Last Week of School

 

School is code for Day Job.

 

On Friday, I will be leaving my day job to pursue writing full-time.  

NotNowImWriting

In 2015, I started a blog called Not Now. I’m Writing.  As blogs go, it was successful.  I posted on it.  People read it.

 

I put the blog down when I got too busy to keep up with it.  I took on a day job while freelance writing and teaching yoga.  

 

As I am itching my way out of the day job and back into writing and teaching full swing, I am going to use Not Now. I’m Writing. to keep up with daily word counts, writing resources that I’ve found useful, and more of the business and technical aspects of my writing life.

 If you’re into that kind of thing, you can follow the blog by clicking the picture.  If you aren’t interested, don’t click the picture.  

 

Boom.  Easy stuff.

 

Getting Out

I am only a few days from beginning.

 

Two years ago (I think), I took a job that was not supposed to last two years.  I took a job, because I had taken a year off from “real work” to teach yoga and write full-time.  When money got tight, a friend recommended I work with her fixing computers. So, I did.

 

The small company that hired me was immediately bought out by a bigger company, and basically, it sucked the fun out the job.  

 

I have the luxury of leaving this job for a number of reasons, but the one that is keeping me from throwing up from fear is that I have multiple sources of income.  I never stopped teaching, and I have never stopped writing.  Money got tight before, but the money didn’t disappear.  

 

As I have worked at the day job, I have put myself out there to write blogs, articles, and have started writing books (none published yet, but this is the year).  I have also been teaching my regular classes and have gained some private clients and scheduled more classes to begin soon.

 

Basically, I am doing okay.  Not rich.  I can pay my bills.

 

This time will be different.

 

Camping In Early Spring

I enjoy camping.  I like waking up in a place that is not the usual.  

 

 

This past weekend some family (observe picture of furry family member) and I went to Fall Creek Falls for a weekend camp.  

 

Last Year, I Started Freelancing

 

 

In January of 2015, I made an online declaration that I was going to finally become a paid writer.  Many would argue that if you write then you are a writer.  I agree with this statement.  100%.  Knowing that I was writer was hard enough.  Getting brave enough to put myself out there so that I could eventually be hired was another.

 

I started a website called NotNowImWriting to track my progress in 2015.  I am happy to say that I was actually busy enough that I did not feel like blogging about it.

 

The site is still active now, and I do write on it from to time.  I use it to log word counts, projects, and little tricks that I learn along the way about writing a professional in a field.  

 

New Years

Once or twice a year, I create something I call a Mega List.

This list replaces my New Year’s Resolution list and is much more malleable than resolution lists seem to be.

The Mega List has Three Categories:  Feel, Do, and Goals

This is how the categories break down:

Feel – How do I want to feel?

Do – What do I want to do (not need to do)?

Goals – What are my big To Dos that require some mapping out and planning?

The feel category is pretty new.

Sometime last year, I read The Firestarter Sessions by Danielle LaPorte.  In that book, she talked about how she had a yearly tradition of picking out words to represent the coming year.  Words that best described how she wanted to feel going forward.

I thought this was just genius!  So, I added the Feel category.

At first glance, it may seem like Do and Goals are the same, but they are very different.

Do is a list of all of the things!  This is basically a brain dump of actions.

Goals are bigger projects that can fit into a three month to one year timeline.  I break down the goals into smaller steps to make them achievable.

*At the beginning of this blog, I said I do this once or twice a year.  During a great year, I make this list three or four times, because I have run through my goals or I have just changed my mind about a part of the list.

Feel

I brainstormed a while on this one.  I like to keep my key words down to three.  Last year, I had seven for a while, and I found myself working harder to memorize them than to achieve them.

After a few pages of lists of words in colored pencil and Sharpie, I landed on Grand, Successful, and Whole.

*More on how I chose these words and what they mean to me in another post.

Do

As a collector of activities and hobbies, the Do list is a long one.  I had to exercise some personal discipline when finalizing this part of the list, because I feel like I need to list every single thing I like to do which is just silly.  If I love to do something, I will do it.

This section is more about what I intend to do more often in 2016.

