Writing Triangle

It was like I started every book by throwing myself at the keyboard and praying for a novel to shoot out of my fingers before the deadline.

It’s NaNoWriMo, and while many are participating, I’m 7 days late to the party, but still in it, nonetheless. I’m not writing a novel, but a screenplay. I found this gem of an article at The Pretentious Title Blog where a writer chronicles her struggles and successes. It’s definitely worth a read, and she does a great job breaking down how she went from 2k words a day to 10k. Her triangle metric is well thought out and worth considering for your own work.

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Twitter Tags

Twitter. We all have one, but are we making the most out of it? Do we really even understand it? I try and post a tweet every day, but I don’t always succeed and most of the time they get zero traction. I found Little Bit Social and was delighted to see they’d done a breakdown of the most common daily themes based on hashtags. I’m sharing a few of my business-related favorites for each week below, as well as my own interpretation of the hashtag.

#MondayMatters – Love this one because the idea of starting the week off with what matters is also just a good thought philosophy and great frame of mind for the week.

#MondayMusic  – What are you listening to? What pumps you up for the week? Maybe find a sweet new song with this hashtag.

#MondayMotivation  – What are you planning on getting done? What keeps you going? This hashtag has all varieties of subjects attached.

#MarketingMonday  – Do you have a business plan for the week? A tip to share? Want advice?

#ManCrushMonday – Find people we admire is important, letting others or that person know, even more so.

 

#TastyTuesday or #TemptingTuesday  – Food is love.

#TotalHonestyTuesday – This is one from The Financial Diet, an amazing site about finance, that I really love. We never talk about our slip-ups because we want our social media image to be perfect. What if we posted those stains and goofs?

#TryItTuesday – Never used this one, but I love it for it’s challenge factor.

#TuesdayTech – If you don’t want to be old, you need to stay abreast of technology. That’s just a fact.

#TravelTuesday – Great chance to live tweet your travel plans or just throwback to a recent trip.

 

#WorksForMeWednesday – Share what works for you, or look up what works for other people.

#WednesdayWisdom  – Basically the same. Everyone is feeling giving on Wednesday.

#WayBackWednesday – If you aren’t sharing insight, you’re apparently feeling nostalgic.

#WomanCrushWednesday – I REALLY support this one. We, as women, and especially in my field, need to do more to raise each other up.

#HumpDayHaiku – I’m a sucker for a good haiku.

 

#ThoughtfulThursday – It’s almost the weekend, time to reflect.

#ThankfulThursday – And be grateful. It’s never a bad time to say thank you.

#ThrowbackThursday – A classic.

#WhatDoYouThinkThursday – Great way to share your opinion on a topic that might not be timely, but that you think is worth mentioning.

#ThirstyThursday – Because there were a lot of meals between Tuesday and now.

 

#FridayLieDay – Two truths, one lie. Fun game to play!

#FeatureFriday or #FilmFriday  All the new movies are coming out, what are you talking about?

#FriendFriday  – Give a shout-out to a buddy. Post a sweet photo.

#FridayReads  – What’s next to your nightstand? (In my case, a pile of 10!)

#GoodNewsFriday  – Share some positivity out there! What went well this week?

 

#SaturdaySummary  – Wrap up your workweek. This one also feels just as good for thinking about on your own.

#Caturday  – Because kittens are love.

#SaturdaySwag – Like #OOTD (Outfit of the Day) but for merchandise.

#SaturdayShenanigans – Don’t be all work and no play.

#SocialSaturday – Everyone wants to share their weekend plans, but maybe use this to think about networking.

 

#SelfieSunday  – Take a moment to snap a pic and meditate on where you are today.

#SundayFunday  – Again, all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.

#LazySunday OR #SlothSunday – Don’t feel bad about taking it easy.

#SundaySongBook  – In case you need inspiration for #MusicMonday

#SundayQuotes – Share a favorite quote or find some inspiration.

 

Rejuvenate My Soul

I hiked up Mt Baldy!

