Hello Darlings,

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I’m back!!

Well sort of.  In my last post I marked a milestone with my two year anniversary.  At that time I was feeling stuck and uninspired so I decided to take a bit of a hiatus from blogging.  I must say that I missed it.   The entire time away I thought about blogging, writing and life.  Why was I in such a rut and how do I get inspired again and move forward?

I thought about redesigning my blog and tweaked my header a bit, just in case anybody hasn’t noticed.  Even thought about switching to self hosted and all that.

However all of my thoughts and have to be contained…I need to prioritize.

First things first… I have to start writing again.

Get back to my blogging.  I honestly missed it alot.   Making time to get my posts together.  At one point I was scheduling posts and had a basic editiorial calendar but I stopped.  Guess I got lazy.  Blogging can be time consuming and feel like a second job especially if you aren’t enjoying yourself.

Get back to writing…During my time away from blogging  I wrote a few short stories and shared them with a friend.  I got some positive feedback about them and that gave me a little motivation.  I haven’t shared my writing with many people in my daily life.  Sort of afraid to.  Maybe I need to get over that fear and put more of my work out.  Can’t keep hoarding it all to myself.

Sharing it online is different in a way because most people reading my blog don’t know me personally and won’t give me a side look when they see me on the street after reading my writing.  Maybe the evil bitch in the story was them? or the bad boyfriend?

Working on my Internets life…aka My Blog

I feel like my blog is limited therefore limiting me (don’t know if that makes any sense).  If you have read any of my earlier posts, you’ll see that they are all centered around my writing.  I think I mentioned True Blood and Pinterest somewhere in there.  But my content was about writing: what I’ve learned in the process of writing my own novel.

Blogging itself is another outlet for me to express myself.  I want it to be fun and inspiring.  When I put out a post that I enjoyed putting together it is satisfying and I am happy to go back and read it again myself.  There are some posts that I kinda cringe when I read again.  That has to change.

My picture taking skills haven’t improved much so don’t expect too many professional looking pics.  I’ve used Canva and Picmonkey to make a few graphics and will continue with those sites.

In addition to working on posts that I enjoy… I have toyed with the idea of changing the name of my blog and matching it with my address.  I’ve read articles on coming up with names for blogs.  This article from Hatch & Scribe was most helpful.  You should have seen the jumble of words and ideas I came up with for a new name.

I’ve narrowed down my long ass list to two names:

  1. A Novel Soul: This one has sort of a double meaning.  First that I am at a point in my life where I am embracing me for all that I am.  I am going to do my best (not making any grand promises here) to be more open with my writing and stop being afraid.  Starting new and fresh. This is why my blog was called The Next Chapter in the first place.  I was starting a new journey.  Also because I write novels (& short stories).
  2. August Empress: This name to me is just fun.  I was born in August.  August 18th to be exact.  So my birthday was just a few days ago.  I still won’t tell you how old I am.  And when I had locs all the guys used to call me Empress (haha & no I’m not vain).  Since I got rid of the locs, the name disappeared but doesn’t matter…I am an Empress in my own eyes.

The other names were just silly or too specific, which could be a bad thing because people might see the name and say oh this blog is about so and so and come read and see it ain’t about that at all.

So if you see anything changing around here just know that I’m not going crazy.

Which name do you think I should go with? Any suggestions for staying inspired?  Would love to hear from you.

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Two Year Anniversary

Today is the two year anniversary of me being a blogger.  YAY!!

Two years ago on July 14th I started my first blog  and since then I’ve learned a hell of alot about not only blogging but about myself.

One thing that has remained consistent is that I love to learn new things whethere it be design, DIY, hair or with my writing, I enjoy the wealth of information that I have come across while blogging.  The different blogs I’ve found and started following are wonderful and I love just about every post I read from them.  I don’t comment alot but most times I do like a post I find especially informative or fun and more often than not I find myself going back to read them.

However, in this time I’ve hit some blocks both in writing and blogging.  My writing is still coming along.  I’ve been doing alot of editing and re-working of my first novel.  There are days when I just don’t feel like it but I push through and keep working.

The same goes for my blog.  There are days when I have a ton of ideas of posts to write but then there are times when I really don’t want to write anything at all.  I feel like I’m in a rut with my blogging.  My focus is all over the place and sometimes I find myself thinking all those ideas I had just seem stupid.

So on my two year blogging anniversary I’m going to take a step back from blogging; to refocus, to reinvigorate myself.  I have been considering relaunching my blog.  I really enjoy blogging and don’t want to give it up so for the next few weeks I’ll be doing some soul searching and writing to get my head straight.

Wish me luck.

 

My 52 Day Savings Challenge

Untitled design (3)A little while before going MIA I posted the good news that a relative of mine was getting married. The wedding is happening in Jamaica at a really nice all inclusive hotel.  However, I also stated that it was all a bit pricey and I embarked on my condensed 52 week money challenge.

I turned it into my 52 day challenge.  It was a little ambitious of me to do so but I have been making every effort to save every thing I can.

I probably won’t be going to Jamaica anymore since I got accepted to Grad School and my focus has shifted to making that happen.  But that hasn’t stopped me from saving every dollar and spare coin I come across.

As of this post I have saved $545.   It’s pretty good progress I think.

Bucket List?

In case you missed a few of my posts the past few weeks, I’ve been reminiscing alot. Going through old pics and thinking about what I’ve done so far in my life and what I have yet to do.  There are alot of things I would love to see and do before I get too old to do them.   So to that end I sat down and wrote a bucket list. Sort of.

I really don’t want to call it a bucket list.  It sounds too melancholy.   I think it will be my Awesome List or maybe my Great Expectations list.  But then most, if not all, of these can be accomplished in a few years if I plan properly.  So how about “My Before 40 List”.  I’m still working on the name and I won’t say how long I have before that age.

Anyway this is a list of things I would love to accomplish in the next few years before I hit the big 40…

TRAVEL

  • Travel across Europe
  • Visit China
  • Roadtrip across the USA
  • Travel across Canada

LIFE

  • Learn to swim
  • Conquer my fear of heights and go zip-lining
  • Get a tattoo with my son’s name and birthdate
  • Buy a car
  • Build a house
  • Learn a new language

EVENTS

  • Attend a blog conference
  • Do Blogcademy
  • Attend Writers Digest Annual Writing Conference
  • Attend New York City Wine & Food Festival
  • Attend a natural hair conference/meet-up

WRITING (this should have been first but saved the best for last)

  • Write & publish at least 3 novels
  • Get my own website

 

If you have any suggestions for anything on my list please let me know.

 

 

A little pep talk…

Some writing quotes to get me (and you) to keep on writing.

Thought this one was funny since there are so many books dedicated to “how to write a great novel”.

Some days I have to do this.

Some rules to follow if you really need it…

And always remember…

Learning a lesson

 

I subscribed to the Writer’s Digest magazine on my Kindle and got the newest issue today.  There was a good article on creating conflict for the characters in your book.  I’m not going to list all the points made but here are the two that stood out to me:

1. Give your character dueling desires.  This is basically what works well in romance novels, at least to me, where the main character wants love but to find and keep that love they will untimately have to go against some committment that they previously made.

2. Put your character’s convictions to the test.  The MC believes strongly in something but to make the story work you will have to force the boundaries of those beliefs.

I’m working on the outline for a new project and the articles in the magazine have helped me think alot about going deeper into the story and not picking up just the superficial drama and possible conflict.

What lessons have you learned in your attempts to improve your work?