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Writer-Slytherclaw-Nerdfighter

Why I write a little bit everyday

Part of my rather extensive list of goals for 2017 (let’s be real – every year) is to write more, edit more, and hopefully share more. But as anyone who has even dabbled with writing knows stories take more than word count goals on a calendar to get written. At some point you have to put in the work and developing a routine can take a lot of the pressure off.

Now some people are gifted with regular schedules and the ability to pick a time every day that works for them, block it into their planner, show up and hope for the best. I am not one of those people. My schedule varies from day to day, week to week, and between my ongoing battles with bipolar disorder and the house I’m renovating, it’s impossible to pick a magic time frame to write each day. But I do write each day.

I’m by no means saying that everyone who wants to be a writer must write every single day, or for a certain amount of time, or to a certain word count, or anything like that. In fact lists and recommendations like that only fueled my anxiety and depression for the first few years when I was trying to figure out how to do this writing thing. I’m still trying to figure it out by the way, so what works for me might not work for you, and in the same vein, what works for me right now might not work for me two years from now. I’m just offering my perspective.

My method, at the moment, is to write every day, even if it’s only for 10 minutes. Even if I only get 50 words. Even if I struggle to quiet the nagging, judgmental voice in my head the whole time I’m staring at the blank page. The thing is that I come to my work every day, and see what happens. I do of course have other project goals and such in mind, but my mental health informs a large part of my life and I don’t have the luxury of knowing where I’ll be on a day to day standing.

Just to give you an idea of what this showing up every day and writing looks like:

Sunday Jan 1st – 92 w – 3 min

Monday Jan 2nd – 277 w – 12 min

Tuesday Jan 3rd – 59 w – 26 min (There was some editing going on in this block as well. I’m not quite this horrible)

Wednesday Jan 4th – 1504 w – 23 min

It’s great if you can stick to a certain time or word count goal every single day, but I’m just here to tell you that your process is your business. Just because you don’t/can’t do something the way everyone else does it, doesn’t mean that you can’t be a writer, or that you aren’t a good one. There have been some weeks where I’ve had 4-6 days at 5k. Art is unpredictable just like life and ultimately it’s better to do a little bit on the bad days rather than nothing at all.

Tiny side note. A lot of people recommend writing 500 words a day as a small benchmark and just for curiosity sake, the sum of my word counts above, divided by the four days is 483 words per day. Do with that what you will.

Please share what your daily routines or daily writing goals look like in the comments below.

 

Best wishes,

Ellie ❤

 

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7 things you should do in 2017

liveout-loud

Congratulations. You survived 2016. I know, what a dumpster fire. But it’s over now so let’s look ahead at the next 365 days. Here’s 7 things you should do to make this a better year than the last.

  1. Start and keep a journal. I’m sure that this is on every self improvement/goal setting list ever but there’s a reason for it. A journal is a place to record your life but it’s so much more than dates and events. It’s a blank slate for the dross of daily life. It’s a home for all the worries that keep you up at night and the creative ideas you wish to get to but don’t have the time for right now. Best of all, there are no rules. There are hundreds of ways to use a journal and none of them are wrong. If you do nothing else in 2017, spend some time with your thoughts.
  2. Meditate. Meditation has a lot of uses and you can read all about it’s miraculous effects across mediums, but what it comes down to is finding a quiet place, and relaxing. Rarely do we ever have a chance to just sit still and in our hectic lives. Fancy techniques and guide books aside, close your eyes, focus on your breath, and take five minutes to yourself. There are plenty of great resources out there, but this is my favorite five minute game changer. 
  3. Make time to read. Read for fun, pleasure, curiosity, but read. I think that sometimes we forget that books were created by people who, in all likelihood, suffer from the same earthly problems we do. Solace, joy, hope, a rollicking good time, all of it can be found between the pages of a good book, and even some bad ones. Reading widens our minds, and opens us up to other people and places, real, mis-remembered, or imagined.
  4. Create something. Write a novel. Paint a postcard. Sew some crazy pinterest hack. Whatever you do, find a place to stretch your muscles and test your ideas. You may be awful at it. The good news is that there are lots of ways to make things, and it’s okay if you aren’t great at all of them. If you find something you enjoy regardless of your skill level, you’ve already taken several steps ahead of the person who never tried.
  5. Donate. Donate at the grocery store. At the mall. Online. Donate old clothing and toys to local charities in your home town. Anything at all big or small that you can give, can mean a world of difference. Yes, there are some people that cheat, or lie, but for every one of them is a dozen or more people in need of food, shelter, clothing, water, and hope.
  6. Get up and move.  Dancing. Yoga. Walking. Weights. Swimming. Anything. Set your own fitness or weight-loss goals if you want, but your health will only be improved by more activity. Like anything else in life, it’s a journey, so don’t get discouraged if you fall off the horse a few times. Just be sure to get back up.
  7. Make some outrageous goals. Challenge: what would you do, want, attempt, if you had no financial, time, X, limits? What have you always found interesting, but never dared enough to try? Is there something you wish you were, or could become but somethings holding you back? Take five minutes (or more) and write it all down. Now take a good look at that list. Can you take any steps toward those outrageous goals this month? This year? I’ll let you in on a secret. The time will pass whether you try or not. If nothing was impossible, what would you do?

There you have it folks. Just some tips from my neck of the woods to put some pep in your step this 2017. Let me know down below some of the things you’re hoping to do this year and any suggestions you have.

