Who Are You?

Hey readers,

So, over the years I’ve gotten to know you well through your comments, your blog posts, your survey responses, your Tweets and Facebook wall posts, and even through your personal e-mails to me.

But even though I know my readers well, I started to wonder: “Do my readers know each other well?”

My answer was: “No, probably not as well as I do.”

As your host here at the C2C I want to make sure that you’re all co-mingling and doing the networking thang–cause you never know what fabulous friends or collaborators you might find in the comments section.

So, that’s why today’s post is going to be all about YOU.

Yes, you.

I’m so sorry that the spotlight has to be on you all of a sudden. (Although secretly, in my head, I’m imagining myself sitting in a leather chair, petting a cat, and whispering: “My, how the tables have turned.” And then cackling diabolically.) But it had to happen sooner or later, right?

Oh, and I’m talking to you especially. Yeah, you: the one who always reads my posts but who never EVER leaves a single comment.

Yeah, you. Didn’t think I knew you were secretly hiding there, did you?

Ah, but I do know. I’ve always known. And I’m also standing right behind you.

Ha ha! Just kidding.

No, seriously though, this post is especially for you, Mr./Ms. Sneaky Sneaky.

C’mon. Let’s start earning some class participation credits! Come out and introduce yourself and let us all know how you’re doing. (And by come out, I don’t actually mean reveal your sexuality. Although if you want to do that, you are welcome to. We DO love the gays here.)

Uh oh… the idea of my readers getting to know each other better is starting to move me emotionally.

I’m getting verklempt.

Talk amongst yourselves.

Consider this: a peanut is neither a pea nor a nut. Discuss.

much “Yay! Virtual mixer!”

Ollin

In the comments below, here are the questions I want you to answer:

1. Who are you? (Introduce yourself to the C2C Community. Pen names are okay, but none of this “I’m BieberFever456” nonsense.)

2. Where you from? (General area. Not your address. We’re not stalkers here.)

3. Whatcha working on? (Again, you can be general. “I’m working on a memoir, a fiction book, a book of poetry, a screenplay, etc.”)

4. What’s a challenge you’re facing right now in your writing and/or life?

>>> Blog Update: I’ve changed my comments policy: comments on the C2C will now close after two weeks, not one week. I heard you: you’re super busy and one week is just not enough time to get back here to reply to posts. So, hopefully, this will help!

>>> Post Update: Hey readers, remember that you can access each other’s blogs simply by clicking on the name of each blog commenter. (Each name in the comments section is a link to a blog–the commenter’s blog. Isn’t that handy dandy?) If you are commenting and you know for a fact that your name links to a blog you don’t want people directed to, then you can add your website address. Just FYI. Thanks!

>>> Post Update #2: Hey Readers: Soooo, the trick for this post is that ya’ll should feel encouraged to interact with each other. So it really isn’t about me. Read other people’s intros, and, if you see something in common with them, drop them a line! Say “Hi,” or “You’re awesome,” or “Hey, me, too!” As your host, I’ll be around to nudge you, but I’m trying to keep my distance. 

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123 comments on “Who Are You?

  1. Cool idea.

    I’m Susie Newday. I blog at New Day New Lesson.

    I am originally from NY but have been living in Israel for over 20 years.

    I am RN and work 3x a week in outpatient oncology. 1 day a week I work as web administrator for a medical services company. I have also been working with Mario at IdeaMensch (www.ideamensch.com) as well and do a good amount of the outreach to find people to interview. ..like Ollin🙂 . And I write in a bunch of different places.

    Did I mention I also have 5 kids and a traveling husband?

    So the big challenge I am having right now is finding the time to sit down and write and finding a healthy balance in general. I have thoughts for so many ebooks and even some bigger books and I can’t seem to get started. I also really want to get back to exercise and healthy eating.

    • MarinaSofia says:

      I am surprised you find time to breathe and eat, let alone find balance and time to write! You do so many amazing things, you make me feel like a slouch! I would just say (from bitter experience): don’t let writing become marginal to your life.

  2. Candice says:

    Wonderful idea Ollin,
    Hey everybody, i’m Candice from London. I’ve been following C2C for a while now. I read the posts almost everyday but so far have posted only a couple of comments, so I guess I’m kind-of Miss Sneaky. I’m an emerging travel writer and a terrible speller. At the moment, I’m working on a themed list for a travel blog. Erm, I’ve been thinking a lot recently about doubt. How it takes over the dialogue in our minds, affects our observation, and belief in ourselves. 

    Gloomy, I know..

  3. Daniela says:

    I like this idea Ollin -:)!! Although I do not belong to the “Mr./Ms Sneaky, Sneaky” category since I do leave comments, here are my details: My name is Daniela, I am from Zagreb, Croatia but have been living in New Zealand for the last 18 years. I love words, writing and reading. I will soon turn 47 (I will have you know that it is just a number -:)). Let’s see what else … survived one war, migration, learning new language and culture, single parenting … and being mute as unable to articulate my thoughts through words. I have recently started my blog as a way to try and find my voice as a writer writing in a second language … this is also my biggest challenge. And a lack of support that comes from interactions with other writers. My dream is to write a story I have been carrying in me for a long time. Yours’ and Jeff Goins’ are my favourite blogs.

    • Ollin says:

      Hey Daniela. Thank you so much for sharing! Can you elaborate on what you mean by lack of support from other writers? I’m sorry if you feel that way–maybe we can help remedy that?🙂

      • Daniela says:

        Thank you Ollin, and you have already helping me hugely! And for that I am very grateful. Silence is enemy of creativity … it does not mean to say that surrounding self with noisy and clutter is needed, not at all. Solitude is necessary and critical to writing process, but silence that comes from isolation and anonymity can be wearing. Writing (or trying to) in a second language have tendencies to marginalize you … words, and cadence of language are writer’s tools, very essence of his or her being … frustration that comes from searching for just right English word, the one that will make just the right kind of sound is monumental … the reward is monumental too – once you found it rainbow lights in your soul -:)!

