2017: The Year of Writing

This year is a big year for me, I’m graduating with a BA in Creative Writing, I have to start paying off my student loans, I’m going to get my first real adult job, and many more things than I can even begin to think of. On top of all of that, I want to start seriously focusing on my writing. I have already come to grips with the fact that I’ll have to most likely have to get a job and write on my free time until I’m able to live off of my writing instead of living off my money right off the bat. To help increase my chances of making a living as a writer (and make that dream a reality much sooner) I have decided to create and stick to goals that will push me to see my dream become a reality.

The goals I have chosen are reachable, yet challenging. They will allow me to feel accomplished and also push me to better my writing. Because some of these goals are pretty big (such as finishing the first draft of my novel) I will break them down into both monthly and weekly goals. This will not only make it easier for me to complete everything on my list, it will also help me better track my progress and change my mini goals accordingly so everything gets done at a reasonable time. As of right now, I only have the nine goals listed below, but that number could change depending on how serious I take things in these next few weeks. Hopefully I’ll be able to add a few more goals to this list before February. Anyway though, here are my goals listed somewhat in order of importance:

  1. Finish the first draft of my novel. This is the biggest goal on my list. I have been working on this story idea since March 2016 and I really would love to have it finished before I graduate at the end of April. Now I know that it’s a big goal, but if people can write a novel in a month then I can definitely write one in four.
  2. Send at least 20 pieces of writing out for publication. I have only ever sent out 6 pieces for publication and one for a writing contest. Of those seven pieces of work sent out, only one piece has been published and that was in my campus’ student journal Snowdrifts. This year I would really like to write some new pieces and revise some older ones so I can start getting my name out there as a writer.
  3. Read 50 books. Reading is an integral part of a writer’s life. Over these past couple of years I haven’t read many books (which I am very ashamed of). 2017 is the year I hope to change that. 50 books seems like a relatively accessible goal because I’ll only have to read one book a week and I’ll have two extra weeks to either read more books or use as catch up if I get too caught up with other things in life.
  4. Go to at least one writing conference. Writing conferences are not only a great place to go to learn more about your craft, they’re also a great place to meet other writers, agents, and publishers. Though I would love to go to several writing conferences this year, I’m going to set a goal to one conference so that way I don’t really have to worry about trying to pay for them and can instead put more money towards my student loans.
  5. Start planing out my next big writing project. I currently have several different book ideas on the back burner waiting to be written. I know I’ll need another project to keep myself preoccupied while I’m taking a break from my current project. My hope is to have my second project mostly planned out before working on the second draft of my current novel.
  6. Start the second draft of my novel. If I really am serious about being a writer, I should start working on the second draft of my novel by the beginning of September at the very latest. My hope is to take a one-two month break from the piece before returning to it to start revising it.
  7. Practice writing dialogue and description. I know what I’ll most likely need to work on most when I start revising my novel will be description and dialogue (along with character development, but that’s something that’s fixed in the overall piece). During the break from my novel I plan on focusing most of my free writing time working on my description and dialogue.
  8. Write at least 500 words a day. This goal is here mostly just to give myself a reason to write every day. Even if I don’t have a specific project I’m working on, I can still use my free writing time to churn out words and practice different skills that I feel I’m lacking on.
  9. Win NaNoWriMo. For the past two years I have tried and failed to participate in NaNoWriMo. This year I would really love to not only participate in the festivities, but actually write the 50,000+ words in a month. I know it’s possible to achieve and I would really love to check it off my bucket list.

Now, like I said before this list can and probably will change. A lot of these goals are put on “easy mode” until I can see how serious I am about each goal. The main point of each of these goals though is to prove to others and myself that I did make the right choice in my career. It’s really scary facing the next chapter of my life without a plan, but hopefully with these goals I can at least reassure myself that choosing a life of writing was a good idea.

