The MacBook

This is a story about a new MacBook. But, this is also a story of so, so much more. I won’t rewind too far, just to February, right around the time I started this blog. I knew I was supposed to write something, but I didn’t know what I was going to write. In fact, I was procrastinating on writing, and I decided to gather supplies. In my mind, I needed software (Scrivener) and I needed hardware (a laptop). We have a very nice desktop, but I convinced myself that I needed to accomplish 99% of my writing at a coffee shop. In fact, I had amassed Starbucks cards and squirreled them away for the sole purpose of using them for weekend writing sessions. Continue reading “The MacBook”

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Let’s Talk

It’s been awhile since I’ve really written on the blog. I actually typed up my whole June Wrap-Up and July goals at the end of June, but I never hit publish. It, oddly, didn’t seem like the time to publish it. I added future goals to the bottom of that post, but I didn’t think the brief mention was enough for what I wanted to express.img_8516

So, today’s blog post is going to be a little bit of a heart-to-heart inspired by an Instagram Live video chat by fellow author Rebecca K. Sampson. I won’t delve into my journey much or how much I agreed with her talk about removing “aspiring” from bios (you can read the post I wrote previously on that topic here). But, I did want to clear a few items up, especially for those who know me in real life.

Writing is my career. Writing is Not My Hobby. Continue reading “Let’s Talk”

The Introverted Writer

This blog post is an exciting one, and I have Robin from Observe and Report Blog to thank for the idea of turning this concept into a collaboration. The following questions are being answered by nine other bloggers who are a mix of extroverts, introverts, and ambiverts. It is our goal to communicate how different personality types influence writers as individuals and the writing community as a whole. Our hope is to give this topic a well-rounded perspective from many different people. I’ll be including the links to all the other participating blogs below.

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Are you an extrovert or an introvert?
One of my favorite litmus tests that I’ve heard for determining whether you’re extroverted or introverted is this: there’s a large party that you attend. It may be filled with strangers or it may be filled with your best friends in the world. After that party are you wiped out or exhilarated?

I like this because your personality type is much more than liking people and not liking people, which often is what people boil down personality types to.

I am 100% completely introverted. Send me to any gathering of people, and I need several days to recover. It’s extra helpful if I recover quietly by reading or writing or gardening. It’s not that I don’t like people, I love people! But, both good and bad interactions with people leave me drained. Continue reading “The Introverted Writer”

May Wrap Up & June Goals

I have decided to write a blog post once a month with my goals. These are obviously a very different style from what my posts are usually, but I want to keep track of these stats to look back on later. In February, I didn’t even know if my writing would take off. And, it wasn’t until late April that I created my Instagram account. So, the outcomes below have been mind-boggling and 100% God-given.

May Goals:

Word Count: 25,000 (for a total of 50,000)

Instagram Followers: reach 200*

May Outcomes:

Continue reading “May Wrap Up & June Goals”

How do I Write at Home with Kids?

A long time ago, in a house not far from where I live now, was a bright-eyed teenager who dreamed of being a writer. I pictured my perfect life often. I would be published by twenty, and have several books under my belt before I got married and had children. In the midst of life, there would be plenty of time and finances to spend my afternoons in coffee shops writing the hours away. And, when my current life got too stale for inspiration, I’d whisk away on airplanes to exotic locales and write stories that took place in each of those destinations.

[insert record scratch here] Continue reading “How do I Write at Home with Kids?”

Avocado Lessons: On Writing

Don’t ask me why food is turning me into a philosopher, but bear with me. I promise my late night musings about avocados is worth it. I even have some potential for an Avocado Lessons blog mini-series, but I’ll decide how far I’ll take this at a later date.

For now, I want to share some writing lessons from an avocado.