    • Katie says:

      Daniela, will you share a link to your blog post for me?

      I felt a little isolated from the writer’s community also, I have found the best way to feel more connected is just dig in and start doing a lot of reading and commenting on other blogs. I would love to read yours.

      • Ollin says:

        Hey readers, remember that you can access each other’s blogs simply by clicking on the name of each blog commenter. (Each name in the comments is a link to a blog–the commenter’s blog Isn’t that handy dandy?) If you are commenting and you know for a fact that your name links to a blog you don’t want people directed to, then you can add your website address. Just FYI. Thanks!

        • Katie says:

          Daniela’s name link wouldn’t work ): Maybe I’m just doing something wrong though. I did attempt to click it before asking her. Haha!

          • Ollin says:

            Ooops! In that case, my bad. Haha. Daniela, do you have a working blog? If you do, we’d love to check it out!

            • Daniela says:

              Oh I am so very sorry for this …. I just did not realize that the address of my very first blog I started on blogger is still showing here (I have since changed to wordpress). The address is: http://danieladragas.wordpress.com/

              And thank you so very much for asking me about!
              Humbly
              Daniela

      • Daniela says:

        Of course I will Katie, and I am so very sorry for not realizing that my old address has been showing her. My blog is here: http://danieladragas.wordpress.com/
        Thank you
        Daniela

    • Patrick says:

      Daniela, you sound like such a strong person with a fascinating story.

  4. Nosy, aren’t you?

    Tony McFadden here, of Sydney, Australia.

    Currently nearing the end of the 1st raft of my 6th novel (“Daly Battles”, a follow up to “Matt’s War”, my first novel).

    And, like everyone else, my biggest struggle is time. The lack of it.

    Doesn’t help much that two days were wasted restoring a blog some punk hijacked.

    What are *you* up to?

  5. Hello I am Jeanee from SC. I have been painting abstract art to live bands on stages all over the south and at festivals. Developed a blog about art happenings in 2007 and filled it with opportunity and events. This past week, I realized I have 100’s of great photos of various bands in many genre’s and I have lots of painting in progress pics that I couldn’t just put on FB. I am working on starting a new blog to share the joy of art both visual and audio! Also, just started working on a book.

  6. 1. My name is Devin Berglund
    2. I am originally from Minnesota. But, right now I am located in Brisbane, Australia.)
    3. I am currently working on a piece of fiction!
    4. A problem that I am facing right now in my writing – would have to be is finishing the book. Sometimes I feel like I don’t know how the book is going to finish.

  7. I am an artist and a writer from the tiny country of Lebanon. I live in Northern California now. I am working on a memoir and my particular challenge is fitting in all the information about Lebanon’s history and politics without disrupting the flow of the narrative….

  8. Arisa says:

    1. Who are you? (Introduce yourself to the C2C Community. Pen names are okay, but none of this “I’m BieberFever456″ nonsense.)
    My real name is Angela, but I’m mostly known as Arisa (including some of my friends calling me that while knowing my real name). I’m an introvert and on top of that I’m shy. I usually use too many words to get my point across. A direct consequence is probably not getting it across at all. My character traits usually just express themselves offline, in face to face situations. I’m not very shy or anything online. I’m a blabbermouth all the same. I’m friendly (I hope) and try my best to make everyone feel welcome I guess. In short I’m an introvert, but I love people and I’m a people pleaser. I’m 100% human and so 100% in contradiction with myself all the time.
    (enough words to totally lose the point I was trying to get across :D)

    2. Where you from? (General area. Not your address. We’re not stalkers here.)
    The Netherlands, that’s in Europe. That’s in this timezone that’s not inline with the US. This timezone trouble is basically the only thing I hate about where I live.

    3. Whatcha working on? (Again, you can be general. “I’m working on a memoir, a fiction book, a book of poetry, a screenplay, etc.”)
    I’m working on surviving, you know, keep breathing. Nah, I’m generally just going through life floating around. I have many wishes on what I want to do/practice every day. Though my main talent is procrastinating. From doing the dishes, to hobbies, to sleeping, to eating. Yup.
    Writing wise I work on short stories and my story called Whatever.

    4. What’s a challenge you’re facing right now in your writing and/or life?
    Raising a kitten. So far it taught me I’m by no means cut out to be a mother. The kitten seems to be in puberty or whatever, it’s slight hell.
    Another challenge is procrastination, as I illustrated above.
    I think my life is overall pretty trouble free.

    • Rob F. says:

      “In short I’m an introvert, but I love people and I’m a people pleaser.”

      I know that feeling, though I think I’m finding a better balance between the two nowadays.

      • Arisa says:

        I don’t think there’s anything like a balance needed? I don’t think it’s a choice between one or the other. There just seems to be a misconception that introverts don’t like people. That’s just not true though. Sure it’s possible, but it’s not a general rule.

  9. Love this post. And yeah, you turned the tables! Working on a short story that wants to be a novel. Live in NY. Have been writing since a pre-teen & had my first short story, “Chambray Curtains Blowing in the Wind”, published by a literary magazine in 2009. The challenge I face now is setting up a regular writing routine. Thanks for this post!

  10. Andrea Lewis says:

    Hi Ollin!

    I’m Andrea Lewis, a Writer and a Professional Daydreamer. I currently live in Ottawa, Canada. I’m in the process of editing, aka re-writing my memoir entitled Dramaville is not a place; it’s a state of mind. The huge challenge as I near the end is the self-doubt, worthiness, comparing to other authors and fear of failure.

  11. MarinaSofia says:

    Well, since I can never bear an awkward silence, even at face-to-face networking events, I will start, shall I? I am Marina Sofia, which is a pen name but almost a real name too (it’s what my daughter would have been called, if I’d had a daughter). I am currently living in Geneva, Switzerland, but I am not Swiss. I have just finished the first draft of a crime novel, which I plan to edit and finish over the summer. But I have been spending far too much time lately on writing poetry, blogging, book reviews, even short stories. All good fun, but possibly detrimental to the novel – so that’s my challenge, getting the novel done and dusted. Oh, and published would be nice too!

