Wednesday, December 21, 2011

The Art of Doing Nothing

Well, not exactly nothing. (And I certainly haven't been wearing those shoes around. I've mostly been wearing my Ugg slippers). I've been baking. I've been cleaning. I've been shopping. I've even been working on that accounting thing I told you about. But, and this is a big but, what I haven't been doing is writing.

I hit this brick wall on my WIP a couple of weeks ago. It started with some minor feedback I received from a reputable source. And it just escalated out of control after I signed the accounting client. You'll remember my last post blamed it on the battle between the two sides of my brain. But I've come to realize that's not really the problem. The problem is that my WIP has a slight glitch(okay, maybe major...depending on who you ask), and I don't know how to fix it. So I've found every excuse in the book to do nothing about it.

I've been in this spot before, and eventually I was able to move past it. I'm sure that will be the case this time. But I need to be realistic about the timing of that move. Things are always hectic during the holidays, and I don't have the time it will require to really delve into this problem. I'm okay with that. My plan is to put the WIP aside until the first of the year. When the hustle of the holidays settle down and I wrap up the work on the BIG client, I think I'll be more equipped to tackle the glitch.

So, ever had a glitch you weren't sure how to fix? Did the answer eventually come to you? Are you writing over these busy holiday times? Or are you taking a little breather?

Monday, December 12, 2011

My Brain's in a Battle with Itself

Seriously, the left and right sides of my brain are going toe to toe, and I'm not sure which one's going to come out on top. I've spent hours zoning in on numbers (you know, the new Accounting client I told you about), and I've spent hours crafting words. The two don't exactly mix.

My head is in an uproar, and I can't wait until it's quiet again. Don't get me wrong...I love both sides of my brain and I would never want to part with either of them, but really, something's gotta give.

In all honesty, I'm exaggerating a little. Things with the new client are going well, and I'm making progress on my WIP. But it's slow going on the writing front, and I think that side of my brain is ticked off. I can't help but wonder if it's not because the other side of my brain is in control right now.

What about you? Ever had your creativity squashed by the other side of the brain? How do you keep that side under control?

Friday, December 9, 2011

From Big Girl Shoes Back to Bare Feet

I've been discussing this blog's journey over the last couple of weeks. I started off with bare feet, as in I didn't have a clue what I was doing and I pretty much shared my thoughts and feelings. Then I started getting to know people around here, came up with the shoe theme, and learned a whole lot about the world of blogging. It's been a great resource for important information, and I met my crit buddies through blogging. I can't say it enough--it has been an awesome experience.

That being said, the stage I'm in now has been a little tough for me. As most of you know, I took a six month break from blogging this past year for a number of reasons. And most of you probably also know that since I've been back, I haven't exactly been keeping on top of things. I'm working on it, though.

So, today I'm going back to the barefoot approach. I'm sharing with you exactly what I'm feeling and thinking. The truth is, some days I can't think of a dang thing to write about here. The creative side of my brain is all spent from working on my WIP. Or from dealing with real life issues. Or from exhaustion due to other responsibilities.

Back in January of this year, I shared some of my goals for 2011. One of them was to improve on social networking. I expressed the hope of increasing quality more so than quantity. In other words, my goal was to step up the quality of my posts, not necessarily to blog more often. I'd say I haven't exactly made much progress on either front. But I know why. Blogging quit being fun for me when I put that expectation of quality in the mix. If I couldn't think of something clever, enlightening, or at least timely to post about, I just didn't post.

I decided a month or so ago to let go of my self-imposed quality demand for the remainder of 2011. I needed blogging to be fun again. And my hope was that when it was fun again, the quality of posts would increase naturally. Does that make sense?

The good news is, I'm having fun again. Still working on the quality thing, but I'll get there. And until I do, at least I'll be having a good time.

The bad news is, I just took on a new accounting client. The company hasn't kept financial records all year, and they want me to get them caught up. YIKES! It will be quite the task, but I'm ready. After all, numbers are my second love. (I think you all know what my first love is.) Anyway, from now until the end of the year, my blogging time might be limited. I'll still be around, though. How could I not be? I'm having too much fun!

