Photo via Visual Hunt

At the beginning of every month, as part of the Insecure Writer's Support Group, I take a look at my successes (not just in writing), share the ways I hope to improve in the next month, answer the IWSG question of the month, and provide inspiration (if I have any). Here's this month's edition:

July Accomplishments
✓ Read at least one book. (The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt)
✓ Cultural experience! (July 4th fireworks in NYC, Bastille Day in France, marketplaces, etc…)
✓ Contact JoTotes about broken bag. (fixed!)
✗ Talk to Chase about opening a new checking account.
✗ Change Visa Venture card to free version.

Additional Successes –
✓ Do something "cultural" every month between March and July.
✓ Visit a beach I've never been to. (French beaches ftw?!)
✓ Lost weight during vacation! Woot! :)

August Goals –
• Another month: another book.
• Cultural experience: Myrtle Beach.
• Spend less than we did in August 2015.
• Open a new Chase checking account (and get free $$!).
• Close Chase Disney CC account.

IWSG Question: What was your very first piece of writing as an aspiring writer? Where is it now? Collecting dust or has it been published?

In fifth grade I had the most amazing teacher ever. She understood that I was shy and encouraged me to come out of my "shell". She called on me whenever I least wanted her to … to answer all kinds of questions. Everything from math to history to science. When it came to English (writing, reading), she pushed me to read books outside of my comfort genres. And every week we would have writing conferences. We would talk to her about the short stories we were writing or the research papers we were putting together, and she would guide us. I came away from fifth grade with so much confidence and excitement for learning. In fact, I took that confidence straight into sixth grade. During the first month or two, I remember knowing the answer to every math question the teacher asked … and choosing to raise my hand to give those answers.

That's about the time when my confidence began floundering. At first my thought was: I'm the only one raising my hand. Maybe I shouldn't be? :( And then, by 7th grade I came down with some terrible illness that had me out of school for two weeks straight. And I received my first ever C … in English class. A C?!? All because I was sick and my teacher lost my homework? Ugh! I hated her afterward…

However, it was in the midst of all of that, that I decided I actually liked writing and wanted to write for fun. My first piece, as an aspiring writer, was originally written for a slumber party. It was a scary story that was then submitted by my 6th grade teacher into a competition, of which I did not win. The story now sits on a floppy disk (because those were never suppose to go out of style!) with a paper copy hanging out in a file cabinet at my still proud (and alive!) grandparent's home. (Trust me: the story was terrible.)

From that point forward, writing, for me, became a way of life-coping. I had journal after journal chronicling my adventures. Then there was email with my two best friends – one who criticized my every word (in an encouraging way) and the other who pushed me to simplify, simplify, simplify. Finally, there was my blog, pushed onward by yet another friend.

No, my short story as an aspiring authoress never made it out of the ballpark (or even won an award in a small competition), but the combination of amazing teachers, friends, and family, helped spur my writing forward getting it to where it is today.


This screenwriter compares writing to a performance. He claims that you should not only be able to craft your piece so that it is well-read, you should hit your marks, and incorporate passion into your work as well. #FoodForThought

Your Turn

Writer or not, did you have a successful July accomplishing whatever goals you set out to do? (Even if it was as simple as get through the month alive or enjoy vacation)? Can you see how life experiences have led you to where you are? Do you foresee the incorporation of both passion and craftmanship into your work as a way of growing and developing your skills to make you much better  at what you do than you currently are?

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