  12. Hi I’m Daphnée from Mauritius and I’m working on a fictional book for the fun of it and if it ever completes and that I feel like it’s publishable… off I go!🙂 But usually, for the time being at least, I write for pleasure. After all I’m still 17.
    The fact of being so young has led to so many ups and downs in my life and writing. Currently I’m slowing coming out – I’ve at last accepted that I’m bisexual although I categorically refused to acknowledge it these past few years – thus it’s affecting my writing in the way that there are gay couples from time to time🙂

  13. Alison Summers, from Edinburgh, working on a novel. Biggest challenge just now is the suggestion from a published writer who says I should change my baddie to a goodie which means writing a different book. Tricky decision.

    • Ollin says:

      Hmm. Interesting. Make sure to get a second or third opinion before you make changes–and always save the original just in case!

  14. Addy Rae says:

    I’m Addy Rae! (This is a pen name.) I am disabled, and writing is how I keep myself productive and busy. I’m from Madison, Wisconsin, and I’m a Young Adult novelist. I love writing YA Fantasy and YA Science Fiction- Post Apocalyptic, and right now I’m working on a fast draft of the latter, using June NaNoWriMo as my motivator. I’m also looking to see if Mid Grade would be a better fit. My biggest challenge lately is finding a good, non friend/family beta reader or critique partner. Also, I’m well aware that I’m NOT good at writing yet, but I am incredibly stubborn and willing to work, work, work!

    So… hello! Maybe we can be friends! 😀

    • Patrick says:

      Ooooh… get much into the paranormal? My biggest blog post was just general commentary on paranormal fiction/romance… I was really kind of making light of it, but several authors and fans of the genre commented and put me in my place. I learned my lesson. I’m trying to find a good paranormal fiction book to try out.

      • Addy Rae says:

        I do occasionally write paranormal, but I don’t have a live one right now. 🙂 Often, I’ll start with a paranormal idea, and during outline the ‘what if’ bug changes it into something completely nonstandard and canting towards plain fantasy. So, no vampires, werewolves, fae, the usual creatures, but rather creatures and races that I’ve created, if that makes sense! Then, I end up placing them somewhere other than modern day and… now that I think of it I’m really tempted to transfer some of them to modern settings. Making me think! For shame! 😀

        All I’ve got right now are a post apocalyptic (possibly Mid Grade) novel and a fantasy in the outlining stages. 🙂 (I have two older paranormal pieces, but they’d embarrass me to DEATH to share them, I’ve improved so much since then!)

        What are you currently working on? What flavor of paranormal do you prefer?

        • Patrick says:

          Addy, I blog on paranormal and spiritual topics. It is a fairly new thing for me… but I’m getting a lot of joy out of it. I also have a paranormal investigation team and I do a lot of personal research on anything having to do with spirit communication/EVP/ITC.

          I read a lot, but very rarely is it ever fiction. As I said though, I couldn’t believe how popular my post was on paranormal fiction and romance. It made me wonder if I was missing out. I can tell you I read a paranormal young adult romance novel several years back.🙂 I’d be too embarrassed to tell you what it was… but I enjoyed it. 🙂

    • Hi Addy Rae, I just visited your blog and I really like your writing and your candidness. Oh, I liked the picture of your dog, too! You’re inspiring me to get ready for November NaNoWriMo. I signed up for it a couple years ago, but nothing got written. This time I have something to work on. I also like that you don’t follow the rules – working on an extant novel! Yay, for you! I commented below here on June 23rd. You can read more about me there. And I’ll be reading your blog!

      Dana

      • Addy Rae says:

        Thank you! I feel like I should have a blog, but I’m never sure what I should talk about, or, for that matter, how candid is too candid, but I refuse to hide that I’m sick. It’s not something to be ashamed of, and I’d like to give disabilities a ‘face’ instead of just having them as an abstract idea. It’s way too easy to shunt aside or put down an abstract idea!

        Thank you for peeking at my blog! It’s kind of scary to have someone reading any of it! 🙂

        I really love NaNoWriMo! It’s such a kick in the tail for me. I do tend to outline in advance or finish an existing piece though since it’s less ‘prove that I can’ and more ‘get it done’. I encourage anyone to try it, if only because it will push your progress further along and hold you accountable! 🙂 Keep writing!

  15. Autumn says:

    Peeks out from behind a tree. Yeah, I’m one of those lurkers who has read every single post but never commented. So, here I am.

    I’m Autumn, live in coastal Maine (it’s beautiful here folks if you’ve never been), and am currently working on two novels. I can’t ever just work on one thing at a time. I’m a paranormal/urban fantasy writer. Eh, that sounds to genre specific. I really prefer mixing magic in with everyday life. That sounds more accurate.

    Funny you should mention challenges – I’m just starting out with a life coach (highly recommended process!) and working with her to figure out how to knock down the barriers to my dreams of publishing. Most of it is my own fears getting in the way.

    Back to hiding, but it is great to be here.

    • Ollin says:

      Yay! Happy to have you participate for the first time.🙂 Great to have you here.

    • Patrick says:

      Wow, two in a row. I’ll leave a version of the comment I just left for Addy above. My biggest blog post was just general commentary on paranormal fiction/romance… I was really kind of making light of it, but several authors and fans of the genre commented and put me in my place. I learned my lesson. I’m trying to find a good paranormal fiction book to try out.

  16. admingwyn says:

    Hi Ollin,
    Silent viewer, longtime reader, first time commenter (go easy on me ;-))
    Alias Gwynplaine, real name Anita. I’m a horror and dark fantasy writer (novels and short stories) and have been following this blog for almost a year now, grateful for the motivation and encouragement.
    I’m from Canada.
    I’m working on rewriting one of my horror novels that I’ve had to restart from scratch on a few times, and applying edits to one of my urban fantasy/horror novels as well as short stories.
    Some challenges I face right now in my writing and life are … *takes cover under desk* finding time, writing/work/life balance, and motivation. I struggle to find a consistent writing time because I have many other commitments, and feel guilty both when I don’t spend enough time writing, and after I do spend time writing. That and my family doesn’t always understand/respect my writing career. Your blog is one of the only ones that encourages me to struggle more to get ahead with my own writing–keep up the fantastic posts!

