Tag Archives: NaNoWriMo

May I Have Your Attention…

Hi! I’m creating a new blog. I hope you all will follow me over at that blog. I’ll post links to it here for a while before I stop posting altogether on here. The new page is spellboundscribbler.wordpress.com and please feel free to share it. I just posted my first blog at spellboundscribbler. Come on over and take a look!

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Reality Check

Fear of failure and fear of success are the same things. You could say they are two sides of the same coin. They have the same outcome when you don’t take control of them. That outcome is stagnation.

Fear of failure makes us shy away from doing things because we are keep-calm-and-reality-check-1afraid we won’t do a good job or won’t do the right job. It makes us avoid doing things we want and like to do. We become adept at avoiding situations that put us in a position to possibly fail. Possibly is the key word there. We might fail. We might not. The fear is the same either way. So we withdraw from the activities we love, the people we love, and we allow ourselves to become more reclusive out of fear of something that may not happen.

Fear of success works the same way. When you have never had successes with positive feedback, encouragement that shows you that it is a good thing to succeed, reaching that finish line is just as terrifying as not reaching it. The process repeats itself. We withdraw from our lives until we are so afraid of doing anything that we find ourselves sitting at home alone eating ice cream in our underwear wondering how in the hell we ended up like this.

The problem with these fears is that their origins are so far back in our development. What we see our parents do and how they encourage our tiny selves has an enormous impact on how we learn to fail or succeed. The problem is if we don’t get enough of the right type of encouragement and support we never learn how to conquer the fear. It will have a ripple effect on everything we do throughout our entire lives. Every job, relationships, friendships, social situations, even answering the phone, all of these things that most people take for granted are major hurdles when you are so full of fear.

The question then becomes how do we learn to conquer those fears? Recognizing that you have a fear of failure or success is the first step. Just like an addiction, you have to recognize and admit that you have a problem before you can work toward fixing it. Once you see this fear for what it is, evaluate where you are and how you got there. Are you doing what you really want to do? Are you happy doing what you’re doing or do you go to work every day wishing you were somewhere else? Are you happy with your relationships? How you feel about every aspect of your life is impacted by these fears and how you react to them.

images (7)Here is another key word for you: react. The way to conquer these fears is to stop reacting and start acting. Don’t hesitate. Don’t stop and think about what may happen. Make a decision to do something and do it. Stop worrying about if you can do something and start wondering what will happen after you do it. Will you be happy? Will you be better off emotionally, financially, socially? Will you get a step closer to the place you want to be? The other thing to do is surround yourself with people who will encourage you and still be brutally honest. Friends that tell you what you want to hear are not doing you any favors. They are enablers that will only help you stay in the stagnant pond of week-old sweat you’re already wallowing in. Talk to the friends who tend to piss you off when they tell you the truth. I would bet dollars to doughnuts they piss you off because you know they are right. Start talking to them and really listen. Don’t be afraid to tell them they were right and you need help getting to where you want to be. True friends will always be willing to help as long as you are willing to put in the work.

We each have the ability to take control of our lives, our emotions, our fears and live happy productive lives doing something that makes us happy to wake up and go to work every morning. We have the ability to choose whether or not we let the circumstances of our current situations continue to control us. We can choose to learn from our parents and decide for ourselves if those lessons are effective for our lives. We have the power to conquer our fears.

At last…

I just read a blog about voice. The blogger was making a point about not being fake, not using a voice for a purpose and then being someone else in public or private. And I realized that I have never truly expressed my own voice. There has always been a tinge somewhere of the people around me when a child develops their voice.

Voice is not the actual tonal quality of your speaking voice. It’s not a persona people see. It’s who you are on a soul-deep level. My last couple of blogs I’ve mentioned struggling with a bit of old baggage. I finally figured it out today. I felt like my voice was stifled so long and so deep that I am still figuring out who I am. I had a similar breakthrough once I realized that the ex-husband did not define me. I define me.

Let me say that again. I DEFINE ME. Not the ex. Not my mom. Not my friends. People who knew me when I was younger see a different person now. Who I used to be was the persona, the version of me I thought I was expected to portray. But it’s not who I truly am.