Cookie Clicker is the Bane of my Existence

So, in a not so shocking fashion, I epically failed in writing 5,000 words this week. Was I too busy with the holidays? Nope, I had plenty of free time. Did I not have access to any of my writings? Even when I didn’t have internet or my laptop I still at least had my phone or could’ve borrowed some paper from one of my relatives. So why didn’t I reach my goal? Two words. Cookie Clicker. This idle game has taken so much of my time lately I should be getting paid by the company. I have logged almost 2000 hours since I started playing this game again back in October and this run alone is almost 200 hours…in fact, I’m actually playing it while typing up this post. I don’t know if it’s the fact that when I play the game I feel I’m living out my dream of being being a successful business owner (I’m currently making 126.212 trillion cookies per second) or if it’s the desire to collect all the achievements, but either way I can’t stop playing it whenever I open my laptop.  I think it’s safe to say that I have a problem…

So how badly did I fail anyway? Well until this afternoon, I had only typed 120 words. As of right now, I’m up to 179 words for the week… Now that doesn’t include all the words I deleted, or the words in this blog post, but I didn’t even write 4% of the words I actually wanted to write. Now that being said, I didn’t take this week as seriously as I should’ve. Any time I could’ve spent writing I was either playing the afore mentioned game, messaging Adam, or just procrastinating in general.

Since 2017 is the year I plan on using to figure out a majority of my future (2017 writing goals/plan in next post), I really need to step up my game when it comes to my writing. I have a really nice gentleman who tells people at my church that I’m going to be an author and that I’m writing a novel. While it’s nice that he believes in me enough to tell people that, if I don’t step up my game soon I will never finish the first draft of my new novel let alone send it out to agents. I’m also graduating college in a little more than months and I know if I don’t make progress with my writing before I graduate I’ll be too focused on trying to find a job that writing for fun will be placed on the back burner indefinitely unless I end up going to graduate school.

So much of my world is about to change in the next several months whether I like it or not. I’m excited but terrified for this next chapter of my life. My goal is to try again to write 5,000 words this week, we’ll see how it goes.

I Think I’ve Lost my Mind

First let me say that I am extremely upset with myself for not posing for the past three weeks. Yes I know that I have reasons such as finals, the holidays, and stress, but that’s really no excuse in the grand scheme of things. There will be so many more things calling for my attention after I graduate and if I don’t learn how to make time for my writing now I’ll never be able to make a living off my writing. That being said, I’m still finding it difficult to write this post. I don’t know if I’m just burnt out from finals or what, but I will say it’s very annoying that I’m not even able to muster enough words to write a blog post.

Things need to change.

I already know that I don’t do well with trying to schedule a certain time every day to sit down and write, I don’t like the feeling of being confined and restrained. However, I also know that I’ll need to have some sort of schedule for when I do start trying to live off my writing or there’s a good chance I’ll end up living out of my car. So, to work myself up to the idea of having a specific writing time every day, I’m going to start with a weekly word goal.

The idea is that in the reaching for my weekly word goal, I start developing my own natural schedule. At first it will be a struggle to reach the goal, a lot of the writing will probably be done under the wire. After a while, I should start to do more writing throughout the week, and will eventually have a reliable schedule that will keep me writing consistently week by week.

So, how many words do I plan on trying to write each week? Well, unless the words are flowing freely and I have no distractions, I can normally write between 250-500 words in fifteen minutes. I would also love to be writing an hour each day by the end of January and three to four hours a day by the time I graduate at the end of April. If I’m doing my math correctly (and there’s a good chance I’m not) I’ll start with a weekly word count goal of 5,000 words. 5,000 words is essentially 250 words for every fifteen minutes at an hour a day for five days a week. If I manage to keep this up the way I’d like to, I would, in theory, be writing 56,000 words a week at 8,000 words a day, seven days a week. As soon as I have two weeks of writing with a weekly goal under my belt, I’ll be able to more accurately set my goals.

What do I plan work on when I’m writing? Right now I hope to add a lot of words to my current novel since I really slacked the second half of this semester. Later I’ll probably be working on a different novel or short stories/poems to send out for publishing. The goal of all this is to remind me how much I love writing and to get me to write more frequently without having a deadline hanging over my head.

Since there’s no time like the present, I am going to have my first trial week of reaching for a 5,000 word count start tomorrow, December 19th. Yes it is the holidays and I will be busy with getting ready for Christmas, but this is one of the best times to try it. If I am able to write 5,000 words this week, then there’s no reason I won’t be able to write that many words every week.

I may be crazy, I know this will be a lot of work, and that I’ll really have to push myself to reach my goal every week, but nothing worth doing in life comes easy. I keep telling people I want to be a writer now is the time to actually prove it.

What I learned from Alison DeCamp’s Master Class

One of the awesome things about my Creative Writing program, besides for how close I get with my peers, is the Visiting Writers Series. Twice a year, the English Department brings an award winning writer to campus to hold a Master Class and give a reading. Thursday, November 17th, we had our first visiting writer of the year, Alison DeCamp (website here). Alison is an amazing writer and I had the pleasure of not only partaking in her Master Class and reading, but I also was invited to go to dinner with her because I’m an English major.

