Writing about writing

Posts tagged ‘NaJoWriMo’

I just want to write

I have this almost insane desire to WRITE, but I have absotively posolutely NOTHING to write about. I’m tapped. No fresh topics. No story ideas. Nothing funny or witty or even worth saying, but I want to WRITE and WRITE and WRITE and WRITE and WRITE!!! So I’m going to take 10 minutes and use this blog to freewrite and see if anything comes of it. It is 9:50 pm; I will write until 10:00 pm–nonstop.

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Yep. I still have absolutely nothing to say. I haven’t been doing a lot of writing outside of my journal lately. I love to write, but I just haven’t done much. I do love journaling, so at least I am writing something right now. I’m participating, again, in NaNoJoWriMo–National Journal Writing Month. I really love it. Honestly, even though it’s Month, Bakari does it 4 times a year–January, April, July, & October. This month makes exactly one year that I have participated in each month and I have thoroughly enjoyed each and every month I have participated.

I am so glad Bakari started this! I will continue to participate for as long as he does it. And if he ever decides to pass the mantle, I wouldn’t mind if he chose me!

I’m thinking of attempting to start something similar to National Journal Writing Month, but make it very Biblically-based. I’m not really sure how I would go about doing it–if there’s something I need to do according to the law or at least the “law of the internet.” And I don’t want to steal from what Bakari does, but it will be very similar to his premise. The biggest difference would be that each prompt would begin with a Bible verse or verses and then move forward with a brief comment about the passage–a short Bible study, maybe–and then a topic based on the passage and/or Bible study.

Journaling4life (edit: it’s actually Journaling4faith) does something similar, as well, but they send out topics something like once a week or once a month. I can’t remember right this moment and since I’m freewriting and I’ve promised myself I won’t stop for 10 full minutes, I’m not going to go look. As soon as I get to 10:00, I will look it up and tag the link so you can go check them out for yourselves. I really like what they have going on, too.

I absolutely love to writing. It truly is not only a passion of mine, but something that I have to do the same as I have to breathe. When I don’t write for an extended period of time, I feel lost–adrift at sea with no rescue in sight. Once I start writing again, even if it is a freewrite like this, I have found a small ship to take me in and give me sustenance and keep me healthy for a time.

Writing is simply something I do regardless of whether I want to or not. Some people paint. Some do woodwork. Some color. Man, I’m jealous of the ability of some people to color and make their pictures works or art. Regardless, I do love to color, but I am not all that artistic. Some people find their passion in music, whether that be singing, writing, and/or playing….

And it’s 10:00 pm…..541 words in 10 minutes.

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Last day of NaJoWriMo for October 2015

NaJoWriMo, Day #31—Saturday, October 31, 2015

Today’s Prompt

tumblr_meqrmvGB6v1re99nqo1_400 (1)This being the last day of NaJoWriMo, write a letter to your journal about the last 31 days of journal writing. Write about the challenges, what you learned along the way, and how your thoughts changed about what creativity means in your personal life. 

Dear Precious Journal,

I have enjoyed this past month with you so very much. While I don’t typically need journal prompts in order to write in my journal, I have enjoyed almost all of the prompts for October 2015. I especially have enjoyed the fact that some friends and students have been participating this month as well! A few of them have shared their journal entries with me, but obviously journals are meant to be personal and not everyone feels comfortable sharing their journals—as it should be. I just tend to be someone who is willing to share it ALL for some reason without fear! I just like to. That’s the way it is—for me.

I wish every month was National Journal Writing Month. It should just be National Journal Writing Year! LOL! Regardless of whether or not we’re “celebrating” National Journal Writing month, I plan to continue writing in my journal every single day.

One thing I discovered this month while writing my journal entries using Microsoft Word has been that instead of just including a picture as part of my journal entries, I can actually use a picture as the background—a watermark—for my whole page for my journal entry! I wish I could do that with my digital journal, Penzu. The one negative about doing it that way is that if I want a separate watermark for each entry, I have to leave each entry as its own Word document rather than putting them all together as one month-long document. But that’s ok.

