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A blog about writing

I’ve let this blog lapse for many months due to lack of focus. Babystepstowriting started as a practice blog, a place for me to be writing while I was teaching writing. I published prompts we did in class, or followed prompts online, or sometimes wrote about daily life.

However, I’ve learned over the years from other bloggers, that what works best is a consistent theme or purpose.

Therefore this blog will more closely reflect its name, and babystepstowriting will be about all things writing. I’ll share what I’m learning, reading, and writing. I’ll also gather resources to help other writers. Together we can learn and grow in our practice.

Starting with what my writing life looks like lately:

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I finally finished Stephen King‘s On Writing and highly recommend it. Ironically, I have been unable to get through a Stephen King book – horror isn’t really my style. However, no one can argue that he has mastered the craft and his genre. The book is equal parts autobiography and sound writing advice from creating the discipline to believable characters to careful editing and much more.

Another part of my practice lately has been longhand writing. I used to love nothing more than to grab a notebook and my favorite pens (two things I always seem to buy whether I need them or not) and write and write and write. I’ve been using the daily prompts from Sarah Salecky and Story Is a State of Mind.

And finally, after all these years of longing for an MFA, I’M GOING BACK TO SCHOOL!! This fall I’ll be taking the Story Intensive Course from The Story Is a State of Mind School. I’ve had such wonderful feedback and support already and can’t wait to delve into the program.

What does your writing life look like? Leave me a comment below ūüôā

Happy writing!

 

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NaBloPoMo: Fail? Maybe not…

So…this is the end of National Blog Posting Month. And like all aspects of personal discipline, I didn’t quite reach my goal. But, was it a total failure? I think not.

FOUR THINGS I LEARNED from NaBloPoMo:

1. My blog is not a daily diary.

I don’t propose to have a daily purpose or daily recording on my blog. It was not natural to me to start a blog, “Day 12 of NaBloPoMo….” Therefore, I didn’t do it. The days when I really felt like I had nothing to say, I published content I was not proud of. So at some point I said, “Enough!” and didn’t post anything unless I wanted to.

2. I enjoy writing everyday, but don’t enjoy the pressure to publish everyday.

There were many days this month where I wrote and didn’t publish. If I had it to do all over again, I would be tempted to join NaNoWriMo. Then I would be increasing my word count and writing discipline without the pressure of people seeing it until I was ready.

3. I need to find a focus and purpose for my blog.

Publishing on my blog would not have been as difficult if I had a roadmap. I admire bloggers who have a schedule or theme such as Monday Matters, The Wednesday Word, Fun Links Friday, etc. I’m still searching for exactly what my blog will be, but this month has helped me see what it is not.

4. The more you write the more people read.

Those of you who have been blogging for a while might think this is a no-brainer, but I was surprised at how much my traffic increased this month. The more content and categories you have out there, the more chances for people to come across your blog. Also, publishing regularly gives my followers something to read and shows them I’m serious about my blog.

All in all it was not a total waste. I appreciated the pressure to a certain degree and the encouragement to write more regularly. I also enjoyed the NaBloPoMo community. Thanks for all your support!

Looking forward to next year.

In the meantime…I plan to keep writing. ūüôā

 
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Posted by on November 30, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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NaBloPoMo – Just as hard as I thought it would be

So, I’ve missed a day…and published some posts I’m not proud of. This challenge may not be for me.

The purpose of my blog is not random daily content, or a web diary, but more a place for vignettes, book reviews, and musings on life. If I have stories to share or a piece I want to write, I’ll post it. Trying to come up with something¬†to post everyday means you guys don’t get my best.

However, this challenge does have its positives. I’m thinking about writing…and practicing writing everyday. Even yesterday I started two different posts, though they never made it to publish.¬†The discipline of this challenge is beneficial and forces me to think about my blog going forward. Whether I want to have some focus or plan or just continue to post as inspiration strikes.

I just picked up Amy Poehler’s book,¬†YES PLEASE.¬†Here’s what she has to say about writing:

Everyone lies about writing. They lie about how easy it is or how hard it was.

