#IWSG: The Ultimate Writing Goals

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This month’s question: What are your ultimate writing goals, and how have they changed over time (if at all)?

 

Ultimately, like many other writers, I’d love to have a book published. But, fearing that I’d be penalized by Social Security (am on disability benefits for my progressive vision loss-called Usher Syndrome) I can’t earn very much so I’ve tabled that…for now.  In the meantime, I write poetry and short (as well as flash) fiction of which some are published in various zines.

Another one of my goals is to learn the playwriting craft, and attempt an one-act play.  I already have a title, just need to write it.  I then would love to see it performed through a local Council for the Arts performance group. Having moved to North Dakota back in 2015, I haven’t made too many friends yet; I figure what better way to get to know people in the community than through the local arts.

I don’t think my writing goals have changed much over the years (started writing seriously in 2007) since they usually involve being published in some capacity which I have done with several of my short works.

 

What about you?  What are some of your biggest goals that you would like to fulfill?

 

 

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#IWSG: Book Titles Vs. Character Names

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This month’s question: What’s harder for you to come up with, book titles or character names?

 

For me, the book titles (or for any type of stories, short or long) are more difficult to come up with.  A title has to encompass the theme and message of the story, giving the reader some idea of what it may be about.  Because of this, it takes a while to come up with a title that “feels” right.  Many times I end up giving a story a working title until I can come up with a better one.

With some stories, any title I gave never felt right.  For these, I usually set them to one side for a while in the hope that the right title will magically pop in mind.  It does happen, but rare.  I’d end up settling for one that I could live with, and move on.

What about you?  Which one is more difficult for you to come up with a name?

IWSG: Do You Still Create During Sickness?

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This month’s question: How do you find the creative energy while sick with a cold?

 

 

This week I’m sick with this nasty chest cold.  I’m suspecting it’s bronchitis and have a medical appointment this afternoon to be evaluated.   In the meantime, I have zero energy to do anything.

So, it brings a question to mind: do you still try to create while sick?

I’ve spent a better part of the past two days lying in bed, and resting.  I’ve had no desire to sit up, and create.   This is making me feel a bit guilty in that I’m doing nothing.

Am I really doing nothing?

Not really.  I’m taking this time to listen to Pandora, to relaxing sounds of nature with music as I let my mind wander.

My hands may not be currently creating, my mind is.

 

What about you?  Do you still try to create when you’re sick?

#IWSG A Rainy Day For This Writer

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This month’s question: When your writing life is a bit cloudy or filled with rain, what do you do to dig down and keep on writing?

 

Photo Credit: Alexander Tayson

 

I’m experiencing this weather phenomenon right now.  If you look out my window, you’ll see the partially bare ground laced with dirty snow.   The air is frigid as the arctic breeze sweep through the barren trees that pepper our farmstead.

It’s April, but winter is sticking around.

I’ve been cooped up indoors for months.  I leave the house only once a week for grocery shopping, and that’s it.

No fresh air.  No real exercise (the treadmill only goes so far).

Depression is settling in heavy, and affecting my writing life.

With several projects lined up to be worked on, all I’ve done is watch medical dramas on Hulu.

I feel the dark clouds billowing over my head as I ignore the jabbering of characters in my mind.   Rain comes in form of tears as the frustration (with myself) grows.

I must find a way to jump-start my writing.

Writing is my sun.  My fresh air.

But right now, the storm clouds are winning.

Bottomline, the problem is I’m a writer with very little outside contact (other than family members).  No one to spur me on with a pep talk or encouragement.  Being a shut-in (self imposed), there is no one to blame for my predicament other than myself.

Granted, I can’t just hop in a car and drive because of my blindness.

However…

There is this lovely thing called technology that allows one to keep connected with people from all walks of life.  This for me has been a blessing.

So, instead of wallowing in self-pity, I’m here, blogging, and in essence, writing which is all the kick in the pants I need for the clouds to roll back, and allow the sun to peek through.

 


 

#IWSG Quotes For #Writing Inspiration

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This month’s question: Do you have any quotes you use for inspiration?

 

Every once in a while I get stuck as a writer.  Whether the right words are being elusive, or I’m stressed over something from my personal life (usually over finances), or I just can’t get focused.   These are times when I look to quotes to help either jumpstart my creativity, or just get me in to a reflective mood which tend to get the words flowing.

Here are some of my favorite quotes:

 

“The real story is not the plot, but how the characters unfold by it.”
~ Vanna Bonta

 

Writing is my time machine, takes me to the precise time and place I belong.”  ~Jeb Dickerson

 

“Not all those who wander are lost.”J.R.R. Tolkien

 

 

What about you?  Do you have any favorite quotes?

 

#IWSG: Why I Love #Romance

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Question for this month: What do you love about the genre you write in most often?

 

 

When I discovered writing as a girl, my first story I ever wrote was horror.  Ever since then, I’ve mostly wrote horror stories, or dark fantasy, or dark poetry.  Nothing truly had a happy ending.

Was this how I really felt about life in general?

Yeah, for a long time, I did.

But, there was always this other side of me that dared to hope, and dream, and wonder about the magical and beautiful aspects of life; and many times these involved this concept called…love.

I’ve always enjoyed reading both fantasy and horror books.

Romance novels?  I devoured them.  I never could get enough.  It was a wonderful feeling when you get to the end of a book, and there’s a happy ending!

Real life doesn’t always have a happy ending.  In fact, for many there’s only sadness and pain and emptiness.  It’s nice to be able to open up a book and get lost in it, in another person’s life, and be able to feel what they feel, and experience what they experience, and leave your own unhappy reality behind for a while.