    • Ollin says:

      I’m happy to have you comment for the first time. Oh, and I don’t bite… hard.😉 Thanks so much for sharing! All those challenges are VERY common among my readers. One of the reasons I want you all to share that is so you can see that you all have very similar struggles. I can definitely can continue to help you with them, but it’s always good to feel like you’re not alone, and that you have the moral and emotional support of others. Right, readers? Don’t you all struggle with the same challenges Anita does?

      • MarinaSofia says:

        Absolutely! Well done, Gwynplaine, for commenting for the first time. And believe me, I’ve heard all the comments about writing, some well-intentioned and some not, from family and friends.

  17. Ollin, you know me as “earthriderjudyberman.” My name is Judy Berman and I’m a woman of a certain age. I’ve worked as a reporter in radio and newspapers. Now, I’m a Language Arts teacher – 7th graders – at a middle school in West Melbourne, Fla.
    I work on coming up with ideas for my blog – usually written once a week. Some day, I’ll get off my duff and write a book. That last part is my challenge in life.

    • Patrick says:

      I bet you’re an amazing LA teacher with that experience. Lucky kids. I’m a middle school music teacher. Nice to “meet” you.🙂

      • Thanks for the compliment, Patrick. A pleasure to “meet” you as well. I just checked out your web sites – very cool. I couldn’t find a place to leave a comment, but I can tell you that I posted a story on Oct. 22nd that I believe is right up your alley, “A Ghost Sighting in Minetto.” I believe it’s a true story, but I didn’t witness it myself.

  18. 1. Who are you?
    I am Martha Bechtel, oft known as Martha (and cat) or Martha (and too many hobbies).

    2. Where you from?
    The great state of Virginia, which can now claim Earthquakes to go with its Hurricanes and Snowmageddons.

    3. Whatcha working on?
    Lots of stuff, mainly Fantasy and Science Fiction ranging from flash fiction up to NaNoWriMo novels–and a growing collection of Saturday Story Prompts that I’m finally getting around to bundling into ebooks. *pokes pile*

    4. What’s a challenge you’re facing right now in your writing and/or life?
    Time! Camp NaNoWriMo ends in nine days and I’ve still got 35k words left to write. :p

    • Ollin says:

      Really, you guys have earthquakes in Virignia? I’m in CA and we get earthquakes–it’s really not that scary. I would be far more terrified of a Hurricane! Yikes!

      • marthabechtel says:

        We normally get little tiny earthquakes, most of the time you’d never notice unless someone told you. Last August we got a really big one (5.8) and people flailed about madly. It only collapsed two buildings at the epicenter, but folks felt it all the way up into Canada. It even hurt the Washington National Cathedral a bit.😦 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2011_Virginia_earthquake)

        Hurricanes for some reason aren’t as terrifying, although I did head for the hills when Irene hit (also in August of last year… it was a bad year. *sighs*) Most of my friends just hunkered down in place since it wasn’t anywhere near as bad as Isabel (2003)– we’ve got an unusual baseline for what constitutes a ‘danger.’ *rolls eyes*

  19. I’ll play. I”m Louise Behiel and I’m from Calgary, Alberta, Canada. I write women’s fiction with an overlay of romance and I’m working on my second novel which will be published on Amazon. My biggest challenge right now is that I finished book 2 and sent it off to my editor and beta readers and they agree it needs lots of work. Darn. So a book I thought would be up and for sale in a few weeks is now more likely a month or two out. but it will be a much better book, so it’s all good.

    next?

  20. Victoria says:

    My name is Victoria and I have been reading Ollin’s blog for over a year. I’ve been writing all my life but tend to not be as adapt at sending out my writing. I write essays and memoir and have been published in Chicken Soup books, our local paper here in Eugene, Oregon, the New Yorker online and a few other places.

    I am on the second year of my own blog: victoriasivisiblevoice.blogspot.com and try to contribute a weekly essay or journal entry. I am a fearless PFLAG mother and like a mother lion I often write in support of my daughter and LGBTQ folk. My main struggle is creating a disciplined writing schedule and having the confidence to submit my work. Through the years I have come to realize that for me the writing process itself is important to how I live my life. Finding the Courage to Create blog site has affirmed this belief.

  21. Ollin says:

    Hey Readers: Soooo, the trick for this post is that ya’ll should feel encouraged to interact with each other. So it really isn’t about me. Read about others intros, if you see something in common with them, drop them a line! Say hi, or you’re awesome, or “Hey, me, too!” As your host, I’ll be around to nudge you, but I’m trying to keep my distance.😉

  22. Katie says:

    Aw, this is a fun post. I’ll answer the questions and then interact with a few others, as you wish, Ollin! (:

    I’m Katie. I’m from Louisiana. Southern kid.

    I’m working on a book about the death of my Father. He died suddenly, and I quickly began to realize that- even though death is inevitable for all of us- I couldn’t find any books on practical ways to grieve.

    I struggle with writing about him without breaking down emotionally. I struggle with taking care of my Mom and feeling abandoned by my Dad.

    But this blog encourages me. And my fellow writers keep me going!

    So that’s that (:

    • Ollin says:

      Again, I’m so sorry to hear about your father. (I believe you’ve shared that with me before.) Wish you and your family many blessings. And thanks so much for being the first reader to take the initiative and start interacting with others. I appreciate it!

  23. jzrart says:

    Hi, I’m JZR, my blog is called, One Rich Life, at jzrart@wordpress.com. I’m an artist and writer, currently working on a memoir. I also write poetry. I’ll be 70 in November, but my spirit doesn’t believe it and thinks it still very, very young. I am married and have two wonderful adult kids and two very special grandchildren. I live in gorgeous Central Virginia.

