Earlier this year I decided I was going to be intentional about my hobbies. I was going to devote more time in the first half of the year to writing, reading, reading to write and being a better note-taker, etc… I was going to set aside time to get out of the house and make notes and put together plots and character profiles and blog more, blah, blah, blahthefuckblah.
Yeah. That’s what I said.
And now it’s August. AUGUST!!!???? I got out of the house all of one evening this year. I think it was in June. It was a great night, don’t get me wrong; I claimed a spot at a local coffee house, plugged in the laptop and my earbuds and went to work making notes for a book that I have in my head that was inspired by a dream. There was inspiration! There were “aha!” moments! There is even a list of characters and dotted lines showing their connections to one another. (I was pretty proud of that result in particular.) And that was that.
But over the last month or so I’ve been reading the blogs I follow more often, and there has been an uptick in the activity on social networks with other women in my area who are successful bloggers and writers. And I’m looking at my smug little face over there in my profile looking all “writer-ey” and saying “hey you… you’ve got some serious work to do, and you’re not getting any younger!” There are women out there doing what I want to do, and there’s no excuse for me not to be doing it too.
I subscribe to a massively awesome magazine, Writer’s Digest. It comes every couple of months and I am not even kidding when I say that every single issue has at least three articles that I would swear were written specifically for me. It’s crazy. There is so much good content in this magazine. The thing is, though, is that I read it and get so inspired and think of awesome ideas and make plans in my head… And that’s where it ends. I am great at coming up with ideas, and lousy at executing. Yes, I’m 46 and just now figuring this out. I’m a late bloomer.
So, the September issue of Writer’s Digest included an article by Pamela Redmond Satran called “7 Steps to Successful Juggling”. As usual, it’s full of stuff that was written for me. (thanks Pamela!) I can’t tell you how good it makes me feel to think that other writers struggle with the same things that make me crazy and toy with the idea of giving up. My favorite bit was step number 2 where she says ” Learn to write as the bullets fly… Forget about waiting for the quiet moment alone in the pristine room.” Pamela, like me, had been putting off her writing because she was waiting for those quiet times away – in a coffee shop, or a little writers’ studio… When I have that, she’d think, THEN I’ll be able to write.
But then Pamela tells me that it doesn’t have to be that way! She shakes me by the shoulders and makes me realize all those nights I spend at home cooking dinner and cleaning up dinner and doing laundry and with my kids running around and televisions on… those are moments when I could put SOMETHING down on paper. I might not get the detailed editing done in between the wash and rinse cycles, but I could come up with a character profile, or do research online. I could just WRITE SOME WORDS.
I’m fortunate in that I have a husband who is willing to help me out and has told me more than once that I just need to tell him what he needs to do. It’s been a challenge, because I was married for ten years to a man who was loathe to do anything besides exactly what he wanted to do, with or without me asking. Whether it was cooking, cleaning, shopping, doctor appointments, school meetings, laundry, caring for pets… if he didn’t want to do it, he didn’t. It’s not easy for me to remember to ask for help, but I’m working on it.
So, in an effort to put myself out there, and intentionally declare myself as a Writer (note the capital W), I signed up for the Arkansas Women Bloggers’ Conference that happens later this month.
For many, blogging may not be considered “serious writing”, but I would argue that point. There are certainly plenty of blogs out there that are light on content and long on personal experiences and venting and soap-boxing, yes. There are some focused on decorating that are made up primarily of pretty pictures (which I do love). Others share pictures of food and yummy recipes (which I also love). But there are also a ton of blogs that are maintained by freelance authors and journalists who are using their blogs as just another platform for getting their work out there to be seen and appreciated. I figure, there are going to be some women at this conference who have a lot to tell me that I need to hear. If they are trying to keep their blogs fresh and appealing to sponsors (did you know you can make an income writing a blog? Yes you can!) then they have some serious time-management tips to pass along, folks.
I’m super excited to be attending this conference, and even more excited that my sister, who has an awesome blog at Idyll Hands, is going to be there as well. And then I’m REALLY excited to tell you that I will be hosting my very first blog giveaway in conjunction with the conference. One of their sponsors,Country Outfitters, is hooking participants up with a free pair of cowboy boots and letting us give away another free pair to a lucky reader. I am waiting for all the details, but let me just say that after spending a LOT of time picking my pair, you will not be disappointed. Take a look at their selection and check back to be sure to get in on the action. Here’s the pair I picked… pretty awesome, right? I am not typically a cowboy boot wearer, but these are going to be killer with skirts and jeans when I have a hankering.
Maybe I’ll just have to wear them when I sign my first publishing contract. Yep, that’s what I’ll do. THESE boots were made for WRITIN’!!
** It was rightly brought to my attention that I neglected to show the love for my roomate for the AWBU – Ms. Jasmine of the blog, “Just Jasmine“. She kicks butt in more ways than I can go into here… but believe me when I say that I’m totally looking forward to sharing a cabin with this mixed race, mouthy broad. What happens at AWBU stays at AWBU, right?? 😉