Getting a Fresh Perspective

Every now and then, it is good to take a step back and get a fresh perspective on things.  I’ve been gone for a bit dog sitting for some friends while they were away.  It was nice to be back in Virginia and I love seeing the mountains.

As many times as I’ve been, I had never been on the Blue Ridge Parkway.  This time I made time and took a drive so maybe I could get a closer view of the mountains.  The first few overlooks I was disappointed and thought how much more beautiful the mountains looked from afar than close up.

The further I went though, I found some overlooks with absolutely amazing views of the overlapping mountains (sorry pictures aren’t better, only had my cell phone for photos).  Some of them have interesting names as well like Apple Orchard Mountain.  I want to return one day soon, take better photos, and wear more practical shoes so I can explore some of the trails.

My trip to Virginia gave me plenty of time to think and write.  The first few days I just really took a chance to unwind and relax.  While out exploring one day I went to Barnes & Nobles and found a book, The Story Within :  New Insights and Inspiration for Writers by Laura Oliver.

I absolutely love this book and I am only a little over half way through.  It’s the kind of book that just speaks to my heart.  She provides wonderful insights into helping a writer find their voice and look at their life in a fresh perspective for writing material.  It was helpful to see sometimes we need to take a step forward and more closely examine incidents in our life in more detail.  Other times it may help to take a step back and look at the broader picture for what it truly means rather than the superficial details.  As she says even essays have a plot.

The author also does a good job of providing examples of writing to illustrate her points.  Always looking for positive motivation, I was also pleased about the number of wonderful quotes from a number of writers and other famous people.  One from Louis L’Amour was, ‘If you’re going to be a writer, the first essential is just to write.  Do not wait for an idea.  Start writing something and the idea will come.  You have to turn on the faucet before the water starts to flow.”  There are plenty of prompts and encouragement provided for writing as well.  I can’t wait to read more.

It was nice to have uninterrupted writing time.  I wrote several poems and a few essays.  I don’t usually write short stories, but was inspired to start one.  It seemed ideas were springing up as I was writing at times, so I would write them down for future reference.  Hopefully this week I can work on finishing up a few pieces and work on making some submissions.  Back and ready to view life with new perspective.

Little or big, what do you like to do to give you a fresh perspective on life or your writing???…

Virginia Mountains

Writing Progress and Plans

Yahoo! symbol design

Image via Wikipedia

It has been a very busy week and different than my usual routine.  I have not done as much writing as I would have liked to, but did manage to finish an editorial piece to submit to the Yahoo! Contributor Network.  I also started working on another couple of articles for next week.  I have really enjoyed writing for the Yahoo! Contributor Network.  I have even taken on some writing assignments there, which were not for pay and just for display only, but gave me some practice writing other things a little out of my comfort zone.  For example, I have not written a short story since high school, yet attempted to write a science fiction story.  It may not have been “great”, but it was fun.  Here is the link and if you have any feedback you are welcome to tell me as I am one of those people who can handle constructive criticism well : http://voices.yahoo.com/alliance-earth-planet-vermilla-sabotaged-11006896.html .

The pieces I usually prefer to write are articles and poetry.  It was nice this week to come in after a horrible day and have good news waiting in my email inbox alerting me some of my writing was published on Yahoo! Voices.  Here are links to two articles from this week :  http://voices.yahoo.com/save-money-through-yourself-repairs-10988874.html and http://voices.yahoo.com/first-person-learning-through-yourself-projects-10988638.html .  So far I have earned close to $12, which may not be much, but everyone has to begin somewhere.  The Yahoo! Contributor Network has been user friendly to submit writing, has good forums for learning more information or asking questions, and I have even had rejected pieces approved if I followed the suggestions offered in the feedback.  If you are a beginner it is a place you may want to give a try.

Another idea I have seen in several places is to keep a list of article ideas you are working on, so I created a chart in Microsoft Works on my computer.  I titled it Writing Idea List.  It has columns for the idea, publication, date sent, and the result.  I took the ideas I had brainstormed in my notebooks and filled in the chart.  I think I will put it in a page protector and keep it near the computer or start a notebook maybe.  I am kind of a notebook queen around the house for organizing.

Finding resources seems to have been my final task for the week.  There were many treasures I discovered in a library visit, which included a 2010 edition of the Writers Market.  At a bookstore I looked through several writers magazines and finally settled on a copy of the Writer.  I decided I couldn’t buy them all(didn’t need to either) and this magazine had more articles I thought offered more helpful information.  Well, that was my writing progress for the week, but next week will hopefully be a fresh start and I plan to tackle magazine queries for some articles I am finishing up.