Thursday, November 12, 2009

Missing In Action......

I am not sure where the time has gone, but I just realized that it has been eleven days since my last post and I feel very guilty! My goal is to post 5 days out of 7, and I have fallen way off the mark these past two weeks. I'm not quite sure what happened, except that I do know I am probably the only female on the face of the earth who does not multi-task well; I am a singularly focused woman who often times puts my head down and blocks out everything else around me. I guess that recently happened without my knowing it.

I did catch up on all that grading - which is a relief, but that does not fully explain the long absence. I have been very intrigued by the NaNoWriMo emphasis this month (National Novel Writing Month, for those who are as unfamiliar with this odd term as I was a year ago) and this has caused me to asses my own writing desires. Now, I am a very methodical person, and it is very common for me to research, analyze, and process an idea over and over and over again. So no, I haven't been writing these two weeks, but I have been reading about writing, thinking about writing, and dreaming about writing during this time.

I have always enjoyed expository writing, but since taking the Rewriting a Life class this summer, I am interested in further developing my creative writing skills. I was also greatly inspired by the wonderful stories my 9th graders wrote during the month of October. The physical writing does not intimate me nearly as much as honing ideas for potential stories. I have allowed this side of my brain to become dormant over the past decades, and I need to put myself on an exercise routine to develop this weak and flabby muscle.

To that end.....I have found a number of books that I think will help me reach that goal and I believe that I am ready to begin a writer's lifestyle; that is, I am ready to start carving out a bit of time each day to write. The three books that have helped me the most, and to which I plan to refer again and again, are:

by Susan Wooldridge
Three Rivers Press

I discovered this book as I wandered the library on the UNC Asheville campus this summer. I absolutely loved her carefree writing style, and this was the first time that I was introduced to the concept of writing prompts for adults.

by Bret Anthony Johnston
Random House

I read Dawn's post at She is Too Fond of Books when she talked about a writing workshop she recently attended. She spoke so highly of the book they used that day that I immediately surfed the net, placed a hold at my local bookstore, and picked it up that night.

by Jack Heffron
Writer's Digest Books

I found this book as I perusing the local Half Priced Books earlier this week (I have those coupons, you know, and I simply cannot let them go to waste). I have found the prompts to be varied in interest as well as difficulty. I plan to start with a few of the easier ones this week.

As with any new exercise routine, I must be willing to start slow, be persistent, and over time increase the amount of time and difficulty of the workout. For me, this means that I will begin a writer's journal. Some days I may be inspired to write something on my own, other days I may use one of the many prompts available in these books. The goal will be to write every day - something. Over the course of several months I would hope these journal entries will provide the basis of creative ideas that can later be turned into essays or possibly short stories. And who knows, perhaps I will be confident enough to participate in the NaNoWriMo event in 2010.


  1. Glad to see you back! I was wondering where you'd been :)

  2. We've missed you and your wonderful posts!

  3. Good luck on your new "exercise" plan. Writing is certainly more difficult that it appears and I applaud your dedication. Thanks for encouraging the rest of us who are trying to stretch our writing muscles also.

  4. What a super goal, Molly - to dedicate some of each day to writing.

    Have you looked at the site? There are a lot of ideas there for prompts, timed exercises, etc.

    My NaNo worked has taken a downward turn; I'm about 1/3 to the word count goal, and my plot has stalled. I keep writing, though. I've thrown in a bizarre twist which I hope will get me thru the rough spot; editing will come later!

  5. I was wondering where you'd gone, but I think we all understand that sometimes life gets in the way of our blogging! I'm so proud of you and your goals. I think that maybe getting started is the biggest obstacle. I'm here to cheer you on!

  6. Good luck with this Molly - sounds like a great plan!

  7. I was thinking about you too. Glad to see you are still doing well. Your writing ambitions are to be admired. Thanks for the suggested books on writing. My husband loves to write and you've just given me some ideas for Christmas. Keep going with your "exercise" program. One day at a time.

  8. welcome back. I was wondering where you had been. Great list of books. Happy reading.

  9. Welcome back. Best of luck with your new exercise plan--take that treadmill one step/day at a time. You can do this!

  10. I do that too - go a few days, realize that I haven't posted and wonder where the heck the time went, lol. It goes too fast, that is for sure!

  11. As the mother of students, I have to applaud you for catching up on that grading even if it means we've missed you!

  12. So glad you are back! I missed your presence. Now you just went and added three great-looking books to my list.Have a great week!

  13. Love the Writer's Idea Book, I'll have to look for that one. I too am great at setting writing goals, it's the carrying them out that seems to stump me.

  14. I think you need to not put pressure or stress on yourself when it comes to your blog! Just write when you can and don't worry about it when you don't feel it or don't feel like it. We'll all still be here and it should be fun ... not a pressure! Certainly not worth feeling guilty about! : )


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