Writing

More to come

My drafts are piling up again! It seems everytime I start a blog post, I’m unable to complete my thoughts to publish and then before you know it, another day has gone by. I wanted to commit to three posts a week (M,W,F) and I have written this activity into my weekly to do log in my cobbled together bullet journal. Alas, Wednesday does not seem to be a good day for me. I have a feeling the commitment to write is going to get harder at the end of the month when WordPress eliminates their daily prompt feature, which I rely on heavily! Must all good things come to an end?

One of the posts I started this week, I’d really like to bring to fruition. It’s about the clarity of communication. Inspired by real-life circumstances (of course). I’ve been thinking a lot about how we trip ourselves up by not being clear with each other whether it be by a phrase, a tone (sarcasm) or being passive-aggressive. It can be written or spoken. It can be in the way we listen as well.

Right now I have to head to a class at the gym (also known as stretch torture class). I am finishing up my fourth week since I started with a personal trainer and while it hasn’t been easy, I do feel a bit more toned than I did at the start of the month. It’s going to be a beautiful day here in the Northeast and my mood will hopefully follow! My emotions have been an up and down, like a roller coaster ride, this past month. Did you know there’s an app for tracking that? It’s called Daylio.

MC

 

 

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Life

Happy Blogversary to Me!

I had a nice reminder from WordPress that today is my anniversary with them. Two years ago, in the mess of my life in early recovery from alcoholism, I decided to blog about my experience. I wrote mostly for myself but if I helped anyone else along the way, I would be happy a million times over.  It was a very tough year that included internal struggles, family struggles and the death of my mom just weeks before her 75th birthday.

At the end of 2016, I decided I wanted to create a fresh new start for the new year and locked up the old blog and started anew with iamwriting.blog. It was as if I was locking away my recovery (and the death of my mom) to say that part of my life is done, now onward and upward. But it turns out that is an integral part of who I am now and I thought it fitting to unlock my old blog in case anyone can use it to glean hope after putting away the alcohol. It is a truly worthwhile venture.

I was ashamed for so long about being an alcoholic. Like many others, I denied it and tried different ways to control it on my own and kept silent about it just for that reason and it wasn’t until these past two years of recovery that I’m becoming more comfortable in my own skin. While I don’t shout my disease and recovery from the rooftops, I feel blessed to have been on this path and for the people who have come into my life because of it. I have a new peace today that I never thought possible.  I used to be a daily drinker, many times to the point of blackout and even though I said over and over I wasn’t going to drink that day, I would, in the end, and I thought this was just how it was going to be.  I’m so grateful it’s not like that anymore.

So in honor of my blogversary, I decided to change the settings on my old blog from private to public and maybe someone who is ready to find their way to recovery will stumble upon it and find some comfort knowing others have traveled that same path before them.

Now onward to 2018.

MC

Writing

Read to write

my readingThis tweet from Lauren Groff (who I’ve never read but may have to change that next year) resonated with me and where I am at this stage. I haven’t been writing and that’s ok. I used to feel guilty or embarrassed or something that I professed to want to be a writer and yet not write and then I made myself write every day whether it be in my journal, on a random scrap of paper or in the drafts section of WordPress, never to see the light of day. I have over 20 drafts in my WordPress folder if anyone is counting.

Back in October, I was so excited to have Fridays free to write when I went to a four day work week. Guess what? That time began to fill with other things mainly related to parenting and home life. I finished up my Thursday night writing class a couple weeks ago having missed half of the eight sessions because even when I try, I find it impossible to put myself first for fear I’ll disappoint someone else.

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Life

Hesitating over the publish button

Warning: this is a super long post. I’m sharing something I wrote for my writing class about a time when I was judged. I have this weird disease and I’m sick a lot. But if you were to look at me you’d think I was perfectly healthy. I reread the piece and made some edits but I’m not 100% happy with it. I almost think I should re-do it from scratch because I feel I’m leaving something out but then again I don’t think I will ever get it to what I want. These are just a few snippets of what it’s like.

“You look completely normal but you’re a freak.” I eyed the seventyish, red-faced doctor who just spoke those words to me. Who is this guy with the tufts of white hair escaping from his balding head, a white lab coat near to bursting against his portly girth and where did he leave his bedside manners? I didn’t respond other than to give him a look I’d honed over the years when people discovered my insides didn’t match my outsides. No one had called me a freak before, though. At least not to my face. I didn’t take much insult, having heard many variations of surprise like this before.

