NaBloPoMo: November 2012

Starting November 1st, I am participating in another challenge similar to the 31 Days Challenge where I wrote the 31 Days of Journaling Prompts everyday of the month. In November, I will be participating in National Blog Posting Month, also known as NaBloPoMo, hosted by BlogHer.

Yes, I’m crazy! Why do you ask?

At this point, I am not going to make any promises that I will, indeed, write every day for the month of November, but I am certainly going to try. Part of the incentive is some pretty awesome prizes that BlogHer is randomly giving away to those who participate every day, but the true reason is because I have really come to enjoy writing throughout the month of October, and I liked the blogging prompts that BlogHer listed for NaBloPoMo.

Oh! One other reason is that about 7 years ago, I got a wild hair and thought I would participate in NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) and only made it about a fourth of the way through when I was so lost in what my characters were doing, saying and going that I gave up and never tried again. If the past 31 Days taught me anything, it’s that I am definitely more comfortable writing in my own voice than I am in a fictional voice. So maybe, just MAYBE NaBloPoMo is for me. I guess we’ll find out!

On this page, I will post the links to my daily entries. The prompts are subject to change. Weekends are for free-writing, and I will post them as they occur. I am also swapping Fridays and Saturdays and plan to participate in Lisa Jo Baker’s Five Minute Friday.

November 2012 NaBlogPoMo Prompts

Thursday, November 1, 2012
Tell us your favorite quotation and why.

Friday, November 2, 2012
Five Minute Friday: Roots

Saturday, November 3, 2012
If you could live anywhere, where would it be?

Sunday, November 4, 2012
Sunday Scribblings: Heal

Monday, November 5, 2012
What are your thoughts about tomorrow’s election in the United States?

Tuesday, November 6, 2012
If you were President of the United States, what would be your first act in office?

Wednesday, November 7, 2012
Talk about the last compliment you received.

Thursday, November 8, 2012
If you could have any job (and instantly have the training and qualifications to do it), which job would you want?

Friday, November 9, 2012
Five Minute Friday: Quiet

Saturday, November 10, 2012
If you could change one thing about your life right now, what would it be?

Sunday, November 11, 2012
Sunday Scribblings: Mud

Monday, November 12, 2012
Where is your favorite place to blog?

Tuesday, November 13, 2012
The Praise Project – Guest Post at We Live Inspired

Wednesday, November 14, 2012
Tell us about the best meal you ever cooked.

Thursday, November 15, 2012
If you had the superpower to know what everyone was thinking (but not saying) would you use it?

Friday, November 16, 2012
Five Minute Friday: Stay

Saturday, November 17, 2012
Would you buy your dream house if the price was right BUT you also were told it was inhabited by ghosts?

Sunday, November 18, 2012
Sunday Scribblings: Silence

Monday, November 19, 2012
If you had to get locked in some place (book store, amusement park, etc.) overnight alone, where would you choose to be locked in?

Tuesday, November 20, 2012
Who is someone you wish you could see again?

Wednesday, November 21, 2012
Where is your favorite place to read?

Thursday, November 22, 2012
30 Days of Thanksgiving

Friday, November 23, 2012
Five Minute Friday: Thank You

Saturday, November 24, 2012
What is the hardest word for you to say?

Sunday, November 25, 2012
Sunday Scribblings: Flood

Monday, November 26, 2012
Do you speak more than one language?  How did you learn the additional languages?

Tuesday, November 27, 2012
What is the bravest thing you’ve ever done?

Wednesday, November 28, 2012
Tell us about the worst trip you ever took, Part I

Thursday, November 29, 2012
Tell us about the worst trip you ever took, Part II

Friday, November 30, 2012
What has been the hardest part about blogging daily?

NaBloPoMo November 2012

31 Days of Journaling Prompts: Future

Day 31: Future

It’s hard to believe that Day 31 is here, and I made it through every single day! There was only one day this month (just a few days ago) where I didn’t have my entry ready to post at midnight, but I did get it posted later that day. I have a problem with following through with things like this, usually because it sounded like a good idea at the time, then it gets boring or tedious or I take on too much. I feel accomplished that I stuck to it, and it tells me that I can do this!

