Wrapping up #ResolveToWrite: How was your month?

#ResolveToWrite: write on your own terms

Welcome back! How did your writing go in February?

To those of you who participated in #ResolveToWrite, it was really cool to see how the prompts inspired you to do some freewriting or incorporate the theme into something you were already working on. I loved seeing snapshots of your writing lives and processes! But regardless of whether or how much you participated, I hope the message of #ResolveToWrite resonated and inspired you to stay on track with your writing goals.

For me, there were highs and lows just like any other month, and if I’m being honest, I didn’t write every day. But having this challenge in the back of my mind was a constant reminder to be working on something, no matter what it leads to. And it worked—I ended up publishing on one of my favorite women-powered sites and am working on a pitch for a more journalistic story to keep the momentum going. It’s a relief to be reminded that despite some disappointments and setbacks over the past few months, I have not, in fact, lost my ability to write something out of passion. Funny how creativity begets creativity.

Keeping up with our creative writing will always be difficult as long as we have jobs, families and lives, but it will always be worth it. Which is why even though the #ResolveToWrite challenge has officially ended, I want to keep the spirit going. While you are always free to use the writing prompts to start a 30-day challenge of your own, not everyone needs that kind of structure. Instead, use the #ResolveToWrite message to make the commitment or set the goal that fit your needs, whether it’s writing every day, telling the story that scares you, or pitching 12 stories a year.

As we settle into March, I #ResolveToWrite through the self-doubt and other mental blocks to give my writing a chance to grow. I resolve to let go of the guilt that comes with not writing, too—because guilt serves no purpose in fostering a creative life.

Are you with me? Here are a few sample resolutions you can tweet just by clicking them. (Or tweet one of your own!)

Tweet: This month, I #ResolveToWrite every day, no matter what.
Tweet: This month, I #ResolveToWrite what I want to write—not what I think I should.
Tweet: This month, I #ResolveToWrite without guilt, without fear, and without expectations.

Every writer could use some help (updates & resources for you)

Witty Title Here - Resources for Writers

I woke up to a very nice surprise yesterday. Witty Title Here was voted one of 100 Best Websites for Writers by the popular and oh-so-helpful blog The Write Life. How cool is that?! Witty Title Here earned a spot among some amazing (not to mention high-profile) sites like ProBlogger, The Middle Finger Project, Brain Pickings and lots more of my favorites. (You can see the whole list here.) Needless to say, I’m psyched to be in such good company.

This news couldn’t come at a more apt time, because I just made some major changes to the resources page, where you can find tons of helpful links to all sorts of writing tools and inspiration, including scholarship info, writing prompts, composing and editing software, and other blogs to follow. (Though I’ll have to add more links to that section once I’ve checked out some more of those sites on the Write Life roundup!)

I’ve also included a bunch of great links to sites that compile submission deadlines for things like contests and fellowships. These links are where I find the submission deadlines I include in my newsletter every week, but if you don’t want to have to comb through these listings constantly, you can sign up for WTH Weekly and I’ll send them to you instead.

So take a look at the resources page, and let me know what you think! This page will be updated frequently—eventually with more resources created by yours truly!—so be sure to check back periodically. I’d also love your suggestions for any of the categories listed, plus anything else you think would be helpful to your fellow writers.

And stay tuned for a writing challenge that will kick off in February with the intention of keeping us on track with our writing goals. Now that we’re a few weeks into 2016, it’s a great time to reinvigorate ourselves, whether you just need a little extra motivation or are struggling to keep up with the goals you set for yourself at the beginning of the year. Sound good? See you then!

“We write, not with the fingers, but with the whole person. The nerve which controls the pen winds itself about every fibre of our being, threads the heart, pierces the liver.” ― Virginia Woolf

Witty Title Here: a manifesto

Witty Title Here: a manifesto

Welcome to the new Witty Title Here. If you’re a writer, this space is for you. If you’re a young female writer, this space is for you especially.