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It was part of 3 peak challenge my amazing friends and I are doing. (I’m the one in the bear head wrap). So far we’ve done the ‘easy’ peak. Mt Baldy, or San Antonio, has an elevation of 10,064 and is 10.2 miles, round trip. My fitbit clocked me at around 15 miles, but who knows. I’m shorter so I take smaller steps. img_5954

It was absolutely breathtaking. It’s been almost a week since we hiked up, and I’m feeling major withdraws. I just want to get back out there and keep hiking. To be sure, while going up I was feeling the elevation and my lack of endurance.

img_5958Coming off a 2 month injury, my biggest worry was being the slow person in the group. I was, but I didn’t factor in that my friends are fantastic and it wasn’t even a big thing. It was totally fine. And getting to the top and hanging out was bliss.

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We made friends with these two other hiker dudes and they hung out all the way down. Which was great because I got to borrow a pole. Now, I’d always thought they were dorky, but I’m slow as molasses on the way down because I expect to fall and smash my head open. They loaned me a pole, one pole, and I was able to keep up with the group. It was a straight up miracle! So, needless to say, I bought a set of my own for future hikes. It’s bad enough being the semi-out-of-shape one in the group on the way up, I don’t really want to be what slows us up on the way back too!

We gave ourselves a weekend break, so no mountain scaling for me this weekend. But I can’t wait for San Gorgonio next!

AND that’s a check on #13 of the 30 in 30 challenge!

Sunday Sunshine

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Feeling like your Sundays are the dreaded day before the week begins? Maybe it’s time for a perspective shift! Try thinking of Sundays differently:

-As the chance to plan your week out

-As a day to reflect on the past week

-As a day to take a bit of time for yourself

-As a chance to look at your goals and accomplishment

There are numerous articles on the power of reflection and looking back at what you’ve done, as well as the benefits of planning ahead and taking a few minutes each night to look at the next days goals.

Check out these helpful articles:

11 Ways to Beat the Monday Blues by Forbes.com

4 Ways to Use Sunday to Make Your Upcoming Week Easier by The Financial Diet (a blog which you should totally be following!)

So this Sunday, I’m working on a project I’ve long had on the to-do list– repainting some equipment cases, an act that will help make our business feel more legit as well as improve our pride of ownership.

This Sunday, I’m meal planning for the week. I’m doing the Whole 30 (post coming soon!) challenge and meal planning is a necessity unless I want to turn into a ravenous monster who ends up bailing on my month’s commitment.

This Sunday, I took time out of my day to sit with a cup of coffee and watch my cat. It was great.

This Sunday, I’m going to curl up with a good book at the end of the day to relax.

#16 – Give up Alcohol

   There’s no time like the present, and if you never get started, you’ll never finish. I’ve decided to go ahead and knock this one out first. Why?

– Convenient to start because I’m battling a chest cold/possible bronchitis and when better than if you’re sick?

– I’m starting training for another half marathon and I want to test differnt factos to see if they affect my running. The book “Born to Run” would argue it doesn’t, and I would tend to agree (I think diet and hydration play a much larger role) but in thr interest of sciene I’m testing it.

– I have the goal to lose some weight, and I know I consume a fair amount of calories through alcohol; that beer or glass of wine combined with a cocktail during nightly TV surely adds up. So I’m going to help the process out a little bit by omitting something in the hopes I’ll develop some healthier nighttime rituals.

-I’ve run a Spartan race, and the idea of the Spartans intrigues me. The idea of doing without, stretching your willpower, challenging your base self– how often do we really do this? When was the last time you told yourself no and challenged your body and brain?

– I work at a hospital interviewing patients, and the liver transplant stories are some of the saddest I’ve ever seen. I don’t think I drink enough to warrant a fear of liver cancer, but you never know, and if I can create alternate habits, all the better. I’ll never give up drinking, but if I switch that last nighcap to a mug of tea, I can only imagine I’ll be all the better for it.

– They say you sleep better if you don’t drink before bed. I know I used to sleep like a baby when I was a non-drinker in high school; but part of me wonders if that was due to a packed schedule, exercising enough to have a six pack, and a complete lack of worries about bills and making money. Who know? But as a Leo and a total lion, if I can improve my sleep I’m game to try. 

