About seven years ago, during my senior year of high-school, I wrote a short story titled Frank, which I later changed to Living in Memory. It’s been tucked away since then, gathering dust, aging slowly – not unlike the eponymous character – until I found it this morning and got a chance to re-read my 18-year-old writing. It’s about 3,400 words and I wanted to share it here with you all. For those who get a chance to read it, I’d love to hear what you think in either the comments section or through a direct message. Read more
Have you ever written somewhere a little bit strange? No, I don’t mean ‘yesterday I wrote a short story on my mom’s dining room table’ strange. I mean somewhere different, somewhere outside the norm. Somewhere exciting. Somewhere fun or scary. A place that might seem regular, but still a place you’d never consciously go to work on a normal day.
I have. I did it today, and last week, and a few weeks before that.
And it was awesome.
Welcome to the first part of my new series of blog posts: Write in Weird Places. Read more
I’ve been more productive lately than ever before. As I mentioned in my most recent post, life has been pretty crazy lately, and that’s forced me to think really hard about how I can keep up with the things I care about. Without something to help us keep track of our goals, something to remind ourselves what is important vs. what is immediate, it’s easy to get overwhelmed.
Work, friends, writing, blogging, reading, traveling, going to the gym… What comes first? Some of these things are only possible at certain times: you can get some writing or reading done at 4 in the morning, but you’d be hard pressed to find a big group of friends to hang out with (if you can, good for you).
I’ve tried several different ways to keep my life organized. I’ve tried to-do lists, calendaring, turning off my phone for days at a time, working out in the morning vs. the afternoon, taking a break in the middle of the workday to write. I’ve also tried different productivity hacks, like creating a different workspace for each of my projects, or the Pomodoro technique.
What’s worked the best for me, though, has come down to 2 things.
- Boiling all of my goals and dreams down into 3 or 4 actions that I can take every day to get myself closer to achieving them
For the past couple of months, life has been pretty damn crazy. Work has kicked into another gear, requiring my full attention, focus, and mental energy during the day, I’ve been traveling every other week to New York City and Toronto for meetings with clients, and the weekends have been jam-packed with events.
It’s a revolving door; work and social events die down for a few days and I write like a maniac, then I travel and have a busy weekend and all of a sudden two weeks have gone by.
Then I start all over again.
There hasn’t been any consistency, although I guess that keeps life interesting. And an interesting life can certainly make for interesting writing. Read more
Keeping things simple is one of the most important things a person can do in life, at work, with friends, when making plans, and (shocker, I bet you didn’t think I was going to go here) in writing. You’re probably thinking that I’m stating the obvious, that keeping things simple is intuitive, that your nine-year-old child could have told me that. You might be right.
But I bet you still fail miserably at keeping it simple. Read more
I’ve recently come to believe that keeping a journal is one of the most important things a writer can do. Over the years I’ve been on and off about writing in a journal – I kept a journal in high school, abandoned it, picked up it back up in college, started to think it was incredibly lame and dropped it again, and so on…
I wrote a bit about keeping a journal in a post from a while back, but thought it was important to expand upon. I’ve been keeping one for a little over a year now and it’s something I plan to continue doing for as long as I still want to be a writer. And for all of you who don’t necessarily want to be a writer, you should consider it anyway.
So, you might be asking, a journal? Really? I’m not one of the girls on a CW TV show, so why should I keep one? Hell, I’m not even one of the dark-brooding-writer types who has to keep a journal for definition’s sake. I mean, sure I can be dark and broody when I want to be, but I’m generally more of the smile your ass off, party hard, live large, and write-during-every-free-second-you-have types. So what are the benefits of keeping a journal? Read more
It’s January 25th, 2016, which means that we’re almost 1/12 of the way through a brand new year. To a lot of people it may seem like the year has just gotten started, but to me it already feels like it’s flying by. The reason it’s flying by is because when you have long term goals and work towards them every day, every day that passes is another day closer to what you’ve always wanted, but also another day gone by that you could have worked a little harder, progressed a little more.
I started this blog a little over two and a half years ago on June 8th, 2013, and since then I’ve written 72 posts that have been viewed 18,739 times. I’ve picked up 2,747 new and amazing followers, quite a few of whom I’ve spoken with to exchange ideas and advice, and many of whom have amazing blogs of their own that I now get to follow. Since June 8th, 2013, I’ve written 3 books, 11 short stories, and grown a lot as a person and as a writer. When I started this blog I was just finishing my junior year at Vanderbilt, and when I look back at who I was then, personally and professionally, I feel a little nostalgic and can see just how far I’ve come.
In these past two and a half years I’ve worked hard. Very hard. But did I work as hard as I possibly could? Did I outwork every other aspiring writer out there?
And that’s the point. Read more