Did you know I’m one of the bloggers over at Christians Read? Vicki Hinze, Maureen Lang, Elizabeth Goddard, James L. Rubart, Hannah Alexander, Kathi Macias, Lynette Sowell, Sarah Goebel, Kristen Heitzmann and Yvonne Lehman are part of the Christians Read team. I blog opposite Maureen on Wednesdays.
This week I shared what I found to be true for me in writing while I was moving.
Can you relate?
Read on to find out.
I’m going back to unpack more boxes.
So long for now.
I’m not going anywhere travel wise, but after tomorrow, you won’t see me here on a regular basis for awhile. That’s right, the thankful blogs start November 1. As always, there are a great group of guest bloggers with amazing stories of why they are thankful.
You do NOT want to miss this.
What will I be doing in November?
I‘m ready for National Novel Writing Month-NaNoWriMo--where participants write 50K words in 30 days. It is as crazy as it sounds. I’m plotted out and ready to go with the next book after my 2010 NaNo win, Spectacular Falls. I’m still taking that one through critique groups, and as I have, a secondary character kept jumping up and down to let me know she has a story, too.
So wish me well. In Spectacular Falls Carla Rowling is a single mom and the village’s only law enforcement. Her real desire is to style hair, but she lacks the resources, equipment, and courage. In To Protect and Serve, Carla has the opportunity to earn her cosmetology license, but the men in her life make things difficult. I’ll share more in December.
I have a couple slots left for thankful posts. If you have something you want to share, let me know at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In the meantime, tune in tomorrow for my October 31 themed post–10 Not-So-Spooky Secrets about Prayer.
I’m thankful you’re here. See you soon.
Surrendering the good, the bad, and—maybe one day—the chocolate
Going to college in uncertain times: One person’s story
My last year of college was a time of great struggle and personal turmoil. I was having a hard time of things, and it wasn’t because of a romantic interest or because of the difficulty of my classes. I was struggling with the idea of a life after college, the one that I had fantasized about for so many years. You see I had gone to school as a journalism major and had ambitions to work for a huge newspaper magazine, reporting on current events from around the world. I did well in all my classes, even wrote notable pieces for the school paper. Everything seemed to be going as planned.
I was in college not that long ago, right around the time when the housing crisis got really bad and the economy started to take a turn for the worst. Worse yet, newspapers across the country were shutting their doors and ending their circulations because they simply couldn’t compete with the content being posted on the web. Job prospects in every area looked for the graduates in my year, but the ones for journalism seemed particularly grim with few publications even considering new hires.
Among all these negative factors, I had to ask myself the question that I’m sure many college students ask themselves every day: was this whole experience worth it? What will college do for me? I graduated with these reservations very much intact.
As I predicted, the job search after college graduation was rough. I applied to any (and I mean any) publication for work as a beat reporter or a staff writer, even when I knew they wouldn’t be hiring. Months went by in what seemed like a few minutes, and I was nowhere closer to finding gainful employment. I didn’t know what to do, and I certainly didn’t understand why I went through years of college if it just brought me to this stalemate in my life.
A different path
A few months past graduation, I started blogging. Nothing serious, I was just keeping a small WordPress for myself and using it as a journal. I had never blogged much in college, but I suddenly found myself doing it all the time. I immediately took to the online writing medium. I felt way more myself than I ever did with other freelance writing projects I did after college for local journals and magazines.
So I started building a small portfolio of online writing samples so I could show them to bloggers and webmasters who accepted articles from guest writers. To my surprise, I found myself writing more and more articles for bloggers in many different areas of interest. The work kept coming, and I was loving every second of it.
The unexpected success of my new writing career online reminded me that none of us can be entirely sure what challenges life will bring, even if we prepare for them. After graduating with a journalism degree, I was so bent on working for a newspaper that I didn’t recognize the real opportunity before me until it was staring me in the face. Life is like that all the time, revealing new opportunities and exciting challenges despite our bad attitude. It took a little soul searching (and a lot of writing practice), but I finally found a purpose for all that time I put into higher education. At least for now, I’ll be satisfied to make my contributions to the online writing community when I can.