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Writing

Keep writing

We’re leaving for New York City in two hours so I thought I better write my post before we go, so here I am at 6 a.m. in bed with my laptop and a bit of a sore throat. There’s no time to be sick around here. I prefer my desktop computer for writing but I don’t want to get out of bed just yet – I’m feeling too cozy. I might pause for a second to get coffee.

OK, I’m back, coffee at my side. I’ve also prepared a cocktail of Alka-Seltzer Plus cold to tamp down whatever’s building in my system. No one wants to be tromping around NYC not feeling well and I hope it does the trick. Now I need my reader glasses to write this without straining the eyes. The joys of aging. Back again. I realize I don’t like this little laptop because it does some crazy stuff without my knowing how it does it. Suddenly the cursor will be in the middle of a word three lines up and I’m messing up the post. I feel like I’ve already put too much effort to write this in bed that I can’t give up on it.

So far I’ve written about nothing yet. Two hundred words of nothing. What topic do I want to tackle today? Let’s talk about writing tools. Several months ago I discovered an app called Grammarly , an app that, you guessed it, helps you correct your grammar as you write. I corrects spelling, punctuation and even rewords passages for you which you can either accept with a click or ignore. I usually ignore since this isn’t a foolproof app.

Every week I get an email with a recap of my grammar improvements for the week and I have just ignored them until last week. I spied the message preview and saw this:  You’ve set a new personal record in the vocabulary category! Whose interest wouldn’t be peaked by that? Of course I clicked.

It breaks down your writing in the categories of productivity (how many words you wrote), accuracy (how many alerts you were shown), vocabulary (how many unique words you used) and then it gives you the option to upgrade to check out the advanced mistakes you made. This is pretty cool. It also shows how you’re doing compared to other Grammarly users and there is my new record in the vocabulary category – I used 1,373 unique words and that’s 93% more unique words than other Grammarly users. Yay for me! It’s small victories like this that can keep you going!

Another tool I started using yesterday was an app (or a program?) called Scrivener. I decided to take a peek at the novel I started over the summer and this is a tool for writing in a format that will be ready for publishing when it’s complete. I copy and pasted my intro and started  summarizing the characters on note cards on a virtual bulletin board. That’s as far as I went. I’m currently doing a 30 day trial and here’s the cool thing about this trial period. Only the days you write and use the app count towards the trial. I had installed it a few weeks ago but yesterday was the first time I opened it and got going so I still have 29 days of use and they don’t have to be concurrent days.

i would describe myself as a bit of a neophyte when it comes to blogging. I decided to join a few blogging groups on Facebook but I’m finding it all a bit confusing. One of my goals for this month is to figure out how to do this better and increase visitors to my site. I figure by the end of the month I’ll have a better handle on it. Do you have any particular tools you use for writing or blogging?

Happy writing!

MC

Writing

I will write today

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A cup of coffee and a blank page. Must be Friday morning. Again, I didn’t post yesterday for the daily blog challenge for the month of November. Wednesday night’s post was written in bed at 10:00 p.m. after traveling home from Chicago and then catching up with the family.  Yesterday was catching up on work, a meeting that ran late and then rushing to get to the annual mother child dinner for Liam’s school. I was pretty exhausted and didn’t feel like socializing and being in a noisy environment with only one hearing aid didn’t help. The other one broke on Sunday afternoon just as I was to head to the conference.

We got through the night and on the ride home all I could think about was going directly to bed. As soon as we got home (it was after 9:30 at this point), Liam wanted to watch TV because there wasn’t school in the morning. I knew if I let him stay up while I went to bed, he’d be up very, very late so I argued with him for about 15 minutes before I finally used a little bribery to get him to bed. Again it was 10:00 before I got into bed and a blog post wasn’t going to happen. I couldn’t even muster up fifteen minutes of reading time and was asleep when my head hit the pillow.

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Writing

Daily Blogging Challenge

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In my internet wanderings yesterday, I happened across a post at See Jane Write about a daily blogging challenge for the month of November. I thought to myself, wow, people really blog daily, and then, no way could I do that. However, the thought kept niggling away at my brain until I was saying heck yeah! Challenge accepted!

I was hoping to have some guidance on how to make this a reality and luckily, upon further review, the post had some suggestions on how to successfully #bloglikecrazy for an entire month. Typically I don’t put a ton of thought into the topics I write about. That’s pretty clear, right, since I don’t blog very often and then they are about random things. My posts tend to grow out of a particular situation presently occurring in my life.

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