Kai Chronicles

Eating, exploring and enjoying life


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What I know about writing

When I was asked to participate in a theme blog post called, ‘what I know about writing’ by Sarah Wayland at that space in between, I must say I didn’t understand the exercise. It wasn’t until I saw her post and the other links and how to “link up” that I really got it.

Yes, I feel like a twit for it but I do my writing without a need to be technical so I don’t “get” how to set up what Sarah has done, but nevermind, I am honoured to have been asked.

I have been writing for a long time but I never considered it as a job or career until I was in my mid-thirties. I saw being a writer or author like being a movie star or pop singer……WAY out of my reach. Plus, I was not talented.

Then when I became a stay-at-home mum, I decided to do an online writing course and I saw that writing was a possibility for me. I quickly found a spot as a regular contributor in the local newspaper. It boosted my confidence and I felt like I was onto realising my “purpose”.  But, like many writers have done at some point in their journey, I lost my esteem. I  gave up on writing when we moved states.

For 3 years I didn’t write anything more than dark poetry or short diary entries and I focused on making money the physical way. I started my own cleaning company and did well with it. That wasn’t for me but I kept at it because the money was so good and went down another path that I thought I wanted to go down. I enrolled in a course to become a professional counsellor. And, after 7 months of failing at that…I admitted to myself that I was a writer.

Thank goodness for the Sydney Writers’ Centre. It was when I did their online writing for magazines and newspapers course that I really felt I was given the skills, motivation and inspiration to pursue a career in writing. That was 2 years ago and it has not been an easy climb, and I’m nowhere near the top but I’ve made some progress.

So, based on what I know about writing, here are some tips for aspiring or even experienced writers:

  • Educate yourself. I don’t think you need a degree in journalism or a masters in English to be a decent writer. I certainly don’t have those things. But practical, hands-on courses that teach you exactly what you need to know and do are valuable.  I cannot recommend SWC enough. I’ve also done a mentoring program with Alan Close, which was fabulous. He taught me so much about being a writer.
  • Join a writers group, either in person or online. As a grad of SWC, I am part of their online Facebook group and the support, advice, tips, praise and love we give and get is invaluable. I’m sure there are other groups like this out there. None as fabulous as the SWC one though (my opinion).
  • Give it go. In order to get published, you must knock on some doors. It takes nerve and confidence to put yourself  out there but I have gotten jobs just by ringing up an editor and asking. The answer will not always be yes, but sometimes it will be. In this industry, it is true that you must have a thick skin. I’m very sensitive by nature but I’ve toughened up heaps in the past 2 years.
  • Write every day. I don’t always do this but most days I do write, even if it’s only working on new pitches.
  • Stick with it. It’s hard in the beginning (and in the middle) especially after your first rejection, but as soon as you get published once you can be on your way to a career in writing, if you choose.
  • Although I say stick with it, when it becomes all-consuming and stressful, take a day or two off. Sometimes you must take a step back before you can move forward.
  • Read. Every great writer is an avid reader. This includes all the publications you want to be in. Read, follow and study them religiously!
  • Never, ever, ever, give up! If you want it bad enough you will do it and you will succeed. Ask, believe, receive (after lots of hard work).

Thanks to Sarah Wayland for the opportunity to share my writing wisdom! Check out the other talented writers who have contributed to that space in between’s ‘What I Know About Writing’ blog post!!!

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Always celebrate your wins

Today is the 1st anniversary of this humble blog, Kai Chronicles.  It may not have thousands of followers or millions of hits but I am pretty stoked that I’ve kept it up. What I do have is 27 followers, 27 fantastic people who obviously “get” what I am going through!! I was stoked to get one, after myself so 27 is a big deal for me and my kai trials and tribulations.

I thought this day would be the perfect time to (finally) acknowledge  Jo Tracey (my most loyal follower) at andanyways for nominating Kai Chronicles for The Very Inspiring Blogger Award back in August.

 

And again I say, thank you Jo!! I was, and still am very touched that my obsessions and ramblings have resonated with you so deeply. With this honor comes responsibility. There are rules to go with such prestige and here they are:

 

  1. Display the award logo on your blog
  2. Link back to the person who nominated you
  3. State 7 things about yourself
  4. Nominate 15 other bloggers for the award and link to them
  5. Notify those bloggers of the nomination and the awards requirements.

#1 done

#2 done…bless you andanyways.com

#3

7 things about myself. You can find out heaps about a person from following their blog, so I, like Jo, will reveal some weird and wonderful facts that you may not already know.

