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

Beating the Clock

I almost missed it. I almost finished up my day without doing the post I had scheduled. Almost. But I didn’t. Yes, I’m tired. It was the last day of work before I have an extended time off, a stay-cation, if you will. But I was also dealing with the big kid’s car insurance and arranging a plumber. Long story. And dogs and traffic and on and on…. Then the normal routing – get the kid to bed and work. That all went well. Swimmingly. No complaints. But I ran out of words just before the end of the last review and I had to force my way through. Never good. If you do that, be sure to re-read it 3 times. No less. Because you have to see the actual mistakes.

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Made it just before 12 – technically, it’s still Friday!

Anyway, all that is done and I was gonna just go lay down but nope. I have committed to this blog and that’s what I’m gonna do. Write. At this point it’s just stream of conscious but there was a word of the day if you’d like to discuss: Archaic. And the funny thing is, my reminder to do this, is fairly archaic. I write on an actual paper planner. I use that as my reminder. It has my deadlines, my assignments, I note when I complete projects on there, and it has my commitments (hello WordPress).

person woman apple hotel
A lot of nights, this is me. Anyone else? It’s just so comfy!!

So yeah, maybe I’m not the queen of technological advancements. I haven’t programmed my phone to remind me when things are due and when I should be doing something. The truth is, that requires actual setup and messing with my phone even more than I already do. And I’m just too lazy for that. I’d rather just scribble it down and keep it moving. If that makes me archaic, I’m okay with that. It’s kind of a cool word.

Along those same lines, I’m committing more and more. My business is amping up and it is amazing. However, I’m not finding any more time in my day. Do you happen to know how to go about that? I’m not convinced that digital reminders will save me time, so that one’s out. Any other suggestions? I’d love to hear them. Because I need to add some house projects into that schedule, too, and maybe some TV time because I’m told that I’m missing quite a few good shows on Netflix/Hulu/Amazon/etcetera…

closeup photo of person holding panasonic remote control in front of turned on smart television
For some reason, ours is always on Kids Netflix… hmmm…

But, for now, I’m content to keep my planner going, carrying it with me like a schoolgirl. I don’t mind. It’s a quick snapshot and I don’t have to remember passwords or find apps. That’s what happens when you’re lazy. You go old school. I’d love to hear your ideas – please share!!

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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.

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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?

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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.

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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!

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!

 

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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!

 

 

books, Inspiration, Uncategorized, Writing Tips

Write Every Day, They Say…

I guess you can think of your ability to write as a muscle. If you train it and use it consistently, it becomes stronger and more defined. If you don’t use it, it shrinks down, gets surrounded by fat and can’t be found unless you’re cut open. And that’s just not a good idea at all. I say because I’ve convinced myself that I’ll be doing actual writing every day. That’s it. I’ve said it, so let it be. Well, maybe not that instantly, but that’s the plan.

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This is how my writing guns need to look!

Just moments ago, I was kicked back on my bed, mostly laying on my squishy, comfy pillows, with my eyes closed. I was right at that point where I could just let go and fall all the way to sleep. BUT, I realized that my dogs are still in the backyard and my son is still up playing on the iPad. If they stay out and he keeps watching it unchecked, I can’t be responsible for the havoc that will be wreaked. Not really. I’d be totally responsible. Thus, the reason I cracked open the laptop.

I’m taking this moment to type while sleepy. Yes, it’s dangerous. I have no idea what I could be sending out onto the web, but I committed. In between turning on the laptop and now, I actually found a very interesting blog and a post therein that encouraged me to jump into writing daily. And it made sense.

The more you use it, the better you get. The more you type, the faster you are. The more you run, the less you feel like you’re going to die. The more you fly a plane, the more credibility you have as a pilot. While writing a shoddy article is not as life-threatening as potentially crashing a plane,  it still reflects on you poorly. Clients are looking for well-thought out commentary and interesting subjects. They don’t want to hear the same thing with new descriptions and colorful words. They want to be moved.

The same goes for books. You can’t repeat the same rhythm over and over with your sentence structure. You wouldn’t want to hear the same cadence repeatedly in your music, so why would people want to see it in your writing. Such an amazing observation and so true! I’m easily distracted, so the book or article needs to keep my attention or the proverbial butterflies will drag me away.

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Oooooh, butterfly!!

The awesome thing is that you will pick up on that the more you write. And the more you forgive yourself for making errors or putting a bad string of events together, the less likely you are to do it. The even more awesome thing is that you don’t have to keep those particular pieces. You can let them go and give it another try tomorrow. Isn’t that lovely? Second chances and endless opportunities.

Have you made a similar commitment? Do you write daily? weekly? monthly? Ever? Are you a schedule person or a do-it-when-you-feel-it person? I’ve always been the latter but I’m embracing the former and giving this a try. Tell me your thoughts – I’d love to hear different perspectives!

 

Daily Word Prompt, Inspiration, Uncategorized

Shake Things Up

I’m really starting to get into these daily word prompts.  WordPress gives a daily word to inspire your writing for the day. So far, the words have done exactly what they intend. I feel like they might actually be speaking to me. Wait, are they? Are they following me? Nahhhhh, I know they’re not but it’s so interesting that sometimes it feels like the universe just puts everything together perfectly to encourage you on your path. Some would say that’s proof of God. Some wouldn’t. Who knows?

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Hello Universe!!

So, today the word they chose is Disrupt. It could be taken a few different ways, like you didn’t pay your electric bill so they’re going to disrupt your service. Or your child is extra gregarious today and is determined to disrupt their class. Or the dog won’t quit barking and it is disrupting your sleep. So many ways to take it but those examples all seem so negative. I’m choosing to use disrupt as a shake up. Sometimes we need to disrupt our lives to open the door for bigger and better things. We have to experience some disruption to get our tails in gear and look for that better job or the new house. While the disruption itself can be stressful or scary, the outcome can be so amazing.

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Positive disruption!  Breaking the egg shell in order to be born or free from your confines…

My life has been one big disruption after another lately. A few years ago, I chose to shake things up and moved across the country to a new job, a new city and a new life. And that’s exactly what I got. It has been so worth it! I’m glad I chose to make the changes I did because it brought me to my husband and my son came out of it. We found a perfect home and I now have a bigger family than I ever thought I would.

I’ve even disrupted my nighttime routine. I used to come home and binge watch HGTV – I love the Property Brothers and all things Fixer Upper. But now I rarely turn the television on unless it’s Disney Junior for the little guy. Now I will hang out with the kid, have a relaxed dinner, play outside, get him to bed, then I get to work. I spend 2-3 hours working on my writing projects each night. And I go to bed feeling accomplished. Sometimes it’s a little more, or even a little less if I find a good stopping point, but the point is, I broke up my time wasted and turned it into productive time. And I couldn’t be happier about it. I’m being acknowledged for my work.  It’s helping out my family. And I am personally challenged by some of the research I am assigned. Winning all around!

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My imaginary Property Brothers home – on a basket weaver’s & a dog walker’s salary, of course!

Maybe it’s time for a disruption in your life. A controlled disruption, if possible. If you’re not happy with what you’re doing, who you’re with, where you’re living, do something about it. Embrace the chaos and take those steps forward that you’ve been thinking about or dreaming about.