Hey there, friends. I was going to make a normal post about my recent trip to Arches National Park in Utah, but I feel very passionately about sharing something else this week. Something a little more personal. Sometimes we see … Continue reading
Intro: Happy Friday, friends and readers! I’m so excited to share today’s trail with you: a Rocky Mountain National Park hike called Chasm Falls. This trail was absolutely stunning and a perfect winter hike, especially because much of the trail was free … Continue reading
I’ve seen a lot of writing advice out there, and most of it really is helpful. Some of it, though, is only helpful after I’ve tried it for myself.
There as many theories and practices for writing as there are writers, which means that there is no sure way to write except for how you do it. And while figuring that out sounds simple, for me it’s been really hard.
Recently, 2 things happened that gave me a new perspective on an old issue:
- I received Susan Dennard’s weekly newsletter (If you don’t, subscribe! She’s an incredible author and human!). In it, she discusses “coaxing out magical cookies,” or scenes, from a work in progress. Susan explains that every scene should have a “magical cookie”- a scene that you’re excited to write about. If it doesn’t, cut the scene or figure out how to insert a magical cookie. This got me thinking a lot about my current WIP, and how I can start improving it.
- I had a conversation with one of my closest friends about non-writing struggles. After I vented, she said something that struck me: “You don’t fully believe in yourself, and that’s why you’re insecure.” And… that’s true. My self-doubt leads to self-destruction, every time. So obviously, I have to figure out a way to fix that. Easier said than done, right?
Here’s the thing: I’m not in the position to sit around in my sorrows and frustrations. I need to take action. I need to pull myself up and work, and learn to be my own loudest cheerleader and strongest supporter. So, I figured out 3 ways to do that:
Step 1: Write into The Void
I’m not the kind of writer than can (or should) go days or weeks without writing. For me, building a story takes dedicated, every day practice. (Side note: if this isn’t you, that’s totally fine! I respect every type of process.) That means that sometimes, I have to write into The Void. You know The Void – it’s that empty place that makes writing feel as difficult as sloshing through wet, sticky sand. But The Void isn’t all bad, even at it’s most infuriating. Typically, it forces me to make a decision. It’s the place where a character succeeds or fails, where a plot point blooms or dies, where a romance or conflict or villain gets more fully developed.
Sometimes I think of The Void as the exhausted, giving-up feeling I get when working out. If I push past it, I finish the work out and I’m better for it. If I stop, though, I just feel like I’ve failed. The Void is exactly the same. Yes, writing through it might leave me with scraps that I have to delete or change or sculpt. But in the end, writing into The Void is a victory because I pushed through the nothingness to find something.
Step 2:Practice Positive Self-Talk Daily
Positive self-talk is so vitally important. In a world that measures women by their flaws, sometimes the only weapon we have is our own voice. I’ve always been more ready to admit my short-comings than my achievements, and unlearning that behavior has taken me years. Literally. But every day is a new opportunity to love myself; to focus on my strengths, my abilities, and what I CAN do.
Step 3: Set Goals to Improve Self-Trust
Part of gaining self-trust is giving yourself opportunities to meet and exceed expectations. I haven’t always been good at this. For example, I used to have a goal of home-cooking dinner 5 days a week. That goal was doomed to fail, because I didn’t even like cooking. After getting really frustrated and discussing this with my husband, he asked, “Why didn’t you ask me to help you?” That’s when I realized: he wanted to help. I just needed to ask. Now we’ve been sharing dinner duties for a few months. I don’t dread cooking anymore because I’ve adjusted my goals and I know I have support.
Now a success story: For the past 6 months I’ve been doing a home-workout called Daily Burn. My goal was to work out 3-4 days a week, with the added goal of hiking on the weekends with my husband. And guess what? I’ve achieved that goal every week! I’m getting stronger, and I look and feel better. Most importantly, I’ve proved to myself that not only can I set achievable goals – I can meet and exceed them!
It’s way easier for me to list the times I’ve failed than the times I’ve succeeded, but that’s where setting goals and positive self-talk comes in! Even though I think of my failures first, focusing on positivity and goals I’ve achieved always changes my attitude. I realize that even though I failed at X, I succeeded at Y and Z.
Like writing into The Void, practicing positivity and gaining self trust are all internal processes. They require practice, discipline, and believing in myself. They also require the knowledge that can set and achieve my ambitions, as long as I’m realistic and work hard. And if I slip up and have to readjust? That’s okay. I can’t allow myself to feel defeated; I have to step back, try again, and ask if I need support. But more than anything, I have to learn to trust myself. Because I am capable and talented. So, dear reader, are you.
Happy Friday, friends and readers! Today I want to share a hike that’s very close to home for Neil and me: Trading Post Trail at Red Rocks Park and Ampitheatre! I have to be honest – I am so excited … Continue reading
The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater My rating: 5 of 5 stars I heard Maggie Steifvater call The Scorpio Races “the book of her heart” in an interview at BookCon 2015, and I don’t think there’s a better way to … Continue reading
Happy Thursday, friends and readers! Now that we’re Colorado residents (yay!), Neil and I have been making an effort to hike every weekend. At first I wasn’t sure how much winter hiking would be available. Thankfully, that uncertainty was quickly … Continue reading
Happy Thursday, friends and readers! Today I’m concluding my posts about Estes Park with one of its most famous attractions: The Stanley Hotel. You’ve probably heard of this place, especially if you’re a Stephen King fan. In fact, it’s the actual … Continue reading
Hello again, friends! First of all, happy (almost) New Year! I’m wishing you all the very best, and plenty of incredible travels. Thank you for sticking with me and reading my posts. I appreciate your support more than I can … Continue reading
Happy Holidays, friends! This year Neil and I spent Christmas day with his family at Rocky Mountain National Park. Like last year, we traveled to Estes Park and planned a short, one-night stay there. To my surprise, Estes Park was … Continue reading
Happy December! Today I want to share a recent favorite city: Boston! I visited last month for the Boston Writing Workshop. Technically I visited Boston for 3 days, but since 1 full day was devoted to the conference, I’m condensing … Continue reading