Saturday, Oh Saturday

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A hike in morning to clear the mind
Space inside my brain I find

Nature draws away my stress
Feelings of relaxation are the best

Soon it is a quiet afternoon
A time to rest and whistle a tune

I write down thoughts as they come
Word after word, there’s more than┬ásome

I seek a book I can read out loud
No one can hear my voice, a sound

And so I close my eyes for a nap
Then my book, it falls in my lap

Another great Saturday, its’ a winner
Before I know it, it’s time for dinner

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Another year, Another NANOWRIMO?

I am sitting here contemplating participating in NANOWRIMO (National Novel Writing Month) again. This would be the third year in a row. I feel like Lance Armstrong on a roll, and wonder if I should go for one more victory. Another book of 50,000 words? I know I can write that many words, but I wonder if I can write something meaningful. Something that other people would want to read. I want to write. I love to write, but I feel like writing so much volume and having it grow stale on my computer is a waste. A waste of words.

I can use the month of writing to hone my craft. Like a triathlete who swims, bikes and runs everyday, I too need to train and I know I have let my writing muscles atrophy this last year. I wrote more poems this year than anything else, so it was not a total loss. My writing practice didn’t stall completely (I have numerous full journals to show for it). I did however stop sharing my work, which makes me sad. I have so much to say and the point is to be heard, not to just tell the paper.

The other challenge is coming up with fiction for NANOWRIMO. What story do I have to tell? I write from the heart and from my own experience. How can I put that into individual characters? I am faced with the writing challenge that every writer faces every day, writer’s block. Not just the ability to write, but to write something good. I doubt when Picasso painted or sketched that he thought each picture would be a masterpiece. Instead of focusing on the masterpiece, I need to focus on the process, the experience, the journey of writing. Every time I write, I start out one place and end up somewhere else. Like Indiana Jones on a new adventure – who knows what lurks behind the next corner (or in this case the next paragraph). Time to stop worrying and just get down to it and write, write, write. Right?

Christmas is over, now what? Goal Setting 2011!

Suddenly the frenzy of Christmas is over, with shopping, wrapping, and cooking behind me. First I have to deal with the aftermath of cardboard and paper recycling, eating of leftovers and finding places to store all of the kid’s new toys, then I can move on to the next BIG thing. Some people have a hard time trying to figure out what to do with themselves after Christmas besides hitting the after-Christmas sales or buying a new outfit for New Year’s Eve, but I have something much bigger in my sites.

What is next? Annual goal-setting! Last year was the first year I considered such a thing, yet this year it has become a ‘must-do’ activity. With all the accomplishments from last year, I seem to have gained the momentum of a snowball rolling downhill during an avalanche. Now that I have started accomplishing goals, I can’t stop setting them or achieving them. Last year I took the first step on a life-long goal of writing a book. Next year I will be editing, rewriting, and publishing the book. A giant task? Of course! Possible? Absolutely.

I learned many things last year about goal setting:
1) You can’t accomplish goals if you don’t set them.
2) If you think you have no goals, sit in front of hundreds of magazines and cut out pictures that grab your attention – they will just come to you.
3) Dreaming Big = Accomplishing Big
4) When you have friends to support you on you journey, any goal is possible

My biggest challenge for next year is setting achievable goals – because I feel like there are more things I would like to accomplish, than what I reasonably have time to complete.

Here is my first cut at goals for 2011, and now that I wrote them I guess I am committed:
1) Complete editing and formatting of my book “Clocks and Olives” and then find a publisher
2) Buy a new car (my VW Golf is from 2000)
3) Continue a healthy lifestyle of yoga, running, meditation and eating
4) Plan 1-2 vacations for the year to a place outside of Arizona
5) Bring peace, serenity, calm, and creativity into my life.
6) Learn something new like a language (Italian?)

What goals do you have for 2011?

Unblocking the Writer Within

Over the last two weeks I have spent countless hours at the computer writing. Sometimes I knew exactly what I was going to write about and other times I had no idea. As occasional writer’s block cropped up here and there during book writing, I wondered about the necessity to get out your daily gripes and personal issues (daily pages) before getting down to the good stuff – the creative writing.

I suppose all the writing is creative – making up words and putting them to paper – but sometimes it seems the words don’t come because I am stifled. Stifled by my inability to get a word on the paper. Getting ‘the’ or ‘once upon a time’ seemed futile beginnings, but weren’t they better than never starting at all? Maybe if I had written my daily pages, getting started would not have been so difficult because the junk would have already been cleared away.

Is daily writing as important as some many other daily tasks we do in the name of health – eat, brush our teeth, or shower? If I don’t write, is it true that no one would want to be around me in the same way that no one would want to be around me if I hadn’t showered in a week? I know I should write every day, but I don’t. I guess I don’t ‘smell’ the need for writing and I ‘let it go’ longer that it should. This reminded me of a husband and wife with varying tolerances for what is considered a ‘clean’ bathroom. Eventually the bathroom has to be cleaned, much like the mind needs to be cleaned of words, it just depends on how long a person can stand it. Now I am hoping this little scouring is enough to clean my mind so I can get on with writing my book.

I am looking forward to the home stretch on the writing of the book this month. Just two more weeks and I will be back to blogging at my regular pace, which seems a snails when compared to the speed in which I am writing this book!