    My biggest challenge at the moment is staying with the writing in a busy life.Some days I’m excited to write, other days I just want to forget about it. It’s hard work and I too often get caught up in chapters of my life that I don’t really want to revisit. I also need to set up a writing routine that I can stick with.

    I’ve been following C2C for over a year and enjoy it very much.

    • Greetings JZR. It’s good to meet another writing boomer (I’m a 58-year-old grandmother). You’re absolutely right that developing a consistent writing routine is the golden key. You need to find what time of day you’re most productive and set it aside as sacred. For me, it’s mornings before I start my workday. Good luck on your memoir.

  24. Hi, I’m Lorrie. I’m new to this blogging lark. I only started the blog thing a month or so ago. I write novels for Young Adults, and right now my main problem is meeting my editor’s deadline.

  25. Hey, I’m Patty (or Patricia but never Patti despite what my writing buddy insists) I live in “Da UP” of Michigan (The upper peninsula of Michigan for those of you who don’t speak yooper. Yooper is the term for people living in upper MI) I love reading and writing YA. Currently am waiting for my editor to get back to me on my second novel, Snapshots. I am utterly hopeless with comma rules and she is a life saver. My biggest problem is trying to be social and hawk my own work as opposed to my friends. Oh and not be a lurker on everything (like this blog)

    • Addy Rae says:

      I have the same problem! Fortunately, I don’t have anything to hawk at the moment, but being social and trying to sell myself are two of my weakest points. (This could also be unfortunately, depending on how you look at it. 😛 )

      Maybe we can join forces and become social together! 🙂 Or at least be good company and cheer each other on!

  26. Patrick says:

    Patrick Keller
    St. Louis, MO area
    Fairly new blogger of paranormal/spiritual topics (www.bigseance.com)
    Trying to find myself as a blogger and where it’s going to take me.
    Giant Nerd

  27. Sveva Michaels says:

    My name is Sveva Michaels, I’m from Louisiana, currently working on a fiction book. I never post on sites I frequent. I’m shy and only share my writing with a few select family members. I’m working on believing in myself, but I struggle. Posting here is a step in the right direction. Planning to keep it up and see where it takes me.

  28. Kirsten says:

    Okay, I’ll bite on this one.
    I’ve been reading your posts in my email for probably a year now, and haven’t stopped by to comment in far too long. This seems like a good time to say ‘Hi.’ and to thank you for all the inspiration you’ve given me with my writing, and other endeavors.

    As my handle says, I’m Kirsten, and other than that haven’t decided what name I want to publish under yet. My internet handle used to be ‘Lark’ if that gives you any indication of where I’m at with my online persona!

    I live in the midwestern United States, Illinois to be a specific, in a suburb of Chicago, not too far from the birthplace of the late Ray Bradbury. We live in a small town much like he describes in Dandelion Wine, under hot sun and shaded sidewalks, where the fireflies come out at night, and fill the air with unexpected magic.

    I’m working on revising my first novel. I finished the first draft in 2009, and I’ve been revising it ever since, if you can believe it. Revision is so much harder than the first draft was for me. I love to write novels though, so in the meantime, I’ve written four more drafts-all of which await the magic of revision before I’ll allow anyone to see them.

    My biggest challenge has to be putting my writing out there for beta readers and critiques, so that I can learn how to make it better. Sharing my work is by far the hardest thing for me when it comes to my writing, but a challenge I am determined to surmount.
    With time, patience, and a lot of encouragement from writers like you, I hope I can someday make that happen!

    • Ollin says:

      Thanks! I’m glad you’ve found my posts helpful, Kristen.

    • MarinaSofia says:

      Wow – that’s a lot of revision! But I share your shyness about sending your work out for critiquing – I find that terrifying, excruciating and sometimes oddly unhelpful (when opinions contradict each other). Well done for finding the courage and I wish you luck completing the novel.

      • Kirsten says:

        One of the most important discoveries I made was that I was not alone in feeling this way. My trepidation, I learned, was not necessarily a reflection on the words, just an extension of my shyness.🙂

    • Greetings, Kirsten. Congrats on finishing your first novel! You’re an inspiration to us all. I have four unfinished ones in outline, note card, and scattered scenes. Good luck in your revisions.

  29. Jink Willis says:

    Ollin, love your blog–thanks for connecting so well–you are a fave! Katie, your energy is fabulous!

  30. Rob F. says:

    First off: Great idea, Ollin! Thank you!

    Now: Greetings, everybody. I’m Rob. I live in Cairns, a city in Australia’s tropical north east.

    I’ve got a bunch of things I’m working on. I’m taking my time on an urban SF / fantasy adventure novel, but in the meantime I have a personal blog called “Step One: Make Fun!” which has spawned a podcast called “Paid to Play,” where I interview folks who hae turned the hobbies they love into sources of revenue (and either quit their day jobs or never had them in the first place).

    The biggest challenge is a combination of low self-esteem and impatience. It’s like I have two inner voices, one saying, “You’re not good enough! If you were, you’d be doing so much better by now!” and the other one saying, “We’re falling deeper and deeper into debt! You need to do something about this now! Fix it! Fix it!”

    Which means that when I do try and do something, I’m rushing to get it out of the way as quickly as possible, both so I can get it done and (maybe) get the inevitable failure out of the way.

    Sometimes it’s hard to just take a deep breath and take my time, but also do things in small chunks.

  31. Diane Turner says:

    Great idea, Olin. I’ve been following this blog for about a year and have made a few comments, and I always learn something here. I’m Diane Turner, am a California native and live in Northern California. I don’t have a blog, but maybe soon.
    I’ve written most of my life, but only after retirement (from education) was there sufficient time to write a book. Currently I’m tearing apart and re-writing a first novel written with a co-writer and writing a second on my own.
    Challenges: time to put the butt in chair, working with another writer and remaining friends (so far so good), learning Italian at retirement age…sigh

    • Ollin says:

      Oooh, learning Italian. I only know Spanish and English. But I do want to learn a new language… French, Japanese maybe. Hope that is going well for you, Diane!

