Tag Archives: writer

Trying NaNoWriMo (or Kind Of Another Monthly Challenge)

Even though I just shared my monthly challenge, I’ve actually found another one and this one has to be done this month. National Novel Writing Month (or NaNoWriMo) is from November 1-30 and even though I missed the beginning of it I’ve decided to see how many days this month I can do it.

I had started working on a book about online dating a while ago, but I haven’t really worked on it much since then. I’ve meant to work on it, but it just hasn’t happened. I have updated things as I’ve had new stories that I knew I wanted to have in the book, but I know that I need to start writing my stories before I forget some of the details. And doing NaNoWriMo seems to be the perfect thing to help motivate me to work on the stories.

The goal of NaNoWriMo is to write 50,000 words in 30 days. That is about 1667 words a day. I don’t really know how that will look in terms of the book I want to work on, but I think that could be some of the stories I have. I was using some old blog posts as ideas and they average about 1000 words. So doing more than a blog post isn’t going to be possible for each story I have to share, but many of them could easily be longer than that. I don’t want to have to hold myself to doing 1667 words a day because I don’t necessarily want to have to do a story and a half in a day, but it’s a good goal to have as an average.

So my idea for NaNoWriMo is to hopefully write one of my stories a day. As of right now, I don’t have 30 stories I want to share but I have to think about things and see if there are more swipe left stories (or guys that I didn’t want to meet) that I could add. There are so many guys that have started chatting with me and then said something that made me never want to talk to them again but I haven’t really thought about putting any of those stories in. All of my swipe left stories are guys that I was going to meet or there was something funny that happened. Sadly, guys that say gross things is a common thing and they don’t each deserve a story.

I have had some friends do NaNoWriMo in the past and they have worked on their books religiously and did accomplish the goal of writing a draft of their book within the month. While I would love to say that I’m going to work on the book every day, I know that it isn’t necessarily going to be possible. I have a feeling that when I’m with my family at Thanksgiving that I might be too busy between working my day job and being with family that I won’t be able to write. But I will have my laptop with me so writing will be possible if I find the time.

While I loved the idea of writing a book when it came to me, it has scared me a bit. It’s almost the same feeling I had when I started this blog and the best way to fix that was to jump right in and not think twice. With the book, since it isn’t being shared as I write I didn’t feel the same pressure to make sure I did it. But having the word count updates on NaNoWriMo should help to create that same pressure that I need to work. And hopefully the more that I work on it the less scary it is to me.

I have no clue what I’d do if I finish the book. So many friends have said I should publish it because my stories are so crazy. I don’t know if I would do that or how to do it, but it’s a fun idea. But I really just want to finish the book so that I can say it’s done and then I can figure out what to do with it. And I’m hoping that my crazy stories will be slowing down so if I have any more stories to add after it’s done that it will be a quick update. I’m guessing what I have to do right now is going to be a majority of the book and that’s a big hill to climb. But I know I can do it.

Are any of you participating in NaNoWriMo? Or have you done it in the past? I’d really love some advice on what helped you because this is a new journey for me and I know that having some tricks or tips can make this easier to accomplish.

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I Might Write A Book (or The Bumble Avenger)

My online dating adventures have been pretty ridiculous. While there have been some really great guys that I’ve met (and a few that I’ve seen more than once and hope I’ll be seeing again), it seems like a majority of the stories I have are not-s0-great ones. I’ve been lucky that most of the time I can figure out a guy isn’t a good person before I ever meet them. So most of the time when I go on a date with someone, there has already been some vetting and I feel pretty ok about it.

Of course, that’s not always the case and I’ve had some really bad dates where I spent more time getting to the date than I did on the date. I’ve also gone out with a guy who was engaged at the time because I didn’t search his name online like I do now. If I had looked him up, I would have seen that his wedding website was the first result in the search and his Facebook profile photo is with his fiancée. I regret not looking him up before the date, but I’ve learned.

With the guys that I haven’t met, there are a variety of reasons why I didn’t meet them. Sometimes they just have something creepy about them, sometimes they are trying to get me to meet them at a hotel and won’t accept me meeting them somewhere else. And yes, I’ve encountered more guys who aren’t actually single. In fact, this week I rematched with a guy I matched with a few months ago (we had unmatched for some reason or another). Back then, I wasn’t doing searches on the guys I’m talking to. Now I’m smarter and I found out he’s married. He was only married 4 months when we were talking before. I called him out on it and he deleted his profile.