Here’s what I believe:

I believe that every young woman has a voice. 

Each of those voices deserves an outlet and platform. Being heard and acknowledged is crucial to having the confidence to continue honing your craft into adulthood. (I know from experience.) Community is a powerful thing for a writer, and the more diverse that community, the better.

I believe in supporting one another through our struggles and successes.

I believe we can smash the sexist myth that girls are toxic to one another by lifting each other up (and shouting it from the rooftops and/or the internet). I believe everyone needs mentors and that at some point, everyone should become someone else’s mentor. Don’t feel like you’re ready to be a mentor? Be someone else’s cheerleader, then. It’s good for your soul and theirs.

I believe in writing every day—even when it’s hard.

Especially when it’s hard. Even if it sucks. The only way to get better at writing is to keep writing… and then write some more. Then maybe go for a walk. Read a book. Then get back to writing.

Other things I believe:

If you write, you are a writer. Not an “aspiring” writer. (Though I understand the urge to use that qualifier.)

A feminist is someone—male, female or otherwise—who thinks women, and those who identify as women, should have equal rights and privileges as men. Simple and complex as that. Really.

Women have the power to give themselves permission to do what makes them happy—like write.

Young adult fiction is valuable, underrated, overly criticized and necessary.

The term “women’s fiction” should be banned. Have you ever seen a “men’s fiction” section in a bookstore?

What is Witty Title Here?

Witty Title Here is a community is for all women who write, but especially young women who are new to writing and/or have few outlets for their work. For a long time, WTH was my personal blog. Those archives still exist, if you’re interested in some lifestyle writing. I’m proud of those years of work.

Now, it’s a much more focused space where you’ll find essays, advice, interviews with authors and editors, inspiration and more. WTH will also feature submissions from YOU. (I’m currently seeking short fiction, essays, opinion pieces, reported articles and humor pieces! Shoot me an email if you’d like to submit.) And if you sign up for the WTH newsletter, you’ll get good reads, more inspiration and writing resources not found on the blog straight to your inbox every week. If you love books, feminism and culture, chances are, you’ll be into WTH.

A bit about me

Cassie Paton

My name is Cassie Paton, I’m 25 years old, and I’ve written articles, essays, emails, blog posts, grocery lists, diary entries, short stories, bad poetry, song lyrics and this here manifesto, among other things. Two years ago, I moved across the country from Baltimore to Los Angeles for grad school (in journalism!), and now I’m a freelance writer living in the Bay Area. I’m also a feminist, foodie and aspiring dog owner, and I think we should be friends.

 

Now it’s your turn

I want to hear about you. Who are you? What do you love to read/write? What do you need help with most in your writing, and what would you like to see in this space? Leave a comment below, send me a tweet or email me. I’d love to hear from you.

 

Where it’s going & where it’s been

Witty Title Here - an update

It’s been quiet in this space, but so much has been going on behind the scenes.

Hey guys, remember me? I’m the blogger who moved across the country to pursue a dream. That dream has taken on varying forms over the years, but it’s always boiled down to one thing: my need to write.

Which is why I’m bringing Witty Title Here back, with new focus and purpose. Which I’ll get to shortly.

But first, a (very brief) update on the past few months of my life:

Back in February, when this blog went dark, I began a full-time job in marketing for a tech startup with some awesome people. I was in my final semester of grad school at the time and commuting a lot, all of which made for a very difficult balancing act. For my sanity, I made the decision to put WTH on the back burner indefinitely, though I had no idea that would end up being half a year.

After several intense months, I finished school (forever!), but then life got even crazier—my boyfriend John got into grad school in San Francisco. So we decided to make our second big move in two years by saying goodbye, for now, to Los Angeles. We moved to the Bay Area in July, and I’ve been working from home as a freelance writer ever since. The change of pace has been refreshing. I’m actually cooking and exercising regularly again!

I also have the headspace to dedicate to Witty Title Here again, though it won’t be the same as it was before.

