I like to sip hot chocolate and munch biscotti while I write.

No, really, I do.

In October, I took a week-long writing challenge through Three Gems Publishing, headed by Esther Goldenberg.

In the first day, she had us choose a “treat” to associate with writing – something we only had when we were sitting down to work. I chose hot chocolate for that week, and then I thought, “How about pairing it with biscotti?” So I did once.

The point was to establish habits that would get us all writing on a regular basis. Esther was a wonderful source of support via her Facebook group for writers, Wisdom.Power.Connection. At first, I was disappointed that I couldn’t write every day (young children who constantly want to sit in my lap, between me and my work), but Esther was more than gracious in her suggestions for how to set expectations that were realistic for me and for working around my limitations for time.

The challenge was really helpful. It got me going on my novel, Chameleon, which was just sitting around gathering dust before this challenge got rolling. In November, as NaNoWriMo rolled around, I was ready to get moving more seriously, but for those of us who were still not quite up to the challenge of doing NaNo around all the other life stuff going on (for me that means: kids, 😉 ), she had a slightly different, creative take on NaNo.

The group is a welcoming space and a great community. I’m not as active in there as I used to be, since I’ve been busy looking for paying gigs and writing more consistently (thanks to the challenge I took with Esther just a few months ago). The challenge itself helped me establish good writing habits and start making goals to work towards with my work. It also helped me start prioritizing my writing and making a more concerted effort to grow as a writer.

I highly recommend the group for anyone who’s looking for a writing community. It’s a great place to connect with others and to seek or give advice about writing, in general.

As for what I’m doing with my writing:
I’ve been busy doing A LOT of pitching. A LOT. Basically, I’ve been shopping around some essays to lots of new publications and finding new publications to read, and that’s been taking up the bulk of my writing time. I only write for about an hour or two a day (if that), and most of that time is taken up with pitching an essay or three I still haven’t placed anywhere.

It can get tiring, but I think I’m really at home in this world, which basically consists of me writing to people, reading things, and networking from the comfort of my own house where I don’t even have to brush my hair. Incidentally, that’s what I used to do when I was a teenager, only I did a lot of music-finding, also.

In those days, I was made fun of by my sisters and told I was antisocial for not having a life outside the house, so who knew it would actually be a potential career later?! 😉

I hope everyone’s having a good start to this new year. I’m trying really hard to avoid social issues or politics here, and focusing on essays/fiction for this blog, leaving the “serious stuff” to my other spot on the web.

 

Bye for now!

-Juana

 

Thanks to Art String for the featured image.

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