  32. Stewart says:

    I’m Stewart! I’m writing a guide to quitting Corporate America and living from your dreams and passion. I’m actually going live tonight on my own site! It’s crazy scary.

    Once I figure out conversion, I’ll be going live on Google Books, Kindle and Click-bank.

    Despite the fear, I’m journaling my trip across the US with my daughter… and a dead guy. Should make for an interesting story. We’re all story-tellers, right?

  33. Hi, my name is Shaquanda Dalton and i’m from Milwaukee Wisconsin.

    I’m currently working on my first fiction novel and one of the problems i’m facing is not having enough time to finish it before summer ends. I need more time to edit.

    I major in Journalism and Creative Writing at UW-Milwaukee.

    You can find me at my blog at http://learnasyouwrite.com

    Thanks for the post Ollin🙂

  34. Jink Willis says:

    Ollin, I am an interior designer/architectural gardener turned writer at Jubilee–trying to finish southern epic, THE ROAD FROM BEULAH SPRINGS! The journey has been amazing! Cheers, new friend!!

  35. natsbats says:

    Hello Mr Olin! Can I call you that? My name is Natalie and I’m turning 15 this year. I’ve followed this blog for awhile but I rarely post any comments heh. I’m from Singapore, a small country in South East Asia.
    Well, I am obviously still studying but my real passion is in visual art. Comic art to be precise. But here in Singapore, the education is very fixed and rigid, and everyone is so competitive. My parents want me to be a lawyer, or at least have a stable job, but all I really want to be is an artist or an animator! But being in such a pragmatic society, of course no one approves of my career choice.
    I guess my future is my biggest problem now. All my other counterparts just study hard and follow the education system the government laid out for us. But I’m not like that. I mean you can’t throw me in a box and expect me to stay within in.
    Yup. I think that’s about it. Thanks for all your inspiring posts Mr Olin!🙂

    • Ollin says:

      Your very welcome!

    • Daniela says:

      Natalie,

      Follow your dream; please … it is only now, when you still have it that you can follow it. I have a daughter just three years older than you. Listen to you heart and go with it … yes it will be hard sometimes, it will be lonely – but it is your life and only you will live with it. If you are writer, painter, animator, or whatever you meant to be doing, but you are not – you will never be truly happy, truly whole. Trust me – I know. Your parents will adjust – it is all they can do. I know that too. Follow your dream.

      Best of Luck
      Daniela

  36. Hi there, I’m Raewyn Hewitt, aspiring writer of epic fantasy, hailing from New Zealand (aka Middle Earth…). I’ve only just figured out how to be able to leave a comment – so lurker status was sadly all I could manage. Really sad actually when I figured out how easy it was… sigh. But glad to be part of this great big writing community at last!

  37. RD Meyer says:

    I’d have posted yesterday, but I was on a plane leaving Alaska to come home.

    My name is Russ Meyer, but my pen name is RD Meyer. If you want to know why, just google the name “Russ Meyer” and watch what comes up. What kind of galls me is that I was born in the 70s, so I’m pretty sure my folks knew who my namesake was. 😀

    I’m originally from NC, but I now work in Hawaii. The Aloha State is great, but it’s not somewhere I want to live permanently. Probably another two years here, on top of the four and a half I currently have, and I’ll go elsewhere. Florida or Texas are my top choices. We’ll see…

    I just finished novel #4(none yet published) and will start work on #5, my first sequel, in a few weeks. In the meantime, I’m working on a short story about a woman who commits suicide and finds herself falling to Hell. I thought it’d make a good entry in a horror short story contest.

    As for my other books, the first is a sci-fi story about humanity coming out of self-imposed isolation. However, I can tell today that I wrote it 12 years ago and it is probably unpublishable in its current form. Gonna take a lot of re-writes.

    The second is about a scientist who loses his baby daughter to a childhood disease and whose wife commits suicide. He finds out her soul was sent to Hell, so he vows to use his knowledge to team with a council of demons and try to kill God. It’s a story about choices and consequences, as well not understanding that sometimes the results don’t match expectations.

    My third is a horror/thriller about a group of vampire hunters that work for the Catholic Church and are sent to investigate an upsurge in vampire-on-vampire violence. The hunters discover this is due to one group fleeing a greater threat and encroaching on territory they’re not supposed to be in. The hunters, called the Order of Mount Sion, have to track this new threat to its origins 2000 years ago, and it’s this novel that I’m about to start on the sequel to.

    My most recent tale is about an 18-year old high school senior that was killed in a hit and run accident. His soul is met by a spiritual mentor who tells him he can’t move on until he avenges himself against the person who is responsible for his death. However, he soon learns he is haunting the wrong person and he has to figure out why.

    The challenge in my writing life is my current struggle to decide between the traditional and indie publishing routes. There are pros and cons to each, and they weigh heavily on my mind.

    Okay, enjoy rambling from me. I hope this meets the intent, and I’d love to have others check out my crazy blog. 😛

    • Ollin says:

      Fascinating topics. I loved Hawaii, I’ve only visited. Never lived. A co-worker of mine once told me that you do get “island fever” after a while and want to go to the mainland. Haha.

  38. I’m coming in here kinda late, but I loved this idea – of building community.

    I’m Dana and I live in Denver, though I was born and raised on the Gulf coast of Florida. I want to say hello to Addyrae and to jzrart (One Rich Life) because we have some overlap in our lives. I have a sometimes disabling disease and I’m 64. I got sick when I was in graduate school in a program I chose because I could put together a Creative Project instead of a Thesis. I wanted to pull together my memoir and submit it, which I am very happy to say that I did. But it’s the raw, unexpurgated version, it’s a multigenre work (poetry, prose, letters, journal entries, academic comment), and one I feel I can’t share with the world. Recently I had a dream of how to put it in a fictionalized version, and I’ve been trying to do that ever since. It’s really hard and I honestly don’t know how to start, where to start, how to keep going in any sort of organized way. And it scares the hell out of me – to risk showing it at some point, that I will fail, that my story will go untold. Then I get sick with more symptoms and I have to fight my way out of that wet paper bag. As bad as I may feel in the morning though, I show up and write. Something.

