Archive | October 7, 2015

Wednesday Challenge Checkup

PROGRESS

Today is the seven day mark in the Write 31 Days writing challenge.  I thought I’d report on how it’s been going for me so far.  I am pleased to say that I have made it through one full week of blog posting, a first! This is a feat in itself, and I am grateful for the few new things I’ve learned about blogging (how to do a new page, which is different from a post, and how and why to do a landing page).  The time it takes to work the electrical end of the internet has me wondering about blogging, though.  So many uploads, so much time. Editing can be a nightmare, and photo sharing is also something I need more practice with, obviously. Everyone says to compose outside of the blog and copy/paste, but I like writing here, because it helps me stay in my blog-voice.  I think I’ve found my blog-voice!?!

With just one week in the trench, I’ve gotten more comfortable with sharing and have received some new feedback and I think maybe one more subscriber and a few twitter followers, which is all helpful in its way. I shared my landing page on Facebook for a few hours, then chickened out and removed it.  Why do I still feel that publicizing my blog is imposing on people?  Why do I hear in my head their gossip more than their praise?  I really don’t like such distractions to my writing, so I’ve decided for the time being not to worry so much about the sharing, and just to continue to focus on the writing.  I hope someone is reading this thing, but it really isn’t essential at the moment…

My own private writing has not caught up to the progress my blog posting has, and that is definitely something I want to improve.  So much so, that I am thinking about following up this challenge with my own 31 Days of Writing Privately!  Skip the blogging altogether, unless I am so moved.   I do love blogging, but I want to return to my poetry writing and my novel/book writing (I think I’ve decided to scrap the memoir at this time).  Writing is hard work.  Blogging is a little more forgiving, at least at this stage…

This Write 31 Days challenge has certainly had its share of surprises.  The first five days were the bomb in terms of good energy and success.  I had a journal contact me requesting I submit to it, an entertainment writer quote me in an online piece, and a meeting scheduled with a credible source on a line on a possible publisher for the future. It might not sound like much, but all had me doing the happy writer dance.   In addition, the few comments I have received have been positive and encouraging.  My husband and daughter have taken even more active roles in supporting my writing…so, all in all, it’s been a really healthy experience…

Did I mention that my daughter caught one of my grammatical errors, questioned it, and she was RIGHT? She was reluctant to tell me, but honestly, could I ever be prouder of that girl?  My husband even caught me writing “somedays” when I meant “some days,” and I thought I was going to marry him all over again! I like when people correct me, if I am wrong.  My brain just doesn’t see how it used to, and I make errors I am not accustomed to making.  About the only thing that is exactly the same in my writing as it was pre-injury is that my mind is ahead of my typing.  I’m so glad I still at least have thoughts I want to convey…if even they come out a bit mooshier than they once did.  See, I have never used the word “mooshier” in my life.  I know, because I mean MUSHY (er)!  Oh, the brain…

These last two days have not been so great.  I’ve been marginally disappointed by the lack of feedback on my posts, but I realize people are still reading and that that is what matters (MR, if you’re reading this, I’m missing you!).  Of course, there is so much on the internet; I’m not sure how anyone stays in any place long (as I myself sit with five windows open above my screen).  There really is an amazing amount of text flying around the internet.  What a great time to be alive.  Especially for a writer…

Somehow through this challenge I have gotten myself aligned with a christian group, which ends up meaning I have seen some hypocrisy–just a wee bit, fortunately–but that is never a pleasant experience.  I still think it’s fine because it introduces me to an audience I’ve lost touch with, and some of the women have been refreshingly supportive (not the hypocritical ones, obviously).  I also find this mildly intriguing as I lean toward rejuvenating my spiritual center within, which was all but lost to my injury…

