What Has your Writing Journey Been Like so Far?

What has your writing journey been like so far? Good question. I follow many authors on Instagram and this week a fellow writer has put together a mini writing Instagram challenge. All the questions are writing related and this particular question intrigued my creative child within.

My writing journey so far has been like a familiar but unpredictable weather system these days. Drizzly rain mixed with sun and cloud with a rainbow in the horizon. A mixed bag of emotions and events that have brought me to the page.

As long as I can remember and even deeper than that, it’s like I’ve had this past life, even lives that I can see and feel but they seem unclear at times. A life where I’ve been writing, telling stories and sharing. It seems that creativity is and always been in my veins. I cannot, not write. My imagination is a black hole, it is never-ending and swallows me whole at times. The vivid places and situations that occur in my mind baffle me at times, where did the ideas come from so quickly, so vividly that they play out like a movie?

I have never been afraid of the stories that have been and continue to be shared with. The one detail I am afraid of is that I am not sharing this talent and creativity will move on. It frightens me more that I will lose what has been graciously given to me. I have this deeply seeded knowing I should be participating like an excited cheerleader on their first game day – what gives then? It comes down to old behaviors and me, myself and the ego are in the way.

So how do I get out of my head? How do I stay on this great journey of writing? By writing, by reading about writing, by writing about writing, by surrounding myself with other writers to talk about writing and ultimately to keep writing.

My writing journey so far is mostly positive and there are some frustrating times, but as I have shared before, the only person that is stopping me from doing something is me. I choose to sit here in my beautiful writing room watching the trees sway in the breeze on this lovely Sunday evening. This is what I have to do more often. To choose writing over the sofa and Netflix. Writing over staying late a work just because I “think” I should stay for another hour over time to help out. It’s not helping anyone out when I’m pissed off because I chose to stay and would rather be home writing. A vicious cycle the ego plays over and over again.

My writing journey has provided me with beautiful places to live and experience moments that I have been able to soak in and share. Creativity has brought me across the country to live on an island and experience so many wonderful moments. Creativity has provided everything I need to excel this creative life and for this, I am truly grateful.

Now, I will ask you the same question: What has your writing journey been like so far?

Until next time, keep on typing. . . .

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Write Like the Deadline is Tomorow

It’s Sunday morning and I’m starting this post a little later than I tend to. I aim to write most of my posts on Friday mornings when I work in the afternoon at the hotel. This week I was distracted with other activities, like grocery shopping so I don’t have to do it on my days off. The less I have to do on my days off equals more time writing.

I have been thinking about what to write about this week. It’s been a busy week at the hotel life. After being off for a week it took a day or two to catch up. Throw in all the other everyday hotel activities, in a blink of an eye, the week is over. Throughout the week my thoughts have always been to what I would write about. Should I start with my commitment that I shared a few weeks ago? The one that I would start sharing my latest work in progress about my hotel life? Should I share more insights from the memoir reference book I’m currently obsessed with? Should I share how frustrated I am that I didn’t write beyond my morning pages this week? So many options, so many words to get on the page. The most important thing is that I am here now.

My friend and award-winning author, Jacqui Nelson, and I were talking over coffee before we started to write, she said, ‘write like the deadline is tomorrow’ ~ What a great quote! I’m going to write this on my current vision board in bold letters. I love this motivational sentiment, there is no fooling around when it comes to writing. Somewhere, someone else is working hard to learn more about their art and becoming better with every word. Time to get writing!

Writing the Memoir by Judith Barrington haunts my thoughts. Yes, I use the word haunt because what she shares with us are the very details of why I am called to write. I am of service and creativity has chosen to work with me, I better damn well be giving back as much as creativity has given me.

It is not the obvious landmarks of a lie that hold the passionate moments, the transformations, and the painful growth: those lie within incidents and relationships that are unique to each of us. Find that haunting story that has nothing to do with what looks like one of life’s “big moments.” Use your notebook to search diligently among your lifelong preoccupations. (Judith provides exercises to get us thinking about our memories)

I scribble in my notebook about the events that linger in my mind. Most of the stories are from my hotel life. Like I shared before, I am here to be of service and working in a hotel fills a part of my desire to help people. The events of working in a hotel are one part of my lingering thoughts. Other circumstances, like being kicked out of the kitchen for asking a question during a dinner rush are the other stories that show up from time to time. These memories remind me where I once was and how I survived what I once thought was odd behavior, but became very normal morals over the years. These are the stories that I am excited and a bit anxious to share.