So today is Day 1. I’llcontinue to update and let you know how it goes. Has anyone else ever done this? 

And I would run 1000 miles…

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My dad always said, “Go big or go home.” And this year I’m doing just that. I’m going to run 1,000 miles this year. That’s roughly 83 miles per month, 20 miles per week, just a little under 3 miles per day. That’s it. 3 miles every day and by the end of the year I’ll have racked up 1,000 miles.

Why you ask? Because my sister is an inspiration. She was tired of living her same old couch potato life, so she signed up for a class at her college where they train to run a full marathon throughout the semester. This is my sister:

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She wasn’t the most in shape person before enrolling in the class, but since that first day she’s made a ton of positive changes in her life. (The photo is from a group of us hiking up Mt. Bierstadt in Colorado. It was a 14er.) It was tough, but she managed to do it. And even though her professor recommended she drop down to the half-marathon instead of the marathon; it’s going to be a great day when we cross that finish line together mid-way through this month! Needless to say I’m super proud of my little sis, and I realized that even though she may not have met her total goal (yet) she still came farther than she thought.

That’s part of what this is, a challenge. If we don’t challenge ourselves this year, how do we expect to grow? If we don’t set new heights, how will we ever get off these plateaus we forget we’re on? Instead of resolutions in the New Year that will inevitably fail, why not set your sights on something and go after it with everything you’ve got.

What’s your challenge for 2016?

2016- The Year of Learning

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This year my goal is to learn, to hone my skills, to really knuckle down, acquire discipline, and pursue learning. I’m continuing work on my screenwriting certificate and applying to fellowships and competitions to really try and hone my skills and develop my craft.

In addition, I discovered a fashion design certificate on groupon, and have purchased and begun a year long semi-intensive certificate in fashion design. I’ve always been interested in clothes, sewing, runway, and the creation of the things we wear everyday, so why not? It may take 10,000 to master a craft, but I enjoy a good diversion and feel it’s important to let the brain wander in different directions.

This year, instead of trying to read 25-50 books, I’m selecting 12 books from my shelves and working my way through one book per month. These are books on the craft of screenwriting (I have at least 10 half-started), books I’ve long wanted to read but never actually picked up (Quiet: Power of Introverts), books I’ve enjoyed but gotten distracted from (House of Leaves), or books that will highlight other pursuits (Born to Run). In short, I’m trying to consolidate and optimize my time.

Now, I think resolutions are bunk. They’re like a pie crust promise: easily made and easily broken. (We can all thank Mary Poppins for that bit of wisdom.) But goals– these are sustainable and empowering. One thing I discovered last year that has really allowed me to hone in on the things I want, and get them done in a timely manner, is Passion Planner.

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This gem has really helped me, especially because it includes a lot of visual components and places to make lists, keep things together, and progress points to really look at how you’re doing each month, and whether you’re really making progress. If you don’t already have a planner you love, I recommend giving Passion Planner a try.

What are some of your goals for the new year? Do you have a theme or focus that’s driving you?

Writers Groups

Community.

A sense of belonging.

Practical, helpful feedback.

Does anyone belong to any writers groups? I’m really itching to join one, because I feel like when you are surrounded by fellow writers you tend to improve. Being in a creative environment tends to improve your own creativity, and when I have been around other writers I’ve always found something that will improve my own writing to boot.

The question is where to find these collaborations. I’ve just joined or asked to join about 5 Facebook groups, but these seem more like they will be helpful on the inspiration front rather than the nitty gritty writing front. I have some friends in LA who are part of writing groups, and the groups seem to really help them. Nothing keeps you motivated and going forward like steady deadlines and looking like you aren’t making progress in front of your peers!

At least that’s my take. The real gem, though, is the feedback. I’ll ask my husband for his opinion, but all I get is that everything is great. Let’s be honest, while that’s nice to hear, it’s unrealistic and doesn’t help me improve.

Does anyone have any online alternatives for feedback? Any success or horror stories of writing groups?

So far this guy is the second member of my writing group.image