IWSG May

Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!
Posting: The first Wednesday of every month is officially Insecure Writer’s Support Group day. Post your thoughts on your own blog. Talk about your doubts and the fears you have conquered. Discuss your struggles and triumphs. Offer a word of encouragement for others who are struggling. Visit others in the group and connect with your fellow writer – aim for a dozen new people each time – and return comments. This group is all about connecting!

May 6 question –

Do you have any rituals that you use when you need help getting into the ZONE? 

As a writer, I like rhythm and routine. I start the day with my coffee and my writing. It is always the first thing I do in the morning. Some days are better than others, but the writing always gets done. The words have to get on the page.

I most often start with a prompt but free-writing allows whatever is on my mind to get into the notebook. Sometimes it is reflection, but many times it is fiction. Yesterday when I woke I wrote a story based on the dream I had just came from. I often am in the middle of a challenge. This month I am participating in Storyaday where I write a complete story every day. It does not have to be good or long, just finished. There is power in the act of finishing and learning from that process.

During the day I listen to podcasts and read. I have to make sure there is input. I have had to change some of the venues because of the sheltering in place. I have found I miss the overheard conversations from life before COVID. I take advantage of the writing communities I belong to and have conversations with other writers.

If I am having trouble with ideas and flow, I will switch from handwriting to typing or vise versa. If I am thinking out a story then handwriting often works best. It is slower and my thoughts can trickle out with the pen drawing the letters. If the idea is hot then typing is faster and the ideas do not get tripped up before I can get the scene out.

Walking or running is also another solution to being stuck.

Since I have a list of actions that work for me, I choose the one that seems to solve the problem at hand.

What works for you?

MayDay

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May 1st. Here we are. The sun is shining and I hear lawnmowers .

May is the month I usually give my students the writing prompt: One day MAYbe I will….

I still will give it but it will be digital rather than in person. The prospect makes me a little sad honestly.

I am missing the library during this sheltering in place time. It does not look like there will be a lift anytime soon.

Today begins Storyaday May. I received the first prompt and wrote. You can check it out here:

I also had my Keep Writing prompt and the Sarah Selecky daily prompt. I combined all three to be honest.

Five Minute Friday is today and I wrote about distraction.

A great podcast to listen to is the Storyaday with Windy Lynn Harris. It is all about flash fiction.

I wrote in my writing process journal today and did my tarot card study.

I made my goals for the month and the day.

What are you up to this first of the month?

3-2-1 Creative Sparks

Here is some Wednesday Inspiration

3 Challenges

STORYADAY MAY

Starts May 1st! Sign up for free prompts sent to your email every day at Storyaday.org. The Superstars community is one I am active in and enjoy especially during the month of May. There are several new members this year and the conversation has already taken off in the Slack channel.

You can go to the website and post under the daily prompt and find community there if you are looking for some fellow short story writers.

My goal will be to write 30 short stories over the course of the month. I give myself one day to not write a story from start to finish.

#the100dayproject

This challenge began April 7th. This challenge involves making a piece of art every day for 100 days. Follow the hashtag #the100dayproject on Instagram to see all kinds of projects. My project is to write #100randomsentences that I will meld together and make a short story connecting them all at the end.

Bradbury Trio

In order to keep myself inspired I am loosely following the idea from Ray Bradbury to read a poem, a short story, and an essay every day.

2 Podcasts

The Bradbury Challenge hosted by Literary Roadhouse

On a whim, I search “writing short stories” and this podcast popped up. There are not many short story specific podcasts. There are three writers that are writing a story a week for a year with the idea that you cannot write 52 bad stories in a row.

Keeping a Notebook by Nina Lacour

I love this podcast. Nina gives writing ideas and her voice is lovely to listen to. She runs the Slow Novel lab as well. She does the podcast in spurts when it moves her and fits into her schedule. It is honest and inspiring.

1 Subscription

I just renewed my Sarah Selecky daily prompts. I use these every morning in my notebook and hand write for at least 10 minutes. Some of the prompts are situational, some require description of a character or a different perspective of situation.

Bonus

Another set of prompts I have been using are the Keep Writing flash fiction prompts from https://deadlinesforwriters.com/. This is the same site that does the 12 Short Stories prompts and 12 Poems prompts. It is a closed community where you post your stories and can receive feedback in exchange for you reading other’s writing. The flash prompts are usually one word and a word count. In this Shelter in Place moment they work for me somehow.

