It’s Monday … Again. Better Make it a Good One.

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Good morning, everyone, and happy Monday (if such a thing exists). For the record, I had a long weekend full of family crisis and whatnot, so I’m not really in a blogging mood. To be honest, I’m not really in a productive mood at all. I would have rather entered myself into the Hunger Games than entered the office this morning.

But cry me a river, build me a bridge, and make lemonade or whatever it is that people say. Here’s some more inspirational quotes about Mondays to get us all out of the funk and into a more productive mood.

It’s Monday. Don’t forget to be awesome! -Author Unknown

One small positive thought in the morning can change your whole day. -Author Unknown

Oh, come on. It’s Monday, not doomsday. So make it a good one. -Some Random Cow

Monday is a fresh start. It’s never too late to dig in and begin a new journey of success. -Author Unknown

It’s Monday. Time to take over the world. -Random Minion

It’s Monday but it’s okay. – Author Unknown

Well, that was … inspiring. If nothing else, it was fun. And what better way to start Monday than with a little fun?

Have a great week!

 

 

 

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Just Keep Writing, Just Keep Writing, Just keep Writing, Writing, Writing!

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The holidays are over, which means … holiday hangover! Nothing’s worse for writers than feeling sluggish, tired, and uninspired.

Here’s some advice for my writer friends struggling to scrape their butts off the couch to get some writing done:

Just keep writing, just keep writing, just keep writing, writing, writing! What do we do? We write, WRITE!

And if all else fails, go get another cup of coffee. Caffeine always does the trick.

Have a great week!

Time + Work = Novel: A Pep Talk by Stephanie Perkins

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“Novels aren’t written by muses who come down through the ceiling and shoot magic through your fingers and out onto your laptop’s keyboard… They’re written with one simple equation:

Time + Work = Novel.”

Stephanie Perkins.

I thought this was a rather inspiring quote, going into the second week of NaNoWriMo 2015. I’m sure we could all use a pep talk, even those of us who aren’t participating in NaNoWriMo this year. Well, considering I’m waaaay behind on my word count right now, I’m not the one to offer a pep talk, but Stephanie Perkins can. Read the rest of it here.

Best of luck!

Always Look on the Bright Side of Life

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Having some trouble getting over the midweek hump? I know I am. Here’s a little sing-along to get you through the rest of the day and lift your spirits until the weekend. Sing along, or whistle along, with Eric Idle as he sings our forever favorite, “Always Look on the Bright Side of Life.”

C’mon give us a grin! There you go! Enjoy the rest of your week!

When Life Gives You Lemons, [Instert Inspirational Phrase Here] What the Heck, Just Keep Writing

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When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.”

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When life gives you lemons . . .

So says one of the oldest and most disgustingly optimistic proverbial phrases ever coined. (For the record, the phrase was first coined by Elbert Hubbard in 1915. You’re welcome). Since it was first uttered, there have been many new variations of the saying, from inspirational ones that stay true to the original meaning, to sarcastic ones, which are really funny, and in my opinion, are a vast improvement. For me, the latter are much more relatable. Come on, who today wouldn’t just add salt and tequila and make themselves a margarita. I know that’s what I would do with it.

What is the message of the original proverb anyway? Did Elbert Hubbard really expect us to make lemonade? Or did he expect us to make the most of a bad situation?

Life deals out lemons like there’s a never-ending supply, and for writers trying to maintain a busy schedule of writing, editing, blogging, and marketing, these lemons can feel like boulders.

So what do you do? Just keep writing. Keep blogging. Keep marketing that book. There’s nothing else you can do.

I should know. Right now, I’m dealing with family illness, major transitions at work, and a hectic home life. I’m knee-deep in lemons, and more are dumping down from overhead. The fridge is overflowing with pitchers of lemonade, and I’m out of tequila and salt. I don’t much care for lemon cake, so what should I do with the rest of those lemons? I’m going to cut them up, put them in my green tea, and keep writing. That’s all I can do. Writing is my escape, my therapy, and hopefully, the gateway to something better.

