Writing

National Novel Writing Month, or Something.

It’s National Novel Writing Month. Or National Poetry Writing Month. Or National Blog Writing Month. Or whatever it is your writing month. I don’t even know anymore. People have so many ways of writing it’s not even funny.

I thought about it last night briefly. I don’t think I’ll participate in it, though I did write a poem in its honor. I don’t think I could write 30 poems. Or 50,000 words. Or even 30 blog posts. It just doesn’t seem logical. I like the idea of it–it doesn’t matter what you’re writing as long as you’re writing but when did we stop caring about quality in favor of quantity? Maybe quantity yields to quality? I don’t know.

I have this crisis every year. Should I participate? Is it worth it? I want to participate!

…and then I don’t because I’m lazy.

Maybe I just never understood why people would want to do it. I just think it’s weird. I tried writing a blog post every day once. That was weird. And hard. And annoying. I can’t even do it for a week. Because it’s dumb and takes away from everything else. That’s all.

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Life, music, Writing

Musically.

It’s been a long week.

As usual, I don’t quite know how to write about anything.

I finished a book the other day. Every book I finish is a success because it’s been a hobby that has quickly been a bore. One day I’ll find excitement in it again. In the meantime, I’m content being reading occasionally and not obsessively.

I bought a mandolin. It’s an instrument that I’ve admired for many years and often dreamed of playing. I never thought I’d be brave enough to try. Now I’ve got a nice instrument (one that I looked into and a friend asked her musician friends about, so that’s nice.) I learned about how to hold it, how to hold the pick, how to strum it properly, and today I learned a few chords. My hand isn’t quite strong enough yet to hold down the strings as I’m playing and my fingers haven’t developed callouses yet, so they’ve been hurting today. But I learned three basic chords and I just need to practice them.

Chris Thile has been my main hero of the mandolin. He’s the one that made me aware of what a mandolin even was, caused me to want to play with intensity. I will always admire his musical talent. Today, I wanted to find some other people who played mandolin, particularly women. I’m surprised by how few successful mandolinists are women. I’m sad to discover so few women want to play. I’m not trying to break barriers or become famous or anything but why? It’s such a beautiful, whimsical instrument. More women should give it a go.

I’ve been listening to Button Poetry a lot recently. It’s a company (is this the right word?) that publishes poets and hosts spoken word poetry of these poets. I don’t always listen to them to the end, but if someone’s message catches me, I find myself staying to the end. I’m not used to slam poetry/spoken poetry, but I feel drawn to the soft spoken, quiet beings that draw your attention and have a soothing voice about them. Not that there’s anything wrong with other speakers, that’s just what I’m drawn too. I need to listen more often.

I checked out “Helium” by Rudy Francisco and read a few of his poems. They’re very beautiful and minimalistic. I like it a lot. Free form poetry is the best, in my opinion. If I have to write anything else, then I’m struggling.

I look foreword to sleeping in tomorrow. I look foreword to reading a little bit, playing music a little bit, maybe even writing a little bit. Becoming well rounded is hard sometimes,

But I’m working on it.

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Life, Writing

In This Together.

There’s something that I’ve learned about bloggers over the years:

We’re all a little insecure.

We want to be authentic, but we’re afraid of opening ourselves up because we’re afraid that someone’s going to take a stake to our heart.

We stop writing because we’re afraid that our writing is not good enough and then come groveling back because we can’t stand not writing anymore.

We try to rationalize our feelings, swinging from one branch of feeling to another, as if we need to justify to others why we aren’t writing. Or painting. Or creating in some way or another.

We go from writing too much, to not writing at all. And yet we still write.

We still write because we want to be heard. We want someone to tell us that we’re alright.

And we are alright. We are still here, you and I.

We are here together.

If you need to take a break, I’ll still be there. I didn’t come this far with you just to come this far. I will still read your writing even if you need some time off to focus on yourself. Because God knows we all need to boost our morale.

It’s okay.

It’s okay to be uncertain. It’s okay to feel the way you’re feeling. I’ll waiting for you, for that next post. I followed you because you write quality, not quantity. You find the words to describe how I’m feeling in just a way.

I feel the insecurity. I’ll write and write and write. And then I’ll stop because I’m feeling insecure. I’ll then write and write and write about how insecure I’m feeling about my writing and obsess over why I’m not as good as any others. People actually have things to write about, I say, and then pull back. They travel, they cook, they get involved with their communities.

I just live an average life.

An ordinary life, you would say.

I wanted to show that living an ordinary life could be extraordinary. You didn’t need to travel extensively or cook fancy meals every day or be especially literary with fancy words. I wanted to show that a small, normal, ordinary life could be just as worthy as any other blogger, writer, x successful person.

And yet I got sucked into the belief that I need to be something in order to write about it. I needed to do things, be extraordinary. And yet–

And yet that was tiring.

It was boring. I’m not that sort of person to put myself out there underneath the spotlight all the time.

