Fear of Writing

“Fear of failure is the reason most often cited to explain why so many aspiring writers never realize their dreams. But I think it’s that same fear of failure that absolutely invigorates those who do push through—that is, the fear of not being heard.” – Betsy Lerner

“Inspiration doesn’t descend like a lightning bolt from the gods. Inspiration comes instead from a steady breath, a solid foundation, and a commitment to the process.” – Laraine Herring

“Perfectionism is the belief that what you write is never good enough. It is another form of being blocked. Perfectionists are afraid of risks, and if you don’t learn to take risk in your writing, you won’t grow as a writer.” – Rachel Ballon, Ph.D.

“Don’t feel guilty about being afraid of the blank page. Don’t think you aren’t a writer if you don’t rush to the computer first thing when you get up in the morning in order to face the empty page. Writing is hard work. Filling up an empty page with your thoughts, your pains, your joys, and your creative ideas takes immense courage.” – Rachel Ballon, Ph.D.

“There is always the risk that you may disappoint yourself. That risk is there even for productive writers, as most writers don’t write as often as they would like. Because of this reality, you will need to practice self-forgiveness.” – Eric Maisel

“The writing life is defined by the succession of choices you make, primary among them whether or not you will write. You honor your writing space by entering it with this mantra: ‘I am ready to work.’ You enter, grow quiet, and vanish into your writing.” – Eric Maisel

These come from Musings of a Novelista.

A New Old iMac

My sister has given me her old iMac. I’ve never used a Mac so it will be an adventure. I set it up tonight but didn’t do much beyond turning it on and then changing the clock and date. I want to look into what it may need for updates and how far I can update the system’s hardware with new software. I wrote down all the information and have found it on the Apple site. Turns out it is older than I thought, but that shouldn’t matter as much for a Mac as it does for  PC running Windows.

It’s an iMac G3 and I found a User Guide which I will read through tomorrow. It’s getting a bit late to do more tonight. I also found a New User Guide which might help a PC user adapt to a Mac.

Flickr: Vintage iMac

Flickr: iMac G3

Flickr: Apple iMacs

The Vintage Mac Museum

X Marks the Spot

Today it’s X for the A- Z Blogging Challenge. I have an X in mind today for sure!

I’ve been raging a battle for the soul/ mind/ of my computer or at least my own sanity for weeks and weeks. It started months ago when MS Windows had a final meltdown and would not let me recover Windows as my OS (operating system). I thought I was going to have to figure out how to buy a new computer when I finally found a solution, Linux. The version I installed was Ubuntu and it worked fine for a couple of months, or at least a month (it’s all becoming like a bad joke at this point).

When that crashed and burned I tried reinstalling many times. It would work for a day and then die. Most often it just gave me errors and would not work at all. But, I did not want to settle on the option of having to get a new computer. This past week I installed Xubuntu and it worked for most of a week. But, this week it slowed to a crawl and I had to reboot the computer and then… no dial tone. (Not literally no dial tone, you know what I mean). It’s like my computer has become allergic to any and every OS (operating system, as you may remember).

Today I installed Xubuntu on my Mother’s computer, just as a mad science experiment. She isn’t home, still away in Florida until May at least. Plus, she just bought a new laptop and doesn’t really know what she is going to do with this desktop anyway. So, why not try a little computer brain surgery? Xubuntu works fine for this computer. The only problem is a site that uses Shockwave/ Adobe Flash (which is something I usually curse at for eating bandwidth and being terminally slow anyway). So, I have to finally admit the problem is probably my computer hardware, most likely the hard disk.

This leaves me with the option of having to buy a new hard disk and install it. In the end this could cost not much less than buying a new computer which would be nice as mine is at least five years old. Acer would not support my computer hardware or software due to it’s age. Which seemed really asshat of them. I don’t know how they can get away with that. No wonder there are so many computers dumped out if they only get a very limited shelf life from the manufacturers.

Anyway, onwards from the issue of landfill… I do have one other option which I am considering (mainly due to the fact of not really having money to buy another computer). I could take the hard disk out of my Mother’s computer and install it in my own. It’s a bit of a Frankenstein moment. But I think I could do it. A boyfriend showed me how to do it once a few years ago. It seemed pretty straight forward, unscrew this and snap in that. After all, the rest of my hardware is fine, better than my Mother’s computer. I think the hard disks are the same, both 512MB. So it could work.

Right now, I am taking a break from it all. I’m going to Second Cup in town and getting coffee beans to bring home and a latte to drink there. I just have to pick out a good book to take along with me. Something that has nothing to do with computers!

Happy Spring!

