Posted in Lifestyle

Being Productive

When do you feel most productive?

I used to feel that life was a game. There are stages of life that are individual level with different things we need to learn and complete before moving on. 

In the early years of our life, we learn right and wrong and how to use the restroom properly. We learn to be decent people and respectfully interact with others in school. We learn to be partners and parents, and we gain patience. As adults, our learning slows down, but it doesn’t stop. 

For a long while, it felt like I was stuck and watching others go on faster than me. I was doing nothing, unable to pass go and collect my $200. I wanted to give up multiple times, but I’ve learned it’s easier to think about ending things than actually doing anything.

Life is not a race.

Why should I or anyone stress ourselves out for life? I’m so tired of hearing, “Life is going to pass you by,” because I’m not doing things other people my age are doing. 

I may not be crossing things off my bucket list, but I’m being productive. 

If I asked you what being productive means, every person reading this would have a different answer. 

Maybe having a full schedule? Having babies and a house by a certain age? Crossing things off a never-ending checklist?

I used to think that’s what being productive was too.

To me, being productive isn’t about getting ALL the things done.

Being productive means making progress.

I love checklists, and I love the feeling of accomplishment. Finishing things off and putting a check in the completed box is satisfying. But some days, you can’t always get everything done. 

Sometimes I don’t think it’s the accomplishment I want, but control. Life is so crazy sometimes that I can control how my day will turn out if I have a list, which isn’t true.

So by just starting, I feel in control. Tackling minor problems makes it easier to handle everything else. 

I see myself as being productive if I spend my time in a way that aligns with my values.

That doesn’t mean getting everything done. 

Im not comparing myself to others anymore. I’m taking the steps to have the life I want and deserve. 

I don’t get up earlier or give myself a strict routine to follow. I spend my time intentionally. Between school and work, it is hard to do anything. I make time on my days off and work on bettering myself in my free time. 

I told myself that If I had time to doom scroll on social media, I had time to do something productive. I still use social media sometimes, but I limit my time there. 

Posted in Creative

Do You Comma Here Often

I’m not the most skilled writer.

I’m challenging myself to become a better writer. I rely on the use of adverbs and adjectives in my storytelling. My primary weak points are grammar, spelling, and sentence structure. That is one of the reasons why it takes forever for me to get to a point.

“Adverbs are the tools of a lazy writer.” -Mark Twain

I’m not terrible at writing, but I still need to work. Am I better at writing now than I was in high school? Yes. Will I be a better writer in another seven years? Yes. Getting better at anything takes practice, time, and effort.

My partner got me a 100 prompt notebook after I told him I wanted to practice my writing skill. I love a supportive partner.

So welcome to our new Wednesday segment: Do You Comma Here Often?

Today’s prompt is to write a short scene without using adverbs or adjectives.

“The path to Hell is paved with adverbs.” -Stephen King

The scene:

The sun is beating down on the field as the high school football game is about to begin. A group of boys are looking for seats on the bleachers. One of the boys spots a familiar face in the sea of faces. The girl notices him at the same time. Waving her hands, she yells, “over here,” getting the group’s attention. The boys make their way to her. Sensing the group’s hesitation, she moves, smiling at the person closest to her.

“Why don’t you come over here by me?” She asked, batting her lashes. The boy’s face blushes as he sits beside her.

Before anyone can say anything else, the drum line starts on the field.

Posted in Creative

What Would Nora Roberts Do?

If that name sounds familiar, it is because she is the woman who rewrote the rules of romance. Even if you haven’t read her work, you have probably seen one of her books everywhere. She has written over 225 novels, and about 40 of her books are sold every minute. Maybe that should be my next reading challenge read every Nora Roberts book?

Aside from Stephen King, she is the most successful novelist I can think of. I look up to her a lot.

My favorite book by her.

As someone who wants to be a published author and have that be my career, it is impressive to see someone like Nora Roberts do that and maintain it for many years. She writes in very distinct genres, mostly romance novels; she’s written paranormal romance, fantasy romance, and crime mysteries.

Remember how I said she’s written over 225 books over the decades? She writes four novels in a single calendar year with no ghostwriter. In an interview back in 2011, she said it only takes her 45 days to write a book, and she only writes three drafts of each story. There is some overlapping in projects because she’s said she writes while she waits for her editors to get back to her. This woman stays busy; I wish I had her work ethic.

“My only job is to tell the story.”

Nora Roberts

She said credits her success to discipline, drive and desire. She writes daily, starting around 8 am and ending around 3 pm. And she doesn’t allow herself to be distracted by social media, tv, or the internet. She does allow herself to use the internet to look things up. And after she’s done writing for seven hours, she works out for 90 minutes. If only i had that energy.

So why did I write an entire post about a 72-year-old lady that doesn’t know I even exist? Well, I’m going to try to write like her. Write every day for 7ish hours without distractions. Jumping between projects if I need to and learning to push myself through the complex parts.

Following her three-draft method, maybe I, too, can finish a novel in forty-five days.

The first draft is the discovery draft. Creating the characters, the setting, the pacing, relationships, conflict, and dialogue. And just write everything you feel at the moment.

The second draft starts from the top. Going to page one and working more thoughtfully on the language and expanding or getting rid of things that don’t make sense. It’s the fix-up draft.

The final draft is to polish any rough edges and wrap up loose ends.

Wish me luck.

Posted in Creative

It’s All Write

I recently got the idea to restart my book. I started working on this story a year ago. It was a sketchy concept; there wasn’t a story. And recently picked up the story and began to play with it, and some of it clicked.

I’m obsessed with this story right now. I haven’t been this obsessed with any of my writing projects in a while.

I originally wanted to wait for NaNoWriMo. But If I waited, I would overthink and outline it to death. I would kill this story before it even began.

In the past year, the only thing I have I have is a very rough outline. I’m trying to blend some things and make them into something more legible.

The story is still relatively underdeveloped. But I’m just going to jump right into this.

I would love to write in chronological order. But let’s be honest, that probably won’t happen.

Posted in Creative

NaNoWriMo 2021!!!

National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) is an annual event in which participants commit to writing a 50,000-word novel between November 1st and 30th. To win this November writing challenge, you’ll need to write an average of 1,667 words per day. Once you’ve hit the 50,000-word mark, you can upload your novel to the NaNoWriMo website to verify your word count. 

I’m participating this year for the second time. If you remember my 2021 goals I put I wanted to finish my novel. I originally started it in 2018 for this same completion. as the years passed I changed the story and now I’m completely rewriting it.

Instead of just mentioning my novel I should probably announce my NaNoWriMo project. This month, I will be working on my WIP. A romantic story that’s lived in my heart for a while. A zany romance with: 

  • early 2010s internet throwbacks
  • idiots to lovers
  • hurt/comfort

All We’d Ever Need

Joy and heartbreak are hopelessly entwined. 

When Jeanie, a young writer, stumbled into Teddy White’s baker looking for her mischievous daughter, she never thought the encounter would go farther. After a few more awkward encounters, it feels like the universe had been hell-bent on pushing them together. 

Being sensible people who know you make your own fate. They decide that being just friends is enough for them. But were they ever really just friends? The answer becomes more complicated the longer they are together.

My goal is to open my manuscript every single day.