Up until this past week, I even printed out my daily journal entries and glued them into my printed journal! The only reason I quit doing that is because I finished that journal! My new one isn’t designed to be able to do that as nicely as the previous one. At least I can still print them all out and put them in a book if I still want to do that with all of them into one.

Because of my background studying the works of Julia Cameron, I’ve been learning more and more every year that I am a very creative being. I’ve never really thought of myself as such because my scrapbooks aren’t as creative as some of the ones by my scrapbooking friends, I can’t create anything like wreaths or such like, I hate decorating—yes, even for Christmas—even though I love all the decorations, and I simply don’t make visually creative STUFF.

But the reality is that because of my love of writing and the fact that it brings me joy, plain and simply, makes me Creative. It doesn’t matter if I prefer to write nonfiction rather than fiction. The important thing is that I love to write. I have fun writing and I honestly do feel creative when I write.

I can’t wait until the next NaJoWriMo—April, I do believe!!!

Every month should be NaJoWriMo

At approximately the halfway mark of NaJowriMo (National Journal Writing Month), Bakari Chavanu had us do a self-evaluation of how NaJoWriMo is going. I’d meant to post this then, but the days have gotten away from me. I must say at the outset of this entry that I am thoroughly enjoying participating in NaJoWriMo…so much so that I sincerely wish every month was NaJoWriMo!!!!

NaJoWriMo, Day #17—October 17, 2015:

Today’s Prompt

We’re about half way through NaJoWriMo. Thus, let’s take this time write about your journaling for this month. How is the journaling going for you? Any surprises, insights, or recurring thoughts? Any challenges? Likes/dislikes? How is the theme of creativity speaking to you? 

The Journaling is going very well for me. I’m not one who typically needs topics in order to write in my journal. I am just fine with writing my thoughts and feelings on any given day and still being able to find something to write about each and every day. I am enjoying writing about Creativity this month, with that being said.

Within the past year, I read Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way. I avoided it for a long time because of the word “artist,” but so much of the journaling and other writing activities, web sites, etc. that I have been involved with/participated in referenced Cameron’s book. I found that I couldn’t avoid it any longer, so I bought it as a package deal where I received the book and a journal wherein to do “Morning Pages.”

In spite of “drinking the Kool-Aid” and knowing that everything Julia Cameron writes about is worth noting—and following, I just can’t get up early enough to write in the mornings. I find that writing in the evenings just before going to bed works better for me. (This is an aside, BTW.)

Anyway, Cameron’s book is a wonderful reminder of the fact that we are all creative beings and whatever we do can be seen as a creative outlet: painting, drawing, other art work, sewing (all kinds), writing, and the list goes on and on. She explains very clearly that we need to see ourselves as creative beings and we need to pursue our creative sides. If we don’t, we miss out on everything that LIFE, the Creator, has for us. It’s in our creative selves that we find who we are and what we’re meant to DO with our lives—our purpose.

So the fact that the theme for October 2015 NaJoWriMo is “Creativity” simply goes along with what I’ve been learning and studying with Julia Cameron.

The biggest challenge in participating in NaJoWriMo is finding the time to write every day and devote the amount of time I really want to devote to my entries. I chose to type my entries rather than handwrite them this time simply because of time—I can type faster than I can write by hand. So that helps, a lot. But I’m also sharing my entries with my students. They have to keep a digital/online journal this semester, so I copy/paste each of my entries into the digital journals for each and every class. While copying and pasting is much quicker than re-typing my entries each time, it is still time-consuming to be sure that I get each entry posted and not miss a single class. (I’m sharing my entries with my students because I’m giving extra credit for anyone who chooses to participate in NaJoWriMo with me!)

Likes about NaJoWriMo for October 2015? Since I love journaling for any reason, I am just enjoying the whole process! As I said, while I don’t need topics to get me to write in my journal, it’s fun to have a focused theme to write about for 31 days. And writing about creativity and how I am a creative being whether I believe it or not is definitely a life-changer!

Dislikes about NaJoWriMo for October 2015? I didn’t like the entry on describing what I see wherever I happened to be while I was writing. Good grief. It didn’t matter which spot I would have been in, they all would have been long and complicated—as was the entry I finally wrote! I could have also described my office and that would have been challenging considering the number of pictures, posters, books, and other paraphernalia I have, especially the textbooks and assignments to grade! The only reasons I disliked that entry were: 1. I couldn’t decide whether to write about my home writing spot or my office at school where I do a lot of my work, too. And, 2. Whichever place I chose to write about was long, complicated, and quite involved!!!