They perpetuate a romantic idea that writing is some beautiful experience that 

takes place in an architectural room filled with leather novels and chai tea. They

talk about their “morning ritual” and how they “dress for writing” and the cabin¬†

in Big Sur where they go to “be alone” —blah blah blah. No one tells the truth¬†

about writing a book. Authors pretend their stories were always shiny and perfect

and just waiting to be written. The truth is, writing is this: hard and boring and 

occasionally great but usually not. Even I have lied about writing. I have told people

that writing this book has been like brushing away dirt from a fossil. What a load of sh**.

It has been like hacking away at a freezer with a screwdriver. 

I couldn’t agree more.

and I love her.

I’m pretty sure we are twins separated at birth…we’re the same age and both blonde, so it must be true.

 
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Posted by on November 10, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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NaBloPoMo Daily prompt: Do I consider myself a “professional” blogger?

My day is busy and my inspiration wanes, so the Daily Prompt it is.

This seems like a no-brainer. Do I receive compensation for my blogging or even my writing for that matter? No. Therefore, I am not a professional blogger. Professional typically means having achieved paid status for your work.

However, I do see another definition in Webster’s where it just indicates mastery or skill:

3.a thoroughly professional performance: expert, accomplished, skillful, masterly,masterful, fine, polished, skilled, proficient, competent, able, experienced,practiced, trained, seasoned, businesslike, deft; informal ace, crack, top-notch.ANTONYMS amateurish.

Using this definition of professional, I would have to say….No…still, no. Not a professional.

I have one page, very few widgets, not quite sure how the categories work, and sometimes my pictures don’t even show up right. I see other blogs with fancy banners, and side boxes, and multiple pages organized by topic. I aspire to these things, but am not there yet.

The purpose of my blog is to write and practice writing. If anyone reads it, or I eventually get paid for it, that is just bonus.

 
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Posted by on November 6, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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NaBloPoMo (Sounds like something Mork would say)

As you can see from the giant badge on my page, I’ve decided to join NaBloPoMo which is not some alien gibberish, but rather stands for National Blog Posting Month.

I started this blog to encourage more frequent writing practice. Twenty-eight posts in one year is certainly more writing than pre-blog, but not enough for me to consider myself a serious writer. This month I will attempt to write a post every.single.day. (Right now Ricky Ricardo’s “Ai yi yi” seems appropriate) ¬†(It would also appear that today’s blog is sponsored by TVLand)

This could go wrong on so many levels. Here are just a few….

There will be bad/dumb/poorly written posts.This is just a given. If I am forced to publish every day some of it will be content that would have normally ended up on the cutting room floor (ok, the drafts folder, but cutting room floor sounds better). The purpose of the exercise for me will be to develop the habit of writing every day. By the end of the month less and less should be cringeworthy. (Unless I’m burnt out, then you get what you get)

Some of you will grow tired of hearing from me and stop reading my posts. I get it. You won’t hurt my feelings if you skip over posts that don’t interest or appeal to you. To those of you who follow my blog via email: I apologize for the inundation this month.

I won’t be able to post every day. I’m not what you would call a “disciplined” person. Other than brushing my teeth, I can’t really think of anything else I do every¬†day that is a habit of personal discipline. I look forward to the opportunity for growth….maybe.

I will run out of things to write about. This could be the cause for 1, 2, and 3. Thankfully NaBloPoMo offers helpful prompts if we feel stuck. I usually like to follow my heart or inspiration (see #3 Рdiscipline issues) but appreciate some direction from time to time.

Well, readers, you have been forewarned. Thank you for bearing with me on my journey. babystepstowriting

 
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Posted by on November 1, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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Blogging as Personal Discipline

Why have I started this blog? You may ask. There are blogs out there too numerous to count. What could I possibly add of value to the blogosphere? Good question. Why would I think that my ideas are worth reading and would make a difference among the insane amount of information and reading material we have available to us? As Julie says in Julie and Julia,¬†“I could write a blog. I have thoughts!”

But, no, that is not the reason I chose to start this blog. The reason is simple, whether anyone reads my blog or not: I started this blog to discipline myself as a writer. How’s that working for you? You may ask. Well, since I have posted three times in more than two weeks, I would say I have some growing room – but I will keep at it. And three blogs in two weeks is more than I wrote last month, or the month before that, or the month before that. ¬†Baby steps to writing….

 
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Posted by on October 18, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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