To My Dearest Self

A month ago I promised myself I would maintain this blog better. This month ago I made a lot of semi-serious promises to myself, what most people call “New Year Resolutions”, the silly semi-serious promises we make ourselves before another winter storm and several inches of snow takes every ounce of optimism away from us. Before we know it, the new year is beginning to resemble the previous year. The only difference being one is older, in not just age but potentially looks, and the sheer frustration that if I haven’t lost the weight or kept up with my goals that I keep making for some reason-will I ever truly change?

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I love my commute home. After a day of work, which could be any number of things (long, busy, fun, boring, tiring, upsetting, or the go-to “ok”), I settle into my car for a 30-minute drive on side roads in rush hour traffic. I don’t know if it’s because I finally have a few moments to myself to think, or if it is the natural calm that comes with driving, but I have some of my best ideas and thoughts while driving. They range from picking and working on songs I hope to perform in a lip synch battle with Jimmy Fallon someday…

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to planning my dream elopement (which won’t sadly happen because I’m not heartless nor do I lack feelings). [end sarcasm]

Sometimes my mind wonders to my writing (or lack thereof). Everything from writing prompts to my writing style to the fact that I have all these great ideas swirling around in my cranium and yet when it comes to actually pinning them down in actual ink (or pixelated text) I suddenly whine and say it’s too hard, I suck at writing and shouldn’t even try-and before I know it I’m watching another season of Friends on Netflix (after I get home, of course).

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Most often, though, my thoughts become rather reflective and I begin to look at myself.

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I guess when I was younger, I saw myself further in life. To be honest, I never really pictured life after 24 years old. I kind of just assumed that I would graduate college, get an awesome job I loved, marry my true love, and start making babies-all before the age of 25 (I have diary entries to back it up…however we won’t get into that right now).

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If I’m being fair however, my ten-year-old self wasn’t factoring in some pretty big details. Like, student loans: how after almost three years, you will still be paying off your education and degree. Or the big awesome job? Some days I do truly love the job and what I do, but other days are hard-that’s just life. Life is never easy, it’s never without challenges, every day has it’s own struggles that need to be overcome. And marriage-marriage is not as simple as I originally thought as a child. I thought it was as easy as bumping into some random stranger that when your eyes met they just knew your whole life story-one they joined a year or two later. I didn’t factor in things like loving someone despite their flaws and faults, loving someone when they have wronged someone (or after you have wronged them), not being ready for the big commitment marriage is or how truly long ‘forever’ is. Don’t even get me started on babies. There are a lot of things they didn’t cover in my high school sex education class.

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I look in the mirror at what I have become physically. I resemble that ten-year-old girl, except I look older-and tired. My hair has lost that youthful luster, while the acne I was told would go away still is camping out on my cheeks. My body is no longer rail thin-it instead boasts curves, edges-some larger than I would like.

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What I don’t spend enough time doing is looking on what I have become on the inside. Believe me, it’s a bit of a murky mess, but a murky mess that intrigues me-and oddly makes me optimistic. I’m not the strongest person I could be-but the potential is there. I’m not the most confident person I could be-but the potential is there. There are some qualities of mine that have grown and matured and have developed quite nicely over the years, while others could use some work and careful tending.

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What I don’t always recognize is how intertwined our inner selves and our outer shells are connected. If you feel like utter rubbish on the inside, it isn’t going to help you feel like a million dollars on the outside (nor will you be motivated to even make an effort to fake the look through the use of smoke and mirrors). I have a vision in my mind of what I could look like-should look like-but if I don’t start making changes on the inside where it matters, than that vision is going to stay exactly what it is right now-an imaginary picture of what I could be and nothing more.

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So as I stare at myself in the mirror, a month after I made some semi-serious (and semi-empty) promises to myself, I think about the inner self and the outer shell. How it honestly is never too late to make a resolution, and at the same time realizing I am nothing more than a human being that will occasionally slip up. Thinking that maybe I need to stop putting so much pressure on myself to be the best instead of just to be my best. There is a difference, after all.

