My first blog
|This is my first ever blog, so I'm not really sure what I'm doing . I guess I'll learn as I go along.|
Why I WdC
I first joined WdC at the end of May last year. I was really ill leading up to the moment I joined. I’ve suffered anxiety and depression all my life, but in January last year I was diagnosed with PTSD. I couldn’t leave the house on my own, I couldn’t leave the house at all, a lot of the time. I was just about at the limit of how much I could take, and I was thinking about the unthinkable.
My doctor suggested I start writing about my feelings, as I had mentioned previously that I used to love writing when I was younger. She thought it would be a good distraction from what was going on in my head. So that’s what I did. I wrote a poem about grief (very cheerful!), and then another. My husband read them and said they were really good, but I didn’t believe him. He was, after all, my husband, and he was trying to give me reasons to keep living. So I didn’t trust his opinion.
So, in May 2015, he found the sign up page for WdC and told me to join. I didn’t, at first. It was too big a step. But after much nagging from David, I entered my details and became a member. I will never forget the fear I felt when I received my first review. But it was positive. I was stunned, and for the first time in years I felt like I might be able to do something. Actually, it was probably the first time I ever felt that.
Even though it’s only ten months ago, it’s hard to remember when I first joined. I feel like so much has happened since then. I genuinely feel like a different person. But the first people I met, and felt welcomed by, were Sanita , sunnystarr, Word Warrior beating cancer!! , Tiger Cub 🔱 , Alexi , Shaye💻 and ~ Aqua ~ . That’s quite a lot, but I needed to mention them all because each one of them helped me to see what a wonderfully supportive place this is.
One of the first groups I joined within WdC was "The Newbies Academy Group" , which led to my meeting ♊️GeminiGem💎 . We got along instantly. We share a love of dogs and I was really impressed with her being a Harley chick. It became apparent we have a fairly similar sense of humour as well. She welcomed me to WdC and I felt I had made another new friend. Not that long after I joined, Leah organised a Review Relay Race for NAG members. It was through this activity that I met Patrece ~ and our friendship began.
It wasn’t long before I had an email from Dave , asking if I would like to join
"The Poet's Place " . I did, and I love trying out the different forms of poetry he discusses each week. Often, my attempts go no further than my notebook, but it is fun to try.
Next, it was time for me to being to focus on reviewing other people. I had an email from
eyestar~* asking if I would like to join "WdC SuperPower Reviewers Group" . She helped me to set up my first review template and was incredibly helpful and supportive. She was really patient with my slow-working brain, and I was so grateful to her.
One of the really fun activities I took part not long after I joined was WDC Does Pointless, organised by the wonderful Fran 💜 💜 💜 . I was on a team with Patrece ~ again, I also started to get to know sybarrios through this game.
I have to mention the Paper Doll Gang next. Tiger Cub 🔱 suggested I sign up for the review course with them. So I did, and I’m so glad I did because, through them, I met two of the coolest people I know (and two of the people I’m closest to on here). They are QPdoll and Hannah ♫♥♫ . I love these guys. They have been amazing friends over the last few months and I love knowing them.
Whilst I’m speaking of people I’m closest to, there are a few more I need to mention;kerrimiller is amazingly creative. We were partnered for the It Takes Two contest and had to write a story together and it was really refreshing to work with someone with as much energy as her. Then, there is amyjo-Keeping it real and fun! (I love this lady!), Whata Turkey (she is delightfully crazy and always brightens my day}, Life's a Beach... says Joey C (he is my biggest cheerleader and we are always honest and encouraging with each other. I value his friendship a lot), Alexi (who is simply inspirational), ~Minja~ (whose poetry inspires me, and is just the sweetest person) and Cubby (who is supportive and kind and a lovely, creative person).
I feel like I’ve accomplished a lot since I’ve been here. I’ve learned from reviews people have given me, and I definitely feel like my writing is improving. I’ve learned to review, and had really positive feedback regarding my style. I signed up for NaNo for the first time ever and wrote a 53,000 word book!
This year, I have become a leader with NAG and I run my own Special Occasions page. I have been promoted to junior leader in the PDG and will be helping new members with their reviews. I’ve been promoted to captain in the Power Reviewers and completed my first shift at the weekend. I’m hosting my first raffle, which is doing phenomenally well. All by myself!
I’ve won and been placed in quite a few competitions and I’ve written a lot. That’s the best thing. I have 251 items in my port, although there are a lot of images. But even so, I’ve written a lot. And I’ve made so many friends. Actually, that’s the best part. The people I would never have met, had I not joined.
My hopes for the future with WdC are to continue improving my writing, most importantly. I need to write more short stories and get my prose writing down. I would love to create my own contest. I have a few ideas regarding that. I plan to keep reviewing as well. I love that so many people find my reviews helpful. Reading more poetry, that’s something I’ve realised just this month I want to do. I’ve been taking part in Pursue The Horizon and it’s got me really fired up about poetry. I also participated in the Soundtrackers challenge. I’ve met some really cool people through these activities. Charlie ~ , Fivesixer , Witchy woman prays 4 Ukraine , ♥HOOves♥ , Sally , Spacecat .
