Clean Out a Space

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I have been going back and forth about continuing my writing. I have joined a group called Story A Day for September. It is the first time since college I have been able to talk with a community of writers face to face. It has been so invigorating for me to do so and yet at the same time I am hard on myself about keeping up with my writing. I try to do a little writing every day and keep falling in the comparison trap. The questions begin to creep into my mind like they seem more devoted than I am. 

I have been back into writing only a couple of years. I am trying to get back into daily practice, but I have not been able to sit down daily to do this thing I love. It has been like a couch to 5k experience. I keep going back and forth about writing this week. I wanted to dive back into this thing I loved once. 

There are days when it does feel like an old relationship I used to have I love it, but yet it is hard. How could something you love so much seem so hard at times?  Why won’t the words come out? Why does sometimes it just doesn’t feel great? However, I find there are people and situations all around me that I love but are not always easy to deal with. Family at times can be hard, a job can be hard, and sometimes the thought of another Monday can be unbearable. I would like to make a movement for two Tuesdays and get rid of the word Monday all together! Do I have a second? Second. All those in favor say I. (I can hear you agreeing with me). We no longer have Mondays!  No really #2Tues! (Joking of course.) I digress, it is hard to get out of bed earlier when schedules are being changed due to the new school year approaching. I am exciting for this unique time in life, but I also think waking before 6:00 am is evil, yet I do it daily. I will be waking up early though from now because I have to go to work.

I am excited though about this new found time in the morning. I’m usually a night owl having all of this quiet time in daylight is thrilling on the weekends before everyone else is awake. I am working this week to get my space prepared for writing. I finally found a desk that is not what I expected, but it kind of picked me.

%22The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing.%22Walt Disney.png

My characters have been excited as well to be re-released to their world and to start doing things they have never experienced before. I have been working on my first book and trying to go at it just as it comes to me, but I am not sure how successful that has been since it is not done yet. So, during September, I decided to take a break and write some short stories with Story A Day. The program is just that you write a story a day and that is all. They have great forums to share, comment, and encourage each other. I would recommend it to all my writing friends, and the host Julie is a lovely woman. She has a blog and post cast she does as well that are fabulous. 

I have been writing on the go where ever I can, and I hope by the end of this weekend my space will be complete. I think it is essential to make space actual physical space for the things we wish to do in our lives. Life is fast-paced, and those spaces can quickly pile up with dirty clothes, random papers, magazines, and books.  It may be hard to even see the desk anymore (I may or may not be talking about my own office). Let us do some fall cleaning and organizing so we can get those creative thoughts out and within the world. I will thank myself now for trying to help my future writer within me. 20,000 words are down too many to go!

~Esme

 

Learning to Pray

When I in my early twenties I had my first experience with God. It was truly amazing to be introduced to God and begin to understand who God was, but within a couple years most of my fire had been put out by the world again. I have gone through stages in my life when I have learned more about God and His overall being. The first was my introduction to Him, my second time was focused on reading His love letter (The Bible), and the most recent time I decided to give it my all. 

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I was no longer unsure of His devotion or love to me.  Finally, I knew I didn’t want to continue my life without Him. His words were, and they changed me. I felt safe with Him by my side every day which led to a lot of conversations. Even though I didn’t understand prayer completely, I talked to God. He was always nice and listened. Sometimes He spoke back. There were days He was silent.

In our relationship there have been ups and downs because of the world I live in. However, not once has He ever rejected me. He has never turned away. Even when I have been impossible and shouting at Him, He stays. He holds me and loves me regardless. How in love with Him I have become. It is a sweetness to my spirit and life.  But still, I had not really learned how to pray.

It wasn’t until I came across a couple who showed me what worship really was that I was then introduced to another couple to show me what prayer was. To see a true worshiper of the almighty God is lovely. They hold nothing back immediately you can see it is all Gods everything in those moments are devoted to Him. I get chills just thinking about it. It was no mistake I met these people, and God was sure I got the message. He crossed our paths more than once until we got the point. 


