I am from the country. I lived on the outskirts of a very small town in rural Minnesota and had my own personal forest surrounding my home. Currently, I am living in Las Vegas. You can imagine the difference i am experiencing!
I really miss the green leaves and the trees that surrounded me. I remember reading the Secret Garden when I was younger. Did you ever read it?
Nowadays, I really wish I had my own secret green garden to escape to. So, I decided to start my own seeds to grow my own little garden – an urban garden.
Happy Fourth of July! When you think of America, what are a few landmarks that pop into your mind?
My list would be:
Mt. Rushmore, South Dakota
Statue of Liberty, NYC
St. Paul’s Chapel, NYC
The Wild West
Medora, North Dakota
And many others…
There are many places that stick out to me. And it’s because they carry the traits of the American values and our history. The pride to be an American.
I went to New York a few years ago with Johan. It was my first time there. When I saw the Statue of Liberty I was blown away with emotions.
You probably ask why?Because, I was listening to their audio guide and one of the ladies had written in her journals about how trying and tough the boat ride to America was and that when they finally saw lady liberty, they couldn’t help but cry. They were coming to a new country that was opening their arms to them. Saving them from religious persecution. Saving them from countries being run by Tyrants.
I put myself in her shoes. I put myself in my ancestors shoes. Some of my family from the past went through Ellis Island. Lady Liberty greeted them.
My ancestors went through many trials to come into America; the right way. My great great grandma lost a child at sea when coming over from Norway. She tried hiding the little kid so she could bury them on land, but the captain found out and they buried the kid at sea. How sad! I read the letter my great great grandpa sent back to his family in Norway describing this whole story. Once she met up with my great great grandpa to make the trek to Minnesota, they lost their other child. They were starting out NEW. Completely new.
They fought for what they had. They worked hard for what they had. They started over.
I believe this is what describes an American.
If anyone wants to be an American, they must be willing to fight for what they have.
They must work hard for everything. They mustn’t expect to get things for free.
That means they shouldn’t expect the government to take care of them.
An American must take care of themselves.
Praise the power that hath made and preserv’d us a nation!
Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just,
And this be our motto – “In God is our trust,”
And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave.
Do you ever feel like you are a trapeze artist who is walking across a wire balancing fine china on your arms, head, and shoulders when it comes to balancing your life with work and your writing?
Yes? I know I have felt that way!
I realized now more than ever, while working a full-time job that requires a lot of work to be put in, that sometimes when I get home I am completely tired and feel absolutely no motivation to write because I’m pooped from everything I had to get done earlier.
So how does one deal with all of these plates (responsibilities) and how do you manage balancing life so you don’t end up dropping them and breaking them all. If you want to know some things that will help you keep all of the plates balanced read on.
1. Get Moving
I’ve found this to be so helpful. If you set aside 30 minutes a day to exercise your body will thank you later.
I get to work at 9 am every morning. Lately I’ve been trying to wake up earlier so I can get a run in before work as well as some words written before I leave home. Check out this cool bedtime calculator. You type in when you want to wake up and they tell you when you should go to bed in order to wake up at that time.
I’ve been working on a new novel. I bring my novel freewriting notebook with me wherever I go. Whether that is to work or church or even on errands. You never know when an idea will pop into your mind. In this notebook I answer questions that get me thinking about who my characters are, what kind of world they live in, and what the rules to their world are. I’ve really found it helpful.
4. Cook Before You Are Busy
Get a slow cooker. Prepare meals on the weekend and then freeze them. Then before you go to work, throw your frozen prepped meals into the slow cooker. Your food will be ready for you by the time you get home from work.
Make sure you set aside some relaxation time for yourself. Maybe that means a bubble bath or a massage on the weekend. It’s just important that you take care of yourself during your busy lifestyle so that you can recharge.
6. Take Time To Chat With Writer Friends
I have some great writing friends who totally understand the work that goes into balancing life with writing and work. It’s nice to have people around you who understand your daily struggles and joys.
