Hello from the Chaos

Tomorrow, I will have been in the #NaNoWriMo trenches for a week.

Already, I’m over 10,000 words into my first novel. While it is simply a first draft(not even at the rough draft stage), I still really like my characters that I developed and the few who showed up. Right now, I have one character in a back office who has yet to open the door and introduce himself or herself. Not sure, yet, but I’m hoping said person will come out soon.

As I plow through my novel, here are a few things I learned this first week.

  1. I waste a lot of time. At first, I looked at my schedule and thought I wouldn’t have enough time. But when I cut down the good things, the distractions, I am always amazed. I have hours to devote to my art, my writing.
  2. Deadlines are not the enemy. For some writers, word counts and deadlines stifle their art. My art thrives under pressure.
  3. Writing brings me joy. Even in the midst of the chaos, writing this novel makes me feel creative joy. It’s not a perfect process, but it is far better to have a work in progress than simply an idea stuck in my head.
How is you art coming this week? How was the first week of #NaNoWriMo?

 

10 Reasons a Small Blog is Better

 

Sarah: The Blogger of From Tolstoy to Tinkerbell

 

I’m horrible with dates. While some bloggers can remember their blog’s birthday, I’m not one of those people. But number of posts especially hundreds of posts, that’s something I can wrap my feeble brain around.

 

This is my 200th blog post!

 

Yeah, 200 posts is a lot. What’s even more amazing, I kept blogging. So many times, I cried and almost quit because my blog was “small.” Big bloggers garnered all of the social media frenzy, but once the tears dried, I realized being a small blogger has its advantages.

 

So, without further eloquence….

 

10 Reasons Being a Small Blogger is WAY Cooler:

  1. Your inbox doesn’t micromanage your life.Better yet, you don’t complain about the inbox. It sits and waits for you when you’re ready. If you want another cup of coffee before email, you drink up.
  2. Trolls haven’t found your blog—YET!Now, this point is one of the great things about being a small blogger—for me at least. You see I can blog about Mark Driscoll’s Facebook post, feminism and the church—and no trolls bother me. They are too busy with larger, more popular blogs to mess with me. A word of caution to trolls: you mess with my blogging friends, you have messed with me. Watch out!
  3. Only your mom, spouse/partner, and maybe a few close friends see your internet goof.Those misspelled words, BAD syntax, even bad information can be forgiven when you are a small blogger.
  4. You become the ninja of awkward blog related conversations. Here’s my case in point:                                          Well-meaning friend: what is it that you DO?    Me: I blog!(to be read in a chirpy, over-caffeinated Minnie Mouse voice)   Well-meaning friend:Oh____(awkward pause) do a lot of people read it?   Me: Just my mom, my husband, and maybe my dog if she could read. Here’s my blog’s URL, you should totally read it.  Well-meaning friend: Wow, the weather sure has been hot lately.
  5. Blogging “breaks” are code words for writer’s block, lack of interest, doing more interesting things—just without so much guilt. My blog equals my writing muse’s schedule.
  6. Happiness comes in small packages—a few well-meaning comments, small stats, but hey, someone’s reading.
  7. While there’s a whole world of “bigger blogs,” there are also libraries. And libraries are happy places.
  8. WordPress, Blogger, and Typepad are created equal.What’s even better, these blogging platforms are free. So, you can voice your opinions without spending money; however, like any good “free thing,” a blog does require time which is so not free.
  9. Your happiest blog moment comes from seeing your blog listed in someone else’s blogroll. Extra Happy Points if she is a small blog too.The same happy feeling comes again when others Like your Facebook page(see the right column, that’s mine—go make me happy, LIKE my blog!), Retweet your blog post, tell you that your writing sparked good conversation. All happy things, warm fuzzies, mood lifting things.

 

But most importantly,

  1. Your blog is your platform to speak. Speak well, speak often, and speak in love.

 

Here’s to another 100 posts, more good conversations full of love and grace.

Question: What would be your number 11 to why small blogs are way cooler?

 

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Give Me and You a BREAK!

We all need a break, a time of rest, a moment to tackle the mounding storm clouds of stress.king sizephoto © 2007 Windell Oskay | more info (via: Wylio)

Even bloggers need to separate themselves for a little awhile from their writing. Yes, that means me, and if you, dear reader, are anything like me then I can guarantee that you need a break too. We need breaks from our passions, our hobbies, our work.

 

For the past two to three weeks, I have absent from the blogosphere by choice. I needed to renew my writing psyche, my writing soul. Sometimes, the burdens of life don’t simply wash out of my hair at the end of the day. Some stresses linger like pale white specters in the shadows—always there waiting for the perfect opportunity to wreck havoc. This is the perfect time for rest.

