It has been a long while since I have written anything. I could come up with all sorts of reasons. For example, I could I am busy with school, and that would be the truth. I could say I have been busy with work, which would also be the truth. Better yet, I could say I have been busy developing my professional life as a counselor by spending my time at counseling facility, under the tutelage of a licensed counselor. This would also be the truth because, my graduate degree requires that I gain practical knowledge in the form of a practicum and internship. All of these things are true and, take time away from writing for myself / pleasure. However, a more important truth remains. I am not carving out the time in my schedule to write for myself. It irks me because, I used to enjoy writing. I used to love sitting down and, letting my mind wander from topic to topic, world to world, realm to realm. I used to love developing characters and, letting them play in my imagination. As I look back at the last couple of years, I see nothing but academic writing. Please don’t miss understand. I don’t mind academic writing. In fact, some have said I am quite proficient at it. This proficiency is born of necessity because, of the stage of life I am in. However, it not truly where my heart is. I love telling stories and, as I mentioned above, developing characters and, letting them play. The stories they tell me surprise and sometimes confound me. An example of this is the story I wrote for the SIFTD writers guild. Spoiler alert: I had no idea it would end in such a dark manner. I love when my characters surprise me like that.

So, why have I gotten away from a craft I love so much? To put it bluntly, I have been lazy. What time I do have for leisure has been spent consuming forms of entertainment that are not conducive to the continued development of my imagination. Instead of reading books authored by fiction writers (my favorite genre), I have spent that time watching streaming media (Netflix or Hulu) or, playing video games. Personally, neither of these things help me further my creative thinking.

In order to remedy this situation, I have purchased a new computer. I know this may seem like an extreme measure but, let me explain. My old computer simply was not cutting it anymore. You see, it was a Chromebook. By its very nature it only functions in the cloud. It was great at what it did: surf the internet, watch Netflix, and write via Google documents. However, were I to get serous about writing, I needed something better. I needed, for all intents and purposes, a desktop replacement. I needed something with the capability to be a work horse, portable so I can write when inspiration strikes, and sleek enough to be a gaming machine. I detail the later because, when my brain simply does not have any juice left I need to unwind. Gaming is how I do that.

In order to encourage my literary journey further, I have tasked myself with an hour of personal writing a day for the next several weeks. You see, as part of a substance abuse treatment course, we were asked to add or subtract one  measurable thing from our lives for the duration of the course. I chose to add an hour of personal writing daily as the measurable activity. I  already have an excel spreadsheet set up to track my progress. The hope is when the course is complete (end of June), I won’t want to give up my personal writing time and continue with it.

Like I said, I purchased a computer, specifically a laptop which allows me to do everything I have listed. I have been very intentional about what I load on it. For example, I have only loaded two games for those times when I need a break. Everything else is writing or productivity based. Installed, I have Office 365, which among others things, gives me access to the latest version of Microsoft Word, still my preferred word processing software. I have Dragon NaturallySpeaking, a dictation software package. Hopefully being able to dictate will help me in the writing process, both academic and personal. I also have Write!, which is a new piece of software I am trying ( and writing this post in). It allows me to organize multiple documents and store them in the cloud. The feature that appealed to me the most was, the ability to have a distraction free writing area. Basically while I am writing, there is nothing else on screen. This way I can focus on what is in front of my eyes without getting distracted.

Along with the tools detailed above I have journeyed into Reddit, finding a few subreddits that could possibly aid this journey. Specifically, I found /r/WritingPrompts. It does exactly what its namesake suggests, provides daily writing prompts for people to play with. You will find me using them until I shake the dust off of my creative brain.

The hope is that with these tools at my finger tips, I will begin to write for myself again, even if I am busy with school. Time will tell. However, I know I have many stories to tell and, many characters yearning to speak. I’m exited to get started.

Till next we meet!