WRITING

My Obligatory NaNoWriMo Post

Being a pantser is a polite way of saying that I’m too lazy to plan.

It’s true–I’ve decided to participate in NaNoWriMo this year. I’ll be writing in a genre I’ve never done before (satire) about a concept I haven’t flushed out (overnight retail workers) in 30 days (wee!).

End of blog post.

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No? Suit yourself. (Lame sense of humor? Check.)

Now perhaps it seems rather silly that a blogger who fails to consistently, well, blog should choose to participate in such a time-consuming challenge. It is. Ridiculously so.

But I am a ridiculous girl.

Truthfully though, it’s been a while since I’ve gotten excited about a project. Personal reasons blah blah blah, you know the drill. Still, when I give it some serious thought, it’s actually the worst thing to do in a time of crisis–to stop writing. Even if it means writing a terrible novel about a potentially boring idea.

Now as I mentioned above, I’m pantsing this, so no outline here. I have a general concept and a few characters which is all the brain power I’m willing to put into my preparation. The one thing that I am doing differently this year is that I’m going to attempt and become more socially involved. This means attending some virtual write-ins, posting in the forums, and potentially making a few writing buddies. This also means that I’m going to twist my new friend’s arm into doing this with me.

And then twisting his arm into letting me read his work. Because what are friends for if not to bully you into handing over what you’ve written?

It’s going to be a good month guys. I can feel it.

 

 

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PERSONAL

The Practicality of Childhood Dreams

At the age of eight, I found the love of my life. From that point on, whenever someone asked what I wanted to be when I grew up, I always answered with, “a writer”.

From that point on, my parents wore a tight smile, hoping to distract from the worry in their eyes. It was a look that drove me to announce in my junior year of high school that I changed my mind–that I was going to pursue a more traditional route. It’s a look that still shadows over me as I contemplate life in 9-5 intervals.

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Do what you love is replaced with do what you’re good at. I’m good with numbers, good at accounting, surprisingly enough. It’s what I’ve claimed to want to do for the past year or so. But when I think about spending the next 40 years doing that, day in and day out, I feel a creeping sense of despair.

In the long run, surely it won’t matter. It’s a just a means to an end–the real joy will be my personal life. I can always write in my free time.

But doesn’t everyone say that? Will I really bother to make the time? It’s what I love, and yet sometimes this blog goes unattended. My novel gathers dust. Having that balance between figuring out a realistic job prospect and chasing your dreams is difficult. My mind is almost one-track at times, trying to find a favorite where there is none. Until I get to the point where I’m at now–pursuing not one or the other: standing still.

My circumstances make me think that I can’t commit to such a reckless and selfish path. How simple it would be to say that I’ll live my life for no one but myself! How simple it is to dole out that advice and assume that there is no situation that could possibly supersede your pursuit of happiness. And, in fact, it is that simple. If all you want is your happiness, it’s incredibly straightforward.

There was a time when I wouldn’t have minded holding down a minimum wage job or two. Living with a less-than-desirable roommate who hates me, but needs me for rent. Collapsing into bed to get maybe three to four hours of sleep–all for my writing. All for the slight chance of a yes.

And now that I work an overnight minimum wage job, that willingness hasn’t dissipated in the slightest. Now that I sleep an average of four hours a day, I know that if it weren’t for my responsibilities, I’d take off. I’d pack up my things, head to the middle of nowhere, and sacrifice myself for my love of words. Even knowing that all I have mediocrity–whether in reference to my skill or possessions–it’d be a just trade.

Maybe even a trade made in my favor.

So for now, I stay in limbo. Caught between my sense of obligation and my desire to be more than just a girl who does what she should do–honor be damned.

And in the meantime, I’ve got my blog.

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PERSONAL

September Goals

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Ah, September. Month nine.

Theoretically speaking, this post should have gone up yesterday. Instead it goes up today because screw convention.(Also because, spoiler alert, one of my goals is to have a consistent posting schedule. And since the post originally intended for today isn’t ready, well here we are.)

Does anyone remember their new year’s resolutions? It’s a struggle to remember if I made any to begin with, though given my usual patterns, I’m sure I did. Of course, though, I haven’t had much progress with them. But as most people are apt to say–it’s never too late to keep working towards self-improvement.