Even though Alison DeCamp writes in a completely different genre and age group than I plan to (she’s written two amazing middle grade historical fiction novels you can look at here), I was still able to take a lot away from her Master Class Thursday afternoon. This post will touch on the things I felt were most helpful to me and how I interpreted them/applied them to my writing/mindset. I will also leave a link to the pod cast of both the Master Class and the reading at the end of this post if you’d like to learn more.

“Writing is like golf.” That is one of the first things that Alison said in her Master Class and it really made me think. You can make one amazing shot in golf and think you’re amazing at it when in reality you suck and that shot was a fluke. In writing you could write an amazing sentence, one that makes you question if you actually wrote it, but you shouldn’t expect all of your writing to sound like that (at least not in the first few drafts). With golf though, you never get to make your swing better, in writing you can rework a sentence 1000s of times if you want until you think it works.

“Everyone has her own journey…it is NEVER straightforward.” This is one of things that really stuck with me. Alison explained her backstory as a writer and what path she took to get to where she is now; how she started out writing large print books for her grandmother and after teaching for many years she published her first book. She said that she wanted to be a writer, but it was a dream she held so close to her heart that even her husband didn’t know it was a dream of her’s until she got her book deal. This really stayed with me because I stress a lot about the fact that I’m not on the path I saw myself on to reach my goals, but being reminded that I’ll reach my destination eventually really helped to hear.

Questions you should ALWAYS ask:
What if…
If only…
I wonder…

These are questions that every writer should have in their minds when they’re writing and even in the idea gathering stages. “Ask why and every turn” is something else that a writer should consider even their most desperate writing sessions.

“You get ideas from daydreaming. You get ideas from being bored. You get ideas all the time. The only difference between writers and other people is we notice when we’re doing it. ” ~Neil Gaiman
Writers need to constantly be aware of the ideas they’re given for stories. The saying “ideas are all around us, you just need to look” (not sure who said that or if it’s even a real quote) is another way of portraying what Neil Gaiman said. Writers need to pay attention to the world around them and not discard anything that pops into their head.

Ideas are alive:

  • Write them down
  • Play with them
  • Cultivate them
  • Allow them to change

Just because an idea starts out as one thing doesn’t mean that it can’t change. “Continue to play with your ideas. Continue to notice new ideas.”  Also, don’t be so focused on one idea that you fail to notice all the others around you, you will need another idea once you’ve drained the well of the one you’re working on now.

“When you start, it’s bad.” “Writing is bad, let go of your ego.” These two quotes go hand in hand. Your first draft of your writing will always suck (and if it doesn’t then you’re most likely a jerk of a writer); you may think it sounds good at the time, but it is bad so “let go of your ego.” If you’ve never looked at the first drafts of famous writers you should so you can see that all writers, no matter how many books they’ve written, have terrible first drafts. If anything, it will at least give you the ability to continue writing when you feel like you’ll never get anywhere.

“Voice is everything!” I don’t care how amazing your plot is, if your characters and their voices aren’t compelling, your story sucks. The voices of your characters should be unique enough that there is never a question about who’s talking. This is something that I really need to work on and I hope to fix in my next round of revisions of my current novel.

“I only write when I am inspired. Fortunately I am inspired at 9 o’clock every morning.” William Faulkner. Now I’ve mentioned before that I don’t prefer writing schedules, they don’t work for me (or I haven’t found a way to make them work for me). That being said, I can see the usefulness of writing schedules and how they can make sure you get the amount of writing done you want to. Maybe one day I’ll figure out a schedule that works for me, but for now I just use whatever free time I have.

  1. Research
  2. Read
  3. Interact 
  4. Live

These are four things that every writer must do and make time for. You must research your topic, even if you’re creating your own world you’ll still have to research it. You need to read anything you can get your hands on. Read in your genre, read outside your genre, read cereal boxes and the back of shampoo bottles, read blogs, just read. Interacting with other writers, your family, friends, peers, and strangers will not only give you the human interaction you need, it will also give you ideas for your writing. Above all, you must live. Go out and try sky diving, eat new food, make new memories. Even if you don’t use those exact experiences, they will enhance your writing regardless because you have a new look at the world.

