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3.1 Things I’ve Learned from #31Days

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That’s my now 11 year old baby in the pumpkins her first Halloween. Time doesn’t fly, y’all. It sprints on ahead and dares you to keep up.

I truly love the #31days movement. Really, I do.

I just can’t do it.

I managed it (somehow!) in 2013. 31 posts in 31 days on one topic. I was proud of that effort. So maybe that’s why I just don’t have the heart for it here anymore. For one thing, this space for words competes with all my other spaces. Like the Splickety Publishing Group, where I get to edit really great stories and work with really great people. Or the short fiction world which has welcomed me so warmly already that I fear there’s a slew of rejection slips just waiting for my name. Or the hometown newspaper that puts my words in real ink and paper print every other Friday and makes me feel like a real writer every single time.

I love those places. Together with this place, they’ve helped me find my writer’s voice. And they’ve helped me define what I want my blog to be.

I want a writer’s space. An author’s page. A site with a little encouragement, a lot of thoughtfulness, and a dash of humor. This is my place to brand myself in a way that lets me still be myself–in whatever way I feel that day.

So what did I learn from #31days?

  1. I don’t have the capacity to post everyday. Writing is emotionally draining and this month alone I’ve written (and had edited) two short stories, two newspaper columns, and all these posts. There are status updates and tweets and all that Slack convo with my fellow Splicketeers. I’ve edited eleven flash pieces and articles, led my Word Weavers group, and drafted new versions of my info pages. I have to remind myself of all these things because I need to realize it’s okay for my blog to not be updated more than twice a week. And that’s about all I’ve got.
  2. I bore easily. I’ve always known this but it’s even more evident when I have to stick to one topic in my writing. This is probably also why I really like short stories. I get to write one theme, one way, and then move on to the next round of folks rattling around in my head.
  3. Sometimes I would rather watch When Calls the Heart or Friday Night Lights or Friends than write. And that’s ok. Writers are readers, that’s true. I’ve read voraciously my whole life. But you’ll be hard pressed to find a writer who doesn’t also appreciate a well-written television show or movie. This month my girls and I have fallen in love with the love story of Jack and Elizabeth, I’ve learned a few football terms from Coach Taylor and embraced my inner Tami Taylor with a pair of boots, and when I’ve needed a laugh, Central Perk has always been the place to be. The point is, when I indulge in the stories of someone else, I actually become a better writer.

and that .1? I really like reading other people’s posts. My favorite for this season of my life? Jessie Kirkland’s How to Snag an Agent. Real, timely advice for aspiring writers.

November crept in this morning. Here Sunday dawned drizzly gray, and a new challenge–the infamous National Novel Writing Month–buzzed through my social media feeds. I might be there, but I promise I’ll be back here with snippets of our days and in pursuit of my quest to Just Write Life.

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