Blogging Resolutions in February

Standard

web

I’ve spoken to a lot of people lately about why I blog but it occurred to me that writing my purpose into my blog might be a good idea, too. So, in the spirit of my 30 day blog revision and a belated New Year effort, here I am  with a ‘purpose’ statement. I’m writing it in my most challenging non-fiction format: the interview. Of course, no one is interviewing me for this piece but me…

Why are you blogging, rather than keeping a personal journal?

First and foremost, I blog because I it brings me joy. I enjoy looking for stories from my week that might mean something to someone else and write them. I love that I can self publish those stories and people will resonate with my words or not. I get to move on to the next story regardless. I do a little inner dance knowing I have one week to come with an idea, write it up, fix it, polish it and then move on to the next. The whole process keeps me writing when things like finding someone to buy a story, looking up their guidelines, reading their back issues, submitting and then waiting half an eternity for them to reject me (or not even respond) 90 percent of the time keeps my fingers far away from the keyboard.

I have found that, just like playing my clarinet for an audience rather than to my office chair, I step up my game when I know someone else is listening. Improving my writing is my biggest reason to blog instead of filling up spiral notebooks and stacking them in my closet (which I also do).

Oh, and I get a motivational lift when people tell me they have read what I’ve written and that it mattered to them. So if you are one of those people, please keep telling me. Your words matter to me, too.

What topics do you think you’ll write about?

So far I’ve blogged about my everyday life. That’s involved mostly:

  • teaching English as a second language
  • creativity
  • spirituality
  • book reviews

I imagine writing much of the same this year but I may stretch myself or even create a recurring feature of some sort. I’m tossing around the idea of word origins or other linguistic topics. I’ve also considered making videos but considering is as far as I’ve made it with the idea of fussing with cameras and then seeing myself on the internet moving and breathing and making mistakes outside of spelling.

Who would you love to connect with via your blog?

With this blog, I would absolutely love to connect to people who find meaning in my stories, both the stories of my everyday and the fictional stories I write. In a revealing exercise, I went through my Facebook friends and picked out the people I write for. (For whom I write? My inner grammar teacher tells me that’s correct, but the normal person in me cannot use ‘whom.’ I’m sure that says something about how I want to write, too.)

I noticed as I did this that many people I am friends with on Facebook and in real life probably won’t connect with my writing. They are wonderful, caring people with different lives and interests. I’m sure they are okay with this, and so am I.

If you blog successfully throughout 2014, what would you hope to have accomplished?

Blogging successfully in 2014 looks like creating a space for me to connect deeply with many who need the words I have to give and loving what I’m doing. It might also involve connecting with more bloggers, creating groups that meet and work with one another, an actual editorial calendar with regular features and forming an online class. I’d like to do something with my fiction,too, but am not sure what this will look like. For now those stories are bouncing around the traditional publishing world.

Finally, to keep myself from getting overwhelmed at the idea of ‘blogging success’ I’ll end with a quote from Winston Churchill that my colleague recently put up on her wall:

“Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.”

log

The Week after NaNo

Standard

In the days and now a week after NaNoWriMo, I’ve set the novel almost completely aside. I say almost because I’d be fibbing if I said it wasn’t on my mind. It lurks back there and pesters me with ideas about how it could be better. It also growls sometimes about how painful it will be in January when I sit to read through it. And sometimes it glows with the thought of how much I enjoy revising compared to the process of that first draft whenever I work on my shorter pieces.

I’ve got a plan for this month, though, to keep the novel in the box and using it’s ‘inside voice’ when it nags at me.  The plan goes something like this:

1. Find small projects to write that I can draft and finish in under a week. This is refreshing to say the least.

2. Revisit the submissions I have floating out there to see if they need sending to new homes or if I should put them in the ‘for practice’ file.

3. Draft writing goals for 2013.

4. Spend some time with Julia Cameron and her Artist’s Way again. I did this once many years ago and fell on my face. The book’s been nagging at me, however, through friends and other coincidences. So I’m back at the morning pages and not hating them. In fact, they are becoming a friend, those 3 pages. Go figure.

So far the plan is working. The novel is behaving itself while it waits for me to return, and I am enjoying the space between wild write-a-novel-in-a-month and revision.