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So here’s to not giving up, but letting myself fall down sometimes. Here’s to sorting out the mess on the inside, with hopes of it oozing to the surface. Here’s to loving myself enough to give myself a chance. Or several chances, since I will screw up the ones given. Here’s to still dreaming, because even though every dream is now drizzled with a sense of realism, that ten-year-old girl that thought the sky was limitless is still inside-pushing, motivating, desiring-and I owe it to her-and myself-to let her be heard.

This Valentine’s Day, yes I will hand out whimsical valentines to my co-workers and shower Z with amorous love. But first? I’m going to try to love myself better than I have been. I think that’s a good resolution-who cares what time of year it is.

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Sincerely,

The Shoe

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Throw Back Thursday: Blank Pages and New Year Resolutions, Part Two

Last year, I wrote a piece titled Blank Pages and New Year Resolutions, Part Two. Seeing as it was a year later, I decided to read the post again to see how it held up over the course of 2014.

Surprisingly, there were a few things I needed to hear. Again.

So in honor of Throwback Thursday and celebrating the New Year of 2015, I’m throwing it back to an oldie but a goodie this week. I hope you enjoy it, and I hope despite it being a year old, find its message still hopeful. 🙂

See the post below, and I’ll be updating everyone on my 2015 goals in a few days!

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Sincerely, The Shoe

Emotionally Naked

About a year ago, a very conflicted young woman came up with the brilliant idea of starting a blog. She settled on the idea that the blog would channel her frustrations regarding life at that point, in the present, as a part-time working post college grad struggling to find herself. She hoped to include humor as well as serious insights, and had the goal to update it on a weekly basis, so that at the end of the year there would be exactly 52 blog posts.

I was short by about 35.

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But that’s okay. Yes, I would have loved to have kept up with this blog a little better, but the fact that I did succeed in 17 posts is a small victory in of itself.

Sometimes we forget the little victories we happen to make, whether during our day, during a year, or during a lifetime. Maybe some…

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My Year in Review: 2014

There has been some debate lately about the year in reviews Facebook has been posting on countless Facebook users’ feeds this week. Reviewing one’s year has seemed to be a trend for 2014, and even WordPress emailed me a beautifully designed stats sheet sharing information about how my blog did this year.

However, and not to brag, but I have been reviewing my past year since 2008. I started doing so because my 2008 had seen a lot of changes, and around New Year’s Eve I needed to focus on the positive. In 2008 I had graduated high school, received my first kiss, started college, had my first boyfriend and ultimately my first break up. Days after, and hours before midnight, I took to Facebook, created a new note, and started pouring my heart and soul into everything I had learned that past year.

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I have continued the tradition since then (with the minor exception of making the move to WordPress), and some years have been equally hard to focus on the positive while others have been hard to write anything down for because the year was overall relatively great!

2014 was an interesting one. I won’t sugarcoat it-it was at times a very rough year. When it was rough, it was rough…but when it was good, it was truly, wonderfully, incredibly, good. So without further commentary, I give the mixed bag that was my 2014:

1) I started my first official “big kid” job in January, on the second.

2) Word of advice? Try to start jobs on the first, not the second if you can, because sometimes this means you have to wait an extra month before those pretty adult things called benefits kick in.

3) Benefits, in case you were in the dark like I was, are these wonderful things that help you survive as an adult in the real world. Sadly, I didn’t quite get how insurance and 401ks worked because for some reason, How to Be a Competent Adult In the Real World is not a course you can take at any college or university-you just have to learn at some point.

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4) I went sledding for the first time in years. It was magical, and beautiful, and entirely fun. It was lightly snowing, we had soup to keep our bellies warm, and I was surrounded by friends that loved me and were in love with each other and life. I took a moment to treasure the moment mentally, because I knew deep down the moment wouldn’t last forever.

5) In spring, Z and I trekked to Seattle to visit some old college friends.

6) With some college friends, even being divided by several states can’t divide your friendship.

7) Washington state has mountains, forests, coast, and ocean. And copious amounts of good coffee.

