Writing and not writing

Assignment #11 for Writing 101 of Blogging University is about learning to take time out of your ‘work time’ for other things, for living life.

As much as we love to write, it’s important to take breaks — to live your life and have new experiences, and to reflect and recharge so you can come back to your desk, ready to hit the keyboard again. Not writing allows you to gain the distance from your words, and thus perspective, which are both needed when it’s time to edit.

What do you do when you’re not writing? How do you reset and return to this dashboard, refreshed? What do you need in your day-to-day life to maintain balance: Running? Yoga? Gardening? Painting? Cooking?

For me writing is not a ‘full-time job’ so it ends up being pretty easy to take time out and do other things. It’s the ‘other things’ that I need to learn to take a break from. Pet sitting, especially as a sole proprietor, can become an all consuming type of job if you let it. Continue reading

Update your readers over a cup of coffee

Assignment #10 (oh my goodness…am I finally caught up with my class assignments for Writing 101?!?!?) of Writing 101 of Blogging University is to write an update post in the form of a virtual coffee date.

Let's Have Coffee

If we were having coffee right now…I may have to admit that I am not very good at doing the whole ‘coffee thing’ seeing how I am an introvert and that when doing the ‘coffee thing’ I tend to do a lot of listening and ‘smiling and nodding’ cause as usual the cat probably has my tongue.

If we were having coffee right now…I would tell you about the wedding we just attended at our church. A very sweet and loving young woman who has grown up in our church family. And how storybook sweet their wedding was because the two of them have grown up as childhood friends!! It was so nice to witness this wedding and be a part of the their story. Continue reading

Open Letter to Fellow Bloggers

Assignment #9 for Writing 101 of Blogging University is to “reinvent the letter format.”

Some might say a post in the form of a letter is trite and overdone. But when done well, a letter can tell a great story or get your message across.

After a little research on the topic of open letter writing, I did find some ‘backlash’ about the open letter writers and have duly noted their valid points and just wanted to put a disclaimer out there that…Writing 101 made me do it!

I also found a similar letter  as to what I plan on writing out there in the interwebs that also makes valid points, that makes me second guess my choice of letter…but as it is something I notice often, it is the first thing that popped into my head when I read the assignment. Continue reading

The Space to Write

Assignment #6 for Writing 101 of Blogging University is to describe your writing space.

Where do you write? Do you prefer blogging on your laptop in a coffee shop? Are you productive in a quiet room, door closed, away from civilization? Today, describe the space where you write. Or, if you don’t have a dedicated place, what is your ideal setting?

Consider these questions to shape your post:

  • What are your writing habits?
  • What equipment or supplies do you use to write?
  • What do you need and want in a physical space?

I am constantly thinking about things while I am driving around from one pet sitting assignment to another and so I have been known to jot down ideas or songs that strike a cord with me while I am driving. Continue reading

Let Social Media Inspire You…

Assignment #5 for Writing 101 of Blogging University is to “Let social media inspire you.” One of the goals of Writing 101 is to tap into new and unexpected places for post ideas. And social media can be a great source of inspiration.

Writing Tools

I have been a big reader all my life. Reading was always my escape from my ordinary life. So naturally, I have always wanted to write. I wanted to write books that allowed readers the temporary escape that I have found in so many books. Continue reading

A story in a single image

Assignment #4 for Writing 101 at Blogging University is to create a story from a single image. Images — including photographs and works of art — can also act as starting points for stories, essays, poems, and personal musings. For this exercise, use one of the images provided as the creative spark for today’s post. You might use it as the setting for a story or poem, write about how it makes you feel, or describe a memory conjured by it.
Window

For today’s assignment I chose this image of a window. For me this window images inspires a memory from my childhood. It reminds me of the loft of our barn growing up.

We grew up on a small farm in Massachusetts. It was only a 2-acre piece of property but we managed to make the most of it. We had a huge garden, where we grew all kinds of vegetables. We raised dairy goats and chickens, which provided us with fresh milk and eggs (and even fresh meat occasionally but that wasn’t all that great of a concept to us kids). We also had a horse, rabbits, ducks, geese, dogs and barn cats, as well. My siblings and I, spent lots of time weeding and tending the garden or caring for all of our animals…milking goats, cleaning stalls and pens, feeding and watering animals…along with just being kids and playing with all of them t00.

But I do remember spending a lot of time up in the loft of the barn to hide out. My sister and I were constantly being kicked outside so that we would put down our books and go play! Which would turn out to be us sneaking our books out of the house and going to read up in the loft. We spent hours upon hours up in the loft reading books like Little House on the Prairie series, Anne of Green Gables series, Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm, Chronicles of Narnia and many more…all under the guise of going outside to play.

We spent so much time up in the loft, that a couple of times I remember us bringing the vacuum up there to clean out the cob webs and spider webs! We used bales of hay as furniture and we would set up our ‘couch’ by the window of the loft so that we could get some fresh air and a breeze, as well as have advance notice if we needed to stash our books. It was a pretty great place cause we knew our parents couldn’t actually get up there. The cats would keep us company and I even remember that once, one of the cats had her kittens up there…so we got to spend some extra time with the tiny kittens when we went up there to play.

I wish I had a loft to play in these days! At the moment, I don’t have a loft to hide out in…but throughout the years I have worked in many different horse barns and have searched out lofts and hay rooms to sort of relive my childhood moments…nothing like spending your break time hiding in a a stack of hay with a book!

One Word Inspiration…Love

Assignment #3 for Writing 101 at Blogging University is to select one word from the list below that speaks to you in some way. Have you always wanted to write about that wrong decision you made? Are you a long-term traveler looking for the right city to settle? Do you want to write a poem about your relationship?

  • TREASURE
  • REGRET
  • HOME
  • LOVE
  • UNCERTAINTY
  • SECRET

These are some good words and it is kind of difficult to pick just one…so I made a point of copying the list, thinking I might be coming back to some of these for inspiration at some point! Continue reading

Things I like…

Blogging University’s Writing 101, Assignment #2 is to write a list on one of these topics:

  • Things I Like
  • Things I’ve Learned
  • Things I Wish

There are no rules, though it might help to decide in advance how many items you’d like to include, or set a timer, so you have boundaries within which to work. For example, a list of 10 or 25 or 50 (or more!) items, or intervals of 15, 30, or 60 minutes are appropriate. Continue reading

I Write Because…

Getting a slow start on my assignments for Writing 101 of Blogging University  due to being on vacation but better late than never! This post is in response to the first assignment.

Why I WriteI write because…

I can’t speak.

Ok…well, technically, I can speak. I have no problem talking. It’s just that social situations are intimidating to me and suddenly I am overcome with shyness.

It’s just that most often I am too shy…or too introverted…or something to just spit out things that are on my mind. I tend to hang back and watch and listen when in a group. Most often because I don’t think I know enough about whatever the current topic or subject is about to really be able to feel like I have something worthy to add to the conversation. Continue reading

Tuesday Tidbits

The joys of preparing to go away! I am furiously spending today cleaning and organizing and trying to make sure everything is in order before we venture off for our ‘big’ (I use this word loosely!) yearly vacation!

Each year we go down to Wildwood, NJ for the Roar to the Shore bike run. I am not a biker…and I’m not really sure my boyfriend is really a biker anymore…but regardless this is our ‘big’…3 day vacation each year. It is time near the ocean and to enjoy doing nothing for 3 whole days! Continue reading