Establishing boundaries

Hiya Freshman Writers! Hope this finds you well and writing. Today’s post was inspired by a prompt from Christina Katz’s popular ezine for writers, The Prosperous Writer. After writing my personal view about boundaries, I wanted to share some ways for you to establish boundaries to help you write.

One way to do that is to choose a writing spot, someplace that you can go to everyday to write. Whether it is the dining table from 8 – 10pm or the computer desk from 6:30 – 8, you’ll need a place to call your own.

After choosing that spot, let your family/friends know about it so that they respect your time. Establishing this boundary can be difficult if the people you care about don’t see you as a writer. This is where you have to set the tone and let them know the rules. Such as, from 8 – 10pm I’m unavailable for phone calls. Or “this is my writing time, so I won’t be answering the phone. You can leave me a message and I’ll call you back.”

Boundaries allow you to prioritize what’s important to you and lets others know that you take your writing seriously. How do you set boundaries?

Happy Writing!

Notable Quotable

Welcome Freshman Writers! Hope this finds you well and writing.

Today’s Notable Quotable means so much to me today as I decided to take the day off from work (day job). Ever since dropping kiddo off at school, I’ve been vegging on the couch watching and napping to daytime tv. lol Very different from my usual crazy, hectic routine. The writer here really knew what she was talking about. So here’s the Notable Quotable of the week. Enjoy and happy writing!

There is nothing like staying at home for real comfort ~ Jane Austen

Catching up

Hiya Freshman Writers! Hope this finds you well and writing. First, I’d like to apologize for not posting the Fav Friday item last week. Overwhelmed with the day job and home issues, I’m back on track today. So I’d like to give you a two for one deal this morning.

What would have been my Fav Friday item is my subscription to The Writer Magazine. I love this magazine for its straightforward advice about the work of writing. Not only does it provide info on various genres and forms of writing, but it is also offers exercises to boost creativity and get you writing. I’ve had my subscription for a year, but purchased individual magazines here and there up until I found I was getting it more often.

Now, the editorial. Ever find yourself so overwhelmed that you have to take a break in order to catch up? That was me in the last week. I found myself having to deal with one task at a time until completion. This was hard for me because I’m used to multi-tasking regularly.

But, I just could not seem to catch up with myself. I felt like I was rushing through everything and still not getting anything done. So, I took a break from writing and even reading about writing. I’ve been focusing so much on learning the craft and using writer-speak all the time, that I forgot everything else.

In order for writing to have life and be found credible by the reader, you need to feed it. How do you feed your writing? Live your life. As simple as that sounds, it isn’t. You’d think that I’d be able to do that since I have so much on my plate. Only trouble was my plate was too heavy and I couldn’t focus on anything except the weight and pressure coming from it.

The good thing is that I recognize that. Another good thing, the plate has gotten a bit lighter. I’ve made decisions, completed tasks and have decided to take time to relax away from the day job. By taking small steps, Freshman Writers, I’ve found that I’ve got a much more positive outlook. I feel like I can accomplish goals.

So Freshman Writers, what do you do to catch up when you’ve fallen behind? What advice/tips would you like to share with other writers? What works for you?

Happy Writing!

Notable Quotable

Hiya Freshman Writers! Hope this finds you well and writing. Today’s quote is about happiness. I chose this because my positivity box has been running low lately. Pair that with a head cold that put me behind and I’ve got a case of the negatives.

Today’s quote comes from someone I think was a life-long optimist. She had many great challenges in her life, but she kept upbeat and positive. I don’t know how I would have dealt with the challenges she faced, but she did and overcame them. She was someone who chose to be happy. She didn’t wait around for happiness to come to her, rather, she brought happiness to herself. So, here’s to Helen Keller – the eternal optimist. Happy Writing!

“Your success and happiness lie in you…Resolve to keep happy, and your joy and you shall form an invincible host against difficulties” ~ Helen Keller (June 27, 1880 – June 1, 1968)

Falling Behind

Hiya Freshman Writers! Hope this finds you well and writing.

I fell behind this week. Due to a bad head cold, I spent two days in bed and even missed work on Monday. Sometimes life gets in the way, causing us to stop everything. So I fell behind in my writing and this is the first bit I’ve done so far this week. But, I’ve decided to use it to write. Let me explain.

What do you do if you fall behind? Do you have a positive outlook or do you go along with your negativity? Do you let that negativity fester or do you attempt to get it out? One of the best things to write about is our emotions. How we react to and how we feel about something says a great deal about the kind of person we are. And that helps us with our writing.

Often times, we can get stuck on a character (if we’re fiction writers) or an theme (non-fiction) and end up leaving that manuscript aside. But, when we’re falling behind due to a life event outside of our writing, that event can be the very thing that puts us back on track.

Write down how you feel when you’ve lagged behind. Give details and try to answer the Five W’s – Who, what, when where and why. Not only can you gain personal insight through this exercise, you can also use it when you’re building a character in a story. For non-fiction writers, you can use this as an exercise in getting the junk out so that you can have access to your theme. Then go back to your previous work-in-progress.