These are some of the reasons why I love the Romance genre.  And why I’ve decided to write in this genre for my very first book.

What about you?  Which genre do you enjoy most, and why?

Writing: Would You Do Things Differently If You Could Go Back In Time?

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This month IWSG question is: if you could backtrack and do things differently as a writer, would you? 

 

Wow, this is a loaded question.  One I have pondered on and wondered about from time to time.  Who hasn’t?  Especially now that I’m in my mid (ish) 40s, this question keeps popping up in my mind.

My first inclination is to say “Yes!”

I’d have attended SUNY Potsdam (only) majoring in Journalism instead of bouncing around at least six different colleges and ending up with a degree in Physical Education (which I barely used).

As a journalist, I would have traveled the world.  In this reality, I’ve only visited one other country…Canada.

Perhaps I’d even started my own magazine or newspaper company.  Or, maybe even branched off into the publishing industry and became an editor or something.

And just perhaps I’d ended up living in Boston (one of my fave cities) where I’d pen my first and break-through novel that landed me on the New York Times’ Bestselling List.

If I’d done all the above, I wouldn’t be the person I am today.

As a writer.  As a poet.

A mother.

A wife.

Living on a small farmstead in eastern North Dakota of all places 🙂  Writing full-time at home.

I’m richly blessed.  I don’t think I would give this life up to relive it as a different person.  It’s nice to dream about it, but that’s it, just a dream.

I like this reality better.

What about you?  If you had the opportunity to go back and do anything differently as a writer, would you do it?

 

 

 

Writing: How Much Of “Me” Actually Goes in the Stories?

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This month’s question: “Have you ever slipped any of your personal information into your characters, either by accident or on purpose?”

 

 

Hmm, an intriguing question posed by IWSG.  “Personal” could mean just about anything in my mind so I’d have to answer this honestly with a YES.

Many of my main characters have pieces of me injected in them which make the stories I write personal and meaningful to me.   They entice me to finish each story so not to leave them incomplete which borders tragic in my mind.

The characters may have some of my physical attributes, but mostly I inject events and emotions that I’ve experienced in hope to make the stories more dramatic and real to the reader.

Granted, majority of the stories I write are short so it’s relatively easy to finish.  Writing a book-length story is a different matter in that I’ve yet to complete a full first draft since 2008 (my first and only full draft from NaNoWriMo which still sits on my hard-drive).    However, this year I hope to change that.   I will post more about this later this week.

 

What about you?  How much of yourself do you include in your writing?

Writing: Ever Surprised Yourself?

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This month’s question is: Have you ever surprised yourself with your writing?

 

I think every writer has a moment when he or she goes back to read something one written eons ago and wonder who on earth wrote this magical piece?  I’ve had a few of these; but, I think I’ve surprised myself the most when I attempted to write poetry years ago.

I read poetry when I was in high school because it was required reading; but the ones written by Robert Frost and Walt Whitman stuck to me the most especially Road Not Taken and O Captain! My Captain!  I never really attempted to write one though feeling a bit intimidated by the poetic forms these poets used.  I thought I never could write anything wonderful like that.

Fast forward twenty plus years.  At this time I’d been working in the banking industry, and I’d recently learned of a coworker who was a poet.   From her, I heard about NaPoWriMo (National Poetry Writing Month) and decided to give it a whirl.  I searched online for a simple poetic form to try and discovered haiku.

Here’s one of my earlier haiku:

Longing to connect

-to fill the hole of one’s soul

butterflies entwined

I became hooked on writing haiku and micropoetry in general.  Eventually I began creating my own forms using various number of syllables.  Here’s one of my favorites I wrote a few years ago:

Seekers

Ocean waves pound on

the sandy shores, carrying

away the deep scars;

sandpipers scuttle with the

milky foams, seeking

nourishment for the lonely

I don’t consider myself a poet, but I love writing poetry (namely micropoetry).

What about you?  Have you ever surprised yourself as a writer?

 

 

What’s this group about:

The Insecure Writer’s Support Group is a home for writers in all stages; from unpublished to bestsellers. Our goal is to offer assistance and guidance. We want to help writers overcome their insecurities, and by offering encouragement we are creating a community of support.
(Taken from their website: Insecure Writer’s Support Group)

 

 

 

 

 

 

What If My Writing Isn’t Good Enough?

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This month’s question:  What if my writing isn’t good enough?

 

This group (also endearingly known as IWSG) is all about insecurities; and gosh, I have a boat-load of them!

 

Where even to begin?

 

I’ve battled with insecurities all my life, and they’ve filtered over in to my writing life.

 

You’ll never be good enough. 

You’re worthless.

Don’t bother even trying.

 

There are so many ideas running through my head.  And I have written many of them…but, they usually die (or get placed in the trash).

I have published several items (all short ones) so that is something, I suppose.

 

But…

 

I keep feeling like I’m missing something.

Or, there is a story somewhere within that needs to be written and then released to the world.

 

But…

 

In the past, in my previous work life, I had this nasty habit of self-sabotaging myself.

Not allowing myself to experience success of any kind.

And this is quite prevalent in my life as it is in my writing life.

It’s like I feel like I don’t deserve it.

 

You’ll never be good enough.

You’re worthless.

Don’t bother even trying.

 

 

A lot of this stem from childhood abuse.  Others from a progressive disability.

Excuses, I suppose.

But they’re the Goliath in my life, and I’m the puny boy with no sling-shot or weapon of any kind.

Just a pen.

 

 

I’ve heard that a pen holds power.  I just don’t have any faith in the holder of this particular pen.

 

Am I good enough?

Will I ever be?

Do I even bother trying?