With the engaged/married guys, I feel bad about it even though I know I didn’t do anything wrong. And I’m starting to message the fiancée/wife on Facebook so they know what their guy is doing. Most of them haven’t seen the messages because they are in their filtered messages, but at least I can feel like I’ve done something about it and hopefully they will find out that they are involved with a cheater.

I post some of the craziest stories of my adventures in online dating online to my friends, and most of them think it’s so crazy what I’m encountering. And with all my posts about how I’m finding out someone is a cheater and telling their significant other, a friend of mine called me The Bumble Avenger (even though not all the cheaters have been from Bumble).

Several of my friends have been telling me I need to write a book about what I’ve been experiencing. I just keep telling people that I don’t think my experience is that unique and I’m not a writer.

But then I got to thinking. I’ve done online dating before and what I’m experiencing now is nothing like what it was like before. It is totally crazier now. Maybe it’s because of how much easier it is to have a dating app versus using a website? Maybe people are finding it easier to cheat? So maybe my story is something that I should share with others beyond my private social media.

And as far as me not being a writer, I know that it’s true. I have over 1,300 posts on this blog (how did that happen?!?!?!) and I’m almost at my 5 year anniversary (more on that next week). Clearly I’m a writer whether or not I believe that it’s true. Maybe I just don’t think of myself as a writer when I look at screenplays or novels. But non-fiction books can be in a similar format to a blog.

So because so many people told me to do it, I’ve actually started to write an outline for a book. I have no idea what will come of it, but I’m glad I’m starting now. Even putting together the outline I’ve realized I’ve forgotten some of the crazy stories that happened to me in April and May. So it’s a good thing that I’m at least writing these stories down now even if nothing comes out of it.

If I do actually write the book, I don’t know what I would do next. I’ve thought that maybe I wouldn’t want my name on it, but I think it would be easy to connect me to it because my stories are pretty unique. I don’t feel like I would go back and change blog posts to try to hide my identity, but maybe people wouldn’t be able to connect it to me. If it does have my name, I would think carefully about how much I would want to reveal. And of course I would have to have people look things over to make sure nothing I’m saying could reveal who any of the guys are (I wouldn’t use any of their names but I don’t want something else in there to be a way to connect back to them).

This is seriously at the very beginning stages of everything. I haven’t really written much yet, but it will be something I want to try to work on at least a few times a week. It would be fun to see what I could do and you never know what could happen out of a project. I doubt I knew 5 years ago that this is where I would be with my blog and I’m so grateful that I started it when I did. Maybe the book could be the same thing for me.

Figuring Out The Next Step (or I Need To Keep Acting)

As soon as I finished the shoot for “Single Parent Date Night”, I got the feeling that I had been missing out on acting for far too long. I’ve had auditions from time to time (I wish I had more but I understand that sometimes that’s out of my control) and I was in my improv class last year. And of course I have my meetings with my WIF mentoring group which is one of the most inspiring things for me.

But since my shoot, what I’ve been doing doesn’t feel like enough. I know I’m limited in some situations like I cannot force myself to get more auditions or don’t have the financial ability to do a short film like that one all the time, but that’s no excuse for me anymore. I need to keep going and I feel like I have no other choice.

I’m looking again into acting classes. I’m still torn if I should do the next level of improv classes, but I’m leaning more toward not doing it now. I’ve got a few more months to sign up for the next level before I have to start back at the beginning, so I can still change my mind if I want. But there are so many other types of acting classes outside of improv so I’m exploring those.

There are some acting classes that I’d love to take, but they are just too far beyond my price range. I can’t afford classes that cost more than my rent, and there are some like that out there that I know would be worth it if I had the money. And while the cheap ones are a good deal for me financially, I have to make sure that they are the right choice for my career as well.

I’ve got things narrowed down to a couple of classes that meet both the financial and career requirements that I have. I’m going to take a bit more time to look into all the options and I’m going to try to figure out what order I want to take them in. I will have to save money for each class I take, so it may take me a few years to get to all the classes that look interesting to me right now (and by then I’m sure there will be even more classes I want to take).

I’m also looking at doing more work on my own. They won’t be as professional as “Single Parent Date Night” all the time, but there are some beautiful projects I’ve seen that were shot on an iPhone. So I figured why couldn’t I do the same thing? I would need to keep the script and locations simple, but it is possible to work on my own stuff instead of always just waiting for someone to create one for me.

I took the first step to self-producing by becoming a SAG-AFTRA Signatory Producer. It was a very simple process online for me that allows me to produce union projects (which I have to do since I am union). Since I’m still not really a writer, I need to find friends who do write that I can collaborate with, but this is a start.