You know what, though? I’m actually kind of sad that it’s ending. I’ve actually been dreading this day for the last week or so because it’s been really nice to already know what I am going to write about, so now I feel like I have to come up with all new content. I probably won’t continue to blog everyday and go back to blogging a few times a week when the words need to get out of my head. Strike that! I started writing this earlier in the day then received an email from BlogHer about November’s NaBloPoMo this afternoon and just might have been hopped up on novocaine from a dental appointment, but I decided that I’m going to participate. I’m making no concrete promises that I will participate every day, but I’m going to make an effort. It helps that the blogging prompts for November have already been posted. There’s no pressure from BlogHer to stick to those prompts, but they seem like reasonable prompts for my style of writing.

I purposely saved the journaling prompt of Future for the last day of the challenge because I feel like beyond this entry is the future of my blog. Well, duh! It’s the future of everything, right? Of course it is, but I feel like these past 31 days have really set the groundwork for what I’m going to do with my writing and this site. After a very long time, I’m really close to feeling like a real writer. I’ve learned that I don’t have to have a published novel or have a full time job writing to be a writer. I can be a writer for my own enjoyment and the people who read what I have to say.

I am a writer and this is the beginning of my future. I hope you will join me in my journey.

What does your future look like? What goals are you looking forward to achieving?

“The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.” – Eleanor Roosevelt 

Read more about the 31 Days of Journaling Prompts
Today’s recommended 31 Day Blogger: 31 Days of Powerful Words @ Cindy H Ramsey

31 Days of Journaling Prompts: Potential

Day 30: Potential

All my life I’ve heard that very few people live up to their potential. While I won’t argue with that statement, I do wonder at what level one would have to be in order to live up to the throne of using all of one’s potential? Did Albert Einstein, Marie Curie or Alexander Fleming live up to their full potential or could they have discovered something even greater? Where’s the limit?

When I was in high school and college, without a doubt I was smarter than the effort I put into my work. I wouldn’t say that I was lazy, but I know I could have tried harder. That pretty much sums up everything in my life. Let me pause here and say that I am NOT putting myself down or anything like that. I’m simply saying that there are numerous times where I know that I could try harder. I’m sure it’s the case for most people. There’s always going to be something that we halfway do for a variety of different reasons, such as lack of time, commitment, interest or resources. We live in a society where just getting by is good enough most of the time. Do the minimum to get it done. This isn’t always by choice, either. There might be a project at work that I would love to spend much more time doing and completing to perfection, but then there are other projects that need my attention.

I know that I could be a better writer if I ventured out more and tried other genres. As much as I enjoy reading fiction, I am not comfortable writing fiction. I’m sure if I worked on it or took a creative writing course, then I could excel at it or at least be decent with it. However, at this stage in my life, I am fine with the voice that I have with writing. It’s much easier to just be myself than to be someone else. Maybe someday I will try fiction again.

If writing is something that you are interested in, whether it be journaling your thoughts like I do or creative writing with fictional characters, I would like to encourage you to start exercising your writing skills by using the 31 Journaling Prompts that I have written about this month. They could easily be used for both fiction and non-fiction writing. Another great resource for me is Writing Through Life, a website with weekly journaling prompts, as well as a free 4-week Journaling 101 course. Finally, my awesome friend, Rebekah, wrote a Guest Post On Being A Writer that offers some practical tips on getting started. 

Whatever area of your life you have more potential than you are using, I encourage you to seek it out and try to be more than you are. In the long run, it will definitely be worth your time and effort.

In what area do you have more potential than you are using? Do you stick with just getting by or do you go all the way? 

“Continuous effort – not strength or intelligence – is the key to unlocking our potential.” – Winston Churchill

Read more about the 31 Days of Journaling Prompts
Today’s recommended 31 Day Blogger: 31 Days: The Thrift Project @ Beautiful Objects


31 Days of Journaling Prompts: Inspiration

Day 29: Inspiration

In my writing, I seek inspiration for myself, as well as sharing with others in hopes that they find inspiration, as well. At the end of most every entry I write in my blog, I include a quote or Bible verse that has spoken to me. I write include it just as much for myself as I do for anyone reading. I also gather inspiration from the words that I read in books and blogs written by others.

Inspiration is everywhere!

There have been a few times during this 31 Day journey that I have had a bit of writer’s block, though I admit that it’s not been as frequent as I feared when I challenged myself to this project. In the past, I’ve tried writing fiction, and those times usually end with incredible bouts of writer’s block to the point where I realized that fictional writing is not my genre. The words that long to get out of my head and onto paper (or the screen) are my thoughts and perceptions of what is in and around my life, therefore the inspiration that I find to write is all around me everyday and everywhere. There are times that I wish I had something that recorded my thoughts so that it would be easier for me to write them out later. But really, who wouldn’t want that? Okay, except for those thoughts that you don’t want to share with others. I’d need an on/off switch for sure.

