Sandcastles

Building Sandcastles

When writing a first draft, I have to remind myself constantly that I’m only shoveling sand into a box so later I can build castles.   Shannon Hale

I’ve been struggling with my writing lately. Justifying the time it takes as well as the lure of everything else “out there” that sucks me in. All it took was meeting with my writing bestie, Karen Whalen, today to turn that around.

Women often base their worth on how much they accomplish and how productive they are. Cleaning, cooking, taking care of family, working (for those of us who work outside the home), church obligations, laundry…the list goes on a mile long. And what about saying “no” to a request someone has of you? Gasp!

Sometimes when we get caught in the vicious cycle of doing, doing, doing, all we need is that someone to issue a gentle reminder that it’s okay to be. It’s okay to take some time to do what we love. To nurture the side of ourselves that brings joy. Writing is not wasted time, but treasured time. Not to mention extra income for some.

During our conversation today my passion was re-ignited, writing projects planned, and Camp NaNo next month is one of them. For those who aren’t familiar with Camp NaNo, it’s a spin-off of NaNoWriMo in November but much more flexible. While NaNoWriMo requires writing 50,000 words in a month, Camp NaNoWriMo allows the writer to set their own word count goal, hourly goal, or page goal. Also, where NaNoWriMo means working on a new piece of work, Camp NaNo allows you to choose to work on a novel, short stories, poetry, revisions, etc. It also includes virtual cabins so you can check in with your cabin mates each evening for support and encouragement.

I’m setting a word count goal of 50,000 and beginning a new novel, book two in the Whispering Pines series. If anyone wants to join in and share a cabin, let me know. We can share virtual s’mores, sit around a virtual campfire, and maybe tell a ghost story or two. Too busy? Even if you set your goal at 10,000 words or 10  hours over the course of the month, that’s 10,000 words or 10 hours you didn’t have before. That could be the beginning of your beautiful sandcastle.

ervin-molnar-camp-fire-canoe1

Write on!

 There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.
― Maya Angelou, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings

 

 

 

 

“E” is for…

Edit.

“I’m writing a first draft and reminding myself that I’m simply shoveling sand into a box so that later I can build castles.”
Shannon Hale

That four letter word that I actually enjoy.  It’s the editing phase that teaches me the most about being a better writer and a better person.  It’s the refining process that turns tarnished metal into gold.

When my stepdaughter was an elementary teacher, she took a writing class for needed earned credits.  In that class the instructor told the participants never to use red ink when correcting papers because it was too harsh.  They were told to use any color but red.

That got me thinking how far back it is ingrained in kids to fear the correction–or editing–process, and how it frequently carries into adulthood.

Leanne-Sype-Pen-to-Paper-Communications-5-Reasons-Why-You-Need-an-Editor-[1]

I read about a process called story editing in which small changes in one’s own life stories and memories help with emotional health.  My bet is it doesn’t use a red pen.  It includes making small changes in how one interprets life events, and essentially taking control over that which once controlled you.

Today I will wear red, as a color of power rather than dread and fear, and I will rewrite–and edit–the color for what it is.  Vibrant and beautiful! 🙂

Peace.