Happy November, National Novel Writing Month and Month Where We Eat Lots of Food and Say Thanks for Stuff! Today’s also Election Day!
There are important elections taking place throughout the US today. This is your reminder to go out and vote today if there’s an election taking place near you. Make your voice heard!
Big news! I’m the brand spankin’ new Social Media Specialist for Age of Empathy, a wonderful creative nonfiction-focused publication on Medium ran by the amazing, talented AF, and ridiculously inspiring Aimée Gramblin . We’re currently looking for new writers—here’s a link to the submission guidelines.
In the guidelines, Aimée writes, “At Age of Empathy, we are seeking high-quality creative nonfiction and personal essays. Hit us in the feels.”
If you’re into writing lyric essays or creative nonfiction, please submit to Age of Empathy. Be sure to spread the word to any of your homies you’d think would be interested.
Also—follow Age of Empathy on Twitter to keep up with any future updates!
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Here’s Issue #24—a gift from me to you!
Writer’s Log #12
Last week, I pre-ordered my NaNoWriMo 2021 winner T-shirt—even though the NaNo preparation I had completed at that point was minimal at best. Throughout the 14 years I’ve spent writing on the internet, I’ve learned that getting through an artistic project, especially one completed throughout an extended period of time, requires some semblance of blind faith initially.
The prospect of a long-term project sprouts one thousand doubtful unanswered questions: “Can I manage this project with the responsibilities of my everyday life? Will my inspiration last for this long? Do I even like the idea I’ve chosen?”
Pre-ordering the NaNoWriMo 2021 winner T-shirt brought new thoughts into my mind: “What if I succeed? What if I create a project that’s beyond my expectations? What if this project is the beginning of something amazing?”
As a life-long anxious person, negativity has naturally grown within my mind. Positivity has to be planted. But, being intentional about planting positive thoughts sprouts more of them over time. Soon, the positive outweighs the negative.
To maintain a positive mindset, I practice a few daily habits, including repeating affirmations. It can feel weird at first, especially if you don’t believe what you’re saying. But, there’s some Fairly Oddparent-level magic in saying positive affirmations out loud that, over time, make it real.
Artist Miranda Balough has a great list of 21 positive affirmations specifically made for artists and creatives. My favorite is, “I seek progress over perfection and community over competition.” Chile, if that ain’t a word I don’t know what is!
The first step of completing an artistic project is believing you can. Have faith in your ability and ideas. Be your rowdiest fan and spunkiest cheerleader. Don’t be afraid to visualize success—because you’re capable of achieving it.
I recommend bringing something tangible into your workspace that’ll remind you, constantly, of the real possibility that you could succeed.
For you, it may not be a T-shirt branding you as a winner. It could be crafting a fake New York Times bestseller list with your name at the number one spot and pasting it on the wall of your office. Maybe it’s DIY’ing a nameplate personalized with the job title you’re striving for.
Your environment influences your mindset. Make yours one that you’ll love coming back to, that’ll breed love, positivity and creativity.
My NaNoWriMo 2021 winner T-shirt symbolizes pom poms or a foam finger stating “We’re #1”. It’ll be an encouraging reminder, as my fingers type each word, that I, above all, believe in myself.
But, even if I don’t reach 50,000 words before December 1st, I’m still going to wear the shirt. Who gon’ check me, boo?
4 Things I Consumed
Netflix’s You (Season 3): (i’ve been watching you since it first aired on lifetime back in the day, and I always thought that it was a damn good show. this season was a little bit all over the place with its storytelling, but it was certainly entertaining. also, everyone loves penn badgely. if you don’t love penn badgley you’re probably lying to yourself.)
Netflix’s Next in Fashion (here’s a random fact about me: I'm a bit of a project runway superfan and i’ve seen every season of the american show. i’m a sucker for a good show about fashion; and this show was pretty dang good. it was sadly canceled last summer but if you haven’t watched the show, and you’re into fashion, you should try it out)
The podcast Why Won’t You Date Me? With Nicole Byer (the only podcast that I listen to every single week without fail—new episodes drop on fridays. nicole byer is one of the funniest comedians out right now and her interviews are always fantastic. I can’t explain how much I love her in this little bitty blurb but GO LISTEN; but, be forewarned that the episodes are NSFW)
The music video for Jack Harlow’s “Luv is Dro” (all i’m going to say is jack harlow doesn’t miss)
3 Things I Created
After I bought my NaNoWriMo winner shirt on a whim, I put in work on this NaNo prep: character backstories and plotting galore. I’m writing this before NaNo starts, but hopefully, by the time you’re reading this, I’m at or above 3,337 words in my NaNo novel! (This is Nia from the future! As of November 2nd, I’m currently at 4,481 words!)
The piece “How Curating Playlists Enhances My Creative Writing Process” for the Medium publication The Riff
On Frank Ocean’s birthday, I dug my line in the sand with the post “Frank Ocean’s Channel Orange Is The Best Album Ever Made”
This prompt is from Journal Buddies’ post “30 Fall Writing Prompts for Kids”: “Imagine that you’ve been invited to judge a local pie contest. What qualities would you look for in the winning pie? How would you declare a winner?”
Journaling prompt from Daring to Live Fully’s “119 Journal Prompts for Your Journal Jar” : If you could meet any fictional character, who would it be?
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