The page is my canvas,
It’s a place where I am understood.
It is where I am not judged.
The page is my friend.
It’s a place where I can pour out my creativity.
My canvas tends to absorb broken tears and my past.
Today I realize that my canvas is a part of me.
It’s taken me a lifetime to discover that this is my true passion.
In my younger, single days I relished the weekends! I had time to sit still for hours and just ‘be’, something I couldn’t do during the week since my job required constant travel (supervising field workers), or constant movement (on the job site as a field worker).
On the weekend, I would sip my coffee or tea and read the New York Times from cover to cover. Some cannot tolerate the Times for they consider it to be too long-winded, but I loved it for the depth and detail it offered. I still do, but I no longer have huge chunks of time to devote to such activities as before. In addition, since news comes from so many digital sources these days, I grab what I can from the TV, radio or smart phone, and even then it’s in quick bursts while making breakfast or on the train ride to work etc.
I get mad when the kids are in my ‘morning space’ (the few minutes while making breakfast when nothing is ready and they are not yet required to be at the table) because that’s when I’m listening to the news and weather to prep myself for the day. So much of my time is gobbled up by them otherwise and those few minutes are as precious as gold and not given away easily. And, if they are not in bed by 10 pm I’m a bit annoyed too, because for the sake of self preservation I need some ‘ME’ time!
As I get older, I feel the need to make sure my identity isn’t too wrapped up in my kids and what I want for them, but to preserve the person I am, separate from them and my job: a runner, a writer, amateur designer, experimental baker, an avid reader and whatever else I choose to dabble in.
I am aware that the person I am today could not have been possible without the influence they (my family) have had on my life, but embracing an identity separate from them is necessary especially so I don’t feel lost after they’re grown and gone.
Perhaps when they are gone I will have those chunks of time back, but that is still 20 years away and I would rather not wait that long. In the mean time, I continue to search for the right balance between my ‘passions’ and my ‘obligations’ and daydream constantly of a writing career that allows me to work from anywhere in the world as I embark on the travel vacation of a lifetime, well, at least my lifetime!
Life is a challenge, it has its rewards and frustrations, but the key to finding the balance that makes life worth living is to adjust our perspective — focus on the things that matter!
Writing is my therapy. And if by some chance my words have found a resting place in your ear, flooded your mind, or resonated in your heart then I am indeed humbled (and blessed) to have found a bit of solace — 1st by writing, 2nd by being heard, and 3rd by being understood. Thank you!
When was the last time you wrote something substantive — a letter, a story, a journal entry, etc. — by hand? Could you ever imagine returning to a pre-keyboard era?
Here’s my response:
I scribble things all the time: grocery lists, inspirational notes to myself, thoughts I wish to develop into blog posts, things I need to tell my mom while on the phone (otherwise I will never remember until after I hang up) etc. I also write personal thank you notes or personal notes in holiday cards. But to write something from start to finish that was substantial and comprehensive, I can’t remember the last time I did that. The furthest I would most likely get is a rough draft and with the ability of smart phones to do so much more these days, most of my ideas or rough drafts are there and not floating around on a piece of paper.
The ability to edit via ‘cut and paste’ has made writing huge pieces of material so easy that doing so by hand seems almost pointless. It’s so clumsy — so outdated! And with the advances made in recent years to save the environment by going paperless or attempting to do so, there’s a tug on the conscience every time I grab a piece of paper to scribble. Hence the reason I save blank scraps of paper from the mail like opened envelopes, documentation that has a blank backside, paper stuffing from packages etc. And once I’m done I set aside those used scraps to be recycled and not trashed — to further save the environment.
A few days ago, however, I was forced to scribble a few thoughts on the back of a newspaper because my daughter had my phone. Sometimes it’s the only thing that would keep her quiet long enough for me to take a shower (uninterrupted). But the account of that event can be better understood below:
“I don’t understand why you need to know what I’m doing in the bathroom!”
Those are the words I shouted at my 3 yr old when she asked, “Mom what are you doing in there? Are you pooping?”
Actually, I was about to take a shower, but as I went in and locked the door, the silence, however fleeting, allowed my brain the freedom to defragment the many thoughts and ideas that were floating about aimlessly and causing quite a clutter.
I scribbled as many thoughts as I could fit onto the back of the paper I was reading before they vanished. So what if I was sitting on the potty at the time? That’s no one’s business but my own! Or at least, that’s what I thought…
Embarrassing? Yes! I shake my head in disbelief that this is actually my life — A life where I can’t even take a shower (or whatever else) without having to ‘announce to the outside world’ my actions or intentions. But the sooner I make peace with this the better — at least for the sake of my sanity, for it is a life I chose — to be a parent!
Nevertheless, that’s the last time I wrote anything longer than a grocery list by hand, and those thoughts are still in rough draft form (on the back of the newspaper) as I am yet to refine them into actual finished products. They were/are great ideas worth noting, whether the rest of the world thinks so, that’s left to be seen. Can I imagine returning to the pre-keyboard era? Not likely — at least not of my free will! But if I HAD no choice I guess I’d survive, just as I assume my cave-woman instincts of survival would kick in (eventually) if I were forced to live in the wild (laughing aloud — at myself).
