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It really seems like I get longer and longer between my posts to this blog. Not sure why, maybe it is just life getting in the way, but it is probably time to start getting more consistent with this blog thing, as I have a lot to say, just need to put into words.

So, what is my rant today? Not sure. I have thought about a lot of things. How our President is doing in his first 100 days.

I have to admit he isntarget-1551490_640‘t my favorite person, but he has done lot of what he promised, so you have to give him some points on that. I could talk about some congress person  who is trying to pass a bill that certain types of sex is illegal, but my question is how do you know what I am doing in the privacy of my own bedroom? Are you really bugging and filming all Americans and we don’t know it? Kind of makes you think. I could talk about my attempts at growing veggies, and how after two years I think maybe I have figured out how not to do it, so now I just need to stop and try the exact opposite. I mean that would make sense, don’t you think. How about the state that is trying to pass a law where if someone breaks into your house and tries to kill you, but you kill them first, that if he lives he can sue you or if he dies the family can sue you? That has to be one of the stupidest things I have heard in a long time. I have a right to defend myself on my property. The minute you come into my house uninvited or with intent to do me or my family harm, you deserve whatever happens to you and your family doesn’t deserve a dime. What are some of these politicians thinking, or maybe that is the problem, they aren’t.

Maybe I ought to write about how with it now in the month of April, that I am finally making my goals for the year. A little behind you might say. Which, wouldn’t be a lie. I have for the past who knows how many years have said I am going to start writing this year. I am finally going to write short stories, novellas, where ever the characters take me and guess what? I still have nothing to publish. You know why? Because I was doing my goal setting completely wrong. If you make a list of what you are going to do, i.e. lose weight, write a book, get my degree, you are making such vague goals you are never going to accomplish them. I was reading an e-book the other day on how writers need to set goals. One of the main points is you can only make goals that can be done by you and need no outside force to complete. You can’t say, I’m going to 100 books this year, as you are depending on 100 people you don’t know to find your book and buy it, so you just set yourself up to fail. Now you can say I’m going to write 1000 words or 10 pages a day, then you are getting closer. You have given yourself steps to succeed, but you haven’t put anything in place to help you when you mess up and aren’t able to write for a couple of days.

What you really need to do is identify what is taking your time away from your writing or goal. Is it too much social media, too many TV shows, or whatever it is that you find yourself doing instead of writing? I know mine is too much TV. I like my TV. I grew up with the TV. It was my friend, my babysitter, and now if I start a show, I have to know how it ends. If I don’t know how it ends I spend the next four hours figuring out all sorts of alternative endings, where if I had just sat down and finished the show, I wouldn’t be wasting more time doing “what if.” Of course, if I never started the show and went in and started writing, I probably could have gotten at least 1000 words written in an hour or so instead. I also find myself needing to do research on one thing and an hour later I not only didn’t find the answer I needed, I ended up catching up on Facebook, looking up obscure websites on certain maladies, or any other host of different things that have nothing to do what I originally decided to do. Sound familiar to you?

I will admit, I’m far from an expert on how to truly set and finish goals, but I have a lot of experience in what not to do, as I am one heck of a procrastinating, scattered, easily distracted, and completely confused writer, so don’t do as I say, take my example and do the exact opposite… Till next time…

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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…

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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