I am preoccupied with the occasions of my hotel life because I never saw myself working in the hotel industry for over twenty years. The hospitality world has provided and continues to do so, what is needed to maintain and excel this creative life that is fully intended.

Thank you for sticking around with me during this post. I kinda feel that I am all over the place and that happens to me when I haven’t written for days. I need to sit down and start writing to get settled. So now, let’s get to it and WRITE LIKE THE DEADLINE IS TOMORROW.

Until next time, keep on typing. . . .

 

What Does Baseball Have To Do With Writing?

Wasn’t it a few weeks ago I was saying how much I like my little writing routine which trickles into my work life? I like getting up early to write morning pages and I don’t mind going to bed early because I know I’ll be up early as sleep is important to our health. It is important for those times when you stay up all night writing.

My husband and I were on vacation last week. We went to Seattle for three baseball games, Mariners vs. Boston Red Sox. My husband and his family (minus his brother who is a Yankees fan) are Red Sox fans. When he was growing up in New Brunswick, it wasn’t anything for them to drive to Boston for a weekend to see a few games. I have known my husband for fifteen years and when the Red Sox are close to wherever we are, we are heading to the game(s). We try to go to Seattle each year to experience at least one of the games. This year we decided to go to all three games. I wasn’t sure what I was getting myself into.

Our road trip started at the Coho ferry in Victoria, BC. It is about an hour and a half to Port Angeles and then another hour and a half drive to Bremerton, where we decided to stay this trip. We have stayed in various areas of Seattle and we would have stayed in the city again, but hotel prices were a little high for us. Even as a hotelier I couldn’t justify paying $250 US each night, ouch! We paid $130 Canadian a night at the Fairfield Inn and Suites in Bremerton, a four-minute walk to the ferries over to Seattle, score!

I love taking the ferry anywhere. I love being on the water, the whole experience is meditative for me. I am also able to write on the ferry without many distractions. Adam will either fall asleep or read a magazine and doze off as I concentrate on writing. There is something about travel, being on the ocean or near the ocean that gets my creative juices flowing.

There is a new fast ferry from Bremerton to Seattle, Kitsap Transit, it was free for the month of July as a test project. The ferry runs three times in the morning and then three times in the afternoon. It was a great option for us on the way over to Seattle and it is only a 35-minute ride. On the way back we took the Washington State Ferry, also a great trip but up to an hour and fifteen minutes per trip. On the second night of the baseball game the last ferry leaves at 12:50 am, which we took because the games went into 13 innings, it was a long evening, however everyone on the ferry was coming from the game so we were in the same boat (sorry for the pun) of a late night and a disappointing ending to the game. The Red Sox lost.

                                                 My hubby and I at Safeco Field

The last game on Wednesday was an afternoon game. I should mention that the two games prior were in the evening and as busy as the afternoon game. Boston Red Sox fans were out in full force. Fans came from all over. We sat next to a family of six, three generations of fans from Portland and Texas, I didn’t realize how dedicated fans were. Mariner fans were amazed that we were Canadian and were Red Sox fans, they didn’t understand why we’re not Blue Jay Fans, I don’t understand either until I started really watching the games. Over the years I’ve heard my husband and his friends and family discuss the game and I’ve tried to pay attention to other live games I’ve attended. I watched the players in a different light this time. I saw how passionate the players were about what they were doing. They were playing their favourite sport and getting paid for their passion. Each player is unique and fans put their faith into each player and the entire team organization, it’s a concept that I never thought about.

Like baseball, writing is the same for me and for many of you. We put our heart and souls into the words we put down on the page. We have faith in creativity and ourselves that we are writing with purpose. I know this to be true for me. At the moment I don’t get paid for my passion and that’s okay. I write for the pure joy of the process. I write because creativity chose me and my passion is to share with you the processes, trial and errors and joys of writing. I’m so grateful for our experience in Bremerton and Seattle this year – what a great vacation to watch passions unfold as they are meant to be.

Until next time, keep on typing. . . .

 

Writing Memories

The Memoir Club, convened by Molly McCarthy and Virgina Woolf attended the first meeting. They stated one of their goals was  ‘Absolute Franckness’. I came across this while reading, Writing the Memoir, by Judith Barrington. I love the image of Absolute Frankness. It is truthful. Down right to the core. No messing around with creativity. Baring the soul with such truth is still an act of faith.

I’m not sure at one point when I become a memoirist; a person who writes memoirs. All I knew was that I wanted to share stories. I loved all the ideas that seemed to come to me easily(and still do) and I would act them out in my head or write them down (again, still do). I would have pages of dialogue between characters. When I look back some of the material I kept (and I kept it all) I don’t even remember writing it. That’s what we call the ‘gap’ or the ‘zone’ where you do something you love and time seems to stand still. It’s a great feeling.

