Tag Archives: writing

Writing First Thing

I am participating in NaNoWriMo this year.

I have never won, but this year, I will.

This morning I got to wake up and fulfill a life long dream: spend the entire morning writing. Despite going to school a gazillion years to earn my degree in creative writing, my classes or my job always got in the way of my writing. I have always preferred writing in the mornings. Today was the first time I ever I got to sit down and write uninterrupted until I was done. I wrote nearly 3,000 words this morning, making up for the time I spent napping last night, which I totally don’t regret.


The light is really bad in my dinning room in the mornings, but it’s not a bad place to write while I get my caffeine fix for the day.

Currently, I am on schedule for day three, though I hope to pull ahead by at least another couple thousand words this evening when I have the apartment to myself again. It’s been a long time since I have allowed myself to write completely uninhibited, which is why I think nanowrimo is such a great exercise. Write now. Edit later. Like many writers I constantly wrestle with my internal editor and writerly insecurities. Right now, I don’t care that much how good the writing is, I am just making a story happen. Once there is a story down on paper, then I can work on the fundamentals of creating quality sentences.

One thing that has really taken a lot of the pressure off this year is that I had no idea what I was going to write until I started writing Tuesday morning. (Illicitly, I will admit, on my work computer.) Since then, every time I have seated myself at my laptop to write, I have had no shortage of words. To put it bluntly, it has been exhilarating. Stress and just general exhaustion have kept me from writing much of anything these days, including blog posts, which is a shame, because it really is one of my favorite things to do.

Good luck to all you writers out there! May you reach your word count every day!

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I Have Been Listening To a Lot of David Bowie and Other Ruminations

The song “Starman” by David Bowie has been stuck in my head for weeks now, and I have only just got around to digging up all the David Bowie files on my computer. So, my title is kind of a lie, I haven’t really been listening to David Bowie, just the facsimile of him that runs through my head.  I am not sure what took me so long, other than I just didn’t like any of my media players. I recently ordered one of the new Zune HDs (but have heard nothing from Zune about when it will be shipped, so whether I will actually be receiving this device at the marvelous sale price it was at last weekend is yet to be determined), so I downloaded the Zune software. I actually really like it. iTunes and I have never really got on, it might be because I have no patience with apple software. I know I might be in the minority here, but it is counter-intuitive to me, having always used a PC. (And I love my asus laptop with a strength of emotion that might not be healthy for a piece of equipment I will most likely have to replace in a couple of years.) All of that to say that I dug up my nearly complete David Bowie library, and after admiring the staggering amount of amazingly rockin’ live albums he has, I found the classic, original The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust in an attempt to relish in the greatness, and perhaps get that song out of my head for a little while, as great as it is. And then I listened to it. . .

And I just can’t help but apply the chorus to my life as it is right now. I am interpreting the star man being afraid of blowing our minds but knowing  it’s all worthwhile, as a little bit of a personal message for me right here right now, no matter what anybody else thinks it should be about.

One of my major goals this year was to go into business for myself. Three weeks ago, I opened my etsy store, and even though I have not made a sale just yet, I have been dyeing and promoting and slowly working to get over my internet shyness. It has been going well, I feel, and I know it is only a matter of time before I am making regular sales and am making enough money to put back into sustaining my business. I do know that I am not going to be making enough money to support myself from Etsy anytime soon, but I am working on it.

Aside from the fiber arts, my other passion is writing. It is what I am going to school and getting into major debt for. I cannot remember a time in my life when I was not writing in some way, shape, or form. And though the last couple of years have been rather tumultuous with me personally what with getting divorced and basically starting from scratch like I did when I was eighteen and moving out on my own for the first time, and I did not write as much, I am finally finding some equilibrium. The compulsion to write a lot has returned full-force. It turns out I have a lot to say.

