Trust Your Journey

I once saw a quote from a meme on Instagram before that said to “trust your struggle”. And I filed that in the motivation section of my mental Rolodex.

The past few months have been yet another lesson of adjustment for me where I am repeatedly reminded to Trust My Journey. I left my previous job and became a contractor thinking that I would make good money and could concentrate on writing my “great novel” only to discover that I wasn’t making enough and I really didn’t enjoy what I was doing. So I had to scramble around trying to figure out a new plan. All the while, also dealing with life as a wife and mother and full time graduate student in this new city (2 years and still new to me).

I spend a lot of time being a resource and helping other people but when it comes to my own struggles, I tend to not talk about it (I do write about it) and find ways to keep myself lifted up. When you are a “caretaker” for others, there are times when you need a “caretaker” but you don’t always ask for help. Last Friday, one of my best friends posted on my Facebook wall and said to “Trust Your Journey”. I thought it was nice.

Today, though I realize how necessary that reminder was/is. There are so many valuable experiences, skills, connections and necessary people that we pick up along the Journey that are necessary and valuable to our lives.

Now, I’m not just saying that because this week I was published in my school’s annual publication, had a small feature in our monthly newsletter and won a scholarship to a week long writer’s workshop retreat in Paris, France!! All expenses paid!!

But I was reading an article today about Viet Thanh Nguyen who received the MacArthur genius grant for his novel, The Sympethizer. In the article he talks about how there was no over night success. It took him “20 years to learn how to be a writer”. For him, those 20 years paid off in a big way.

Of course, I’m not there but along with the intrinsic rewards that I get along the way, there are all of these other meaningful journey enhancing moments that keep me moving forward. Little by little. Step by step.

So let my reminder serve as a reminder for you. Whatever your dreams/goals are and whatever the obstacles/challenges you face, trust the journey. And enjoy the ride

Preptober & a couple of accomplishments

Nanowrimo will soon be here. Being the pantser that I am, last year I just started writing on Nov 1st and my efforts fizzled out just after 8700 words.

So this year, I’m trying to plan my way through (as much as can be done for a pantser like me) and I’ve rediscovered the Evernote app. I’ve been writing things down and organizing my thoughts about my plot and characters and I’m slowly working my way to an outline.

This year, I’ll be writing in the Ulysses app because I’m still not over the learning curve for Scrivener. I think Scrivener is beautiful but I haven’t quite gotten the hang of it yet. Ulysses is much easier (for me) to just jump right in.

I will also be published again for my school’s annual publication, Mosaic and I’ve written a small feature in my school’s monthly newsletter Write On!

I’m working on my courage to submit to a few places in the next 6 months. But for now, I am just gonna concentrate on this one story (I’ve changed the title 3 times already so I’m hesitant to even put it here) and winning Nanowrimo 2017.

How have you prepped for Nanowrimo? If you’d like to be writing buddy’s, I’m “Underthera”

Nanowrimo 2017

NaNo-2017-Participant-Badge

So I last year, I started Nanowrimo in November but I only wrote 8764 words before I quit. So I’m giving it a go again this year, but this time I am using the month of October to plan.

I am more of a pantser than a planner and that works for the small projects that I have done for school but I want to try to plan and outline more for this project. This Work in Progress has been in my head for awhile. I have written a few of the characters already in other projects because they hang out in my head just waiting for me to get it right. Hopefully, this is the time!

Daily Prompt – Polish

Today’s prompt from the Daily Word is Polish

The word makes me think of things that are refined, cleaned up. The perfect poem, the perfect essay, song, book. They were all polished by the author and/or editor before reaching the masses.

Ironically, today is also the birthday of Prince, Gwendolyn Brooks and Nikki Giovanni. It can’t be a coincidence that these wonderful people were born today and each touched my life in some way.

They were quite polished.

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princeimage

Reflections – Research

I was never one to outline. Whenever I attempted to write a novel, I just started writing. Most times, I do a character biography but I never sit down and outline the story. I have a fantasy that the words, the story, the twists and the turns will just come to me as I type.

So far, that hasn’t really worked.

I usually start researching things along the way. Could it really happen this way? Did people talk like that in 1986? What was going on in that town in the 80’s. What was the job market like? How would an arrest and questioning really go? What would child protective services do in the late 80’s in a situation like this one?

I love to research. I am the google queen. This is not up for debate.

The problem is that the research would send me off on these tangents and I would never return to my original intent – finishing the story.

Recently, I did manage to outline the story I’m working on. I know where it’s supposed to go and what I intend to happen. This has been so helpful to me because now when I get lost on a research binge (of course, I still do it) I can pick the story back up and keep on trudging.

I’m a fly by the seat of my pants kind of girl. I move according to my feelings. When your head is in the clouds (like mine often lives), it’s helpful to have a road map when I’m on land.