They showed me how to worship with everything and that I could begin to share things in my life. Important God moments. This couple displayed the love of God in what they did.

Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. 1 Thessalonians 5_16-18.png

Then I met the couple who would teach me about prayer. These two people were not at all what I expect nor was I to them I assume. I was a broken woman, full of tears, and scared to open up about something. I had been deeply hurt by religious people over the years. However, the following months they befriended me and kept inviting me to their home for prayer. They reminded me of my Jesus that I had been spending so much time with. They too showed me His love and freedom there was in knowing I was indeed a child of God. 

The first time I heard the woman pray I opened my eyes, and I looked at her like a strange being I had never seen before. I stood there in the circle holding hands with strangers shocked at how powerful she sounded and her husband followed in suit. I wanted to pray as they did. Things happened when they prayed mountains moved.

The more time I spent there, it was not so much about the how they prayed but that they did. Prayer was practiced like driving a car or riding a bike. It was not recited. Prayers were always from the heart and how the spirit led. It is true you become like the people you hang around because before I knew it, I was praying like them. Things began to change in my life and the people around me.  Praying the promises of God over your life is one of the most useful things to do. God’s word is so powerful when it is buried in my heart. Now I have a base for prayer God has helped guide in it. Don’t give up on prayer it does change things really it changes everything.

I love this one.

16 Rejoice always, 17 pray without ceasing, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 (ESV)

~Esme

To Write or Not To

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I find there is so much going on in my head that it is hard to get it all out on to paper. Why is this so hard? It is not really that writing is hard, but the discipline of writing daily had been a struggle of mine. I have been letting life get in the way so quickly when it comes to this passion of mine. My life has a way of forcing me to take more breaks than I would like. An illness, death in the family, or a trip out of town seem to be on rotations often enough to keep me out of my flow. Then before I know it it has been three weeks since I even looked at anything and then I am behind on my deadlines again. It’s even funnier to me because I am a huge planner and for everyone else, I’m on time, but when it comes to myself, I usually let it go. 

I have an excuse a lot too that I don’t want to write crap which is a lie cause pretty much everything is crap the first time around and if it isn’t then I am standing to applaud you right now. I have once again gotten out of my habit of writing, and it sucks if I’m going, being honest. I am behind in all of my personal writing already. So, every day I am writing a little bit because if it is just some, it is better than none. 

In truth, it is hard to go day to day with all of these characters living in my head. They try going on grand adventures and end up making messes all over the place. Often I lock them in a room tell them to sit down and be quiet which is not very nice of me. I should be offering them food and drinks and talking to them where they want to go (no I am not crazy I am trying to be funny). It is hard for me to focus some time on the mundane things during my days unless I write. For instance, I may end up washing my hair three times a morning before I realize I have. We might happen to cross paths, and it looks like I am somewhere else it is because I am in my fictional world trying to figure it out. This does not mean I cannot come back to reality it just means I might daydream a lot more than the average adult or child for that matter. Please don’t take it personally when you see me at the gas station, school event, or in a store and I don’t register we have met okay. You could stop me and ask if I have written anything that day. I would not take offense, and it would make me aware I am in that other place.

Still, the question remains perhaps why are you complaining about writing or all these ideas? I assure I am very grateful for the ideas and time when I get it. There is a quote “There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.” Ernest Hemingway. I think Hemingway was brilliant in many of his works. I am not sure; however, the negative image you may see in your head it what I want you to see. I do think it takes all you have to write and the things I write become part of me. In many ways, writers make their work their life and indeed the blood of their being. What would they have without it? I know now writing is not my life and it is not my blood because Jesus is, but it has become an event I have to make time for.

I am headed back to the planning route because it is what works for me. I am saying no to some things, so I am sure I have time to write. I feel like it is what I was called to do on this earth. Although I am not always sure why and I a lot of time don’t know how any of this will make a difference maybe for someone.