The longer I kept the blogging world at arm’s length, the less inclined I felt to return to my broad lifestyle focus from before. I knew that if I came back to blogging, I needed something I was endlessly passionate about to keep me writing even—and especially—when it was hard.

Which is why I’m making Witty Title Here a community for young female writers who give a damn.

I want to provide the inspiration, resource and platform would’ve loved at 15 (or 18 or 21), when I was still finding my voice as a budding writer, feminist and young woman. In the coming weeks, I’ll be making changes around the site to reflect that. I’m going against my nature and relaunching before everything’s perfect because I don’t want to put off blogging any longer. Perfection can wait, but for me, writing cannot. Turns out the two are not mutually exclusive.

Witty Title Here: For female writers who give a damn

For those of you who have kept Witty Title Here in their feeds all this time (wittingly or unwittingly—ha!), thank you. I’ve missed you! And I hope you’ll continue to follow along as the blog takes a new direction. While the vision for WTH is aimed primarily toward helping young female writers, I think a lot of what will resonate with that audience will resonate with any writer. I’m looking forward to finding out.

The new WTH kicks off this week, and that includes a weekly newsletter with exclusive content, which may be the most exciting of all. (I adore TinyLetter.) You can sign up now for short notes from me including weekly inspiration, interweb finds and information on upcoming deadlines for writers. It’s going to be fun.

Thanks for sticking with me this far. I can’t wait to show you what’s in store next.

Have any ideas, want to collaborate or simply feel like saying hi? (I’d love to know what you’ve been up to.) Comment below or shoot me an email at wittycassiehere[at]gmail[dot]com.

A witty, pretty makeover

Welcome to the new Witty Title Here.

If you’re reading this in an email, pop on over to the site for a look at the brand-new design.

a Witty Title Here makeover

Snazzy, no?

A redesign had been on my mind for weeks, and I finally settled on a look I’m happy with. This space was ready for a fresh update (I had the old design for nearly two years), and I’m in love with the new look and vision. The background! That header!

Let’s talk about possibly the biggest change of all: the switch to a single-column layout. I’d noticed a handful of my favorite bloggers making the switch to a sidebar-free layout recently (namely Kate and Alexandra), and that really appealed to me. Why did I choose to get rid of my own sidebar? I was always fiddling with it, worrying that it might be too cluttered. I kept whittling it down until I realized everything that was there could go in the header, footer and navigation bar instead.

So I spent a lot of time reorganizing the content into distinct categories with dropdown menus at the top, plus I made the footer a much more functional space by adding features like an email subscribe box and social media icons. And this layout puts the focus where it should be—on the content.

Everything you see on the site was created with intention—including the background and header. The background (courtesy of MichLg at Creative Market) has a cool handwritten look to it (sort of even looks like a “W” for “witty,” right?) and I gave my logo a custom look by following this tutorial at Nectar Collective to turn my Witty Title Here stamp (below) into an image for the web. I had a lot of fun creating every element, and I was laser-focused the entire time.

Witty Title Here

Finding that kind of focus felt good—I didn’t fall into the usual distraction traps, and I think that means I’m on the right track. This design reflects that kind of focus I want to tap into more this year.

That’s why in 2015, I plan to make “focus” a recurring theme in this space.

I’m not one to make New Year’s resolutions, but I do like the idea of honing in on a meaningful theme that serves as a guide throughout the year. So in the coming months, I’m going to talk a lot about focus and how you and I both can zero in on the most important (and often most neglected) aspects of our everyday lives—our health, our relationships, our money—to get more out of the longterm.

2015 is going to be a pretty big year in my life. I’ll finish grad school this spring, and what happens after that is still a mystery to me at this point. I can think of no better time to get serious about giving my attention to the things that will move me forward and letting go of anything that might hold me back.

Anyone who’s ever changed their hairstyle dramatically knows the power that change holds. This redesign feels like that. I can’t wait to show you what I mean.