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agenda, books, Daily Word Prompt, Inspiration, Uncategorized, Writing Tips

One Thing Leads to Another

Do you ever think you have a plan and then something comes around and you shoot off in a completely different direction? No? Liar.

I’m convinced that every single person on this planet has something in mind but it hasn’t quite worked out the way they planned. Maybe taking a slight detour or maybe a whole ‘nother direction entirely. That’s the story of my life. I think I know what I’m doing. I see the trajectory I’m on, and then out of nowhere, BAM! I’m writing a story about my life and sharing it with the world. Not unwelcome, just unexpected.

san pedro signage
Which way to go???

I’ve tried a few different things. Not super different, but enough to know that I’ve definitely taken a different road this time around. Those roads have twisted and turned and taken me through completely different worlds. And I don’t regret any of them. They’ve been great. I’ve learned a LOT. Some of it I thought I knew but apparently it needed some reinforcing. But it’s okay. Those lovely twists and turns are worth it in the end. They made me who I am.

brown rope tangled and formed into heart shape on brown wooden rail
What sweet twists and turns…

I’m happy with that person. I love that I work hard on my family, my writing, and everything else in my life. I love that I still try to think outside the box and make things happen. I firmly believe that things will work out for the better, in the way they are supposed to – whether that’s the way we have planned or not.

That’s where I am today. It started with the word search books, then the memoire, and now I’m contracting out to write blogs and web content and product descriptions. I’m editing and reviewing. It’s a funny twist but I absolutely love this road. The viewpoints are amazing and I can stop the car and breathe whenever I’m ready to do so.

blur business coffee commerce
If only I were this organized when I write…

I hope you’re finding your passion. And that it’s filling you with a sense of purpose, a drive that you can’t resist. I’m typing this very late at night because I just finished a project but I’m still wide awake because I’m hyped up. I just wrote a 6,000 page review for a company as a part of an ongoing project. All I can say is, “Wow.”

This life is good. Put your all into it and do whatever it is that you love to do. And share it with me!  I’d love to hear where you are on this never-ending road trip.

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agenda, books, Daily Word Prompt, Inspiration, Uncategorized, Writing Tips

Words are our Friends

In case you’ve been playing along at home, I’ve decided that I’m going to be a writer. Like, a real writer. One who gets paid to write. And in that vein, I started this blog to pour out everything in my little mind that relates to writing. Some days it will be about my current projects and other days it will just be an attempt to create, in whatever direction that takes. Today might be one of those days.

person holding black and orange typewriter
I kinda want this old school typewriter. But I’m worried I’d knock over my entire manuscript and cry because I forgot to number the pages. Nevermind.

There are times that we just get stuck in the details and creating something new is a challenge that might seem insurmountable. Today, for instance, was a BUSY day. I always start it off with the kid, the dogs, the commute, worrrrrrrkkkkkk, then a reverse commute, daycare, the kid, the dogs, food, bed time for said kid, then finally, quiet. At that point, I’ve poured everything out, or most of everything, and I’m running on fumes. At that point I just don’t have much in me to create with. Sometimes a glass of wine is pretty good inspiration. Other times I just close the computer and take my tail to bed because I’m just done. Like dinner.

woman sleeping
Ahhhhh….. Sleep….

But all of that is okay. It’s okay to push through sometimes because that can be where the magic happens. And it’s also okay to just go to bed and give yourself a break. I was talking with a friend today about taking some time off from the day job and getting some work done. He actually suggested that I sit down and binge watch Netflix. I had to laugh because that is always the last thing on my list. But it is also a great reset button. It’s okay to detach from the schedules and goals and timelines (as long as you’re not missing a deadline), and just give yourself a rest. You deserve it. You do so much every day that a break is needed.

high angle view of lying down on grass
It looks amazing but I’m sure my mind would be focused on bugs and what could be possibly crawling on me. Nope.

