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Posts Tagged ‘Resolutions’

As part of my new year’s resolution, I have a new schedule (as anyone who knows me at all would have already guessed).  I get up at 5:00 AM, do a quick 10-minute workout (sometimes Calisthenics and sometimes stretches as instructed by the chiropractor), get dressed, do hair and makeup, grab the lunch my husband has packed up for me and am out the door by 5:45. I am in DC by 6:00 and at a Starbucks down the street from my building by 6:10, where I get a small coffee and do devotions for half and hour. Then I pack up and am at work by 6:45 AM. This allows me to take a 45 minute lunch break, which I have been using to write. I am trying to do some sort of writing exercise and then work on editing my God’s Masterpiece book.

Today’s writing exercise/sort of lesson was a common theme – making your character suffer. Apparently a lot of authors don’t want bad things to happen to their character. I have never had that issue. I have stopped killing off every one in my books, relegating it to only a few, but those few must go, no matter how much I cry while I write it.

Today I discovered, however, that when it comes to making my characters’ suffer, I am fine with emotional suffering, but I have a hard time with physical suffering. Oh, they can starve to death or be exhausted or things like that but – the book I am going through (Writing Magic by Gail Carson Levine) made me write out the scene in which Red Riding Hood is eaten by the wolf, with instructions to describe exactly how she felt, what she saw, etc. etc., and fairly strict instructions that she was to actually be eaten. I did so, reluctantly – because how horrifying is it to write out a scene in which someone is eaten? Especially since you know that, in non-fairytales – they aren’t actually swallowed in one bite. I wrote it out as much as I could, shuddering inside the whole time, and probably ended it faster than the exercise wanted me to.

But that experiment taught me two things. One, which is what I already mentioned – there is a difference in physical and emotional suffering – and I may have one down, but am terrified of the other. And two, that as terrible as suffering such as that is, it is prime for description and feeling. So, while I doubt I will ever write a book in which someone is eaten, or even physically assaulted outside of perhaps being hit, I am going to work on the physical suffering side, particularly when it comes to descriptions.

And now my 45 minutes are up, so it’s back to work with that awful scene still in my mind. Thanks, Gail. Thanks.

cool-girl-phone-blanket-work

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So, I know last year I said I wasn’t doing resolutions – I was just doing goals (ultimately the same thing, right?) More and more people do that, I think – shrug off resolutions as an overrated thing that are made and broken year and year (true enough!). Therefore, in an attempt to fit in, I occasionally refuse to do resolutions. But secretly? I love them. And you know what I love about them? Nothing too unique. Just that it’s a legit excuse for a new start. Again. While the middle of the year, it may feel silly and perhaps useless (at least for me) to be like, Okay, I messed up the last three months, I’m going to start again, no one few people ever laugh at you for doing that on the new year. It is a time of fresh starts and perspectives. My goals are the same as last year – losing weight, writing more, being a better Christian – but every year I get back that motivation that I seemed to have misplaced throughout the year and I think – Okay, maybe this time. Not saying I shouldn’t try harder during the year – but I am goal and list oriented, and New Years feels like my ISTJ/Type 1’s time to shine. I should probably just embrace the fact I love that, and move forward with the same resolutions year after year without being embarrassed to admit it.

When I think over last year, I feel like rather a failure. I did succeed in losing weight – temporarily – and then gained it back during the holidays. And I submitted nothing for publication. And I only wrote on a regular basis every now and then. I didn’t study a new language. I did move forward in my career – in a rather unexpected direction – but that is it. I don’t have an excuse for any of it except lack of discipline. (Perhaps that should be my overall goal this year – installing discipline!)

I make no false promises to myself or God this year – I know that more than likely I will fail again to fulfill all my goals – but that isn’t going to stop me from making them and from trying – again and again. And one thing I am especially going to try to commit to – is to try not to be afraid to be myself. Not to adjust my opinion to fit in with other people – but to realize that it is okay to have my own view of things. Many people don’t think I struggle with that – but every single time I hear someone express something, I instantly start to rationalize why they are right in my head, assuming I am wrong or should adjust my thinking. It is a constant struggle that I hope to someday get the better of.