How has WdC affected my life? Totally. Absolutely. It has turned my life around, it’s given me a purpose, a reason to get out of bed in the morning. It’s saved my life. Really. It has. I don’t know what I would do without it now.
There are a few people who inspire me hugely. Cinn is the most incredible poet. I love her work and she constantly inspires me to try harder and think harder when writing. She is ridiculously creative, and I love it. Alexi is such a strong, determined, clever lady. She inspires me in many ways and I love her friendship. Hannah ♫♥♫ is such a good friend. She is always thinking of creative ways to get newbies involved with the site and I really admire her dedication.
Hmm. Just because I’m not sure which section they come under, I’m going to give a shout out to the following shiny people: Elle (she/her) , Jen~ , lazymarionette, gardengirl, Jellyfish-Holidays on for 2023 , abbyer , Tiggy , ~ IVELTAC ~ , Shana-Batgirl-Allen ~WeGotThis , Bikerider . Phew. I apologise if I’ve left anyone out!
Well, that’s it. I love WdC. With very good reason.
|I keep getting emails, reminding me to update my blog, so I guess I probably should (I'm really not good at keeping up with it - it's been two weeks). I think, maybe, it's because I never really have anything interesting to say.
I've had a busy start to 2016. I've written my first proper children's story, I'm collaborating with someone else in the It Takes Two Contest, I've completed all of my WDC Kind Hearts reviews, I've written a couple of poems, and I've just begun the Grammar Garden course with New Horizons. My word, it's full on! I realise, now, that I know nothing about grammar. Until now, everything I've written has been based on guesswork.
Nouns and pronouns, the basics for the course, are confusing me so much. I feel like everyone else is understanding and I'm the one at the back, shouting, "Miss, Miss, I don't understand!" In spite of this, I am finding it so interesting. Language fascinates me, I love the possibility that having new understanding may help me to write better prose and poetry.
There is a raid on YA writing this weekend, with WDC Power Reviewers, so I intend to take part in that. Unfortunately, it's been a long time since I've read any YA, so I'm going to read up on it a little first.
I was really happy this morning, when I saw my story, "Committed" has been highlighted in the 'For Authors' Newsletter. It was yet another confidence boost.
Well, I think that's all my news for now. I'll be back when the emails start bugging me too much again!
|I had such a busy day yesterday! In the morning, I called in to see an old neighbour. She's elderly and has been unwell for a couple of months. So we dropped in unannounced with a few little presents and the smile on her face was the best Christmas present ever.
After lunch, it was our time for unexpected visitors. My friends came by with my godchildren, Ruby and Jaxon. I love those two so much. Jaxon is the spit of his dad at that age, and just as naughty! The best part of their visit was I got to read them the story I wrote for them,
In the evening, I went out with my two best friends, Nina and Shell. We had a lovely chat and it was good to see them. By the time I got home, I was exhausted. I managed to fit in the December Advent Challenge and a couple of Power Raid reviews. Only a couple, though, I had so much more planned. Oh well. I had a lovely day. I didn't mind Christmas yesterday, it wasn't too overwhelming
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|Ugh! Sometimes, I feel like I'll never be able to write again. This last week I've found it so difficult. I wrote a few little things and a (very) short story, and I wrote a few reviews. But I've had to squeeze the words out of me. They don't want to come and it's really bothering me. During NaNo, I felt like I was really starting to understand the craft of writing, I felt I was starting to get better. Now, all I can write is rubbish! And even that is is hard. I know everyone has times when their muse is resting, but I'm worried mine might be dead. It makes me sad. I feel like just as I started to believe in myself, I've lost it
So I just wanted to share this with you. Please don't expect to read anything good from me for a while. Maybe forever. I don't know.
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|When I came to the end of my six newbie months, I thought a lot about the next six months. The main conclusion I came to is I want to try new things, to go out of my comfort zone a little, to push myself. These are some of the things I want to do:
Help to judge a contest
Set up a contest of my own
Sign up for Give It 100
Write something in at least five genres I've never written before
Review, review, review - also try reviewing items I wouldn't normally read
Start sending out stories/ poems to prospective publishers (this is a loooong term goal!)
Revisit my NaNo novel, edit/ rewrite, make it a story I can be proud of
Enter WDC contests I haven't entered before
Okay, so these are my plans for the whole of the next year, and beyond. It sounds like a lot, but I'm really excited to begin. I already held a mini one off contest of my own, for which I received 17 entries! It was a success and I loved it. Now, I've volunteered to help judge the new Inquiring Minds Contest, and I've been asked to help judge this month's Shadows & Light Poetry contest. This is a huge honour, I love this contest. The quality of entries is always so high, and it's free verse, which is my passion. So I'm really excited about both of these contests.
I love having all these plans, with regards to writing. WDC has kind of taken over my life, but in such a good way. I've never felt this passionate about anything before, I've always just muddled along, going through the motions. But writing, now that I've started, well...I don't think I could ever stop. (It has occurred to me I should probably point out when I say I've never felt this passionate about anything, I should probably say, not including my husband ). I do feel I neglect David a little now that I'm writing. Not that he complains, I think he's just happy that I'm happy.