Make time for the things creative in your life it will bring you so much joy to share with others. If you have stopped doing whatever creative outlet you had, it is never too late to pick them up again or start something new. You may have a book inside you that you have not let out yet, a painting that is set in your head, or a quilt that needs to be sown. Do it, be brave and choose to write, dance, sing, and paint. Create because you will not regret you did it only that you didn’t.


~Esme


He Said Fear Not

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I have dealt with a lot of fears in my life. I was terrified of flying before I did it, and swimming until I learned how to do it. I didn’t know how to do any type of public speaking until I was talking in front of the whole high school. In fact writing, this blog has been a fear of mine too. 

This blog has been a fear because I have not made it a habit of letting anyone inside my head. My thoughts have been my own for years and rarely shared. I had always liked to hear about other people more because it would give me a more authentic understanding of who they are. 

The only time I ever shared my writings were in classrooms in college. I was never praised for my ideas or my work. There was usually something utterly wrong about the whole story or poem. I only really had one supporter throughout my college career. I am not sure I even really knew what writing was then. 

When I came back to God just a few years ago, I felt Him calling me to write a blog. I had been moved to write again since I had moved, but I seemed paralyzed once again by fear. I was just writing for myself, but I still couldn’t find the courage to finish anything. It has taken me so long to build my faith to trust and believe in Him even though I don’t see the results of what He is doing right now. 

I have let fear control me and push me into directions of my life I should not have gone. There were so many long and dark roads I was led down by fear, and it gave me memories I would rather forget. Fears of disappointing those I love, fear of failure, and fear of just general things in life.

I had a weekend away, at a conference and the women did not speak about fear, but it came up over and over. Doubt we wouldn’t have a room to sleep in, fear of getting robbed, fear of bugs, fear of driving cars over large bodies of water, fear of getting shot, fear the passion for things wouldn’t come back and fear that would miss what God was saying to us. I wanted to cry at the gripping fear had. 

I can say fear is NOT of God. 

Did you hear that? 

Fear IS NOT OF GOD.

So, please stop being afraid about who may find out about your past and stop being scared how you are going to make it in the future.

For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. 2 Timothy 1_7 (NKJV).png

I was happy to find there were so many references about fear in Bible stating do not fear, fear not, and do not be afraid. You would think we would pick up on this not being fearful thing, but there is day after day in our face. 

I have found though that living and learning are very different things.  I can learn about something in such great depth it can be like I have lived it. When I am working on a character in my books I have to know the ends and outs of who they are in order to make them real to my readers. I look at lessons in life in much that same way. 

I have been overcoming fear on many different levels in the last month. I have found listening to worship music had helped. I discovered I need to questions the fears when they come up because many times they are not logical. When my world seems to be crashing down the only way I have found to walk through my fear is the Word of God being prayed by me over me. I usually just speak out the scripture myself in my prayer times through out the day. I build my faith on these words and believe Him because His Word is true. As you walk throughout your life and you start to feel fear on its way pray a couple of my favorite verses.

For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.  2 Timothy 1:7 (NKJV)

(God speaking) ‘According to the word that I covenanted with you when you came out of Egypt, so My Spirit remains among you; do not fear!’  Haggai 2:5 (NKJV)

And the Lord, He is the One who goes before you. He will be with you, He will not leave you nor forsake you; do not fear nor be dismayed.”  Deuteronomy 31:8 (NKJV)

~Esme

The Heat

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The heat makes people crabbier than the rush of the holiday season. I know I used to work in retail during the holidays, and I might say at times the at heat and holidays were a tie but seems like the weather has been worse as of late When I get too hot I just don’t want to be close to people at all. We have had a relatively mild summer but it has been very humid here, and it reminds me of a trip I took a couple of years ago to Louisiana.

While I am on the mend, I would like to share musings I wrote down during the trip.

I had started this month off with excitement, and I was on task for my novel to be complete. I had planned out my writing days. I had a clear direction of my book although I had not written anything out formally. I was determined to get this book finished because I had been picking it up and setting it back down all year.

