Writer’s Blah

With January rapidly approaching and my sophomore effort at being an author not even close to finished, I’m way too Zen to be this far from my goal. 

I should be more nervous.

I don’t even have writer’s block–I have writer’s blah. Nothing I’m writing–when I even write–seems to be too terrific. My Internal Editor is in full force and effect and she is loud. And demanding. And annoying. She hasn’t made an appearance for awhile and she chooses now to show up?

I’m so over her.

In my procrastinating–which many artists, dreamers, writer’s and creative types will tell you is a necessary part of the process–I’ve come up with my Top 7 Ways to Avoid Writing Altogether. 

 (photo credit daniellaporte.com)

1. Clean stuff. I loathe cleaning but when I’m under the gun it sure seems like I have a cleaning emergency. This week alone I have finished my girly Harry Potter under the stairs closet and started going through kids’ clothes to donate. Who is this woman and what has she done with my domestically challenged self?! 

 (photo credit Meredith Shafer)

2. Writing on my blog. I have been so neglectful of my blog this fall and now it seems I’m brimming with ideas. I can’t stop. Someone help me.

3. Cleaning out my email inbox. Why oh why do several of my procrastination techniques involve cleaning? It must be a sickness. And why can’t I just do this all the time?

4. Checking new releases on Netflix. Yep, if I’m already “working” in my jammie pants and am burrowed into the nest in our bed and I’m tired of cleaning out my inbox I tend to need to see what’s new on Netflix. It’s all about being at the forefront of trends. 

Because that will help me write. 

 (photo credit buzzfeed.com)

5. Drinking coffee. You wouldn’t think drinking coffee would help my procrastination…but it does. I can tell myself to linger over a cup of liquid sanity in the stillness of the morning before everyone’s awake like no one’s business. Or tell myself just one more cup. Because if you’re not shaky it’s not enough coffee.  

 (Photo credit buyhimthat.com)

Speaking of, I think I’ll grab another cuppa joe while I procrastinate finishing this list of procrastination techniques… 

©Copyright Meredith Shafer 2015

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Catch Up

So as usual I’m behind. I haven’t posted in way too long because my life is way too exciting and I’m just trying to hold on!

Big Brother broke his growth plate in his hand (who does that?!), turned twelve, and became first chair trombone in band. I’m in denial about the being twelve part. 

 Little Brother is barely surviving second grade. I told his super awesome teacher yesterday that I managed to get through law school but second grade is about to do me in. So much homework and probably undiagnosed ADHD (which we’ve begun the super fun process of testing for) means this year is a challenge for all of us. Good thing nothing gets this kid down. 

 Little Sister is still into tutus and cowgirl boots, mud and mishaps. I love how she dresses super girly to go outside and wreck the neighborhood boys.  

 Baby Brother has been sick, which with asthma makes things interesting. And then he kindly shared with me so I’ve been down for the count as well. But we’re getting better and he’s still just happy to be here. What a kid! 

 We’ve gotten a few things worked out for Mr. Wonderful–his hyperbaric oxygen chamber treatment is back online, and we got some VA Caregiver issues worked out. It’s official, the VA has certified me as a caregiver, which I find ironic. We’ve seen how the VA gives care firsthand so it’s interesting that they have to certify me. Sometimes you just have to laugh! 

 I have gotten to speak at some great organizations lately and this has been the biggest blessing! I love that I’m meeting ladies from all over and getting refreshed and encouraged as I am encouraging–crazy how that works.

It’s the end of October and I haven’t written a lick. My final draft is due in January and I. Am. Behind. But I’m not panicking yet because I need the pressure of a deadline. I’m about to kick it into high gear y’all. Wish me luck!

Hope everyone in the blogosphere is doing well, I’m not even close to caught up on your blogs but will be soon. Y’all have a blessed day wherever you are and whatever’s coming your way today!

Much love,

Meredith

(Photo credit Meredith Shafer) ©Copyright Meredith Shafer 2015

I’d love to connect with you on Instagram and Twitter, come say hi!

This Book Writing Thing is Haaaaaarrrrrdddd!