Pixar’s 22 Rules of Storytelling These are all pretty helpful
Elmore Leonard 10 Rules for writing 
I personally don’t agree with number two, though no one says I have to either
Save the Cat! 
A good book to read for screen writers and all writers in general because it helps you help your audience sympathize with more antagonistic type characters
Story Genius 
A book by Lisa Cron
A Writer’s Guide to Hacking the Reader’s Brain 
A blog post by Lisa Cron
Big Magic 
A book by Elizabeth Gilbert
These are all things that Alison DeCamp referenced during her Master Class. Some of the things I don’t fully agree with, but it’s the same with everything in life so you may want to go ahead and check them out.

Alison DeCamp also spent some time talking about querying your manuscript and contests.

Querying:
One of the sites she mentioned, the Absolute Write Forums, is a place I’ve been to many times to get advice for my writing procrastinate. Other websites she mentioned include:
Agent Query Connect “Online social networking community for the publishing industry”
Write On Con An online conference for writers of children’s literature (picture book to new adult)
SCBWI Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators
Query Shark A blog that helps to revise query letters
Writer, Writer Pants On Fire Mindy McGinnis’ blog
Query Tracker “Helping Author’s find Literary Agents”
#MSWL A hashtag on twitter where agents tweet about what they’re looking for
She also said “Social media platforms are very appealing to publishers” and that writers should focus on one or two to really build up and grow.

Contests:
Contests are a great way for writers to break into the world of writing for children. Here are some of the contests she mentioned:
VCFA Katherine Paterson Prize
#Pitmad and #Pitchwars Both on Brenda Drake’s website
#QueryKombat and other contests on Michelle Hauck’s blog

There was a lot of other great advice/tips that Alison DeCamp mentioned in her Master Class but I listed what I found was most helpful to me and hopefully will be most helpful to you. If you’re interested in watching the entire Master Class or the reading here are the links to both:
Master Class
Reading

Dividing My Time

I have a really difficult time dividing my time between reading and writing. It’s really bad. Whenever I have free time and I decide to use it to sit down and write I feel bad about not reading. If I decide to read instead of write, I feel gadabout not writing. Most of the time to avoid feeling bad and confused about what I should do I end up watching YouTube videos or playing Cookie Clicker. Of course I regret not picking either reading or writing and I vow to choose one the next time, but I rarely do. On the rare occasion that I do pick one, I normally pick writing, but either I can’t write at that time because of distractions or I feel too guilty about not picking reading that no writing gets done. It has become a vicious cycle that produces colorless writing (if any) and many books have been left unread for months or even years.

Since this is the start of a new week, and since I have a five-six hour drive ahead of me when Adam and I head home for Thanksgiving on the 23rd which will leave me with plenty of free time, I have decided to formulate a system that allows me to write so I make progress on my novel and to read so my writing is fresh and new.

At first I though about just trying to schedule in separate times for reading and writing, which seems like a good idea in theory. Upon further thought though, I saw the detrimental flaw in the idea that would ultimately cause me to fall back into the cycle of not reading or writing. If I were to schedule a time each day to write and a time each day to read, what would I do if something came up during one of those times that made it so I couldn’t do whichever activity I scheduled? Sure I could put reading and writing first, but since I’m still in school there are a lot of times that assignments will creep up on me and then I’ll end up rushing to finish them before they’re due. Also, if I were to try and keep the schedule would I just skip the thing I missed and continue with my self-imposed plan? Or maybe switch up my schedule so all the reading times become writing times and vise versa? I can promise that I would fail at that plan quite quickly, especially since I’ve always hated scheduling free time activities.

So what else could I do? I could flip a coin each time, after all they say that the odds are 50/50. With such a small sampling of the amount of times I flip the coin, it’s almost guaranteed though that the odds would be skewed and that it would end up landing more one way than the other. So once again I am without a functioning plan that would allow me to not feel the guilt of choosing one activity over the other.

This is about the time that I would normally think about giving up and finding a new passion in life. Because writing found me though and I cannot see myself doing anything else as a career, giving up is not an option. So what does that leave me with? Self-imposed goals and progress charts.

What?

