Why?

 

I’m usually careful how I phrase things with my children but, when they do something ridiculous, I do something equally ridiculous: I ask them why.ThoughtBubble

“Why would you kick a huge rock?!” (Excuse me if I don’t get you an ice pack for your stubbed toe.) 

They never have a good answer. They say “I don’t know”.

Why do I keep asking?

The other day, hanging out with my son on the swings, I heard a mom call to her child in an I-am-not-happy voice. She said:

“Why did you come to the playground when I told you not to?” Then, get this, she corrected herself and said, “Never mind. The only good answer to that is ‘I’m sorry’ so just get your things and let’s go.”

And good golly, the girl got her stuff and they left. It was magical. I chased super mom down in the parking lot and tackled her with a big bear hug. (Daydreams can be awesome. And weird.)

I’ve caught myself asking my husband and parents this. It’s not really a question. Yet it’s not rhetorical because, at the time, I’m expecting some sort of explanation. Why do I continue to ask why?

 

Why (2)

 

My Sunday thoughts in 200 words or less.

 

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It’s My Blog and I Can Fail If I Want To

 

So. You want to be the next big thing in the blogging world. Cool. If that’s what floats your boat, I’ll wave to you from the dock.

I don’t want to be a “top” blogger. *gasp* What?! Who doesn’t want that? Me. I don’t. I’m good and sick of all the articles talking about being “successful”. In what way? How are they measuring my success when they have no idea what my goals are?

Also, what’s with the “everyone”? Everyone wants thousands or tens of thousands of followers and everyone wants their posts to go viral. If we’re talking viral here, I’d much rather get the flu.

One of the first things I learned (then taught) about writing is never use absolutes. See what I did there? That was fun.

Using “everyone” and “always” and “nobody” (as in “nobody wants to see pictures of your cat” when there must be someone who does) is totally uncool in professional writing. So is using words like “uncool”. And “awesome”. And peppering your posts with adverbs and fragments. Seriously. Whatever.

Maybe there are lots of people who want to be pro bloggers. But what I think is that lots of people want to blog. Just…blog. They might like more followers or comments but does every person who blogs want it to become their full-time job? Probably not. I’ll go as far as to say that the people who dream of making their living from blogging constitute a much smaller percentage than these articles lead you to believe. Which can make you doubt yourself and your cute, little blog (or your big, bold blog).

Don’t do that. If you want to blog, blog. There is nothing wrong with blogging for fun. Or chatting about books. Or posting pictures of your cat.

I’ve read lots of articles on blogging. Some of them are quite interesting and informative. If you need advice or tips, there are plenty of wonderful, knowledgeable people out there willing to help. They have experience and know what they’re talking about. We love them.

But if you’re searching the net out of some insecurity, spending way too much time in the sticky world wide webbiness of “you’re doing it all wrong”, close the tabs and blog. Blog whatever the hell you want.

 

Sarah B Seriously - sig

 

Nurturing the Writer

 

Writers can nurture themselves. Seriously. They have special writer things that help them put words together to make cool sentences and paragraphs. ThoughtBubble

Yes, they can indulge in other, non-writerly stuff, too, because writers resemble regular people in most ways. But I’m talking about what they can do while they’re actually working.

Stretch, do chair yoga, watch a woodpecker perch on the maple outside, practice pranayama breathing, drink a glass of wine or cup of steaming green tea with honey, switch to a beanbag chair, eat the good chocolate (those sea salt caramels they’ve been keeping out of reach of the kids).

Sometimes, though, the best way to nurture yourself as a writer is to acknowledge that your eyes are dry because you haven’t blinked in three hours, that you have a screen-staring headache, that you’re repeating yourself and saying the same things, using identical words over and over, and none of the amazing ideas that are inside your head are reaching your keyboard.

Sometimes, the best thing a writer can do to nurture herself is to close her laptop and walk away.

And that is what I’m going to do today.

Writers Walk Away

 

My Sunday thoughts in 200 words or less.

