One Word At A Time

4 03 2013

I am slightly obsessed with yarn. I love selecting yarn for new crochet projects, the abundance of colors available. I have an image in my mind of what that skein of yarn will become. While I am looking, I touch each different weight and brand, anticipating the feel of the yarn running through my fingers as I work. However, it usually takes me a few weeks after I have bought the yarn to actually start the project.


I think sometimes, I get so caught up in the dream and the anticipation, that actually starting a project is overwhelming to me. That beginning chain is next to nothing compared to what the finished project will look like. What if I get halfway through and notice I have made a mistake? What if it is really too hard a pattern? I’m not really as good at it as other people are. I just kind of play at it.  (Yes, I really do think these things sometimes, foolish as it may be.)

I let myself get all worked up about things. Then, I convince myself that it doesn’t matter if my project comes out perfectly. No one is paying me for it. I really am just doing it because I enjoy it.

And how does this relate to writing?

I am also obsessed with notebooks and pens. I have a pile of them on my desk at the moment. When I buy them, I have every intention of filling them with beautiful words. They will one day be journal entries, stories, and novels. I open them and stare at the blank pages. I imagine all the things that they could hold. Then, I read someone else’s work and start to doubt my skill as a writer. There are so many who can say it better. I want to be more serious, but really, am I just playing at this?

And then I have to remind myself. I have something to say, and I am the only one who can say it. These words won’t come out perfectly. There is always room for improvement. I am doing this because I love it and couldn’t imagine my life without it.

I write that first word. Then, I am ending that first sentence. Before I know it, that first string of words becomes something wonderful and more magnificent than that first sentence can ever be on it’s own. It becomes a finished piece, and I start dreaming about the next one.


Hello. My name is Crystal, and I am a procrastinator.

30 01 2013

This morning, I found a notebook that I had used as a journal. It was during the time that I was writing in this notebook that I decided that I needed to write again. It took me a while to get started. I still have trouble making time to actually sit down and write something besides a journal. That is where the procrastinating comes in. It would be easy to get discouraged with my shortcomings. So instead, I have decided to post a list of accomplishments from the last year. And maybe set a few goals.

  • This will be the tenth blog post in the last year. Which is exactly 10 more than I have posted in the last 10 years.
  • I am close to finishing my 11th journal in just over a year. Prior to my decision to really start writing again, I was averaging one journal every year or year and a half.
  • I participated in NaNoWriMo and won. I wrote over 50,000 words in the month of November, and true to my procrastinating nature, I wrote most of those words on the last three days. (I had intended to blog about the experience, but yeah, I procrastinated.)
  • I don’t feel guilty calling myself a writer.

And now for a few goals.

  • Blog more often on both blogs.
  • Use the super cute planner I bought earlier this month to block out some time for writing.
  • Start rewriting the amazing novel I started in November.
  • Start planning a novel for this November.
  • Submit at least 5 pieces for possible publication this year.




31 05 2012

The blonde lady motioned to me as I finished with the last customer in my line. She was a little hesitant, but something in her eyes said she was determined.

“I need some help.” She spoke quietly, not quite looking at me.

“Okay. What can I help you with?” I walked around the counter toward her with a smile on my face.

“Well, really she needs your help. She needs a new bra.”

As she was speaking, a small, nervous looking lady stepped out from behind the tower of bras.

“I’m so embarrassing.” She spoke quietly and quickly. “I’m so embarrassing,” she repeated.

“Let’s go back here. We’ll have more privacy.” I started toward the fitting room area with both ladies trailing behind me. The blonde chatted on the way back, trying to put her friend a little more at ease.

“We’ll go in here.” I grabbed the tape measure and opened a fitting room door, leaving room for her to go in ahead of me.

“I’m so embarrassing,” she repeated for the third time and started to remover her shirt.

“No, it’s ok. I’ll measure over your shirt.” She looked at me for the first time. Relieved, yet a little ashamed, she lifted her breasts so I would touch her as little as possible. I measured quickly, asking questions about where she lived and commenting on the beautiful day to distract her and put her at ease.

The whole time I was working with her I smiled, encouraged, asked questions, talked with her family. She found something she liked, they paid and left.

There are times when I look back at that moment and wish it had ended differently. Maybe I would have looked her in the eye and simply said, “You are not embarrassing. You are beautiful.” I can’t change anything about that moment. She will probably never know how much that encounter changed the way I look at the people around me.

So, in case you haven’t heard it today, I just want you to know that you are beautiful.

Judge Not

7 03 2012

Judge not lest ye be judged….

God uses the weak and foolish things of the world to confound the wise…

These are the phrases that popped into my head while I was driving to work one day last week. They are paraphrases of Matthew 7:1  and 1 Corinthians 1:27. Now, this topic couldn’t have been further from my mind at that moment. I was enjoying the blue skies and warm sun on my face and thinking about the characters that seemed to just introduce themselves to me in the past couple of weeks.

Who was I judging?

My first thought was for fellow writers. Especially those who have been published in the Christian Fiction genre. I had to cringe as I thought of some of the judgements I have passed on them. Not all, but really, very few have escaped my scathing comments. There have been others, too, but these particular authors have probably had the most scorn heaped upon them.

But really, who was I judging? I realized that in my harsh judgement of fellow writers (who were actually writing and not avoiding the blank page), I was really being my own harsh judge. I often discount the messages because the vehicles I would use to deliver them are not perfect. Though I know it is completely unrealistic, I do tend to expect brain to page perfection first time around.

I am moving past this. Not quickly. I seem to be fighting this “creative recovery” as much as I am embracing it.   Stay tuned…

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