#write31days without purpose

Now that I’ve shared my big fancy life goal with you, I’ll also share how I ran smack into it as I prepared to re-start my blog.

As I started looking at all the things I’ve posted on my blog and all the ideas I have for future topics, I found several central themes. The biggest two just don’t fit with each other.

Theme 1: I am not a qualified adult.  (Or as Tumblr has so eloquently put it, “I need an adultier adult… an adult who can successfully adult)  (You can see it here, but it has cussing in it. )

Theme 2: I really want to share my adult-ness with you. (I can find no eloquent words to express this. I wish I could.)

Early September, I was in the middle of my big brain storming session to come up with a great topic for #write31days when I got hit upside the head with the impossibleness of those two themes happening in the same place. I was so mad I threw my pen across the room. I yelled “sugar” really loud (and yes, it really was sugar… my kids were in the house) and had quite the temper tantrum.

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Write with purpose

I know beyond a doubt that I’m a better writer (and blogger) when I write with purpose.

It’s not just about pulling together a week’s worth of topics on a central theme (PINK anyone?) or creating a 31 day series on a single topic. Those have their place and purpose and I obviously have a soft spot for those kind of things. I’m talking more about the big picture or vision kind of thing.

For what it’s worth, I think I do everything better when it’s accompanied with purpose and intent. I suspect I’m not alone.

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#write31days and a crazy love for word play

If you’ve followed my blog for any length of time, you know I have a crazy love for word play.

I’m kind of obsessed with puns (even if they don’t involve eggs).

I write twisty bad poetry.

I have an entire board on Pinterest devoted to grammar.

You don’t even want to know how many books I have on my Kindle, or my bookcase, or my nightstand. You probably don’t want to know how many hours I’ve spent playing Scrabble or various word games on my iPhone either.

(In each case, my husband would use the word “excessive” to describe it. Sigh.)

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10,000 hours more or less

I’ve been trying to figure out if I’ve spent 10,000 hours writing.

In Malcolm Gladwell’s book Outliers, he examines the factors that contribute  to an unusually high rate of success. He makes several mentions of the 10,000 hour rule.  Essentially, the key to success in any field is a matter of practicing a specific task for a total of around 10,000 hours.

Since I’ve already admitted that I have this silly goal of writing and becoming rich and famous just because I’m awesome, I’ll go ahead and admit the rest.

I’d love to experience an “unusually high rate of success” as a writer.

(It’s ok to laugh, I almost put that last part in my sarcastic font.) [Read more…]

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How to put your (inner) editor in time out

As much as I would like to fire my editor, I can’t. She lives in my head.

My inner editor is, at times, necessary and appropriate.  I need filters for my mouth – particularly when someone is wearing (mumble mumble mumble… my editor made me delete this part).

(oops.)

I need filters for my brain sometimes – particularly when I’m tempted by the steady stream of garbage and vitriol that is never more than a click away

(Netflix and TMZ, I’m talking about you.)

I even need my inner editor (filter) for my writing – particularly when my kids do something totally embarrassing or when I’m ticked off at my husband.

(I do my best not to air dirty laundry.)

But… [Read more…]

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#write31days – Dear Beginning Blogger

As soon as I recommitted to writing, I had several friends decide that they wanted to try their hand at being a blogger.  I can’t blame them because it can be a LOT of fun and very rewarding.

I’m also a part of a Facebook group filled with bloggers who are all taking the same #write31days challenge.  (waving hello).  It’s a mixed group with all levels of experience including quite a few brand new bloggers.

I <3 the beginning bloggers.  All of them.

I realized I have a LOT that I want to tell them all.  More than I can possibly fit into a post on Facebook. More than I can fit into a text message. More than I care to say in an email or leave in a comment.

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#write31days – but NOT in bossy britches

When I realized I wasn’t cut out to be a prescriptive blogger, it was very liberating. I don’t LIKE myself when I wear the bossy britches.

(As I said yesterday, “bossy pants aren’t authentic or flattering.”)

If I only wore them when writing DIY posts, it might be OK. Unfortunately, my family knows differently. [Read more…]

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Labeling our passion can hinder it

Sometimes, in our haste to have our passion understood, we allow others to label us in a way that hinders us. For me, the whole “blogging niche” thing has been a source of frustration, bewilderment, and limitation.  The more I’ve dug into it, the more convinced I am that labeling our passion should be handled with care.

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My history with the love of writing

If I’m going to write for 31 days for the love of writing, it seems only fair to start with a little history.

When I first started writing, I didn’t even have a blog.

I wrote blog posts in forum discussions. I wrote them as comments on Facebook. I wrote them in emails. I orated them over lunch with friends. After about the 100th time someone told me “you should really get a blog” I took the hint and started blogging.

(OK, technically I started writing before the internet was born. I used to “help” with college papers in exchange for beer. I kept a journal off and on for years. I wrote notes to friends and passed them in the hallways. I scribbled abysmally bad angst filled poetry on my book covers. Work with me.)

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In which I commit to 31 days on one topic

I kind of liked “31 days of WHAT???” as a title, but I’ve used it before.

This is my 3rd October as a blogger. I’ve been through two “31 days of” series already. That’s enough to know that:

a) No matter what graphic image I develop for the series, I’ll dread seeing it by the end of the month.
b) No matter what title I pick, I will end up feeling restricted by it.
c) No matter what subject I try to address, it will morph into something different by the end.
d) No matter my desire for transparency and authenticity, at some point things get too messy to share.

It’s also enough to know that “day one” is weird.  It feels like wearing brand new never washed jeans.

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