The Unexpected

It’s been a rough week. Well “rough” is an understatement. It’s been more than rough but I’m not even sure what other word to use to describe how this week has been.

We received some news at work. It wasn’t the best of news and it certainly wasn’t anything ANYONE was expecting just 32 days into the New Year.

But it wouldn’t be my company if the unexpected didn’t happen at the weirdest of times. Not only am I thoroughly confused by the events of this first not even full week of February but I’m sadden. Sadden that it has to happen this way.

Sadden that the possibility of the unknown and unexpected might even come more frequently sooner rather than later.

Perhaps this is a sign. A sign to start preparing my exit strategy. To start polishing up my venacular and writing skills. Working on skills that should come second nature to me but not really anymore because I allowed myself to become too comfortable in my situation. I decided to not be as overly cautious as I usually am.

But as the old saying goes, everything happens for a reason. Surprises and/or challenges, good or bad, can come at any time of a person’s life and what one does in those instances is what changes the future for the better and sometimes for the worst. But you go through it because every moment of life is a learning experience.

So here’s to being more cautious and aware. To keeping my eyes and ears open extra wide just in case the unexpected unknown affects me.

I know I’m rambling on and on and on and on in some weird cracked out code but I just needed to get some things off ma chest.

Thanks for letting me vent…

 

the southern yankee 

Know Thyself Challenge: Day 3

Day 3: What’s the BEST writing advice you ever received?
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Considering my writer’s mind works in a multidimensional complex and on two separate writing planes, it’s really sorta difficult to determine which piece of writing advice is the absolute BEST.

On one hand, my first love as a writer was journalism. The short, sweet and to the fucking point of the average newspaper sentence or paragraph plays into my laziness. The ability to tell a story in as few words as possible has never been a special talent of mine but I have found it quite helpful when writing emails at my job.

On the other hand, the perpetual English student in me enjoys utilizing every inch of my active almost child like imagination. The fact that I can use words to manipulate thought, trigger various emotions and transport readers to other worlds or at least further into mine is a challenge I’m determined to master.

But with all of this said, I’m still at the fucking beginning with trying to answer what is the BEST advice I’ve ever received. The truth of the matter, the majority of the writing advice I’ve “received” in my life time has come from quotes from writers I’ve found on Pinterest. Don’t look at me like that. I speak truth mayne.

One such quote is:

Write drunk; edit sober ~Ernest Hemingway

I’d all over that if I could afford the amount of boozes needed just to write everyday. What? I drank like a damn fish!

Another is:

There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside of you. ~Maya Angelou

I’m a shy and most times quiet person but I have more than enough to say. I let my emotions fuel my writing because I do t know how to control them without first writing them down. My head tends to feel heavy and clouded not because I’m stressed or applied too much hair product although that has indeed crossed my mind before but because I think too fucking much. I have so many memories that pop in my head at the most inconvenient times of the day. I am constantly working up plan A B C D E F G and H because I always have a backup for my backups.

I take risks with my writing to see what kind of reaction I might receive.

My blog isn’t one dimensional for a reason. I could never be able to write about one aspect of my life or one of the many concepts and ideals I’ve learned about throughout my lifetime.

Which, I suppose, brings me to the best advice I’ve ever received in my life. A former supervisor of mine would say but four little words when there was really nothing else to say or do. And honestly, I have to say I use it almost daily.

Ready? It’s really simple and can be easily applied to any situation, especially writing.

fuck it, why not? 

Yep that’s it! Short. Sweet. And to the mutha fuckin point!

It isn’t profound or something some great philosopher or psychological prodigy ever muttered to an international leader. But I find that it allows me to not take a situation or whatever it is I’m working on so completely seriously that I become stressed out more than I really should.

Truthfully, I can get pretty wound up for no reason other than because I can which isn’t healthy emotionally or physically. I worry for no reason other than I can and where does it ever get me?

Absolutely no where! So fuck it!

Thanks for reading….

the southern yankee 

Know Thyself Challenge: Day 2

Day 2: What is your biggest writing weakness, and what do you think you need to change to work on it?

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I would argue that my, and probably other writers too, biggest weakness as a writer would be a combination of the following:

  • Procrastination
  • Boredom
  • Lots to say no time to say it
  • Lack of boozes no I ain’t joking

You know… If I had… Well if perhaps life was…

Look, I’ll just bluntly honest, I’m lazy as all fuck! I love to write. With all my heart and soul, writing will forever my first love. I just don’t pay it enough attention and the ideas don’t flow as smoothly as they used to when I was younger. Of course when I was younger, I used to keep journals and write and write all day and all night. It was easy and convenient. I could be anywhere, doing anything and all I’d need is a pen and a journal. I have a million and one journals; partly cuz I love collecting them and partly cuz I use them for almost everything except actually collecting my thoughts. It’s quite expensive and annoying to keep collecting journals. But I do because sometimes they inspire me to think and write without interruption.

Buuuuuuuut again I’m lazy as fuck. If given a choice between sleeping, food and writing, I’d probably choose food, sleeping then writing. Yaaaaaaaaz in that exact order. #phatgurlworldproblems #sleeeeeeeeepisgoooood

With all that said, I know exactly how to remedy my laziness but honestly, there are times I just don’t wanna. I enjoy not having a necessity to do something. I enjoy sleeping waaaaaay more than developing a blog post. I also don’t have WiFi at home. don’t judge me! That’s probably measures right up there with me being lazy. The cost of Internet is a mutha fucker. I don’t understand why it’s so expensive or even how people afford internet service.

Rants aside, I think at times having these weaknesses sorta puts my writing in perspective. I’m all talk and no drive. There are times when I’m motivated to crank out posts every other day or week. But shit life happens at the most inopportune times for me. So I make up excuses as i am right nah to somehow make myself feel better about not writing. But what else is new?

