Archive for the ‘Writing’ Category

Two-thousand thirteen.

Monday, December 31st, 2012

A happy New Year
[Photo Credit]

Although I skipped over the usually obligatory Thanksgiving, advent, Christmas, and other end-of-year posts, I think New Year’s posts are some of the best in blog-land. There’s something so inspiring about reading everyone’s goals, focus words, and year-end reflections and accomplishments. (My 2012 year in review post WILL be coming soon, once my best and I have a chance to hash out the happenings.)

Some of these goals aren’t measurable or specific (we all know how “do ______ more” usually pans out)… but here are a few areas I’d like to improve:

  • Eating at the kitchen table. Right now we eat almost every night on our couch while watching Netflix (for shame!). This is because our kitchen table (first stop after the front door in our tiny apartment) is our clutter-catch-all, and we never want to both cook AND straighten the table. I’d like to use our cute placemats, pay attention to each other, have conversations, and get up from the kitchen table when we’re done (which I suspect will make cleaning up from dinner immediately a much more natural transition).
  • Start playing the piano again. My aim is once a week to start out. I figure if I do this, I will naturally want to play more than that, which is my eventual goal. To make this goal more measurable, I’ll probably decide on a few songs to learn and perfect.
  • Develop better routines. This is a biggie. It includes creating a rough weekly schedule that works with my highly variable work responsibilities, a cleaning routine that works for both of us, a gym routine and a morning routine. I started majorly slacking in the morning (and letting myself) when I got sick this summer, and now I can’t seem to drag myself out of bed until Eric’s almost ready to leave for work. Ideally I’d be awake with Bible read and tea/coffee had by that time, ready to start my work day.
  • Pick a few books of the Bible to read and re-read this year. I’m stealing this approach to a Bible-reading plan from this post by our good friend Paul. I’ve chosen Esther, Isaiah and Phillipians so far. Any suggestions?
  • Simplify and improve our eating. Eric and I have talked about wanting to start eating organic meats as a step toward improving the quality of what we put in our bodies. This means eating less meat in general and finding out where the best deals are, as our grocery budget doesn’t have much room to expand. We’ve talked about doing a CSA arrangement if we can find an affordable one. I love cooking, but grocery planning/shopping is one of my most hated chores.
  • Become a better photographer. This will probably involve working through some online tutorials, as well as practicing a lot. I’m looking forward to this goal as a fun one, especially with our new camera.
  • Work through a writing book slowly and do all the exercises. I tend to treat writing books as general inspiration, instead of really using them to practice skills. I have a couple awesome writing books right now, including On Writing Writing Down the Bones, Bird by Bird, and one from my mother-in-law called Writing as Way of Healing. I want to spend some quality time with each one.
  • Blog more consistently. I know I’ve totally neglected my blog this year. It was a strange year in some ways, especially with four months of sickness, which I think left me quite depressed in the low energy, just getting by kind of way. One positive is that that leaves me with tons of blogging material, particularly about my writing career, that I never got to in 2012. That should be enough to jump-start my new blogging habit.

Thanks for bearing with me through the breaks this year, friends.

2012 in review, coming soon! (PROMISE!)


Guest post at Following Schaibles

Tuesday, December 18th, 2012

Today a little poem I wrote is featured at my friend Lydia’s blog as part of her wonderful advent series. Check it out here.

Screen Shot 2012-12-18 at 9.55.45 AM


Thursday, November 29th, 2012

“If I waited for perfection, I would never write a word.” — Margaret Atwood

On the fleeting nature of ideas.

Wednesday, June 13th, 2012

[photo credit]

I have ideas sometimes.

But if you asked me if I have ideas, I might say no.

It wasn’t always like this. I used to have lots and lots of ideas, back before I was self-conscious and a perfectionist. Now, I like other people’s ideas more. I hate that, but it’s the truth. Instead of being productive with a piano and 45 minutes, I like being told what to do. Given assignments. Given thoughts.

Ironically, I do not like being told what or how to think. I just work well within parameters, and I think I might like the freedom to say, if ever I need to, Well, this wasn’t MY idea, but someone had to do it.

And I think — I hope — that I speak for all perfectionists with these statements.

I want to stomp it out, this perfectionism. I want to be ugly:

You can first make it ugly, or not make it at all. There is nothing else.
Jeff Goins

God is the only one who can create beauty out of nothing. Everyone else has to start with something they know. I have to make beauty out of something, and my only somethings are anything but perfect.

Ideas are also hard to catch.

They come at inconvenient times, in dreams, during conversations, at all the moments you don’t have a pen. And they’re so sensitive — more so than I am, and more self-loathing and more scared.

They run away with the slightest sense of I don’t like you very much or You’re not very good, and when you realize you didn’t mean it they’re already long gone.

I’d like to have a date with myself, just for idea-gathering. To prove they still come, and to help ease them out. And then I’d like to choose one, even if it’s less than pretty.

Do you have trouble writing (or otherwise creating) ugly?


750 words

Friday, March 16th, 2012

Eric showed me a site not too long ago that I was eager to get on board with.

750 words is a website/community where members write “private, unfiltered, spontaneous, daily” entries in a journal of sorts, but no one can read the writing.

It’s been a great tool for me this week as every entire day has been taken up with a large writing project I’ve taken on.  After my quiet time and breakfast, I jump on the computer and just write whatever comes to my mind. No filter, no worries, no editing as I go (sometimes no editing at all). The site alerts me when I’ve written 750 words, then I save and it shows me a page of analylsis, with bars and graphs and stats based on my words, similar to this:

It also shows me frequently occurring words, categories my writing was concerned with, the weather while I was writing, and my WPM speed at every minute mark throughout my writing.

What do I use this for?

Prayer. A brain dump. Meditation. Getting my mind going. Practicing writing without thinking or editing.

If you decide to try it out, let me know what you think!