Last night I was scrolling through Instagram and there was an ad for Best Foods’ Avocado Oil Mayonnaise. Typically I scroll past ads, but I stopped and watched this ten-second ad. They filmed someone slicing open a perfectly sliced, perfectly ripe avocado. Now, unless Best Foods’ ad agency has supernatural avocado picking powers, I guarantee they had to slice through and film dozens of avocados. I don’t know how many avocados I’ve sliced through that are slightly under-ripe or, though seemingly perfect on the outside, are speckled brown and bitter on the inside.

So how could I possibly connect avocados and writing?

Five Writing Lessons You Can Learn From an Avocado

Continue reading “Avocado Lessons: On Writing”

Procrastination, Painting and Perspective

I have been in a writing funk this whole week. The end of May is swiftly approaching, and I am nine thousand words away from hitting my goal. I have zero inspiration, and it’s looking like I won’t hit 50k by the end of the month. It’s not big deal, but I hate missing goals. I’m a perfectionist and over-achiever by nature and missing goals discourages me. A lot.

I’ve been painting our “office” for the past two days, partly because I want it off my list and partly because I want to feel like I accomplished something. Painting takes physical endurance, not mental, so I was hoping it would clear my mind and allow me to focus on writing again. But, I just couldn’t turn my brain off, and all I could think of was writing more and how fast my deadline is approaching. Continue reading “Procrastination, Painting and Perspective”

I’m Grateful for the Followers I Lost

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Just when I think I’ve figured things out, there is something that comes along to humble me. It’s a good thing, but I won’t say it isn’t frustrating at times.

Last week I wrote about planning. And while I 100% believe that planning is good, there is a huge pitfall for me when it comes to planning. Sometimes I plan, and I expect my hard work, determination, and strategic planning to make all of my plans happen.

It never works out that way exactly, does it? Continue reading “I’m Grateful for the Followers I Lost”

A Whistleblower’s Motivation

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When I’ve shared my whistleblowing experience recently with people in my everyday life, I’ve had variations of the response: “wow, you’re so brave. I could never be that brave.”

But, when I was in that moment when I turned the professors in, I was not brave. I certainly didn’t feel brave when I read the death threats. I didn’t feel brave when people I knew well disagreed with and condemned my actions. I had people question my motives. I second-guessed my decision every step of the way.

To be honest, the first email I sent was a reaction: something wrong (and illegal) was happening, and on instinct, I reported it. I did not sit and mull over that first email, I did not weigh the consequences. I just knew something wrong happened, and my gut reaction was to report it.

My sister, who also was a whistleblower in a different situation, and I discussed why we reported our individual situations. We both said it was a reaction to the situation. It was a knee-jerk response.

So, in writing my novel, I’ve been working on creating a protagonist that would be the type of person to report a situation. It would need to be a reaction, not a contemplated decision. But, there’s more to it than just that. What makes a person get to the point where he or she would respond that way, without a second thought? The reality is that whistleblowing has a myriad of consequences in your career, your friendships, and your personal life. But, the people who are in whistleblower situations like ours never stop to think about those consequences until those consequences start materializing in our lives after the fact.

Are we not planners? Are we risk takers? Do we not care about our image? Do we have nothing to lose?
Continue reading “A Whistleblower’s Motivation”

The Very Incorrect, Non-Planner Planner

I am a non-planner planner/goal-setter. If I have plans and goals, I’ll fight tooth and nail to reach those goals. I don’t miss deadlines. Planning works for me, but I shy away from setting aggressive goals (or goals at all) so I can’t disappoint myself if I miss them. (Silly, right?)

When I started writing my novel, I purposefully set a long goal: nearly two years to complete my first draft. Two years. Someone commented on a post of mine that I could do it much faster than that, and I didn’t believe them. I’m a stay at home mom, after all. How can I take breaks to write when at least one of my kids asks for me every ten minutes?

Two years seems utterly ridiculous right now, and D. Wallace Peach, you were totally right: 100,000 words is attainable by the end of the year. Continue reading “The Very Incorrect, Non-Planner Planner”