7. Go Someplace
Remember when Anne from Anne of Green Gables said “There is so much scope for imagination.”
She was right. There is so much scope for imagination in the world around us. Go somewhere on the weekend to fill your mind with new thoughts and ideas.
BONUS – Leave Work At Work
I have found that once I leave work I need to keep work related stuff out of my mind, because if I don’t I get stressed and irritable.
The secrets to living a healthy balanced lifestyle have to do with finding a happy medium in the many areas of your life.
What are some things you’ve found helpful to balance life, work, and writing?
If you haven’t checked it out yet, be sure to check it out now! I have the first chapter on Wattpad and I will be putting the second chapter up this week! –http://w.tt/1BL3EE6
Want to flesh out your characters in a fun way? Ever thought of free writing your characters thoughts? We’ve all at one time or another done that character sketch that they taught in high school. The one that asked a ton of questions like:
•What hair color?
•Does he/she have any scars?
I promise this isn’t the same kind of free writing exercise. Character sketches never really helped me much. I found them a bit boring. It made them seem like a homework assignment rather than a real person.
This writing exercise will help you grow into a writer that knows their characters on another layer.
When I free write my character’s thoughts in the form of journaling it really gets me into their heads.
They seem like they are REAL. Well, they are… they are inside your head. Get to know your characters better by doing this free writing exercise.
The premise and pitch of your novel are important. Having them figured out before you finish your novel will help you know where your novel is headed. You could almost consider them to be maps to the rest of your novel.
The Premise –
The premise is a core statement that can usually be put into one sentence. It shows “What happens to the characters as a result of the actions of a story.” James N. Frey said.
On Writer’s Digest they covered the premise of The Three Little Pigs which is “Foolishness leads to death, and wisdom leads to happiness.” See how it isn’t telling about the characters or the story? One thing to remember is that every story has only one premise.
Your premise is the root idea of your story, in other words it is the foundation supporting the rest of your novel. It supports your entire plot.
When you figure out your premise you will have a much easier time writing your book, because it will drive the actions of your characters throughout the novel.
Once you’ve written the premise you can create a plot that proves your premise. It’ll help you create a story that works.
How About You?
Think about your story and craft yourself a premise statement.
Are you an app junkie? There is an app for everything these days. Being a writer, we should take advantage of the writing apps out there. We have technology that the writers of old probably never dreamed of. Make sure you check out these writing apps.
You all know what word does. It’s a great app to have on your iPhone. They also have this for the iPad.
7. Google Docs
Do you work on a bunch of computers? If so, Google Docs is a great way to be accessible to everything.
8. Notes App
This comes automatically on your iPhone and iPad. I love it for jotting down ideas.
9. Word count Dashboard
This is a great app where you can keep track of your project’s word count. It’s really inspiring. Here is a screenshot from my last project. It’s really cool, because you can set a deadline and also upload a cover. How cool, right?
Did I miss some of your favorites? Share them in the comments below.
Have you ever created a playlist for your novel? A novel playlist will help you if you ever get stuck, while in the moment of working on your manuscript.
Lately I’ve been collecting songs for a future novel I want to write. I will start writing that novel after I’ve finished this current one that I’m working on.
Sometimes music pokes at my imagination when I’m not writing, because usually I can’t write to music with lyrics, but I can imagine to music with lyrics. So that’s what I do whenever I drive with the radio on.
If I don’t know certain songs I just click open either Siri or Shazam. They both have the ability to tell me what a song is. Then, I usually take a screen shot of it so I can look it up later. Read More
Do you ever sit down to write at your computer all to just open up an internet window to quickly check if anyone has written you?
Facebook and social media are just a few clicks away, which doesn’t help when we get “bored” with our writing. So we think, “Oh, I will just go check Facebook, Twitter, and my email, quick.” That quickly turns from 10 minutes into 2 hours of wasted time, when you were supposed to be writing instead.
Want to beat social media at it’s own time wasting game?
Take up this virtual writing retreat to kick wasting time in the butt.(Click to Tweet) Read on to find out more.