And I’ve already started working on another project. This one would actually not have me in it, but it’s an idea that I’ve been wanting to do for a little bit. I’m working with a writer friend and the script is done now. We are working on finding what actors want to be in it and once that is done we can submit all the paperwork to the union to get everything approved and ready to shoot.

Hopefully through the collaborations I’ve been a part of lately, I can find more people to work with and who can help me create my own work or will create work for me to be in. And yes, I still want to get more auditions so that I can book something that is on network tv so that I can feel like my career has taken a big step. For but now, I need to focus on what I can do where I am right now and hopefully that will be enough until whatever big thing I will book comes my way.

Being Proactive (or Bringing Acting To Me)

It’s really tough as an actor when you feel l like you aren’t making any momentum in your career. I haven’t had an audition in a while and that’s a bit frustrating. Right now there are no improv classes at a time that works for me, so I can’t enroll in the next level of classes. I’m not really losing weight so I don’t need new headshots or other things like that. And there’s not too much I can do about those things.

I know that so many people say that actors should focus on creating their own roles and projects, but I’m not a writer. I can write on here and on other blogs, but it doesn’t translate to writing a script. I’ve tried writing even little sketches and even those are difficult for me and I get really annoyed I can’t translate what I want to say to paper.

But I’m lucky that I’ve got several friends who are writer types and want to collaborate with me. And over the past week I’ve been able to find time to meet with a couple of them and now I finally feel like I’m moving forward again

I hate that I have to be really discrete on these projects, but they are all in the super early stages so I don’t want to say too much. I’m not trying to be cool by not sharing things.

With one of my friends, she and I are working together on a non-acting idea. We’ve got an idea for an event we want to do that is somewhat entertainment industry related, but it’s not an acting thing. We came up with this idea super randomly and it snowballed from there. We are coming up with plans and logistics and I really think that this could be something really cool and easy to accomplish this year if we get the right people working with us. Even though it’s not acting specific, because it’s something that seems fun to me it still activates the same creativity side of my brain. She and I are also talking about how we should work on an acting project together, but that’s not the first priority right now.

I also met with a writer friend of mine recently. She and I have discussed doing a project with a bunch of friends in the past and I think that we can finally start working on that idea more. We don’t have an idea for a script or characters, but I think this would be the type of project that we need to be inspired to do and not just write it because we want to write something. Hopefully something soon will inspire us and we will have something fun to work on together this year.

And finally I’ve got a friend who is a writer and just wrote us a short film. He and I had talked on the phone and I guess he got inspired to write a 2 person short film and had me in mind for the other character (he wrote it for me so there are aspects of it that fit me perfectly). He sent me the script as soon as he wrote and I read it, loved it, and emailed him back with a couple of notes. He sent me another version and we decided to meet up to work on it together.

We met on Tuesday after work and discussed ideas and plans for the short film (I’m always a “think big” person so I’ve got big ideas for it). There are a couple of things in the script that could be changed to make a bit more sense (they are all minor things) and we came up with some really funny ideas for the beginning and end of the film to make it a more well-rounded script that would be a great showcase piece for both of us as actors and for him as a writer. If he and I could find a crew to help us shoot this short, I think we could have it done and edited by the summer to share with everyone.

It’s so nice that I’ve been able to have so many friends who are self-motivated like I am but are in the parts of the industry that I’m not so great at. If I had to write my own projects, it would never happen. I would be endlessly frustrated and never finish anything. Or I would just make little improv-based movies which can be fun, but they aren’t always that great without a decent outline to keep the plot on track. Having friends who are strong where I am weak and want to collaborate really is awesome.

I’m hoping that by the end of 2016, whether or not I have another audition, that I’ll have at least 2 projects that I’ve been in this year. It’s totally possible, but I need to just focus on who I know who can work with me and not the fact that I can’t write. If I focus on the positives and work on creating work with others, there’s no reason why I can’t have new credits to my name this year.

Happy Birthday To FMIB! (or 2 Years And Finally Taking Myself Seriously As A Writer)

Today marks 2 years since I started blogging on here! I still can’t believe that I’ve been able to keep this up for so long. Even though there are plenty of days where I struggle thinking of what to post on here, I still have posted now every weekday for 2 entire years!

I really should stop being shocked at myself for being so consistent. And I’m also really working on taking myself seriously as a writer.

And that’s important to do now because I lost my one day job with steady hours.

So I’m down to 6 day jobs, but none of those have guaranteed hours. And some of them won’t have hours available to me until the end of August or beginning of September.

