Thursday, January 27, 2011

Writing for Life (#ROW80 update)

I have been feeling uninspired for some time now.  It seems that the roadblocks have been mounting and they have proven more and more difficult to navigate.  I have committed myself to online support groups to attempt to achieve my goals (#ROW80 specific for writing goals, #300stepstogreatness for everyday and life goals).  I have this overwhelming urge to do so much but it feels as if I am standing in drying cement up to my ankles.  But I continue to press on, trying to find what works for me.  Last month I decided that I would "do something" on my days off.  For me, this meant going outside of my home to enjoy an activity that I am interested in. My goal is to travel.  I had planned to start off with small, local, day outings and build into full vacations in countries across the world.  I recognize that I have put myself on the back burner for many years and that, now, is MY time.  I also recognize that there is some fear involved but this is something that I have to do for myself.  I feel as if I'm dying on the inside and I need to save my own life.  I am a caged bird.  But I have the key to my own freedom and am determined to take those needed steps, alone if need be.  I know that much of my journey will be alone because it is my own but I also know that there are good people in this world that will help me along my journey when I need it.

On my path, a book was suggested to me by a fellow writer and creator of the  #300stepstogreatness community ( The Artist's Way by Julia Cameron.  While I have just began the introductory pages of the book, I have a good feeling about this process I am about to endure.  I have the fear of the unknown. It is mine. I own it. Yet, I have signed the contract to complete the course outlined in the book.  This is for me.  This is to save my own life.  One of the tools in the course is to have a weekly artist date, what I had planned to do anyway just last month.  So, I don't have to wing it!  My writing goals, as of today, are still the same: write at least twice each week for at least an hour on at least one of my WIPs.  I will use today and tomorrow (my days off from work) to accomplish those goals and the article writing/research goals.

I am so very grateful for the communities that I have become a part of.  Your blogs help and inspire me.  Thank you.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

#ROW80 Check in (#4 for me...)

Well, folks, I feel great.  I have been working toward my writing goals and I no longer feel "left behind."  I have began to organize my WIPs and will be working on them in no time.  I changed my writing goal to writing at least two days per week on at least one WIP which fits into my work schedule.  I usually have two days off from work (some weeks three!).  I have also been researching freelance writing starting with but I have yet to come up with a topic on which to write for a sample article.  I tried my hand at an interview for an entertainment website a few months ago ( but  I need some pointers because I want to get into freelance writing on the regular basis.  All suggestions are welcomed.

I am excited again!  Stay encouraged!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

I have a confession to make.... (#ROW80 check in)

Hi. My name is Jeneen and I have commitment issues. *Hi Jeneen!!!!!* I know, you may be saying to yourself, "But, Jeneen, you are married! How could this be?"  Well, I think I've figured it out.  Here's the thing with me: I believe I only have a certain capacity for things such as commitments, child-rearing, and things of that sort.  For example, I only have one child and I believe this is the case because I've given him all that I can give a child and I've reached my limit.  Who am I to ask for more than my share?  I was only given enough to rear one child and I'm not greedy.  I believe I am, now, at my capacity for commitments- I am married (huge!) and I have a full time job.  My commitment cup runeth over.  I would like to take on more but the red light is flashing "CAPACITY REACHED" and the siren is unbearable.  I am unable to stick to a schedule because of this so my #ROW80 goals have gone unmet.  At first, I felt bad but then I came to the realization that I'm tapped out of the commitment thing.  Now all I can do is write when the urge hits me, when the stars are aligned, when my mojo and I have made up.  Willy-nilly is the name of the game now.

No? Not working? Not so much? Okay, okay.  Honestly folks I'm stuck.  I had a traumatic episode occur recently and I am still shaken and in mourning.  I believe that some things were thrown into the trash by accident and among those things were small notebooks that I wrote part of a few WIPs in.  There would not be a problem if I had TRANSCRIBED THEM BEFORE THEY WERE ACCIDENTALLY THROWN OUT!  I am hurting on the inside and I can't shake it.  So where do I go from here?  Do I start over? Do I go to something new?  Do I try to remember what I wrote and how I wrote it so I can re-write it? UGGGHHH!  I need help getting past this.  What do I do? Oh, what do I do? *pacing back and forth, tugging at hair*

Well, I'm ready to move on.  While I have been stuck in woe-is-me-land in regards to my writing, I have been getting better in other parts of my life.  I have recently joined another group #300stepstogreatness where the community gives support for greatness in one another's lives.  I'm being held accountable, daily, for my TO DO list for my life! The encouragement I receive from both #300stepstogreatness and #ROW80 have helped me get to the point where I am not beating myself up anymore if I do not accomplish my goals for the day, week, etc.  I'll just rework them.  Try different things out until something sticks and becomes my habit.

