Reading to Write

My Road to Becoming an Author

Organization

Written By: Melody Pearson - Apr• 01•14

Highlighted Section of BookNow that I’m not as busy with school, I must face the demon that drove me there.  I need to train myself to write every day, not just when the mood strikes or I have a deadline.  If I am ever to consider myself an “author” I must be my “boss.”  I have to find a way to face down the demon of the blank mind.  I must find the inner spark of imagination and coax it into a flame.  I must set goals and stick to them.

In the beginning, immediately after I graduated in 2009 with aspirations to be a freelance writer, I let myself be sidetracked with Facebook games.  I became addicted to several of them and as fast as I tired of one, a “friend” would introduce me to another.  I spent hours each day, planting crops, building villages, designing houses, fighting dragons and collecting gems.  I accomplished nothing.  I went cold-turkey and deleted all the games.

Then I “met” Not Bob.  He pulled me into Social Media as a writing platform.  Soon my time was again monopolized by something other than writing.  I cut most of that out as well.  No more Twitter, Linked In, G+, or Goodreads.  I couldn’t totally eliminate Facebook because it’s how I keep track of my far flung family, but I cut it back.  I made a list of immediate family members that I follow every few hours, but I only look at the general newsfeed once or twice a day.

I spent several weeks in withdrawals, but I still didn’t write.  It seemed I had starved my muse too long.  She refused to talk to me.  Finally, in desperation, I registered for school.  I just planned to take a couple of online classes a semester.  Just something that would give me assignments, papers to write, something to feed the dragon.  There was a time when I was addicted to writing.  I needed to find that craving again.

Instead, I became more and more involved in classes.  I found myself taking classes that required no writing and didn’t even interest me.  It was becoming like a job I disliked, but couldn’t quit.  Unfortunately, the pay was nonexistent.  The drain on my time, energy, and GPA was becoming the greatest source of stress I had experienced since I “retired.”  After weeks of trying to convince myself I needed to finish what I started, I finally allowed my inner voice to take control and I dropped the energy sucking class followed quickly by a change of major before I could be enticed into another.

Then I spent two weeks playing with the babies.  With my nerves soothed, it’s time to begin making amends to my muse.  I am still pursuing the Religious Studies major and adding a minor in History.  Both have the potential to provide background for my writing plans.  I may branch out into Folklore as well.  We’ll see how things go next fall.    In the meantime, I have a half dozen books on writing that I bought and never really read.  There’s also a stack of programming books for various languages I wanted to learn and couldn’t find classes for at school.  Between the two, I hope to get my brain working again.

The one online class I have left requires about four hours a week of effort, split pretty evenly between reading and writing.  The babies nap, at least, two hours a day.  That time must become my work period.  So that totals to fourteen hours a week.  Not even part time.  I just need to find my inner controller to keep me on track.

To begin, I WILL make a post to one of my four blogs every week.  If I can’t come up with an interesting topic, I’ll talk about not being able to find anything to write about or the weather.  The pump must be primed.  In the beginning, the water may be rusty and filled with junk, but time and effort will clear it up.

This week, I will inventory my writing books and decide which ones to start with.  I hope to read one a week, they’re mostly thin.  I’ve already chosen a programming book.  Core PHP Programming is more than 500 pages (plus appendices) divided into twenty chapters.  I intend to do a chapter a week, just like a classroom situation.  I’ll be discussing that effort on my Madisonville Design blog.  Come on by, if you’re interested.

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Re-visioning my priorities

Written By: Melody Pearson - Mar• 22•14
Journey Marie

Journey Marie

December to March without a single post….still better than May to December.  Updates first: I’ve added a new great-granddaughter.  She is as beautiful as her mother and shows a happy disposition unless her tummy is hurting.  She brings my total of great-grandchildren to seven and they are all beautiful, smart, and sweet.  Not that I’m prejudiced or anything.  Our family was devoid of babies and toddlers for more than 12 years.  Having babies around has been a wonderful blessing for us all.

Other than the babies, school has consumed all my time for the past three months.  This has been my semester for dropping things.  First I dropped my Buddhism class in Owensboro to watch Damion and Elaina while their mother was at school.  Then I dropped my early morning Christianity course because I needed more free time in the mornings to do lab work for the Photojournalism class on Thursday afternoons.  Now I’ve dropped the Photojournalism major altogether.  I was spending way too much time on classes that covered activities and topics I don’t ever expect to use.