So here’s to a new year, resolutions, lists, schedules, perfectionism, not being afraid, and trying again and again.

new year's resolution(1)

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Good follow-up post to my “writing more” goal (not resolution) for 2018. 😛

Happy New Year! Before we all climb in and buckle up for our 2018 writing journey, I think we need to agree on what needs to be packed. Now I know some of us are very excited about our journey but it’s vital we take the right stuff. We can’t get halfway through 2018 and […]

via 12 Things Writers Need To Pack For Their 2018 Writing Journey #AmWriting #Writer — BlondeWriteMore

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Did I finish writing that book in December? No, no I didn’t. Lest you think I was just not posting updates, I assure you I did not write another word. I cannot believe how busy this year’s holidays were. I know I say that every year, but seriously! This year’s Christmas in Minnesota was defined by three specific things: 1. We all traveled 2 and a half hours on Christmas day to my grandparents for the family party for the first time in over a decade. 2. My sister had a baby due on the 20th so we kept waiting for her to go into labor, but she didn’t until I left the state on Sunday the 31st, and the baby wasn’t born for 44 more hours after that. 3. The temperature in MN never rose above zero and most of the time was around negative 10 or, with wind chill, negative 20 – 40.

Daniel and I celebrated New Years Eve in a hotel Sunday night. We brought a bottle of champagne and bought a bottle of wine as well. We sat in the hotel lobby after about 8 hours of driving and played games while we drank the wine and ate stocking candy and split a personal sized pizza since no one believes in delivering food or keeping their restaurants open on New Year’s Eve. As one of my friends said, it will make a great memory!

No New Year resolutions this year. I am deflated from last  year’s failures. I do have some goals in mind, however. Yes, I know technically they are the same thing, but let me have my nuance!!

  1. Write more
  2. Finish reading the Bible through
  3. Lose weight, however much
  4. Most important: Pay off my student loans
  5. Mutual goal with friends: read a minimum of 12 books

Hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and Happy New Year!

 

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I have been avoiding writing a New Year’s post. Why, you ask? I think a majority of you can already guess the why. I have been thinking back to last year’s goals and how I didn’t meet a single one of them and wondering why I try to make goals at all and feeling like a complete and utter failure. No, I didn’t finish my book, lose any weight, or make money writing. What exactly did I do with the last year?

Well, I traveled – a lot! – for work. I . . . didn’t GAIN weight, even if I didn’t lose it – and that is a first for me in several years. I wrote half of a different book, even if I didn’t finish the one I was working on yet. I wrote a lot more regularly, and it isn’t nearly as forced as it was at the start of last year. I have mentioned my love of writing to at least 5 people, which is 5 more than I have told in probably 10 years. And I realized that I don’t really care if I make money writing. I just want to write what I want to write. And I got several articles (granted, very non-fiction) published for my work. Does company/government publications count? I have decided they do. At least to an extent. It is far more than I have done in a long time.

So, after much deliberation, I have decided that although I met none of my goals last year, I TOOK STEPS toward meeting them, which, again, is more than I can say for previous years. So, I am going to chance it yet again:

  1. Lose 20 pounds (yes, I am making my goal less than last time. Trying to be more realistic here, people – stop judging me.)
  2. Finish the first draft of at least ONE of my books (no, I am not going to say which one, because I am going to write whatever I want to write, and I am cutting out the editing part because I already know how long that is going to take)
  3. Submit something for publication at least once every two months (yes, I am being easy on myself. And Writer’s Digest contests count.)
  4. Have a rudimentary knowledge of Russian by the end of the year (I did when I graduated and completely let it slip – so there is no reason I can’t have a basic knowledge of the language again in a year, right?)

I feel like I am letting myself off easy this year. But as most people know, there is always a secret hope that you will accomplish more than you set out to do. So I figure if I set my goals lower than I actually want, maybe I will actually reach them?

And my 15 minute break at work is up, so that is it for now! Breathe deeply with relief, everyone – you just barely missed an irrational outburst of the meaning behind goals, how I have changed over the past year(s), and who knows what else?

 

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