As stated to my coworking group on our monthly goal-setting call last month in February, my goal was "Write First" every day for March. Because the days that I don't get as much work completed on my novel are when I start on some other personal life task--finances, something for the kids, so forth--and never end up circling back.I am both so proud and relieved--and also like, oh shit, now I have to do the same amount of work again, but in less time! 😱😱😱 Because I have pitching deadlines, I want this first draft to be complete (if not edited) by then.
Wednesday, March 23, 2022
Thursday, February 3, 2022
Y'all my kids have been singing Encanto on repeat. But I never dreamed it was going to help me with my creative endeavors.
Lo and behold, about 2 weeks ago, I was deep in research because I had paused my writing when I thought maybe, just maybe, I was bullshitting too much and depriving my reader. So I spent pretty much two months reading and highlighting textbooks on one of the main subjects (I know I'm aging myself a la Miranda in And Just Like That), and I realized I was going to have to make a significant pivot on the inciting conflict of my novel.
Unfortunately, I've already written 1/3rd of the first draft of the second version of my first book (le sigh...), and now I was going to have to edit with a heavy hand, the first four chapters, and with a lighter touch on the following four chapters after that, which I'd already drafted.
Considering I'm already rewriting from scratch a book I've already written once, it was more than a little disheartening of a discovery.
First, I had to figure out how to make this pivot. That's where my accountability partner comes in. God bless him, but he had been saying, and saying, and saying to me that if I ever needed to talk anything through, just to call him. No big deal. All casual like that. It has been a long hard road for me to learn to make that call and realize I can actually brainstorm with people.
I'd done it once this year with my mentor Lori, and she helped me greatly improve my black moment, and once with my good friend who went on the writing retreat with me Keely, when I was trying to solve I can't remember what. So this was the third time.
I don't know why this concept is so hard to get through the head of a #1 strength Self-Assurance person like myself, to call for help.
But I rang up Gabriel, and honestly, we went down a couple avenues, but finally together found the right answer, and in less than an hour! I now accept that when I hit a roadblock, external processing with a friend can save me literally DAYS of time sweating what turn my writing and plot need to take.
So great and dandy, and the next day I go to sit in front of the computer, and I froze up. The idea of editing again, when I'd been editing for YEARS made me sick. I was not excited. I was intimidated.
I knew I needed a song to help me get in the mood to tackle this obstacle. That was when this Encanto song, "What Else Can I Do?" popped into my head. You see, this character Isabel is perceived as the perfect sister, and is singing about how she has the magic power to make roses, but when she accidentally makes a cactus she is thrilled. The beginning lyrics of the song are:
"I just made something unexpected
Something sharp, something new
It's not symmetrical or perfect
But it's beautiful and it's mine
What else can I do?"
They just hit me so dead on. And I started editing, and I was loving it, and having fun!
My story had taken a turn I didn't expect, but I could feel how much better it was, how much better it would be, for me going through the pain of making this change.
So if you need this sort of change and inspiration--I highly recommend calling a friend and listening to this song. :) Here's the video of this part of the movie--enjoy!
Monday, January 10, 2022
You'll probably see a bit less of me blogging or sending the newsletter, at least through April. I'm hyper-focused on minimizing distractions in my life and doing what matters most to me to achieve my goals. Or if I do post, I'll try to make it short and to-the-point, a quick update of where I'm at, what I'm doing, where I'm going.
Last year, my word of the year was "DEFY". I wanted most of all to defy my own expectations. I don't know if I did quite that but it was certainly a year of growth for me. This year, I've deemed it the year of "LESS". Here is what I've come up with:
The Year of Less
LESS social media/news/browsing/distractions
LESS alcohol & bad food
LESS buying things I don't need/spending money
LESS worrying about things that don't matter
MORE focus on my novel and reading
MORE enjoying the moment with my family
MORE moving my body and healthy foods
I realize that LESS and MORE look equal. But by cutting down on more of the former, I can do so much more of the latter. And that is the point. In my next blog post, I'll look to update my word count goals so I can hit my much more targeted writing deadlines.
Wednesday, November 17, 2021
I am so happy with how our writing retreat in Kiawah Island, SC went. Not only did we get a lot of words and a lot of work done, but my writing friend Keely and I also had a relaxing and wonderful time!
First of all our travel magic (h/t to our friend Angele) was in full effect when we arrived, as they decided to give us the white wrangler to drive around despite that not being at all what I reserved.
Then, we swung by the amazing Angel Oak tree on our way -- this tree is estimated to be over 400-500 years old, possibly one of the oldest living things in the country! When you touch the bark--you can feel the energy. It's truly special.
Perfect way to start with some inspiration!
Wednesday, November 10, 2021
I am so excited I'm leaving tomorrow for a mini-writing retreat with another writing friend, staying for a long weekend in my rental condo in Kiawah Island, SC!!! Woo-Hoo!!!
I was real productive the first 3 days of last week, with the last day even achieving close to 4000 words! That was huge for me.
But then I had a special family member coming in town Friday, so had to prep Thursday, and then took the time off to enjoy being with her. Dropped her off at the airport this morning, and this day has consisted of packing and switching out my girls' clothes for the winter... and cleaning the house as it was in dire need. We'll see how well the hubs can keep it up by himself (relatively) with our two girls and pup, LOL!
When we bought this place in Kiawah "our happy place" early pandemic summer 2020, I projected, dreamed, of using it quarterly for writing retreat weekends. It's taken over a year, but FINALLY I'm getting to use it that way. I truly hope that I can make it a more regular occurrence in coming years. And I can't wait to see how much I can push myself to get done in one weekend.
So here's where I left off--23% complete, at 19,648 words. I'll report back after the weekend!
*Happy to give credit for all memes featured on this page--could not figure out original creators!
Thursday, October 28, 2021