Pinterest is incredibly popular right now and provides an excellent source for inspiration, as well as procrastination*. While I’ll be the first to admit that I have wasted many hours scrolling through Pinterest and adding pins of interesting projects or yummy meals, I have benefitted greatly from using Pinterest as inspiration, as well. My creativity often requires that I produce some sort of craft, and we all know there is a multitude of inspiring crafts on Pinterest. There’s also been memorable quotes and words to contribute to my contentment, fantastic meals I might not have discovered and DIY Tips to make life a little easier. While I know that Pinterest has been more positive for me than negative, I do try to be aware of how much time I spend there so I don’t get behind in other areas of my life.

Inspiration can also be found in your surroundings. Art is everywhere, whether created by man or by God. The beautiful season of Fall is here, and while driving this past weekend, I noted how inspiring the changing colors of the leaves can be inspiring to me to recycle, renew and reuse things in my own life. Our lives can cycle through different seasons, as well. We don’t have to constantly stay the same and it’s okay to go back to what we know and love.

How do you find inspiration? What inspires you? 

*Note: I’m so glad that I didn’t choose Procrastination as one of this month’s journaling prompts, though maybe I should have!

“Every moment and every event of every man’s life on earth plants something in his soul.” – Thomas Merton

“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.” – Romans 15:13  

Read more about the 31 Days of Journaling Prompts
Today’s recommended 31 Day Blogger: 31 Inspiring Days @ Ladybugs, Butterflies & Boxing

miscellany monday at lowercase letters

On In Around button

31 Days of Journaling Prompts: Contentment

Day 28: Contentment

So far I’ve been ahead of the game with having my entries ready to post at midnight every night. Yesterday’s post was about Excuses, and yesterday was the first day that I didn’t have the next day’s entry already written. I could give some valid reasons as to why that happened, but in reality they’d just be excuses. It’s really as simple as saying that living life came first.

Contentment is a difficult topic for me because it’s something that I struggle with daily. I frequently fall victim to thinking that the grass is greener on the other side, there’s something I’d rather have or I wish, I wish, I wish… Seriously, it’s pretty bad. To be honest, when I got to today’s topic, I admit that I dreaded writing about it, because of how bad it can be for me. However, I know that I am not alone.

I’ve been reading (off and on), a book entitled, Calm My Anxious Heart, by Linda Dillow. I started reading it with a few other bloggers but quickly fell behind in reading it along with the others. I picked it back up the other day when I was looking over my list of journaling prompts and saw that this day was coming soon. I wanted to feel more prepared to write this entry. In retrospect, it’s probably good that I fell behind in reading, because last night I read some really interesting information about why Americans are so discontent with what we have when we already have so much: marketing and advertising.

While I don’t also want to fall victim to giving excuses, I can definitely see how marketing has targeted us to believe that we need more and more and more. We’re given false hope that happiness can be achieved by what we own, so we continue to accumulate more stuff, only to find that it doesn’t make us any more content, therefore we must buy more. It’s a vicious cycle that is never going to get us anywhere, and it’s certainly never going to make us more content.

The author of the book even goes on to say that she met a family from Poland when Poland was still under communism who asked why Americans need God when we already have so much. Can we say WOW? It was an eye opening experience for me to consider that someone would think that we don’t need God because of material possessions. But truly, isn’t that what we’re striving for even if we don’t realize it? I don’t consciously say to myself that buying things will lessen my need for God, but that’s what I am doing. I need to seek contentment by seeking God and not accumulating possessions.

In addition to marketing and advertising, we also fall victim to comparing ourselves with others. It’s so easy to notice that person who appears to have it all: the great marriage, excellent job, nice car, a beautiful home, perfect kids, and so on. We only see those perfect traits of that apparently contented person and think that if we have all that he or she has, then we’ll be more content just like that. If we just had one of those things…or even all of those things, then life will be perfect, and we’ll never have problems ever. Come on, you know you do it! I do it all the time, and it makes me miss out on the joys of what is in my life that truly make me happy. We can’t see the good stuff in our life when our focus is on what others have. I encourage you to take inventory of what is in your life that leads to contentment and focus on finding your contentment in God and not what you don’t have or what others have.

Do you fall victim to the greener grass of other pastures? What could you do differently to finding contentment than what you’re currently doing? 

“Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough” ― Oprah Winfrey

“It isn’t what you have or who you are or where you are or what you are doing that makes you happy or unhappy. It is what you think about it.”  ― Dale Carnegie

Read more about the 31 Days of Journaling Prompts
Today’s recommended 31 Day Blogger: 31 Days Away from Comparison Island @ Daily Bread & Butter

31 Days of Journaling Prompts: Excuses

Day 27: Excuses

Oh my! Excuses? I can’t believe that I chose this as a journaling prompt. It’s probably good that I saved it for the last part of the month, as I can only imagine the excuses that I would have come up with to NOT write about it.

You know, as the end of the month draws near, I am admittedly surprised that I have not come up with excuses to not write or to skip a day here and there. It’s Day 27, and I have written everyday on time. There were even a couple of days earlier in the month where I had a few written early, and I’m glad I did since we had a death in the family this month that could have put me behind if I hadn’t been prepared. That would have been a good excuse to pause my writing or quit all together, but thankfully I kept going.

I have been working on making it a conscious effort to not make excuses to do things or to excuse bad behaviors. In the long run, it’s better to just accept it, learn from it and move on instead of excusing it as something normal. However, don’t worry, as I am far away from perfecting this behavior. Just ask my dog, who sometimes doesn’t get his monthly flea/tick and heartworm medication until it’s almost time for the next month. Also, ask my husband about the clutter-filled tables that end up being junk catchers when coming from the car to the door. I’m SO guilty, but I’m working on it.

For the past month or so, my motivation has been slowly waning when it comes to keeping a clean house, picking up after myself, eating better and exercising. I shrugged it off and told myself (others)  that it happens every year around this time, and while that seems to be mostly true, it’s still a very (lame) excuse of bad habits. Why does this year have to be like the previous years. I can certainly break that cycle if I truly want to…and I do! I just need to make it happen.

These past 27 days have been an excellent example of starting a good habit of writing every day instead of making excuses as to why I can’t write or no one is reading my writing. I know I can do it!

What are some (lame) excuses that you give? How would you plan to start acting instead of excusing? 

“It is better to offer no excuse than a bad one.” ― George Washington
“At the end of the day, let there be no excuses, no explanations, no regrets.” ― Steve Maraboli

Read more about the 31 Days of Journaling Prompts
Today’s recommended 31 Day Blogger: 31 Days of (Lame) Excuses @ A Slob Comes Clean


31 Days of Journaling Prompts: Joy

Day 26: Joy

If you’re familiar with (in)courage, then you’ve probably heard Sara’s Story. If not, then I encourage you to find 30 minutes, grab a box of tissues and watch this video. It’s incredibly inspiring and a reminder how fragile life truly can be. Sara’s motto for her life was “Choose Joy.” She was terminally ill but refused to let it bring her down and focused on the relationships she had with her online community even to her last days on Earth.

Sara said this in her blog about Joy: But here’s a question: have you stopped long enough to figure out what brings you joy, define what that joy feels like to you and realize that, like everything in life, it can be a choice?

We have to choose joy in this life because of what is going on in our life and not despite it. We can’t let those negative things get the best of us, so we choose the alternative and know that God has given us this life for a reason. If life was always good, then we wouldn’t know what to appreciate.

Joy is not those transitory moments when our favorite team is winning, we get a promotion at work or we find some fabulous shoes on sale. Joy is what continues in our lives that show us just how beautiful life is. It’s taking our focus of those trying times and focusing instead on the positive in our life. We can choose to feel oppressed but we can also choose joy.

There was a time in my life when I was in an unsatisfying relationship, a stressful job, and it seemed like my car was in the shop more than it was out of the shop. My finances and health were in the pits, and I was showing deep signs of depression. I wish I could say that I chose joy more often during that time in my life, but I do know for a fact that I did not let all of those bad things in my life get me down. I sought help in a variety of ways and slowly started to pull myself out of that hole and begin to see the joy that I had in my life. And you know what? Life got much better! I am in a very satisfying relationship, working a job I love, and my car is in decent shape. My health and finances still struggle sometimes, but they’re in much better shape.

How do you define joy? What ways do you choose joy?

“Your success and happiness lies in you. Resolve to keep happy, and your joy and you shall form an invincible host against difficulties.” – Helen Keller

“Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds.” – James 1:2

Read more about the 31 Days of Journaling Prompts
Today’s recommended 31 Day Blogger: 31 Days of Beautiful Things @ Small World At Home