Remember that everything you go through can be used in your writing. Whether you’re developing a character or writing about life events. If you fall behind, use your personal experiences to catch you up and get back on track.

Happy Writing!

Fav Friday

Hiya Freshman Writers! Welcome to another edition of Fav Friday. Hope this finds you well and writing.

Today’s Fav Friday item is Stephen King’s book, “On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft.” If you don’t have this book, Freshman Writers, go out and grab a copy. This book, while being a memoir, is a hilarious look at one writer’s journey. From beginning to end, you’ll also  find great tips and tidbits on the world of writing.

Yes, King is a fiction writer, but the same advice found in his book applies to writers of all genres and types. I’m actually giving it a second read this week as I’ve been doubting my own writing abilities. And if you’re anything like me, you’ll be encouraged after checking it out.

“On Writing” is a book that will have you laughing at King’s antics and misadventures while giving you comfort that you’re not going through this alone. This is a book you’ll want to highlight and cover with notes in the margins. Not only will you enjoy King’s vivid descriptions of his boyhood, adulthood and writer-hood, but you’ll find that you can appreciate your own writing journey.

Happy Writing!

On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft
by Stephen King

ISBN: 0671024256

Publisher: Pocket Books – A Division of Simon & Schuster, Inc.

Notable Quotable

Hiya Freshman Writers! Welcome to another edition of the Notable Quotable.

This week’s quote come from Alan Lacy, a businessman who was the last CEO for Sears, Roebuck and Company. While his quote has a bit of a business slant, it applies to writers and ties into this week’s editorial about taking on too much. So here it is:

Everybody is cutting back a bit, but our focus has been to structurally change how we do business because how we do business is not working.

~Alan Lacy

Lacy was a smart man. For writers, the message in this quote rings true because we writers constantly have to evaluate and revise our path to success. By revisiting our journey as writers, we can tweak it to suit current needs and goals.

We can also change our writing plans when we feel overwhelmed. If how you write (or who you write for) isn’t working, then chnage it so that it works best for you.

Happy Writing!

Taking on too much

Hiya Freshman Writers! Hope this finds you well and writing. Today’s post is about taking on too much. Even if you are at the beginning of your writing journey, you can take on too much and be easily overwhelmed.

I spent Easter Sunday in City Island with my father, his girlfriend and my son. I was so excited about going because it had been years since I had been there. I spent many weekend afternoons there with my parents as a child and the magic of it hasn’t changed. And this time I was able to share it with my son.

Well, my eyes feasted themselves on a dozen fried shrimp, half a dozen raw clams and fries. Chasing all of that with a pina colada, I knew that I should’ve stopped halfway. I was shocked that I could walk back to the car as stuffed as I was. After running around at a local park, I was still stuffed, but not so much that I couldn’t add a strawberry ice cream sundae. See where I’m going with this Freshman Writers?

Instead of slowing down and really gauging how much I could take on (in this case – food), I kept going and going. Last night, I felt the effects of my chowdown and was sick to my stomach. It was a late lunch so I skipped dinner. Obviously, I skipped dinner.

The lesson here Freshman Writers is to see what is ahead of you, look at what you have on your plate right now and analyze what you can and cannot do. This same concept works for many situations, but especially for writers.

I recently had to let go of a possible writing job because I saw that I could not do the work. After all, with a full time job, part time job, my son and other responsibilities I have, there was no way that I could do the tasks outlined. So I let it go. It was hard because it was a decent paying job with opportunities for growth, but it wasn’t for me.

Freshman Writers, learn to see what you are capable of doing and how much time you have to devote to it. Writing can be a career; you just have to plan it out. And when you can’t, your best bet is to slow down, regroup and start over.

Happy Writing!

Fav Friday

Hiya Freshman Writers! Welcome to another edition of Fav Friday. Today’s Fav Friday item isn’t a thing; it’s a person (or persons).

This week’s editorial was about pushing through difficult projects/writing challenges. The Notable Quotable reflected that as well.

What helps me get through writing challenges are my friends; people that I can rely on to give me a pep talk or ego boost when I need a reminder that I am capable of writing and writing well.

So my Fav Friday item is friendship. When you have friendship, Freshman Writers, you are very rich indeed.

Happy Easter weekend and happy writing!

Pushing Through

Hiya Freshman Writers! Hope this finds you well and writing. Today’s post piggy backs off of last week’s editorial about discipline.

I find myself struggling to find a groove with a new writing project. I always feel lost when I start something new until I find a rhythm that works for me. When talking about this with a friend, he told me to “push through” until I find that groove I’m looking for.

The writing process isn’t pretty, dainty or sunshine all the time. The same way we can’t keep ourselves from writing when the muse hits with inspiration, the exact opposite of that can be true. Especially for Freshman Writers like you.

We tend to want things now and forget that we have to invest. We writers have to work at writing in order to see the results we want. And sometimes that work requires us to push through challenges that keep us from writing. Whether it’s jumping into a new project (like the one I’m in) or trying to find your way to scoring that byline. You, Freshman Writers will have to push through those barriers that keep you from writing such as procrastination, boredom, or lack of confidence.

What are some ways that you push through Freshman Writers?

Happy Writing!