The true me, well, I think the tattoo I got when I had that other breakthrough is very appropriate to answer that question. It’s an attitude that I have to remind myself of sometimes. The tattoo says Foxy Bitch. It sits across the back of my neck at the top of my spine. Appropriate considering I had to find my backbone along the way.  Sometimes Foxy gets a little lost and I have to go looking for her.

When I read Chuck Wendig’s blog this morning, I realized that I had lost sight of Foxy again. I didn’t have to look far. She’s there, here, typing out these words for you to read. When that moment of insight hits I get chills. The release of emotion is like shedding 50 pounds in an instant. I did shed a few tears because I’ve really been struggling with this for the last few weeks. And you want to talk about timing, I have a blues music channel on the TV and Etta James’ At Last came on and I had to sing with her. Loud. That’s who I am.

I’m loud and sarcastic and funny. I’ll talk about most anything with anybody but I can hold a secret tighter than a leprechaun holds gold. I love the rain and Mondays and cars with tailfins. I can and will take anything you say and make it sound perverted. I have a zillion ideas for stories in my head and I think now, finally, I can tell those stories. For that, I have to say thank you to Chuck. He helped Foxy find me again.

 

Just looking

A few of you who know me personally already know this, but for the rest of you…I’m job hunting. I’ve worked in health care for the last few years. There were four years with the same company in food service before that. Staying in one place is not a problem. I’m still editing for Voluted Tales. That won’t change – Mark is stuck with me now. But I’m looking for a new day job.

I’ll be honest, it’s been a long time since I’ve done this. Almost had an anxiety attack trying to update my resume. I have said resume listed with Indeed, Monster and Careerbuilder as well as a few others. I’ve had to start checking my email a couple of times a day because of all the messages these sites generate. And the actual searching is exhausting. This hasn’t gotten any easier as I’ve gotten older.

No matter what age you are, if you think you’re ready for a change, make sure you don’t run off half-cocked. Have a budget and know how far you can survive without steady income. You need to be covered in case you have any down time between jobs. Going back to school is always an option but you still need to keep the bills paid. Know what your income requirements are before you start looking. If you know you want to buy a house, you need to have enough income to cover payments, insurance, utilities, homeowner’s fees, and maintenance. It’s more expensive than you think it is. Plus, you have groceries, gas and other car expenses, internet, cable, and don’t forget your cell phone.

I keep seeing that commercial talking about how far your money will last you once you retire. I’m trying to figure out how far it will go past the end of the month. If you’re looking too, happy hunting!

And we’re waiting for…

I came across a meme on Facebook recently that credited Carl Jung with a quote.  I haven’t been able to confirm that, but I do like what it says.  The quote reads:  Life begins at 40.  Before that you were just doing research.

If you’ve followed my blog a long time (did I really start in 2008??) you may recall that it’s not been all sunshine and roses.  For those of you newer to the blog, let me recap.  I’m 42 years old, happily divorced, no kids, raised to be a wallflower by a mother who had her own truckload of baggage.  There were many things I learned from my mother that I have spent the last several years trying to unlearn.  I’ve been what you’d call a late bloomer to doing that research mentioned in the meme.

The question is what do I want to be when I grow up.  The answer: I still don’t know.  I have a few ideas that I feel quite strongly about.  The problem is that I’m still letting my mother’s lack of confidence hold back my own.  You see, Mom didn’t let me explore a lot of things to figure out who I was and what I wanted.  I did get to try a few things if I made enough noise about it.  But in general, I had to rely on my librarians to help me explore.

I have a news flash for you: reading about great adventures and amazing experiences is not the same thing as living those adventures and experiences.  So I come across this meme and I start thinking, what am I waiting on?  What are the things I want to do that I’ve not tried yet?  What do I want to be when I grow up?

fender_stratocaster_guitar_3The two constants in my life have been music and the written word.  Currently I write my blog (yes, I know, need to more often) and I’m editing for Voluted Tales Magazine.  I also have my own writing that I’m working on.  I’m shopping around for a guitar to start learning to play.  And I’m working on a steampunk-styled Adventure Time cosplay for the St. Patrick’s Day party I’m having next month.  I LOVE making clothes and costumes and props.  I’m a very crafty wench.