Today for the A – Z Blogging Challenge it’s S for Spring!

I won’t even make a post today, other than the ASCII Art I worked on to post here. While you are doing your things of the day today, I will be visiting family leaving my computer to be alone for the day. I doubt it will miss me. Not only is it an inanimate object, but it sees me far too often anyway. Likely it will be glad for a real day off.

Writing in the Moment

Reading, Riting and Rithmatic… Yes, it’s a bit of a cheat for the A – Z Blogging Challenge but I’ve been dealing with computer chaos this week. Just installed another OS tonight. Hoping it will be the last time I need to install/ reinstall a version of Linux.

Rach Writes her A – Z of Writing Tips for the A – Z Blog Challenge. I picked out this one because I think about the “show don’t tell” thing a lot.

Keep your character in the moment to avoid “telling”

She added more in the comments on the post:

“In the moment” is one of the ways to show without telling – you basically have the characters experience things as they happen. So rather than saying “Steve was attacked with a knife” (which is a summary of what happened, and “telling”), you describe what happened in detail as though it were happening in that moment. Eg, “Steve spun and flinched when a shadow lunged toward him. A flash of light glinted in the dark, a streetlamp reflecting off the blade of a knife. Steve’s mouth fell as the knife arced toward him. He tried to scream but his throat was locked shut, and all he could do was watch, watch, watch while his death approached.” (That sort of thing anyway) 🙂

Successful Momentum

For the A- Z Blogging Challenge… M is for Momentum

Rich Fettke, author of Extreme Success, has 10 tips for maintaining our momentum:

1. Take some time to clarify your desired future outcome. Success is seeing what you want and moving toward what you see.

2. Use visual reminders of your intention. Get some magazines and cut out pictures and words related to your goal. Put them where you’ll see them on a regular basis, like on your bathroom mirror, in your wallet, next to your computer screen, or on a poster board.

3. Set clear goals with clear timelines.

4. Be action-oriented.

5. Ask yourself, “How much and what kind of fun will I have with this project?” This will help raise your energy. If you’re dreading the process there’s a good chance your momentum is going to get stifled.

6. Fill your mind with inspiration. Read books, listen to audio programs, and watch videos that educate, uplift and inspire you. Go to seminars and attend conventions related to your goal. Read about and learn about people who have done what you want to do.

7. Take a Risk a Day. So often to move towards what we really want requires us to get out of our comfort zone. By getting into the habit of taking a risk a day you will strengthen your courage as you take those important actions that can lead to your greatest opportunities.

8. Create a support team. Ask a few of your friends to form a group to support each other on your goals. Find a mentor, someone you think would add input, support, advice, feedback, and/or accountability to help you keep your attention on your intention.

9. Consistently review your top three intentions. This will add fuel to your fire and will help you focus your attention on what matters during your day. It will also help you recognize the opportunities that might help you move toward your desired future outcome.

10. Clarify how your intention also helps others. The fuel that can come from helping others can inspire you to take action and stay focused on your goals.

On his Facebook page I read a great quote from his wife, Kathy Fettke.

“Think about what you would die for; then live for it.”

On Twitter (which isn’t much used) he has a post I like:

My goal is to do today what will feel good tomorrow.

That works in so many ways. It doesn’t seem like much if you just skim/ read it. But then it sinks in a bit.

Pledge to Read the Printed Word

Found on Domestic Cherry while looking at bloggers I used to visit regularly when I was part of Entrecard.

Read the Printed Word – We support the printed word in all its forms: newspapers, magazines, and of course books. We think reading on computers or phones or whatever is fine, but it cannot replace the experience of reading words printed on paper. We pledge to continue reading the printed word in the digital era and beyond.

Paper or Pixels?

From Restless Writers: Writing on the run: Paper or pixels?

For myself, I don’t have anything digital to make notes on once I am away from the computer. But, I have used my digital camera to photograph something I want to read later. Does that count?

I almost always have various pens and paper :notebooks, paper used for something but still blank on one side, flyers with space to write somewhere, a blank page from a book even at least a couple of times when I didn’t have anything else. You never know when something will click in your mind and give you all kinds of ideas. At the time I think I will remember, but I am almost always wrong. I usually don’t remember unless I can manage to write it down at the time soon after the idea germinates in my brain.

Ubuntu Live, Windows Dead

On Thursday my computer began to slow to a crawl. After spending the day trying to work that way I decided to use the Acer recovery and my Windows reboot disk. I copied my files onto a DVD then began the process of recovery. I’ve done this twice before so wasn’t expecting anything much to happen. It takes some time and then more time to reinstall software. This time I could not get Windows to work. It said I had a corrupt or missing kernel.