So because I like failing in front of an audience, here are my publicly announced goals for the month:

THE LIST

  1. Have a consistent posting schedule. As of now, I plan to post on this blog every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. It’d be pretty great if I could get a certain theme going on as well, but let’s just see how this works out first.
  2. Work on a creative writing prompt every day. While I’m currently working on a contemporary novel, it’s good to stretch those creative muscles. For all my creative writing (and the occasional gif) check out my Tumblr.
  3. Read four books. This one is self-explanatory. But alongside this, I really ought to update my Goodreads account…
  4. Lose eight pounds. This consists of a subset of smaller goals, such as: limit cheat meals to once a week, don’t drink soda, and go to the gym four times a week.
  5. Keep up with schoolwork. Don’t skip class for the sake of it, do all your assignments in a timely fashion, etc. It’s not complicated, just a lot of work.
  6. Come up with a great sign-off.

Just kidding, that last one’s never happening.

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BLOGGING, WRITING

Blogging: Why Am I So Terrible At It?

Real talk: it’s a little difficult for me not to keep gushing about who I’m crushing… on. (Ew, no I’ll stop–promise.) Of course there’s no rule that says I can’t do that–no rule apart from common sense, anyway.

Oh, and then there’s my pride.

I’ve kept up some form of a blog since I was 13–whether it was an exhibition of teenage angst or actual effort. That’s a decade’s worth of sporadic blogging and would you believe that in that time, I’ve never wondered why?  Blogging was always a given–something I had to do. Love of writing + thoughts = blog. Seems simple enough.

Lately though, it’s been a struggle. A struggle to find real motivation in maintaining this blog and the problem isn’t that I’m running out of content. No, it’s that more goes into blogging than just doing a stream of consciousness and hitting “Publish”. Which I knew, of course I knew, but haven’t bothered to do.

A blog isn’t a blog without images, and aside from my header, I haven’t got any. Publicizing…? Is that when a blog is made public…? SEO optimization might as well be in a foreign language. (That’s not Spanish. Because I speak Spanish…)

Can I just hire someone to do all that stuff for me? And by hire, I of course mean offer zero financial compensation. No? Figures.

In truth, I initially did plan to take all of those aspects of blogging seriously. However, when starting over, I made the executive decision to put all that on the back-burner while I found my legs. Now, I fear, the time has come what with the end of August and all.

Over the next couple of days, there’ll be minor tweaks here and my overall online presence. There’ll be more of a rhyme and reason to my posting schedule and the posts themselves won’t be a wall of rambles. And from thereon in, my blog will no longer be a perpetual middle child.

Project Get-with-the-Times-Grandma is afoot.

 

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OPINION

So, I Have a Crush

When you have crushes as a single 23-year-old girl, you realize how silly it is to not go up and just talk to them.

And then you still don’t.

Or you do approach them and find those first few seconds of close proximity are intense… For you. As in, the moment you sit down, your hands are shaking. 

Crap, did he notice?

And that’s what’s most embarrassing: I feel like I’m 14 with a crush on my English sub all over again. To the point that I’ve even revisited some sites on, “Signs He Likes You”. (That, my friends, is the second most embarrassing thing.) In doing that research, I’ve noticed that there are quite a few signs that are questionable at best. 

He stares at you a lot.

If you look at him and he looks away, he likes you. If you look at him and he maintains eye contact, he likes you. Am I missing something, or…

Look, fact is we all get that sudden feeling that someone is watching us. Who’s to say that he didn’t sense your gaze and is simply wondering, “Why does she stare at me all the time?”

His pupils are dilated.

To be clear, my issue isn’t with the science behind it. I looked into it, and unless your crush likes smoking weed, the only plausible reason his pupils would be dilated is because he’s attracted to you.

The real problem is, how do you get the constant to compare it to? Since I’m fairly certain his pupils won’t turn into saucers, it’s going to be a subtle change. How am I supposed to know what his eyes look like when I’m not around if I’m not around?

His eyebrows go up.

This one just sounds made up. It’s supposed to happen instantaneously–the second he spots you. So if he sees you before you see him, or if he sees you from across the room–bye bye sign.

Is eyebrow movement really that involuntary?

The only thing that I’ve concluded is that sometimes you know, and sometimes you don’t. If you want, you can always ask.

Or just cyber-stalk them. That’s the method of champs.

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