Roundabout: Sometimes I Don’t Feel Like a Writer

It’s true. Sometimes I don’t feel like a writer. Sometimes I will go days without writing anything beyond what I can manage for my classes. Some days even that falls behind. And then something will happen and I’ll look up from my work and realize I haven’t touched that project in a week and oh my gosh what happened and where did the time go? And it’s in those moments when I get really down on myself and think, am I really truly a writer if I go days or weeks without really working on my project? Am I doing something wrong?

No. Of course, the answer is no. Just because I can’t work on my project as much as I would like to does not mean that what I do is in some way invalidated. I am a writer if and when I work through this entire thing one single page at a time. I am a writer if and when I am up until 3am writing pages on pages of my very best stuff. I am a writer if and when I don’t touch it again for a week if I feel like I have nothing to say yet.

Now, this isn’t me trying to justify obvious procrastination. I’m well aware that the nice schedule I had for writing and homework and social time last semester has pretty much fallen to the wayside, and that it’s my job to get myself back on track. Procrastination is a slippery slippery slope and don’t I know it. But that’s not what I’m writing about here. What I’m talking about is self-doubt. It’s me questioning my own abilities and value as a writer simply for the fact that I’m a busy person and sometimes writing just can’t be on the top of my list of priorities.

There are so many projects and pieces that I want to be working on, first and foremost my novel and the AuthorLaunch program, which I’ve been keeping up with (Don’t worry Mom and Dad!) but not spending nearly as much time on it as I would like to. I’ve also neglected this blog lately. How long has it been since I’ve done a post here? Definitely too long. All that aside though, I’m back now and hopefully this second half of the semester will be much more organized and not just me trying to keep my head above water. Hopefully this will be the semester I actually learn to swim.

I hope you’re all having a great weekend. Have a fantastic rest of your Sunday and I will see you again soon!

Long Time No See! (Video Updates)

Oh hello there blog! Did you think I had forgotten about you? Never!

Hey there guys! I know I’ve been extremely absent lately, but I do have a good reason. This past week at Judson University was our (very early) Spring Break, and I had the extreme privilege of spending it on tour with the Judson University Choir. What an amazing experience! We traveled by bus from here in Elgin to Michigan, to West Virginia, to New York, to Washington DC, and finally to Ohio before returning home. The tour was 10 days long, and emotionally, physically, and spiritually exhasuting. But at the end, I found I have never been more content, or closer with the people around me. There’s simply too much to describe in one post, so instead, I’ll give you some videos! Over the week I had to start improvising a bit when we were not in locations where I was able to sit down and edit and upload videos throughout the week. Now it’s Tuesday afternoon and I have 8 days left of footage to edit through and remember and be creative with. All this to say, here are the first two videos and I hope you enjoy them! More to come!

Tuesday Video: This Year’s Oscars Are Like Nothing We’ve Seen Before

….And that might be a good thing! Today’s video talking about the political and social parts of the Oscars 2015, as well as the events surrounding.

Friday/Saturday Video- Cassidy’s Frozen Birthday and Family Weekend!

In case anyone was wondering, these are the types of videos I absolutely love putting together, because they are so candid and fun, and a good way to capture life in all its perfect little moments. Enjoy.

Thursday- Links of the Day!

I haven’t done one of these posts in a long time! But seeing as how I missed Tuesday’s video because of college craziness, I figured I’d put something else out there for you guys instead. Deal?

Today’s LOTD comes to you in several moving parts. The Internet has been a busy place over the past month, complete with viral videos, sweeping news stories, and just general activity you should definitely be aware of. Here are just a handful.

Measles, Vaccines, and Disney (Oh my!)

I’d be surprised if anyone reading this hasn’t seen any of the news stories flying around about the recent outbreak of Measles here in the U.S. According to ABC News: “The CDC reported today that it had confirmed 141 cases of the measles since Jan. 1 as part of two separate outbreaks plus several additional cases not linked to those two outbreaks. As of Feb. 13, an outbreak linked to a group of unvaccinated people who visited Disneyland in December had 113 cases, another 10 cases were linked to a second outbreak, and 18 more cases weren’t linked to a specific outbreak.”

All of this recent activity has sparked debates and discussions over vaccines, both from those who support vaccinations, and those who have since been termed “ant-vaxers.” Both groups have been extremely vocal on the subject. Here are two links explaining two sides of the conversation. Obviously there are many more opinions out there and it’s nearly impossible to cover all of them, so I would encourage everyone to do their own research on this subject. Get educated and get involved in the discussion.

