Two New Blogs

Thank you so much to those who have read my blog, whether you’ve followed from the beginning or this is the first post you’re reading. I wanted to make sure everyone knew that this blog has now been split up into two separate blogs.

A Rising Generation is my Christian blog, and Meagan Nicole is my author blog.

On A Rising Generation, I share Bible studies of individual verses, people, events, or books. I also write about life and relationships from a biblical perspective. As a Christian, what sort of things should you look for in a boyfriend?  I share 10 Qualities of a Man Worth Marrying in one of my blog posts. Struggling to overcome procrastination? Read 6 Steps to Become Self-Disciplined. My goal with this blog is to encourage and equip Christians to live out their faith in Christ.

On Meagan Nicole, I share all things having to do with blogging, writing, and editing. I share things I have personally learned about all three subjects, and I share things I learn from others. Don’t know whether or not you should use a free blogging platform or a self-hosted platform? Read my post where I explain the pros and cons of both, Free Blog or Self-Host Blog: Which Should You Choose? My goal with this blog is to help writers, bloggers, and editors learn something new and become even better at what they do.

Meagan Nicole is also where I offer my proofreading, copy editing, and line editing services. So, if you need an editor, be sure to check out my website and contact me from there.

Since my passion and love for sharing Scripture and sharing writing tips are two completely different things, I decided it was best to split them up. If you love both topics like I do, please visit and subscribe to both blogs. However, if you’re only interested in one topic, now you have that option.

Again, thank you for reading, and I hope to hear from you on A Rising Generation or Meagan Nicole.

Photos for Sale on Etsy

I haven’t blogged much recently due, in part, to a few new things I’ve been working on. I am excited to announce that one of my new ventures is selling my photography on Etsy! I now have a store PhotosByMeaganNicole, where my photos are available for digital download, which means you don’t have to wait days for shipping. Below are a few photos I have for sale, but I will be adding more, so be sure to check back often. My photos will include places like New York City, Disney, and other places I travel, as well as photos of things such as animals. If you have any requests for a photo, please feel free to let me know and I can see what I can do!

Another venture of mine has been my poetry. I’ve been writing poetry for a few months now, and I love it! I have participated in many Poetry Challenges on Instagram. You can see more of my photos and all of my poetry on my Instagram @writer.meagan.nicole. I’ve recently started considering selling some of my poetry as digital downloads on Etsy for people to frame or use in scrapbooking or cards. If that’s something you would be interested in, please let me know! You can see one of my many poems below.

Peace Poem - Poetry - Meagan Burgess

Be sure to check out my Etsy Store and Instagram account! Thank you so much for reading!

National Novel Writing Month 2014 (NaNoWriMo)

National Novel Writing Month takes place every year in November. Thousands of writers across the world set out to write 50,000 words in one month. Yes, you read that right. 50,000 words in 30 days.

I remember hearing that number the past couple years and praising the writers who could reach such a feat, thinking there was no way I could ever do it. Well, here I am sharing that I will be attempting NaNoWriMo this year.

My sister has also decided to attempt this with me. Together we will work on our own novels with the goal of 50,000 words during November. We have spent the last week working together, brainstorming and helping each other plot out our novels.

If you’re a writer who also thought NaNoWriMo was impossible, I’d like you to read two points that helped convince me to join NaNoWriMo.

1) I need a deadline

I told myself for years that I didn’t need a deadline. I could get my story written just fine without it. Besides, wouldn’t a deadline stress me out and make it harder? That’s the last thing I wanted.

Instead, I often procrastinated writing my story. However, when I took a writing class and had a deadline, you bet I had my assignment written in time. Turns out those successful authors actually do know what they are talking about.

Since my writing class, I’ve drug my feet again and put off writing my story, coming up with excuses about not being ready. I was recently reminded of NaNoWriMo, and I realized it was the perfect deadline for me. Once I made the decision to go for it, I’ve sat down and worked on my story so I can be ready. Deadlines are a magical thing.

2) 50,000 words divided by 30 days = 1,667 words per day

50,000 words in 30 days sounds crazy, but when I did the math, I realized it’s not as impossible as a originally thought. 1,667 a day can’t be too bad, right? It definitely sounds better than 1,667.

