Balance is a delicate dance. One that never ends and that is okay.balance-110850_1280

If you are joining me in the quest for a NaNoWriMo win, then good luck. It’s a wild ride.

If you are simply trying to make your life work then I wish you all the best. I know how difficult things can be.

Just remember: if every day were the same, life would be boring.