Writing Challenge, Week 3

It’s time for another update! Here’s how the past week went:

Tuesday: 40 minutes

Wednesday: 0 minutes

Thursday: 15 minutes

Friday: 0 minutes

Saturday: 0 minutes

Sunday: 150 minutes

Monday: 25 minutes

As I looked over my times for this week, I was left wondering what I was really trying to accomplish with this challenge. I mean, obviously, I wanted to write more, but as I look at my results this week I remember that writing is intricately bound up with the rest of my life, at least for me. Everything I’m doing is feeling rushed and fragmented and isolated from everything else. And that made writing hard.

Why am I writing? Having a time goal alone isn’t working. It makes it easy to forget that writing feeds my soul. Words feed my soul. Writing gives me joy and life. So, yes, writing every day is a professional goal as I strive to make a part-time career in writing, but writing every day is also a personal and spiritual goal. Writing connects me to God as few other activities do. 

I want to write because writing is good for me. I want to write because it is good for my soul.

I want to write.

Writing Challenge, Week 2

Time for another check in on my writing challenge!

Tuesday: 20 minutes

Wednesday: 60 minutes

Thursday: 35 minutes

Friday: 10 minutes

Saturday: 0 minutes

Sunday: 35 minutes

Monday: 0 minutes

I reached an hour of writing on one day! That was the best feeling ever. 

As you can see, I still struggled with writing every day, and with writing for a long time every day. Again, I’m disappointed that I didn’t write more, but it is more than I wrote last week. I also spent a decent amount of time doing writing preparatory work: researching publications, researching topics, and typing up what I wrote (I often handwrite first drafts). I’m still not where I’d like to be, but I am improving. It doesn’t feel like it, but I am. 

It’s funny how recording what I’ve done changes how I see it. I can see patterns–all the days I didn’t write much were days I didn’t write in the morning, for instance. I can see that there has been improvement from last week, even though it doesn’t feel like it–which also means that I can see clearly that I’m not where I’d like to be yet. 

Here’s to another week of improvement.

What have you been writing this week?

Common [FMF]

Today I’m linking up with Kate Motaung for Five Minute Friday, where I will write for five minutes on one word. Today that word is “Common.”

GO

There are so many things the word common can mean, but today I’m drawn to the common things in my life, the habits and small moments and chores: researching a sermon, reading my Bible, gathering my recycling, putting everything away before I go to bed, washing the dishes, journaling every night. Those ‘common’ moments are the ones where I find beauty. They’re the ones where I find peace, the ones where I find joy. And they’re the ones where I find frustration, and sadness, and all the emotions I’ve been ignoring. They’re the ones where I find so much of the good in my life, and so often remember the bad, see all of the ways that I still need to work on myself and improve. It’s the common, normal moments that make up my life, that decide so much. Am I going to take the effort of reading my Bible this morning?  It might feel boring and pointless, it might feel everyday, but in doing that every day I’m making a space for God to come and meet me. (Not that God needs spaces–but I think I need spaces where I make space for God, if only as a reminder to myself to keep looking, keep noticing, keep praying and living well and doing as much good as I can).


STOP

Thanks for reading along! What small, common things are you seeing today?

Writing Challenge, Week 1

Week one of my writing challenge, done. Here’s what I did:

Tuesday: 40 minutes

Wednesday: 30 minutes

Thursday: 30 minutes

Friday: 0 minutes

Saturday: 0 minutes

Sunday: 0 minutes

Monday: 30 minutes

As you can see, I didn’t fulfill my goal of writing an hour a day even one day this week–no ice cream for me. 😦 And I’m disappointed. I let myself get discouraged after Tuesday, when various important things came up and I tried to write an hour and just couldn’t do it. I let myself get discouraged after Friday, when for no good reason I didn’t write at all. I’m disappointed that I let other things get in the way of writing, from important things like meetings and bodily needs to empty things like Netflix and games on my phone. 

But it’s also been really great. I’ve finished more writing projects doing this challenge than I have in the past two months. I’ve loved the feeling of sitting down and having a goal to work towards, and having that motivate me to keep writing and keep writing. I’ve loved the feeling of having a completed article in front of me, especially one that was challenging to write. I’ve had something to work towards, and I’ve been working towards it as well as working towards redeveloping better work habits. I’ve been focusing more, and even though this wasn’t nearly the amount of writing that I wanted to accomplish, it’s more than I have been getting done. It’s definitely helped.

Here’s to another week of writing! I hope to reach my goal this week!!

How about you? How’s your writing going this month?

October What I’m Into

Linking up with Leigh Kramer What I’m Into.

I’ve never done this link up before but love reading other people’s, so I decided that this was the month to try it out.

Read and Reading

Lab Girl by Hope Jahren. I adored this book. It was an honest look at the science world, but also adult life and mental illness. There were lots of fascinating explanations of the life of plants, too.

Dry Storeroom No. 1: The Secret Life of the Natural History Museum by Richard Fortey. Lots of facts and stories about the (British) Natural History Museum, meaning that it also contains a lot of British culture and foibles. It contains lots of interesting nature and thoughts about how science is done.

The Discovery of Poetry by Frances Mayes. I’m slowly working my way through this book, which is a guide to reading and writing poetry. It’s a lot of the technical aspects of poetry that is similar to high school English, but covered by someone who loves and reads and breathes poetry. And I’ve loved reading the poems she includes as examples.

Howl’s Moving Castle and House of Many Ways by Diana Wynne Jones. I adore both of these books, which are full of quirky, snarky characters and fun adventure–especially  House of Many Ways, whose main character spends most of the book wanting to read and irritated that things like doing laundry and almost getting killed by a magical creature are getting in the way. Now THERE is a character I can relate to!

Ender’s Game was in the picture because I hoped to read it soon, but that still hasn’t happened. Maybe this month?
Watching

I’ve been binging more shows than I want to admit: Grey’s Anatomy (I wanted something mindless, and was unexpectedly sucked in by how forthright Meredith is about her emotional problems), Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (meh–although I did love the subplot where Jemma was stuck on another planet), and The Mysteries of Laura (a smart female detective who is amazing at solving crimes but also struggles with raising her kids and adult responsibilities. I adored this show and was so sad there were only two seasons up).

Podcasts

I just discovered podcasts maybe a week ago. I knew they existed, obviously, but I had never tried to listen to one or even wanted to. But now that I have, I’m loving them! I’ve followed a few, but the ones I’m really enjoying so far are The History Chicks LINK and Around the Table LINK. Any other suggestions?

Things I Love

It’s been a good, tough month with lots of self rediscovery and working through things, one day at a time. Also, job interviews!

  • That my room is organized enough that most of the boxes are now stacked together and covered by a blanket.
  • Starting to crochet again.
  • Fall colors.
  • Rain
  • Dressing as a dragon for Halloween. I got some sweet compliments and some confused looks. It was wonderful!

Blogosphere
I’ve followed The Quiet People, Beth’s blog, for a while now, but this past month it was just exactly what I wanted to read: posts about everyday things like baking and reading and figuring out how to love yourself every day, but she also brings a desire to live well and not just persevere through it all to the table that I just love.

I discovered Brittany’s blog, Where My Soul Belongs, this month and absolutely love it. It’s both practical and inspiring, and I loved it so much that I read back something like two years through her archives.

Addie’s post on grace made me cry because it was so true.

On the Blog

I wrote about how hard writing has been.

I talked about the writing challenge  I’ve set for myself in November–to write at least an hour a day.

 

What was your month like? And, seriously, any podcast recommendations?