Writer’s Block and How I Handle It

Wednesday, November 12

Have you ever had extended writer’s block? How long did it last? What did you do to break out of it, and do you have tips for other bloggers?

calvin

Writer’s Block would imply that I am a regular writer.  I don’t think I am a “real” one – yet!   I guess I sort of am as I do blog.  Other than this month, I have not been that organized and consistent.  I want to become more so and for that reason, have joined NaBloPoMo!  I figured I would find the inspiration from the prompts and, so far, have.  It’s been a great tool actually because there are ideas that I probably would not have ever thought of writing about – or even dared.  I would have told myself that no one would be interested in XYZ but, because of this forum, I have given myself permission to go out there and just write it!

I have stories swirling in my head, telling me to go ahead and write them down and become a REAL writer but haven’t decided – yet – to focus my energies on them.  Or maybe, it is just that I needed this month of all-over-the-place writing to test my skills and gain confidence.

As a result, this month I haven’t suffered from “The Block” – not even once!  Encouraging.

At this particular time I am not on a hard deadline schedule so if I sit at the computer and see nothing but a blank page (which mirrors my blank thoughts) I just step away or I go on Facebook and see what others are posting.  Once I’m done with the mostly nonsense on this forum, I then go to my inbox which is overflowing with blog posts to which I am subscribed.  I cannot keep up!  Sometimes just reading others’ posts is enough to give me an idea of a direction.

If all that fails, I go down to my kitchen to cook!  There, I never get “The Block”!

I have read that it helps to scribble whatever thoughts come to one’s head, without paying any heed to syntax, spelling and grammar (I’m such a nerd, I can’t even skip periods!)  I haven’t tried this technique yet but will when all else fails – or when I have a real deadline – or when I have decided to write that novel…

 

Professional Blogger?

Thursday, November 6

Do you consider yourself a “professional” blogger? Why or why not? What does that mean to you?

Dreams

This question does not require much thinking on my part!  Nope!  I do not consider myself a Professional blogger by any means.  “Professional”, as far as I am concerned, means that you make money doing whatever it is you are doing.

For example:  A professional figure skater becomes one as soon as he/she starts making money doing the sport.  Once upon a time, when I was a figure skater (not that I ever made it to a podium!), I used to coach the little kids on week-ends.  It was imperative that we not be remunerated in cash for this so we were given coupons which we could apply to our own coaches’ fees.  One coupon equalled one fifteen-minute session with our coach. If we had accepted cash, we would then be considered “professionals” and no longer be permitted to compete in the amateur competitions.  Huge issue if you wanted to find yourself on an Olympic podium one day!  Of course, over the years, these rules have changed somewhat (Olympic hockey, anyone?) but not in my mind.

That said:  when I was “liberated” from my job I had huge (OK, not that big) dreams of making money off blogging.  I had no idea how I was going to do it but I did have Marie Forleo’s B-School downloaded.  Of course, all I did was buy the damn course, I had (have) yet to actually do it!  I figured I would do it, and then know exactly what to do and would be free to work when I felt like it and make as much or as little as I wanted. Yeah. No.  Way too much effort is required and, apart from having something to sell – which I do not – yet – you have to join affiliate programmes or have advertising on your page.   I did try that for a bit and saw a whole lotta nothing.  Of course you also need to have a huge following and be extremely vigilent and, and, and…  Not moi.

What about my Dalectables blog/website?  I went through a lot of effort, and some cash, to create this one (still not up to snuff, as far as I am concerned) with all sorts of intentions of creating my own biz. (See B-School mentioned above.) I am not clear enough on what I want from it to really make it work so I have spent much time looking at others’ blogs and just getting more muddied in my thoughts.  So, other than posting a recipe here and there, it has lain dormant.  There is a soupçon of a hope that one day I will actually get all my ducks in a row and make something of it but it has definitely not been my priority so far.  I was too busy enjoying my year off to actually WORK!

Am I a professional blogger?  No, I am not.

Do I enjoy blogging?  Absolutely!

 

Throwback Thursday

Today was one of those days where I was feeling my A.D.D. big time… Not that I’ve ever been diagnosed officially with this – it seems to have come out pretty much at the same time as motherhood! No one warned me that this would happen. I’ve had many a discussion with my sisters and girlfriends (all of whom are mothers) and we’ve come to the conclusion that it is just something that happens and we all suffer from it now…

I never made it through the whole book “What to Expect When You’re Expecting” or any of the other books that came after.  Was there a chapter on this side-effect of childbirth?  How could I have known that I would become that crazy woman who can start a million things and never quite finish any of the tasks started?  Sometimes they actually DO get done but that is a rarity indeed.