Vox News: 9 Things Everybody Should Know About Measles

The People’s Chemist: Three Reasons Why I Don’t Vaccinate My Children…

The Grammys: Music’s Biggest Night

I’ll be honest. I have never watched an awards show of any kind all the way through. I caught about 20 minutes of the Academy Awards I think it was last year, but beyond that, I’d much rather just have someone give me the highlights. So, if you’re like me, here are a few links to the Grammys best moments.

La Times: Complete List of Winners and Nominees

Youtube at the Grammys: Tyler Oakley

One more piece about the Grammys and I promise I’m done! Internet-famous youtuber Tyler Oakley was given the opportunity to interview some of the Grammys biggest stars on the red carpet. Needless to say, what a huge opportunity and he did a great job! Check out a playlist of his best (and funniest) interviews.

Featuring President Obama

It seems to be a unanimous agreement that since President Obama’s time in office is drawing to a close, he and the White House are pulling no punches. Some say we are seeing the return of the dynamic and active man whom the country voted into office all the way back in 2008. This is hardly surprising, looking at our presidential history. At this point in his career, a president has nothing to lose, since there is no chance of reelection. Possibly one of the most creative and recognizable results of this state of mind is a Buzzfeed video featuring the President. He even uses a selfie stick.

Buzzfeed: Things Everybody Does But Doesn’t Talk About- Featuring President Obama

Neuroscience and Love

It was valentine’s day recently, in case you didn’t notice the onslaught of chocolate and the overwhelming red and pink just about everywhere. In honor of the occasion, Vox published an article titled This Is Your Brain on Love detailing some of the most interesting affects love and “long-term attachment” have on our brain functions.

ISIS

A sobering topic, yes, but an important one. ISIS is quickly becoming a household name, recognizable to anyone who has been paying any attention over the past several months. If you haven’t, here’s some of the basic information. CNN: ISIS Fast Facts.

Most recently, ISIS released a video that appears to show them beheading 21 Egyptian Christians on a beach in Libya. This is following in the wake of several other videos ISIS has released, all featuring murders, executions, and threats. Facing what seems to be an unstoppable enemy, the world is being forced to ask many questions, each possibility more terrifying than the last. Here is a link to a story CNN did on the subject.

CNN: ISIS video appears to show beheadings of Egyptian Coptic Christians in Libya.

Now Here’s the Interesting Part

Amongst a wave of attacks, from ISIS to Charlie Hebdo, to a more recent shooting in Chapel Hill, NC that killed three Muslim students, the Muslim people have found themselves all over the news recently, both in positive and negative light. And what’s most interesting is the way the Muslim members of the online world (which is actually a huge percentage of the internet community) have reacted to these stories. Many are facing hate and discrimination for the faith they have in common with those who are radical and violent. Those in the online world have been active in voicing their opinions on this matter, many insisting that just because they are Muslim, does not mean they are violent.

There are radicals in every social group, race, cause, and religion. And we cannot judge an entire people group based on the actions of a few.

This is not to say that I agree with the Muslim faith. I am a Christian and I have my own beliefs when it comes to other religions, but that is not the point I am trying to make.

The point is this: Whether you agree with them or not, no one who is a part of any peaceful social group, ethnicity, or religious association should have to fear for their lives or the lives of their loved ones in their own homes or in their places of peaceful worship. Whether you are Christian, Muslim, Buddhist, Jewish, or Atheist, etc, we should all be focusing on keeping each other safe, first and foremost. We can debate our differences of faith later.

I hope you found some of today’s links interesting or helpful or both. Please feel free to begin commenting and discussing below. What do you think of the situation with ISIS and their most recent actions? If you were to go to the Grammys who would you most want to meet? Let me know in the comments and I’ll see you on Friday.

Tuesday Video! Lots of Updates and News!

Hey guys! Fun update video for you today with lots of stuff packed into a few minutes! Check out all of the fun links in the description box!

Roundabout: New Opportunities and Quite a Bit of Rambling

I’ll be honest guys, I just haven’t had much motivation to sit down and put together a Roundabout for tonight. Everything has been so busy! That said, I will not leave you empty-handed.