Llamas on Slack #SOL20

Tuesday is one of my favorite days. It is grounding for me. and helps me find my place in the week. I dubbed it Llama Tuesday awhile ago and it stuck especially in my Storyaday community.

I am part of a writing community called Superstars facilitated by Julie Duffy of Storyaday.org. She hosts a challenge every May and September where writers come together to write a story a day for the month. Julie posts daily prompts to get you thinking. You can sign up at the website.

This May is the 10th anniversary. Our Superstars group has a Slack community that I adore. It is a private paid community that has topics contained within channels. You can share with the group or individuals. We have different channels for writing, sprints, random, submissions, etc.

If I want to talk writing I can go there and strike up a conversation. I can check in with a writer that I want to talk to or check on their project. If I want to pose a question I can do that. I can share what I am reading and what I think about it or how it is influencing my writing.

The other day I asked everyone what notebook everyone was currently writing in. The pictures started rolling in and was delightful. For those of us who love office supplies pictures of notebooks make my heart beat a little faster!

Back to the llamas – I post a picture of a llama every Tuesday morning in the #random channel and wish everyone a Happy Llama Tuesday which I did this morning.

Slack is my connection to my people.

My other community is the Creative Life Scholars. This group began as a book club. A book club of action that turned into a mastermind. There are all types of creatives in this group. It has a different flavor than the Superstars. I can ask questions or complain or ask for advice in this group too. It trust these women.

Both groups also have regular Zoom meetings – this was a practice before the shelter in place orders. I know these people – I really know them. They know me. In my life I will be the first to admit I wear a lot of masks. There are roles in my life where I must portray a certain list of characteristics. I am allowed to be myself in these groups.

There is one group of writers I WISH had a Slack group but the leader doesn’t love it as much as I do (Yes, Nicole this is about you!) This last group is more recent but has had such a wonderful impact on my writing life. There is a bit of overlap with the CLS group here so there are a couple people I can interact with in Slack.

Slack keeps me connected to the people I feel my most true self around and I am grateful I can be tied to them when we stretch all over the country. I know when I need help or a creative kick in the pants I can reach out. They are true friends and I am grateful.

Writing and Community Resource Share

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I love writing prompts. In my inbox is a daily prompt from my writing teacher Sarah Selecky. I write morning pages every day mostly according to Julia Cameron’s rules. I use tarot cards for the art for inspiration for writing as well. Last night, I even taught a class about writing and included prompts for students and for adults.

During this time there are so many of my favorite writing teachers providing free communities or classes or prompts. Here are a few of my favorites:

Caroline Donahue does an Instagram live every weekday.

Curtis Brown Creative – The Weekly Writing Workout

Sarah Selecky Writing Through Uncertainty community and daily free write

Mia at 12 Short Stories is hosting the Keep Writing challenge (a daily flash writing prompt) and is hosting a Free Writing Course.

Nancy Stohlman and Kathy Fish are hosting an Unexpected Sabbatical and providing a prompt every day. Many of from their coveted classes and are always a great writing springboard for me.

I love Paulette’s daily newsletter. There is always a little snippet about writing and then a one word writing prompt or the day.

Storyaday has prompts every Wednesday.

I am always inspired by the blog structures and formats from people in the Two Writing Teacher community as well!

Happy writing today – there is tons to chose from!

What will you write today?

If you have a favorite I haven’t listed – please let me know.

Weekend Coffee Share

A Cup of Coffee and a Conversation

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Welcome back to Sunday! A lot has transpired this week!

If we were having coffee I would tell you I am off school for now for 3 weeks. We will see if it is extended after that time. There is much speculation. I am taking the time as a gift and time to relax and take care of myself and my family.

If we were having coffee I would tell you I read more this week. I need to read more now. It is how I cope with stress and also fuels my writing. I read the newest Paris Review yesterday notably a story by Jesse Ball about turning into a mouse. I read several poems too. I have been able to put holds and pick up books I have heard about on my favorite podcasts. One book I picked up is Meander, Spiral, Explode recommended by Kathy Fish during a writing class last year. It is a dense book but smart.

Do you need a refill? Maybe some water? What books are you reading? Do you turn to reading when you are stressed? I am curious.

Please read the rest of this post here:https://medium.com/the-partnered-pen/weekend-coffee-share-b3508bfd5ca0

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https://mailchi.mp/5b56d4ab80fb/lifelonglearning

Weekend Coffee Share

Join me for coffee and conversation!

