Tag Archives: Guest Post

Time to Get Lost

Group member Lisa is a colleague of mine in the MCC English Department and my office-mate on campus. In addition to being an excellent tea-drinking pal, Lisa co-advises the campus creative writing club with me, she is a fellow super-fan of The Walking Dead, and she’s a talented writer and has been published in The Florida Review, Black Warrior Review, and Mid-American Review.

When Lisa isn’t teaching, raising her three smart and gorgeous kids, or watching The Walking Dead, she’s finding “micro-moments” to write. Here’s how she does it.

This is a guest post from Lisa Crizer, a member of this summer’s Online Writing Group:

Lisa and Eli

I grew up in a loud family, to say the least. We discussed everything, and to the outsider I’m sure our conversations seemed like complete chaos. We watched a lot of TV, too. I’m completely comfortable with the dull background hum of daytime programming.

I like my surroundings loud and lively. I treasure the laughter and giggles that usually fill our rooms. I’m even learning to decipher the screams and squeals of the ever more frequent arguments between my girls. We are living life, with all of its sticky hands, mosquito bites, and nerve-sizzling mayhem.

Lately, however, days filled with hours of swimming and running around in the sun have led to late summer bedtimes. I love seeing my kids passed out in the corner of the couch, faces dirty from a day of fun. But, these later bedtimes have a sinister side effect — less time for me.

Our oldest daughter used to put herself to bed at 7:30. She still does. For years, my husband and I were spoiled with three hours each night all to ourselves. We were time-rich fools binge watching series on Netflix, having adult conversation, and doing crazy things like going to Target alone. Two children later and we are in a completely different boat; a completely different rickety old canoe in a deep, tumultuous ocean of constant companionship.

I never dreamt I’d seek out quiet; envy people dining alone at a restaurant, walking solo on the bike trail, or even just driving alone in their car listening to the radio. This summer has reminded me how important it is, as a writer, to have some solitude; time to think, make up scenarios, plan out conversations, flesh out characters.

So, what can I do? How can I rediscover this time and allow my mind to wander?

I wish I knew. I wish I had some great, disciplined plan where I would wake up every day a few hours before the kids and write. But, I don’t.

What I do have are “micro-moments”. Those precious instances where the TV is off, or the kids fall asleep in the car and I can finally turn off the Care Bears DVD. Or, the afternoon I’d been looking forward to for years, when I took my oldest to the bookstore and she read while I worked.

These “micro-moments” are hard to plan, and sometimes even hard to recognize. But right now they’re all I’ve got and I’m working hard not to waste them scrolling through my Facebook feed. If I can learn to appreciate these bits of calm, and string together all of these tiny specks of quiet time, I might just be able to get lost again once in a while.

We can all find these moments — we just have to look for them. Thanks, Lisa, for the reminder!

One Writer’s Process

When I was recruiting members for the Lake Projects Online Writing Group, I asked for volunteers to contribute guest posts for the blog. The posts could include details about the writer’s eight-week project, their writing process, or something else.

The first guest post was by Matthew Wasik, and it explained, in excellent detail, how to combat writer’s block. This post, by Anuar Escutia Ponce de León, discusses one writer’s process for putting together his motivational book, Looking for Stars in the Middle of the Darkness. Enjoy Anuar’s post!

This is a guest post from Anuar Escutia Ponce de León, a member of this summer’s Online Writing Group:

So far my writing progress has been going great. I have six chapters and the prologue of my book done. These chapters are some of the previous blogs I have posted on my blog, Wheelchairs Rock. I pretty just copy and paste them into my book. It was simple, but I did have to edit the posts into a book version.

My book idea is to share those moments full of tears and full of brightness that have taught me something valuable. I figure that readers could possible learn something valuable from the things that I’ve experienced in my life. Everyone has their own situation in life and each of us learn different important lessons. So I believe it’s always good to make the best out the lessons life gives us by sharing those lessons with others.

I have many posts written that I haven’t had the chance to put on my blog yet. So I’m going to add those posts to my book throughout these next weeks. Sometimes I feel like I have enough material to publish this book, but I believe I still have many more lessons to obtain. Those lessons could perhaps be very useful for this book.

Feel free to check out my blog and give me some feedback. It’s highly appreciated since my blogs will be chapters of my book in the future.

Thanks for post, Anuar! Writing a blog is a great way to test material, gain readers, and build a buzz about your story and your book. Good luck! (check out more from Anuar on his blog, Wheelchairs Rock)

Getting Rid of Writer’s Block

This is a guest post from Matthew Wasik, a member of this summer’s Online Writing Group:

Is writer’s block getting you down? Tired of staring at the screen, hoping Gunshija, Goddess of writers, will send you divine inspiration? Well, look no further! I, Matthew Wasik, am going to enlighten you on how I smash through writer’s block like the Hulk smashes through walls!

THE STEPS:

1:   Obtain the following items: a matchbox, the biggest bottle of gin you can find, and a picture of renowned pop star Taylor Swift. Set them on the table and croon softly to them.

2:   Light a match, stare at it until it burns down, and consider all the terrible choices you’ve made in life. Rinse and repeat until the matchbox is empty. Eat the empty matchbox.

3:   Smash the photograph while screaming “WHY DID YOU BETRAY ME, TAYLOR!? WHY?! I THOUGHT YOU WERE MY SOUL MATE!!!”

4:   Ignore the fact that you’ve never met Taylor Swift.

5:   Chug the bottle of gin.

6:   Curl into a ball and cry for several hours.

The tools you need to banish writer's block

The tools you need to banish writer’s block

Congratulations! You are now ready to write an award winning novel or build a robot! The world is your gin-soaked oyster! Go forth and CREATE!!!

…In all seriousness, my way of breaking through writer’s block is, oddly enough, to slide around it. If I get stuck on one project, I’ll switch to another one. Then I’ll return to the original project once my brain is reset. I don’t know if this would work for you, since I have a strange brain-mind, but feel free to try it!

 

Thanks for the tips, Matthew! Your brain-mind is amazing. (check out more from Matthew on his blog) Readers, now that you have some great writer’s block-busters, get writing!