I knew I was going to a conference in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and I tried to make every effort to be ahead of schedule on writing so I would not be losing my writing time because of the trip. Things did not go as planned. I did not get ahead, but I did get behind. I decided to pull up my big girl panties though and take it in stride.

“The thing with heat is, no matter how cold you are, no matter how much you need warmth, it always, eventually, becomes too much.”.png

I had learned that over the course of that year I really liked writing in certain ways and the musical genius of Miles Davis helped me get where I was going in my book. My novel was still there, and I would complete it in due time, but it may be a week later than I thought.

Writing did not always go as planned, and even in the book, I am found my characters had minds of their own and went off doing things I didn’t want them to do. I had to figure out how to pull in the reins on them, and I am at the conference. I am taking in everything in all the words, sites, sounds, and feelings. It was truly amazing.

After the conference was over, we went to New Orleans in the French Quarter, and what an architecturally exquisite place. I could not stop staring at all the building how strange they seemed as if looking at jewels for the first time. We ate at Cafe Du Monde where lines were long, there were people crowded in the tables and all around the outside. The pigeons were on the hunt for any beignets dropped or tossed. The beignets were like eating air and were just something everyone should just try once in their life. It was really an experience, I hope one day to go to a cafe in Paris one day, but until then this one will be fine.

We went back to Baton Rouge, and in the morning all of our phones were going off. Family and friends wanted to be sure we were safe because a shooter was on the loose in Baton Rouge. The killer had been staying in the same hotel we were at. All of the sudden I was just still my whole body stiff and in a daze. Then, I began to pack and worry about what might happen if we didn’t leave right now. It was hard in those moments knowing only a few miles away was a man killing other people because he thought it was right.

The fear was paralyzing, but after speaking with the person, I rode down there with they were convinced this wasn’t going to stop them from doing what we had planned to do. I saw bravery in someone else that day that I had admired. I wasn’t sure when I would get to the point in my life, but if I could just learn something from her, it would be not to let fear control me. I had been learning lessons about fear all year and each time it I was gaining more understanding. I must keep walking forward and not let fear control me. Today I will use my writing to write the fear out me and everything that happened to me.


~Esme

Quiet Time With God

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These last two months have been about purposeful isolation this year. I had been very busy with work, a relationship, my child, and various organizations this year and I was ready for some rest. I had been through a lot of heartbreak and long hours. I had gotten to the point in my life I had crowded out the very things I felt were important to me. So, after a long deliberation, I decided to take time off to quite myself.



It has been lonely at times when I spend so much time alone at home. I found myself often sitting down on the couch thinking that filling myself with Netflix shows would somehow make me change. I suppose if you have known me for any amount of time the first thing to do would have been to blame me for not calling someone. There might have been whispers that I was not doing well and depressed because I wanted to be alone. I would totally understand that because people have been quick to judge me due to my past. There are many people in my life that have not seen that I do enjoy being alone from time to time. Oh my! It must mean I love to be a hermit, and never talk to anyone. No. It means I get my energy from alone time, which has been harder to find time for as a single parent.

There are times I have really enjoyed being around people in general and I have missed many friends. It seems as though ever since my birthday almost two months ago I have been voiding people in general to have more quiet time.

I have been reflecting on times in the past when I took time off from my social life I was doing whatever I could to fill the time. It made me realize these empty feelings I have deep inside of me, these voids that nothing could fill had been there for a long time. When I have been busy I don’t notice these voids as much. I have been a Christian for a long time but I wondered if God was really enough for me and if He was then why was I plagued with these doubts and emptiness. I have seen God do miracles but then I was still doubting what He was going to do for me.

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One of the first things I did when I dedicated my life to God was find a community because I needed people to encourage me on so many life changes. When I had this fellowship and community of believers it was amazing. I could talk openly about God and things I did not understand. They helped lift me up and we all prayed together. I was sharing about what I have seen God do and where I thought walking with Jesus would take us next. I had never wanted to willingly trade them or be away from them for long periods of time, however, life happened. I was drawn away from them and I had to figure some things out on my own about God.