I landed here:

  • Hike

  • Camp

  • Run

  • Travel

  • Write

*More on how I arrived at these few things to come.

Goals

Each year, write a books gets listed in the goals section.  In 2015, I did write a book, and then I took it off the digital shelves.

It was a how-to book on meditation, and I feel I could have done better.

So, again on the list of goals it goes…with a little  modification:

  1. Write a book — if the spirit moves you

  2. Run at least twice a week

  3. Read 50 books

*More on these goals, how I treat the goals list, and such in another post coming soon.

There it is.

A simple and hopeful look at 2016.

+

The 2016 Mega List

Once or twice a year, I create something I call a Mega List.

This list replaces my New Year’s Resolution list and is much more malleable than resolution lists seem to be.

The Mega List has Three Categories:  Feel, Do, and Goals

This is how the categories break down:

Feel – How do I want to feel?

Do – What do I want to do (not need to do)?

Goals – What are my big To Dos that require some mapping out and planning?

The feel category is pretty new.

Sometime last year, I read The Firestarter Sessions by Danielle LaPorte.  In that book, she talked about how she had a yearly tradition of picking out words to represent the coming year.  Words that best described how she wanted to feel going forward.

I thought this was just genius!  So, I added the Feel category.

At first glance, it may seem like Do and Goals are the same, but they are very different.

Do is a list of all of the things!  This is basically a brain dump of actions.

Goals are bigger projects that can fit into a three month to one year timeline.  I break down the goals into smaller steps to make them achievable.

*At the beginning of this blog, I said I do this once or twice a year.  During a great year, I make this list three or four times, because I have run through my goals or I have just changed my mind about a part of the list.

Feel

I brainstormed a while on this one.  I like to keep my key words down to three.  Last year, I had seven for a while, and I found myself working harder to memorize them than to achieve them.

After a few pages of lists of words in colored pencil and Sharpie, I landed on Grand, Successful, and Whole.

*More on how I chose these words and what they mean to me in another post.

Do

As a collector of activities and hobbies, the Do list is a long one.  I had to exercise some personal discipline when finalizing this part of the list, because I feel like I need to list every single thing I like to do which is just silly.  If I love to do something, I will do it.

This section is more about what I intend to do more often in 2016.

I landed here:

  • Hike
  • Camp
  • Run
  • Travel
  • Write

*More on how I arrived at these few things to come.

Goals

Each year, write a books gets listed in the goals section.  In 2015, I did write a book, and then I took it off the digital shelves.

It was a how-to book on meditation, and I feel I could have done better.

So, again on the list of goals it goes…with a little  modification:

  1. Write a book — if the spirit moves you
  2. Run at least twice a week
  3. Read 50 books

*More on these goals, how I treat the goals list, and such in another post coming soon.

There it is.

A simple and hopeful look at 2016.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

422

Daily Word Count: 422

Finding the discipline to sit down and just write is challenging.  I am typing those word reluctantly, because I like to think of myself as a disciplined person.  I do yoga for an hour six days a week.  This is outside of the classes that I teach.  I run three days a week.  I meditate for at least 10 minutes a day.  I sound pretty disciplined, right?  That’s what I thought!

Today I was eager to write.  I could not wait to get some fiction down.  When it came time to write, I did the following:

  • folded towels
  • vacuumed
  • cleaned the kitchen counter
  • cleaned my desk
  • filed some papers from 2014
  • did one hour of yoga
  • refilled my water glass…twice

I wasn’t procrastinating from doing the work on purpose, but I was avoiding the work.  Why?  Because that has been my habit for many years now.  There is always something else to do.  Something else that I can blame for keeping me from writing.  Now, all of those things listed above, they needed to be done for sure.  None of them had to be done right in that moment though.

In an effort to keep this from happening again, I am scheduling writing times in my calendar.  Specific time that will be nonnegotiable.  I doing that right after I release this blog post into the Universe.

New mantra:  If it isn’t on the calendar, it isn’t real.

First Writing Gig – Complete

I finished my first paid writing gig of 2015 tonight!  It felt great.  It still feels great.

Daily Word Count:  356

this word count does not include this blog, because I felt like it would be padding results.  Padding results=not cool.