I was given Writing the Memoir by a work colleague and I didn’t really look at it. At the time I was working on my memoir about my maternal grandparents. I was working with an editor and writing mentor and didn’t look twice at the book. Last week I had a sense that I needed some help with my motivation and direction of my latest memoirs of working in the hospitality world. The true self-knows what it needs and it will nudge its way towards the things that will tickle the senses.

What things do you think about over and over? What stories haunt you? Which people from the past do you dream about? What makes you passionate when you think about it or talk about it? What do you argue about? Most of us have ongoing obsessions. ~ Judith Barrington

I started to answer some of these questions and I realized that I am on the right track with my hotel life series of memoirs. The stories haunt me. After fifteen years I still dream of the place that got me started in the hotel life. The things I have seen and done also nag at me but fill me with joy. The hospitality world is a double-edged sword. One that I am grateful to be part of, the world that I can’t seem to get enough of; like a loose tooth that you can’t seem to stop playing with until it ever so gently breaks away and you are left with a satisfying feeling of never giving up.

You can’t hide behind a memoir and I had to learn through my first memoir that keeping everyone, especially me, at an arm’s length. I have to be willing to take immense risks to reap enormous rewards. Am I ready? I’ve been ready all my life, I’m just catching up to it.

I’ve been honest with you and myself since I started this blog. I only want to share the stories that seem to make their way to me. A memoir is different and it can be difficult to let it go. Saying that. I’m ready to share the stories of my life through the chosen career of the hotel world.

I will be starting to share some of the chapters of the hotel life series. I don’t when I will start, I don’t have a date because I am knee-deep in first draft revisions but I need a kick in the pants to get those edits done and start sharing this hotel life I talk about.  It is a scary moment for me but very exciting one as this is all wanted, to write, to learn, to share, to be.

Until next time, keep on typing. . . .

Change Is In The Air

How do you switch gears on your writing life when you have been focused on a certain path then after one innocent and honest conversation, your focus takes a slight turn but for the good. I’m not sure if there is any way to avoid the changes in my writing and I’ll embrace the transformation. My life has been about redirections and I’m excited to see what will unfold.

What changes am I talking about? Maybe it’s not about change, more like an improvement on what I am currently doing.  I’ve been avoiding the revisions on my current work in progress, why? I’m tired of looking at them that’s why. That’s the honest truth. It is exhausting to look at the third round draft and only to find it needs another over haul to make any sense. My ego is screaming, damn it! Okay, so is my creative self only because she wants to be working on other ideas that are rolling in like a tsunami. I am very aware of the fact that we live in a universe of limitless possibilities. I believe anything is possible. I have this notion that I have already written and published several novels, plays, screenplays, TV shows, you name it, I’ve written it. The feeling or knowing is that I’m catching up to what is already there, but I’m right here trying to figure out how the hell I’m going to get there. Have you ever felt this?

So often, we pretend we’ve made a decision when what we’ve really done is signed up to try until it gets too uncomfortable. ~ Jen Sincero

Hello! When I first read this side note I was nodding my head in agreement with great intent and whispering out loud, yes, yes, I have done this. I’m not pretending to be a writer, I am a writer who happens to choose to work a more than a full-time job in a field that strangely enough I enjoy. However, to be honest I may be day dreaming about my writing life and what I should be doing to further my creative life. I know that someone else out there who is passionate about writing is surely spending more time on their craft than I am and that scares the hell out of me. This is why I have to switch my focus and get on track and get to my revisions. I have to embrace the edits that are part of the writing process. So without further adieu, I am off to dive deep to the improvements.

Until next time, keep on typing. . . .

What Do you Want Your Life to Look Like?

After reading Katharine Grubb’s, When the Timer Dings, the questions she asks and the exercises she presents to us have been lingering within me.

Have you ever taken a long-term approach to what you want your life to be like? Why or why not? 

This question is not for the light-hearted. You have to really take a look at what is important to you. Do you want a life that is comfortable where you get up, go to work, come home, have dinner, sit in front of the TV until it’s time to go to bed and then do it all over again? I’m not saying you are doing the above at the moment, and honestly, I have been doing this for about two weeks and desperately trying to break the cycle and I have been taking steps to change this bad habit that has somehow sneaked its way into my life.