If nothing else, I at least want to say hello to all of you new subscribers to this blog. Wow, there are a lot of you! I’m happy you’re here and I hope you find something to interest you! Please always feel free to comment on any of my posts, and don’t forget to also subscribe to my Youtube channel here, where I post videos on Tuesdays and Fridays.

I’m writing this as I sit behind the Circulation desk at Judson’s library, a job I started at the beginning of the semester and have really been enjoying so far. Of course, I don’t plan on being a librarian for life, and that’s why I’m so excited to jump into all of the new opportunities that are coming my way over the next year.

First, my wonderful parents and grandparents bought me, for my birthday, a membership to a program called AuthorLaunch, and I could not be more excited! The program is a 46 week course that takes your book all the way from first draft to publishing. You all remember that book I wrote in November through NaNoWriMo? Well that’s the book I’m taking into this course with me. I truly believe in the story and the characters I’ve created and I’m ready to see where this path leads. If you’ve never heard of AuthorLaunch, you may have heard of it’s primary founder, John Acuff. If not, check them out on the interwebs. So much great stuff!

Let’s see, What Else can I talk about in this post since I currently can’t think of anything to actually write about?

Oh, that reminds me! What Else? is a very new and very exciting project that myself and a few other Judson students have been working on this semester. I think I’ll do a separate post entirely about the process that led up to this project and talk to you about all the things that have gone into it, but for now, check out this sweet poster, and go like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter for all kinds of fun updates!

A Night of Entertainment by your (3)

I’ve just realized that the girl across the library from me is not randomly waving her arms as I thought she was. She’s taken a dry erase marker and is using it to draw out equations for her homework on the glass. Genius.

I think I’ve rambled on long enough now, and I spy some books that could use reshelving.

Have a great night everyone and I’ll see you on Tuesday! (Well… you’ll see me. I’ll see a camera. But I think you know what I meant.)

Let’s Talk About The Youtubers Who Interviewed The President.

I’ve been so nervous to put up this video for fear of coming across as too critical or completely focused on the negative. But this is such an important topic that needs to be addressed. Please like, share, and subscribe and check out the blog at never-stop-writing.com this Sunday for Roundabout.

Snowpacolypse, My Hair is Gone, and the Andersens Build a Snowman! (Just your typical Friday Vlog)

What a crazy weekend! Between spenind gimt with family, getting snowed in on Sunday morning, and getting back to campus, it’s been quite the adventure! Check it out and don’t forget to subscribe!

Roundabout- A Different Type of Writer (Stereotypes)

There is a prevailing idea that writers are quiet people. That they are the type of people you never notice in a crowd. They are the kind of people who blend into the background and quietly absorb all that is around them. We think that in order to be a writer, he or she must be the kind of person to spend hours in bookstore surrounded by only the classic texts. We allow ourselves to believe that writers have become a species of their own, completely separated from the hustle and bustle of modern society. They are elitists and introverts, profound and shy.

We get stuck in this concept and, thinking we understand this strange and fabled creature that is a writer, we therefore assume that all writers must fit inside this new category we have created.

There was a time in my life that I believed that if I didn’t conform to people’s ideas of who a writer is, and therefore who I was, then I must not truly be a writer.

I have found, over the years, that this is a lie.

The craft of writing is not contained to one personality type. There are no restrictions on who can or cannot pick up a pen. There are no prerequisites. There is only the desire to write, and the action that follows.

I am not a very quiet person. I have a loud laugh. I talk too much, often before I think. Most of my favorite books were written by people currently in their thirties and forties. I admire the beautiful leather journals I see in bookstores, and yet I most often find myself writing on my laptop. I love noise, whether music or a lawnmower or a dog barking or conversations happening at the next table. I am guilty of frequent eavesdropping, and even more often instances of inserting myself into conversations I was not a part of. (Ask my mom how many times she’s had to tell me to stop jumping in on the adults’ discussions.) Most days, I would much rather be outside and surrounded by people than to sit in my room and be quiet.

In short, I am too many things that our narrow definition tells us a writer is not supposed to be.

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This is why I love this quote. Because it gives me permission. It introduces this new concept that tells me that I am allowed to go out and experience first; write later.

I guess what I’m trying to say is this. Don’t be like I was for so long. Don’t ever cover up the real you because somebody told you that you had to to subscribe to a certain list of personality traits and stereotypical behaviors in order to define yourself as a writer, or an artist, or a musician, or a businessman, or a scientist.

By suppressing creative diversity, we are weakening both ourselves and our world as a whole.