Resolution Time Already?

Can you believe the new year is right around the corner?  Where did the last 12 months go?  No, seriously…where did they go?  I feel like I was trying to figure out my 2015 New Year’s resolutions just a few weeks ago.  Anyway, here we go again!  Time to start thinking of what changes I would like to make in 2016.  I’ve decided to make writing a key resolution for the New Year.  Specifically though, I’m not sure what to do.  Of course I’m doing the good ol’ classics too….you know….lose weight, eat healthy, exercise, be more organized, try not to complain as much….blah, blah, blah.

So this writing one….I feel like I need to be really specific to have the best chance at success.  I was thinking of these:

  1. Write at least one blog post every week.
  2. Write a short story once a week.
  3. Read five new books a month.
  4. Turn off my inner critic.  (this one is going to be HARD)

It’s not much, but it’s a start.  Do any of you have any writing resolutions that have worked for you?  I’m always open for suggestions.

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Operation Success!

So I’m not going to lie….I haven’t done much writing the last week or so.  I’ve been down with a cold and pretty much spent the last 6 days on the recliner, in my pajamas, watching Maury, Price is Right, and all the other guilty pleasure shows we’re all too embarrassed to admit we watch when we’re sick.  However, I’m feeling better (for the most part) and am feeling a renewed hunger to write.  One cool update to report is that my writing exercise (this one) has been very successful.  If you’ve never done it, I highly recommend you try it.  Craig Hole, one of the guys that I’ve done this exercise with actually created a short story inspired by our exercise!  How freaking cool is that?!  You should check it out right here.  While you’re there, take a look at his blog!  The exercise really does help you with writer’s block and, for me, it has helped fill my brain with all these new ideas.

Since I’ve definitely deemed this exercise successful, I’d love it if anyone else out there had any other ideas or exercises that they’ve found to be successful.  Help a newbie out!!  Somebody?  Anybody?

Writing Exercise Update

So I’ve been fortunate enough to try my writing exercise with a couple people.  For those that didn’t see my last post (shame on you! haha), I highly suggest you check it out.  It’s basically an exercise that is designed to help you not overthink things…and JUST WRITE!  Overthinking has definitely been my kryptonite in this writing process, but I can absolutely see the benefit in this exercise.  You’re supposed to respond within a specified amount of time, which has helped me tremendously.  When I’m forced to just write…..I JUST WRITE!  Imagine that.  Additionally, the people I have done the exercise with so far have been great writers (intimidatingly so), so I feel like it’s forcing me to try even harder.  While I’m not at their level, I like the challenge.  Also, from the stories I’ve done so far, I feel my mind going into overdrive.  I’ve had a bunch of new ideas for a storyline pop up in my head, which is exactly what I’ve been needing.  So I would say this exercise has been a success so far!  Do you guys have any other ideas for great writing exercises?  I’d love to hear them!

Writing Exercise

I really wanted to start this week off with a blog post, but was drawing a blank on a topic.  My brain is still on standby following an exhausting weekend.  As much as I hate to admit it, I didn’t do anything related to my writing.  My weekend consisted of football, Jeeps and more football.  Oh wait……did I mention football?  Yes, even more football.  Anyway, I mentioned to a friend that maybe I should blog about recent news events.  However, he wisely suggested that it might not be a good idea.  He’s right though.  I can be very passionate about certain topics and the last thing I need to do is upset or irritate any of my readers (yes, I finally have some!).  He also gave me the idea for my blog post today!  Thanks buddy!

So, he recently heard about a writing exercise, which sounds incredibly helpful and actually really fun.  Maybe you’ve already heard of it, maybe not.  Either way, it goes something like this.  One person writes two sentences….about anything really.  Then the second person writes one sentence.  The first person follows with another sentence….and so on and so forth.  This creates a “story,” that literally can shift directions at the drop of a hat.  This continues until one person says, “the end,” which can be at any time.  The last person then gets to write one last sentence.  The writing of the sentences is timed as well, so you really don’t have time to think (or overthink) what you’re going to say next.  It’s supposed to help people overcome writer’s block.  I think it sounds pretty brilliant myself.  I keep being told that I just need to start writing and stop thinking.  This sounds like the perfect way to try that out.

I would be thrilled if this exercise not only helped me, but maybe some other aspiring writer too.  So, I’d like to throw out an invitation.  If any of you are interested in trying this out with me, I’d be stoked!  Shoot me an e-mail if you want!  It’s 7thtimesacharm@gmail.com  Let’s do this!!

Discouraged

So I’m feeling a bit discouraged today.  I know it’s only been 2 weeks and 1 day since I started my journey, but I’m still at square one.  I haven’t made any progress on my storyline or characters.  I only have 1 blog follower, so I’m not optimistic about getting advice and suggestions.  I definitely have an issue with patience (I need to work on that) and I’m an instant gratification type of person.  And so my pattern begins.  Typically I have a few days of being discouraged and then I quit.  Obviously, I will try my best to not let that happen this time….but we shall see.  I just wish my creativity would slap me in the face every once in a while.  That’s not too much to ask for, is it?