I have been looking at a long-term approach to what I want in my life for most of my life. Ever since I can remember I’ve wanted to be a writer, tell stories, write plays. Maybe even act out the stories or have actors act out the possible TV shows or movie ideas that were rolling around in my mind. I’ve daydreamed about a life where I was writing and working with other writers and creative people to 1. get my work published and 2. to help others write and share their stories. This has always been the life I’ve wanted.

There have been some moments in my creative life where I have achieved certain aspects of this life. I once was a resort manager of a meditation retreat center and I booked different workshops that inspired the creative soul. The Painting Experience, writing and yoga, and then in the offseason I would open the center every Monday or Tuesday for a few hours in the morning for people to come and work on their craft. Be it writing, painting, sculpting, music, I was creating a space where people felt safe to be creative and work on their passions. It was so effortless and like writing that ‘gap’ that many creative and spiritual mentors share when you are doing something you love, time seems to exist. What a feeling!

As time and life moves along, I got caught up in the ego’s trap where I kept thinking ‘okay, you should be doing this or that. You should be making X amount of money at some random job.’ then my true self would pipe up and ask, why do I need to be making a certain amount of money at some random job that I might not even like when I want to be writing and one day be paid for my creativity? A very good question.

What am I doing now to approach my long-term life goals? Why is so important to feed the creative soul that cries out to be heard? I am listening to my true self – it’s not that I haven’t been listening, I have honestly been tuning out my genuine self for random reasons that only I can be accounted for. Now, once again, it’s time to kick the ego to the curb.

I wish you well ego. I hope someone else adopts you, I’ve had enough and ready for the next step. ~ Marion Ann Berry

Until next time, keep on typing. . . .

Do you love your routine? I sure love mine.

Do you have a writing routine? Are you taking your creative life seriously? Do you shut the door to your writing space, corner or wherever you write? Do you turn off the phone, social media and other distractions to sit down and do what is needed to get where you are going? Are you surrounded by supportive people who applaud your passions or suck you into binge watch Netflix?

Some routines and habits are good and a few of them can be hurting us and our creative life. I am pretty good with my life goals and use to be very stubborn with my writing time. No one was allowed to talk to me when I was writing. I can’t remember when I started this notion, but lately I’ve been much more open to people coming up to me to say hello, or ask about the stickers on my laptop or the book I maybe reading. Human interaction is not as scary as I once made it out to be in my head. Gotta love the ego sometimes.

Why am I asking you about your writing or creative routine? I was flipping through Jen Sincero’s, You are a Badass, I stopped on page 147 in Part 4’s section, How to Get Over Your B.S. Already, there are a few steps on how to get out of your own way and get on with the life you know you should be living but you and the ego are not seeing eye-to-eye.

5. Get out of your routine: Talk to strangers, wear something different, go to a new grocery store, make dinner for someone you want to get to know better, change toothpastes…walk taller, notice five awesome things you’ve never notice about your home, your beliefs, your mother, you face. Do things that pull you out of your routine and you’ll be amazed by the new realities that were there all along that suddenly present themselves. 

Yes, I agree to certain things to pull me out of my regular day-to-day rut that I’m involved with five days a week at the hotel life. It’s not really a rut, it’s currently the routine I’m working with and that’s okay. I’m working on it.                                           I like the idea of wearing something different, and I’ve changed my toothpaste, it’s better than the one I’ve been using for years. A small thing but a great change.

 

I love my writing routine. Sunday mornings my friend, award-winning author, Jacqui Nelson and I get together and write, drink coffee and talk about writing. Sunday afternoons I continue the creativity by either baking for the week or back to the page and tinker with my blog page. Sunday evenings I leave open to cook an elaborate meal or try a new recipe. We may watch a movie or spend time outside because it is currently summer and if you can, get outside and get some natural vitamin D.

Monday mornings I’m in my writing room for most of the day. I love connecting with other writers and reading their blogs and doing some research on possible new ideas. I tend to leave the house to go for a walk or go to any appointments that I need to attend to in the afternoon. Later in the afternoon I will head back to my writing room and settle back onto the page for a bit until my partner gets home from work, I welcome the break and love to hear about his day, it’s important to us to connect. He understands my writing life and he is the one who gently reminds me to get to the page and I love him for that.

 

Throughout the week I have slipped into a routine that I am trying to break. I was good at coming home to work at least ten to fifteen minutes on writing, but not in the past month and that bad habit is about to change. I’ll be here on the page a lot more.

What does your writing routine look like? What habits do you want to change to get to the page more often? I’m going to embrace my partners encouragement and head to my writing room, shut the door and write.

Until next time, keep on typing. . . .