    I have a blog that I post to when I’m inspired. (It’s still on blogspot – danabeesvoice.blogspot.com.) I think I am still my own worst enemy. I procrastinate, I hesitate, I worry too much. But I do read a lot, I write every morning, and I am a great dog and cat mom. And I love reading your blog, Ollin. Thanks to everyone for sharing your thoughts and dreams and your locales. I love that!

    • Ollin says:

      I’m so sorry to hear that you struggle with a disabling disease. And I’m glad you were able to be introduced to some of my other readers who also struggle with disease, mental illness, and other issues that they struggle with like addiction, etc. We all have a struggle we deal with and one of the reasons I wanted to do this was so that you could all see how much you guys have in common. I’m glad it worked.

      Oh and I’m glad to hear you love the blog!

    • Dana,

      There’s no wet paper bag on the planet that can stop you. Even your comment here is beautifully written.

      The place you describe – the wild, tangled, gnarly forest of an early draft – isn’t comfortable for any of us. We desperately crave a path out of the mess.

      Hang with the disorder, lean deeply into your material and trust that the project is carrying you and vice versa.

      I’m proud of you and the efforts you make to stay on top of life and your writing. You humble me, and I am glad to know you.

      (To other readers, Dana and I know each other; Dana was in the first writing class I took in Denver in 1994!)

    • Addy Rae says:

      Showing up and writing is something admirable, even more so when you’re sick. It’s hard, it’s a struggle, and other people will underestimate or brush off how much it takes out of you. Keep pushing, especially if this story means so much to you!

  39. natsbats says:

    Thank You Daniela!🙂 Your reply has been most helpful!

  40. Misha says:

    Hi all! I’m Misha Gericke. Currently (and for the foreseeable future), I live in South Africa. Usually people say “Sunny South Africa” but I live in the Cape and it’s winter. So I’m currently typing this from beneath a blanket as I watch the rain rolling in.

    As for my writing, I write a variety of fictional novels. From YA fantasy to Adult historicals. Basically what the characters in my head tell me to write. Busy finishing up the edits to a YA epic fantasy and I’m hoping to have that finished by the end of August.

    Challenges in writing… my muse. She’s been very fickle recently, probably because I’ve had to let my inner editor out in order to finish the Beast mentioned above. So now I’m supposed to be on a writing fast where I’m painting, drawing and reading to refill the creative tanks. But the day after I announced this, I got this insane urge to write. Siiiiigh.

    Anyway. Thanks for this great opportunity to meet new blogging buddies, Ollin. Been an incredibly long while since I’ve been here last. Sorry about that.🙂

  41. Hi, Michele from Columbus, Ohio, here. I can’t decide if I’m a Ms. Sneaky or just terminally shy.

    I’m taking a class on freelance writing that covers blogs and a beginner at using the new media. Our second class assignment includes writing three guest blogs. Although I’ve taken fiction writing courses for ten years and written some short stories, for some reason this assignment struck me dumb. I’m not blocked, only bedazzled by with the plethora of writing blogs out there.

    I work as an image researcher for the Ohio Historical Society and write historical fiction on the side. At the present time, I’m taking a break from my nineteenth-century novel to develop a short story about the Underground Railroad that’s set in the Hanging Rock iron region during the 1850s.

    Thus, the above points to my greatest writing problem: getting excited about new ideas and not finishing my writing projects. Although I was never diagnosed with an Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) as a child—in the 1960s, Catholic schools treated such symptoms as behavior problems—-as an adult I’ve struggled with developing coping strategies. For instance, the in-you-face animated advertisements on many web pages distract me to where I’ll either have to downsize the browser window or avoid visiting such sites all together.

    Anyway, I’ve enjoyed reading the C2C writing articles that Ollin’s posted.

  42. ;;pokes head shyly in;;

    Hello, everyone. I’m a sneaky sneak, being called out!
    My name is Jennifer Lynn, from upstate New York. Recently I discovered Ollin’s blog by following a friend’s link, which led to a link, which led to another link, and then to another link, until, phew, I found myself planted here on C2C, thoroughly exhausted (but well worth the result). It’s so nice to meet you all.

    Currently I’m gathering scraps together for my first novel while working on my second website, Broke-Ass Mommy – which, really, is just a silly creative space for me to actively write.

    My biggest challenge at the moment is being a new Mommy to a very needy eleven-month-old, who adores devouring most of my time.

    I hope to find inspiration with you all.

    =^..^=

  43. I’m Bethany. I live in GA.

    I’m a new mommy (baby is 8 months old), so my current struggle as a writer is balancing chasing my active baby and finding time to write. I have a healthy dose of sleep deprivation with a nice side of writer’s block.🙂

    I am currently working on a book about my journey of pursuing my dreams.

  44. katz says:

    Hi Ollin, Hi everyone!
    I’m not sure if I’m Ms Sneaky, Ms Introvert, or just me being myself with a PhD in Procrastination. I procrastinate in everything, including writing comments and replies in other blogs, and even writing posts in my own blog…
    As far as I can remember I have never left a message here.
    What a great idea to do this Ollin! By the way, you gave me a good laugh with this post, thank you!
    I am Katerina, born in Greece and living in Holland for the last 22 years. I live with my husband (who travels a lot) and our daughter. A small family with a hectic life…
    I am a procrastinator, but I said that already (I recently found out that my ‘condition’ has a name and I like how the word sounds… don’t like what it means and what it does to me…)
    I am an insomniac. Have been an insomniac ever since I found our daughter white and blue in her crib when she was 3 weeks old. The next day she stopped breathing again for the second time and both times it was pure coincidence that I saw her turning blue. I could have been too late… She is 10 years old now, but I am still an insomniac – I am getting better though, I can sleep 4-5 hours each night now!
    I love writing, but I’m not a writer. I am a painter. As far as painting is concerned I suppose I am a nerd. I found C2C when I was looking around in WP for blogs about how people deal with creativity, how the process works for others: from the initial idea to a more or less finished product. The similarities and differences in how this process works in different disciplines (writing, music, visual arts) intrigues me.
    Recently I started writing again. Although I’m not sure how this will go on: can’t really decide in which language to write: English, Dutch or Greek… Some words sound so much better in one language, others in the other language. How a word resonates in itself and how it resonates within a text fascinates me. For me the best would be to forget about language boundaries and just write the words that have to be written in whatever language they have to be written in order to express the fine nuances of what I want to express. But I suppose that -if I do so- very few people would be able to understand what I write…

