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Yes, another absence from this blog. It was completely unintentional this time around.  After I finished NaNoWriMo in two weeks (I’m still amazed I actually “won” after a couple of years of trying..), my creativity just shut down.  The last thing I wanted to do was write.  I had these great plans to get back to the w.i.p I set aside for NaNoWriMo and finally finish the sucker. Has it happened? Nope.  I have worked on it a bit, but it’s still sitting at a lovely 55,000 words. Not bad really. I’m almost there, but the idea of finishing that right now just wasn’t on my radar.

Neither was blogging, to be perfectly honest. I guess I had to take a step back and take a “vacation” from writing completely.  For anyone who hasn’t done NaNoWriMo, you can’t really understand how much it takes out of you.  For me, all I did was write. I think I took two days off in the two week span that it took for me to get to 50k words., and that wasn’t even because I wanted to. I just had other things to do.  Did I end up wearing myself out during that time? Probably. Do I regret it? Absolutely not.

Yes, NaNoWriMo caused me  to take some time out to take a break from writing afterwards.   But I’ve also learned new things about me as a writer and that’s the most important lesson I could ever take away from something like that. I wouldn’t trade that in for anything.

It’s okay to take a step back and collect your thoughts. It’s okay to take a break from your writing when you feel like you can’t write anymore.  Don’t push it. Just let it flow naturally. If your brain is tired and is screaming for relaxation, do what it says.  You will thank me later. 🙂

Oh, and congratulations to all of the fellow NaNoWriMo “winners” out there! Great job on getting to that glorious 50k finish line!  I’ll also say great job to everyone who participated. Whether you won or didn’t, pat yourself on the back for at least trying!

In other “news”, it’s come to my attention that I have received a few blog awards. Thanks to those who have given them to me. I’ll start handing them out to others in tomorrow’s post! If I don’t forget… Knowing me, that may happen. 🙂

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The answer? Anything you want, it’s your blog. If you want to teach people to cook, how to be a mom, how much you enjoy being a teacher, or just to do movie reviews, it’s all up to you. A lot of us would love to be able to write for a living (I sure would) but just get in & pour your heart out even if you never get any money out of it. I have had my blog for just a little over a year now & it has been the most enjoyable thing that I have done since getting online many years ago. I’m no expert, but wanted to give you all some ideas that I have learned along the way to maybe help you out if you are just getting in on this wild & crazy world of blogging. First of all, if you want to maybe get more exposure (like here on WordPress the Freshly Pressed highlight), you may want to keep your writing clean. They will not put you on there if all of your posts are full of bad words. I know…I would love to write how I talk, but I keep my posts clean hoping that one day I will get that elusive Freshly Pressed gig so I can pick up more readers. The more readers you get, the better your chances are at growing & possibly picking up advertisers & making some money. If your not looking for that & just want to spill it all out…go for it. Like I said, it’s your blog.
I also try to reply to everybody that leaves a comment on my posts. They took the time to read your stuff & make a comment..now you take the time to respond to them. It really makes you feel so good when somebody says something about what you have written. You can also pick up & make alot of great new blog buddies (friends) from this.
Try to pick a theme that you can customize so your blog will stand out as you & people will get to know you by. The one I use let me add my own picture as the header. I took this picture, added type to it with Paint Shop Pro & now it is my one-of-a-kind header. It’s kinda fun trying new thems from time to time, but once I found & put my own touch to the one that I have, kinda want to stick to it so everybody will remember it. I went through 3 different ones before settling on this one.
Make sure you get the word out on it…set-up the Twitter thing so everytime you make a new post, it tells all of your followers. There are other sites that you can list your blog on also that helps with exposure. Bloggers.com has alot of spammers, but you can get some good people out of it…that is where I met Melissa here that I am guest posting for, so you can meet great people & wonderful writers.
The other thing that I try to do is keep my word count under say 600-700 words. I may gone over that here, but I am always scared that it might get boring if I ramble on too long. Like I said, I’m no pro, but wanted to throw down some ideas that you may not have thought of to help any of you out that I can. I may have left some out here too. Come join the blogging world with us & hope to read your posts someday. Thanks so much for this little challenge Melissa. Looking forward to having you on mine.

Jason (The Mindslam)

Check out Jason’s blog here.

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Considering I have a lot to do today (no relaxing weekends for me, it seems haha), I’m just going to post a reminder about my blog fest that is coming up this Friday!  I have about 4 people who have signed up, but I want to give everyone else the opportunity to join in. Here are the details:

The blog fest is called “Interview With The Characters”.  Conduct an interview with one of the characters you have come up with. Ask them questions and then answer that question as that character.. however you think they would respond. You can make it as funny or as serious as you want. That part is up to you. It doesn’t have to be necessarily long either.  On Friday, September 16th, post that interview on your blog with a link coming back to mine. I will have a post with a list of participants so everyone can check out the interviews. Make sure to spread the word so others can get involved! The more, the merrier, right?  You can sign up by commenting on this post or by e-mailing me at thestoryinme@gmail.com.