Inspiration in Life

There’s something I learned about this whole brainstorming process.  You can find inspiration in just about everything.  I have found myself listening to the lyrics of songs, reading descriptions of shows on television, people watching, thinking of old friends and looking at old pictures (amongst other things).  It’s actually pretty fun.  I’ve also been trying different methods on how to develop my story, such as starting with my characters rather than my plot.  This is all still a learning experience for me…but I’m enjoying every minute of it so far.  Also, since my blog was originally intended to share not only my journey with you, but also my life…I figured I’d share some more of my life with you now.

After looking at some of my old pictures, I got inspired to share one of my favorite trips with you.  Heck, thinking about this trip gave me inspiration for my story as well!  Anyway, as much as I am ridiculously obsessed with traveling, I haven’t done any outside of the US.  My funds have me strapped to the walls of the US.  I don’t mind though.  There are so many beautiful places to see and things to do right here in the good ol’ US of A.

So I’ve been to Vegas quite a few times over the years.  My last trip there however, was my absolute favorite.  My husband and I decided to spend most of our “Vegas vacation” outside of Vegas.  Go figure.  For those of you that have already been to Vegas, I would highly recommend you plan a “Vegas trip” and do the same thing.  Though we mostly scooter-pooped (yes, I did just say scooter-pooped) outside of Vegas, our hotel was in Vegas.  I mention that because I would also love to give a quick plug to our hotel because we really loved our room.  It was at the Elara, which is a Hilton Grand Vacations hotel.  It doesn’t have a casino, but is connected to Planet Hollywood, so there’s a casino there, along with tons of places to eat and shop.  The room was amazing though.  The service was great.  The room was huge and clean.  There were floor-to-ceiling windows, which, at the press of a button, brought down an 8 foot wide-screen for a HD home theater projector.  So yes, my spoiled butt got to watch the Superbowl on this heavenly screen.  The picture of the screen below was taken in the dark, but you get the idea.  So if you’re ever in Vegas, I would give this hotel a shot.  You won’t regret it.

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So technically, the first thing we did was actually in Vegas, but I still wanted to point it out because it was very cool and I would also recommend it.  It’s the Neon Boneyard.  It’s where all the old Vegas signs lay to rest.  It’s really a sight to see and makes for some really cool photo opportunities.

126 132So I lied…we did yet another thing in Vegas, which I thought was cool, but might not be everyone’s cup of tea.  It was the Mob Museum.  It’s really cool if you’re into that kind of stuff, which I am.  If you are, I’d stop for an hour or two.  So onto the non-Vegas sights.  Our first stop was a ghost town called Rhyolite.  It’s about 120 miles northwest of Vegas and was really an interesting place to visit.  A lot of the existing old structures, along with some of the artwork displayed outside, make it a must see!  It’s very close to Death Valley too, which was our next stop.  Might as well kill two birds with one stone.

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241248Next stop…..Area 51!  Don’t roll your eyes at me!  It was the bomb dot com.  Even though it’s an incredibly desolate (maybe a little boring at times) drive, I still had a blast!  Maybe it’s a mental thing.  Just the idea that you’re visiting Area 51 is kind of badass.  It feels a little dangerous too, which is always fun.  We had lunch at the notorious Little A’Le’Inn.  It’s nothing fancy, but the food was good and the shop was neat.  We also stopped at the “Black” Mailbox, which if you didn’t already know, isn’t black anymore.  Talking to a lot of the locals about their extraterrestrial experiences was a lot of fun too.  I really really really wish I could replay this day again.

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333 334 335The last two stops I’ll tell you about are Mt. Charleston and Lake Mead.  Mt. Charleston is only about 35 miles northwest of Vegas.  However, once you drive up the mountain (which has an elevation of 7500 feet), you’ll think you are in another state.  It’s gorgeous.  Not only is it a beautiful sight to see, the weather was amazing.  As many of you know, Vegas can get damn hot!  Like seriously…..holy crap hot.  On this particular day, the temperature gauge on our vehicle showed 117 degrees!!  Yes, you saw that right….117 degrees.    However, as we drove up the mountain, it dropped to 65 degrees.  Unbelievable!  For a gal from Florida, I was FREEZING!  We had lunch at a little resort on the mountain with incredible views.  We later visited Lake Mead, which was beautiful as well.  We didn’t do much while we were at Lake Mead other than sightsee, but we did really enjoy it.

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While we did quite a few more things while we were there, I just wanted to share the non-Vegas stuff.  It really was an amazing trip and hopefully some of you will try some of these places out.  THAT will be gratifying to me.

Stumped

Happy two days after Halloween!  After spending one of my favorite holidays at Disney (imagine that), I came home and revved up my thinking machine for more storyline ideas.  It may come as no surprise, but here I sit….stumped yet again.  Why do I make this so much harder than it should be?  It’s what I always do, which usually ultimately leads to the death of my dream.  Again, I am trying to make this time different.  I will not let this storyline (or lack thereof) defeat me!  There is so much around me to get inspiration from.  I just need to open my eyes.

In the meantime, I need to read up on how to get blog followers.  How on earth will I get advice or suggestions if nobody is reading it?  Help!