So here are my #ROW80 goals (reworked):
1. I will organize my WIPs so I can begin again
2. I will write, at minimum, twice per week on at least one of my WIPs
3. I will research freelance article writing by the end of Round One (yes, I have now included research in my goals)
4. I will begin an article in Round One to be submitted in Round Two
5. I will set up my blog geared toward article writing by the end of Round One.

Am I biting off more than I can chew? We'll see....

Sunday, January 9, 2011

ROW80 Check In- #2

Well.... *hiding my face* This, this has been a rough week. And here I am again not having met my writing goals.  I would like to thank you all for your encouragement.  Its a little easier to get back into writing and reaching goals when I know that there are people supporting me on my journey.  I think that support, more than the actual output, is worth more to me.  So again, I thank you.

Now, what do I do with these writing goals?  When I'm at work I think about my characters and storyline (as much as I can) but I cannot type (or even write, most times) my thoughts.  Does thinking about your story count for anything?  I guess I would have to work that into my goals, huh? I won't.  Feels like cheating.  Tomorrow is a new day though and it also happens to be my Friday. I am planning on getting my hair braided tomorrow after work (this frees up lots of time to write because I'm not sitting in the salon for hours each week or fretting over my hair daily).  Then, I plan to get snowed in, alone, on Tuesday and Wednesday.  Two full days of uninterrupted writing will definitely get me back on track with my goals.  The best thing for me is that I am not giving up.  If I slip seven times, I'll pick myself up eight (I read a variation of this saying somewhere).

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

ROW80 Check In- #1

I hit the ground running on Day One of the ROW80 first round, 2011.  I was so excited to have been in my fictional world with my MC.  I was so proud of myself when I met my goal on the first day.  Others were proud of me as well, giving words of encouragement.  But alas, I have fallen short in keeping with my goals.  When I say that life got in the way yesterday and today, it really did!  My intentions were the same as they have always been- to write and write and write and write- but that did not happen.  I will not allow this to get me down.  It did at first but then I read Kait's reminder, to paraphrase "if your goals need to be tweeked then tweek them as long as they remain measurable."  

So, here goes my tweeking:  I will write four days per week for at least one hour each day.  The week will begin on Monday and end on Sunday.  During my allotted writing time I will not Tweet, FB, email, IM, or have my phone turned on.  I can do it! *I think I can, I think I can... I know I can, I know I can...*  The Lil Nee Nee That Could!

Monday, January 3, 2011

And in this corner, Nee Nee- Round One *ding, ding*

I found a writing challenge that is more "my speed," literally.  Its called A Round of Words in 80 days and the goals are my own so I will not be breaking out in hives because I did not reach 50,000 words in 30 days! (Great news for me and my face because that's where the hives LOVE to congregate!).  So its basically writing with a support team.  We check in twice per week, get inspirational postings through each of the four rounds of the year, and get to chat/gather on Twitter via #ROW80.  A community of writers who actually have lives and responsibilities (sigh)... what more could a girl ask for? *tear* I could ask for more but this is an excellent beginning to my year....

My #ROW80 Goals:
I will write for at least one hour each day.  Ideally, I will write between 7pm and 8pm EST but because I actually have a life and things happen beyond my control, I reserve the right to change the actual time yet stick to the duration.  During my writing hour (or more) I will NOT turn on my Tweetdeck or the television or the radio (ok, maybe the radio can stay) but I will turn off my phone.  I can live without my phone for an hour (I think... I hope... sheesh, withdrawal symptoms are creeping upon me as I type.) I have been developing my storyline and characters for about a week now and still have more to work on but my research/development time will not be counted as writing time.  

I'm excited about #ROW80 and excited about my story! A toast to all that are participating (I would actually have a drink but its still "light-time"... I can't drink while the sun is up! Yep, I'm THAT person!)