In my last post I mentioned wanting to read three-four books a month. I also have a weekly/monthly page count goal (that I have been failing miserably at, but things are finally starting to look up). Having those two goals for every month along with my drive of wanting to leave LSSU with a finished (or mostly finished) novel is enough to get me out of the guilt filled cycle of not reading or writing. How is that going to help me split up my time though? The progress I’m making. Since I have two monthly goals that means that I only have so long to get things done. I can divide the number of pages I hope to read and write each month into smaller goals and switch between activities as I reach each goal. Yes I may spend more time writing than reading because it takes longer to write a page than to read a page, but because of the time constraints, I’m guaranteed to get the things done I need to without feeling guilty about spending too much time on one thing and not enough on the other for fear of missing my goal.

Now this of course won’t work for everyone, but it’s definitely a start. It will be difficult at first to choose writing or reading over YouTube and Cookie Clicker, but I know my writing is suffering because of my lack of reading and hopefully with this plan I can change that.

 

Goals For My 22nd Year

Since my 22nd birthday is tomorrow and I also get to register for my last semester of Undergraduate classes at midnight, I figured now would be as good of time as any to lay out my plans and goals for the next year of my life.

The way I have always seen it is that there are two-three times a year (depending on where you are in life) to reevaluate your goals and dreams. The first time is December 31st-January 1st which is when most people set new goals, the second is at the beginning of the school year when most students set study and GPA goals, and the third is on your birthday which I feel is fairly overlooked in terms of goal setting. Each one of these times signifies the start of a new year in one way or another. This post, above all else, is for me to try and keep myself accountable with the plans I have for my 22nd year as well as give others ideas on goals they can set for their own personal new years:

  1. I want to finish 2-3 drafts of my current novel. As I’ve mentioned before, my dream in life is to be published author. So far I’ve written significantly less than I wanted to. Because of this I have decided to set a goal to finish this first draft and at the very least start and finish the second draft (if not the third) before I turn 23. For a while I was in a really bad writing slump, but I think I’m finally out of it so I should be able to continue my progress again. I don’t want to push myself too hard and have my writing suffer, but I also need a deadline of sorts to keep me on track.
  2. Read more. In the past year I read less than 20 books. Now that number might seem quite high, but this includes the books I had to read for two literature classes. That means that the actual number of books I read for fun is closer to five. I want to change that this year. I want to try and read three-four books for fun a month (the genre and topic doesn’t matter). If I want to really improve my writing (and enjoy reading again like I did when I was younger) one of the best ways to do that is to read as much as I can. As Stephen King said “If you want to be a writer you must do two things above all others: read a lot, and write a lot” and “If you don’t have the time to read, you don’t have the time or the tools to write.”
  3. Remember why I’m writing. A large portion of the time spent when I sit down to write isn’t actually writing. That time is spent staring at the page trying to come up with the right words so I can spend less time revising/editing and have more time to work on getting my novel published. That thought process is really detrimental to my writing and I end up wasting more time in the long run. I didn’t fully realize this until I heard a classmate in one of my senior level writing classes say they “follow the money” when they were talking about sending out their work to magazines. After hearing them say that, I had to take a step back and remember the real reason why I write, because I have a passion to do so and I can’t see myself doing anything else.
  4. Explore ALL available options for plans after graduation. Since I only have one semester left before I graduate, I am really feeling the pressure of having a plan for what I’m doing next. When I leave LSSU, I’ll have around $26,000 in loans I’ll have to pay back as well as needing to save up for a car and a house/apartment. Thinking there’s only two options after graduation (getting a job/publishing writing or getting buried in student loan debt) has really been causing my anxiety to spike. After talking with friends, professors, and my advisor, I have come to realize that there are other options out there and that every single one deserves a chance before I decide it isn’t for me. I had thought about grad school a little bit, but I figured it would be too expensive and that I wouldn’t qualify for any grants or fellowships. After being reminded that there are a lot of different ways to go to grad school, I am now looking at this path as a more serious option. (I will have a separate post about this after I do more research into it myself.)
  5. Travel. In my almost 22 years of life, I haven’t traveled very far from the city I was born in. The farthest I have been is Florida and I didn’t even go there until I was 19 (though I finally got to go to Disney World). I haven’t even been out of the country (Canada) and I can see the Canadian Border from my dorm. Because of this, I have decided that some way some how I am going to travel to somewhere this summer. I may go alone, start the journey alone and meet up with friends, or spend the whole time with friends, but the point of this trip (regardless of where I go) is that I go without my parents (sorry mom and dad) and really get to know myself as a full fledged adult more. I heard about a really cool deal from Amtrak from Adam so I might just go and do that.
  6. More “me” time. Being a college student, a lot of your free time is spent worrying about assignments, projects, tests, and grades (regardless if you’re working on them or procrastinating). This means that your body and mind are under a constant level of stress that doesn’t even fully go away over holiday breaks. I know I will still have at least some stress after I graduate (having to find either a job, publish some writing, or follow some other path I have chosen) but I know I need to find some way to control it all. This year I have decided to use all the resources available to me to do what I can to combat the stress and just relax. A new hairstyle and maybe some new clothes are also something I am thinking about.

