On Tumblr I did some celebrating today. But, I wanted to celebrate here as well. Because, well, there is some celebration to be had!
I celebrate awards! I was nominated (and will shortly post) for the One Lovely Blog award. And JUST saw that I’ve been nominated for the Super-Mega Inspiring Voltron Force Award (and if that isn’t the awesomest award title out there I don’t know what is!) And there are some things coming down the road that are exciting as well.
So… I do want to celebrate… and thinking about the BIG celebration (topping 1k followers!) here is what I’d like to do — I want to answer your questions (and take your requests). Ask me anything and I will answer (well, okay, I reserve the right not to answer, but, chances are I will answer). Or, give me a challenge, and I will do what I can to rise to that challenge.
It’s important to take the time to remember to celebrate. We often remember to celebrate the big things, but often it is easy to forget all the little celebrations that we can have throughout the week.
So, there’s a group that is working to celebrate the small things! Every Friday we are invited to post about the little things that have happened in our life, those things to celebrate. It is a blog hop — so you are encouraged to go visit others who are also celebrating (and join in the celebration).
I love this! And I plan to celebrate every Friday — but it might not always be here. Once a month (at least) I’ll do a full blog-post of celebration, but I will set the goal to post celebrations on my tumblr.
Please, join the fun! It’s a great way to brighten the end of the week!
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I’ll start with a very special one. As this post goes up, I am perhaps (hopefully) still asleep! Enjoying a day off from work! How cool is that!? And, because I have an job with actual benefits, it’s a paid holiday. Paid. Holiday. What more could I ask?
Another great celebration:
Earlier this week (Wednesday, to be exact) was my 100th Post! That’s right… after (over) 3 years of blogging, I have done 100 posts! Sure, the first 2.5 years can only be loosely called blogging since most of them were simply promises to post more later, but still…. I hadn’t even planned this — mapping out my blog posts (another small celebration, my blog posts are mapped out and some are even written) I settled on the First Friday of the month as my Celebration Friday… and it just ended up being the week of post 100. (Originally it was Post 100, but then I had to go an put up a poll-post… and another post…).
100 is kind of a cool number. I remember back in Kindergarten celebrating the 100th day of the school year. Leading up to it we did all sorts of things with 100, but on that day all the classes got together and we did some sort of great celebration. I believe we released 100 balloons into the air (this was before we all realized/knew just how terrible a thing that was for the environment). I know that Zero the Hero made an appearance (he came in the form of a green puppet of some form, if I remember correctly).
Yeah, that’s right… I’m setting boundaries for myself. Boundaries and priorities. This is going to be the last of my million-and-a-half-times-a-week posts… After this I will be shifting to updating this blog on Wednesdays. There will, of course, be other posts from time to time — some Friday Celebrations, the odd post that I just have to put up in that moment, but I will promise posts on Wednesdays (with Disparate Threads switching to a Monday posting for primary story — and trying to have a post Fridays for other materials).
Deciding on this, and sticking to it (if I can!) is kinda huge for me. I’m one of those people who almost always takes on more than I can chew. I like to say “Yes” to projects, and like to do things… so when I can take the moment to step back, realize that I can’t really do it all, and set boundaries for myself — that is an awesome thing!
Reviving this post for NaNo 2014 — For those of you joining through the Lovely NaNo Link-up, hosted by The Novelista!
Be sure to check out more NaNo-related posts this month through the NaNo category under “The Season”!
I’m not sure why I continue to be surprised at how much of what I’ve come to realize about life in general also applies to more specific parts of my life, for instance, my writing. In this case it’s the matter of moving at my own pace, not holding to other peoples schedules.
I got a glimpse of a microcosm of this while I was participating in some NaNoWriMo Word Sprints. A short sprint could see a word-count disparity that I don’t think is always simply explained by a difference in typing speeds.
124, 446, 419, 367, 369, 330…548, holy cow. Those are awesome word counts! (I got 449, for you all playing at home.)
Sure, there are distractions, there are those who did not type the full time, and those who are typing speed-demons. But it also has to do with the vastly different ways that people approach their writing. For some it is a matter of dumping the ideas on the page, writing absolutely horrible writing if that’s what it takes, to just get it down, and then sorting it out and editing it later. For others every single word is meticulously planned from the first appearance on the page, with a lot of editing happening before the words can be written. And yet others fall somewhere in between.
Just the same, some can write a novel in a matter of months, from first idea to finished project, while others will take years for the process. Some want to make sure that everything is plotted out, others are happy to just see where the characters and the story may lead.
And it can cause hesitation when you’re faced with someone who takes a different approach than you. At least, it does for me. I find myself wondering if perhaps I’m doing it wrong. Maybe I would be [more successful] [a better writer] [more productive] if I wrote differently.