 

Of course, blogging wisdom and blogging gurus tell us that no blogging kills blogs, good blogs…So does bad writing, poor mental health, and stress of daily posts. I wonder if the lack of posting kills the blog or slowly ekes out of the blogger her desire to write. What are we really “killing” if we don’t blog everyday? Our blog? Our love for writing? Our sanity?

 

So, take a break. Read books about writing(I highly recommend Bird by Bird Anne Lamont). Learn a new skill(I learned to bake with yeast. Huge baking milestone). But in the end, renew yourself.

 

Question: What do you need a break from today?

 

The Saturday Evening Post

Hello to the last 2010 edition of the The Saturday Evening Post…yes, I can’t believe it is December. Yes, I know everyone has said that every month after say June. Yes, the year went by uber-fast.

Every first Saturday of the month, one of my favorite bloggers Elizabeth Esther hosts a blog link-up for the best posts of the previous month. As I am sorting through which post to choose, I could pick the post on winning the birth lottery, my criticism of Amazon, or even my birthday post.

BUT, to find out which post I chose, you will have to head over to visit Elizabeth Esther’s blog!

And if you like what you have read here, click that lovely orange button and subscribe to this blog.

Pitching an Internet Sized Temper Tantrum

Today on Anne Jackson’s blog, she wrote about how she is a person not a brand. As a successful blogger and author, she can’t always respond to everyone’s comment, tweet, or email. I love her blog, her writing, so much so I subscribed so I wouldn’t miss a post. But I am horrible as a commenter, not because she has never responded, but the usual mundane business of life gets in the way. When I read the comments on her blog, I realized how many other people expected a comment or response. Which begs the question:

Are we bloggers only commenting/tweeting etc. for what we gain from it?

I wish the answer wasn’t YES, but we are selfish beings. And I don’t sit here accusing anyone because I can be just as bad or the worst when it comes to this area. We are more interested in using people for our own gain–if I guest post for a super huge blog then my stats will go up, if I comment only on blogs with lots of followers then I might just get more followers, if I review this blogger’s book then I will get more comments on my blog. And heaven help the world if that poor blogger doesn’t comment on the awesome, super sweet book review. We become bitter when our expectations are NOT met because all of those expectations were found upon a self-centered, self-loving, selfish perspective.

We are upset that we aren’t winning the blogging popularity contest so we pitch an internet sized hissy fit. No longer do we comment or tweet another blog because they NEVER responded to our hurried comment or even well-though comment. We grumble and complain when we tirelessly and sometimes annoyingly Retweet a blog promotion only to get no response.

So, we act like a child stamping her foot in ground and throwing ourselves a pity party. If she won’t comment on my blog, then I won’t comment on hers. There’s maturity right there for you. But we don’t have to act on our selfish impulses. We can choose to encourage rather than selfishness. We can remind ourselves why we read blogs, write blogs that it is more about building relationships than self-promotion.

Today, I choose to encourage other bloggers through kind comments, loving emails, or the encouraging tweet.

How Do You Define….

As a writer, I am always curious how people use and define words. We know that words have more than a simple Webster’s definition because connotations add such depth, richness, loveliness to what could be a rather dry, dead language…Hello, Latin….oh, wait you have been in the dead language graveyard for awhile.

So, today, I would like to hear how you define this word……

LIBERAL

I will post my definition in an upcoming post this week. But today, it is your turn to define LIBERAL.

Why?

After reading a blog post from www.likeawarmcupofcoffee.com,
I have been pondering this question:
Why do I blog?

This answer is not an easy one.

I first thought about blogging when I discovered several amazing blogs, but sadly, I was in the middle of my final semester of graduate school which consumed my entire life until May(more about grad school in a later post).

Once I finished my graduate degree in English, I started my blog. For me, I needed an outlet for my musings. I live in a small, rural community which I do not fit in–not the stereotypical country housewife. More often than not, I do not fit in ideologically with the other women in my geographical locale. I label myself a feminist; they do not. I question gender equality/difference in Christianity; they do not. I struggle to believe since I am hampered by unbelief; it appears they do not.

For many women, their faith seems easy; however, I question, struggle, and rationalize my faith. I contradict my faith, screw up,and must reframe my faith back within its original context of the Scriptures. I see the beauty of the contradiction–great dialogues to begin, questions to be asked…I do not fit into any neat box or ideology, but I am exploring my contradictions, listening to others, and pursuing my faith. This is why I write, blog so that I open up a space in which I can speak, listen, and dialogue with other people on the and explore my faith in Christ as I’m going through this crazy journey.