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask!

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You may have noticed that this blog has went through a bit of a makeover. I felt it was time to update and make it a bit more professional.  Hopefully, you guys like it. Let me know what you think of the new layout!

These past few days have been pretty nice here. The weather has shown that spring is really here and not in hiding like we all thought. With  nice weather comes more productivity for me. I’m not sure what it is about nice, warm, sunny weather, but it always makes me want to write. I love to sit in my room with my window and curtains open, letting in a nice breeze and the sunshine in.  It’s like spring brings the writer in me back after a very depressing winter.

I hope that whatever the weather is like where you are, you’re making great progress with your own writing projects. I’m thinking about hosting another blogfest here, but I want to make sure it’s done correctly after the last one didn’t work out as well as I had hoped….

Also, I’m still looking for people to do their own guest posts on this blog. Let me know if you’re interested. You can talk about whatever you want. Maybe you want to share how you get inspiration or how your creative process works. Maybe you want to talk about your biggest fan when it comes to writing or why you wanted to become one in the first place. It’s really up to you.  You can let me know either here in the comment section below or by e-mailing me at thestoryinme@gmail.com

I hope everyone has an amazing weekend!

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With Christmas coming up,  I decided to get this blog into the holiday spirit and give it a little “holiday make over”. 🙂  There’s always something great about the holidays that really inspires me. Maybe it’s all the festive cheer or the Christmas songs. Maybe it’s all of the pretty decorations that you can find everywhere you look. Whatever it is, I’m okay with it helping my writing.

There’s something really special about the holidays. I enjoy decorating the house and making everything look festive. Getting into the spirit of what it really means is important.  I also really enjoy writing holiday scenes into my stories. It’s interesting to really see how my characters interact during this time of year. It can change a lot whether anyone realizes it or not.

I really hope this month is also an inspiration to you. I hope that it goes as stress free as possible (although I know you can’t go completely without it..it wouldn’t be the holidays without some stress ha ha). Take the time to sit back and think about how your year went. I’m really going to try to not linger on the bad things. It’s time to focus on the good instead. That’s how I become inspired, by all the good that has happened.

I know that I won’t finish my novel by the end of the year like I wanted to, but I am okay with that now. Sometimes you don’t always meet the goal and you have to keep pushing for it. It’ll happen. I just have to keep working toward it to make  it happen.

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As I mentioned yesterday, this is my 100th post on this blog. 🙂  I thought long and hard about what I wanted to write about today. It is a special post after all. Do I post some poetry? Do I post another short story? I have done all that already, so that isn’t very special..

I think for this post, I want to celebrate this blog by showing my appreciation to everyone who takes the time to read this. Whether you have been here since the beginning or you have just discovered this blog, I really do appreciate everyone.

I have been writing stories for so long, I can’t imagine doing anything else.  So, after college, I realized that this was the time for me to really pursue my dreams of becoming a published author.  It was time to put it all into action. I had so many stories to share and so many characters for people to meet.

I started this blog to share my experiences about being a “newbie” writer and trying to achieve that dream of mine. I wanted to inspire others to do the same, to never be afraid to go for what you want. I also wanted to connect with other writers and join them on their journeys. I’m so glad that it  has happened for me.

Without the constant support I have received from family and friends (whether it be in real life or in the blogger world), I don’t think I could have managed to keep going. When I hit a slump, you all are willing to pick me up and encourage me to keep going. Thank you for being my “cheerleaders.” You have no idea how much that means to me.

It’s been quite a journey so far and more people are joining me. 🙂 I welcome you all and hope it is as enjoyable for you as it is for me. With my book halfway finished, I really can’t wait for everyone to read it. My goal will be within reach and that is a celebration I cannot wait to have!

So, thank you again for all of the kind words and conversations we have had on this blog. I just appreciate that people come onto this blog and read these words I write.

That is why I’m dedicating this special 100th post to you. This blog isn’t really intended for myself. 🙂

Now, onto 100 more blog posts! I hope to see you all at the 200th post celebration.

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A few weeks ago, I was offered the opportunity to submit a writing project I have completed. Last week, it was published on a blog here on WordPress called The One Story Project that I think is an amazing idea and a great community for creative people to showcase their work. 🙂

The work I submitted was a personal essay I wrote for my Advanced Composition class in college. It is a very personal memoir of a time I shared with my dad. I have provided the link to the blog entry and I hope you enjoy reading it.

Click here to read

I hope you enjoy! 🙂

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