I started it, mainly, as a way to improve my photography, but it wasn’t really doing that.  Their classes are geared toward news photography or studio work.  My main interest, other than snapshots of the kids, is landscape and macro photography.  I’d like to learn more about shooting animals in nature too, but that’s way down the line.  I knew that they wouldn’t cover the kinds of photos I want to take, but I didn’t anticipate that the classes would be so time consuming.

I had no time left for writing, this blog is a case in point, or for upkeep on clients websites, or for keeping my church’s website updated.  I haven’t touched my WIP for nearly a year.  I do still intend to pursue the Religious Studies degree and I think I will add a minor in history.  I feel like these things will give me a stronger foundation for my personal writing goals.

So I am, once again, re-visioning my life.  I still have an online Religious Studies class and hope to register for online history and geography classes this fall.  Then I’ll head back to campus next spring to take another run at finishing up my second Bachelor’s degree.  Along the way, I will be considering the possibility of a Master’s in Creative Writing.  That has always be my first love.  I do want to improve my photography and learn to use my camera better, but it doesn’t look like school is the way to get there.

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Wrapping Up the Year

Written By: Melody Pearson - Dec• 18•13

Wow, no posts since Mother’s Day….obviously it is more than a time crunch problem.  I think I’ve had a writer’s block kind of thing going on too.  Anyhow, the year is almost gone and it has been an eventful one.  Three new great-granddaughters have doubled that generational population.  Their siblings are growing up way too fast and I’m sure the new babies will do the same.  The fact that they are the topic of my first paragraph shows where my priorities have been this year.

I finished the Old Testament/Hebrew Scriptures course with an ‘A,’ but it was a bear with assignments every day.  I opted out of the second summer course.  I never took on campus summer courses because they required you to attend class daily.  Apparently, online courses are just as time consuming, so no more of those either.  (more…)

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Mom’s Around the Globe….

Written By: Melody Pearson - May• 12•13

078Happy Mother’s Day

To all my writerly friends who are mothers.

Have a wonderful day.

May it be filled with great family time.

And end with peace and quiet.

May you find inspiration

and satisfaction along the way.

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Testing…..

Written By: Melody Pearson - May• 09•13

This is a test, in more ways than one.  It’s finals week and I’ve completed my classes for this semester.  One is satisfactory and one, not so much.  However, I expect I will just have to settle for it since I can’t see going through it again as beneficial.  At least I passed.  A high C is not my usual standard, but I am afraid it will have to do for that particular class.  The thing that brought my score down so much was the Buddhism exam.  All my homework grades were fine and the other two tests were acceptable.  So, I am taking a class dedicated exclusively to Buddhism n the fall.

I have two online classes this summer. One in May and another in July, then I will be driving back and forth to Bowling Green for classes on Monday/Wednesday/Friday in the fall.  In the meantime, I’ll try to be more prolific at posting to the blogs and start working on my fiction writing again.

I’m also have an issue with this site.  It says it can’t find the landing page.  When I click the Home button, I get an error.  I’ll work on fixing that tomorrow.

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Moving and Adjusting

Written By: Melody Pearson - Apr• 19•13

As part of my attempt to find a more productive writing schedule, I have moved my computer to my bedroom.  I know that is not the ideal place to keep it.  It has the potential to interfere with sleep patterns.  However, all the experts say you should have a quiet writing space.  A place where you can shut out the external world and concentrate.  I don’t know how that jibes with people who write in coffee shops or sidewalk cafes.  I’m not sure solitude is always necessary, but I do know that trying to write in a hub of activity wasn’t really working.  My home office is in an area that doesn’t even have a door I can close.  In fact, except for the dining room, it is about the most high-traffic area in the house.

IMG_0792So, here I sit, all alone.  However, there is now another problem.  Before, I could work off and on all day long even while doing other things.  I used to step into the office and work for half an hour or so while the baby played in his pen in the livingroom.  There was no door and it was only ten feet away. I could hear him babbling and rattling around.  There was nothing within reach that could hurt him.  I can’t run upstairs and leave him alone like that.  If I come upstairs, he has to come too.  There isn’t room up here for his playpen or his walker.  The only thing he has up here to amuse him is a bouncing swing and abstract art slides on my second monitor.  It works for short periods, but he’s only nine months old.  He gets bored quickly.

Before, I could set the timer on the oven while fixing dinner and go write.  I can’t hear the timer go off upstairs.  I can set a timer on my phone, but it doesn’t work the same.  In the office, it was only a few steps to the kitchen to check on things, then right back to work.  Up here, it’s a major effort.  If I stop to go downstairs and take something out of the oven, I’m probably not going to come right back. (more…)

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