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?

Writer-vation: Milestone Monday

I can hardly believe it’s been five years since I started this blog. Geez time has flown by so quickly.

In five years, I’ve written almost 250 post; which I hope to double that number sooner rather than later; and have gained over a hundred followers; which, I have to say, shocks me every time I look at my blog stats.

I never really imagined even having that many followers much alone posting so many post because well I’m lazy as fuck. As you all know, I’m really sporadic when it comes to posting. I really don’t adhere to one particular topic nor do I follow any sort of writing/blogging/grammar rules. I write cuz I am in the mood or cuz I happen to be motivated by something.  I suppose one could say I’m museless. is that even a word “museless” ni modo Ima roll wit it.

I could and prolly should write more to perhaps invigorate my creative writer’s mind but it takes effort. I dunno I’m at a point again in my writer lifetime where I’m blocked mentally and emotionally. I find myself having more than enough to say just not enough time or motivation to write. But what else is new?

So with that said, I would like to say thank you thank you to those who have signed up to witness the most random weird madness that is my writing, life and blog. Please feel free to drop a line or two in the comment section. I hope you guys stay aboard the crazy train.

 

Thanks for reading…

 

the southern yankee

Writer-Vation: Starting Anew

Here we are several days into the year 2015 and I’m just not getting around to posting this Writer-Vation piece.

Sigh I’m always late for everything… well not as late as my sisters tend to be but late nonetheless.

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It’s a New Year and I promised in my Happy New Year post that I would try harder. I didn’t exactly specify what I would be focusing my best efforts on because let’s face it, more often than not I have squirrel moments which tend to last for several moons. It can’t help myself sometimes. Thoughts run through my mind like little kids hyped up on candy. One minute I’m focused completely on the task at hand and the very next minute… SQUIRREL!

It’s quite frustrating especially since I would like to one day publish a book or at least that’s the goal. Honestly, I just want to become an accomplished writer. I don’t have to be famous or have the longest running best seller. even though that would be fucking awesome Shit I don’t even need the… who the fuck am I kidding.. I do need the fortune. Times have been waaaay too hard and a sista gots to get PAID!

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I’ve talked a lot about making my writing work for me and not me for it. I’ll be honest with you guys I don’t really write for the sake of obtaining followers. While I immensely enjoy seeing my follower numbers grow, in the beginning, my main purpose for starting this blog was to provide some sort of self-therapy. A place where I would air all my little durty durty laundry. An outlet of sorts for the ridiculous amount of thoughts and emotions swirling around inside this mess of a body. It was meant to be a stepping stone for my poetic memoir which I think it may still be but who knows when that’ll be published or even at all.

But now, I would very much like my blog to reach new heights. But I’m not sure what that entails exactly. I’m not trying to reinvent my blog or change the current the format. I’m also not trying to pigeon hole myself into writing about a single topic or range of topics in every single post. Let’s face it this blog reflects the random chaotic sometimes volatile nature of my mind and life. And I like that because not only is it possibly more entertaining to my followers but it’s certainly less boring to me. Don’t get me wrong. I applaud bloggers/writers who can concentrate their creative talent into one topic or genre and consistently make their posts or books interesting. I just can’t do it.

Sooooooo here’s the deal… I need to become more organized when it comes to my writing and blog. I need to set aside time outside the fucking dealer cuz this hoe is an expensive fucking addiction to plan posts and topics. I need to become more involved in blogging community. But most importantly, I need to just write. I dunno what happened between the first week of December and now. I just fell off the face of the blogosphere. Totally not my intention but again… sQuIrReL!

Sorry I’m back I promise.

To help me stay focused, I downloaded and printed a 2015 Passion Planner. Again I’m late in starting this but perhaps it’ll keep me from having extended squirrel moments. Gawd I hope this works because I really want to make this blog work.

As always thank you guys for being patient and for following me as I continue my quest to becoming a successful writer.

Thanks for reading…

The Southern Yankee

Happy New Year!!!

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It’s a new day and a New Year!

Every year I say I’m going to make a resolution or two but let’s be honest, how many people really make good on their resolutions? Not I said the fly. Or me said the flee! So I’m not. I’m not going to waste my time or yours telling you about the resolutions that I’ll more than likely break in a month.

What I will say is this: I’m going to try harder. Not at any one given thing or aspect of my life but just in general.

I’ve learned over the last year, it isn’t about winning the war but getting through the battle. I also learned I have to learn when a battle is worth the impending war. Meaning not every battle is meant for me to fight. Sometimes I just need to let go and let God. but y’all know I’m stubborn tho right?!

Which means I have to learn that I can’t control everything. I can’t have the mentality of “it’s my way or the fucking highway!” I just can’t anymore. The more I try to control every situation the bigger the possibility of me getting my little feelings hurt. I’ll also lose sight of what matters most and honestly I can’t afford to lose that viewpoint.

So here’s to the New Year! Thank you again and in advance for falling me on this crazy foul mouthed journey! Hope you all had a safe and wonderful New Year’s Eve and a great first day of 2015.

Thanks for reading…

The Southern Yankee