 

 

Side note – it doesn’t matter whether it’s January 1st or May 26th, every day that you’re alive is one more day to make things better. You are more than the sum of your accomplishments or faults. You decide who and what you are today, tomorrow, and next year and your actions line the path.

Best wishes.

❤ Ellie

Stop beating yourself up. You can’t control everything. -Thoughts from Vlogmas

So, as I do, I’m currently participating in a monthly challenge. Vlogmas expects a vlog each day in the month of December leading up to Christmas, or at least that’s the idea. Now I’ve been joking about commitment issues for the past few days, but last night I wound up stuck at work after to my own shift to cover someone else’s shift and surprise surprise, I didn’t post a video.

I can hardly say this is the first or last time I’ve planned to do something and life has gotten in the way. I know I’m not the only one. You make plans with yourself, to practice something, work out, write, whatever, and then … you don’t.  Continue reading “Stop beating yourself up. You can’t control everything. -Thoughts from Vlogmas”

Facing fear and braving failure – Thoughts from vlogmas

I’m an anxious person. I love to dream big and think about things like selling my art work, or singing in public, or publishing my thoughts for the world to judge. But it seems to me that dreams like these are scary. They make my heart race and my stomach twist a little and sometimes that nervous energy becomes this insurmountable weight, holding me down until doubt and fear and common sense have a chance to creep into my brain and convince me not to do the thing.

I’ve gotten pretty good over the years with goals or challenges that simply involve myself. I’m okay with failing privately. But publicly? Well that’s another matter.

Knowing that something will be shared, will be torn apart, will be scrutinized, and hopefully loved, is a powerful thing. It’s your voice, but not the one which you use everyday. It’s the one deep inside your head. The one you only let out on special occasions. Sharing art, or at least an attempt at art, especially as a beginner at anything is, I think, the hardest thing about creation.  Continue reading “Facing fear and braving failure – Thoughts from vlogmas”

A quick NaNo update, and Vlogmas.

I failed NaNoWriMo so hard this year and I’m not as upset as I probably should be.

In the past I’ve failed because of my depression and anxiety. My mental illness got in the way, but this year for the first time since I started participating 5 years ago, I actually had like, adult stuff going on. My husband and I are renovating a house to move into, something we have no experience with. I got the flu for over a week, and I didn’t push myself as hard as I probably should have because I’ve always had my mania to bounce back on.

That’s the thing with my Bipolar disorder. I haven’t been on my medication for very long and it’s sometimes hard for me to separate my patterns and habits from the old me, and the new me. I’m happier and in more control of my life definitely, but I’m also not quite so crazy as to attempt 30k in two days anymore.

All that being said, I’m going to try another crazy thing, Vlogmas. If you don’t spend a lot of time on Youtube, this is basically where you vlog every day of December. Seeing how well Nano went (and I’ve actually won that many times over) this is probably an experiment which won’t go according to plan, but I’ve always wanted to try it, and this year I finally have a space to film in that isn’t horrible. Wish me luck. I’ll be talking about books and writing. The usual.

If you’d like more of my goofy bookish self head on over there. If not, I’ll still be on wordpress this December, not to worry.

Best wishes,

Ellie

The Final Push – NaNoWriMo

We’re almost there, the finish line is in sight. Or if you’re more like me, a big ass cliff is looming up ahead and a pack of rabid failure hounds are about to bite your big ass. Like I said. It’s almost over.

NaNoWriMo is always a chaotic time of creation and over the years I’ve had a love-hate relationship with it, but overall, it does push me and that’s a good thing. During various NaNo months (official and otherwise) I’ve learned that I can in fact write 50,000 words in a a month. I’ve also learned that losing isn’t the end of the world. I’ve learned that outlines can help and I’ve learned that sometimes pure adrenaline will give you 12k in one day.

NaNoWriMo is a bumpy roller coaster of emotion and over caffeinated finger-spasms and we’ve only got two (or less depending on where you live) days to go.  Make the most of it.

Best Wishes,

❤ Ellie

The importance of doing a little bit each day

No matter what you wish to achieve in life, the success of your endeavors depends on two things; Persistence and Determination. In other words, your ability to decide what you want, and your constant efforts to bring it to fruition.

Only you can decide what you truly want from your future, but the good news is that you can always change your mind, and you aren’t limited to one choice. If you want to write stories, read more books, play a sport, learn a language, or all of the above and more, you have to be willing to work at it everyday.

To be fair, you don’t have to try and completely change your life in one day, Continue reading “The importance of doing a little bit each day”

NaNoWriMo Day 1-2

Just a quick update to say I’m in the middle of typing up day 3’s notes and that day 1-2 are available for your mocking pleasure on a separate page at the top of the blog (NaNoWriMo 16) Again if you’d like to know what I’m doing check out this post here, and follow along this month if you’d like.

Best wishes to everyone writing this November,  and let’s all get back to work.

-Ellie

Can you overshare during NaNoWriMo?

Let me preface this post with the words: This is a really bad idea.

Great. That bit’s over.

Many writers and readers know that it is currently National Novel Writing Month or NaNoWriMo at the moment, and I’ve decided that this year, I’ll be sharing all my outlining and writing, daily online. I’ve elaborated more in this video I just made, but basically I want to challenge myself this year and take on some of my fears as a writer and a human. I sincerely doubt this exercise will be beneficial or entertaining for anyone aside from me, but it’s a thing I’ve been thinking about for a couple of months now, and I’ve just decided, what the hell. Why not face that fear by punching it with a shitty draft. Continue reading “Can you overshare during NaNoWriMo?”

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