So I’ve been reading a lot of this guy lately…
Happy Friday! How was your week? Mine was stressful due to my lack of financial know-how + my tendency to leave things I hate doing to the last possible second, but I finished my stupid taxes! (And I’m getting money back. Huzzah.)
Here are the things that made me think, smile, laugh, and feel happy this week:
This is what I should have done to get my taxes done earlier. (Obsessed with this idea.)
Love love love this post.
This made me laugh so hard.
The group vacation guide.
Please buy me all these things.
Reading: This, which is super cute. A bit juvenile at times, but so am I.
Writing: The YA contemporary “play story”. I feel as though I’m still having the problem of feeling the need to write out what happens in between my scenes (“Thursday was a boring day at school, as was Friday, but then Friday night rolls around….”) Note to self: skip the boring parts. Even in the first draft.
Watching: On Season Two of this, though I may need a break soon. I keep jumping at small noises, thinking about alien abductions, when really it’s just my cat.
Listening to: Whatever random stuff they put on at work. I like working in an office where there’s music playing all day. (Except when it’s country.)
Cooking: I made the best blueberry coffee cake in the world for my friend’s birthday last weekend. It’s my grandma’s recipe, so old it called for “shortening” (I used plain old butter.) One of those days I’m going to become one of those people who takes gorgeous moody shots of the food they bake and posts recipes to go with them, but that day is not today.
Gorgeous moody shot of coffee found here
The good news: I finally have a day job that’s interesting enough not to make me sit around bemoaning the fact that I’m not a writer all day. I’m working for an interesting, dynamic young company, doing their social media and best of all, running and writing for their blog (hooray for getting to professionally write stuff longer than a tweet!)
The bad news: having to use your actual brain at work leaves less space in your head for all the other things. From forgetting to RSVP to things to being late on birthday presents to forgetting my keys—I’ve been kind of a mess lately. I haven’t been writing enough, I haven’t been exercising enough, I haven’t been cleaning enough, and I definitely haven’t been blogging enough.
But I will figure it out. I always do. So if you are reading this, I want to thank you for bearing with me on this journey that is being a full-time professional, part-time writer, part-time blogger, and full-time human. It’s hard—but I wouldn’t give it up for anything.
If you have any time management tips—please let me know!
Image found here
I’m happy today because it’s Friday and because it’s prime leaf-falling season and because my boyfriend is coming home from his job in North Carolina to celebrate my turning another year older this weekend.
Here are three other things that made me happy this week:
1. On writing diverse topics (such as writing and wanderlust) on one blog.
2. Things to check off your pre-writing list before diving into a new work.
3. Turning grandma’s hobby into a business–and bringing much-needed Western money to a small town.
Reading: I just finish the third Raven Cycle book and oh my God, holy book hangover. My hesitations are totally gone; I adore this series, I adore these characters, I adore the writing and I am counting the days until the fourth one comes out. Also adding everything Maggie Stiefvater to my TBR stack.
Watching: Speaking of things I wasn’t sure about at first but am now hooked on, I’m now obsessed with this show. Side note: living alone makes me watch more TV. Like I need the voices in the house at night to feel less lonely. I don’t know if this is a good thing or bad thing.
Listening to: more Gaslight Anthem Pandora. It’s perfect for this time of year.
Image found somewhere on this Tumblr
It’s Friday! It’s Labor Day Weekend! After the month I’ve had, I fully intend to do little more than sit on the beach and read the entire weekend.
Here are three things that made my week:
1. I knew very little about Patti Smith until I read her memoir. It absolutely blew me away. Besides introducing me to her and her work, as well as that of Mapplethorpe, it reignited my interest in non-fiction. Everything she says is so honest and so real, not the least of which is this.
2. Been thinking a lot about this platform lately; if you’re a fellow blogger, this article is extremely helpful.
3. This Tumblr had me laughing SO HARD.
Reading: I’m not done with this yet. I can’t remember the last time it’s taken me over a month to finish a book. But I can’t read it at night, or this happens (side note: how talented is my friend?) With the stress of the move, I needed an unstressful nighttime book, so I embarked on a reread of this, which I just love so, so much.
Watching: One of my favorite things to do is perform household chores while rewatching a favorite TV series (and drinking some nice vino). So I’ve been unpacking in the new apartment while doing an Angel rewatch. It’s so much fun, and I’m actually glad I’m not done yet.
Listening to: Nothing new. I could use some suggestions if you have any!
Image found here
This felt like the longest week ever. The day job monster was trying to get me down. But I persevered in preserving my writing time, and I hope you did too!
Here are three things that helped me through my week:
1. Are you a Whedonverse fan? If you say no, I can only assume you haven’t yet seen any of his amazing TV shows. I just started watching Firefly on Netflix. As is everything Whedon, it’s amazing. I think I held off so long because it’s his last TV show I haven’t watched and I wanted to savor it. Joss, if you’re reading this, make more TV shows, please! But until then, at least the Whedonverse is alive and thriving on the internet. For your enjoyment: a definitive ranking of all of Willow’s sweaters.
2. I’m thinking of going back to France this year. I haven’t been since 2012 (a record for me!) This list of 10 things not to do in Paris is pretty comprehensive. I’ll make my own list someday 🙂
3. Have you heard of Medium? I first read about it here, and since then I feel like so many interesting blog posts I click on lead me back to that site. I’ve started my own blog over there (because I’m not on enough social media platforms). If you’re on Medium too, let’s be friends!
Have a great weekend!
Above photo by me! Segovia, Spain, October 2006
So when I started this blog I was actually thinking I’d be posting to it more often. All the ideas! Can’t keep up!
But you know what? There are still only twenty-four hours in a day. A day in which I need to commute to a day job, do work at said day job, get in some exercise, cook myself some food, invest some time with the people I love so they don’t write me off as an antisocial selfish misanthrope with delusional writing aspirations, shower, sleep, and oh yes, write books. (And I don’t even have children yet, but that’s a panic attack for another day.)
“If you want to be a good writer, you must do two things above all others: read a lot and write a lot.”
So says Stephen King. Notice he does not add “blog a lot”. (Then again, “On Writing” was published in 2000, when blogging was not yet a thing.)
When I get to my writing time and the choice is between working on a blog and working on my manuscript, what do I do? I generally choose to work on my manuscript.
Another good nugget from King:
“The hours we spend talking about writing is time we don’t spend actually doing it.”
He actually advises against reading too much writing advice. (He is aware of the irony of writing this in a writing advice book, just as I am aware of the irony of posting this in my writing advice blog.)
He’s absolutely right. There is SO MUCH writing advice out there. There are days when I get overwhelmed by it all (but wait, have I read every article on the pros and cons of first person versus third person? and do I really know every nuance of YA versus NA? And this blogger has actually published a book, clearly I must read every blog post she’s ever written!) and I’m just like, how do I INTERNET?
Then there are other days—the days when I just find the online writing community to be so incredibly valuable. From stumbling upon some really insightful or helpful post, to just knowing that there are so many other people struggling right along with me. Which is why I ultimately decided to start doing this blogging thing.
So my goal is one post a week, and if this doesn’t get me the hugest following ever, I will deal. I’d rather have a huge reader following, and I will only deserve that if I take the time to hone my craft. (And, you know, find and agent and a publisher and all that … but that’s the subject of another post).
Other bloggers, how often do you post? And how do you balance it with writing (especially if you have a day job or tiny people to look after?)
P.S. “On Writing” is one of the best books I’ve ever read. Full review coming later.