8) Don’t drive to Vancouver, BC, Canada during rush hour on a Friday whilst with a full bladder. Just don’t do it. Trust me.

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9) Speaking of downtown Vancouver, it is…interesting. Memorable to say the least.

10) Z and I were able to see the sun set and the moon rise simultaneously from our tiny airplane windows as we flew around dusk. It was incredible.

11) On a side note, Z and I celebrated 5 years together in December. We didn’t celebrate on our actual anniversary, and instead commemorated after Christmas. He cooked me a delicious dinner, and we also went to the movies for cheap. We also binge-watched White Collar while drinking white wine. Ladies and gents, this is romance to us-and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

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12) Relationships are hard work. Don’t let anyone else tell you differently. Even if you have one of the best, healthiest, and most loving partners on the planet, there will still be tough times. Working through those tough times with them however, is worth it and extremely rewarding.

13) Speaking of relationships, Z could have very well saved my grandma. He was in the right place at the right time, and I am can’t express how grateful I am for what he did.

14) Life is short, and in seconds everything can change. Cherish and love those near to you. Now every time I see my grandparents, I always say “I love you” and I hug them a little too long. They are okay with that.

15) Luke Bryan talked to me. It wasn’t that cool.

16) Motley Crue payed my brand new laptop. True story. No, really, I’m not kidding.

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17) Confession: I did not stand up in a wedding party nor did I attend a single wedding this year as a guest…and I enjoyed it. The last time this happened was seven years ago. That is not to say I hate going to weddings or standing up in them. I just also like saving money. Which brings me to my next point.

18) I paid off one more of my school loans last week. 2 down, one to go. I can’t express how excited that makes me.

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19) I had a traditional Labor Day for the first time in years. We picnicked by the lake, flew kites, and road bikes in the beautiful tame sunshine. It was wonderful and relaxing, and just what I needed.

21) Working full-time in the private (creative) sector is hard work.

22) I would never have survived my first year at my new job with my wonderful co-workers. Seriously. They are beyond great.

23) I entered a competition during the summer. A local theater was seeking monologues on the theme of banned books for their monologue festival in 2015, and I wrote something. It ultimately didn’t get picked…but it was apparently a finalist.

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24) I also had my first “paid” freelanced writing gig go extremely well.

25) My blog surpassed 4,000 views of all time and features over 40 followers.

26) These last three points have helped me realize that my writing doesn’t (always) suck. So thank you, to everyone, for reading anything I have ever written, and for uttering those two simple words, “It’s good.” Really. Thank you.

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2015 is right around the corner, and I am very excited to see what this year brings. No trips planned (yet), and the entire year is like a beautiful, fresh, blank space (see what I did there) ready to be filled with memories. I can’t wait to see what those memories, lessons, and stories will be.

Happy New Year, to you and yours

Sincerely,
The Shoe

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The Last Five Years: A Love Letter from A to Z

Spoiler Alert: I am branching out from my usual writing today to dedicate this following piece to someone of major significance today. The following post will contain the words ‘love’ and ‘relationships’ more times than some individuals will like, overtly affectionate phrases, and a semi-in-depth look at me and my significant other. To aid in my tale, I will be using GIFs featuring famous couples from film and television, including some of my all-time favorite OTPs (One True Pairings for you folks playing at home). If at any point you feel uncomfortable with this post, please feel free to stop reading and click away as I textually ramble on. 🙂

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Dear Z (and everyone else reading this),

Today is December 17th. If you recall, six years ago this was approximately four days after we had just broken up. I remember the date because we broke up on your birthday. You initiated, while I held a Tupperware container filled with lemon poppyseed muffins-your favorite, one of the few things I knew about you at that point. It was also the first time I had ever written you a letter.

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In my case, lemonade into lemons and back into lemon poppyseed muffins. But I digress.

Five years ago today, there was snow on the ground but it was oddly warm. Finals at school were just finishing up, and we were walking to Subway for dinner. It was the first time I wore your dark red sweatshirt (the one that now takes residence in my closet). We picked up some pre-dinner hot cocoas, and I can literally pinpoint on a Google map the moment everything changed-I was in mid sentence one second, and the exact next one you were kissing me.