I started all of this with the daily word inspiration, Disappear, and I was going to talk about how it’s necessary to just disappear from time to time. By that, I mean from the noise. Take a step back from social media, from the everyday nonsense, and give yourself that needed break. You need to fuel yourself as much as you fuel the rest of the world. If that means disappearing, then so be it. Go off into the mountains for a weekend. Unplug. Go hide out at your best friends for a few days. Whatever it takes to get back to you. Laugh. Be silly. And come back renewed and reinvigorated.

You’ll be more effective and productive. You will have a renewed focus and maybe some new ideas. You never know. Your next novel might be waiting for you in the middle of a campsite.

agenda, books, Inspiration, Uncategorized, Writing Tips

Pep Talks and Motivation

I talked a little bit about complications in my last blog post but it just hit me that I didn’t really go into how to actually make yourself take that next step.  How do you find your motivation? Are you an external person who looks to others or prizes to move forward or are you a goal-centered person who just really needs to meet the goal, no matter what? I’m kind of a combination of the two.

close up of text
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

For me to really get moving, I need to be inspired. If I’m writing, I have to be comfortable. If I’m planning activities for my center, I want the students to have fun and experience our city as much as possible and build real memories they can take with them. If it’s working on client projects, it’s a commitment that I’ve made and I’m sticking with. That’s all well and good, you say, but how do you actually make yourself do it?

man wearing black and white stripe shirt looking at white printer papers on the wall
I’ve always wanted to plan something like this – my bedroom wall would be so amazing!

Great question! And I don’t actually have an answer. Sometimes I have a set schedule: the kid goes to bed at 8, read him a book, get him to sleep, then go work. Other times I have to force myself to sit down at the computer, begrudgingly, leaving the TV turned off, maybe some music on, maybe a glass of wine, and push my way through. Yes, even I do not ALWAYS want to be researching and writing.

But that’s the beauty of this field. I don’t have to always actually BE writing. I can be doing research or searching for new prospects. I can be looking at a webinar or reading books from those who have mastered this field. I can be planning my next step with my business or revamping my website (I need to do this one soon!). However you work it, there is a good bit of work to be done that doesn’t always feel like work.

photo of woman using her laptop
Not me, but sometimes I think I look this happy when I’m working on my projects. Or not. Some can be tedious.

And when it no longer feels like work, that’s when you know you’re in the right place. When you enjoy doing each piece and putting it together like a fantastic dinner or a fully completed novel, you smile and that little piece inside of you says, “Look!  I did that!”  Of course, if you top it off with a paycheck, that’s even better, but that feeling of accomplishment is pretty big with me. I’m constantly surprising myself with things I never knew I could do.

What about you? How do you get the wheels moving? Do you give yourself a pep talk? I literally just did, a few moments ago. Out loud. To my empty house. Or do you stick to a schedule where you produce a set number of words per day/week/month? How do you move your business forward?  I’d love to hear it!

Daily Word Prompt, Inspiration, Uncategorized, Writing Tips

Today’s Word: Complication

There are always times when we think we are on a roll or everything is gonna be smooth sailing when BAM – you’re hit with writer’s block or an unexpected bill. Or worse, a car accident or hospital visit. It seems like life is full of complications no matter how well-planned you think it is. That’s the nature of living, we can’t predict what will happen tomorrow. Heck, trained weather professionals can’t even tell us with 100 percent certainty that it will rain tomorrow. That’s where our fighting spirit comes into play.

 

person wearing blue hoodie near body of water
But, is it gonna rain??

 

Most of us don’t really have a fall back. Yeah, we take out car insurance and homeowners insurance and medical insurance. But that’s because we have to. What happens when stuff does happen that we aren’t prepared for? Plumbing backs up and you have to dig up your entire yard, your animals get sick, things don’t work out for your young adult, not-quite-grown kiddo out in the real world. You do what you have to.