Can I tell you how much I do not like 5:00 a.m.?

I haven’t been up this early–or let’s be real, stayed up this late–since college. Which has been a minute. Even with all four of my babies, they at least went back to sleep for a few hours. And now I jump roll out of bed before the butt crack of dawn and I don’t like it.

But I have to do this because I am writing my second book. My sophomore effort. My #2. And 5:00 a.m. is the only time that I ever have a moment to think a thought all the way through to fruition. This is kinda important if you call yourself a writer.

And I am a writer. I accidentally wrote my first book called My Pink Champagne Life a few years ago. I didn’t start out to write a book; I had just been through a lot of changes and truly writing was my therapy. There were no expectations; no one even knew I was writing a book except my husband. And there were no deadlines. I was free to let my creative process go where it may. Which is why I wrote most of the book in late 2011-early 2012 and it didn’t come out until February of this year.

I’m not great with deadlines.

Now I have both expectations and deadlines and I’m a little bit nervous. Not to mention I still don’t really know what I’m doing. My plate is so much more full now that I’m on my next effort and I get a little scared. Since I write about my traveling circus family, I am opening up the door to our complete crazy for the whole world to view, judge, peer into. It’s a bit disconcerting if I think about it too long.

And this time around I’m writing about seriously hard and life-changing things. Life-shattering things. I don’t know about you other writers out there but for me it’s a bit like living through it all again when I write about the last two years of our story. I’m using words like PTSD and traumatic brain injury and financial hardships and four kids and baby spit up and caregiving, you know, real sexy topics.

But I believe in telling the truth. And the truth is our story isn’t always rainbows and butterflies like I would like it to be. My hope is that maybe my truth will help someone else in the midst of a truth they didn’t want any part of. That maybe our story and our crazy and our suffering followed by absolute redemption will give hope to someone who is buried in a dark corner and believes they are all alone.

Have I mentioned how much I hate 5:00 a.m.? For the foreseeable future this is my waking time. But I am trying to appreciate the benefits this provides me. I am watching sunrises that are gorgeous beyond belief. I get to hear and feel and breathe in the silence while everyone else is sleeping peacefully. There is an openness to my spirit at this time of the morning, before the day has corrupted my thoughts or pushed me down or some days, run me over. I am more alive, more vibrant, more me during my quiet time than any other part of the day.

It’s when I’m Meredith.

Not caregiver or mama or employee or chauffeur or wife or maid or any of the other hats that I wear. I love my hats. But sometimes it feels good to just be me.

I am a writer. Of books and thoughts and talks and life. It’s difficult sometimes, but it’s exactly where I am supposed to be.

(Photo credit Meredith Shafer 2015) Copyright Meredith Shafer 201

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Running Behind

In this Traveling Circus we call family, there are so many rings going at any given time that I can barely keep up. Throw in some technology snafus (like my WordPress app still not working-hey WordPress people, can you hear me? Is anybody out there?), a book deadline, my busy season at work, the end of the summer and hopefully the end of all the wrangling we’ve been doing with the VA to get Mr. Wonderful’s rating sorted out, and truth be told I’m plumb wore out.

I also find that the more I’m writing for my book, the less juice I have to out in the page here. Thus, I’ve been fairly neglectful of story-telling and encouraging and even reading everyone’s blogs. Please catch me up!

How are you? What’s been going on in your worlds blog friends? I’ve missed you and I’m dying for an update!

I swear I’m having so many technology issues I just want to throw my hands up and say fine, you win! I accidentally even posted this already before it’s been finished or proofed or anything. Sorry if you read the incomplete piece and assumed I have gotten stupider over the last few weeks!

I admit it’s possible….

I’m really writing to say I’m still here, I care so much about all y’all and appreciate how you just keep coming back and supporting a hot mess like myself! Please comment updates in case my reader isn’t working again as well!!

Much love and I can’t wait to catch up with you!

(photo credit Meredith Shafer 2015. Don’t worry, we were stopped to eat at a drive thru. They always wear seatbelt a when we’re actually driving!) ©Copyright Meredith Shafer 2015

Thanks!