So that’s writing/editing, playing guitar, and cosplay.  I’m not waiting any longer.  Mom died in 2002.  Sometimes I still feel her influence, but it’s not as strong as it used to be.  Me…I’m getting stronger every day.  I’m trying to make good use of the time I spend in my chair and find new adventures to draw me out of it.

What haven’t you done yet?  What are you waiting for? …

Busy Busy

color6It’s hard to believe it’s almost Thanksgiving.  Yes, I have started my Christmas shopping but only because I don’t want to have to deal with the crowds later on.  And I’m making a present this year and would like to not have to worry about more shopping while I try to finish it.

What else is going on?  I was sick the entire month of October.  I’m halfway through the current quarter of school.  And I’m attempting NaNoWriMo this year.  Attempting because I really haven’t had much time to write until one of my classes ended this past Friday.  But I am really excited about my story.  I think it will be good once it’s finished.  I’m also still editing at Voluted Tales.  That’s actually been a lot of fun.  I’m glad to have had the opportunity to help out Mark Turner and the rest of the staff.

One big thing I have coming up is a blog tour I’m putting together to help showcase an awesome band.  I’ve seen Skinn Jakkitt perform live a few times now and will happily go see them again.  I love music and will gladly help showcase and promote good performers.  Be sure to come back soon for a run down on the blog tour.

 

What color are your leaves?

Fall is in the air.  Candy is on sale after Halloween.  Temperatures are dropping.  Everyone is complaining about Daylight Savings Time.  Picture 015

It’s also National Novel Writing Month, NaNoWriMo.  I recently read a rather derogatory blog about NaNo.  I am participating this year.  I don’t have a lot of word count yet, but I’m still working on it.  I’d like to address a couple of the things mentioned in this other blog.  I’m not naming names, that would be rude.  But I do think it bears discussion.

NaNoWriMo runs the entire month of November, all 30 days.  While some may think it’s impossible to write a complete novel in that time, you are writing 50,000 words.  A lot of novels are much longer.  Thanks to e-books many novels are shorter, also.  There are many authors who give pep talks during NaNo that talk about their own adventures writing a novel in 30 days.  Yes, it can be done and many do so.  Not all of it is publishable, but neither is everything you could write in 3 months.  The time limit is not a race.  It is supposed to help you prove a point to yourself.  Yes, you can make time to sit down and write every day for 30 days in a row.  Guess what?  It takes 30 days to create a habit.  *gasp*

Wow.  I’m making a habit of writing.  Imagine that.  A lot of people need that deadline of November 30th.  They write better under pressure.  Some people can crank 5-10 thousand words a day with no problem and breeze to the finish.  Some people do NaNo for the challenge itself, to jump-start their creativity for a project, for some camaraderie while following a solitary pursuit.  The reasons why we NaNo is as diverse as the thousands of people worldwide who participate each year.

Many people who NaNo do write everyday of the year.  There is nothing wrong with a little competition among friends when writing.  Especially if you have an in-person writing group to write with.  And don’t forget the kids.  NaNoWriMo has a Young Writer’s Program to encourage young people to write.  The son of a friend in my local group participated last year.  He got inspired after tagging along to a meeting.  Not only did he write, but he met his goal and had a great time flexing his creativity.

NaNoWriMo knows that we write more than just in November.  That’s why they have Bootcamps twice a year where we get to set our word count goals and still face that challenge with a little less pressure.  Sometimes it makes it easier to silence the inner editor and simply get words on the page.

I think what struck me most about this other blog was that it assumed it was a waste of “valuable time” and that NaNo people only write in November.  Any time spent writing is good time.  All word on the page are a success, especially for those who struggle to get those words.  That other blog was almost discouraging despite the author’s well wishes to those participating.  I’ve always believed that you should encourage other people to write or express themselves in whatever creative way they choose.  Never discourage someone from writing.  Be honest about your own experience with the written word, but always, always, always encourage people to write.  Sometimes that one person saying “Go ahead, you can do it” is the only encouragement they get.

Join the rush at NaNoWriMo.org