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In this particular scenario, I was more like Flynn. Which makes this story even better. 🙂

At that point, I was amazed at how much had changed in one year.
Now as I sit here and write this, I’m amazed at how much has changed in the five years since.

The first six months we were inseparable, which led to driving our roommates and close friends absolutely nuts. In all honesty, we didn’t notice or we did but didn’t care. That sounds callous, but it’s true. I’ve seen it happen with other friends and their significant others and we weren’t any different. We walked around with big goofy grins on our faces, walked each other to every single class no matter how inconvenient, and made single friends and established couples feel awkward with our constant affections of hand-holding, hugging, and making eyes at each other.

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Regina is totally right. They totally make eyes at each other.

We felt this infallible certainty that we were meant to be together, we chose a song to be ours, and you boldly stated you could see us getting married.

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This was also before I appreciated Firefly, but clearly the ideal marriage. Wash and Zoe, and Serenity never happened.

And then…graduation happened and so did reality.

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For the past five years, 4.5 of those years have been spent apart. You in one city, and I in another. Divided by over 100 miles and two hours, we have crammed the in-person aspects of our relationship in tiny windows of time resembling not-long-enough weekends. To say the least, this has lead to a very unique dynamic of our relationship. Our time together is limited and precious, and some friends feel alienated, hurt, or confused when we don’t want to spend time with them while we are together. Others scoff as we have labeled this a “long distance” courtship, because we haven’t had to endure being states or countries apart. We’ve had to balance our conflicting schedules (school, the inconsistencies of retail, and working on weekends), we’ve had to work around living arrangements due to not having our own places, and above all, we have had to answer the question “So when are you guys getting engaged?” from countless friends, co-workers, family members, clients, pastors, and even random strangers.

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No commentary necessary.

We’ve been asked that question so many times that if I received a dollar for every time either of us were approached with that question we would have enough money to pay off my loans, a down payment on a house, and enough left over for a month long venture around the world.

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For the past five years, our relationship and where it is headed has been at the fore front of many conversations. Where some couples when dating can merely sit next to each other on a couch and binge watch Netflix when they see each other every night, we have to cram the following into 48 hours (and less if we exclude the hours we spend sleeping): every conversation we started while apart over the phone but decided was better discussed in person, life goals and aspirations, basic and general dating questions such as “how many kids you want?”, “Are you a dog person?”, or “Where do you want to live someday?”, learning about each other from basic observation (Pet peevs: Feet on pillows-me and excess hair on my hairbrush-him), and talking about the big huge M word (money) and the even bigger huge M word (marriage).

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Most couples discuss these things over the course of a month or two. We get a weekend. Or two. If we are lucky.

For the past five years, we have certainly learned a lot about each other. You like to cook, and I like to do laundry. We both can find the humor in Six Days, Seven Nights, and have a vast array of inside jokes (well, not only). We have traveled together, to the mountains in Colorado to the cherry blossoms of D.C. We have survived camping during an awful thunderstorm and a huge fight over a water ride. I’ve edited your Facebook posts for grammatical inaccuracies and you’ve attempted to help me understand the basics of math.

We’ve critiqued each other, which has led us to some of our best work-after our pride was slightly damaged because of how much each other’s opinion means to the other. We have gone clothes shopping together, where you have encouraged me to spend money and will honestly tell me if something doesn’t look good-or if it does. We’ve gone grocery shopping together, and have both taken turns telling the other one to put things back on the shelf because “we don’t need it.” You’ve pushed me because you’ve seen my potential, and I’ve challenged you on more than one occasion, making us equals and well-matched when it comes to our feisty spirits.

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For the past five years, we have definitely been there for each other. I was there for you when you graduated, and all the emotional baggage that came with. You returned the favor two years later, proudly looking on as I walked across that stage, and stood by me when I went through my own rough patch after graduation.

