4 weeks to go to my exams

I just spent a great weekend away with some great friends, and I’m planning on putting up photos when I get the chance. Right now though, I’m eager for the week ahead of me and I actually think I might come up with a post for next week, but I’m making no promises, as I have lots of English and math prep to do for my exams.
In the mean time, I feel the need to let you know that I’m writing short stories to keep the muse going for the time being; just 200 words a day, and if you write I suggest you do the same because that way the writing muscle will be ready by November, when I’m hoping you participate in NaNoWriMo, like I will be doing. On that note this week also includes another write in for my writing group and we’re going to be joined by a new member who happens to be a script writer so I’m looking forward to that.

I know that I’ve been giving half hearted content these days but I plan on making up for it next year, for which I’m already planning posts.

That reminds me to run an idea by you really fast, I’ve been thinking about giving writing courses next year, just a simple email course that won’t cost you anything and give you some basic skills in planning a novel. What do you think? Does it sound like something I can give a try or am I wasting my time with the thought?
I’ll bring it up again later as we near 2017 but right now just tell me what you think.

Good luck with your week 🙂

 

8 am and feeling grim

grim

I have a new week lying at my feet (8 am Monday morning) and it’s already looking a little grim.

Why?

Because I don’t have a good, well thought out blog post to give that consists out of 1000+ words.

I didn’t write one and I feel that if I try to explain why it will sound like I’m making excuses, which is something my piano teacher hates. I don’t have a proper excuse anyway, there was time, I just used it selfishly and read a book instead.

 

I’m regretting it now that I’m hastily writing this post. I have school work that needs to be done and I’m not supposed to write blog posts until I’ve done my work.

Today’s school work consists out of math and English with maybe just a hint of art.

Tomorrow it’s more maths and definitely some Art.

Whatever order I do my homework in there will always be more. I have six weeks to finish my year’s work before exams, and I actually need to get good grades. Great grades even, if you know my personal standards.

I’m sorry for ranting about my homework I know it’s not really relevant to my blog, except that it makes me feel tired and bad about myself which leads to days like today where I can’t even think up an idea for blog post other than ranting.

I was actually supposed to write a book review or something but I just don’t feel it today, the cloud of gloom hanging around my head is just a little too thick for me to cheerfully point out what I loved about the book I recently read.

 

I don’t mean to sound so depressing, just like I don’t mean to work on my parent’s nerves by being behind in my school subjects. I don’t mean to be complaining, and I really don’t mean to sound like someone who can’t handle her own stuff.

I just sort of wish that I could write a proper blog post for today.

 

 

You know what I really want?

I want a month away to the beach (my hair doesn’t frizz)

I want to tie one of those soft beach cloths around my waist and walk over warm sand with my bare feet. I want to take a fold out chair and sit beneath a tree with a book or perhaps simply run into the cold water and dive beneath the waves.

I want to go on adventures with my camera and take a trip to the book store.

I want to sit with a notebook on my lap and simply write down silly stories with a ball point pen.

I want the whole experience which is the sound of crashing waves, and the smell of salt mixed with the smell of books. I want to look at monkeys as they run past and deer as they peek out from between the banana trees.

I want my freckles, which have been hiding for the winter, to come back and spread all over my nose to my cheeks and forehead. I want my hair to get those golden stripes back and I want my back to tan.

 

I miss the beach okay?

 

For the moment I need to stop fantasising and get back to work.

I need to sit behind my rather large desk and practise Pythagoras theorem until my back is sore and my eyes completely dried.

 

I can do it of course, it’s no big deal. Nothing that others haven’t done before, and nothing I haven’t done before.

So I’ll sit and work as hard as I can. Math today Art tomorrow and English the day after that. I will practice my piano piece and try my best to not miss another lesson before my recital. I’ll help my cousin practice for his tests and we’ll get his grade up again, he’s yet another person aiming for 100% even though he’s only in second grade.

I’ll finish a proper blog post for next week and arrange my next write in. That reminds me that I need to email someone who wants to join the group.

I need to practice punctuation and spelling before seeing my English tutor again. I need to pick out photos to print for my art coursework. I need to get my tempo and speed for my piano piece just right.