Today, I had every intention of cleaning the house (something I loathe to do).  This almost always takes me forever because I don’t just vacuum, dust and toilet clean.   I go where no one ever goes.  I foolishly open drawers and this.  THIS is my downfall….

As it did today…  After I made the boys their lunches and sent them off to school, I came up to my computer to check out my emails and whatnot.  Spent an hour or so reading various blogs then chastised myself for not doing what I had set out to do today.  So, I left my “office” (read:  spare bedroom and overall dumping station) and made my way back downstairs to get the vacuum hose and the gather the bathroom cleaner supplies.

I decided it was high time to stop being able to draw my name – or any other doodle – in the dust on my nightstand.  There was a pile of “to-read” books and other paraphernalia on it.  They got taken off, and the whole thing dusted clean.  Then I opened the first drawer.  Sigh.  Out came all the stuff to be tossed, recycled, re-stacked, reorganized, whatever.  How did my nightstand become a junk drawer?   Some ended up on the bed to be sorted out later and some in a pile to be brought down to the garbage/recycling bins.  Found a little box of pictures!  Seems like we got a sample of photo paper at one time and printed up five pictures.  Put them aside.  Next up, my dresser.  Same situation.  Remove stacks of stuff and add to pile on bed.   Phone rings.  Hubby reminds me he is going to the bank.

Oh shoot!  I had a couple of bills to pay on-line that were due!  Off to the computer to do so.  Ah crap.  I have to go downstairs to my purse to get my bank card as I got a new one and I don’t yet know the number off by heart.  Pick up garbage/recycle stuff to bring down and toss in appropriate bins.

Do a load of laundry.

I notice the bowl of black-eyed beans that had been soaking since last night so I decide to drain them and put them into a pot with clean water, onion and tomato to cook.  See the empty jar and decide to put it in the pantry.  Decide to take inventory of just what kind of beans, rice, etc. are hiding in the pantry and in so doing, realize they never got labeled.  Decide to label them.  Go get the label-maker and label all the various jars that contain said beans, rice, etc.   Now everyone in the family can know what they contain!  Put away label maker, check status of beans – still need a good 30 minutes to cook.

Decide to write my Costco list because I notice we are missing cat food, mayo, coffee…  Remember I have banking to do so I pick up bank card and make my way back upstairs to do said banking.   Go back down to check on beans.  Ah, they are ready so I put them into Mason jars for later meals.  Great to add to salads or as sides to a meal.  Figure some will be used tonight.

Phone rings again.  It’s hubby suggesting we go for lunch.  It’s 11:55 a.m. so I tell him I have to jump in the shower but will be ready in 15 minutes, max.  We go for lunch – very disappointed because the place we wanted to go to was totally empty – and not because it was closed!  On a Thursday at 12:30, we should have trouble getting in!  Not encouraged to try said resto so we decided not to chance it and drove around the corner and ended up at Barbie’s.  First and last time.  Crappy service, meh food.

Go do the Costco run and then go to the Bro-in-law’s to borrow his ladder as hubby wants to cut the cedar hedge – he is waaaay behind this task this year! They are calling for nice weather today and tomorrow but rain on Saturday.  Must be done now! Get home some time around 2:30-3:00-ish and Hubs starts working on the hedge.  I look at my box of tomatoes in the garage that I just bought and realize they cannot wait much longer.  Change into my “canning clothes” and get to work!

First, must hang load on clothesline and put another in the washer.

Start working on tomatoes.  Kids get back from school; eldest needs to eat early as he starts his new job at 5:30.  BBQ him a burger and get back to my tomatoes.  Youngest pops his head in an hour later asking when’s supper so we cook the rest of the burgers (thankfully hubs likes to prepare his super-fantastic burgers in batches and freeze them!)  We eat, I go back to my tomatoes.  By 9:00 p.m. I decide I’ve done enough.  Hubs is tired and wants to go to bed.  BED!  You know, the one that still has all the books and stuff on it!  Bloody hell!  I run up.  Make lovely stacks of books  ON. THE. FLOOR.  Because frankly, now is not the time to sort.

I decide to create this post but first want to do a collage of the old pictures found in the drawer.  Make one with PicMonkey but not crazy about it, look up PicCollage but that is only for phones or tablets, finally end up using Fotor to do what I want!  Re-do collage, write this post, aaaaannnndddd…  here’s that picture!

fishing at grand-papa's

The boys must have been about  6 and 7 at the time.  They went fishing with their grand-father and then clowned around with their catches!

Somehow it is now 11:25 and my house is not clean, my tomatoes are not finished, my laundry is half-done… I’m off to bed!!