Do you have any stories of struggle and redemption in your life? I want to hear them!
Samantha Gray received her undergraduate education online through BachelorsDegreeOnline.com and enjoys guiding her readers through the process of doing the same. She is now a freelance writer by day, and she also moonlights as a tutor and zoo tour guide in her spare time. She may be reached for questions and feedback at email@example.com.
That Patty Wysong. She has so many great ideas going for 2012 I’m giddy. Because her great ideas translate to blog post ideas for me here. It also helps me meet new people and learn more about them.
Patty’s latest genius idea is 12 in 12. Anyone who wants to blog about the 12 things they want to accomplish in 2012 can do so and link back to Patty’s blog. As Patty suggests, think of 12 things you wouldn’t ordinarily do. Push yourself. Don’t have a blog? That’s okay, share it on FB, Twitter, etc…and let Patty (and me!) know.
Here’s my 12 in 12:
1. Finish my first manuscript. That’s right, I’ve never done this, at least not to this scale. I wrote the first draft during NaNo ’10 and bit by bit I’ve been editing. For the first time I’m taking my work through two ACFW critique groups and I’m learning so much. I want to really work on this and finish.
2. Start the agent process. Again, this isn’t normal for me. Brand new territory. I don’t know if it’s meant to be, but it is where God wants me. So for 2012, that’s my goal.
3. Attend a writer’s conference. Nope, I haven’t done this before, either. We’re a one income family so these ideas are far off extras. It looks like there will be a conference later this year in my state, so it could happen.
4. Use a passport. I’m 41 and until a month ago, never even had a passport. I’ll be using it for vacation reasons in 2012, but have a feeling the passport will see more use in years to come for missions.
5. Finish that c25k app. I don’t hate exercise as much as I hate the idea. This app lets me walk and build up running, something I’m not skilled at. As a baby I had braces on my feet and the doctor left them on too long. I have knees that dislocate. This is a small exercise program I’m doing in the privacy of my home set to music I can play as loud as I want.
6. Prune. There is a specific area in my life that needs cutting, nothing deep, but it is an area I dread. When I have to make a change, I don’t like it. It’s time for something new and different and to do that, I have to make some changes.
7. Be social. I’m a natural introvert and that took me a long time to realize and admit it. Now I embrace it to depths where I just don’t enjoy being out and about. A writer’s life is secluded so I have to be intentional. I’m seriously considering starting a Praise and Coffee night, keep the expectations low and the fun high.
8. Date my husband. If you’re married, you know it’s almost impossible to be in the same season of life. When he’s able to get out, I can’t or am too tired. Or finances are in the way. We haven’t even rented movies or watched anything like we did when the kids were smaller. Now the kids are older and we could go out more, even if it was a walk at a park. But I’m not intentional about it. It’s not easy for me, even though he’s a built-in date. If he’s busy or not able, he’ll say so. But I should at least ask.
9. Write a book with my daughter. Last summer we wrote a customized story together and it went so well I want to do it again. Even at 8 she was able to come up with a plot, conflict, resolution, and a chapter-by-chapter synopsis. When finished we put it in a binder, and she created the artwork. I created an author’s page for her and my heart swells when I see of all the books she has on her shelf, she still goes for that one.
10. Continue the anonymous wordpress project I have going with my son. It was our answer to a situation and to be honest, I love working with him. This is something I long for others to be a part of, but we’re not putting our names on it. So, read in between the lines and perhaps you’ll find us in cyberspace as I embedded a clue for you here.
11. Visit our local Rescue Mission and perhaps volunteer there. This has been on my mind for a long time and I just haven’t done it. No excuses.
12. Showcase my nature pictures somehow. I’m an amateur, but I receive great feedback when people visit our home and see the pictures. Maybe I’ll make them a blog post or something.
There! That wasn’t too hard. What do you think? Now, show me yours!