Musings From a Fall Day

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A picture I took this weekend.

For today’s post I’ve decided to feature some of my little sister’s writing. This weekend while on a hike she was so inspired by everything around her that I had to pass her my notebook and tell her to write down the thoughts (quite visably) bouncing around her brain.

So, here is one of the first creative writing pieces done by my 13 year old sister, Annamaria.

It is a a rock’s natural ability is to crush things, it’s not his fault. A gentle leaf struggles to stay above the surface, but it’s fate is inevitable. Its holes and cracks will crumble while its short, uneventful life will never be seen again– not that many have seen it before. But the rock is still sitting as everything is fluttering around, dreaming, living. What is the rock to do? It watches the leaf’s short, wonderful life…end. Small, trapped, dying. What is it to do?

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Inspiration for Today

“Stay close to anything that makes you glad you are alive.” – Hafiz
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Today I didn’t get home until after 7:00 because of school and cross country so my post for today is just a picture and quote. It’s just a little reminder that even when you’re super overwhelmed (like me right now) you should still make time for the things you love.

Six Tips on Writing from John Steinbeck

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Every week I am excited to get an email from this website I’m subscribed to called Brain Pickings. It features posts on interesting ideas, insights, inspiration on anything from science to poetry.

This week in their newsletter an article on John Steinbeck (my favorite) sparked my interest. Here he offers six tips on writing that I thought I’d share with you all!

1. Abandon the idea that you are ever going to finish. Lose track of the 400 pages and write just one page for each day, it helps. Then when it gets finished, you are always surprised.

2. Write freely and as rapidly as possible and throw the whole thing on paper. Never correct or rewrite until the whole thing is down. Rewrite in process is usually found to be an excuse for not going on. It also interferes with flow and rhythm which can only come from a kind of unconscious association with the material.

3. Forget your generalized audience. In the first place, the nameless, faceless audience will scare you to death and in the second place, unlike the theater, it doesn’t exist. In writing, your audience is one single reader. I have found that sometimes it helps to pick out one person—a real person you know, or an imagined person and write to that one.

4. If a scene or a section gets the better of you and you still think you want it—bypass it and go on. When you have finished the whole you can come back to it and then you may find that the reason it gave trouble is because it didn’t belong there.

5. Beware of a scene that becomes too dear to you, dearer than the rest. It will usually be found that it is out of drawing.

6. If you are using dialogue—say it aloud as you write it. Only then will it have the sound of speech.

*Be careful of number six if used in a public setting (source: experience)

Autumn in New England

“Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower.”
— Albert Camus

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It’s autumn in New England! Here’s a picture I took today on my run as well as a quote I really like.

This is such a quick post because I was ABOUT to fall asleep and then I remembered my 30 Day Challenge. Well, I didn’t post much but it’s something!

Three Writing Lessons I’ve Learned From Blogging Everday

For the month of October I have taken on the 30 Day Challenge of posting on my blog everyday. It’s October 15th, the halfway point, and here are a few realizations I’ve come across that will make you want to challenge yourself too!

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  1. “The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt.” –Sylvia Plath

When it comes to writing, if you’re a perfectionist like me, you’re often your worst critic.  I can’t count the number of times I’ve written something and then kept it safely pressed inside my notebook to never to be seen by anyone because I thought it wasn’t finished.  With this challenge, I have no excuse to hide my work because I’m too worried about what other people think.  When I need a post for the day, I’m forced to put on display what I’d normally keep to myself.  The result?  Better than what you’d expect.  Some of the most popular posts on my blog ever are of poems I’ve written with no intention of showcasing in the blogging world.

2.  “You can’t wait for inspiration. You have to go after it with a club.” — Jack London

For writers it’s natural to pick up a pen and paper when revelation strikes.  But what about the days that troop by without any sudden flash of inspiration?  That’s when writing becomes difficult.  A challenge like this forces you to sit down, painstakingly pull words out of your unenlightened brain, and try to form coherent sentences with them.  You may not win a Pulitzer Prize every time, but this work ethic forces you to push your limits even when you’ve hit a wall.

3. “If you really want to do something, you’ll find a way. If you don’t, you’ll find an excuse.” –John Rohn

Right now I could probably think of a million different things I could be doing instead of blogging. With a busy schedule, loads of responsibilities and the effects of sleep deprivation after hours of homework kicking in, it’s easy to push writing aside, no matter how much I enjoy it.  But, how you spend your time is a great indicator of where your priorities are.  If one of your priorities in life is spending time doing the things that you love (like writing), then you shouldn’t let your mundane routine stifle your passion.  A challenge like this is perfect for making sure you find a way, not an excuse, to pursue what you love.

Revelation

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Revelation by Robert Frost

We make ourselves a place apart
Behind light words that tease and flout,
But oh, the agitated heart
Till someone find us really out.

‘Tis pity if the case require
(Or so we say) that in the end
We speak the literal to inspire
The understanding of a friend.

But so with all, from babes that play
At hide-and-seek to God afar,
So all who hide too well away
Must speak and tell us where they are.

One of my favorite poems (yes, another Robert Frost one) came to mind in my English class when my teacher read a poem called The Imaginary Iceberg by Elizabeth Bishop. This poem is about how we, like icebergs, often mask who we truly are. More often than not, the facades that we hide behind lack so much of what is actually going on beneath the surface. I think it’s really interesting to think about how we all do this, sometimes unknowingly, and that everyone around us does the same.

Daily Inspiration

“I hope you live a life you are proud of. If you find that you’re not, I hope you have the strength to start all over again.”  F. Scott Fitzgerald

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Despite the fact that today has been so overwhelmingly busy, I don’t want to break my Thirty Day Challenge already so I’ve left you all with a quote I love and I picture I took a few months back! Enjoy 🙂