There are so many things that I need to do, and I will do it all, and then I will do it all again next week and the week after that. For the next six weeks I’ll work my butt off and after that I’ll study for exams until my fingers cramp and arrange for my writing group to be ready for NaNoWriMo.

 

Here’s a hint of good news though. When I’m done with all of this, which is in three months, my family is going on a short trip. One week to the beach, with my dad’s personal CD playing in the car and probably something like meat rolls for road trip food.

 

My week still looks a little grim to me but I’ll keep my head high and work like I have taught myself to. I’m at least hanging out with friends one time this week to catch Pokémon and I’m going to dancing lessons with my boyfriend later today which should be fun now that neither of us is sick.

 

I’m sorry for ranting and being slightly depressing, but I’m feeling much better now that I’ve written all of this. I plan to give a proper post next week, so hang on for me till then. If you are looking at the week before you and feel like sighing, tell me about it.

How I got past writer’s block.

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Life sometimes unbalances us or even completely shoves us off our feet. I can attest to this.
My story of my recent writer’s block is something I mention frequently these days but I think it’s time I do so again because this time I can tell you what it’s like to be on the other side of writer’s block and everything I see now that I’m looking back on it.
First of all, I’m not an expert in psychology or even writing, I’m just a girl.
Secondly, up until the beginning of this year I didn’t even believe in writer’s block.

So here’s what happened.
I was planning to write this epic novel this year. In fact, considering that it’s nearly July, I can tell you that I wanted it to be done by now. It would have been my fourth novel (rough draft). It would have been the first book in my first trilogy. It would have been the heavy fantasy I’ve always wanted to write.
As you can probably tell, this novel never panned out. I never finished it and it never made it passed 6000 words.
I can give you a dozen reasons why I never wrote this novel. Most people’s first instinct is probably to say that I was just procrastinating. Maybe I was but considering the hours I’ve spent staring at a blank screen I wouldn’t say so. Perhaps I was simply overworked already, after all I’m busy with my IGCSE’s right now, along with a job in the week days after lunch (I tutor my cousin) and trying to keep a blog and a healthy teen social life together. It wouldn’t be so bad if this was my excuse right? Surely you would understand. Surely I myself would understand.
This isn’t the reason though and besides if it was I would probably be furious with myself, writing is after all one of my top priorities.

So why couldn’t I write for six months straight?
I think it was probably a bunch of things combined.
The feeling that despite having written three rough novels already I wasn’t good enough. Having my writing rejected for the first time ever. My blogging stats plummeting like a fighter jet without engines. My character’s suddenly feeling like cardboard to me.
These things, along with probably a lot of other things, mixed and lodged in my stomach like a big rock. It became a weight that pulled me down and kept my breathing from being even. It made my fingers start to shake when I sat down to type anything. It made my head pound when I tried to plan something.
I was miserable and useless because, every time I thought about work or writing, the rock in my stomach grew heavier to the point that I couldn’t get myself to do anything.

Okay stop right there, this is becoming depressing and way too heavy for what this post was intended for. (Pun intended)

Anyway so then a bunch of stuff happened and things got better. I realized that I wasn’t able to write. I told my parents about the rock in my stomach. I got better, or at least the feeling started to fade until the point where I decided I was ready to try and write again. This time I planned to finish my story as quick as possible. That was at the beginning of this month.
I managed maybe 300 words before the rock in my stomach came back and I went back to my parent’s room to flop onto their bed and sigh. My creative juices were gone. I was, despite my best efforts, still a useless writer.
But an idea was starting to form in my head, nothing to do with my great fantasy novel but just a simple idea of a girl with pink hair with two conflicting powers. I lay awake that night, twisting and turning in my bead, as I realized the decision I had to make. I could either keep on struggling with my great fantasy novel, or I could try writing something new.
How could I abandon a project? I never abandon projects. What if I have the same problem with this new story? What if I can’t write anything decent again in my life? Was I even still supposed to become a writer?

Those last two thoughts were a little bit drastic, but hey, I’m a teen girl who has her heart set on becoming a writer which is probably one of the most unrealistic job expectations ever.