Since I haven’t been able to save any money lately (and I’m only able to make the minimum payments on my credit card), I’m desperately looking for new days jobs now.

I started applying for the usual types of jobs like receptionist/assistant/data entry type of work. But then some people encouraged me to pursue writing jobs. They said that I am a writer (I’m working on believing that myself). I have over 500 posts on here to prove that as well as over a year of monthly posts on two other blogs.

So I spent some time creating a new resume highlighting my writing experience (there really isn’t much yet) and started to apply for various blogging and copy writing jobs. I probably applied for about 50 or 60 jobs, but I have heard back from one already. They wanted to know my blogging background and I had to answer a dozen questions about how I would handle different job situations.

I’m so glad that when I responded, I could say proudly that I had been writing on here for about 2 years (I applied for the jobs earlier this week so my 2 year mark hadn’t hit yet and I wanted to be totally honest). I also was able to provide multiple writing samples about various subjects.

While the job hunt is getting me down a bit, I’m going to spend today in a celebratory mood. 2 years is a huge milestone! I should allow myself to be happy and proud!

And I know that there are a bunch of you who have been supporting and following me through the entire 2 year life of this blog so far and I have to say thank you! Every day I’m still amazed that there are people reading this and responding about things that are going on in my life! And if you are new to following me, thanks for all the support you’ve already given to me and I hope that my next 2 years on here will bring more fun posts to share with you all!

Being A Better Blogger (or Joining The Community)

While I do have several friends who are bloggers, lately I’ve been feeling a little isolated as a blogger. I feel like my progress on here has stopped (although I’m a little unsure on how I should really be measuring my progress). And I’m sure some of you have noticed that my blogs aren’t always as interesting as they’ve been in the past.

I was part of a blogger group that did the Blognic and the cookie exchange, but that group has kind of ended. We have a FB group for us, but nobody has been active on it for a while.

And I’m not just feeling stalled on this blog, I’m having issues coming up with topics for the two other blogs that I freelance on. I’ve hit a bit of a slump and I’m working my way out of it.

So I’m working on becoming more active in the blogging community. For the first time, I have a day job that is allowing me to do that (at least for now until I find another job to keep me from being underemployed). So I’ve joined FB groups, been commenting on other blogs to get information, and based on the recommendation of some women in one of the blogging FB groups I’ve also downloaded a couple of blogging podcasts.

Before I started blogging, I had a friend who encouraged me to do it as a way of supporting myself. This particular blogger was living off of the money that she made from her blog. If I had gone in with only that idea, I would have quit a long time ago. Even though I have ads on my blog, I have only made 2 cents (and I haven’t been paid because there is a $20 minimum to get paid on ads). I’m starting to realize that success does not equal money (or getting a blog post to go viral).

Success is now being part of a community that supports each other. Success is me sharing my story and hopefully inspiring or encouraging someone else. Success is being able to vent on here instead of burdening my friends and family.

And if those things really do equal success in my mind, I’m truly on the path of being a very successful blogger.

Happy 100th! (or Guess I Might Be A Writer)

It’s my 100th blog post! I’m kind of in shock. When I started writing this, I hoped that I would love doing it and it would become a part of my day that I looked forward to, but I was not sure. Fortunately, I’m loving this!

I never really thought of myself as a writer. But I’ve always thought of a writer as a screenwriter or someone who writes books. I’m not very good at either of those. I wish I could write scripts, but there is a disconnect in my brain for writing something for visual media.

But ever since I started writing this blog, people have commented to me in person that I’m a good writer. I’ve even had a few people ask me why I’m not writing this as a book instead of a blog. Whenever I got those comments, I blew them off. I always said that I’m not a writer.

But maybe I am.

When I was at the Women in Film mentoring event this week, everyone else was introducing themselves as a hybrid (actor-writer, writer-director, producer-makeup artist). I’ve always said that I’m an actor. That’s it. Even though I produced a documentary, I don’t think of myself as a producer. That was a passion project and I’m not seeking another producing job.

But I started introducing myself as an actor-blogger at the event this week. And to my surprise, everyone seemed impressed that I write a blog. Maybe I’ve been underestimating this, but I was surprised how much people wanted to know about the blog. But I was so excited to be able to introduce myself as a hybrid that I’m proud of.

In the first 100 posts, I feel like I’ve gotten so much off my chest that I’ve been keeping secretive. Now that I don’t have to focus on hiding those parts of my life, I’ve been able to focus on moving forward and growing as a person. I feel like I am a much better me than I was 100 posts ago.

Can’t wait to see where I am after the next 100!