In the time I had away from the community I have learned a lot about myself and even more about God this time. I realized there was still jealousy in me and feelings of abandonment. I thought my faith was so strong and I would be fine on my own. I hadn’t realized how much I was relying on my community for answers and prayers. Like I said before the community can be amazing, but sometimes (no I am not speaking for anyone else) it stunted my growth in the Spirit. Instead of listening when God was whispering to me I said, “Maybe later.” Instead of writing when He asked me to months ago I said, “I will soon.”

So in turn, I had been placed in this place were the only person I can hear is God. It was a humbling experience. There were still times I had said, “God I got this.” I still needed Him to get through my day though. By the end of the day in my stubbornness, I had given back all the troubles and problems I was trying to carry around alone. When I had community it was easier to buckle the bag of worries and problems around me and keep going anyway. When all the while God was there saying, “I will carry it all for you if you let me.”

This year it has been different. I quickly shut off the Netflix and enjoyed the silence that surrounded me. I was able during those times to completely put all of my focus on God and I would not allow anything else into my mind. I am not perfect and I know I don’t know everything. I am glad this year I took this time off to have a vacation with God.

He is still peeling back the layers of me and getting out all those things that don’t belong to Him. I am His masterpiece and process is wonderful and painful at the same time. God has shown up to say, “Though I am quiet I am still right here.”

I hope others would be encouraged to take time with God and not by doing so many things be just allowing yourself to listen to Him. I know not everyone can take off a lot of time but even if it is 5 minutes in the morning or 10 minutes right before bed, it is better than nothing.

-Esme

The Voices Asking Why

There seems to be a time in everyone’s life when they start to ask why something had happened. I have lost many people in my life and I have asked myself why more often than not. Eventually, I had to let these thoughts go as I did people that I have held dearly in my heart. The questions of why have hit me pretty hard this summer.

 

There are questions I have had to deal with often is why am I writing?

Why do I continue to write?

Why do I have times when I don’t want to write?

 

This last week has been very challenging for me. I thought when I started writing again after not doing so for 10 years it would be great and simple. The words would flow out of me like floodwaters taking over my mind and I would just sit to write for hours daily, but it is not always like that. The ideas have been there swarming around in my head daily because I have not had a shortage of them. It was the fear of not being good enough and failing I have had to deal with head-on.

 

  I first had to come to the conclusion I had nothing to lose by writing. Now it was not as easy as it sounds there were a lot of nights where I was making lists of worst-case situations. I remember one of them being I would lose friends but it turned out most of them don’t read (thank you for the ones that do read this). My family would hate me for the things I had written, but it turned out they don’t read my writing (which in the end is probably a good thing lol). I think those thoughts then led me to what if no one likes it or reads it, but why does it matter in the end. There will always be people that don’t like you, are not interested in what you are doing.

 

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  Then when I sit down to write, I jump into my character worlds the next part just comes, and it is wonderful.  I would be flowing and writing was enjoyable and easy. Sometimes I stare at the screen for a bit before anything comes out of me. There are other days when it is hard at all to even sit down at the computer to write.

One those days when I don’t want to sit down to write, I read. I read many different types of books. I love reading have a lot of books I am in the middle for various reasons.  I wanted to start new book Saturday night so I did. I kept my self-control and only read the first chapter. Oh man, it was hard to stop I was hooked I wanted to know what happened. No, I am not going to tell you the book, but I will say it is a new popular young adult literature book.

After reading this first chapter, I sat in awe and then that nagging voice popped into my head. It said, “You will never be a good enough writer to be as successful as they are or anyone else like them. How could you ever compete? Most of all why would you try?” I really started to think about it what keeps an artist today painting when Monet is already out there and brilliant? After some tears and really questioning whether I should even continue to keep writing I came to some conclusions.

 

  • Claude Monet was not really popular in his time anyway

  • I would not be myself if I didn’t write.

  • My head would be over maximum capacity if I didn’t let my characters live out their lives on paper.