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We’ve been there for each other through unemployment, the uncertain future of business ventures, job rejections in the form of email, failed job interviews, and sharing a mutual understanding of the hell that can be working retail. We’ve been there for each other at funerals and at hospitals where the lives of loved ones were uncertain or being remembered. We have been there for each other as we have double teamed babysitting for friends and their kids, and have learned just how intense children can be. We’ve been there for each other for birthdays and anniversaries, taking turns picking up the tab on dinners and vacations pending on who was more financially stable at the time. We’ve been there for each other through receding hairlines and graying strands, through weight gain and loss. We’ve even been there for each other when we weren’t sure about our future, and that is a pretty big-and awesome-thing.

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For the past five years, if there is one thing I have learned is that I have a friend in you and you in I. The past five years have been far from easy, and I’m sure life will only throw more curveballs the older we get. However, the past five years have also been filled with countless hours and moments of sheer joy, and I honestly cannot find the right words to express just how grateful I am for it all.

I am so grateful for the hours of laughter to the point of being out of breath, the respect and admiration that has grown for each other, the million little things we do to say “I love you,” the complete honesty and bluntness we bring to every hefty conversation, the moments we can just revel in each other’s company, the hugs that feel like home, every single car ride no matter how many times we debate the accuracy of the GPS, the frank talks about our deepest fears and faith, our trips to Barnes and Noble when caffeine pulsates through our veins and our ideas take flight, and every single moment where we communicate with our eyes with knowing glances or raised eyebrows-every single of these millions of moments I am so grateful for and glad to have been able to share with you.

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Too often I look forward, wondering how this will all turn out. Some may say after reading this I have spent too much time looking back. No matter which direction, I just want you to know how much I love you and how no matter what happens, I am beyond blessed to have you in my life now-as my boyfriend yes, but more importantly as a friend.

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Today I was talking with a friend, and she flat out told me this:

“He’s a good one. He really is. Don’t lose him.”

I think too often I don’t appreciate you or what we have, and what’s good and great about us can get lost in the everyday nonsense that we let take over our lives. You really are a rarity among men, and I want to brag about that to the masses. Thus the reason for this piece. No, not to rub it in someone’s single face that I have an awesome boyfriend. And no, this is not to be construed as a major outcry for some overpriced finger jewelry.

This is simply a girl telling a guy that she still really likes him, and she just can’t keep it to herself.

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Happy Anniversary Z. I love you. Lotza. 😉

Sincerely,

Your Shoe

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My First Paid Writing Project

Granted, it was Z’s parents and came in the form of an electronic gift card to a massive coffee chain known for mermaid cups and great benefits, but it most definitely counts as compensation.

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I even confronted Z about the whole thing. I thought they were being nice, spoiling me once again as the daughter they never had, but Z of course had to go and ruin that whole thought by telling me it was because they were blown away by my work.

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You see, Z* and I are both storytellers. Z is a visual cinematographer, and I am more of a self-proclaimed word artist. These similarities are why we work, and sometimes why we don’t…as well. (hehe)

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Anyway, Z was assisting his parents with a project that required his mad film skills, and I tagged along. Long story short, he needed to create a promotional video of sorts which ultimately will need a voiceover which means a script needed to be created and hey WORDS.

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I must confess I didn’t actually do a lot of the writing, I more took the general idea they had written out and played typographical Tetris with the document for half an hour. I tweaked, shortened, and downright moved some sentences around, and added a smidge of classic Shoe flair. I had fun dissecting the entire piece, and most importantly I was glad I could help out Z and his parents. (brownie points)

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(No, seriously, I was and am very glad I could help. Even before I knew I would be rewarded 😉

I wasn’t expecting anything. Maybe a “thank you,” and most definitely edits and changes, like I receive at work on the regular. However, I instead received a highly professional email from Z’s dad, which Z had to explain is him giving high praise. Like when the farmer told Babe “that’ll do, pig, that’ll do,”-it was kind of like that. Simple, yet very meaningful.