 

black and white clean housework launderette
Ever had a broken washer or dryer? This would be a familiar scene… Ugh..

 

Maybe you take out credit cards or short term loans. Maybe you get a second job and cut out your daily coffee run. Maybe you just suffer through it, knowing that things will work out in the end. Maybe you scream and cry and fight it out. Whatever your response is, that is your way of dealing. And you’re not wrong.

Taking time to figure out what the problem is and coming up with a viable solution can be daunting, especially if it’s a big dollar item, like new central air conditioning. But you do what you have to. If it means a window unit for the time being while you save for the new one or you bite the bullet and finance through the HVAC company, choose the option that works for you. But do your research and make a sound decision.

 

photo of a woman thinking
Check local recommendations and use trusted professionals.

 

Most of what I’ve described is money-related but complications also come in the form of mental health issues, physical health issues, relationship and family issues. I would offer the same advice. Always do your research and make as well-informed a decision as possible. Have thorough conversations with doctors and providers before taking medications. Discuss your problems with your significant other or the family you’re at odds with. A lot of time a simple conversation can resolve what you may have felt was a much larger issue.

But above all, with any complications that jump out at you in life, give yourself a chance to work through it. Knee-jerk reactions and emotional responses aren’t always the right way to resolve conflict. Sometimes they feel fantastic, but in the end they can cause additional problems. Take deep breaths and do what you can to resolve the issue after some thought and conversation. You’ll thank yourself.

Have a lovely, uncomplicated evening.

agenda, Inspiration, Uncategorized, Writing Tips

Mother’s Day = Rest Day

Did you have a lovely Mother’s Day? I had a good day but I’m calling it a rest day. Not unlike when you’re working your muscles regularly, pushing yourself and striving to get better physically, you should do the same mentally. I tend to do a lot. Too much, some would say. But that’s me. I love to be busy and have deadlines and conquer my goals. That’s just who I am. But I also get tired and need breaks from time to time. Sometimes forced breaks, like accidentally spilling a glass of wine on the keyboard of my laptop. Oops!

 

pexels-photo-842548.jpeg
Not me and not wine, but same general premise.

 

But a good break lets your mind rest, just like those other muscles. More than just a good night’s sleep, a full day or two of limited screen time and deadlines can refresh you as much as jumping into the ocean. You suddenly remember that you have a family and dogs and a garden. You realize that you can actually lay in bed for another hour and not feel guilty about it. And you can take an extra long shower just this once because you can and that water feels amazing on your back.

 

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An uninterrupted shower is rare in my house, so when it does happen, I stay in there as long as possible.

 

I am a huge advocate for working hard and playing harder. I lean toward a Type A personality because I love to see all of my T’s crossed and my i’s dotted. That’s just who I am. Do you have a similar personality? Do you get easily wrapped up in your schedule and before you know it, it’s not January anymore and it’s 90 degrees outside? Yeah, that’s me. It’s almost June!!

 

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I might want to tiptoe through these tulips… a lot.

 

I guess what I’m saying is, keep pushing. Meet your goals and provide for your family but don’t forget to relax from time to time. Don’t short yourself on the fun stuff in life because it’s so easy to do. Take the walk. The work will still be there when you get back. Watch the movie with the kid. You may not think it’s important but they do. They value that quality time with you.

If you didn’t have the ideal Mother’s Day, I hope you had a great day today and that you’re making plans for more great days in the future. If you did, then congratulations! I hope you continue to have lovely days both alone and with your friends and family. And I hope you continue to thrive in your work, your writing, your business, whatever you are working toward in your life. Have a good one!!

agenda, books, Inspiration, Uncategorized, Writing Tips

The Day is Over but the Work Goes On

It’s been one of those days that seems like everything just blurred together. From the wake up, hurry up and go, to the commute, to the work day, to the 3 hour training, to driving the kid home, to editing and editing and editing, to finally sitting down for a blog post. Yeah, that was a long sentence. But that’s how the day went. Crazy busy and constant. I kinda love it when things get accomplished on that level though. While I’m exhausted from my day, I’m also feeling like I’ve done some pretty big things today. Like a real adult who knows what she’s doing. It’s a lovely feeling.