Gratitude is a game changer. It doesn’t matter what kind of day you may be having, if you can be grateful for something it will make a bad day better and a good day great.

Here are just a few of my favorite things…

My daughter doing push-ups with her Daddy this morning

My 19 month old dancing in the toy box

All of you wonderful bloggers who have become friends and encouragers to me

A husband who powers through a rough day

Two big kids who weren’t born from my belly but from my heart

A family of red birds in my backyard

Charlie, the service dog and peace bringer to our family

Music, sno cones and lightning bugs.

Today is a good day!

  
(Photo credit Meredith Shafer) ©Copyright Meredith Shafer 2015

I would love to connect with you on Facebook and Instagram at MyPinkChampagneLife or Twitter @MyPinkChampLife. Swing by and say hello!

To the last Blogger Who Nominated Me for An Award

Thank you, thank you, and thank you! I waited too long to participate and now I can’t remember who nominated me for what award! I’m so sorry:)

I blame my children for my poor memory… 

 

In their defense, though, they’re adorable!

(Photo credit Meredith Shafer 2015) ©Copyright Meredith Shafer 2015

The Real Neat Blog Award

  

I’m doing my happy dance because my friend at My Perfect Breakdown nominated me for the Real Neat Blog Award! Thank you so much! Y’all should go check out her blog, she writes beautifully about the realness and rawness of her hopes of becoming a parent. 

The Rules:

  • Put the Award logo in your post.
  • Answer 7 questions asked by the person who nominated you.
  • Thank the people who nominated you, linking their blogs.
  • Nominate any number of bloggers you like, linking to their blogs.
  • Let them know you nominated them (by commenting on their blogs).

My questions from My Perfect Breakdown:

1. What is your favorite song? I’m in a real country phase right now (and frankly, since I live in the south I’m almost always at least near the country phase). I love the Kasey Musgrave song called “Biscuits”-it’s kinda my motto now. 

Don’t judge me, I can’t help it if my gypsy hippie mermaid cowgirl poet roots show:)

2. What do you most value about blogging? Great question with so many answers! Writing is a release for me so there’s that. And all my new friends from around the world-I love that writing, this thing I enjoy-has brought us together! And of course, since I wrote a book that got published this year, my publishing company strongly suggested it.😉

3. Do you have any pets? I love this question! It gives me a chance to talk about Charlie, my husband’s service dog. Mr. Wonderful, my sweet hubs, served his country in the military for 15 years. He was recently medically retired for the little souvenir called PTSD that he brought home from his time overseas. We call this Mad Cow-sometimes you have to laugh about these things.

Charlie is the best dog! She keeps Mr. Wonderful calm and through her training, is helping me be his Battle Buddy. She’s also an amazing family dog. The kids know if she’s not wearing her service vest that she’s available for playing or belly rubs.

4. What does your typical day look like? This question was the scariest! The only thing constant from day to day in my world is chaos. With four kids and a day job and speaking engagements for my book and Mr. Wonderful’s doctor appointments and blogging and trying to find time to still date my husband and occasionally working out and speech therapy for the seven year old every day is an adventure! I love how “versatile” my life is. Exhausting, but devastatingly beautiful in its chaos and imperfections.

5. What game do you play most on your cell phone? Due to the aforementioned chaos, nada. You mean I can play games on this thing?

6. What are your hobbies? I love being crafty-no genre will be left untouched! Painting, sewing, writing, photography-I love it all! And reading…so many books, so little time.

7. What is your favorite meal? Anything Mr. Wonderful makes-he’s the cook at our house and everyone is grateful for that! 

My Nominations:

And Your Questions:

1. Describe your perfect day.

2. What do you do to relax?

3. What’s the most embarrassing thing you’ve done recently (that you’re willing to share)?

4. Name three people you’d most like to eat dinner with (dead or alive).

5. What would you change about your life?

6. What’s your favorite ice cream?

7. What’s the best thing that’s happened to you recently?

Participate if you like, no worries of you don’t feel like it. Sometimes these things are a fun way to get to know each other. Enjoy! And thanks again MPB!