  • I would write even if no one read it.

  • I love to write.

So if you find this nagging voice inside saying why bother, tell it to shut up and get out! Walk out your dreams you don’t know where they will take you! Hang on to the reason why you are writing whatever that maybe!

-Esme

Writing Camp Success

Because I never wrote a camp letter and I though it might be fun…..

 

Dear Mom and Dad,

 

I have been at camp now for a whole month. I can’t believe how fast the month has gone by and I still have so much writing to do. It has been blazing hot all month at times I didn’t even want to go outside to go to work because it was so hot.  I have had a lot of long nights and too many early mornings. It will all be worth it in the end. I think you will be proud of what I have accomplished. 

 

The best part aside from the writing what this year for the first time I met my goal. I liked choosing hours because sometimes I got eight hours of writing in a day and other days no writing at all. My cabin this year was full of believers which were a change for me as well this year. It was great to hear all their encouragement and passion for the task ahead. 

 

I wish I could have visited with you more, but I really want to get this book done. I feel like there have been so many things come up to distract me. I know you would be happy that I am doing what makes me happy, what I am passionate about, and my calling in life. It is kind of odd that it has taken me so long to get back to it. If I just would have hung on at 13 and kept going man I would have probably gotten really far, but it is time to just keep looking ahead to the next goal. 

 

Kiddo and I did take some time to go swimming. We didn’t get to make s’mores this year because we were in a drought and fires were dangerous. I got to play with the dogs some too when the sun was going down. I might go hiking next camp if it is cool enough. I think I want to come back every year. It is the best. 

 

Thank you so much for being there for me. I appreciate your encouragement even though there are many times you don’t understand. You know it is important to me and I thank you for everything you have ever done for me. I love you.

 

See you soon,

Esme

 

Open up Let the Light in

I was a girl who exhausted myself by trying to be the perfect child in every way to be less trouble for my parents. They always seemed to have their hands full with life. I just wanted to make things easy.  It had not crossed my mind to works for God and because I didn’t see Him as a visible being for most of my life. I didn’t even know how to please God aside from going to church. 

I wondered what it would be like to let the God into my life. I was curious what it would be like to devote myself to something so completely that nothing could move me or shake me. I have seen the world of religion from both a personal standpoint and an academic study. I have seen people so devoted to God and they never seemed to grow weary. They just kept going and doing for God. I had admired them from afar most of my life because I didn’t really understand why they did so much for God. I couldn’t see the motivation behind it unless it was to get into heaven. I thought that if I believed Jesus was my Savior and asked for forgiveness I would end up in heaven but without having to do all those things. 

So why did all these people do these works? 

In my opinion, there are some people out there who are doing good works for God to please other people, to show they are “good”, or because it is the trendy thing to do. I have found that doing works for these reasons usually causes burnout and sometimes for the person to walk away from God. I have seen this happen to many people because they are still in the world mindset of needing to do things as opposed to first having a relationship with God. 

Before I became a believer I didn’t understand doing works and getting nothing out of it. I know it was a selfish mindset but why would I do things for others when they were doing nothing for me. I was in the mind frame of the world. I could see how people abused each other and tore them down. I was not willing to sacrifice my sanity or others. Yet, I was a people pleaser….yes I know this makes no sense.  

Now, that I am a follower of Christ and I have really given my life over to Him my mind and especially my motivations have changed. I haven’t done things because I have to but because I love Him. I do things out of love for Him. It is a lot like any other friendship or love relationship. You buy them dinner because you love them, money doesn’t matter because you love them, and you do special things for them just to see them smile. 

If I didn’t let God’s love and Holy Spirit in my whole life, how was I ever going to give to other people outside of my comfort zone? Even with love and the Holy Spirit if I wasn't really spending time with the Lord then I would expect to get burnt out as a believer.

There can be so much darkness and tragedy in the world and we need time with God. We all have choices we can either listen to the darkness or we can look for the light. I wonder how many different people have just given into a life of darkness or this is as good as it gets. I know for a long time I had lost hope that my life would get better. 