After trying a few things, even tried using my old Windows ME CD cause that is a full version, I had to get help. I emailed Acer, the maker of my computer. I thought they would tell me where to get fresh recovery files in case mine had become corrupted. But no. Acer told me they don’t provide support for my computer, it is too old. It doesn’t seem old to me. I still feel this is “the new” computer compared to the IBM I had running for about 10 years before buying this Acer system. I would still be using that IBM if the Windows ME hadn’t become obsolete.

So I was not impressed with Acer. I tried looking at prices for new and refurbished computers. I looked at prices for buying a full version of Windows 7. It was not encouraging for my meager bank account.

I had half heartedly tried Ubuntu a few years ago. I gave up on it when I didn’t remember my password to login and was not really wanting to go through the time it takes to learn a new system and find out what works and what does not. So, in my time of frustration with Windows, I went back to Ubuntu. I had an old CD for Ubuntu 5 which did not work. It gave me an error as well. But, I went to the website and burned the latest Ubuntu to a DVD, just to try everything. It worked!

It is still working right now. I am writing this as a non-Windows person. It feels weird. I have used Windows since I began using my first computer when I worked for my Dad. That would have been… a lot of years ago! So it feels odd to know the computer I am using is not using Windows. It feels a bit like floating in space, weightless, in an endless night sky.

I know there are going to be trials ahead. I know none of my Windows software from the games to the practical things I have come to rely on will not work on Ubuntu. I may figure out how to get some of them working, as I get into Ubuntu and how it works. It really does not feel much different from Windows. Things are in different places on my desktop, but I could change that to be just like Windows. I won’t though.

My main concern right now is will my little scanner still work, I haven’t plugged it in yet. Also, once the scanner works, I will not have my old reliable, simple graphics program to resize and trim and prettify my drawings. So, I will have to learn Gimp or something else that works with Ubuntu. I’m not looking forward to that. I like my comfort zone. It’s nice and cosy and I know it works. I can’t think of other software I won’t be able to use right now. I know it is out there, lurking, later I will have a burst of memory and then remorse.

For now… my computer is working! So there Acer and MS Windows!

The Ubuntu ASCII Art came from a forum where someone had asked for an ASCII Art signature with the Ubuntu logo.

Guest Post: Best Ways to Ignite Your Imagination for Writing

Best Ways to Ignite Your Imagination for Writing

You’re sitting there staring at the keyboard. Your wheels are turning but you are going nowhere fast. Writer’s block happens to the best in the business. The trick to recovering and igniting that spark of imagination needed to finish or begin a task is elusive at best. What worked for some may not work for others; you may be left trying anything and everything you can to get it going again. This is not the end of the world unless your deadline is just around the corner, then you have to take drastic measures. One thing is for certain the more you try to force it the worse it will become.

You can try everything including throwing in the kitchen sink, as one notable life coach was quoted as saying, and you still find yourself stuck. This is the time that you should back off. Walk away from the computer and just relax. Do something fun or different, just try and make it something that has absolutely nothing to do with the project you are working on. Try being creative in other mediums that you are less familiar with or are mentally taxing and see where it takes you. Heck, bake a cake, sketch, listen to your favorite songs and dance until you drop.

There are those who find that reading something from several different genres can provide that jolt to the imagination that is sorely needed. Meditation does it for others. Sometimes what happens is that your brain simply refuses to go in the direction you choose for a moment. So reset it by letting it wander a bit. That’s right, it may sound a bit far fetched but as a writer this seems to be the only explanation that makes sense. The mind is a remarkable organ that can sometimes gets tired of doing what it is we are overtaxing it with. It just needs a little rest sometimes.

Scenic drives and a visit to an arboretum can be very helpful. Bottom line, do something that is so totally out of character for you so that it becomes a catalyst for inspiration. Focusing on something else has worked time and time again for many professional creatives to be one of the best ways to begin the flow of thought. Let it go and just go about the day as if you do not need to get back to it. Go for a walk and observe the world around you. Watch the natural passage of time and how the people around you interact with their world. If a great idea comes to you run with it!

Rick Valence loves to read and write short stories, books and especially blogs. He has a vast array of writing interests that include fiction, non-fiction and how-to guides. He considers himself a bit of a wine aficionado and enjoys spending his vacations in the beautiful California Wine Country discovering great new wines and food pairings. Rick works Monday through Friday as a digital camera repair specialist at C.R.I.S. Camera Services in Chandler, Arizona. He is also the webmaster of his company’s camera repair blog.