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a-ha-ha-wr-be-a-writer-funny1We are now on week 2 of my month of writing in May and my first week went to heck in a hand basket…  I didn’t get but 2 short stories wrote, 1 blog post, and nothing else… Today I have to step back, shake myself off, and try again.  There is no way to make up for last week, but I can still complete my writing goals from today on.  That is the thing about dreams… You have to put in the work to take them from the dream stage to reality.  I could get all upset, and beat myself up over not making my goals, but instead of worrying about it, I have to stop and regroup.  See if I am really chasing the correct dream or did I just let life get in the way.  Sometimes you start down a road of what you believe your calling is, or your dream, and get halfway down the road and realize you have no desire to follow this path at all.  I don’t mean you are just tired, but you decide you have no desire at all to even do it.  Sometimes what we think are roadblocks and obstacles are really landmines we have laid ourselves to keep from doing what we really aren’t wanting to do to begin with.

This isn’t always the problem.  A lot of the time you really want to follow a certain dream, but life really does get in the way.  When that happens you can’t just stop, but rearrange things, make a daily schedule, do whatever you need to do to make sure you have some time every day to work on your dream.  If you only have 15 minutes then use that time to write a chapter, a drabble, or whatever you need to do.  If you are an artist in 15 minutes you could sketch a character, cut out a pattern, sew something, or at least get your ideas on paper so when you have more time you don’t have to think about what to do, as you have already made the blueprint to follow.  Sometimes I find it helpful to write down before I go to bed what I want to accomplish the next day, a question about how to proceed in a story I’m writing, or just for clarity in how to get through the next day.  When you write this down your subconscious will be working on the problem while you sleep and normally when you wake up you will have your answer, or an idea, or you even had a dream that showed you what to do.  This doesn’t always work, but you would be surprised how much clarity you can get when you do this.

The thing is, most of us do waste time every day on things that do not bring us closer to our goals, but just wastes time.  I admit my biggest bad habit is watching TV.  Once I start a show I have to see what happens.  I am going to sit there until the end, as I don’t want to spend the rest of the day or evening trying to figure out what happened.  I watched the finale of The Good Wife Sunday night.  I have been watching this show since episode one and was totally vested in how they were going to end the show.  They said fans would be happy with the ending.  They said things would be tied up and nothing left to the imagination.  Well they LIED to me… I still don’t understand the ending.  The only ending that really upset me more was the series finale of The Sopranos.  That ending still pisses me off.  I also hate it when they leave a series in a cliffhanger and then decide not to renew it, so here we are years later still wondering what happened… i.e. did they stay together, did she lose the baby, who did she pick, did they both die?  I mean I could go on for pages about the shows I watched to the last episode, got into the cliffhanger, and to this day never found out what happened.  This is a big problem when you have a writer’s or creative mind is you will mull over all types of endings and what could have happened and you are just never completely satisfied.

But getting back on track here… I am going to have to get myself back on track if I have any intention on becoming a writer who makes money from my words.  For those of you who are reading this, it is time you regroup and figure out what you are supposed to be doing in your life.  What makes you happy.  What makes you want to get out of bed every morning and get to work… Also, are you hanging onto a dream that if you really are honest with yourself was never your dream to begin with, it was just a way to make money, or your family said you should be this or that, or you just thought it sounded cool and decided that was your goal in life.  Take inventory on your desires.  If need be do a pros and cons list where you take a piece of paper and draw a line own the center.  One side you write pros and other side you write cons.  Once you did that honestly write down why you should follow this dream and why you should not.  Why you think it is right and why you think you made a mistake.  Once done take a minute and really look at what you wrote, as normally you will see the answer…. Till next time…

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mothers-day-card-pride-mom-funny-ecard-XYLIn the early 1900s a lady called Anna Jarvis was the reason we have Mother’s Day today.  In wanting to honor her mother who worked to clean up and sanitize the make shift hospitals and such during the Civil War.  Most women stayed home and took care of kids, not volunteering to improve the health of the soldiers.  Through Anna’s efforts to honor her mom, she ended up getting the US Government to authorize the holiday so all mothers could be honored by their children for their hard work and love for their kids.  The problem was Mother’s Day ended up this very commercialized holiday that made it more about what the kids spent on the present then really honoring their mom through spending time with them.  If your kids didn’t go out and spend a bunch of money on you then you must be a bad mother, which is part of where I believe the depression comes from related to Mother’s Day.  The thing is Anna got so upset that she started petitioning, picketing, and protesting the government to stop the holiday, as it didn’t mean what it did originally, it became more of a guilt trip on kids who either were unable to or did not buy a big gift or fancy dinner for their mom.  The sad thing is Anna spent all her money on trying to stop Mother’s Day as we know it.  Her true feelings were expressed in her quote:

A printed card means nothing except that you are too lazy to write to the woman who has done more for you than anyone in the world. And candy! You take a box to Mother—and then eat most of it yourself. A pretty sentiment.

— Anna Jarvis.

While others profited from the day, Jarvis did not, and she spent the later years of her life with her sister Lillie whom she had taken care of for years. In 1943, she began organizing a petition to rescind Mother’s Day.  However, these efforts were halted when she was placed in the Marshall Square Sanitarium in West Chester, Pennsylvania, broke and with dementia.  People connected with the floral and greeting card industries paid the bills to keep her in the sanitarium. She ultimately died in 1948.  The committee she formed tried to stay together after her death, but finally disbanded.  Anna Jarvis never married nor did she have any children, which is a bit of irony as she was the reason for Mother’s Day and she never was a mother.

I do believe the problem with Mother’s Day is the same problem with most of the other holidays, there is this expectation of what everyone should do or expect, and when reality hits the depression sets in.  Let’s say you are a mom, but your kids are older and basically just call or such, you then wonder what you did to be such a bad mom that they didn’t feel compelled to do more for you.  You then have Christmas with the gift giving and the crap that goes with that.  Of course you have Valentine’s Day and the expectations that come from that, no big gift so the person must not really love me.  I read somewhere that the day after Valentine’s you will find the most traffic from women looking for a new guy on one of the many dating websites, including the married looking for married type.

With all this said, people need to stop having such big expectations for these commercialized holidays.  Most holidays were not started as a reason to give a bunch gifts or such, they were started to honor an event, a person, or a group of people.  Whether it be veterans, mothers, dads, and Jesus, the reason for the season needs to come first, not the expectations given to a person through the constant bombarding of commercials on TV, radio ads, or even surfing the web.  We all need to remember it isn’t the gift that is given, but the thought behind it…  Till next time….

 

The month of May has become my month to get my writing on track.  Not only is the first week Book-in-a-Week.com, but the entire month of May is storyaday.org.  This is where you can setup your own rules, but you have to follow them, whether you write 31 stories for 31 days or a story a day for 5 days a week, or whatever, you need to follow your rules so you get into the habit of write daily, on a regular schedule.  This is the hard point for me.  I work a weird shift, try to work in enough sleep, and then I get scattered with everything else I need to do, so figuring out a writing schedule and sticking to it is a must for me.  Both events give you the ability to get a lot written, but the key is you aren’t writing a finished product.  You are getting the words on paper and then you will come back later and do clean up.  Some of the stories you write you will probably never look at again, but then others may clean up to become some your best work. 2016stadabadgesq500x500

What I find interesting is a short story can be as short as 25 words or less.  There is Twitter fiction where you have to fit the story in 144 characters.  You have drabbles that are about 100 words.  You could also do flash fiction which is normally between 500 to 1000 words.  The one thing you must follow is the story, no matter how short, must have a beginning, middle, and end.  The reader is not going to like you if you take them right to the cliff and then end the story.  They are going to wonder whether the main character jumped, turned back, sat down, or just disappeared, but for some people they may not read your stuff again because you just pissed them off.  I am one of those who hates open ended movies, as my mind goes in all sorts of directions trying to figure out how it should end, a week later I may still be trying to figure it out and just wish I had never seen the movie.

But getting on point, if you have a desire to become a writer or artist or whatever, you need to make a time every day to practice, even if it is 5 minutes here or there.  I carry both a sketchbook and writing notebook in my purse everywhere I go so if I find myself having to wait somewhere or such I can pull out what I need and get some work done.  It also helps if you can find something like the book in a week group or something related to what you are trying to do, so you can have accountability, focus, and encouragement to make the time and start turning your dream into actuality.  Till next time…

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