Writing Excerpts – May 30, 2016

{ Free write, Status Update, Superior }

Wow, I can hardly believe this is Week #17 of posting my writing excerpts! My original intention was to overcome the fear of putting my words out there for anyone to read. (You can read about it HERE.) After four months of weekly posting, I feel that I’m past that fear. I’m also seeing that my blog is taking on two personalities — one is the “writer me” and the other is “everything else.” That was not part of my intention, and I’m somewhat conflicted over what to do about it.


I think it may be time to stop posting the weekly writing excerpts and concentrate a little more on material that can help you. There have been weeks lately when it feels like these posts are a substitute for what’s really supposed to be here on Filling the Jars.

Let me know what you would like to see. Do you come here to read everything? Just the writing excerpts? Or do the writing excerpts feel like a waste of your time and just take up space in your email inbox or blog feed? I really do want to know, so be honest!



(free write)

All of the words tumble through my brain, crashing into each other, jumbling, rearranging, losing their sense. I think I should learn to meditate, remove all of the words for a while, start fresh. Isn’t that what we do every day? Start fresh? But I wake up with words and lists already formed in my mind every morning. Even a brain dump can’t get rid of it. Organize the chaos for a while maybe, but it doesn’t eliminate the feeling of needing to get everything done at once. I know that won’t happen, and I try to block out my time during the day. But no matter what I’m working on, I always – ALWAYS – know there is a mountain of other things that deserves my attention and that I probably won’t get to today, maybe not even this week. Working faster, creating shorter work blocks, trying to force myself to not work as hard on any given task… doesn’t seem to be doing the trick.

When I first began writing every day, I thought that getting everything out would help calm my mind, give some of my thoughts a different place to rest. I suppose some days are better than others, but I still feel like there is too much in my head. Maybe that’s why I’m drawn to the idea of simplicity and minimalism. If there is less around me, less to take care of, less to worry about, then my mind can rest. But it seems that I still fill the empty spaces with thoughts. Is it a woman thing? Do men ever feel like that? Having too many brain tabs open? Right now I could easily list at least 50 things that I should be doing, and somewhere in my mind I am thinking about all of them.

Okay, so I stopped writing and made a list as quickly as I could (brain dump – just want to say how much I love spreadsheets!) – 41 items in less than 2 minutes, and I know that barely scratches the surface of what’s going on in my mind. Sometimes I think of it as engineering brain. Want to do one thing? First you have to think of every step. Then you have to put it all in order. Then you think of a bunch more things and try to fit them into the process. Then you realize there are just too many things and you don’t know what to do. So you categorize and create a process for each category. Then you realize you have spent so much time working on all of that stuff, you never got around to actually doing the thing that needed to be done.

I know, I know. “First things first.” “Just do the next right thing.” Yeah, yeah, yeah… I’ve read them all. Some days the ideas and motivational sayings help keep the chaos at bay. Then there are the other days, when I just want to fall into a book with no intention of climbing out.



(Status update) fiction

She turned on her phone, determined that today she would avoid that place where all of her friends’ status updates were starting to say “in a relationship.” Sure, she was happy for them. She wasn’t jealous. She wasn’t even particularly interested in finding a man to date. No, it was more that she missed her friends. Her world was changing, becoming smaller. In college, she had made so many friends and they had been close for years. She still checked in with most of them. But how long had it been since they had hung out? Waxed philosophical about the universe, world politics, books?

Maybe it was time to rethink her own life status and consider an update. Impulsively, she deleted all of the social media apps from her phone. She dug around in the office and found the big United States atlas that her family had always taken on vacations. It was time to look into her options. Since she never saw her friends and she could work from anywhere, why was she still living in this impersonal city?

Hmmm… should she make detailed pro and con lists about where to live next? Or close her eyes and place her finger randomly on the map?

She smiled. Random, definitely random. It was time for an adventure.




So there is something about Michigan’s Upper Peninsula that makes you feel as if you are stepping back in time. Sure, I’m sitting here typing on a keyboard connected via bluetooth to my tablet, which is connected to wifi via my cellphone’s mobile hotspot capability. So it’s not like I’m ACTUALLY back in time. But leave the modern electronics at home and take a drive… it’s like being back in the 70’s (my earliest life memories). Things seem faded, like an old photo.

And standing on the shore of Lake Superior? Truly awesome. My post about dark water has nothing on Superior. Legendary shipwrecks, deeper than any of the other Great Lakes, feeling like you’re standing at the northern edge of the world. Yes, somewhere in my mind I realize there is an entire country on the other side of this lake. Somewhere, someone is standing on a shore looking south over the same water. It doesn’t seem possible. The roads have already become so small and rough, cell signals fade out quickly, there just is nothing up here except pine trees, history, and water. Life is so different here, how can it NOT be the edge of the world?



Grab 30 FREE Printable Journal Prompts for Adults!

Journal prompts aren't just for kids! Enter your information now to receive your FREE printable list of 30 Journaling Prompts for Adults.

Choosing to join the Filling the Jars email list means you will receive regular emails with tips and recommendations to help you on your journey to Build Your Best Life.

Filling the Jars Privacy Policy

We hate spam and promise to keep your email address safe. Unsubscribe at any time. Powered by ConvertKit

6 thoughts on “Writing Excerpts – May 30, 2016”

  1. I like your writing excerpts. Some of it mirrors my thoughts. I think, I plan, I research and then I get overwhelm. I get stuck. Lol. I thought I’m the only one. I really need to actually start doing instead of keep getting stuck in the planning stages.

    1. Oh, you are sooooooo NOT the only one! Do something small, don’t think about it, just do it… press the button, put whatever it is you’re working on out into the world before you think it’s ready. You can always fix it later. I know, scary to think about, and I still struggle with it every day, but it gets easier. Shoot me an email – [email protected] – if you want to chat further.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top