Try, Try & Try Again

Because it’s probably boring if I type an entire post about the word “try” I livened it up with pictures of The Avocado Project. Here goes:

Step one ->

Buy an Avocado

 

Step two ->

Eat an Avocado

(sorry no pictures of this event)

 

Step three->

Dry for a couple of days

Step four ->

Put sticks into it so it can dip in water

Step five –eight

Wait, wait and wait some more. (think of ridiculous names for your plant to be/settle for Mister Q)

Step nine

Start over again (because kitten thought Avocado Project was in fact a ball)

Side note: I did not overestimate my avocado growing skills and had a plan B, appropriately named Misses Bee. But Misses Bee is not growing, maybe heartbroken for the loss of Mister Q.

What have I learned up to this point? Well, for one thing that I’m not a supertalented avocado grower (is that even a word?) . Also that it’s not wise to put my avocado-in-process pots within the reach of my cats. But most important: if you want something (finish a book/grow an avocado/buy a vacuum cleaner with a name) you have to keep trying. And trying. And try again.

Like the green froglike person said: there is no try, only do.

(something like that anyway, sorry Yoda)

So Do Try. And grow your own luck!

 

( Homegrown Luck ..)

 

 

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Note To Self

It’s been a while since I wrote an entry for my blog. I was off to a flying start in January with the things I like doing. Studying/getting fit & healthy/reading/positive attitude/writing (blog post)/bullet journaling.

And then: not so much anymore. I struggle to exercise enough. I didn’t write. Some days I drink plenty of water, other days I barely manage to drink one tiny bottle. Why is it so hard to do more of what makes you happy?

Maybe it’s too much. Maybe I ask too much of myself. Maybe we all do.

I like my house to be clean and tidy. I like my kids to be happy and learn them how to deal with life. I want a healthy relationship with my partner. Spend time with family and friends. I have to work 4 days, and want to like what I do.. I want to feel comfortable in a bikini and feel fit and healthy. I want to be a writer. I want to travel. I want to learn Russian.

So here’s a little note to myself and all others who struggle with the same things.

IT IS OKAY.

if you eat a Snickers because you had a crappy day

IT IS OKAY

if you don’t vacuum your living room every single day

IT IS OKAY

To feel overwhelmed with all the things you want/have to do.

IT IS OKAY

If your kids walk in pyjamas on Saturday. They don’t care, so shouldn’t you.

IT IS OKAY

That you didn’t write a story. You’ll always come back to writing, or it to you.

IT IS OKAY

(…)

It really is. Just breathe and keep on keeping on.

Breaking Down April

No, I’m not breaking down.

This post is to evaluate the goals I set for April.

Before I do this I’d like to underline that these goals were just there to give some direction and also to make me put in words what I wanted to work on in April.

As a reminder this was April’s Project:

1 – Make Plot Outline (for Editing Purposes)

2 – Edit First Draft (Obvious)

3 – Create Synopsis (Kind of dreading this one)

4 – Write a couple of blog posts (Because it is fun)

5 – Start short story/ new story (To distract from point 2)

And

Make a blog post about my writing challenge to see how many hours I spent writing/ how many words/ how many chapters edited.

I finished or started the things in green, but didn’t do the things in red because I wasn’t as quick in revising/editing as I thought I would be.. After one week of campnano I changed my goal to hours instead of words.

Let me break my April writing down for you in days:

Date

 

Hours What/why?
April 1

 

0 Because of hangover after birthday party. (I turned 34 on 31st of March)
April 2

 

2 Cut things. Also keep shifting things around in chapter 1 and 2.

 

April 3

 

2 Day job. Added some but also cut things. Moved things around.

 

April 4

 

2 Finally started editing for real. Chapter one mostly
April 5

 

2 Chapter one revised/edited
April 6

 

2 Chapter two revised/edited

 

 

April 7

 

2

 

One tiny blogpost. Chapter 3: delete/ repeat. Added some.