 

“Bloggers from all over the world are coming together to talk about compassion, in one epic event on February 20, 2015.” I took part in this amazing online movement back in February and am pleased to be one of the many voices of #1000speak again. The birth of the project was here at 1000 Voices Speak for Compassion by Yvonne Spence.

For April, the #1000 Speak theme is Nurturing.

 

1000speak

 

Writers & Semicolons

 

As writers, we can kill off our characters with a fictional flourish.

We wouldn’t have our heroine receive a mysterious call in the middle of the night, or get a desperate text at 2 AM, or craft a dialogue with something as boring and unoriginal as “I want to kill myself”. Why? Because it’s cliché. We edit, revise, polish, and proofread. We make sure it. Is. Fantastic.

But suicide happens here—outside of books and stories.

A call comes in at 2 AM because nights are notoriously difficult.

A text reads, “I need you” because, sometimes, people actually do need you.

A partner says, “I can’t take it anymore” because there are times he feels that he can’t handle life one more minute.

A friend confesses, “I want to kill myself” because she wants to die.

These things happen. They happen because there are people in pain who want to escape and can see no other way out. And, because, when it comes to real life, clichés are not forbidden.

 

semicolon Sarah B. B&W

 Show your semicolon.
Because it’s not over.

Pay attention to cries for help. No matter what they say or when they arrive. Don’t assume anything.

Sometimes all you have to do is listen. Sometimes you have to act. Sometimes you have to seek help to help another.

Reach out. Your hand is powerful. It can hold, lift, or comfort.

It can make a statement.

Join the movement to honor, encourage, and support those who have kept going.

The Semicolon Project brings hope through a symbol of continuation.

Project Semicolon“A semicolon represents a sentence the author could’ve ended, but chose not to. The author is you and the sentence is your life.”

Project Semicolon

Wear your semicolon tomorrow: April 16, 2015.

Show your support.

Tell the world your story is not over yet.

@ProjSemicolon

#ProjectSemicolon

#SemicolonProject

#TheSemicolonProject

#SemicolonProject416

 

I Belong in a Forest

 

I can’t move. I’m literally petrified. People are going to start paying to walk through my house, stare at me, and chip off a piece of petrified mum when they think no one is looking.ThoughtBubble

I am afraid of making decisions, of making the wrong move. I’ve gotten to the point where I’m questioning my choice of socks. Are these too thick? Should I wear the black ones or brown ones? Those are too thin. I think. Wait. Are those too thin? Honey? Hello?

I’ve been here before. I’ll admit it. But it’s not where I live. So in addition to the uncomfortable, twisting feeling in my gut that I’m going to make a horrible mistake in footwear, I have the uncomfortable, dizzy feeling in my head that I’m being a flighty, indecisive flake. Which I am.

Sometimes I find myself in this place. I don’t always know what brought me here—the major issues or the buildup of minor annoyances. But, alas, I’m here. And I have to find my way home.

The irony is that when you’re nervous about which way to go, you get stuck. Then you write posts that say, “I can’t move…”

 

Petrified

 

My Sunday thoughts in 200 words or less.

 

Words, Don’t Fail Me Now

 

Why am I stuck? I’m trying so hard (first clue) to put my feelings into words (second clue) for this momentous occasion (and…there’s the third). ThoughtBubble

What happens when you sit down to write something inside a book or card for a special event? A birthday, wedding, or anniversary? A letter to your newborn or college-bound child?

These things leave me utterly speechless, in a writing sort of way, and I wind up with an embarrassing outpouring of unintelligible sentences or an empty page.

When I’m forcing myself to write, I often can’t. Simple as that.

When I attempt to put deep, profound feelings on paper, I find the words aren’t meaningful enough.

The pressure of finding a sentiment that is perfect and unforgettable sends me running from my keyboard and diving under the covers.

Words are my world.

They can’t fail me when I need them most. This is the irrational thought I have before I beat myself up.

Why can’t I write this?!

Though I’ve basically answered my own question and outlined the reasons why, I still have a nagging feeling. And I think to the words, “Please. Don’t fail me now.”

 

I can't write - sig

This is what I have so far…

 

My Sunday thoughts in 200 words or less.