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Both his parents highly praised the piece, which I thought was okay but figured would need additional work. That alone warmed my heart like a white girl’s pumpkin spice latte. However, them going the extra mile and kindness to compensate me for my time, that brought everything to a whole new level.

My writing has a value to it.

In other of Back to the Future this past weekend.

In honor of Back to the Future this past weekend. Happy Belated BTTF Day Everyone!

That’s something every writer needs to realize some point. I guess that moment happened today.

What’s even better, is I know that the people that believe in my writing also believe in me, because they love me and support me. And, trust me when I say this, but if they truly didn’t see value or believe I have a chance they would not be as encouraging.

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Overall, I can’t think of a better way for my first paid (freelanced) writing gig to go.

Sincerely,

The Shoe

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* Z, my one letter nickname for the dashingly handsome, highly incorrigible, and overall wonderful human being I have had the pleasure of dating for the past five years. The nickname is to keep serial killers at bay and to protect him from any embarrassment my articles may generate for him.

Writer’s Lament 1: Lazy or Just Uninspired?

I haven’t posted to this blog since August 6th. The last time I wrote (non-work related) was a few weeks ago, on a rough draft that wound up becoming far too long and is now extremely irrelevant.

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For someone who loves writing, it is amazing how often I don’t just sit down and do it.

In my defense (because I need to validate and excuse myself), I write at work. I write, edit, proofread, and debate grammar and punctuation on a daily basis. Right now we are in the middle of revamping our company website, which has meant long hours simply adding and filling content to pages and pages and pages of website (interspersed with banging my head against the wall in our conference room).

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One could possibly understand why I haven’t written on this blog, or in general, simply due to the demands on the job at the moment. In all honesty, the last thing I want to do is type/write and stare at a screen for a few hours after staring at a screen all day. (Of course, this means that I am then staring at my phone’s screen, texting le boyfriend, Facebooking, or mindlessly browsing the web and slowly killing off brain cells and damaging IQ points.)

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(So maybe not wanting to stare at a screen is a bad excuse.)

As I have mentioned before, (this post is starting to sound a lot like one I did in July-I am THAT out of practice) if you want to write and succeed at writing, than you have to make time. You have to make it priority. You have to treat it like any serious relationship in your life.

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But how do you do it when you are exhausted because you’ve been doing it at work? How do you do it when you keep telling yourself to relax instead of pushing yourself to write? How do you do it when you keep telling yourself you are feeling uninspired, and no matter how hard you try to push forward, you can’t create?

I’m looking for advice friends. How do YOU do it?

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Sincerely,

The Shoe

5 Things I Learned At Summer Camp

Hello again! As some of you may know, I did something kind of crazy last month: I participated in Camp NaNoWriMo. My goal was to write 50,000 (later changed to 20,000) words of a novel within 31 days.

I’m sure you are all wondering if I actually wrote 20,000 words, or just copy-and-pasted the same sentence several thousand times.

Did I write 20,000 words?

NO.

Did I fail?

No.

Really? You originally had a goal of 50,000 words, then changed it to 20,000, and you still couldn’t achieve that goal? Sounds like failure to me.

Heck, Nick Miller was even able to finish Z is for Zombie.

While the above are both fantastic points, I beg to differ.

Because while I may not have reached 20,000 words or have finished a terrible zombie novel, I succeeded nonetheless.

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Because he was so popular last time, I asked the ever wonderful Nick Miller (with special guest star Winston) to once again illustrate each of my points.

On that note, how did I succeed I may ask? Let me share you a few things I learned:

1) I WROTE

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While I didn’t reach 20,000 words, I did hit wind up with just over 11,500. Eleven thousand, five hundred words that didn’t exist prior to July 1st. Words that created a world and characters and a story that before July 1st had not been granted life. Now, while their stories aren’t complete and some of their personalities are a little haphazard at the moment, they still exist. While various portions of the story are missing, like scene transitions and major plot points, I managed to write a beginning, a middle (albeit a murky middle), and an end. Which brings me to point 2.