Hope you’re having a great day.
In a few days you’ll begin to see modifications to our blog as Inner Ramblings joins forces with Wordsmith Boulevard. We are quite excited about our evolution and look forward to your feedback as changes take effect.
Stay tuned for updates as the following will be different:
– Blog name
– Blog theme/layout
– Blog image and tagline
– Blog content
If for any reason the merge does not happen as smoothly as we hope please take note of our new blog name, Inner Ramblings Boulevard and save our blog address, moylomenterprises.com.
Thanks as always for your time, love and support. Happy blogging!
I came across this post a few months ago and saved it to read again. It was a good read then and still is so I’ve decided to share it with you all. Enjoy !
When I plunked down to write my first book, Myths of the Mirror, I was on a mission of discovery, led by the muse and sheer inspiration.
I had no plot in mind beyond a mental sketch of a couple things that could happen maybe sort of somehow. It was all incredibly vague, but what did I know? Nothing. I wrote like a woman obsessed, relishing every moment of my creative forage and traipsing along behind my characters down whatever path they chose to wander.
Halfway through my journey, a secondary character whom I was in the midst of killing off stood his ground. With the unwavering support of his companions, he argued that he should not only survive but should become a main character. Oh, okay, I said, and skedaddled back to the beginning of the book to start over. That happened a lot.
A year later, once every character had their say and did as they pleased, my masterpiece was almost 190,000 words long. Ta da! Ready to celebrate, I enlisted a couple courageous readers.
For the next two years, I peeled away words, sentences, paragraphs, scenes, and whole chapters! Deleted. Recycled. 60,000 words forever gone. I felt as though I’d been flayed.
Then an editor wielded a red pen and lopped off another 4,000. After all the anguish and suffering, I had to finally admit it – I had a much better book.
George R. R. Martin separates writers into Gardeners and Architects. Gardeners are discovery writers, planting seeds and digging around in the dirt of writing because they can’t wait to see what grows. They thrive on a process that is full of surprises and let their stories develop organically. To them, outlines feel like straitjackets, stifling the natural unfurling of character and action.
At the other end of the spectrum, Martin’s architects are outliners. Structure is key. Charts, graphs, and spreadsheets abound. Every step is planned in advance: the story’s try/fail cycles are mapped, the hero’s journey arcs through its phases, the turning points and pinches are set in stone. For outliners, the steps of each plot and subplot form the stairwells in a skyscraper. An architect has an eye on the penthouse and knows how to get there.
After my trials and tribulations as a gardener, I brushed off my hands and …
Authors today are expected to carry more and more weight in marketing and publicity. In the digital age, much of it can be accomplished online, which can be both easier and harder. There are many free options, but there is also a lot of competition. With so many options and market saturation, the prospect of building an online platform can be intimidating. Here are a few tips for those just staring out:
One good social media account is better than five bad ones. Find something you like and stick to it, whether it’s blogging or Facebook. If you can enjoy it, it will be easier to keep up. Do you like taking pictures? Instagram. Do you like crafts? Pinterest. Do you like short and sweet? Twitter. Longer form? Tumblr. The list can go on and on. But you don’t have to.
Interaction is important.Shouting into the chaotic masses can make anyone feel isolated and their efforts futile. Think about your audience. What do you like? What does your audience like? Chances are that they will overlap. Find those conversations and participate.
Don’t spam. Do not just ask people to check out your book over and over. Direct self-promotion should not be a majority of what you do. You don’t want to beg, you want to be memorable in a positive way.
Keep your site and postings current and regular. This is important for SEO and making yourself visible online. You don’t want your page to look abandoned. You don’t have to post so often that it feels like a chore. Don’t post so seldom that it feels like an after thought. Make a schedule or make it habit.
Keep your site and postings relevant. People need to know your brand and what type of content you offer. All of your topics should relate somehow back to you and your writing. If you are selling cookbooks, you probably shouldn’t post about finance.
Building your online platform is a marathon, not a sprint. It doesn’t happen overnight. Keep realistic expectations. Use this time at the beginning to try different things and to find what works for you.
Don’t be afraid to make mistakes. We’re all human and we mess up sometimes. As long as you’re respectful, people will generally be forgiving.
Bio: Jessica Atha is a writer, publishing professional, freelancer, and avid reader. She received summa cum laude in Creative Writing from the University of Colorado, Boulder. She has published several articles and a couple of short stories in magazines and literary journals. She currently works in a small publishing house in Arizona.www.JessicaAtha.com
Writing is the hardest part. Image courtesy of Flickr user Rennett Stowe.
A couple of weeks ago, I wrote a post for the WordPress.com blog about how SEO works on WordPress.com, and today I’d like to discuss this here on The Daily Post. SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization, and it refers to things you can do to increase how high your site ranks in the search results of Google and other search engines.
SEO is a hot topic around the blogosphere, and you’ve likely heard a lot about it. Much often repeated SEO advice is untrustworthy and some of it is just plain bad.
The good news is if you have a site on WordPress.com we take care of the vast majority of the technical side of SEO for you. The only thing you really need to do for great SEO is write!