It is Sunday again and the temps are a little cooler here. There is supposed to be a heat wave this week here in the Midwest later this week. I hope it stays away.

If we were having coffee I would tell you this weekend is the anniversary of me moving into the house I am living in now. It is not my forever home and I feel it. The birds do great us every morning as do the bunnies and the baby squirrels. There is lots of green which I adore.

If we were having coffee I would tell you it was a productive and busy week at work. Lots of conversation and planning which was positive.

If we were having coffee I would tell you I am in week 5 of the Artist’s Way program. I am doing my morning pages every day which are three handwritten pages of whatever comes to mind. It clears the way for the creative juice to flow. On Thursday night the ideas kept coming for articles and stories and I really wish I could have taken a writing day ALL DAY Friday to massage and nurture those words into pieces but alas the day job and other responsibilities called.

If we were having coffee I would tell you Storyaday is going strong. I have been writing to the prompts everyday and it has been going well. I enjoy the challenge and use it to try different techniques to foster my writing skills. I tried a new genre this week — cyberpunk. It was out of my comfort zone but a fun experiment. I wrote a 100ish word story and still do not like them! hahaha I have met some new writers through the group as well and that has been interesting. The Zoom call was Tuesday night. We did a lot of writing sprints — where we set the time and write all together — but there was some talking. I write in the morning on my own so I show up more for the conversation then the word count. It does get me some extra words. This week I worked on nonfiction during the call.

You can read the whole post here.

Weekend Coffee Share

It has been a fast week! I almost forgot it was Sunday time rolling back around. I think today I will have caramel syrup in my cup. I feel like having some sweet. What would you like to drink today?

If we were having coffee, I would tell you this week was full of meetings at work. There were after school meetings and lots of conversations with teachers about planning and ILearn our state mandated test. I did a lot of running around between the 3 buildings I go between as well.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you I am excited Storyaday is starting next weekend. I do this challenge twice a year. In May and September I write a story a day. My online writing group came out of this challenge and I speak with at least one of the Superstars daily.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you I took a writing class for 2 days. It pushed me out of my comfort zone a little. I had a hard time with the prompts which surprised me. They should have been within my wheelhouse. The prompts came later in the day and I was forced to write later in the evening after thinking about the prompt which is not my ideal time. I do have two new prompts to work with moving forward though. I will for sure use them again. It was fun to play. I did get two drafts done plus a third partial because of the class.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you the idea of making space has been on my mind. There is space for community and interaction. I am the type of person who is quite solitary but I can build up ideas to a point where I want to share. Most of the time this is through writing, but sometimes I need people. I need to carve out space for things that energize me which I have not done well with since school started back.

Making space for writing, reading, and exercise is important as well. Honestly, sometimes just taking a moment of stillness too. I have so many priorities!

I am part of several communities but the interaction is not always at the level I crave at the moment. The 2 day class didn’t allow for the type of interaction among writers as a longer one allows so connections were not really formed sadly. I still haven’t quite figured out how to do that either which is part of the problem. Medium is a community as well and I interact with other writers through their pieces. I have my AW group also.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you I got into a flash fiction class for the end of September which I am excited about.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you I picked up some great books at the library this week including The Little Swedish Kitchen! If anything it will inspire a story. I also picked up There, There have you read it? I keep hearing wondering comments about it.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you …this is your prompt! Finish the sentence for me. What have you been thinking about?

You can read the entire post here.

#WeekendCoffeeShare #Sunday June 9

I am so glad you are joining me for coffee today! This post is inspired by Eclectic Alli. My summer has officially started and I am feeling amazing! Let’s take our coffee and go for a little walk and then we can sit under the trees as the time stretches on.

You can read the rest of the post here. Please clap and comments if you enjoy what you read!

What will you tell me as we are having coffee?

#WeekendCoffeeShare #Sunday June 2

I am so glad you are joining me for coffee today! Today feels special today because it is my second day of summer vacation. This does not mean that I am out of work completely. There are some workshops and training I will be going to but I do not have to drive into work every day. To be home is glorious. I appreciate this schedule change. It usually takes me a week to recalibrate myself but I do not think I will have that issue this year.

You can read the rest of the post here.

Please clap and comments if you enjoy what you read!

Happy Sunday! If you would like to support me additionally you are welcome to buy me a cup of coffee: http://ko-fi.com/tammybreitweiser

What will you tell me while we have coffee?