 

April 8

 

Weekend (0) House painting /chores ☹
April 9

 

Weekend (0) House painting/chores ☹
April 10

 

 

3 Tinkered again with chapter 1 & 2, and send it to someone to read.
April 11

 

 

4,5 Returned to chapter 3, added/cut/rewrite
April 12

 

 

1,5 Chapter 4
April 13

 

1 Looked things up/ get in touch with writerly feeling
April 14

 

1 Wrote Blogpost
April 15

 

1,5 Chapter 4 done, needs more revising in next draft but okay for now. Need forward momentum so on to chapter 5.
April 16

 

2,5 Chapter 5 started also some reading on WordPress reader to look for interesting blogs to follow (also known as procrastinating)
April 17

 

Minutes Easter things
April 18

 

Minutes Work and birthday party prep
April 19

 

Minutes Kid birthday party/ housecleaning/grocery/ watching Luther, because: Idris Elba and Ruth Wilson😊
April 20

 

Minutes Work and stuff
April 21

 

3 WordPress and a bit of editing.
April 22

 

3 Chapter 5 !
April 23

 

0 Work and stuff
April 24

 

4 Chapter 6
April 25

 

0 Kids vacation, went to a zoo
April 26

 

1 Kids vacation, zero concentration
April 27

 

4 Chapter 5 & 6 Done
April 28

 

4 Started chapter 7
April 29

 

2 Chapter 7/ WordPress
April 30

 

2 Chapter 7 done

What have I learned about my process this month? Well I’m a slow starter for sure. It took me FOUR days to realize that if I wanted to improve this draft I actually had to sit down and well, DO SOMETHING. And with that I mean, FOCUS and put words on paper. And even worse: delete everything that doesn’t work. (Which also took time, because I only really cut things when I send my work to someone else).

So by the time it was April 4th I had that realization and in the days that followed work was done. But then the weekend came around… In which I promised to help to paint and didn’t get around to write much. This is also true for work days and days when the kids are free.  It was a very busy month with loads of obligations but I still managed 50 hours.

Of course I could have done more, but I don’t mind. I like being hooked on watching Luther, going to the gym, meet friends, have dayjob (not liking that one), having 4 kids to entertain on occasion, having a relationship, read books.

And I’ve found some writerly friends! Some say Campnano is very different from the Big November Thing, and that’s true, but I really liked my cabin.

I would have worked on my story anyway but I’m glad I’d a group of people doing the same thing, dreaming the same dreams, fighting the same insecurities.

For May I’ve decided to just keep on keeping on. I learned that if I’ve longer stretches of time I get more work done, so I’m trying to get those this month.

May Goals:

  • Continue Edit on The Draft That Must Not be Named 😊
  • Make a Polaroid branch and blog about that project!
  • Blogpost about editing process part two
  • I’m going to Copenhagen this month, so expect a travel post by the end of the month (probably just pictures, because well Copenhagen!)

Ciao!

 

 

 

 

Losing Marbles & How to Find Them

I can’t seem to come up with a single interesting thing to blog about this Friday. This probably has something to do with the lack of a good night’s sleep and I drank too much wine yesterday.

(In my defence: it was King’s day here in The Netherlands).

So here I am, staring at my screen at work, trying to force my brain and memory to think of something. Anything.

And then: Poof. My brain brought me this title 🙂 . I really like this idiom, it has a nice ring to it. And I find it funny that little glass balls are associated with the brain. As a child I had many marbles, and treated the precious pretty colourful glass making chiming sounds in my pockets, like jewels. But I’m getting a bit of topic here. You see when I was writing this paragraph I stumbled on something worth sharing.

What do you do when you’ve got no idea where to go with your story? When you feel you’re a lousy writer about to lose his or her marbles? When ideas that often come easy are nowhere to be seen?

The answer is shockingly simple. You just keep on keeping on. Write words you’re sure you are going to delete later. Write a blogpost with a strange title and keep writing until something (anything) makes sense.

The only writing advice I stick by is that you should find a process that works for you.

So dear fellow writer, if you’ve lost your marbles, chase them down, put them in your pockets. And write.

And if you can’t find them, write anyway.