What’s really surprised me is the number of people in the challenge wanting to post something, anything, no matter how short, just to fulfill the daily requirement.  These are the people always looking for a shortcut. They ask about posting things they’ve already written, about having guest bloggers or just doing giveaways–basically, filling the space of the day.  I suppose it is fine to use the challenge however one wishes, but…excuse me, um…I thought this challenge was supposed to be about writing?  I realize my blog isn’t like those with a few quick bullet points, but I’m not really after that sort or readership, at least not at this time…

I hope to secure readers from the actual reading public.  Someone looking for some inspiration or some ideas to consider, perhaps.  People who like to engage in meaningful conversations, maybe.  Plus, I consider myself a writer, working on my writing skills–not on my design or layout skills.  I do admit, I like design, but prose is what I am ultimately after.  My daughter says my posts are so long that most people who aren’t readers leave right away anyway; “It’s too much, ” she says.  I have to laugh, but I know she is right.  Still I tell her, “I am writing to write, and you can’t do that by not writing!” I do, however, apologize to Stumbler readers impatient with my long(ish) posts.  I’m hoping readers know my back story and why I’m blogging, that this is cognitive therapy for me (for recovery from acquired traumatic brain injury), and that getting where we want to be isn’t always pretty.  We all need to know that, don’t we?  To newcomers, well, I guess many just click away or never return…

Speaking of head injury and breaking free, let’s talk about that really big “f” word:  FATIGUE.  A powerful word, I now know.  Unfortunately, a condition shared by so many…

Writing every day has caused me more fatigue than I hoped it would.  Of course, there was a time in my recovery when one sentence was too much, when I couldn’t even read, let alone write…but I didn’t expect this 31 day challenge to be as hard on me physically as it has.  I have had head pain every day.  Not unbearable, but worse than before I was doing this challenge.  I also missed my daily walks the first three days, and that wasn’t good, even though that doesn’t necessarily help my head pain and I walk slowly–it’s still good for me in many ways.  Fortunately, my sleep hasn’t been too disturbed by the writing, though I have recently returned to my CPAP, which always seems to help (but is embarrassing)…

The worst thing that’s happened during this writing challenge is that yesterday, on day 6, just as we were completing our daily walk, I FELL.  Unfortunately, I fell on concrete.  I thought I could catch myself, as my legs have grown stronger from the walking, but despite my nearly doing so, I ended up flat on my face–crushing my nose that had been surgically widened to help my breathing, smashing my teeth that I am in endless pursuit of trying to have repaired (from the first, most intense blow of which this writing is about), and sadly, even though I tried so hard not to let it thump–my head.  I have lost count of the falls and the head thumps, but at the time of this fall, I was still nursing my second broken toe of the year.  As my father says, I “cannot catch a break,” but he means for healing, not bones.  Broken bones, I do catch…

The silver lining, if there is one, is that I was near my home when it happened, and my husband was with me this time.  I was able to make it inside okay.  I thought I may have broken my nose (again–this would have been the fourth time, shriek!) but fortunately that does not appear to be the case now.  We iced me up from head to toe…

I did a supreme job of jarring everything, including my shoulder, wrist, neck, back, knee and ankle.  But it took my mind off the broken toe…and I’m pretty sure that I am going to be fine.  Of course, it could have been worse!  The worst part of this fall was the shock and the fear it created.  It took me several hours just to feel calm (can you say anxiety?).  I have to work on myself not to feel jinxed or cursed.  The spills have a way of adding up…

I would have to mash my face again!  I wonder if people have any idea when they look at me what my poor face has been through?  Yet, a face can be seen, a brain cannot.  There are the visible wounds, the not so visible, and the invisible ones, aren’t there?

Forgive me my self-compassion.  I do love my brain!  You should love yours, too.  Phenomenal organ.  The finest.

So, here’s how I’m feeling on this seventh day, ending week one:

a poem for mornings BLOG

Ugh, thank the beverage gods for coffee, real or metaphoric…

Soldiering on…writing on…because, really, we never know what tomorrow will bring.

Love!

This is Day 7 in the 31 Day Writing Challenge, 31 Days of Breaking Free from Fatigue

 #write31days

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