 

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How about that? Planning stuff, working it out, like a real adult!!

 

So, the update. There’s so much. Let’s see, the copywriting is going strong. I even got an opportunity to double my part time job income without doubling the work. Crazy, huh? It’s an awesome site I’m writing for and I really enjoy the content so it’s a win-win for me. And I realized tonight that I’m enjoying editing blog posts for the other site much more than writing for their specific topic. It’s pretty cool that all of my clerical marking experience is coming in so handy. Life has an awesome way of bringing things full circle.

 

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Life is awesome. So is this. 

 

As for the book, I’m still writing it back in to my schedule. I’ve been pretty bad about getting the kid to bed on time but it’s still on the to-do list. In the next few days, I’ll be back to Monday night creative, fiction writing. I know some of you are waiting on this one and I plan to deliver! And the April/May projects are also in the works. I have a project that’s in editing. The layout is giving me fits and I keep threatening it but for some reason it just won’t behave. The second project is still in the creative piece, namely, my brain, but I do know what it is and how I’ll be knocking it out. Deadline is May 31st, so hold me to it.  Hint – it’s not your Grandma’s word search!

That’s where I’m at. Currently staying busy but still looking for the next great client who would like me to ease some of their content stress. Also, studying up on my craft daily because it’s my passion. Webinars, recordings, audiobooks, articles, newsletters, whatever I can get my hands or ears on. I’m soaking it in. Maybe I should sleep on the paper copies. Can you learn by osmosis?

 

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The hairnet scientist guy says, No, I cannot learn by osmosis. Dang it.

 

How do you learn your craft? Are you a reader? Paper or audio? Do you prefer a good lecture or TED Talk? Maybe you’re a YouTube fan? Maybe you’re a student of life and have just figured things out by trial and error… How do you go about doing what you do? I’d love to hear it. I’m a mix, really. I love a good book but don’t mind a fantastic speaker. I still have to take notes though. It’s just how my brain works. I’m also a trial and error kinda person. I like to get my hands dirty but I also need soap nearby. Let me know your thoughts!

 

 

agenda, books, Inspiration, Uncategorized

Doing Big Things

Do you ever have one of those days where you’re just like, Wow, I did a LOT today? Today was one of those days for me. It was ultra-productive and I feel like I’m taking big steps forward. Started off with the regular job but with tons of stuff thrown in there, fit in a webinar, and headed out for some training to be a Guardian ad Litem for the local court system. Now I’m getting ready to do some online learning and another webinar before bed. I also got some editing done on 3 articles, so I’d say it’s not a bad day.

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Busy as a….. BEE!  Hahaha – I crack myself up!

What I would have liked to have done today was get back into my book. I am going to remap my time so I have a minimum of 30 minutes with my book as well as the other time for actual paying gigs in the evening. That may mean cutting down on some of the training or reallocating time from one day to another but I need to get it knocked out. I’ve missed my personal deadline of a book a month and I’m behind the 8-ball to get the April one finished and started with May.

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Not the 8-ball, but you get the idea

How do you balance life and work and family? How do you keep all the balls in the air? I’d love to hear your organizational masterpieces! I currently have a paper planner/schedule so I can have a visual reminder. I also set reminders on my phone for webinars since I can listen from the phone and download slides later for most of them. What’s your trick?

I almost forgot, I’m also planning out some proposals! I’m putting information together for a client that could start some of that good ol’ steady income I’ve been hoping to get going. And I’m starting the research on a travel ebook. Fun times!!

Tell me your May agenda. What’s going on for you this spring? Are you powered up by the sun? Or are you a prisoner to the pollen?