I made my choice.
I packed away my old project, in fact I literally took it off my planning board. I drew the first picture of the pink haired girl and I put it against my board instead.
I didn’t plan or anything, instead I simply asked myself what the most relatable thing I can think of this character doing, and the first scene came to me.
I sat down and wrote about a pink haired girl struggling with her Wi-Fi, the smell of coffee surrounding her and the frustrations of a day going wrong fresh in her mind.
This scene is around 1400 words long.
After that the idea snowballed and while I’m writing this post my word count for the story stands at 10 500 words. I know it might not seem a lot to some considering I’ve had two weeks between my decision and this post but next to the 6000 of the previous six months I think these numbers are looking good.

I learned a lot of things these past six months the first thing is writer’s block is a real thing.
People might argue or call you lazy for not writing but the thing is that while writer’s block might not be exactly what we think it is, it is still real.

The second lesson that I learned was that sometimes an idea isn’t ready for this world yet. If that’s the case, move on because you can always pick it up again later and there is no sense in wasting time on it now.

The last lesson I’m going to mention is that no matter how strong you are, there will be times when you feel weak. It’s okay. You don’t have to be strong 24/7 or keep your chin up all the time. You are allowed to cry and be frustrated. You are allowed to be weak.

That last one is a rather bold statement and I want you to remember it. You are allowed to be weak.

 
I feel like I need to end this post now with something dramatic, so here goes.
I’m Enette Venter and I have been struggling with writer’s block for the past six months. I don’t know why but I do know that I had to let go of a writing project to get passed the block. I was trying to carry something that was no longer working and it wasn’t until I let it go that I could truly pick up, and fall in love with a new idea.

Yes writer’s block is real. Yes I beat it. Yes I’m writing again.
I hope that if you are struggling with writers block or any type of creative block then you can find your way out of it. I want to remind you though, that just because you are struggling doesn’t mean that you are useless.

Now that you’re done with this, you know about my past six months. I hope this added something to your life and that when you click off this screen it won’t be just another post you forget. That’s the goal for my writing, to change lives, or at least to add to it.
Whether I achieved that here or not, I’m saying my farewells now and, hope you have a lovely day.

 

Philippians 3:13-14 (NIV)
13 Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.

Setting myself and my writing free

This changing plan thing is getting stupid.

Setting writing free

It’s simple, after struggling with writer’s block for six months I have now decided to quit on the project that I promised just last week to write.
There are quite a few things that lead to this decision and these are.
1. An inability to write more than 400 words before getting distracted.
2. Rereading my work and wanting to throw up.
3. Literary feeling empty when I have to sit down and write.

 

Of course I hate giving up on anything, especially a project. It makes me feel like a hypocrite and in part, a failure. So I didn’t quit on my own. Instead I wandered over to my parent’s room, crashed onto their bed and gave an melodramatic sigh.
My parents noticed I was there and glanced away from their phones. I explained to them my dilemma and so in turn they gave some solid advice.

I’m not going to be quoting them but I will totally paraphrase it into my own words.

 

This is the great thing I want other young or aspiring writers to know.

If you don’t want to write something then don’t. Every piece of writing has a time and place to be written and if you and your piece of writing aren’t ready yet then there’s no point in trying to force it. Also there is still plenty of time to write that story, even if you don’t write it today you can write it another day.

If you are a writer pay attention to those words because they might just help you out of a ditch.

 

So I quit what now?

Do you expect me to just sit around now and not write anything? If so then I’ll have to snort and shake my head at you because that’s simply not the kind of person I am.
A day after deciding to quit on my novel Felix vs. Aida I gathered an idea that had been crawling around in my head and started putting it on paper.
Here’s the thing. Between Friday, Saturday and Sunday I have written 4000 words. That’s more than my aimed for 1000 words a day.

 

In the past few months I’ve started to worry that I can’t ever be a good writer and I wondered if I even should try to be one. Since writing again though I’ve been reminded how much I love writing because I really do. My goal to become a published author has been solidified again and I’m overjoyed about it.

 

Long and short of it is this.
I have been struggling to write, my mind wandered and my fingers felt slow, but now I quit on the project that I had been writing without any form of passion. At first I was miserable and felt like a failure but now that I’m writing again I don’t mind the fact that I had to quit one project to get me here. Right now I’m writing again, with passion and joy in each word. Maybe I won’t get published and maybe no one will ever read my books but right now just writing is good enough for me.

