Writing: Take the pressure off yourself, and relax!

woman-feet-up-relaxing-alone

 

 

 

Every year right about this time I fall into a writing slump.

Burned out?

Hmm, nah I don’t think that’s it.

Writer’s block?

No, not that either.

January is usually a good month to sit back and review what the previous year had brought, and plan for the upcoming one. The thing is I have so many ideas and plans, I find myself “frozen” in place.

Indecisive as to which project to tackle first.

Ever find yourself in that position?

With the month more than half over, and I’ve yet to start on anything

I’m growing more frustrated with myself.

In come the comfort food…well, at least making sure I’m well-stocked on coffee, and hello Netflix, and let the binge watching commence.

Am I procrastinating now?

Hmm, perhaps, but I like to think I’m taking a break while allowing the Muse to percolate (so to speak) on the many ideas I have.

When she’s ready, I’m sure I will know it.

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Another Year’s Ending

What a year this has been for me and my family.  Packing and moving from NC all the way up to ND…talk about a culture (and weather!) shock.  Christmas was quiet for us as it was just us (all the family’s back east).  It felt strange.  Even my 12-year old son commented on how it really didn’t feel like Christmas this year even though there was nearly two-feet of snow on the ground.    We’re still settling in , and adjusting to our new life.  These things just don’t happen over night.

Need to keep reminding myself of that.

I’m not one for resolutions.  They never really worked for me.  My only goals for the coming new year are:

  1. Write often (daily if possible)
  2. Read as many books as I can
  3. Seek out and connect with other creatives

That’s it.  Simple is always better.  Anything else would be gravy.

What about you?  Have any specific (or general) goals for 2016?

 

Happy New Year!

 

 

*Here’s one of my favorite poems by Lord Alfred Tennyson called “The Death of the Old Year”:

 

Full knee-deep lies the winter snow,
And the winter winds are wearily sighing:
Toll ye the church bell sad and slow,
And tread softly and speak low,
For the old year lies a-dying.
Old year you must not die;
You came to us so readily,
You lived with us so steadily,
Old year you shall not die.

He lieth still: he doth not move:
He will not see the dawn of day.
He hath no other life above.
He gave me a friend and a true truelove
And the New-year will take ’em away.
Old year you must not go;
So long you have been with us,
Such joy as you have seen with us,
Old year, you shall not go.

He froth’d his bumpers to the brim;
A jollier year we shall not see.
But tho’ his eyes are waxing dim,
And tho’ his foes speak ill of him,
He was a friend to me.
Old year, you shall not die;
We did so laugh and cry with you,
I’ve half a mind to die with you,
Old year, if you must die.

He was full of joke and jest,
But all his merry quips are o’er.
To see him die across the waste
His son and heir doth ride post-haste,
But he’ll be dead before.
Every one for his own.
The night is starry and cold, my friend,
And the New-year blithe and bold, my friend,
Comes up to take his own.

How hard he breathes! over the snow
I heard just now the crowing cock.
The shadows flicker to and fro:
The cricket chirps: the light burns low:
‘Tis nearly twelve o’clock.
Shake hands, before you die.
Old year, we’ll dearly rue for you:
What is it we can do for you?
Speak out before you die.

His face is growing sharp and thin.
Alack! our friend is gone,
Close up his eyes: tie up his chin:
Step from the corpse, and let him in
That standeth there alone,
And waiteth at the door.
There’s a new foot on the floor, my friend,
And a new face at the door, my friend,
A new face at the door.

 

 

Looking Back and Ahead (Happy New Year!)

2015 new

 

As another year draws to a close, this is usually when I look back and see what I’ve accomplished as a writer, and then look ahead to a new year with goals and opportunities.   This year I did get a short fiction (The Pocket Watch) published at a new ‘zine, and I had an opportunity to interview a prominent poet for Motionpoems, but because the film didn’t meet certain criteria (due to the film-maker’s not following them), it was not ran/presented.  Yes, I was a bit disappointed; but I was grateful for the new experience and a chance to meet new people.  Who knows, I may try my hand at another citizen journalist’s assignment at some point.  To end the year, a short story (Jewel) and an essay (The Door) was published with Piker Press, and I submitted a (horror) short story to a (my first) contest.  I should know the result for this by the end of January 2015.

changes

 

 

 

2015 is looking more and more like a year full of life-changing events which I can’t elaborate on now.  And for that reason alone, I’m not going to set too many goals for myself.  What I will do is focus more on writing short fiction and essays, and hopefully read more books than I did in 2014.

 

What about you?  Were you able to accomplish as much as you’d hoped for this year?  What are your plans for the new year?

Cheers!

Another Year’s End…

Another year ends, another new year begins.

The cycle of life continues with another round of resolutions.

Resolutions or the to-do list?

What’s the difference really?

Anyhoo, the booze is starting to set in so here are my resolutions:

Write. And then write some more.

Read (and more than just 8 or 9 books in a year-how pathetic is that?).

That’s it.  Simple and sweet.

Too bad life couldn’t be that way.

Nah.

Shaky Ground

Starting off the New Year on shaky ground with the flu (the entire family came down with this).  Work-wise, this is not a good thing.  What could I do?  Spread the love?

Yeah, right.

I’m venturing more into the nonfiction arena this year with a new blog called Whispering Shadows, which will be part memoir and part journal.  I’ve been toying with this idea for a number of years; and this year I decided, what the heck, let’s get it on!  Once completed, I will need beta readers to help me revise and edit, and then I’ll have to decide how to have it published.

In April, I plan to write pretty much nothing but poems.   One of these years, I will have a poetry chapbook published.

Then I have my web fiction work to focus on, especially Redemption. I’d love to complete this one by the end of the year.

There are also other stuff I hope to work on, plus my “resolutions” that I previously posted about.  If I manage to be successful on even a handful of these, this should be a productive year.

Stay tuned!

2013

2012 is rapidly coming to a close and I, for one, will be more than happy to see the dawning of yet another new year.

What I hope to accomplish in 2013:

1. Read more books than I did in 2012 (don’t ask how many I read this past year; it’s that pathetic)

2. Write/post my very first book review

3. Make new friends/get out more often and mingle

4. Learn to sketch/draw

5. Finish Redemption (Part one of the Underverse serial)

6. Would like to see one or two of my short work(s) published

7. Attempt to write a memoir/journal on personal experiences (something I’ve been considering for a long time)

What would you like to accomplish in the upcoming new year?

Some Christmas Thoughts

   It’s during this time of the year when I miss living in the Adirondacks the most where there’s almost always snow for Christmas.   I’ve lived in the south for almost 12 years now and I still can’t get used to the “winters” down here.  You’d think I end up liking the warmer weather, but truthfully, I miss those cold, sweater days and the snow crunching under my boots.  Am I nuts?  Most likely. 🙂  I guess I will always be a northerner.

Have took the next several days off to enjoy the holiday; and today, I hope to get all my wrapping done.   My nine-year old still believes in Santa so this makes Christmas magical for me; at least for another year.

I can’t imagine life without my son.

Events that took place last week have made me take pause in my crazy life to really appreciate my family.  I’m sure parents across the country have been hugging their little ones a little bit tighter, and more often.

Christmas will have an extra special meaning this year, and for various reasons.

God bless each one of us, and have a merry and safe holiday season.