Oh hi, world! I guess I kind of took a year and some odd month break, huh? Yeah, about that...
I had a bit of an ambitious year that included starting a new job (yay!), planning a wedding, getting married in said wedding and enjoying the aftermath of said wedding. :) But on top of searching for vendors, trying on dresses and thinking about tablecloth lengths more than I ever have in my entire life, I also set a writing goal.
Project 300/365 was just how it sounds: write the equivalent of 300 words a day for an entire year. (That's 109,500 for those keeping count at home.) With so much on my plate, I wasn't going to stress myself out with lofty writing projects. Rather, I was going to embrace my inner creative vagabond and follow inspiration like the wind, regardless of how many paths it led me down. As I finished 2017 with 156,338 words, I'd say I did pretty darn good.
But this year, I am craving a little more structure. If 2017 was the year of planting my literary seeds, 2018 will be the year they begin to grow...and hopefully flourish.
Therefore, my 2018 writing goals are as follows:
Hopefully, you'll be hearing from me a little more consistently in 2018. ;) Cheers!
Today is Mercury's last day in retrograde and whether you believe in astrology or not, you'd have a hard time disagreeing that things have been a little screwy lately. When this celestial phenomenon occurs, communication is thrown all out of whack, which can cause some disturbance in the force in your own world.
I was no exception. After a few stressful weeks, I was ready to shake off Mercury's bad juju. So after work today, I stopped at my local Kroger to prepare for the weekend.
In the pasta section, a kindly middle-aged man, donning the name tag "George," was stocking the shelves next to me as I grabbed my two jars of tomato basil. He then stopped what he was doing, peeked into my cart and smirked.
"You know, it's a little early in the day to be getting sauced."
Yes, it was a total dad joke that would have gotten him sent directly to the punalty box by any normal person. But man, after a particular day of crazy, did I ever need a dad joke.
I laughed and pointed at him. "Ahhhh, I see what you did there."
He outstretched his hands like a performer after a dazzling sleight of hand trick. "You need to have a little fun sometimes, you know?"
Boy, did I ever.
"You sure do," I replied through my uncontrollable giggles. I wished him a good day and continued to grin all the way down the aisle.
I don't think George will ever realize how much that silly little pun totally turned my day around. Even in a time period where things seem to be spiraling out of control, I realized that as long as there are Georges among us, everything is going to be okay.
So I think my new mantra is going to be, "Be someone's George moment." Then, if I see someone browsing the pasta selection at my Kroger, I can offer a them a "penne for their thoughts."
I'll see myself out.
My love affair with NaNo began as any light-hearted romantic comedy might: making eye contact in a library.
It was October 2015 and there I was on my lunch hour, curled up in a chair with a small stack of books. That’s when out of the corner of my eye, I spotted a pair of Viking horns.
Upon closer inspection, I came to realize this was the logo for National Novel Writing Month, or NaNo for those of us in the know. Underneath the crest was the fateful question: “Are you ready for the challenge of writing 50,000 words in 30 days?”
I snapped a photo of it and posted it to my Instagram with the caption, “Challenge accepted.”
For over a year, I had a story concept slowly simmering in my mind like a young ember. Unlike other ideas I’ve had in the past, I decided to finally take the plunge past the development stage. I was going to formally start the rough draft of a freaking, honest-to-goodness novel.
Plus, my vow was on the Internet for all whopping 18 of my followers to see. I had to follow through now.
Most of my family, friends and colleagues were supportive. But certain individuals raised their skeptical eyebrows and questioned how I could possibly write anything good in just 30 days. And up until November 1, I had wondered the same.
But that is when I discovered the true meaning of National Novel Writing Month. It is not about crafting an immaculate, publisher-ready novel. It is simply about the beautiful act of writing words.
National Novel Writing Month taught me to turn off my inner critic and not stop my rhythm by fretting over a character name or using the perfect adjective. When you let go of your insecurities, it’s amazing what can flow from your fingertips.
Your NaNo work doesn’t have to be perfect: it just has to be present.
When the dust had settled from the most crazy and creatively charged 30 days of my writing career, I stared triumphantly at 50,555 words. In my adult life, I have written a master’s thesis, a travel blog, NCAA media guides, fan stories galore and countless articles, newsletters and press releases. But nothing has given me more pride as a writer than watching my little seedling of an idea begin to blossom.
Since then, I have continued to work on this same story for both 2016 Camp NaNoWriMo sessions and plan to do so again this November. I have also made some wonderful friends and connections through this program, which have proven invaluable in inspiring me and improving my craft.
So, when I bring it all back to that fateful October day, my NaNo journey was indeed like a romantic comedy. We had a meet-cute, went through a courting phase, had some doubts…but then, ultimately took the plunge together into a highly satisfying (if not occasionally chaotic) creative relationship.
Now, that’s what I call a happily ever after.