One of the major things I have learned though all of the previously mentioned tumult is how to allow myself a voice. In other words, the things that have terrified me about writing in the past, like sending out query letters and promoting myself and *gasp* actually letting people other than the chosen few read my work do not scare me any longer. (At least not to the debilitating extent that they used to do so.)

A major factor in this is that I am fed up with my day job. It is not any worse than any other job where one works for other people and sometimes works too often. This is common, and for a lot of people, it is waaaay too much to ask, which is why they work for themselves. I am there. I fantasize daily about working from home: about working on my latest essay while the steamer is setting the dye on the yarn.

Then today, the wonderful Susan Gibbs from Juniper Moon Farm, where I am a shareholder, posted this to her blog. Go take a look, and I know the pictures of the sheep and goats and puppies are distracting, but please come back. I will wait.

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So, like Susan, I knew exactly what that sign was talking about too. It was my message from the Star Man. Write more. Get published. Get out of this place (I was checking my reader at work, I will freely admit) and do something that doesn’t stain your fingers brown! (If you are a new reader, I manage a coffee shop.)

It just so happens that Tuesday, my first essay for my essay-writing class is due. I have had this essay in my head for a couple of months now, but had not given myself the time to just sit down and write it. But tonight, I sat down and did it. I finished my first draft. While there is a ton of work to do before it is fit to even be turned in for workshop, it feels so good to finish my first piece since November. And I know right now, that even in this rough state, this one is publishable.

I can do this.

I have no idea when I will really be able to work from home, or if I will find a job (with benefits and/or a sustainable salary) outside the coffee shop before that happens, but I do know that I can get the writing done until then. And really, after a few years of feeling really down on myself and my ability to create, that is all I need.

Preoccupied

Since I opened my etsy shop last week, I have been distracted. I have been attempting to distract myself from the fact that I have not yet made any sales, which I kind of expected at this point, though that doesn’t make me feel any less disappointed. You see, I had dreams of selling my whole inventory in the first twenty minutes because I am such a yarn-dyeing genius. Of course, I was prepared for other possibilities . . . like having tons of people love Dino Carnage

But nobody buying it requesting a sweater’s worth of it (That might have been a hint. It’s mostly brown, I promise).

I have also been trying to distract myself from my day job–which is becoming less and less ideal every morning when my alarm goes off hours before sunrise. Sunday morning, I woke up at 4, checked the clock, and the familiar thought of “OK, I have a little while to sleep yet” lingered as I closed my eyes again. Then I remembered that it was Sunday, and that Athrun willing, I could sleep to the late, late hour of 6:45. I actually squealed a little bit in excitement and promptly fell back into a blissful slumber.

One of the ways I have been distracting myself from the day job (besides the shop) is to start slowly easing myself into freelancing (writing). It terrifies me. As my lovely sister, Audrey said a couple of weeks ago, “Whoever thought it was a good idea to have to make authors pro-active? We’re hermits.” (It might not be a direct quotation, but you get the idea. My problem is that I have hardly been taking the time to write anything at all. It’s a lot of pressure to sit down to write something that you are going to sell. So, I have signed up for something I only feel so-so about. The plus side is that it has already given me the incentive to write a little blurb about Little Women, which I just re-finished for the first time since I was 10. The down side is that there is a lot of SEO stuff involved. Though, if I ever want to show up on google, I suppose it is not bad to know. It doesn’t keep me from feeling just a tiny bit hack-ish. Basically, I write and get fractions of pennies every time somebody stops by and takes a look at my articles. So if you go take a look at my writing, you are helping me make money. I have made $.05 so far, so you know, things are going well. You can find my author page here. It’s an experiment. We’ll see how long it lasts.

In fibery news, I have something special in line for the store. I am working on getting some proper graphics made by an actual designer. When that’s done, I am planning a grand opening sale. The terms are yet to be determined, but I don’t sell anything after that, you are going to be seeing a lot of yarn pimping. At least you have been warned.

This yarn is my new favorite.