    This reply is getting way too long… Sorry! I’ll try to keep it short from now on.
    What am I working on?
    I am preparing an art journaling workshop for teenagers to be held this coming weekend at our local art-center. I am also preparing – or trying to persuade myself to do so – two shows of my paintings, to be held in September and in October.
    And what is my challenge?
    Get more sleep! Stop procrastinating! Don’t think, just paint! Or write – or do whatever it is that I should be doing! Make enough paintings so that I can choose the best ones for my two shows just after the summer holiday! And last but not least: Get out of this BLOCK! (Shhhhhh! I don’t dare yet to say that I’m blocked in my own blog… hiding like an ostrich)
    Oh yeah, forgot about my other challenge: to post more regularly on my blog. I started blogging in September 2011 as a way of keeping track of where I am and where I’m going with my painting. Didn’t really work out the way I had wanted… blame it on the block. Ha ha! To top this all, I recently got persuaded by my sweet daughter who got jealous and also wanted a blog, and now I am the proud ‘owner’ of one and a half / two blog(s) that is/are being terribly neglected! This second blog is about things we make, do, cook and read together, but we have very few posts in it and a huge list of topics we want to write about; it has been a terribly busy period…
    You can find me at The Daily Practice ( http://atelierzisiadou.wordpress.com/ ) and at Robin & Katz ( http://robinandkatz.wordpress.com/ )

    Thanks for the hospitality!

  45. Diane says:

    Hi everyone. My name is Diane and I live in Arizona. Found C2C through one of the myriad of writing blogs and newsletters I follow (or attempt to follow). Like many of you, it is a struggle to find time to write. My career is meeting planning and my time is spent preparing for several events per year. Right now, I’m sitting in a hotel foyer as my meeting is taking place. I should be spending this time writing, but my brain is too tired from working 18 hour days for the last four days.

    My writing started when a seed of an idea popped into my head and wouldn’t leave my brain five years ago. Last year, my novel reached 80K words and realized earlier this year that it’s all backstory, so I’m at square one again. In the meantime, I created a short story that I shared with a recently joined writer’s group, and that piece is now in revisions. A second short story is in the works, and a third just starting to perculate in my head. Two novel concepts are waitng in the wings as well.

    Not sure what my genre is, but I think it falls under contemporary women’s fiction. What pulls me into writing is relationships. One of my short stories is YA fantasy and one of the novel ideas is historical fiction. I’ve been told I have good ideas, so my process continues to learn more about writing, to develop my voice, and to one day be published.

  46. Ash says:

    I’m Ash from Indianapolis, Indiana. I don’t think I’ve had enough time to be considered “Ms. Sneaky”, as I’ve only just started visiting this site a week ago. I really have nothing more to add other than that I write short stories just for the hell of it, and I find this site rather helpful.

  47. Hi Ollin: This is my first comment to you, but my daughter (Ginger) & writing partner is a huge fan of your blog which is what directed me here. I can see why your blog, is one of her favorites. You have a warm feel to your blog that speaks to the visitor. “Come in, sit a while.Let’s talk.”
    Well, let’s start with introductions. I am the mother, (Natalie) of the writing team, Inion N. Mathair, the pseudonym which is Irish for daughter -n- mother.
    We live in Otto, North Carolina, in the beautiful Smoky Mountains which makes for a breathtaking view that helps to inspire our creativity, along with our overworked imaginations.
    We recently finished the first book, in a series, which is titled: The Perfect Seven.
    It is a fictional series that will take the reader on a journey before the Apocalypse, during and after, while watching the MC grow into the hero he was destined to become.The book is a labor of love and we have finished the cleaning process, if you can ever really finish that and have begun the querying
    Our biggest challenge now, is I’m sure the same as many of our beloved colleagues, and that is to try and sell a product of passion that mean’s more to us than we can say. And praying that the right agent who will share this same zeal, will see the rough gem, and its possibilities. This….and juggling a thousand other things that will help our career, and hopefully the small amount we try to give back to others like us who are in the same boat.
    Thank you for giving back to the writing world with this blog and I look forward to joining my daughter while she reads your future posts.

  48. ooo… my first comment here… thanks for the gentle nudge!

    I’m the writer behind StealingFaith, a humor blog on relationships, family and life. I post daily, work full-time from home on a non-writing gig, have two non-fiction books I’ve been peddling around, and am the mom of 3 (soon to be 4) kiddos, 2 poodles and a Great Dane. I have a pretty amazing husband and we rattle around a not-so-spacious 800 square foot home after being downsized about a year ago and moving across the country from the midwest to the southwest.

    Oh, and we homeschool but I don’t wear denim skirts or a bun.

    Challenge right now… I’m impatient! I’ve been growing StealingFaith for over a year and it’s making really good strides but it’s not the platform I need to spring board the book publications. I’m caught, trying to decide if self publishing is a viable option, recognizing my lifestyle right now won’t lend itself easily to self promotion.

    So, I just keep writing. And being funny. At least I try. Here’s a sample of some well-received recent posts: What Women Want: http://www.stealingfaith.com/2012/06/27/what-women-want/ and Back Away from the Pregnant Lady: http://www.stealingfaith.com/2012/01/25/back-away-from-the-pregnant-lady/

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