  1. I am the youngest of 7 children
  2. I am a licensed skydiver
  3. I didn’t like Kentucky Fried Chicken as I child
  4. I refuse to eat or support KFC (formerly known as Kentucky Fried Chicken)
  5. If the Universe allowed it, I would have had 4 children. I have one and I’m grateful for that
  6. I have a tattoo for a wedding band
  7. I am a huge fan of Sex and the City and Desperate Housewives ( and I’d LOVE the DH  DVD series set for Christmas..just saying)

Now, the hard part, to name 15 inspiring blogs. I will be honest, I don’t even follow 15 blogs at the moment so naming 15 is impossible right now.  I will do my best though. Drum roll please……

(in no particular order)

  1. Random Ramblings of a Stay-at-home-Mum – Follow Lori’s journey through life as a single mum and emerging writer
  2. And anyways – Words and pics about life, food, travel, whatever
  3. Bucket List Publications – Fellow Nova Scotian, Lesley Carter works her way down a big list of to do’s
  4. One Thousand Days Single – Recently showcased in Australian media as a winner, Vanessa has vowed to stay single until March 2015
  5. That space in between – Sarah explores emotions that surround  life and loss
  6. Travelling Bag – Pam writes about travel and has some big plans and aspirations
  7. Canadian Hiking Photography – Patrick is a talented photographer and posts some real beauties here
  8. Life in a Pink Fibro – Allison is a writer with many tips of the trade to share

That’s it folks. These are the blogs that I actually read from time to time and I can honestly say that I find them useful, motivating, beautiful, awesome and inspiring.

Thank you again to Jo and to all my readers. I appreciate all 27 of you!!! I’ve love to be celebrating 1027 followers on October 15, 2013!!

 

Happy Anniversary Kai Chronicles  you beauty!!!

 

 

 


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Notes About Imperfection And Other Fun Stuff

Finally, another post!!!

I can hear the sigh from you all. After a few comments and questions about what happened to Kai Chronicles, the pressure to wow, or even produce,  is enormous.  I am not only sighing (a sign of STRESS) but also rubbing my head and hiding behind my hands. I’m typing with my elbows.

This 2-month long trip was meant to seal my fate as a writer; so far it has not. I have pitched 1 personal story to an Australian magazine and have not heard back yet. I have pitched ZERO to any Canadian publication or ANY other publication. But I refuse to surrender.

Sure, I’ve thought about packing it in. I’ve had (and have) thoughts like, ‘I’m not good enough’ or ‘I’m not motivated enough’  and ‘I’m too lazy’, but those thoughts can be overridden. Right?

Some successful writers will say (and have said to me personally) that if you do not write everyday, then you are NOT a writer. Can this be true? Is that a fair statement to make to a budding and hopeful writer? I may not be a perfect writer and I certainly have not found my daily groove but I’m still here. I AM a writer, damn it!

Yes, it’s been an epic hiatus (over 2 weeks), I know. And really I have no excuse but I do have a list of things that I have been up to. Here they are:

  • I travelled from Saint John to Bouctouche, New Brunswick, the home of my brother-in-law’s family. I ate a lobster roll.

Lobster roll…Yummo

  • I travelled from Bouctouche to my birthplace of Nova Scotia.

Arriving in Nova Scotia

  • I had a family (reunion) dinner in Halifax, was snubbed by a sibling and visited the gravesite of my sister, Virginia.
  • I attended a memorial for Virginia on what would have been her 54th birthday. It was a happy event and I got to spend time with long-lost relatives. Virginia was there in spirit.

Happy Times

  • I went to my mother’s house and spent 5 nights there. No internet access. I ate far too much pie. I started drinking daily.

Lemon Meringue Pie

  • I went to my friend Gillian McKenzie’s house in Chester, Nova Scotia. The drinking continued.
  • I ate 3 meals at Gillian’s  Seaside Shanty restaurant. Every meal was fantastic. Thank you so much. Another thing crossed off my bucket list!!

The best seafood chowder from the Seaside Shanty in Chester, Nova Scotia.

Maple walnut mixed greens with scallops and shrimp….OMG, the best salad ever.

Enjoying wine and the seaside view at the Shanty.

  • I helped a friend with some house cleaning (no pictures attached).
  • I had 2 fun and fabulous evenings at Chez McKenzie in Brooklyn, Nova Scotia. This family never disappoints; always good for great food, lots of booze and plenty of laughs. Thank you for always welcoming me…even for lobster dinner!! Yes, this family knows how to entertain.
  • Gillian and I went to Halifax for lunch and errands. A day I certainly could have spent writing but spending it with a friend was nicer.
  • I attended A Champagne Ball Aboard The Titanic (not the real Titanic!!) with Gillian in Chester. We were representing the Shanty with smoked salmon and solomon gundy appetizers. It was a fun event.

Winning at the roulette table

Gillian & I looking fabulous!

  • I resumed my affair with Christian Grey by starting Fifty Shades of Grey Darker.
  • I lamented about not writing more…and will continue to do so.