Friday Fives: What Are Five Excuses You're Ready to Give Up?

Yet another amazing topic to discuss today, from the great writerly peeps over at Paper Hangover:

What are FIVE excuses you have to be ready to give up in order to be a better writer?

This one was a tough one for me - hence my long-winded answers below. But sometimes it takes writing things out, to attack them face on. Grip them by the horns and slam them to the ground. And when you read my #5, you'll know why I took on this challenge of facing some of my excuses.

1. Maybe I'll never be good enough. Yikes, nothing like a biggun, right off the bat, right? But here's the deal: while I know this mostly isn't true, otherwise I wouldn't have spent 30+ years writing, there are those days when I absolutely, unequivocally, feel this way. What writer doesn't struggle with this internal conflict (aside from many others)? But like many things I do in life, I take on writing as a challenge. The more I work at it, the better it will become. But I have to work hard. Because the craft of writing only gets better as you go. And the amount of things I'm still learning, never ceases to amaze me. So while I'll have "those days" - I know I've had more that told me I will be good enough. Which means in the end, I like my odds.

Friday Fives: Five Biggest Distractions On The Internet

Oh, this one is a fabulous topic for me, indeed!
When it comes to internet distractions, I'm worse than Dug the Dog in the movie, UP! when he sees the Squirrel!
One of my absolute favorite scenes:
Dug: Hi there. 
Carl Fredricksen, Russell: [surprised exclamations] 
Carl Fredricksen: Did that dog just say "Hi there"? 
Dug: Oh yes. 
Carl Fredricksen: Whaa! 
Dug: My name is Dug. I have just met you, and I love you. 
[he jumps up on Carl] 
Carl Fredricksen: Wha... 
Dug: My master made me this collar. He is a good and smart master and he made me this collar so that I may speak. Squirrel! 
[looks to distance for a few seconds]
And in case you need to see it live, here's the clip on YouTube:

As fellow professional procrastinators writers, we want to know what are FIVE of your most distracting (procrastination-worthy) things (habits, websites, etc.) on the internet?

1. Email: This rings especially true, when I'm in the query process. There simply aren't enough minutes in an hour, where I can refresh my in-box to see if I've received some type of response to my recent queries. Only to step away for a second, then run back to my keyboard with my hair on fire, and refresh again. No OCD here at all. (I hit refresh 14,369 times since I started typing this blog - amazing, huh?).

Friday Fives: Five Things You Can't Live Without When Writing

Yet another fab-u-lous topic to blog about on a sunny day here in Seattle (not often I get to say that!). Today's question from the fine folks over at Paper Hangover:

FIVE things you can't live without when you're writing/revising.

And here are my five:

1. Music. My iPod is with me at all times, no matter what - just like my trusty Moleskin journal. When I'm on my lap top, it's iTunes I have open. Wherever I am, I always have music at my fingertips. However, I don'talways listen to it. It's the idea of having it there, when I need it, be it for white noise or inspiration. But sometimes when I'm in such a zone, I can't have any noise at all. But it's nice to know it's there. And what's playing? Almost can always guarantee it's either Kings Of Leon or One Republic. HUGE fan of both and for some reason, these two bands make my fingers fly across my keyboard. Even when I'm in my car and they're playing on the radio, I can't help but whip out one of my journals and start writing. It's a good thing I'm good at multi-tasking.

Friday Fives: Useful Advice

The awesome folks over at Paper Hangover post a great blog every Friday, called Friday Fives. The idea? They pick a topic of conversation every Friday and you (or me, in this case) come up with five responses to that topic and blog about it!

This weeks Friday Fives: What are FIVE pieces of useful advice you've received as an aspiring writer? (in quotes, blog posts, websites, etc.).

With that being said, here are mine:

1. Your first manuscript will not be your last. And it may also not be what grabs the attention of an agent or gets you published. Those highly connected, the extremely talented, and a few that are lucky, are usually the ones that sit down and write their very first manuscript, make some edits, send it out to the black hole for writers (AKA the slush pile), and snag an agent on their very first try! But for the real truth, ask any published author how many manuscripts they hid under their beds before they found the "one", and I'm sure the answer will surprise you. I myself? Yeah, I'm on series #3. Three completed MS's and two that are at least half-way finished. And believe me, I've made leaps and bounds from my very first attempt at writing, to where I am now.