Taken with my iPhone 5S. Phoneography and Non-SLR Digital Devices Photo Challenge, Week 2: Macro.
It’s been 5 months since I posted a Phoneography Challenge photo.
Since I have an agreement to compose a handwritten note every day this year, my pen seemed the logical subject.
I particularly like the contrasts in the various parts of the pen in macro.
More Photos Monday!
Last year, I made an agreement to write every day. I’m almost embarrassed to admit that the time I allotted was a mere 15 minutes (just long enough to begin formulating coherent thoughts). Fortunately, that rapidly grew into much more time spent at the keyboard and putting pen to paper. I planned to blog every day, not as an agreement to which I held myself accountable, but more as a goal I strived to achieve. I did well with this until late summer when I began taking an anti-anxiety medication for my PTSD. So, although I was writing, I stopped blogging. I just stopped.
Late in 2014, I wanted to get back on track and made a couple of attempts that each resulted in one day in a row of blogging. As 2015 began, I wanted to begin blogging regularly again (the key word here – wanted). Now here it is the 9th, and up until now, I have completed 2 posts in January, for a grand total of one two-day stint. So I’ve decided to use another writing agreement I’ve made to push me toward my blogging goal. (I have not made a blogging agreement because the primary goal is to be writing. I have other endeavors besides this blog and I don’t want to be bogged down by a committment to post when I may deadlines to meet on other projects.)
So this year, I made a committment to write a handwritten note to someone daily. Part of the agreement is that I will mail or hand deliver the note within a week of writing it. My purpose in bring this up is that I have decided to post weekly about this process. The results of this agreement have been gratifying, even in this first week. I thought long and hard about to whom I would write first. After long consideration, it seemed the most person to begin with was my mother. After all, without her, I would not be here. Of course I would have loved to do double duty and write to my dad, and he is no longer on this plane. I know I can write to him anyway, so I plan to do that for his birthday in February.
In addition to deciding who would get my first note, I made preparations for the process. I purchased a couple of books of stamps, I rounded up all my address labels that were in various baskets and drawers around the house, and I scoured the attic for forgotten stationery and cards. I even asked for stationery and notecards for Christmas. My sister bought me two boxes of beautiful stationery, some boxed notecards, and some unique handmade cards. I also received a coupon to create some free photo notecards. I used it to create three different styles of notecards made from photos I had used in blog posts. I purchased a caddy to keep everything in sight and at the ready. I received a pocket planner for Christmas, which I am using to record birthdays and other special occasions. I have also written the names of the people to whom I will write each day. When I have completed my agreement for the day, I tick off the name of the recipient.
Early the first week, I received a letter from a friend who knew I had made this agreement. She was writing because she said that my agreement had inspired her to begin writing more. Today I received a text message from another friend who congratulated me on the progress I have made and thanked me for the photo card I sent her. She has enriched my life to a degree that I do not think she is aware and I simply wanted to thank her. . My step-father is in the hospital and I have been under the weather. Instead of bringing germs into his environment, I mailed him a get well card, inside which I wrote him a note. He’s been in and out of the hospital a lot and I don’t remember the last time I sent him a card. The engagement with other people, which has resulted from my note writing, has been a pleasant side-effect
So, as I reflect on the past week, I am finding great joy in my latest writing endeavor. I am also hoping that my desire to share this experience will help me reestablish my blogging habit. In the meantime, keep an eye on your mailbox. You might be next!
One way we help others along the path is by sharing tools that have been useful to us on our own journeys. One tool that was recently shared with me is a technology that has helped me better utilize a simpler tool I discovered previously. Both have helped me become a better writer and more creative in general.
Several years ago, I was invited to participate in an Artist’s Way group, based on Julia Cameron’s book. As part of the process, I began writing Morning Pages, a daily “brain drain” recommended by the author to clear the mind and allow the flow of creativity. Cameron calls for three handwritten pages to be done first thing in the morning. I found the exercise stimulating and freeing. Cameron refers to Morning Pages as one of her Basic Tools in the process of recovering creativity.
I have recently begun a new Artist’s Way group (my 4th now), and now draft my Morning Pages online on 750words.com. The site notes that Cameron’s Morning Pages were meant to be done by hand, yet drafting them on a computer is valuable in many ways.
Once you have completed your 750 words (the approximate number of words in three longhand pages), you can immediately see statistics ranging from how much time it took to get 750 words on the page to what the weather was like when you were writing. The site records your start and finish times, and notes any distractions (periods of more than 3 minutes when you are not writing). I especially like the fact that it stores my Morning Pages for me.
The site utilizes motivators such as badges for accomplishments (i.e, the number of days in a row that you complete your 750 words) and monthly challenges which result in a place on the Wall of Awesomeness (or the Wall of Shame, if you do not meet the challenge). It is all in good fun and is helping me become consistent in completing my daily “stream of consciousness” mind dump.
Check out 750words.com and tell me what you think.
The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.
Here’s an excerpt:
A New York City subway train holds 1,200 people. This blog was viewed about 4,900 times in 2014. If it were a NYC subway train, it would take about 4 trips to carry that many people.