041/365 My Inspiration

I normally wait until the end of the day to post my daily photoblog. After all, it’s supposed to serve as a pseudo-diary for what I did today. Today, however, I need to make an exception because I don’t think anything else that happens later will be more awesome than this.

As you may know, Lee and I, along with our dear friend Lindsey, have an ongoing writing project called Random Writers. The genesis of the project was something we could do to write with greater frequency and to use our words and ideas to positively impact the world. Keep in mind, Lee has only been writing/blogging since January 2011, and she was terrified at first of the idea of keeping a blog.

I told her that if her words, stories, and voice could positively impact just one person then it would all be worth it. Well, here is a comment she received this morning on her most recent blog post.

“Thanks for inspiring me to be a better version of myself by lighting the path ahead of me.”

I am continued to be blown away by how revealingly honest and pure my wife’s voice is when she writes. She will tell you I am the writer in the family. I will tell you she is the difference maker, both in my life and the lives of others.

It’s great to wake up every morning next to my muse.


Sponsored by the Letter ‘F’

As I sat down to right this last blog for the month, my mind was inundated with alliteration. My mind was on the month of February, and all I could think about was words that begin with the letter ‘F’. Yes, that includes the ever versatile, never dull to say F-bomb.

So, in honor of the lovely month of February, here is a list of choice F-words that will hopefully recap the month that was, as well as set the tone for the month that will be.

Finish: I mentioned last night I would most likely not be posting blogs as routinely as I did in January. The 30-Day Writing Challenge was fun, and it was indeed a challenge. It allowed me to explore topics I had never considered, as well as find some cathartic moments to help me get over issues that still remained a bit unresolved. However, now that I’ve proven to myself that I can indeed block out time to write on a daily basis, I must be fair to myself and finish writing Volume IV of Lives. The short novel series I began writing in April of 2009 has been living in limbo for some time now. Part of it has been the deliberate hiatus of the project. Part of it has been deliberate avoidance on my part. With Volume III written (albeit unreleased), the story of Cate and Max needs its finality, and this is the month to do that.

Fortify: It’s important for me to review what Lee and I were able to accomplish with our 30-Day Writing Challenge and learn from it. In my case, not only were my eyes opened to new ideas and styles, I was also able to strengthen and reinforce some of the lessons I had learned in the six years I’ve been blogging. Mood has as much to do with writing as muse. It’s amazing how fickle my attitude can be, and what begins as a great plan to sit down and write gets tossed out the window because of a small incident that upsets me. This month reminded me that although it’s great to have a goal to write, you can’t be a slave to your writing. When it’s not there, it’s not there. And if you try to force it, you’re not being true to yourself as a writer or to your audience. Sometimes, it’s okay to just shrug your shoulders and say “fuck it”.

Foresee: One thing I truly enjoyed about the 30-Day Writing Challenge was having a list of topic ideas for each day. Mapping out about what it was I wanted to write resolved half the problems I used to have in terms of writing daily. Before, I’d sit down and think about what to write and I’d be stuck with nothing. With our ‘road map’, however, I would be able to think about the topic as I sat on conference calls. I’d be able to jot notes as I waited for Natalie’s soccer practice to finish. I’d be able to use my morning constitutional as productive time. (Over share?).

So, given the fine fellowship we were able to foster following our first listing of fascinating topics (I told you I had an alliteration avalanche), her is a list of topics and ideas for the month of February. I am not putting any dates to them and I am not listing them in any particular order. This is about looking at a topic and either being able to write about it or letting it steer your imagination in a direction that allows you to write about something else.

Since February is the month of love, several of the topics have love-themed qualities to them. Also, Lee received feedback on one of her posts suggesting the next set of topics be about what ‘we’ can do together. Finally, Lee and I both explored some dark and painful topics in our writing in January. We want this to month to be positive, light-hearted, and fun. Given all that, here’s the list (again, in no particular order).

Happy writing, everyone.

  • First Kiss
  • First Car
  • First Love
  • Childhood Crush
  • Favorites (Pet, Food, Restaurant, Vacation, TV Show, Actor/Actress, Athlete, Sports Team (Pro), Sports Team (College), Day of the Week, Season of the Year, Shirt, Relative, Book*, Song*, Movie*)
  • Describe Yourself as a Sixteen Years Old
  • Proudest Professional Moment
  • Guilty Pleasures
  • Neighbors / Community
  • Siblings or Cousin
  • Tackling a Home Improvement Projects
  • Hobbies
  • Causes you love/support
  • Common Courtesy
  • Common Sense
  • Misunderstood Song Lyrics
  • Your Role Model
  • Mission Work (i.e. could you leave it all to go serve/help others?)
  • Tolerance/Understanding (i.e. seeing an argument from the perspective of your adversary)
  • One Thing in the World You’d Like to Change

If you think of something you’d like to see added to the list, please feel free to leave a comment below of visit Lee’s site and leave a comment there. Thanks!

* I know these were covered in January, but there may be someone coming across this posting for the first time.