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Participating in National Journal Writing Month

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When I first happened upon National Journal Writing Month (NaJoWriMo), I quickly learned that “NaJoWriMo will be held four times year: January, April, July, and October.” The first time I participated was in July of 2015 and I LOVED it. I’ve been journaling almost every day for several years, and I typically don’t need a topic when it comes to journaling. It is very rare that I don’t already have something I want to write about! 🙂 But Bakari Chavanu created topics that I thoroughly enjoyed writing about. I especially loved that he had a theme for the whole month for the journal topics. I had a wonderful time in July participating and I couldn’t wait until October so I could participate again!

We’re now in the 10th day of NaJoWriMo for October 2015 and I am enjoying this month as much as I did July’s. I was able to talk a few friends to participate with me. I’m not sure how they’re doing; they’re not all sharing their journal entries with me at this point, but that’s fine. Not everyone is willing (or able) to share their journal entries. I have come to a place where there are very few things I’m not willing to share with the world, so I willingly share most of my entries with these friends. Bakari is writing a book about doing NaJoWriMo, so there is a link in his website for NaJoWriMo participants to share their daily entries. (Yes, I’ve shared most days of this month! I don’t even care if he uses my entries or not! I just don’t mind sharing.)

I am an avid journaler and I honestly do believe that EVERYONE should keep a journal. I’m not artistically inclined as far as drawing is concerned, so most of my journal entries don’t include any artwork–unless I download a picture from Google Images! LOL. My point is, though, that if writing is not your “thing,” find a way of journaling that is your “thing.” If you like to draw, draw in your journal. If you write music, use your journal as a means of song-writing. Poetry. Short stories. Recipes. Anything that you enjoy can become journaling for you. It doesn’t have to be just writing or even have any writing at all. The object of journaling is to CREATE–to take what’s inside of you and put it on the outside.

Journaling is incredibly person, so most of the time, we tend not to share too many journal entries with others unless we feel that we are able and willing to put ourselves out for the world to see. I read once that sharing something we’ve written (or done creatively) is the same as standing naked in public, so we should only share journal entries that we are comfortable sharing. It’s honestly one of the reasons why I like Bakari’s writing themes for NaJoWriMo: I tend to be more apt to share what I’ve written when it’s based on an outside topic.

So whether you choose to participate in NaJoWriMo in January, April, July, and/or October, I hope you will begin to keep a journal….feel free to share you thoughts with me!

RobinWilliams

NaJoWriMo–July 2015

I had no idea that National Journal Writing Month (NaJoWriMo) was a thing.  Then one day, out of the blue, it showed up in my newsfeed on Facebook.  I have no idea how or why because none of my friends posted it, but it was there.  Of course, anything to do with journaling, I’m all over it, so it was a no-brainer for me to participate in NaJoWriMo for July 2015.  I enjoyed it throughout the month!

I chose to write by hand this time.  I’ve been writing by hand for several months now and I just wanted to continue with that for a while longer.  I wrote in my cool purple journal with a purple pen every day of the month!

The them this year was one of “Journey” which I found fortuitous because just a few days prior to seeing the original Facebook post on NaJoWriMo, I had been writing about my Joy Journey!!!  The NaJoWriMo was a different journey, but the theme was the same, so I found it right up my alley!

The last entry for July is to write about my journey for the month of NaJoWriMo….

One thing I can say about my journey this month is that while I don’t normally like having prompts for my journal entries, I liked having them for NaJoWriMo.  I liked that there was a theme to the journal entries rather than just being random journal topics to write about.  Some journal entries went for several pages while others barely made it to half a page in length.  Some journal entries this month were easy and didn’t make much of a difference in my psyche to write while others delved deep into my psyche and made me dig deeper into the original topic.  (Those were my favorite, btw.)

I’m not going to share any of my entries for the month because all of them were quite personal.  I will ask if you aren’t journaling yourself, Why aren’t you????

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