2) I ACTUALLY WROTE AN ENDING

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Ideation is my strong suit. Great story ideas and concepts come to me as naturally as freckles on fair skin. What I struggle with is taking those self-proclaimed brilliant ideas and actually fleshing them out. Taking those winning thoughts and twisting them into a story is fine for the first couple of pages (as I have a tendency to write chronologically), and by page ten I give up because I have no idea what direction this so-called amazing story is headed. Outlines for research papers were never quite habit forming in school, which is why a majority of my projects mirrored my personal writing style. However this time, I broke from tradition and wrote sporadically and scene by scene. That change in behavior while completely uncomfortable was extremely freeing, and led to a fairly satisfying rough ending.

3) I WENT OUTSIDE OF MY COMFORT ZONE

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As mentioned above, I have a bad habit of writing chronologically (it’s right up there with my anxious habit of hair pulling and absentminded forgetfulness). I like building upon the momentum from the scene before, like a play. However, sometimes a story isn’t all about the build, and for someone that spends too much time agonizing over symbolism (I have a raggedy book of baby names and meanings from when I was kid that has been exasperated through and through from my early writing years while in search of the perfect protagonist name) I get caught up in the details too much and forget that the story has to move forward. So, for camp, I forced myself to write whatever came into mind. I gave my characters random names that fit for the time being, and kept plugging away. I wrote an introduction, and then wrote a random scene that probably will be placed somewhere in chapter nine. Then came a surprisingly inspired (but as mentioned above, rough) ending. However, after the ending I jumped right back into the realm of chapters two through six approximately, and wrote a boring though necessary description. Had I not done this, I would have barely hit 1100 words, let alone over 11,000.

4) I PUSHED MYSELF

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I don’t have one of those glamorous writer lives where I spend all my time in a coffee shop or in an exotic country writing away to my heart’s content whenever it pleases me (at least not yet. I can continue to dream that will come someday 😉 I work a full-time, 8-5 Monday through Friday job that delves into editing and writing and story creation on a daily basis. Some may view that as the perfect job for someone who loves to write, and I do enjoy what I do-don’t get me wrong. However, staring at a computer screen after a long day of staring at an even bigger computer screen isn’t always the most desirable. On top of that, sometimes my job dries out my daily dose of creative juices, and the mischievous mistress of inspiration is nowhere to be found come 7:00 in the evening. One may suggest, “Well, just write on the weekends when you have off!”, which is a fantastic idea, it really is-until you factor in that friend you promised to help move, that errand you most desperately need to run, and that boyfriend you should probably pay attention to you since you know, you love him and what not. In short, I’m busy, but I pushed myself to find the time. I stayed up late and sacrificed sleep. I gave movies and television a break (quite easy during the summer months). I didn’t go out with friends for drinks, and I may have cut a phone conversation with La Boyfriend short on one or two occasions (thank you again, honey). I wrote when I didn’t have any sort of idea in my head, and I wrote when I didn’t want to. I wrote 1,000 words, and then 1,000 more. It was tiring, and exhausting, but while I didn’t hit 20,000-boy was it rewarding.

5) I HAD FUN

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Most importantly, I got back to my roots on why I love writing in the first place. Aside from the obvious reasons like forcing my opinion on an unsuspecting reader (see what I did there? ;), what I really love about writing is simply being able to tell a story. Whatever that story may be, be it silly or serious or completely and utterly stupid. I love telling stories because it is fun to create worlds and characters and bring them into existence. It’s fun to explore scenarios and how they play out, and to vicariously go on adventures through your heroes that for some reason can’t take place in your world. I love writing, and while I didn’t get 20,000 words, I had fun creating the 11,500 that I did.

Overall, I am very glad I did Camp NaNoWriMo, and I look forward to competing again and hopefully hitting my goal.

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However, even if I don’t, I know that at the very least it will force me to learn a thing or two, which ultimately is success either way.

Sincerely,

The Shoe

Nick Miller flower power

P.S. Anyone have any fun Camp NaNoWriMo stories to share? Post them below in the comments-I would love to hear your results!