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Sometimes we resist and say no not this time, or I have got this now.  There are many times when I have given it all to God and tried to take some of it back. I wanted to work out my own problems and I could manage my finances better than He could. I wanted to date this guy I thought was so great and right here in front of me. Every single one of those times it ended in more pain and more complications than I was in before I started.

So is letting God in so simple? I suppose this can be answered in three different ways. Yes, no, and I have not idea what you are talking about. God is the light and the light of the world. It is easy to let God in if you want Him, but usually you have to come to a point where you are done living your life for yourself. It is easy if you have reached the bottom. If you are tired of the pain and exhaustion that is overwhelming you. Jesus is right there waiting with open arms.

God is good. His mercy endures forever. God’s grace is there before you even ask for it. He is waiting for you to notice Him. You are the apple of His eye. Open up let the light in.

-Esme

 

The 30 Something Goes to Camp

I remember a few years back people were surprised when I said I had never been camping….who I am I kidding they are still surprised. I guess they think I am really missing out on nature and other things. It seems normal to me to not be the camping type. I grew up on a farm and our work was always outside in all types of weather no matter the temperature. We would spoil ourselves by being inside when we did get a vacation. I am not saying that every farmer in the area has the same point of view as me I’m sure there are many that do go camping. It was a good excuse for me, however, to limit my time with being around bugs and snakes. This year I am camping but once again it will be indoors. I am excited!

I have started the month of July off with a big bang and I don’t mean fireworks! The relaunch of my blog has happened and I have I signed up for Camp National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). This will be my second year participating in camp because I did not know it existed until a couple years ago. 

What is the camp about?

The camp is a great way to challenge myself as a writer and to try to connect with a community of writers. The writer picks the project they would like to work on, and the goal they would like to accomplish by July 31st. It is great!  This website gives me the opportunity to track my goal by using minutes, hours, lines, pages, and words. The project can be a revision, new project, poetry, short stories, script, and nonfiction.

The camps sections are held yearly in April and September. The regular NaNoWriMo is in November. The November session has less flexibility than the April and July camp. The writers in November are grouped together with people in your region of the world. November’s goals are the same for all 50,000 words. It has been difficult for me to keep my daily writing momentum in November but I am planning on being a planner this year to see if it will change my progress. If you would like to be my writing buddy my handle on the site is emeraldlove. 

Every year for camp I had chosen to be with people who have similar goals. There was the option to pick a group of people my own age and also to be put in just a random cabin. The campers were given the option to host my own cabin and invite other campers to it. I am not brave enough to host my own cabin yet.  I would recommend doing cabins because talking with people while trying to write has been helpful for me. Since I have taken up writing again in conjunction with my full-time job it can be isolating at times. I have longed for friends interested in writing and faith.  

In the cabins, people can talk to others around the world and they also encourage each other. Many of the campers share what is going on in their lives and about their projects. This year I was lucky enough to find a Christian cabin and it has been wonderful to read all their posts. I have not been much of a talker this year. 

I set my goal this year to 30 hours after attempting to do word count first. I am used to word count goals but quickly realized editing has been more about time than words. I have been just prompt writing to get my creative juices going about once a week. I have loved going on Pinterest to find writing prompt by image or words. I have a book I have been working on during the weekends and moments I have to spare. 

My head has been overflowing with plot ideas and dialogue which was one reason I had turned to camp to help me get some of these ideas out on paper and do something with them. I have continued to do as many online writing groups so I can to keep perseverance going and continue on in my writing. 

Camp resets my focus to the writing I need to get done and this year I am focused on editing. No, it will not be the number one priority (Jesus is hello!) but writing has become a part of who I am. The truth is I love writing, but I took a ten-year break from it due to unforeseen circumstances like graduate school and single parenthood. 

I am happy to be writing again and please hang tight with me while I dust off the cobwebs and create a new voice that sounds much different than the one of my former life.

Thank you,

Esme