For anyone else who is going through a difficult time, just know you are not alone, and I encourage you to keep at it no matter what. Things will work themselves out in the end. In the meantime, I’m going to find more recipes using lemons on Pinterest.

Writing is Hell

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It’s a beautiful Saturday morning. Not a cloud in the sky. My cats are baking in a sunbeam beside my computer desk. And I just saw a family of ducks cross my backyard. No joke. I’m sitting at my computer desk on this lovely day with my laptop open, my novel pulled up, and a raspberry tea within arms reach. There’s even a vase of fresh flowers on the corner of the desk. Surrounded by all of this loveliness and with hours to work on my novel, all I can think of is how much I’d like to go back to bed.

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Let’s face it, writing is hell.

So, to fix my mindset, I got online and started looking up inspirational quotes. After sifting through pages and pages and pages of quotes about goals, motivation, and happiness, I came upon some about writing. One in particular, I thought embodies the writing experience better than an other. William Styron put it best when he said, “Let’s face it, writing is hell.” To me, there is no statement that more accurately captures the torturous quality of writing. I’m sure there are more thought-provoking statements out there, ones that would inspire me to write 1,000 words, but this one struck a chord with me for its simplicity and blunt honesty.

Sometimes writing can be mentally, emotionally, and even physically painful to the point where it’s no longer enjoyable. There are times when sitting at my laptop trying to expel just one descent sentence or word is pure agony. Some mornings I lay in bed, putting off getting up, because I dread the thought of tackling my draft.

If writing is hell, why do I write? Why do any of us write? My sister/writing companion/personal editor/critic/etc. recently came across some research that suggests that the writer’s need to write is neurological. This means, some individuals absolutely have to write in order to satisfy some portion of their brain. So, basically we write in the name of science.

I like to think there is a more personal need to write, one that leads to personal or spiritual growth. I like to think that there is a pay-off for all of the frustration that goes into drafting a paragraph or editing a chapter. Winston Churchill once said, “If you’re going through hell, keep going.” I think of this statement when I’m tackling a particularly difficult draft. If I’m already suffering, I might as well keep going because there is going to be a light—or at least a finished product—on the other side.

With that last quote in mind, I think I’m going to take another stab at writing today. Hope your days are more productive than mine! Look forward to seeing you all again on Monday!

Writing: A Pastime or a Way of Life?

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I’m a stickler for words. When writing, I will spend half an hour deciding which word to use.  Should I use cavorted or gallivanted, and should they smirk or sneer? For me, words have strong connotations, and their specific meaning should not be taken lightly. So, when I see or hear self-identified writers use terms such as a pastime or hobby when referring to writing, I am struck.

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What kind of writer are you?

For me, writing is a way of life, a potential secondary or supplemental income, a chance at financial stability, a real business endeavor. I designate 3-5 hours to writing, editing, and planning my works every single day and only wish I could allot more. I seek out professional advice from more seasoned writers and have recently signed a contract with a freelance editor to review my work. I read books on the craft of writing to improve my skills and am considering taking refresher courses in grammar and writing.

Now, don’t get me wrong; I support writing for leisure. For some people, publishing is not their goal, but writing brings them joy. To me, this is acceptable, if not commendable; after all, how many people nowadays write just for the fun of it?

Please understand, I am not trying to put down writers of leisure, only I believe it is important to identify your reasons for writing. Are you writing simply for the fun of it or do you plan on publishing your works? If you chose the first, more power to you. If you chose the second, then you can’t view your craft as a hobby or as a pastime. It should be more to you than that. It’s a second job, heck, a way of life. Otherwise, you might as well not even bother. Regardless of how you are going to publish, whether traditionally or nontraditionally, your product has to demonstrate skill, polish, and if nothing else thought. No one wants to purchase a story that reads like a fanfic. Take your craft seriously or readers won’t.

Obviously, you know where I stand on the issue, but what about you? Is writing a pastime or a way of life? Please complete the survey below: