Category Archives: Zero to Hero

Blogging School Drop-Out

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April 24, 2014
It’s 6:45AM and I’m sitting at my desk wearing a pink fuzzy robe and slippers that are too big. The music from “Beauty School Drop-out” is swirling through my head only, blogging has replaced beauty.

Seriously, I’m considering dropping out or taking a medical leave from Blogging University. I don’t know if today is day ten, eleven or twelve. I haven’t completed assignments from day six through whatever we’re up to and I’m having dreams about failing.

It’s the day of the final, every seat in the classroom is filled, except mine. I wonder the room looking for a different seat and a pencil with an eraser. The exam will include reading aloud from Oliver Twist, and I never bought the book. A pencil holder is on the front desk, I check its content and none of the pencils have points. There are several Papermate Sharp Writers, but they are broken.

The professor, wearing jeans and shoes without socks, sneaks up behind me. He’s never been  to class before, and I’m surprised by his looks; a spitting image of Tom Scary, my first high school crush., except his  nose is much pointer.

He frowns, cracks his neck, and says, “Looking for something?”

I mumble, “A pencil.” Then continue to confess, “I’m unprepared. I never read Oliver Twist or Catcher in the Rye and can’t understand Shakespeare.” Tears are forming in my eyes.

He reaches in his pocket for a pen he hands me, saying; “Use this!”

Then turns to the class, and says, “Who wants to read first?”

I woke up in a cold sweat.

It took ten minutes to write this, an hour and fifteen minutes to edit, and two days to select an image header.

I’m getting dressed. It’s hard for me to think when my boobs are touching my waist, and besides I have dryer lint on my mind.

 

. . . . Seriously, what’s on your writing mind?

7 Golden Rules of Blogging

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Falling Behind, Seriously

April 21, 2014

Today is day seven of the Zero to Hero challenge at Blogging University and I am seriously behind. The tagline, “Get grounded in blogging basics,” seduced me with the promise that the basics could be easily mastered.

That is not the case. The learning curve is high and there is no weekend off to catch up.

I started to lose my footing with day three’s assignment, “A Penny for Your Thoughts.” The assignment, write about your passionate idea, and why that passionate idea motivated you to start blogging.

After soul-searching it became obvious, I had no passionate idea but wanted to whine about the struggle to write, and attract other people to the pity party. My biggest hurdle is editing, or thinking it’s not good enough. Blindoggbooks, a blogger, promotes acquiring a thick or thicker skin, and finding your audience.

It’s not writers block because as Roger Simon* says, “Why should I get writer’s block? My father never got truck driver’s block.” So why do I stare at the wall?

It’s a pity party and here is your invitation.

Pity Party Invitation

Come to my party
We’ll walk across tables, stand on the chairs
Dance in the garden, dig our toes in the sand
Forget yesterday and tomorrow
Just soak up the sun

Come to my party, without clothes if you like
We’ll blow out the cake candles, talk about life

Pass party platters filled with mistakes
Eat casseroles made from left over dreams, and sour grapes
Stay for dessert, whipped jealousy smothered with envy

Come to my party, we’ll commiserate!
And maybe write
                                                                        . . . . Seriously, Just Saying

*Quote from “On Writing Tools” by Roy Peter Clark

Why do I Write?

Mary Ann de Stefano writes, “MAD’S Monday Muse” and put this quote in her weekly post for readers to think about.

“I never take for granted that I’ll be able to write. There’s no acorn stash of ideas in my desk drawer. There’s only the wanting to know my life through writing, a wish felt sometimes as desire, sometimes as desperation. What reservoir the words come from remains a mystery to me.” — Jane Hirshfield in On Calligraphic Perception: A Conversation with Jane Hirshfield
Published by MAD about Words | #263 April 14, 2014

It raised questions for me:

• Why do I write?
• Do I write from a wish felt, desire, or desperation?
• Do I have a stash of ideas?
• Do I take for granted that I’ll be able to write?

Writing to me is like playing golf is to my husband, a pastime. I wasn’t born with a passion to write; never kept a journal nor wrote more than a newsletter or report for my job. I started writing after we retired and moved to Ormond Beach, Florida.

Words invaded my head, stayed there, and didn’t give me peace until written down.

I wrote secretly. Something in the newspaper or a look from a salesperson would trigger a story or emotion that nagged me. Other writers have said it happened to them and reference the experience as a “call to write”.

One day my husband stuck his head inside my study door, and asked, “What are you doing?”
I confessed,” Writing.”

Shortly after, an announcement for the Florida Writer’s Association meeting appeared in the newspaper with a phone number, I called and started attending. That was three years ago in January of 2011.

I have had some success; Florida Writer’s Association published two 1200 word stories in anthologies. However, I haven’t completed any other work, and writers block has replaced the words that used to magically jump into my head.

So, NO! As Hirshfield says, “I never take for granted that I’ll be able to write.” Moreover, I don’t have a stash of ideas.

What I do have is total absorption when writing.

It becomes a two-hour vacation. All of life’s demands disappear. The tedious part of editing is what I enjoy the most. The words go from a kindergarten version to one I feel good about. It’s the equivalent of a golfer hitting a hole in one.

I start with a feeling, then struggle to capture the moment with words and transport my experience to other minds.

Seriously, Why do you write?

(After visiting some other posts by bloggers participating in Zero to Hero I realize I am way too serious, nevertheless this is my post for day three . . .  Seriously, tell me something positive)

Why Zero to Hero?

I started my first blog, claudiajustsaying, in 2011 to practice writing, and have had some success. I have written 112 post, have 570 followers, and was even Freshly Pressed, but never learned the basics.

So why go back to the beginning and start over again? I hope to gain confidence and how to give claudiajustsaying a fresh look. Every time I experiment with a new theme I shake. Actually I shake, fret, edit, edit, and edit, debating where to place a comma every time I publish. I am caught up in perfectionism, and it’s draining my creativity.

Bottom line, I am struggling to write and finish a product, you know a novel or novella, or short story, something that I can consider publishing. Many of my followers are family and friends, they know me. A new blog may give me the anonymity to be comfortable in making mistakes.

Why do that publicly and not in a private journal? I want feedback and write better towards a goal. A year from now I would like to have followers who, like myself, are novice writers sharing their experiences and success.

I would like to just write free and easy and know, why my “about me page,” cannot be viewed and what the heck is a pic monkey and ping back. I’ve read the help section several times and haven’t a clue.

So this blog, Seriously Just Saying, will chronicle my writing struggle. Seriously, it has taken me an hour and a half* to write these 252 words.

                                                              . . . . What’s on Your Writing Mind?