Have a great weekend everyone!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

From School Girl Shoes to Big Girl Shoes...

Or more specifically, I-think-I'm-a-big-girl shoes. If you've been reading my last few posts, you know that I've been reflecting on my blog's evolution. We've covered the newbie stage, the getting acquainted stage, and the discovery stage. Today, I want to talk about the overly confident stage.

When I first started out, I never thought anyone would be reading, so I wrote pretty much whatever I wanted to write. Then, when a few people began following my blog, I started paying attention to what material I was making public. I also started following other blogs and forming close friendships (if not friendships, then at the very least, common bonds). And eventually, I realized all the information blogging provided.

Now this next stage was not intentional, but it did in fact happen. I took all that information I had learned and started sharing it with all of my readers. My followers increased, and I thought I really knew what I was doing around here. You know, kind of like a fifteen-year-old girl who thinks she knows way more than her mother does. I was a big girl. I knew everything. There was absolutely nothing else to learn.


I figured that out real fast. Not only with blogging, but with my writing as well. During this know-it-all stage, I acquired several beta readers/crit partners. Around the same time I realized I didn't know everything about blogging, I also realized I didn't know everything, or even hardly anything, about writing. And I have those beta readers/crit partners to thank for it. And in a direct way, I have blogging to thank for it too. If I hadn't been blogging, the only people who would have read my writing would have been my ever-praising mother and my easy-to-please teenage daughter. I would have gone on thinking my writing was brilliant. Thinking that all these agents and publishers were crazy for not appreciating it. Sulking because the whole business is all about luck and not about talent. (All of these things, by the way, are so not true!)

Anyway, I'd have to say that this is absolutely the greatest benefit blogging has had for me. Don't get me wrong, I love all my friends around here even if they aren't crit buddies. And I still garner extremely important information. But my crit pals...well...they changed my writing. Which is the reason I started blogging in the first place.

Okay, so there's probably already a day for this (there seems to be a day for everything anymore), but I officially declare this day, December 7th, National Thank Your Crit Buddies Day.

So, to my awesome critters (you know who you are), THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU!

Anyone else have any critters to thank?

Monday, December 5, 2011

From Baby Shoes to School Girl Shoes

If you were around here last week, you know that I've been taking a look back at the evolution of this blog. So far, we've gone from the days before shoes to the baby shoes. Today, I want to talk about the School-Girl-Shoe stage.

This is the stage that I discovered the wealth of information available to me at my fingertips. I was like a first grader learning to read, write, add, and subtract. I took in all the information, knowing it was preparing me for my future as a famous, best-selling author.

I learned things I never would have if I hadn't started blogging. It was amazing. The informative aspect of blogging took a center-stage role. Although, the social aspect remained equally important.

Blogging became more than I ever imagined it would be. I made great friends and got a first-rate education to boot (no shoe pun intended here). It doesn't get much better than that. Oh, wait, it does. But we'll talk about that next time.

So, what aspect of blogging do you appreciate most? The social? Or the informative? Or are you like me and the two go hand-in-hand?

Friday, December 2, 2011

So I went from no shoes to baby shoes ...

Wednesday, I talked about the early days of my blog, the days before the shoes. Today, I want to talk about the next stage--the baby learning to walk stage.

Just like a young toddler when they first begin to walk, I explored the blogosphere with determination. I wanted to go anywhere and everywhere. It was all so new and exciting. The thing I found most fascinating was the kind reception I received. These people, these people I had never met before, welcomed me with open arms. And suddenly, I was a member of something I didn't even know existed--a community of aspiring authors just like myself. It was magical for me at the time, a dream come true.

This is why all of you out there (you know, all you people I've never actually met) hold such a special place in my heart. You made me feel normal for having these dreams of becoming published. You listened to me fail. You cheered my successes. You taught me so much. And for that, I will always be thankful.

Now, it's your turn. When you first learned what blogging was all about, what fascinated you most? Like childhood, do you kind of miss those innocent days? I do.

That's all for now, but please promise to have a wonderful weekend!