As you can guess I’ll soon start sharing about my new project I just first have to decide how. I was thinking I could publish each chapter as I’m done with it so keep your eyes open there’s a chance you’ll be seeing the first chapters of PINK soon.

 

 

A writer’s anxieties.

This is what just happened. I was busy writing something amazing, a blog post that could have changed lives…
So why aren’t you reading that blog post? You aren’t reading that blog post because I deleted it.
My dad just came into my room and reminded me that I have math homework to do as if I don’t know that. My breath caught in my chest and my fingers went numb, not because I’m afraid of doing math or anything just because the same anxiety that been sitting on my shoulders for weeks took effect again. Every time I do math I have anxiety because I’m neglecting this blog and every time I sit down to write something I have anxiety because I really don’t want to waste another weekend on math or get another lecture from a parent on how I should be more productive.
You see, you could have had a life changing post but it is now gone because I just can muster up the strength to write it. Typing this bland post is already making me feel as if I’m being dragged through the mud and as if something heavy has been laid onto my chest.

Now that I told you about my anxieties in a less than grand way I will tell you about my plan for the next few weeks in the same manner.
I’ve told you guys plan after plan I have for this blog in the past few weeks and none of these plans have materialized and really worked, so why would this plan be different? Truth is I have very little faith in this plan of mine and it will probably be useless but I really need something to keep me writing at the moment so I’m going to try it anyway.

The plan.

I’m going to be writing a post series on overcoming anxiety and being productive, the two things I’m proving bad at right now.
I’m sure you can see why this plan is flawed and there is very little hope for it to make it to a second post, but I’m going to try anyway.

 

Why this plan? Who knows, perhaps by writing it all down I can get my work life back in order.
I’m going to be leaving you with this and say sorry for the rather pathetic post. Hopefully I will get my strength back again tonight and type out a better post for next week.
As always don’t be afraid to comment, and I hope that later on I will be helpful to you again.

The greatest personal lessons of 2015

So it’s kind of tradition for people to share what they learned the past year on New Year’s. The problem is that I’ve grown a lot this IMG_3179past year and learned all kind of things while doing so.
So what do I share?
Should I tell you about how I learned to control my emotions?
Should I share with you how I went from a slack off to the serious one in my friendship group?
Perhaps I should tell you about the journey it took to except myself?

How about no… I won’t share that with you. None of that is the important lesson I’ve learned this year.

So here it is, the single most important lesson I’ve learned this year.
Be grateful.

Yes life isn’t always fair. People try to push you around, friends forget you exist and most of the time someone is trying to assert themselves above you.
The thing is that joy won’t really come from all those things you don’t have. Even when you get the extra slice of pizza you won’t be able to enjoy it if you don’t actually pay attention to how it tastes.
So this great important lesson I learned was to stop looking at what I don’t have or what I had lost. Instead I look at what I do have.
I focus on the taste of the pizza slice I do have, and it’s delicious.
You see, it really doesn’t matter what you don’t have. So instead simply cherish what you do have.
I have a family. I have my friend group, rag tag as they may be. I have my rookity old laptop with wifi. I got some books and music. I can pray when I’m upset. I even have an absurd amount of pens.
What more can I ask for?

The thing about being grateful is that it doesn’t change your circumstances but it does change how you look at it. When you stop looking at all the bad in life it really does lose its effect on you.
This piece of advice really comes hand in hand with an even better lesson I learned this year. This lesson is really, really important. I’m just glad I finally seemed to grab it.

God is always with me and he is all I need.

So yea I’m grateful for all I have but even if I didn’t have anything at all, God would still be with me. He would still love me no matter what. He still looks after me and he still wants to be in my life.
Of everything I’m grateful for, this is what I’m thankful for the most.

That was it… that was my big lessons of the year.

So go enjoy the New Year’s. Plan you future and work for what you want. Just don’t lose sight of what you already do have. Cherish those who stand with you and be thankful for any possessions you have. Savour the pizza given to you.

Goodbye 2015, welcome 2016. We’re ready for you.