5 Writing Tips I Learned During NaBloPoMo

explorer of a different sort..

Sips of Jen and Tonic

inspiration, writing, daily prompt, writers, sign, quoteNaBloPoMo is hard, ya’ll. Writing is in my blood, and yet, at this stage in the game I’m ready to throw in the towel on writing forever. I’ve fatigued my brain, and I’m sure some of you may have noticed the quality of my posts going down.

I’ve always thought NaBloPoMo would be much easier than NaNoWriNo simply because of the variety and lesser word count that it allows. What I failed to realize (for the second year in a row) is that NaBloPoMo requires 30 consecutive finished pieces rather than one piece which can be edited at a later time. In this way, it can be much more challenging.

Aside from the writing itself, it has been difficult to stay inspired. If you normally write twice a week, it would take you 15 weeks (or almost 4 months) to write 30 posts. A lot of stuff can happen in…

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Unbecoming a Writer

carrying the burden of others expectation weights way heavier than any physical weight…

InkBlots and IceBergs

There was a time, not too long ago, when I couldn’t have imagined calling myself a writer—and by “writer,” I mean the kind that gets paid to do work that’s actually published in print and credited through a byline. During that time, I did write, but I only wrote either for personal reasons (in a private journal or this blog), or for the ghostwriting assignments I took as a freelance web content writer.

During that time, I was but a girl who wrote and loved writing, but nothing more than that. And I was quite happy with how things were—I loved my craft, and it loved me back.

 

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And then the unthinkable happened.

The opportunity came for me to get published in this month’s issue of a national teen girls magazine, the glossy kind I liked to feel with my fingers, the smell of which I was addicted…

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I am right, I am wrong, I am right…

I pick up the phone too many times and I keep it back too many times… I do not contact you not only because I have an ego the size of Mount Everest but also because I know it would be wrong… For once in my life I am doing something right and its taking too much of me to follow it through. I have never been able to resist you and I know if you ask me, I would go back to you in a second because that is the kind of relationship we had… Maybe that’s why it’s kind of a relief that you are not making the first move either… Every night it is a struggle to stop myself from contacting you… I go through several scenarios of how it would be like… what I would say, what you would reply, whether it would be awkward after all this time or would we smoothly move back to the way we were, like nothing really happened between us. But of course I never get to confirm it because it all stays inside my head.

Watching your back, as you move away from me is all I can do. I thought we had something special between us, and so it hurt to see you develop the same bonds with others. But I cannot stop you from moving ahead in life. I cannot force you to stay back with me in time. I just… I just didn’t think you would do it so fast. It feels like ‘we’ were never really of any importance to you, like moving on for you was no big deal, while I’m still stuck in the past. But I cannot dwell on self pity now, when I was the one who broke it off.

Maybe I didn’t mean as much to you as you did to me. Maybe you always had this cruel, uncaring side to you I never saw before because I was so spellbound by your magic. Or maybe I did see it but chose to ignore it. Maybe it was the reason which confirmed it for me that we couldn’t continue like this anymore.

I know I am right in doing what I did, maybe I could have been less obvious about it, less dramatic maybe… But there are moments when I am filled with self doubt and so much regret that I wonder if it was worth it. I wonder why I need to constantly remind myself that “I am right”, why I need to constantly distract myself from you.

I am right, I am wrong, I am right…

I pick up the phone too many times and I keep it back too many times… I do not contact you not only because I have an ego the size of Mount Everest but also because I know it would be wrong… For once in my life I am doing something right and its taking too much of me to follow it through. I have never been able to resist you and I know if you ask me, I would go back to you in a second because that is the kind of relationship we had… Maybe that’s why it’s kind of a relief that you are not making the first move either… Every night it is a struggle to stop myself from contacting you… I go through several scenarios of how it would be like… what I would say, what you would reply, whether it would be awkward after all this time or would we smoothly move back to the way we were, like nothing really happened between us. But of course I never get to confirm it because it all stays inside my head.

Watching your back, as you move away from me is all I can do. I thought we had something special between us, and so it hurt to see you develop the same bonds with others. But I cannot stop you from moving ahead in life. I cannot force you to stay back with me in time. I just… I just didn’t think you would do it so fast. It feels like ‘we’ were never really of any importance to you, like moving on for you was no big deal, while I’m still stuck in the past. But I cannot dwell on self pity now, when I was the one who broke it off.

Maybe I didn’t mean as much to you as you did to me. Maybe you always had this cruel, uncaring side to you I never saw before because I was so spellbound by your magic. Or maybe I did see it but chose to ignore it. Maybe it was the reason which confirmed it for me that we couldn’t continue like this anymore.

I know I am right in doing what I did, maybe I could have been less obvious about it, less dramatic maybe… But there are moments when I am filled with self doubt and so much regret that I wonder if it was worth it. I wonder why I need to constantly remind myself that “I am right”, why I need to constantly distract myself from you. 

Making the First Move

Sips of Jen and Tonic

wisdom-vs-pride-quoteMy friends mean a great deal to me. I don’t have very many of them, but the ones I do have are incredible people. My loyalty runs deep.

I recently got into a fight with one of my oldest and dearest friends. This is someone who knows me better than I know myself sometimes. He has been a listening ear over the years, and supported me when things in my life were falling apart.

Our bond is so tight that our friendship is like an extension of myself.

Our argument wasn’t explosive. Neither of us said anything hateful to the other, nor did anyone utter the words, “You’re dead to me.” It was simply one of those conversations where you realize you’ve reached an impasse with another person.

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Writing Chose Me

writing makes it all easier to bear… writing frees something inside me which I hold on to too tightly…

Sips of Jen and Tonic

I don’t remember the first time I thought, “Hey, I’d like to write.” Some people have a specific incident they can point to as the exact moment they decided to become a writer. Truthfully, I think writing chose me.

I remember lying in the grass during summers at my grandparents’ house, staring up at the clouds and noticing them taking shape. I’d see dinosaurs, faces, hearts and bears. The idea that I may be the only one experiencing this kind of magic made me feel lonely. I desperately wanted to share what I was seeing with another person.

In junior high, our class read the book Where the Red Fern Grows together. We had to read some parts at home, and some parts were read aloud in class. The ending is quite sad, and I remember looking around the room and seeing my classmates crying. The idea that we were…

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‘Be Where You Are’

i wish I could follow it…

mkhana in transit

I hope she doesn’t mind me posting this, but one of my sweetest friends wrote something on her blog that, thanks to my very unreliable, moody internet connection here in Ethiopia, I just discovered today. In the last few weeks, I have gone through some strange ups and downs – patient deaths, preventable illnesses, sick babies, sicker parents, weird interpersonal exchanges with my higher-ups, challenging work duties, paranoia on a high level from my higher-up, gin of questionable quality, lack of appropriate mixers for said gin…even a request, from my higher-ups at work to me, to stop a friendship…yeah, wrap your head around that. Well, my friend captured something raw and so real that I feel that I MUST share an excerpt;

The grass really is always greener. Don’t let yourself immortalize past experiences on a pedestal of the bright and shiny. Don’t let yourself discount your present experiences because…

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