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Dang Glad the Weekend’s Here

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In honor of the week’s end, I’ve decided to list some of the things for which I am grateful. Its too easy for me to get caught up in complaining about how long and tiring my week has been. Being grateful is something I can struggle with so here are a few things that come to mind:

I am grateful that that it is Friday and I have a couple of days off from work.

I am grateful that I will see my two grandchildren tomorrow, though I am not looking forward to the drive.

I am grateful for words that flow and especially when new characters pop up that will change the story in different and interesting ways.

I am grateful for good coffee.

I am grateful for a warm house on this cold spring night.

I am grateful for triple peanut butter ice cream when the craving hits.

I am grateful for the family and friends who have blessed my life. Things wouldn’t be the same without them.

and

I’m especially grateful for a husband who doesn’t hold it against me when I come home grumpy or spend too much time with the words.

I’m sure I am forgetting some things but this is a good start.

What are some things you are grateful for?

Counting Words

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If you will forgive the cliché, counting words is a writers bread and butter. There are word counts for everything. Each type of writing comes with a word length guideline. Every magazine has a different word length, often for each different genre that they accept.

Most of the challenges I have been taking on have been word count challenges.

My 500 words is a fabulous challenge that got me back into writing everyday. The only rule is to write 500 words each day.

NaNoWriMo is a word count challenge of 50,000 words in a 30 day time period.

Even Camp NaNoWriMo has a word count challenge,though the limit is set by each writer. I’ve set mine at 20,000 just to have some breathing room.

There is a lot to be said for writing a said amount of words each day but the one thing that these don’t talk about is word quality. Of course each of the above challenges I’ve mention run on the honor system so it is possible to write pure garbage and still complete the challenge. I know. I’ve done it.

At some point, I would like quality to win out over quantity. I am just going to believe all those fabulous writers who have gone before me when they say the quality will come. I read somewhere once that being a writer is the only profession where the apprenticeship involves writing a million words. I wonder how close I am.

I believe in garbage first drafts. There is something to just getting words down on paper. However, they can’t stay like that. It is my desire to spend much of my time working with those million words and honing them to the right word at the right time. I’m not good at it but as with anything, it takes practice. And more practice. And still more.

I think I’m intimidated by the words on paper. They are just so black and white. Who am I to change them? Didn’t I really say what I wanted to say the first time?

The answer is and always need to be no. I find splashes of inspiration in those words but they are always messy, even unruly. Messy words, chaotic sentences. This is where the real learning comes in. And the real writing.

I have a lot to learn.

Blogging is Not for Wimps

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I have learned some new things this year. Blogging is one of them.

To say that I’ve learned to blog is, perhaps, not quite true. I’ve created a blog and even have have several posts, some even with comments. I’ve learned that SEO (search engine optimization) is a good thing. I’m not sure how to use it but I know what it is.

Another thing I’ve learned is that blogging is tough. Or at least can be. I’ve struggled with how often to post and the content of what my blog is about. I poured over the type of blog I would create and the template for my blog. I’ve stayed up late and have written early in the morning to make sure that I had a post each week.

I’m not sure I have it under control just yet, which is why I’ve decided to enter this A-to-Z Blog Challenge. It will be fun to force myself to create six blogs a week with the only guideline for each blog is a letter of the alphabet.

It will take perseverance to complete this challenge and I am up for it. My readers and my blog are worth it. Thanks for joining me.