355: First Daily Word Count

Through the power of coffee, I have started my daily creative writing word count.

Daily Creative Word Count:  355

I wanted to work one of my novels, but I sat down and started free writing.  I wrote a bad short piece (Obviously, it was short!  355, but they are mine!) about a newly appointed president storming into the oval office after oversleeping and finding another him at the desk.

Yeah.  I know.  But, it is a start.

Additionally, I got my first paid writing gig today!  It is a small piece with even smaller pay, but it is the most exciting job that I have ever had.

This Year, I am a Writer

The best way to accomplish a goal in my experience is to hold yourself accountable.  Actually, it isn’t you that holds you accountable.  It is an army of friends and family that you enlist to hold you accountable no matter how many times you throw your hands in the air and say, “I’ll get to it someday,” and, “I’ve just been too busy.”

Each year I make what I call a Mega List in lieu of New Year resolutions.  The Mega List is basically resolutions in categories and they have a kind of shelf life of three months.  At which point, I will indeed recreate my Mega List by adding, taking away, checking off, or keeping some items.

Categories include:

  • Health & Fitness
  • Brain Food
  • Personal Development
  • Finances
  • Social
  • Spirituality
  • Community
  • Home & Environment
  • Work & Business

Here’s the short of the Mega List idea.  I label sheets of paper with these categories, and then I fill the sheets with goals, projects, plans, etc.  Next, I do my best to put the items in order of “doability”.  Whatever I can finish first is at the top of the list.  After I’ve done that, I take the top three items on each sheet, and write them on my Quarterly Mega List.

I keep the Quarterly Mega List in a place where I can see it often.  I make appointments on my calendar to accomplish those goals.

In three months, I get to review the list.

Only recently have I gotten really good at this.  By “really good”, I mean I have actually been ticking things off my list!

This year, I’ve given my Mega List a theme:

This year, I am a writer.

I have a been a yoga instructor and employee for a long time.  This year, I would like to be a writer.

My goals in each category are all honest desires and goals that I genuinely hope to attain, but none of those missions are as important as this one.  This task is the task of being someone that I have always wanted to be:  a fearless writer.

So despite my list stating my desire to do a half marathon under the Health & Fitness section, the overall is writer.  Writer, writer, writer pants!

This blog is my accountability platform.  I plan to post work counts, projects, plans, and whatever else I need to post to prove that I am not just thinking about writing, but I am actually doing it.  I will also confess my procrastinations and such.

Welcome to the army, dear reader.  Welcome.

And, Happy 2015 to you.

*I make no promises concerning typos. – Love, B

I have started writing four novels

I have never wanted to be anything other than a writer.  When I was little, I played “office” with my dolls which meant I was the boss to all of my stuffed animals.  Each and every one of them worked for me.  They were my editors, and I was the genius author. I wrote my first full-length (five pages) book at age five.  The title was The Unicorn Farmer.  Not to brag, but I also did all of the illustrations myself. Somewhere between my first boyfriend, reading The Gunslinger, and eventually moving out of my parents’ house, I lost my ability to complete works.  I got engaged, broke off the engagement, dropped out of college, kissed a girl, got a few health and wellness certifications, and got jobs.  Basically, I “got” so much that I did not take or make the time to do the one thing I feel I was meant to do:  write. I have promised friends and family for years that I was going to do it.  I was just going to get out of my own way, and self-publish one of the novels that I have been “so close to finishing” for the last four years. This year, I will be 33 years old.  If five year old me were in this room right now, she would be so disappointed in me for not making good on my one and only dream. To get this done in 2015, I will have to do a few things:

  1. Come to terms with the fact that I am not Hemingway, Whitman, Bryson (I’m talking to you, Bill), or Kingsolver.  I am not them, and that is okay.
  2. Write stories and books that are garbage.  If I am not writing garbage from time to time, I must not be taking any risks.
  3. Sit down and forget the internet is real.  Sitting down is hard enough.  I like to workout.  Scheduling time to sit, turn off the internet completely, and write for a set amount of time is crucial to my success.

So, here we go, people of the internet.  Here we go.