Friday, April 26, 2013

A Return to Fun with Headlines

It's been a busy week, and I am again behind with the blog. But luckily, the Interweb has saved me from figuring out a topic. There are some great news stories to make fun of today... So in a little Friday humor before I get back to talking about writing next week, here is more fun with headlines.

As usual, NBC.com (formerly MSNBC) has some unintentionally funny headlines today. Here are my favorites:

Boston suspect's new home has motley cast of alums
Yes, you are reading this correctly. It's about moving the bombing suspect to prison, which I guess you could call home. But not really. And describing the other prisoners as a motley cast of alums makes it sound like the pitch for a new TV comedy starring Amy Poehler, Tom Green, and Margaret Cho, for god's sake.

Moldy marijuana: Who will make sure newly legal pot is safe?
You mean safer than it usually is to take mind-altering drugs? To be fair, if you're high on pot, I suppose you don't notice if the new batch is moldy. So I guess we should start selling it at Whole Foods, where organic-loving stocking clerks can make sure the marijuana crop doesn't look old. Or have deadly spiders in it. (Look that story up if you need to.)

Martha Stewart: "I nearly signed up for Match.com"
Don't worry. She said nearly. If you're on Match.com, you're still safe. Kind of.

Wallet returned in perfect condition 23 years after it was stolen
This is actually a great story. Someone stole the money and put the wallet in the ceiling of a bathroom, because apparently it's just easier to hide wallets in ceilings than to go outside and toss them into dumpsters. I don't know about you, but I think if you're willing to put the work into hiding a wallet in a ceiling, you have what it takes to go out and earn the money you need honestly. But that's just me.

McDonald's all-day breakfast could happen
Because, as you know, crappy pancakes should be available all day long. And so should fake eggs.

Contaminated cucumbers sicken 73
There is just no way to talk about this story without making it sound dirty. Which is why I'm pretty sure E.L. James is doing a sequel to Fifty Shades that includes vegetables.

And on that note...yes, the dirty veggies note... I'm ending this post. If you come across any funny headlines or other examples of writing that may not have been thought out too clearly, share it here. I always enjoy a good laugh.

Otherwise, happy writing, and I'll see you next week!

Copyright (c) 2013 by M.A. Chiappetta. All rights reserved.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Falling off the Scheduling Wagon

As you can tell, it's been a few weeks since I've posted. My normal plan is to post once a week on Fridays, but lately life has gotten hectic, and I've fallen off the scheduling wagon.

Sometimes, this happens and there's not much to be done about it. I'm sure you've found yourself in the same boat at times. And there are plenty of reasons you can fall off your normal writing schedule (or frankly, any other regular plans you make, like going to the gym and such). A big project comes up at work, and you have to get it done. Family comes to visit. A good friend is in need of help. You get sick. Stuff happens.

In my case, I've had a loss. And grief definitely affects my ability to concentrate on my writing. But that's life too. I've given myself permission to take my time getting back to writing, and that's been a good thing. Because now I'm more in the mood to write than I was three or four weeks ago. Hence, here I am blogging.

Working through the situations I've faced lately has been a learning process for me, I'll tell you that. I've had to learn to balance my desires for success and affirmation with my need to be realistic and live a balanced life. And I've reassessed my goals for writing in the first place. At first, I wanted to get published to prove to myself that I could. It was publish or perish, so to speak. That is not a bad desire, but it can become all-consuming.

Along with that, I had the accompanying fear of failure. If I fail to finish this novel... if I fail to get a publisher or an agent... then does that make me a bad writer? Am I a failure if my effort fails? Fear can be crippling to your creativity. At times, I'm afraid to write a scene. Other times, I'm afraid to share a scene with my critique groups. With fear on your back, it's hard to get things done.

Then I wrestled with lots of time-draining events, a lot of which just couldn't be avoided. Health issues, a friend in need, the meltdown of another friendship, major projects at work, the holidays... And finally, my nephew passed away.

In light of it all, I thought to myself: What's the lesson here? And the answer is: I should be writing to enjoy myself, to develop the real talent I have, to learn, to grow as a person, to share, and yeah, maybe to make some money because that's always nice. I don't have to be afraid. I don't have to be published to prove something to myself. Instead, I'm aiming toward publication because I believe I write well enough to accomplish that, and writing is one of the things I was put on this earth to do. I'm going to enjoy the process, learn from it, and stay balanced in the process.

So yeah. I fell off the scheduling wagon on this blog. I'm getting back on the wagon now. If I fall off again, I'm just going to shrug, dust myself off, and climb up again once I catch my second wind. Because that's what works for me.

Now, you share: Have you ever had trouble keeping to a writing schedule? What did you do about it? And have you ever thought about your reasons for writing, or felt the need to reevaluate what you're doing and why you're doing it? I'd love to hear your thoughts on that.

In the meantime, happy writing!

Copyright (c) 2013 by M.A. Chiappetta. All rights reserved.