The truth, though, is that there is no right or wrong way to write. Sure, there are suggestions, “rules” for writing. And for every rule there’s an excellent example of a time to break it. Every writer has their own method, their own way to reach their goals… and their own understanding of those goals.
Most important of all, there is no right or wrong way to write — there’s only what works for you. I was taught to write every day, but I know a writer (a bestseller at that!) who only writes on weekends.
– Tamora Pierce
What are some of the “writer-expectations” that you have heard and embraced, or rejected? Where are places that you’ve found yourself setting your own pace?
This is my monthly post as part of the Insecure Writer's Support Group.
It is a great group of supportive writers, helping one another through our writing ups-and-downs.
But, lets finish with some new music. I’ve been hearing UltraTom’s music (in one form or another) for pretty much my whole life… always love when he puts together something new, and have found it to be great music to write to!
Last week I discovered a new, awesome, post idea over on Just Get It Written. Started by VikLit, it’s a celebration of the small things. Of little achievements (and big). They are doing it every Friday, but I’m going to aim for at least one Friday a month.
And today’s that day! So, what are some of the achievements and little things to celebrate today?
Disparate Threads went live this week! It feels kind of awesome to be sharing the story, and I just hope people enjoy reading it as much as I have enjoyed writing it (and, yes, even editing it).
I participated in my first Insecure Writers Support Group, “Post Day.” And it was spectacular! I’d actually started the post a while ago, but posting it for this day, and all the support and comments I got felt really awesome. I am now feeling motivated to actually try working some more on Hazel, and seeing what might come.
I rearranged my room, and am quite happy with the results. There is now SPACE! Like, I can see actual floor. It is most impressive (previously there was a large bed, in the middle of the room, leaving little space… now that bed is against the wall, and FLOOR!
Yes… it really is the little things, isn’t it?
What are the little (or not-so-little) things that you are celebrating this week?
Among the many titles I like to give myself (quietly and mostly when thinking to myself) is “historian.” History has been a passion of mine for my entire life. As a kid I would create projects that focused on history. Throughout school, if I were given the chance, I would turn my assignments towards historical topics. I read historical-fiction, and historical non-fiction like mad. I ended up with a BA in history, and an MA in religion — with a thesis focused on a historical figure. And I have now been accepted in another graduate program, where I will pursue an MA in History (starting this fall). I dream that, someday, I’ll have a Doctorate in History, that I’ll work in a museum or as a history professor, or perhaps a historical consultant or… the possibilities seem nearly endless.
I have driven my family crazy with requests to pull over for every roadside “this event happened here” sign that I could find, and have structured entire vacations around historical topics. Sure, I have my favorite eras, locations and people, but to be honest I have yet to find a historical person, place, or thing, that I haven’t been happy to explore.
And I love to research. To find more resources that I can use, more information. I peruse bibliographies for fun, and love detailed footnotes that lead me to all sorts of other, passingly related, topics. I have the ability to lose hours wandering through the internet, or library, or whatever resource may be on hand, gathering links, or titles, or anything else to “look into later.”
But I have this fear that has kept me from writing historical fiction. Even though there are some stories that I think may belong as historical fiction, and others that I would like to write, I find myself stalling out in the face of the possibility that I will get it wrong. That I will not be able to rid myself of modern slang and modern sensibilities enough to write a character and scenario that is realistic. That I will make a mistake and, gasp, someone will call me on it.
It’s horrifying. Seriously.
And I know that I have to get past this block if I want to write historical fiction. I have to be willing to make mistakes – and trust that I can ask other researchers to help check my work. I’m doing that for a number of projects. I’ve been asking a friend who actually knows about sword-fighting to help me with research/resources so I can write a more realistic sword-fighting scene in my fantasy novel (not that it would be hard to get better than the current text: “she watched as he [does something that makes it clear that he’s no good at sword fighting, yup]…”), for example.
And perhaps this is reflective of a larger fear. I hate to say it’s a fear of being wrong (because I know that I am wrong at times, just how often probably depends highly on who you ask), but perhaps a fear of being unable to capture a sense of true authenticity. I would hate to pour so much time and energy into something and then have it pulled apart because the facts didn’t add up. I worry about this enough when I am writing in a fantasy world and dealing with something I don’t know a lot about (like earlier-mentioned sword fighting, or farming, or royal court etiquette). And in fantasy stories I can always have an escape-route… argue that this is the way it works in this land.
But in history, I can’t do that. What happens if I include some turn-of-phrase that wouldn’t have been in use? Or have someone referring to something that hadn’t happened yet? Or I just can’t stay true to the historical sensibilities?
And how do I go about overcoming this fear? That is the real question. How do I find a way to be willing to make mistakes, to trust that my editing process (and my research) will help me keep from making (at least glaring) errors? And how do I let go of the sense of needing to be right and not making a mistake?