Anyway, I digress. Writing ~ good. WDC ~ good. Life ~ good. Christmas ~ Blah!
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|Well, I thought I should blog something today, just to make myself write, as much anything else. I think I may be suffering from post NaNo burn out. I worked so hard, so many hours each day, on writing my NaNo novel. Now that it's done, I'm really struggling to find anything to write. I think it's just because I spent two months focussing so much on NaNo, I'm feeling a little sad that the first draft is done. Don't get me wrong, I know it's a very rough first draft, and it requires multiple edits/ rewrites, but the creative, intense part is over. My baby is born. Now, I have to think about other characters and their stories. But I don't care about them yet.
Does anyone else feel this way when they finish NaNo, or any other endurance writing? Or is it just me?
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|I am officially rubbish at this blogging lark. It's ages since I've written anything. But I thought today was probably a good day to break the dry spell. Firstly, because today is my last day as a newbie. It's hard to believe I have been a member of WDC for six months. I still feel like I am in no way qualified to call myself a fully fledged member - I still know so little about writing. I read the work of others and realise just how "newbie-ish" I am. But then, on the other hand, it feels like I have been here forever. I feel completely at home, completely welcome. I have met some wonderful, talented people and made some lovely friends. I can honestly say I have never felt like I fitted in as much as I do here. But no longer being a newbie? Aaargghhh. Sounds scary. No more excuses, I have to know what I'm doing from now on. Yeah, maybe...
The other reason today is a good day to blog is because I validated my NaNo novel on the official NaNo website. I have written 53,392 words! Unbelievable. I almost didn't sign up for NaNo because I thought there was no way I could ever get to 50,000. But I did sign up, and I have made it. I've printed my Winner certificate and put it on the wall, next to my desk. It has pride of place, next to my postcard I received from WDC a couple of weeks ago.
Six months. I can't stop thinking about it. When I think of the things (no matter how small) I have achieved in that time, I actually feel a little bit of pride. That's new to me. I've written numerous poems and short stories, won or been placed in a lot of competitions, been nominated for (and won!) Newbies in the Spotlight twice, been featured in a few newsletters, learned how to review, taken a poetry class and written an entire novel. Wowsers! When I consider this time last year. I was so severely depressed, suffering terrible PTSD, I couldn't leave the flat. Now, everything has changed. And it genuinely is thanks to WDC and all its lovely members.
So, as I leave my newbie-hood behind, I want to say thanks, to everyone on WDC. You've saved my life. (Apologies if this sounded a little like an Oscar speech )
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|October 1st is almost here and I've signed up for NaNoWriMo prep. Which means aaaarrrrggghhhh and yaaaaay and OMG, what am I doing?! On top of this, I'm taking the Review Class at the moment, then October is poetry class (which I'm really looking forward to) and then November is short story class. Plus, I'm doing the 52Wk FIBC. Wow. I don't do things by halves. But I'm loving it all, I just want to spend every second of every day writing and talking to people on WDC. This site has changed my life. Honestly. My brain is starting to work again. I'm beginning to feel some self worth, for the first time ever. It's like I've finally found what I was born to do (okay, maybe that's pushing it a little!). So, yeah. Busy days ahead, but I am so excited . And, how can I forget, Monday is a big birthday for me. The question is, shall I celebrate or hide away with lots of chocolate and wine? Hmmm.
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|I believe I may have got a little carried away with my auction bids this week. The thing is I have been loving reading and writing poetry so much, I bid on a whole load of poetry review packages. And won them. Oh well, I am genuinely looking forward to receiving feedback.
At the same time, the review class for this week covers poetry. I have read so much information on poetic terms and forms, I was suffering from information overload last night. But, I've managed to write three reviews, as per the course requirements. I'm not really sure I've covered everything I should. But it was a lot harder than I imagined. There's so much more to have to understand than for prose. I have enjoyed learning it, though. Or, at least, trying to.
My next task for today is to start writing my story for the 52wk FIBC. I think I know where I'm going with it. But it's in the fantasy genre and I really don't "do" fantasy. This could be interesting!
|Yikes! It's almost three weeks since I wrote anything in this blog. I've been caught up in the birthday celebrations here, playing games, bidding on pretty dresses and chit chatting with friends. I've also been very busy with my Paper Doll Gang work, completing the navigation class and most of the playground activities. I've started the review class and completed my first assignment. Along with that, I've been keeping up with the 52 week FIBC and trying to get on top of Musicology Anthology. Phew.
I think it's fair to say WDC has kinda overtaken my life. But I'm loving it. Sometimes, I feel as though I can actually write, then other times I feel like what on earth am I doing? Everyone is so kind on here, but I wonder if their kindness is the reason they are saying positive things. It's so hard to believe that I have any kind of talent. I don't know. I wish I could be confident. Now I'm rambling . I guess today is a not so confident day. It's not going to stop me writing, though. I enjoy it, it's therapeutic, so I guess talent isn't that important. Hopefully, tomorrow I'll write something I think is okay.
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