So, my sister and I are going to try tackling NaNoWriMo together, and we are going to take it one day at a time. As well as take many trips to Starbucks over the next month.

You can follow my progress and share your own progress with me on my Twitter @burgess_meagan.

Writing Prompt: City in the Rain

I’m starting a new series of posts called Writing Prompts. I will post a photo I’ve taken, and I’ll write something inspired by the picture. Feel free to join in and write whatever comes to mind when you see the picture. You can write fiction or non-fiction, poetry or prose. Comment in the post with a link to your writing so I can check it out!

Here’s the first picture, taken with my iPhone.

IMG_3946.PNG
The streets are empty, which is rare in this city. The threat of rain sent everyone running inside the closest building, but I kept walking. The rain came, poured actually, but I didn’t stop. Rain drops fell down my face and drenched my clothes, but I didn’t run.

The rain was gone now, leaving behind wet roads and deserted sidewalks. The only sound I hear is my feet sloshing through the puddles. My feet are numb from the cold, but somehow I trudge on. I must keep going.

I thanked the dark clouds for sending the cover of night early. Shades of orange, red, and green lights reflect off the wet pavement. I avoid them, moving through the shadows. I pray no one sees me.

Especially her.

A gust of chill wind blew from an alley. Goose bumps ran up my arms. A metallic noise rang out from the dark side road and something ran from its hiding place. I quickened my pace, not waiting to discover what types of creatures lived there.

I see a young couple a block away step cautiously out of a hat store. They wrap their arms around each other in an embrace before starting down the street towards me. I pull the hood of my jacket tighter around my face. She knows everyone in this city, which is why I have to get away.

The couple passed, so focused on each other they didn’t notice me. The girl laughed at something he said. They seemed happy, despite where they were. I stopped. Maybe I should warn them. Maybe they didn’t know she had them trapped. The couple turned down a main street, and I could no longer hear their laughter. It was too late. If she hadn’t poisoned them, she would soon.

Thanks for reading! Again, comment below with a link to your blog if you decide to write using this prompt, and be sure to check back for more writing prompts.

Walking by Faith

Joshua Harris Boy Meets Girl Say Hello to Courtship Quote

In his book Boy Meets Girl: Say Hello to Courtship, Joshua Harris is talking about following Christ by faith, even when He doesn’t make it clear who we will marry and when. However, this can also be applied to other areas of our life as well.

That quote from the book really stuck out to me, because I am the kind of person who wants a clear plan before jumping in. When I travel, I want to have all of our destinations and activities planned out ahead of time so I can get the most out of the time I have. When I write books, I want to have the plot planned out before I start writing so I don’t get lost halfway through the story. I want to know where I am going. I want to know my next step or next goal in life. I want a direction. However, God doesn’t always show us what that plan is.

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.” – Proverbs 3:5

We tell God we want all the answers, and then we will trust Him. But that’s not how it works. Trusting God and putting our faith in Him says that even though we don’t have all the answers, we know that He is good. We’re saying we trust Him to take care of us, knowing He has a plan and a purpose for our lives.

For someone like me who doesn’t like walking blindly, this can be difficult, but it’s worth it. Trusting in God and His strength, love, power, and knowledge is what He has commanded us to do. He knows everything, and we just have to live each day having faith that if we seek Him out daily, He will lead us in the right direction.

Wishing for a Fill in the Blank Novel Outline

I’m working on the outline for one of my stories, and I’m struggling. I’m using index cards to map out the scenes for my novel, thinking I knew my story from beginning to end.

Then I started outlining the scenes.

After only a dozen scenes, I realized I didn’t know my story as well as I thought. I had an idea for the story, but I did not have scenes that would fill a 200+ page book from beginning to end.

I’ve only spent a couple of days thinking about scenes, and I’m already discouraged. Why can’t I think of more scenes? Why is it so difficult? I expected it to be easier. I thought I’d already done all the hard stuff.

Right now it seems like I want a list of ideas and prompts I can follow that spark my imagination. Someone to hold my hand and tell me what scenes to write. I want a fill in the blank outline.

