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!

Advertisements
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.

 

shower-shower-head-water-drop-of-water-161502.jpeg
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!!

 

pexels-photo-414160.jpeg
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!!

Daily Word Prompt, Inspiration, Writing Tips

Day of Rest – Not Really

It’s another beautiful day in the world!  Luckily, I don’t have to drive to the office for a couple of hours but that also means it’s the weekend and I have a whole new list of things to do. Is there ever really a day off? Do you ever go into the weekend filled with energy and  excited to embrace the days doing incredibly productive activities and chores? Yeah, I can’t say that I do. When I use so much energy all week long I’m just wiped out by Friday night. Depleted. Gone. Nada. So I need to recharge.

pexels-photo-269220.jpeg
Such a beautiful Spring day!! Finally!!

I don’t have any specific way to recharge. I try to sleep in but sometimes I have to work early Saturday mornings. I have dogs who need to go out and be fed. I have a 4 year old who wakes up happy and excited for the day at seven no matter what day it is. And I have deadlines, typically Sunday. So, yeah, sleeping in doesn’t do it for me.

How do you recharge? Do you have a spa day? Date night? Girl/Guy time? From time to time I grab a book and carve an ounce of serenity out of my day. Otherwise, I go out to the backyard and work in my garden. Since Spring is just showing its true face, I’ve got a few sprouts popping up from seeds I’ve been waiting on, and I love it. Seeing nature at work is so peaceful to me. I also really love a freshly mowed lawn, so I’m especially happy if the hubby has gone out and done the dirty work that weekend. I also take the kid and the dogs on walks through our neighborhood. They all love it and my arms get an extra workout because they aren’t well trained and like to pull and walk all over each other. Double win.

pexels-photo-957310.jpeg
Not my dog, but check out that smile!!

Most importantly, I try not to totally deplete my energy. I try to save some because I don’t really have the kind of time that lets me just relax. That’s a special occasion. And rare. Really rare. So I make sure the kid goes to bed on time and the dogs are fed and relaxing on schedule. Keeping the world around me on a normal routine actually makes life easier for me and makes my nightly writing a relaxing experience and nothing like work.

Tell me in the comments how you refill after your energy is completely depleted. What do you do for you? If anything… Sports? Nail time? Sleep? I’m curious.

Inspiration, Uncategorized

The Truth About Writing

This amazing writing gig, this passion of mine is, honestly, work. I enjoy it. I actually love it. But it is truly work. If I’m writing copy for a mailer, I’m doing tons of research on my audience and on the product itself before I even write a single word. If I’m writing on my current project, I’m developing an outline, making notes on the characters and building climaxes and flushing out relationships, all of which takes a load of time and editing and self-correction. This is work!

pexels-photo-905877.jpeg
This is actually a pretty cool idea – a huge blank page to chart or write important notes or draw hearts.

Now, it would be so easy to spend the entire day attached to the laptop, digging for more information and making notes, but I actually have a life as well. Yesterday, after a few hours of a different kind of work, I was forced into some front yard baseball, some driveway basketball, some backyard bubbles, and then some front porch paper airplanes. It’s a hard life but that was a few hours that I’m more than willing to sacrifice. We actually had a lot of fun. But hanging out with a 4 year old can be work, as well.

pexels-photo-538694.jpeg
He beat me.

I guess what I’m trying to say is, do what you love. Even if it feels like work sometimes. We, still, are so amazingly blessed to do what we love. Live out your passion. If it’s building model airplanes, dig out some time to do that. If it’s entertaining random children with bubbles, you may want to get parental consent, but still, find your niche. Love your life as much as you live it. We’re only here for so long. We might as well enjoy it!!

pexels-photo-269583.jpeg
The beach is my happy place and this is where I hope to spend some time “working” this summer. Anyone else game?
books

New Beginnings and Tons of Writing

I’m fully in love with it but I’m still trying to remember what made me start writing again. I had a blog around nine years ago  but I kind of let it fade off into nowhere. Life caught up with me. I was going to graduate school. I had a middle school daughter and a new relationship. I had a puppy and a full time job. I also played league softball between 3 and 5 nights a week and at least one tournament each month. I have to say that I got a little busy.

IMG_2583

It was easy to let life take me wherever it wanted to, a vacation to the Bahamas, a road trip from NC to WA and back. A few trips around the East Coast for work, a marriage, a new son, a new house, and two new dogs. It’s safe to say that we’re living the American dream.

Fast forward to December 2017 and I got bit by the writing bug again. Bad. I started to work on the first Not Your Grandma’s Word Search book and realized that I still had Don’t Move, Don’t Breathe about 75 percent written. That was it. I put my foot down. I told myself that I’m setting a goal right then, that day. I would publish Not Your Grandma’s Word Search by the end of December. And I did. Don’t Move, Don’t Breathe would be done by the end of January. And it was. Memories & Snapshots came out at the beginning of February. The 2nd version of Not Your Grandma’s Word Search by end of February and the Not Your Kindergarten’s Word Search by the end of March. And it all was. I am amazed by how smoothly everything has been going and the positive reception everything is receiving.  But my goal continues. I plan to publish a book a month. Either continuing the Not Your Grandma’s Word Search series or with my new Young Adult Fiction books.

pexels-photo-256431.jpeg

Don’t Move, Don’t Breathe is on the shelf at Park Road Book Stores in Charlotte, NC. I’m planning a signing event in store sometime soon and will be publishing here as well as on social media.

This amazing trip, this fantastic, intimidating journey, is such fun. I’m loving the research and the editing and the feedback. I love that people are enjoying my silliness as well as my darkness. I really love that they are anxiously awaiting my next project almost as much as I am.