I am sure there are many other things I can add to this list, but these are all the main things I want to work on. I want to enjoy my twenties as much as I can. Since my 20th and 21st years were years of discovery, growth, and change, my 22nd year will be the year I find (for at least right now) my place in life.

Why I Hate “The Box” (Or Why I’m thankful I was Homeschooled)

There are times when I forget how thankful I am for being homeschooled. I mean yes there are a few downsides to it, like the fact that I had to play catch up a bit in math, but overall my parents deciding to homeschool my sister and I was the best thing they did for us. Now before you start giving me the argument that I was a shut in and didn’t get to socialize with people my own age let me explain some things. My parents wanted me to have many chances to discover my passion in life. To do that they signed me up for a bunch of different classes. I did gymnastics, dance of all kinds, ice skating, swimming, piano, art, and even ballroom dancing. I also was in my religious education program at my church from 1st-10th grade and joined the youth group in 6th grade. So yes, I had many chances to interact with other kids my age. There were also kids my age on my street when I was younger too.

Now that I’ve gotten off topic, let me explain this post. First, by “The Box” I mean the one in the phrase “Think outside the box.” Yes it is a cliché, but it’s something that everyone is told at least once in their lives. The problem with this quote, aside from the fact that it is a cliché, is that there is a box in the first place; a box that tells people how to think, what to strive for, and crushes dreams and creativity because of the uncertainty of them. No one is born within “the box,” they are coaxed into it in their school years and by the time they graduate, there is very little chance of escaping it.

I was talking with my boyfriend, Adam, earlier this week and we got on the topic of how I see the world differently than he does. He was saying that he noticed a similarity between his other homeschooled friends and myself. I see the world as this wondrous place where I can be and do anything I want in life where as Adam sees the path that his parents and peers took and are taking and follows that path as well. Adam went to public school (and there’s nothing wrong with that. My dad is a public school teacher as is a lot of people on his side of the family) and when he and his peers would mention a career path that wasn’t considered safe, i.e. not something that one can easily make a living off of, they would be steered away from that idea by well meaning adults who would say things like “That career is hard to get into and you’ll be in school for a long time for that, how about this other career instead” or “That would be a good hobby to have, but why not pick something that you can make money off of?” I’m not going to lie, I did hear some of that sort of stuff too, but it wasn’t until I was older and had already developed my own thoughts and opinions. I have homeschooling to thank for that.

Because I was homeschooled, I didn’t have to worry so much about what the other kids thought. I was able to learn and discover what I wanted when I wanted to. There were few people around me to tell me that something wasn’t “cool” and those that were didn’t cause me enough grief to actually stop me from pursuing whatever interested me at the time. When I discovered how much I loved writing, my parents pushed me to keep doing it. I will admit that they were a bit apprehensive at first about me wanting to major in Creative Writing, but because I had spent years believing that I really could do anything I set my mind to there was no swaying me. Once they realized this, they did whatever they could to help me follow my dreams.

When I think about my future, I see myself owning a huge mansion (or a small castle), horses, and an awesome wine cellar. I don’t have a set plan on how I’ll get there, but I don’t doubt that as long as I strive for that I can achieve it. Adam sees things much differently though. He sees himself getting an apartment after college wherever he can find a job and starting to save up for a decent house. There is nothing wrong with that, but there’s no imagination in it either. That’s what everyone else does and there’s no reason to follow the crowd if you don’t have to. What’s the point of being able to dream if you don’t dream as big as you can?

One day when I have kids, I’m going to do whatever I can to make sure they don’t end up with a “box” like mentality. I would love to homeschool my kids, but my future husband might not like that idea so I can’t rely on that to save my kids from “the box”. If I don’t get to homeschool them, then I’ll remind them every single day that they can do whatever they want to in life and that nothing is impossible if they really try. There’s no guarantee that it will work, but I have to at least try.

Living a life in a box would be so boring, following the crowd and never seeing all the possibilities that await me, and I am so glad that I never had to.