Of course, this thinking is crazy. I know that. Who wants to live in a world that’s full of books with the same plot line? Plus, if it was that easy, would anyone really try it? We often write for the discovery and the journey. We don’t always like it when we are in the middle of it, but in the end, we know that it was worth it.

With all the different writing classes and reference books, there are so many resources in our reach to help us learn the craft of writing. There are so many people who have spent years learning things that work versus things that don’t work. But even those authors had to start from the beginning. Even those authors had a moment in their life when they were frustrated and discouraged.

I love writing classes and books on writing. I feel I need all the help I can get. But even while reading a book on writing, the author will remind me that there aren’t set rules for writing a story. All stories are different, from the characters to the way they are written.

Find the story that you want to write, and write it. Because in the end, your need to get the story out of your head and onto paper is going to be the only thing that keeps you going. Embrace that desire to write. And the next time you get stuck and discouraged, just remember that you are not alone.

How 90 Days to Your Novel by Sarah Domet Helped Me

How 90 days to your novel helped me

I recently read the book 90 Days to Your Novel by Sarah Domet while taking an online writing class through Writer’s Digest University. I read the book over 12 weeks and submitted 12 assignments to my instructor who critiqued my writing.

90 Days to Your Novel is filled with valuable advice on every stage of the writing process. In the first 2 chapters, Domet talks about the different types of outlines you can use for your novel, and she talks about the scene: its purpose, its parts, and the different types of scenes. I found it very helpful to think of my novel as a bunch of scenes.

After you’ve read and digested all that, your work begins. The first 3 weeks are split up into days. In the first 21 days, you will have assignments such as writing with your senses, choosing your POV, and plotting your novel by grouping them into Acts I, II, and III.

The following 9 weeks are spent assessing your scenes worth, crafting intriguing characters, using emotion and action, and writing and editing your draft. Each week you have specific assignments, and it’s important that you allow yourself enough time to complete the assignments.

For my class, instead of completing every assignment in the book, I focused each week on the assignments due for my class. When I finished the class, I had the first 15 pages of my novel written, the Climax Scene and the last scene, as well as scenes in Act 2 and Act 3. I probably wrote about 30 pages of my first draft when I finished the class.

30 pages isn’t a lot for a 200+ page book. But if you’re like me and spend months planning and still never feel ready to start writing, you can probably understand how helpful a deadline can be. Because of the class and the weekly assignments, I was forced to write whether I felt ready or not. As a result, I have 30 pages of my book written when I may have gone another year without starting the draft. Possibly the biggest thing I learned from that class is I may never feel completely ready to start, but eventually I do have to start. You can spend years planning and never write. And if you never start writing, you will never have a book written.

That being said, if you read through Domet’s book and completed every one of her assignments, you could have a complete first draft in 90 days. Just remember, you have to write. That is the only way you will ever be able to publish that novel you always dreamed about writing. So stop sitting there dreaming about it and go write it!

Frozen – Elsa and Anna Outfits

Disney Frozen Elsa and Anna

My sister Samantha and I love all things Disney, and Frozen is one movie that we both love. It’s a great movie about family and sisters, and I think it’s a really funny movie too. I love the characters, the story, and the songs.

Samantha has red hair like Anna, and I have blue eyes like Elsa. One day we decided to look through our closets and put together something that looked similar to Elsa and Anna’s outfits. I took theses pictures of us using Elsa and Anna pictures as references for our clothes and poses. We created a look that represented the characters while not looking exactly like them. Although, I do think my sister looks a lot like Anna. It was a fun little thing we got to do together, and I think the pictures turned out well.

Elsa and Anna - Disney Frozen Costumes

I love Frozen, but my favorite Disney movies are Beauty and the Beast, The Lion King, Aladdin, Hercules, and Tarzan, just to name a few. Feel free to share your favorite Disney movies by commenting below!

“Impact” – Poem

I feel like I was kidnapped, taken by surprise
Blindfolded, the breath knocked out of me
Trapped on a plane, someone pushed me out
I’m falling fast, with no parachute to save me
I know eventually, I will hit the ground
I can’t know when, or how badly it will hurt
All I can do is wait, and brace myself for impact

– Meagan Burgess