Finding my Writing Voice in 2014, One Word at a Time
I’m a writer, have been for longer than I can remember loving to write.
But it seems like the more I wanted to write, talked about writing, pushed to write … I lost it. That spark. The enjoyment of writing. So I have joined a few challenges to help make writing a habit, blogging a consistent effort, and playing with words fun and purposeful.
You Don’t Have to be a Writer to Write
Not every special needs parent is a writer – I totally understand that – but there are reasons that writing and even blogging could be helpful. Journaling, for example, is an excellent way to understand how you feel about this emotional journey we’re on. Sometimes looking at your emotions on the page (or screen) is a way to face the stress, the crazy and insane levels of stress, that we face daily as special needs parents.
For me, writing used to be an outlet but recently became almost too hard … as crazy as that may seem. If you look back you will see I’ve written very little over the past year. I’d like to change that this year.
To that end I’ve joined three very different challenges, each for a different purpose. I’d love for you to join me in one or all of them!
My 500 Words
My 500 words challenge is being headed up by writer Jeff Goins as a way to help writers, well, write. I love the challenge because you don’t have to post anything, you can write for yourself, for that book you want to someday publish, or for your blog. And while the challenge is for writers, I think this one is a perfect one for special needs parents to join as well.
The goal is literally just to write 500 words a day. Carve out the minutes and just write. It doesn’t have to be pretty. It doesn’t have to flow. Doesn’t even have to be spelled correctly!
But it’s a way to find your voice again.
The fact is we are all losing our voice. We carry on in the trenches every day doing what we do best – taking care of our amazing families – and in the process we lose bits and pieces of ourselves. Journaling, which is what I would term writing for yourself, is a way to release that stress, to deal with it, to heal from it, to accept it even.
What about you?
Do you have a secret love of history? Art? Photography? Maybe your journal can include writing about and including snapshots or links to pieces that move you, inspire you. The point is, it’s a way to get in touch with yourself, to use your voice. You don’t have to worry about what anyone else thinks about it – it can be just for you. (mine!!!!)
The 500 Words challenge is all for me – while you will see the evidence from my postings, my only true goal is to get back in the habit of writing, and loving writing, for myself. To find out more information and sign up for the 500 Words challenge, click through to Jeff’s post.
Next up – the Ultimate Blog Challenge
The Ultimate Blog Challenge, begun by Michelle Shaeffer and now run by her and Michele Scism, is literally a 31-day blogging marathon. By joining you will get daily post ideas, encouragement, and a ton of ideas for different types of posts you can do at your own blog.
The goal is, of course, to end the month with 31 blog posts. I’ve seen participants join for each of their blogs, and I’ve sadly never completed the challenge (I’m horrible, I know!) … but this is my year – I just know I will get to 31 posts between my posts here at the Cafe and at my new Kat’s Media blog.
If you are new to blogging, the challenge can help you jumpstart your blog, and if you are a seasoned pro this will teach you at least a few new tricks.
Me? I’m neither new to blogging or a pro – I am here for the consistency. I want to end the month with 31 posts (at least!) Sound interesting to you? You can join me at the Ultimate Blog Challenge site!
It All Comes Down to ONE Word
I came up with a theme last year and I felt like it helped me remember what it’s all about. Last year my “theme” was “Keep Moving Forward” … it’s a Disney quote I shared in a ton of different ways throughout the year, but the sentiment was what I needed to make through rough spots and rock the triumphs … moving forward no matter what we find in our path.
We do it every day.
But if we do it with purpose … well, I think it helps to think of it that way.
But I stumbled upon this amazing idea (okay another writer posted about it and I had to be a copycat) … it’s called #OneWord and the whole purpose of your WORD is to help you focus on one way to move forward … and it sounded right up my alley! From their site:
Forget New Year’s Resolutions. Scrap that long list of goals you won’t remember three weeks from now anyway.
Choose just one word.
One word that sums up who you want to be or how you want to live. One word that you can focus on every day, all year long.
I’ve been playing around with the idea already, thinking I would renew my theme of the year. And it didn’t really take me that long to decide on the word that would work for me this year.
My word of the year. Because determination is what will help me keep moving forward when I want to give up, it’s what will keep me praying and hoping when I would rather cry, and it’s what will keep me up nights working to make my business grow.
I can’t wait to put that into perspective and to consciously live my life with that in my mind … and I’m sure I’ll write more about it … 2014 promises to be a year of change and craziness, as it always is in our family. But this year I’ll be meeting that insanity head-on with some determination.
How about you? Are you going to participate in any of the challenges I’ve mentioned? Have you picked out your own word? Are you doing something else entirely? I would LOVE to hear about it in the comments!