I am quiet. I can be weird around people that I most want to talk to. I get awkward. I’m by no means as confident as I make myself out to be.

And yet here I am…still writing. And people are still following.

Thank you.

Thank you for following me. And if you write a blog, thank you for writing. We’ll find our footing. We’ll get to the other side.

We’re in this together.

This is partially inspired by Chris Nicholas’ post “Epoch” which you can read here if you’re so inclined. Give him some love, he deserves it, I’ve never met a bad piece of writing from him.

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Life, Writing

The Greatest Music in the World.

This is where it begins:

In the toes as they start to tap. A tingle rushes up through the body until your head starts nodding and your body starts swaying and your hands are clapping. The music is catching. You watch as even the musicians close their eyes and dancing around the stage, instruments pressed against them as if the music could could come out more in with a passionate fervor.

I turn to her and say, “You want to go up there and dance?”

“No!” She exclaimed.

“Oh, come on,” I said, “it’d be fun.”

“No!” She protested.

The women next to us turned and said “You want to go? It’ll be fun.”

She laughed and finally agreed. We went off to the side and she got into her dancing routine. I pretended to know what I was doing, twirling and clapping. The energy pent up finally released. I glanced at the stage and saw him there, smiling at us having fun, his hands plucking out the notes with ease. We were dancing to his music and he was glad. His music made us feel.

A few young ones went to the front. They danced however they wanted, as if no one could ever see them move in such a way. I locked eyes with him, a young man with twinkling eyes and curly hair. He smiled and I returned it before twisting back towards my friend. He wants to dance with me, I thought.

He danced around me all nice, brushing up against me, watching me in my little bubble. Some of us never have the courage to dance, even with the greatest music in the world.

Via Discover post: The Greatest ___ in the World

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Writing

Forgotten.

Sometimes I forget why I followed someone. A blog, a person on Twitter, Pinterest.

They’ll show up in my feed one day and I’ll think, “Who is this? Why do I care? What made me interested in the first place?” Sometimes it takes a while to remember, especially if they don’t post or share very often. Or I’ll go through my blog list and think, “I don’t remember this person, why did I follow them to begin with?” And sometimes I’ll unfollow.

I suppose this is a given that people change over the years. You follow someone intensely, then they get busy and you forget and then all of a sudden, you remember them. Or they just never come back again. And eventually you’ll just take them out of the list altogether. What we were once passionate about suddenly shifts into another direction.

It’s not anybody’s fault. We just change. We stop writing. We stop reading. We completely change domains. We’re as fickle as the road that winds through the forest. It shows us its darkness, then brings us light and chirping birds. It meanders before taking a sharp turn back and loops around.

You never know the surprises around the corner.

Via Daily Prompt: Forest

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Life, Postaday, Writing

Authenticity.

I wouldn’t call myself inhibited, but I’m not the type of person who readily tells you about my life.

It can be said that authenticity is revered, but how much can I tell a person about a self that is strange even to me? My thoughts, emotions, experiences shift and change in a day and in a moment. How I live my life might not even be something that others would approve of. People aren’t as open to authenticity as they pretend to be. Unless you agree with them about how life should be lived then life isn’t worth living.

So how authentic are you to your friends, your family, your co-workers, the world?

I think it depends on you and your level of comfort. There’s no such thing as the right way to live.

Of course, you shouldn’t be closed off, you need to be able to discuss certain aspects of your life. And yet should a memoir shouldn’t be written and lectured in every situation. Some things should never be talked about.

Writing is especially hard for me to do sometimes. Authenticity is required. It needs to be real and comfortable and open so that I can connect to my readers. But how much is too much? I don’t want to give you an itinerary but neither should I spill out everything into the dark crevices of my mind. Even I need a safe space where I stand and say, “Not here.”

Have I been authentic enough for you?

Via Daily Prompt: Authentic

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Writing

Words I Hate.

There are two words that absolutely irritate me:

    Chat
    Pass away (and it’s variants of passes/passing away/passed away, etc)

For some reasons, the word “chat” never seems like a real word to me. Whenever I hear it I want to tear my ear drums out and never hear it again. I feel like it’s a word that people use to show they’re more educated or are superior to other low life, every day people. You’re not special just because you’re prettying up a word. If you want to talk to me use the word “talk,” for crying out loud. You’re still giving me information. I’m still hearing it. Don’t “chat” at me about it, or I’m going to tell you how I really feel. (Or just look at you passively aggressively.)

As for “passing away,” I never understood why people prettied up death. Everybody dies, why are you making it sound like the person’s merely falling asleep? The person has died, therefore you need to tell other people that this particular person has “died” or is “dead.” He’s dead. Leave him dead. That’s all there is to it.

There’s a saying in the writing world that basically states that if you keep using extraordinary words, then you won’t have any words left when you see or hear something truly extraordinary. Say things simply without dressing it up too much. And that’s how I want to try and keep it.

Let’s talk about it. What are your thoughts?

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