Comment below and lemme know what  writing weaknesses you possess.

Thanks for reading…

the southern yankee

Know Thyself Challenge: Day 1

Day 1: What do you consider your greatest strength as a writer?

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I’ve been writing all of my life and blogging for the last five or six. With every year that I have been writing, I try to find ways not to use my writing especially my blog solely for my own personal psychological therapy session but without fail I go right back to what I’m accustomed to doing. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, right?

But at the same time, I feel taking a risk in my writing style if there is such a thing for me helps to break up the monotony. Experimenting with different genres of writing not only allows my readers to see a different side of the madness but it allows me to build my writer’s confidence. So I suppose in essence that’s my greatest strength. Being able to recognize when stepping out of the box is a good thing and not so much a nuisance.

Over the past few years, I have ventured into writing fiction which I fully recognize I’m no J.K. Rowling or Terry McMillian but it is something I have been truly afraid of since I was a student at SicEmU. I didn’t and sometimes still think I could write a good attention grabbing fictional story. There are  so many elements to a fictional story and so many rules of fiction that to be perfectly honest I ain’t willing to learn. But I try to anyway because I never know when the right person will stumble upon my blog and offer a book deal. If you’re out there email me!

Aside from taking the obvious risk outside the box, I honestly greatest strength a writer could ever possess is the willingness to learn about everything. Not just about the subject matter, audience or temperament of the story but about what goes into making a great story or blog post, which I’m always reading about. Being that I have a background in newspaper pagination, the visual look, both literally and metaphorically, is important to me. I’m always on Pinterest or other WordPress sites looking for inspiration for my own blog.

I am also incredibly lucky to have my sis as an editor. I don’t usually edit my posts… heavily. I honestly don’t like editing my own writing. I suppose because it always takes me a month and a half to write anything. Look how long it took me to post Day 1 of this challenge when I introduced it LAST WEEK which is soooooo not the damn point right now. My sis saves me from sounding a total uneducated fool. Having others proofread, solicited and unsolicited, is a great asset to have especially if the proofreading yields positive and constructive criticism that will be helpful and make you and your craft better.

Other strengths include:

  • Being crazy
  • Loving the happy juice
  • Living vicariously through friends
  • Having an active vivid imagination which always gets me in trouble
  • Consuming ridiculous amounts of coffee trust me you want this

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What are some of your strengths?
Thanks for reading…
the southern yankee

Know Thyself Challenge

It’s that time of year again. The point of the year where I am again trying to figure out where to which level I would like to take my writing and my writing style. I’m not a conventional writer. I don’t really follow any rules or any sort of standards of writing. I just do. But I want become a successful writer. I want to make a difference in someone else’s life through my writing. I would like to have a positive impact and/or influence over the younger and older generation in the same way writers such as F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway, Jorge Amado, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Sandra Cisneros, Eric Jerome Dickey and Maya Angelou have had on me, my life and my writing.

As usual, I’m forcing myself to complete a writing challenge so that I can “jump start” my motivation to write more. It’s a horrid cop out buuuuuuuut it’s all I know how to do. Not so much cop out of things, but to try to complete challenges. And just because I’m feeling adventurous, I might just try to complete two maybe three challenges at the same time. Lawd what in the fuck am I about to do to myself.

The first challenge is called the Know Thyself Challenge. I found this challenge about two years ago when yet again I was going through a creative slump and tried to reinvent the wheel instead of just spinning the sucker round and round. From what I can tell, this challenge is trying to get the writer/blogger to analyze and examine why he or she writes. What motivates the writer? What do you hope to accomplish as a writer? Yadda yadda yadda…

It’s a 25-day challenge. So that’s a post a day and if I start today then I should be done by August 23rd. fuck that’ll be sooner rather than later! I could just wait until Saturday which is August 1st buuuuuut I need to go shopping. #priorities

So there you guys have it. The daily prompts are below. I hope you guys embark on this journey with me. Please feel free to leave words of kindness and encouragement.

 

Thanks for reading…

 

the southern yankee

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Day 1: What do you consider your greatest strength as a writer?
Day 2: What is your biggest writing weakness, and what do you think you need to change to work on it?
Day 3: What’s the BEST writing advice you ever received?
Day 4: What tends to serve as the most reliable source(s) of inspiration for you?
Day 5: What do you hope a reader will take away from your writing?
Day 6: What do you find to be the most rewarding aspect of being a writer?
Day 7: Do you find that inspiration to write happens organically, or do you sometimes feel that you need to seek it out?
Day 8: How old were you when you started writing? What did you write?
Day 9: Do you feel that you have found your voice in your writing? Or are you still searching?
Day 10: What are your favorite and least favorite parts of the writing process?
Day 11: How much of your writing time is purely research?
Day 12: What is the last book, story, or poem you read that had an effect on your writing? Are you a better writer for having read this work?
Day 13: What motivates you to keep writing?
Day 14: Share with us your strategies for overcoming writer’s block.
Day 15: Which writer or teacher most influenced your work?
Day 16: As a writer, what are your biggest fears? How can you overcome them?
Day 17: Which genre of writing is your forte? Why?
Day 18: Which genre of writing have you not explored but want to? Why?
Day 19: Describe your revision process.
Day 20: Who has been your biggest writing supporter?
Day 21: How do YOU hope to help your fellow writers–now or in the future?
Day 22: Why should someone read your work?
Day 23: If you held all the cards, where would you want your writing to take you? Would you want to be the NEW YORK TIMES next big hit or a voice for the underground?
Day 24: Who are you writing for? Do you have a target audience in mind?
Day 25: What makes you want to write more?