Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Well, it's that time of the year. Time where we review the current year and decide where we failed or what was lacking and determine what changes we will make for the new year. I've never been big on resolutions, but I do like determining what I will focus on and specific actions to modify. Okay am I word playing here? Is that really the same thing as resolutions? LOL Well, not calling them resolutions makes me feel better, but here are things I'm going to focus on:

1. I've already decided and made changes to prioritize better. I've discovered that I'm a natural busy body. I have a problem with over-committing myself. Life just isn't right if I have an ample amount of down time. Could be good, except that I believe I mix true priorities. So my top priorities in 2009 are:

a. Health - Striving more earnestly to eat healthier and exercise. Sure, I want to lose 20 lbs still, but I'm getting older and need to be sure I'm healthy. I've already scheduled a January appointment at the doctor for complete physical. Need to get another mammogram done and in 2009, I know I will have fibroid surgery to remove the softball sized fibroid I have. Hoping to put that off until I finish school in August. Periodically, I wake up with mild to severe headaches. Most of the time, they go away 30 minutes after waking. Sometimes I have to take a pain reliever. It happens too many times and I know it's not normal. I need to get to a doctor.;

b. Writing - I need to actually schedule time, just like I schedule everything else. Whether it's daily for a minimum of 30 minutes or 10 hours on the weekends. I need to carve out something where I can settle into the story and not feel rushed. I'm going to write out a plan.

c. Meditation - I plan to focus on being more consistent in my meditation. Clearing my mind and focusing on my thoughts has been beneficial. It has helped me to get in touch with me, to understand myself better, to understand my purpose and my blessings, to focus on the things I want to improve, to change my thoughts and to think positively and more. Some days I can wake up focused on just getting started that I skip meditation. I can always feel the difference.

d. School - Want to focus on school and continue to get good grades and complete my MBA program by the end of August. The good thing is that this is for a set period of time and will be something that falls off the list;

e. Volunteering - This is one of the things I miss. Even though I know I don't have a lot of time, I think it's important to give back and contribute something to my community. I'm looking into something where I can dedicate a few hours of my time a month. Right now, I just want something administrative. When I have more time, I would like to commit to tutoring in either reading or math. I don't want to sign up for tutoring now when I have so many things on my plate and may end up breaking that commitment. But I want to contribute something.

And to focus more intensely on these things, I've already made a little room for them. I've decided to put the article writing on hold and I've gone inactive in my bike club (until I finish school and have the surgery behind me).

So 2009, I'm ready for ya! ;-)


Monday, December 29, 2008

I'm feeling good about the ending of this year. It's been a chaotic one for me, but chaotic good. Like the past four years, I spent the first few months of this year toggling between on and off employment contract assignments. Trying to get on somewhere permanent in my hometown of St. Louis. But frustration set in after the last assignment ended and I decided to open myself up to relocation to selective areas. Within six weeks of doing so, I was packing up to move to Georgia.

Writing-wise, nothing got accomplished through all of this. Through job hunting and interviews, I had been able to write a page or two here and there. All which more than likely was either done away with later or severely modified. It was difficult to get into the space of the story. By the time I got there, it was time to get and do something critical.

Then, I decided to take advantage of work benefits and go back to school and finish my MBA degree. The plan was to completely finish the book first, but no, didn't happen. So then, I was in a place of trying to finish the book while working and going to school. It's moving slowly. Yes, draft one was completed, but the story is currently only plot and dialogue and even with that, is so disjointed, it's still a no-go. So the second draft is going slowly. And I'm feeling that I will need a third draft on this one as well because of the major things I'm fixing and adding in the second draft. But because I've finally come to grips with the fact that I needed to let some additional writing projects fall to the side like guest blogging and article writing.

But all in all, I feel good about going into 2009. That's because of the way I've been blessed to end this year. I'm fortunate in that my job closes the plant between December 19 and January 5th. The original plan in this was to do nothing but write for two weeks straight. But then, I looked at all the stuff around me that added chaos to my life and decided that now was the time to organize. I'm so glad I did. It took a good week to unpack, shelve books, go through stacks and stacks of papers and sort and either trash or store. Still got a few wall hanging to put up but other than that, I feel relieved. I don't feel as anxious. I feel relaxed. Because chaos is not staring me in the face everytime I walk through my front door.

So I'm back to writing now and I'm able to get into my writing space and write without rushing. Even when school and work starts back up January 5th, I feel writing time will be better. It will still be short, but better because I will have quality writing time. I will be able to sit in peace and not have all this stuff hanging over my head, trying to figure out when I'm going to get it done. As much as I tried to block it out before, it interfered with my thoughts.

Hopefully, this will be the longest amount of time its taken me to write one book. But who knows, maybe not. But I'm no longer worried about how long it's taking me. I feel comfortable in knowing that it's within me. That I'm continuing to write while I advance myself and grow. That I continue to indulge in books, the craft of writing, and the literary industry.

Writing is now my life. No matter what else is going on, I know that writing is something that I will always do, no matter what. It's not really a choice. It's something I just have to do....or else I'll die.


Sunday, December 28, 2008

Been off since December 19th and I've gotten so much accomplished thus far. Well, first of all, I had about six or seven boxes of books and "stuff" sitting in the livingroom that I'd been wanting to unpack for the longest. Every time I walked through the front door, there they were, staring at me, looking hideous and begging to be unpacked. Since April they've been doing that. But I never had the time. Was I going to sacrifice needed chores, school work, or writing when I was able to get some good quality writing time in? None of the above. So, the first week of my vacation I spent doing all the stuff that I never had time to do. Unpacked and put my books on shelves, sorted through and trashed or filed needed papers... Everything's clean now and it's such a relief.

Now, I'm spending these last few days to focus on re-writes of book three. It feels good to have the time to really get into the mood and feel of the story instead of snatches of time here and there and trying to just add a piece just to make progress. I've had time to go to favorite writing spots and take my time to get into the characters. Vacation has been great!