My November Guest by Robert Frost

Today is the last day of my Thirty Day Challenge of blogging everyday. I am happy to say that this month has been a success. Even though I was tempted to skip sometimes, I never missed a day. As a result, the daily traffic on my blog has more than doubled and I’ve been able to share my writing with so many other people. I totally recommend doing this to bloggers who love to write but typically hesitate before posting because they are a giant over-analyzing perfectionists.

To end this month I will post another one of my Robert Frost favorites that relates to next month, November.

A picture I took a few days ago.

A picture I took a few days ago.

My November Guest by Robert Frost

My Sorrow, when she’s here with me,
Thinks these dark days of autumn rain
Are beautiful as days can be;
She loves the bare, the withered tree;
She walked the sodden pasture lane.

Her pleasure will not let me stay.
She talks and I am fain to list:
She’s glad the birds are gone away,
She’s glad her simple worsted gray
Is silver now with clinging mist.

The desolate, deserted trees,
The faded earth, the heavy sky,
The beauties she so truly sees,
She thinks I have no eye for these,
And vexes me for reason why.

Not yesterday I learned to know
The love of bare November days
Before the coming of the snow,
But it were vain to tell her so,
And they are better for her praise.

If you like Robert Frost, check out some more of his poems that I’ve posted like October and Nothing Gold Can Stay.

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!

writing

  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.

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 🙂

I Quit

Don’t be worried by the title, I’m not quitting my Thirty Day Challenge of writing a blog post everyday. This is the title of a short story I wrote while living at the beautiful Skidmore College campus (the pretty picture below) this past summer while attending an incredible writing camp.

Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs, NY

Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs, NY

This story was inspired by an awesome TED Talk by Scott Dinsmore about refusing to waste your life and instead pursuing a job you actually care about.

“Instead of wondering when your next vacation is, maybe you should set up a life you don’t need to escape from.”

Madeleine pushed the heavy door open like she did every day, but now for the last time. Stepping into the daylight, she let the rays of sun caress her face. She smiled at the sky, she hadn’t felt this good in years.

“What just happened?” Russell’s brows raised in confusion as he followed his co worker out. He was exactly a step and a half behind.

Madeleine turned to him, her smile growing as if she had just realized that outside the mundane realm of fluorescent lights and bleak cubicle walls there were birds and trees and blooming flowers. She finally returned to Russell.

“I’m free. I finally did it. I’m out of this insane asylum for good.” She said.

Russell’s jaw dropped, but he quickly regained his composure with a thin-lipped gaze. He looked like a disappointed parent, as if he was waiting for her to apologize and march, head bowed, to the corner to lament her mistake.

“So, you finally did it? Quit the job. I know it’s been a little stressful but no twenty five year old walks out on a job this good.”

Her mind reeled back to a week ago. It was a grim Wednesday morning. Fog hung in the air and she stood with her eyes cast down trying to avoid the casket being lowered into a pit. Her eyes were stinging but as hard as she tried, she couldn’t cry. There was no relief. She couldn’t make them come. She wasn’t close to her father. He was always one of two places, at the factory or drinking at the bar down the street. She’d been working since she was fourteen. She supported her family by chipping in for overdue rent or reluctantly giving a five for gas. I guess that’s where the rat race began, Madeline realized. She was always searching for the stability her father didn’t care about. Seeing for the first time in two years she felt a pang of sadness as she looked into his pale face. This was it? She felt that he’d wasted his life. And she wasn’t about to do the same.

Now she turned to Russell, “Yes. Yes I did quit my job. Ask me again, I love the way it sounds.” She had almost reached her car and the entire walk to the parking lot she hadn’t noticed his negativity. She was tired of it all. The dark mornings stumbling from her blaring alarm clock to her dripping coffee machine to her droning conference calls. She was free, thanks to her father. The best thing death can bring is a revelation. She had realized that she was writing her own story and she didn’t need to make herself the victim.

“Do you realize the implications that you will–”

She wasn’t listening to him. She was thinking of the offer she had received for an internship in Venice a month ago. It barely paid any money. But still, she’d always wanted to work at a bakery. To create something more than her own misery. “By the way, do you know how much plane tickets to Europe go for these days? God, it’s been forever since I left this city.”

“Um, well, no.” Russell mustered, losing his train of thought. “But as I was saying–”
He tried to continue, but she cut him off again, “Oh Russell, don’t you see? I don’t want to end up like my father. I need to change something about my life.”

“Then change something! But quitting your job? It’s ridiculous. You can do what you really want when you retire. After three years of working with you I have never questioned your sanity until now.”

“Russell, stop looking at me like I’ve lost my mind and just listen. We could be replaced with a computer programmed robot and our world wouldn’t look any different than it does right now. We could press a few buttons, instruct it to follow our daily routine, and sit back to watch our life pass by. I’m done living like this.”

Russell’s arms were folded across his chest. He wasn’t buying it.

“Just think about it.” Madeleine said, her eyes lighting up. “We don’t have to be trapped. This is our life and we can do whatever we want. The possibilities are endless, and exciting– yet how do we spend most of our time? Letting the days troop by, sleepwalking through life.”

He didn’t understand her. His father was a banker and his mother a secretary. He’d grown up comfortable and accustomed to this lifestyle. He asked, “But aren’t you scared?”

“Honestly… yes. But that’s normal. I’ve learned that the only thing people are more scared of than wasting their life is uncertainty.”

“Well Madeleine, I still think you’re a little crazy. Just don’t come crawling back to me when you’re unemployed and scrounging for money.” Russell turned abruptly and walked back in through the tinted door of the towering building.

Madeleine called back to him, “Don’t save up everything you want to do for retirement! It’s riskier than anything I’m trying to do.”

He didn’t turn back. He had an appointment to go to and he didn’t want to be late.

Backing out of the parking lot, Madeleine watched the hot sun reflect off the outside of the tinted building. The rays of light bounced off the glass in waves, barely letting any sun inside. Looking ahead, her past waving goodbye in the rearview mirror, she began to think that maybe her dad’s life wasn’t wasted because, after all, she was finally leaving.

The Last Night of September

The last night of September
closes with sweet reveries
of star cluttered skies
and the soft feeling of fullness
resting in the pit of the stomach,
Those promising syllables of Someday

Today I’ve made my second post for my 30 Day Challenge of blogging everyday! If you haven’t heard about the challenge, read more HERE.

What’s Your 30 Day Challenge?

What if you could add or subtract one thing from your life for a whole month? Whether you want to kick an unhealthy habit (eat less chocolate chip cookies) or make more time to do something you love (write more poetry), the Thirty Day Challenge could rid you of your excuses and leave you with a very memorable month.

Now that October’s here I’m excited to be tackling my first goal: writing a blog entry everyday.

For me, writing isn’t so much the problem, I’m always scrawling down the wisps of inspiration that come to me throughout the day. But normally my writing just remains pressed inside the pages of my notebook because I worry too much about perfecting it before I post it. But now that’s going to change!

If you want to learn more, watch this super inspiring (and super quick) TEDTalk that will leave you wanting to take on the challenge!